I’ve been busier than usual during this past month, which might explain why I haven’t been as diligent  in terms of updating this website. I’m still 100% committed to keeping this blog going. The following are few notes on what I’ve been doing during the last few weeks.

My Portfolio & Dividends

My general goal is to buy stocks at least once per month, but this month I’ve decided to skip this ritual in large part because I don’t quite have my typical $1500-2000 to invest. I had quite a few expenses recently (some unavoidable, others completely discretionary), which made adding to my portfolio a little more difficult. All this really means is that I’ll have more money than usual to invest in May (hopefully!). So I apologize if I don’t have my typical stock posts this month.

New Housing / The Yurt

Yurt Frame

My parents inspecting the yurt that I’m building in their backyard!

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you’ll know that I recently decided to build myself a yurt in order to live in it full time. I have quite a few reasons for wanting to do this (to save money, avoid debt, minimize my environmental impact, etc). From a financial perspective, however, the fact that my parents have agreed to let me build my glorified tent on their property means that I won’t need to pay rent anymore. As things currently stand, that means an additional $400 in my pocket every month. Not that I want to live with my parents again (technically I won’t be). Thankfully they have a fairly large yard that’s completely treed in, and the place I plan on pitching my yurt is pretty much secluded from the rest of the property. I’ll even be able to grow my own little food garden!

Having shared this, I don’t plan on living on my parent’s property forever. The long term plan is to buy some cheap land in the woods nearby and put the yurt there. But before I invest too heavily into this project, I wanted to make sure that yurt living was a viable option for me. As you can imagine, living in a yurt is a fairly uncommon (to put it mildly) and it’s hard to gage what the entire endeavour entails until you actually try it. My biggest question mark right now is whether or not this will work during the winter. Many people live in yurts year round, even in places like Alaska, so I know it’s possible.

Biking

Unless another polar vortex decides to plague us again with more snow, it looks like warm weather is finally returning to the Ottawa river valley! This means that starting next month I’ll be able to resume biking to work again, which I’m crazy excited about. Not only will I be saving around $100 every month, since I won’t be needing my monthly bus pass anymore, but I’ll finally be getting the kind of cardio exercise my body has been craving. Hopefully I’ll be able to to melt away this tiny gut that I’ve grown since last November.

Food / Eating

Cowspiracy Poster

Cowspiracy the documentary.

I recently watched the documentary “Cowspiracy” on Netflix, and just like the documentary “Earthling” that I watched last month, it further convinced me that going vegan is not only the ethical thing to do, but also the environmentally conscious thing to do. I had no idea that raising animals for food had such a devastating impact on the environment and was the main contributor to climate change —- apparently even more so than our total use of fossil fuels. I’m not saying this to make anyone feel guilty for eating meat… I don’t want to come across that way… God knows I miss bacon and steaks (and beef Tar Tar)… but it’s a part of my reality and would seem dishonest not to talk about it here. On the financial side of things, I’m definitely seeing a difference in terms of my monthly food budget. Already there’s a noticeable difference in terms of how much I’m spending on food. Who knew eggs and dairy products were so expensive?

Books

I recently finished reading “The Richest Man in Babylon” and started to read “The Millionaire Next Door“, both of which have been on my reading list for a while. I didn’t exactly love the first, but the second has been really interesting so far and can’t wait to finish it. You can expect some more book reviews in the near future.

That’s it for now, thanks for reading!

André