Welcome to my 13th Financial Report Update in a row! You know what they say some months are fine some are average and some are .. well you know you could have skipped it you would feel better. This is one of them for us as our Net Worth took a massive hit with our relocation to Vancouver. We’re still doing ok with a $17k increase since I started tracking my Net Worth (which was in August 2016) and a $15k Net Worth increase since last December.
Everyone told us that Vancouver is a beautiful city and that it’s quite expensive to live there, but they were so wrong. It’s a wonderful city indeed but living there is so much more than expensive it’s freakin expensive (especially housing)! Added to the fact that we’re currently on a single income, and with new expenses as our little baby might need a daycare soon, we might have to postpone some fun activities and let our bank accounts rest a little after these past two crazy months (four if you count our two month vacation in Europe). But we still managed to have an average 35% Savings Rate this year so that’s not too bad I guess.
As I was once again way behind regarding the publishing date of my September financial report (being back from a long vacation and with our relocation trip), I chose to not publish our September report, but simply to skip it as it was not that much interesting and directly publish the October one. 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 October 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 since early September also 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):
- October 2017 Income
- October 2017 Expenses
- October 2017 Investments & Savings
- October 2017 Net Worth
- October 2017 Savings Rate
- October 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 October 2017. I hope you’ll find it inspiring, and perhaps this will motivate you to start your own website.
October 2017 Income
Our income for September and October is exactly the same since beginning my parental leave early July and is our only source of income. As we just moved to Vancouver, until my SO finds a new job (and me also after my parental leave, as I had to quit before switching province!) we’ll stay on a single income. Everything should be back to *normal* 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 October 2017: $4,000
- Previous Month: $4,000
- Difference: $0
October 2017 Expenses
So I was expecting to crush a new record regarding our expenses this month, but it was even worse than what I was expecting. Everyone told us to count double what we thought it was but I guess I should have counted triple! Between the move itself (gas as we moved by car on 3,500 miles), 2 weeks of hotels and Airbnb, really high rent in Vancouver, the security deposit, first month rent (as well as last month where we were before as we had a whole month overlap) and furniture, we reached a new record of $9000 expenses in October. And don’t forget the cost of moving our two lovely cats by plane also, which was way higher than what we expected initially hehe.
I must also admit that it’s not totally finished as we still have a lot of administrative fees coming up like car registration, driver’s licence replacement etc. Anyway we knew all of this before moving here, it’s just that when everything adds up, this is a freaking lot of money! We’re at around $35k expenses for the last ten months, so we should be able to stay below our cumulative goal of $48k expenses per year.
- Home: $5,920
- Bills & Utilities: $2,400
- Auto & Transport: $150
- Health & Fitness: $0
- Food & Dining: $400
- Travel: $0
- Shopping & Entertainment: $60
Total Expenses October 2017: $8,930
- Previous Month: $2,200
- Difference: +$6,730
October 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 completely depleted as of late October due to moving to Vancouver. Between *really* high rent, security deposit, pet deposit, moving costs and completely refurnishing our apartment, 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 just to be more comfortable!
- 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 $235 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 since early July and will resume it when we’ll be back to a dual income (probably early January). So for the past two months our savings & investments were quite limited, with only my recurring contributions to my Wealthsimple and Mylo accounts. I was still able to double our car payment for the last two months also to reduce the term of the loan (I’d like to have our car fully paid off before next summer). So all in all we *only* saved a meager $450, there’s definitely a lot of progress to be done on this side!
- RRSP Account (Wealthsimple): +$200
- Emergency Fund (Tangerine): $0
- Vacation Fund (Mylo): +$10
- Car: +$240
Our son RESP account is already maxed out for the year to benefit from matching so we did not contribute to it the last two months. 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 government matching). 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!
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): $0
Total Investments & Savings October 2017: +$450
- Previous Month: +$450
- Difference: $0
October 2017 Net Worth
With the complete depletion of our emergency fund, our assets took a massive hit the past month, with roughly -$6k liquid assets. But as we bought back our car a few months ago, our car loan is now our only liability. So we should be able to easily fund back our emergency fund in the next few months. I also chose to count the security deposit we had to give for our new rental in Vancouver. This is something which technically is not liquid as we can not access it easily, but since we *should* get it back I’m still counting it! Anyway here are the details of our assets and liabilities as of early November.
- SIPP Account (employer & employee): $12,196
- RRSP Account (Wealthsimple): $7,726
- Emergency Fund (Tangerine): $0
- Vacation Fund (Mylo): $235
- Car: $14,800
- Security Deposit: $1,605
Assets (not included in our Net Worth)
- RESP Account (Wealthsimple): $3,199
- Car Loan: $9,097
Net Worth October 2017: $27,465
- Previous Month: $30,050
- Difference: –$2,585 [-8.6%]
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 27.46% on this goal.
Net Worth short-term goal: 27.46%
October 2017 Savings Rate
As expected with so many expenses the past two months (and so many changes in our life in fact), our savings rate was very much affected and stayed quite low. We were aiming at a 15% Net Savings Rate last year and an average of 20% for 2017. As of early November we’re currently sitting on an average 35% Savings Rate for 2017. We’re still on track to reach our 20% savings rate goal on average this year, which is mainly due to our high savings months early this year!
Net Savings Rate = Savings / (Gross Income – Taxes + Pre-Tax Contributions)
- October 2017 Savings: $450
- October 2017 Gross Income: $4,000
- October 2017 Taxes: $620
- October 2017 Pre-Tax Contributions: $0
Net Savings Rate: 450 / (4000 – 620 + 0)
Net Savings Rate October 2017: 13.31%
- Previous Month: 13.31%
- Difference: 0%
October 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 October 2017 went to:
- Gross Income (I): $4,000
- Expenses (E): $8,930
- Investments & Savings Post-Tax (S): $450
- Taxes (T): $620
- Transfer from Savings (TR): $-6,000
As a zero-based approach, here are the details:
I – E – S – T + TR = $4000 – $8930 – $450 – $620 + $6000 = $0
And this wraps up my detailed financial report of October 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!