Category Archives: finance

Gotta check out wesabe

No one in Web 2.0 can spell. But Wesabe looks interesting. It’s a Web 2.0 budget tracking thing with tips. It rocks. Tagging is an interesting idea.

I should also put getrichslowly on my more-frequently-read blog list…

On Technorati: ,

Random Emacs symbol: calendar-set-mode-line – Function: Set mode line to STR, centered, surrounded by dashes.

My books are balanced

I have to confess a certain delight in knowing that my books are
balanced and that I have a full year of financial information now
behind me. I know my net worth and my expense breakdown. I’ve
earmarked enough funds to cover my essential expenses for the next
eight months. In addition to that, I have savings that I will divide
into emergency fund, proper savings and an investment kitty. I’ve also
been tithing 10% in an earmarked charity fund, and I plan to adopt a
cause this year – maybe microfinance in the Philippines.

I’m still not quite clear what my cashflow will be like for the rest
of my studies, which is why I’ve set aside a lot. My cashflow will be
easier to figure out when I start working.

I’m thinking of immigrating to Canada. I need to find out what the
rules are for RRSP eligibility so that I can use the power of
tax-sheltered investments. I also need to find out what to do if I
decide to live elsewhere.

It feels great starting the year with a pretty good handle on my
finances. =)

Random Emacs symbol: ido-mode – Command: Toggle ido speed-ups on or off. – Variable: Determines for which functional group (buffer and files) ido behavior

Checking my financial course

I must be doing something right if my mom’s financial advisor is
impressed by my planning. ;)

We visited Tina at the bank today. After my mom finished a little
business, I took advantage of the free financial advice. I told Tina
about the money I’d earmarked for various expenses, the emergency fund
I’d set up, and the savings I set aside. She was glad to hear that I’m
already thinking about all of these things at 23 years of age.

Tina recommended a split between a diversified balance fund and a
high-risk, high-growth equity fund. Asian equities are doing pretty
well, although the foreign currency hit and the fees for transferring
money probably mean that I should keep Canadian money in Canada for

It’s good to know that I’m on course, and to get an idea of what’s
coming up ahead. I’ll keep money in a liquid high-interest savings
account first because I don’t know how much I’ll need when I
transition into the working world. I will probably want to furnish a
place, update my wardrobe, get used to a new lifestyle, etc. I know
I’ll feel satisfied if I can cover all of my startup costs and restore
my emergency fund without taking stuff out of my investment fund.

When the dust settles, I’ll look into the investment options. My next
milestone would be three to five years out, when I decide whether to
stay in Toronto or move on. I like what my mom did with our place on
Bautista: rent the house until she decided to buy it. It seems like a
good way to get a feel for a place. We’ll see. But I should be able to
diversify into really-long-term (retirement or 10+ years), medium (3-5
years), and liquid assets.

I pay attention to stuff like this because I would hate to waste these
great opportunities through mismanagement. Besides, sorting this out
early takes less effort than dealing with the consequences of bad
planning. =) And it’s fun! I like seeing my books balance. I like
knowing that the basics are taken care of and that there’s some room
to take crazy chances and follow my intuition. I like abundance and

Random Emacs symbol: pop-tag-mark – Command: Pop back to where M-. was last invoked.

I can afford to raise my rent

Is the experience of being able to live on my own worth the loss of a
little compound interest? I haven’t parked that money in long-term
high-growth investments. I think the experience will be a good
investment, and getting into it earlier rather than later will ease my

Hmm. Okay, target: move out in April with all the rest of the
students, unless I can find a nice place already. Should ask Graduate
House when I can move out.

Random Emacs symbol: font-lock-mark-block-function – Variable: *Non-nil means use this function to mark a block of text.

All of my books are once again balanced…

After a little bit of a struggle getting my ledger to perfectly match
the financial accounts kept by the school, I’ve balanced my books in
anticipation of clearing the financial account at schoool.

I probably shouldn’t enjoy fiddling with my finances this much, but
it’s *nice* to know that all the numbers add up. It really is rather
nice to know.

Now that I know how the next few months are going to be funded, I can
also remove the earmarking work-arounds.

Then I can take my current cash position and divide it into virtual
envelopes for an emergency fund, my moving expenses, contingency plans
for tuition, charity, and proper savings.

Yay. =)

Random Emacs symbol: browse-url-epiphany-program – Variable: *The name by which to invoke Epiphany.

Filed my taxes

I’ve triple-checked my tax return and uploaded it to the government
website. Here goes! I should get my refund soon. The fact that the
government feels sad for me and wants to give me more money makes me
feel a little weird.

Random Emacs symbol: decrease-left-margin – Command: Make the left margin of the region smaller.