Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Frugal Focus Monthly Recap - February 2006

Budget Summary
It was a woeful month for savings – only $280.88 in February against a plan of $695, which, relative to my earnings represented a savings rate of only 5.9%. The biggest hit was a bit of unexpected car repairs, though I also paid down some additional debt and was over budget most noticeably in gifts and books and magazines. On the positive side, my employer renegotiated new long-term disability rates and my net pay is about $20/month more as a result.

Here's my saving plan YTD:


Investment Summary
I allocated $351 to my non-registered account and made semi-monthly RRSP contributions. I’m somewhat irked the order I placed with my Canadian ShareOwner account for Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) wasn’t filled this month and I am now going to have to wait until the fourth Wednesday in March (i.e. March 22) for another buy opportunity according to their co-op trading schedule.

As a result of contributions this month, my accounts look like:
  • RRSP:
    • $761.76 (including a YTD gain of 0.3%)

  • Non-registered:
    • $1010.00 - Cash (Canadian ShareOwner Account)
    • $27.25 – Equity (1 Share of BCE I registered with the transfer agent to start to DRIP invest)
Frugal Focus Savings this Month$12.95/month
One of my stated goals for January was an investigation into new everyday banking options, and I am grateful for the feedback I received as I weighed in on the choices. My change to PC Financial will help me realize a great recurring cost reduction.

Goals for March
My goals this month really revolve around planning my DRIP investments. I will need to develop some planning tools (i.e. spreadsheets, calendars) to keep track of purchase windows, track reinvestments, etc. as well as basic stuff like deciding how to organize and file the paperwork. Specifically, this month I aim to:
  1. Make one optional cash purchase with BCE.
  2. Register the single share of TransCanada Corp. (TRP) I am expecting.
  3. Send payment for 4 new ‘singles’ I was fortunate to arrange to buy from another DRIP investor – Fortis (FTS), Enbridge (ENB), Suncor (SU) and RioCan REIT (REI.UN). With BCE (telco) and TransCanada (pipeline), these offer additional sector diversity (electricity, energy, real estate) and with DRIP and share-purchase programs. Enbridge and Fortis are also members of Mergent's list of Canadian Dividend Achievers.
  4. If time permits, register these as well.
I will also need to spend at least half of any savings this month on some needed home furnishings, so there certainly isn’t a lot of room in March for many slips!

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Disclaimer: These articles are for information only, and are not to be construed as financial advice, legal advice, or a solicitation to buy or sell securities.