Give Me Back My Five Bucks

TD eFunds

Since I’ll be out of debt soon, and will be saving $2,000/month for my condo down payment, I’ve decided to try using TD eFunds and open up a non-registered account. Basically in exchange for a low MER (yay!), I’ll have to manage my portfolio online – which is fine, because I want the freedom to choose what I invest in anyway. Plus they give you a really handy “portfolio planner,” which assesses your risk tolerance and suggests how you should allocate your money. Then you can choose eFunds that match the suggested percentage.

My condo down payment fund is currently being held with TD in a non-registered Balanced Growth mutual fund at a 2.14% MER, so I’ll just convert it over. It seems easy enough, and my MER will drop to well below 1%! Part of the reason I want to switch is because I want to get more for my money, but the biggest reason is because I want to try to take control of my investments, instead of paying someone a percentage of my earnings to do it for me. Plus, I’m scared of the stock market. :) My BF has most of his money in stocks right now, but that’s just too much for me right now. Baby steps!

My RRSP is also with TD in the Balanced Growth mutual fund, with the same 2.14% MER. I’m going to keep it like that for now, and see how I do with handling my own portfolio. If I feel comfortable with it, then sometime this year I’ll convert that one over as well.

So, starting in May, $1,000 of my money will be direct deposited into my TD eFund (where I hope it will earn more than 10% interest), and the other $1,000 will go into a high interest savings account, earning 4% interest. These numbers may change, depending on how much risk I want to take, how well the eFunds are doing, and how good I am at investing. :)

Possible job opportunity?

I think I love my part-time job more than my full-time job. With my part-time job, along with coordinating my staff, and making sure all the promotions run smoothly and on time, I’m also on the microphone. Have you ever been to an event, and there’s someone on a microphone in the crowd talking to someone, doing a contest, asking a trivia question, etc? Well, that’s me. The reason why I mentioned this is because this Saturday, for our last shift of the year, we sold out the event! For the first time in our organization’s history (we’re only 3 years old)! This is huge. But it also gives me butterflies in my stomach just to think how many people are going to be watching me out there, and making fun of me if I screw up or fall! LOL fingers crossed that doesn’t happen!

Anyway, my career goal has always been to work in this field for this kind of an organization. So basically I want to do exactly what my boss is doing, except at a bigger level. Well a few weeks ago, my boss hinted that she wants to leave before the year starts again in September. It dawned on me that I’d be the most likely candidate to take over her position. I wouldn’t need to be trained, and I’m already comfortable with everyone that works there.

If she left, and I was the successful candidate for the position, even though it would look good on my resume, I don’t know if I would take the job. It would be beneficial to get a few years of experience under my belt in a managing position … but for all the 12 hr days and the stress involved, it sure doesn’t pay a lot. Taking her position would mean a 27% pay cut from my current salary at my full time job, and that’s huge! Plus, I wouldn’t have a part-time job anymore. I know I have to start somewhere and pay my dues, but it seems like such a step backward in my career. And then could I afford a mortgage?

Anyway, I’ve even thought that if I were offered the job, I would ask for a salary match to what I currently make. Or at least as close as I could negotiate to it. I’d say it’d be worth it to them b/c I would save them money in the end since I don’t have to be trained at all. Plus, I could design the programs and do some of their marketing that they currently contract out. Keeping production in-house can save a company a ton of money! I’d write this all out as a business proposal of course, so it’d be official and put together.

But that’s getting ahead of myself at the moment. I’ll keep you posted!

Open houses

Yesterday I left the office a few minutes early to check out two open houses I saw signs for on my ride out to work. I know it’s premature to even think about buying anything, but it’s nice to get a feel for what an open house is like, and how much my money will buy me.

The first house was a cute townhouse for $310,000. It was built in 2005, has 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bath, a garage, and a really nice kitchen. Granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. It was the townhouse closest to the street though, but it had a cute enclosed backyard to make up for it. I really liked it, but clearly it’s out of my price range for the time being.

The second house was just across the street, and it was a condo for $217,000. This is in my price range. It was built in 2004 (or 2005, I forget), has 1 bedroom, 1 bath, and an “office nook” which is attached to the main living area. A nice kitchen, too. The place was okay, but not spectacular. In my opinion, it’s overpriced for only 700 sq. ft., but it’s in a nice area. The strata fees were almost $250/month.

It’s kinda depressing that $220,000 will only buy a tiny condo in this city. If I bought with my BF, we would definitely have more money to work with (combined, we make over $110k annually), but I really want to buy by myself, and build up my own equity. Plus, if we ever broke up, neither of us could afford to pay for the mortgage of a more expensive property. I guess big decisions and changes lay ahead of me in the next year or so!

I’m really wanting to buy in a year, but I’m also thinking about renting in order to save up more money. If I rent for a year or so, I would be able to save up at least $1,000 a month if I find a job that pays me what I’m making now. It would be great to be able to put down the entire 25% down payment required in order not to pay that stupid mortgage insurance, but I doubt I could save up that much, that fast. But I guess it depends on what the market is like, my job situation, and other variables.

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