April 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: 38.7%

For details on savings rate calculations and budget category breakdowns, see my Guide to Net Worth Updates.

Unexpectedly, we had a very nice savings rate this month, but the cause is nothing to celebrate about: it’s due to the CERB government bail-out. My spreadsheet only removes taxes deducted at source, but we’ll have to pay approximately $1400 in taxes on the bail-out, so the true after-tax savings rate is around 22.6%.

Income (+55.62%)

This is not the type of income graph I thought I would be posting on this blog. While I am a big proponent of maximizing government benefits through strategic financial planning, I don’t want to subsist on government handouts. But that’s what the COVID-19 shutdown has done to us, as we had no business at all in April. So this reflects the CERB payments, as well as the one-time family GST increase. The bit of side hustle income I’ve posted below was from chasing down someone who owed us from the first week of March. That’s another thing I won’t be doing, by the way: letting people pick up product and pay later. Not worth the effort of chasing them for weeks on end.

The “other” income I post below is from my parents paying me back for groceries I’ve picked up for them. They’re old, and I’m a young person equipped with a 2-year-old N95 mask that I’ve been re-using for the last 6-weeks, so I do the shopping. Thankfully they’re well stocked up, so they don’t often need things.

Category This month Last month Difference
FULL-TIME JOB
SIDE HUSTLES 127.50 1,752.75 (1,625.25)
GOVERNMENT 6,352.70 2,574.26 3,778.44
DECLUTTERING 10.00 50.00 (40.00)
INVESTMENTS 81.62 (76.81) 158.43
OTHER 137.19 10.93 126.26
TOTAL INCOME 6,709.01 4,311.13 2,397.88

Expenses (-14.22%)

As stated above, the true savings rate is around 22.6% after I pay taxes next year, but for now I’ll just be grateful for the large savings wedge on the graph below. Especially where there’s so much disparity in how the COVID-19 shutdown is affecting people. Some families aren’t eligible for the CERB and are in dire straits, some are eligible but their expenses are so high that it isn’t enough, and others, like us, end up getting more money than they would usually take in. The government has acknowledged that it isn’t fair, but they set the limit at $2000/person so they could roll it out quick. As a rule I apply for any benefits I’m eligible for, as my taxes will go up to pay for them eventually. But it is an unfortunate situation.

Food costs are still higher than usual this month. We did another re-stocking trip, buying more than usual so we can hunker down some more again. We’re trying to keep a healthy stock of pantry items, including dry protein sources such as TVP, beans, and lentils, given the food supply chain disruptions we’ve been hearing about. Thankfully we’re pescatarian and most of the issues are in meat processing plants, but it’s only a matter of time.

Transport costs were the lowest they’ve ever been for us. We didn’t fill up the car at all, because we rarely leave the house (though we try to run the car once a week so it doesn’t seize up). We also pay insurance yearly, so no costs there. Just servicing our auto-loan.

Education expenses were higher because we put some money into the kids’ RESP. Also purchased some books to keep them entertained at home.

Category This month Last month Difference
TAXES
SHELTER (incl. insurance) 779.72 784.37 (4.65)
TRANSPORTATION 330.01 535.30 (205.29)
FOOD & CONSUMABLES 1,513.82 1,760.62 (246.80)
UTILITIES 414.31 415.28 (0.97)
INSURANCE (not house or car) 584.00 (584.00)
HOUSEHOLD 128.66 206.01 (77.36)
CLOTHING, SHOES, ACCESSORIES (not work related) 77.53 (77.53)
HEALTH 74.13 231.26 (157.13)
EDUCATION 524.46 524.66
CHILDREN EXPENSES 34.47 5.70 28.77
PET EXPENSES 56.45 (56.45)
ENTERTAINMENT 9.19 9.19
GIFTS TO OTHERS 11.64 11.64
BUSINESS EXPENSES 193.79 112.11 81.68
EMPLOYMENT EXPENSES
MISC 97.10 24.10 73.00
TOTAL EXPENSES 4,111.30 4,792.74 (681.44)

Balance

From now until the end of the year we should have nice green bars on the balance sheet. Well, perhaps not for July when my property taxes are due, but other than that. Not sure if it’ll ever be this high again where the CERB artificially inflated it, but we’ll see how far our efforts to reduce expenses takes us.

Category This Month Last Month Difference
INCOME 6,709.01 4,311.13 2,397.88
EXPENSES 4,111.30 4,792.74 (681.44)
BALANCE 2,597.71 (481.61) 3,079.32

Net Worth (+1.75%)

Our net worth has been pretty stable these past 2 years, but this month there’s a very slight increase visible in the chart. Yay!

Category This Month Last Month Difference
ASSETS 289,547 286,949 2,598
Liquid (Cash, HISA) 16,981 14,135 2,847
Semi-Liquid (TFSA, RRSP) 710 959 (249)
Fixed (house, car) 271,855 271,855
LIABILITIES 92,842 93,635 (793)
Auto Loan @ 3.99% 8,207 8,508 (302)
Mortgage @ 2.69% 84,636 85,127 (492)
NET WORTH 196,704 193,314 3,391

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