Friday, August 8, 2008

Goals for August 2008

At the beginning of every month, I post my update for the previous month's progress, and set goals for the month to come. I'm a bit late this month, but I've still got a few things in mind for August:
  • Reduce my revolving debt to $18,000 (currently at $18,654.22) - I fell short of my July goal, so let's pick up the pace a bit this month.

  • Grow my Emergency Fund to $1,900 (currently at $1,713.67) - With the change in Ms. Loonie's pay schedule, I'm beefing up my Emergency Fund to provide more of a buffer during the days between my paycheque and hers. Getting the fund to around $2,000 should give me lots of room to manoeuvre.

  • Run at least twice per week. I've recently invested in some good "moisture-wicking" exercise clothes and a good pair of running shoes, so I really need to get on top of this fitness thing. I went for a run on Tuesday, and it felt good. Let's keep it up.

  • Try two new recipes for foods that we would usually buy prepared. I'm thinking along the lines of making our own salsa, or preparing a batch of gazpacho. I think it will be fun, frugal and healthy to start preparing these sorts of foods ourselves.
I'm off on vacation next week, so I'm a little light on goals, and don't have any post-count-related items here, but I'm hoping it will still be a strong month.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Civic Holiday

Whether you're getting out of town, taking in some local festivities, or just relaxing around the house, have a great long weekend. Be safe, and have fun.

I'll see you Tuesday.

July update

Well, we're into August now, and I have to wonder where the summer has gone. It seemed just yesterday we were celebrating Canada Day, and now here we are heading into the Civic Holiday long weekend. August should be a fun month, but I can't believe how fast everything's moving!

Let's take a look at how I did with my July goals:
  • Reduce my revolving debt to $18,500 / Grow my Emergency Fund to $1,450 - I'm grouping these two together today in order to tell the full story. I fell $154.22 short of my debt reduction goal, which is not great (although it still represents a $582.23 reduction in revolving debt). However, I managed to push my Emergency Fund up to $1,713.67, which simply blew this goal out of the water. The reason for the focus on my Emergency Fund is to build a cushion of a few hundred dollars to manage the float between my payday and Ms. Loonie's. As a result of this, my Emergency Fund came in $263.67 over target, which means that I beat my overall financial goal by more than $100. Not too shabby.

  • Decide whether I will convert my retirement portfolio to ETF versions of the index funds I currently hold - I've decided to wait until early 2009 to make this switch, and make rebalancing an annual task. Expect an update on how this goes next February.

  • Update my Equifax credit file with my correct postal code - This is finally done. I was putting this off for no good reason whatsoever, and when I finally tackled the task, it was easy as pie, and I had my updated report in my hands within just over a week. What exactly took me so long? Dunno. But at least it's done, and I can move on.

  • Continue to walk to and from work every day, and pack my lunch at least 20 days this month - Done and done. There's not much more to say than that. I don't even think of hopping on the subway in the morning anymore, and making lunches has become very much a part of the morning routine. I like this; it saves money, and it's healthier.

  • Blog 31 times in July - So close. I came in at 28 posts for the month of July. Still, this is the most I've had since February, and it's almost as many posts as April, May and June combined. Thanks to everyone who's stuck around over the past few months.
Now, on to my month-end update:

Online Savings - $2,853.86
Self-Directed RSP - $43,511.10
Employer Group RSP - $6,789.61

Credit Cards - $17,506.73
Line of Credit - $1,147.49
Student Loans - $25,979.98

Net Investable Assets: $8,520.37
Net Liquid Assets: ($41,780.34)

This month's movement was due to a $302.93 growth in my cash savings, primarily through increased Emergency Fund contributions, and a reduction of my revolving debt by $582.23. My retirement investments took another dive this months, shedding $1,162.90 in value despite over $600 in RRSP contributions.

Overall, my net investable and net liquid assets increased by $279.04 and $1,441.94, respectively. My NetworthIQ profile has also been updated (including loose cash, home, car and mortgage). It's nice to see my net investable assets increase again, if only by a couple hundred dollars, after last month's drop.