Tag Archives: Retirement

Share your financial resolutions for 2013

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I believe in resolutions at the start of a new year.

I believe in resolutions, period. But there is something magical about the fresh start that a new year brings. Despite what people say about resolutions, I often keep mine.* I owe this fact to being extremely stubborn and having a (cruelly) strong memory.

I’d like to share my financial goals for 2013 with the hope that they inspire you to set your own.

1) Stay the course: I’ve had a great year financially. I’ve learned to manage my credit card (the balance is zero as I write this!), and I’ve learned to save money ($3,000 in planned spending savings; $5,000 in job-absence savings; and $7,000 in retirement savings. Um…yay!) Now would be a great time to rest, right? It’s the optimal time to relax a little. NO WAY! OK, maybe a little. I can probably stop living with my poor-woman mentality, but overall I need to stay on my current path to get where I want to be, which is…

2) Become (almost) debt-free:  Mortgage not included, my main goal is to rid myself of personal debt in the coming 12 months. I have a car loan ($3,190) and the rest of my student loan ($1,300) left. Part of me wants to hit them hard, but I know that slow and steady wins the race, which means I will have to…

3) Prioritize: I have non-financial goals this year that require money to achieve, including replacing the flooring in my condo and taking at least three Master’s classes. That means other goals – like a trip to Whitehorse, YT with my daughter and my partner – will likely have to wait. That’s OK. After all, 2014 is right around the corner. And we all know a new year means new goals and new possibilities.

Please share your financial resolutions (either in the comments section or by emailing me at hasetka@hotmail.com). It will inspire me to reach my own goals.

Happy New Year!

~HS

*If you have trouble keeping yours, here are some tips from Forbes.

Photo: bigfoto.com

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Time for a financial check-in

I’ve been writing this blog for eight months and that seems like an arbitrary amount of time for a personal finance check-in. OK, here I go.

Debt

Mortgage: $250,700* (I wrote in the original post that it was $252,700. When I checked again, I realized I was about $2,000 off…in my favour. Isn’t that a nice surprise!)
Car Loan: $3,770
Student Loan: $1,470
Credit Card: $400 (dropped at the dentist, will be paid by my benefits plan)

Savings:

Retirement Savings: $7,600
Regular Savings: $2,800
Planned Spending Savings: $900 (to be spent in Costa Rica when I head there for my sister’s wedding in December)

My financial life has improved dramatically since I started this blog. It’s partially because I’m working more freelance and making more money, and it’s also partially due to the fact that I’m sharing the load with someone else. I’m also spending less on things that don’t matter, and spending more on things that do. But the number one reason it’s improved so much is that I’ve taken responsibility for my financial life.

Perhaps this is TMI. But here’s the deal, if I open up about my financial life…it gives you permission to open up about yours. Not neccessarily to me. (Although if you’re feeling emboldened by my admissions, you can comment about where you’re at or you can email me.) You can also spill to someone you love or a professional. Trust me, talking about it makes it 1,000 times better.

Sure, you may think about your finances. You may spend hours dreaming up horrific scenarios about your house of cards (or debt) collapsing all around you. I know that’s how I used to live. I remember going to see a comedy movie with friends, and spending the entire hour and a half OBSESSING about my credit card debt. I sat there faking laughter when everyone else laughed, but on the inside I was having a panic attack thinking: “how am I ever going to pay this thing off?!?!”

I did, but only because I faced my financial fears. And you can too.

I still don’t think money can buy happiness, but I know it’s a lot easier to seek happiness when you’re not terrified about money all the time.

~HS

This was a lot like one of those memory shows that sitcoms used to do. I always hated those. Sorry.

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