Friday, February 1, 2008

January update

Welcome to February. Here in Toronto, at least, we're celebrating the new month with a full day of slippery, blowing snow. Most schools are closed, and the roads are far less busy than usual. Look forward to a winter wonderland for the next few days.

Let's start off with how I did with my January goals:
  • Reduce my revolving debt to $22,900 - Nailed it, with $22,887.63 in revolving debt (including accrued interest). I started the year without a financial hangover from the holidays, and this helped me come out swinging with my debt reduction for 2008. Let's keep this up.

  • Grow my Emergency Fund to $1,220 - I met this goal even before the end of the month. Once interest had posted to all my accounts, my Emergency Fund stood at $1,229.59. It wasn't a particularly ambitious goal, but I reached it nonetheless.

  • Blog 31 times in January - Yesterday's flurry of posts put me over the top. I ended up with 32 posts for the month.

  • Finish my review of Getting Things Done - Less rosy here. I did manage to squeak a tiny bit of progress under the wire with last night's review of chapter 3, but I didn't even come close to finishing my review of the book (for those paying attention, there are 11 chapters left). I don't know why this one is causing me so much grief. It's probably the topic I feel least confident writing about, and that may be getting in my way a bit, but ultimately I think I just haven't been setting much of a framework to get this review written.
Now, on to my month-end update:

Online Savings - $1,751.04
Self-Directed RSP - $37,193.41
Employer Group RSP - $8,992.44

Credit Cards - $18,322.33
Line of Credit - $4,565.30
Student Loans - $29,557.08

Net Investable Assets: ($4,507.82)
Net Liquid Assets: ($50,693.67)

My liquid savings dropped a bit, due to some new-year subscription fees and car maintenance, all of which were "in-budget", and managed through my Freedom Account. The biggest change this month is my retirement savings, which jumped by $4,192.18 since December 31. Don't mistake this for any kind of market wizardry on my part; this is the net change after pumping $6,418.94 into my retirement accounts, mostly due to a $6,000 year-end bonus that I diverted directly into my RRSP. This really illustrates the dismal month we had in the markets, which eroded over $2,200 in forward progress in my retirement savings.

The other big change this month is that my debts moved around quite a bit, with a re-distribution of my line of credit onto a 0% MBNA card for 15 months. Overall, my net investable and net liquid assets increased by $4,993.27 and $801.09, respectively. My NetworthIQ profile has also been updated (including loose cash, home, car and mortgage).

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