Friday, 17 January 2014

The Fire Hose Effect

Have you every tried drinking out of a fire hose? I can't say that I have done it literally, but I tend to do it quite often figuratively. In the past year I have figuratively drunk out of a fire hose of information by:

  • Starting my Masters
  • Taking a course before my Masters attended mostly by people with PhD's (including a number of people who are my Master's professors)
  • Decided that a normal course load wasn't enough and went off and signed up for a Mechanical Engineering course ... when my background is nursing. 
  • Took a 10 week PRIDE course complete with huge binder
  • Picked a difficult Thesis subject for my Masters
I really am a glutton for punishment aren't I? Why do I do it? Not sure I entirely know the answer, nut I'll give it a shot. 

When I walk away from a class with a headache from thinking too much I know I've made some intellectual progress. Add to that the fact that there are a million different things to learn in the world if I take it slow I'll never accomplish everything that I want to. To top it off, by absorbing information and learning from many fields on many topics I become a resource for those around me. That means that I can help to build the world's scientific knowledge and I become irreplaceable to my company. 

All in all, I'll probably never learn. After all why walk when you can run?

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Financial Autopilot

Over the past four months I've been a tad busy. (Insert me rolling on the floor laughing at the understatement of the century.) As a result my finances got interesting. I basically went on autopilot for four months. Pay check came in, got divided up, and bills got paid. But other than that finances got ignored.

Then the new year came and I took stock of where I was and was very happy. My good habits were sufficient to put me in a very good place. This month when I looked at my net worth I realized that I had surpassed my goal of being financially self sustaining. I've hit a net worth of $161,347.49 and I only needed to $159,400 to proclaim my goal completed. I had passed it (a year and a half early) and didn't even realize it.

If you're wondering what this financially self sustaining thing is click on the link bellow and you'll get the full explanation. 

Goal:  $159,400 by July 2015
Current:  $161,347.49


All of this was possible because I had instilled good financial habits including spending little, saving a lot and investing every month like clockwork. Other mile stones I've hit are:

-I'm down to 14 years left on my mortgage. 
-I have enough money set aside for this years 10% payment on my mortgage ($15,200) which I can pay down on the 8th of November 2014. (This will be my third of four payments for this amount, the fifth 10% payment will be approximately $1,900 so that I don't pay off my mortgage before the five year term is up.) The mortgage plan is going really smoothly and I'm supper happy with the progress. 
-I have just over  $6,400 set aside to put in my RRSP once I have the room after tax time. I should have $10,440 worth of room this year so I'll be able to fill up over half of my RRSP contribution room right off the bat. The rest of the room I'll be able to fill up over the 2014 year with contributions of $335 a month. So over the year I'll use all my room up for maximum tax refund. 
-My total Retirement Savings have reached the happy total of $29,140. Retirement is best saved for when your not actually looking at the pot grow. 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Pay Day January 2014

My budgeting for the month is a bit off because I wasn't able to pick up my check until I got back from holidays. Nonetheless my monthly pay check is in for a total of $5,635.22.  My pay has increased for the next few months as I’ve paid my EI for the year and my end of year bonus worth $2,500. My budgeting will continue as if I did not see this extra money and the surplus will be put towards my House Payments.

Housing 40% - $1,439.35
Mortgage - $646.62
House Maintenance - $315.00
Housing Taxes - $192.00
House Insurance - $72.00
Utilities – $213.73
Total – $1,439.35

Savings 10% - $359.83 – All going to my RRSP

Extra Mortgage Payments 10% - $359.83

Transportation 15% - $539.75
Bus Pass – $0
Train - $0
Other - $15
Car Savings – $0
Total - $15
Leftover - $524.75

Life 25% - $899.63
Food - $130
Cell – $30
Internet - $60
Health Insurance – $28.52
Clothes - $10
Gifts - $10
Misc - $10
Big Ticket Item - $100
Entertainment - $10
Social/Sports - $0
Financial Planning - $14
Cat - $10
Slush – $0
Of Note:

- I have a total of $4,166.14 to put against my mortgage. My monthly payment is currently $782.41 but I can double up my payment to $1,564.82 and have $2,601.32 left over to add to my yearly 10% pot.

-I’ve added $5 to my monthly budget for Health Insurance which will cover my Insurance deductable for a year. 

-Incidentally this pay check has given a jump start to a couple of my goal . . . but I'll let you know about those a little later. 

Friday, 3 January 2014

2013 Review

I've decided to break down a year's worth of spending since it will all have been done while living in my current house which means that these should reflect next year's numbers pretty accurately. 

Total Spent 2013 – $19,165.04
Total Income 2013 – $55,142.62

In other words I’ve spent 34.8% of what I earned in the past year.

Expected Spending 2014 – $23,176.72
Expected Income 2014 – $30,000

I’m giving myself a very conservative expected income assuming no side jobs, and assuming that my disability insurance pays out. Also it should by noted that the $8,000 that I expect to spend on my Masters tuition over the next year is already sitting in a savings account. But it is nice to see that even with conservative estimates my Income is greater than my expenditures.


Total Spent – $47,477.19
Interest – $4200 *
Principal – $43,277.19 *

Total Expected Next Year - $34,134.32
Expected Interest – $3,300.00*
Expected Principal – $30,834.32*

*Numbers are estimates

Monthly Expenses

Spent per Month
Total Spent
Expected 2014
House Maint.
House Taxes

House Insurance

Car Payments


Social Memb. Fees

Financial Planning
(1) It will be a tad cheaper since I’ll be vegetarian all year long.
(2) For the months that I needed a pass, which ended in August. I have a pass included with my Masters Tuition.
(3) Actually it was a wagon payment.
(4) I only had my parents van for one month, I have no expectation to pay for gas in the next year.
(5) I am now out of Wisdom Teeth to remove. : D
(6) Why break my streak?
(7) Only paid the monthly fee for 9 months, it will be 12 months next year.


Professional Memberships
Masters Application
CPR Recertification
Passport Renewal

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year

I generally don't partake in large New Year Celebrations. I spend it with may family, we'll have a nice dinner, a movie or games and then a small toast (Egg Nog!) when the count down is over. Despite the fact that our celebrations aren't grand I've always enjoyed New Years Eve. There's just something about standing on the cusp of a new year that makes me excited about what the next year is going to hold. After all the last year was grand so the next one should be stupendous. Here's what 2014 has in store for me:

-Four masters classes in four months. (The normal load is three but I don't do things small.)

-I'll start taking respite foster care placements. I've working at the approval for 7 months, but the social worker in charge of my file says it will be signed soon and I can start the fun part.

-Lots of new stories written down. I've been writing stories down since I was a kid, but it was just in the past November that I made it a priority, and that feels great. In 2014 I'll plan on spending an minimum hour a day (20 min on the bus to work, 30 min on my lunch break and 20 min on the bus home) writing fiction. Who knows? Maybe I'll even manage to sell a story.

-Summer vacation at the cottage. With my cousins summer vacation is always a hoot and nature doesn't get any better than my grandfather's cottage.

-Start my thesis. Kind of a big scary unknown, but I've got some great classmates and a couple of really supportive supervisors.

-At my current rate of saving I should become Financially Self Sustaining sometime in 2014. Which means that, if I really had to, I could live off of my Net Worth indefinitely. (Granted there would be no fun and my house would have to be sold for more modest accommodations, but I could keep a roof over my head and food on the table.)

In short my 2014 looks like it's going to hold a lot of interesting happenings, and I'm looking forward to it.