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.