$132, 751 (+0.9%)

This month was pretty horrible in terms of spending.  There are many reasons for this- these include a lump sum payment for the car insurance this month (I refuse to pay the auto insurance company interest if I were to pay monthly), $500 for the window treatments (went with Venetian blinds due to the potential toxicity of PVC faux wood blinds), and finally being dragged to a warehouse sale which I have sworn to myself to stay away from.

Warehouse sales are evil.  They even had my beloved Hudson jeans (retail $150+) for only $60!  Impulse buying, deep discounts, final sales, pressure= all a bad mix which often results in buyer’s remorse.  I went in there expecting not to buy anything but of course ended up buying some dresses (dresses + warehouse sale = my kryptonite in terms of frugality).  I bought three dresses and one clutch for $260.  It was only going to be $140, but the sales lady offered to give me an extra 50% off the warehouse price for this dress I really had my eye on (everything else was 50% off, except for this particular brand at the warehouse sale).  She was the buyer for that brand, so she offered to give me a discount.  Ugh…

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


CASH: $10743 (-0.5%)

  • More money Pictures, Images and PhotosBoyfriend 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 $1692 saved up for my goal of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro (highest peak in Africa) within 1-2 years.  If you want to help contribute to my personal lifelong dream, feel free to sign up for an ING account with my orange key.  You’ll get $25 if you start an account with $100, and I will get $25 too.  🙂

STOCKS: $18037 (+4.7%)

  • I realize that I forgot to include my shares of a stock I shared with my mother (it was before I had my own brokerage account) in my net worth update since December 2010! So I’ve added it and made a note to include it from now on.
  • 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 (even though our dollar is high now)

RRSP: $11241 (+1.3%)

  • 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 have about $700 contribution room left to max out my RRSP for 2011. The RRSP is maxed out for this year.  I am seriously thinking about maxing out my TFSA instead (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 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.

OTHER INVESTMENTS: $3234 (-2.3%)

  • 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.
  • This lonely mutual fund hasn’t been moving much, unlike the rest of the market. Once I hit January 1, 2012 I’m going to move that money elsewhere ;)

TFSA: $7670 (-2%)

  • I bought some more Exchange Income Corporation (about a 7.8% annual dividend yield) and Sunlife (4.8% annual dividend yield) this month.  A reader suggested I start DRIPing some shares to maximize dividends, so I am looking into this.
  • I signed up for a Tax Free Trading Account with Questrade and my TFSA consists 100% of stocks
  • I have about $8,000 I can put back in this year to avoid the penalty from our good friends at the Canada Revenue Agency.  We are allowed $5000 contribution a year-and this is year 3 of the TFSA, so one can have $15000 in their TFSA.


  • I forked over $1500 for my auto insurance.  I should probably look into some alternative auto insurance providers, now that I have more than 10 years of driving experience under my belt (it is said that the Crown Corporation of ICBC is better for young drivers, whereas alternative auto insurance providers are better for people who have good driving records and are older)


  • 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: $304248 (-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.

Credit Card: $2339

  • This huge credit card bill is thanks to my friends at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia for my yearly auto insurance.
  • 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 basically charge everything to my card to reap the benefits (free flights and hotel stays here I come!)
  • I got the SPG AMEX card and unfortunately the fun has come to an end- I switched to another Amex card (to be announced…!).
  • 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?)