I just knew February was going to go by very fast. 🙂
Seriously, between finalizing my old job’s last few files, starting my new position and writing my withdrawal strategy article, time just flew by! It’s quite a good thing for someone who doesn’t like winter too much. During a lockdown, on top of it! I’m also quite glad to see that we’re gaining a few more minutes of daylight every week. That’s a very positive thing in my book. 🙂
I’m also happy to report that things are going really well in my new role. I have a lot to learn, since I’m far from my usual field of expertise. So that usually means my brain is mush at the end of the day, but I’m confident I’ll handle the work fairly quickly.
Now let’s get down to business.
Net Worth as of February 28, 2021
Line of Credit:
Tangerine Master Card:
Amex Air Miles:
BMO Air Miles:
What a weird month in the markets! Seriously, how many days in a row were the markets green at the beginning of February? It was not rare to see clickbait articles predicting an imminent crash almost every day. Reaching all-time highs every day, week (and even month) was obviously cause for concern. So it wasn’t too surprising to see the second half of the month rebalancing things.
However, I would like to emphasize that the recent decline has not completely erased the bullish rise that preceded it. In fact, both the S&P 500 and the S&P/TSX show an overall increase in February. 🙂
Personally, I try to remove all emotion from my transactions. Mr. Spock would be proud of me. 🖖
My plan is to save as much as I can on every paycheck I get. I invest on every second Thursday, whether it’s green or red. It doesn’t matter. I invest, no matter what happens in the short term. Anyway, what matters is long-term.
Good news! My employer confirmed our annual bonus. It will be paid out on March 25th. Knowing the amount in advance ($6,000 gross), I have decided to take the net amount ($3,000) out of my personal LOC and invest it right away while the markets were down.
I was already planning to save and invest my entire bonus anyway. So I just got ahead of the curve.
Once I receive my bonus on March 25, I will simply pay off my LOC. For your information, it’s a personal LOC offered by Tangerine with a 5.45% interest rate.
Contrary to my very boring index investments in the stock markets, I allow myself to speculate a bit more with crypto. Actually, I only allocate a small portion (1%) of my portfolio that I intend to hold for the long term. I am looking into the mechanics of cryptocurrency and the blockchain, and I place my pawns as I go along. It is a very wild ride. Faint of hearts beware. 😉
I also got three $30 bonuses on Shakepay this month. Thanks to the readers of this blog who used my reference code. 🙂
Also, thanks to Shakepay’s feature that allows me to stack Satoshis (a subunit of Bitcoin) every day by shaking my phone, I have now accumulated 0.0004352 BTC for a series of 47 consecutive days. At the price of the BTC as it is now, it means about $26 only for shaking my phone. I have also deposited all my BTC in BlockFI which allows me to earn 6% interest on it.
Here are the details of my February savings:
- February 10: $700 out of $1,710.66 (41% savings)
- February 24: $840 out of $2,017.17 net (42% savings)
- Total savings: $1,540 in February or 41% savings
Of the $1,540 I saved, I contributed $1,050 to my TFSA and purchased $490 worth of cryptography outside a registered account.
It could definitely be better on the savings rate front, but I had some spending to do to unlock my credit card bonuses. I’ve made some expenses ahead of time by buying Spotify, Netflix and SAQ gift cards. I also made my annual donation all at once, rather than spreading it out on a monthly basis. Since these are already paid for, I should be able to save a little more in the next following weeks and months.
These expenses have allowed me to get my bonuses of 3,950 Air Miles and 10,000 Aeroplan points (as well as the Buddy Pass). Now, I just have to wait to actually travel. 😉
With my promotion, my March bonus and my yearly raise in April (3.5%), I expect a slight increase in my average savings rate. I should be on track to reach my savings goal!
In February, I spent $2,315,94, which means $27,791,22 annualized. Excluding my car loan payments, it comes down to $1,508.24 or $18,098,82 annualized.
In addition to my travel hacking expenses, I had to renew my passport and I bought a Valentine’s Day gift for my mother and my grandmother.
I also had a somewhat big expense on Amazon for a treadmill that I had been looking to buy for a while. Luckily, my employer reimburses a fair amount for sports activities. That means I only had to pay $168 out of my own pocket. Considering that the treadmill should be good for a couple of years, that’s much cheaper than a gym membership. 😉
Finally, I still don’t have a mobile phone bill to pay this month. Thanks to everyone who used my Fizz promo code (N5MMB)! As things are right now, I won’t have to pay anything until June. That’s very much appreciated!
February was another great month to read. I’m not at all a winter sports fan, so I’ll be found more often cuddled in a blanket with a book, rather than out playing in the snow.
At the same time, although I’m outside much more often in the summer, you’d probably still find me with a book in my hands. Once a nerd, always a nerd.
You can see that it would be totally unprofitable for me to buy every book I read! There’s a reason why I love the public library so much. 🙂
So, my reading list for February looked like this:
- Mr Spock’s Little Book of Mindfulness: How to Survive in an Illogical World by Glenn Dakin
- Adventures in Opting Out: A Field Guide to Leading an Intentional Life by Cait Flanders
- The Test by Sylvain Neuvel
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
- Wise as Fu*k: Simple Truths to Guide You Through the Sh*tstorms of Life by Gary John Bishop
- The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben
- Public Speaking For Authors, Creatives And Other Introverts by Joanna Penn
- Courage, vision, passion by Jacques Lépine and Luc Poirier
From this list, I highly recommend the book on Elon Musk. Whether you like him or not, he is undeniably a genius and human beings will benefit from his long-term vision.
I also liked Courage, Vision, Passion after I stole this reading idea from L’investisseur caféiné. I don’t necessarily plan to invest in real estate, but it was still a fascinating read. The focus on the millionaire mindset, the importance of thinking big and controlling our fears were the highlights for me. That goes to show that a success starts in the mind!
My Favourite Season
Of course, with March comes tax season. 😉
Seriously, I can’t wait to get started. I already have my T4 and Relevé 1 in hand, but I won’t have the form for remote work (detailed method) until mid-March. Only then I’ll be able to do my tax return, plus my sister’s and my brother’s. At the very least, I want to send my sister’s tax return as early as possible. She boosted her RRSP and she’d like to avoid paying interest on her loan for too long. 🙂
For my part, despite the fact that I filled out the T1213 form for my employer to withhold less tax in 2020, I still expect a tax refund of about $1,500. Guess what I’m going to do with it?
For future articles on this blog, I’m thinking of writing an article on my worst financial mistake (I’ll let you guess which) and the associated opportunity cost. I’m also planning an article on the emergency fund, or my lack thereof. If you have any specific topics to suggest for a future article, please feel free to let me know in the comments section.
I look forward to hearing from you!
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