Greetings from the land of the Vikings!
Mrs. T, Baby T, and I have been spending our time in the land of the Vikings for the last two weeks, visiting Mrs. T's family and friends. It has been great seeing old friends, having meals with them, and discussing the family life as many of them have children as well. Our conversations were definitely much different three or four years ago. Funny how life changes! Last week we spent the entire week in a summer vacation home, completely cut off from phones, computers, and internet. It was great spending time walking around on the beach and playing on the sand with Baby T. I really enjoyed the long summer daylight as we were able to have hygge outside, socialize, and play board games until past 11 PM without a light. We are spending another couple of weeks here and I'm personally looking forward to more relaxation and reading.
Best thing about vacation from a dividend investor's point of view? Knowing that we are getting paid through our dividend portfolio while we play and relax. Nice!
Here are some random thoughts from the land of the Vikings
Golden Personal Finance Rule
I was having a conversation about the economy, money, and personal finance with Mrs. T's grandpa and he said the following simple yet powerful statement.
If you have $100 and you spend less than that, you're OK.
If you have $100 and you spend more than that, you're in deep sh$t.
Gotta love the good old fashion wisdom! Personal finance is so simple when you break it down to the basics. Spend less than what you have and prosper. Spend more than what you have, sorry bye bye! This is perhaps why so many people get into credit card debt. Just because your credit cards give you a grand total of $50,000 credit limit, it doesn't mean you should spend it all.
North American Car Culture
Our car back at home is turning 9 years old this summer. I purchased the car brand new and it was one of the few big purchases I've done in my life. I still think the car is relatively new, considering it's only 9 years old. However when talking to some of my co-workers, they'd typically state that they are looking to replace their 5, or 6 year old cars because the cars are getting "old."
Here in the land of the Vikings, cars cost about double the the price compared to Canada. A basic Honda Civic cost over $40K Canadian loons, according to the local Viking newspaper ads I've been flipping through. So it didn't surprise me when Mrs. T told me that her parents have always owned 2nd hand cars, and their "newest" car is 7 years old.
At over $2 a litre (that about $8 a gallon), it's expense to drive around. Most of the cars we see on the road are micro cars, usually packed to the max. I've yet to see any Vikings driving around in a huge Ram 2500. As Mrs. T's grandpa would say - "That is just stupid."
No wonder bicycle is the most popular mean of transportation to get around town and public transportation is utilized so much. We have much to learn in North America.
Recent Buy - Inter Pipeline (IPL.TO)
Although on vacation, we're still busy with dividend investing. We recently purchased 74 shares of Inter Pipeline. The stock markets have been very volatile lately, mostly due to the turmoil in Greece. To be honest, I'm haven't been paying any attention to the topic.What I do know is that our society will continue needing oil and gas and there has to be a way to transport all the oil and gas from one region to another region. This is where Inter Pipeline comes in place. Inter Pipeline is engaged in petroleum transportation, storage and natural gas liquids extraction business. IPL owns and operates a combination of energy infrastructure assets in western Canada and northern Europe. The stock is a monthly dividend paying company and has raised dividends for 6 straight years. It currently has a dividend yield of around 5% and has a 5 year annualized dividend growth rate of 9.3%.
This purchase will add $108.78 into our annual dividend.
Being Frugal while on vacation
Just because we're on vacation, it doesn't mean that we are splurging and blowing all of our money. We still practice our frugal lifestyle on a daily basis. We do treat ourselves to an ice cream here and there though. 🙂 The other day we shared 3 scoops ice cream in a waffle cone. The ice cream was served with whipped cream and jam on top. I was so fully after! The whole thing cost about $5 Canadian and we thought we got a lot of values out of that ice cream. Totally worth it.
Then the other day we stopped at a gas station and I saw ice cream in the gas station convenience store. The store was selling a single Magnum ice cream for $6 Canadian. It was really hot outside, we've been sitting in the car for over 3 hours, and I was very tempted just ask the cashier to take my money.
But I thought the price was ridiculous and avoided the temptation.
Later that day we went to a local grocery store and bought a box of Magnum ice cream on special for $4 Canadian. There were 4 Magnum ice cream inside. Win for my wallet, and win for my taste buds.
Now it's time for more hygge. 🙂