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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Save money while you can: precious money, precious saving

A new year always welcome new dreams – in my case it’s to hit the 300k net worth by the end of the year 2018. It’s doable, but only in a good stock market environment. 2017 had been so chaotic, it’s quite difficult to predict if 2018 will be a good year or not, especially since the status of NAFTA is not clarify by our “friends” in the USA. Overall, 2017 had been a good year for my investments.
I had spent a good two weeks away from Montreal, which was really awesome. Now that I am hitting back in my regular days, my 2018 resolution is to spend less. I always been a good saver, but in some occasions, I spent more than I should, especially for clothes, make-up and hair products. Hair products is my ultimate weakness, as well as make-up, lipsticks…… Being a girl involved much more spending than just being a simple guy. From the moment we are born, girls face many challenge.

Knowing I closed the year 2017 with a net worth of 221k – I am just so close of the 300k, it would be just very stupid of me if I wouldn’t be trying to save all the money I possibly can in the year ahead. The half million could be all mine by the time I turn 40 – but at probably the only condition that I hit on the 300k this year. Nothing is impossible. There’s no magic trick, saving money is super hard, but I am a natural at it, as I know exactly what are my weaknesses. And ever since my salary start growing, I had become more and more of a spender. It’s something really normal, anyone goes through such things. My 221k is more than I ever taught I could ever have, so why pushing more?
Well for many reasons: the more money you have, the better, 221k is not that much, and I don’t have too much in term of cold cash saving in the bank. And I would like to have a real $300 000 of my own. So why not?

Just the fact that I stop coloring my hair is helping a lot. Visit to the hair dresser and products for color hair are just very expensive. My natural color is showing more and more. After all those years, I had forgot what it was looking like. And it’s not ugly. For my part, I am really done coloring my hair. It’s just too much time and money consuming.

Once I get myself into something, I am getting in completely. And it should be the same for you. Some expose the art of saving money very simply: make your own coffee, bring your lunch to work… Good tips, but to be really efficient, you need to go much deeper than that. That’s why I am writing the following post. We are going to explore some very personal ways that your favorite Dividend Girl has to save money.

1 – Establish your monthly budget

Establish a sharp – but not too sharp budget – this means, establish a realistic budget, that include all of your needs. To do so, you need to know where your money go every month. And after that, try to spend less than plan every weeks.

First, establish your monthly basic budget:

Grocery: $280 - $70 per week
Coffee: $60 - $15 per week
Rent: $665
Internet: $45.34
Cell: $40.24
Weekend money: $20
Gym membership: $14.38

TOTAL : $1 124.96

$13 499.52 for 1 year: very basic fix needs

Your monthly budget should include all your fix charges, like cable if you have it, cell phone, rent, etc…. In my case, the fix charges are limited to a few things. The less you have to pay out the better. This is for the basic expenses. As you doubt, other expenses need to be taking into consideration. But let’s talk money first.

2 - How much do you normally earn in a year
In this section, you need to include all your sources of income: job (but only after taxes), online income if you have any and of course, dividend earnings.
Job (after taxes): $35 300
Online: 500 $
Dividend: 7 980 $ (approximately, I didn’t have time t update my dividend income yet)
TOTAL: $43 780

For 2018, I estimate my income to be of $43 780.

Let see how money I will have to play around and to invest:
$43 780 (income) – $13 499.52 (very basic needs): 30 280.48 $

This means I have left $30 280.48 to do whatever I want with it.

I have calculate my very basic needs, but that’s not exactly realist to what I will be spending in a year. Because other than my basic needs, I have other sphere of expensive. In other to track them, you need to know yourself. Do you know how you spend your money? I do. And it’s how it goes for me:

3 - Money spend on vacations

Cuba: $1 370                                                                                        

Easter vacation: $350

Summer vacation: $3 000

Extra spending during the summer: $200

October vacation: $350

Christmas: $820

TOTAL for vacations: $6 090

Establish a budget for your vacations is really essential.

3 - Other regular living expenses

And now, you need to write down all of the other expenses that you’ll be doing in the year ahead.


HAIR CUT: 5 times this year @ $40: $200

CLOTHES: $1 200 - $300 per season, not much, but I already have plenty of clothes…

CLEANING PRODUCTS: I always buy them at Dollorama. To clean my apartment, and floor, I like to use Pine-Sol, it’s at $2.50 at Dollarama. I never calculated how long a bottle last me, same thing for dish soap, windex or cleaning products for the bath room. I estimate 2 products at $3 each per 2 months and 1 product at $3 per month: $72

TOILET PAPERS: $10 per 2 months (let say...): $60

LAUNDRY TICKETS FOR CLOTHES: $6 per week: $312   

LAUNDRY TICKETS FOR SHEETS: $6 per 2 weeks : $144

LAUNDRY SOAP: $10 per 2 months: $60

Jamieson 100% Complete Multivitamin for Women: $16 per 2 months: $96
Caltrate with Vitamin D3 Soft Chews Chocolate, Bone Health Supplement, 600 mg Calcium: $102
Jamieson Magnesium: $56

ADVIL: $54

F PADS: $144



MAKEUP: $480


Total of the OTHER EXPENSES: $2 042.33

Those are all the expenses I can possibly think of. Let see what is now left for investment purposes:
$43 780 – $13 499.52 – $2 042.33 : $22 148.15

In my current situation, I have the possibility to save approximately 22k this year – and even more if I get myself into it. I cannot cut anywhere in the vacations section, so I am looking forward to cut in the expenses.

Example of what I can do to save money – other than bringing your lunch to work:

For one week, let say that I don’t buy any coffees at work: I will save that way $15. Let’s plan a no coffee week once per month, I will save that way: $180

I had fix my grocery shopping at $70 per week. It will be difficult, but I can certainly lower that bill 2 weeks per month by certainly $10. Money save on a year: $240

In my monthly budget, I had put a $20 each week as weekend money. Let say that 2 weeks per month, I only spend $10 instead of $20. Money save on a year: $240

For the closing expenses, instead of spending $300 per season, let’s skip the spending for the winter season. Money save: $300

With all those below, I could save an extra $960 a year. It’s not 22k, but 23k that I could have at my disposal for investment.

The trick is to spend as less money possible, but reasonably, and to do so, you need to keep track of all of your expenses. Personally, I wrote them down inside my agenda.

One of the not easy point is grocery shopping. What I like to do before going, is to plan the recipes I will do for the week. And I only buy the items needed, to which I add a few things like the usual bread, milk, eggs, apples.

I hope all those tips will help you succeed at the difficult task of saving money!


Anonymous said...

I bought Pure Industrial Reit based on your purchase and am pleased with the news yesterday!

Anonymous said...

Vacations - take annual payout instead of taking time off - probably spend half of vacation on emails and phone calls anyway while away
Hair Cut - $15 plus tax and tip at First Choice Haircutters
Clothes - $200/year - Old Navy - many items discounted to $6 at end of season
Vitamins - rubbish waste - get all your vitamins from eating healthy foods
Shampoo - $1/bottle for very good shampoo at No Frills - total cost - $6/year
Body Soap - $6 for mega pack of Ivory at No Frills - this lasts 1 year
Makeup - Rubbish waste - I'm sure you have nice skin
Cleaning Products - try vinegar - it is an amazing cleaner

Just my thoughts. Lots of savings to be had.

Anonymous said...

Great pick with Pure Industrial Reit! I bought it when you decided to buy! Thanks for the info that made me decide to buy! It's being bought out!

Anonymous said...

Sunny Girl, congratulations! You are so focussed and doing so well.
Have you thought about a new job which will give you a boost in pay? You seem to have what it takes to earn more. And this will get you to $300k faster than cutting a few minor expenses.
I know you can do it.

Unknown said...

That is a realistic budget. Nice points. Writing down all of the expenses is the hard part for me. i never thought of separating the account for shampoo, conditioner, multivitamins etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny,

I'm impressed on you can control yourself for spending only 20$ for the weekend. Like just going for a brunch can cost me more than that!


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