Q1 2019 is over which means it’s time to do a Q1 2019 goals and resolutions update. When I published my goals in January, I wasn’t sure if I’d do monthly or quarterly updates. I ended up deciding on quarterly updates because I think quarterly check-ins are sufficient enough to keep me motivated and honest with myself.
Some of the goals I created for this year are extremely challenging and ambitious. It will be interesting to see whether I can accomplish all of them or not.
2019 Goals & Resolutions
Here is my goal schedule spreadsheet. Being an Excel nerd, I have created several sheets within the spreadsheet file to track my progress of the different goals. For example, after I go swimming, I’d enter the date and distance. The spreadsheet automatically adds up the distance and reports the result in the goal schedule spreadsheet. Ah, the beauty of spreadsheets!
- Save for 2020 TFSAs and RESPs ($17,000 total) -> We already maxed out our TFSAs and RESPs for 2019, so we are saving for next year. This goal is definitely a work in progress.
- Dividend Income over $23,000 -> 23%. This was an ambitious goal since it meant a YoY growth of 22.8% or a contribution of $106,642.75 at a 4% dividend yield, but I wanted to give us a CHALLENGE! In Q1 we received a total of $5,293.60 in dividend income. If we were to accomplish this goal, we should be expecting to receive $5,750 in dividend income after 3 months. Therefore, we are slightly behind in progress with this ambitious goal.
- Max out RRSP contributions -> Complete!!! We maxed out our 2018 RRSP contributions in early Feb 2019. In fact, we had a small over-contribution. Fortunately, the CRA allows for a $2,000 “cushion.” The “up to $2,000 over-contribution” is penalty free, but it’s not tax-deductible until next year.
- Travel Hack 100,000 Marriott rewards points -> Separately, Mrs. T and I have applied for the American Express Bonvoy credit card and gotten approval. We need to hit the requirement of $1,500 in the first 90 days spending to get the 60k Marriott welcome points (we have a few planned expenses, so it should be no problem spending $3,000 altogether). I also recently applied for the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card and hit the $1,000 in the spending requirement within a month thanks to some planned big expenses. I’m waiting for TD Visa to award the 80k TD rewards points, which is equivalent of $400 (if you redeem through TD Expedia, $320 if you redeem for a statement credit). I plan to use the TD rewards points to book my flight for FinCon’19.
- Dividend Income/Annual Expenses ratio 50% -> After 3 months, we are at a dividend income/annual expenses ratio of 42.8%. We need to work on increasing our dividend income and reducing our expenses to accomplish this ambitious goal by the end of 2019.
- Publish 6 high-quality articles every month -> 25% complete. I published 6 articles every month in Q1. Do you have any suggestions on what topic(s) I should write more of?
- Attend FinCon’19 -> I still need to book my flight to Washington DC and book 3 days off work. Unless something drastic happens, it is my plan to attend FinCon’19.
- Attend CPFC’19 -> I have no idea when CPFC (Canadian Personal Finance Conference) will be this year, probably sometime in Nov. Once more information is available, I’ll determine whether I can attend or not.
- Organize a meetup in Vancouver -> I have not started organizing the meetup. I probably won’t get started until late June or early July. My current plan is to have a small Vancouver personal finance bloggers meetup sometime in July and August.
- Eat better & healthier, avoid snacks at night. Weigh 70 kg by the end of 2019 -> 75.5 kg. I started the year at 75.8kg, so I haven’t lost any weight after 3 months. However, I have been more active in the last 3 months, going swimming to the gym regularly, as well as having over 10,000 step counts for most days. I also have been more conscious of what I eat and avoid snacks at night. I usually wear 32-inch jeans, and they have been feeling a lot loser lately. In fact, I had to buy a new pair of 30-inch jeans the other day. I must have been losing body fat and gaining muscle. I suppose weight isn’t a perfect indication of your body type.
- Go swimming at least once each week. Swim for 100 km in 2019 -> 39%. I missed one week of swimming when we were in Taiwan and Japan because the hotels we stayed at didn’t have a pool. Having said that, I am ahead of the 100 km goal as I have already swum 39 km. At least once a week, I would get up around 5:45 AM and swim laps for an hour before heading to work. I used to think the 100km target was super challenging, but I no longer feel that way.
- Go to gym at least twice each week -> I have been extremely pleased with my progress on this goal. After 13 weeks, I’ve hit the gym at least twice every week.
- Read 15 books -> I finished 8 books in Q1. This is slightly ahead of schedule. The 8 books I read were:
- Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime: I really enjoyed this book by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. I have gained a few tools on how to deal with the two kids to avoid power struggles.
- The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die: This book was on Barack Obama’s 2018 reading list and I could totally understand why. The book was an eye-opener on how inequality affects us all. If we can all read this book, I think the world would be a better place.
- Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World: This book was also on Barack Obama’s 2018 reading list and I really enjoyed reading it. I loved author Michael Harris’ writing style and hope I can write so elegantly like him. When I finished the book, I was inspired to write a post called “Seeking solitude on the financial independence journey“.
- The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection: After reading Solitude, I decided to read Michael Harris’ first book, The End of Absence, which won the Governor General’s Award in 2014. There are many similarities between The End of Absence and Solitude and a lot of tidbits that made me think while reading.
- Dying. A memoir: This book was on Barack Obama’s 2017 reading list and the title caught my attention. I thought the first section where author Cory Taylor wrote about her experience with facing death was quite brilliantly written.
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think: Bill Gates called this book “one of the most important books I’ve ever read – an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” and I couldn’t agree more.
- Raising your spirited child: This was recommended by a counselor. If you are a parent, this is a must read!
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life: I had high hopes for this book. Mark Manson made many great points in the book about how not to give a f*ck and start living, but I actually thought the book was a bit underwhelming. Perhaps people have overhyped this book?
- Go camping 3 times -> We have made camping reservations throughout the summer.
- 1 staycation with Mrs. T -> We have made the arrangement with my parents to look after the kids for a weekend so Mr. T and I can spend a weekend together kids free. We are very much looking forward to the staycation.
Q1 2019 Wrap Up
I think I had a pretty good Q1 when it comes to making progress with my 2019 goals & resolutions. One thing we need to work on is generating more dividend income and reduce our expenses, so we can hit the $23k dividend income target and the 50% dividend income/annual expense ratio. Now that the weather is getting better in Vancouver, I am looking forward to our camping trips and the upcoming staycation with Mrs. T.