It’s mid-year and time to reflect on my ambitious financial goals for 2017. First, I need to remind myself what they were – oh dear surely my financial goals should be imprinted on my brain! (You can read the column here). So, let’s see what they were and how I’ve done.
- Save 15-20% of my income: yes, I did it – I’m feeling very chuffed that I’m on track to achieve my first financial goal for 2017! I am saving 20% every month. This is split between additional money into my bond, a 32-day account (for my short-term savings), an RA fund and company pension fund. The only problem here is that I had to join my company’s pension fund in the first quarter which took a chunk out of my take-home, so I have not set up the monthly Satrix. Hmm… I really should try to do Satrix monthly – perhaps that has to become a 2018 goal!
- Two big maintenance projects on the house: solar heating and fumigation. Oh dear, I have not yet reached either of these financial goals, but am planning the fumigation for August. The solar heating will need to wait for 2018 – it seems I ignored this wise financial planning and spent that money on a beautiful deck instead. Oops! Solar heating would have been a wiser choice, both for my pocket and the world – sorry! I will definitely start saving towards that as soon as the fumigation is complete.
- Reducing daily expenses: I think we are doing OK with this financial goal. We have really been working hard at being conscious consumers – buying less, only buying essentials, and buying cheaper. This one is a bit trickier to quantify though. It really helps to constantly ask “Do I really need this?” and can you believe it, my nine-year-old has really gotten into this. But I think this goal has the greatest potential for ‘slippage’ and must be constantly monitored – we are trying!
So, upon reflection I think I am doing OK at mid-year point; I always find this quick assessment of the year’s financial goals helpful to see if we need to do any course-correction. It also helps to keep ourselves mindful about our intentions. I’d strongly advise everyone to do these reflections as it’s important for financial well-being. (column on this in 2015).
In my next column, I am going to talk about our attempt to consume less – both to reduce costs and to help us become conscious consumers, doing our small part to avoid the excessive consumerism that is so dangerous for our planet.
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