July 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: 31.9%

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

Income (+49.14%)

Woohoo! We really put a push on upping our earnings this month — it was a game to get over $15k, then $16k, then $16.1k, and $16.2k… in the end we got to $16,383.43! Almost half again what we normally take in! Woohoo!

So what did we do? Well, it was a triple paycheque month, so that helped. But we also busted our butts selling a bunch of stuff around the house, and not only did we make $716.44 doing so, but we’re slowly getting more space to LIVE, which lines up with my drive to become a minimalist. My husband and I sold our bikes (hadn’t ridden them in years), our entertainment unit, a cat tower, a bunch of toys and books, a camping table, and we gave away a couch for free to someone getting their first apartment.

Also, July marks the recalculation of the Canada Child Benefit. I’ve written before on how you can try to maximize your government benefits if you want to check that out! Our CCB went up $370.80/month, and our quarterly GST credit went up $405.47/quarter, and both of those payments came in this month. Good planning is worth it, folks!

Other nice sources of income included $110 in credit card cash back rewards, and $194.86 in investment gains.

Category This month Last month Difference
FULL-TIME JOB 10,745.55 7,163.70 3,581.85
SIDE HUSTLES 486.35 137.00 349.35
GOVERNMENT 4,090.00 3,177.45 912.55
DECLUTTERING 716.44 100.95 615.49
INVESTMENTS 194.86 74.20 120.66
OTHER 150.23 331.98 (181.75)
TOTAL INCOME 16,383.43 10,985.28 5,398.15

Expenses (+96.09%)

We planned to put our month of big expenses in the same month as our triple paycheque, but the expenses were a doozy! The biggest was some expensive equipment for our business ($4,284.04), but we also paid property taxes ($1,286.18). If I exclude those two expenses the rest of the month is on par with last month ($4,882.67 this month, vs $4,797.11 last month), but still higher than May, which was only $4,390.88.

There were a couple of other odds and ends that also made this month higher: we renewed our annual Costco membership ($138), got masks for the kids for school ($126.47), and had to replace a video baby monitor our toddler dropped and broke ($125 on eBay). I also had some hobby expenses ($65.57) to get some replacement pens… they’re expensive, but I was able to get 20 of them, and they’re permanent and archival — I go through a lot of pens with my journaling hobby.

Of course we also paid more than usual for anything that’s done by paycheque deduction, since there was an extra paycheque (health/dental insurance, other employment expenses). Thankfully we got a break on our utilities due to a credit on our account, and I managed to keep our food budget under $1000 ($873.10).

Category This month Last month Difference
TAXES 1,567.53 1,045.02 522.51
SHELTER (incl. insurance) 2,096.42 777.43 1,318.99
TRANSPORTATION 398.07 305.01 93.06
FOOD & CONSUMABLES 873.10 1,046.46 (173.37)
UTILITIES 237.07 414.31 (177.24)
INSURANCE (health, life, data) 440.55 293.70 146.85
HOUSEHOLD 25.90 401.83 375.94
CLOTHING, SHOES, ACCESSORIES (not work related) (22.99) 22.99 (45.98)
HEALTH 175.15 17.44 157.71
EDUCATION 42.56 12.60 29.96
PET EXPENSES 17.31 10.91 6.40
ENTERTAINMENT 65.57 29.99 35.58
GIFTS TO OTHERS 28.73 (28.73)
BUSINESS EXPENSES 4,284.04 312.22 3,971.82
EMPLOYMENT EXPENSES 709.77 479.18 230.59
DB PENSION + CPP 2,656.74 1,771.16 885.58
MISC 3.79 78.46 (74.67)
TOTAL EXPENSES 13,819.40 7,047.45 6,771.95

Balance (-34.89%)

Despite this being our highest income month of the year, because we had some big expenses this month, our overall balance to save was lower. This of course doesn’t count what I’m putting away into my pension and CPP, which are also savings and are included in the pre-tax savings rate at the start of this article.

Category This Month Last Month Difference
INCOME 16,383.43 10,985.28 5,398.15
EXPENSES 13,819.40 7,047.45 6,771.95
BALANCE 2,564.03 3,937.83 (1,373.80)

Net Worth (+1.72%)

Cracked $210k! Next goal: $220k, hope to hit it in 3 months (by my Oct 2020 update). I can actually see the line going up, and it’s nice to see that red “semi-liquid” assets bar reappearing these past few months and growing away!

Category This Month Last Month Difference
ASSETS 300,751 297,990 2,761
Liquid (Cash, HISA) 19,092 18,975 117
Semi-Liquid (TFSA, RRSP) 9,804 7,160 2,644
Fixed (house, car) 271,855 271,855 271,855
LIABILITIES 90,492 91,278 (785)
Auto Loan @ 3.99% 7,295 7,600 (305)
Mortgage @ 2.69% 83,197 83,678 (481)
NET WORTH 210,259 206,713 3,546

Assets Not Counted in Net Worth (+1.39%)

Category This Month Last Month Difference
PENSION ESTIMATED VALUE 94,168.24 92,400.40 1,767.84
RESP 20,114.72 19,666.34 448.38

Your Money Or Your Life Wallchart

My wall chart does not look like the wall chart of someone devoted to FIRE… my spending went up as my income went up. As I explained above, this was due to a planned business investment and property taxes, not lifestyle inflation, but it sure looks like lifestyle inflation on the graph. Thankfully this should settle back down to normal levels next month.

But did you see that income line passing $16k? Woohoo! I would love to somehow get that to be my norm and not this abnormal twice-yearly peak. That would equate to an income of $192,000… that seems so out of this world right now. I think I can get there though. I’m sure as hell going to try!

Years to FIRE

From this point onward, I’d like to really start looking at my savings rate more. According to Mr. Money Mustache’s shockingly simple math behind early retirement, if I can maintain a savings rate of 50%, then it will take 17 years to retire if starting at $0 net worth. I struggle to get to 50%, but I’m going to make 50% my goal. I need to get out of my job before I’m 55 in order to take the commuted value of the pension. My pension goes poof when my husband and I die — if I take the commuted value it becomes wealth I can pass on. So I have to FIRE in 18 years or less.

I’d prefer to FIRE when my kids are still relatively young… but to FIRE in 8 years I’d need to save 72% of my income. Holy moly! I can either view this as cutting back my expenses to $2550/month (not even possible, considering I’d need more than that just to cover my paycheque deductions!), or increasing my income. I need about $5000/month if I’m not working, and $6750/month when I am due to the deductions, so to make that 28% of my spending I would need to bring in a whopping $24,107/month! That’s more than double what we usually bring in. Ugh!! I need to hustle!!

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