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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goals Update

I have been thinking that since I have so many goals it would be a good idea to do a goals update once a month to help keep me on track to accomplishing them. Anything written in blue will reflect a status update on that specific goal.

*** I have been trying to get this post ot since Sunday! So sorry its so late, days have just flown by.

1) Pay back money owed to Retirement fund $353.58
2) Pay off ALL OSAP by May 2012
3) Get cat fund up to $1,500 and keep it there for as long as possible
cat fund at 700ish
4) Save $700 in Christmas fund
5) Pay off $15,000 of Student debt (not including minimum payments)
6) Sort out cell phone 
iphone fund at 400ish put GST and a little snowflake into fund
-buy cell phone out right
-change cell providers
-get cheaper plan
7) Start stock portfolio

8) Get braces in January and pay for them in full in cash
top set on Jan 25, and first payment of 500$ paid in cash
9) Reduce ownership of Crap by 50% 
10) Write will and living will
11) Sort out American citizenship before April 2012
went to embassy have a lot of paper work to read
12) Read 12 books from Canada or Ontario History section of my Library
13) Decide if Accounting is for me
14) Change jobs for better pay within Company
15) Expand and dedicate more time to blog
- Finish blog conversion and change sites (No later then August)
-Network more with other bloggers (friends)
-Attend Canadian Personal Finance Conference 2012
16) No Macdonald's Fast food for 2012 (drinks excluded) [This is a joint venture with my BF]
1 month down 11 more to go
17) Finish 2007 trip scrapbook
18) Renew sponsorship

19) Go to Salem Massachusetts with sister
20) Go to Fort York with BF
21) Go to Fort Erie with BF
22) Go to Niagara with BF
23) Go to Denver for Financial Blogging Conv. (I think)
24) Take an unplanned trip

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are you a Clutterbug?

I confess I am a bit of one. But I am working on my 'aditction' so that I never become a hoarder. Though I can't live like that any ways so its not ever going to get that far. But its always good to take a proactive approach to make sure it doesn't happen.

Why bring it up you as?

Because I am joining Carla's February  de-cluster challenge.

Here’s how the Decluttering challenge will work:
1. There will be 4 main challenges for the month. I pick the theme, you pick the challenge!
  • Week One: Personal Space Challenge
  • Week Two: Family Space Challenge
  • Week Three: Productivity Challenge
  • Week Four: The “Dreaded” Challenge
2. Bonus Challenges!
- I will be giving you 4 *bonus* mini challenges throughout the month! Fast & easy to accomplish!
3. Purging!!
- Toss, sell, or donate 29 items! One item for every day of the month in February… Easy as pie! ;)
4. The Proof is in the pudding!
- If you have a blog, before & after photos of your decluttering projects would be awesome please!!

So are you in?? 

if so click on Carla's name to join!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My New Tittle

Do you remember this show? I never really got into it. But its a good name for me. I got my first row of braces on my top teeth today. In a few weeks after the Dentist figures out how to fit the bottom row on my  teeth I will get the second set.  The first bill was $500 which I expected to put on my credit card and than when the insurance kicked in, in a few weeks pay it off with what was returned to me and the difference coming out of my dental fund. This didn't happen. If you look to the right you will notice that I have a note under my Other Funds section. This note says:  Dentist fund owes the Vet bill fund $15.00. Between the time that I went for my first appointment and my appointment today the dentist stopped excepting credit cards unless the client excepts the 2% charge that the credit card company charges the merchant for the use of service. So since I didn't have exactly $500 floating around in my chequing account I asked the receptionist to use her computer to move money around. I took the full amount from the Vet bills account for simplicity and when I got home I moved the money from the dentist account to pay the vet bills account back. Without the insurance money I am am a bit short and now owe my Vet bills account 15$. Ah the joy of juggling accounts and money. 

I will say though that its a good thing I can type because I am still learning how talk with these things on. 

PS: today my sister got her braces off, ironic eh!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bi-Weekly Spending Recap January 9-22

January 9
No spend Day
January 10
No Spend day
January 11
No Spend day
January 12
No Spend Day
January 13
No Spend Day
January 14
No Spend Day
January 15
No Spend day
January 16
$10.17~Body Shop
January 17
$41.68~ Gas
January 18
$5.63~ Value Village
$11.28~ Value Village
$5.64~ Talize
$4.20~ Liquidation world
$3.39~ Dollarama
$11.87~ Chapters
January 19
$38.00~ movie tickets *on visa
January 20
No spend Day
January 21
No Spend Day
January 22
$10 flea market and home hardware

~~ I think this might have been my  best two weeks ever!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I think I am Cracking!

I think I am cracking under the pressure of my budget and its not even the end of the month. I spent to much money yesterday. Yesterday I drove downtown to go to a jewellery and watch store that is closing in the spring....

Don't worry I didn't buy anything from them!

Afterwards I did a run to Good will. Last Sunday mom and I started on the basement. One car load of stuff gone and more still to go though. After dropping stuff off at their drop centre I decided to go in. That mushroomed in to a 4h hunt. I went to one place after another and spent money on clocks, and other trinkets. I have been slowly getting in to the hobby of Steampunk  I like the idea of the challenge and the fact that its all based around one of my favourite time period in history is a bonus! Than last night I was looking at patterns and I found the most lovely dress pattern! I want it so badly! Let me show you:

Don't you think it's lovely!!! And how amazing would it look on!! It's only $19 which is exactly the balance in my chequing account.


My mom's birthday is today and I'm paying for  myself, my sister and my mom to go to a movie which is never cheep!  Truth is I didn't budget for it and that's just bad planning on my part.

Here's the thing by the end of this month I will have put over 1100$ into student debt which is great but also very suffocating. I am starting to resent being on such a tight budget. I want to be able to buy the pattern and the material without even thinking about it.

I keep telling myself that its short term pain for long term gain. But I feel like its not short enough.  This summer is coming up and while I don't have any large trips planed there are lots of little trips I want to do with my BF and other people. I just don't want to feel as though I can't take them.

Mom says she's worried that after I am done paying of my student debt that I will be to ridge with my money because I'll be so use to it by then. She thinks that I might make it impossible for another person or significant other to live with me as a result. With the way I am feeling I don't know if that's possible. I really want to take next pay's money that's allocated for OSAP and get just blow it on the pattern and material.

La sigh.....

On a more positive note my BF now 'follows me'  *giggle* and he's also commented on one of my posts  you can read the post and the comment here. It's a serial but good feeling to know he's 'following me' lol

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Catchup

It has been a busy 3 days for me. on Friday I worked a 10h shift. I switched with another co-worker to get his earlier shift which he was willing to do. Than Saturday morning I was up early to referee three games 8 am, 9 am and the 10 am. It was cold and windy but it was lovely. The league I ref for plays on an outdoor rink and despite the weather it was lovely to be outside. After I came home I had a shower and lunch before going to work. I worked another 10h shift 2-12am. In total I was up from 6:25am-1:30am yesterday. I wasn't moving to fast today. But once mom and I finally got up and at we got started on the basement. We now have a large pile of Goodwill stuff to be dropped off and a few other piles of things that we have to go though. Mom has china and we both have stuff from my Aunt to go though. As I write this at the kitchen table mom is cooking dinner. I am not even sure if I am up for eating, I am feeling very bushed. All I really want to do is curl up with a good book. However Robby is coming over later tonight we have salsa practise. Ah well at least I can't say life is ever boring.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Recession Lessons From Gen Y

I am excited to write this post. You see, you always read articles about self indulgent  Gen Y’s (20 year olds) in fact Gail has a whole show about it called Princess though in the show’s defense they are not discriminating on age. Any ways I have felt for a while that I can’t be the only 20-something person in North America who is taking their money seriously.  I know that the people in the PF world that are my age are of course. But we can’t be the only ones. And it seams that my assumptions were right!  An article that came out in U.S. News & World Report showed that “A new survey from TD Ameritrade found that one in four 20-somethings funnel money into not one, but two different types of retirement accounts, a 401(k) or 403(b) as well as an IRA.” I know your saying but that’s American how does it apply to Canada? Well the truthfully it doesn’t but it’s an indication that all the nay sayers about the Gen Y’s money management skills haven’t got all the facts.

 The article goes on to talk about the importance the recession has had on my generation. I believe that history recycles itself in 3-4 generations. Let me explain Generation 1) suffered though WWI then the Great Depression and again WWII. Realising the importance of safety nets and saving, when the time changed this generation put in to the place the largest safety nets creating our cradle to grave society.  Generation 2) benefited from both good jobs, social safety nets and the experiences of their parents. Generation 3) has not so good/stable jobs but safely nets that are becoming excessively costly and cumbersome to the society. As this point generation 3 is to far away from ‘remembering’ or ‘hearing stories’ about how difficult it once was and start to question the reason for all the expressive programs. By the time that Generation 4 comes around things are tight again. And watching money is no longer an option but a reality.

I think my Generation has seen the deteriorating of social and ‘the norm’ and are pessimistic about whether any kind of social service or program will be around when they hit old age. I know I am. Also the fact that nothing truly guarantied anymore means that we have to take matters into out own hands.  “Gen Y has accepted the reality of the past few years, and rather than being discouraged, they’ve changed their behaviours and are using what they’ve witness to their advantage,” says Nicole Sherrod, managing director at TD Ameritrade. “This is something that older generations could benefit from,” she adds.

The recession has been a great eye opener to many of my generation and the stats are more reflecting this “One in three respondents told Scottrade that they've learned more about how the economy works because of the recession and a similar percentage said they've become more familiar with their own personal finance situation. Those are higher percentages than any other generation.”

There are the links to the articles that I quoted. I strongly encourage you to read them they are very interesting!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bi-Weekly Spending Recap December 26- January 8

December 26
December 27
December 28
$17.21~ photo's at Wal-mart
December 29
December 30
$25.48~ Gas
$48.20~ Gas
December 31
$11.30~ Sister's gift for brother
$11.25~ my gift to brother
$7.33~ Sushi
$16.95~ stitches
$13.61~ gift for mom's bday
$675.00~ Accounting course* on visa
$3.97~ Macdonld's (Last visit until maybe 2013)
$11.95~ bank fee
January 1
January 2
January 3
$3.00 ~bank fee
$20.00~ from ATM
January 4
$161.00~ text books for course *on visa
January 5
$6.75~ wal-mart tire pressure
$13.55 calendar club
January 6
January 7
January 8
$24.00~ food at IKEA *on visa

As of my last spending update I had 197 No spend days with this last update I ended the year with 200 No spend days. Now for 2012 I have 4 No spend days.

I also wanted to let you know that things might get a bit slow around here, my aunt was admitted to hospital and its not looking so good. My mom has good to see her and she will keep me in the loop.

On a side note my BF has decided to join my blog. I did mention to him that you had asked that he guest post. That ball has been left in his court but as it stands he's made no commitment. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Why no contract?

 I have been asked why a 'no contract phone'? There are 100 reasons why I refuse to ever be tired to a contract but what it comes down to is I don't like the way phone reps treat people with contracts. Let me tell you the service I have had since my contract expired has improved 100% to when I was on a contract. It's because they know that they have you by the jugular. Every simple thing is like pulling teeth. I am just not interested in it any more. As for why a cell phone? It’s my only oral contact with my BF. Everyone in my family has a cell phone and we have talked about canceling our house phone because no one picks it up or calls us on it except tel-marketers. However it's on contract as well and to get out of the contract is 400$. Everyone has my cell number including work, it's the only contact number work has to get a hold of me. I am just not willing to cut myself off from things and that's why I have a cell phone. As for the prepay option the rates aren't worth it. My BF and I spend on average 500min a month not including text talking to each other and the plan that I have and will always have allows for unlimited talk Canada wide to my fav 10ppl which he is one of them. It's a great plan, it was WONDERFUL! when I was in Vancouver and had school problems to sort out, my Uni was on my 10 list. I hate the constant rule changes that goes on when you call in because you were told one thing but it turns out they have changed the rules and you can't do that with 'your plan.' I hate the fact that when you sign up for a contract your credit score takes a hit, and I really can't afford that hit at this point in time. 

There are lots more reason's but I want to leave you with this last one. Read the article that was in the Toronto Star this morning about how unhelpful being in a contract can be:

"This week, he called the Bell World store where he bought the $200 phone with a three-year rate plan on Dec. 19.
His saleslady agreed to change the number while he waited. She suggested asking Bell Mobility to waive the usual $20 fee.
Bell refused to waive the fee. A supervisor ended the call in under a minute, saying there was no point in talking.
“The supervisor denied any culpability for assigning the contact number for a prostitute to an 11-year-old,” says Luke.
“Anyone could have texted her number with words or images — and she would be charged for the incoming calls.
“I am angry with Bell, not for doing something wrong but for failing to make it right. What is this teaching a little girl when a big corporation looks at her as though she didn’t exist? How can they spout policy to a child?”

To large cooperate companies no one truly exists your just a number on a 3 year contract. I refuse to be subjected to that again.

As Andrea would say "I am just so over phone contracts!"

Feel free to disagree with me, phones are one of those things that everyone has a differnt pinion on basied on their experiences.

Are you still on contract? Will you sign another contract once your's is up? Or did you switch to pre-pay, why?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cars and Money and other Money issues

Way back in September of last year when I decided to take Little Lamb's advise to only focus on my Car Fund instead of splitting money up between the Car and the Cat fund, I set my goal at $1,500-2,000 before switching to my Cat fund. Had I not had my accident in November I would have met that goal. At the time that I set it I had January as my date for flipping form Car to Cat. Over the past week I have been crunching numbers on my January budget. And I have decided to reduce the amount of money going into my Cat fund and increase the amount going into OSAP. However Yesterday my engine light came on in my car so I took it to the mechanic to see what it was. He cleared the issue because he didn't think it was bad but advised me to keep an eye on it just incase. As him and I got talking he mentioned that the spark plugs normally go on Waves every 40,000 km. I am 1500 km away form the spark plugs going on my car. So hears the dilemma. Instead of putting this month's money in to the Cat fund should I delay that until after February and put the money into my car fund to off set the cost of the spark plug repair that is just around the corner? WHAT DO YOU THINK??

Another thing that I have been pondering about is my cell phone bill. My phone is now off of contract however it's old to transfer from another provider. Talk about bad luck! I am still about 450$ away from having the full amount to buy the phone out right. As it stands I spend 100$ a month for my phone. Its an old plan over 3 years old and the only way that my current provider will let me reduce the cost is to sign another 3 year contract. NO THANK YOU! So I have been thinking that it would make sense to take what ever extra money I make and put it into my cell phone fund to speed up the process of reducing my cell phone bill. When I switch providers my cell phone bill will drop at least 25$ a month. I can then take that money and switch it into another saving fund. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Please let me know what you think to both ideas?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Final Evaluation on 2011 Goals

    2011 Goals/ New Years Resolutions    

1) Pay off $15,000 of Student debt (not including minimum payments). I set this goal with no real plan in mind on how I was going to get it accomplished. I just set it and thought I’ll make it happen. In total I paid off $12,665.74 and bought a car and than paid $1300 to fix the car, so I am happy with my progress given the fact I had no real plan at the beginning of the year. ACOMPLISHED

2) Get a second job (preferably by March) [second job started in June ended in August]  Since June I have had 3 jobs (Stats Can, Elections Canada and now I am refereeing. So I would say this goal was ACCOMPLISHED

3) Invest 6% of my income into company stock (6%= $2,142 roughly) I have contributed since Feb. $1,890.29 and my Company has contributed $919.66. In total I have $2,809.95 invested in Company stock.  ACCOMPLISHED

4) Create and fund Christmas fund 2011 to the amount of $800 (Done sept.8th) ACCOMPLISHED

5) Cut cell phone bill in half (preferably by the end of January.) This goal has been on hold until I buy a new phone outright. I won't sign a three year contract just to cut down the cost of my bill.  ON HOLD

6) Order my credit score ACCOMPLISHED IN JULY 


1) Read 50 books I already own. The reason for this goal was to stop my book buying and increase my book reading. While at Uni. I had a heard time reading for pleasure but my book buying never slowed down and I realized I owned more books I hadn’t read then I had read. In total I read 42 books last year of one form or another. Some weren’t mine but they were books that I didn’t buy.  Since I bought so few books last year and read way more I think this goal was ACCOMPLISHED

2) Get my Gold Duke of Ed Award ACCOMPLISHED IN DECEMBER 

3) Catalogue and count books June 9th, 976 books (few on loan might still need to be added to count). This goal I thought was completed but than I found 5 boxes of books in the garage that I had forgotten about. Some of those books I donated and others I kept. Of the ones I have kept I still have 3 book shelves that have not been cataloged, because I have been lazy. IN PROGRESS

4) Finish/ start Europe/UK scrap book I started the scrapbook but have not finished it. I do it at work at my desk while doing my 2-12am shifts. I have done all of Scotland and currently I am working on England.  IN PROGRESS 

5) Find a way to put $100 into Shirli's visa card.   I wasn’t able to put the money directly into her visa card because of privacy. So I settled on having a draft written up in her name. The draft has been made the letter written and dropped in the mail.  ACCOMPLISHED

6) Get my knee sorted out

7) Reduce ownership of Crap by 50% AND try to remove one full row of shelving in room, to reduce space for more stuff. I have gone though a lot of stuff (china dolls, books, cloths ect.) and donated most of it.  But more can always be done.  IN PROGRESS

 Total: 13
Accomplished: 8
In Progress: 3
On Hold: 1
Fail: 1

Over all I am happy with the success. Now that its 2012 time to update the goals page and get busy on my new goals.

What do you think??

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

December OSAP and LoC Update

Since December has come and gone it's time to update my progress on my OSAP. And because its the end of the year Its a good time to check on my LoC progress. The last payment made to my OSAP (Dec 30) will not shoe up on the OSAP system until early January however I am going to add it to this month since that's when I made the payment.  

November OSAP balance: $6,921.75 

December 5~ $165.59
December 9~ $28
December 16~ $550
December 22~$56
December 30~$495

Amount paid after interested added: $ 1294.59 -27.28= $1,267.31
Daily interest for the month of October: $0.88
Total  monthly interest: $ 27.28
% interest is calculated at: 5.5%

New OSAP balance: $5,654.44

Regular payment to LoC $250
Monthly Interest: $92.10
Interest rate:4.5%
Amount after interest taken off: 250-92.10= $157.90

New balance of LoC as of December 31: 24,037.30

Current $15,000 extra fund stands at: 
$11,240.53+1267.31+157.90= $12,665.74

24 in 2012, a Year's worth of Goals

I have decided that since I don't have all my numbers yet to go over my 2011 Goals I would just post my 2012 goals. When I was doing my 2011 goals I remember thinking that maybe 13 goals was to many. But in stead of stream lining it I assigned myself 24. Travel is a new subsection for me. I would like now that I have a car to start doing small weekend or day trips. Also it's the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812 between Canada and the USA. So I want to go see lots of re-enactment's.

1) Pay back money owed to Retirement fund $353.58
2) Pay off ALL OSAP by May 2012
3) Get cat fund up to $1,500 and keep it there for as long as possible
4) Save $700 in Christmas fund
5) Pay off $15,000 of Student debt (not including minimum payments)
6) Sort out cell phone
-buy cell phone out right
-change cell providers
-get cheeper plan
7) Start stock portfolio

8) Get braces in January and pay for them in full in cash
9) Reduce ownership of Crap by 50%
10) Write will and living will
11) Sort out American citizenship before April 2012
12) Read 12 books from Canada or Ontario History section of my Library
13) Decide if Accounting is for me
14) Change jobs for better pay within Company
15) Expand and dedicate more time to blog
- Finish blog converstion and change sites (No later then August)
-Network more with other bloggers (friends)
-Attend Canadian Personal Fiance Conferance 2012
16) No Macdonald's Fast food for 2012 (drinks excluded) [This is a joint venture with my BF]
17) Finish 2007 trip scrapbook
18) Renew sponsorship

19) Go to Salem Massachusetts with sister
20) Go to Fort York with BF
21) Go to Fort Erie with BF
22) Go to Niagara with BF
23) Go to Denver for Financial Blogging Conv. (I think)
24) Take an unplanned trip