Taxes! While most people hate them, I’m the strange type that enjoys optimizing tax strategies.  Surprisingly, I’m not alone in this.  Fellow blogger, Mark Goodfield from The Blunt Bean Counter, is an expert in the field of tax planning and has put together his first book “Let’s Get Blunt About Your Financial Affairs.”

About the Author

While I know Mark Goodfield as the blogger behind The Blunt Bean Counter, in his professional life, he is an accountant with a bunch of fancy designations after his name (CPA, CA LPA).  The book explains his credentials a bit better:

Mark Goodfield has been a Chartered Professional Accountant for over 25 years.  He is a tax, business and financial advisor who brings a wide range of experience and insight to private corporations, their shareholders/owner managers and individuals.  He is the author of The Blunt Bean Counter, a popular blog that shares advice on income taxes, finance, and the psychology of money.  In 2014, Mark won the Platus Award for the Best Tax Blog in Canada and the U.S.  Mark frequently speaks on financial, tax and estate planning matters for various small business groups and professional associations, and is often quoted by various national newspapers and financial publications.

About The Book

For this book, Mark has put together a collection of his best blog posts.  While you would expect the book to be 100% about tax, it’s actually much more broad than that.

The topics covered include:

  • Executors
  • Inheritances, wills and estates
  • The psychology of money
  • Audits and being audited
  • Tax topics
  • RRIFs and RRSPs
  • Family assets – Dividing, Sharing and Taxing
  • Retirement – How much do I need?
  • Estate freezes
  • The family cottage
  • Proprietorship’s, corporations, holding companies and family trusts

I enjoy Mark’s blunt writing style as it is easy to understand and straight to the point.  I especially enjoyed his piece on “Stress Testing Your Spouse’s Financial Readiness If You Were to Die Suddenly” as I had the same thoughts when I wrote “Letter to My Wife – How Our Finances Work.”  Mark is one of those guys that just “knows a lot of stuff” and is one of the first people I think of when I have a tax question.

Want a Free Copy?

As you can see from the picture I took above, Mark gave me three copies of his book.  I’m keeping one for my bookshelf, but giving away the other two.  Who wants in?

I am offering Million Dollar Journey readers the chance to win a free copy of the book (2 copies available).  The details are below:

  1. Tell me about one of your financial achievements thus far in 2015 in the comments. (+1 entry)
  • Only one comment entry per person (valid email addresses only please – privacy policy).
  • Giveaway will end Sat 5pm EST Nov 28, 2014 and the winners, drawn randomly, will be contacted shortly after!

Good luck!

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My wife and I’s most significant accomplishment of 2015 was to pay off our credit card bills and to set up automatic deposits to a savings account to begin ‘paying ourselves first’

Good morning
Biggest financial achievement for 2015 is getting my budget inline and back to basics. This has allowed us to cut unnecessary spending (takeout dinners, cable tv, home phone etc..) and redirect it towards paying down our mortgage.

Sounds like a great book! I suppose my greatest achievement for 2015 was passing the $200K net worth mark. I was a bit of a paycheque-to-paycheque guy until my mid-30s so I was slow to start thinking about saving for retirement. Now it feels so good to know I’ve got a good plan in place and the numbers are heading in the right direction.

My biggest financial accomplishment in 2015 was paying off $17k worth of debt between September 2014 and June 2015 accumulated after some issues during a sabbatical trip. Because I do contract work, I chose the most lucrative contract and we threw all we had at the debt. I still can’t believe we got off-track like that but after sucking it up all that time, we learned our lesson & didn’t have to cash out any of our investments. PHEW!

Ah, I’d like to win a copy of the book!

Not to get into specifics, but I set a goal for investment contributions for the year and I have contributed more than double that amount so far! I also set up my own personal RRSP this year as I had only been contributing to a group one until then.

Reducing spending and building an emergency fund. I am interested in RRIF section of this book.

My financial accomplishment this year is maintaining my finances while on reduced income on maternity leave and I have still succeeded at contributing to my RRSP and making extra payments on the mortgage.

First off, I love the and it is literally the website I was just at before coming to MDJ this morning.

Started a second business. Opening date is Dec 3rd. 100k overbudget and 6 months late but the day is almost here.

maxed out my 401k by September this year and my hsa by July! Sounds like a cool book – can’t wait to read it.

Some of our goals for 2015 that we have completed include opening and funding a TFSA, signing up for additional term life insurance, pay off our car loan, and buy back some maternity leave pension service.

The biggest thing we have done is improve our readiness to handle more of my In-Laws finances. Their ability to be independent is on the decline and we are more and more involved as time goes on. Getting their finances in order, making sure their Wills are up to date and setting up Power of Attorney have been important steps. You don’t want to think about your parents getting old but it happens…and hopefully being prepared financially will leave more time to enjoy their company.

My biggest financial accomplishment this year is paying off my higher interest line of credit, I am continuing to pay down my lower interest line. I am also constantly talking to my daughters about money. My oldest one is coming up with a financial strategy to pay for university at the moment. She is fourteen, but the time is ticking.

Sounds like a good book! I maxed out my IRA in March and 401k by September and am now building up my brokerage account! All while keeping an eye on my expenses but not going “too frugal crazy”.

My most significant financial achievement this year has been to reduce my work week to four days/week. I wasn’t sure whether the salary reduction would work for me; I’m pleased to say that the reduced income really hasn’t presented any major problems for me. I’m still able to live the life I want and put some savings into my investments at the same time!


My main achievement this year is planning out when I actually want to retire. I think this book will really help finalize my plans.

My biggest accomplishment in 2015 is to pay myself first. I have the exact amount withdrawn every month into my RRSP account regardless of how tight my budget is. I truly believe that “If you don’t see it, you won’t spend it”. It works perfectly for me

Our most significant financial achievement thus far in 2015 was to get our savings rate up to 40%.

One of my accomplishments this year was moving into index fund investing. I followed the “couch potato” strategy and moved a bunch of separate investments into the one-fund solution TFSA at Tangerine, along with bi-weekly contributions. It’s been a bit slow with the market over the last several months, but otherwise working great!

I am withdrawing $ 15,000. Cash from a non interest and non dividend stock From my TFSA in the year 2015 and to replace it with $ 15,000 in Canadian Bank dividend stock , to shelter the dividend from income tax .
Also will max out my contribution to TFSA for 2016 to be done early before
Changes are made to the contributions in 2016 .

The book sounds interesting, I’d love to get a copy.

My investing style is boring and steady but I was quite happy to pass the $20K mark in annual dividend income in my RRSP this year. My portfolio is entirely made up of dividend growth stocks.

Thanks for your contest.

Consistently buying index funds and re-balancing.

I saved up the cash for my house renovations prior to starting them and managed to invest $10,000 in ETFs. Best financial year to date.

I have transferred all my investments [Close to 1 Million $] from Edward Jones to a self directed account which I manage myself. I hold 60% Equities 25% Fixed Income and 15% cash.

2015 has been all about saving for the down payment (and related expenses) towards my first house. So far, so good; I’m currently 85 % of the way there and should reach my goal within 6 months.

Love the site, bought the book ”Is your mortgage tax deductible” sometime ago, wonderfull book. Presently gettint ready for the cash dam to be done in 2015. The psychologie of money… seem’s interesting.

Starting using home line of credit to invest in CAD dividend paying stocks.

Most significant accomplishment in 2015, topping up the TFSA for both my wife and I, including the upped amount ($5500 ->10000), while maintaining our RRSP contributions (so straight up $9000 additional saved).

Paid off my wife’s student loan two years early using extra income from part time work and utilized debt stacking to pay off mine both in this year. Debt stacking again to limit lifestyle creep and accelerate our last consumer debt in 2016.

I am 86 years old and my biggest financial step this year was to seek a Fin. Advisor. After many years of self directing, this young man has taught ME many things!!! i.e. Less trading, Directing much of my Can. portfolio to US, Introducing me to valuable MMFs. I still handle my own TFSA just to keep the old brain in action along with Bridge. Incidentally , my daughter introduced me to MDJ which I enjoy very much. Thank You.

I am retired with a Defined Pension which more than pays for my normal expenses and is akin to a persion who does not have a pension and instead has a invesment portfolio with 60% in income producing investments.
Accocrdinblgy, my investment portfolio is all equities although a signifcant portion is in preferred shares which do provide additional income that gets reinvested. It is no longer necessary for me to grow my portfolio.
My most signficant achievement this year is to focusing my spending and time on experiences rather than spending on acquiring stuff. Stuff just take too much effort to maintain and ultimately must be disposed. However, memories typically remain forever.

One of my financial achievements thus far in 2015 has been successfully merging finances with my now-husband (we got married in June!). It wasn’t simple and there are still some growing pains, but having both of us on the same financial page, and having open conversations about money, has made it so much easier to handle all that life has thrown our way, including the expected arrival of our first child any day now :)

We bought a house in 2015! 1st goal achieved.

I am excited to say our biggest financial accomplishment in 2015 was to max out both my husbands and my TFSA. We set up a strict but reasonable monthly budget in early 2015 and with our completed goal of paying off all our debt last year, our budgeting helped free up a very nice chunk of money for us and our TFSA’s.

Max out my spouse and personal TFSA contribution

After retiring last year, my goal was to track my expenditures. This year’s goal was to create a budget based on last years expenditures and to identify costs that we no longer needed or could easily do without. We invested these savings in a little extra travel and adventure

We paid off our vehicle! After purchasing a brand new vehicle (never do that again!) 5 years ago we finally made the last payment in June :) freeing up almost $250 extra biweekly!!

My 2015 goal is to save for our two kids’ RESP,and top up our TFSA.

Collected a year’s worth of financial data in YNAB so I know where my money is going.

In 2015 we passed the 50% mark for our savings ratio. Being able to live on less than half our income is an incredible feeling!

Paying down our mortgage to $50k by year’s end!

Manage to maximize the TFSA contribution for myself and spouse before the amount may be reduced by the new federal government.

My wife and I came to Canada 20 years ago from an African country. We re-educated ourselves and started/acquired 3 businesses. This year we achieved our financial freedom goal of $5+ million in liquid investments i.e. stocks, bonds and cash (house, cars and businesses are fully paid off and not included in the calculation). We are in our mid 50’s. We attribute our success to education, hard work, thrift and living in a wonderful country of opportunities. We have no intention of retiring but will slow down. If I win the book I will be happy to provide documentary evidence of my assertions to Frugal Trader.
God bless all the members on this forum who are working hard to improve them selves and sharing for the benefit of every body.
Many thanks to Frugal Trader for all you have done for us.

One of my biggest financial achievements this year was learning about ETFs (a scary and overwhelming thing given I didn’t know what EFT stood for last year) now I’ve set up a Questrade account for myself, my little sister and my mom and dad. I teach them what I’ve learned and then the decision is theirs if they want to execute an order on the platform.

I have no debt! I am using my rewards card well and building my credit. BOOM!

Graduated university with zero debt by paying off all student loans! Feels great that the income goes towards myself instead of the government. ;)

This year I bought my first home!

2015 was a productive year: We purchased an income property, drafted a retirement plan and set a lofty goal of banking half my income. We have invested in RRSPs, RESPs and RDSPs. Ahead, I would be aiming to maximize TFSAs just to complete my acronym collection. ????

My husband and I have paid off our credit line and our only debt is the mortgage. We have recently purchased our dream country property. Biggest achievement is “agreeing” to on only pay cash for home improvements.

Biggest 2015 financial achievement: My wife and I planned to save $1,000/mos for prepayment on mortgage over and above our monthly payment. So far we have DOUBLED that amount of saving every month!