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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

ING and Fund Name Change

I sent up an ING account yesterday. One of the options they had was for them to do direct deposits from your 'normal' account to there's every week, bi-weekly or monthly. I decided to set up bi-weekly starting March 10th for $25.00. This isn't a lot of money I thought since I have never ever had a direct deposit system a mall number was the way to go. Also it means that I can budget the transfers being done for me since it should come out every pay day.

 You will notice on the right hand side I have changed my general savings funds (10% fund) name to Retirement fund. This is because this is what it should be. From now on it will be known as the Retirement Fund.

The ING fund is going to be the final home of my Retirement Fund. This however has left me with a bit of a problem. You see currently my Retirement Fund money is in my Scotia account and my new direct deposit will be coming from my paycheque account which is with a different bank. This means that I now have to transfer money form one bank account to another bank account. Then I have to write ING a cheque for it all from my paycheque account.

I hope to have all this done by the end of the week so I no longer have to look at my savings account in my regular banking. Thus allowing it to slowly grow with any interference on my part. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

USA vs CAD $$

I cashed in my $147.00 USD into Canadian dollars. I did it through my Dad's TD USD account which should theatrically give you the best conversation rate possible. So for the $147 I got $143.66. This is great since I figured that I would likely get only $140, I am up $3.66 YaHoo!!! I know pathetic but you have to take all the good news that you can get.  Also my grandma sent me 10$ reimbursement for the postage of a package that she asked me to send her. I had thought about snowflaking it. So that brings my amount to $153.66, since the train ticket to Ottawa is $168.37 that means I still need $15.01 from my budget. I am hoping that I will be able to cover, this and food for the weekend for less then $60.00.  We will see how I go. While I was in the bank I asked for an updated balance for my line of credit. Sadly no luck my payments had not been posted to there system... sigh.  I will let you know as soon as I know. I'm on edge to see if I got it down to 32,000.00. *fingers crossed*

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bi-Weekly Finances and Funds

                                                          Total amount: $1262.49

Visa: $50
Cat fund: $50
Christmas: $40
TD Line of Credit: $400
Cell phone: $94.25
vacation fund: $250
Car fund: $50
10% fund (retirement): $ 126.25  100.00
Storage unit: $96.62
Spending money/ Ottawa: $131.62

If you remember in a past post I blogged about going to Ottawa with a friend of mine and trying to sort out how I was going to pay for it and put money in everything else. What I did was reduced my 10% fund.  So in stead of not putting money into it at all I just didn't put as much in it. I also added to my other funds and keep my TD line of credit payment at 400. What happened was after having my little freak out I realized I had $147 in USD funds sitting in my Big Ben tin. I always have a little kicking around because how close I am to the border. So I have decided to cash it in. Its a bad time to change money since I will likely lose some on the exchange.  But if the exchange still enables me to keep $140 in CAD I am hoping I will be ok. The round trip ticket is $168.37. So with 140.00 and 131.62 = $271.62... God willing it will be enough. 

The Night Before Pay Day

I just got back from Salsa and had a blast! I had one drink my friend bought me and I'm tipsy... talk about a cheep date! Any ways I am about to jump in to bed but before I do I snowflasked the last of my paycheque. I total I put in $17.07. This brings my snowflake jar up to $80.60 and my extra 15,000 fund up to $143.10.

Tomorrow is the day of reckoning, God I hope my budget will balance out... wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weekly Money Check-Up

I have been thinking for some time to take up My Pretty Pennies Weekly Money Check-Up, because I like the reflective questions.  Give the kind of week that I think I need the time to reflect. 

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on  getting my shoes back from the hotel I stayed at between Christmas and New Year.

2. Today I feel shaky towards money.  I am hoping that I will have everything budged out accordingly so as to not push my budget into the negative numbers. I had a little freak out earlier this week about money.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was I cleaned my room... though it looks a mess again... it was lovely looking.

4. I will consider this week a success if  my budget pans out and everything is covered. Also if I am able to de-stress and enjoy salsa tomorrow night.

5. My favourite way to relax is to read.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thanks for listening...

Yesterday I had a slight freak out over money. I confess I lost my cool. But I am better now after I wrote my post I had a light bulb go off and so I might be able to fit it all in. My friend has agreed that dinning on the cheep is cool and we are crashing on a friend's floor. This means that although the budget will be super tight I might just be able to squeak by unscathed, God willing of course. I will let you know when the final numbers are all crunched when pay day roles around. I just want to say thank you for listening.  I talked to my mom about it and her advice was live a little and only pay your min. on your line a credit if necessary.  Advice that I found not nearly as helpful as I am sure she meant it to be.

Also I have been thinking about reopening my Ally account or signing up for a ING account. I don't like the accessibly of my 'retirement fund'/ my 10% fund. On weak moments its hard to think about retirement when I am only 24 years old.  Its just very easy to consider using the money for other things. But I have not completely looked in to ING. Nor do I want to make another rash decision about it.

Lesson learned: Emergency fund of any size is necessary and will in future be worked into budget.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frustrated, Stressed and its all my FULT!!

I am feeling frustrated to the MAX with myself and money right now. Last year a friend of mine and I agreed we would go up to Ottawa to skate on the Canal and watch Question Period while the House was in session. Both of use are major political junkies. Only last year it didn't happen because of schedules and such. This year she she asked if I was still interested I said yes of course, this was before I became more money wise. We were going to do the trip on the cheep, crash on a friend's floor so we didn't have to pay accommodations. I had hoped and truly thought that I would have a car by now. My boyfriend had offered to join us and because he has a car drive us. She would rather have a girl's weekend of it, I understand but now its going to cost $155 plus tax to take the train.

I did not budget, I DID not budget, I DID NOT budget, I DID NOT BUDGET!!!!!!

And I am STRESSED over where the money for this weekend is coming from. I don't even want to go, but at the same time I hate that I am allowing myself to not be able to not enjoy something that only last year I would have enjoyed!! All the while I could say well if I only pay 300 in to my Line of credit and not put anything into my 10% fund I would have it covered. But I don't want to do that I WANT to have my line of credit down to $32,000!!! And I WANT to put money into my 10% fund. I seam to have had to many excuses of late for why I am not putting money into it. I would also have to dip into it a little to cover the cost of the ticket.  I could maybe ask her if I could pay her the 100 now and the 55 + tax on the next play but at the same time I don't want to owe her any money. I WORKED SO HARD TO BE SUNDRY DEBY FREE!!

All the while I am still saving for this trip to Cuba which will enable me to complete my Duke of Ed one of my 2011 goals.

Add to all this my boyfriend earlier this week asked me how much I had in my car fund. I lead him to believe that it was up in the middle 2000's like 2700 or 2800 not 2500 which is what it currently is.  I feel like a smuck, a fraud, a lier and a variety of other low life things. So of course I want to put a little bit of money into my car fund so as to boost it a little bit.

I'm frustrated with myself six ways to Sunday and I have no one to blame but me.... being responsible is such a Witch.

Weekly Spending Recap Jan. 17-23th 2010

January 17 (Monday)
No Spend Day 

January 18 (Tuesday)
No Spend Day

January 19 (Wednesday)
$8.49 ~book from chapters (pre-order)
$10.06 ~ lunch at Cora's

January 20 (Thursday)
$29.51~ visa payment for  shoes delivered by the UPS Store

January 21 (Friday)
No Spend Day

January 22 (Saturday)
No Spend Day

January 23( Sunday)
No Spend Day

Friday, January 21, 2011

February No spend Month and Good Bye Chapters

Maureen at Towards Retirement with Debt asked me if I would be joining her and midlifemombusings on their no spend February. I have decided that I am not going to for a few reasons. 1) I have my trip coming up and while it will be with in budget hopefully less I still will be spending more than I would in a normal month. 2) I am going to put myself on a no new book buying month. In the past books have been the only thing that I have had no problem spending money on. This is because one of my life goals is to have 25,000 books to my name of which 97% will have been read in full. Its the 'in full' part that I need to work on. Thus the reason one of my 2011 goals is to read 50 books I already own. 

You will notice that I didn't put a ban on second hand book shopping. Let me explain: I have a dear friend I have been trying to get together with for the past 6 months to go second hand books shopping with. We finally thought it would be this Saturday but I cancelled on her, since I am going to help my mom move into her new office. And truthfully I have no money left now any ways. She is the only one that I will be going second hand book shopping with in the near future. I am hoping that we might be able to get together in February but the changes are slim and its looking like March. I don't want to place a second hand book shopping ban on myself if it impedes my ability to get together with my friend. At the same time if we are not able to get together in February well then I will be on a 'unofficial' second hand book buying ban. 

Good bye Chapters!! My membership card comes up for renewal this month and I am not going to renew it! I have decided to just take it out of my wallet all together. I wonder if I will miss it. I guess is easy to say now that I won't but lets be honest I am sure I will. In the coming months if I need to get a book I will get it from an independent  seller or while I am with a friend who has one, so I can use there's. But not in February. 

Shoes and Visa Card

The other day my shoes arrived. I was very happy. I haven't warn them since I got them back, I think I am just enjoying seeing them in my closet. Its pathetic I know. Today I called visa and asked how much I had paid the UPS store, in total it cost me $29.41. I feel ripped off but there isn't much I can do about it. I transferred money from my allotted spending money for this pay week into my credit card to cover the cost.  This has left me with just over $17 in the bank and with another week to go before pay day. I am a little  lot stressed over this. I have never had this little of an amount and I am worried I will not make it until pay day. I also got my visa statement in the mail. Last year I accumulated $17.10 in cash back rewards. This is enough to pay the interest of $16.10 on this month's statement. This means that all the money I put into it this month will go directly to paying down the balance which is good. I am so excited to my pre-paid card to come in the mail. If it works out as planed I am going to cut up my TD visa card and convert to the pre-paid card. I really hope I can to this.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why I went Prepaid with Bank of Montréal

I have mentioned before that I am looking to take a trip to Cuba. The purpose of this trip is two fold 1) to attend an academic conference 2) to complete the residential portion of my Duke of Ed award. Thus completing another aspect of my Duke of Ed Award requirements. 

I want this trip to be the first one I will completely pay for in cash. However I came a cross a snag in the plans, the company I want to book with do not do debt… sigh. So I have been looking around for other options on how to pay for this trip.  I have been kicking around a couple of options

1)      Put it on my credit card. I currently carry a balance on my card, so I would use the money to pay off the balance and then rack it up with the trip. This is an option that several people have suggested to me (friends and family). I think this is a bit of a counter productive option and would not given me any satisfaction. Swapping one debt for another does not make it any better them having travel debt in the first place.
2)      Sign up for a new credit card. Once again the purpose of paying in cash is not to acquire more debt. Second why would I want to increase my debt to income ratio? O.o?? And despite what people tell you having more credit cards does not give you more benefits (see my post on Plastic Crazy).
3)      Gift Cards. Not an option with this travel agency.
4)      Pre-paid Credit Cards. The befits of a credit card including Purchase Security and Extended Warranty with out any of the downsides like interest rates (depending on the provider).

I chose option number 4. After making this decision I then had to choose the pre-paid card that worked best for me. In Canada there are two different banks that I know about that offer Pre-paid credit cards: Bank of Montréal (BMO) and The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

I decided to make a chart to compare the two bank pre-paid credit cards

Bank/card type
Interest rate
What kind of card is it?
$9.95 purchase fee (valid for 3 years),
The card is prepaid and reloadable – your limit is the amount you’ve loaded on the card. Load your card as a bill payment from any bank account at most financial institutions. Extended Warranty & Purchase Protection
This is a pre-paid MasterCard. Treated the same way as a regular  master card would be used
RBC/Visa card
One time fee of $3.95 charged to the person purchasing the card. No maintenance fees charged for the first 6 months after the Card is purchased. After this time, a monthly $1.50 will be charged until the balance on the Card reaches $0. Upon the expiry of the Card, a fee will be charged equal to the value of the balance remaining on the Card.
Because RBC Visa Gift Cards are non-reloadable, cards cannot be used make recurring payments.
This is a pr-paid gift card treated the same way as a store gift card but with the flexibility to buy at any store not at a specific store. “RBC Visa Gift Cards are not credit cards, there are some fees in place to cover the cost of providing certain services.”

Based on the above, I decided that getting the BMO Pre-paid MasterCard would be the best idea. Thus I have applied for it. What do you think?

PS: please let me know of you can read my chart... I posted this while at work and my work version of my blog doesn't show the chart all that well. It should have 5 collums ( bank/card, fees, intrest, features and what kind of card is it?)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TD Line of Credit and shopping bans

Yesterday when I deposited my GST cheque I asked for an updated balance. My current balance is $-32,259.01. Assuming that the interest is roughly the same as last month (126.12) and I put another 300 next pay my balance will be 32,085.02. Only $85.02  away form having it at 32,000.00!! So I am going to up my amount to 400, this way I will definitely be at or under the 32,000.00.  I'm not sure how the numbers will work out but I am sure I can make it happen!! I am so excited about the idea!!!

Recently I have been mussing about getting rid of my Chapter's Member's Card it costs about $20-30 and gets you money off every time you buy books. The catch is you have to buy a lot of books to make it worth the money. In the past I have always just paid the fee. Justifying it with, "I always buy lots of books, its worth it." In the past I have bought a lot of books from there. But one of my goals for 2011 is to read 50 books I already own. So paying the money to buy more books would be kinda counter productive. I told my BF that I was planning to give up buying books and he thought I was joking. It is true I am a book-holic, I admit my weakness. He doesn't think I can do it. And I admit there are 2 books that Chapters has that I want to get.

I wonder if after Feb 1 (since that's when the 2nd book comes out) I should put myself on a book buying ban, like the cloths shopping ban that other bloggers, go on. What do you think...

I have to decide though... if I will only include new books or second handbooks a well. The thing with second hand books is that when you are trying to complete a series that has been out of date for over 20 years you have to grab it when you see it.  Or does that defeat the purpose of ___ buying ban? I am new to this I have never deprived myself of doing something I enjoy for the sake of finances. Actually maybe before I do decide to do a book buying ban I should find out how much I have spend on books in the past.

Any thoughts...

GST Cheque

I finally got around to depositing my GST cheque in to my TD line of credit today. It wasn't a grand a mount but $62.50 less I have to put into it.  My mom had a new sliding glass door and windows put in this past year but the window people didn't insulate around the door we discovered. So I ripped all the old trim off and found massive gaps between the window and the door frame. The largest being 2 inch. Mom got the spray filler foam.  I have gone through 1 large bottle and a small bottle. The project isn't done as I ran out of foam but you can still feel the difference. I highly recommend anyone with draughty windows check to see if its insulated properly and if not spend the extra money and get this stuff!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekly Spending Recap Jan. 9-16th 2010

January 9 (Sunday)
No Spend day
January 10 (Monday)
$3.26~ Aramark (company caff)
$24~ bus tickets

January 11 (Tuesday)
No Spend day

January 12 (Wednesday)
No Spend day

January 13 (Thursday)
$28.64 TD line of credit
$300 ~ TD line of credit
$450~ vacation fund
$153.40~ general savings
$100~ storage unit
$40~ Xmas fund
$50~ cat fund
$34.69~ Avon

January 14 (Friday)
No Spend day

January 15 (Saturday)
No Spend day

January 16 (Sunday)
$8.37~ Tim Horton's

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bad Travel Karma

I have mentioned before that my boyfriend paid for a trip to the two of us to do a romantic night away in Niagara. We had a great time, but it seams I am still suffering the after shocks of it with bad travel karma. In Last week's spending recap. I mentioned I had to pay over $20 to dry-clean my work coat because a waitress dropped guacamole all over it. The latest development was a pair of shoes that I left in the hotel room. Normally I NEVER leave the room with out one final check to make sure I have everything. But we  had been rushing and although I did a check it was only a quick one. I left feeling as thought I had forgotten something but didn’t see anything. Well I was right I left my most conferrable pair of black healed shoes. After turning house I turned the house upside down and demanded my boyfriend do the same with his car… the findings was painful- I had left them.

 I called the hotel and they sent me through to house keeping, I left a message. I called back the next day. The manager of house keeping said “no one had turned them in, the hotel didn’t have them.” I know I had left them there so they had to have them. I called back a third time. This time I was told they had showed up and was I able to pick them up. I asked could you ship them. She grudgingly agreed to give them to the UP Store and took my info down. A week went by and I heard nothing she had promised they would be with me by now, so I called again. The House Keeping Manager didn’t understand why I hadn’t got them or why The UPS Store hadn’t been in contact with me. She told me she would call them. I heard nothing. I called back the next day, it turns out the UPS store had the wrong number to get a hold of me and that they had been ‘trying to get a hold of me, with no luck.’ No kidding!! The hotel gave them the wrong contact number! Now they had the right number for me and I waited for them to call. When the UPA Store called they gave me 2 options to get the shoes back to me

 OPTION 1) shipped using UPS $36 OR
                 2) Unknown company (she said the name but I don’t know who they are) $23

I asked her how much it would cost to have them put through the Post, ya know Canada Post. She told me ‘oh no we can’t do that, we are the UPS store.’ As it turns out they have a monopoly on the Niagara hotel's lost and founds. AKA I have to pay one of the prices she offered me.  I picked the cheeper option. I will tell you I don't even think I spend that much money on the shoes when I first bought them. But they are my FAVOURITE SHOES!! The lady then asked if I wanted to by insurance to cover them if they got 'lost.' I decided to take it... but I felt like she was twisting my arm. 

She asked how I would like to pay it and I asked if I could pay it when it arrived she laughed.  So I asked Mom if i could pay her in cash and she put it on her credit card. She agreed but it the credit card she gave me had expired. So I ended up putting it on my credit card. ARGGG!!! I am so unhappy about this.  But as soon as it goes on my credit card I am trans the exact account from my spending money for this week to pay it off. 

This whole experance has made me $50+  lighter and left me with bad travelling Karma!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bi-Weekly Finances and Funds

Today is pay day! last night I moved the last of last pays money into my line of credit YAH! for snowflakes. A grand amount of $28.64 which brings my jar to $63.53. All in my line of credit *big smile* the faster I can get that principle down the happier I will be.

I mentioned in a earlier post in December that I was increasing my TD line of credit payment to $300 starting in Jan. I had thought it might be a tight budget because I had anticipated having a car by now. But that hasn't happened and its not likely to happen until maybe March or April... sigh. That fund is on hold until my vacation fund catches up because I have a conference in Cuba in Feb. that I am going to and haven't even booked it yet. *EKKK* I want to pay it all in cash, truthfully there isn't any other option any ways, since I have no available credit., which is not a bad thing really.

I have applied for a part time job. Stats Canada is hiring part time staff between early March - end of July. The hourly pay is $14.72-18.04 (for supervisors). I really hope I get the job.  This will be a great way to add extra money to my line of credit. As all the money I get from a second job will be allocated to debt repayment.

With out any further ado:                       net pay:  $1,178.98

TD line of credit: 300.00
Cat fund: 50.00
Vacation fund: 450.00
Xmas fund: 40.00
Storage unit: 100.00
10% fund (general savings): 153.40
Spending money: 85.58

Transactions have been done I will endeavour to update my trackers. I no longer pay my visa bill on the first pay of the month because of what happened last time. So it will get paid next pay along with my cell bill.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TD Line of Credit and GST

Yesterday I got my GST cheque in the mail which is $62. 50. I planned to put it in to my TD line of credit, yesterday but didn't have time to go to the bank. So when I am next there it will do it. I got my updated statement in the mail. My line of credit is at $-32, 915.15 not including the $230.00 I put on it  Dec. 31 which will show up on next month's bill.  When I called TD the current balance was 32,685.15, this includes the $230 and will be on the number I will update my tracker to on the right.

When I called TD to get my updated line of credit amount for my net worth numbers I asked the guy what my monthly bills will look like once they add the principle.  Every time I have called them or walked into a branch no one will given me an answer to the question or even explain to me how they calculate the principle amount. Now this I find rather strange, after all TD is a bank and they are in the business of making money not giving it way for free. The lack of information TD has been willing to share about the process of paying them back has been minimal. Any ways I finally got it out of him, grudgingly. It was like pulling teeth.

So hears how it works: Lets assume that I stop paying anything into the principle now and only pay the interest. When Sept. 2011 roles around my line of credit will have an outstanding balance of -32,685.15. Now they factor min. payments of 1% of the balance. So this would mean $326.68, how he explained it to me was that this would also include my interest payments which are currently $126.12 a month.  If you calculate that 326.68-126.12= 200.56 will be the amount that goes directly into the principle amount each month.  The interest is calculated at a rate of 4.5% a month and this also assuming that the intrest stays the same for the next X number of years. If these factors all stay the same it will take me 1184.24 months or  98 years (1184.24/12 months a year) to pay it off.  98 YEARS!!!!

This sounds a bit crazy to me so he said no I think they make you pay 326.68 plus the interest each month. If this is the way they do it then it would be a payment of 326. 68+ 126.12 = 452.80. This is of course assuming that the interest of 4.5% stays the same from now until Sept. 2011. If this is the case then it will take me 100. 05 (32.685.15/ 326.86)  months to pay it off OR 8.33 years (100.05 months/ 12 months in a year). THUS 8.33 YEARS!!!!!

Now how much will I have paid in interest.... I have no idea. If some one is good with numbers and wants to solve that riddle, be my guest.... actually please do as I would love to know myself. Also I would love to know if my calculations are correct.

As I write this down I am getting a budget facial... Max comes highly recommended if anyone wants to give it a go! ;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keeping Bills Vs. Tracking Bills

Today I was clearing out my wallet and my agenda. When I first started keeping my bills for tracking I always put my bills in an envelop in my agenda. I guess i got lazy or something because I had been stuffing the bills into my wallet recently. As it happens I found a bill for Carlton Cards for stuff I bought on the 5th of January. However when I did my weekly spend recap. I forgot all about it. It has now been added. I have learned something from this though. There is a difference between just keeping the bills of things you spend your money on and actually tracking what you spend. Tracking your bills keeps you accountable, only keeping them is an excuse for not keeping yourself accountable.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Net Worth and Cat Fund Story

Recently a lot of PF bloggers have been posting there updated net worth. At first I thought there was no point in even tracking mine. As there is no hope of finding myself miraculously  out of the red. But I thought and thought about it, until I caved. So here it is:

Net worth as of December 2010 from August 2010

August 2010
December 2010
-10, 058.00
TD Line of Credit (D)
Sundry Debt (D)
General Savings (S)
Cat fund (S)
Car fund (S)
Vacation fund (S)
Christmas fund (S)
Mutual funds (S)
Chequings account



Not too shabby I would say, actually the numbers shocked me a bit.

I worked today. I got he strangest question over the phone. A client called and said that her and her husband had been away on a ski trip and while the were a way they had paid to have there cat bored at a Country Cat Spa. As it turned out they picked the cat up and it was very sick with something that they had used on the cat, an allergic reaction to the shampoo for instance. Now she had not paid for the Cat Spa on her visa card. But what she wanted to know was did her visa card medical insurance cover them for the vet bills!!  I explained that no her visa travel medical insurance would not cover the vet bills. I told her it might be worth taking the cat Spa to small claims court. But What I really wanted to say was "maybe its about time to start a Cat Fund!!!" I bit my tongue ;P

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekly Spending Recap Jan. 1-8th 2010

January 1
No Spend Day

January 2
No Spend Day

January 3
No Spend Day

January 4
No Spend Day

January 5
20.00 Duke of Ed fees (budgeted for 30.00)
6.78 Carlson Cards

January 6
No Spend Day

January 7
No Spend Day

January 8
$7.65 Taco Bell  ( I know a guilty pleasure that I haven't had in a long time)
Deposited $35 into TD line of Credit (25 xmas money + 10 from Duke of Ed budget)

My First Snowflake of the year!!!!  I am so excited, though when I added it to my 15,000 goal tracker it didn't even register... that was depressing. Still I have it written underneath my snowflake jar.


You will notice on the right had side I have moved my counter up 3,000 for OSAP pay back. The reason that I did this was that when I got the letter in the mail It gave me an up to date figure of what I still owed. Instead of just added to the counter I ended up putting the new figure in as the original OSAP amount. At first I thought well its no big deal and left it the way it was. But then I thought wait a minute I was diligent enough to make sure I didn't blow my summer OSAP money and send it back to them instead. I think I deserve the satisfaction of knowing its  at least 3,000 less than it originally was.  So there you have it the reason I have moved the counter up 3,000.

I am still not sure about the Rogers bill, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ally, Rogers bill, 2011 Goals

Today I called Ally again to make sure that my account has been officially cancelled. As it stands I'm done with them. It has been cancelled for good, good bye!!!!!!

One of my 2011 Goals was to get cut my phone bill in 1/2 preferably by January. Now my monthly bill with taxes in and no long distance charge is $93.85,  that means that my bill has to be dropped to $46.93 a month.  Today I called Rogers and the 'best' package that they could give me was the Student 40+  this is what it includes:

                   ~200 weekday minutes
                   ~100 MB
                   ~My 10  Canada wide
                   TOTAL: $47.94  taxes and fees included

Now this does not include unlimited incoming minutes which is an extra $10.00 a month. If I added this feature my TOTAL would become: $ 59.24 taxes and fees included

However if I did this I would not be under $46.93. The other MAJOR down side is that they want me to resign a 3 year contract. This makes me feel completely uncomfortable. My current contract ends at the latest October 2011 and  I contract free, this is something that I would ideally like. The reality is that I want to be able to look at other options and if I lock myself in for another 3 years as of Jan 2011 I will be stuck until Jan 2014 with Rogers. The other down side is that I want to go away to Japan in a few years for a year or more beings unable to get out of a contract would be very problematic.

If I don't change my plan though I will be pay assuming no long distance charges until October 2011 my overall phone cost will be $938.50 ($93.85 x 10 months).

The other option is to buy myself out of my contract at $20.00 x the number of months left in my contract which would be 10, thus $200. I can't afford to do this until March because I don't have the spare cash. So at that point it would be $160 + (93.85 x 2)=  $347.70.

I just don't know what to pick or what to do. This is why I am posting, I need your help, I need your advice. Any suggestions???? Please....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ally, Bank fees and Cat fund, OSAP

Yesterday I got a call from Ally for a status update on my account. It turns out that they have disqualified my cheque because I did not write out "five cents." So they decided the the dollar amount was different form the numerical number on the cheque. For 5 cents I have spent the last 3 months  trying to send them money. The first time I had an issue I called them and asked very specifically how they wanted the check written out and I was told that I had written it correctly. Clearly I have been lied to. So I have decided to cancel my account. Let me explain why:

1) the reason that I opened the account was for the wrong reason.

Explanation: when I decided on my 10% fund it was to replace the fact that I had not signed up for the Defined Contribution retirement option at work. So this money was to be invested into retirement plans of some sort. However I have moved the money around for my car fund last month and then decided to convert it to a down payment fund for a house. This is why I opened up the Ally account. The major reason for this is that I had no idea how to invest for retirement. But I have been reading lots of books on the topic and I decided how I will plan for my retirement. As a result there is no need for this fund and I would have been using the money for the wrong reasons. As much as I really really want my own place until my debt has been reduced there is not a hope in hell of that happening.

On December 31 my bank took money out of my account for bank fees $9.95. I am not all that happy about that but I agreed to it so say-lave. 

I had to get more cat medication $64.43 today. This brings my cat fund down to $39.91. I booked the cats, both of them in for vet aptms in April. This will be around  $150 each plus $30 for stool sample testing. God willing I hope to have enough money to cover this from my cat fund but at the rate I am going through it, who knows. Sigh. 

My first of many letters form OSAP came in today. Over the last 6 months of 'free period' from Sept. 1 -Feb 1 I will have accumulated $308.46 of interest. This can be paid in a lump sum with my first payment  or it can be added to my overall total. Ideally I would rather pay it upfront but given that it is due at the end of February I do not think I will be able to do that.  As such I opted to add it to my overall student debt balance. In September I put in lump sum amount of $3,000 which was summer OSAP I had left over.  This brings my overall OSAP down to $10, 410.46 (including the $308.46). This amount of money is stretched out over a 114 month repayment period. My monthly payments to OSAP starting in February will be $117.45.

It would would be ideal to be able to put pay more them the min. monthly payment. And this is my over all goal. But I have decided that my goal of $15,000 debt reduction will be focused on my line of credit. For 2 reasons: 1) when the first real payment comes through I will be paying interest  + principle and if I don't focus on bring the principle down the payment will be painfully high. 2) I get a tax credit for the interest in my OSAP which for now I will need to bring my into a lower tax bracket to max my income return.  I can make lump payments to OSAP at any time so when I have my TD line at a manageable amount I will increase my payments to OSAP.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Kick Start to Accomplishing 2011 Goals

Today I decided to kick off the process of the 2011 New Years resolutions. The first thing that I did was create a tracker for my Christmas 2011 fund. The second thing I did was create another tracker for my extra 15,000.  On the 30th I called TD to ask what my line of credit balance was. The lady was unable to tell me as the interest was not to be added up till 4pm on the 30th. So at 4:10 on the 30th I called up and the next personal I talked to also was not able to give me an accurate figure for the same reason. Finally today I called and got an up to date figure. My line of credit stands at $32, 915.15. This number however does not take into consideration the $230 (200 normal instalment + 30 from snowflaking) I put into it on the 31st. As such the exact figure should be 32, 685.15. I won't update the tracker though until I get a statement in the mail.

In other news it looks like the cold has jumped from on kitty to the next. Max started with it and now it looks like it has made its way to Salem

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Goals/ New Years Resolutions


1) Pay off $15,000 of Student debt (not including minimum payments)

2) Get a second job (preferably by March)

3) Invest 6% of my income into company stock

4) Create and fund Christmas fund 2011 to the amount of $800  

5) cut cell phone bill in half (preferably by the end of January)

6) Order my credit score


1) Read 50 books I already own

2) Get my Gold Duke of Ed Award

3) Catalogue and count books

4)Finish/ start Europe/UK scrap book

5)Find a way to put $100 into Shirli's visa card 

6) get my knee sorted out