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2014 Personal Finance Resolutions Mid Year Review

I can’t believe it is July already.  Time really flies when you are having fun (or just insanely busy).  Since it is a little over mid-year, I thought it would be nice to do a mid-year review on how I am doing with my personal finance resolutions for 2014.

Sometimes you lose track of the goals that you set out in the first place- especially when you complete them and start setting another goal.

I am for some reason, a very goal oriented person.  If I don’t have a to-do list written out in front of me, I do not fare well.  This is either do to the fact that I am goal oriented, or is more likely explained by the fact that I have poor short-term memory and if I do not write it down, it does not happen.  I relish crossing off lists and sometimes I break down the larger goal into smaller goals just to feel good about crossing something off the list.

So it is kind of refreshing to review the goals that you had set out in the beginning of the year to give yourself a check up (and a wake up call most of the time) to see how you are doing.  Evaluating yourself in an honest way is an important way to be self aware and I think, is an important aspect of, well, being an adult.

**groan** I know.  I cannot believe I am not “young” anymore.  Enjoy your twenties while you can, folks.

Anyway, back to my 2014 Personal Finance Resolutions.  I will list my resolution and show the progress (or non-progress) that I have made.

Maximize the TFSA

Young & Thrifty Resolutions for 2014I have maximized my TFSA for 2014.  Unfortunately, I may have over contributed to the Tax Free Savings Account (more on that later) and in early 2014, I had set out to have $43,000 in total in 2014.  Because of the possible error I had to withdraw money immediately to avoid further interest and penalties, and so my Tax Free Savings Account went from $37,000 in early 2014 when I made the resolution to somewhere around $41,000.  The crappy thing about it was that I had the money sitting in there and it wasn’t even invested!  So the interest and penalty was all for nothing.  More on that later.

So in theory, I maximized the Tax Free Savings Account as best as I could.  Maybe if I’m lucky by the end of the year my Tax Free Savings Account will have $45,000 of equity in it. :)  I would say this is completed.Continue Reading

July 2014 net worth update: $333,710 (-2.3%)

This month was the month of spending.  I spent even more than last month.  I thought  was doing well by making significant gains last month by only being short of $8500 before I reach my net worth goal by the end of 2014.  The main reasons for spending are related to automobile stuff.  Like insurance.  More insurance.  Buying a car (the car taxes PST and GST are pretty steep).  I also paid for my plane ticket for my big international trip this year.  Hence the huge drop in net worth this month.  Hopefully I can recover for next month to be on target for my goal.

Okay, so here’s the breakdown for July 2014 ($333, 710): -2.3% -$7710


CASH: $390500 (-35%)

Net Worth Update

  • I added up my chequing and savings accounts (High Interest Savings Account). I automatically deduct money from my chequing account and have it siphoned to the HISA account (paying yourself first)
  • I have $4800 saved up for my big trip that I hope to do this year.

Non-Registered: $105430 (+4.9%)

  • This isn’t because I did well this month- it’s because I had to make a transfer from another account
  • These are stocks that capture the “moment in time”, including unrealized gains or losses in my BMO Investorline and Questrade accounts.Continue Reading

Personal Finance Sin: Bought a New Car

I have committed possibly the worse personal finance crime you could ever ever make.

And these are my confessions.

I bought a new car.

Here is my Explanation:

I had the best intention to buy a used car but the problem with looking for a used car was that there were not many used cars with the colour and make that I wanted.  Believe me when I say that I had tried to look for a used car.  I scoured Craigslist, Autotrader, and other used car buying websites on an almost daily basis for a few months.  I did find one in the colour and make that I wanted but it had already sold when I called the dealership.

Related: Buying My First Car 

Personal Finance SinIn addition, when I did call the dealership, the sale price of the used car that I was interested in was the same price as a new car (maybe give or take $300-$400 or so).  There were some incentives for purchasing with a cash sale (note: no financing, no leasing) that yielded the same price as the used car in a newer model.

I test drove a few cars, including the Toyota Prius C.  However, the Prius C is ridiculously expensive, a new car is almost $30,000 when you factor in all the taxes and the freight and PDI and everything.  I did see a Prius C that was used however, the seller did not seem interested in budging much, and in British Columbia now, you have to pay full taxes on a used car purchase (since 2009) so it did not seem like that much better of a deal.

So like typical young and thrifty fashion, here is my list for pros of buying new versus pros of buying used.Continue Reading