Last Post Over Two Years Ago...
First off, I must apologize. I haven't really been interested in posting anything new as there hasn't really been anything new to report. Or at least, I don't feel like there is anything new to report. Maybe the pandemic years blended together that it doesn't feel like too long ago... I don't know.
Things have been chugging away like normal. The last two years has seen an increase of our net worth by a significant amount and the Loonie IT family is very comfortable with our lives.
We haven't really given many second thoughts in purchasing things when we need them and our net worth still grows each month. There have been months, like the last few, where stocks have dropped dramatically. Despite the month or two where our net worth did go down, we're still up for the year.
The biggest things going on right now are the high interest rates and inflation. Fortunately, we locked into our mortgage at 2.39% in October 2019 so we weren't affected by the interest rate hikes imposed by the Bank of Canada in an attempt to rein in high inflation. However, there are many households who purchased homes at the peak and are now struggling to pay their mortgages as now they are paying thousands towards interest payments and very little (it any) towards the principal.
In anticipation of our renewal coming up in October 2024, wifey and I have been putting a lot of our extra dollars towards the mortgage. My last update was from April 2021 when we owed $170,000 on the mortgage. Currently, our mortgage balance is around $36,000 with less than a year to go until renewal.
Inflation is another topic that's absolutely gone crazy the last two years. Basically, the cost of living has gone up dramatically. I still maintain the spreadsheet with all our expenses and it is creeping up as well. 2021 saw the Loonie IT household spend $54,000 for the year. In 2022, that increased to $57,500. So far in 2023, we've spent over $60,000 and we still have 6 weeks to go. Some of the extra spending is attributed to Loonie IT daughter's extra curricular activities, but a lot of it is due to the increased costs of food and essentials.
We've been fortunate as both my and wifey's jobs are fairly recession proof. Despite the potential upcoming recession, both of us have increased our salaries at work through good performance reviews and we're both fortunate that our employers gave staff cost of living increases. For 2022, my employer gave staff a 7.1% increase for the cost of living and 2023 our salary was increased 3.4%. That was on top of a salary increases and performance bonuses.
Aside from that we've been lucky. Both wifey and I work close to home. Wifey is working primarily remote and I'm working in office 3 times a week. We haven't needed to fill up the gas tank too much as we rarely drive anywhere unless it's to see my parents or to go on a Costco run. I think gas prices have been up compared to last year, so that's another reason for the high inflation we are going through.
One thing we have noticed, the lineups to the food banks in downtown Toronto are getting longer. Even around lunchtime, there's a shelter near Chinatown that gives people a free meal, I've seen many people lining up for the food. Younger people, elderly people, people who work in precarious jobs (based on the uniforms they were wearing), etc. We've always seen elderly people going through the garbage looking for recycling to sell. Now there appears to be more of them.
I remember reading about the "K-shape" recovery after the pandemic. This is probably it in action. Some people are thriving because of the pandemic and some people are in a worse position than before the pandemic started.
I'm not sure these thoughts make much sense. In a nutshell, we've been fortunate, we're in a good position financially, and our daughter is growing up extremely fast.