For my DB, there is a commuter value for if I leave, it's pretty much the amount that I put along with the company's amount, plus a little (or no) interest. That's what I factor for the value.
June 1, 2012
May was a bit disappointing as far as my net worth goes. I decreased my liabilities by 6% but my assets actually decreased this month due to my pension and TFSA getting hit in the markets. The only reason the TFSA is up is because I contributed about $350 to it this month.
Cash: $5,858.63 (-3.00%)
TFSA: $12,146.00 (+1.82%)
RRSP: $3,500.00 (0%)
Pension: $13,878.54 (-1.47%)
Group RRSP: $1,734.99 (+2.42%)
Total Assets: $37,118.16 (-0.35%)
Mastercard: $0 (-100%)
Student Loan: $12,608.16 (-6.24%)
Student LoC: $4,300.00 (-3.37%)
Visa: $0.00 (0%)
Total Liabilities: $16,908.16 (-6.01%)
Net Worth: $20,210.00 (+4.94%)
I am happy, though, that I have been able to consistently skim $350 per paycheque to either pay off my student loan or contribute to my TFSA. I still need to reign in some of my spending, although it hasn't been too bad lately. I like to golf though so I'm anticipating expenses in that area are going to increase over the summer months. I still think my $30,000 net worth by the end of 2012 should be doable, even with the small increase this month. I should also be getting a small raise at the start of July which will help the cash flow.
My RRSP of $3500 is still sitting in cash. Really haven't decided what to do with that yet. I also sold off some RioCan (REI.UN) in my TFSA but it's dropped a bit and I might jump back in.
I'm currently still in Canadian REIT (REF.UN). It has performed great for me over the last 10 or so months (21% appreciation + distributions). However, it currently sits with a P/E of almost 49 and pays 3.69% in distributions. RioCan on the other hand, has a P/E of 8.59 and pays 5.14% in distributions. I'm thinking of selling my REF to buy REI, but REF just keeps appreciating and it's a little more diversified than REI. Any comments on either REIT?
July 1, 2012
I'm posting this July 3rd, but the results are as of July 1st (not that it makes a big difference). With the recent gains on the TSX, June turned out to be a pretty good month. I managed to increase my net worth by about $2,300 even though I purchased 3 flights for trips I'm planning this year.
Cash: $5,400.49 (-7.82%)
TFSA: $12,977.00 (+6.84%)
RRSP: $4,033.00 (+15.23%)
Pension: $14746.11 (+6.25%)
Group RRSP: $1,902.47 (+9.65%)
Total Assets: $39,059.07 (+5.23%)
Mastercard: $0 (-100%)
Student Loan: $12,458.81 (-1.18%)
Student LoC: $4,100.00 (-4.65%)
Visa: $0.00 (0%)
Total Liabilities: $16,558.81 (-2.07%)
Net Worth: $22,500.26 (+11.33%)
I put another $500 on my RRSP this month. I needed to do this as I plan on DRIPing my RRSP on the $4000 of ZMI I bought this month. $3500 wouldn't have been quite enough to buy another share but $4000 gives me some breathing room.
I also bought Suncor (SU.TO) last week when I thought it was at a deflated price. I've already made around 8% which is nice. I'm still hesitant about holding REF.UN at it's current price. Maybe I'll put a stop order to effectively lock in the roughly 24% gain I've had over the last 11 months.
July is going to be all about controlling spending. Stampede is coming up next week (I live in Calgary) and it is always an expensive time. I am also taking a vacation to the States at the end of the month which I can hopefully keep as budget friendly as possible.
August 1, 2012
Little late in posting but the results are as of August 1st. Bit of an expensive month with Stampede and a vacation to the States. Still managed to do okay all things considered. I've decided that even if my bank account gets lower than I'd like, I'm not going to skip the $350/paycheque that goes to my TFSA or student loan. I'll just suffer through to the next paycheque.
Cash: $6,250.22 (+15.73%)
TFSA: $13,585.00 (+4.69%)
RRSP: $4,142.00 (+2.7%)
Pension: $15,805.06 (+7.18%)
Group RRSP: $2,095.68 (+10.16%)
Total Assets: $41,877.96 (+7.22%)
Mastercard: $690.33 ()
Student Loan: $11,971.84 (-3.91%)
Student LoC: $4,000.00 (-2.44%)
Visa: $0.00 (0%)
Total Liabilities: $16,662.17 (+0.62)
Net Worth: $25,215.79 (+12.07%)
Unfortunately this was a pretty expensive month so I'm going to have to take it easier in August. I'm pretty happy with how much I've paid off my student loan.. about $4,000 this year while still adding lots to my TFSA. I've also hit that time of the year where my EI and CPP are maxed out, so it's nice having an extra couple hundred on my paycheque every couple of weeks.
Not much else to add this month.
September 1, 2012
Figured I'd get this out of the way before I go to Vegas tomorrow, as it may not look the same after the trip!
Cash: $6,192.74 (-0.92%)
TFSA: $14,083.00 (+3.67%)
RRSP: $4,138.00 (-0.10%)
Pension: $16,456.04 (+4.12%)
Group RRSP: $2,254.53 (+7.58%)
Total Assets: $43,124.31 (+2.98%)
Mastercard: $0.00 (-100%)
Student Loan: $11,858.86 (-0.94%)
Student LoC: $3,950.00 (-1.25%)
Visa: $0.00 (0%)
Total Liabilities: $15,808.86 (-5.12%)
Net Worth: $27,315.45 (+8.33%)
I guess my $30,000 net worth by the end of the year was a little underachieving. I think I should be able to eclipse $35,000 by the end of December.
Not a whole lot to report this month. Letting the investments sit. If things keep going down I might average down on one or two positions. Paying myself first is still the name of the game. I might increase it from $850/month to $1000/month if I can continue to manage my money well.
October 1, 2012
Well, even after considering my investments didn't do so well, and I had a really expensive trip to Vegas, I still made out pretty good this month. If anything, I've been very consistent, adding around an additional $2150 to my net worth per month over the last 6 months. I've found that if I end up spending a lot of money on something (say Vegas, for example) I'm pretty good at being frugal for awhile to make up for it. If I don't spend money on anything for awhile, I feel like I'm more likely to spend money on eating out, entertainment, etc. I can use this as an advantage because if I went right now and put an extra $1000 towards my student loan (on top of my regular contributions/debt payments), I would notice the change in my bank account, and therefore start living more frugal to make my bank account rise back up to where it was before.
Cash: $6,506.48 (5.07%)
TFSA: $14,430.00 (+2.46%)
RRSP: $4,198.00 (1.45%)
Pension: $17,424.43 (+5.88%)
Group RRSP: $2,491.36 (+10.50%)
Total Assets: $45,050.27 (+4.47%)
Mastercard: $0.00 ()
Student Loan: $11,708.61 (-1.27%)
Student LoC: $3,850.00 (-2.53%)
Visa: $0.00 ()
Total Liabilities: $15,558.61 (-1.58%)
Net Worth: $29,491.66 (+7.97%)
I have increased my bi-weekly contribution to my TFSA to $400. I am thinking I might increase my automatic student loan repayment from $200/month to $250 or $300.
I'm turning 25 this month, so my auto insurance should go down a bit. I think I will do a little shopping around for auto insurance once I find out what my new rate is.
I averaged down my Cameco stock when it hit $19.20. I am really overweight in it, but would like to make some money back before I sell it.
November 1, 2012
I'm going to change it up this month as it seems my posts are getting boring and I'm not getting much feedback. This month I'm going to post my budget and look for areas where I can save some money. I'll post a condensed version of my net worth as well. Hopefully I can get some feedback on how I'm spending my money.
Total Assets: $47,198.99 (+4.77%)
Total Liabilities: $15,105.38 (-2.91%)
Net Worth: $32,093.61 (+8.82%)
Pretty good bump in net worth this month due to recent gains in my investments, plus I put a couple small lump sum payments on my student loan on top of the regular payment.
Rent: $700/month - Fiancée and I rent a 1 bed + den condo close to our workplaces for $1400/month
Groceries: ~$250/month - Shop at Superstore & Costco for the most part
Auto Insurance: $120/month - My premiums didn't go down when I hit 25, so I think I'm going to shop around and find a better deal
Tenants Insurance: $12/month - I get a 5% discount on my auto insurance because I bundled auto & tenants together, so this almost pays for itself
Student Loan Payment: $200/month - I might bump this up in the new year, but I already occasionally throw an extra $50 or $100 per month on it
Student Line of Credit: $50/month - There's no payment plan, but I throw at least $50/month on to it
Gas: $120/month - My fiancée and I carpool to work, and I drive around the city quite a bit to play hockey a couple times a week
Cell Phone: $65/month -iPhone 3GS with a data plan, unlimited Canadian long distance. They actually just phoned me yesterday and took off $8/month without me asking.
Power Bill: $28/month - Locked in at fixed 8 cents/kWh. About $56/month for the whole place generally
Cable & Internet: $110/month - Need to re-evaluate cable theme packs, but will likely keep the 50 Mbps internet as we stream Netflix & I play on Xbox online sometimes. Might shoot for a retention plan
Netflix: $8/month - We weren't getting our monies worth originally, but now we watch TV series so it's definitely worth the $8/month
Rec Sports Fees: $150/month - Between hockey fees for a couple of teams, summer hockey, ultimate frisbee in the summer, and equipment I'm around $1800/year
Gym Membership: $45/month - Pretty affordable. Basic gym membership, no classes or anything, but it's a pretty nice gym
Group RRSP at work: $150/month - Automatic withdrawal that's in Canadian equity mutual funds (I can only choose Sunlife investments here)
Investments: $800/month - Goes to my TFSA with Questrade every month
Total (Predictable) Expenses: $2808/month
Total Income: $4600/month (after tax) - This shouldn't drop too much in the new year when CPP & EI start coming off again as I'll likely receive a small raise.
Total available income after expenses: $1792/month.
I'm actually very surprised it is that much left. Obviously I'm spending too much on my non-predictable expenses, like going out for meals, entertainment, clothing, travel, car maintenance (although that is sort of predictable). Predictable is probably a bad word.. mostly mean expenses that aren't regular.
For the next few months, we are going to try the "Til Debt do us Part" trick of having a certain amount of cash available for certain things. We are going to allocate $50 each for eating out and see if we can get through the month. I have a feeling we'll run out sooner than later.
Where in my budget do you think I can improve? Do you track the non-regular items like buying clothes or household items?
The only places I can really see for you to cut costs are the following:
- cable + internet - if you use Netflix for watching TV, and you can also stream network shows off their websites (CTV, CBC, Global all offer streaming of most of their shows), do you really need the TV cable? I would cut cable and up the internet to the next nicest package so you won't hit a cap by streaming.
- cellphone - since you have an iphone 3gs, you probably are out of contract by now? If so, switching to pay as you go might save you money. I was paying $50/mo for a plan, and now I'm paying $10/mo for pay as you go. I don't use my phone much, so you might spend more, but it's worth making up a spreadsheet and take your phone bills and calculate how much it would have cost on pay as you go. I did it for 6 months of bills in order to determine that pay-go was going to save me a bundle.
I would suggest using mint.com for a few months to track your spending. It's really easy and kind of addictive.
Wow. I wish I'd thought of that. My contract expired 2 years ago. Phone still works so I never bothered to look at new ones or change plans. And here I thought I was frugal for having a five-year-old cellphone... instead, I've been making extra payments for a phone that's already paid off.
Originally Posted by Spudd
aaron, I second Spudd's recommendation about the cable/internet. Also want to add something about insurance: TD Meloche Monnex offers "group rates" for some professional organizations. if you're a member of APEGA, try them out and make sure you mention your membership.
Also, with your Student Loan and LOC... you say you throw a little bit extra at the loan, and at least $50/mo at the LOC but there's no payment plan. One must have higher interest rate right? So why not just throw all the extra at that one, and leave the lower rate debt for after? That way you'll save a bit on interest. (Maybe you talked about this already, I didn't read through the whole thread.)
1) I've thought a bit about cutting cable, especially that we have Netflix, and because we watch some shows online. The only thing is, we both watch football, and I like to watch hockey, and without live TV it's pretty tough to catch the games. We could potentially go to a friends house or to a pub or something, but if we did that, we'd probably end up buying a couple beer or some food which would eliminate the savings. I think we can probably cut our cable packages down, try and ask for a retention plan, or possibly switch providers to get a cheaper promotional deal. As for internet, I very much doubt we come anywhere close to our 400 GB cap. The other problem is, we've been grandfathered into an older plan, so even if I downgraded service to say 25 Mbps, it would be roughly the same price (or potentially more).
Originally Posted by Spudd
2) I'm still on a contract with my 3GS until June. I hadn't thought of Pay as you go, but I will definitely look into it. When my fiancee's contract was up, I was able to negotiate a pretty good retention deal, so I'll either do that, or try the Pay as you go.
3) I used mint.com for awhile, but I ended up basically quitting it. I felt like I wasn't getting too much out of it. It was nice to see how much I was spending on groceries, entertainment, etc. but I felt like I wasn't changing my spending habits because of it. Sometimes I also felt I wasn't getting a clear picture because sometimes I used cash and it wasn't accounted for, or because I bought all the groceries one month because my fiancee bought something else of equal value. Part of the problem was we had two seperate mint.com accounts, rather than just combining into one.