New Year Goals for 2017
Number zero of my new year goals: write down new year goals for 2017. Goal complete! Go me.
But seriously let’s get into my new year goals for 2017, and see if I can turn them from text into reality. There will be some goals left over from 2016 that were not quite finished. As the saying goes: if at first you don’t succeed, make it a goal for the next year. Or something like that. Onto the new year goals!
Goal 1: Increase Net Worth By $100k
This is the second year I will be aiming for this one. Last year, we smashed it and were more than 25% over. My childhood compound interest lessons are really paying off. A quick calculation shows that our net worth increase was more than the total my partner and I earned for the year (after tax). So even if we saved every cent, we could not have done this without our existing investments.
Some of you may ask why this doesn’t get increased this year. The reason two-fold. Firstly there are a number of renovations taking place as listed below. These will eat into the increase if I don’t make any adjustments to the house price. I could easily change the house price, but I don’t like playing with that too much, as even small changes there can have larger impacts overall. Secondly, my partner is going to try to increase the amount of time spend on a side project. This may mean going down to 3 or 4 days a week of “normal income”. Of course we hope this will pay off in the end, but initially it may cause some loss of income.
Given those two, I thought it was best to try to keep the same goal as last year. After all, a $100k increase is nothing to sneeze at. At least not for someone in my financial situation. If I do hit this goal in 2017, I believe it will be much closer to the mark than last year.
Goal 2: Sell Our Grandparents Land
I am going to leave this goal in unchanged. If I manage to sell the small block of land it should bring in about $40k. Nothing to sneeze at, but if it was a little closer to Sydney, say a long commute distance, I am sure that $40k would be closer to $400k.
Currently it does not provide an income as it is just land. It does, however, cost us money due to the rates we have to pay. I hope this year I get to tick off this goal.
Goal 3: Max Out Super
Over the last 3 years I have managed to achieve this (or close enough to it). I now consider this a standing goal. I am now earning enough, and with our house paid off, our expenses are low enough to make this attainable.
Unfortunately this goal aligns with the tax year, rather than the calendar year. That just means I have to do some slight fudging based on how I am going, and how I went last year. However so far that hasn’t caused a problem in reality. There is nothing better than the ability to pay 15% tax on money that would otherwise require over 30% being paid on it. That is a better rate than I will get for most investments. The only down side is the very long-term timeframe required.
This goal should be easier to achieve going forward too, due to the changes in super legislation around adding to previous years contributions.
Goal 4: Renovate The House
With the yard landscaped and the house half painted these goals will be similar to last years. Again I plan to do some, and probably not all of these. In reality they are probably goals for the next year too. Given I am still not sure which will get done, I will list them all:
- Finish painting the house
- Renovate bathrooms
- Renovate the kitchen
Goal 5: Maintain Charitable Giving
Last year my partner and I set a goal of giving 20% to 25% of our after tax income to good causes. Last year we hit just over 20%. We started off a while ago at 10%, and have been slowly increasing it to where we are at today. I am happy with where we are at currently, so think that maintaining the percentage is the way to go.
Just like with weight loss, at some point you have to go from improvement to maintenance mode. The trick is to take your foot off the accelerator just enough to stop you going faster, but not so much that you start slowing down. It can be a tricky balancing act, but speaking of losing weight…
Goal 6: Increase Fitness & Lose Weight
I was tossing up making this two new year goals, but they are so related I left them together. I am not too over weight (yet), but could defiantly stand to lose a few kilograms. 20kg would probably be a little too much, and is a goal I don’t realistically think I could hit in one year. So my plan is to start small and see how I go. This year I want to:
- lose 5-10kg
- be able to run 5km
If any of you are fitness junkies out there, you are probably amused by those numbers 9at least the second one). Hopefully you see it in a similar way to how I view someone starting to save after paying off their first car loan or credit card. They want to take a small but achievable step to gain confidence and momentum. Saving that first $5k after being in debt for a long time can be challenging, but watching people take those first steps makes me smile. I can feel myself living vicariously through their success.
The same (I hope) is true of this goal. As someone who is a little overweight and uses the word exercise metaphorically more than literally, these goals seem huge to me. In all honesty, if I could only succeed in one goal this year, this is one I would love to be able to cross off.
Goal 7: This Blog
I started this blog in 2015 with a whimper. A post here, a post there. 2016 was the first year I really took it seriously. My posting frequency wavered a little at the end of the year, but didn’t die. I want 2017 to be a step up and not a step down in my posts. I am not just talking about numbers either. Some of the things I would like to achieve are:
- more frequent posting
- but not at the expense of regular posts throughout the year, this is a hobby and I want it to remain fun
- changing how I put advertising on the site
- as I have mentioned before, I would love to be able to pay for the hosting costs of this blog
- create more posts using the financial statistics we have been capturing over the last 10+ years
- create another, hopefully useful, tool of some sort
- similar to the Early Retirement Calculator (although that could do with a graph too)
- get to know more Australian finance bloggers!
Well, that is it for this year. Only 7 this time, however some are larger than they were in 2016. All except number 6 have some direct financial implications, which I guess is good given this is a personal finance blog!