Friday, September 4, 2015

August Goals Update & Challenges

Although my portfolio value and net worth trended downward in August, it was a very successful month for me in terms of achieving my non-financial goals.  All three of my non-financial goals were achieved as outlined below:
-    I posted eight entries, two a week, each Tuesday and Friday, in-line with my new schedule, and well in excess of my one entry per week objective.
-   By limiting my indulgences and exercising semi-regularly (still working on that), I managed to stay below my maximum target weight of 160 pounds.
-    I donated to the political party I will be supporting in the upcoming Canadian federal election. Although I hate what North American politics have evolved into, I strongly encourage all Canadian readers to cast their vote next month.

I’m a big fan of J. Money and his budgetsaresexy site. One of the reasons I admire him are his challenges, through which he challenges himself and his readers to try short experiments as a way to improve different aspects of their lives.  By thinking of these challenges as experiments, there is limited downside if you are unable to complete them. I decided I could do with a few changes in my life, so I decided to try two experiments in recent weeks.

Challenge #1: Commenting on Blogs

Here’s a secret – bloggers love to receive comments on their posts! It shows readers are engaged and care about what they wrote. With this in mind, in mid-August, I decided I’d comment on a different blog I enjoy every day for a week. Since I enjoy reading various personal finance and dividend blogs, but rarely ever comment to show my appreciation, this was overdue. I’m proud to say that I accomplished my mission easily! Two unexpected benefits of the challenge were a couple interesting comment conversations I started with bloggers who I admire, and the number of page views on my own blog increased. Going forward, my plan is to comment on posts I appreciate, especially longer ones that take a lot of research and effort.

Challenge #2: Spend Nothing

Last week at work, I used about $50 of cash, and had little to show for it. So this week, I decided I’d try to spend nothing (cash, debit, and credit). If I can make it through today, I’ll have accomplished this challenge. Lessons learned are that it takes some planning to bring in a lunch every day (i.e. I had to cook pasta at 9pm last night before bed), and that temptations are everywhere! For instance, I thought of buying an umbrella this week when my wife re-claimed hers one morning, but lucked out when it turned out to be a sunny day. The other lesson I learned was that it’s much easier not to spend money when you’re working from home, like I did yesterday.

Here’s hoping you accomplished your goals in August and are off to a good start in September.

What’s the toughest challenge you ever completed? Do you have any non-financial goals you track?


  1. Looks like you are doing well on your challenges. I totally hear you that its much easier to not spend any cash when working from home. Too many times, when I am driving back home from work - I stop by the grocery store to pick up stuff and always pick something extra that was not on the list. When I am home, I tend to make-do with whatever is available.

    Best wishes with your September goals and challenges

    1. Thank you R2R. I used to work from home a couple days a week, and really missed it for many reasons. Do you WFH regularly?
      Best of luck with your investing this month. Looking forward to reading your great posts and stock analyses!

    2. I still work atleast 2 days from home, sometimes 3. Its a bit of a commute - I live near the east end (Alta Vista) but work is in, wfh really helps me save on gas and more importantly time.


  2. Good job on your goals. Spending nothing and saving everything (and then investing) is are sure ways of securing your future.
    I hope you also like my comment. :)

    1. Thanks for the encouragement D4s. Gotta say, I love the fact you're planning to pass on your knowledge to your son. As a fellow father, I hope my son enjoys investing and someday achieves financial independence. All the best in your journey!


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