Hey everyone! If you’re new around here, I’ve been tracking my Net Worth here on these financial reports since September 2016. I must say that January was such a great start for us with a 10% increase of our Net Worth and we were also finally able to reach a 30% Savings Rate! This is such a great feeling and definitely way better than the low 5-6% we were saving when I first started this blog. Hopefully, this wonderful start will continue in the next few months and we should definitely be able to achieve all our financial goals this year.
Starting with this financial report, I’ve chosen to simplify all of my future financial reports for many reasons. First and foremost it took me way too much time to analyze and write about the specific details like the breakdown of our expenses. Also, I don’t think that it created so much value here on Finance For Geek. Finally, I did not have enough data to compare, like for example I was missing the last 12 months trend when I wanted to compare our expenses and income. I might change my mind in the next months but for the moment, I’ll try to stick to the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid). I’ ll still be detailing all the parts I was before, but with an easier formatting, more reader-friendly!
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 January 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 hard. Whether it is to start a website, 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 (where I have my RRSP account), giving me a complete overall view of my finances. Since last month, Wealthsimple is now also available to people living in the US! Feel free to read my complete Wealthsimple review here.
All stats on this report are combined for Mrs. FFG and I, and are in Canadian dollars, as we’re currently living in Canada.
I’m trying to summarize as many metrics as possible, all of which I find relevant for my long-term tracking purposes. Here is a list of the sub parts of my report (you can click on each link to reach directly one specific part):
- January 2017 Income
- January 2017 Expenses
- January 2017 Investments & Savings
- January 2017 Net Worth
- January 2017 Savings Rate
- January 2017 Summary
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 January 2017. I hope you’ll find it inspiring, and perhaps this will motivate you to start your own website.
January 2017 Income
This month was kind of a “back to basics” month as in no more three paycheck month (at least for the moment!). So our income is back to where it used to be until late February when I’ll finally get my annual pay raise (retroactively)! We’re still unsure about the next upcoming months as Mrs. FFG is finishing her PhD soon we might be back to a single income for (hopefully) a short time.
Total Gross Income January 2017: $4,610
- Previous Month: $7,466
- Difference: -$2,856
January 2017 Expenses
Expenses in January were so much lower that what we’re used to. I said before that we were aiming at $4,000 maximum expenses per month so this is totally a win for this month! One of the main reasons we were able to achieve it this month is because Christmas is definitely over and our shopping / travel budgets were really low (nearly non-existent in fact). We were also able to stay below $800 / month for our Food & Dining budget which we seem to be comfortable with since a few months. As explained I’m simplifying my financial reports from now on and this is specifically the case for this expenses sub-part. I’ll just detailing the big numbers here as a quick recap:
- Home: $1,175
- Bills & Utilities: $315
- Auto & Transport: $275
- Health & Fitness: $222
- Food & Dining: $657
- Travel: $0
- Shopping & Entertainment: $214
Total Expenses January 2017: $2,858
- Previous Month: $4,946
- Difference: -$2,088
January 2017 Investments & Savings
For the last few months, we’ve been investing and saving in three different ways which are now totally on auto-pilot:
- My employer Simplified Pension Plan (SIPP), which offers a 100% match of my contributions, up to 2% of my salary (pre-tax), in which I contribute 2% (pre-tax) per paycheck.
- My Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) account with Wealthsimple, in which I contribute
$50($100 since last month!) per paycheck (post-tax).
- Our emergency fund in an High Interest Savings Account (HISA) with our bank (only a little 0.75% interest rate at the moment) in which I contribute
$50($100 since last month!) per paycheck. I’ve just switched yesterday to Tangerine to get a better 2.40% rate (for 6 months and then back to 0.80%) and no more fees at all!
With the last few months which were quite rough regarding our savings, I finally decided to make some one-time contributions to both my Wealthsimple and my emergency fund accounts. After having upped both these recurring contributions and with these one-time $300 contributions each, we should definitely be able to reach our savings rate target (as listed on my Goals For 2017) of 20% on average this year!
I might add a new investment vehicle soon, as I’ve just opened up an account with Mylo. It’s still in beta and will be available very soon it seems! For those wondering it’s the Canadian equivalent of Acorns. Basically, it’s an app which automatically rounds up everyday purchases and invests the spare change. It seems like it’s much better than Acorns since it does not have any fees at all (and I also prefer Mylo because Acorns is not available in Canada)! I’m already planning to write a detailed post on it as soon as it’s live.
- SIPP Account (employer): +$89
- SIPP Account (employee): +$89
- RRSP Account (Wealthsimple): +$500
- Emergency Fund (Tangerine): +$500
Total Investments & Savings January 2017: +$1,178
- Previous Month: +$694
- Difference: +$484
January 2017 Net Worth
My long-term goal is still to build up a Net Worth of $2M returning 4% a year or $80,000/year in gross income. We are still nowhere close to reaching such a long-term goal, however I’m pretty sure that we will be seeing some huge improvements in the next few months if we keep ourselves disciplined. This is still a moving target as I’ll be working towards a clear number in the next few months.
As we do not have any liabilities anymore since I paid off our $27,000 student loan debt, we’re still working on improving our assets now (slow and steady)! Not many changes this month here, but it’s still ok to see these numbers increase.
- SIPP Account (employer & employee): $9,769
- RRSP Account (Wealthsimple): $1,878
- Emergency Fund (Tangerine): $1,805
Net Worth January 2017: $13,452
- Previous Month: $12,207
- Difference: +$1,245 [+10.1%]
My short-term goal is to reach a Net Worth of $100,000 (before 2019). We’re now currently at 13.45% on my short-term goal and *still* a really low 0.67% on my long-term one. It seems like an unreachable figure at the moment, but I’m looking for the big picture here. I’ve always performed better with a goal in mind, so there’s no exception to my personal finances!
Net Worth short-term goal: 13.45%
Net Worth long-term goal: 0.67%
January 2017 Savings Rate
In terms of savings, we were aiming at a 15% Net Savings Rate last year, and have now set a new goal to reach an average of 20% for 2017.
Regarding our Net Savings Rate calculation, here is the breakdown of the formula that works for us:
Net Savings Rate = Savings / (Gross Income – Taxes + Pre-Tax Contributions)
My pre-tax contributions (employer) are included in both sides of the equation to have a better view of our *real* savings rate.
- January 2017 Savings: $1,178
- January 2017 Gross Income: $4,610
- January 2017 Taxes: $752
- January 2017 Pre-Tax Contributions: $178
Net Savings Rate: 1178 / (4610 – 752 + 178)
Net Savings Rate January 2017: 29.18%
- Previous Month: 12.30%
- Difference: +16.88%
That’s definitely the best month we had since I finished paying off our student loan debt! I’m so glad we’ve finally regained control of our finances and I’m really looking forward to the next months!
January 2017 Summary
I really like the concept of zero-based budget. In a nutshell, it is really simple as you just have to get to “income minus outgo is equal to zero”. This is a way to figure out where everything you earn is going. Keeping this in mind, let’s summarize where our gross income for the month of January 2017 went to:
- Gross Income (I): $4,610
- Expenses (E): $2,858
- Investments & Savings Post-Tax (S): $1,000
- Taxes (T): $752
- Transfer from Savings (TR): $0
As a zero-based approach, here are the details:
I – E – S – T + TR = $4,610 – $2,858 – $1,000 – $752 + $0 = $0
So here it is, a total which equals to zero! Once again, it feels so great not having to dip into our savings anymore and hopefully from now on we’ll see some huge increase on our savings stash!
And this wraps up my detailed financial report of January 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 starting a website, 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.