Save. Spend. Splurge.

My Mid-Year Money Goals for 2017 and Beyond

I was reading Luxe Strategist’s post the other day (my new favourite personal finance blog discovery because with this one post, it is clear that she and I are so much alike it is eerie), and she wrote about how she would crush her 2017 goals.


I guess I never thought about it.

What are my goals this year now that I am working?

1. Add +$100,000 to my net worth by the end of the year

Very possible to do. It just means staying under $3000 spent a month until the end of the year and hoping the markets don’t tank.

I also would breathe much easier if I got extended for all of next year as well and then my net worth is really set.

…which brings me to..

2. Get extended for all of next year

Mama needs another year of working to solidify her income and net worth. C’mon, extension!!

I also LOVE. LOVE. this client. <3

3. Rein in my spending. No rules though.

EVERY TIME I SAY SOMETHING about spending, I end up getting screwed either by myself or by family influences or stupid, too-good-to-ignore sales.

Honestly, I just want to …. rein in spending. It is hard when you’re tired, you’re bored, and you want to do something and the only thing your brain can handle, is window shopping online.

No for real.

I have no mental capacity to comprehend a book, listen to a video in French,ย nothing. Nada.

Nothing is in there.

Only shopping appears. LOL

4. Give some thought to my retirement plan

I don’t know about this.

Everyone keeps asking:

When do I want to retire and how?

If I say I need $1,000,000 net worth (just myself) to retire, I have to consider the following and work backwards in my math.

$1,000,000 saved minus $300,000 for the house leaves me $700,000 in cash or equivalents.

If I took very low paying dividends at 2% a year (stable but low), we are eking out a $14,000 yearly dividend income.

No way am I living on that. I know myself.

I need at least $30,000 as a base income of dividends to live on, after taxes.


So let’s say I need $45,000 in dividends to be sure.

$45,000 / 2% = $2.25 million saved.


Fine. Let’s go with $2.25 million, and if that’s the plan, that means I have about $200,000 saved in cash or cash equivalents, and I have about $2,000,000 left to save.

If I can keep working full years, that means I need 10 more FULL WORKING YEARS to go.


Then this happens in my head:

A) Will I even be able to work for 10 years full-time on a contract?!?

I normally only get 3-month contracts at a time, and some times, go up to a year or two without working. That eats away at my money. That, and shopping and eating it.

B) Will I seriously be able to work without a break?

Oh dear.

Breathe, Sherry, breathe.

OK, so let’s say it takes me double that time to work, give or take spending etc…

That means I can expect to retire in about 20 years. I’ll be a little over 50 years old.

Wouldn’t be so bad, would it? And that’s considering a dividend income at 2% a year giving me $45,000 a year.

Now let’s look at the budget on a dividend income

Let’s say I get $36,000 a year after taxes are said and done.

That is doable.

  • $1000 = Condo fees and taxes
  • $1000 = Living expenses
  • $1000 = Vacation, shopping, Baby Bun, Other


So .. I guess the plan is:

10 Years of Full-Time Working


$2.25 million saved.

*rolls up sleeves*.. 2 million to go.

Unless I scale back and need LESS in dividend income..?


  • The Luxe Strategist

    Thank so much for the shout out! I’ve always felt I could relate to your blog, as well.

    100k in net worth by the end of the year is magic to me. Look forward to seeing how well you do.

    And I think the 2% withdrawal rate is conservative but smart. People, especially women, live longer these days!

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Any time, your blog is on my reading list now (took me a while but I am there… I have been insanely busy).

      Haha ๐Ÿ™‚ $100K should be a normal goal to reach, if I can hit $110 or higher that’s just gravy.

  • raluca

    2% also makes sense if you consider a longer period of time to draw the money out. Sherry could end up living up to 100. From 50 to 100, there’s another 50 years that she needs to cover. Sure pension helps, but there’s less of it for people without a traditional 40 year career.
    4% withdrawal means your money finishes in about 30 years (it might last forever, or it might finish a lot faster, depending on div yield and market risk). If you retire now at 60, that puts you more or less at 90 when the money runs up, which is decent. If you retire at 35, your money might end up lasting you until 65, and then you need to eke out a living on government assistance for the next 25 to 35 years.
    2% is very conservative because stocks will, in aggregate, almost always give you that percentage of dividends. It’s also very safe and will work with an increasing lifespan.
    Some of the lifting for the 2 million will be done by the money itself. 2% of 200.000 dollars is already 4000 dollars to re-invest every year. Sherry won’t need to save the entire sum anyway.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Which is what I need to figure out. I was thinking I could just shift all my assets into dividend stocks (blue chip stuff that is stable), and then keep building from there.

      Or do a 75% dividend, 25% growth… But SP’s point about a lot of cash leftover to draw on as a balance.. that’s something to consider.

      • raluca

        Yep, cash leftover to draw has a place in any retirement plan.

        We’re going in the same direction as you with the retirement: creating cash flow every year to cover our spending. We’re sort of more spread though, because of poor access to international stocks investing, so we have had to diversify everything: 25% stocks in our local stock market, 15% cash, 5% gold, 35% rental properties and 20% a business that, after the first 15 years, we plan to outsource the running of.

        When I see you guys have access to stuff like Vanguard, I want to cry. We have nothing like that in my country (just mutual funds with 3% yearly costs in management fees) and there will probably be no access to Vanguard or any other low cost provider for the next 10 years. You guys are lucky!

        • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Yes we are finally lucky in CANADA to get Vanguard Canada. We didn’t have it for a long time so we had to buy other mutual funds that were similar. Only the U.S. is so advanced, with also Admiral Shares that have even lower fees if you have more than $10,000 invested.

  • SP

    Most PF / FIRE bloggers use the 4% Safe Withdrawal rate rule. The idea being that you don’t need to leave the entire pile of cash there when you die, so you don’t have to just do dividends. If you have no social security (not sure what canadians call it, but I know you guys have it, basically government pension for seniors), I’d be hesitant to use 4%. But 2% is pretty conservative. Nothing wrong with being conservative though!

    If you do want to pass on $$ to your children, dividend makes sense!

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Well I don’t plan on leaving anything to Baby Bun but I also don’t want to run out of money ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Maybe what I need is $1M in cash invested, to give me dividends, PLUS a withdrawal rate of 2%… that means I could maybe actually work 5 years full-time and then be done…

      • SP

        Yeah, 4% is based on a study that showed if you withdraw 4% you have a statically very high chance of not running out of money before you die. BUT, it assumes a more standard timeline for retirement, which is why a 4% SWR is at least somewhat risky if you truly have no other income (gov’t senior benefit, etc.). FIRE bloggers do a much better job of explaining this than I can (Our Next Life or Mr. Money Mustache if you are interested). I’m not interested enough to follow the details because retiring early isn’t my plan. If it was, I would want to move to a less expensive housing market so I wouldn’t have such a large real estate asset.

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