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$145, 740 (+3.0%)

Although one of the reasons this month was such a great month was because the markets have rallied to pre-2009 levels, the major reason was because I forgot to include about $2700 in cash in my last month’s TFSA account! (How embarassing- this is what happens when you’re old school and rely on a journal and a pen, versus something like Quicken, to record your net worth updates lol).

Anyway, I’m not complaining.  This is analogous to finding $5 in the deep crevasses of your couch.  My initial goal for 2011 was to reach $150,000 in net worth by the end of 2011, but with graduate school, reduced income, and other expenses (like two destination weddings) a little voice inside me (call it the rational voice) didn’t think this was feasible.  Hopefully by June 2012 I will be able to reach this target.

Okay, so here’s the breakdown for March 2012:


CASH: $12, 044 (-5.3%)

  • More money Pictures, Images and Photos

    Boyfriend and I have a joint account which our mortgage is deducted from, and our own personal accounts.

  • 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 $2800 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. Here’s my shameless plug: If you are Canadian and want to help contribute to my hiking fantasy, 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. :)
  • I’d like to add that currently, my travel account has more money than my emergency fund account.  I wonder what that says about me!  Kind of sad, I know!  My goal is to save $5000 in my emergency fund by the end of the year.

STOCKS: $10,314 (+1.3%)

  • The BCE (Bell) holdings I have are doing nicely (pretty much the only thing doing nicely!) and up 39%.
  • I just moved the $2000 from the sale of my SC.TO shares into my TFSA account.  I’m excited to invest it.  Probably instead of buying a new position in something, I’ll add to my current positions.
  • 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: $12777 (+1.04%)

  • 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.
  • 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 owe about $16,000 to myself in my RRSP because I used the Home Buyers Plan for my down payment. I am paying it back by $200 a month- this is starting in 2012.

TFSA: $20,424 (+16.8%)

  • The large increase is primarily due to me forgetting to account for about $2500 in my cash balance.  Whoops!
  • Most of this portfolio has bounced back nicely, especially my KEG.TO stock- it was down $200 and now up $61 (lol! Don’t forget the $20 gift card for Keg Steakhouse they sent me as part of the annual report) and still churning out distributions.
  • This month I received about $100 in dividend payments.
  • Watch out for TFSA over contributions, guys, the CRA will get you for every last penny.
  • I signed up for a Tax Free Trading Account with Questrade in 2009 and haven’t looked back!


  • I am not counting this in my net worth, because it’s 12 years old.
  • I am seriously getting some bad luck with this car haha maybe I should stop posting about my expenses on my car here.  I ALMOST got my car ticketed again for parking too close to the curb but managed to weasel my way out of it.  Phew!

PRINCIPLE RESIDENCE: $387,500 (0.0%)

  • 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.


Mortgage Debt: $296, 029 (-0.32%)

  • It’s an accelerated bi-weekly payment (-4 years from amortization)
  • We got tenants for our basement suite. Wahoo! BF and I had a long discussion (well heated discussion lol) about paying off our mortgage faster. We have agreed to pay an extra $100 per payment (hence the extra 0.02% HA). I know it’s not much, but it’s a start.

Credit Cards: $1291

  • 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.
  • I charge most of my expenses on my card to reap the benefits (for example, I got $700 cash back using a no fee credit card!)

Article comments

Savvy Scot says:

I am one of those people who caused other to have to travel to a destination wedding 😉 ! We save approximately twice each month for travel than I do for emergencies…. The point is at least we are saving for emergencies in the first place 🙂

Soooo you’re buying Financial Samurai and I sushi soon?

young says:

@Marissa- LOL. I checked out what Toro sushi looks like. Looks good. Well, I think FS is like 100K+ many times over. So I vote that he buys us sushi! 🙂

Joe says:

That’s great that you’re turning your basement suite into an asset by renting it out for rental income. The return on that portion of your house will probably be awesome. As for the house overall, however, don’t you feel a bit nervous having 63% of your net worth in a single asset, and a single asset class?

Re: your RRSP, are you buying e-series of an international flavour to get diversification/exposure to other countries?

Finally, have you considered at least counting the contribution value / your employer’s contribution value for your defined benefit pension in your net worth? I, too, look at my DB pension statement and say “whoa, there is no way it could be sustainable for the plan to pay me *that* amount every year starting at 55!” Then again I probably don’t appreciate how much inflation will negate the value of a dollar between now and when I retire in 30 years. Nevertheless, the DB pension, even if the employment base shrank compared to retirees and the markets collapsed, would surely pay out at least the contribution value.

young says:

@Joe-Yes you’re right. 63% of net worth overall in a single asset class is pretty scary.. but I think I’m not doing too shabby compared to some friends and acquaintances of mine– they view paying their mortgage as “forced savings” and don’t contribute to savings or investments elsewhere. I plan to increase my savings in cash.

For my RRSP- I’m getting eseries and a portion of it is in the US equities sector. I used to have a BRIC mutual fund but ended up selling it for a profit.. and paying for my down payment lol.

Yeah, I should totally include my plan… but I haven’t gotten my pension statement yet. Perhaps I’ll start fresh then. They are forcing me to save a lot which is nice.. eases some of the pressure to save on my own.

At least you have a travel account! Good on you for that! I’ve heard first hand that Kilimanjaro is an amazing adventure. When I went backpacking a few years ago, I decided on it rather last minute and wound up declaring it an ’emergency’ that I had to go traveling immediately thus giving myself the moral OK to wipe out my emergency fund in order to pay for my trip 🙂

Thankfully, I knew I was coming back to a well paying job and would be able to replenish the emergency fund rather quickly.

young says:

@EAM- Great way! That’s the way I usually do it. This is the first time I’ve saved monthly for a big trip. Kind of a weird feeling lol.

RCMP in the lower mainland gave out 16,000 traffic tickets last month. Looks like they’re really strapped for cash for something. Your RRSP did really well compared to mine. And nice job finding the bonus stash in your TFSA. If only that would happen every month huh ?????

young says:

@LI- I knowww!!

It looks like you are REALLY close. The fact that you are doing this while in graduate school is admirable. That’s precisely when people ignore their finances. Don’t worry about being old fashion, there are many people who aren’t 100% caught up with respect to some of the online tools. We’ll get there eventually, when we are ready 🙂

young says:

@Roshawn- if they take away pens and paper!

Juan says:

That sounds like a pretty good month! Now with 11 more months like this hitting that 150k goal won’t be that far away.

young says:

@Juan- Thanks! I feel like I”m moving at a snails pace. I know I’ll get there 🙂

Great job, +3% in one month is awesome.

That TFSA is looking very healthy!

As for your EF being larger than your travel fund, don’t sweat it. You have to live and travel when you’re healthy.

We’re saving for our trip right now.

Great job in February! 3% is very good for one month.
Our travel fund is all rolled into the our cash, but we’re not planning a huge trip anytime soon.
We’ll take a road trip to CA this summer and that’s about it this year. Kind of boring now.

young says:

@Joe- I loove California! I don’t think its boring at all. I just find domestic trips more expensive (I guess in my weird perspetive?)

Aloysa says:

You are not alone who is trying to save more for travel than for emergency. I am the same way. It doesn’t bother me a bit! 🙂 Congrats on such a great month!

young says:

@Aloysa- Thanks!! 🙂

Michelle says:

Good job! February was good obviously!

young says:

@Michelle- Thanks Michelle!

Modest Money says:

Congrats on renting out your basement suite. That is sure to add a nice chunk of change to help pay off your mortgage.

By the way, can you seriously get a ticket for parking too close to the curb? I’ve never heard of that before.

Mariane says:

I was wondering the same thing- how close is too close to a curb?! I have the opposite problem- I seem to park too far away… 🙂

young says:

@Mariane- Whoops. See this is what happen when I blog late at night. I don’t make sense. I meant I was parked too close to that divet in the concrete/ drive way…! Does that make sense?

young says:

@MM- See above..! Sorry I don’t make sense. I can’t describe what its called haha.

Leigh says:

Sounds like February was a good month for you! I love that your travel fund currently has more money than your emergency fund 🙂

I may have asked you this before…but how are you planning on replacing your 12 year old car?

young says:

@Leigh- Well, my car is less than 100,000 km’s.. so I feel it still has a lot of life left in it (I hope). I plan to use my emergency fund and if that doesn’t suffice, I’ll have to dig into my TFSA and sell some shares (not ideal, I know). Of course I will buy used 😉 (and make them spray that new car smell chemical in it).