New year, new me? More like new year, old me but slightly wiser.
Greeting fellow financially frustrated people and welcome back to Broke Today Rich Tomorrow! Today we are not only celebrating the new year but also the very first post of 2018. I know, I know, I am a little late to the party, but hey, they say better late than never, right?
As January establishes itself, I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers sharing their experiences of the past year, especially in the new year resolution category. While my year may not have been as successful as others’, I’ve thought it be fun to share my experience too.
I started the previous year with 8 resolutions, ranging from personal to financial goals, all of equal importance. Some of them I aced (the good), some of them are still a work in progress (the bad) while others I have completely given up on (the ugly).
Without further ado, here is a breakdown of how my year went:
- Have a GPA of 6.5 (the equivalent to a High Distinction) in university
I am happy to say that the first year at university has completely exceeded my expectations. Academically, I have set myself a new bar by finishing the year with a 6.85 GPA. It is true that university is a lot harder than high school, but I’ve honestly found that if you are studying something that interests you, that makes all the difference.
I actually started off the year in law school, of all places, but feel in love with accounting by accident. Keep in mind that as I kid, I absolutely hated math and didn’t want anything to do with it, but with accounting I can’t get enough. I love how the numbers tell a story and how they hold the power to impact real life decisions.
Going into my second year, I am excited but absolutely terrified at the same time. Now that the first year is over, I know how the content will get significantly harder and my current GPA is probably unsustainable, which scares me a little. However, I will continue to work hard and take it from there.
- Achieve monetary goals
Starting off with travel, I managed to save almost $4,000 which paid for our new travel camera and a trip to Japan! Spending two weeks in Japan was one of the biggest rewards of 2017, filled with amazing experiences, Disneyland and even a little bit of food poisoning.
I am a big believer that you should travel, especially when you’re young and studying, as travelling shapes your vision of the world. It puts things into perspective: it either makes you really appreciate what you have or work harder to get what you need.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money, travel can still be affordable. For more, check out this post I wrote on How I Afford To Travel As A Broke College Student. PS: You don’t even have to be broke or studying to take advantage of these tips!
I finally decided to bite the bullet and invest in the stock market this year. I bought some shares at the beginning of the financial year which have now achieved over 10% return on investment. Although my investment is minuscule, we all have to start somewhere and my shares could not have performed better. Slow and steady wins the race! If you want to know more about my investment strategy read part 1 here.
Emergency fund: $2,000
I’m not going to lie to you, I almost didn’t make this one. Thankfully, I just managed to scrape by and ended the year with enough funds to achieve this goal.
- Grow Instagram followers to 500
Sadly, I am yet to crack the secret behind Insta fame. I did manage to grow by about 50 followers this year, so you could say I’m very slowly getting there.
- Start a YouTube channel
I started the year determined to make it big on YouTube as a way of promoting this blog. I got a camera, got myself a nice lens and even bought a microphone. After filming about 10 videos, all but one made it up on my main channel, which only got a total of 6 whole views. I have found that I enjoy writing much more than talking, so I have decided to focus solely on growing my blog for now.
- Get a part-time job that relates to your study
This didn’t happen for me, although I have come very close a couple of times, which the next post will cover. However, this resolution has enabled me to establish some amazing contacts at one of the Big 4 firms and at another multi-national organisation, which will come in handy this year. I will get you eventually, savvy part-time job!
- Make some new close friends
Depending on the circumstance, I’m not an overly social person. It is extremely hard to make long term friendships in the first year, as classes change with each semester and you are constantly surrounded by strangers. I am the type that craves deep, meaningful connections, with the majority of my strong friendships being made very quickly. In short, if we meet and we click, you’re going on my best friend list.
While this didn’t happen for me this last year, there are a few honourable mentions. I did manage to meet some very lovely people, but I’m just not sure that we are at that level yet. It is hard to stay in touch when you everyone has a different schedule. Time will tell.
- Start my book
I guess the secret is out now: I am planning on writing a book. I am planning on writing a self-help book about my financial journey, what I learned and how others can apply my knowledge to their own lives.
This was a big fail for me as I have yet to complete the first sentence. I am not giving up on this goal completely, but instead decided to hit the pause button. Right now, my focus is on learning and developing myself further. I have realised this past year, through personal experiences and writing for this blog, that I have much to grow as a person. I just want to make sure I get it right first.
- Fix the car
This goal I failed miserably. There just never seemed to be enough money laying around to service the car ($700), get new tiers ($300) or fix the car keys ($1000 – crazy right? Who would’ve thought two car keys could cost this much? Hyundai apparently did). Fortunately, the car still works fine, and our last key is still going strong for now. I do have a little bit of a cushion with the emergency fund, however that’s no excuse. I know the longer we delay fixing the car, the more expensive it will be, so this year this goal is going to have to happen, on way or the highway.
In retrospect, although I only managed to achieve 2 resolutions, I believe I had a really good 2017. Of course, there is much left to improve, which I am hoping this year will allow!
How were your 2017 resolutions?
Did you have some good, some bad and even some ugly? Let me know in the comments below!
Being broke is temporary. Being rich is a journey.