Q1 2017 Update – Starting off slow!
As always with the first quarter of 2017 over I’ll be recapping the last 3 months. This includes how I’m doing on the goals I set for myself and any highlights or interesting things that I may have done over the last 3 months.
Personally, what has happened?
Nothing! At least nothing compared to Q4 of 2016 which was pretty packed full of trips, my sister’s wedding, birthdays, holidays and lots more. The big events in the last 3 months were much smaller on scale. We went to see Tom Segura, who’s as funny in person as you’d expect from his Netflix specials.
Probably the biggest highlight for this quarter is the plans we made for the next. We’re currently planning a tip to Paris and Barcelona with a short 2 day excursion in between. The shortlist for the excursion was Marseille, Montpellier or Carcassonne due them being in between the two main locations. Everything in Marseille booked extremely quickly as we were researching it and transportation from the other two locations is extremely difficult for VERY costly to do such a short trip. As it turns out, the weekend we’re planning is a public holiday in France so I’m guessing that’s the issue with the availability and cost.
So, where’d we plan the 2-day excursion to you ask? Brussels! Why Brussels? Cause why not? I had a cousin that lived there for several years and had good things to say about it. It also has some cool looking architecture and it was surprisingly cheap and easy to find transportation and very nice-looking accommodations that are close to everything we want to see. We don’t have a huge list of sights to see but it might be nice just to take a breather for a day mid trip.
Other than that trip some of the highlights as you may have seen from my Instagram was my first hockey game viewed from box seats. It was only a WHL game so it wasn’t the highest caliber but it was still a pretty surreal experience! Free food and booze courtesy of the box owners and I met lots of new and interesting people. It’s always interesting to hear about what other people do or aspire to do.
Another highlight of my quarter was my bonus. We finally had a great year on a corporate scale and I got paid! My largest bonus yet, although most of my other bonuses barely broke a grand
Finances this quarter were the worst I’ve had yet. Only a 1% increase.
Here’s a short recap of what each line is and what’s happened with it:
Vehicle – Slowly depreciating as expected. Vehicles are almost always a depreciating asset and are often more expensive than you would think. I updated the assessed value of it based off blue book and autotrader.ca values which I found online to get the closest comparison.
YMM Townhouse– The main driver behind the poor performance is this turd of an investment due to the terrible housing market in Fort McMurray. I shouldn’t actually call it an investment as I didn’t intend it to be that way when I bought it, but work changed and it became one. My townhouse was decimated these last few years with the tumbling market. There’s always the chance that this will increase in value if oil returns to $80+ per barrel but I don’t know if we’ll see that on a short horizon.
TFSA– Mostly companies I know fairly well or use regularly. I immediately topped this up with a $5500 contribution from my savings account once the room opened up. That was put into some marijuana stocks(I caved and decided to get on the late train) and some utilities.
Margin – Turned my registered investment account into a margin account to see how I could put other people’s money to use. Not too much has changed here, I have it about half leveraged right now and it’s worked out ok.
RRSP – Still dragging my feet on combining this into my GRRSP. This is an old account my parents set up for me when I was young.
GRRSP – I topped up this account with 21,000 spread equally across Canadian, USA and International low MER index funds.
High interest E-savings – So I’ve put a considerable amount of this to work since the last update. $5500 and $21,000 went into tax sheltered accounts as mentioned above. Another $37,500 is now equity in a biomedical start up that I’ve mentioned in previous updates
Chequing account – This is where my bills get paid from, money flows in and out. I have probably a bit too much in this due to my bonus but that’s still going to pay for the upcoming trip and some other things.
Duplex –Last year was a decent year for this property, I had 83% occupancy and managed to increase the rent in one side when the previous tenant moved out. Unfortunately, I just had the non-renovated side tenant move out. Now I’m debating getting it updated but my go to contractor is backed up for a few months. I need to try to fill it at least temporarily until the backlog is cleared and if they stay longer, then great!
Private Equity Investment – As you may have seen in past updates I mentioned the possibility of a private investment. Well it’s gone through, I’ve pulled a large chunk of money out of my savings and invested in a Canadian start up. Keep your eyes open for an update on this in the future.
Here’s a few more thoughts on money you might enjoy
- DO YOU NEED AN INCOME TAX CHECKLIST? WE HAVE ONE!
- HOW TO MAKE MONEY IN REAL ESTATE
- MONEY TIPS FOR ANY AGE
How are the Financial goals doing?
- Savings – Goal of saving $55,000 – Progressing happily!
- Side business – The graphic designer that I had lined up for this backed out of this so it may never work.
- Private equity investment – Done! I’m the proud owner of a start up biomedical company that’s based in Nova Scotia. I’ll definitely write about this in the future.
- Increase RRSP contribution – No raise yet so I haven’t increased my contributions.
What about blog goals?
- 50 posts this year – On a close pace, I’ve posted every week but one so far. If I keep that pace up I’ll be sitting at about 48 posts. That I can live with
- Launch a monthly series – How to be a Successful Adult is live and has 3 parts as of posting this update. Check it out, we’re starting off simple and working into the fun stuff!
- Social media
- Twitter – 7500 followers – added 500 followers this quarter. Definitely not where I was hoping to be but that would put me around 6000 if I can keep this pace up.
- Facebook – 250 followers – Haven’t put much effort into this so I’m certainly not on track.
- Instagram – 250 followers – A minor increase but nothing substantial.
- Ranking – There’s two different ranking systems that I currently know about and look at.
- Alexa – Increased a bit to 661,335 overall and dropped pretty heavily in the Canadian ranking to 42,108
- Modest Money Top finance blogs– Jumped considerably to 197 which puts me within striking distance of 150 but I feel like I’ll crawl there as it’s probably a lot more competitive the closer you get.
- Feature/Guest posting – I had an article posted on AOL.com’s personal finance page so that was pretty nice.
- Monetization – Still trying to increase this. Getting small offers here and there but nothing that really sells it for me.
- Exercise more – Exercising 3 times a week – On track so far but my tracking of it has been terrible.
- Travel – Several travel goals for the year
- Road trips – Hoping to get in two small 2-3 day road trips this year. None are planned yet but road tripping season is just rolling in! (Get it? Rolling in, and cars roll…Ha! I’m funny…)
- Family visit – Not planned, might get them around the Christmas holidays.
- Vegas – No plans yet.
- Week away – PLANNED! As mentioned in the opening section. Pretty excited for this
- Healthy months – January was healthy-ish…we’ll say that was one of three.
Thanks for coming to check out my quarterly update, let me know what you all think in the comments or find me on social media!