Saturday, 24 May 2014

Weekend Happenings

I am currently outside on our back deck enjoying some lovely summer weather and the last few days of my vacation.

Yesterday and today were extremely low key days with us not really doing much or going anywhere. But even though we didn't spend anything per se the bill is going to be coming. That's because on Thursday and Friday we had our roof replaced! Yes, remember a few posts back I spoke about having to use our Emergency Fund? Well that would be on a new roof. It was a tough winter here at the Saskatchewan Savings household. We had some extremely bad leaks that we had to deal with. But we did, and kept the damage to a minimum -- the only room in the house to get damaged was luckily (?) the one room in the house that needs to get completely redone! Although it sucks, things could have been a lot worse. Anyways, so once the snow started to melt we called a few contractors in our area to get quotes. We ended up going with a guy that lives right in our town because he gave an honest quote (G went to the hardware store and priced out everything to make sure and actually ended saving us a few hundred dollars by negotiating - that was a very proud wife moment for me) and we basically flat out told him that if he does a crappy job it's his name on the line because in small towns you can't hide behind a company name when everyone knows your family (that sounds a lot more harsh then how we said it lol). Anyways so they worked Thursday & Friday and I am extremely impressed with how professional he is. He has called G up on the roof a few times to show where the trouble spots were and explain the process, etc. It's nice because some companies don't think it's necessary to teach their clients, but G & I are both learning a lot and now know what questions to ask and things to look for if we ever need to purchase a house again. 

Although we still haven't gotten the bill yet we know we are going to have to dip into our emergency fund. Luckily we have enough in there to pay for it in full and still not drain the account. Our plan is once we have our LOC paid off in a month or two we focus on bumping up on EF for a few months until its at our comfort point. This shouldn't be difficult to do given that the LOC payments eat up at least 40% (if not more) of our budget each month. I think to prevent this from happening in the future I am going to open another savings account for anything to do with the home, that way the two accounts have very different purposes and it doesn't get messy/confusing. 

If you are reading this post would you mind telling me in the comments if you have different savings accounts for different reasons or end goals? Is it helpful or more confusing keep track of everything? Thank you in advance if you share!

- M

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Vacation Week

G & I are on vacation this week together, we've been able to get a lot done around the yard and house because of this beautiful weather we've lucked out with. Nice to finally have the windows open and get some fresh air.

On Tuesday we traveled to Humboldt, the closest city with an actual grocery store, and I was able to save us a good chunk of change thru coupons and store sales. The shopping trip should have cost us $761.57 but we only paid $517.64; saving us $243.93 or 32%! This is my first real year couponing (and keeping track of my savings), so I know that number isn't as impressive as some people can get, but I'm working on it. I'm still really proud of myself considering $52.51 of that saving total is just coupons alone -- and I didn't include any store points I accumulated (Shoppers had 20x the points). Anyways, it was nice just to get some different shopping in even though it's a 4 hour round trip. Oh the conveniences I gave up to be able to see the Northern Lights right from my bedroom window ;)

The rest of this week is going to be extremely low key. A bit of house work and painting a closet, G has been organizing the garage and I've been working in the garden. I might put up some more clothing items up for sale as all but one of the items I put up last week sold. I made $45.00 plus I received two mail in rebate cheques adding up too a little under $20.00. Still kicking myself I hadn't started selling stuff soon. Oh well

- M

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Week in Review

What an amazing week! After my last pity party post, I spoke with my husband about the way I was feeling and he was pretty quick to remind me how with our LOC gone it's going easy to be to save up and purchase things we want. Going on one nice vacation a year isn't going to be stressful anymore because, as long as we plan for it, it'll be paid. I felt like a pretty big idiot and extremely selfish after writing that post and talking to G but, oddly enough, it got me into a really determined mood for the rest of the week.

1st good news: G & I celebrated our two year marriage anniversary on Tuesday! I can't believe how much our lives have changed (for the better) in such a short amount of time. In true shift-work life fashion: I worked during the day, picked up takeout, came home (he had a huge bouquet of flowers waiting for me on the dining room table), we ate dinner together, and then he went to work, lol. How romantic ;)  We were going to go out for dinner, but he was on call starting at 5pm and he didn't want to be the jerk that left his wife alone at the restaurant on their anniversary. A good call on his part I think!

2nd good news: I'm transferring! Right now I work out of town and I'm driving one hour roundtrip everyday. This was fine because when I took the position there I was really desperate for a job and it was the only decent posting in the area. Now a position has opened up at the local office here in town and I told my manager (who runs both offices) that the drive was getting really difficult for me and if they didn't give me that job I was going to have to look at other options. I guess my forwardness paid off because she told me they want to keep me on the team and she was going to speak to her boss but that it shouldn't be an issue. She told me on Wednesday everything is official and I will be starting either after my vacation or early June. Yay! The only thing is I will be working less hours. I currently work 33 hours a week and I'll be going down to 24. BUT I crunched some numbers (of course) and at the end of the day I'm going to be breaking even because I'm going to be saving huge money on my gasoline consumption! I don't even need to use the car because the office is a 5 min walk from my house and an even shorter bike ride. G also brought up the good point that we are going to be putting less KM's on the car, so less oil changes, tires will last us longer, etc etc etc. This is seriously going to work out so much better for us. We are a single car family as well, so if G ever needed the car for anything he would have to drive me to work, drive back home, do his running around, drive to pick me up, and drive back home -- 2 hours of driving in one day... It was getting to be too stressful for both of us. Oh! And the bonus: my benefits aren't going to change, neither are my vacation or sick days. Woohoo~!

3rd good news: I've been side hustling! The determination continued into the weekend and I spent all day yesterday cleaning out our basement. G had built me some wooden shelves for storage so I arranged my stockpile of coupon-ing deals (mostly cleaning products and paper goods that don't expire) and then organized the rest of the basement. We were able to recycle and throw out so much I honestly don't understand why we didn't do this sooner. I've never realized how much space our basement has (and how much junk was in it)! Anyways, I found some items that we didn't use anymore that are still in working shape so I took photos, the measurements and put them up on our local Buy and Sell Facebook group. Everything was sold in under an hour and I made $87 :o) Pretty good for just a days work! The determination has actually continued on today as well and I cleaned out our coat closet, storing all the winter boots and coats downstairs and then I went thru my spring jackets. I am letting go of four coats that I don't wear/having reached for in the past year. I will be putting those will go up for sale next weekend. Any money I'm making from selling items is being snowballed into our emergency fund, as we are going to have to tap into it this month (but I'll explain that in a different post).

Overall it was a pretty awesome week for me, even budget wise. We had all our bigger payments come out (mortgage, insurance, cell phones), so now there is just a couple more smaller bills and then we can focus on the LOC. The interested posted to it last night so I know we should be getting the bill soon. As if I need a piece of paper reminding me I need to pay the stupid thing: it's all I ever think about. But I do get a lot of satisfaction out of writing 'PAID' across the top and filing it, lol. I hope I'm not alone with that one... haha

- M

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Quick Post: Life Envy Rant

I have to confess. I've been dealing with some major fear of missing out the last few days. Well maybe not even that, I think it's just life envy. I know I shouldn't be comparing my situation to others but with social media and peoples lives being so out there, it's kind of difficult sometimes. A good friend of mine just got back from a week vacation in Florida, my best friend is going on her honeymoon in a few weeks, everyone and their mothers is taking part of #100happydays and posting photos of them going out every night, eating at awesome restaurants, going to the spa, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm really happy for them all but I just can't help but to be jealous.

I find myself checking Facebook less and less because it always puts me in a bitter mood and I need to stay focus on what's important in our lives right now: paying down debt. It's a little strange when friends of mine as what is new with me and I don't really have anything interesting to say because I know if I tell them "Well, I've paid down $____ of debt this month, and have been able to save $____ off my grocery bill using coupons and store sales!" they wouldn't really understand how important that is to me, haha.

Okay, now I sound like a misunderstood teenager; or Kanye West.

Anyways, I'm off to live my oh so Instgram-able life: picking up dog poo, doing laundry, working out in my basement, meal planning for the week, cleaning the bathroom, washing floors... I hope I don't make you jealous, lol  ;o) 


Saturday, 3 May 2014

April Budget Overview

Hi there everyone. It's time to bust out my beautiful budget pie chart and review!

Debt Repayment: (41%)

We were able to put just a tiny bit over $4000 towards our line of credit this money. The majority of this payment being from G's (husbands intial) income tax and a reassessment we had done (which I talk about in length two posts ago). We are finally down to four digit numbers, people! We ended this money with a closing balance of exactly $9000 left owing :o)  This month our goal is to put $6000 in total, broken down as: $4000 for my income tax return & $2000 for regular payments. It's definitely do-able; and if we can put more we will. I'm really excited and determined! We are so close

Savings: (15%)

We have all our savings automatically transferred from our accounts the day our pay cheques go in so it's nice to know we were able to save $1500 this month without really missing it. We have G's TFSA, my TFSA, my spousal RRSP & our Emergency Fund. The amounts in our TFSA's and my RRSP are pretty small right now but we have to start somewhere right?

Food: (8%)

This number would have been lower but G brought home Boston Pizza twice this month from when he had to go to PA and Yorkton for work; and one does not simply say no to Boston Pizza. This number might be a bit higher this month as we have visitors coming to stay with us at the end of the month and we have our marriage anniversary coming up soon so we might treat ourselves a bit. Though there's not that much choice here in town (there's 2 restaurants) so it's not anything fancy lol.

Shopping: (8%)

Most of this was my clothes shopping binge. You know what though? I wore those skirts this week to work and I felt like a million bucks ;o)

Personal: (5%)

This number includes paying our accountant for doing our taxes so it was a bit higher because of that.

Home: (10%)

No home repairs done this month; so it was just mortgage, insurance, etc.

Utilities: (6%)

Normal, pretty boring.

Transportation: (7%)

Car payments, insurance and gas


Pretty good month in my eyes! Seeing how big the debt repayment pie slice is makes my mouth water (bad pun). G and I were talking a few days ago about what our plan is going to be once the LOC is paid off and how we are going to reallocate that money. We both agreed we are living really comfortably and not feeling like we are missing out. We plan on saving for a truck so I think that's going to be a new priority for some of the money, then maybe ramping up our TFSA's contributions (we are a long way from maxing them out), and the rest for planned spending? It would be nice to have our car paid off too, and the house, and re do the bathroom upstairs, etc etc etc. The list will never end will it?