Thursday, May 1, 2008

April update

Well, we've survived the month of April. Hopefully, your taxes are all sorted out. How did you make out with your 2007 taxes? Do you have a plan to do better next year?

Let's look at how I did with my April goals:
  • Reduce my revolving debt to $21,250 - I was able to reduce my revolving debt to $20,770.23 this month. However, this includes the $500 lump-sum payment that I made from my tax refund. When I back this out of my debt reduction, I come up just shy of my goal, at $21,270.23. Still, the fact that I knocked $1,071.63 off the total is nothing to sniff at.

  • Grow my Emergency Fund to $1,310 - My focus at this point continues to be on debt reduction rather than building savings, so these savings goals look pretty trivial. I easily met this goal again this month, finishing with $1,318.02 in my Emergency Fund. However small my contributions to these accounts may be at this point, I still don't want to lose sight of the importance of a safety net. Every little bit counts, and I'm well on my way to having a $1,500 cushion by the end of the year.

  • Update my Equifax credit file with my correct postal code - No progress here, I'm afraid. As you can likely tell by my posting frequency this month, I've had a lot of things competing for my attention. Although the incorrect postal code is nagging at me, it's not as pressing as an incorrect balance or an account I don't recognize. Still, I should get this fixed. Let's bang this one off in May.

  • Walk to and from work every day, and work out at least three times a week - I slipped once early in the month, but since then I've stuck to my walking routine, and have not used public transit once to get to or from work. This comes in handy with the spectre of a TTC strike hanging around, as I'm fairly self-sufficient in my daily transportation needs. I didn't do as well with actually getting to the gym, so I know I need to focus on this going forward.

  • Lose 4 pounds - Nope. Still holding steady at 207. See the previous goal for details...

  • Blog 30 times in April - Wow. Apparently this month was a little hectic, because I only managed to muster up 18 posts for the month. That's 60% of what I was hoping for. Not too bad, but not exactly providing reliable daily reading, either.

  • Bring my lunch to work every day in April - Two weekends ago, we simply didn't have a spare moment to get out to buy groceries, and there was literally no lunch-worthy food in the condo come Monday morning. As a result, I paid $8.48 on soup and bread downstairs from the office. Other than that (and two instances of dropping $2.34 on coffee and a doughnut in a moment of weakness), I nailed this one. The result: I ate more healthily, and didn't blow money in the food court.
Now, on to my month-end update:

Online Savings - $1,882.52
Self-Directed RSP - $45,390.35
Employer Group RSP - $4,906.94

Credit Cards - $17,078.14
Line of Credit - $3,692.09
Student Loans - $27,918.39

Net Investable Assets: $3,491.19
Net Liquid Assets: ($46,806.10)

The most noteworthy result this month is my positive net investable assets (I didn't realize how much I love the colour green). That's right: I officially own more than I owe! Well, at least in a hypothetical world where I have full tax-free access to my retirement savings. This milestone was achieved through an increase of $2,971.68 in my investable assets, and a decrease of $1,620.18 in my debts.

Overall, my net investable and net liquid assets increased by $4,591.86 and $1,604.93, respectively. My NetworthIQ profile has also been updated (including loose cash, home, car and mortgage). I owe a good chunk of this forward progress to the rally in my retirement investments, but consistent debt reduction is also playing a huge role. More than half of my movement this month came from debt reduction, so if I keep this up, then I should be able to avoid dipping back into the red.

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