Sunday, 21 January 2018

Smarter Faster and Better : is that possible?

Hello All,
We are all in a world competing to get things done faster and better. We want to do things smarter than the person next to us.
Then, we are stuck with the sayings like " slow and steady wins". But, still we wanted to finish things faster and more effective.
I wanted to do things faster and accurate at my work place. 

Most of the time, we consider dental treatments are health care service. But, in the end, it is a business. The office has to make money to pay for every one working there. The bills are to be paid. The suppliers are to be paid. Then there should be left over money for the continuous running of the office.

As a dental assistant, I have to be smarter to hand out instruments and materials to the dentist while maintaining a dry environment for the dentist to work. Then, the assistant has to be faster and thorough in sterilizing the room, instruments and prepping the room for the next patient.  

So, when I saw the book titled" Smarter Faster and Better: The secretes of being productive in life and business" by Charles Duhigg, I wanted to read it.  I got it as ebook format and read it on my phone. 

The book is filled with stories of successful people. If you have set a goal and you can answer why you set that goal, then you will have more chances in achieving that goal. (is that a secret?)

Another tip I remember is to have a mental picture of the steps you need to do to get things done. That particularly helpful in my job. If I can keep moving in a planned method to clean up the room after treatment, I can be faster. The mental picture help me to to set up the room for each procedure effectively. 

Some of the tips in the book can be effectively used to save and invest too. It is more pleasant to buy things that we cannot afford and put them on credit card. If you know why you are saving money, then you can stick to your plan. You can break down your saving goal in manageable chunks so that you can reach your final goal one day. (Not a secret, right?)

Duhigg says the successful people study failures of other people. But in the book, I didn't see failure stories. The book is very engaging with its stories. 

Remember that Duhigg is a journalist and not a psychologist. There are no big secrets revealed in the book to be smarter, faster and better. Still, you can enjoy the book and may get one or two points to take with you. 

If you just don't have the time to read the book, but wish to get a summary of it, you can have it on Sam Thomas Davis's website. 

Friday, 19 January 2018

Let us go to Wlmart

Hi All,
I was a bit reluctant about going to Walmart all the time. But, life happens and I want to get things I want for better price. 
Walmart happens to be just that. If you need to get grocery or household cleaners or paper products, Walmart is right around the corner. Even the brand name thigs are being produced in China or Bangladesh. 
Then, why not just go to Walmart, right? I still don't buy the nuts and chips from their Bulk Barn style bins. Most of the people I know are buying things from Walmart anyway.
So, let us go to the Walmart!
That is what I did on my investments. I bought 12 shares of the company at US$ 99.21/share . It was paying quarterly dividends of 0.51/share. If the company pays the same amount of dividends, then, my income will be increased by $24 by end of this year. 

When the disposable income shrinks, people tend to shop more at Walmart. They offer items at lower prices. With so many stores, there is no wonder they can get things at lower prices. Some articles mention the company as recession proof investment. I might buy more shares later in the year. 
What do you think of Walmart stores?

Monday, 15 January 2018

Increasing the savings

Hi All,
It is cold January. Flu season is on us. So, last weekend, I got the flu shot. I was concerned about the effectiveness of the shot. A little chit chat with the pharmacist put me on ease. The young lady told me the flu shot will not give me 100% protection. But, it will help to reduce the severity, in case I get the flu. The vaccine also give me some sort of immunity. She also said, the American and Canadian vaccines should not be the same. 

To me the vaccine is kind of protecting my ability to make more money. Since dental assistants won't get paid sick leaves, it is better to be healthy. On top of that, the vaccines are free. 

Since the minimum wages gone up, price of everything gone up too. The original plan was to live on one person's income. Since my spouse makes more than me, we were thinking to save my income and live on the other income. Since the other expenses went up and our income is staying the same, the plan is to save 50 to 75 % of my after tax income. Whatever dividend income is earned, it also going to get re invested. 

I am not sure it is going to work out that way. But, I am committed to move my money to another account when I get paid. Then, I am going to see how the bills are getting paid. 

What strategies you are trying to making sure there is some money saved?

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Goals for 2018

Hi All,
2018 just started already. I just looked on my blog stats and surprised to see that I got over 1,000 views last month. So far got just over 21,000 views from the beginning until now. I am very happy to see that. For this year, my plan is to have at least 50 blog posts. 

I have 16 likes on the Facebook page. Comparing to how much time I devote for promoting the page, that is still a great achievement. 

In 2018, my plan is to maximize the TFSA before contributing to the RRSP. The next goal is to figure out how much I am gaining as interest from Lending Loop. If that is achieved, then I want to add some more money to my account. I want to make $4000 in passive income this year. 

I never announced my yearly goals before. So, this is some thing new. I will keep you posted about how things are working out. 

Dividend Girl mentioned in her post that she will be writing about budgeting some time soon. I hope, that will motivate me to make budget of my own. Let us wait and see.

While I am missing on Netflix shows, I get time to read many blogs and books. 
What are your goals for the year? 

Friday, 29 December 2017

Passive income of 2017

Hi All,
Are you ready to say good by to 2017?

It was an year of changes for me: at least the last quarter. I worked a lot, got raises, and changed jobs. Yes, of course, invested more too.
This is the year I joined the Lending Loop. I did add $400 there. That is really fun. I know which companies receive my loans. But, how much is getting as interest, and how much is coming as principal repayment? I am not able to figure that out yet. I have to wait for the year end report for that and I don't like that. So, I have to find a way to figure that out on a monthly basis. Till that, I decided not to add more money to Lending Loop

My other passive income is from dividend investment. I know how much I invested and how much earned. 
December dividends totalled to $147.46. It is a bit lower than the November income. 
My inner desire was to have an annual dividend of $3000. The actual for 2017 is $2666.42. It is almost a month's income and i don't have to work for that!!!!

Now, I can pat myself on the back!
some of my stocks went down during the year. But, hey, the dividends are still coming.
How the 2017 for you? 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Ready for New Year

Hi All,The holidays are coming to an end and 2018 is peeking from the corner. 
Ontario welcomes the minimum wage hike with mixed feelings. Along with the wage hike, will liberals bring a tax hime too? What about people already earning $14/hour? Will they see an increase or they will continue to earn the same? 
What if you are making $15/hour? Will your wage go up? 
Most people told me, the people currently earning $14 and above may not see an increase in their earnings. 
Everyone agreed on one thing: we are going to see increased prices at the grocery store. 

I believe that the increase in minimum wage is not going to do any favour for those working poor. They can be benefitted only if the prices of essentials stay the same as before. 
Some people are worried about employers cutting their hours. May be the liberals can win the next election too. But, will it do any good for the people? I am pretty sure that the person with the "hungry" board at the 401 exit on Markham road will continue to be there. 

What your thoughts about minimum wage increase? 

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Right before Christmas

Hi All,
It is time for Christmas. The year is almost over. 
Usually, I will have to give some gifts for co-workers and family members. This year, I am still new at my work place. So decided not to buy any gift for anybody. Still, I got a few gifts. You  know that when you receive a gift, there is naturally a tendency to give something back. I resisted and told the giver, I didn't buy anything for anybody. That takes a lot of stress from me. Who want to be at the mall in December any way? (There is not much time left to buy online). 
Just wish, people didn't buy me anything. May be I can make a point by giving them all a copy of "Your Money or Your Life". 
Some charities will let you print a card saying you donated $$ in the name of so and so. It still is stressful to find the right charity and to donate online. 

I haven't put any money into my investment accounts in December yet. 

Loblaws is under fire for bread price fixing. I used to love the Wonder bread. When my kid started high school, I started making things other than sandwiches for lunch.It is no longer a fixed item in my weekly grocery shopping. That being said, don't you see the prices of fresh produce going higher? Even eggs are pricier than couple of months before. Are they doing price fixing on those items as well?

What your thoughts on Christmas, gift giving and the price fixing?