2014 Year in Review (Financial) – How we did on our goals

Looking at my 2014 goals, how did I do this year?

Reduce money spent eating out to $4200/year – SUCCESS
Jonathan and I worked hard on this one – and we did good! We budgeted $4200 and spent $3860. We can probably go to around $3000 a year, but it would be challenging. Often times we pay for other family or friends who don’t have to funds to eat out, so we can spend time together. I have regular lunches with friends of mine from previous workplaces, as does Jonathan. We like to eat at nice places (but don’t usually get drinks or appetizers), so this one gets pretty tricky. But I think we could still do $250/month – given that 2015 is the goal of fitness for both of us, eating out will naturally reduce.

Increase and diversify charitySUCCESS
I was shocked to learn that we were spending more on eating out than on charity, so my aim here was to give to charity way more than we eat out, and we did! We went from an average of $200/month charity to $330/month. We diversified our charitable contribution by now including, on a monthly basis, Sick Kids, Doctors without Borders, and Just Girl. We also provided one-time contributions to Cancer Society, Rotary Club (Turkey Drive), and Wikimedia. We also found ways to give to non-organizations and helping folks directly (even without that charitable receipt) when we could.

Groceries down to $1500/month – CLOSE
Really close, but no cigar – the last month pushed over the edge! The goal was to spend less than $18,000 on groceries for the year, but we hit $18,288.87. The last trip hit us wrong :). Although this is still pretty high, I am OK with it. We have a lot of company over – and in the month of December had many people over our house (it was our most expensive month for Groceries!). We also had people stay over our house for 7 nights in the month! We are not big on vacations, so this is big for us. Having said that, will try for $18,000 again next year!

Contribute $28,000 to RRSPs SUCCESS
Yes, we certainly saved enough to be able to do this and are grateful that we could, given the tax hit Jon is going to take because of his severance. I feel strongly about saving for retirement, especially given we don’t have work pension plans, so this is very important to me (Jon doesn’t think we need any money…).

Contribute $2,500 to kids RESPs SUCCESS
Yes, and for each kid! I am glad that I set up auto-payments for this, because there are certainly months that I would have skipped it.

Contribute $5000 additional to mortgage  SUCCESS
Yes, after Jon’s severance we had enough extra to contribute a little extra. Contributed just over $6000 for the mortgage!

Overall, I am very happy with how we did with our goals, particularly on reducing the eating out and increasing the charity. Now to work on those 2015 goals 😉