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I don’t write regularly enough for there to be a clear pattern in how my thoughts evolve on a given subject matter over time. Recent musings have led me to consider however that perhaps I would enjoy everything in life a little more if I were to work part-time, rather than full-time. I don’t seem to be capable of striking proper work balance and workaholism is definitely a problem I have. So, I am not FI yet, (although recent calculations put me at $200k NW next spring) how do I do that?

I gave up the apartment I was still paying for in December and moved in with Bob officially. He already is FI on his own, to where I strive to be, so our bills are already very low. He pays property tax, electricity and aside from the internet bill and home and vehicle insurances there are very little other bills.  I pay most of the groceries. Although we haven’t officially discussed it the arrangement seems fair to me. (I also suspect he pays little attention to where food actually comes from as long as there is food)

If you’ve read any bits of this blog you’ll know I’ve always kept my expenses as low as possible.

With no more rent eating into my budget, and with no more cellphone bill my expenses are really quite low and almost half of them are food-expenses.

I’ve been playing around with ideas on how to change my working situation to part-time, rather than full-time and a basic monthly budget would look something like this

Groceries $200
Fuel $80 (a lot less driving with no day-job)
Spending money $50
Restaurants $50
Medical $20
Clothing $50
Household $20
Car insurance $47.00
Life insurance $12.00
Birthdays $20
Christmas $20

Total expenses: $554.00, $6,648 annually.

Interest income at the end of 2018 should consist of $3,000 leaving me to cover $3,648 of my expenses which I can easily do.

Sidehustle incomes – minimal effort required – I anticipate in 2019
Misc income: $700 (possibly onward)
AIRBNB: $1,800
Sidehustle X: $1,000 (conservatively, $2,000 so far this year)
Total: $3,500 – $4,500

If I return to a simple cottage cleaning job in the summer I can easily earn $7,000 working weekends over the summer and cover all of my annual expenses, side hustle incomes would then cover my portion of our travel adventures and my interest income would remain with the principal allowing my savings to continue to compound. It’s likely my interest income will actually be quite a bit higher as I continue to add to my savings and investments. There is also a possibility of scaling the AIRBNB and doubling that income.

I haven’t accounted for any big purchases here, I purchased a 2014 Chevrolet Trax last month solving the vehicle-dilemma, I dont need to buy a house and together we can absorb any big bumps just fine.

So the gist of it? Once my current contract ends I don’t think I will be pursuing any further contract. That’s a little scary, but the numbers say ill be just fine. It’s really quite simple, keep your life simple and expenses low and things don’t have to get too complicated.

There are a million things that happened this year and I was so busy I had no time to write about it. The number #1 most coolest thing?

I made more money than I have ever before. For the past 8 orso years I have sat down at the end of the year and made a plan for my budget, set up major goals and estimated my income. For 2017 I expected my net income to be $24,352.44 for the year, which breaks down to $2,029.37/month (26 pays divided by 12). I always aim for the conservative side. :). While I haven’t yet tallied the totals of all my various jobs and income streams, I’m expecting to land somewhere around $60,000 gross for 2017!

I also intended to;

Save $5,377.68 in my RSPs

Save $1881.28 to my house savings

Save $7,209.16 for a vehicle. 

I had anticipated earning an extra $2,000 with my summer employment in 2017. In total I had planned to save $14,468.12…. I pretty much blew all that out of the water!

Since I scored a sweet full-time term job I was able to add quite a bit to my savings.

I usually keep track of my main savings goals in the side bar over there —->>>> and this year my savings finally made some big jumps, I used to update those bars at every dollar of progress but not so much anymore, 😀 too much work! At year end things looked like this;

2017 RSP contributions
Goal: $12,377.68
Total contributed for 2017: $16,808.33!
Total in %: 168%

2017 Extra income
Goal: $4,000
Actual: $23,000+ (net)
Total in %: 575%

2017 vehicle savings
Goal: $12,000
Total for 2017: $1,454.00
Total in %: 9.1%

2017 House saving
Goal: $1,881.28
Total for 2017: $5,000 (approximately)
Total in %: 265%

After adding in the investments I started in Lending Loop, in total I saved and invested approximately $26,262 during 2017. That’s a nice chunk more than the $14,468.12 I had budgeted for. 🙂

You’ll notice I totally abandoned saving for a vehicle, there really isn’t a specific reason for that, the money that should have been directed to that probably landed in the savings categories where I overshot my goals as I anticipate getting another year out of my car. I’ll be revisiting that in my plan for 2018 though.

The number #2 coolest thing? As a result of all dem savings;

I hit a $100,000 net worth! I’ve been working towards this for SO SO SO SO long. Since I sold my house in the fall of 2016, with no more debt holding me down and much lower housing costs I was really able to focus all my efforts on contributing to my RSP’s, TFSA, Savings and investments, and crossed the first 100k! I’m so blessed to be so rich, because man, that is rich compared to much of the world.

My YNAB file recently got corrupted and I lost a few years of data, I do make regular backups but honestly… even with monthly backups restoring a budget file with hundreds of transactions missing and accounts that constantly change (heyyyy travel-hacking) I was too lazy to go through that process. I don’t import my account data from banks, I manually input every transaction I make and keep my budget file completely offline. (I have not adopted the new subscription version of YNAB, I had subscription anything and will use YNAB 4 until I die… or until it really stops functioning) I like it this way, anyway, it does mean that since I hadn’t really kept an eye on or blogged about my networth goals that I don’t really have an accurate picture of how my networth increased over 2017. I do know that my GOAL for the start of 2016 was to have a networth of 72,000 but that I abandoned that goal.

As of today my net worth is at $111,018.64. I found a post back in April, 2014 where I logged my networth at $55,000 so in 3 years and 9 months I’ve doubled that, and sold my house converting its value.

I’m still ruminating on exactly what I’ll plan for in 2018, stay tuned. 🙂

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2017?

 

I have a loooooong history of cell phone use, having had a cellphone since I started out with what was technically my dads Nokia 3310 when I was 14. This baby right here.

Over time I’ve graduated from bricks to flip phones to my first smart phone, the Sony Xperia Arc, in March, 2011. Along with the smart phone by phone bill started creeping up fast.  From early 2011 until the end of 2015 when I finally cut the cord I have many many months with extra fees racked up from over use, using my phone out of the country (necessity – running a small business while on vacation isn’t really a choice) and just being generally stupid messaging boys. (Because dating is fun). I’ve also tried to be prudent, but my internet addiction has generally resulted in phone bills that were too high.

In 2013 I finally started doing something about it and started negotiating with Rogers to get a better plan after about a year of frustrations with my voicemail being out constantly, not having reception for calls and bogus billing issues. I should have told them off sooner but I didn’t.   My service was awful and despite contacting them again and again to fix this, as service on my line was poor no matter which device I was using, I had finally had enough. I found Rogers increasingly awful to deal with over the time I was with them. I kept a log of calls, items discussed and names. I found this chart in my email recently, the reason I thought to write this post today;

I especially like the section I titled “bogus fees”, anyway, after unsuccessful negotiations with Rogers to just get a better plan – I haven’t been locked into contracts for a long time because I buy my own phones for cheaper (Ill tell ya later) – I ended up switching to Koodo 6 months later.  Koodo was infinitely infinitely extraordinarily better to deal with than Rogers. I never had any crazy bills, crazy calls to deal with, voicemail worked consistently well and I didnt have dropped calls etc like I had with Rogers. I liked that Koodo was simple, and seemed more modern, switching things was easy online and I had no complaints about them whatsoever.

I was with Koodo for close to two years, where I reduced my plan gradually by switching when their plans were on sale to end up at a monthly fee of $45 a month near the end of 2015 when I switched to Public Mobile prepaid (Public mobile is a sub of Telus so reception remained the same). I switched purely to decrease my monthly costs. I got a Public Mobile sim card for free during a promo and switched to paying $75 every 90 days for 3gb and using voip for calls and messaging. I had help from my boyfriend setting this all up. I set up a voip account, bought a number, added credit to make calls and send messages and installed two apps on my phone to do this. One for calls and one for messaging. It was a little tricky figuring out the right settings for Voip but there are tons of resources online to help figure this one out.  If you’re still following along the math there is that by switching from Koodo to Public mobile  I got my bill down to $25 + tax every month. (30 days) by picking the 90/day/3gb plan, also using referrals saves a few dollars. 🙂

Buuuuuut, that wasn’t good enough either.  Because then Fido popped up with tablet sim cards and a great $3gb/month for $15 plan in the fall of 2016, again credit to boyfriend for finding this deal. I got a simcard for free and switched to an Alberta based simcard with a $15/3gb a month post-paid tablet plan, taking advantage of a waived activation fee as well. (credit to youknowho-again for being as persistent as a cat trying to get a mouse)

 

I dont actually live in Alberta but take advantage of a lower tax rate this way, yay Alberta! My monthly post-paid bill is now $15.75 including all taxes which I happily pay. I am still using the original $25 topup for voip – call credit needed to make actual calls – which I’ve had for over a year.  I thus spend $15.75 a month on the Fido plan and $1.66 a month on voip credit for calls and messages. My total annual cost, allowing $20 orso for overages is $230CAD.

The 3gb in data is tons for my use and I have only gone over once while in Amsterdam and accidentally connecting to data… which only cost me ten bucks. My phone is clearly not a tablet so I make this work again by using voip for calls and messages, everything else works like normal. (I use voip messenger and csipsimple for this) I had originally ported my number but ended up buying a new number because I was tired of marketing spam.

Voip is definitely different than just going to a cellphone service provider, getting a number and pushing a sim card in a phone and everything just works. It’s a bit more hassle to set up because you have to do it on your own and I’ll be honest, some of the tech settings are confusing and I don’t know what terms mean. On the other hand there are many benefits, there are tons of people and information online to help figure this out. I can dump the apps I use on any device; is my phone dead? I can use the online portal to send a text, in a foreign country? No problem… find wifi at a coffee shop and sync my messages, make a call, I have no extra costs… all I need is data or wifi. And let’s not forget; I’m saving a pile of money – close to $400 a year – which is going directly back into an rsp so I can get ahead.

Making calls using voip over data gives me the exact same quality as using a regular cell line (which, I’ll be honest, because most of my time is spent in the boonies or a big concrete building is absolute shit anyway). My family and friends and co workers think I am insane. There was an adjustment period where any call not answered by me was blamed on “not having a normal cellphone”, which is simply not true, especially my mother said this weekly for a good two months.

Do I care? No, my finances are doing better than they ever have in my entire life because I am making better financial decisions. 🙂