This first quarter of the year has come and gone and it is time again to review how it went. Overall, it has been a rather challenging year so far and I have struggled to maintain balance. The time commitment of my job has been more than I had imagined and it has spilled into other areas of my life.

Goal by goal commentary:

* Pay off $7,000 in Debt

My debt balance has actually increased over the last 3 months to around $7,640. Credit card balances are down, however. I had to borrow some cash for day-to-day expenses as these are more than my income at the moment. As I gain more product accreditations I should be able to pick up on the revenue side and work at the debt balances more aggressively.

Stuttering Forward

* Buy an apartment (mostly) cash

Income from employment has not been up expectations. I will be able to increase my income in the second half of the year to fund this goal.

* Pass CFA Level 3 exam

This is THE most important goal for this time period. The exam is the first weekend in June. Passing the exam will broaden my career options significantly.

* Complete the work experience portfolio to earn the “Certified Financial Planner” designation

I have gained some clients, so expect to be able to use some of the financial plans I am working on as Case Studies for the Portfolio. The first submissions are due at the end of June. Watch this space!

* 10,000 visits per month on

Abandoned for the moment. Employment time commitments are draining my spare time.

* Make the Top 10 of First-year Academy Advisers in Gauteng

Hope to make aggressive strides in this area after June. I did make an appearance in the top 10 countrywide for the number of cases in a week, which I was quite proud of.

* Study Mandarin Chinese up to the Intermediate Level

Abandoned this quarter because of lack of funds and time.

* 3 days of physical activity per week

Down to one day per week at the moment. My fitness has improved dramatically, however. The cricket season has now finished. I fell short of getting a five-for, which I was hoping to complete by the end of the season. Running around on the hockey field again for the winter – a different kind of fitness, but still great for body and soul.

I would definitely not rate this as one of the better quarters I have reported back on here at . I expect more balanced progress in my overall yearly goals once I have completed the CFA exam.

How has the first quarter of the year been for you? Have you progressed in your goals for the year? Comments are always welcome.

Kevin Mzansi