Friday, October 12, 2012

Back from my parental leave

Well it's been well over five months now. I've been spending the first two months at home with my family helping my lovely wife with our newborn and toddler. I'm going to get back to posting now. Things were just too crazy busy but I'm going to find some time now to post. Work got hectic and just drained my energy, but I have crack on with thing!

Friday, July 20, 2012

More options, but it'll cost ya!

Once again, we Canadians are held ransom by cable providers getting deals from a government agency.  The CRTC still does not get it.
Why in heck should we pay more to get the channels we want?  There should be simple supply and demand at play here.  All this stupidity about supposedly protecting Canadian culture when these providers continually just re-package American fare is just idiotic!  This just keeps the bit media companies profitable, not competitive.

Keep out of my wallet government!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A History of dividends, 2005-2012 so far

I thought I'd look over the historical growth of my dividends over the years.  I really started to keep close records around 2005 and that was when I started to really get into investing for dividends.

As you can see I've had some ups and flat periods.  Things flattened out around 2008-2010, then I put more of my wife's capital towards dividend stocks.  We had a nice jump after that point for 2011.  Now you can see we are slowing again as far as growth goes.  With Wendy now taking care of our child, now my income must handle the burden of getting rid of the mortgage and adding to our investment holdings.  As you can see the mortgage has been winning out.
2013 is an estimate based on current dividends and some estimated increases from solid divvy increasers.

I think I'm going to have to try and formulate a plan to at least get a modest growth in dividends in 2013.

Dividends June 2012

My total dividends for June is $1,621.08 from all accounts shared between my wife and I.  The chart below shows my monthly dividend income for 2012.  The months after June are estimated.

The insignificant green bit at the top of the blue bars is interest income.  Since interest rates are so low these days, I don't hold much in interest bearing accounts.

May dividend holdings: ALA, AVF, IPL.UN, AX.UN, BA, BCE, BNS, LW, PZA.UN, STB, SU, KEG.UN, VSN

I bought some more VSN this month from some accumulated cash from various dividends over the last few months.  Another little extra bump to my dividends to come in the next few months.

I've been looking to take advantage of the downturn in the markets, the VSN buy in June is my first buy.  I just need a bit more cash.  :-)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Vegetable Garden

I want to get a vegetable garden started.  The house renos are taking longer than I had hoped, so any real work on a vegetable garden will have to wait till next year.  Too bad.

I have though got some containers going.  I love home grown tomatoes, so I had to get something growing this summer.

Here are my little beauties.  Hopefully they will save me a few grocery dollars this year.

Taxes, taxes, taxes

How much do you pay in taxes a year?

Well I've been tracking all things financial for years and I thought I should give some scrutiny to how much I pay in taxes.  For the last few years I've been tracking sales taxes as well as income tax.  So I thought I should do a little breakdown here.

I was less detailed in my past records and failures in software means my older data is missing a few numbers, so the actual taxes going back before 2005 would probably be higher.

I wish I could say this was a definative report on how much we pay in taxes.  Perhaps I will try and see if I have any older records buried anywhere.

Right now I will just try and digest that I've paid at least $155,508.83 in taxes since 2003. 
In NINE YEARS, we have paid an average of  $17,278.76 a year to various levels of government!  YIKES!
I think I need to sit down...  wait I already am....

Murdering the Mortgage June 2012

It's our one year mortgage anniversary!

So after 12 months, we have managed to pay down $13316.48.  Only $76,683 to go!

At this rate we will be mortgage free in 8 years and 1 month without doubling up as we often do.  I will be slowing by extra payments for the next couple of months due to my coming parental leave.  I will need to see if we can double up as the next few months progress.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Where does the money go? 2011 and 2010

I decided to do some pie charts to show my annual expenditures for 2010 and 2011.

Housing is the basic utility bills and insurance.  Home is furniture and home renos, etc.  

Here is 2010.

Here is 2011.

2011 proved an expensive year.  A move to a new house that needed some work will do that.  You can see the aggressive paying down of the mortgage here as well.

Here is a big chart for the 2004-2011 period to show a bit of history.  We tend to average around the mid $30's for annual expenditure.
I've got to keep that upward trend under control.  Most of the jumps are one time costs.

I have some data going farther back, going back to 2000 and earlier but problems with Money software make getting it all together a chore.  I also changed how I track my expenses a couple of time so categories get confusing.