With everyone talking up their goals for the New Year, I figure I’d better jump on board here before the train leaves the station. For me the trick is always making sure my goals are ambitious enough to motivate me and take me to another level, like paying off my small business loan, but not so far out of my reach that I feel negative about guaranteed failure or unrealistic expectations. Anyway without further ado:
1) Continue my Master’s Degree.
I’m hoping to polish off nine more credit hours towards my degree this year as I work full-time. In a perfect world I could finish this whole project much faster, but alas due to schedule restrictions and trying to keep my sanity this isn’t possible. Slow and steady wins the race right?
2) Increase website-related revenue by 50%.
We’ve been given some great reasons not to publically release our financial numbers online, so we’ll just leave it at this. After increasing our income by several hundred percent this year (mostly due to a great acquisition) scaling back our rate of growth will still substantially increase the amount of real dollars we have coming in. The more connections and experience we get, the better we are at this whole making money online thing!
3) Pay back our entire business loan.
We had to take out a fairly modest loan to make our acquisition this year, and while we have taken a little money out of the business, we’re hoping a steady re-investment philosophy will leave us debt free at this time next yearin the hopes that if we ever do need another business loan, we will be able to look at accounts receivable financing or other smarter loan choices.
1) Actually save 35% of my net income!
While last year my savings plans got sidetracked (although for a very worthy project) last year, I do hope to stuff my RRSP a little fuller in 2013. I’d love to use my TFSA, but until my girlfriend and I figure out this stupid double taxation situation we’re in due to our dual citizenship, I’ve been advised not to do this. The fact I can’t use my TFSA is definitely a key factor in whether I want to hang on to my USA citizenship at all. I should note that this 35% is in additional to the sizeable chunk that gets taken off of my cheque to build my teacher’s pension.
2) Help my significant other pay for her final year of post-secondary education.
I often think about the fact that I feel like we live pretty good right now on just my paycheque, and that we should be able to bank a full teacher’s net pay in a year and a half (in theory anyway… stupid lifestyle inflation). That’s a pretty sweet future to look forward to, but for right now I don’t mind financially helping out a little, one day I’m sure she’ll do the same for me.
3) Continue my boring old ETF ways.
Yes, this is about as exciting as it sounds, but then again actually having money in my retirement account that doesn’t go straight to MER fees is a pretty decent deal. The more I read and learn about the stock market and today’s investing environment the more entrenched I become in my passive/index-based investing ways. Check out our free ETF eBook for more details on the strategy I’ll stock to in 2013 (*spoiler alert* as a great benefit I will be spending almost no time worrying about my investments this year).
4) Maximize tax savings.
Between the tuition kickback that Manitoba gives us, RRSP contributions, and income splitting with my common-law girlfriend (student), I should be up for a pretty nice cheque come tax time. This is actually one area I don’t mind paying for a little qualified help in considering my USA tax situation, and the fact with a small business there are so many deductions that you can claim that the average person doesn’t know about. The taxman isn’t always a bad guy, but I’d rather not give him a nickel more than I have to!
1) Eat better.
Last year I made the stereotypical resolution of losing a little weight. While I experienced a modicum of success, I think this year’s version of the goal can be a lot more specific. I’ve never had a problem motivating myself to work out – whether it is jogging, boxing, or team sports, I’ve always been very active. I don’t drink much and save for a few cigars, I’ve never smoked either; therefore, my personal health really revolves around making the right eating decisions. I readily admit to often failing when it comes to sheer willpower about second helpings and salty snacks. I’m pretty sure I get enough fruits and vegetables in my diet, I just eat way too many carbs and junk food as well. I really hope to improve in this area going forward.
2) Be a more connected friend.
Losing contact with friends from different stages of life is part of getting older, but I’d really like to do a better job in 2013 of re-connecting with some really good people in my life who have got pushed to the fringes mostly due to basic geography and time demands. Facebook is a little overrated when it comes to this in my opinion. While it’s fine to wish someone a Happy Birthday online, this isn’t really what I have in mind. I hope to actually have coffee, or at least get on the phone a little more with some people who I don’t want to lose touch with, and are positive influences on me!
Hopefully you got some good ideas from my list, or maybe you just feel way better about your aims for the New Year after reading about this slacker! Either way, good luck in 2013 with all you plan to accomplish and strive for in your life!