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!

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

Well…I finally did it…and a bit about me

Yesterday was the day I finally did it.  I’ve been talking about doing it for quite some time – but kept putting it off.  No, I am not talking about creating a personal finance blog (i did that today)…and I am definitely not talking about going to the gym.  Yesterday I went to the bank and turned my bank account (the same account I’ve had since I was 8 years old) into a joint account with my wife.

The real reason for making the bank appointment was to set up a spousal RSP & open a TFSA & Direct Investing account for my wife-but I decided it would just be easier to manage everything through one account.  This may not seem like a big deal – in fact most married people I know always found it strange that we had separate accounts…hell I am sure even my wife thought it was odd.  For some reason though, when I was asked to sign on the dotted line, I hesitated.  Oh well – it’s done now.

Anyways – Moving on….

My parents are great.  They’ve always supported everything we’ve ever done, we see each other multiple times a week and they are great Grandparents….BUT my parents have never been great with money.  Don’t get me wrong, they are doing fine – they both have pensions, are enjoying life and have never “struggled” to put food on the table or anything… BUT I am pretty confident they couldn’t explain the difference between a TFSA/RRSP.  I don’t believe my Dad has ever had an RRSP, owned a stock, or made a personal budget. So it might be shocking to know that this website, and my own financial portfolio exists mostly because of my Dad.

Around the time I was graduating high school, my dad gave me the book “The Wealthy Barber” by David Chilton.  It changed the way I thought of money, wealth, retirement and the shaped the way I would live the rest of my life.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been interested in money & business from a young age.  When i was 10 years old, I set up a hockey card & comic book shop in my basement.  I would buy and sell cards/comics with kids in the neighborhood.  I would buy candy and drinks and sell them to other kids (at a small markup of course:).  I was always scheming ways to make a few dollars…but  it wasn’t until reading the Wealthy Barber that I took it to the next level. I opened my first RRSP at the age of 18, bought my house at 21, and have been doing my best to build up my net worth ever since.

This website is mainly for me.  I wanted to have a place to track my financial goals, monitor my portfolio and review new things I try – however I’d also like to share some thoughts and ideas with others who may be interested in the same things – so hopefully this website can be for you too.  Enjoy!