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

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Power of 7

*sorry for the late post... I ment to post this yesterday and forgot.

7 Things I have done this year:
1. Got a car
2. Eliminated my visa debt
3. Completed my Duke of Ed
4. Got my LoC under $25,000.00
5. Build and completely funded Christmas fund 3 months before Christmas
6. Went to Cuba
7. Started French lessons

7 things I have left to do this year:
1. Make a Christmas list and star shopping before the rush
2. Change from paying down my LoC to OSAP and get 2500$ of it paid off before the end of the year
3. Continue to be vigilant in stopping the leaks in my budget
4. Pass French class not just in mark but be able to speak the language
5. Sort out vacation stuff
6. Figure out how to put money in to Shirli’s credit card
7. Start referring

7. Things to achieve in 2012
1. Pay off OSAP completely
2. De-clutter my life more
3. Decide about moving in with BF
4. Get LoC under $17,000
 5. Get cost for braces assessed and decided on doing them
6. Continue taking French and consider an upholstery course
7. Take 2 amazing vacations maybe Texas road trip and Japan or Israel

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Automation and Money

I have a confession. I have been neglecting my snowflaking account. I know I know... you all though I was going to say I racked up debt!! Trust, I'd very upset if that was the case. I just thought I would shame myself to get back on track. Because I know I have let the money slip off my accounting system.

 Another thing was unknowingly happening over the summer and I just didn't realize it. My base income went up over the summer and it went down and it went up and then it went down... yup you heard that right, 5 different base pay amounts.  All though my take home pay never went down enough for me to realize it. Which basically means that a couple hundred dollars was spend and not completely accounted for. I say that because I can account for it in my budget when I go back and see but I wish I had been more on top of it. For example I got a raise at work for getting my license I thought that I wouldn't get it on my pay until all of them had come in so not for another month. Turns out they added it in August. basically it works out to be about 50 dollars extra on my pay. Now because my base pay has gone up so has amount I get taken off to buy company stock. I want to make sure that the automatic savings got a boost too but since I don't know how everything will be effected I didn't boost it up to much. ING use to take out 50$ each pay, 25$ for retirement and 25$ for my emergency fund. Starting next pay they will be taking $60 off. $30 for my retirement fund and $30 for my emergency fund. Which works out to be an extra $20 off each month. I think with this and my stock increase I won't even notice that I am not 'spending' the pay increase. 

I think that's the best way to make savings painless. If you get a yearly raise, raise your automatic deductions. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spending Re-Cap September 19-25

September 19
$4.07  Macdonald's food

September 20
No Spend Day

September 21
$7 cover a bar

September 22
$45.95 for Avon facial products

September 23
No Spend Day

September 24
No Spend Day

September 25
No Spend Day

Other then the spending this week I have only paid bills which aren't included in this Re-cap. I have paid my visa, OSAP, LoC and car insurance. And the best part... is that I have a full tank of gas in my car I bought last week!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I have net!!!

Isn't this exciting I have internet  at home again!!! I have updated my side bars to the best of my ability until the end of the month. Its so exciting to  have the net at home... only no one has posted anything... its so sad.

Well in my life nothing has been happening.  I work, eat and sleep. Nothing exciting.

I hope everyone is having a good Saturday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ponderings on Pay Day

Well its payday today. I felt so ‘up beat’ about my budget. Than a friend of mine called to confirm what it would cost to get my leaking window fixed, $100-200. Because he quoted me less he offered to help cover the cost if I made him pre-packaged dinners for a week or something. To be honest he’s in worse shape then I am, by his own choice but even so I would never ask him to cover me that way. I’ll likely make him some meals just as a thank you. Do you have any recipes for hearty meals that freeze well and can be easily heated up? The whole thing is just frustrating I feel like I will never get my Car fund complete. Especially with winter on its way, my car will need a winter tune up and an oil change.

On another note, I have been thinking of switching things up. I am thinking of moving to Word Press because the format is easier to work with. Every time I try to change anything on blogspot I get very frustrated. But this is the real question. If I switch over, I am thinking I will buy the site that is paying for my own web page. I have already looked into it CommonCents is already taken. So I need to find either a variation of my name or a completely different one. Any ideas?

PS the net should be back up and running at home by Tuesday of next week. I am so looking forward to having the net back… I have come to realize that I can live completely happy with out phone and cable but not so happy with out the net.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekly Spending Recap September 11-18th AND Weekly Money Checkup!!

September 11
No Spend day

September 12
$4.51 Shoppers Drug mart (toothpaste)

September 13
$180 dentist (out of pocket $18)

September 14
$37.51~ gas
$39.51~ gas
$6.80~ gas
$12.18~ bungee cords at Can. Tire

September 15
$7.06~ food at work caf

September 16
No Spending Day

September 17
No Spending day

September 18
21.50~paid for a parking ticket with Bday money, not sure if it should count

Weekly Money check up!
1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on gas but in my defense I have a full tank of gas sitting in my garage and ½ in my car. And Thursday is payday so I am not really worried.

2. Today I am thankful for options. I have the option of changing around how I much I can put towards certain things and despite being in debt I also have savings. I like have the options that that buffer provides me.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was I went to see my BF he makes me happy.

4. I will consider this week a success if I get my car window fixed (its raining as I type this and I am thankful for underground parking at work). Also if I get all my TODO’s done tomorrow.

5. If I could have coffee with one blogger, I would choose Upendilife, I was watching The Lion King the other night and I was thinking about him while I was watching it… is that weird? But I want to come see him bc how cool would it be to give the lowdown on a country by a local! I would love to meet Towards Retirement with Debt, she was the first person to welcome me into the blogging world and she’s dropped off it now… I miss her. Oh who am I kidding I want to meet everyone!! Because I feel like your all such good friends.  Actually Little lamb and I talked about getting together… what ever happened to that idea?

Oh PS: Eboo I might have baskets for you. I just have to check I am not sure if we got rid of them last year or not.

No spend days: 142 + 3 (this week)= 145

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Ponderings of a working Girl and The Finances of Others

IF TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: This year, you smile more often because of an ability to see past the obvious and detach. You feel less like you have to be right or prove your point. Optimism surrounds growth and mental breakthroughs. You could travel, or perhaps go back to school. Some of you might choose to visualize in order to add to your potential at the workplace. If you are single, you’ll meet someone through your circle of friends. This person could be a foreigner or just very different. Proceed with care, as a different lifestyle comes with this person. If you are attached, the two of you need to work on the innate camaraderie that exists between you. Focus on a mutual life goal. TAURUS points to possibilities. ~Toronto Star~

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) You are far more precise than you realize. Follow your intuition — you are unusually grounded at this point. Remain sensitive to a child or new friend. Absorb new insights, try applying his or her view, and speak of your thoughts later. Tonight: Take off ASAP.

I am not a big birthday person, at least when it comes to my one. This past week I had my birthday. The above are my horoscope for the day as I am a Virgo and because it was my birthday. I never give much stock to this stuff and didn’t even bother to read it on the day of. But anyways that’s the ‘forecast’ for the coming year.

I mentioned to my mom that I though my BF was going to get me an iphone for my Bday. Mom got upset because she wanted to get me one but can’t afford it and I know she can’t, which is why I told her flat out that she wasn’t allowed to. She was also upset that I seamed ok with letting my BF buy me one. I explained to her that I was not ok with him doing it either. You see my mom has a habit of over stretching herself financially at the sake of her own wellbeing. Example on Christmases she told us would be lean because of a trip we were taking early in the New Year she still went out and bought my sister a laptop. That’s not a lean Christmas. It was a strange experience to tell my mom on my birthday that at 57, retirement was starting her in the face and she had to look after her financial house before she could line the pockets of others. She agreed with me but didn’t like hearing it.  My BF is very similar he will put his own fiscal house at risk to give someone else something (iphone). I would be very upset with him if buying me a phone meant he could not buy food or pay rent.  I think in many ways we balance each other out. I am hoping that this will be one of the ways we can balance each other out. You see sometimes buying a new TV isn’t a bad thing but buying a new one every year is. 

On the topic of tuition costs, Stats Can has just released date indicating that tuition costs are raising higher then cost of living and inflation. According to the article “Statistics Canada on Friday said the average annual tuition fee for undergraduate students is $5,366 for 2011-12, up 4.3 per cent from last year. That follows a four per cent rise in tuition in the 2010-11 school year. The federal agency pointed out the annual rate of inflation was running at 2.7 per cent in July.” It’s nice to know that what students have been screaming about and raising awareness too is now being backed up by Stats Can.

The only problem:  too little to late.

Read more:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pondering while working...

I have been absent for a while, I’m sorry. I have had a series of unfortunate events. I already mentioned about the car. On Thursday while moving money around I some how managed to lose 50$. Don’t ask how because I have no idea… I wish I did… the only good news is that it affects my car fund which means that it won’t mess up bill payments. But I am still ticked at myself.

I would like to take this time to give a SHOUT OUT to Little Lamb for paying of her Student debt!!! GO GO GO LITTLE LAMB!!!! I so wish I could comment and say congrats!!! I can’t lie I am l little jealous but I think its great that she had hit this great mild stone!!

I spent this past Tuesday and Thursday night in referring training class. The league that I hope to be refing in is my old house league Swansea Girls Hockey (SGHL). If you live in to Toronto area and are looking to find a safe and fun environment for your girl(s) to learn hockey this is the league for you! There is also Swansea Boy’s Hockey as well. We also have a ‘learn to skate program’ for little kids.  All the horror stories that I have heard both from our teachers and the other members in my class are nothing I have experienced in SGHL. In the 15+ years I have been part of the league not 1 parent has been tossed out of the arena, nor have we had to deal with court case of players threatening coaches, other players or refs. It’s a no contact league and when kids nock each other down we help each other get back up. If you’re a parent of kids in hockey how would you describe the behavior of parents, coaches and players in your league? While I was reading the manual and the rule book I was struck by how it seamed to indicate that hockey was a ‘dirty sport’ and there was nothing that could be done about it. If your kids are in hockey is it expected that kids are going to play ‘unsportsmanlike games’?  Maybe because I have seen the other side to the game I expect better. What do you think?

And if your at all sentimental and would like to know how the Hockey Leagues are run the Toronto Star did piece on Boys this past February. And one of the Girls (my league) in February 2010.

Note to self: gas fund at -8.82$ money to be trans to ____ from next pays gas fund moeny. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly Spending Re-cap September 5-11

September 5
No Spend Day
September 6
No Spend day
September 7
No Spend Day
September 8
$5.00 to sponsor a co-worker doing the CN star climb
$2.75 for burger at work’s caff
September 9
$5.99 car wash
September 10
No Spend Day
September 11
No Spend Day

Because I don’t have total access to my blog I haven’t been able to update my side bars, my no spend days or my snowflaking jar. So my current total of no spend days is 143 + this weeks (5) =148 no spend days for the year.

Also as an FYI my Christmas fund is now fully funded at $800.00. Yahooo for being preparied for christmans in September!

I really wish I could comment on blogs properly. There are so many interesting things that I want to comment on that is going on in everyone’s lives. I want to do a shout out to ‘The Misery of Money’ a blog that I hop on and off occasionally. They managed to pay off 5 credit cards all at once, yup 5!!!  Yes I am very jealous but I think that’s great!!! Well done them!!

ON a sad note, I just wanted to pay my respects for those who lost a loved one or their lives today 10 years ago. Its one of those days I will never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cars+ repairs= spending money

When I bought my car it was a little beaten up that is, the girl I bought it form was not very general with the paint. There were several scratches where shopping carts had hit the car. Nothing detrimental to the car itself it just didn’t look ‘pretty.’ One of the first things I did was buy matching paint form the dealer’s to touch the car up. I was advised that the car has to be washed first before application. I have had the car for over a month and all of August I said to myself  I would get it done. The other morning I noticed when I left for work dew on the car and I realized fall had finally come I was running out of time if I wanted to get the painting done before winter.

Yesterday I took the car for a carwash and to vacuum it out another thing I have been meaning to do since I got the car. As I was vacuuming I noticed that was bits of glass on the floor and that the inside of my trunk was wet. As it turns out it had been constantly wet enough to have mold growing on the bottom of my trunk interior. It’s hard to explain but when you lift the carpet of my trunk underneath is a spare tire and it’s the carpet that is on top of the spare tire that is wet. So I have emptied the trunk and I am now trying to dry out the wet carpet and plywood board. In the mean time I now need to find out how much it will cost to get the window resealed since I think that’s where the water is coming in. I will say this when it rains it pores. And I don’t think I will ever own a car without a car fund, though its being diminished faster than I can build it up.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I miss you all!

So I have been with out the net for two days and today when I tried to post at work the work firewalls weren't sure what to do with blogspot so not only could I not post, I couldn't even read your comments or anyone else's post it was so frustrating!! Thank you everyone who dropped me a comment. So as it turns out I found my phone in the back of my car in the trunk... ya don't ask I have no idea how it got there...

But everything I wrote is true... on the 20th my contract is up so I the day of reckoning is coming and I have come up with something better. So I have started a phone fund.

Today is pay day and because I haven't had the net I have been away form my mac so my budget is out of wake I don't know how much everything needs to get paid. It's really frustrating!!

Tomorrow at work I am going to have to sit down and really sort it out.

I hope everyone is have a great couple of days and keep posting I hope to over come the fire wall at work tomorrow.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Advise, Advise, Advise. . I NEED Advise!

As you know I have to replace my phone. Something I was hoping to put off until December to give me time to save and buy it out right. I am switching form my Blackberry to an iphone. This has been planed for a while but I had wanted to buy it outright from the apple store to get the benefit of my credit card’s Purchase Security and Extended Warranty. I even had a post in the works to explain the benefits of these two little insurances that most people don’t realize they have on their cards. The after buying it on my card I would have paid it off as soon as I got home. However as the old saying goes the best laid plans pave the way to hell. And now my phone needs to be replaced in September. The lucky part is that my contract with Rogers us up Sept 20th of this month and I was planning on switching providers anyways. Not so happy with Rogers.

I have three options:

1) Go to virgin and apply for Super tab promotion get iphone4 for $99.  PRO: new phone, affordable price, cheaper plan then Rogers CON: hit to credit report, might not qualify since high debt low income ratio

2) Go to Rogers by sim card for 20$ and hock up BF’s old Blackberry to my number. PRO: old phone but small cost incurred CON: the promotional reductions in my phone bill I got a few months back will expire and my phone bill will go up, any changes made to my account to take advantage of the phone’s features will lock me into another 3 years contract with Rogers, BEING WITH ROGERS!!!

Option 3 BF suggested.

3) Got to the Apple store buy the phone on credit card. Than take it to Virgin and signing up with them on a month to month basis, no contract.  PRO: no contract, own the phone, visa warranty protection no need  to get Apple Care CON: visa debt and paying interest for a few months before paying it off.

I have to get the phone by tomorrow because I have a phone conference with a money coach and no way to get a hold of her to cancel it since I have no access to net, email or my contacts which were on my phone…. Also I have canceled on her 2 times last month because of other things going on.

ARG! I hate these kinds of decisions where they are rushed and f**k up my finances.  I hate being in DEBT,  I HATE BEING IN DEBT!!

Please Please let me know what you think!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekly Spending Re-cap August 29-September 4

August 29
$48.58 cat food (budgeted for)
August 30
$25.94- gas
August 31
$11.95 bank fees
September 1
$10.00 for a second hand book
$36.20- gas
$46.43-gas (to fill up extra gas tanks)
September 2
 $20.00 Dog food - on visa
September 3
$5.22 Tim's (lunch)
September 4
No Spend Day

If you have noticed that I haven't commented in a few days. Don't take it personaly. I don't have the net at home any more and for some reason I can only post at work but not comment on blogs... its really frustrating. Also on Friday my phone was stollen so I now have to figure out what to do about getting anew one.
Current  no spend days 142+1= new no spend days 143

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Set Goal, Meet Goal, Change Goal… Monthly Goals

August goals:
1) Empty storage unit 
(Doneish) One table left in unit which will come out this week

2) Find a home for my piano (Still in progress)
3) Submit Duke of ED (Done)
 -finish vol section and get it signed 
- get physical section signed 
-do write up of expedition trip 
-do write up of rez. Project and print out pictures

4) Copy funeral CD and give to Charles (partly done, CD copied but not in Charles’ hands. I did call him but never got a call back, will have to mail it to him I think)
September Goals
1) Mail funeral CD off
2) Finish insulation around windows
3) Catalog books just put on shelves and removed form boxes
4) Empty boxes in my room and Em’s room
5) Donate, Donate, Donate… 50 items
- Hardy Boy’s and Nancy Drew books to a friend
-other books to Thia’s Book Store
-slides to ETBO heritage
-china dolls
-box of other stuff to good will

Friday, September 2, 2011

Spending, Saving and Debt

Ted Rechtshaffen’s article in The Globe and Mail is an insightful piece of writing based on the financial difference between my grandparent’s generation, my parent’s generation and my generation. As I am writing this its pouring rain outside and I realise that I am lucky to be inside even if it means I am at work. But I realise that the rain can easily represent a financial thunderstorm. Ted talks about the difference between the three generations on their financial outlook and money management.

Your grandparents may just have had the following background:
1) They grew up poor.
2) They believed that "a penny saved was a penny earned."
3) They were fearful enough of how quickly things can change that they never overcame their fear of running out of money – no matter how much they had.
4) Debt was their enemy.
5) They never spent much on themselves.

From a financial perspective they have these characteristics:
1) They grew up middle class (or wealthier), with few or no financial crises in their childhood.
2) They believed that a "penny saved won’t make much of a difference."
3) They believe the future will end up OK – so no need to save for a disaster.
4) Debt is OK.
5) They spend a lot on themselves.

My generation:
If I had to guess, your generational characteristics may look like this:
1) You were wealthier in childhood than adulthood.
2) You believed that "a dollar saved is the right thing to do."
3) You were fearful enough of how quickly things can change that you never overcame your fear of running out of money – no matter how much you had.
4) Debt was a necessary evil.
5) You never spent too much on yourselves – because you couldn’t.

Despite many of my generation’s characteristics being a future outlook, I think they resonate very well. I see at lot of myself in these 5 points. I don’t want to have to save everything I make, I would love to spend money on vacations, and such But the reality is I am not convinced that once the Baby Boom generation get though with CPP there will be anything left. How can there be since there will be more people drawing off of CPP then putting in to CPP. And of course debt was and is an undesirable option which I hope to only use for student loans and a mortgage when ever that day comes, the rest I hope I can pay for in cash.
If you haven’t had the change to read his article I strongly recommend doing.

And if you interested in a little more facts around this topic check out “the shallowest generation”.  PS this is a long article but it’s fascinating to see the numbers.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August Line of Credit Update*

* I should come up with something more exciting, but I can't think of anything.

July's LoC outstanding balance is $-26,682.20

August 5~ $150
August 11~ $290.14
August 11~ $89.67
August 15~ $48.89
August 16~$12.34
August 19~ $140
August 25~ $472.11
August 25~ $6.98
August 25~$35.49
August 26~$23.82
August 26~$25.76
August 30~ $50.00

Total paid: $1345.20

Amount paid after interested added: $1,345.20- 99.72= $ 1,245.48
Daily interest for the month of July $ 3.216
Total  monthly interest: $99.72

Current outstanding balance on LoC: $25,436.72

Current $15,000 extra fund stands at $6,374.38. So 6,374.38+1,245.48= 7,619.86

Will have to update my side bars now.