2017 year end update

I started tracking my net worth and spending in November 2014 using The Budgeting Tool . The woman who runs the site is named Sherry from Save. Spend. Splurge.. Sherry is money goals to me. She was once in a shit ton of debt as well but managed to dig herself out. Now her net worth is over $500K! Sherry also comes from an Asian family so I feel like I can relate to her story. She has also dated a money moron in the past but came to her senses quicker than I did. She also is a foodie and has impeccable style. I feel like she is my spirit animal. Haha!

The Budgeting Tool is USD$50 but she matches that amount and gives it to charity. The tool has helped me tremendously. I input my income and expenses and I’m able to track my progress towards debt freedom. The Excel spreadsheets all link together and are pretty much dummy proof.

In November 2014, my net worth was -$31K (eek!). My net worth at the beginning of 2017 was $55K and currently, it is $74K. I admit I haven’t been super strict with my budgeting this year as you can see in the line graph. The little dips are from adjustments I made to my budget or from splurges (yes, I know I can’t afford to splurge if I’m in debt) but the important thing is it is trending upwards. I will need to exude willpower next year for all my money goals. Happy new year, everyone!

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I don’t buy Christmas presents for anyone. Bah humbug!

It’s true. I’m a motherlovin’ Scrooge. Ok, I’m not truly a Scrooge but at this age, my friends and I have come to an agreement that we don’t need to buy gifts for one another. Our attitude is “if we want something, we will buy it ourselves”. Instead, we prefer to get together and eat. This arrangement has also applied to my relationships. My fiancé and I aren’t buying gifts for one another. We’re just taking my parents out for lunch then cooking an indulgent meal for dinner. That’s truly what I want most; to spend time with my loved ones. Although my fiancé did bring up a good point: if we do have children then we will have to deal with Christmas. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Whatever you celebrate, celebrate it well! Happy holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa!

Past actions do affect the future

I recently got a home and auto quote in hopes of saving money. I was so happy when I received my quote back. I was about to save $359 per year but then she ran my insurance history and said I had an at fault claim in 2015. My quoted auto premium went from $1,032 to $2784. WTF!

I wracked my brain and then it hit me. The Ex’s brother had borrowed an SUV that I was stupidly paying insurance on and he backed into a gas station. I was stressed out when I received an email about the accident and let insurance handle it. Little did I know it would bite me in the ass years later when all I wanted to do was get a cheaper rate. Let this be a lesson to you: your past actions do affect the future. Also, don’t date a money moron with moronic siblings.

Planning for 2018

I am a planner. I need to have a plan for everything I do. I think that’s why I was so frustrated with The Ex. He was more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” type of person which drove me nuts. I am happy that I am with someone that appreciates my planning because he is also excited for the next chapter of our lives together.

In 2018, I plan to:
● elope/get married
● pay off consumer debt
● rebuild emergency fund
● start saving for a house down payment
● start a baby fund
● prepare my body for pregnancy

Damn! Looks like 2018 will be a big year for me which seems to involve a lot of money. I am also working on a secret goal that I hope to share in the first quarter of 2018 if I’m successful in achieving it. Fingers crossed!

How I met my fiancé

I didn’t exactly have high hopes for myself once I decided to dip my toes back into the dating pool. I knew I wanted to ease myself back into it but also wanted to be able to do it from the comfort of my couch while sitting in my underwear and stuffing my face with pizza or let’s be honest, from the comfort of my toilet.

Enter Bumble. It’s described as a feminist Tinder in that women have to make the first move within 24 hours after being matched with someone or else that match disappears forever. Dun dun dun! I liked that concept. I’ve taken control before and asked guys out. How hard could this be?

I downloaded the app and made my profile. Soon, I was humming and hawing over each match. Do I swipe left or right? I don’t even remember if a swipe right is a yes or no but I was pretty picky with it. I wanted someone who had the same hobbies as me and was down to earth. I saw a lot of people I knew which was kind of awkward. My game plan took me forever to get through the matches. It all went out the window one day when I felt overwhelmed and I started basing my decision on “would I sleep with this dude?” I rarely swiped right and then I landed on my now-fiancé’s profile. It was a shot of his perfectly chiseled chest and abs from the mouth down. “Damn, who dis?!” I thought to myself. I’m not sure why but it took me forever to make a decision. I just stared at his pictures trying to figure out how such a handsome and fit man was single? Then my ego popped into my head and said “well, you’re hot and single as well. He might be in the same boat as you. Would you sleep with this dude?” Before I knew it, I swiped right. I was shocked with myself but carried on with swiping. Soon, I was met with a “We’re out of matches for you”. Well, shit. I’ve just been through the whole city from the comfort of my own toilet.

Imagine my surprise when that fine specimen of a man messaged me back. Joyest of all joys! We messaged back and forth in the app and soon exchanged numbers for texting. I was starting to really like the guy. He had the same humour as I did, liked doing the same things and also hated all people (inside joke but also not totally kidding. Haha!). Then all of a sudden, the messages stopped. I was sad. I had finally made a connection with someone and they just stopped messaging me. Was I being ghosted? Was it something I said?

A week passed and I was both angry and sad. I tried to get over it. I messaged him on the Bumble app and texted him but no reply. My imagination went wild. Was he cat-fishing me the whole time? Was he a married man and his wife caught him messaging me? Or was “he” a woman?

I finally got a message from him saying that he had dropped his phone (right, buddy, right) and that he was sorry. He even sent me a video of his phone on the fritz (aww, that was a cute touch). I wanted to call his bluff so I said we should meet up and invited him to my birthday potluck. He told me this later but he shit his pants and declined the invite. I, however, was very persistent and wanted to see if this guy was for real so after day drinking in the sunshine at my potluck, two friends and I decided to go to the club where he worked security on weekends to see if he was, in fact, real.

We rolled up into the club and danced. I didn’t see him anywhere and it was time to go. My friends had to use the washroom and that’s when I saw him. He was real!!! OMFGLOLWTF! I drunkenly looked at him then walked up to him and gave him a hug. I also tried to cop a feel but couldn’t find his butt. Don’t judge me! It was my birthday! Yes, I was a grown ass 33 years old but he told me that by coming to his work showed that I had initiative and he agreed to meet up with me for a walk in the park the following Wednesday. He was super cautious in who he dated (long story but he got involved with a transgendered girl that he didn’t know was transgendered until one of her ex’s messaged him. Can you start to see how we both have unconventional dating histories?). He said he was super nervous for our walk but the rest is history. Everything has been so easy since we got together. I think I’ll leave out some parts when I tell our kids how we met. Ahaha!

What I am doing with my pension after leaving my job

I finally received my pension paperwork from my previous job from when I “quit” back in February 2017. I basically have the same job but now I’m under my boss’ private company and no longer contribute to a pension or receive Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) matching. Oh, and I took an $6K pay cut. What a bum deal.

Anyways, the letter says I have two options:
A) I can leave the pension funds there and receive about $731/month when I retire
B) I can transfer the commuted value of $79K to a Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA) and take $25K as a cash lump sum (this amount was over the taxable limit… err, or something) which I will pay withholding tax on. I originally thought I only had $59K but I guess they add on 2.4%.

I chose option A. Opening up a LIRA was quick and easy on Questrade since I already had an existing Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and RRSP account with them. I was fretting about getting a signature from an authorized person at Questrade for my pension form. I went on the Questrade chat and asked what I should do. The person I chatted with sent me his personal email and said he could get the signature for me. I received a response the very next day. I faxed and mailed all the documents off to my pension plan provider so now it’s in their hands.

What will I do with the cash lump sum? I reckon I will receive over $18K after withholding tax. I’m hoping the pension people will process my paperwork next year. The cash lump sum in addition to my salary will bump me up into the next tax bracket and I don’t want to have to pay additional taxes because of it. I plan to throw the whole cash lump sum onto my consumer debt which will bring it down by 50%. I’m so excited!

What will I do with the funds in my LIRA? Uhh…. can I get back to you on that? I have no fucking clue. I have some reading to do. I’ll most likely use the same strategy as in my RRSP: Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with low MERs or I’ll just use the Canadian Couch Potato strategy.