Welcome to my net worth update for March 2021! These numbers represent my wife and I’s net worth as of March 1st. Let’s get started!
Expenses in Depth
I was inspired to do something a little different this month. I got this idea from my interview with EatSleepBreatheFI where I shared my expenses in detail. So, in this net worth update, I decided to share exactly what we spent money on.
As you can see, most of our spending can be categorized as housing expenses. The $3,247 we spent on our home includes things like our mortgage, insurance, and heating. All of these housing expenses add up to 73% of our total spending for the month. Crazy, right? This is the cost of living in a high cost of living area, which, unfortunately, many more Canadian cities are becoming.
All other expenses added up to $979, which is on the low-end for what we normally spend in a given month. I like to think that if we weren’t stuck at home that we would be travelling, seeing friends, and eating at restaurants. Given that we can’t, we’re at least making good of a bad situation by saving and investing for our future.
Driving some of our savings has been our reduced transportation expenses. I wrote an article last summer on how COVID has affected our budget, and in that article I shared that we used to spend over $600 per month on transportation. Now that we’re working from home, our transportation costs have dropped significantly. We didn’t even buy gas a single time in February! Compare that to filling up weekly before COVID.
Net Worth Increase
Last month we came into some extra income in the form of back pay — around $2,000. On top of that extra income, we received our B.C. Recovery Benefit. This is British Columbia’s means-tested stimulus cheque that pays families up to $1,000 and individuals up to $500. After applying back in December, we finally received a cheque for just over $500.
These enhanced savings helped increase our net worth to $365,400 from $356,100 – an increase of $9,300 or 2.6%! Our liquid net worth, which excludes our pension contributions and our home equity, increased by $7,400 to $120,800.
Investments and Dividends
Our investments performed well last month and helped boost our net worth by $2,000. The majority of this boost came from price appreciation. Dividend income was much lower than the previous month, coming in at a meagre $49. That’s because our ETFs that pay quarterly didn’t pay this time around, so fewer dividends were to be expected.
Speaking of dividends, I recently got a chance to participate in a collaborative effort to pick some of the best stocks for dividend growth investors. This exercise was organized by Tawcan — a fellow personal finance blogger from B.C. — who compiled all of the picks in a great post on his blog. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in building a portfolio of dividend companies! Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a bit more passive, check out my article on the best Canadian dividend ETF.
Our Goal to Invest $30,000
Another positive note is that we made some big progress towards our goal of saving $30,000. Between my wife and I, we contributed $7,900 towards our investment accounts. I contributed $3,000 towards my TFSA, and she contributed $4,900 towards hers. Lately, we’ve been trying to get more exposure to the U.S. to bring our portfolio into balance. To accomplish this, she bought more shares of XAW and opened a VUN position in my TFSA.
Contributing $7,900 to our investment accounts is HUGE for us. Some of this money comes from our extra income, and some comes from money we could have contributed in the previous month. Looking ahead, I think we’ll have a month or two of smaller contributions. We’re hoping to buy a patio set for our backyard and my wife also has her eye on some “essential” (aka expensive) living room pieces.
Thanks for Reading!
Thank you for checking out my net worth update for March 2021. I recently wrote a few articles that may help you in the new year. This includes my article on the best preferred share ETF in Canada and my article explaining how to get cash back from your realtor. Consider giving those a read if you think they may help you on your financial journey!
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What do you think of my Sankey chart? Should it be something I regularly add to my net worth updates? I’d love to hear what you think about our spending last month. Please leave a comment below!