Retirement investments revisited: July 2014 Net Worth Update (+1.40%)

retirement investmentsSTAYING ON TOP OF OUR FINANCES


This month we finally sat with our financial advisor to chat about topping up our retirement investments like we’ve been planning on doing once the mortgage was paid in full.

Now that we have told all of you that we are expecting our first child very soon our budget and net worth will change but we will worry about that when the time comes.

Our finances are not just about us anymore so although we are planning our retirement investments we need to start thinking about Baby CBB. We will be setting up an RESP for baby as soon as we can so we don’t fall behind on any important educational investing.

Most of this month’s net worth increase came from our net income because we worked some overtime and combined with last month almost net close to $20,000. The news of us having a baby has really changed our financial mindset but one thing is for sure we will be putting our money to work for us best we can.

No, we don’t invest on our own and I know for some of you that is a big no, no but not everyone knows how to do this. Sometimes if you are playing with your money it’s best to start out small if you want to invest on your own but right now we have an advisor like many people do.


Retirement investments


You will notice this month that our RRSP, TFSA and Pension categories have gone up. The reason for this is because we topped up one of our TFSA accounts and invested a chunk of money into the RRSP. I will be topping up my TFSA as well but I have more room in my RRSP to deal with at the moment but the goal is to max out my RRSP each year as well as both the TFSA accounts.

I also have a new pension with my new employer so I’ve added those retirement investments to the pension category along with what they match. This pension is a defined benefit pension so once I get hired full-time (I’m being optimistic) we will see an increase but for now it’s just smaller amounts.

Other than that it’s been a quiet month for us besides the bathroom renovations. You will see our net worth dip because I’m doing an almost full renovation and as you know bathrooms are NOT cheap.

I’m not putting in crappy stuff either because I don’t want to be messing about with stuff down the road if I don’t have to. I may be spending a bit more for quality but what we’ve both learned is that quality is sometimes better than saving a buck to have an item replaced or repaired over and over because it’s the cheapest on the market.

It may not be the top of the line imported from overseas but I want something better than crappy builder materials for these cookie cutter type homes. Our next house I’m thinking about just doing a custom build.

The more some homeowners pull down drywall it puts everything into perspective and is essentially is what keeps Mike Holmes in business. I guess some builders feel that if the homeowner can’t see it than it’s no big deal. Luckily we haven’t found anything major but certainly some sloppy work is apparent that should never have been passed.

That’s all I have to report this month so until next month I wish you all the best with your budget, savings and retirement investments.


Our net worth


We are always looking for ways how to increase our savings and retirement investments. By tracking our net worth these numbers below show us how well we are doing in terms of meeting our target numbers or what areas we should concentrate more on.

You can check out our July 2014 Budget Update to see where the money went in our budget to give you a bit more information.


July 2014 Networth Table


Understanding net worth


What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?

Net Worth is a snap shot of your financial health sort of like a picture or debt to net assets. In simple terms it’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities.

We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget and not giving up. Your numbers may go up and down but don’t let the numbers scare you rather understand why and move on.

If you would like to use our budget I offer a FREE downloadable budget which I created and that you can use at home just like we do. I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!

Enjoy and let me know what you think… plus there are tonnes of other free printable lists offered at Canadian Budget Binder to help you achieve some of those financial goals and build your net worth. Now… what you need to do is determine just how much net worth you actually have and go from there….


Determining net worth


How to Determine Net Worth?

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities 

Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your personal numbers or monthly finances which means you need to do your homework. Net Worth is simply adding up all your assets (what you own) then taking away your liabilities (what you owe) which will give you a net worth number.

Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track to meeting or beating your personal financial goals. It doesn’t get any easier than that.


Calculate net worth


Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth?

Now you can stop asking yourself the question, how do you find out your net worth? Why? It’s easy to determine. We like to calculate our net worth every month so we know if we are still on track. Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly. It’s really up to you and how informed you want to stay when it comes to your financial health.

Net Worth is essentially an estimate and not everyone uses the same type of figures. Some people don’t include vehicles like we do or they may leave out the assets inside the home like we have. It depends on what you want to calculate or what you can sell today and make money on.

Why not go ahead and calculate your own using our Free Money saving Tool Net worth Calculator (Canadian Budget Binder 2012)




Setting goals are the only way we work towards achieving what we want to get done as a couple around the house and in our financial life. I know that without them we would be flying by the seat of our pants which wouldn’t work for us.

Below are our 2014 target goals some of which are the same from 2013 and many which are new for 2014. I don’t like to move on to new goals if I have other goals that are unfinished but I also like breathing room and play time if you know what I mean.

I hope by posting them each month it motivates me like it has this past year to get stuff done and reach our target goals with some form of ease although nothing in life is that simple.

I find it’s much easier to be held accountable when I share what we need to do with all of you. Yes, my wife refers to the list when she asks what I plan to do next. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for me or not, lol.

Do you set goals for the year?


Our short-term goals 2014


Every month I update these mini short-term goals as I like to call them where you will see what’s new and exciting in our world but not just financially. These goals are our life goals which include everyday jobs that need to be completed. We like to carry out these goals on a monthly basis although that doesn’t always work out that way.

I’ll continue to update this list for those that enjoy reading this net worth post each month but like most of you know, a list is never-ending. (Especially when your wife keeps adding to it,  lol)


  • Mortgage is now paid in full
  • To renovate the upstairs bathroom- Renovations started but still need to purchase products.
  • Clean up the basement- I need to get rid of junk and have a garage sale or just give it away for free.
  • Re-model the spare bedroom (i.e. decor, furniture)– Almost done.. this will be the BABY ROOM 🙂
  • Start working on putting in the new flooring in the living and dining room- Haven’t even started this yet
  • Purchase all new kitchen appliances- So far all we have is a new stove and an extractor fan (range hood) but they are not installed. We are on the hunt for a kitchen sink, tap and pot-filler.
  • Purchase a new freezer- We are buying one medium sized freezer and donating our large freezer. July Update: Almost done eating the food in the freezer. We want to eat it all up before getting a new freezer.
  • Finish the landscaping in the front and back yards- I still have to put the lighting and I’m done. Next year though I’m not putting flowers in the hanging baskets just greenery.
  • Invest more in our TFSA, RRSP etc. – July Update: We topped up one TFSA so it’s been maxed out. Now we are working on the other but will max out RRSP then transfer returns to TFSA.
  • Continue to meal plan, create new homemade meals- I’m always whipping up something new in the kitchen (check out the all new recipe index on the blog)
  • To grow more vegetables/herbs in the garden-  Herbs turned out great minus the basil dying on us but we have a new bucket from my father-in-law. The fig tree has almost 40 figs on it.
  • Learn more about passive income- I’ve been reading about earning extra income on the blog but to be honest I’ve been focusing more on my new career which is more important to me.
  • To read a new personal finance book- Let’s be honest and say I might be lucky to read a chapter from now until the end of the year unless I find some quiet time. I wish I had more time to read books as I enjoy reading.
  • Learn more about Search Engine Optimization and blogging and how to manage my blog- I’ve learned quite a bit about SEO and can confidently say that I can see the results of my efforts on the blog. There is always something new to learn though so never stop educating yourself as a blogger.


Our long-term goals 2014


I will do a yearly update on these goals so you know how we made out with them. The long-term goals are goals spread out over the year(s) as we are not in a huge rush to accomplish them but they are always on the top of our mind.

You can also follow our monthly budget update to find out how we made out with some other short-term goals we’ve been working on.

  • Finish remodel of the entire kitchen- This may or may not get done this year with all the new surprises that have popped up but we are still thinking about it. We know where we are buying the cabinets and have some of the appliances.
  • Purchase a new washer and dryer- We will likely only buy a new set if we find an amazing deal but for now our second-hand units that were free are working fine.
  • Sort out the deck lights (garbage and I’d never buy them again and not in a huge rush to fix them) Don’t ever buy those little deck lights or you will regret it, trust me.
  • Fix the fence in the back garden (not a huge priority but I need to get it done before winter)
  • Look into buying a pressure washer (not a huge priority but if I can find a good deal over the course of the year I’ll grab it)
  • Update the garage (man cave) not really a man cave but I like to keep it neat and tidy. I’ve took some time to organize it but with the bathroom renovations there are days it looks like a bomb went off.
  • Save up to purchase a new vehicle (well, second-hand)
  • Save for a holiday to anywhere that is not where we live
  • Start planning basement renovations (bathroom, bedroom, family room, laundry room, office, storage area.
  • Look at new ways to invest our money i.e. rental units
  • Continuing to educate ourselves on personal finance and investments
  • Continue to network with other like-minded people
  • Continue in my new career in hopes of it becoming long-term permanent


Our financial numbers


When budgeting anything is possible, we are proof of that although we still have a long way to go in our journey. These are our numbers and our goals, not a means of comparison towards your own goals to others target goals.

We don’t care how much money others make or if they have a high net worth or if it is lower than ours as it’s not a competition. I hope our experiences perhaps will help guide you along your financial path working towards debt freedom.


Different paths


Not everyone has the same path in life. Some of you may have had to start over like I did or go to school a second time and now have OSAP loans to pay back.

Others may have divorced, lost money in the stock market or other investments, suffered job loss, fell ill or was injured on the job etc. but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.

Some of you may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, paid educations or perks in life that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too. Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.

Focus on you and don’t let the evil eye of money jealousy or keeping up with the Joneses cloud your vision. No one cares about your money as much as you do so don’t waste your energy trying.

The only reason people accumulate wealth is because they know how to save or invest it wisely even if they did inherit money or win the lottery. The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.

Sometimes we have to fail in order to learn and we’ve all been there. Money can be an evil force for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their own financial situation.

I urge you to be optimistic and little by little with determination you too should see improvements, if you want that to happen.


Net worth updates 2014


Below you can click the links to read past net worth updates to see if we were on target or if we struggled with some of our numbers. In the last year since July 2013 our net worth according to our figures has grown $92,696.60

July 2014 $601,107.25- June 2013 $508,410.65= +$92,696.60

You will notice two Jan 2014 figures and shows where we had our house valued leading to an increase in our assets. I purposely left both Jan 2014 figures in so you can see the increase visually.


July 2014 Net worth preceding 12 months



That’s all for this month’s Net Worth update but please check in at the beginning of August to see how we made out in July and what has happened to our finances since.


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  1. The RESP is a great idea. We procrastinated a bit and almost missed out on some of the grant money. The sooner the better. I can’t even imagine what post secondary will cost when my kids are ready to go.

    1. I’m actually writing about this topic today and many kids will have to work while they go to school because education is costly and not even OSAP is enough to cover everything needed. Of course a student budget helps as well as learning about finance from a young age. Every bit helps and if we can give our child a kick-start, we will.

  2. Wow!!! You are running way above the pay scale for this house!!!! It would be too much for this house and this area!!! We had glass doors when we first moved here and I didn’t like them at all!!! We had to replace the glass in one door…. apparently the glass wasn’t square to the frame if that makes sense to you….it stressed the glass and it snapped late one night after hubby had left for work. Scared the living daylights out of me!!!! Sounded like someone tossed a rock against a window…just this really loud CRACK!!!!!! Thank God it was safety glass. Crazy part was, you could see the exact point where the biggest stress point was. Think what it looks like if a rock hits your windshield and cracks it to hell and back….
    I do like the idea of the rain shower head and the cats would love the heated floors!!!!

  3. Things are looking good at your place!!! I do agree on getting nice things for the house, certainly better than builder grade. We could use a new set of taps in the kitchen but I haven’t found a set I like yet..or at least well enough to pay what they are asking!!! I keep checking the sales as I won’t be paying full price!! I think we got the ones in the upstairs bathroom on clearance at CT a few years ago, half price or close to it… A big part of the problem there is my taste in these things doesn’t work well with what is currently ‘in style’.
    Good that you are getting stuff done in the house before Baby CBB makes an appearance!!! Don’t want a lot of dust around the little one!!! Not so concerned about the noise as babies can learn to sleep through a lot!! Mine sure did!!! Good luck with everything!!!

    1. I bought all of the tile for the shower yesterday…. it cost me a bit but it will look amazing when it’s done. The outside of the shower will be all ledgestone and the inside will have a huge rain shower head and a separate shower station with a hand held. I still have to order the glass door. The lights are installed and now I’m waiting on the shower head etc… which is taking forever so I can proceed. I’ll buy the rest of the tiles for the floor and walls after I finish the shower as well as the heated floors. I still have to find a countertop… probably will end up with something custom undermount square sink as well as the taps, mirror, lights, towel holders etc… is your head spinning yet lol, mine is!

  4. Great job on the NW and congrats on the new addition to your family. Having that mortgage paid off must make a huge difference with the monthly cash flow. Good luck on the renos and I think you’re playing it smart by not going cheap!

    1. Thanks we are very excited. The wife and I were just saying that having the mortgage paid has helped quite a bit. We look forward to what the future brings for us but it’s nice not to owe anyone anything.

  5. Congrats on the DB! They are nice to have!

    DB Pensions are notoriously difficult to estimate value. I’ve given up trying to reflect proper value of mine in my net worth calculations and just use contributions into the plan as the value of the DB PP.

    If you ever decide on an accurate way of gauging true present day value without going crazy, let me know!

  6. I’m with you on using quality materials for the bathroom. This is an investment for the long term, it’ll look great and will increase the resale value if you’re looking to sell the house at some point. Whether people have financial advisers or manage their own investments, one should be well informed/interested investor and look over their portfolio at least yearly. Good on you and your wife for taking the opportunity to review your finances with the baby on the way.

    1. Oh wow, congrats to you. I had no idea you adopted a baby. Did you write about the process involved? I was hoping to get the bathroom done before baby gets here but I’m not sure if I can do that. Time will tell.

  7. Another good month for you 🙂 have fun decorating the baby room and all goes along with that – I hope you’ll share pictures along the way!

    1. The room is pretty much done now. I spent so many hours in there getting it ready. That was the redecorating goal I set every month but didn’t say it was for baby lol. Thanks Nicola!~ 🙂

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