Financial Goals For 2018 – Refining The Plan As Business Ramps Up

financial goals for 2018

Welcome to my more refined financial goals for 2018, old sport!

This post is an outline of everything I plan to accomplish financially in 2018.

I first published a blog post about my financial goals for 2017 last February, and since so much has changed since last year, I’ve been really looking forward to writing a follow-up.

Admittedly, I was in a transitional spot financially when I wrote last years post. I was only a few months into a new job after taking a year off work, so I was less certain about how my finances would play out.

That being the case, I kept my financial plans more vague for 2017, but 2018 is completely different…

Life has come around and brought me right back to where I started – I’m a dividend Investor again, baby!

Now that I have such a clear vision of how I aim to spend my time, and now that I’ve chosen a strategy to accomplish that goal, I’m even more unswerving with the pursuit.

With the foundation building year now in the books, this year is focussed on refining the financial goals.

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Financial Goals for 2018

To add more context to the financial goals for 2018, I will briefly elaborate on the ultimate plan that I’m aiming to accomplish.

Firstly, the main goal is to achieve financial independence through dividend investing. Over the course of the next 10 plus years, I will build a portfolio that spins off enough income annually to support me.

Ultimately, my goal is to earn at least $1,500 to $2,000 in dividend income per month. However, I’m willing to consider alternative options, such as part time employment and other side hustles, to earn a living.

That being said, the next 3 to 4 years will be focussed on consistent dividend income growth, and on becoming completely debt free.

Once that 3 to 4 year stage has been accomplished, I’ll be completely debt free and will own a portfolio that generates $1,000 plus annually.

From there, I’ll be able to enter the third stage. During the third stage of the process, I’ll have more free cash flow than ever!

The light at the end of the tunnel will be beginning to make an appearance.

If I lock-in to dividend investing and saving money, I’ll be able to reach financial independence within a short period of time after that.

This is year 2 of the Dividend Business Plan, and here are my financial goals for 2018 as business ramps up.

financial goals for 2018

1. Earn $425 in Dividend Income in 2018

I haven’t published the forward annual dividend income numbers since October 2017, so this may appear like a stretch target based on those results. Additionally, the dividend business only generated $58.14 in total in 2017, which is obviously not a huge sum of money.

However, I’ve made a ton of progress with the dividend business over the past few months.

Annual Dividend Income has officially increased by more than $50.00 so far in December, and I plan to improve on my personal savings in 2018 as noted below.

If I’m successful in increasing my rate of savings, and if I stick to my consistent acquisition plan, I am confident that the dividend business will exceed $425 annually in 2018. This would represent an approximated 650% year over year growth increase, which is an exceptional rate of growth for any second year business.

2. Grow Forward Dividend Income to $650 plus annually by December 2018

My primary goal for the near term is to create a cash flow machine that helps me save more money.

A dividend business that earns $500 annually creates over $41 per month to reinvest.

Since I employ such frequent equity acquisition tactics, the continuously flowing dividend income provides the RTC portfolio with quite favourable conditions.

It allows me the opportunity to invest often, it allows for diversification, and it provides me the opportunity to do what I enjoy most – allocate capital.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the official numbers until the next forward dividend income update just yet.

However, I will mention that my personal stretch target is $1,000 annually.

But based on the amount of income that was added during the second half of 2017, I’ll admit that earning 4 digits annually would be challenging.

3. Increase Savings by 32% more than last year

Of course, the best way to achieve my dividend income targets is by taking a business-like approach to saving money.

Rather than follow the standard savings rate for retirement, my strategy is to use my own savings as a benchmark.

Moreover, I am basing my savings goal for 2018 on the amount I saved in 2017.

Considering that I received a raise, and since there are side hustle opportunities to earn income, I believe that saving 32% more than last year is achievable..

Overall, the plan is to make consistent progress with my savings rate on a yearly basis until I’m eventually saving 50 to 60% of my net income.

While it is extremely challenging to make drastic lifestyle changes in the short term, it’s extremely simple to make more subtle changes over a longer period of time.

Furthermore, this strategy is practically flawless because the growth is based on real savings numbers that I’ve already proven achievable.

It doesn’t involve comparing my success to others. Instead, the challenge is to improve upon personal accomplishments.

4. Increase Savings Rate for House & Emergency Funds by 0.025%

Although I don’t mention it much on this blog, I save cash in various accounts in addition to investing in dividend stocks.

It’s not huge amounts of money in these accounts, but trust me, small amounts add up if you’re consistent.

Furthermore, it’s a great feeling to have cash set aside for emergencies. And it’s even better avoiding subtractions from the investment portfolio when unexpected expenses occur.

Regarding the house, I’m saving at a slow pace, and I’m not planning to have a down payment until I’m closer to financial independence.

The ultimate ambition is to put myself in position to afford to buy a home when the mortgage payments can be covered by dividend income.

5. Streamline the Accounts & Control the F–king Cashflow!

In addition to the two accounts mentioned above, I’m planning to open accounts to create specific objectives for every dollar.

I plan to open an online high interest account to save for vacations, a U.S. dollar account, and an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan).

The vacation account and U.S. dollar accounts are self-explanatory, but the RRSP has a more specific purpose.

It would allow me to lower my taxable income and achieve tax free growth on my investments. However, my primary reason for opening an RRSP is to avoid the 15% withholding tax on dividends from U.S. equities.

Interestingly enough, there’s withholding tax on U.S. dividends in a TFSA, which is type of non-taxable Canadian account. But an RRSP allows you to build U.S. positions without incurring U.S. withholding tax.

Streamlining the accounts is all part of the plan to take control of my cashflow. My mindset heading into 2018 is focussed on budgeting regularly and staying on top of spending.

6. Get my Student Loan under $6,500

With that said, the financial goals for 2018 cannot be complete without including a debt element.

I alluded to my student loan being a debt priority last year, but I never discussed the numbers.

Here’s what I should’ve said last year:

“My primary goal for 2017 is to reduce my student loan to less than $10,000.” – I accomplished that in 2017.

Now the target is set on reducing my student loan to under $6,500.

Candidly, I’m making bi-weekly payments of around $120, and I’ve never stopped paying it down since I finished school.

At this point, I know what some people are thinking…

Why focus on building dividend income when I could pay off debt?

Well, because becoming wealthy enough to become financially independent is about 3 things – rate of savings, rate of compound interest, and amount of time.

Furthermore, saving is about building habits. Most people that claim that it makes sense to focus on debt, but they never start saving because they never build the habit. And once the debt is paid off, typically, they go back into more debt anyways.

In addition, saving money provides lifestyle options. I simply wouldn’t have been able to afford a year off if I wasn’t a saver.

Nevertheless, my goal for 2018 is to reduce my student loan debt to less than $6,500.

financial goals for 2018

Concluding Thoughts

The runner-up financial goals for 2018 are focused on the diversification of the RTC portfolio, and on how to handle additional income.

I plan to continue building the core positions, but I also need to increase U.S. market exposure and add to certain sectors.

In regards to handling additional income. Initially, I planned to save 100% of any additional income earned through blogging, working overtime, or from any gifts.

However, on second thought, I decided to treat additional income on a per case basis. For example, if there is a necessity that I need at the time I receive extra money, it’s ok to spend some of it.

But I must be saving at least 20 % of all income earned at minimum!

Though, I’ll probably save 100% of it more often than not.

In conclusion, I attempted to create more specific financial goals for 2018 that are aggressive and realistic.

The purpose was to establish financial goals that build upon the foundation set in 2017, and to continue the business-like approach to saving and investing.

In short, I wrote this as a business plan to stay on course towards financial independence.

I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to improve my personal balance sheet.

If I stick to to the plan, I will increase dividend income, save more money, and have less debt by the end of the year.

Questions for the readers: What financial goals are you planning in 2018? Did you accomplish your goals for last year?

14 Comment

  1. RTC! Happy New Year Man! I like to see people’s goals…main reason, it makes me think, “shiiiiit….I should make better ones.” I did reflect back on the simple life goals I made at the beginning of last year, and I was impressed how many boxes I did check off the list. Yaaaassssss.
    Indeed – quite the aggressive ones you have there…which makes a great challenge! Looking forward to seeing them come to fruition in 2018 and the updates as you go!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Mrs. Defined Sight! I enjoy seeing other people’s goals too! It’s motivating, but it definitely makes me feel like I need better goals as well. I’m happy to hear that you met most of your goals last year! It’s amazing what happens when you write your goals down and make them a priority…I’m looking forward to the challenge this year. And even if I come up short, I’ll still have more money saved and will be closer to my goals. Thanks for the support!! Happy New Year to you too! 🙏🏻🎉

  2. Hi RTC
    Wish you a Happy New Year!
    Very good set of goals, specific and motivating. Great to have you as fellow dividend growth investor!
    All the best!
    Financial Shaper recently posted…My final stock acquisition in 2017My Profile

    1. Hi Financial Shaper,

      Thanks for commenting! Happy New Year to you as well!

      For some reason your comment ended up in the spam, so I apologize for the late reply. But I appreciate the support from another dividend growth investor! I’m glad you like the list of goals. All the best in 2018 to you!

  3. This post has me seriously thinking about the goals I need to make for 2018! All the best for the year ahead 🙂
    RichestManInLondon (@RichestManInLDN) recently posted…Side Hustle Summary – November 17My Profile

    1. Hi RMIL,

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I’m glad to hear the post got you thinking about your goals. All the best in 2018 to you too!

  4. Happy New Year Graham! I didn’t hit all of my goals in 2017, but I am actually really proud of all of the progress that I’ve made in 2017 itself! As for 2018, I have been busy with personal stuff so I have not gotten down to coming up with a concrete plan for 2018. I am hoping to find some time next week to sit down and think about it.
    Keep us updated on how your saving rate goes yeah? Best of luck for 2018!

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Terence! Even if you didn’t reach all your goals in 2017, at least you had goals in the first place. That in itself will get you further ahead. Thanks for motivating me to update on my savings rate. Perhaps I can create a post more specifically focussed post on savings. Good luck with your planning once you get the chance to sit down. I’ve planned financially how I want the year to go, but I haven’t set much goals for the blog. I still need to do that. Best of luck with everything in 2018!

  5. Hi Graham, I only found out about the US withholding tax in TFSA early last year and had to switch things around because of it. Now all US stocks are in my RRSP (except for a couple of growth stock I had to have!).
    Can’t wait to see your progress in the New Year:) Cheers
    Caroline recently posted…The Frozen Pipe That Broke The Landlord’s BackMy Profile

    1. Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! Yeah, I found out about the U.S. withholding tax only a few years ago as well. An RRSP makes a lot more sense when you can trade 15% withholding tax for 10% withholding tax on withdrawals. Of course, that is if you’re only taking from the dividends and not the principle. Nevertheless, I like that you are planning your strategy around that! And thanks for the support. I hope you make progress with all your plans for 2018 too! Happy new year!

  6. Nice goals. All lead toward a better financial position. Increasing passive income, decrease debt, and leads to a greater net worth. Best of luck!

    1. Hey Dividend Daze 👋🏻,

      Thanks for commenting! I appreciate the support of a fellow Dividend Investor on the goals. All the best with your portfolio and plans for 2018 too!

  7. Awesome long term goals and goals for this year Graham. You sound really motivated and I know you can do it! 🙂 We’ll be posting our summaries for 2017 and goals for 2018 soon, but one of our main goals is to save a lot towards a house, we’ll be aiming for around $18,000!

    Mr DDU

    1. Thanks for the support, DDU! It’s great to hear from you as well! I am definitely motivated and I think I have a better grasp of what I’m trying to accomplish this year. Looking forward to reading your summaries and goals. Awesome targets with your goals and savings amount! I’m certain you’ll accomplish your goals. Thanks for stopping by! 🙏🏻🌞

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