23-year-old Montreal project manager invests up to 80% of his $55,000 salary

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Name Age: Mark, 23 years old

Annual revenue: $55,000 plus up to 10% bonus

Debt: $0

Savings: $11,600 in savings account; $29,850 in TFSA; $500 in RRSP

What is he doing: Construction project manager

Where he lives: Montreal

Main financial concern: “People are going to work until the late 60s and 70s,” he says. “That’s definitely not where I want to be. My TFSA is my number one priority.


At 23, Marco is resolutely focused on building his wealth. By living with his parents and keeping his pandemic-era expenses very low, the Montreal-based construction manager has managed to put 70-80% of his $55,000 salary, plus the bonus, in a tax-free savings account.

“It’s 100% equity in ETFs,” he says of his TFSA investments. Half of those holdings are in global equities, he added, with the rest split between funds focused on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

In addition to his father’s investment advice, he manages it through the Wealthsimple app. He also turns to YouTube videos and Reddit posts to invest his knowledge.

Marco has also dipped his toes into cryptocurrency, although this represents a small percentage of his overall investments. I like Bogle’s investment model: just invest in low-cost index funds and continuously average the dollar cost in the market, regardless of market conditions,” he says. , citing the practice of index investing pioneer John Bogle.

His investment motto is: “Buy continuously, even when the market is constantly falling.”

Marco plans to continue to expand his TFSA. “It’s my number one priority,” he says, adding that the money will go to his retirement. “I will save aggressively for the next five to ten years.”

He graduated with an engineering degree from McGill University in Montreal in May 2021 and got his construction job three months later. He hopes to have a sizable retirement fund by his 40s to avoid working late into his golden years. “People are going to work until the late 60s and 70s,” he says. “That’s definitely not where I want to end up.”

He has made good progress so far: he has nearly $30,000 saved in the TFSA, plus another $11,600 in a savings account. “Three thousand of that amount is my emergency fund,” he says, adding that he would like to increase that amount to $5,000. Having supported his longtime girlfriend recently after she was fired, he sees the value in having accessible funds ready in the bank.

In addition, he hopes to buy a house, either in Montreal or in Ottawa, with his girlfriend. “I would love to own property, but not as a vehicle to generate a profit,” he says. “If it creates equity, great. But I’m not looking to use my house as a nest egg.

On June 1, Marco moved out of his parents’ house to a two-bedroom apartment with his girlfriend. “I expect my savings rate to drop by at least half – I’ll just have to keep minimizing costs where I can,” he says, adding that any bonuses or raises will be saved, and not spent.

He also hopes to improve his engineering qualifications – and his salary. “My goal is to get my full professional engineering designation – in two years I’ll take the exam,” he says.

“So far, so good.”


His typical monthly expenses:

Investment and savings: $1,500

$0 to RRSP. “I saved $500. This is a negligible amount that I contributed around the time I set up my TFSA. I will [invest in] when my TFSA is maxed out.

$1,500 to the TFSA. “I started investing in May 2020, but with little money as I was still in school. Once I started working in August 2021, I had about $8,000. Since then, I’ve been living at home and saving for nine months and got about $30,000, that’s 100% equity.

Cleaning and transportation: $1,345

$1,000 on the rent. “It’s a two-bedroom apartment with indoor parking – my girlfriend pays $550, I’ll pay $1,000. The new apartment is a two-minute drive from work. I don’t own a house and I don’t think I will for a while.

$100 on gas. “I paid more because gasoline costs more than $2 a litre. I have to go to various construction sites on the island of Montreal.

$60 on car insurance. “It’s an old car – I’m buying a 1999 BMW from a relative. It will be a bit of a project. »

$100 on car repairs.

$35 on mobile phone. “I have a cell phone at work, so I can cancel this one.”

$0 on the Internet. “It’s included in my rent.”

$0 on Netflix. “I get it thanks to my parents.”

$30 on the clothes. “I could buy two pairs of jeans a year and a few shirts. I always receive clothes offered by my parents for birthdays or holidays.

$20 on public transport card. “I buy 10 STM passes [Société de transport de Montréal] for the bus/metro.

Food and drink: $460

$300 on the grocery store. “We are quite thrifty and look for offers. We could make more meals with the leftovers. We are going to buy food and freeze it. We do Mexican and Asian.

$150 at the restaurant. “We go out once a week. Usually we go to a Greek restaurant once every few months, or to a local Italian restaurant with really good subs.

$0 on alcohol. “With my license, I am not allowed to drive while intoxicated.”

$10 on coffee/tea. “I get free coffee at work, so sometimes I grab one on the weekends.”

Health and Fitness: $30

$0 on sports. “I have a new gym at my job and in my new apartment.”

$15 on haircuts.

$15 during visits to the dentist.

Miscellaneous: $55

$5 on apps. “My Spotify cost is very low because I’m in a family plan.”

$50 on video games. “I’m not spending a lot on video games. I prefer to watch sports.

Annual expenses: $550

$300 on gifts/home per year.

$250 on vacation per year. “We have to take two weeks vacation in July. In this case, it will be Boston. We haven’t traveled much.


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Some details may be changed to protect the profiled person’s privacy. We would like to thank him for sharing his story. Are you a millennial who would like to participate in a paycheck profile? Email us.

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About Byron G. Fazio

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