Thursday, February 21, 2008

72 Goals in 1001 Days - 9 month update

Missed the 6 month update, but meh.
For various reasons (most of which were laziness) I haven't been working on these as much as I would like. I am going to try some visual reminders for some of them to keep me on the ball.

Here is an update to my list of goals that I originally posted here.

Here is an update to my list of goals that I originally posted here. Numbers that are missing are goals that were complete before this update

2. Obtain my Bachelor of Education Degree

3. Sort through my comic books and see which ones can get the boot Started June 17, 2007

Currently I have 8 short boxes and 2 long boxes of single comics. On this date I went through all of them and immediately cut 4 short boxes worth of issues to get rid of.

4. Read the complete works of William Shakespeare

6. Make my own windex

7. Have $18,000 in savings IN PROGRESS

We are actually not too far away from this, so I think this should be reasonable.

8. Measure my body fat percentage in some scientific fashion

I plan to purchase one of the scales that measures body fat as well as weight after researching whether or not they actually work. And suggested by Sam, the official way is to be submerged in water and there is some displacement measure or something. I don't know the details yet though.

9. Become lighter by on average 0.5 pounds a week

10. Get Married

11. Open an RRSP

Deciding whether to get one now for compound reasons or hold off until I need the tax break and contribute several "back-years" worth all at once. Apparently if I start one now and expect my income to increase significantly in the future (I do), then I will be taxed a higher rate than I was paying when I put it in, negating the benefit. However, this will have to be evaluated against both the growth of the RRSP and inflation.

12. Invest in a mutual fund IN PROGRESS

The first step here is to become educated on the subject and I've chosen The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing and you can read a review here. This is on my wishlist for both Amazon and Chapters.

13. Buy stock in a single company

14. Liquidate unwatched DVDs IN PROGRESS

This process has been made much easier due to the move to our new apartment in June. A move is a very nice excuse to go through old junk and get rid of it.

15. Purchase a Paderno pot set COMPLETED

I'm calling this one completed as we received 4 decent Paderno pots for Christmas, negating the need to purchase a set of our own. We may pick up a few other pieces this summer, depending on how far along my culinary skills are.

16. Beat Halo 2

17. Beat Jet Set Radio Future

18. Get rid of my old computer COMPLETED

A friend in the education program had a ridiculously old computer so I formatted my old hard drives, installed windows XP and put some programs on that I thought she could use. My reward? A delicious meal at the Gahan House.

19. Liquidate old books SEE #14

20. Make 5 homemade gifts for people for various events (birthdays, Christmas, etc...) (1/5)

1. Book of Coupons for Mother's Day

21. Go on 10 relaxing drives around the island with Pam (0/10)

23. Walk the equivalent of Summerside to Toronto not including every day walking (104.3/1700 km)

I've decided to include biking in here as well because I enjoy that MUCH more. I purchased an odometer for my bike and it seems to be pretty accurate, so I will be using that to chart my progress. FYI my average bike ride is about 12-15 km.

24. Watch Season 1 of The Shield

25. Read the Complete Cerebus series (4/16 TPBs)

26. Talk to Sam about his history with money

27. Plant and grow my own tomatoes

29. Vacation in Vancouver

30. Play 5 games of Ultimate Frisbee (0/5)

31. Cook 12 romantic dinners for my fiance and I (2/12)

32. Become an Ebay seller

33. Open an online trader account

34. Get flowers for my fiance "just because" 5 times (2/5)

35. Paint another 2 paintings in the Bob Ross style (0/2)

36. Do 100 push-ups without taking a break (personal best: 21/100)

37. Spend 30 complete days with my fiance (4/10)

I've increased this from 10, because 10 is really low. 30 is low too, but I'm not going to push it ;)

38. Help my fiance's parents clean out a room in their house

40. Offer to babysit 3 times for my friends so they can go out (0/3)

44. Plant a tree

45. Attend a farmer's market and if I like what I see 30 more times (5/30) IN PROGRESS

46. Determine my personal CO2 emissions (estimate)

47. Reduce those emissions by 20%

48. Convince 5 people to switch to PC Financial for their banking (1/5)

1. Matt Angus, a student that works at Resolve

52. Read 52 in one sitting to see if it makes much sense

53. Make 10 jars of homemade pasta sauce and salsa and give it as gifts (0/10)

54. Finish the few pieces of the puzzle for the paper based on my masters project IN PROGRESS

My supervisor contacted me again in January to get back on things. Simulations are currently running with some modifications to our old technique. Unfortunately, many of our results will change and some rewrites to the manuscript will have to be done.

55. Do 150 sit-ups without taking a break (personal best 20/150)

56. Wash and wax our car 4 times (1/4)

57. Clean and vacuum the car interior 4 times (0/4)

58. Check the car's air filter and replace/clean if needed 4 times (every 6 months) (1/4)

59. Calculate our net worth COMPLETED

See this post about how I calculate the numbers.

61. Have the only animal I eat be fish/seafood for 4 consecutive months

62. Have my only beverage as water for 8 consecutive months

63. Try being a vegetarian for 5 consecutive months (no animal flesh - eggs/milk/cheese OK)

64. Organize our filing container IN PROGRESS

65. Pay off completely the debt I expect to incur over the next 2 years from my Bachelor of Education degree

66. Sit down and work the numbers to see if my Mosaik Mastercard is worth paying $100/year for it.

This goes hand in hand with #41 except by downgrading the card and not paying this year's fees, it gives me some time to actually do this.

67. Help Mark finish his basement

68. Obtain my class 4 license so that when I get a teaching job, I am qualified to drive a bunch of kids on field trips etc...

69. Catalog our possessions for insurance purposes

71. Learn how to swim

72. Give Blood 10 times (1/10)
1. August 29, 2007

Total goals complete (16/72)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Net Worth Update January 2008

Ala The Simple Dollar, I have started tracking our networth and began several months ago. I hope to post monthly updates as percentage increase/decrease as actual numbers are somewhat relative.

I calculate the numbers in a relatively (I think) straightforward manner. On the first of every month before out rent comes out of our account, I add up the values in our bank accounts and add the value of our car into the mix. To find the value, I researched the Blue Book listing for it. This is the only real uncertainty in my numbers, which is only mildly disconcerting. I plan to relook at the value of the vehicle every 4 months to see how much it has depreciated. However, since it is a 1999, I believe the rate of depreciation will be low.

I then add up all of our debts and subtract this number from the assets. The monthly progress is done through the formula (current month - last month)/last month. The simple spreadsheet that forms the basis for what I do can be found here.

Assets - Up 9.6%

I attribute asset growth this month to several factors:
1. Being somewhat frugal by not buying ridiculous amounts of boardgames even though I really wanted to.
2. The Island Student award granted to Prince Edward Island students at UPEI.
3. Refund from dental costs.

Goal for next month: I plan to make February a mostly frugal month so I would like to see an asset increase of 5%

Debts - Up 129%

Wow, what an incredibly large number! The main reason for this was of course second semester tuition payments which are funded through a student loan. Credit card balances on the first of every month are included here as well. These tend not to be high month-to-month as we pay it off weekly.

Goal for next month: I am unsure. The debt is accumulating, but I am wondering if paying small amounts on the student loans now is worth it or not. This will be the topic of a future post. Let's say 4% though.

Net worth - Down 4.7%

Despite the large debt increase, our overall networth did not change as much as I thought it would, which is great. This will hopefully be a positive number next month.

I should note as well that since we have a "low" net worth any increase/decrease will generate larger swings in the overall percentages than someone who is well established on the financial track. For example, if my networth is $1000 and I increase it by $100, that's a 10% upswing. Someone that has a net worth of $100,000 would have to increase their NW by $10,000 to generate the same 10%. Not an easy thing to on a monthly basis. Though I could be wrong!