Thursday, 5 October 2017

Expense Refund

G got his expense refund deposited into our chequing account today. Quite a bit more than we were expecting at $2104.96.

$1000.00 was transfered to our line of credit, which paid this debt off completely (yay!). Then I transferred $1000 to our annual expense fund.

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Goals: 
  1. Get back to budgeting  (Done!)
  2. Pay off the Line of Credit (Done!)
  3. Save up $7000 for annual expenses (property taxes, insurances, etc.) and replace as it gets used
    • $1000.00/7000 saved 
  4. Pay off remodel loan
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I really believe we can fully fund our annual expenses by the end of the year. It's going to be tight without any overtime payouts but I'm hoping that combined with budgeting and no unexpected expenses we can do it (that's a lot of hoping). We would be $500 shy of reaching it otherwise. I like a challenge though.

This is actually perfect timing for us to reach this step because I just got an email from Tangerine letting me know we qualified for a special interest rate on our savings account @ 2.75%. Every little bit helps!

- M 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Sunday Happenings and October Plans

A nice relaxing Sunday here at our house. We took our time getting out of bed, as it was extra cuddly with G not having to run off to work and the windows having been open all night thanks to the mild weather. I love mornings like todays.

G started prepping dinner right away, searing pork shoulder and making sauce for slow cooker pulled pork. It smells so delicious, I keep wanting to open the lid lol. While he was doing that I tackled cleaning up some of the deck planters. I had planted some dahlias this year so I removed those bulbs and have them drying out so they can be stored for the winter. I also have a calla lily plant indoors that has started to go dormant, so I dug those bulbs out for winter storage as well. I transplanted a geranium plant to bring indoors - so we will see if that survives. I just have a few more planters to clean up this week and (sadly) store away the patio furniture. I'm not ready to let go of autumn yet :(

October is going to be a pretty social month for G and I. He is gone to Nashville next week for a bachelor party. G booked his plane ticket for $687.17 and he owes $284.00 for his share of the hotel, which will come out of the cash he is traveling with. I have been watching the rates at work and purchased $1000 USD. Lucky for me, working at a financial institution I can buy and sell USD for a preferred rate - every little bit counts! All of those expenses have been worked into our previous months budget so his trip shouldn't derail October at all.

For me: my best friend and I have a girls city trip planned. We will be staying one night at a hotel, which should work out to be about $82 for my share after taxes. Any shopping I do will come out of my own personal spending account, which I've been saving for this very trip. The meals out, however, will come out of our family budget (I'm estimating $200.00 for drinks and food). I'm really looking forward to this! We've had it planned for a while but it was difficult nailing down a weekend that worked for both of us during the summer. This is going to be one last alcohol-related-hurrah for her before she and her husband start trying for baby #2, so I really want her to enjoy herself. :) & me too of course!

My reading/blog writing nook in our basement
With our new addition to the indoor plant club  <3

The rest of the day we don't really have much planned. G is editing some of our Europe photos right now while I write this and I might help sort thru and flag some of our favourites. We get a photo book printed every year and our Europe trip alone has over 7000 photos - we've since decided this trip should be it's own book for good reasons, lol. Have a good Sunday !

- M 

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Home Sick and Payweek

At the beginning of the week I wasn't feeling too well, but I brushed it off thinking it was just pms. Tuesday evening, I really didn't feel well but felt better Wednesday morning so I went to work. Big mistake. I ended up spiralling, feeling like someone was stabbing me in the stomach over and over, it wasn't getting better. I drove home after leaving work early and spent the afternoon on the couch. G made me some homemade chicken noodle soup, although I didn't really feel like eating. He made me some ginger tea aswell, which helped settle my stomach. Yesterday I was back to feeling like myself just in time for weekend housework.

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here recently, so we tried to do as much outside today as possible. First we took our area rug from our living room and carpet cleaned it outside. While we were waiting for that to dry in the sun, G taught me how to change the oil in our car. I'm happy to say I did most of it myself! Under his watchful eye and instruction, it wasn't that difficult nor did it take that long. I'm grateful G can do this kind of work at home, I feel even better knowing I'm building my own confidence with car repairs. Nice part about this maintenance? All the supplies were on sale! The oil we only purchase when we see it's 40% off at Canadian Tire and the filters we had stocked up during Napa's annual BOGO sale. I put on a lot of kilometres with my drive to work, plus any city trips we have to do: so it's nice to have all these supplies ready to go when we need to do an oil change.

This week was our pay week and we were able to pay $1300.00 towards our debt. $100 was snowballed, $200 was from a medical reimbursement that we had already paid for, $200 was an automatic payment I have set up bi-weekly, and $800 was from my income. We have exactly $1000.00 left to pay and I'm confident we can accomplish that in October. G is waiting for at least $1500 in meals/incidentals to get reimbursed plus many hours of overtime (they are currently 2 1/2 months behind in processing payouts). It's just a waiting game for now!

- M

Monday, 25 September 2017

A Surprise Visit

from my mom and dad! 

They had come at the beginning of the month to visit for a week and have been traveling all over Alberta and BC since they left. Well they texted me in the afternoon on Saturday that they were in Swift Current having lunch and I said they should come to our house for the weekend if they didn't mind driving a bit more north. I think the free nights stay and laundry swayed them ;)  

They arrived in the late afternoon and we had a nice relaxing evening talking about their trip and all the places they went too. G and I have a few more road trip ideas in the future after seeing all their photos!

Sunday morning we all took our time getting up in the morning. G was supposed to work but was able to confirm he could take the day off after learning my parents were coming. After having coffee, breakfast and enjoying more conversations - my dad and G brought my parents car into the garage and G did some regular maintenance for them. My mom and me watched a movie inside and did their laundry. 

Later that day while I was preparing dinner, we hooked my parents laptop up to the TV in the living room so we could view all their photos - more stories were shared, maps came out, it was nice to be in the kitchen and having everyone in conversation. The evening was quiet, and we all went to bed a bit early.

They left this morning the same time I left for work. I shed a few tears, as I had a really good time visiting with them and I won't see them again until next April. Each time I see them it reminds me how far we actually are from home. 

This evening the house feels weirdly empty even though G and Mocha are home with me. I know this feeling will pass - it always does - but the home sickness seems to linger longer and longer each time. I'm glad they surprised me and came back to visit one last time. 

I had a really good weekend. <3

- M 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Net Worth Update - August 2017

I've been tracking our net worth for a few years now and it is by far my favourite calculation (nerd). It's raw data - the numbers do not lie. If we have hit a certain retirement milestone it won't matter if we also went into debt that month.

Here are our numbers:

Assets:

  • Liquid Cash - $13,204
    • This is everything we can easily liquidate incase of emergency without any penalties. 
  • Retirement - $125,619
    • The largest account in here is G's pension. We use the transfer value on his pension statement (updated everything month), as that is what we would be able to transfer to a LIRA (locked in retirement account) if he were to quit. The rest would be my pension and RRSPs. I toyed with the idea of placing our TFSA's in here but decided against it as if shit really hit the fan: we can easily access that money even though it is invested.
  • Hard Assets (House, Cars (private sale amounts) - $257,000
    • House value is what we paid of the house plus a little extra to account for the new windows. Car values aren't updated every month, but they are the private sale figures I was able to calculate online.
Liabilities:
  • Mortgage - $156,912
    • 16 years and 6 months left on our mortgage! Mortgage term renews in 2021 and our current interest rate is 2.89%. We haven't made any extra payments to our mortgage but did change our payment structure to accelerated bi-weekly when we set it up. This made a huge difference.
  • Consumer (Cars, LOC, etc) - $45,196
    • Working on this...

Net Worth: $193,715

Our big goal for 2017 has been ending the year with at least $200,000 networth, which I believe we should have no issues accomplishing. I would personally love to end the year with $150,000 in our retirement accounts but that would be up to the markets because we aren't going to be adding anything extra, besides our regular contributions, while in debt. 

Does anyone else keep track of net worth? Has it been eye opening to see change over the years?

- M

PS: Our first net worth I calculated was back in March 2014 and we were negative $494! Started from the bottom now we're here ;)

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Slow Moving Saturday

Although I love my husband, I really enjoy when he is working days on Saturday because I always get so much done. I don't really sleep in anymore, but on the weekends I always take my time getting out of bed. Then when I finally do, I take my time having my morning coffee and prepare a proper breakfast (today was scrambled eggs and cheese on a bagel).

Saturday is also my grocery shopping day. This is probably a contraction to something I've said before but I hardly pay attention to flyers anymore. We only have one option in my small town so I tend to shop what we are caving and want to eat for the week - if it's on sale it's just an added bonus. Does anyone else shop this way?

$21.98 worth of groceries for the week
This week our plan is:

  • Macaroni and tuna salad with fresh bread
  • Penne alla vodka
  • Rib meat wraps
  • Salami sandwiches
  • Pumpkin spiced cupcakes (not for dinner obviously lol)
  • Mini pizzas!

The macaroni salad we've been craving for a while. We have ½ a homemade loaf of bread in the freezer that I had made a few weeks ago so that will clear some space. The penne is going to be a new recipe for me to try. When my parents were visiting my mom had purchased a small bottle of vodka for mix and I had no idea what to do with the left overs - pasta it is! Rib wraps is from left over ribs we had made. G removed all the meat from the bones so we could do something different; this will most likely get eaten first. The salami, well that's again just some meat we had in the fridge. We have some mozzarella too so maybe we can make mini pizzas one night (pizza sauce is in the freezer). Adding this to my meal plan now - I guess I'm planning on the fly! The pumpkin spiced cupcakes will be a bit of a treat for G and myself, plus I will bring some to work. I have a spiced cake mix, and homemade pumpkin puree in the freezer from last year (someone at work was giving away free pumpkins so I roasted the two I took and turned them into puree for later use).

I think that should be good for a week if not a little bit more. I always bring left overs for lunch or I've been eating a lot of hummus and veggies recently. G is working days next week and will be gone most of Tuesday as he picked up an overtime shift on his day off. Hopefully he will be home for dinner.

My slow but productive Saturday continues now. I just heard the laundry finish. Lucky for me, my earl grey tea has just kicked in and I'm ready for another round of cleaning! 

- M

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Just Sit-down and Write - A New Introduction

Hi everyone! Yes, I'm still alive even though I haven't written in nearly a year. My life has been pretty hectic during my downtime and I have finally been able to catch my breath.

I apologize for leaving that last post on a cliff hanger, and I promise I will air all the dirty laundry soon. But to be honest - blogging wasn't fun anymore. I don't know why (because no one was forcing me), but I felt the need to write more click-bait blog post. I wanted people to keep coming back to find out what happened. It was stressing me out because I felt I couldn't write what I actually wanted to write - no one wants to read a grocery haul post, even though I personally love reading those. I was seriously starting to annoy myself with all this overthinking. 

I want to give you all a new introduction. I've toyed with deleting the entire blog (or at least those embarrassing try hard post) but just like my high school 'emo-kid' photos: it's part of who I am. 

My name is M, I'm 27 and live in a small rural Saskatchewan town with my husband of 5 years, G, and our blind chocolate lab, Mocha. I'm really happy with my life right now and finally have things back to being organized (somewhat). This won't only be a finance blog, but also a personal blog. Even if no one reads these post I'm using this blog to get my thoughts out.

Since last writing we have:
  • Spent three weeks traveling all across Europe, ending in Romania where we attend a wedding and I finally got to meet G's family and see where he grew up 
  • I recieved another promotion (and raise) within the Credit Union that I work at 
  • Stopped budgeting, if you can't tell (lol)
  • Added $2300 in Line of Credit debt despite my raise 
  • Took out a $14,500 loan for basement remodel and new windows for the entire house
  • Still haven't paid off our SUV 
  • My parents came out to visit us from Southern Ontario (part of the basement reno was setting up a bedroom for them/other guests)
  • We were both asked to stand up in G's best friends wedding next year, we said yes
  • G & I have really gotten into to board games (random fact)
We have basically been living without a plan and it has really shown. Now we dig out from this shit again but I'm done feeling embarrassed - lets just get this paid off. 

Current debt: $16,652.62 (not including car loan because I don't care about that right now @0.99% fixed, call me reckless!)

Current game plan: 
  1. Get back to budgeting (omg so many fails without tracking anything) 
  2. Pay off the Line of Credit
  3. Save up $7000 for annual expenses (property taxes, insurances, etc.) and replace as it gets used
  4. Pay off remodel loan 
So that's that. It was so much fun spending all that money, & now we get to have even more fun paying all of it off /sarcasm.  ;}

- M 

Me in my natural habitat, surrounding myself with flowers (Bucharest, Romania)