May 2013 Budget Roundup = $219,663.41 or an increase of $5935.56 or 2.78%
NOT GETTING A 6-FIGURE JOB ANY TIME SOON
Some people have asked why I don’t just go and join a company to earn a 6-figure salary and make some money in the meantime while waiting for a contract.
“Isn’t it better than working retail or at Starbucks? You make SO much more money.”
Er… depends on how you look at it.
I’d probably enjoy working at Starbucks more than for a company doing a job that I love, because at least at Starbucks, you can punch in and punch out.
You aren’t being forced to work weekends*, long hours, dealing and picking up the slack of others in the company who have been coasting for years.
*UPDATE: Er.. I mean “Weekends in addition to a 40-hour full workweek..”
You don’t have the long-term stress that causes sleepless nights, and although customers yell at you and are bossy/bitchy, it isn’t for serious things, just for messing up a drink or so.
You aren’t traveling long commutes from one end of the country to the other, on a tight budget because the client is a cheapskate and won’t pay for normal flights, so you have to take red-eyes, or travel by goat cart.
Other more rational reasons why:
- I’d be screwing my own business if I joined a company, they sent me out on projects and those clients would not be looking for freelancers (like me) as a result. Why would I cut off my own legs, so to speak?
- I can always do this, it is not an option that will disappear, and I will re-visit it if I don’t get something in the next 2 years if money gets tight.
- Bad years come and go, by the time I get a job and work a few months, I might end up quitting again, this kind of churning of employee joining & quitting is not something companies enjoy and if the time ever comes that I need an actual permanent job (knock on wood), they’ll blacklist me.
- I really effin’ don’t want to — companies + me do not mix well, and I don’t like all that unnecessary team building, paperwork, HR crap and all the things that they try to get you to do for the company.
- Did I mention how much I don’t want to? I value free time more than money, and this is the price I pay.
Anyway, it’s not like I’m living paycheque to paycheque, which is the #1 reason why I’d join a company ASAP if I was getting swamped with bills.
IVY HARVEY SHOES
I heard this song on Departures Season 3 and it is just catchy.
I’d call this.. .. what would I call this?
I don’t know, but it’s a good song. It says Genre: Electronic and I guess it’s Electronic but .. it’s kind of Pop-ish.
Aren’t these cherry blossoms gorgeous?
I missed the full bloom in April, but I managed to catch the last of it and take a few photos to share with you:
Yes I very much enjoy macro (close up) photography of flowers and plants.)
BYE BYE TD CANADA TRUST! THANKS FOR ALL THE FEES… NOT.
I moved as many of my accounts from TD to Questrade as I could.
Still have a TFSA one outstanding, but that’ll get moved at the very last possible second at end of the year (December 31st) so that I can re-contribute without penalty in 2014.
INCOME = $646.61
Met my casual goal of $500 a month.
Making more money online… or not!
Thank you so much for being readers and just visiting the site! May was an incredible month, and I think it might be due to Google having tweaked their algorithms?
I dunno I don’t really follow that stuff but I have been reading around that a lot of bloggers got dinged for having sponsored posts on their sites, as Google considers that a conflict of interest versus their Adsense network.
Additionally, I’ve realized why I don’t make more money online compared to other bloggers who regularly pull in $500 – $600 a month.
P.S. I am not complaining about my Adsense and Lijit earnings AT ALL!!!
I realized it’s because I don’t do sponsored posts (they are really out of place on my blog versus my style of writing and it shows) and I don’t have any paid links.
(I will however considered paid links, but I’m not really hustling.)
Chalk that up to laziness? Nah.
This blog doesn’t even have a PageRank yet, so I’m fairly sure advertisers aren’t interested.
Why my interest (banking) rates are not higher and at a piddly 0.035% in comparison
It’s because if you live in Canada, PC Financial is running a promotional interest of 2.6% for any NEW deposits being transferred into your account.
I cleaned out ING Direct of about $40,000 and transferred in all the money to sit in my account.
Now this is how it works with PC Financial’s new 2.6% promotional rate
- It is across all savings accounts and even your chequing account.
- The regular banking interest rates still apply from April 15th > July 15th 2013.
- The payout for the total amount earned at the end (calculation) is done a week AFTER July 15th, so you won’t see the promotional interest in your monthly account yet, only the regular monthly interest earnings
- If you have your money in the Interest PLUS savings account, you earn MORE monthly interest, but will get LESS promotional interest when July 15th rolls around.
- If you have you money in the Chequing account you will earn LESS monthly interest but MORE promotional interest when July 15th rolls around.
- The total interest earned on all the accounts still stays at 2.6%, it will not change no matter where you stick your money (interest plus or not).
Only took 2 phone calls and 2 weeks of back and forth to figure that out.
I am expecting about $75 – $80 a month in interest, so from April 15th to July 15th, it is about 3 months worth of interest.
3 months x $75 = $225 in promotional interest, less whatever interest I earned, so let’s say about $200 in July as a payout.
EXPENSES = $2582.51
WHY ARE SO MANY PEOPLE BORN IN MAY?
Don’t answer that, I know why. 😛
May is spendy month because it seems like everyone and their dog is born in May.
I had so many birthdays… this was not a good month for eating out in terms of expenses, but I did have a lot of treats by eating sushi all the time (no meat, just fish and no tuna), now that I’m about 99% vegan.
It was a real pleasure to eat sushi. I did NOT take it for granted.
TOP 5 CATEGORIES OF SPENDING
SAVED… ON WARDROBE PURCHASES
I had about $300 left on my J. Crew gift card, so it was money that was pretty much already “spent” as in I couldn’t get it back in cash.
So the fact that I was able to get rid of it (FINALLY) while they had their 20% off sale (which means “regular” retail prices), made me feel like it was the biggest load off my wallet this month.
SPENT… THE MOST ON MY TEETH
Seriously? $356 on TEETH?
Thank goodness this is once a year. It also sucks I had a bad dentist for the first round but a better one for the second.
SPLURGED… ON EATING OUT
See above. This is not happening again for June, although June might see an uptick in the Travel category.
NET WORTH = $219,663.41 or an increase of $5935.56 or 2.78%
NET WORTH FROM THE PAST 12 MONTHS
This time last year I was down at about $191,656.87 as a net worth.
This is quite possibly the highest my net worth has ever been.
ETFs, STOCK & DIVIDENDS REVIEW
TOP 3 PERFORMING STOCKS LAST MONTH
- PWT – Penn West Petroleum — up $1.25 since last month per stock
- BAC – Bank of America — up $1.25 since last month per stock
- SBUX – Starbucks — up $2.64 since last month per stock
LOWEST 3 PERFORMING STOCKS LAST MONTH
- BB.TO – Blackberry — Down $2.05 since last month per stock
- FTE – France Telecom — Down $0.58 since last month per stock
- ECI.TO – Enercare — Down $0.07 since last month per stock
My ETFs are boring — they’re index funds of the S&P 500 and the Canadian stock market, and I have about $57,000 invested in these.
The other portion of my money is invested in index mutual funds (bonds and the stock market), at about $20,000.
I also hold about $40,000 in cash in a savings account out of practicality rather than chasing returns, I need the money to pay bills for however long it takes for me to get my next contract.
So the break down looks like this:
- SUPER RISKY: 46% or $102,000 in individual stocks
- MODERATELY RISKY: 28% or $57,000 in ETF index funds
- MODERATELY RISKY: 9% or $20,000 in Mutual Fund index funds
- CONSERVATIVE: 17% or $37,000 in cash
This is the general breakdown of where my money is that I am comfortable with. 50% is really the maximum I feel comfortable with for individual stock investing, any higher and I’d probably be breathing into a paper bag each month.
MY 5 FAVOURITE POSTS THIS MONTH
- Think you’re not a minimalist?
- When did it become taboo to fail?
- Where do millionaires hold most of their wealth?
- All shoppers want are to feel like they’re getting a deal
- Top 5 mistakes freelancers make
BEST ARTICLES I READ THIS MONTH
The most interesting post of all was this reddit thread about things you were dying to ask other cultures/races but didn’t want to come off as ignorant.
In the spirit of the thread, it’s pretty informative.
The runner-up has to be Seth Godin‘s post, which sums up precisely why I do what I do, and think what I think, even if it’s unpopular and people think I’m a paranoid freak about food, toiletries, etc.
The funniest I’ve read this month was DEFINITELY, HANDS DOWN, The Asian Pear’s post on her mother experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome.
I describe Mom to others as “the woman who never wants to experience empty-nest syndrome.”
She wants to hold her children on for dear life.
She’s not one of those mama-birds who wants to see her children fly.
Oh no… She’ll glomp on chicks telling them there’s no need to fly and she’ll bring them food FOREVER.
(Psst.. tell her she can adopt me!)
- This Aerial Photography by Katrin Korfmann is seriously gorgeous (see above)
- Vanessa shows us how traveling on a tight budget is done: ~$6000 for 91 days in Europe
- Want to start investing in cheap stocks?Financial Uproar has an index of less-than-cash stocks
- Well-Heeled: No Money Worries — I have similar goals to save $50K a year/50% of my income.
- PK over at DQYDJ asks how much did you save in 2012? I’m at 47.74% from 2012, and also had a fast Personal Finance 101 Quick Start Guide.
- The Great Jolly Hoombahs talk about making the most of 5 minutes in your day.
- Speaking of cool, check out this city made of food by Swiss food lab Atelier! Via
- Oblivious Investor tells you exactly where to find all the holdings in a mutual fund
- Joshua Kennon lays it out on how you can get rich with his style of portfolio management
- Eric features the most important things you need to know about life, all of which I am working on
- Dr. Stanley (author of my favourite PF book) makes a good point about thinking outside of the box to make money, because it isn’t just the doctors and lawyers who make a lot of $$$$
- Babble: Barbie ideals versus real life — We can’t all be supermodels with super long legs!
- One Frugal Girl asks when it is ever enough, and when do you know when you have enough?
- Belle shows you how to reach a professional wardrobe with 15 easy pieces (women)
- Jane recaps one of my favourite photo books on what people eat around the world & says she eats as badly as an American; I suggest everyone watch the documentary “Forks over Knives“.
- A Chinese pickpocketer who uses chopsticks over @ Absolutely Fobulous
- You want a physicist to speak at your funeral shared by Alyssa
- How to escape the fake visa scam at the border of Thailand and Cambodia by eemusings
BEST BLOG FEATURES FROM THIS MONTH
- Over at Reach Financial Independence, I guest blogged about what made me decide to live in a hotel full-time!
- Casual Kitchen featured my post on price anchoring and how it affects the way we shop
- PK over at DQYDJ liked my post on giving an overview of what goes into a stock valuation, and so did Savvy Scott who was much too kind in heaping on undeserved praise on me, calling my ramblings a sign of an ‘engaging writer”
- Cassie recommended that others read about the only thing that bothers me about eating meat and she also recommended they read my post on whether or not you think you’re a minimalist, in addition to reading my post on whether you’d date someone because of their $$ situation
- Frugal Farmer found it inspirational to read about the money mindset & traits of millionaires
- PK over at DQYDJ linked yet again to my post on the money mindset of millionaires
- Maria @ Money Principle doesn’t think that she could spend more than 3 days in this apartment
- The Wise Dollar liked my post on prenuptial agreements and why they aren’t that depressing
- Financial Uproar liked my post on how book and fair value works for companies, and Nelson also liked my post on how this is absolutely the time to clear your debts
- Inspired by my No More China bandwagon, Daisy is building a better wardrobe
- Jane Savers was inspired by my beginner’s post on how to conduct analyses on stocks
- Daisy also watched pretty much all the documentaries, but I’d really recommend forks over knives
CARNIVALS I SUBMITTED TO
- Carnival of Financial Independence 12th Edition hosted the money mindset & traits of millionaires
- Money Life & More hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance #415 – Memorial Day Edition – my two posts on calculating fair and book value for a company, and my top 5 mistakes that freelancers make, made it.
ERR…TELL ME AGAIN WHY I AM PARANOID ABOUT CHINA?
Think I’m paranoid and kind of weird for wanting to avoid China in my life?
There’s been a recent Chinese crack down on 900 people for “meat-related” crimes such as selling rat, fox and mink as fake lamb.
Even worse, there was a diseased pork bust in Fujian:
Police in Nanjing county, Zhangzhou, detained a 44-year-old woman surnamed Lin and a 33-year-old man, busting an illegal operation in which 40 tonnes of pork was allegedly sold in three months, according to the Strait Metropolis Daily, a newspaper affiliated with the propaganda department in Fujian.
The report added that both suspects were hired by the county government to properly dispose of pigs killed by a viral disease called pseudorabies and by the highly infectious porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, also known as blue-ear pig disease.
Lin, the prime suspect, allegedly saw potential for profit and began buying dead pigs cheaply from local farmers at a price of 10 to 80 cents per half kilogram, as well as collecting dead pigs dumped on the sides of roads.
Note: Red highlights are mine
You all might think I’m a biased freak for wanting to avoid China, but when it comes to money, some Chinese citizens will stop at nothing.
Case in point: In the U.S. a scandal erupted when they were selling paddlefish eggs in place of the uber expensive beluga caviar, and charging an arm and a leg for it.
THAT is how low some people and companies might go, but they couldn’t imagine making fake plastic fish eggs to sell, or re-selling diseased pigs to turn a profit.
There’s a minimum, basic code of honour among humans and some people in China have no scruples whatsoever.
Big thanks to @theasianpear who tweeted the link to me @saverspender, and China Digital Times for a rather comprehensive overview.
You can really make music with anything, the same way that you can really make your own opportunities happen if you keep your eyes and ears open: