I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, however I am a big proponent of setting realistic goals in order to keep myself on track. And having a blog means that I can publish my goals for all to see, which should help hold me accountable to myself and to our readers.
I was fairly successful in achieving my short term goals for 2010, so hopefully that momentum carries forward into 2011. Here are my short term goals for this year:
- Buy a New House – I’ve written before about our goal of upgrading our house. We currently live in a two bedroom, one bathroom starter home in Lethbridge, AB. We’ve been here for almost 8 years and now that our family is growing we will need a bigger place to live. We’ve found a floorplan that we love from a local home builder, and they build in a great new community close to where I work. The construction will take approximately 5 months to complete, so we’ll look to get started in the Spring and be in our new house in the late Fall. We want to ensure we have at least 20% of the purchase price for a downpayment, and most of that will come from the equity in our existing house.
- Sell our Existing House – Because of the timing involved with building a house, we will need to put our existing home up for sale immediately upon starting construction. We hope the timing works out with the possession dates, but if not we will have to find some alternative living arrangements until everything gets sorted out with both houses. After almost 8 years we’ve managed to accumulate a lot of stuff, and there are a few odds and ends that need to be repaired or touched up before we are ready to show the house.
- Save $12,000 – As a continuation of last year’s savings goal, I would like to save $1,000 each month. This money will be used as a contingency fund for any additional charges that will inevitably come up in the home building process. I do not want to use the money in our TFSA for anything related to this house upgrade, so saving this cash each month is really important.
- Get a Raise or Promotion – The age of austerity has entered the public sector over the past year, and raises were few and far between. I’ve been in my current position for 18 months now, and part of my 3 year plan for starting a new job is to learn your job in the first year, master your job in the second year, and learn your boss’ job in the third year. I’m half way through the “master your job” phase, and have so far exceeded my targets this year. There is plenty of room for growth within the organization, so if I can’t get the raise that I’m looking for in July, hopefully an opportunity will present itself in another department. In the meantime I’ll keep working hard in my own area while continuing to network with key individuals in other departments to stay on their radar.
- Do More Family Activities – This past year was challenging as we transitioned to single-income living and focused on getting our budget under control. We didn’t have a lot of time or money to go out and do a lot of things as a family. Now that our daughter is a little bit older we would like to get her involved in some different activities this year that we can do together, like skiing, skating, or swimming. Even though we have a major purchase coming up this year, I don’t want money to stop us from creating some great family memories at this stage in our lives. Besides, there are still lots of frugal ways to spend time together as a family.
Obviously our focus this year is on building our new house. We are building this house with the future in mind and hope to stay there for a long time, and we just want to do it right.