Our Savings Goal Update- Q3

I cannot believe 2016 is almost over. This year has gone by so quickly. With only 3 months left to go, I am in the final stretch of our 2016 savings goal of $42,944. I had decided to let the rest of the world know about our savings goal to keep us accountable. I had also documented my progress for the first and second quarter.

So let’s get right to it.

Short term savings/ planned spending

These are planned spending that will take place within the next 5 years or so. Monies in these accounts are in a savings account and GICs/CDs. We use the GIC/CD laddering strategy to take advantage of higher interest rate offers when they are available. We had a promotional offer from our long time online bank that offered us 3.25% for 6 months on all savings accounts. This promotional offer ends Sept 30, 2016 but we are glad to have been able to take advantage of it.

The biggest hurdle we faced in the beginning on 2016 was funding the emergency fund. This pretty much took the first 3 months of 2016. More about what happened to this amount in the explanations below.

With the first 2-3 quarters spent on funding short term savings/planned spending accounts we thankfully are only left with $1,923.20 left to complete this goal. This will allow us to concentrate on funding our long term savings/financial freedom accounts.

  Goal Actual
1.       Emergency fund $10,000 $8,066.46
2.       Vacation fund $3,000 $3,000
3.       Starter baby fund $5,000 $5,010.34
4.       Education fund $3,000 $3,000
Total $21,000 $19,076.80

Long term savings

Monies in long term savings are geared towards retirement/financial freedom. These monies are all invested in the stock market with an aggressive growth portfolio for my husband and a moderately aggressive portfolio for me.

Although $10,493.37 is a lot to save up for in the 3 months, we have the added benefit to focus on long term savings for the remainder of 2016. This amount also includes employer contributions which will help us in reaching our goal faster.

Come 2017, our goal is to direct 85% of our financial savings towards long term goals. The other 15% would be to replace planned spending when necessary like replenishing the emergency, education and vacation fund when needed.

Goal Actual
5.       Retirement savings through work (includes matching) (invested) $10,776 $7,278.67
6.       Tax Free Savings Account (invested) $10,000 $5,610.99
7.       Critical illness (self-insured) (invested) $1,168 $922.85
Total $21,944 $13,821.51
Total Savings Year to Date $42,944 $32,450.63

Additional information:

  1. Emergency fund: We had the emergency fund fully funded at $10,000 in the first quarter. However, an emergency caused us to dip into this fund spending $1,933.54. One emergency involved using arm & hammer laundry detergent that shrank a bunch of our work clothes by like 4 sizes. This resulted in an unexpected, yet not unwelcomed “shopping spree” to replace some of these clothes. We are currently on track to replenish this amount by the end of the year.
  2. Vacation fund: My husband and I enjoyed an amazing holiday in Jasper and Waterton, Alberta. We stayed in a hotel for the 6 nights (paid for in advance of course through Expedia). We did a lot of hiking, swimming, sight-seeing, vegging out and relaxing at the hotels. It was our first vacation since we started our $120k student debt repayment journey 3 years ago. Our next 2 vacation goals is to save enough to visit my family in Africa next year and take a two week trip to Europe in 2018. More about these goals in 2017 posts. Although we had funded this $3k, we have used up this money and it was totally worth it.
  3. Starter baby fund: Pretty self-explanatory. The 3.25% interest rate we have been enjoying has boosted the $5k amount pretty quickly in a short period of time.
  4. Education fund: Although I am currently taking a break from studying right now, my husband is working towards his CFP designation. His employer reimburses for these expenses but that can be months down the line after reaching certain company milestones. When he does get reimbursed we put the reimbursement cheque towards long-term savings. Out of the $3,000 saved we currently have $900 left for education costs.
  5. Retirement savings through work: We are on track for reaching this goal as these monies are deducted at source from our employer.
  6. Tax Free Savings Account: These are after tax dollars invested to help us reach financial freedom. Because these monies are not deducted at source, discipline is needed to ensure that we save. We are past the half way mark in reaching this goal which is good, but we still have a long way to go.
  7. Critical illness (self-insure): This is to supplement our term to 65 life insurance policies without having to pay our life insurance provider for critical illness coverage. To read why we decided to self-insure for critical illness check out my previous post. We have this amount set for automatic monthly withdrawals and the funds are invested as we have a long term horizon for this goal.

Final thoughts:

We have $10,543.37 left to save over 3 months. That sounds pretty ridiculous when I think about it, but I also feel like it can be done if we remained disciplined. At 75% of our 2016 savings goals reached, we hope to be on track for reaching 100% by the end of the year.

The final quarter is an opportunity to kick our long term savings into high gear. This is where I feel we will see our net worth grow as we continue to save and invest.

Overall, I am happy with our progress.


 

Categories: Savings

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11 replies

  1. You are such a huge inspiration! I wish I were as good at saving as you two. Please teach me your ways!

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    • I was never a saver. I think I started saving once we paid off debts because I was worried about falling back into the ‘debt hole’ and bringing back bad spending habits. Now if I have a balance on my credit card for more than 2 months it pissing me right off and I use my side hustle money to pay it off. I am still totally a work in progress when it comes to saving money.

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  2. Congrats, Pamela!! You guys are doing so well! I love your savings goal updates – they’re so motivational : ) I can’t wait to see the final report, you guys have this in the bag!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kate. I appreciate the encouragement. Sometimes I wonder if we will make the goal, but it is always great to hear encouragement from others to push through the final stretch. I am exciting to see what Q4 has in store for us as well.

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  3. Excellent progress. Reaching 75 pct after 75 pct. That is spot on.

    All the best for the last 3 months

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  4. Again, I need to get the ball running. I did make a goal to save a certain amount this year. And that the end of the year I want to put $1000 into a CD. In fact I want to save throughout the year and be able to put $1000 into a CD at the end of every year.

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    • That sounds like a great goal to have. We call them GIC’s in Canada. I use short term GICs to help boost my savings for the next 5 years or less. It is not much and most GIC’s won’t even come close to meeting inflation, but it is better than keeping it in a savings account. Plus, my bank does not penalize me for taking the money out early, which is nice.

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  5. Very good progress, Pamela, thanks for the update! Looks like you are in good shape to meet your goal, keep up all the good work!

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    • Thanks. I hope so. It is really down to the wire at this point. Either way I am happy for the progress. I know personally if I did not set these goals and put them in writing I would not have even come close.

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