Over the last few years — particularly since graduating from University — I’ve spent a lot of spare time reading personal finance blogs and sites like Moneyville.ca. A year ago today I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be neat if I had an excellent personal finance blog by next New Year’s Eve? I’ll try that.” While I didn’t write it down or broadcast it, I think that counts as a resolution.
Whether I succeeded, of course, depends heavily on your definition of excellence. TimelessFinance now gets hundreds of hits from Google every day. This site has an Alexa ranking that hovers down near 100,000. (Sunday update: TF’s Alexa rank broke below 100k for the first time today!) And TF even generates acceptable amounts of revenue from several sources.
None of those things, in my mind, constitutes success. My day job and other ventures pay me more than I could hope to earn for my company through this blog alone. An Alexa rank is just a number and, barring doing something stupid, Google PR isn’t that tough to build over time with consistent, good quality content. I love what TimelessFinance has become because:
- it’s a reliable source of pro-wealth advice;
- it includes the thoughts of wise, extremely high-quality writers (Adina and Sara) rather than just me;
- it has an active community of intelligent readers; and
- it gets respect from writing peers (well, the ones who are actually “peers” in the sense that they produce good quality content).
I started this site with the hope of distilling my thoughts for my new daughter (not to mention many future kids), but I think it’s even helped me chart her own biography until she can do it herself.
I’m looking forward to 2013; I’m sure it’ll be another successful year. Here are some goals I want to accomplish:
Pay off 25% of my mortgage
I’m only doing a 20% down payment on my house. If I cashed out investments, used all of my liquid TFSAs, and demolished my emergency fund, I could have bought my house in cash. That would have left me highly illiquid, however, and that’s not a place I want to be. I like the idea that, even when I own a house, I could take a few years of unpaid leave and still live comfortably. (And that’s entirely ignoring my partner’s potential to earn income. Financial independence is its own reward.)
Get moved and put some sweat equity into my house
Well, before I can slum it in the Hammer I need to move there to join my downtrodden proletariat brethren. The house has a new roof, and updated wiring and plumbing. It’s in darn good shape. (Dare I say I got a deal?) There are a bunch of little cosmetic and quick fix issues that I’ll need to take on during the coming months. I plan to use my own labour wherever possible to keep the costs of this work low, while leveraging that work into the largest possible additions to the house’s equity.
Get a Reclining Leather Couch
OK so this isn’t a typical goal for a year-long time-frame. But I’m hoping as the housing bubble continues to burst, that cheap credit will evaporate, people will cease buying with abandon, and furniture salespeople will stop pretending that they’re selling water to residents of hell. Who knows? It could happen.
I want to start putting more money into equities. Now that my cost structure will be largely fixed and my income will be skyrocketing back up when I’m not on parental leave, I’ll have even more money to save. I’ve already got a massive emergency fund so, unless I decide to retire for a few years, I’ll need to invest my money somewhere. Look for me, particularly during the year’s second half, to be doing a lot more “stock analysis” posts like I did for Automodular.
In the summer and fall, I went gungho at various times improving TimelessFinance. As I move to my new house and get ready for my return to work during the year’s Q1, free time might be scarce. But I think I can create more free time; for example, when I add value to my house with some basic repairs, it’ll be easy to knock out simple posts (and hopefully they’re not dreadfully boring). While I improved the site’s usability, social integration, and monetization, I can do more — particularly in regard to performance optimization and attractiveness.
I want TimelessFinance to break below 100,000 on Alexa rank. Short of downloading the Alexa toolbar and installing the widget, I’m not doing an awful lot to game the site’s Alexa rank. It doesn’t mean much, unless you’re looking for a metric to brag about on an ad rates page, but it’s a number. I like tangible metrics and, if Alexa breaks below 100,000 organically, it’ll be a positive sign for TF’s momentum.
Create a new stream of income
I’m not sure what form this project will take. I usually shy away from discussing other business interests on TF but perhaps I’ll make a more concerted effort to regale you with tales of entrepreneurship in the New Year.
I wish you increased wealth in the New Year and the discipline to achieve it. Happy 2013.