Welcome to my 12th Financial Report Update in a row! With a $20k increase since I started tracking my Net Worth (which was in August 2016) and a $15k Net Worth increase since last December, we’re doing way better than expected and hopefully this is only the beginning! We’ve switched to a single income couple for a few months already (until my SO finds a new job) but we still managed to have a really nice 67% Savings Rate this month (40% on average for the year), which was feasible because we’re on vacation with our family at the moment and our expenses are basically… zero! This month we also started our newborn son his education account with the maximum contribution to benefit from government grants but were not able to save much more after filling it up.
As expected I’m once again really late regarding the publishing date of my August financial report as we’re still on vacation in Europe with our family. Next month should be better when it comes to post planning as we’ll be back from our vacation. Anyway, here’s what happened in August!
If you have already read the following introduction section at least once, feel free to skip down to the juicy new content starting here: Financial Report August 2017.
Once a month I’m publishing a detailed report regarding my financial stats, in which I try to reflect over the past month – what went well or what didn’t go as planned. This also allows me to stay motivated towards the dream of being financially independent someday. My goal with these monthly reports is also transparency and I’d like my readers to emulate my successes and avoid my failures.
It feels kind of strange to publish all my financial details here, but it’s also a very motivating feeling. We have all pretty much different backgrounds regarding our personal finances, but hopefully my detailed reports will motivate you to keep on pushing harder. Whether it is to start a blog, or at the very least to start tracking your Net Worth, you can’t go wrong here as there are no bad choices! You can check out my favorite resources if you don’t know where to begin with.
My go-to tool to track all the data to generate these reports are extracted from my Mint account. I find it really easy to budget / analyze and visualize the trends, and I’m also a big fan of their iOS App! A nice feature is that it can be integrated very easily with Wealthsimple (since early January, Wealthsimple is now also available to people living in the US and it’s already in beta for people in the UK). Feel free to read my complete Wealthsimple review here, if you want to start investing easily and you’ll get a nice $50 bonus when you register with my referral link.
If you’re living in the US, you should also definitely check out Personal Capital. I have many friends back in the US using it and they absolutely love it! Basically it’s like Mint, still totally free, but more focused on investments, and it allows you to see your checking, savings, investments and retirement accounts in one secure, convenient place. Unfortunately, it’s not available in Canada (hopefully this will change someday).
All stats on this report are combined for Mrs. FFG and I, and are in Canadian dollars, as we’re currently living in Canada. Here is a list of the sub parts of my report (you can click on each link to reach directly one specific part):
Table of Contents
If you’re interested, all the reports I have written since I started this website are listed on my financial stats page!
So here it is, my complete financial report of August 2017. I hope you’ll find it inspiring, and perhaps this will motivate you to start your own website.
August 2017 Income
Our income for August was a bit higher than expected as we’re visiting our whole family and friends in Europe until late September, many people have gifted us with cash directly which I chose to count as income as it quickly added up to $1k! The next few months should stay the same regarding our income as we won’t have these cash gifts anymore but we’ll be having some child benefit allowance from Canada (around $500 per month). And then my SO should be starting her new job around Christmas time which will finally lead to a dual income after many years of a single income and a student income. This should do some good regarding our finances!
Total Gross Income August 2017: $5,000
- Previous Month: $4,000
- Difference: +$1,000
August 2017 Expenses
As expected our expenses for August were pretty low (around $1.7k) but that’s only because we’ve spent the whole month with our family and had like nothing to pay for! We’re at around $24k expenses for the last eight months, so we should definitely be able to stay below our cumulative goal of $48k expenses per year.
- Home: $1,175
- Bills & Utilities: $240
- Auto & Transport: $290
- Health & Fitness: $0
- Food & Dining: $0
- Travel: $0
- Shopping & Entertainment: $78
Total Expenses August 2017: $1,783
- Previous Month: $2,443
- Difference: -$660
August 2017 Investments & Savings
For the past few months, we’ve been investing and saving in
five (back to three) different ways which are nearly all on auto-pilot: My Simplified Pension Plan (SIPP), where my employer offers a 100% match of my contributions, up to 2% of my salary (pre-tax). This was ended in June, as I’m on parental leave I can’t contribute anymore to this account until I’m back to work. Our emergency fund in an High Interest Savings Account (HISA) with Tangerine in which I contribute $100 per paycheck.This was also ended as of early July as we reached a nice $6k buffer as en emergency fund and we feel comfortable with it. We might however increase it to $10k in the near future.
- My Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) account with Wealthsimple, in which I contribute $100 per paycheck.
- Our vacation fund with Mylo (Non-Registered Account). So far the last few months, Mylo has invested automatically a total of $205 from rounding up my usual transactions!
- Our car loan. This category of savings includes only the extra one-time payments we make to our car loan.
As we’re on a single income at the moment, I have stopped doing some lump-sum contributions, and will probably resume some in October. Mainly due to this, our savings & investments were supposed to be quite low this month (only around $500), but we had a lot of family gifting us some money for our child birth which led us to invest a $2.5k lump-sum in his own account. All-in-all between the newly opened RESP account and an extra payment on our car loan, we were still able to save a nice $3k this month!
As stated, early August we chose to drop a single lump-sum of $2.5k to our son RESP account with Wealthsimple. For those who don’t know it’s an account dedicated to children education where the government match 20% of your contributions (up to $2.5k per year to get the maximum). Kinda like a 529 account in the US, but this one is for Canada only. A 20% guaranteed return definitely feels like a no-brainer when it comes to investing and should be part of every parent financial plan, if possible.
Even if I’m not counting saving for our child education in our net worth as it’s technically his money, I’m counting it against our savings rate to reflect how much we really were able to save each month.
- RESP Account (Wealthsimple): +$2,500
Total Investments & Savings August 2017: +$2,947
- Previous Month: +$2,696
- Difference: +$251
August 2017 Net Worth
Since buying back our car a few months ago, our car loan is now our only liability. Our assets are slowly progressing and this should be the same at least until late September as we’re currently on a long family vacation! Anyway here are the details of our assets and liabilities as of early September, with a new addition this month with our son RESP account.
- SIPP Account (employer & employee): $11,584
- RRSP Account (Wealthsimple): $6,680
- Emergency Fund (Tangerine): $6,000
- Vacation Fund (Mylo): $205
- Car: $14,800
Assets (not included in our Net Worth)
- RESP Account (Wealthsimple): $2,500
- Car Loan: $9,997
Net Worth August 2017: $29,272
- Previous Month: $28,660
- Difference: +$612 [+2.2%]
My short-term goal is to reach a Net Worth of $100,000 (which we should be able to reach before 2019). We’re currently at 29.27% on this goal.
Net Worth short-term goal: 29.27%
August 2017 Savings Rate
In terms of savings, we were aiming at a 15% Net Savings Rate last year and an average of 20% for 2017. As of early September we’re currently sitting on an average 41% Savings Rate for 2017. We’re still on track to reach our 20% savings rate goal on average this year, and it should be done even more faster if/when when my SO starts her new job!
Net Savings Rate = Savings / (Gross Income – Taxes + Pre-Tax Contributions)
- August 2017 Savings: $2,947
- August 2017 Gross Income: $5,000
- August 2017 Taxes: $620
- August 2017 Pre-Tax Contributions: $0
Net Savings Rate: 2947 / (5000 – 620 + 0)
Net Savings Rate August 2017: 67.28%
- Previous Month: 19.53%
- Difference: +47.75%
August 2017 Summary
I’m always planning ahead with a zero-based budget in mind. This is an easy way to figure out where everything we’re earning is going. Keeping this in mind, let’s summarize where our gross income for the month of August 2017 went to:
- Gross Income (I): $5,000
- Expenses (E): $1,783
- Investments & Savings Post-Tax (S): $2,947
- Taxes (T): $620
- Transfer from Savings (TR): $350
As a zero-based approach, here are the details:
I – E – S – T + TR = $5,000 – $1,783 – $2,947 – $620 + $350 = $0
And this wraps up my detailed financial report of August 2017! I hope I’ve inspired you with this report (my complete list of reports are listed on my financial stats page), and that you had as much fun looking at mine as I had looking at others! Remember that it’s not a race though, even if the journey seems like a marathon sometimes.
It took me a few months before deciding to start a blog, but this really helped me to focus on my long-term goal of reaching financial independence. Everyone has to take the first steps if they are willing to reach financial freedom, and I’m convinced that everyone with the right resources and some reading can reach its goal!