Give Me Back My Five Bucks

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A wake-up call

I just found out that a good friend of mine got fired yesterday from basically her dream job. I don’t really know the details, but we both graduated from the same program together last year, and she’s an amazing graphic designer (a million times better than me).

Anyway, it got me to thinking: if I lost my job right now, today, I’d be fvcked. Royally. I have less than $400 in my emergency fund, and debts still looming over my head. I need to pick it up, because I know I’ve been slacking at work the past month or so. It’s not that I’m being lazy about it, it’s just that I think I’m still in a little over my head, know what I mean? I’ve found it really overwhelming to be SO busy all the time, with 5 or 6 coordinators pulling at me, all wanting different things, managing a huge budget … I got hired because of my graphic design skill, and nothing else (even though my design skills are mediocre at best) … and to try and learn all these new skills on the job, well, it’s been an eye-opening experience to say the least! But I’m so grateful to have gotten this opportunity, and I’m going to take the most out of these next 8 months.

Also, this morning I checked my mutual funds online, and because of the lovely Chinese stock market, my porfolio fell over 2%! I checked the TSX this morning when I got to work, and to my horror, it was already down 300 points! But I just checked it now, and it’s still down, but only by 45 points. What sucks is I have both my registered RSP and non-registered MF accounts in the same fund. They’re still higher than they were at the beginning of 2007, but it’s still a huge jolt to have them drop so much in one day.

Investments give me headaches

I’ve been wondering if I’m making sound choices with my investments. I want the most “bang for my buck,” but with limited investment knowledge, it’s hard for me to grasp exactly what I should be doing.

My emergency fund is currently in a PC Financial Interest First account that’s earning 3% interest. Once I have over $1000, I will transfer the balance into the Interest Plus account, which will earn me 4%, plus an anniversary bonus each year I keep a minimum of $1000 in the account. The reason why I chose this account is because it’s highly liquid. I’ll have access to my funds in 24 hours, and as high interest savings accounts go, PC Financial beats practically everyone.

My mortgage down payment fund is being held in a non-registered mutual fund with TD Canada Trust. This is where I don’t think I’m making the right move. The MER on this MF is quite high (I believe it was at 2.39%). I want to earn more than a 4% return, but since I plan on spending the money within 2 years, I don’t really know where to park it. I’m getting a 7.5% return right now, which is practically nothing. I’d like to be earning at least 10% … but how?

My RRSP is being held in a registered Balance Growth mutual fund with TD Canada Trust. It’s the same fund that my mortgage down payment fund is in, with the difference being this one is tax sheltered. This is earning 7.5%, and I’m okay with that for now. Once I’ve gotten more investment knowledge, I’d like to try TD’s eFunds, and manage my own financial portfolio (goodbye, ridiculously high MER!).

Welcome to my new blog!

I decided to start this blog for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I want to clearly outline my financial goals, and write about my failures and (hopefully) my successes along the way. I got really inspired by reading other financial blogs (listed on the sidebar of this blog), and seeing that I’m not the only one who’s made mistakes in the past. For me, it’s good to have my financial profile out in the public – no more secrets. It makes me feel good that I’m actively working to change my way of life.

Investing is very important to me. It is something that I can directly control, and at my age, it’s about time I start to look towards the future. The funny thing is, this time last year, I never even thought about retirement, but now that I know better, I don’t want to be scrambling at 40 to try and save for retirement when I can start building my nest egg now, and earn interest on my investments. A big key for me to achieve financial independence is to buy property, which is my next big step in life. I would like to achieve this goal before I’m 26.

My financial profile:

  • I have approximately $3,600 in student loan debt (original SL debt was just over $14,000 when I graduated in April 2006)
  • I have no credit card debt (just finished paying off my maxed out Visa)
  • I have $3,152 owing on my personal line of credit (and worth every penny)
  • I have approximately $1,000 in a registered RSP Mutual Fund
  • I have approximately $125 in a non-registered Mutual Fund
  • I have approximately $335 in a high-interest savings account
  • I have limited investment knowledge
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