My latest obsessions with music (they’re not all the same, but they’re all catchy…):
MUSE: UPRISING (ROCK)
Heard this in The Bay of all places in the men’s section. Did a Shazam on it. It’s the only song I like from the band.
KARMIN: TOLD YOU SO (RAP)
Saw her rap on The Rachel Zoe Project, and it’s just a good song. Catchy.
BRANDON & LEAH: SHOWSTOPPER (POP)
Heard this on a lingerie commercial of all places, but I love it. Apparently it’s Kim Kardashian’s song? Whatever. It’s catchy.
THE BIRD & THE BEE: I CAN’T GO FOR THAT (80’s RETRO COVER)
I only really like the chorus, the rest is a bit too 80s for me, but still.
Heard this in J. Crew about 4 months ago and couldn’t get it out of my head.
I was too late in figuring out what they were singing (it was near the end and I don’t have a smartphone), and it wasn’t until I heard the original, retro version by Daryl Hall and John Oates “I can’t go for that” in the telephone music while waiting for PC Financial to fix my banking problem, that I got the lyrics and found the cover.
Truthfully, a very stressful month on the family/personal and work/career side, but I made it and that’s what matters.
I also totally effed up my Budgeting Tool website (somehow) on April 29th, and I spent all of April 30th and May 1st trying to fix it. I still don’t even know WTF happened.
I am also starting to seriously consider a few changes in my eating habits, such as switching to whole wheat flour and brown rice (this is a hard thing for me), and eating a lot more vegetarian meals than I have been doing before.
On a lighter note, the next time I get a scammer from “Microsoft Technical Support” I’m turning into ScamBaiter and doing a nice, wide range of tricks to annoy and troll them:
This month in particular was a lot of spending for me. A LOT OF SPENDING… but a lot of returning as well, so it evened out.
“Austere April” indeed. I didn’t spend THAT much, but it was in the $2000 range (aside from taxes).
Hope the weather stays as nice as it has been lately!
INCOME = $805.22 (didn’t try hard this month)
To be brutally honest, unlike other previous months, I wasn’t particularly focused on making any extra income.
I admittedly put in very little effort and time because I was consumed with bidding & interviews for a contract in my real career that all ended up falling through due to skittish clients (economy fears), and bad timing.
Looks like I might have to fly out west to work, which I am not keen on doing (an 9-hour plane commute? No thank you.)
EXPENSES = $6398.95 (67% of it was taxes)
The bulk of this amount were my taxes to Canada and the U.S. in the amount of $4323.31.
Taxes are what held me back from having an even higher net worth gain this month due to the stock market rally.
Big.. fat… tax… bill…at 67% of my spending this month.
TOP 5 CATEGORIES OF SPENDING THIS MONTH
If you want to know what your focus was this month, look at where you spent the most money.
I thought my mom needed more plates.
I forgot that we also use dinner plates to prep food, and it’s a hassle to have to clean them afterwards just to use them to eat.
Otherwise, all of it looks pretty normal.
We bought a Kitchenaid Mixer, and another set of household plates and cups (this time for ourselves).
We might keep the mixer, we might not. We’re going to take it for a test run some time this month and if we don’t like it, it goes back.
NET WORTH = $213,727.85 + $9838.48 or an increase of 4.38%
3 points to consider why my net worth is not higher:
- My net worth had dropped because of the stock market in March (went down to $203K)
- My net worth went up again in April because of the stock market (no real “gain” in my opinion)
- …but this month, I ALSO shelled out almost $6500 this month (expenses & tax bill)
…this means if I didn’t have to pay about $4300 in taxes this month, I’d be up over $13,000 this month alone from the stock market.
Instead of blaming taxes, I see the good side to all of this — I made more than enough money, and it covered my tax bill! 😀
On a higher note, my net worth is the highest it’s ever been in the history of my net worth.
Look at where I was in April 2012 last year! All the way down there at $187,000.
APRIL 2013 STOCKS AND DIVIDENDS RESULTS
- I have 50% of my assets (now) invested in stocks & dividend plans & the rest are in index funds and straight-up 2.6% high-interest savings at PC Financial
These comparisons are just from March 2013 to April 2013, not for the total amounts.
So when the stocks dropped BELOW par in March, they went back up to par and beyond, which resulted in a nice, fat looking 58.85% of capital gains.
Very misleading as a stat.
So lest you think I’m some sort of brilliant stock picking genius, I AM NOT ONE.
It is easy to make money when everyone is making money and it is easy to gain a lot of money in significant chunks like this, when you have a lot invested in it.
This was mostly luck and not what I expected. I wasn’t expecting such a turnaround in a month, and I am well aware it could drop just as easily in May.
….but let’s hope this momentum lasts for the rest of 2013!
Highest 3 April 2013 Performers in my portfolio:
Obligatory Disclaimer: Don’t buy anything just because I bought it or it did well in April. In March, they all pretty much tanked, so it can go up but it can also go down. Do your own research.
My top gainers are currently at about a profit of $1000 – $1700 each right now. I’m keeping them until I feel it’s time to sell.
- FLWS – 1-800 Flowers – Up ~$2/stock since I purchased them sometime in January
- FTE – France Telecom – Up ~$0.77/stock, this is my newest buy when they dropped below $10
- BB.TO – Blackberry – Bought them for fun when they were below book value
I have target prices for each, but the more I read, the more I change my target price of when I want to sell them, so I’m taking it easy.
Alls I know is once the profit starts to hit a significant number like $5000 – $10,000, I’ll seriously consider taking my money and running for the hills.
(Er.. or just wait with my money in the bank until I see something interesting to buy.)
Lowest 3 April 2013 “Duds” in my portfolio:
Luckily, none of my duds except for Rogers Sugar has a significant amount of money in it (e.g. over $5000), and none of them have lost more than $78 – $100 in total at the most. 🙂
I’m really down about $300 as total capital losses with these duds.
- PWT.TO – Penn West Petroleum – This was an experiment/fun buy that is on a rollecoaster
- RSI.TO – Rogers Sugar – Holding this for the very long-term, so I am not concerned about it
- BUSE – First Busey Corporation – This was also an experiment when they were below book
MY FAVOURITE 5 POSTS THIS MONTH
I write almost daily now (boredom has set in and I am scheduled until the end of November 2013 with daily posts), so it was hard just picking the 5 I liked, but here they are:
- My parents won the lottery and then wasted most of it on themselves
- How living full-time in a hotel is cheaper than renting
- Is a pre-nup really all that depressing?
- Making thousands from virtual millions: my childhood hobby turned into a business
- Should I be called out for spending in “PF-unacceptable” categories?
GREAT ARTICLES I READ THIS MONTH
- NY Times featured a boss that says why he pays what he pays his workers based on skill
- Capitol Hill Style had a great example of what it means to be good at your job
- Areyagonnaeatthat talked about how resistance is futile when you go against the grain
- Dave talks about how he battles with his consumerism (a plight I know well)
- 2 ringgit’s worth: My life in US dollars — It’s nice to see someone else’s budget in your currency!
- AdinaJ writes about spending less or earning more as the two main PF camps (I like both)
- Paula from neatly describes The Diderot Effect which is the idea of lifestyle inflation
- Sidewalk Ready has a great dirty hair updo and has a great video on it too!
- Beauty Brains says that the FDA (U.S.A.) is going through a cosmetics legislation overhaul
BLOG FEATURES & GUEST POSTS
- Financial Uproar and NZ Muse both featured: How I made thousands from virtual millions
- Financial Uproar also featured: why I think we’re unrealistic about housing prices
- Financial Uproar also says decreased savings rates are not a big deal in regards to my post about global savings rates around the world
- Making sense of cents liked my post on what to call myself if I am not fugal or cheap
- Manda featured me writing about how women have to start fighting for what they’re worth
- Areyagonneatthat liked my Minimalist Fashion Post
- Cassie recommended my post on How and where to get started for investing in Canada
- One Cent At a Time hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance #408 & my post on how living full-time in a hotel is cheaper for me than renting an apartment
I am hoping something will turn up for May as a job.
If not, June to August is pretty much a wash. No one works in the summer in terms of contracts or projects.
I’ll have to count on September to have a contract if nothing pops in May, which means I am going to have to figure out something to do in between June and September….. and by “figure something out” I mean take a trip somewhere for the summer.
Honestly, I suspect companies are waiting until the July housing reports come out before they invest in projects, mostly because they’re all frightened the economy will tank and they’ll be in the middle of an expensive project, bleeding cash.
I can understand that.
So what’s on for May? Umm… more spending, but hopefully less than this month.
I’ll also be walking around a lot outside, the weather is really getting warm and beautiful!
TIME TO BUST OUT THE DRESSES! 😀