Welcome to my 14th Financial Report Update! This is also my last financial report of the year, and oh boy so many changes happened this year! With a new kid, a relocation 3,500+ miles away and a new job (soon enough hopefully!), 2018 will definitely be a totally different year. As opposed to last month, which was more than average, December 2017 was totally awesome for us regarding our finances as our Net Worth grew by a massive 75% last month and we finally reached $50k.
We’re still exploring and discovering Vancouver on a daily basis, and I must admit that even if it’s really expensive to live here, it’s also a wonderful city! But as we’re currently on a single income, and with daycare coming soon (and of course Vancouver has one of the highest cost of daycare in Canada hehe), we might have to restrict our entertainment budget a little bit more and wait a few weeks before trying everything Vancouver has to offer! We still managed to have an average 30% Savings Rate for 2017 so all in all I’m still quite satisfied.
Two important things also happened last month. I started investing with Lending Loop, which I think is a great idea to diversify your investments. I also decided to include in my Net Worth the $1k I invested in Cryptocurrencies back in March 2017, because at that time I was like hey why not. Turns out that as of last month, those $1k invested have grown to a whooping $21k (more on this later in this post). So that’s what explains such a huge boost in our Net Worth.
Anyway, here’s what happened in October!
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 December 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 reaching financial independence 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 like it because it’s 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 (which has been available for people in the US since January 2017 and for people in the UK since September 2017). Feel free to read my complete Wealthsimple review here, if you want to start investing easily and you’ll get a nice $50 bonus to get started with Wealthsimple.
If you’re living in the US, you should also definitely check out Personal Capital. I have many friends 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 my SO 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 sub 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 December 2017. I hope you’ll find it inspiring, and perhaps this will motivate you to start your own website.
December 2017 Income
My parental leave pay is coming to an end soon (roughly one month left), and neither my SO or myself have found a job yet. I guess it’s time to buckle up and start to look for two new jobs very quickly! Anyway, our income for December was quite the same (also we had three paychecks this month) since beginning my parental leave in early July and was once again our only source of income for last month.
I can’t wait to finally have a dual income, as our finances have been hit quite heavily the past few weeks / months with our relocation and all the stuff it implies. I must admit that even if having a 6+ months parental leave was definitely awesome, I can’t wait to start a new job here in Vancouver!
Total Gross Income December 2017: $5,250
- Previous Month: $4,000
- Difference: +$1,250
December 2017 Expenses
After a few weeks of shopping for furniture when we moved to Vancouver early November, we kind of crushed our expenses budget (we had to buy everything back as we moved by car and had sold like 99% of our stuff because of this) in November and December. After the $9k expenses incurred for the relocation itself (gas / road trip / accommodation and then rent / security deposit), I must admit that it feels kind of overwhelming to spend so much money but it’s not like we didn’t see it coming when we chose to move.
Most of the stuff we needed and /or wanted have been bought and the next few months should be WAY lower regarding our expenses. All in all, we’re at around $43.5k total expenses for 2017, which is a whooping $3625 per month. As a new goal we’ll try to keep it around the same amount for 2018. That’s because as our rent increased by nearly 100% since moving to Vancouver, so the same amount of expenses would be in fact a good progression when compared to 2017!
- Home: $2,410
- Bills & Utilities: $500
- Auto & Transport: $250
- Health & Fitness: $0
- Food & Dining: $600
- Travel: $0
- Shopping & Entertainment: $50
Total Expenses December 2017: $4,310
- Previous Month: $4,200
- Difference: +$110
December 2017 Investments & Savings
For the past year, we’ve been investing and saving in
five (now six!) different ways which are nearly all on auto-pilot:
- RRSP account with Wealthsimple, in which I contribute $100 per paycheck. As I’ve left my job when starting my parental leave, I’ve transferred last month all my ex-employer pension plan in this account.
- Emergency fund with Tangerine
in which I contribute $100 per paycheck.This was completely depleted as of late October due to moving to Vancouver as I chose to use our emergency fund as a buffer before starting working there. We’ll have to replenish it and we’ll probably up it to $10k from now on.
- Investment account with Mylo. So far the last few months, Mylo has invested automatically a total of $356 from rounding up my usual transactions!
- Investment account with Lending Loop, the biggest peer to peer lending marketplace in Canada, in which I plan to invest at least $1k this year (already contributed $500).
- Cryptocurrencies account on Coinbase. This is my fun money. I started to stash away some money there early 2017 with the money I made from this blog, and it turns out that I’ve already made x20 on the money I invested…!
- Car loan. This category of savings includes only the extra one-time payments we make to our car loan to pay it off faster.
We’re still on a single income at the moment, which is why I’ve reduced my RRSP contributions since early July. Unfortunately I also had to empty out our emergency fund for our relocation, which I plan on refunding quickly in early 2018.
Last month, I also started investing with Lending Loop, the biggest peer to peer lending marketplace in Canada, since I always wanted to diversify my investments (I could not use it before as it was not available where I lived previously). I’ve recently reviewed Lending Loop after having used it for a few weeks and so far I like it a lot! Head over to my Lending Loop review if you’re interested.
Finally, back in early March 2017, when I started to earn some money with this blog, I chose to invest some of the money I made here on Finance For Geek in cryptocurrencies, and looking back it was an AWESOME decision (for those interested, I mainly invested in Ethereum and NEO). I know that it’s pure speculation, and I know the risks but still I believe that everyone should have some of its portfolio, like 5%, in risky investments (which is basically every investment out there).
In a nutshell, the $1k I invested early March, has now turned in $21k+! That’s insane! I mean that’s a 2100% return on my investment, who would not want that? Looking back I’d even say I regret not having invested more hehe.
If you’re interested in starting investing in Crypto quickly, head over to Coinbase if you want to buy the big ones (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum) or if you prefer head over to Binance if you want to trade other lesser known altcoins (like NEO, EOS, Ripple, etc).
I still have to find out what I’ll do with this *newly found* money, but I guess I’ll withdraw $10k (and pay off my car loan completely) and let the rest invested. I’ll look back in 1+ year to see how it went because I truly believe that all the hype around cryptocurrencies is just getting started!
- RRSP Account (Wealthsimple): +$300
- Vacation Fund (Mylo): +$20
- Cryptocurrencies account (Coinbase): +$20,000
Our son RESP account is already maxed out for 2017 to benefit from matching so we did not have to contribute to it the last three months. But as 2018 just started we’ll have to max it out (still 2.5k for the year). A 20% guaranteed return (can be more depending on your income and your province) definitely feels like a no-brainer when it comes to investing!
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.
Total Investments & Savings December 2017: +$320
- Previous Month: +$450
- Difference: -$130
December 2017 Net Worth
Our Net Worth is finally starting to look interesting (we’ve just reached $50k) and I’m convinced that my short term goal of $100k in 2019 is now totally feasible! With the complete depletion of our emergency fund, our assets took a massive hit the past few months, but with some new additions to my investments (P2P Lending and Cryptocurrencies), it turned out pretty well. I’m still aiming at paying back our car loan faster than intended, and as soon as my SO and I will find our new jobs, I will up all of our contributions to something really agressive. Anyway here are the details of our assets and liabilities as of early January 2018.
- RRSP (Wealthsimple): $20,595
- Emergency Fund (Tangerine): $0
- Vacation Fund (Mylo): $301
- P2P Lending (Lending Loop): $501
- Cryptocurrencies (Coinbase): $20,000
- Car: $14,800
- Security Deposit: $1,605
Assets (not included in our Net Worth)
- RESP Account (Wealthsimple): $3,272
- Car Loan: $8,590
Net Worth December 2017: $49,212
- Previous Month: $28,200
- Difference: +$21,012 [+74.51%]
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 49.21% on this goal.
Net Worth short-term goal: 49.21%
December 2017 Savings Rate
As expected with so many expenses since we moved to British Columbia, the past three months have been quite difficult when it comes to saving money. That’s why our savings rate, which started off so high early 2017, was very much affected and stayed quite low for the last quarter of the year. We were aiming at a 15% Net Savings Rate for 2016 and an average of 20% for 2017. As of late December, I’m proud to say that we’ve reached an average of 30% Savings Rate for 2017. That coud be better but still it’s quite nice! Even more if we take into consideration the fact that I’ve been the only income in our family for the past six months. Now onto a new and better year, where I’ve set myself a goal of reaching a 35% savings rate on average for 2018.
Net Savings Rate = Savings / (Gross Income – Taxes + Pre-Tax Contributions)
- December 2017 Savings: $320
- December 2017 Gross Income: $5,250
- December 2017 Taxes: $620
- December 2017 Pre-Tax Contributions: $0
Net Savings Rate: 320 / (5250 – 620 + 0)
Net Savings Rate December 2017: 6.91%
- Previous Month: 15.91%
- Difference: -9%
December 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 December 2017 went to:
- Gross Income (I): $5,250
- Expenses (E): $4,310
- Investments & Savings Post-Tax (S): $320
- Taxes (T): $620
- Transfer from Savings (TR): $0
As a zero-based approach, here are the details:
I – E – S – T + TR = $5250 – $4310 – $320 – $620 + $0 = $0
And this wraps up my detailed financial report of last month and this was the last one for 2017 also! 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!