Happy 1st Birthday Canadian Dream!

Well despite the odds today this blog is one year old with five posts a week. YA! There were times I came close to giving up and packing it in, but your support kept me going. We’ve had some interesting discussions over the last year. Some I regret bringing up and others that I learned so much from.

I would like to single out certain people for thanks. First off I would love to thank Ram of the Canadian Capitalist who first brought my blog to a wider audience with a post on his blog and who provided a role model to look up to in the blogging world.  We don’t always agree, but that makes for some more entertaining discussions.

I would also like to thank Frugal Trader of Million Dollar Journey who has been my tech support for this blog more times than I can count and who looked after the blog while I was on vacation last summer.

And finally I would love to thank one reader in particular: Telly. Who with one comment so perfectly described what I was trying to do with this blog, that I really can’t say it better so I will quote:

“The thing that is most admirable about your situation, and don’t take this the wrong way, is that your blog is not about becoming rich, or even getting to a net worth of $1MM or some other arbitrary # (not that there is anything wrong with these things either) but rather about the fact that you live frugally, save much of your income, and most importantly, you plan to retire early with simply the basics and maybe a couple extras….  I think most people admire the fact that you don’t need all the extras in retirement to make you happy but rather, you want to get there asap (at 45).

When I read your blog, I am reminded that a simple life can be pretty rewarding, that I don’t need much of the ‘extras’ to make me happy either, and that I can do things to save money and also be environmentally responsible…definitely nothing to be ashamed of. :)

Now onto the presents. I’m sorry to report the retirement spreadsheet isn’t ready yet for the birthday party, so that will be ready in the coming weeks. In the mean time I’m going to offer something else. I’m giving away $50 CDN as a gift card to a store of the winner’s choice (keep in mind I need to be able to get the gift card, so is I can’t order the card online or pick it from a store in Regina you are going to have to pick another store). To enter you need to leave a comment on this post with some feedback on the site. I don’t care if it’s positive or constructive, you just need to give me something. Limit one entry per person and only open to residents of Canada (unless you US readers can figure out how to use a Canadian Currency gift card in the US). Contest closes on Nov. 14, 2007 at 8pm CST. The winner will be picked by a random number generator and notified by email.

Thanks again everyone and I look forward to another year of blogging.


25 thoughts on “Happy 1st Birthday Canadian Dream!”

  1. I guess I’ll get the ball rolling – one thing I’ve never seen you comment upon (surprisingly) is the issue of zero-income years and the CPP – I think an entire post could be devoted to the calculation of the CPP and why the “online calculators” are useless for somebody who’s planning a (very) early retirement.

    For those who don’t know what I’m talking about – all of the online CPP calculators assume that you keep working until you start collecting (between age 60 and 70). If you retire early (say, at age 45), and start collecting at age 60, then the 15 years between retirement and applying for CPP count as “zero income” years, and cause the CPP to be significantly smaller than you might have planned.

    Just a thought. Now I’ll need to keep my fingers crossed for the gift card. 🙂

  2. Hey Tim, thanks for the mention! Has it been one year already? How time flies.

    Well Tim, this is my feedback for my entry. I think that you should work on monetizing this blog more. I’m not saying putting more ads, but working on the traffic, SEO etc to drive more traffic. I think the content here is excellent and has high income potential. Who knows, this blog can be your alternate income source that you are looking for. Shoot me an email and we can discuss if you like.


  3. Congrats on one full year!!!

    I’m flattered that you enjoyed my comment enough to quote me. Does that mean I don’t need to leave more feedback for the contest? 🙂

    I like both George and FT’s ideas. I would also add that I think you should have your wife do a guest post. It’d be interesting to hear her persepective on your plans for early retirement. I think it would be a great extnesion of your recent posts on relationships in retirement.

  4. Congrats on your first year. I became a regular reader about a month ago. The one thing that I find a tad bit annoying is the “If you liked that post, then try these…” at the bottom of every post. Can you put the link to comments above this? I have to scroll over it all the time to get to the comments.

  5. Congrats. Long time lurker. I don’t have a lot to suggest. Personally I’m a bit opposite and would like to see a bit more in terms of the financial end of things for investing and retirement projections, but that’s just my nature. I’ve been very interested in following your progress, as I’m in almost an identical position to you. Same city even. Thanks for the updates.

  6. Happy birthday! I like your site a lot, it’s a lot more low-key and personal than some, which is very appealing to me. I agree with MDJ, you have the content and ability to write, so could probably put your site “out there” a lot more, but I can understand it might not be worth the time and effort to you.

  7. Congrats on making it to a year!

    I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and became a fan. Your blog has inspired my family to live our lives a little more frugally. Since we started reading your blog, my husband and I have paid off his student loans and we save half of our net income. And even though we don’t foresee being able to retire at 45 (we live in Vancouver so owning a home seems next to impossible right now), we hope to retire 26 years later at 55.

    I am impressed by how often you post and I like the tips and ideas you provide. Hopefully with blogs like yours, more people will learn to save for a rainy day rather than spend beyond their means.

    Thanks for taking the time to keep this blog going and keep up the good work!

  8. Hey, been a reader for about a month now and I must say you have one of my favourite personal finance blogs. Personal, Canadian, random yet informative. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep reading!

  9. Happy 1st Birthday! I’m a regular lurker and have enjoyed your blog immensely. I’m also from Regina so I appreciate your tidbits about the local housing market, etc. Keep up the good work!

  10. Congrats! One year is a great milestone.

    I’ll ditto FT’s suggestion about monetizing but send the email to him…he is the expert!

    My only suggestion/comment is that if you are still finding it hard to do five posts a week then consider cutting down to three. I honestly don’t know if it matters that much how many times a week you post considering half your readers (or more) get the feed and might not come to the site too often. If you are ok with five posts then ignore this comment and keep on truckin’!


  11. Congrats! I agree totally with Telly’s comment, this blog is great because not all of us want to be filthy rich over night (well we do, but realistically), we just need some tips and help and want to find people with similar goals, those being, live frugaly, save as much as you can, and retire earlier and not have to worry about money.

  12. I don’t post a lot of comments, but I have been a subsciber for about a month. I just started reading PF Blogs (I guess i was under the rock), and enjoy your Canadian Content. I also enjoy the more personal side of PF.

    Keep up the great work, and make your dream a reality!

  13. Just wanted to say thank you! Yours was the first PF blog that I ever read. Started back in January of this year. Don’t roll your eyes but it has literally changed my life. For one, it has started me on a personal finance craze. My financial knowledge has ballooned, I am hugely aware of being a consumer, I strive for a simpler life (important with three young kids), we save 53% of our net income (including paying down our very accelerated mortgage but not including our defined benefit pension contributions), we have no debt outside our mortgage.

    I am amazed at how far I have come in such a short period. You were the start of this path.

    Right now, I am struggling with the decision to not go back to work after my maternity leave is up. Before I never would have thought of giving up my pension. I really like my job but don’t love it. I love being with my kids. I love not being dependent on a job. I love the simple things. I love being able to contemplate not going back to work because I don’t have to. I don’t have to go back because I changed our views of money and how we handle it.

    …… All because I read a blog.

  14. I just stumbled onto your blog through Brip blap’s link and I’m glad I did. I’m looking forward to reading more of a PF blog from Canada.

    Congratulations on your 1st anniversary.

    Yes. I’m shamelessly entering the contest.

  15. Congrats on your first anniversary! I am also a long-time Regina lurker so I really appreciate seeing the perspective of a neighbour 😉

  16. Hi Tim,

    Happy blog birthday!

    If you are serious about monetizing the blog, I would consider tightening up the blog design. The big blue banner is using a lot of real estate.

    I’d also suggest not putting the google adsense at the top of each post. It seems out of place just as a block with all that white space.

    If you don’t get good click through rates with it, well, what can you do, eh? It might actually decrease your reputation if it’s so in your face like that. I’ve StumbledUpon sites where ads were the first things you see and the comments disapproved of this tactic.

  17. Wow, some great comments.

    Ok I have a comment which can only be categorized under “whiny”. I notice that you put adsense ads into your posts which drives me nuts (although I still read the post anyways). Do you get a lot of hits on those ads? If yes, then ignore my comment, if no then get rid of them!


  18. Congrats on your first year. I’ve been a reader of the blog almost since the beginning and my wife and I share your goal of becoming financially independent by 45.

    As a lapsed blogger myself, I’d echo FourPillar’s earlier comment that 3 posts a week would be fine if 5 is becoming too hard. I’d prefer 2-3 quality posts to 5 forced posts. I realize how much effort goes into creating regular posts so daily posting is a huge commitment.

    Keep up the great work!

  19. Congrats on your blogversary! I suppose my comment is that I really appreciate a Canadian perspective on finance. I’m not yet savvy enough to ‘translate’ advice about where to put money out of American and into terms I understand at all. So thanks for being a Canuck. 🙂

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