The Bicycle Rookie

A first-time cyclist in the big city.

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Biking. That thing that some people take up naturally, zipping through city streets with confidence and efficiency. It’s one of those things a lot of frugal folk can’t help but extoll the virtues of, Mr. Money Moustache included with his post of “What Do You Mean ‘You Don’t Have a Bike’“.

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Blogging: One Year Later

I made it!

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It’s officially been one year since I started blogging here on Stretching My Money. Did I think I’d make it this far? Definitely not. But here I am, one year later!

In that time, I’ve written about many things, ranging from net worth updates, travel, favourite board games, and even our mortality. Who says personal finance blogs can venture into new territory?

In that time, I have personal favourite posts that resonated with many of you, and others that didn’t. But heck – this is my anniversary so I’m going to list my favourite posts from the past year, regardless of the number of views:

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May 2018 Financial Update

A good month of spending…

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Remember how last month I bought a $722 suit? Well, this month I bought a pair of $300 Allen Edmonds shoes and then some. More on why later in this post. The girlfriend and I also splurged on several dates and a camping trip with friends.

The spending this month was $2634.12 for a savings rate of 55.31%. The biggest observation I’ve made since I started my higher paying job has been an increase in spending. As much as I mentally committed to keeping expenses the same, frankly my actions have proven otherwise. Still, on an overall basis for the year my savings rate sits at 59.52% and should only increase with reduced paycheck deductions (Canadian Pension Plan & Employment Insurance deductions stop after the first $55,900) and a 3 paycheck month coming in August.

My net worth also jumped almost $4000! The power of saving is awesome.

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I’m a Cold-Blooded Bastard.

And why I don’t lend money.

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It was 11:00PM on a Friday and I heard a ping on my phone. Swiping up to see the notifications, a message from an old friend, one I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 4 years.

“Hey man, I’m having some cash flow issues. I’m hoping I can borrow $50 to get to work tomorrow and park. I’ll have a paycheck to pay you back on the 18th.”

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My depression over trying to reach FIRE.

Why I haven’t felt 100% these past few weeks.

I’ve been feeling low the past few weeks and I didn’t know why at first. Everything was going fine: new job was chugging alone just fine, my savings rate increased up to 15% with the salary increase, I was eating significantly healthier, and family and social life remained strong. Yet, for whatever reason, I couldn’t shake a little feeling in my body that what my life was up to wasn’t good enough.

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April 2018 Financial Update

April 2018

Last month I spoke about how I had spent a crazy amount of money in February and once again in March. I was hoping April would be a notch lower – and it was until I bought a $722 suit. It is the price you pay when you work in a job that values “professional attire” and I particularly was looking for something long lasting. More on that later in a future post.

So there went another $2,722.18 at a savings rate of 53.82%. At this rate I am far exceeding my spending amount of $2000 per month and lagging in my goal for a 60% savings rate.

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Want to save money? Ad Ignorance is Bliss.

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Humans love the idea of a deal. It triggers a strange part of our brain that makes us feel like we’ve won something. Like a “HA! I got product X at such a bargain. Those poor suckers who paid full price!”

The thing is, you didn’t really win if the sale was advertised. The retailer wanted you to know about it. If anything, you did them a favour by clearing out old inventory that they might have thrown out anyway, or they simply tricked you in thinking it was a sale when the sale is actually just a price point that’s always there.

Continue reading “Want to save money? Ad Ignorance is Bliss.”