debt debs

Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!


Worth IT Wednesday! ~ The POLLING Edition


On my first edition of Worth IT Wednesday! I reflected on what type of blogger I want to be when I grow up!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you that I write a lot younger than I sound… or something along those lines.

chicken by debt debsI got some awesome feedback about writing styles and the unanimous consensus was to write as if I was delivering a speech … about how to prepare an income tax return … while living in a different country … where I didn’t speak the language … and chickens were running around my feet… so I had to keep lifting them up … so I could finish in time … before the rains came …. or I had to catch my plane … which ever came first.

No?  That’s not what you said?  Oh, well then, I may just need to pay a little more attention….get myself organized.  I mean this blogging thing is give and take, right?  You give and I take (apparently, not very well).


Oh silly me.  Truthfully, the PF blogging community has been quite cut-throat, just ask Girl Meets Debt who asking us to start sparring in the name of personal growth:

Ask the Reader: What Do You Think of Some Healthy Competition?

Now I’m all for railing on her for $hits & giggles, but ain’t no baby gonna touch that baby … and by baby I mean the collective group of babies that is ten most of you reading this.


But, I am quite competitive at board games, as her automated commenting machine forced me to confess.  So, if this is what we’re gonna do, then I’d better sharpen my pencil, that tax return is not gonna complete itself.   Eeeeks… 😮 I’ve got until midnight tonight or was there an extension on the deadline because the heartbleed bug ate my homework? ¹


I will never leave my taxes to do this late again
I will never leave my taxes to do this late again
I will never leave my taxes to do this late again
I will never leave my ….

Huh?  What?  Hang on the Irishman’s talking to me….


The Irishman:  You’re getting $1,000,000 dollars back. And I’m getting $5.67.
Me:                     Oh, you did the taxes?
The Irishman:  Ya, aren’t you happy that you’re getting $1,000,000 back?
Me:                     Yes, but I’m even more happy that the taxes are done on time!!
The Irishman:  I know, but that’s a pretty big refund don’t you think?
Me:                     Yes, I’m thinking about the lost interest on that money if the taxes had not been on time.  Thanks, Hon!
The Irishman:  Ohhhhkkkayyyy {walks away shaking his head} ²


Ahem… small combustible meteor attack averted.  [Mini digre$$ion:  Hey did you hear about the new Star Wars: Episode VII?]  All systems normal.  You may now return to your stations and continue watching American Idol. (or Netflix for all the cable choppers out there, and may I say I bow to your awesomeness).

OK, where was I?  Oh ya, so if GMD can roboticize her commenting, then I need to make some major IT investments here at Fraggle Rock.   One of my allies, EM @ Journey to Saving (BTW our blogs are both blue, so actually we’re like twin sisters in another time dimension), very aptly suggested I may need to invest in an RSS reader, so that I can continue to spy gregariously feed GMD’s robotical comment widget.  Not quite sure how that will work yet, but I’m all about BIG planning and let the details come out in the commenting/reading machine. ³


So without further ado than I’ve already done, I introduce my sophisticated polling machine over on the left ⇐ to ask you all what type of RSS reader do you recommend?

Keep in mind I want top notch.  With all the latest gadgets and wizardry.  I’ve gotta be on top of my game.  I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  Oh, and I want it free.

Don’t let the size of the icons influence you.  They do not represent my preferences.  I don’t even know what I want, that’s why I’m asking you. Plus I’m just happy I even got the little suckers in there. Hee

Oh, one more piece of info.  My husband and kids have bought me a Lenovo Yoga 10 Tablet as an early Mother’s Day present.  It just arrived Monday.  I’ve been wanting to get a tablet for awhile.  An IPAD was just out of our budget, so I hope that this will do the job.  I want to choose a reader I can use on the tablet too, if I can ever figure how to swish and swipe the thing. #grandmothertabletlessons.

I found this article on Best RSS Feed Readers for Android Tablets so that’s how I came up with the choices listed, but if I missed some, please feel free to add or put in comments.

What does RSS stand for anyways?

Thank you for your feedback.  I am not worthy. 🙄

¹ Note to non Canucks:  Canada tax filing deadline is midnight April 30 but in 2014 it has been extended to midnight Monday May 5 due to the impacts of the Heart bleed security exploit.

² Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray would be helpful to understand this behaviour.

³ Seriously, is there any sort of frugal help that can help with sort of techy stuff? I can blog a big talk but when the spammer and the wizywig start colliding in intersphere, I run under my rock for comfort.

¼ And since digre$$ion is my middle name, can the IT techy people not talk in humanoid terms so that I don’t feel like I’m the last person standing on the cloud trying to get through the pearly gates? 😕








My New Enlightenment Since Acknowledging our Debt Crisis

ImageChef.comMy Come to Jesus Moment was in March 2012 (aka D-Day).  I hesitate to use that phrase, because I am quite spiritual and don’t like to use the Lord’s name in vain.  However, Brett Nelson, a contributor at Forbes wrote:

CTJMs, we understand, are all about focus, clarity, intention and gravity—in other words, the very stuff that, if consistently mustered, would wipe CTJMs from the schedule.

He suggests ways to avoid CTJM’s including establishing milestones, embracing conflict, defining priorities and avoiding surprises.  Well that is really is what good personal finance management is all about, minus the embracing conflict thingy.

But wait!  When I think about how we got here, part of it was because we did not embrace conflict.  We avoided it like the plague.  We placated ourselves with shopping trips, one up-ing each other with purchases (well he bought that, so now I’m going to buy this) and saying “I deserve” when we were tired or stressed or just plain frustrated with life.

Laurie from The Frugal Farmer wrote on Debt Roundup What Do You Really Deserve?  I identified so much with that post.   All I wanted was peace, freedom and security but I was looking in all the wrong places.

I defended my spending habits as stress relief from a busy lifestyle that I had created by not prioritizing. I absconded from my role as joint financial steward justifying it in my mind that I was the higher income earner and worked long hours, so that was the ‘least he could do’.  I looked for peace a few too many times at the bottom of a bottle, weary after a long day or fretting about other family stresses.

So now what have I done to (help to) turn things around?

  • I don’t do things that are in conflict with our goals ~ this includes unplanned spending, shirking responsibilities in managing our finances.  I’ve even started grocery shopping (for deals) and cooking a little more which is crazy (for me).
  • I speak up, instead of burying my head in the sand, if I think things are going astray.  Better to have these small difficult conversations straight away, that are actually quite insignificant compared to the ones we had around D-Day.
  • I practice living in the moment – from “The Power of Now” by Eckhardt Tolle.  This helps keep me from getting down about our debt situation and worries about family members.
  • I try to set an example and communicate within our household about ideas we could do to save money and not waste.  It appears I am the most frugal person in the house now, turning off lights, conserving gas etc. It used to be The Irishman.  Go figure.
  • I’m discussing my new frugal philosophy and sharing tips and tricks, budget and amortization spreadsheets and cool posts with my adult children.  I could bear great guilt about how I have not set a good example for them but I know guilt is a wasted emotion.  Instead I am trying to help them as much as I can with the new smarter ‘me’ and an excel file for any situation up my sleeve!
  • I’m a cheap date LOL.  Visiting my grandson on a weeknight, is now Nama’s favourite night out.  Otherwise it’s history channel or just being side-by-side, both on our computers.  A beer on Friday night, unless we splurge on a champagne Friday which means bubbly in the bathtub.

So I think Jesus is helping me, and smiling, when I say my new frugal enlightenment instances are affectionately called “Come to Nama” moments.  tailz2006

This post is another as part of the Financially Savvy Saturdays blog hop.

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Worth it Wednesday

Worth It! WednesdayThis will be the first in a series of Wednesday posts if I can get my act together.  I want to write straight from the heart, even if my posts may be strange and quirky.  I pinky swear that they will still be personal finance related, with emphasis on the personal.

Where’s My MOJO?

Ya, so just over a month in and I haven’t found my groove yet to say that I’m comfortable with this blogging thing.  Lots to learn and lots to think about.  Here’s my random thoughts on this topic:

  1. I’m devouring reading lots of blogs which helps me to decide how I want to define my blog content.  Why reinvent the wheel?  You all have lots of great stuff that I can’t begin to replace, nor do I want to.  (aka I need all that info, baby, if I’m gonna learn how to get things right, one freakin’ payment at a time)  Smiling at you here, Shannon @ Financially Blonde as an excellent example of many!
  2. Researching and then writing about financial topics that I’m not familiar with takes time.  But if it’s something I need to know more about, it’s a good way to assimilate the information in my head.  Hoping it will help someone else to get through what can be rather dry topics, I want to try to put a fun spin on them (otherwise I may never get through them, LOL).
  3. I want to have some personal content in some of my posts too.  By that, I don’t just mean financial vomiting of my numbers (although I must confess I love reading those posts from y’all), but also some relationship,  psychological, spiritual and emotional divulsion.  Here’s hoping I can put it all out there.  Be gentle or smack me, your call.
  4., I almost forgot about it when I got totally distracted reading all the PF blogs I could find.  I read and commented, and commented and read (that’s always fun, write a random comment and then read the post to see how relevant your comment was…. kidding… totally kidding.  I signed up for everyone’s posts and comments and now I can’t find my inbox.  Has anyone seen it?  No, I’m serious now… I can’t keep up with the emails and for an detail oriented perfectionist, this is rather disturbing.  I think, I’m about two weeks from Sunday before I can dig out.  I may have to blow up my inbox, which means I’ll probably start to cry.  Please pass the tissues.
  5. OK, so what’s the secret to commenting – leaving comments, follow-up comments, reading comments, the whole shebang?  I like to read all the comments, and I love to see the responses to my comments.  However, my email does not return the affection.  So I’m thinking of doing the following:  leaving the post open as a tab and then checking later if my comment has been responded to.   Tell me how I can manage this so I don’t die Strategies gratefully appreciated.
  6. I got busy with social media, well mostly Twitter, since Facebook is a bust (as everyone reports).  Plus I can’t invite all my FB friends because I blog incognito (like my new sunglasses 😎 ?)  I’ve started also some Pinterest boards, namely Frugal Living, Investing Tips, Personal Finance Blogs, Favourite Blog Posts I’ve Read, Side Income Ideas and Blogging Tips.  This is how I’m going to organize myself, because as I said, my email is dying a quick death… plus I like pictures.
  7. So what started out as an a’tude of I’ll blog when I feel like it, and was 2-3 times per week, has dwindled to a paltry once on Saturday (sounds like my sex life used to be, don’t ask how it is now).  I wanted to blog adhoc – it suited my personality, but when Dr. Phil found me crying in the corner and asked me “How’s that working for ya?”  I had to admit that I need to find a balancing act (or join the carnival).  So, Wed and Sat it is folks!  For now… until I change it….. with no warning…  ha!

What’s in a Blog Name?

Today is William Shakespeare’s birthday.  Dude is 450 years old!  Check out what his twitter would be or was not to be.  His tweets sound old though.  I sound a lot younger than I am.  I digre$$.

So one of those nights when I was voraciously eating blogs, I came across a post late, late one night that got me panicked.  Can’t find the post now … I guess that’s one of the tricks of the trade I haven’t learned yet.

debt debs held for ransom
Anyhoo, I used to blog under the wordpress free domain site.  Well this post talked about people who buy up domain names so that if I later wanted to have my own domain name instead of, I might not be able to.  Something about people buying domain names and holding for ransom.  Internet domain piracy!

Well, I had hummed and hawed about paying $18 to buy the domain name (which later turned out to be $26 for some reason), but I whipped out my credit card right quick at 3 a.m. while my husband slept soundly beside me.  He was none the wiser.  Not that it mattered, because I’m the watcher of the money pots these days.

I’ve been thinking about writing this sort of post for awhile but Addison @ Cashville Skyline inspired me to get ‘er done with Have You Conducted a Productivity Audit?  You should go check out her spreadsheet analyzing her day.  I got all warm and goopy feeling when I saw it.

Any words of wisdom say ye?


Frugal Fraggles, Rocks and Poodles

03 Aug 2008 097Is anyone wondering what this strange picture is that I have as my avatar?

I am, so I interviewed myself to find out what’s up with that.

Ya, what is it?

This is a Fraggle.  It was lovingly hand painted with gel pens in a pseudo tattoo on my arm by my niece.  We have a book at the cottage which the kids used as a reference to create their own hand drawn tattoos.  I highly recommended this activity for kids.  Shannon Ryan @ The Heavy Purse has lots of great ideas on  how to raise financially literate children.  This qualifies as a frugal activity for your kids.  We bought the gel pens at Costco in a multitude of colours and they lasted for more than two summers.

Oh, but what’s a Fraggle?

Fraggles are the muppets characters in a series from Jim Henson called Fraggle Rock.

I think my tattoo is a variation on the character called Wembley in this very appropriate video for a PF blog of Wembley’s 30 minute work week!

*To view this video on YouTube Click here

Why did you choose this image for your avatar?

I wanted something fun.  Plus I think it looks like he is running away screaming from his debt, dontcha think?

I can identify.  So we instantly bonded.

Plus I wanted to hide under a rock when I first acknowledged out debt situation.

Fraggle sounds a lot like frugal.  I’m in love.

While we’re on the topic, do you have any other rock connections?

Painted RockI painted rocks one summer.  I found smooth and unique and oddly shaped rocks and painted them.  Some with loons and ducks on them.  Some with words and sayings and poems.  I found a new canvas for my acrylic paints.  It was fun!  And mighty cheap entertainment.  At left is a cardinal painted on a tiny rock.

BrokeGirlRich wrote about her trip to the big ball of twine in Darwin, Minnesota and included a video and song from Weird Al Yankovic.  (It’s quite hilarious … you should watch it!)   In it he talked about Poodle Dog Rock which appears to be somewhere in Nevada.  I couldn’t put a picture on this post, as I couldn’t find one available under Creative Commons License, so I’ve just linked a beautiful night photo of it.   Here’s another big rock that looks like a dog.  Upon further inspection, both photos look more like a mini poodle rocks.  My  penchant is for Standard Poodles… yup, the big big poodles.  Here are some beautiful poodles up on a big rock mountain.   Karen says they’re yodelling.  I think they are singing the song mentioning Poodle Dogs.

Flickr: Karen

Flickr: Karen

There's Elvis-O-Rama, the Tupperware Museum,
The Boll Weevil Monument, and Cranberry World,
The Shuffleboard Hall Of Fame, Poodle Dog Rock,
And The Mecca of Albino Squirrels
We've been to ghost towns, theme parks, wax museums,
And a place where you can drive through the middle of a tree
We've seen alligator farms and tarantula ranches,
But there's still one thing we gotta see ....
Flickr: Karen

Flickr: Karen

Some other cute photos of poodles and rocks that I have no license to include in this post, so I’ll just provide the links:

OK clearly I could go on and on with STANDARD poodle picture links to poodles and rocks.  Either I’m off my rock(er) or I just love standard poodles that much.  You be the judge.

flickr:  Erica Frank

flickr: Erica Frank

Speaking about rocks, I’m heading up to Sudbury, Ontario for Easter.  Anyone that knows the city will acknowledge it is built on one big pile of rocks.  Along the same lines as the giant ball of twine, Sudbury has a giant nickel.  I wonder if the nickel will be next to become extinct, now that the penny is gone.

Gros Morne NFLDOf course, the place in Canada, that’s known as THE ROCK is the island province of NEWFOUNDLAND.   Here’s a photo from Rocky Harbour near Gros Morne National Park.

Last point on the subject of ROCKS, have you ever listened to the works of Carl Reiner interviewing Mel Brooks as the 2000 year old man?  At about 5 minutes in, they talk about the first language being the ROCK language.  I won’t say more but let you listen to it.  I find this very entertaining.  Before that, about 4 minutes, they talk about the jobs that were existing 2000 years ago, among those being hitting a tree with a piece of wood, looking in the sky and watching each other.  Tough work if you can get it.   Enjoy!!

*To view this video on YouTube Click here

So that’s all I have to say on rocks and frugal fraggles and frisky poodles.  Have a rockin‘ Easter weekend!


This post is another as part of the Financially Savvy Saturdays blog hop.

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7 things about Jim Flaherty and why do I care?

Flickr: Stephen Harper

Okay there’s always a few partisan naysayers in every crowd, but I’d have to say that pretty much all Canadians were stunned and saddened this week by the sudden death of the Former Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, from a massive heart attack on Thursday.

Flaherty suffered from a painful skin condition called bullous pemphigoid, and although no longer considered a fatal disease, there is speculation that the side effects of this steroid medications may have precipitated the heart impacts.  He definitely appeared to be suffering a lot more in recent years, and when he announced his sudden resignation to return to private live just 3 weeks earlier, his health was at the top of everyone’s concern, even though it was said to not be the reason for his departure.

Without further ado, here are Debt Debs 7 things she wants to say on this topic – some quirky, all personal finance related, of course, or personal or finance … we’re not going to get too picky today… after all, we’re grieving.

Item 1 – TFSA people!!!

Jim brought in our beloved TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) in the 2008 budget, effective January 2, 2009.   Some people say it as the four letter acronym T-F-S-A and some pronounce it “TIF-SA”.  This tax savings vehicle allows your money to grow and not be taxed on that growth, regardless of when you withdraw the money.  A TFSA is similar but not identical to Roth IRA’s in the US and Individual Savings Accounts in the UK.

Okay so I pretty much wrote a whole post on this one topic alone, so I have cut and pasted it for a future date.  That’s kind of a side benefit spin-off of this whole blogging thing.  You start to research something to support your inner monologue in your head and voila… you have learned a lot and you have a whole other post that is entirely too long to include here on a discrete topic that you can save for a rainy day.  Yup, that’s why I do this.

Item 2 – Registered Disability Savings Plan is a good thing … I think

In 2007, the RDSP was brought in by Jim Flaherty.  Ashamedly, I know nothing about this, and I should.  One of my children is on disability for severe OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and social anxiety.  (Yes, it has been a bit all consuming for us the last 7 years and may be a part of why we fell off the money management band wagon).  So I need to  research this for her sake and I will provide my views in a future post.

What I have heard in the news media, is that one of the Flahertys’ sons has autism, and this may be a reason to spur our former finance minister to put in place programs like this to help the nation’s disadvantaged.   I hope everyone is for that.  And for personal reasons, I do understand Mr. Flaherty’s as well.

2007: Introduces the Registered Disability Savings Plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for retirement. One of Flaherty’s three sons has a mental disability and the minister wept openly when he announced the plan.

Item 3 – Bye Bye Penny!  It’s good to see you go!


Canadian Penny 2012AKA, don’t let the door hit your a$$ on the way out.  (OK, that’s just funny in my head)

In order to save $11 million for Canada, on March 29 2012, as part of the country’s Economic Action Plan 2012,  Flaherty announced that the penny would meet it’s eventual demise with a plan to start in February 2013 (Last penny was made May 4, 2012) .  The ‘nuisance’ coin was too costly to produce at 1.6 ¢ (60% over it’s own net worth! Poor Penny.)   Prices would not be impacted, but only a  methodology to support how to round up or round down the final transaction amounts for cash purchases only.

I think it’s worked out well.  (What do I know?  I never pay cash anymore. )  The nickle may be next.

Item 4 – GST (Goods and Services Tax) – Where’d it go?

Seems so long ago (January 1, 2008), that the National GST rate went down to 5% (it had moved from 7% to 6% for a short time period), but it was part of Jim Flaherty’s work.  It appears as of this time last year some thought it wasn’t good for Canada, but I see no damning evidence of that.  The budget will be balanced and deficit will be gone in 2015, and that’s 6 years after the economic downturn of 2009.  My plan is six years too.

In the province of Ontario, we still have it, but it’s been replaced by HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) which incorporates the PST (former Provincial Sales Tax of 8% [who remembers when PST was 7%?]) with the GST 5% for a total HST of 13%.  Timings for every province are all here folks – read if your planning to move to Canada.

So ya, the GST is not gone, it’s just buried.  Or you could look at it like it entered into a common-law relationship with it’s partner, PST.

Item 5 – Income Splitting – wait, I need all mine!

Income splitting is a part of the platform promised by the Tories (Conservative Party of Canada – CPC) when elected May 2, 2011 with a majority government.  AKA Income Sharing, this concept is supposed to ensure that couples earning different amounts but with the same total income are taxed similarly as couples earning the same amounts.

We heard in the media that Flaherty was no longer in favour of it, but since it was part of what the CPC’s were elected to deliver,  Prime Minister Harper would likely not renege on this campaign promise.

I don’t know a lot about it or why Flaherty no longer liked this proposal, so I need to do more research and report back later.   [Cheesus, church lady, not another thing you don’t know nuthin’ about!]  Plus now I’m curious, because I want to know what is my preference, and I hope you (Canadians) do too!

Item 6 – Frugal Parenting – my new quest 🙂

Not only was Jim Flaherty Canada’s Finance minister for 8 years, he was also finance mentor to his 3 sons (My Three Sons – dog, I used to love that show.  Fun Fact I didn’t know – Ernie was originally a foster kid, and the original 3 sons were Mike, Robbie and Chip – here’s the episode where Mike gets married and then moves out East and Ernie comes into the picture.  All the episodes are on – what fun!).

Here’s the advice Jim had for his triplets back in 2010 with Debt Debs snarky remarks for good measure:

  1. Education is important – well that or training in a trade.  Not everyone needs to go to university.  I always say as long as you’re happy and can support yourself and any offspring and dogs and cats you bring into this world, off you go.
  2. Spend less than you earn –, he was reading PF blogs wasn’t he?  Because, without a word of a lie, I don’t think I’ve heard that concept until I started reading them.  Novel concept, isn’t it?
  3. Buy property (but pay off your mortgage ASAP) – tax free gains on principal residences, what more could you ask for?  But pay off that mortgage and don’t keep adding to it!!!  Do as I say, not as I …. did.   Sheeeshhh
  4. Be frugal – I always liked him but now I love(d) him.

Item 7 – Quirky Personal Coincidences

Flaherty tabled the 2014 budget on February 7, my father’s birthday.  He announced his resignation March 18 (my Mum’s birthday) and died on April 10 (my mother-in-law’s birthday).  He died at 64, same age as my aunt, both never getting to see that 65 year milestone, so important in our culture.  He shares Irish heritage with me, commonly wearing a green tie in most public appearances.  I have a green car for the same reason.  

In Canada, there is a long standing tradition since 1966 when the country was 99 years old, that the Finance minister should wear new shoes when he announces the new budget to Parliament.  I’ve known about this since I was a child, coming from a politically-minded family,  however, I was surprised to read that not all Finance ministers have upheld this tradition, not even Mr. Flaherty for a few of his budgets.

But alas, here he is in 2012 buying his new shoes.  At one minute in he picks up a pair of green high top sneakers, laughing, wondering if he should get those.  So cute.  I have one mini green high top sneaker key chain hanging from my rear view mirror in my little green car.

*To view this video on YouTube Click here

RIP, Mr. Flaherty.  My sincere condolences to your family, Christine Elliot, John, Quinn, Galen and extended family and friends.

The Million Dollar Diva

This post is part of the Financially Savvy Saturdays blog hop.  Click on the link above and check out some others.

You know you want to. 😉


Top Ten List – What I Don’t Like About My Investments

By Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States (110613-N-TT977-230) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

From the personal finance information I’ve been reading (including many great blogs out there!), the importance of balance in your financial strategies cannot be stressed enough.

What do I mean by this?  Balance in debt repayment and investment savings for long term needs (retirement) to obtain the advantage of compounded growth.

In my travels (around the internet), I realize that I need to do more about ensuring our investment portfolio gets attention and not just our debt.  My head is not quite there (yet) because when I look at the stock market I get confused about yields and price-earnings ratios, and ex-dividend dates and common-law dividend dates… ah er… well you now understand my point.

So my former self would run and bury her head in the sand so she could ignore it.  I’ve perfected burying.  I have red scratchy eyes because of all the sand in them, but I claim the prize for ignoring bells and whistles (Note to self:  Blog about all the red flags I ignored over the years).

But with the motivation of some recent reads, I decide to start to really analyze my net worth, not just update it on my spreadsheet.  I’m gearing myself up to doing a Net Worth disclosure,  even, on Rockstar Finance.

These blogs gave me something to think about, as I work up my courage for Net Worth divulsion (egad that word sounds scary right there):

Debt Discipline – Net Worth Update: February – Brian shamelessly blogs his family’s NW, so what can’t I?

Cashville Skyline – Quarter 1 Update: My First Net Worth Overshare – Addison acknowledges that sharing NW is personal and can be difficult but has decided to for the greater good.

Ree @ Escaping Dodge – My Crazy Method of Determining Property Values for Net Worth Calculations has me thinking about whether I should include my home in my net worth calculation or not.  Note to Canadian readers:  Zillow does not seem to be available for Canadian properties, so I found would be the closest Canadian equivalent (or local city sites can usually be found).  These sites give current listings and may not be reflective of actual values.   Due to privacy laws, real estate agents are not supposed to disclose sale amounts of properties, so use listed amounts with caution.

Financial Samurai – How Much Should My Net Worth or Savings Be Based On Income? – I’m way far behind if I base my evaluation on my current income, however if I lower my living standards (which we have done in the last two years), then I’m not doing too badly.

So in homage to David Letterman who announced his retirement this week, some say because his net worth is declining (he’s worth $400 million and makes $20 million / year, but I think he suffers from what Financial Samurai calls ONE MORE YEAR SYNDROME since he’s not retiring, like, tomorrow),  here is the TOP TEN LIST of WHAT I DON’T LIKE ABOUT MY CURRENT INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO:

  1. I’ve got two losers in my portfolio, CAG and CPG.  (The fact that they both start with C and I am Canadian is purely coincidental)
  2. I don’t have the requisite 30% in low risk investments per Financial Samurai – Recommended Net Worth Allocation By Age And Work Experience (I need to calculate but I would estimate it’s around 10%)
  3. My portfolio is spread out between 4 different institutions (Hence the difficulty to calculate how much I have in low risk funds above.  It was worse, at 5, so I guess I’m making progress)
  4. My growth is not locked in.  (On my largest account, there is 48K of growth in market value which could disappear overnight in a free-fall market)
  5. I pay too much in investment fees. I paid $2574.97 last year on one account alone, and $849.23 on that same account first quarter this year.  That doesn’t include The Irishman’s account fees and other accounts.  I estimate that we pay between 6-7 grand per year on investment fees.  (Feels like paying a drug dealer for the small amount of work that he does for me).
  6. I have no clue how to interpret the P/E ratio when I look at a stock value. (It stands for Price / Earnings ratio but may as well mean Pimp / Escorts for all I can figure out).
  7. My investment advisor does not have a picture of my family on his desk (I have no idea why spell-check does not like advisor.  Does it want me to spell it the Canadian way? ADVISOUR)
  8. I have too many watch lists on my portfolio.  I’ve got Consolidated, Potentials, Hypothetical, Bad News, The Irishman’s Picks, IA Picks.  (OK, I realize you’ve got me on a technicality, because this isn’t my portfolio per se, but how I (try to) manage it.  Ya, it’s all that and a slice of loafed bread.  That’s how confused I make myself am)
  9. I have no stock in Coach, Mazda or Costco. (Products/Services I own or use, except in my case the first one would be COUCH)
  10. I don’t trade my own stocks. (Because I’m too chicken, due to #6 which results in #5)


So, there you have it.  This has helped me figure out what I want to focus on.  In preparing this list, it has also made me realize some good things about my investments but I’ll save that for another blog post.

Oh and for my Net Worth extravaganza … that’s coming too.  I think I’m becoming more confident about sharing.  I just need to wait for my stocks to go up some more get it together .  😀

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts too!
Oh, and again I’ve linked this post to @femmefrugality’s Financially Savvy Saturdays. Go check out some others participating in this blog hop for personal finance writers by clicking on the pic below. Enjoy!

Stapler Confessions