Around this time last year, I shared my 11 steps to financial freedom and identified some objectives that I wanted to accomplish by the end of this year.  I wanted to take care of the following by the end of summer:

  • Increase our mortgage payments by $600 a month (done – increased payments by $800 a month)
  • Pay off the remainder of my wife’s student loan (done – paid off last December)
  • Complete the fence and landscaping for our new house (done – completed in July, paid cash)
  • Buy out our car lease (done – bought out car lease in July)

Then, starting in September I wanted to:

  • Set aside $125 a month for a future vacation (done – setting aside $250 a month, total of $1,000 by year end)
  • Save $1,000 a month inside our TFSA (done – saving $1,250 a month, total of $5,000 by year end)
  • Put $335 a month in my RRSP (done – contributing $625 a month, total of $2,500 by year end)

I’m happy with the progress we’ve made with our financial goals this year.  This was our first full year being in our new house, and we had quite a few short term obligations to take care of before we could start on our savings plan.

Now that those expenses are out of the way, we can focus on paying off our mortgage faster and maxing out our RRSP and TFSA.  We set-up automatic contributions, so our financial plan is basically on auto-pilot for a while until we feel the need to adjust course.

How’s your savings plan coming along this year?

Weekend Reading

Here are some great personal finance articles for you to enjoy this weekend:

  1. She Thinks I’m Cheap lists 6 steps to help fight lifestyle inflation
  2. Canadian Finance Blog says if you buy cheap, you buy twice
  3. Timeless Finance discusses living life to the fullest with macro-frugality
  4. Financial Uproar explains why flying from an American airport is cheaper
  5. Money Smarts Blog explains how to avoid cell phone roaming charges in the U.S.
  6. Million Dollar Journey lists 5 types of insurance to avoid
  7. Retire Happy Blog discusses how to maximize income in retirement
  8. My Own Advisor profiled DIY investor Susan Brunner
  9. Excess Return explains what is an ETF and how does it work?
  10. AAAMP Blog looks at 3 value investment strategies to optimize asset allocation
  11. Saving Mentor looks at the best hotel deals he’s ever had
  12. Canadian Capitalist asks, should we care who owns ING Direct?
  13. My University Money explains the benefits of online banking for young people
  14. Credit Card Smarts says that credit card fees are eroding your wealth
  15. Rewards Cards Canada looks at the best credit cards to use for groceries and gas

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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