Goodbye 2017. Final 2017 Update, Milestones & 2018 Goals…

2017 is over, and although it seems like it went by extremely fast, I am excited by what was accomplished, and what 2018 has in store for us.

In 2017 the following 3 things happened which shaped the way the year went for me:

  1. My son Isaac was born
  2. Bought our “forever” home
  3. Started this blog to help track my goals, progress and keep me sane

One of my first blog posts I wrote was my goals for 2017, and although I didn’t accomplish all of them, considering I only had 6 months since writing them down I think I did okay.  Here is a quick reminder of what they were – and how I did:

Personal Goals (Completed 4/5)

  1. Start setting goals! PASS
  2. Sell our house & buy a new house PASS
  3. Start a website & keep it updated PASS
  4. Spend more time at home/with family PASS
  5. Try 5 new restaurants (with Amber) FAIL

Oddly enough, the only goal I wasn’t able to accomplish was what would SEEM like one of the easiest.  That said there were multiple times that I did try to get out to new places, a lot of the time she was just too tired, we couldn’t get a sitter, etc.  I guess in 2018 I’ll need to try a bit harder.

Financial Goals (Completed 2/3)

  1. Get Amber “set up” financially PASS
  2. Eliminate all debt (not including mortgage) PASS
  3. Get total portfolio Value to $320,000 by December 31 FAIL

2018 was a pretty good year for the portfolio, and I believe I would have hit all three targets if we hadn’t spent a bit more on the house than we had originally planned.  That said, we love the house and I have no regrets.

Even though my portfolio fell short of the aggressive $320,000 goal I had set, I did hit a new milestone in 2017 as my portfolio finished the year at $301,375.67 which was the first time it broke $300,000!  My portfolio started the year @ $251,880.81 which means I was about 500 dollars away from a yearly increase of $50,000!

My goals for 2018 are going to be short and sweet:

2018 Personal Goals:

  1. Increase the amount of blog posts – and the range of content on this site
  2. Get life insurance &  a will in order
  3. Take the wife to 5 new restaurants (Going to try this again)

2018 Financial Goals:

  1. Sell off my Mutual funds through my bank and replace them with low cost ETF’s and individual stocks
  2. Receive $10,000 in passive dividend income
  3. Increase overall portfolio to $350,000.00

Now onto the fun stuff….December Update:

 

Personal Highlights for December:

  • Celebrated our first Christmas with Isaac
  • Hosted our first ever Christmas Family dinners (40+ people on xmas eve and 30 on Boxing Day).
  • The kids got RIDICULOUSLY spoiled, our house is filled with toys, books, clothes, and more.  We plan on going through a bunch of their old toys, clothes, and donating this month.
  • Isaac has started pulling himself up on the table, and got his first 2 teeth

Financial Highlights:

  • Total investment portfolio broke the $300,000.00 milestone
  • Amber’s TFSA recieved over $100 in dividends for the first time and also recieved more than my TFSA for the first time.
  • Continued bi weekly payments into RRSPs & Spousal RSP.
  • Amber’s TFSA/RRSP are now over $20,500.  (They didn’t exist 6 months ago)

 

Passive Income Update For December 2017.

J’s TFSA:

Diversified Royalty: $9.03 (Dripped 2 new shares)

Lucara Diamond: $7.00 (have since closed this position)

Artis Reit: $49.59 (Dripped 3 new shares)

Plaza Reit: $24.62 (Dripped 6 new shares)

Ambers TFSA:

Chorus Aviation: $10.76 (Dripped 1 share)

Intertape Polymer: $49.49

Alimentation Couche Tard: $11.25

TOTAL TFSA’S:      $202.59

 

RRSP:

Canadian Equity Income Distribution: $213.01

Global Dividend Fund Distribution: $422.33

Total Passive Income July 2017:  $837.93

Portfolio Update:

With the contributions to Amber’s TFSA, my continued bi weekly contributions and this seemingly never-ending bull market our portfolio hit an all time high: $301,375.67!  Looking forward to see what 2018 brings!

 

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2017 Goals Update.

One of my first blog posts was about setting goals for 2017.  I also noted that I typically do not set goals, so this would be something a little out of my element.  I am happy to report so far I think I’m doing okay (with most of them).

Below are the goals I set – and a quick note of where I am at.

Personal Goals

  1. Start setting goals! *NAILED IT*
    The big test will be to see if I can achieve any/all of them and more importantly come January 1st If I continue to set goals for next year.
  2. Sell our house & buy a new house: *NAILED IT*
    House sale has closed and we’ve been in our new place for about a month now!  Most of our new furniture has been delivered, and so far we love everything about the new place.  That said – we haven’t had to pay all the new bills yet.
  3. Start a website & keep it updated *GETTING THERE*
    Website is up and running.  Due to the house sale and moving – I wasn’t able to post as much as I would have liked for the last couple of months, but things are back on track now.  October has been my highest traffic month so far, and the month is only half done.
  4. Spend more time at home/with family *GETTING THERE*
    I’ve definitely been spending a lot more time at home – although I wish I could take more credit for this being a conscious decision.  In reality it is likely due to the fact the Jets season has just started, my soccer season hasn’t started yet, we just moved, and I am still getting things organised around the house.  The next couple of months will be the big challenge.
  5. Try 5 new restaurants (with Amber) *SLACKING*
    This is the one area I am going to need to step up my game.  Although we’ve gone out a few times,  I believe we’ve only been to 1 restaurant that Amber hadn’t been to. I still have a couple of months – so I’ll have to get moving on this one if I want to achieve this goal.

 

Financial Goals

  1. Get Amber “set up” Financially *NAILED IT*
     So far we have done the following:
    – Create a joint bank account
    – Set Amber up with Direct Investing & a TFSA
    – Start a Spousal RSP for Amber – and started bi-weekly contributions.
    – Bought 3 new stocks in Ambers TFSA (ATD.B, CHR, & ITP).
    The only area I still need to work on is getting her actually interested in some of this stuff….that will probably be the hardest part.
  2. Eliminate all debt (not including mortgage) *NAILED IT*
      I just got back from the bank – and they confirmed my line of credit has officially been paid off/closed.  My credit card is also completely paid off.  My car is paid off, and my cabin is paid off.  The only debt I currently have is my mortgage on my house (which I don’t really consider debt).
  3. Get total portfolio Value to $320,000 by December 31*WAY BEHIND*
    With only 2 months to go – my portfolio is sitting at $278,000.  I have pretty much come to terms with the fact I wont hit this target – however I think $300,000 might be doable.  There are 3 main reasons I wont hit this goal:1) I paid off my debt very aggressively(Took some profits from my TFSA)
    2) We spent a little bit more on the house than we thought
    3) We underestimated the cost of furnishing a much larger house

    All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with where I am at…just need to step it up and take the wife out a few more times and try and sock away a bit more $$$ before the end of the year!

Big changes on the horizon

Just wanted to pop in with a quick update.  I haven’t posted anything all month – and it’s definitely not due to a lack of financial or personal activity.  In fact quite the opposite.  In the last couple of weeks we were able to sell our house and buy our new home.  I’ve been trying to get everything sorted and ready for the move.

I get possession of this beauty on September 10th!Vanier FrontVanier EntranceVanier Kitchen 2Vanier Family RoomVanier BathroomVanier Yard

Needless to say we are extremely excited.  We are moving out of our 780 square foot house into a much more spacious home – where the kids will get their own rooms, have a nice backyard to play in, and in an area we both love.  We looked at probably 30-40 houses, and this was the first one that both the wife and I loved.  It was in an area we both wanted to live in & checked off multiple boxes (wet bar, master ensuite, close to family/schools/parks, big fenced back yard, move in ready, etc).

The downside obviously is that I will no longer be mortgage free before I’m 40 (barring any sort of miracles or lottery winnings) and our monthly expenses are going to increase quite a bit.

We’ve also decided to sell our cabin (probably this summer) and I’ve decided that once we are settled from the move I am going to change up my investment plan/style.  (More on that coming in next blog post).

Enjoy the rest of the summer!  I’ll be back in September.

 

 

The times they are a “changin'”

Well – looks like the time is (finally) here.  One of my goals for 2017 was to sell my house & buy a new house.  As of Friday my house has officially been sold.  Although I knew we had to buy a new house with the arrival of our second child, it still seems weird.  This was the first house I ever bought, and I’ve lived there for over TWELVE years (more than a third of my life).

I now have until September 15th to find a new house, get possession and move in otherwise i’ll be living out at the cabin for a few months.  I loved my little house, and truth be told, I probably would have lived there forever if our family remained a one child home.  That being said, there are a few things I am looking forward to in a new house – things I didn’t even think to consider when buying my first home.

The great news is everything went super smooth with the sale of our house – we listed it – had showings for 4 days and on offer date – we had 2 offers (both above asking price) and had it close 3 days later!

Here are some pics of the little house i’ll be leaving next month:(

http://www.goodfellow-goodfellow.com/listings/view/142850/winnipeg/scotia-heights/118-forrest-avenue

On a more happy note, while cleaning the house and de-cluttering I decided to roll my spare change I had which resulted in $1176.00.  It’s amazing how fast change adds up. I took it to the bank and put it directly down on my line of credit (one of my other goals is to have my line of credit paid off by the end of the year).

In case you wanted to know what $1176 in change looks like:

change.png

My neck and back hurt for 2 days after just carrying it from my car to the bank.

Not much else is new from the finances side – and unfortunately until a new house is purchased, and I figure out all the new monthly expenses I probably wont be making any  purchases (aside from the few funds that get automatically purchased every 2 weeks).  Plan is to buckle down – eliminate all debt – buy a house and once I’m settled I will re-focus on finding some good buys!

I am not sure how much time i’ll have to post until we are moved into the new house – so aside from monthly portfolio updates the blogging will probably be pretty scarce.  It’s probably for the best though – it’s +30 and you should be outside drinking a beer anyway!

Saving money feels great: but lets be honest so does spending it.

The biggest financial struggle I have in my life is trying to find the “right” balance between saving up for retirement & making sure I enjoy life now.

I know life is short – and I want to spend as little time as possible “working” however I also don’t want to sacrifice the things that make me happy now.   I know there are a lot of areas I could scale back my spending & I would be much further ahead financially – but I refuse to do it – and I am okay with that.

Unlike most posts on financial blogs – I am not going to talk about ways to scrimp & save. Today- instead I’m going to encourage you to reward yourself too!  To do this – I am going to share a story of one of the many times I decided to set a goal and reward myself!

I’ve played soccer (football) since I was 3 years old – my dad played since he was kid – he coached me growing up, and we’ve both been die hard supporters of the Dutch National Team.  I can remember as early as 1994 (I was 11) thinking one day I will go to the World Cup with my dad.  In 2014 I was finally able to live out this dream.  We entered the ticket lottery to try and get to see at least 1 Dutch game.  We got lucky – and were offered the option to purchase a 5 pack – meaning as long as Holland made it to the quarter final – we would get to see every game.  To give you an idea of how big of a Dutch football fan I am – here was my jersey collection PRIOR to leaving for Brazil(it has since grown).My Jersey Collection

Our trip consisted of seeing 5 games, in 4 different cities.  All 4 cities were along the coast which was nice.  We started in Salvador to see Holland take on the defending champions Spain.  The game didn’t start off great- as Diego Costa scored on a penalty shot.  We didn’t have high hopes going into this game – but when Holland tied it up with a Van Persie header right before the half (arguably the nicest goal of the tournament*) we started thinking we may get a point out of this game.  The second half still feels like a dream.  It was the first (of a few) times I had happy tears streaming down my face…

53rd minute – Robben Scores to take the lead
64th minute de Vrij scores
72nd minute Van Persie makes it 4-1
80th minute Robben dribbles through the whole team and makes it 5-1
* If you haven’t seen the Van Persie goal I highly recommend checking this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOXiWODZNqk

Our next stop was Porto Alegre which is in the southeast corner of Brazil.  Our hotel was located on a strip of bars and restaurants and people were partying all day and night. Game 2 was against Australia.  After just pounding the defending champions, we felt pretty confident going into this game however the Aussies kept us nervous all game.  We squeaked out a 3-2 win thanks to some heroics from a young star Memphis Depay.  This game also saw Gary Cahill score an absolute BEAUTY of a goal.  At this point we had been to 2 games, and saw what would end up being the 2 nicest goals of the entire tournament (source: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/07/the-10-best-goals-of-the-2014-fifa-world-cup.html)
The Australian fans were amazing.  We partied with many of them before, during and after the match.

The last match of the group stage would be against Chile in Sao Paulo.  Although I’ve traveled to a few decent size cities – it was pretty amazing to go to a city where the population is almost HALF that of your entire country.  Sao Paulo is home to one of the largest Football Museum’s in the world.  The museum is extremely interactive, and we had a great time.  Here are a few pictures from the museum including one of my dad with a screamer into the top corner with his left foot!

 

The game against Chile was close right til the end when Holland scored 2 goals in the last 15 minutes to win 2-0.  This secured top spot in the Group and set up a match against Mexico in Fortaleza.

The two things I remember most about Fortaleza were the beautiful beaches and the Mexican fans who were decked out in everything from your typical jersey to a full on Luchador masks and full body suits.  Mexico’s goalie played great all tournament and this game was no exception.  Mexico scored early in the 2nd half and it remained 1-0 until the 88th minute.  We were surrounded by Mexican fans who for the past 30 minutes had been heckling us (all in good fun) and basically celebrating their win. With 2 minutes left in the game Wesley Sneijder popped one home to tie it up.  We figured we would see our first extra time game of the tournament, and before we could even get nervous about extra time Arjen Robben drew a penalty which the Hunter (Klaas-Jan Huntelaar) scored in extra time to seal the win!  My legs were shaking – I was crying happy tears (again).  I looked over to see the expression on the Mexican fan’s face next to me – but he must have ducked out while I was celebrating – he was nowhere to be seen.  2 goals in the last 5 minutes of the game to win & stay alive- nothing could ever beat this(or so i thought).

Here is a picture of one of the many beautiful beaches in Fortaleza:

Fortaleza

Our 5th and final game we had tickets to was the quarter final against Costa Rica.  This game was played in Salvador – the same city we started in and saw our first game.  The Dutch were playing great – had almost 65% possession – and by the end of regulation time was over had 15 shots on target compared to Costa Rica’s 3.  The only problem – they hadn’t scored yet.  Extra time was played – and still no goals scored.  What happened next was like something out of a dream.  As penalty kicks were approaching Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal used his last sub to bring in  Tim Krul (the backup goalie) who hadn’t played a single minute the entire tournament and he came in and saved not one but TWO penalty kicks to send Holland through to the semi finals.  I am sure by now you can picture what happened next (tears flowing, speechless, etc).  What I remember most from the entire game was as we were leaving I had to use the hand rails because my legs were shaking so much I could barely walk.

My dream was to see a Dutch World Cup game with my dad.  I was able to see 5.  I saw the team I have watched since I was a kid win all 5 games we were able to attend and even though I know I am biased – I believe we saw the top 2 goals of the entire tournament and maybe the biggest story line of the tournament (Tim Krul’s penalty kick heroics).

http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/28180956

So even though this is a personal finance blog – and normally I’ll write about saving money – I wanted to share my story of a time I SPENT a lot of money and know I will never regret it!

Life is short.  Keep saving – but reward yourself too!

Jordan & Dad.jpg

Hup Holland Hup!