My TD e-Series TFSA - 1 year later

It was a year ago in April 2012, that I finally transferred my whole TFSA to TD Waterhouse to purchase their e-Series funds. The initial process was a real pain in the ass but looking at the gains a year later I think it just may have been worth it.

Know your Coffee - Caffeine Content

Myth: Tim Hortons coffee is stronger (ie has more caffeine) or is the same as Starbucks. Answer: False. Starbucks coffee contains more than twice the caffeine of a comparable size at Tim Hortons.

Who has the largest TFSA Balance?

A recent article from the Globe and Mail has got me wondering who has the most valuable TFSA in the country and how they managed to achieve it.

To what end do we work?

If I were to answer the question, I would tell you that I make money so that I can provide for myself and my family. To live comfortably and without worry.

A credit card is a tool. Learn how to use it.

The personal finance world is rife with bloggers that went way into debt in their early university years, only to overcome it finally after many years of struggle. In a way these people learned a lesson which should have been understood before they even got their first credit card.

Greatest apartment hunting tool

As I'm currently in the process of looking for an apartment, I'd like to suggest to anyone else in the same situation to definitely take a look at Padmapper.

Goals and Happiness

I have thought a lot about what my goals should be for this site. I see other people have set theirs as paying off credit cards, student loans, or mortgages.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Sep 2014 Net Worth Update +2.13%

The gains that you see below are entirely the result of market fluctuations and have nothing to do with any new savings or improvements in my financial situation. Next month will also show little improvement as I've had to put on hold contributions to my employee share purchase plan in order to catch up on my expenses.

TFSA - $37,445.04 +2.1%

RRSP - $5,361.89 +1.8%

Company stocks - $2,925.10 +9.8%
(stocks purchased this month = $149.32)

Chequing - -$767.52

Total: $44,964.51
Gain: 2.13% or +$939.51

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Aug 2014 Net Worth Update +0.85% - Despair sets in

I am finding it increasingly difficult now to get by every month on my meagre salary. This month was especially close as I struggled to pay everything off and at one point my chequing account had a balance of $0.01 before the next paycheque went in. In the previous month's net worth update I gave the definition of despair because it is the emotion I am experiencing at the moment. My interest in personal finance takes a back seat when I don't have any room financially to move around. I am faced with the same situation each month whereby one of my paycheques goes almost entirely to paying my rent and the other goes to paying off my expenses which I put on my credit card. It is made more difficult because every month 10% of my salary goes towards my company's employee share purchase plan which allows me to buy shares at a discount. I had hoped to continue with this seeing as it is a guaranteed positive return each month but I may have to put it on hold until I can increase my salary or find another source of income. I have attempted to cut my expenses but after crunching the numbers, the amount that I would be able to save is really quite minimal and would more negatively affect my quality of life than anything.

On that depressing note, here are my numbers for the month.

TFSA - $36,683.00 +0.6%

RRSP - $5,267.86 +0.6%

Company stocks - $2,664.95 +3.9%
(stocks purchased this month = $298.64)

Chequing - -$590.81

Total: $44,025.00
Gain: 0.85% or +$372.24

Saturday, 26 July 2014

July 2014 Net Worth Update +1.15%

1. loss of hope; hopelessness.
2. someone or something that causes hopelessness
3. to lose, give up, or be without hope

1. gloom, disheartenment. Despair, desperation, despondency, discouragement, hopelessness refer to a state of mind caused by circumstances that seem too much to cope with. Despair suggests total loss of hope, which may be passive or may drive one to furious efforts, even if at random: in the depths of despair; courage born of despair. Desperation is usually an active state, the abandonment of hope impelling to a furious struggle against adverse circumstances, with utter disregard of consequences: an act of desperation when everything else had failed. Despondency is a state of deep gloom and disheartenment: a spell of despondency. Discouragement is a loss of courage, hope, and ambition because of obstacles, frustrations, etc.: His optimism yielded to discouragement. Hopelessness is a loss of hope so complete as to result in a more or less permanent state of passive despair: a state of hopelessness and apathy.

1. hope.


TFSA - $36,460.60 +0.9%

RRSP - $5,235.22 +1.2%

Company stocks - $2,565.75 +12.5%
(stocks purchased this month = $298.64)

Chequing - -$-608.81

Total: $43,652.76
Gain: 1.15% or +$497.96

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

June 2014 Net Worth Update +1.87%

TFSA - $36,132.21 +2.81%

RRSP - $5,173.30 +0.56%

Company stocks - $2,280.55 +31.2%
(stocks purchased this month = $447.96)

Chequing - -$431.26

Total: $43,154.80
Gain: 1.87% or +$792.10

Monday, 19 May 2014


Another departure from Personal Finance but as this site is very much my life on show, I might as well share my thoughts too. It's a rather serious post so you should skip it if you're not in the mood.
What good is fear? How does it affect our lives? 

Well that probably depends on what it is that you fear. Fearing that you might be robbed in a dangerous neighbourhood? Okay seems reasonable, maybe it will make you avoid that neighbourhood on your way home just to be safe. But a fear of the spiders that crawl across your bathroom floor? Not so much. The question really is what does your fear do to you? Does it control you or do you use it to your advantage.

Before I continue I should admit to you now that I have only one fear. Whereas most fears vanish when you interrogate them long enough, the fear I hold will in fact be very real one day. 

The fear I am talking about is Death. An unpleasant thought for many. 

First, let me clarify. It is not a fear of the process of dieing, whether it be peaceful or painful, but of the state of being dead.
Seeing, hearing, and feeling nothing. Rationally someone might ask how I can fear something that I won't be around to experience? Well the answer would be that this is the very thing that I fear.

Nothingness. I fear the nothingness.

The video below sums up the fear, and I would suggest those who would rather not confront death right now not to watch the video. Even though I have read the words many times I still find myself caught off-guard by them in times of weakness.

If you are still reading this, know that my aim was not to depress you, but to show you how a fear can affect you, or in this case how it affects me. My fear hits me when I am at my most vulnerable and when I am least prepared to deal with the thoughts. It sends panic signals racing through my brain along with an urge to run and escape. I know this and can guard against it by trying not to put myself in a situation where the fear takes shape. What I am able to gain from the fear when it does occur is an appreciation of not only my time but also the time of others. An appreciation that every minute counts and not to waste them or to put off something until tomorrow.

I tell myself often that I am alive now and only maybe alive tomorrow.

This principle has guided me through a lot in life and I use it to battle the persistent bouts of procrastination that I encounter.

So what good is fear? My fear pushes me to accomplish things and to value the time that I do have. Would I rather not have this fear? Absolutely. But if I didn't have the fear, would I have gotten this far? Where would I be without it pushing me along to strive for greater things and to not accept that this is as good as it gets.

Whatever your fear is, whether it be death, spiders, or your massive debt, confronting it is vital to understanding it. By understanding it you can then maybe defeat it outright or at least lessen its effects by learning to guard against it. Or maybe you will never get rid of your fear, just as I will never be rid of mine, but that doesn't mean you can't gain something valuable from it. Even if it is just a new insight into why you feel the way you do or what is triggering the fear.

Confront it, understand it, and use it.

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