Sunday, 11 March 2018

2017 Income Tax

$4230 total refund we received this year. Sadly, next year will be my last time I am able to claim the Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program benefit - which makes up the majority of my return. G's is mostly from spousal RRSP contributions and his overtime payouts being taxed at higher withholding.

When the money was deposited into our account this week the first thing I did was top up our annual payments account. We added $2300.00 to max this account out at $7000.00. Since we are technically a year ahead now to save for upcoming known expenses I made a preauthorized transfer to go into this account for $250 biweekly. That way the account is always being refilled, and our annual payments are on autopilot!

Now there is an extra $1930 that we do not have allocated yet. I haven't spoken to G about it yet but I'm thinking about making an extra $2000 payment onto our renovation loan and start that snowball. Our current balance right now is $12,932. Our interest rate is not small on that loan and it makes me sick thinking about how much we are paying someone else.

It's the next 2018 goal we had set for ourselves so it would be nice to get it crossed off the list as soon as possible.

- M

Monday, 19 February 2018


Finished all my organizing goals that I had for today!

I spent the morning clearing out our bedroom side tables. A few months ago G and I switched the side of the bed we sleep on and hadn't switched the stuff in our tables. His stuff is pretty straight forward but it let me sort thru and get rid of so much clutter. We honestly had 10+ small bottles of body lotion. I ended up just throwing them out, it wasn't worth keeping them around and remembering to use them up.

I also added a few more items to my donate pile while sorting my closet. Mostly fall/winter items I never grabbed for this season, or items I put on and immediately took off. I'll have another edit later today now that everything is organized. There's a few things I can think of that I'm on the fence about.

It's been a quiet Monday. G is at work and I've working on our photo book. Hopefully we can get that done by next week so it's printed by April. We seem to work much more effectively when we have a deadline looming, lol.

- M

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Long Weekend

It's a long weekend here in Saskatchewan - Monday being Family Day. G has to work the holiday but had the rest of the weekend off with me.

Yesterday we spent the morning meal planning. On the menu this week: pork schnitzel, Greek pasta salad, cabbage rolls and cajun chicken pasta (using this BudgetBytes recipe). After we organized, we packed up our SUV with a load of recycling to drop off and went grocery shopping. It was a pretty normal Saturday but it felt nice to get some of the garage cleared out - recycling is neglected during the cold winter months.

We haven't left the house all day today. Instead opting to watch the Olympics and I've finally convinced G to watch Mr Robot with me! The never ending laundry pile continues to keep us busy today. I cleaned out our linen closet upstairs. Downsizing what we had by nearly half. I have a good amount to donate, next time the CD is in our area. I made so much room I was able to move our bulk cleaning supplies in that closet so everything is in the same spot. I've nearly gotten a storage shelf downstairs cleaned off, which was a goal this winter.

Next cleaning goal will be our bedside tables and my workout/lounge drawer. I also would like to go thru my closet to reorganize and toss what doesn't fit for spring & summer. We will see how I feel tomorrow and if I'll be bored with G at work.

- M

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Money Talks

February and March will be a good money month for us.

Yesterday was G's pay day, a regular pay day without any big overtime payouts but G also received an expense claim deposited into our account. $2200, helped pay for hotels, meals and incidentals for a few trips G had. We had already paid for all those expenses, so this was just 'extra' money (or really to replace what we had to spend). So once that was deposited I promptly spent on a vacation we booked a few weeks ago. $2700 was sent to pay off G's credit card (the $500 difference is just taken from our regular budget). This completely paid for our trip to Iceland in October! Flights, hotels, and rental car is all booked and paid. So excited!! We have about $1100 in our vacation account right now that I was contemplating transferring out to help pay but with this refund I figured I would just leave the savings account as is. 

I will get my paid tomorrow, so I can transfer $800 to our annual spending account, brining that balance up to $3600. It seems like slow going to bring this balance up - but it's going. The next few windfalls should help, nearly max us out at our $7000 goal.

The first is an unexpected bonus at my work. I'm not exactly sure how much will get deposited after deductions, but according to my best calculations - we should end up with about $1700 next Friday. It'll go straight too our savings since I honestly was not expecting this at all. It was just announced this week and I had to read the email twice to make sure I read it right - lol. I guess we had a pretty good year!

The biggest windfall isn't really a windfall at all: income tax refund. We have all our T4's and other documentation in and I have entered in all our numbers. We should be getting a refund of $3400 between the two of us. I will file as soon as possible so we can get the refund in our hot little hands. If we haven't maxed out our $7000 savings account by the time we get the refund deposited, I will max it out and if there is any left I will start to pay off our remodel loan. 

Some other snowballs include: $40 for dog sitting, $130 for wellness expenses, G has another $200 of expenses that is pending. With all these big amounts and little amounts, hopefully by the time March is done our annual account should be maxed out. Once we hit our 'comfortable' level we will still continue our $200 bi-weekly transfer which will help keep the account replenished when we have to withdrawal for property taxes, car/house insurance, etc. That's the plan, now lets see how it actually all plays out! 

- M 

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Last Weekend

Last weekend was amazing. G had spent the previous two weeks in Manitoba for work, and although I am pretty much used to him being gone, those two weeks felt like forever. So I planned a little date weekend in Saskatoon for us.

We had dinner and drinks at the Cactus Club, went see Jumanji, stayed at a nice hotel, and spent the evening swimming in the pool all by ourselves. Sunday we spent the morning at the Remai Modern, then did our grocery shopping (for those that live outside a big city, going to the grocery store is a huge treat and really exciting, lol). We were home early in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day meal prepping an awesome dinner and we polished off a bottle of wine.

It was such a treat to spend that quality time together. Even gearing up for this week where we were working opposite shifts. Definitely money well spent in my mind.

Always curious 
- M

Saturday, 13 January 2018


As per my post on January 1st, we knew my Grandpa wasn't doing well and hasn't been for a while. In and out of the hospital since Autumn and doctoring since the Summer - they were never able to pinpoint what it was until it was too late.

On Tuesday (the 2nd) my mom asked me to call her, she let me know that the doctors finally diagnosed my grandpa with stomach cancer. The specialist were going to come up with an action plan to make my grandpa as comfortable as possible the next few months and determine if surgery was even an option. Wednesday afternoon he went downhill fast. I was getting most of my updates thru text messages and quick phone calls but I knew it wasn't good. I kept asking my mom if I should come, but no one was telling me a definitive yes. After one phone call, I just sat in my living room and cried because I felt so hopeless and frustrated. I wanted to be there with them, not two provinces away, alone.

I'm not sure why I needed to hear someone say to come in order to make the decision. They were dealing with much more pressing issues than worrying about me. I realize now how stupid it was and how much time I wasted. After a bit of feeling sorry for myself, I phoned G and just told him I needed to go. He said he would take care of the flights. I called my manager, got my shifts covered and G did the same and booked our flights. This all happened Wednesday evening at around 7pm. I called my dad (it is his dad who was sick) and just told him we were flying out tomorrow morning and that was the soonest we could get there. I'm not sure why this phone call is so vivid in my memory, considering that evening was a blur, but I remember after telling my dad his voice changed and I could actually hear some of the stress being lifted off his shoulders. Here I was wanting them to tell me to book my flight but they wanted to hear me say I was coming home.

After that phone call I kicked it into high gear; packing, organizing, getting our house prepared for leaving long term, etc. G got home from work and booked our rental car and I checked us into our flight. I hit the wall around around 12:30am, with a text from my sister saying that grandpa had passed away, surrounded by everyone. I didn't have any energy after that...

We went to bed at 1am, alarm went off an hour later and we were out the door and on our way to Regina by 3am. We flew to Toronto, got our rental car and drove down to Windsor. My mom and dad greeted us at their house - I've never felt so relieved to be home. After talking with them for a bit, G and I went over to my grandma's house. Seeing her was tough. She was in the basement initially, needing some time away from all my other family who were upstairs. I went down and stayed with her until she was ready to go back upstairs. We had a really nice talk, shed a lot of tears with some big hugs.

The next few days were spent being together as a family, most people were off on bereavement from work. My grandpa didn't want a funeral, but I know he would definitely be happy with how many meals we shared all together as a family. There was also so much generosity from outside the family: platters of food, desserts, bouquets of flowers and plants, text messages, emails, phone calls of support and condolences. It was amazing.

Although, I still get sad sometimes and regret not being able to see him when he was alive, I'm glad I have a really good support system in my family. Also that G and I were able to drop everything and hop on a flight as soon as we did.

G and I are back to our Saskatchewan home now, but already looking forward to going back in April.

My grandpa and I on my wedding day, 2012
- M

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Rest in Peace Grandpa

He kept telling the nurses how he needed to be better by April because his granddaughter from Saskatchewan was coming home to visit. One day after a stomach cancer diagnosis he was gone.

This one is tough...