Hello there!

It’s already time to do the November monthly review! It’s fascinating how relative the perception of time is, especially this year. On one hand, I can’t believe that the year is nearly over. On the other, I have the impression that this pandemic is never ending and that each day of lockdown goes by at an indescribably slow pace.

But we’re not here to talk about that. It’s time for numbers! Nice numbers, by the way. 🙂

Net Worth as of November 30, 2020

Assets:

Checking Accounts:
Questrade TFSA
Questrade LIRA
Questrade RRSP
FTQ RRSP
Fondaction RRSP

Total assets:


$1,237
$25,950
$42,414
$33,063
$5,182
$12,015

$120,448
Liabilities:

Car Loan:
Line of Credit:
CIBC VISA:
Tangerine Master Card:
Amex:

Total liabilities:


$10,210
$0
$0
$0
$125

$10,335
Net Worth$110,113
Difference+ $11,697

Remember that $100K I didn’t quite officially reach at the end of October? Well, here it is, and then some! After two rather slow months in September and October, the stock markets went wild for most of November. This is partly due to a nice mix of good news about promising vaccines and a presidential election that seems to be making Wall Street happy!

Thus, between October 31 and November 30, there was a variation of + $11,697! Unbelievable, isn’t it? That’s 11. 8% in a single month! If every month was like that, it would be too easy, wouldn’t it? 🙂

Also, I realized by doing this review that I doubled my net worth in the last twelve months. Indeed, my net worth as of November 30, 2019, was $53,184. While I know I saved and invested a lot in the past year, I never expected such an impressive result! I am more than grateful for that. 🙂

Savings

Here are the details of my November savings:

  • November 5: $1,000 out of $1,892.51 net (52% savings)
  • November 10: $100 out of $110.82 (90% savings)
  • November 19: $1,000 out of $1,892.52 net (52% savings)
  • Total savings: $2,100 in November or 54% savings

November was another great month for savings. Lockdown keeps making it even easier to lower expenses, which has a direct impact on my savings rate. We can say whatever we want, but this pandemic has really boosted my savings. That is considering I was lucky enough to have no loss of income whatsoever throughout the year. It will allow me, in the long run, to reach my goal considerably faster!

The small amount I got on November 10th came from a small translation contract that sort of fell on my lap. While I don’t usually do this professionally, I do have a bachelor’s degree in translation. I couldn’t say no! 😉

Out of the $2,100 I saved, I invested $1,900 in my TFSA and $200 was added to my travel account.

As a matter of fact, some may be surprised to know I’m saving to travel while on the path to FI. It’s certainly quite expensive to travel after all. However, I absolutely want to do it. I love it, it makes me happy and it ironically helps me stay on track with my goals as well. Since I want to travel once I reach financial independence, I have to practise. Right? 😉

Expense Report

DateAmountDescription
2020-11-02$497.50Rent
2020-11-02$7.15Spotify
2020-11-02$10.00Donation
2020-11-04$96.22Groceries
2020-11-04$16.10Mondou
2020-11-06$403.85Car Payment
2020-11-08$14.39Home Insurance
2020-11-08$48.04Car Insurance
2020-11-09$2.78Amazon
2020-11-09$7.70Netflix
2020-11-11$31.46Fiverr
2020-11-14$1.09Amazon
2020-11-15$5.41Starbucks
2020-11-19$95.24Groceries
2020-11-20$403.85Car Payment
2020-11-21$27.36Yarn
2020-11-22$5.40Starbucks
2020-11-23$30.78Google Drive
2020-11-23$120.00American Express Annual Fees
2020-11-23$29.50Hydro-Québec
2020-11-28$468.99Air Canada
2020-11-29$27.60Fizz Home Internet
2020-11-30$55.94Mondou
Total$2,406.35

So in November, we are talking about $2,406.35 in total expenses, or $28,876.20 annualized.

That’s a large amount, even pretty far from what I’m aiming for, but it’s exceptional. I wanted to take advantage of Air Canada’s Black Friday offers! While it may seem like a big expense, the money was actually coming out of my travel account and would have been used for that at some point or another. I just decided to spend that amount in advance, in order to earn more Aeroplan points.

Otherwise, there is not much difference compared to previous months, outside fixed expenses. There are a few Starbucks coffee here and there, more out of a need to keep me sane and get out of my apartment, than anything else.  You gotta do what you gotta do to survive this lockdown (or to avoid noisy neighbours). 🙂

Also, I had no cell phone expenses this month, thanks to Fizz‘s referral bonuses. I had gotten $40 by subscribing with someone’s code and then $40 when my sister subscribed with my code. Since I took the $27/month plan, that’s three months covered. 🙂

If you are interested in subscribing, please enter my referral code N5MMB and we will both get $50. That’s right, they raised the bonus! This is valid for mobile plans as well as Home Internet plans.

Little Travel Hacking Lesson

Let me share my strategy when taking advantage of Air Canada’s Black Friday offers. The golden rule of Travel Hacking is not to spend more than normal to get points, otherwise it’s counterproductive. In my case, I was already accumulating money in my travel account for eventual plane ticket fees or other.

Air Canada had several Black Friday offers. The more offers you combined, the more points you got:

  • 2 offers = 500 bonus points
  • 3 offers = 1,000 bonus points
  • 4 offers = 5,000 bonus points

So I took advantage of a first offer by purchasing a gift card:

  • By buying an Air Canada gift card, I could accumulate 2 points per dollar spent.
  • By purchasing the gift card with my CIBC Visa Infinite Aeroplan credit card, I could accumulate 1.5 points per dollar spent.

I purchased a $400 gift card, and I was able to earn 1,400 Aeroplan points for this first offer.

Then I took advantage of a second offer by buying points:

  • The promotion offered a 50% bonus on the points purchased. The minimum possible was $60 for 2000 points + 1000 bonus points.
  • By purchasing the points again with my CIBC Aeroplan credit card, I could accumulate 1.5 points per dollar spent.

I paid the minimum possible of $60 to get 3,090 Aeroplan points.

Finally, I took advantage of a third offer by buying a product from a partner via the Aeroplan eBoutique :

  • Purchases at Amazon gave 2 points for every dollar spent.

I was already planning on buying running shoes in the near future. I actually had enough Amazon gift cards accumulated (thanks Swagbucks!) to get them for free. The shoes cost about $50, so that’s 100 Aeroplan points.

Since I used three offers, I get the 1,000 bonus points.

Result: 5,590 Aeroplan points.

The awesome part is that I get all those points for expenses I had already planned. It’s all a matter of timing.

Is Paying Annual Fees an Investment?

Additionally, you may have noticed in my expense report the $120 annual fee for my American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card. Does it seem counterproductive to you to pay an annual fee?

The idea behind it is that I only signed up for this card to get the 3,000 Air Miles bonus, which can be worth up to about $600, if you play your cards right. I plan on cancelling the card before I am charged the annual fee again next year. So despite the annual fee, I’ll have made a profit. 🙂

I’m still a Travel Hacking beginner, but I’m already starting to accumulate nice amounts of points and miles. In a possible future where travelling will be more accessible, I’ll be more ready than ever to go at very low cost. 🙂

For those interested in the various Travel Hacking strategies, check out Milesopedia. It’s a real gold mine!

2020 is almost over!

I can’t wait to see what the stock markets have in store for us before the end of the year. Everything that goes up inevitably ends up going down, so who knows. One thing’s for sure, the markets have fully recovered from last March’s historic crash, and then some.

As far as I’m concerned, I think my income will be pretty good in December. In addition to being paid three times instead of two in December, I will also receive paid overtime. As for expenses, there is very little risk of splurging, except perhaps for food and drinks. My family and I had already agreed that we wouldn’t give each other Christmas presents, so no worries about that.

I’m already looking forward to my next monthly review. 🙂

See you next time!

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