Hello, friends! It’s been a long time since I’ve written in this blog…
There are a few reasons why I stopped blogging: 1) I started a new (dream) job and really want to focus all of my energy into succeeding, and 2) I felt like I wasn’t relatable anymore to my peers who were dealing with the financial pressures of having kids, buying a house, paying off student loans, etc. But I think there’s still a small place for me in the personal finance community. I should be proud of how hard I’ve worked on my career, how far we’ve gotten saving for retirement, and how much I still have to learn about growing our money. So this year I’m getting back into it! I miss writing, and I still have a lot of things to say. 🙂
I’ll start off 2020 by discussing my goals for the year!
Stay debt-free. Very important!
Save at least 30% of our net income for retirement. Aside from staying debt-free, saving for retirement is our most important financial goal. The plan right now is for me to semi-retire when I’m 52, and fully retire 2 years later when RD turns 57. Right now, we are on track for this.
Save 75% of any bonuses or freelance income. I usually get two bonuses a year, and now that I’m blogging again, I’ll also be taking on sponsorship opportunities. I’ve also turned down a few freelance writing assignments, which I might start saying yes to. Maybe. 🙂 Normally I would save most of this income, but want to be more flexible (and realistic) since we have another big trip coming up this year!
Finish house improvements. Last year when we moved into our new condo, we ended up splurging on a bunch of home renovations – including converting our storage room into a walk-in closet and laundry area, and buying essentially all new furniture. This year we want to re-paint our bedroom, buy a couple pieces of furniture (shelving unit + floor lamp), and not-so-secretly I want a new bed, but it will depend on how much we spend on everything else.
Run in 4 half marathons. After taking about 7 years off from long distance running, I started easing myself back into it in November 2019 and have my first two half marathon scheduled (the first in mid-February, and the second in May). It feels so good to run again! I can run the entire distance in training right now, pain-free … which seems like a miracle. I just want to stay injury-free, so keeping my fingers crossed.
Stay on budget for Japan. We are going to Japan this year for our big trip! We’ll likely go for 2.5 weeks in September, and I couldn’t be more excited. I am super confused about where in Japan we’ll go, so if you’ve been there before, please send me all your recommendations. A rough budget tells me that we’ll likely spend around $8,000 for the trip.
Hike, Hike, Hike. Last year we failed a bit in the amount of hiking we did. Summer just seemed so busy that we were only able to get out a couple of times.
Keep track of fun money expenses. As part of combining our finances, we each get a set amount of “fun money” each month. RD spends his mostly on beer and camera gear, and I spend mine on workout clothes and lash extensions, haha. This was successful in 2019, so am hoping to continue it for 2020. We might increase our monthly allowances by a little, given that my salary has gone up by 30% this year with a raise at my full-time job, and booked freelance work.
Get my LEED Green Associate certificate.
Start studying for the APMP certification. This was a goal I had for 2017 and 2018, but the wedding got in the way. And by the time I was ready to get going with this, I ended up moving to a new firm where this certification wasn’t really as crucial. And while that’s sort of still the case, I think it would be good for my long-term development to pursue this certification.
Continue to work hard on my career. Six years ago I was walking downtown with a friend, and we walked past a design studio that I really admired. I commented, “I would love to work there one day,” then realized how dumb that sounded because 1) I couldn’t possibly have the skill set, and 2) the firm was so small how would I even get in? Well just over a year ago I was headhunted for a position at that very studio! I was nervous about succeeding and had a major case of imposter syndrome for the first 10 months, until my boss told me that he thought I was doing a really good job and had demonstrated a lot of growth. So I want to continue on that path and keep trying to push myself.
Redesign this blog. I’m over the look, and it needs to be changed ASAP.
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.
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