Financial Goals for 2011 – What are Yours?

Since starting this blog, I’ve set financial goals every year to help keep me focused. One strategy that has been written a lot about a lot in the blog world is using the SMART goal strategy. SMART is an acronym for:

S: Specific
M: Measurable
A: Attainable/Actionable
R: Realistic/Relevant
T: Time Based

The SMART goal system is similar to my philosophy of making baby steps towards a larger goal where it creates a systematic method of achieving even the largest of goals.

As I’m still working towards my stretch goal of $1M in net worth by the end of 2014 (age 35), I’ll need annual financial goals to keep me on pace (baby steps).  For 2011, here are some of the financial goals that I have.

1.  Maximize Investment Contributions

This goal is something I have every year to push me to get those contributions deposited.  For this year, I’m looking to maximize both TFSA‘s ($10k), the RESP ($2.5k), and our RRSP‘s.

2. Grow our Net Worth

In order to reach the $1M milestone in 4 years time, I need to get aggressive in net worth growth.  This year, my goal is to reach the $600k mark which is an increase of approximately 20%.  Seeing that our net worth grew just over $100k in 2010, I’m going for it again!

3. Simplify our Portfolio 

 It takes time to watch stocks. As time always seems short, it’s only going to get shorter as we are expecting another addition to our frugal family in the coming months.  The solution?  I’m going to index a large portion of our portfolio.  My goal is to completely index my wife’s RRSP account with ETFs.  Likely similar to this low cost ETF portfolio I wrote about before.

4. Grow my TFSA

I admit that I can have issues spending cash, even when they are in an investment account.  First, there are very few stocks that get cheap enough for me to buy, and when they do, I tend to dabble instead of going all in.  My TFSA is sitting mostly in cash, so lets change that with a bit of a challenge.  Right now, the account is worth about $15,000 and I’m challenging myself to grow the account by at least 33% ($20,000 portfolio value) by the end of the year.  I’m going to call this my play account where I’m going to experiment with various investment strategies.

5. Give

Since we’ve started supporting local charities, we’ve automated the process on a monthly basis.  As our income has grown, I’d like to grow our charitable contributions to match.  For 2011, I plan to donate at least $3,500 to charities.  I’d like to hear some of your favorite charities for ideas!

What are Your Financial Goals for 2011?

With the SMART philosophy in mind, what are your financial goals for 2011?

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Frugal Trader

FT

FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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keenmachinist
10 years ago

the 2011 goals

1) pretend i have a car loan, I place $300 each pay (every 2 weeks) into my TFSA
in 2 years i’ll have enough for a good down payment on a 2 year model, after the purchase i will decrease the amount to $400/ month and add the $200 to the Mortgage

2) I currently add $100/ pay to the principle of my mortgage

3) company matches up to 5% to RRSP, I add 15%, thinking i should start a spousal and place 10% in that leaving mine with the 5 and 5%, she doesn’t work, yet….

cannon_fodder
10 years ago

There are many good posts of goals already. It’s heartening to see so many younger people getting excited about taking the path to financial independence.

Last year we exceeded our goals so were certainly fortunate. We retired our mortgage after only 7 years and increased our NW by 44% instead of the 15% I projected.

This year there will be some goals repeated from last year and some new goals.

Been there, done that:
1) Maximize contributions to RESPs, RRSPs, TFSAs
2) Rollover no interest loan from MBNA
3) Travel at least twice personally including one visit to a potential retirement country

You CAN teach an old dog a new trick:
1) Increase NW by 25%
2) Grow non-registered portfolio to half of total NW
3) Grow non-registered portfolio’s dividends by 10%
4) Use leveraged ETF to gross gains equal to double combined income
5) Adjust mix of portfolios based on advice from international tax accountant
6) Create structure to reduce income tax, legally, based on advice from international tax accountant
7) Maintain course on 2nd year of 4 year plan

I didn’t realise we had so many goals until I wrote them down. Well, at least it isn’t as physically taxing as exercising to lose weight.

Kyranak
10 years ago

2011 Goals
1. Pay off 8000$ in debts (small loan + credit cards)
2. Have my 20 000$ extra cash for next house (2 condos right now, we will sell both in the next 18 months, for about 300k$, we have 230k in combined mortgage right now, we will buy a 250k house)
3. Learn to invest! I’m 31, don’t really have any $ aside, finally have a good job (67k right now, will rise to 88k in 3 years (union job), plus have a good retirement plan with the company (crown company)

Mark Fuller
10 years ago

I think everyone should ask this question to themselves. What are your financial goals? With right objective, knowledge and support, you will surely be able to reach your goals.

Rarely do we find an advice article that is loaded with information and knows how to explain complicated details in a very through manner. You did a great job here. Thank you for sharing this stuff to the world.

Robin
10 years ago

I like to read goals by others. My goal is to have my HeLoc cut in 1/2 this year, and with twins entering college in the fall, it will take a lot of disipline to get there.

As for charities, we support our local Church by tithing, and we give about that to Feed My Starving Children that packs food packs and send around the world. They do work with many other organizations as well. And not only do we donat money, we also have helped with food packing several times as well.

Natalie
10 years ago

We sponsor a child with World Vision, although there are other similar charities to choose from. I try to involve our 3 year old as much as possible when sending stuff, or when we recieve things from our sponsored child. There are many great teaching moments that arise from the experience, and I hope our children will better appreciate what they have as they are able to see on a regular basis other children who live under very different circumstances.
Which I guess brings me to one goal for this year. We just had our 2nd child as well so when I go back to work I hope to sponsor a 2nd child.

Linda
10 years ago

My 2011 Financial Goals are:

– increase income by 100% – I became self employed the beginning of 2010 and am trying to build clientele and income
– reduce Manulife One balance by $10k
– invest in RRSPs – didn’t do any for 2010 tax year do to low income – still trying to figure out amount I can afford but hoping around $5k
– open 2 TFSAs – for both my husband and myself
– sell remaining baby/unneeded items on Kijiji, eBay, etc. – income goal of $500

canucktuary
10 years ago

2011 goals
1. Increase Net Worth by 30%
2. Aggressively monitor monthly budget to meet net worth goal
3. Max out TFSA contribution in Q1
4. 5% pretax RRSP retirement savings plan using automatic deductions
5. Put 100% of spouse’s earnings into mortgage prepayments
6. Maintain budget for 2011 vacation(s)
7. $2,000 charity contribution goal
8. Use up some gift cards that have been accumulating dust for awhile

robb_stark
10 years ago

Well, nothing spectacular about our montly income… $7400. But we live on about $3000 per month… including our smallish mortgage (about $1000 a month). The mortgage will be gone in about a year, then we should be able save close to $6000 per month.

This savings strategy is our ticket to financial independance… we would rather do it this way than rely on the dangers of the market… but if our investments do happen to do well, things will work out much better, and quicker, for us of course.

brokeprofessionals
10 years ago

1) Pay Down the 160k in combined student loan debt we have.

2) Live off of one of our two salaries, pay down debt/save with the other.

3) Increase our emergency fund, begin saving for when our cars go in a few years so we can buy decent used cars to replace them.

4) Try to diversify income streams.

5) Try to think of ways to be entrepreneurial.

6) Try to buy an inexpensive house and get out of the endless renting cycle we have been in. 10 apartments in like 10 years.

7) Feel financially comfortable enough to start giving to charities/scholarships.