FI Lifestyle Personal Finance

FI Update: February/March 2021

robert burnaby park

Enjoying some sunny spring weather with my sister’s kids

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed I didn’t post a FI update for February. That’s because it was such a quiet month—I had a tough time coming up with enough updates to fill the post! 

I decided instead to combine it with my March update… so you’re getting two updates in one this month. So, without further ado, here’s what happened at my house in February and March.

Life update

An eventful (but leisurely) February long weekend

mika at the toboganning hill
Hanging out at the toboganning hill on Family Day

Chinese New Year fell on Friday, February 12th this year. (It’s based on the lunar calendar, so the date changes every year.) The next day, we had our family Zoom dinner to celebrate. Then, it was Valentine’s Day on the 14th and Family Day on the 15th—phew!

On a normal, non-COVID year, it would’ve been a very hectic weekend: Chinese New Year potluck dinner, Valentines’ cookie decorating with friends, then a fun outing for Family Day. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! 

This year, it was anything but hectic: we mostly stayed home to putter and lounge around. The only thing we got out for was a couple of tobogganing sessions on the local hill. (Vancouver got a nice dusting of snow over the long weekend.)

Enjoying the slower pace

As much as we’re missing gatherings with friends and family, I have to admit that I appreciate the leisurely pace of life in COVID. I don’t relish the thought of returning to the craziness of non-pandemic life and am already planning for a new normal.

Most likely, it’ll mean saying no more often and yes with more thought and intention. Let’s hope those vaccines continue to be rolled out and that we’ll all get the opportunity to design our new normal soon!

One year of COVID

On March 13th, 2020, M had his last day of in-person work, the boys had their last day of in-person school, and we had our last indoor dinner at M’s parents’ house. I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since we shrank our bubble to just our household. 

We’ve now experienced an entire year of firsts in COVID: birthdays, holidays, school breaks, seasonal changes, etc. It’s surreal, depressing, and hard to believe that we’ll now have to experience all these things for a second (and hopefully the last) time in a pandemic.

Still, there’s lots to feel hopeful about, with vaccine distributions continuing all around the world. (Though I hope we’ll be able to get more vaccines to developing countries.) Warmer weather is also on its way, giving us more opportunities to safely socialize outdoors.

I’m actually feeling excited and optimistic about the year ahead—what about you? 

So different—but also still the same

wash your hands chalk scribble
A year ago, I came across this chalk drawing on a walk with Mika

Looking back on my COVID posts from 2020, it’s apparent how much things have changed—but also stayed the same:

March 2020–2021 was definitely a year that’ll go down in history. Let’s hope we’ll see more and more of a return to normalcy over the next twelve months.

A sniffle-free year

Continuing with my COVID reflections—I still find it odd to realize it’s been more than a year since any of us was sick. No one in our house has had colds, flus, or tummy bugs… nothing. We’ve all been healthy and sniffle-free for over a year. 

That’s just crazy to me! When our kids went to regular, in-person school, we got used to viruses circulating through our household from fall to spring. I wonder if this means we’ll be extra-susceptible to colds and flus once we return to normal life? 😬

Our trip to Japan was cancelled—again

cherry blossoms in japan
We'll have to wait another year before we see sakura in Japan again

Back in March last year, I wrote about the craziness of cancelling our fully-booked trip to Japan.
BUT, even after all that stress and hassle, in July, I rebooked flights to Japan for travel this spring. (What can I say? The flights were a steal and the cancellation terms were excellent!)

We were to depart Vancouver on March 10, 2021—but clearly, that did not happen! I dragged my feet on cancelling the flights, hoping beyond hope that vaccination miracles would come through for us. 

Well, unsurprisingly, they didn’t. 😢 Then, Air Canada made the decision for us by cancelling our flights in early February. So, we now have four credits that we can use within 24 months (or convert to Air Canada gift cards that never expire).

Well, what now? It all depends on our vaccination schedule…

Vaccines in BC

The vaccine rollout in BC (and the rest of Canada) has been bumpy and slow. In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada has decided to wait four months between doses, to allow more people to be partially vaccinated earlier.

At this point, M and I (who are in the 40–45 age group) should receive our first doses in May, and our second doses in September. That means we’ll be all set if we want to travel in spring 2022.

However, the kids are another story. Their age group (12–16) still hasn’t been fully approved for any vaccine. (However, it sounds like there’s been progress on this recently, so I’m cautiously optimistic!)

My hopeful prediction is that my kids will receive their first doses in September. However, I think December is the more likely scenario. If that’s the case, it means they may not be fully vaccinated until April 2022.

Given the wide spread of dates and the continuing unknowns, I’m not getting my hopes up for Japan in spring 2022. Still, me being me, I will be watching for deals… and I may just grab one regardless—if the price and cancellation terms are right!

Not little anymore

boys at window
My boys aren't little anymore 🙁

Well, it’s official—we reached two big milestones recently. Number one: I am now the shortest person in my house. 😑 And number two: we now have two teenagers in the house. 😱 That’s right—Kid 2 turned 13 and has entered the dreaded teen years! How did that happen?! 

Milestones like these always bring mixed emotions for me. On one hand, I’m thrilled to see my kids growing up and becoming happy, independent humans. But on the other hand, I can’t help but reminisce on years gone by. 

I reflected on this in a post I wrote in August 2019: The Sadness of Motherhood. I reread the post on Kid 2’s birthday and was surprised to realize that I’ve become better at letting go. I’m still sad, but less so. 

Maybe it’s because I’m looking forward to seeing how far my boys will go as young adults. Or maybe I’m just maturing as a mom, and can see that motherhood doesn’t end just because my kids aren’t tiny anymore.

Whatever the case, I try to use these bittersweet milestones as reminders to live in the moment with my kids (even as they smirk when yet another person tells them they’re taller than me)!

FI and investing update

More ESPP shares

Twice a year, in February and August, M receives ESPP (employee stock purchase plan) shares from his company. Whenever he receives them, we generally try to sell them right away. 

Some people don’t agree with our strategy, preferring to hold on to at least some of their company stock. However, nearly all of M’s human capital is tied up in his company—that’s enough for us! 

As much faith as he has in his company, we’d prefer to be more diversified. That’s why we treat those stock options like hot potatoes and sell them as quickly as we can. Unfortunately this time, we weren’t quick enough, and the value of the shares tanked.

We’ve decided to hold onto them for a while, to see if they’ll go back up. For the record, I don’t do this with any of our other investments! If it’s time to sell, we sell. But M really hates selling his ESPP and RSU shares at a lower value than he received them at.

Since I get to call the shots on all our other investments (with M’s input, of course) I let him have his way with his stock options. Also, a single batch of ESPP shares is a very small part of our overall portfolio, so I’m okay with letting them ride until M’s ready to sell.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to report in next month’s update that we finally sold!

Related: Learn how I manage M’s stock options (ESPPs) and grants (RSUs) in The Ultimate Guide to ESPPs and RSUs.

Liquid net worth update

February was a good month for us as our liquid net worth hit another new high—increasing by 3.2%! This was mostly due to good returns from our stock investments. In addition, we received (as mentioned above) another batch of M’s stock options. 

Unfortunately, March wasn’t as great. It was a bumpy month for stocks, so we saw a drop of 0.8% in our liquid net worth. As usual, this small drop doesn’t faze me—it’s par for the course and a normal part of investing.

I’ll hope for better next month but am fully prepared for more bumpiness if that’s what’s headed our way.

I did our taxes

Well, more accurately, my financial planner Ed Rempel’s team is doing our taxes (for free)! But I did spend a few days collecting our tax records, organizing them, and mailing them to Ed’s office in Ontario. 

To be clear, I used to always file our taxes myself (and actually found it enjoyable). But ever since we started using leverage to invest, I’ve been more than happy to have professional help.

That’s because you need to be extra careful when claiming borrowed interest as a deduction. Any mistakes could be costly and stressful, and I have an unnatural fear of getting in trouble with CRA!

It’s a huge load off my mind, knowing that Ed’s team will do our taxes properly and quickly. As of this writing, our returns should be just about complete. That means our tax refund will arrive fairly soon! 

As was the case last year and the year before, I’m expecting an outsized refund (thanks to the write-off from the interest on our investment loan). I’ll share an update on it next month! 😊

Spending update

The food delivery conundrum

Throughout the pandemic, I’ve mentioned our increased efforts to support local small businesses, especially restaurants. To do what we can to keep them going, we’ve ordered more takeout than we normally would.

tacomio takeout
Mmmm… takeout from Tacomio!

As much as possible, we call the restaurants directly to place our order, then pick up it ourselves. (As opposed to ordering through a delivery service like Door Dash or Uber Eats.) That’s because these services take a big cut from each order and don’t pay drivers fairly

For us, it made sense to avoid these services for those reasons alone. On top of that, they’re actually quite expensive to use, making already-pricey takeout food even less affordable. However, I recently had a slight change of heart…

A different take

In my neighbourhood’s Nextdoor chat, someone started a thread to encourage everyone to avoid food delivery services. Like me, the OP (original poster) didn’t appreciate their price gouging policies and poor treatment of workers.

However, another neighbour (who drives for said delivery services) chimed in to share his perspective. As someone who was unemployed due to COVID, food delivery was a decent way for him to earn income.

This neighbour made some valid points I hadn’t considered:

  • It’s completely voluntary—restaurant owners decide whether or not to join the delivery services.
  • Most restaurants still choose to join these services, even with the high fees. That’s because they earn more money with the delivery services than not.
  • Delivery services benefit more than just restaurants. They also generate income for drivers, customer service reps, tech support people, maintenance shops, etc. 
  • Delivery services help to keep everyone safer during COVID, with fewer people needing to leave home and go in and out of restaurants.
Note: these are the observations of one person and may be inaccurate or biased.

It’s not black and white

My food-delivering neighbour worked in the restaurant industry and sees both sides of the issue. He agreed with commenters that these services are a mixed blessing—they’re not perfect, but they’re also not evil monsters. 

However, he still felt that it was better for restaurants, drivers and customers to use these services than not. I see now that it’s not a black and white issue. There are many factors to consider—both good and bad. 

I’ll be watching to see how this new industry evolves over time. Hopefully, using and working for these services will one day be fair and equitable for all. (And hopefully, emission-free as well—with 100% of deliveries by EV or bike.)

What we’ll do from now on

We’d already been taking a hybrid approach when it comes to takeout—mostly ordering and picking up ourselves, with the occasional delivery to our door. But now that I know it’s not all bad for restaurants and drivers, I won’t feel as guilty when we have to use the delivery services.

For the record, we never use delivery services on our own dime! (I am a FIRE blogger, after all—using these services isn’t cheap!) We’re very fortunate that M’s company occasionally gives him vouchers for Uber Eats. 

Whenever we use these vouchers, we tip generously and add extra food—over and above the voucher amount. This makes placing the order more worthwhile for everyone. 

The rest of the time, we’ll continue to order and pick up takeout ourselves. (We always try to do this when we’re out anyway, and the restaurant is on our route. That way, we’re not increasing our emissions just to pick up food for dinner.)

I think this hybrid approach strikes a good balance—we can continue to support different people, but not blow our takeout budget on too many delivery fees and tips.

And that’s a wrap!

What do you think of food delivery services? Do you use or work for them yourself? Also, let me know what stands out to you as you reflect on one year of COVID. What are you most looking forward to, once the pandemic’s behind us?

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  • Reply
    Graham @ Reverse the Crush
    April 7, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Thanks for sharing the update, Chrissy! I’ve noticed the same thing about being sick. I always speculated that getting sick was mostly a result of being forced to be in an office with other sick people. I even wrote a post about it and have it in a draft (way before covid). I never published it though. Looks like you had a great month otherwise. Nice to see your NW up. I understand wanting to be more diversified as well.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2021 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Graham—it’s interesting how COVID has given us a good lesson in how germs spread. Maybe people will be more cognisant of hygiene from now on. That could be one good thing resulting from this pandemic! You should still release that post. It’s yet another reason why it’s great to work part-time, especially from home. 👍 Thanks for commenting! I hope you continue to stay healthy as you work from home.

      • Maggie
        April 7, 2021 at 4:18 pm

        Totally agree on learning lessons about germs. Even after all this is over I hope people will consider using masks in certain situations (when we’re feeling sick, on planes, etc.) It just makes so much sense and the science shows what a difference it makes!

      • Chrissy
        April 7, 2021 at 4:47 pm

        Hi Maggie—I would also love to see masks continuing to be a thing. In Asia, it’s always been the norm: when you’re sick, you wear a mask to protect everyone else. It just makes sense! I bet the economy would be better off anyway, with decreased absenteeism due to illness. It’ll be interesting to see if habits change post-COVID.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2021 at 8:33 am

    I’m agree on the takeout/delivery debate. I know it’s a job for the drivers but between the fees and tip it really adds to the cost. And if I feel like I can’t affords to tip well, I shouldn’t be getting delivery. My rule is if I’m too lazy to go pick up the food myself, I don’t need it. My frugal heart just can’t handle the unnecessary cost!

    However when I lived in Ecuador I had a different perspective. Most delivery drivers were Venezuelan migrants who had fled hunger and poverty and faced a lot of job discrimination. As a (relatively) rich foreigner, the $3 I spent on delivery and tip meant a lot more to them than it did to me.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Maggie—we were so shocked when my husband used his first Uber Eats voucher and tried to not pay anything extra on top of the $30 he was given. After taxes, fees and tip, all it got him was a medium pizza!!! $30 for one pizza is crazy. That’s when we learned our lesson. We now consider the voucher to be a large discount, order enough for 1.5–2 meals, and pay out of pocket for the balance. That helps to make all the fees a little less painful!

      Thanks for sharing your experience living in Ecuador. That’s certainly a good case for spending more on services like these. You’re right, a few bucks extra for us is no big deal, but it could make all the difference for people who are struggling.

  • Reply
    Mrs FDU
    April 7, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    We cancelled our 2nd Japan trip too – third time lucky March 2022! 🤞🏼
    I agree with you on the ESPP – we get the same thing and sell ours right away and reinvest them in ETF’s usually.
    Even with the down in March, Feb still brings you out on top – good job!

    • Reply
      April 7, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      Hi Mrs. FDU—here’s hoping you and we can finally get to Japan in 2022! I can’t believe I initially thought a year would be plenty to allow us to safely travel again. Now here we are, looking at possibly two years and it’s not even a certainty. What crazy times we are going through.

      Oh cool, you get ESPP shares too! Glad to find another like-minded opinion on this. I got some hate about it when I did an AMA on a tech workers’ forum. Some of them believed so much in their companies and their own work ethic that they took offence to my suggestion to sell ASAP. They thought it was bad advice and believed it was in their best interest to hold a significant chunk of their net worth in their company.

      I reminded them of Enron and Nortel, but they said their companies are different. Oh well, that’s fine! I hope they’ll still be okay decades from now. None of us can say what could happen.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    We’ve been eating out more lately to help out local businesses. We usually just order and go pick it up rather than relying on delivery services.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2021 at 4:43 pm

      Hi Bob—I wouldn’t expect any different from pretty much all FIRE bloggers!

  • Reply
    Family Money Saver
    April 7, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    Great update, enjoyable to read. We did a similar Zoom get-together, a virtual games night with our extended family recently, which was nice. I’m still reluctant to book any trips but have started collecting travel points again. Maybe we should if there are still good deals and cancellation terms. I’m curious what kinds of refunds your SM nets you this year, always nice to get a tax refund from your leveraged investing!

    • Reply
      April 8, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Family Money Saver—nice to hear you’ve also been able to use Zoom to keep in touch with family. Virtual games nights are so much fun!

      I’m also reluctant to book anything with regards to travel. The most I would do (if I did it at all) would be to book our flights. I won’t bother booking anything else until we’re 99% sure we’ll be able to go!

      As for the SM/leveraged investing, we received big refunds the last two years, and I expect it to continue this year! We shall see. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ann Kavanagh
    April 7, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    My hubby who is Japanese desperately wants to return to Japan to see his elderly parents. We have friends from Korea…the lady’s mom passed away in Korea recently and was unable to get back. Very sad ….never did we imagine we wouldn’t be able to hop on a plane and be near family within a day.

    • Reply
      April 8, 2021 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Ann—the stories of families who’ve been kept apart by the pandemic are so sad, especially experiences like that of your friends. To not have the chance for one last visit and to say goodbye is heartbreaking.

      At the moment, it’s neither easy nor cheap flying to Japan, with the number of direct flights from Canada drastically cut. I hope the situation improves so that your husband can return to Japan soon.

      PS I received your email, which was lovely! Sorry for my delayed reply, but I will get back to you soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mr. Dreamer @
    April 7, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    What a good report! Thank you.

    A sniffle-free year – Same here even though our kids have been back to school since last May and stopped just last Friday till next Monday (Might get extended). A Winter goes by without any cold has never happened before. Thank you Covid I suppose!

    Sorry for your vacation cancellation. My 6 years old daughter was crying this morning. I asked her what’s wrong? She says “Dad, I miss flying”! I might just go nuts and flee the country with the kids. Go somewhere and do a 2 months remote work. At least that can slightly justify the stupid Hotel Quarantine and 3-4 Covid tests. Ugh.

    Vaccines for kids. Honestly, I am not sure! Specially not when considering all the variants and the chance it won’t protect and need to be redone yearly. I need to read more about how they are testing. So far it looks not really reliable. Other concern is if it is manuplating the genes. There is a reason in the past, vaccines used to take 10-15 years to get fully approved. We shall see.

    Kids grow up really fast. Don’t they?

    ESPP – That is cool. Well at least he gets something from his company! For me, they just know how to cut our income and increase the C-Level’s package. Hopefully, it recovers and you can sell. Not losing anything by waiting.

    Drop in March due to stock? I thought stock market is going crazy high and making me mad as I can’t find deals to purchase for my newly transferred money from GIC’s and Cash. I am sure you will go back up again soon.

    Very thoughtful of you for ordering directly and picking up.

    • Reply
      April 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Mr. Dreamer—I’m impressed that your family has also been sniffle-free, even with the kids going to school! They must be doing a really good job with their hygiene. Ha ha, “thank you COVID” isn’t something I ever thought we might say. But I suppose some good has come out of all this.

      Tell your daughter that I’m crying right alongside her! I also miss travel… SO much. Like her, I love flying and can’t wait to get back to it. (Though I’m realizing more and more how damaging air travel is for the environment. I will need to consider ways to offset the impact of our travels.)

      I can understand the hesitations around this new vaccine technology. I was in the same boat as you not too long ago. However, I’ve become somewhat of a virology nerd and have read/listened to enough smart people discuss it that I feel quite reassured that the vaccines won’t turn us into genetic mutants! Still, we each have our own level of comfort. I don’t blame you for being cautious, especially when it comes to your kids.

      Funny, all I saw in March was all these Google alerts on my phone that this was down and that was down! To be honest, I don’t check the charts or pay too much attention. I just see the notifications on my phone, which I quickly swipe away. Maybe I need to look at the charts properly… but then again, I have more interesting things to do with my time, ha ha.

      As always, thanks for the detailed and thoughtful comment!

      • Mr. Dreamer
        April 8, 2021 at 4:13 pm

        Talking about Covid, our lock down and no school is extended till the 19th. Funny playgrounds and streets are packed with kids playing together. We shall see what happens next with all the new variants.

        Oh, today I made a decision to ditch the stock strategy. It is too stressful. Look at $TSLA as an example. Everyone expected it to keep running. Some bought at high $900+ waiting to recover. I don’t own any but it can happen to any stock (Bombardier and BlackBerry other examples). Who knows if Amazon, Shop, FB, Netflix won’t be the next? I will sell all I have (Not much) and stick to ETFs. Much easier on my head and heart! Don’t need the extra anxiety. Don’t think an extra 1-2% dividends is worth it.

        I follow Drew Binsky on YouTube. He is a great guy. Interestingly, he advertised this with his recent video. But, if you can offset it locally in Canada, please do so.

        Offset your carbon footprint with Wren! They pledge to protect 5 acres of rainforest for everyone who signs up for free:

  • Reply
    Mr. Dreamer
    April 8, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    Talking about Covid, our lock down and no school is extended till the 19th. Funny playgrounds and streets are packed with kids playing together. We shall see what happens next with all the new variants.

    Oh, today I made a decision to ditch the stock strategy. It is too stressful. Look at $TSLA as an example. Everyone expected it to keep running. Some bought at high $900+ waiting to recover. I don’t own any but it can happen to any stock (Bombardier and BlackBerry other examples). Who knows if Amazon, Shop, FB, Netflix won’t be the next? I will sell all I have (Not much) and stick to ETFs. Much easier on my head and heart! Don’t need the extra anxiety. Don’t think an extra 1-2% dividends is worth it.

    I follow Drew Binsky on YouTube. He is a great guy. Interestingly, he advertised this with his recent video. But, if you can offset it locally in Canada, please do so.

    Offset your carbon footprint with Wren! They pledge to protect 5 acres of rainforest for everyone who signs up for free:

    • Reply
      April 9, 2021 at 8:15 pm

      Hi again Mr. Dreamer—many teachers and parents in BC would also like to see a lockdown, but the government is steadfastly against it. I hope everyone will be okay as the variants run amok here.

      Wow, that’s a huge shift in your investing! Personally, I also prefer simplicity. I’m too busy and clueless to study stocks and companies, let alone buy and sell actively! Good for you to have given it a go. At least now you’re sure you’re making the right decision for yourself!

      You are awesome for sharing about Drew Binksy and Wren. I may not watch his videos right now as it will just make me more sad about not travelling, ha ha! But I checked out the Wren site and it looks very interesting. You’re right that we should try to offset locally in Canada. I’ll PM you for more info on this!

  • Reply
    Bob Wen
    April 11, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Hi Chrissy, thanks for the update.

    I understand why your husband doesn’t really want to sell his company stock when the price is down. At the same time, as you say, you really should have some diversification. What I used to do, was sell 3/4 of the stock and buy the stock of three other companies in the same sector (who’s prices were similarly down). By chance, it worked out really well for us in March when Rogers announced they were buying Shaw – Shaw went up over 40% when trading opened – I sold the lot and bought VCN.

    • Reply
      April 11, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Bob—that’s a fantastic compromise to diversify your company stock! It doesn’t have to be all or nothing (like we’ve done). With your method, it allows for more flexibility. I like it and will recommend it to others who are wanting to hold their company stock.

      Congrats on capitalizing on Rogers’ purchase of Shaw. That’s a huge gain! (But good call to buy back into the market with something more diversified. 👍)

  • Reply
    Engineering Dividends
    April 11, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Hello, Chrissy.
    I was just realizing the other day that I didn’t get sick over the entire winter. I can’t say I recall that ever happening before. I still go into work, as my job requires use of some equipment there. However, the headcount in my office has been significantly reduced since the pandemic started. Thus, I’m sure coming into contact with fewer people helps, as does the increased awareness of improved hygiene in shared spaces such as a workplace.

    Regarding ESPP, my company offers this plan as well. Like you, I sell the shares as soon as I get them. I have enough of my financial life tied into the company that I don’t desire to increase that.

    I’m attempting to tackle my taxes on my own for the first time in years. I’ll see how it goes. If I can successfully manage it this year, then it’s probably something I’ll plan on doing moving forward.

    • Reply
      April 11, 2021 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Paul—it’s sure interesting to realize that getting sick every winter is normally a given for most people. I suspect we’ll all maintain higher hygiene standards post-COVID. Hopefully, that’ll mean healthier workplaces and schools. I’m glad to hear that at your workplace, just having fewer people in the building has helped so much.

      That’s a good plan with your ESPP shares. It’s a nice perk, and being able to sell them right away is a guaranteed way to crystallize the benefit.

      Have fun with your taxes. I always enjoyed entering our info into our tax program. Maybe I’m odd, but I honestly liked the process!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Love your blog Chrissy! I can’t believe it’s been a full year of COVID. It was interesting to read your perspective on everything. Congrats on increasing that liquid net worth by 3.2%! Keep up the great work and hope this year is even better!

    • Reply
      April 12, 2021 at 3:29 pm

      Hello FreshLifeAdvice—it’s pretty unbelievable that we’ve been through a year of COVID. It was probably the longest year ever! Hopefully, it’ll be a better year going forward. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  • Reply
    David @ Filled With Money
    April 12, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    The food picture has my mouth all watery….

    Even though your liquid net worth went down by 0.8%, hopefully market returns are more positive this year and continues to grow for us long term investors to take advantage and benefit from.

    Congrats on the good health! That is the best thing ever!

    • Reply
      April 13, 2021 at 9:42 pm

      Hi David—being the optimist that I am, I believe it’ll be another good year for the markets. However, I wouldn’t mind a dip, to give us another opportunity to buy stocks on sale! I guess either situation would make me happy, ha ha. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Mika is so photogenic– love the profile shot! Your update seems to parallel my last few weeks including getting taxes done. I’m also amazed how we’ve skipped our winter colds and avoided the annual stomach bugs that find their way home.

    I’m sorry you’ve had to cancel your trip to Japan for a second time. My family wanted to travel for the summer but we’re still not comfortable staying at hotels or going out all that much. My husband and I got our second dose of the vaccine this week and, now, waiting for the kids to get theirs. In the meantime, enjoying takeout and tipping well– not complaining. Stay healthy and optimistic 🙂

    • Reply
      April 22, 2021 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Ana—it’s funny how our lives are often very much in parallel, despite living on opposite coasts and in different countries.

      I am so envious and impressed with the American vaccine roll out. Well, done, US! I’m thrilled that our neighbours to the south are finally catching some breaks in this horrible pandemic. It’s crazy that Canada is now more of a threat to Americans, with all the variants that are taking over here. 🙁

      I hope your kids get their vaccines soon and that you’ll have a little more freedom this summer. Thanks for the comment. I saw you published a new post recently… I’ll stop by soon to have a read!

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