Thursday, 16 November 2017

The not so faulty lock

Hi All,
Last week, Thursday night to be exact, we had a problem with our door. Hubs was home in the evening. I was still at work. He couldn't open the front door as usual. It acted as if the key is not working. After couple of attempts he got it opened. Then it felt fine and he locked from inside. 
Then, later that evening, I called him to pick me up from the subway. Then he cannot open the door. There was something stuck inside the lock. He used knives and other stuff to pull the road in the middle of the lock. Then he realized, the central part of the lock, which goes in or out to lock and open, is really loose. It looked like a metal road. To make it stick inside he put some scotch tape. Worked fine. He was able to lock it, then we were able to get in too. But, it is the outside door of the condo. I was a bit worried about safety. 
So, I went and talked to the concierge about the door on Friday. The man on duty gave me locksmith's number and told me they are the ones having the master key. Condo residents can change the lock with only that company. Humm...
The locksmith company told me someone will come on Saturday. But, no one came and was not taking the phone on Saturday. So, I called back on Monday . I got an appointment for Thursday morning, 9 am. The man came today by 9.15 am. Any way, he told us we don't need to change the lock. The loosened bar in question was only there for  the aesthetics...The company designed the lock was actually saving money by not making the central road full metal. 
 See that arrow on the picture, Do you understand now? The lock can function without that. Good for me, right?
Not so good it turned out. The bill was $130 and HST was $16.90. So the total damage for not knowing the secret of the lock is $$146.90. After the locksmith left, I couldn't see the bar . I think, he might have put it in his pocket. Otherwise, I could have show you a picture too.

I am publishing this story so that some one may be able to save some money. 
Did this kind of things happen to you?

Friday, 10 November 2017

Impulse Purchase

Hi All,
The above picture is of a nail buffer.
Of all the people, I bought it on impulse yesterday evening!
After work, I was supposed to meet with hubs at the mall. We needed to buy things from Walmart. While, I was walking towards wally's the ladies from Oro Gold stopped me by giving out some sort of free creams.
I had the experience of not getting free samples from them before. My looks may not be that of their possible customers. They usually ignore me or look away when I was looking to see what they are giving out. So, when they were offering the free bag, i was really surprised. One of them asked to see my hands and I guess, she really got surprised at the look of my nails. In my entire life time, I got manicure two times.
She just asked me do I always go "natural with nails". Of course, I do. Dental assistants are not supposed to have nail polish on them.

So, she showed me how to use their buffer to shine my nails. It looks amazing and I thought, it was really cool. They said the thing costs $10. At that time time, I was ready to try it myself and was willing to shell out 10 bucks. Now, the buffer is mine !

It makes my nail feel smoother. A little bit shiny too.

May be a frugal mistake.... It was an impulse purchase.
Some purchases are meant to make us feel awkward , right?
What was your last impulse purchase? How did that make you feel?

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

XMD: S&P/TSX completion ETF

Hi All,



XMD is an ETF trades on TSX. It tracks the S&P /TSX completion index of Canadian small cap and mid cap companies. The MER is 0.61%. 
If you wanted to invest in all of the Canadian mid cap and small companies this is a good ETF to have. 
XMD holds  187 companies. financial sector is the dominant sector, but it doesn't hold any major banks. Other major sectors are energy, real estate and materials. 

I am trying to add more of the XMD to my portfolio presently. We have a small sum of money with Scotia iTrade. Hubs had the strategy of buying and selling and then conveniently forgets about the selling part most of the time. 

I insisted on holding for long time and investing on ETFs. We found that iTrade has some commission free ETFs. That is when we started buying XMD with some of the dividends we received. 

XMD also gives a quarterly distribution. the last distribution was of $0.13/unit , in September 2017. 

Are you interested in ETF investing? 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Price of eggs going up?

Hi All,
I went to grocery shopping today.
You may think, it is just a usual thing for working class people to do grocery shopping on Saturday.
It is unusual in my case. I work on Saturdays. Then it is hubs who do the grocery shopping. 
So, when I said, I went for grocery shopping, it is something unusual. 
We bought some fruits, veggies and chicken. I reminded him we need eggs too. For a dozen eggs, it used to be $1.99, right?
Not today. It is $2.49!!

We decided to check other stores in the coming days and not to buy them today. There are more eggs left over in the fridge. We can survive.

Why all of a sudden the eggs are more pricey? I don't have a clue. 
Do you see the prices of necessary food items are going high? 

Recently I read that Canadian  competition bureau investigating about price fixing. They are checking on the bread prices. What about other things like milk, yoghurt and eggs? 

We are not buying bread every week. It is much of a lifestyle change, not a response to the price increase. 

But, the increased price of eggs make me concerned. 

Since the price of beef is very high, we tend to reduce buying it. We are buying more veggies and legumes now a days. Last week zucchini was priced $1.29 per pound and this week it is only $1 per pound. 

Do you check the price of everyday food items or just buy what you need?

Egg is supposed to be low cost and healthy food. Easy to make too. What you think the reason for recent price hike? 

Friday, 3 November 2017

Passive Income of October

Hi all,
Hope, October was good for all of you. We had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. Celebrated with Pumpkin pie from Costco. I have to tell you, the Costco pie was really big and the price is amazing! 
It is November already , and I am still drooling over pumpkin pie! But, I checked my passive income yesterday. It looks good. With our RRSPs and TFSAs we made a passive income of $370.80. That is the highest dividend income I received so far. 
that being said I added another $ 1100 to the TFSA in October. Haven't yet purchased anything though. 
From LendingLoop, I received interest of $2.78. Not bad for a $200 investment. I added another $200 to LL in October. That money is not given out yet. 
So the total passive income for October is$373.58. 
This year, we made just a little over $2000 in dividends alone.  That is one big goal achievement. 
How was your October? What you do to save more? 





Thursday, 26 October 2017

Peer To Peer lending for Canadians: Lending Loop

Hi All, 
I am always looking for ideas to invest money. I saw there are peer to peer lending opportunities in United States. But, there is nothing for Canadians.Just recently, I found an online lending platform, just for Canadians: The Lending Loop


Lending Loop is an online platform, lending money to small businesses. It is a secure site. The investors can start with $200 initial investment. 

Since I am interested in only the investing part of the Lending Loop, I didn't dig much into the criteria for the businesses to apply for the loan. 

The $200 to start is really interesting part to me. You can transfer money from your bank by filling out the form and giving your banking information. The site is really easy to navigate. Once your account is verified, you can transfer money. 

Next step is finding the lender. You can go the market place and go through the information. If you have questions for the lender, you can ask and the lender will give you answers. Once you figure out whom you want to lend, it is very easy to lend. Then the website will generate a "note" for you. The minimum amount you can give to one company is $25. The lending amount has to be multiples of 25. I started by giving $25 for different companies. 

The interest is paid with an annual interest rate and I get interest every month. There is a fee for investors, but that is collected when we get paid. 

The website has features to add monthly investments, and auto lending. I haven't started using them yet. My research shows that lending loop has done all the necessary regulation process for the federal and provincial governments. So I don't worry much about company swallowing my hard earned money.  

You have now the option to refer and earn. When your referred some one and they lend $1500 , you can get $25. Sounds good, right?  

Oh, one more thing, they will issue a T5 so that you can file your taxes. Interest earned is taxable income in Canada. Right now, I can't find an option to hold it in your RRSP or TFSA. 

So, what you think of Lending Loop? Already started using it or going to give a little thought?


As a side note, I am not getting paid for this post.  I am not a professional to give advise on investing. Make sure you do your own research. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

What happens when you start thinking about money

Hi All,
I started this blog in 2016. Before that, hubs and I were working and just paying bills. We were putting little bit of money for the future. That part was all done by professionals. We just listened to an "expert" and started a putting money in to some sort of mutual funds. We were not paying any attention to the fees or growth of investments. The bills were getting paid and food was on the table. We were not accumulating any debts though. 

Then my hubs company started downsizing. and he lost job. Our family became a real lower income one for three months.(I was working only part-time then) It was the real eye opener for us. I started working out more. But money was still tight. We needed to make big changes.

While searching for frugal ideas, I came across Mustachian Principles. Discovered the all idea of FIRE, DIY investments etc. So, last year, I started taking care of our investments. 

When hubs got a new job, we didn't changed the life style. Every month, I put money in to our RRSPs and TFSAs.

 At first, I was thinking of stock investment as "buy low and sell high" only. I didn't know anything about passive income and side hustling at all. Thanks to all the FIRE bloggers out there: I learned all those things in a short time. I started investing on ETFs as the Canadian Couch Potato mentioned. 

But, my investments are with one of the big banks. So, each stock purchase costs money. Some financial bloggers were talking about DRIPing. The bank helped with the dividend re-investing program. 


Later I started more in to dividend investing: Thanks to My Own Advisor. He shared a blog post with his idea of making his own ETF by choosing stocks by himself. 

With all this knowledge, I began to see my job through new glasses. It is no longer the work I have to do, but it is a source of income! That also means I started looking at my job as my business. The employer is my client. As a result, I got pay rises. So, I got more confident in myself. With that, I demanded better treatment and better pay from my work places. My hourly wages has gone up over $6 comparing to 2015. As a result, I have more money to save and invest comparing to last year. 

Since the income went up, I asked my mortgage company to increase my mortgage payments. That way, the debt will be paid off faster. 

When I started thinking about money, my cash flow went up. Life became more enjoyable and richer. 

What happened to you when you started thinking about money? Please share in the comments.