After sharing my financial recap for 2023 last week, here is my financial plan for 2024.
My Income Sources
In no particular order, my income sources are expected to be:
- salary as a senior accountant
- dividends from stocks
- income from jenthinks
- rental income from our investment property
This is the same list as the one from the previous two years. For my corporate job, I am hopeful it will go up sometime in the year. Dividends from stocks should improve as well as I continue to purchase shares. For jenthinks, I started creating content for AI in Finance and hopefully it will attract new audience and opportunities. The rental income should increase as our presale is expected to complete next Summer. However, seeing where interest rates are at right now, it will likely not contribute much after all expenses are paid every month.
Read all Personal Finance posts here.
What I Decided to Spend Money On In 2024
Net Worth/Savings Goal
As I stated in my recap post, we were able to save the equivalent of my net take-home pay from my salaried job in 2023. While it was a pretty sweet achievement, I am not going to set that as a goal next year. It was never my intention to focus on nothing but to increase our net worths because I subscribe to the belief of dying with zero. While I save and invest diligently, I want to enjoy life in the moment as well. In fact, I spent the last week trying to figure out what we can spend on that will bring us joy, comfort or both. After years of taking care of my finances, I still find it challenging at times to balance spending and saving. However, I do think I get better and better every year with the help of Eric who is arguably much better at spending money in the areas that matter than me.
So, instead of a savings goal, I am going to focus on net worth in 2024. The goal is to increase our net worth by a minimum of 10% by the end of the year. I ran the numbers after accounting for increased mortgage payments which are our biggest expense category and concluded that it is achievable assuming no change in income. This means, relialistic-speaking, we should be able to achieve this goal while we continue to spend money on areas that bring us happiness.
I am going to be as boring as this year meaning I will continue to buy my index ETFs.
For RRSP, I alternate between the basically identical ZNQ/HXQ (Nasdaq 100) and VEQT (globally diversified portfolio of stocks). I don’t have RRSP match from my employer but I make a contribution at the end of every month. For TFSA, I intend to keep mostly blue chips and index ETF as well.
I promised myself to be more realistic with my travel budget as I was way off last year (2 trips turned into 4 and a bit).
I already know I want to go on another extended trip to Asia next year. Originally, I was considering April/May as the weather will be perfect. However, I decided to postpone the expensive trip to after we closed on our presale which means Fall. Assuming the same duration but at slightly higher prices because inflation, I am budgeting $16,000 to $18,000 for 6 weeks. Other than that, instead of budgeting for specific trips, I am going to just budget another $15,000 to $17,500 for the rest of the year (a mix of week-long and weekend trips). We likely will not visit Europe like we hoped to but we never know. My only goal is to visit at least two cities we have never been as we have the tendency to visit the same place over and over (e.g., Vegas).
Travel has been our biggest expense category after housing cost for a while now. However, we are both completely fine with that. When we look back at what we spent money on, we always remember our travel memories fondly. On top of that, seeing my family is the main reason for our Asia trip so it is worth every penny.
Personal Care & Wardrobe
I realized we have not been dedicating enough resources to personal care. We tested a couple of massage chairs this year and was so impressed with the OSIM uLove3. Then Eric tested another brand when we were in Atlanta earlier. Before making a decision though, We will be doing a lot more research as they pretty much all come with a hefty price tag (premium ones start from $8,000 and up). Eric and I are aligned on this being a worthwhile investment so we will make this a priority for next year.
I also want to focus on filling up my closet with quality but basic items next year. For example, I am in need of a basic black blazer as I found myself struggling to find business casual clothes for professional events. I have been looking for basic but quality t-shirts as well.
There are several smaller items on my list in this category too but they should be relatively small expenses.
We don’t have any major item on the list for the house. We will get the sheer curtains for our living room once they go on sale. I am not sure what kind of coverings we want for our bedrooms yet so the original blinds will do for now (maybe even for years). The kitchen and the living room are missing decorations so we will likely fill the spaces some time next year. For our main bedroom, we are missing nightstands since we sold our old ones. Eric might want to update his room too as it is pretty bare right now. Overall, this should be a relatively light category next year.
Expenses/Investment for jenthinks
I am going to set aside some time during the holidays to think about what I can invest for jenthinks. I have been trying to minimize business expenses since I started jenthinks five years ago as I did not feel confident about the business potential and longevity. However, I want to start exploring what else I can invest in to take it to the next level. I do not know what they will be yet but hopefully I will before the end of the year.
This is Eric’s category whether he agrees or not. CFE (our car) apparently needs new (fancy) tires so he had asked me to budget for them. This way, I will not cry a river as I find these expenses booooooring. Nothing else to add here other than this being Eric’s category.😈