This just yards at my heart strings. I’d like to believe we are moving in a direction towards gender equality but when I read articles like this I can honestly say I feel a little crushed. I’m a feminist, in a face paced work environment that is male dominated…. and I love it. Sure, I wish there were more women, some of the gals I work with are seriously my best friends, but I think it’s sad that there aren’t more women in executive positions. At my workplace, for example, there is one female partner, and she doesn’t have children. When I see instances like this I really do wonder if it’s possible to “have it all”. I’m getting married this year, I’m changing my name and one day I would like to have children… but I would also like to have a career that is fulfilling and one that drives me to wake up every morning and feel refreshed.
Some of you may have noticed that since October I’ve been blogging pretty sporadically. Life has been busy, oh so crazy busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since October I’ve been travelling like crazy I think I’ve already been on 15 flights in 2015 which to me seems insane. I’ve successfully completed two modules of my designation, with the third one starting at the end of July. I’ve been wedding planning, or at least trying to, it’s more work than I thought and the most exhausting part is everyone giving me their opinion on items I’m not actually interested in. *sigh*. With less than two months to go it’s a lot of little things that need to get done, unfortunately these little things take time. All this plus the Her Success expansion, demanding hours at work and attempting to have a social life means there is little time left for anything else. I really miss writing and I’m hoping to do more of it. But, the truth is on top of all this extra stuff going on in my life the hardest part in these past 6 months has been not knowing where we stood financially. I know you are probably thinking how can a personal finance blogger not know where they stand financially, and to be honest with you it has been something that I’ve ben struggling with, and it’s something I really don’t like.
At the end of the day there really wasn’t much I could do. I track our money as much as the next
person personal finance blogger but with the fiance travelling as much as he was and incurring the expenses as fast as he was it was so incredibly hard to keep track. This paired with the fact that we had to wait to get reimbursed for meant on more than one occasion he and I were the ones fronting the money in hopes that we would be reimbursed days later. The worst of it was around Christmas time when the processing centers were closed and we were waiting for $13,000 in expenses to be deposited into our account. I was in a panic trying to scrape together the cash without selling any of our investments. I felt like I could never put much money into savings because I would just have front money for the next expense cycle. We would owe money on our credit card that would be reimbursed in a billing cycle or two so I never felt like it was a liability taking a toll on our net worth but I also never felt like the money we were making was being used to grow our wealth. All in all a very frustrating experience. But now the dust has settled and the expenses have been reimbursed so I can see where we stand. It’s not as bad as I thought but it definitely isn’t as positive as it could have been. Calgary is expensive, going out is fun, and our wedding isn’t cheap. 2015 is expensive and I’m trying not to obsess over every penny but I’m definitely going to do a better job of tracking our wealth for the rest of the year.
So that’s it, there’s the story, I put blogging on the back burner because I was embarrassed by not being able to track our expenses and wealth like I normally do.
This year I managed to max out what I thought would be $36,500 in TFSA contribution room. I’ve been squirreling away cash into my TFSA since I was 19 and this is the second year since then that I’ve been able to hit the contribution limit. After checking earlier today that value of my TFSA is sitting at about $46,500, or about $10,000 higher than the “2015” cap, which means I’ve enjoyed a 27% return in my TFSA since I’ve started to aggressively invest in the stock market a couple of years ago. Now I know the TFSA contribution limit has increased for the 2015 fiscal year, so technically once the budget has been passed I could throw another $4,500 in the account. I really do love the TFSA, I think it’s a great savings tool for individuals of all ages. And while some people aren’t happy that the increase is happening, because our generation typically doesn’t save very much, maxing this savings vehicle out is a great goal for individuals of any age. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been able to put away as much as I have into my TFSA, but I have to say a lot of it has been due to hard work and sacrifice. That is to say for the past few years when I received any sort of cash windfall whether it be a birthday gift, graduation gift, extra-income from side hustles or my tax return, the vast majority of that money has gone straight into my TFSA, on top of my regular contributions. I’ve also implemented three tactics that have helped me grow my TFSA to its current state and I hope to continue to use these to grow it even larger in the future:
At this point I’m sure most of you know that I’m on the Board of Directors for Her Success. A not-for-profit start up that focuses on empowering women both financially as well as professionally.I’ve been with the organization since May 2014, just a few months after inception.
While I don’t live in Edmonton anymore I absolutely adore being part of such an inspiring group of ladies and one day I’m hoping Her Success will have events across Alberta. Above that I’m really enjoying building something from the ground up. I’ve never worked with start ups before and so far I’m finding it very interesting. If you follow me, or Her Success on Twitter you will know that Her Success recently received a makeover and that we are gearing up for our next event!
I personally love managing my money, to the point where it may seem excessive to some. I enjoy tracking every penny I save, spend and invest and even more than that I enjoy investing my money to grow into even more money. I think that’s the draw to investing, you put money into something that will hopefully give you back more money than you put in, you just have to be patient. Over the past few years, I’ve been very lucky and I’ve enjoyed some great returns on different funds as well as returns in my handpicked stock portfolio. I’ve picked blue-chip stocks, ETF’s/Index funds and some riskier holdings and while I’ve had a few losses all in all I’ve done pretty well for myself… which is something I’m very proud of.
Over the past couple years I’ve gotten on the ETF bandwagon. My interest in these funds started to peak back in 2013 when I had a friend in the banking industry write a little something on how these funds work. Up until this point I had always just invested in Index Funds to ensure I was properly diversified in the market. Index funds are great, and up until a month ago I was using the TD e-series funds and had a lot of great returns with them. However, over the past few years I decided to also add ETF’s to my investing portfolio with Questrade, I think they are great investments for new investors and for investors with hundreds of thousands of dollars… because let’s be honest, there aren’t that many people that are capable of beating the market.