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$139, 265 (+1.6%)

My credit card bill was pretty crazy this month because of the trip to Hawaii for BF’s family’s wedding and the textbooks for next term (I bought USED from Amazon.com to be picked up in the US… but the bill was still ridiculous).

I also spent $100 for donations to charities in preparation for year end.  I have yet to calculate how much I have donated in 2011.

I spent $187 on three toner cartridges for my laser printer from Costco.ca (I LOVE MY LASER PRINTER btw).  Pricey, I know, but you wouldn’t believe how many pages I have printed out already.  I’m sure if I had an inkjet printer, I would probably have gone through 10 inkjet changes by now.

I haven’t done anything drastic investments-wise, but am planning again to move some investments/ cash from dividend payouts in my non-registered to my TFSA.

Oh, I got a scholarship from the application I told you guys about a while back (if your’e ever in school, just apply apply apply! You never know if you’re going to get it unless you try).  It is enough for next term’s tuition.  I haven’t included it in my net worth this month because it’s going to be deducted anyway very soon.

Okay, so here’s the breakdown for this month:


CASH: $12249 (+18.0%)

  • More money Pictures, Images and PhotosBoyfriend and I have a joint account which our mortgage is deducted from, and our own personal accounts. I taught him the magic of the email transfer, so hopefully it won’t be so much effort to nag him to put money into our joint account!
  • 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 $2500 saved up for my goal of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro (highest peak in Africa). I’m automatically deducting $100 a month from my bank account into this travel account. I’m about halfway there. If you are Canadian and want to help contribute to my personal lifelong dream, feel free to sign up for an Tangerine with my orange key: 33530953S1. You’ll get $25 if you start an account with $100, and I will get $25 too. :)

STOCKS: $13339 (-0.6%)

  • BCE and TU are doing nicely (I guess everyone still hasn’t gotten hooked on data plans yet, they still have a lot of people to hit up lol).  Everything else is a “meh”.
  • I’m holding steady with a lot of my stocks.  I bought SC.TO a LONG time ago and I notice that it’s climbing back up to my original purchase price, which is always nice lol.
  • These are stocks that capture the “moment in time”, including unrealized gains or losses in my BMO Investorline and Questrade accounts. I added up USD and CAD stocks as “Canadian” money to be simplistic

RRSP: $12,107 (+2.9%)

  • This includes the pre-authorized monthly contribution into my TD E-Series account, a GIC in my ING Direct Account and my new Questrade RRSP account.
  • The RRSP is maxed out for this year. I am seriously thinking about maxing out my TFSA instead, if I am not able to max out on both (read my TFSA vs RRSP great debate over here) from now on, as I will expect to have defined benefit pension when I retire.
  • I’m not including my defined benefit pension (I didn’t do this for my 2011 net worth updates at all purely due to laziness). Contemplating about whether I should put them back into my networth calculations- what do you think?
  • I owe about $16,000 to myself in my RRSP because I used the Home Buyers Plan, but I won’t have to start repaying until 2012 (jeepers, 2012 is creeping up already).


  • If you’re wondering what I hold in my Other investments- check out my post long story
  • I have some investments that were poor choices (I signed up for them before I became self “edumacated”) that were losing money big time. In order to receive a tax credit, I got persuaded into buying some flow through shares, Venture investments that gave out a tax credit, and some more mutual funds about four or five years ago.
  • Hmm, just 1 few more months until I can get my money out from my venture mutual fund and invest it elsewhere. Can’t wait!

TFSA: $11277 (-.01%)

  • Um, my TFSA portfolio is not very exciting, but that’s okay I’m not selling these guys anytime soon. I still have about $2700 contribution room and am thinking of moving my non-registered to the TFSA, or wait until January and move it then.
  • I have yet to see a “dripped” EIF stock in my account (hello, Questrade if you are reading, where is it?).  It has climbed back up nicely though from its low.
  • I signed up for a Tax Free Trading Account with Questrade in 2009 and my TFSA consists 100% of stocks


  • I am not counting this in my net worth, because it’s 11 years old.
  • I got my winter tires put on and am ready to rock and roll (hopefully not roll) for the snow/winter season


  • I know this it does not make any sense to divide the principle residence and mortgage debt by 50%, but since I cannot disclose my boyfriend’s financial information, I will do it this way to simplify things. Some of you may not agree to that, and I understand.
  • Vancouver is an expensive city to live in, and many people predict that there will be a housing collapse, especially in a place where their is such a disparity between income and housing price. The Vancouver market was actually quite unscathed compared to the depressed housing markets elsewhere, and many people believe it is sorely due for a correction.
  • We plan to live in this house for 5-10 years or even more, and we are prepared to “suck it up” if it corrects by more than 25%. Our house is in a favourable location in the city, and our neighbours have sold recently for about 30% more than what we paid for our house.


Mortgage Debt: $298846 (-0.3%)

  • It’s an accelerated bi-weekly payment (-4 years from amortization) and we plan to add on what we get from our rental downstairs to pay the mortgage off faster. Target pay off= 15-17 years.
  • We got tenants!!!!  And they are really nice.  Will be posting more about that very soon. Wahoo!  BF and I had a long discussion (well heated discussion lol) about paying off our mortgage faster.  He doesn’t want to because he wants more cash flow, and I’m kind of okay with this for now since I am only working part time.  Hopefully I can change his mind soon.

Credit Card: $1250

  • I pay off my full amount every month (and folks, it’s VERY important you do so otherwise you’re losing out on a 19% return!) but include it in my net worth update so I have an accurate picture of my actual net worth. I sort of think “If I were to sell everything right now, what would my net worth be?” I guess I shouldn’t put it in the liabilities column since i pay it off regularly, BUT in mint.com it’s under the liability column so I’ll do the same.
  • BF and I got the Royal Bank Avion Infinite Card as our joint credit card (free for one year since we have a mortgage with RBC! So will be using it and letting you how I like it- I would of course never pay $170 a year for this, but since it’s free for one year, why not?). Which reminds me, I need to call and negotiate! Anyone have any luck avoiding the annual fee for the Avion?
  • Okay you guys were right.  No way in hell could I negotiate (despite my best, sweet and innocent negotiation voice) to get the annual fee waived.  They said I could REDUCE it, but I still don’t want to pay to use a credit card for its points.  We just ended up getting the RBC Gold card instead (the one where you get measly RBC points).

Article comments

SN says:

I’d recommend buying a refurbished laser jet cartridge (lots of online sites that sell those in canada). for my hp laserjet, i got the cartridge for $30, original is about $90 or so

young says:

@SN- Thanks for the tip! I was youtubing how to make your laser jet cartridge last longer (something about the sensor etc.) but found it too complicated.

just asking says:

How come in here you haven’t added in the $60,000.00 cost of all the renos to the house? where did that money come from, and how many months of renting the basement will it take to cover these expenses? Don’t you think that you are only telling half the story?

young says:

@just asking- oops for some reason your comment was put into spam. I haven’t added in the $60,000 renos to the house because we paid for it in cash (little by little). We have completely paid off our renos. We were wanting to put a 25% down payment but opted to put a 20% down payment instead so we could fund the renos. I hope that answers your question. And yes, it will take months (years) of renting the basement out to cover these expenses, but we have already paid for these expenses.

Chuck says:

When my wife and I had a mortgage we would NEVER include the value of our home in the calculation of our assets but we WOULD include the amount owing on our mortgage in the calculation of our liabilities. While many may view this as being somewhat harsh, it certainly gave us incentive to pay off our mortgage within 10 years. Try it. You may find this to be a great incentive to become mortgage free much faster. We actually sleep much better!

Secondly, our outlook on home ownership is that if you don’t have 30% of the purchase price of a home….rent. Seriously.

I know many will take exception to my comments but before you lambaste me, stop and think for a moment how different things would be in the US, Spain, Portugal, etc..

Your principal residence should be viewed merely as a place to live and should have absolutely no relevance in determining your monetary net worth!!

young says:

@Chuck- I appreciate your perspective- I should try it but it will be very depressing. I included the price of the home in my calculations because the Personal Finance Guru that I adore (Million Dollar Journey) does it the same way 🙂 I think in Vancouver it would be very difficult to have 30% of the purchase price. Most people are even purchasing homes with less than 20% of the purchase price of a home. I do view it as a place to live and that’s why I haven’t adjusted the price of the home for inflation or anything else. I’m just leaving it as it is.

Ron says:

Building wealth really is a day by day journey. A successful November almost wraps up the year and means a good 12 months of saving and investing 🙂 I hope you are able to enjoy your December and get to do a little skiing/snowboarding 🙂

young says:

@Ron- Thanks! I just did- some snowboarding and it was great! Though I think that’s about it for the year though. At $79 a pop, snowboarding doesn’t come cheap!

Leigh says:

@MO I have a label/folder in my email that I use for charity donation receipts throughout the year. Then at tax time, I just go and check that instead of searching through all of my emails! Good luck!

young says:

@Leigh- I have a folder for my “tax” related stuff too. I have yet to add it all up still 🙂

MO says:

It was interesting reading your comment about not having any idea about how much you’ve giving to charity this year. I find myself in the same boat. Every year at tax time, I end up with a mad rush to figure out whether I have all the receipts or not.

And now its even crazier coz not every sends out a printed receipt. So I have to look at my chequing account, my credit card statements, my email … its getting tougher.

young says:

@MO- What I usually do is when I get an email receipt, I print it off right away and put it in my tax return folder. I would totally forget if I left it in my email. Easily.

Congrats on the upward climb, I will be putting this in my Weekend Reading post! 🙂

young says:

@MOA- Thanks MOA!!

I routinely am amazed at how many students completely throw away free money in scholarships. There are so few that apply, those of us that do reap the benefits I guess.

young says:

@T.M.- I know! Haha, reaping benefits, like us? I have gotten $6700 so far in scholarship/bursary money. Hoping for more too (hope I don’t sound too greedy).

I would recommend the Alaska Airlines card. Their is an annual fee but you get a great bonus of the companion fare ticket ($99 per year).

young says:

@Steve Zussino- Hmmm I just can’t convince myself to pay an annual fee for a credit card. It’s against my principles lol. But the Alaska Airlines Card does sound pretty awesome.

Vanessa says:

Laser printers rock! I was just thinking today about how glad I am to not have an inkjet anymore and voila I see this article 🙂

young says:

@Vanessa- Haha, great minds think alike?

Leigh says:

Maybe a way to get him around to the idea would be to open a joint designated “mortgage pre-payment” savings account. You can both funnel money into there and when you’re feeling confident with your cash flow, through some of the funds in that account at the mortgage. I’m considering doing that myself for the first year instead of actually pre-paying it because you never know what will come up, right?

That sucks about the credit card! Sometimes, it does make sense to pay for a points credit card – it all just depends on how much you use it.

I can’t believe that your net worth keeps going up even though you’re in school – that’s awesome!! And congrats that you can pull those crazy investments out soon!

young says:

@Leigh- That’s a good idea. What I was thinking of, was to pay off our mortgage on an annual basis after all of our property taxes, house insurance was paid off. But I just had a brief conversation with the BF about how much interest we could shave off our massive mortgage if we just contributed a $100 a month and he agreed to it. Now I gotta run with it haha. I was almost thinking of paying off our mortgage with out bank account and not telling him (hahahahaha hows THAT for communication?).

Aloysa says:

I am trying to stay away from using c/c (so far I am not succeeding! :)) I should know better and pay it off every month but Nov and Dec did not look so good. You are doing great as far as I can see!

young says:

@Aloysa- It can definitely get tricky especially with Christmas presents and trips and big purchases etc.!

Congrats on the progress. It is a step in the right direction.

young says:

@Miss T- Thanks Miss T! I hope it is 🙂 Time will tell!

I suggest you add a graph to track net worth. It’ll be easier to see from month to month. 😉
Great job on moving it in the right direction!

young says:

@retirebyforty- I used to have NetWorth IQ but then it kept freezing on me, and I didn’t want it to be so blatant on the sidebar of my blog. I’m so bad at making graphs (I must say you make fantastic graphs). Which program should I use?

jill says:

I’m surprised you haven’t considered the MBNA smartcash credit card. No annual fee and $60 rebate from GCR right now. I am anticipating getting that first $50 cheque with glee!

young says:

@Jill- I know, I think I’m the only PF blogger or person interested in utilizing credit cards for their benefit that HASN’T signed up for the MBNA smartcash credit card. I’m an anomoly because I tend to like travel rewards cards. I got the MBNA World Points World Card which ended up doubling my previous MBNA Travel Rewards Elite card and will add 10,000 points, so basically I get $100 for free!