2017 Goals Update #2

Blogging, Goals4 Comments

2017 Goals Update #2

With February 2017 behind us (and hopefully soon enough Winter temperature!!) we still have 10 months left to reach our goals. February was totally nuts at work and for a February goals update, publishing it on the 23rd of March feels kind of .. well .. as if I failed my publishing goal! I believe that the end of March and April will be the same, but things should calm down around early May. This is why I’m not sure yet if I’ll continue to write those goals update monthly, I might choose to write a combined two-month update from now on, we’ll see! Anyway, as I publish this post there are still 283 days to go before the new year so a lot can happen until then (and this leaves us with a lot of time to reach our goals).

If you’re new here, every month (at least for now!) I’m detailing my progress on my goals for the year. I’ve split my goals for 2017 in three different categories: financial, blogging and personal goals. You may be wondering why I would want to share my goals with the rest of the world? This is essentially for the same reason that I share my financial stats, which is for accountability and motivation purposes. At the end of the year I’ll be able to track and measure my overall progress regarding these goals. This is also for my readers to be aware that having financial goals in place is key to success.

Anyway, let’s dive in and take a quick look at the progression of each one of the 12 goals I’ve set myself last December for the year 2017.

Financial Goals Update #2

  • Goal #1 – Increase our emergency fund to $2,000 $5,000 (100% 61%)

I might have underestimated how much we could afford to save each month, which is not a bad thing! Since early March I’ve already crushed this goal (we already had $3,000 in our Tangerine account, while I was only planning to have a *little* $2,000 by the end of the year). So I’ve adjusted this goal to reflect a more realistic one which will be to have $5k in our emergency fund before the year ends! Still easily doable (at least in my mind) and I even think we’ll reach such an amount as soon as early May. It’s still on auto-pilot as I’m contributing $100 each paycheck but with some more lump-sum contributions it should be increasing really fast!

  • Goal #2 – Increase our combined Net Worth by 100% (45%)

We just crossed the $16,600 mark for our combined Net Worth (up from $12,207 last December). With a target of $22,000 by the end of 2017, this leaves us with around $5,400 to contribute before the year ends, which amounts to around $540 per month. This is nearly my recurring monthly contributions but for the last two months (and probably this one too) I’ve been adding one-time contributions so this should be reached before the end of summer.

  • Goal #3 – Contribute $10,000 to my retirements accounts (17%)

This amount is around the maximum I can contribute for the year 2017 to my Wealthsimple RRSP account (which is 18% of my 2016 earned income). In two months I’ve already added $1,700 so we’re onto a great start for this goal. As with our emergency fund, this one is pretty much on auto-pilot. I must also admit that it feels great to finally take advantage of compound interest!

  • Goal #4 – Save at least 20% of our income as an average for the year (currently at 35%)

Well once again we did way better this month than the same month last year! For the first time (ever) we reached a 39% savings rate in February (and it was already 29% in January). So with an average of 35% savings rate at the moment we’re way on time to reach our 20% target before the year ends. Definitely some more progress and consistency needed to reach this goal, but it seems a lot more achievable than it was when I wrote down this goal on paper.

Blogging Goals Update #2

  • Goal #5 – Publish at least one blog post every ten days (16%)

I thought that it would be easy to publish a post once every ten days or maybe more, but I still haven’t found a nice post schedule that works for me and I simply can’t seem to write more that once every ten days (I’m currently at around once per week). I’ve published 3 posts in February (and already 4 for March including this one) so that’s still ok, but April should be way better as I started to write in advance as opposed to writing the same day I publish my posts!

  • Goal #6 – Have at least 100 subscribers (15%)

I’m still not really satisfied with my newsletter as I think it could be way better. Basically it’s just an email sent each morning if new posts were published the day before. I think it’s ok for the moment, but I definitely want to improve it and maybe start my own email course, like an investing for beginners course or maybe a monetize your blog course? In the meantime, my subscribers count just reached 15, nothing to be so excited about, but still, I can’t believe 15 people allowed me to send them my incredible articles to their inbox.

  • Goal #7 – Generate $500 in blog income (13%)

I’ve just made my first big affiliate sale last week (with Bluehost) but it was in March so this does not really count for February. That’s awesome and I guess (or at least I hope) that the person who purchased a domain with Bluehost liked my complete guide on how to start a blog! I’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post. I’ve also made a few bucks with display advertising last month (nothing really interesting to talk about) but I had much more success while promoting the theme I’m using here (which is X-Theme) as one reader bought it via my link leading in a $15 commission! I also have two readers who signed up for Ebates so that’s also a nice $50 bonus (and $10 for both my readers) which was earned in February. Now back to work as there’s still so many things I want to improve here on Finance for Geek related to monetization.

  • Goal #8 – Learn more about SEO (In Progress)

Since implementing Accelerated Mobile Page and Facebook Instant Articles on this blog, I’ve not been able to learn much more on SEO. Definitely planning on doing more SEO-stuff in March and April! I might change this goal to be more focused on social media than SEO, because I’ve learned in the past few weeks that I was way way behind when it come to social media! I’ve had some success with my Twitter account and my Pinterest account, but I’m still a true beginner when it comes to growing a Facebook audience, so a lot of progress has still to be made here! Drop by on my Facebook page and say hi, or take a look at my instant articles setup guide if you want to start tackling this beast!2017 Goals Update #1

Personal Goals Update #2

  • Goal #9 – Run at least two more official half marathons races and one full marathon race (In Progress)

I’ve just been notified a few weeks ago that once again I was not selected for the NYC marathon drawing. It’s been three years in a row and it feels so awful to miss such an opportunity once again 🙁 My last option to get there is to run for charity but with package costing around $3k I believe I’ll just pass my turn! On a more positive note, I’m registered for a half marathon early May, so there’s still time to find another half and a full marathon to achieve this fitness goal.

  • Goal #10 – Go on at least one big trip (In Progress)

Nothing new this month, as we just booked our annual family visit for this summer, this trip booking might have to wait a few more weeks. We’re still debating with Mrs. FFG where we want to be heading to and it seems like once again California is our prime choice!

  • Goal #11 – Take at least three weeks of vacation with my girlfriend and/or my family (10%)

Our vacation are now booked since a few days and it’s going to be a blast! We’re heading back to Europe to see our whole family this summer (again!) and we decided to stay 5 full weeks. Definitely looking for this summer because as of this post writing it’s a freezing temperature here in Canada. We’ve also been on some week-end trip in our area the past few weeks, which were much needed after a few busy weeks at work.

  • Goal #12 – Read two personal finances related books (30%)

I’ve just started reading I Will Teach You To Be Rich, by Ramit Sethi the past month. So far it’s really good and definitely an interesting book. There are a few specific recommendations which are now out of date (because it was released in 2009!) but the concepts learned are quite simple, yet so powerful. I just need to make some time in my weekly routine to read more, which is something I’m definitely not used to.

Okay so there you have it, my detailed progression of my goals as of February 2017! A lot of progress since last month, but still a lot more work to do. Everything I learned from starting a blog was truly beneficial, and I really enjoy writing, especially when it comes to financial topics. Let’s make 2017 a great year!

– Vincent

So this is where I’m at so far in 2017! What about you? Let me know in the comments where you’re at with your goals progression!

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  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Mrs. Picky Pincher
    Mar 24, 2017 at 9:01 AM

    It sounds like those financial goals are really stacking up! As far as the email list goes, I’ve had success with sponsored pins on Pinterest. I offer a useful free download (30-Day Frugal Cleanse in my case) and give it out for free in exchange for email addresses. A bigger list should also help with those blog income goals, too. 🙂

    • Avatar for Finance For Geek
      Finance For Geek
      Mar 24, 2017 at 12:50 PM

      Yes definitely starting to see some progress here. That’s interesting (the download part), I’ll have to think about it but it’s definitely an interesting approach for Pinterest!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Apr 09, 2017 at 6:52 PM

    You’re doing a great job so far! You’ve done a great job setting both realistic and achievable goals, two things that will help you to succeed.

    Quick question on your net worth calculation: Do you count your RRSP balance towards your net worth? I’ll admit that I’m not well versed in Canadian financial stuff, but it sounds like you aren’t counting it, unless you are doing $540 per month towards your RRSP, and that’s what you reference in goal #2.

    One of my goals was 2-3 posts per week which is crazy, I don’t have a team of writers to do this for me! I’ve found that I write best in sprints. For example, I wrote 3 blog posts over this weekend and I’ll slowly release them, probably 1 per week. I don’t want to bombard people with content, but at the same time, I want people to have a reason to visit my site once every few days.

    If I can impart a single piece of advice: try and up your savings each month by a little bit. If you’re currently saving $500 a month, try $505, and then $510, and then $515. Keep trying to increase how much you put towards your savings until it hurts, then figure out how to go even higher. I just reduced my cable bill by $50 a month. My dad tells me that I shouldn’t focus on the small things. Well, I’ve found small ways to cut about $225 a month in spending. This is worth half a million by the time I’m 65. The little things do add up.

    • Avatar for Finance For Geek
      Finance For Geek
      Apr 10, 2017 at 1:53 PM

      Thanks David! I’ve tried to set some interesting, yet realistic goals this year.

      Yes it must not be really clear as I read again what I wrote, but I do count my RRSP contributions in my Net Worth (so basically my goals #2 and #3 are tied together). And FYI a RRSP is 99% like a 401(k) in the US!

      I really like your idea of “sprint writing” and this is something which I’d like to try in the near future, because I’m still unsure as how to approach my writing schedule. Usually I just write when I have some time-off (which is about once a week I’d say) and then stop, but it’s definitely not the best way to do I guess, and this might be why I’m stuck with my once every ten days schedule.

      Thanks for you last advice, this is also something important which I should do from now on!

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