March Madness 2015 Net Worth Update
March was a fantastic month for college basketball and my net worth! However, for my net worth it was primarily due to two one-time items that likely won’t be happening again any time soon:
- Tax Refund – I got back a big chunk of change from my income tax refund, due to some hefty retirement savings contributions I made at the last moment. For me, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing the government cut me a cheque! I took this money and put it all against the mortgage, which put me just over 50% of my 2015 goal to pay down $10k on my mortgage. While I enjoy a low interest rate on my mortgage, part of my overall financial plan involves paying off the house quickly after I max out my government tax-free savings accounts.
- Non Registered Investments – I had about $3k of investments from an earlier employee share purchase plan that I had not previously accounted for. Part of the reason is I hadn’t looked at the value of the shares in a few years and had no idea what they were worth. Turns out the company hasn’t been thriving since I left over five years ago…which is a complete coincidence!
Another goal of mine this year was to donate $500 to various charities. I set this target thinking it would be good to give back since I’m very fortunate to have more than enough in my life. I’ve given to three different causes so far in 2015 and, although it’s a fairly modest amount, it has been the most rewarding of all my financial endeavours to date.
Donating to registered charities also provides a tax benefit to the donor. Basically, the government ends up kicking in between 25%-40% of your donation via a tax credit. Two of the three causes I gave to were not registered charities, so I won’t be getting a tax kickback on those, but they were still amazing initiatives that I felt good about contributing to.
The interesting thing about this donation goal is once I set it up in my annual budget it became a lot easier to part with the money. I often found I was torn between giving and my own personal financial agenda when I saw a worthy cause in need. Now that I’ve planned for these donations it doesn’t go against my financial plan, instead it becomes a part of it.
With the first three months of 2015 down I’m well on my way to hitting most of my financial goals for 2015. Over the remaining nine months in the year I’ll be focusing more on cutting needless spending and topping up my tax-free saving accounts (so be on the lookout for posts on investment advice!).
Below is my net worth update for March 2015:by