Dec 2014 – Investment Update

The following is an update of Tim’s plan to retire early.  Please note we are mortgage free, and the house equity isn’t part of the retirement plan.

To track my progress I’ve decided to track both my expenses and my investment gains.  So once the investments gains are consistently beating my expenses I’m financially independent and can stop working.  I use a trailing 12 month average on spending (but excluding vacations) and a trailing 12 month average on investment results.


Account (Contribution), [+/- Gain or Loss less contributions]

RRSP $39,340 ($0), [+$60]
LIRA $14,690 ($0), [-$60]
TFSA $47,340 ($0), [-$1190]
Pension $110,140 ($3022), [+$178]
Wife’s RRSP $69,240 ($0), [+$120]
Wife’s TFSA $42,730 ($0), [-$1100]
High Interest Savings Account $6470 ($5350),[+$0]

Investment Net Worth $329,950 ($8472), [-$1992 or -0.6%]

(YTD Contribution: $49,593), [YTD Gain: $23,887 or +8.1%]

Additional Lump Sum Payment to LOC: $10,653 (YTD total)

Average Monthly Gain (12 month rolling) $1990


Last Month $2518

This also included just under $1000 for vet bills for our dog which had some dental work done (and I thought human dentists were bad 😉 ). So otherwise a very modest month given the holidays.

Trailing Last 12 Month Average $2653 (or $31,846 for the year)


Number of months trailing average spending covered by trailing investment gains: 0.75 {Target 1.0 or higher}

PF Score: 22.9 {Target 32}

Net Worth ~$729,950


Ugh, 2014 is now over the dust has settled in the results.  Overall December was an excellent month for shoveling money away.  We parked $4750 in our savings for now, that will shift into a TFSA later in January.   We also put in the final lump sum of $2653 on the LOC to reduce that back to zero, so we are back to completely debt free again.

Overall contributions were nearly dead on for target at just under $50K, but that didn’t include the extra $10K that we put on the LOC as well.  So great year for savings.

Spending overall came out at just over $31K, which is fairly consistent for us (we hover around $30K a year in spending).  Of which we spent the following by categories (this is just a sample and doesn’t include our spending cash):

  • Groceries $3516
  • Restaurants $422
  • Gas for car $1084
  • Gifts and Donations $2406
  • Pets $1656
  • Cork Floor $1813

What is interesting overall is I’m ready to blow past my longer term target which was $350,000 by Jan 1, 2016.  Perhaps this is why I really don’t bother too much with longer term goals, I set them and then smash through them.  Sigh. I suppose there are worse problems to have.  Anyway, I’ve got a new longer term target I’ll be discussing shortly in a new series of posts.

Any questions?

10 thoughts on “Dec 2014 – Investment Update”

  1. Was that grocery budget you annual budget?

    Because we also live in Regina, we spend probably 34K/year, but our grocery budget for our family is over 10K.

    Where do you shop?

  2. @Lena,

    Yes that was our annual spending for 2014, which is fairly close to budget. I have a family of four.

    We shop mainly at Superstore with the odd thing of milk from Walmart.

    Hope that helps,

  3. Thank Tim. This is helpful, but not elaborate enough for me!

    We have a family of 7, but our food budget is more than twice yours. If you haven’t recently, it would be really nice to read a post about how you keep your food budget in that range (as well as your eating out).

    I am interested to know if I can reduce my food budget (which obviously I can based on your food budget). I am not a food waster nor a prepackaged person, so I’m not sure where I can reduce. What are your secrets?

  4. @Lena,

    Ah, thank you for your reply. It’s hard to provide any suggestions when I don’t know much about your situation. Feeding a family of seven is a big step up from four, so that helps explain a lot of the cost. But even dividing out by per person you are still about 50% higher than me. Yet depending on the number of teenagers you are feeding that again may explain a lot of it.

    I’ve seen the average person tosses 25 to 30% of their food out because we don’t eat our leftovers. So if you are controlling that it goes a long way.

    Next up I would suggest controlling portions of meat and cheese. In that vein we try to eat meatless once a week (trying using bean based meal), keep our portion size down (a portion of meat for me is about the palm of my hand – including thickness), and cheese can easily be a budget killer if you add it to a lot of your cooking at topping.

    Beyond that, look up my email on the About page and send me a note with a typical menu for a week and if possible your last major grocery bill. I’ll have a look and see if anything jumps out at me.


  5. Hey Tim,

    just found your blog through the interview you did on the radical personal finance podcast. Great interview, and I love to hear more about canadians looking to retire early.

    For your total net worth is the difference between your investments and your total net worth the value of your home?

  6. Honestly, ~10K for a family of seven isn’t bad. That’s ~$1.30/person/meal. Tim’s ~$0.80 in comparison is remarkably good.

    It was hard for me to find good numbers, but my rough math working from what I could find seemed to indicate that the average Canadian family is spending in the $2-$3 range.

  7. @James
    Thanks for your comment! I at least feel happy with the quality and enjoyment we receive from our food, so we probably buy things that are on the frivolous end (like sweetened condensed milk for $3.69/can–but it is to make delicious homemade Baileys (and that is much cheaper than the store stuff)).

    Thank you for your comments Tim. I am always on the hunt for new advice. I started down this road years ago with an old copy of The Tightwad Gazette.
    Currently, we have 5 kids (but our oldest is only 8–no teenagers yet!) so the time to figure these things out is now.

    I might take you up on your offer to look at my weekly menu, but I think I end up spending money on things like butter (instead of cheaper margarine) and lots of fresh things. Although I do try to get us to eat lots of potatoes. I am going to experiment with this more to see if I can get more into your range.

    I will accept your information as a challenge! 🙂 The gauntlet is down.

  8. @Kerry,

    Yes, the difference between the two numbers is the value of our house. As I note in these updates I don’t really use the equity for anything so I don’t track the value of it that closely. I just update it a few times a year based on comparisons in our area.


  9. @James – Thanks…that was some good data to have.

    @ Lena – Good for you! Give it a try and see what happens. I typically do experiments for a month or two to get a feel for if I like/hate parts of it and then adjust accordingly. Oh, a general tip on fresh things…try to buy what is in season that helps us keep the bill down over the year…of course in the winter there isn’t that much so you end up getting away from that a bit more.


  10. Great blog. Just visited today for the first time after hearing your interview on Radical PF.

    I’m wondering if your Net Worth is a typo…? Above you say your investment accounts total $329,950, but under Net Worth you say it’s $729,950.

    I’m also not following the PF Score of 22.9, unless the $729,950 is correct. Could you explain if that is a typo, or if not, where the $400,000 difference is coming from?

    Thanks! Looking forward to reading more of your site!

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