Saturday, December 25, 2010

2011 Goals!

You cannot make goals about achieving something if you are not completely honest about your lack of financial security even if it is to yourself.
I don’t think I am ready to spread the news that my lovely debt load is over the better half of my annual income and as a young certified professional (some may argue certifiable) that income is far above the that of the average Canadian family.
I have set up a fancy shmancy spreadsheet with the balance owing, interest charged, payment etc, this spreadsheet not only tells me what I owe where during the month, but also how long it will take me to get to freedom.

Included in my goals for 2011 are the following:

1. Contribute to my RRSP enough that by May 2012, I will have approximately $22,000 which will be used for a down payment on either a Condo or Town home. Let’s hope the bubble bursts by May 2012! By March 2011 there should be $6,250 in that account. Lofty goal, yep. Does it have to happen: YES. This also includes my 2012 bonus.
2. Decrease outstanding debt, which includes student loans, consumer, loans to family and an ex, by about $7,525. This is calculated on the balance owing less payments less interest that accumulates like it’s going out of style. Yes you think that’s a lot, but honestly that is a chip in the iceberg I am fighting. This will also put me in a position to be a favourable candidate for a mortgage.
Here is the problem, the above repayment plan/ savings leaves me with little when it comes to Emergency fund/ Travel etc. I am doing something extremely wrong when I say that my RRSP contributions will be in a way emergency if something was to happen. I don’t have a choice at this point in time.

3. Create a sustainable budget and perhaps revisit the numbers above to ensure that they are not as lofty as they appear at this point. The problem is that I have a budget but my ‘life’ expenses usually drain it by the middle of the first week after my paycheque. And so it has to be revisited, so that I make progress paying off debt instead of increasing it.
Once I have a SUSTAINABLE budget, it will be cash only. Oh the call of the reward points… it’s a siren call that is hard to ignore. I will ignore it, I will be strong. I may end up punishing myself by setting up the budget jars as per Gail Vaz-Oxlade's budgeting solution on "Til Debt Do Us Apart".

Hmmmm I will work a little deeper into the goals in the upcoming month and restate where needed. But I really wanted to get myself thinking about it and just going forward.
Also, in order for these goals to be achievable I will further break them down to monthly and perhaps bi-weekly goals so that they are a little more friendly looking.

And of course the goal of writing it all down, publicly, is so that I can really hold myself accountable for my actions and actually have a record of my progress and certain unavoidable failures.

Oh yah:
4. Shopping ban from Dec 24th 2010 to Jan 29th 2011. How can I forget this, it truly did skip my mind.

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