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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Keeping it in control: living on a budget

Very cold day in Montreal! I hope the weather will get better soon. I went for a walk after work. I like Lafontaine Park. It’s near my place. I am looking forward to exercise more. A horrible thing to say at 29. At 29, I should be healthy, pretty and slim. But instead, I hold 86 000$ in assets lol. It was one or the other. Just like for New Brunswick: we had to pick between fibre optic for our extra-high speed Internet or a good electric network. We had pick the optic, and no we are in a mess... I got recently horrible back pains, like I was going to broke in 2 pieces. I usually got those back pain when I am need of exercise. Working 7 days a week is not easy. But even there, if I manage myself properly, I will find time to walk more. I am not a huge sport fanatic, but just walking a couple of hours per week should do it. Usually, it’s all it takes and the pain goes away.

Anyhow, we are feeling better now. As for our non registered stocks and units portfolio, we close Friday without the 268.95$ gain realize on Friday morning. I am confident we will make other gain. It’s just that right now there’s some stuff going on with Greece but an agreement had been made with the Euro and should help to stabilize the situation. So things are going to be interesting in the next couple of days. We should be able to realize gain and keep them on.

Now that we got involved in different loans, RSP credit line loan, credit lines itself, credit card balance transfer (do we like that stuff or not)… We have some debts to take care off. We won’t be working at paying anything until we reach the 100 000.00$, but until that time, we still have to pay the minimum payments require in order to keep a good credit score to later on ask for more credit or a credit line increase.

Payment on the 10 000$ RSP credit line only begin in May. We have until that time to save some cash in our bank account. The way things are going for now, I should be able to save around 1 000$ per month. By the end of May, I should have an emergency fund of 2 000$. We never been very strong on emergency fund as I always through that in case of need, I would sell some of my investment. We registered to pre-authorized debit for the RSP credit line. We also have pre-authorized debit for CIBC Visa. It’s been working like a charm. Whenever I make a payment in advance, CIBC Visa never came to take any money of my banking account. But it hasn’t been working so well on my credit line at BMO Bank of Montreal. I usually pay my things in advance. Once, I made my payment on my BMO Bank of Montreal credit line in advance. On the same month, on the due date, BMO Bank of Montreal took the same amount out of my bank account. On that month, BMO had been paid twice. I have the proof on paper that this really happen. Wonder what I did after finding out? I simply close my BMO Bank of Montreal banking account. I am done with BMO Bank of Montreal. Shitty service and shitty way to treat employees. My BMO InvestorLine account is also close. I am forever done with BMO Bank of Montreal. Well, almost, because I didn’t close any of the credit products I hold with them. But I don’t plan to use my BMO Bank of Montreal credit card, even if it provides me airmiles. As I wrote previously, business is business. I won’t do business with people being so disrespectful with my financial property. I have a five star credit score and I want things to remain this way. That’s what I call keeping it in control.

Other than that BMO shit, we have a lot to look into. Ok, so for the first time since a very very long time, I will hold a bit more than 2.69$ in savings in my investment portfolio. It’s going to look a bit better than usual! This is not being an emergency fund really, it’s more a protective funds, just to make sure money is there whenever money is being taking out. Because once again, we want to protect our awesome credit. It’s not BMO Bank of Montreal who’s going to ruin everything. And as usual, we are going to kick ass, just like we did when we reach our first 50 000$.

Watch out what a 2 000$ can bring as value for us:

2 000$ (savings) + 86 047.56$ (value in date of March 24) + 4 239.96$ (annual dividend earning) + a gain of 5% on the value of March 24 (4 302.38$)
= 96 589.90$

This is what we could have by the end of 2010 without making any other investment.

Now, when we add 8 000$ in new investments for the period of May-December 2010:

2 000$ (savings) + 86 047.56$ (value in date of March 24) + 4 239.96$ (annual dividend earning) + a gain of 5% on the value of March 24 (4 302.38$) + 8 000$ in new investments + 300$ in new dividends
= 104 889.90$

Did you saw that, we even exceed the 100 000.00$ assets! No matter on which part we take it, the plan work!

Nice, but at this point, keeping track of my expenses is really important because I don’t plan t conduct any job search for now and I don’t plan to work more than I am working right now, reason behind being serious back pain. Someone from BMO is an expert with voodoo dolls lol.

I am not making that of a salary right now, but I spend a lot of money on coffees, DVD renting, eating out, movies… It’s very sad, but the upcoming weeks are going to nice and tough, just the way we like it lol. Reason why: there going to be a lot less spending and a lot more money in our pocket. I am not a huge spender, but when I see 400$ in spending in less than a month on my credit card: there’s a problem. We can reduce that 400$ to a 200$ very easily, just by keeping it in control. It’s just something I need to be aware of. And it’s a resolution we are taking starting tomorrow. The hardest is going to be to cut the coffees. In the past, I set myself some no coffees week without too much trouble. We should be doing alright.

Wonder how looks our budget now? It’s looking rough and tough!

It’s looking like this:

Rent: 545$
Internet: 35$
Metro pass: 70$
Bank line of credit #1: 100$
Bank line of credit #2: 125$
Credit cards balance transfer #1: 100$
Credit cards balance transfer #2: 150$
Student loan: 100$
Groceries and other: 200$
Total: 1 425$

At 200$ for groceries and other, there will be not that much spending! It’s going to be awful, but this how life goes on. We make it happen before; we are going to make it again.

Don’t worry, we can count on our dividend cash from Canadian dividend paying units, who will soon become Canadian dividend paying stocks.

Its not a bad thing after all that Pembina Pipeline Income Fund (PIF.UN) suspend its DRIP. Starting April, it won’t be possible to earn extra units out of PIF.UN. This month, we earned 53.69$ in dividend from Pembina Pipeline. Starting April, we will received a bit more than 53.69$ in dividend (meaning cash!!) from PIF.UN.

Dividend = Cash

We currently earn each month cash from different .UN invesments because we don’t own enough of unit to benefit from the DRIP. They are:

Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund (BA.UN): 24.17$
Davis + Henderson Income Fund (DHF.UN): 15.33$
Pengrowth Energy Trust (PGF.UN): 7.42$

Once those will be convert into corporation, I am really going to miss the joy of receiving dividend every single months of the year!

If we calculate PIF.UN, BA.UN, DHF.UN and PGF.UN dividend all together… it make the fantatsic amount of 100.61$!

1 425$ (monthly expenses) – 100.61$ (amount of dividend earn in cash)
= 1 324.39$

This is just a little example, but it’s giving a taste of the magic of dividend: free money, that we desperately need.

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