2016 was a good year for my husband and I. We accomplished most of our goals and for that I am grateful. However, in looking back I don’t think we lived and thrived to our full potential. In some areas of our lives like our financial & faith based goals we thrived, but in others like our career and health related goals we could improve. However, even with our setbacks and procrastination at times, I have no complaints about this year. I will learn from my mistakes and make 2017 even better. In terms of our financial goals, here is what we had achieved in 2016:
- Settled on a detailed budget that works for us. Even though we have been budgeting for the past 3.5 years our budget at the start of 2016 looked very different from when we were paying off our debt. Once we cleared our debt, we were free to add more expense and savings categories that we had put on hold when paying off our student loans and credit card debt. It took the first 4-6 months of the calendar year to adjust the numbers so they better reflect our spending, but now our budget is on auto-pilot, which is awesome. We hardly make any changes month to month.
- Fully funded our emergency & baby fund. This probably took the better half of 2016 to complete. Using our tax refund to fund these accounts also helped to expedite the process. Having these funds in place have brought us some peace of mind in the midst of economic uncertainty in Canada, most especially Calgary. However, I would like to increase our emergency fund to $20,000, which would require another $10,000 in savings. My husband is not too crazy with that idea and to be honest, I don’t blame him. We have sacrificed a lot these last few years to get our finances the way we want them and it is finally nice to spend more on the things we want now.
- Side hustle income as a result of my blog. I started some freelance work in the late summer of this year, about 7 months after my blog started. It’s been 5 months since then and I am thankful for the steady freelance work. I need to work on my time management so I can manage both my blog and freelance work, I have not been the best at doing this.
- Reached our financial goal of $40,000 savings in 2016. This very aggressive amount was to ensure we caught up for lost time and savings when paying off our debts. We don’t intend to have a $40,000 savings goal every year, but for 2016, this amount was ambitious enough to push us past our comfort zone and force us to engage in various side hustle businesses to bring our incomes up.
I am excited to start the New Year. 2017 seems promising and gearing up for the New Year gives me an excuse to layout my 1 year plan. Granted I could to this anytime of the year but there is something about a new year and new beginnings. Here are my goals for 2017:
- Save $20,000 in 2017. A little less ambitious than $40,000 in 2016, I think $20,000 is enough for us to make sizable progress while still being able to spend on our wants and needs. Although both my husband and I will be taking courses part-time in 2017.
- Revamp my website & increase freelance income. I am not too crazy about WordPress.com and hate how limiting the layout and themes are. I want to change the ‘face’ of my website, making it more professional and engaging. I will also put some strategies in place to hopefully line up 2 more freelance clients. My goal is to double my income from freelance work by the end of the year. Since I will still be working full time while going to school part time, that is enough work too keep me busy while supplementing my income and growing my online presence.
- Pursue my accounting designation. This is probably the most important goal of all. I was working towards my CPA (hence the part time school) and had to take a pause for a few months for personal reasons. I am planning to get back on it full swing in 2017 while working full time. This will probably be my most important goal in 2017. If I can make significant progress towards this in 2017, then I would count the entire year a success. I will be taking part time courses to meet the education requirements. The recommended time needed to study is 20 hours a week.
- Continue with my PREP challenge. My bestie and I keep each other accountable to complete the PREP challenge on a regular basis. I came up with the acronym PREP and it stands for pray, read the bible, exercise and professional (personal) development. Every day of the week we try to work towards at least 3 out of the 4 acronyms. Whether it is 15 minutes a day working on each or an hour, the idea is to continue strengthening our faith in God as we continue to work towards our goals and push past out comfort zone. Some days are better than others in meeting this goal, but I will make an honest effort next year to ensure that I make time for this.
So as 2016 comes to an end and 2017 is upon us, I will need a positive attitude, perseverance and better time management to get these goals accomplished. I am hopeful for the opportunities that the New Year may bring and I am looking forward to it.
What goals do you have for 2017?