At the bottom of this post is a screenshot from the spreadsheet I was using in 2016 when I became serious about tracking my income, spending, and my investing.
In hindsight I wish I had made these posts in real-time, as my situation was unfolding. I had intentions to do so, but, I was focused on graduating at the top of my college class and landing a job that would triple my income.
This is for the month of May, 2016.
Let’s see what we’ve got!
Total Income: $2275.98
Total Spending: $1147.02
Total Invested: $843.54
% of Income Invested: 37.06%
Total Net Worth: $28,507.26
Yowzers. My income has doubled, my expenses went down, and my “% of Income Invested” jumped by 12%! This was the beginning of the rewards I would reap from working my behind off during the first year of school.
My work term would have started this month and the higher wage paychecks were flowing in my direction. We’re not talking about anything too crazy here, but if I remember correctly it was approximately $16.50/hour. Compared to what I was making eight months prior ($11.50/hour or so) this was equivalent to receiving a 44% raise. Pretty decent return on eight months of school. Plus, I was finding the course material interesting.
The program had a range of courses covering chemistry, physics, stationary engineering, and industrial instrumentation. There were math classes, and even a few “writing” courses that were focused on developing cover letters and resumes. It was awesome. I had forgotten how much I loved learning. I had made a good decision.
I formed some friendships throughout the year as well; a few that remain to this very day. It was great mingling with the variety of students the college housed. Interacting with classmates ranging from 18 to 40 years of age. It was interesting absorbing their different perspectives on life, jobs, learning and school. What their plans and goals were if they were lucky enough to land one of the higher paying jobs, and their reasoning for choosing the course in the first place. No regrets.
But, isn’t there always?
Sometimes you just need to realize, and accept, that you made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time. Maybe that rant is for another post though. Back to the numbers.
I’m happy with most of my expense categories this month. Alcohol and restaurant spending were respectable, though maybe a bit too much on restaurants. My wife’s birthday is in May so that would explain the amount under “Gifts/Donations.”
You can see under the investment section that I started dividing my contributions between my Questrade and Scotiabank TFSAs. The Scotiabank account was being used to store the money I would need for second year’s tuition. It wasn’t technically being invested in the market, and I was kind of using it just to boost my “% of Income Invested” so that I would psychologically feel good about myself, but, whatever. Eventually that money would be used for school, and that was an investment in me and my earning power. So, you know what, I’ve just decided right now that that counts. It WAS an investment…yah…that feels nice.
Another month down, and another uptick in net worth.
I was on the job for the first time, and I can remember feeling excited, nervous, and intimidated. Splash in just a bit of “imposter syndrome” and that would pretty well sum up my life back in May of 2016.