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Weekend Reading: Happy Go Money Edition

Want to know if money can truly buy happiness? How about a brutally honest and refreshing look at money and happiness? That’s what author Melissa Leong has in store with her new book called, Happy Go Money.

Melissa takes readers along her journey, from frugal beginnings growing up in Winnipeg, to covering the personal finance beat for the Financial Post, then leaving it all behind to spend more time at home only to end up with her husband in the psych ward under the crushing weight of depression.

How’s that for the opening chapter of a personal finance book?

Happy Go Money

Easy to read, yet packed with the latest studies on behavioural psychology, Melissa dives into head first into happiness research and tells readers to F*ck the Joneses, Stuff your Stuff, Invoke the Dollar Lama, and to Bullet-proof your Happiness.

I enjoyed reading the research she included on life satisfaction and day-to-day happiness – the one that says after you make roughly $75,000 per year, any increase after that actually decreases your happiness.

Then there’s the Hedonic Treadmill, our tendency to quickly return to a relative stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative life events. It’s the reason why more money or more stuff is never enough. That quick dopamine rush wears off and we return to our normal state.

Or how about the idea that the worse off our neighbours are, the happier we’ll be? That’s right, studies show that people would prefer to earn $50,000 a year while their neighbours earn $30,000 a year, rather than earn $80,000 a year while their neighbours earn $100,000 a year.

Melissa explores all of these studies and more, while applying the research to her own life as she struggled through a career change and her husband’s mental health.

What she wrote about all of that hit home: More money wouldn’t have made things better or made her any happier. But she also was grateful they had their money house in order so that when sh!t hit the fan the last thing they had to worry about was paying the bills.

I highly recommend reading Happy Go Money – it might just change your perspective about money and happiness. If not, well the book is still a smart, witty, and fun read that you won’t be able to put down.

A Happy Go Money Giveaway

With that in mind, I’d like to give away two copies of Happy Go Money to a pair of lucky readers here on Boomer & Echo. All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me about a recent money accomplishment.

Did you pay off a nagging debt? Open up a TFSA? Reach a savings milestone? Read a personal finance blog? Let me know in the comments and you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of two copies of Happy Go Money. The contest closes Friday January 18th at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Good luck!

PS – Don’t want to wait for the contest? Buy the book on Amazon here.

This Week’s Recap:

On Monday I wrote about how my wife will save money on taxes with a Wealthsimple RRSP.

And on Thursday I shared why you should disaster proof your life with easy and affordable term life insurance.

Weekend Reading:

Speaking of Happy Go Money, blogger Nick Maguilli shares a story about Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin who got a little too greedy when trying to sell his machine across the United States.

Attention headline writers across the financial news media. Stop taking otherwise sound articles like this one and putting ridiculous titles on them such as, “Is it time to jump back into the stock market?

This week RBC and BlackRock teamed up to create an ETF giant – RBC iShares. It’s a massive merger, but index investing proponent Dan Bortolotti is sceptical it will have any real effect on investors:

“I suppose that’s a good thing, although any IIROC-licensed RBC advisor has always been able to use ETFs if he or she was so inclined. It’s not going to turn old-school active advisors into enthusiastic proponents of low-cost indexing.”

Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense updates his favourite investment performance chart for 2018. Of note, last year was the first time in a decade that cash outperformed all other asset classes, with a 1.7 percent return. The largest decline was felt by emerging markets, which fell 15.3 percent.

Not to be outdone, Dale Roberts posted his investing year in review and says 2018 was not financial Armageddon.

Frugal Trader at Million Dollar Journey shares a financial checklist to start 2019 strong.

Here’s everything you need to know about the enhanced CPP — from how much you’ll pay to how much you’ll get.

Is cashing in RRSPs now to maximize OAS and GIS a good idea for this New Brunswick couple when they retire next year?

Mark Seed at My Own Advisor shares some little known facts about Old Age Security that you need to know.

In his latest Carrick Talks Money Video, Rob Carrick says it’s okay to spend some savings in your healthiest retirement years:

Some excellent thoughts shared here by Morgan Housel on markets and investing:

“Underestimating adaptation and reversion to the mean is the greatest cause of pessimism. If you can stick around long enough to stomach the adaptations, optimism should virtually always the default assumption.”

Mortgage brokers behaving badly again? An alleged ‘shadow’ mortgage broker was implicated in dozens of shady deals, including altered tax documents that allegedly helped bump up a janitor’s annual income from $10,881 to $77,000.

Finally, Costco is selling a giant tub of Mac & Cheese it says will last for 20 years. The 27-pound tub contains 180 servings and despite the long shelf-life customer reviews say it tastes ‘delicious’. Ummm, no thanks.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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103 Comments

  1. ffsquared on January 12, 2019 at 5:26 am

    Money is not the source of happiness but it can be a means to use as one invests his/her time with family and friends.

    • Harry on January 12, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      Followed our investment plan despite the 2018 turmoil. Buying quality dividend growth stocks on the market dips.

    • parween on January 14, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      Finally opened up a brokerage account with Questrade and purchased my first EFT!

    • Mary Ann Marriott on January 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      I fought the urge to splurge and used my bonus this year to pay off two credit cards in full. It felt great! And my credit score took a huge spike upwards. Yay 🙂

  2. Delores H. on January 12, 2019 at 5:31 am

    My money accomplishment, kind of: paid off our credit card debt from proceeds of sale of our home.

  3. Tracey H on January 12, 2019 at 6:02 am

    A recent financial accomplishment was not panicking when the stock market went down! I held firm and even topped up TFSAs and RRSPs in January. It’s the long-term that matters, not the short-term. If my plan is right during good times, it’s good during bad times, too.

  4. Jennifer on January 12, 2019 at 6:12 am

    For me, a recent financial accomplishment involved having a large-enough emergency fund to liquidate it when urgently needed. I’m on long-term disability, but the insurance company has erroneously denied my claim, so I’m using my savings to survive no salary, plus be able to pay legal fees at the same time so that I can sue the insurance company for what is rightfully mine. And because I split my emergency money across savings (cash) & RRSP, when the stock market crashed, I could choose to liquidate only the savings, and not touch the reduced RRSP.

  5. Tricia on January 12, 2019 at 6:23 am

    My financial accomplishment, finally getting around to moving my drip’s over to a brokerage account to make it easier to view and keep track.

  6. Hugh Hebert on January 12, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Money can not buy happiness, but it affords you two other things it can’t buy. Security and Peace of mind.

  7. B Belding on January 12, 2019 at 6:27 am

    I’ve topped up my TFSA for 2019

  8. Wally Dufrat on January 12, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Hey Robb: Boy am I ever glad that I took your advice re ETF’s. I just mad $2200,00 + in the last two days.

    I cashed all my investments with my Bank and bought 80% VXC and 20% VCN in both an Investment Account and a TFSA.

    Sure as hell a lot better than the Bank’s Mutual pkge performance.

    Thanks again,

    Wally

    • Diane on January 12, 2019 at 10:43 am

      Hi Wally – I recently contacted Wealthsimple about their commission-free trading platform as I want to try investing the $6000 TFSA allowed this year by my self. I think I may have to go with Questrade until they start up. Suggestions? Thanks! Diane

      • Wally on January 12, 2019 at 12:04 pm

        I WENT WITH rbc BECAUSE I’ve BEEN WITH THEM FOREVER and their self investing is only $9.95 per trade and I’m not doing any trading so to speak…..just put the money in and as Robb suggests……..just leave it there and look at it a couple of times whenever.

  9. Murray on January 12, 2019 at 6:43 am

    Doubling down on some investments that I had researched and believed in rather than sell off during December. Using this decline to top up RRSP & TFSA to help with future.

  10. Frank on January 12, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Money is a noun. House is a noun. It seems to me we want to own nouns.
    What if we turned money into a verb. I’m going to money a happy retirement for example. This may chance our view of possessing to using.
    This weird thought comes after the passing of my older brother, a CPA, who lived the noun way to long but happily discovered the verb.
    I think I’d like to read Melissa’s book. Cheers

  11. susan kelner on January 12, 2019 at 6:50 am

    switching my big bank RRSP and TFSA to Wealthsimple.

  12. Jo on January 12, 2019 at 7:00 am

    My biggest money accomplishment is that at age 25, I came back from a year overseas, $11,000 in debt, unemployed, and now I am retired and have saved enough that I have enough money to be comfortable in my retirement.

  13. Gary on January 12, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Money may not buy happiness but it beats the alternative. Live within your means and life will be good. Always ask, do I really need this? We have made it to retirement and are able to do the things we want (within reason) and help our children when needed. The Joneses may have bigger houses and fancier cars but we are happy so what more can we ask?

  14. Maureen Serfas on January 12, 2019 at 7:01 am

    I purged my house after New Years. Went through every closet, kitchen cupboards etc. and decided what had to go. Sold a couple items and donated the rest. Maybe not a financial accomplishment, but freeing none the less. Money doesn’t bring happiness by accumulating more and more stuff.

  15. Jill on January 12, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Next year I turn 60. This year I will be reading about and consulting ‘experts’ to help me decide if I should take my CPP at 60. Thanks for including articles about CPP and OAS. It makes my research easier.

  16. Dale Roberts on January 12, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Thanks Robb. Yes, it will continue to be a client/consumer driven move to low fee investing. It will not come from the advisor side, for the most part.

    This is all about awareness and financial / investing education. We have to remove those barriers as well. Many do not move, even after they discover the truth, or the damage of high fees.

    Thanks once again for the nod.

  17. Diana Remmer on January 12, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Just watched Rob Carrick’s video,advocating that senior’s spend some of their savings while they’re healthy..I’m off on a lengthy vacation!
    I’m 75.. fortunately have an indexed pension (I worked hard for it!) my TFSA is maxed and I have savings..while money doesn’t buy happiness it certainly makes the prospect of having to eat cat food in ones old age lessen!
    I’d love to read the book!

  18. Tarilyn Bartels on January 12, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Money accomplishment: I am one month away from paying off my mortgage!!

  19. James on January 12, 2019 at 7:37 am

    We recently opened a spousal RSP for my wife!

  20. Crystal M on January 12, 2019 at 7:48 am

    We are very proud of our accomplishments this year! All debt except the mortgage has been paid off, and we have emergency accounts in place! We have saved up for our wedding and now can start planning it, and we our taking a year to enjoy our hard work, all while still contibuting to savings!

  21. Paul on January 12, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Started reading financial blog Mr Money Mustache. Love his idea that the key to saving is cutting back on spending by living close to work, exercising at home, cutting cable, etc. Talks a lot about caring for the environment by not buying material things that we don’t need. Love it all.

  22. Karen on January 12, 2019 at 8:00 am

    I would love to read Happy Go Money!! In the past year I have really been paying more attention to my money. That has included becoming a regular reader of blogs on personal finance and simple living. In 2018 I banked my raise from work. I called the cable company and downgraded our services and banked that difference. And luckily our insurance payment went down a little and I saved that also. All these little amounts are automatically transferred from main account to a savings account. Not life changing amounts, but money saved that I probably wouldn’t have saved otherwise. I plan to do the same thing again this year.

  23. Marcelina on January 12, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Happy New Year Robb!

    Our family has two recent financial accomplishments: we paid off our mortgage in our 30s this past June and maxed out my husband’s RRSP for the first time in his career this month by catching up on $70,000 of unused contribution room in just 2 years. It was a stretch goal and I’m so proud we made it! All the best to you and your family in 2019.

  24. Brad S on January 12, 2019 at 8:14 am

    My accomplishment was to reach 6 months of salary saved up. Im a contractor so I need to be prepared to be out of work.

  25. Trevor Cristall on January 12, 2019 at 8:50 am

    I maxed my TFSA and my daughter’s RESP contribution for 2019 already, using some cash back from a credit card. I’m excited about using cash back cards to top up investments!!

  26. Gary on January 12, 2019 at 8:51 am

    We have topped out our TFSAs

  27. MM on January 12, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Thank you for your blog. I have benefitted from it throughout the years.

    For the new year, besides doing what I normally do to save for retirement and “day-to-day” life (maximize the TFSA and RRSP contributions, save for emergency account, etc.), I have recently sent and printed out your articles to pass on your information on to friends and co-workers. After a recent discussion with co-workers and friends, it still amazes me in how financially unaware some people are. I’m hoping that my actions will help at least one person become more aware and more diligent about their own finances.

    Once again, thank you for what you do and I look forward to your future articles.

  28. Anna on January 12, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Looking forward to reading the book! A huge accomplishment this year was to max out our two children’s RESP and catch up fully for the previous year, which we had missed because I was on mat leave.

  29. TC on January 12, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Funded my TFSA for 2019!

  30. HR on January 12, 2019 at 9:51 am

    My recent financial accomplishment was that I finally did 2017 tax file. There is nothing owing but I kept putting it off.

  31. Phyllis on January 12, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Recent money accomplishment – moving rrsp from high fee mutual fund to self-directed etfs.

  32. Sarah on January 12, 2019 at 9:59 am

    2018 was the first year living off our investments (dividends) and we still managed to save some money! I’m looking to fluff up our “Bonus” Category and increase our experiences. Sometimes, you just have to be open to spending a little to experience a lot (say purchasing a drink at an establishment and getting to listen to great live music). Thanks for the giveaway.

  33. Braden B on January 12, 2019 at 10:13 am

    My money goal checked is opening up an RESP for my 7 month old! Her family gave her not presents for Christmas but donations toward the RESP 🙂

  34. Sarah on January 12, 2019 at 10:16 am

    This week I converted my HELOC to a term portion at a lower rate. This way, I will be making bi-weekly payments against principle (plus interest), instead of quietly letting the interest-only payments come out monthly. By April I will be able to double the payments, thus shorten my amortization even more!

  35. Tom on January 12, 2019 at 10:23 am

    After years of delay and procrastination, I finally moved my investments out of an organization with crushing management and penalty fees (IG) into a small portfolio of ETF’s. I can believe I waited so long, but well worth the change. In just a couple years i have made back the loss incurred through the penalties and seen thousands in saving from reduced MER fees with no loss is performance. Robb played a role. Thank you.

  36. Jan on January 12, 2019 at 10:27 am

    My accomplishment was setting up 3 years of expenses in GICs or high interest savings accounts and not having to worry about selling investments when the markets were down. Peace of mind in retirement. Priceless.

    Would love to win the book. Thanks for a great blog.

  37. Wes on January 12, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Money can’t buy happiness but it sure feels good knowing that you have some stashed away when you need it in an emergency.
    My greatest financial accomplishment (to me) was to educate myself to become a do-it-yourself, Dividend Growth Investor. When I retired 5 years ago at 62, I opened a self directed retirement account online at one of the big banks, sold all mutual funds and etfs and used the funds to invest in solid dividend paying stocks, both Canadian and US dividend aristocrats. I started with 430K in the RIF account with yearly withdrawal of 10% ( average). I stayed invested regardless of what the market was doing ( we had a few minor ‘crashes ) and tuned out all the ‘noises’. I do minimal number of trades, only when I have to do some ‘rebalancing’. At last peek, the market value was at 625K after a withdrawal of 45K.
    Sure money doesn’t buy happiness but it’s good to have to pay all the bills.

  38. Chris on January 12, 2019 at 10:49 am

    A big accomplishment for our family in 2018 was paying off our LOC and building a healthy emergency fund in a TFSA! It feels like a huge weight has been lifted.

  39. Raphaelle on January 12, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Last week, I canceled my cable TV service and my subscription to Sirius. Took only 10 minutes to save 100$/month !

    • Danielle Ogilvie on January 12, 2019 at 11:11 am

      Cable TV seems more and more like a waste now with all the subscription and streaming platforms!

      • Ken on January 14, 2019 at 11:26 am

        I too want to cancel my cable but it is difficult. When my daughter was in grade 11, I told her that when she goes off to university, I’d be cancelling the cable since it is mostly for her benefit. She will be turning 30 this month and I still have cable. But it is not for lack of trying.

        I have a combined basic cable, home phone, and internet package. About 3 years ago, it was over $120 per month and I called my provider and told them I just wanted internet which be $70. Although the agent tried to entice me with offers of phone for $10, or cable for $15 (if I kept the phone), I told him that I just wanted the internet. He othen came back with an offer of $55 for all three (which was $15 less than internet only). I reluctantly agreed. Since that time, I have to call back every 6 or 12 months, just as the promo expires and get a new deal. It only makes financial sense to keep all three but the PVR has become a real time suck.

        As a consumer, I am happy but as an investor I question the extent to which the telecoms go to retain customers.

        Prior to embarking on my career as a retiree, I used to work for an electrical utility. I found it puzzling that the media would make a big fuss over rate increases. For most customers living in reasonable accommodations, the electrical bill was usually dwarfed by what people would be paying for cable and cell phones.

  40. Christine Dowling on January 12, 2019 at 11:01 am

    Sitting on the lanai in Honolulu reading your blog. I guess our accomplishment is to be retired and able to afford to take trips. Experiences are more important than “stuff”. I would love to read the book then pass it on to my daughter.

    Thanks for the interesting reading in your blog.

  41. BartBandy on January 12, 2019 at 11:14 am

    This is a fascinating topic and one I’d like to learn more about from her book.

    Lots of good discussion here. I like Frank’s distinction between money as a noun or verb. I distinguish between income and wealth – income is a means whereas wealth is an accumulation which can provide greater security and peace of mind. Beyond a certain level of each, happiness doesn’t really change. From my readings, above that $75k level or whatever, happiness is driven by having a sense of purpose in life, and by the depth/quality of your relationships, neither of which is dependent on income.

  42. Sandy on January 12, 2019 at 11:17 am

    When a promotion was being advertised by a competing utility provider last week, I called up my own utility provider to enquire about retaining my business. Before making the call I had done a little calculating to ascertain what the difference would have been if I had been paying the competitor’s promotional rates for power and natural gas over the past year, so I knew there was about a $100 difference.

    It took about a minute for my utility provider rep to check on my account and then offer a $300 credit for remaining with them. Needless to say, my current provider retained my business.

    $300 for about 5 minutes of “work” just by making a phone call – that’s my recent money accomplishment!

  43. Antony on January 12, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Just maxed out TFSA in January and updated my retirement spreadsheet estimates. Focus on living a healthy sustainable lifestyle.

  44. Marc on January 12, 2019 at 11:37 am

    My money accomplishment was that I paid off my mortgage in early November of last year. I’m now redirecting the equivalent mortgage payment amount to Index ETFs in my TFSA account. Once this is maxed out, I will continue in a non-registered account. I have to say that waking up knowing the roof over my head is mine is a pretty good feeling!

  45. WS on January 12, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks boomer&echo. Invested most of the cash during recent market downturn. Also, I will max out my TFSA and RRSP by March, 2019

  46. Debby Voskamp on January 12, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Actively planning to be financially secure for retirement in 2.5 years! Part of my preparation involves living on half of my current income, to ensure that there are no surprises when I retire.

  47. CanTex on January 12, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    My two sons, now 38 and 42, used to complain bitterly about not having the clothes, things or lifestyle of their peers in the moderately-affluent area where we lived back in junior high and high school days. Now they are glad of the financial and lifestyle lessons, which they are applying as reins on their get-it-now wives. Oh, and they know we’re not going to have to rely on them for financial support ever.

  48. Dan on January 12, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    I recently moved my entire portfolio from Hollies Wealth to Questrade.
    Saving 800.00 a month.
    I’ve already made 3 free ETF trades and sold a large mutual fund,looking adding a large amount of Enbridge stock.
    DIY is great

  49. Lisa on January 12, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Money accomplishment: We increased our net worth by 30% in 2018

  50. Catherine Dawe on January 12, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Reading the comments is so inspiring! My biggest accomplishment was signing up for (and using) Quickbooks so that I know where my money is going and have a P&L accessible at any moment. Knowing where I am makes my goals more attainable and makes me feel much more confident!

  51. LA on January 12, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Single Mom, I’m 6 months away from being mortgage free. House paid in 10 years exactly. So excited, with zero $$ in RRSP & TFSA. ( busy raising my kids). The plan is to stay debt free and saves 75% of my income, buy a rental property cash ( never go to a bank for a mortgage again ) for my retirement. I only need 25K yearly as living expenses. Simple! Money does not make you happy but staying healthy mentally and physically, Yes that’s happy! Cheers!

  52. Nicole on January 12, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Have moved accounts to a new bank – not fully moved yet but working on it.
    I’m breaking up with my bank and to me that’s a financial step forward!

  53. Nate on January 12, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Maxed out my TFSA and RRSP this year. Now saving for mortgage prepayments

  54. Vanda Brown on January 12, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Hi – I think my greatest accomplishment is being able to instill advise to my six children – after being a financial blog reader since they’ve grown, I now have snippit’s of inspiring information to pass their way – i.e. this week to my son considering his 1st home: remember… the larger and more expensive a home you buy, the more expensive insurance and taxes will be and repairs and renovations will often cost more too.

  55. Cheryl on January 12, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    A recent money accomplishment was all through 2018 where my goal was to live as frugally as possible in order to put $500/month into a savings account and then put it to my 2019 TFSA. First time I’ve ever been able to do that! Yay me!

  56. Denise Tesan on January 12, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Will be 100% debt free by Feb 1st!

  57. Mario on January 12, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Our money accomplishment: In 2018 we decided to put all of our receipts in a shoe box for those we saved money by buying something on sale, using coupon, “buy one and get the second one at half price” or any other promotions we found on the internet. We just added all those receipts for that year; total saving in 2018 is $5232.00. Amazing what you can do when you put your heart to it.

  58. Beth on January 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    I increased my income by picking up some freelance work.

    Kudos to everyone commenting! It’s great see everyone’s accomplishments.

  59. Christian LK on January 12, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Switched my banking from one of the big 5 to a no fee spin off bank. I’m going to have a good look at the ETFs. Thanks for the info!

  60. Sheryl Smolkin on January 12, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    My husband retired 31/2 years ago. I finally fully retired in May 2018. We have no debt and our house is paid off. Maxed out contributions in Registered Acounts and have other unregistered assets. Even when the market tanked we still feel secure.

  61. Lynda Williams on January 12, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Money accomplishment: Opened a savings account at ING direct now Tangerine and direct deposit $25 a week a few years ago. Just booked a summer trip to Europe. First time back since our honeymoon. I used your orange key when I set it up (so thanks for getting the ball rolling)

  62. Nic on January 12, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    My recent money accomplishment- saved $600 by shopping around for a new insurance provider! Also got a new credit card with better benefits

  63. Thomas Ho on January 12, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Hi,

    I offer my son to pay for the RESP for my grand daughter who come to this world earlier this month. There is promise of annual contribution by me. I feel so happy for money so well spent. I hope everybody agree with me.

    Thomas

  64. Deb on January 13, 2019 at 5:20 am

    Last year, my husband was unexpectedly laid off while I was on maternity leave. Talk about shock and stress! Fortunately, we were living a life based on less than we earned and had a small emergency fund in place. This allowed us to still meet our financial obligations until he secured a new job and even buy back my pension at the beginning of 2019. That was our biggest financial accomplishment, but took years of planning.

  65. Jamie on January 13, 2019 at 5:54 am

    I met with my financial advisor on Friday to check in and stay on track

  66. Libbie on January 13, 2019 at 7:45 am

    I’m really enjoying all of the comments and your articles are also very informative.
    We have accomplished building up a substantial emergency fund and also a “planned spending” fund for all of the annual expenses that are hard to budget for. We also buy less stuff, and are focusing more on experiences than things. Having money in the bank makes me happier than having things!
    We are getting closer to retirement and are getting a little uncomfortable with our mutual fund fees, so will be looking at making some changes this year!
    Would love to read the book! Thanks.

  67. MB from manitoba on January 13, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Recent accomplishment: Saved for our kitchen counter Reno in full before putting down the deposit. In years before, we would have just put it on the credit card and paid interest over 6-8 months or so–this time, we decided to save for it first. As the cost is close to $5000 (with new sink and tap), an investment in our biggest asset– our home. we feel super charged to save up before we buy anything from now on. it truly helps to have goals.

  68. papabear192 on January 13, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Opened RESP account at our discount brokerage for our 15 month old grandson. Held firm on the buy hold strategy with our diversified EFTs in our Lira, RRSP and TFSA accounts. Read a couple of bloggers I hadn’t read before and determining our strategy going into retirement within the next 5 years.

  69. Lori N on January 13, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Started tracking spending with a very simple App(not connected to my bank or anything) my teenaged daughter showed me on my phone. Now I add every expense in my App, from $2 parking to a cup of coffee, to the Hydro bill each month. I am able to see how much spending is happening in each category. What surprised me was the Gifts and Lottery spending–definitely room to cut back this year.

  70. L Parent on January 13, 2019 at 8:38 am

    With my credit card debt rolled into my new mortgage, I’ve been able to pay them off every month. Thank goodness for a great advisor. Next step is to park the cards and just use cash. Thanks for the great article.

  71. Gert on January 13, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Money can buy happiness and in my case it has in a big way. In my good earning years my wife and I worked hard to payoff everything and I mean ‘everything’! It helped put us on a path of happiness since we’re the type of people who lose sleep if we owe anything. We sacrificed without forgetting to live. Then in my early 50’s I lost my job…boom just like that my wife and I decided I would stay home and manage the house. Our quality of life improved drastically. If we would have owed this would not have been possible. When I stopped I topped off my RRSP and have always maintained my TFSA, mind you the market volitlity is a ‘happy – sad’ rollercoaster.

  72. Jeff on January 13, 2019 at 9:05 am

    This week we opened a JustWealth Target Date RESP account for our two daughters. We transferred from a bank led mutual fund account charging over 2% MER.

    We even received a bonus deposit in our account thanks to Boomer and Echos referral!

  73. daft on January 13, 2019 at 9:14 am

    paid off mortgage!!!

  74. Anna on January 13, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I set up automatic RRSP deductions so I can pay back my first time home buyer’s “loan” of my first RRSP. This way I don’t pay rrsp tax on my downpayment investment!

  75. Maria on January 13, 2019 at 10:45 am

    We fully funded our 3 month old daughter’s RESP for 2018 and plan to do so again in early 2019.

  76. Theresa on January 13, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    My husband and I set a goal for ourselves to pay $8000 towards our vehicle loan over 5 months, so $1600 per month. We did this from Aug to Dec and made the last payment of our goal on Christmas Eve! It feels like such a huge accomplishment to successfully meet a challenging goal and to have been very disciplined in prioritizing debt repayment. We did this to minimize our remaining car loan so that we are hopefully in a better position to negotiate a lower mortgage renewal rate this spring.

  77. Jenn on January 13, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    My money accomplishment is finally starting a budget and tallying up how much we spent on various categories. There were definitely some surprises – like too much dining out!

  78. Steve on January 13, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Funny how people who say “money can’t buy happiness”, still buy lottery tickets, just in case.

  79. Christina on January 13, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    I reached my savings goal for 2018 and even saved a bit extra.

  80. Julie on January 13, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I started contributing to my TFSA regularly, and educated myself on investments so I understood where and how to get the best bang for my buck!

  81. Joanne on January 13, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    My greatest accomplishment this year is to renew friendships and spend more time with family. This , I believe, is truly the key to happiness.

    Love your blog… learning so much from them

  82. Gin on January 13, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Funded our 2019 TFSA’s. Especially proud of our young adult son modelling our behaviour and making funding his TFSA a priority also.

  83. J-Bay on January 13, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    I agree, money doesn’t buy happiness, but I can be unhappy for a long time. I’d hate to be broke and happy! Just paid off vacation home in Mexico and looking forward to a debt free retirement, reading my free book in sunny Mexico in the middle of Jan.
    Life is good!

  84. Ted Wootton on January 15, 2019 at 4:00 am

    Robb, I had always assumed that my wife’s best bet would be to delay taking her CPP until age 71, and reap the benefits of the attractive increases the government provides for the delay. That was until I realized that there is a maximum CPP that any individual can collect….which means that she would never be able to collect the full 60% Survivors’ CPP from me! As a result, we triggered her CPP at 65 instead.
    I explained to her the likely thousands of dollars I have protected for her, and asked for an increase in my weekly allowance. She refused. I only pretend to run things around here.

  85. JTriguy on January 15, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Definitely looking forward to checking out this book! We sold our businesses (2) last year and got our life back! Investing in rental real estate, TFSA, RRSP, and enjoyed a nice trip with my wife for 2+ weeks!

  86. Paul Cameron on January 15, 2019 at 9:45 am

    With the recent financial market turmoil, I stayed the course and didn’t sell any investments.

  87. Summerlee on January 15, 2019 at 11:55 am

    We are trying to decrease as much debt in 2019. Just got an offer on our rental property, its our first step to decreasing the debt. Then we can start saving.

  88. Bob Lin on January 15, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    “tell me about a recent money accomplishment”

    Didn’t flinch, not for a second, when our investments took a dive in October and December.

  89. Jen on January 15, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    My financial accomplishment was to set up reoccurring automatic withdrawals for all my financial matters (RRSP, TFSA, saving etc.
    ) so I get paid first!

  90. Caitlyn on January 15, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Accomplishment for 2019. Finally filled out pre authorized contributions for RRSP and T1213 form to avoid having such a large tax refund and put the extra money to use during the year.

  91. AD on January 16, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Last year I started reading this blog as well as MMM blog and I’m hoping that by educating myself on finances I will be able to shake off the financial paralysis I feel

  92. Sylvia Anderson on January 16, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    In 2018, I forwarded boomer&echo to my 27 year old daughter. She was delighted because it has given her a clearer and better understanding of financial matters.

  93. Rahul K on January 17, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    Despite of losing my job and starting with different company, I caught up with my RRSP contribution after I made settlement with my employer. We are expecting a baby in July and wanted to get to income bracket where I can also take good ccb home that would be good return on investment.

  94. Jason D on January 18, 2019 at 7:13 am

    Money accomplishment was finally moving from a big 5 bank to a discount brokerage. The simplicity and savings of buying a single ETF (VGRO) for free every two weeks has been amazing. Looking forward to continue to catch up on TFSA room after it was raided for our down payment on our house. Long time reader of your blog and I love it. First time commenting.

  95. John Pearson on January 18, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    This year, I have been able to max out my RRSP. This year’s goal are to top up our TFSAs. Thanks so much to Boomer and Echo for the inspirational blogs and info!

  96. Bob on January 19, 2019 at 10:01 am

    We paid off our mortgage and now have automatic deductions for our TFSA’s….feels wonderful! Great to read all of the accomplishments of our fellow Canadians…so much better than the doom and gloom of newspapers and other media….many people are doing the right thing. Enjoy the blog and continue to share it with our three adult children. Thank you!

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