May 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

May 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: 56.3% For details on savings rate calculations and budget category breakdowns, see my Guide to Net Worth Updates. Income (+64.37%) Why heeeellllooo full-time employment! It feels SO GOOD to get back to receiving a paycheque after subsisting on side hustle income for the past two years. I’m tracking my gross income, including all employer benefits, because I want a good feel for what I’m getting out of being a wage slave. When you look at net pay it feels like so little; honestly looking at my full compensation before tax has been a little humbling. Yeah, I…

April 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

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…

March 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

March 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: n/a For details on savings rate calculations and budget category breakdowns, see my Guide to Net Worth Updates. Note: My January through April 2020 updates will be odd because my new job doesn’t start until the end of April 2020, so I’m typically drawing down on savings. Half way through this month we got absolutely clobbered from COVID-19, which brought our side hustle income to $0 as everyone cancelled their orders. So this month can hardly be described as a normal month. It’s a bastard child that’s half normal and half pandemic. Next month we’ll be in…

How to use RRSP contributions to maximize the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and other government benefits

How to use RRSP contributions to maximize the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and other government benefits

What benefits can I increase by making RRSP contributions? RRSP deductions are a beautiful thing. First there’s the normal reasons: You get a tax refund for the amount at your highest marginal tax rate, and when you withdraw the amount later in life you’ll likely be in a lower tax bracket, so you save tax overall. But they’re not that simple. These additional points make RRSPs an important weapon in your financial planning arsenal: RRSP deductions lower your net income for the year, potentially boosting the amount of means-tested government benefits you may be eligible for. If you don’t use…

February 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: n/a For details on savings rate calculations and budget category breakdowns, see my Guide to Net Worth Updates. Note: My January through April 2020 updates will be odd because my new job doesn’t start until the end of April 2020, so I’m typically drawing down on savings. This is the first month I can compare two months of tracking, and it’s a bit sad to see my money drain away, but taking 2 years off was what we saved it for in the first place. Plus this month had a lot of high bills, which isn’t typical.…

How I saved money by switching cell phone providers

How I saved money by switching cell phone providers

I’ve always been envious of people in the States with their cheap cell phone plans. But lately I saw an ad on Facebook for Public Mobile and I finally switched out my decade-old cell phone plan. I’ve been grandfathering our current cell phone plan for years. My husband and I paid $25/month for unlimited talk between us, and unlimited text messaging, and we had 200 minutes to use for other things. We used to pay for 100MB of data on my phone for $10/month, but I got rid of that about a year ago to save cash, since I didn’t…

January 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: 10.30% For details on savings rate calculations and budget category breakdowns, see my Guide to Net Worth Updates. My January through April 2020 updates will be odd because my new job doesn’t start until the end of April, so I’m typically drawing down on savings. I know the goal of this blog is to sock away the dough, but until my sabbatical is over I’m going to be using said dough. Despite this, I managed to save money somehow this month – likely because of the large influx of side hustle orders. Income This first month of…

Guide to Net Worth Updates: Budget Categories and Savings Rate Calculations

Tracking Expenses After reading Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robins, I began to diligently track every cent that came into or out of my life. I adore spreadsheets, and with a raw data sheet and liberal use of the SUMIFS function in various summary sheets, I made an epic workbook that not only tracked income and expenses in 196 different categories, but also reconciled my monthly credit card statements automatically. Hell yeah! For simplicity (and to see larger trends) I’ll only post 18 top-level expenses and 6 top-level sources of income in my monthly updates, but in this…

Review of “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robins

Review of “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robins

Introduction Vicki Robin’s book Your Money or Your Life is a classic in the FIRE movement. It was first published in 1992, but a new edition was released in 2018 (that’s the one I read). My library didn’t have a copy, so I waited several months to get my grubby little hands on it through an inter-library loan. After reading about it indirectly for the better part of a year, I was anxious to dive into the nitty gritty details of the (in)famous wall chart, and being the data-loving nerd I am, I have started tracking every penny in and…

How to save $10.99 to $16.99 per month off your Netflix subscription

How to save $10.99 to $16.99 per month off your Netflix subscription

Everyone I know has a Netflix subscription. And why not? It’s a cheaper choice than cable and it’s on demand 24/7/365. And even though our family is on the path to financial independence, we never really thought twice about the $13.99 we give away every month. Until today that is. It’s been about a year since we started minimizing anything and everything in our lives, and we finally realized we never applied our WIBIN (“would I buy it now”) filter to Netflix. Here are the facts: I have never in my adult life subscribed to cable, so Netflix isn’t saving…