General Goals 1) to be debt free in 3.5 years 2) save lots of money

Friday, December 31, 2010

Weekly Spending Recap Dec 26-31 2010

December 26
No Spend Day

December 27
No Spend Day

December 28
No Spend Day

December 29
No Spend Day

December 30
$20. 34 (dry cleaning my coat a waitress decorated with guacamole *grumble, grumble*)
$200 TD Student loan
$117.26 General Saving (sent to car fund)
$50 Cat fund
$150 vacation fund
$425 Car fund

December 31
$1.32 change from last weeks cat food put into Cat fund
$50 from friend put into car fund

I meant to blog about an encounter I had at the bank yesterday but forgot, so here it is:

Yesterday at lunch I went down to the bank to take money out to pay my Duke of Ed fees and to pay for bus tickets when I next run out. The teller said to me "why don't you have a visa card with us." I was completely shocked I felt like I was being told off for not taking on debt!!  I told her because I didn't want one, but I said it in a question-like and defensive tone. She then launched in to how "as an employee I get preferred rates and 50% off annual fees."  I felt guilted into telling her that I would think about it.  Before I tossed my stuff into my bag and speed walked back to my desk.

First off  NO I WILL NOT THINK ABOUT IT!!! She is right I would get discounted rates at 11.99% and the annual fees are 50% off but my goal is to reduce debt not acquire more. While she was not to know that, what really bothered me was the way she asked me. The delivery was the same accusing, snotty- look down your noise attitude you would use when judging a person as being beneath you or telling someone to pick up after their dog. Also if it wasn't for the fact i am not by nature a pushover and I acutely aware of my financial situation I would have likely caved under her glare. Maybe in the past this process has worked for her but what a shitty thing for a bank to do to a customer: "welcome to our bank, let me help you get into debt!!"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bi-weekly finances and funds

Today is pay day. Pay days are fun because well you get paid ;P
I walked in to my bank and the Ally cheque hasn't gone through. I'm telling you its so frustrating. I almost wish I hadn't sent the cheque in. I think the Gods were stickin it to me today. I told you it would be boring and quiet at work today and I was wrong. It was so busy today that it wasn't until 10 min. before lunch did I realize that I needed to sort out my budget to take money out of my account.

With out any further ado:

TD Line of credit: 200.00
General Savings: 117.26
Cat fund: 50.00
Vacation Fund: 150.00
Car Fund: 425.00
Transit: 48.00 (2 sheets of tickets)
Duke of Ed fees: 30.00
Spending money: 80.00

My friend gave me back 50.00 he owed me from a while back. I have decided to put the money into my car fund.

I snowflaked 30.00 from my last pay into my TD line of credit.  I am not sure if this is an exact figure of what was left from my last pay but I think it is about right.

I have decided to move the general savings into my car fund. I haven't deposited the amount form my friend yet so I am not including it into my updated fund tracker.

Money in Money out….

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ally, Credit card, New friends, Max, boy friend

Today I called Ally to check on the status of my cheque because every time I check my accounts the money is still sitting in the account. Having money in my account unnerves me, I feel as though it might trigger impulse buying. I am not by nature bad for impulse buying but it's never good to tempt the 'pulse.' The other annoying thing is that I can't snowflake what ever is left in my account. I have no idea what will be left over, if cashing cheques have service fees and such like that. I just don't want to end up with a NSF charge because I haven't left myself wiggle room.

Pay day is tomorrow and I have made up the budget. There are a few things with it that still need some tweaking which I will do while I'm sitting at my desk bored tomorrow.

I was reading GMBMFB and she had a blog list up of the "Top 10 Realest Personal Finance Bloggers" one of them is Paying Myself. I thought I would check out her blog. I browsed through it and found a post about Debt and her reasoning for focusing on savings and not her debt.  Point 3 is " I want to learn a lesson (or two or three). Basically she said that by having the debt on her credit card it discourages her from using up the little room she would have by putting more then her minimum payment on her credit card. When I read this I felt like OMG there is another person in the world who has the same thing as I do. I completely get where she is coming from. And she understands cat vet bills  :) So I have decided to add her to my blog role ...a new friend ... or a PF blogger creeper lol

For those that were wondering Max is doing much better. His sneezing has significantly reduced and I still have $53 in the Cat fund. He's feeling better and I have money in the bank still. I fell really good about it knowing that I will be able to afford what ever comes up with the cats in the future because of my Cat fund. I feel more in control and that's always a good feeling.

For anyone wondering where I have been for the last couple of days I was away on a romantic couple of days for my boyfriend. He treated me to a lovely trip to Niagara falls. He budgeted to spend $500 in spending cash and I am happy to report we didn't spend that much. I made a conscious effort to not let him. Of course had he known he would have been very pissed with me. He wouldn't let me pay for a single thing. Which was great for my budget because I had not planed for such an adventure. However I felt terrible about it because despite his effort to keep me in the dark I know exactly what the room cost on top of all the things he paid for while there.

Our conversation on the way home was about personal finances and money. This is a great thing because for a while I was fretting about the fact, I didn't feel we could have a conversation about money.
He told me that if him and I ever got our own place together that he would just hand it to me. To make sure it was put in all the right places as long as he was given money to do stuff with. I don't know how I feel about this. But I will tell you its a step in the right direction.  I want him to learn soon rather then later about the benefits of saving good chunks of his pay.

Tomorrow I will post my bi-weekly budget.

When Life Gets in the Way Episode II

On Christmas eve I noticed that Max (cat #2) was sneezing a lot. I don't know if you have ever seen a cat sneeze but it is really cute. However when boxing day evening rolled around he had become a lot worse and he was being very ani-social. That night we decided that he had to go to the vets. So first thing we did on the 27th was take him into the vet's office. You will notice that my Cat fund has dropped to $53. This is because the vet bill cost me $146.92. I am so glad that I started this fund, though I wish I had had more of a buffer within it.  In March both cats are going in for annual physicals. This will be min.  of $150 for each cat, likely a lot more for Max because he is likely very out of date for his shots.

To night since Christmas is completely over and I do not need to get anymore gifts I transferred the $100 from my Christmas fund into my vacation fund. My vacation fund now sits at $311.52.

I checked my chequeings account and it is currently at $455.13 which means that Ally have not taken out the cheque that I wrote them. This is a problem for me as tomorrow is pay day and I have no idea how much will be left in my account to snowflake the money. I am going to have to call them tomorrow as having money in this account completely messes up the system.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Weekly Spending Recap Dec 20-25, 2010

Monday 20
No Spend day

Tuesday 21
No Spend day

Wednesday 22
Went Salsa dancing after work. A friend ended up paying for my food and drink. I brought a 15% coupon off though.
No Spend day

Thursday 23
No Spend day

Friday 24
No Spend day

** The only thing I have spent money on this week was bus tickets that I had bought a couple of weeks back. I am using them up to get to and from work. Do you think I should count the tickets in my daily spend journal. Given that the money is already allocated and the tickets have been bought ahead of time? And in future do you think I should include the tickets?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Marry Christmas and THANK YOU!!

I don't think I will get another change to say this. So to everyone who follows my blog or pops on once in a while, THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you for welcoming me in to the PF blog world and for being excepting and supportive. It means so much to me to know that there are people who are willing to talk openly about finances when my family won't. Thank you for letting me vent and make mistakes, while helping to guide me with your kind words. Because of YOU I have been able to make small but significant steps to being DEBT FREE.


To my friends in warm claimants enjoy the beaches and sun. To my friends who share the cold with me, bring on the snow.


Ally, income and student debt

On Monday I mentioned that  I had finally got around to sending in my cheque in to Ally. The lady at Ally said that they would have it processed in a few days and taken out of my account a few days after that.  I checked it today and the money hasn't been removed yet. This scares me. I hate having money or rather large sums of money in my chequeings account. I don't keep large sums in my account to prevent theft and also to prevent impulsive buying. I wish they would  hurry up. Last time I sent them a cheque they had returned it to me within 3 business days.  Mind you maybe the reason its taking so taking is because its actually being processed this time around.  Who knows... its a wait and see kind of thing.

The other day I was on the Globe and Mail site and one of the articles said that to pay down student debt you had to use the rule of 10.  Basically grads need to be making 10,000 more then their student debt to have it paid off in 10 years at a rate of 10% a year. Now according to this assessment I am making  30,000 less then I should be a year. How depressing is that, especially because I do not want to be paying off student debt for 10 years.

Yesterday a friend of mine and I were talking about getting part-time second jobs. I really want to do this because I need the income to reach my debt repayment goal in the new year. However I mentioned this to my boyfriend and he was less then pleased. I think he thinks if I got a second job that the little time we get together will end up decreasing further. I don't want this to be the case and I intend to make sure that this isn't the case. But how do I get him on board. I don't want him to think that his concerns aren't valued but truth be told I am going to get a second job.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I feel angry with: VISA!!

Today I got my visa bill in the mail. I opened it and read the little VISA message: Dear sir/madam we did not receive a payment from you last month. As such if you do not pay the mount specified your interest payment will go up to 26.99%.

HOLD ON!!! I know I paid more the than the minimum last month. I have even talked about it on this blog as to why I am paying the amount that I am each month. So I called and this is what the guy said to me: On it shows in our system that you made the payment on the 6th and your bill is printed on the 9th thus your payment counts towards your October bill and not your November bill. 3 days!!! I was off by 3 days and all the guy had to say was Sorry *shrug* not well lets see if it can be changed or how can we correct this for the next time, NOPE just sorry in the flat-line tone of I don't care I am just saying sorry because I have to. I told him not to apologize since I knew he didn't mean it and it makes me more upset.

Missing a payment affect my credit rating and it pisses me off!! I am working so hard and Make Sure I am on Top of Everything!!! I pay everything from my first monthly pay that way I know its paid. So that if anything happens at least the basics are covered the first time around.

What scared me the most after I got off the phone with him was that I might had done the same this month. I paid visa out of my last pay. I called them back a second time to make sure 100% that my payment this month went in on THIS bill pay period.

The second lady I talked to at visa was really nice and very helpful. Here's what happened I paid the payment from my other bank on the 6th but it was not posted to my visa until the 9th. However even though my last statement expired on the 8th of November and the new statement was printed on the 9th, because the payment was made on the 9th it comes down to the hours. If the payment was posted before in the early hours of Nov. 9th and the bill was printed a few hours after the payment was posted then it's counted on the Oct. bill and not the Nov. bill. Personally for a computer technically I think the Card Centre agents at Visa should have the ability to say ya its a technical glitch on the computer side we can manually change it. Sadly the second agent was powerless. I was fruitless in my endeavour to get it sorted out. She did give me some good news but until I verify it I'm not going to share it just yet. And frankly the good news is pittance in comparison to the sting I feel over this situation.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Savings Account

A couple of months ago I called up Ally and sighed up for a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account). Ally is very similar to ING in that it offers high interest Savings with no fees. The first cheque I sent them they sent back because something on it was wrong. Since then I haven't done much with the account. The other day I decided that it was stupid not to try and sent the cheque in a second time. So I called to make sure that I got it right this time and send it off today. Ally gives its client an interest rate of 2% which is calculated daily. Basically by not getting my act together I have lost out on some interest not much I'm sure but hey every little bit helps! The cheque I sent in was from my General fund which holds my 10% fund. The amount deposited was $425.05. I plan to keep my General Savings fund tracker the same as the amount is just split up into two different account at the moment. The plan is to eventually shift all of my 10% fund into my Ally account so it can collect the interest. Hopefully this time the cheque isn't returned because if it is I will start to get a complex.

On another note I am finalizing my 2011 goals and New Years resolutions still. So they won't be up until closer to the New Year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekly Spending Recap Dec 16-19, 2010

Thursday 16 (Pay day)
No spend day

Friday 17
No spend day

Saturday 18
bought cat food ~$48.58 (Already budgeted for)
Change to mom ~$0.10 (taken from change left over from buying cat food)
Canada Post envelop ~$1.80 (taken from spending money)

Sunday 19
No Spend day

Amount spent: $ 50.48

Friends of mine were having a Christmas party this evening. I joined them for the first part but when they left to go out for dinner I begged off, they already knew I wasn't planning on staying for the whole thing. But I left before dinner because 1) I had already eaten and 2) I didn't want to waste the money. Dose that sound to extreme?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

News Papers and Financial Advice

I make a habit of reading at least 1 paper a day often The Toronto Star. However depending on the day I can get through -so far 4- in one day ( The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The Calgary Harold and The New York Times). Last night I decided to read another common paper from Toronto- The Globe and Mail. The Globe has great articles about finance as it should. But one caught my eye. The article is called "Early retirement still possible-just not as early as desired"

This couple have a monthly income of: $8,000

Assets: family home: $900,000; Bank accounts: $4,000; RESPs $114,000; RRSPs $530,000; TFSA $23, 000; non registered savings $11,000. TOTAL: $1.158 million

Liabilities: None (AKA no debt)

The couple wanted to know if in 5 years when the husband would be 55 if they would have enough saved up to retire. The financial planner told them NO and to wait until the husband was 59 instead.

Can you believe that most of us would die to have 1) no debt!!! and 2) $1.58 million in assets

The thought that this couple can't retire the way they would like to with that kind of money is down right depressing. And scares the hell out of me!!

The upside to this is that clearly saving and stockpiling money is not the best way to go about things. I think I am going to follow Derek Foster's idea... or try at least.

I've already got plans in the works but when they get a little more stable I will let you know!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blog design.. assitance

I am currently at work and sighed on to read another person's blog and to post I had to sigh into mine. I got a good look at it from a PC computer perspective and it was really difficult to read so I changed the back ground again. What do you think, does this make it easier to read? Please let me know because I can't tell and I just want it to be legible even if that means its simple in design. Today has been a slow day at work well this evening last. I decided to write out my goals/ new years resolutions for next year. Is it to early to post these kinds of things considering we are only 1/2 way though December? I don't know how I am going to post them. I was hoping to do tabs as some other blogs have them and I think that's a great idea for organization. But I can't seam to find them and every time I try, I mess up the look and layout of my blog. So if anyone who is more competent than me knows how to add the taps please let me know other wise I will have to come up with another solution to post my 2011 goals.

I figured it out!!! I am so excited!!!

Pay Day and Bi-weekly Spending

I got paid today and I got my company bonus. In total my net pay was $1094.84 and bonus was 303.70. Don't ask about my gross pay the discrepancy is depressing. Any ways the following is a brake down of how it was allocated:

TD line of credit: $200.00
Savings: $150.00 (currently in holding account until I decide if it is going into car fund or not)
Vacation Fund: $75.00
Cat Fund: $50.00
Visa bill: $50.00
Cell phone: $93.85
Car Fund: 250.00
Transit: $24.00
Christmas fund: $100.00 (currently in holding until I decide if i have missed anyone off my list if not its going into Vacation fund)
Cat food: $50.00
Pay back mom: $20.00
Spending money for next 2 weeks: $31.99

Bonus money ($303.70):
Car fund: $300.00
Vacation fund: $3.70

I have updated the following fund trackers: Car Fund, Cat Fund, Vacation Fund

SO there it is, money in... money out

Thursday, December 16, 2010

HST Cheque and Dilemma Solved

Today I deposited my HST cheque in to my TD line of credit. As such it currently stand at $-32,989.02. This number will be old in another 24h. I'm a little frustrated with work. Normally we get out pay stubs about 1 to 1 1/2 weeks before pay day. Only this time we won't get them until tomorrow which is pay day. The problem is with out exact figures my ability to budget it hindered. I know that I will know by tomorrow but I always like to know way before pay day. Another thing I was thinking about was that many PF bloggers post their bi-weekly budget. I haven't done that yet but I have been debating about doing it. Also many PF bloogers post there weekly spending and no spending days. I haven't done this because most of my days are no spend days. I don't have the same kind of over heads that come with having families. But I have been thinking that it might be good to start doing it for accountability. We'll have to see with this coming pay.

I have also decided what do do about my dilemma from yesterday. Because the amount that is going to be transferred from my chequeings account into my TD line of credit and because I put the $100 HST cheque into it today, I am just going to transfer the money left over into my vacation fund.

Since tomorrow is pay day I have made the transactions that said I would earlier this week.The following is a mount transferred in to the respective funds.

Car fund: $20.09
Vacation fund: $37.98
TD line of credit: $100.00

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HST/GST Cheque and Vacation Fund

Today I came home from work to find a letter in the mail. It came in a nondescript grey envelope with Revenue Canada as the return address. It turns out the Government is sending out Christmas bonuses as well this year as they sent me a cheque for $100. Getting 'free' money in the mail is always good however the dilemma is what does one do with it now... sigh

So yesterday I said I would put what was left over from my chequing account into my TD line of credit. Now though with this cheque (which is definitely going into my line of credit) maybe I should use the extra money for my vacation fund; which needs major work.

Oh I have great news I got the vacation I wanted so besides being able afford it and booking it I am all set to go to Cuba for my academic conference. I am so excited!!!

decisions decisions...

This is such a pain I had it all mapped out yesterday. I was feeling really happy about it all the bases (car fund, vacation fund, student debt) were all getting a little something, something. Now its all off balance.

Who ever thought that having something would be more complicated then having nothing.

Any advice?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Updates: Christmas Spending, General Savings Fund, Cat Fund, Car Fund, Christmas bonus and Rasis

I finally got around to updating my General Savings Fund, my Cat Fund and my Car Fund trackers on my blog.

General savings fund: $712.09
Cat Fund: $150.01
Car fund: $1,200.25

These numbers will be out of date as of this coming Thursday which is pay day.

I went Christmas shopping last weekend and got almost everyone covered. I still have my sister left and maybe stocking stuffers. I had a budget of $300 and I have $57.42 left. I had budgeted another $100 from this weeks pay but I don't think I am going to need it. So I will likely transfer that $100 in to my vacation fund. What ever is left over from my Christmas shopping will go into my car fund. Also as you might remember my Boyfriend had my wallet for over a week so as a result I still have over $40.00 left in my checkings account. So what ever is left of that will go into my TD Line of Credit for the snowflake finance. I had originally budgeted for next years Christmas fund around $1,000 but given that I will have everyone covered for around $300 (this year) I don't think I will need that much. Thus I will double the amount and then give myself a cushion of $200, this will being the number up to $800 that has to be saved for next year's Christmas Fund.

I have other news, the other day everyone in my department got letters stating our Christmas bonus and the raises we will be getting. So I will be getting a raise of $700 over the course of the year and a bonus of just over $380. Now I was surprised to find out that I am actually making 1,000 less then I thought I was. But since I have not actually worked a full year at the Bank I can't say I have felt the difference. In case you were wondering what I was going to do with the bonus money I have decided to put $300 in to my car fund and the rest after taxes in my vacation fund. It would have been more ideal to put it into my student debt but in the short term I need a car. Today it was -8C and with wind chill it felt like -13C, standing around for a bus sucked.

Plastic Crazy (credit cards)

I worked this past Saturday. It was dead so of course when your tied to a phone and desk the only thing to do is search the net. While on the net I came a cross the most stupid thing. It happened quite innocently, I was on the phone with a client who had a new visa card and wanted to know a symbol meant that was above the first four digits. The client was asking if it meant something like she was getting a new insurance. I had no idea so I googled the kind of card she had and up popped lots of pictures of her card. I clicked on one and after I finished with the client I glanced down to see the site I had lifted the picture from. Turned out to be chat forum from which is a Canadian last minute getaway site. The topic peaked my interest so I went back to the first page.

The first post which started the forum off was a question: What do you carry in your wallet?

As I read more and more of the posts, the form developed into 'how many debt and credit cards do you keep in your wallet.' Some people posted pictures of their plastic cards lined up others just wrote them down. Now if your going to take pictures its always best to black out the personal stuff like your card number and name. A lot of people forgot to do this, talk about stupid. That's like jumping up and down and asking for identity theft or fraud to happen to you.

One thing that was really shocking was the shear number of things people kept in their wallets. One woman has 18, that's right 18 little pieces of plastic which consisted of 8 debt cards and 10 credit cards!!! I had no idea one person was allowed that many credit cards. The kicker was the same woman had 4 more at home all credit cards that she was debating about getting rid off but she hadn't decided if she could 'life with out them' no joke! Another person boasted about how he spends $3,000 a year in annual fees for his card and how it gets him in to the VIP lounges at the airports. That's a lot of money to waste of semi-conferrable chairs at an airport.

Another thing that blow me away the shear number of doubles. People who would have multiples of the same card all with different accounts. What is the point of that, can someone explain that to me? It might be because I was looking for it unknowingly but a lot of posters had visa cards from the bank that I work for. Some had multiples of the annual fee cards that we have. Which means there are people in this world with 2 identical cards that they pay $140 a year for. Don't people know that 2 of the same kinds of cards doses not give you better or more travel insurance?? o.O

This web forum was like a bad collision, terrible to look but addictive you couldn't take your eyes off of it. I was tempted to post the second question: how must is your consumer debt?

Is a piece of plastic in your wallet really worth all this?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Car Search/ Car Fund Update

For a while these last couple of weeks I was not sure if my mom would be willing to help me with a 0% loan for the rest of the funds for my car. So I made the decision to speed up the process in my car fund by taking the money form my 10% fund (paying my self first) and putting it into my car fund. I reasoned this based on the fact that in the end it would help me and my finances in the long run. As a car means I can get a second job. Now it looks like things are a little more on track and mom might still be able to help me which is great. Also I am having second thoughts about playing with my 10% fund. I mean if I can justify it for a car what else will I be able to justify. This is a trap I DO NOT want to fall into. At the same time it would get me to my goal of $2500.00 faster then thought. Actually it will exceed the original goal of $2000.00 by the end of this month. So I don't know I am still in two minds.... sigh....

As for the car search I found 2 cars this week that I thought would be perfect and when I wasn't sure about mom's financial ability, the place that was selling the cars was offering financing options. As it turns out both cars were in from end collisions and my boyfriend has axed them from the list. Rightfully so of course but I am disappointed. One was a 2005 red Toyota echo hatchback, automatic which is exactly what I am looking for!! Its my dream car, and to have it slip between your fingers is just heart crushing.

My BF and I have decided to put the serious search on hold for now since Christmas is around the corner. Though I am keeping my ears to the ground. If anyone hears of someone selling the above car in Ontario please, please drop me a line.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Payin' bills

As I mentioned my boyfriend has my wallet. So I asked him to send me my debt card number so I could at least pay the bills. After I had dished it all out I was left with $60 in my chequing account. As I was looking at my accounts I thought 'I am ready for the next pay day.'

Another thing that crossed my mind when I was moving money around was about my general savings fund. I average about $140-150 a pay into this category. But this month because I am getting 3 pays and my general savings is up around $700 the extra $300 from the next two pays would really boost my car fund. But at the same time the idea of that money is its my 10%. I counter this with the old saying 'ya gata spend some money to make some money' and if I am ever going to get that second job I really need the car... So I am stumped.

What do you think?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sundry Debt FREE!!!!

Have you seen my new debt tracker to the right of this screen??? LOOK! You will notice something new!!! That's right I am sundry debt free!!! This last Thursday was pay day and the last $80 was taken out to make the final payment to Miranda. Now I haven't seen her in a while so I haven't given the money to her or the first $50. But the money is there sitting in my little glass jar waiting for a change to be handed over.

I my personal life I finally got my books sorted out and put properly on shelves. This might not sound like a large task but for me it truly is, at last count I had over 500 books. As it stands I have no idea how many books Ihave. The next task is to count them and put them into my database. I have put over 15 in a bag to go to goodwill.

Another thing that has happened is that I left my wallet with my boyfriend. Now luckily I had my debt card and my drivers licence on me at the time. And as it happens I have enough on me to get bus tickets because I took money out of my account at the bank before hand. Looking on the bright side of my stupid mistake with out my debt card there's no chance for me to spend any money.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Woes of Good Intentions and Bank Fees

In my last post I mentioned that was going to start a snowflake jar. So knowing that I had about $24 in my account by the 30th I strove to not spend anything till the end if the day. Or the next day (the 1st) because I knew I would be paid on the 2nd of December. So imagine my surprise after work on the 31st when my account went from $24 to $ -92.89 over night. I immediately called the bank and told the lady who answered the phone straight up I was up sent and pissed off. The lady was very professional and by the end over 1.5h call things were completely sorted out.

Your likely wondering how does one go from being in the black to being in the red over night. Trust me I wanted to know the same thing.

This is what happened: on my bank account plan I was only 'allowed' up to 15 transactions a month. However I thought this was at the bank/bank machine transactions. Well apparently it also includes online transactions. Needless to say I ALWAYS go over that number. Last month I did 55 transactions between moving money around to paying bills. This number is average for me, but because I was a student I never got charged the extra $0.65 for each additional transaction because on top of my 'everyday account' I had the 'student plan' except this expired at the end of this past month and I did not go into renew it because I am no longer a student. As a result I was changed $14.35 plus $2.00 passbook update. Had it only been $16.35 I might not have been as upset but $24-16.35 does not = $ -92.89 and that is a lot of money to be in the red!! As it turns out the night before (Dec. 29th) I was doing mobile banking and I was transferring money out of my chequeing account that I had put in for a 'just incase' but really belonged in my general savings fund. What we concluded was that there was a glitch in the system and on two separate instances it transferred out $100.00 . So between the bank fees and the extra $100 being taken out of my checking account I definitely ended up in the red.

The lady at the bank reversed everything and gave me back the $16.35 and in the process I signed up for a new bank account plan which gives me 200 transactions a month for $9.95. I know some people might think its money wasted. But I have 8 accounts with them and like I said I am always moving money around or paying bills. One of the ways I curb impulse buying is I never keep money in my chequing account. When I need to spend money I move it from my 'holding account.' The down side to all this stuff is that she said it would take a few days for the bank to approve the return of money and to reset the system online.

Now that a couple of days have passed I am able to start making official snowflake deposits.

What did I learn from this: Always keep an eye on your finances and know the amount of money in your accounts.