Bridget at Money After Graduation wrote a post on this and thought that it may be a good time for me to see how I am doing since I turned 30 this year! Jordan at My Alternate Life also posted on her progress towards the 30 Financial Milestones by Age 30.
HERE IT IS:
1. Financially independent of your parents.
Done. Got this down since I moved out when I was 25. However, I did receive inheritance from my parents, so I wonder if I am still financially independent.
2. Debt free.
Done. I have no consumer debt or student loans. Last time I had debt was paying off my lease car that I took over from someone who was leaving the country ($560 / month for the remaining 18 months with $2000 bonus). Though I got a good deal for the car, I don’t think I will ever do a lease / monthly payment thing again unless it is a really really really good deal that I cannot refuse.
3. Out of overdraft.
Done. I check my accounts daily to ensure I have enough to cover all the expenses and bills that comes and goes into my account.
4. Established good credit history.
Done. The last time I checked my credit history, it was EXCELLENT and I cancelled all the credit cards that I wasn’t using as well!
5. Have $25,000+ saved for retirement.
Done. If you count the $17,000 in pension and the $10,000 in my RRSP. I don’t contribute much to my RRSP because of my pension. 12% of my gross income is automatically deducted from my paycheque for the pension. I only buy enough RRSP so I don’t have to pay taxes every year. A portion of my money is already locked down for retirement (pension), so I don’t want to lock down more money into RRSP, instead, I would rather free up that money to buy real estate.
6. Started an investment portfolio.
Done. I have mutual funds but have yet to ventured into the stock market. I have the accounts opened, I just haven’t utilized it yet.
7. Established an emergency fund.
Done. I have about $10K sitting in the emergency fund – one that I can take out anytime without cashing out my mutual funds.
8. Properly insured.
Done. When my mom got sick, I went out and bought a $150,000 term Critical Illness for $37.38 per month. I also went out and bought $200,000 Universal Life Insurance for $83.33 per month for 15 years. After 15 years, I will have enough money in my policy to generate enough money to cover the policy fee.
I am pretty glad I bought the life insurance 4 years ago at the age of 26. I have tried asking for a quote to get a similar policy, but the cost of it is now doubled ($150 a month for $200,000 Universal Life Insurance for 15 years).
Since I also have life insurance and disability insurance through work, I think I’m insured pretty well.
9. Maximizing employer benefits.
Done. My work has AWESOME benefits (massage, physio, chiropractor, education, health). I utilize my employer benefits quite well. I go for massage when I start feeling stiff (covered 100% by both my husband and my benefits). I get my eyes checked every 2 years. I got to the dentist every 6 months for regular check ups (after spending $1000 on 2 root canals and crowns because my benefits only covered 50%)
I also used my employer’s education fund to finish up my second degree!
10. In the habit of tracking your spending.
Done. I do this religiously everyday.
11. Done with impulse purchases.
Not yet. Obviously I still have not been able to master the art of restraining myself from impulse purchases. You can clearly see this in my 2014 spending spree.
12. Willing to spend where it counts.
Done. I think I also will spend on things that will save me time. I will also spend on things that will make memories.
13. In the habit of regularly checking your credit report.
Sort of. I don’t check it yearly, but will check it every other year or so.
14. On top or ahead of all your monthly bills.
Done. I have auto-payment setup for my bill payments and I rarely miss a monthly bill.
15. At least one big splurge you saved up for and paid in full with cash.
DONE! Hah! I have a one big spluge this year and yes, I did pay in full with cash.
16. An understanding of personal income taxes and how to minimize what you pay.
Done. I do my taxes yearly and I try to minimize what I have to pay.
17. Diligently saving for a big purchase.
Done. I’ve done it for my wedding (no debts incurred). Now I am saving up money for renovations at inherited house and if possible, save more money to pay down our own mortgage.
18. A clear direction of your career.
Almost there. I have been diligently working towards the job I wanted (which I do now). However, I am still debating if I should take ONE BIG step and become the boss instead of the employee. I like regular paycheques and I like the idea of having a pension when I retire, so I am really really struggling whether to say or take the big step.
19. A profitable side income.
Sort of. I did have one – I taught piano on the side which brought in a couple hundred bucks a month. I stopped teaching the past 4 months. I am thinking of whether I want to continue teaching or not because I do like the free time after work. I am also looking forward to receiving some rental income that I may be able to generate through the inherited house.
20. A positive, growing net worth.
Done. Networth is growing into one big dust bunny! 😀
21. A BHAG for your finances. BHAG stands for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”.
Yep! I want a brand new spanking house to live in and I also want to purchase one other property to generate rental income.
22. An understanding and a plan of how your money will deliver the lifestyle you want.
I think I started looking into this when I first opened my pension statement and which said something like: “If you retire today, you will be receiving $26.67 each month”. I know that I will be working for a while.
23. So over measuring your finances against that of your friends.
Still guilty of this. I just want to see if I am still on track or if I need to amp it up.
24. Less consumption-oriented.
Sort of. I still like shiny new things (if I can afford it), but I am comfortable with buying second hand car. I think right now my eyes are set on a shiny brand spanking new house! This I will need to discuss with the husband to see how we can get there.
25. A healthy relationship with credit cards.
Done! I love reaping the rewards from credit card offers. We were able to pay 1/2 of our airfare to Asia with our points for our honeymoon. 🙂
26. A regular contribution to charity.
27. If you’re part of a couple, a healthy way of sharing money with your partner.
Yep! We have a good system going. Though we only have one joint savings account which we rarely use, we keep each other posted on how we are doing with saving $$$. We both like to manage our own money.
28. A commitment to putting free or cheap before convenient.
Depends. This really depends on how much time and the money I am saving. If I am saving a lot to do it on my own, then yes, I will go for cheap before convenient. However, if the savings are not worth the time I am going to be putting in, I am going to go for the convenience.
29. Done paying unnecessary fees.
Done! No banking fees 🙂 I also haggle with Fido to get my monthly bill phone bill down or get an awesome deal to go with the amount of fees I am paying!
30. An understanding and appreciation for the reality that money is only a tool of exchange, and not worth obsessing over.
Agreed. I think a balance between spending and saving is all that really matters. Set realistic goals for yourself and enjoy life (it’s too short).
I think I hit most of the financial milestones by age 30. I still need A LOT of work on my buying impulses.
How are you doing working towards your financial goals?
~ The Money Pincher ~