I rung in 2024 excitedly thinking about my personal finance resolutions while in quiet solitude after a long day of parenting (and after doing a few clicks to transfer money for my TFSA contribution and our RESP contribution). While I didn’t reach some of my 2023 personal finance and New Year’s resolutions, they provide a good reflection opportunity to see what worked and what didn’t, and how I can make that habit-change more attainable.
Here are my 2024 personal finance resolutions:
Max Out TFSA
The 2024 TFSA contribution limit is $7000 this year.
If you have never contributed to a TFSA before and you were of age when the TFSA was first introduced, you will have $95,000 in contribution room. That’s almost six figures, how exciting that 2025 will be the year it will hit over $100,000 in contribution room. If you are still using it as a “savings account” please don’t.
It is a powerful investing tool that can supercharge your retirement plans, and the full market value of your TFSA will be received tax free to your estate or beneficiary upon death.
|TFSA Contribution Room
For me I just moved cash in my non-registered account to my Questrade TFSA on January 1.
Max Out RRSP
As with other years, I’m not sure what my RRSP room will be. This goal will be done once I find out what my RRSP contribution room is from the 2023 Notice of Assessment after my taxes are done.
Last year I transferred US dollars into my RRSP account instead of transferring in kind.
My RRSP contribution room is usually low (between $5000 to $10,000) because of my defined benefit pension.
Increase Dividend Income to $36,000/ Year
In 2023 my goal was to reach $35,000 in dividend income annually (projected) but I was about $1000 short of that, at just under $34,000 annually.
This year I am going to make it a more conservative goal, of $36,000 in projected annual dividend income for the year.
I tend to be overweight in Canadian dividend stocks (I try to keep it under 33% of the portfolio).
Since I don’t need the income right now because I am still working part-time, I will focus more on ETFs, exchange traded funds like VXC and VTI and add to my position in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) which doesn’t pay a dividend at all (gasp the horror I know).
I am scaling back on my investment contributions to build cash up.
Build Up Cash Pile
I feel uncomfortable with the lack of cash and would like to build my cash reserves back up but at the same time I would like to continue to invest. I’ll start off with aiming to save $25,000 in cash for the year to add to what I currently have.
I planning to reduce my monthly investment contributions by almost 40% compared to last year to facilitate this cash savings.
I also have a target portfolio value by the end of the year but I’ll keep that to myself seeing that it’s hard to predict what the market will do by the end of 2024.
Read 5 Personal Finance Books
Some of these aren’t personal finance per se but more related to money psychology but seeing that personal finance books pretty much all say the same thing (spend less than you earn, invest your money regularly, choose index investing), hence I’m running out of books to read.
Here are the 5 investing and personal finance books that I hope to read and then write about in 2024:
- Same as Ever by Morgan Housel (I really enjoyed The Psychology of Money)
- Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Values of Value by Lawrence Cunningham
- Stop Think and Invest: A Behavioral Finance Framework for Optimizing Investment Portfolios by Michael Bailey
- Just Keep Buying by Nick Magguilli (from the blog Of Dollars and Data)
- Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini
2024 New Year’s Resolutions
Ugh, these are difficult but there are a few on this list that I am determined to make sure I change for this year.
- Run a marathon. When I was 30 I did my first (and only) half marathon. Now that I’m 40 I’m hoping to run a marathon and at least run the thing without stopping. I’m not sure what my target time should be (maybe under 5 hours?) but I’ve been running about 4 times a week and doing weights once a week and it’s already taking up a lot of time. Maybe when I’m 50 I’ll have time to do an ultra marathon, haha!
- Meditation daily for 10 minutes. Even though I fall asleep I still feel better at least meditating for less than 10 minutes. Once I have more energy at the end of the year hopefully this will change and I will stop falling asleep.
- Time management– I used to mindlessly scroll my phone while waiting for my children to fall asleep but now I started to read a chapter or two from a book (trying my best to tune out the noise of them getting another drink of water or coming out of their room repeatedly). Now I read before I mindlessly scroll, so I hope to keep that scrolling time to under 30-45 minutes per day.
- Sleep before 12am– I’ll give this a try again but I think it will get worse before it gets better (I am looking at September of 2024 of being the holy grail of ‘more time for myself’ once both kids are in school).
- Weight 120-125lbs. To my horror I started gaining weight when I started running a few months ago (I am about 128lbs right now). It might be from overeating to compensate for the ravenous hunger from running, and overeating on the not so healthy stuff (chips, chocolates etc.). I think I finished off a bag of macadamia nuts from Costco in a much faster time frame than the average person (a week?). Sometimes I also have chocolate to cope with parenting stress but I’ll have to substitute that for something else.
Wish me luck!! I’ll need it for some of these (along with determination to not eat a four Ferrero Rochers in one day).
What are some of your personal finance goals and New Year’s resolutions?
GYM is a 40 something millennial writing about personal finance since 2009 and interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for a free dividend yield spreadsheet and the free Young Money Bootcamp PDF.