Making money and having fun – A Q3 2016 Update
Where does the time go! Now we’re three quarters of the way done with 2016 and it seems like I haven’t done anything. So in true procrastination fashion, I’m jamming it all into this last half!
It seems like every year I jam all of my vacations in the last half of the year and try to rush and get my yearly goals done. I took two weekend trips this past quarter with my beauty of a girlfriend. The first one was for my sister and her fiance’s stag and doe party to farmland Ontario. The second was for our good friends and neighbor’s wedding back to my old stomping grounds of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
For anyone who doesn’t know a Stag and Doe part is basically a wedding fundraiser. I think it’s more of a small town thing but I’d love to hear your thoughts. My sister and soon to be brother in law rented one of the local halls for a night, got a liquor license and hired some bartenders. Tickets to get in were $10 a head and they packed the place, there was probably about 200-250 people through there in the run of the night. They also had a bunch of pay to play games, raffles and 50/50 draw. The bridal party ran the games and manned the door and all of the proceeds after expenses go to help them pay for their wedding (Which is our big trip this year down to Jamaica!).
Needless to say that entire weekend was a lot of partying with family, future family and their closest friends. Not to mentioned I got to spend a lot of time with my super cool 18 month old nephew. He tried to ride a chocolate lab in the house and well…let’s just say he’s not quite ready for the Calgary Stampede yet…
Second trip to Halifax ended up being A LOT shorter than I had anticipated. As you may have guessed from the drop off in posts, September was a whirlwind for me at work, ended up working a few 12-13hour days to make sure I didn’t fall too far behind while I was gone. It was still an awesome time, the bride and groom actually met in a bar I used to work at on campus, and they rented it out for some nostalgic fun the night before the wedding.
The wedding was probably one of the most relaxed weddings I have ever been to. They rented out a pretty trendy looking bar in the north end of Halifax for the entire thing. They had a Polaroid camera and some scrap booking supplies for their guest book so that made for a creative memoir I’m sure. There were no seating arrangements for the attendees. Considering most everyone who attends a wedding is a functioning human being it’s not that hard to figure out where to sit. It probably saved lots of headaches for the bride and groom as I’ve been told a few times that seating arrangements are one of the more frustrating parts of wedding planning. Overall it was just a ton of fun.
I met up with a few friends of mine who I haven’t seen in several years. It was only for a few hours with each but it’s still great to catch up with them since I’m pretty terrible at keeping in touch. I also got to devour some delicious pizza from my favorite spot in Halifax, Alexandra’s(Try the Canadian classic!) at about 4am in my hotel. It was a staple of mine while I lived there, not necessarily the 4am part, but that wasn’t that uncommon either.
Really besides starting and ending with a red-eye flight across the country it was an awesome time.
Finances this quarter were ok, nothing special about them, still making money but nothing in particular worth talking about over anything else. So let’s just jump into it all.
There it is, solid three percent over 3 months. Nothing to write home about but I’m writing about it on the internet anyway. Most of the increase is just through saving income. Here’s a short recap of what each line is and what’s happened with it:
Vehicle – Still paid off! Like my other major non-liquid assets this will be adjusted probably only once a year to reflect its depreciation. I almost want to remove it entirely since there are no debts on it. I have no plans to sell it until it’s scrap metal but I’ll keep it since I started with it from the beginning.
YMM Townhouse– Still not a lot selling in this area, there’s a few listed for $10,000 less now and a few $10,000 more, so I think staying at $309,000 is a pretty decent ballpark for the value in the house. The one’s listed higher just have some nicer paint on the walls, a few more accents as opposed to just solid one color throughout the rooms. I think I could make mine comparable for a few hundred dollars and several hours of work but for right now it’ll stay as is.
TFSA– I have a small portion of this account set up similar to the Canadian Couch Potato(LINK) recommended portfolio but just over half is individual stocks I’ve been holding for quite sometime. Mostly companies I know fairly well or use regularly. One investment strategy I truly believe in is invest in what you know.
Margin – This started as a non-registered account that I had from before TFSAs and before I had much RRSP contribution room in University. I was going to get rid of this entirely and sold a portion of it to contribute to my TFSA. The remaining money is now invested in some solid Canadian dividend stocks and I borrowed at a rate of 4.15% to invest in other similar companies with great dividend history. The current yield from the stocks are more than the interest so I feel fairly safe on this one.
I transferred over some of my tax return into this account and bought more blue chip dividend stocks on margin. The annual dividend is higher than the margin interest so it’s a small win even if it doesn’t increase in value.
RRSP – This is one RRSP account my parents set up for me when I was very young, I have yet to get around to combining it with my work GRRSP, which is currently unlisted on these updates. The work GRRSP is a fire and forget back up plan for me. I take the risks with the above assets and if all else fails, the GRRSP will be my back up.
A Q1 goal was to manage my RRSPs better, basically to diversify this from the rest of my investments. I may eventually bring my GRRSP into this total but I’ll leave that as it’s own fall back retirement fund.
High interest E-savings – This is definitely where I’ll get some flak from other investors critiquing my portfolio, why so much cash in an account with a terrible return? As I have explained in previous updates, I’m shopping around for another investment property and maybe some private equity financing. A few things have come up that I’m going to explore a little further.
I’m still socking money away in this hole. I do have a few more prospects for investments. One is extremely high risk, but I’ll only be investing part of my assets in it. It’s a completely different field from anything I’ve invested in previously. Hopefully I can write about it in the future.
Chequing account – This is where my bills get paid from, money flows in and out. I just recently paid off my upcoming vacations. So that’s why this took the biggest drop out of everything.
Duplex – My first purposely bought income property. It worked out well in that it was appraised for a slightly higher price than what I paid. I renovated the unoccupied side immediately which may have increased the value a little more. For this valuation I’m sticking with the appraised value at the time of purchase. I’ve had pretty solid occupancy on this unit. Only a few months unoccupied in the first year but now both sides are rented on a month to month basis and hopefully it’ll keep making money for me.
But how does this all look visually?
It looks a little slow but Buffet knows what he is talking about. I’m more than willing to get well-to-do slowly as opposed to chasing the get rich quick schemes. That certainly doesn’t mean I’m going to stop looking for ways to keep making money. The more income streams I can cultivate the better off I’ll be.
How are the goals doing after 6 months now?
If anyone doesn’t remember the financial goals, here they are with small updates.
- Save $30,000 dollars – ACHIEVED! I’ve been really trying to cut back on some of my useless splurges. It helped that I really didn’t have much vacation time in the first half of the year. I managed to sock this away A LOT faster than I expected! I think next year I’ll have to look into upping the ante. Maybe reward myself with a DJI Mavic pro instead! (I’m on a drone kick lately. I don’t know why but I think I’d use it for so much when in reality I’d probably just have it sit in the closet)
- Invest in another money making asset – I’ve looked at a couple online and crunched the numbers. There’s a couple I’ve got my eye on right now. One private equity investment that’s extremely high risk.(Mentioned in the TFSA section above) I’m very tempted to roll the dice and see what happens. The other thing I’m looking at is a multi-unit complex. It’s definitely a stretch but it’s currently occupied and the numbers seem very good. I’m just worried about multiple vacancies, that could really shut things down quickly for my savings.
- Increase my margin account with my tax return – I did it! Let’s see how it goes in 20 years…just hang in there guys!
What about blog goals?
- Weekly Posts – Again, failure. I can’t seem to keep a consistent posting schedule going for more than 1-2 months. After that I’ll fall off the face of the earth for a month or two. I’ll try to get better, maybe I’ll start posting some non-financial posts or maybe some shorter thoughts sharing some things I’ve found interesting on the internet.
- Social media – I’ll work a little harder on expanding my social media reach.
- Twitter – Goal to hit 5000 followers in a 12 month period – Status: doubtful – Right now I’m sitting around 2780, I really haven’t put the effort into this that I had planned.
- Facebook – Hit 150 followers – Status: doubtful – I’m not currently promoting on facebook much so this is pretty stagnant.
- Instagram – Not even making an attempt to get followers on this, but I think I’m pretty damn funny so check it out!
- Pinterest – Start pinning posts – I still don’t understand pinterest…
- Monetization – A few more bucks from ads and some people reaching out looking for me to do some giveaways. I feel like I don’t quite have the reach they’re hoping for just yet. So I’m not going to take them up on it just yet.
Before I sign off on this one, for a new year’s resolution I made it my goal to finally get my P.Eng designation. I just recently found out I passed my National Professional Practice Exam. This means I just need to wait for the approval to come through for all of my work experience. This usually takes a few months. Sometimes people need to submit additional information for clarifications but here’s hoping I get that in the next few months! That’d be a great way to close out the year!
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!