Welcome to my net worth update for February 2023! These numbers represent my wife and I’s net worth as of February 28th. Please check out our previous net worth update if you haven’t already!
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Savings & Expenses
February tends to be a low-spending month in our household. That’s often because it’s too cold and wet to want to do anything. And while we did ski in January, we decided not to organize another trip in February.
We did end up contributing more towards our travel plans—around $900 on tickets and other activities. That brings our total spend on travel to $5,500 already in 2023. This aligns with my New Year’s resolution to spend more on “living in the now” in 2023.
Most of our other expenses were controlled or even lower than average. In total, we managed to save a pinch over $5,600. That puts us at a 52% savings rate for February, which is above our average savings rate of 40% in both 2022 and 2021.
So far our savings rate is 30% in 2023, which I think is pretty good considering we already spent around half of our travel budget. And our savings rate will likely improve in March since it’s a three paycheque month for both of us—hooray!
Investments & Dividends
As you can see, February is typically a month of low dividends. The only ETFs that paid out are my wife’s XDG (iShares Core MSCI Global Quality Dividend Index ETF) and XDIV (iShares Core MSCI Canadian Quality Div Index ETF) shares which she holds in her TFSA.
These two ETFs pay monthly dividends, and XDIV specifically is among my favourite dividend ETFs in Canada.
However, earning $119 can still help us estimate our year-over-year dividend growth and help us project what we may earn in 2023. For example, last February we earned $80. That means our dividends grew by 49% in February compared to last year.
We’ll have to see what March’s dividends end up looking like. Last year we earned $335 in March, so a 49% increase would mean we could earn an extra $164—not bad at all.
Net Worth Change
The market was pretty flat last month, but we were able to rely on saving our employment income to increase our net worth. In total, our net worth increased to $752,600 from $745,800 in the previous month. That’s an increase of $6,700 or just under 1%.
Here’s where the increase came from:
- $1,300 in home equity pay-down
- $1,200 in mandatory pension contributions
- $5,600 in savings of income
- $1,400 in investment losses
So far our net worth is up $31,700 in 2023. It’s hard to say if our investments will grow on their own this year or if we’ll have to rely entirely on our employment income to improve our net worth. Either way, if we manage to keep saving, I think we’ll end the year with a good result.
Thanks for Reading
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Love the blog. Do the expenses above include smith manoeuvre/margin repayment/interest payments? It doesn’t seem that way. Wondered what your payment strategy was, especially given the rise in interest rates. I’m thinking of doing something similar using 0% interest rate credit card offers.
Hi Alana, thanks for the comment. No, the expenses above don’t include interest payments. I did just write a blog post on that topic and it should be coming out very soon.
For now I can tell you that I do interest only payments on all my investment loans. I exclude it from my expenses diagram because doesn’t impact my cash flow since we capitalize our interest payments.
Do you worry about the size of the debt balance from capitalizing the interest? At some point the debt will need to be repaid. It’s something I wonder about the smith man if I capitalive interest.
That’s a really good question. The goal is for the SM portfolio to outgrow the interest. So, in theory, one shouldn’t worry about how large the debt is getting as long as the portfolio is growing at the same rate or (ideally) quicker. At any time, you would be able to liquidate your SM portfolio and completely pay off the debt.
So it’s not something I worry about (in line with being a “patient and disinterested” investor). Still, I can see the advantages of not capitalizing if you have the cash flow available. My cash flow is currently going into my RRSP and TFSA, so capitalizing my leveraged investing interest makes sense to me. And I think even after my registered accounts are maximized, I probably will keep capitalizing my interest so I can use that cash flow for other things—like investing even more!
Thanks a lot for your comment!