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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally finished, or at least fleshed out most of my financial goals.

1) Calculate my net worth on a per check basis. - Started/ In-progress
2) Pay off my personal debt, ETA end of 2009, very early 2010 - Started ETA March 2010
3) Help my partner pay off his debt, ETA mid-late 2010 - Started
4) Institute a financial check up plan with a yearly, or semi-yearly review. Which should include credit history reviews, and some financial reassesment. - Done
5) Max out my RSPs, ETA 2010 - started contributing
6) Pay off my mortgage, current ETA 20 years, goal is less then 10
7) Learn how to invest, and make my money work for me - Started some research - Done/Constantly ongoing
8) Establish a retirement goal, I have a target age of 40-45
9) Start to move my saving methods beyond just high-interest savings accounts, - Done
10) Find the funds to go back to school, starting September 2009 - Done!

So far I'm at a point where I have the budgeting and bill paying stuff down. I've recently started contributing to my RSP, and have also encouraged my partner to do the same. Our biggest financial hurdle currently is paying off debt (school for me, and consumer for him). I'm trying to research and understand how I can best make my money work for me rather then vice versa.

I suppose it would be fair to say that I'm just starting out with my personal savings & RSPs. I do have a plan, however it is quite detailed in terms of debt replayment, but after that, all I have is save (personal & RSPs) and pay down my mortgage. I'm lost after that at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you!

I'd like to add another goal.

11) Develop a passive income replace my working income, although I have no timeline on this yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
1) Calculate my net worth on a per check basis. - Started
7) Learn how to invest, and make my money work for me - Started some research
9) Start to move my saving methods beyond just high-interest savings accounts
10) Find the funds to go back to school, starting September 2009

I've made the most progress on these so far.

1) I've been tracking my net worth on a per check basis like I stated, and so far I'm finding that I'm getting on average a 9% increase every 15 days. The bulk of it is coming from paying down/off my debt aggressively, and the rest is coming from mortgage payments, and my savings contributions.

7) I've been continuing to pick up books from the thread with book recommendations. Its coming along, slowly but surely.

9) So far I'm leaning towards mutual funds and index funds. However I'm more interested in index funds right now. As usual though, more research is needed. I have a much better idea of where I think I want to start going to achieve this goal

10) Depending on my job situtation after the end of my contract, I should be starting back in July actually with a summer term. I was also really happy to find that a large number of credits from my previous degree apply to my new degrees.
 

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1) I've been tracking my net worth on a per check basis like I stated, and so far I'm finding that I'm getting on average a 9% increase every 15 days. The bulk of it is coming from paying down/off my debt aggressively, and the rest is coming from mortgage payments, and my savings contributions.
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take note - this is a very smart approach
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This time I saw my numbers drop to reflect a decrese by -0.77%. Unfortunately it happens sometimes. This bi-weekly drop as a culmination of the timing of when my bills were generated, along with a few expected expenses and some semi-emergency purchases that we were expecting however, not for at least another month.

Essentially I put off my usual large lump sum debt payments this check in favour of other required purchases for my home, and for myself.
 

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This time I saw my numbers drop to reflect a decrese by -0.77%. Unfortunately it happens sometimes. This bi-weekly drop as a culmination of the timing of when my bills were generated, along with a few expected expenses and some semi-emergency purchases that we were expecting however, not for at least another month.

Essentially I put off my usual large lump sum debt payments this check in favour of other required purchases for my home, and for myself.
Michika, you may find that updating your net worth every 2 weeks creates too much noise. I update every month and even that can be a bit much. Remember, it's all about the long term trend. Keep up the great work!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Right now I find the noise the most beneficial part of this. Watching the numbers on my biggest debt decrease bi-weekly is the best motivator at this point. However, in early July when its paid off I'll look at going to monthly or bi-monthly. Or maybe I'll just track my debt separately to keep its motivating ability, and track my net worth monthly or bi-monthly.

Thank you for the suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In regards to #7, I started playing the FP stock challenge, and yesterday went well for me, but I forgot to sell some key stocks at the end of the day, and it hurt me. I like this opportunity to try playing around, yet not having to risk any money. I think its a great hands on learning experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had a couple of bumps in the road in June. First we were the recipients of two back to back emergencies which completely depleted my newly topped up emergency fund, the second one forced me to do the unthinkable; dip into my RSP account. The second bump is that when my contract got renewed it got done so at a considerably lower rate of pay. A job is better then no job.

I've changed my time-frame on paying off my personal debt, and going back to school to account for these issues. So my new immediate challenges are rebuilding my emergency account, replenishing the money out of my RSP savings, and taking one course in September (to maintain my registration). I'm also actively looking for new employment or potentially a second job.

In the grand scheme of thing both things can be considered minor, but right now the emergency fund portion of things feel major. I just feel unprotected in case anything unexpected comes up.
 

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Your goal #11 basically ties in to #7......You might find 'the Lazy Investor' a good Read...If I remember that deals w dividend investing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I had to do a whole overhaul due to the pay decrease, and so now assuming everything remains as it is now income wise I will be able to;

- Pay of all my personal debt in 8.5 months, this is up from my original schedule of an early December payout.
- Once again have an emergency cushion
- Continue contributing to my RSPs, replace the money I had to take out
- Reach the $5,000 limit of my TFSA for this year

At the end of this year or early next year I will;
- move my RSPs to a better savings vehicle, savings accounts aren't cutting it
- work my debt repayment money into a new savings scheme after its paid off

I'm going to find a copy of the Lazy Investor to read when I can get the chance. Thank you for the recommendation.

The FP Stock Challenge is working out really well for me. I'm finding I'm learning a lot better with the opportunity to do more hands on learning. I've already surpassed my original goal of not going into the red, and my second goal of making $5,000 on top of the original $100K they give you at the start.
 

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We decided to just go ahead and pay down debt like crazy instead of investing into tfsa and rsp etc etc. Theory being that we can make up for lost ground later without monthly payments, plus the peace of mind/risk factor...but whatever is working for you, good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My partner has an employer match program that he is taking advantage of, and while I don't have an employer match, I am no longer contributing quite as much as I was before. It only makes sense for my partner to keep contributing, as he doesn't see any additional money off his net check with or without the RSP deduction, plus money from his employer is free money so why not?

I can definitely see where you are coming from though. What do you do for an emergency fund?
 

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michika said:
had a couple of bumps in the road in June. First we were the recipients of two back to back emergencies which completely depleted my newly topped up emergency fund
I think that is why you have an emergency fund though. It is better to have that then to wish you had it and now have to dip even more into your RSP. So I must say well done on having it and good luck in getting it rebuilt back up.

Rocky
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I unfortunately have no luck lately it seems.

I'm now on the hunt for a new job beginning September 1st. My contract here is being concluded, with no extension, on August 31st. My company remains on track with other simlar sized companies in the area, and still regularly laying off large numbers of workers. I definitely don't believe the recession for workers is truly over.

I've barely started to re-stock my emergency fund, so it looks like all the money coming in for the next month is going to savings and staying there while I search for a new opportunity. We're now halting our additional debt repayment plans to further pad our savings.

Win some lose some, its the way it goes. I had a good run here, and I hope that I can transition to another position soon without causing too many large distruptions in our short and longer term plans.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I found myself my new job opportunity, so that is one less stress to worry about. I'm also only about a month out from finishing paying off all my consumer debt!

We have less property taxes to pay this year, which amounts to about an extra $120 a month for us to use. We've opted to re-invest it in our mortgage against the principle.

Starting in October we've jointly decided to start tackling my partner's debt. We have created two plans for him, one in which everything gets paid off in three years, and one in which everything is paid off in less then one year. We're aiming for less then one year, but we're using the 3 year plan, as our super-conservative, what if something happens, plan.

Now I'm just excited to finally be able to contribute heavily to my savings, and possibly start investing. I'm still wary of investing but loved the option to learn more about the stock market by playing the Financial Post Stock Challenge.

I'm planning to close out 2009 on a very high note!
 

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I'm still wary of investing but loved the option to learn more about the stock market by playing the Financial Post Stock Challenge
The lessons from the FP stock challenge would be the ones you don't want to learn.

However, congratulations on your progress!
 
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