Goals are a very important part of achieving what you want out of your life.
If you don’t have priorities for your own life, you’ll never know what to do with your money and where it should be spent or saved.
Money should be saved, but it should also be spent and enjoyed.
2006: Got a job
- Graduated $60,000 net in the hole
- Spent my last $2000 from my line of credit on renting an apartment
- Started at a very healthy salary of $65,000 gross
Result: Got a degree! Also realized that having to dip into a line of credit to pay for rent is stupid and I should really figure out my money situation.
2007: Figured out my money
- Built The Budgeting, Expense Tracking, and Analysis Tool
- Learned that it would take me 10-15 years to get out of debt if I paid the minimums
- Started saving for retirement (employer matched contributions)
Result: Got mad at myself and my debt. Started knocking my debt down, estimating I would be finished in less than 5 years based on my plan; was hoping to be done in 3 years.
2008: Cleared my debt
- Wasn’t expecting to clear my debt or be in the black
- Ended up quitting my corporate job and freelancing
- Refined The Budgeting, Expense Tracking, and Analysis Tool after a year of making it
Result: Cleared the outstanding $15,000 in one fell swoop, making myself totally 100% debt free with about $30,000 to spare in the bank.
Photograph I took in Hong Kong
2009: Wanted to reach $100,000 net worth
- Was a bad year for freelancing — the recession hit
- Lived off savings and started to bite nails near the end of 2009
Result: Failed at reaching $100,000 net worth but thanked my lucky stars I had saved enough money in my emergency fund to weather the unexpected economic storm.
2010: Really reached $100,000 net worth (Take Two)
- Reach $100,000 net worth and stay there!
Result: Reached $100,000 net worth by July 2010.
I actually saved $130,000 net in total for 2010, putting me in a very comfortable position financially, and hit about $200,000 net worth.
2011: Relaxed and Traveled for 1 Year
- Originally, I wanted to reach $250,000 in net worth as my goal but I decided to…
- …relax instead!
- Go to Asia — Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore,
- Go to Europe — Stockholm, Brussels, Vienna, Evora, Salamanca
Photograph I took in Paris, France
Result: Achieved what I wanted; couldn’t go to Japan because of the tsunami, but I put the money I would have spent in Japan towards helping them rebuild their lives. My net worth dropped about $50K in this year because I didn’t work and I spent it flying around the world.
2012: Rebuilt Net Worth back to Pre-2011 Year of Traveling
Reach $200,000 net worth and stay there!— Completed February 2012 Revised Goal #1: Reach $220,000 in net worth and stay above $200,000! Revised Goal #2: Reach $225,000 in net worth and stay above $200,000!
- Revised Goal #3: Stay above $200,000 — Completed December 2012
Put a halt to spending — the impulse buying is starting to rear its head again *sigh* I won’t bother. I am $$$ secure, so why not, if I am reasonable?
- Spend less than $1000 a month, except for the months of travel — Failed miserably…
- Concentrate on my career and positioning myself for the future — DONE
- Create all the essential documents I need to have on file — DONE
Result: Got right back up to $200,000 (my highest point of net worth BEFORE I took a year off to travel). Took the year to reflect on where I wanted to be, and where I wanted to live in 5 years, 10 years and a lifetime. Contemplated moving to Australia. Nixed that idea.
2013: Net Worth To Finally Reach 1/4 Of A Million ($250,000)
Reach at least $250,000 in my net worth by the end of 2013 Spend no more than $30,000 net on living expenses this year (including travel)
- Freelancing for some side income for $300 a month
- Stop buying cheap things — Plastic and/or Made in China as much as possible
- Read all the books in my library I’ve been getting for free with Swagbucks money
Result: Got pregnant and had a baby!!! As a result, didn’t work at all.
There went my goals for a quarter of a million-dollar net worth.
I ended up not working at all in 2013, but still increased my net worth by $17,000.
I am not sure what 2014 will hold but I want to work by September if possible.
2014: Get a contract and work (haven’t worked since 2011)
- Take care of Baby Bun for the first half of 2014
- Get a contract and work, even if it’s only a short one, just to get some income
- Lower expenses (spending) considerably to make my emergency fund of around $10,000 stretch out the year
- Do not buy anything at retail until at least, November 2014
Result: Failed miserably at not buying anything until November 2014, but that’s okay. My net worth is now almost $300K.
2015: Save $100,000 in net savings this year
- Want to actually save $100,000 in net savings or $250/day after taxes
- My net worth should surpass $400,000 this year as a result
- Spend only $3000 a month each month
Result: Crushed it, ending at net worth of $550K
Read: Net worth went up $255K this year and quite possibly the best year I ever had, going from $300K to $550K is no joke.
2016: Find a contract
- Hang out and cherish the time with Baby Bun
- …but LOOK FOR WORK. OMG. Have not worked in so long.
- Try to DIY more, save money, be more frugal and clamp down the stress spending.
Result: Did not work for a while, but kept net worth steady, and it only dropped down to about $500K, losing about $50K only.
2017: Save $100,000 this year
- Want to actually save $100,000 this year and bump up my net worth
- Hit $600,000 as my net worth
- Stay around $3000 – $3500 a month in spending
Result: Found a contract in the spring, and started working again, hit a net worth of $600K.
2018: Save $100,000 this year & try not to quit
- Usually by the second year of a contract, I end up getting antsy and want to leave. Let’s hope I don’t do this.
- Save $100K
- Hit $700K net worth this year
Result: Hit $700K net worth, nearer to $800K ($772K). This contract is kind of toxic and the people are getting weird in the sense that they’re used to me doing everything for them and are jealous/resentful at the same time. It is hard to work like this.
2019: Hit $800K Net worth
- Hit a$800K net worth while looking for a contract
- Try and take a vacation
Result: Left the contract early on. Could not take it any more, it was very stressful, long hours, people yelling at you for things that are not in your control (they were panicked because they couldn’t meet THEIR goals).
Haven’t taken a break in 2 years, so I took the summer off, lightly looking for work but not really, and spent it in Toronto for a few months.
Came back early, and ended up signing a new contract, negotiating an extra $10K a year to $260K a year. Am vowing to take it easy at this contract this year and to not take on too much in an attempt to try and help people / make things perfect. Blinders on.
Also started thinking about buying secondhand only, and changed over to 99% secondhand for spending EXCEPT for underwear and very special items. Only one dress made it through this cut thus far, the MM Lafleur Dina in Sharkskin.
My motto for the decade!!
2020: Become a millionaire & ramp down on spending
- Hit a $1M net worth goal
- Ramp up my dividends to be $12K/year or on average, $1000 a month
- Keep my spending down to AT or UNDER $3000
- Buy 99% secondhand (exceptions: underwear, very special pieces but I am losing my taste for $$$ retail items)
- Sell off what no longer fits (too tight/small) or I do not wear/use often