Sunday, 29 June 2014

Final Debt Repayment Overview

Just incase you didn't see my last post: G & I finished paying off our line of credit! And as promised I'm going to break down where the last payment came from.

We started June with a balance of $3500, after the interest was posted we owed a total of $3515.09. After one of my pay days we did a payment of $515.09 -- leaving us $3000 left to pay. This seemed impossible to be able to pay and I really had my doubts of even reaching our goal of putting $2000 towards of debt this month (let alone eliminating it complete)! But G's last pay cheque of the month had a huge pay out of overtime he had been owed. I never count this or rely on these payments in our monthly budget as: 1. it's just extra and we shouldn't get used to living on it and 2. it could be months before we actually see a pay out even if he has banked overtime hours. So, once that hit the our bank account we made a payment of $1800. This is were I got real antsy. Seeing the LOC at only $1200 left. I just wanted it gone. G & I discussed and we made a transfer from our emergency fund to our chequing account (so we can track it on our budget) and then made the final payment to our LOC leaving it at $0.00 owing. Damn, that feels good to write even a few days later, haha.

No the decision to drain our emergency fund wasn't easy, but what sealed the deal for us is that we both have our TFSA account which we can withdrawal from anytime. We consider these retirement funds separate from G's pension and my RRSP, but that money is there just incase.

So now our #1 goal is refilling our emergency fund! I'm really hoping to hit our goal of $10,000 by the end of the year and definitely think it's doable considering how much debt we paid off in just 10 months (still pinching myself).

Now I guess this blog can finally be about what I named it Saskatchewan Savings!

- M

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

10 months & 5 days

As of 8:15 this morning G & I are 100% consumer debt free. In 10 months & 5 days we paid off a $19,863.59 line of credit

Oh my god.... it's gone....... IT'S GONE!!!!! I have been so overwhelmed with emotions today I can't even type a proper post! I'm sorry everyone for my over use of exclamation marks and cap locks but YAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

More details to come later; I can't think properly. I've been in a haze all day. I keep signing onto my online banking double checking that it's real. It is real.


- M

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Overtime & More Meal Plans

G has been extremely hard at work these past few weeks. As I said in a previous post, they are heading into the busy months two workers short. This means a ton of overtime. G & I sat down this week and went thru his pay stubs to see what overtime he has been paid and what is still outstanding. 6 weeks of extra pay is still owed to him, not including the time he has put in this pay period, which included him getting called in on his day off (automatic double time) and tomorrow he is on call all day because everyone else is at a golf tournament (he just found this out tonight) plus he still has to work he's regular night shift. The money is really really good, but I don't want him to get burnt out. He was really pissed about being on call tomorrow just because it was so last minute and an error that could have been avoided. It annoys me because, even though he submits all his paperwork and claims on time, we don't see that money until months later. The current amount we are owed is $2808.90, which doesn't included what he worked this week nor the taxes that I'm too lazy to calculate that need to come off. I'm hoping to see some of that payment on his next pay cheque or else I don't think we are going to be able to reach our goal of putting $2000.00 towards to LOC this month which would really disappointment us. I hate relying on the overtime, and it's something we never normally do, but this month has just been a gong show with our finances; but I won't go into detail here.

In other news this week. Update on mission use-up-what-we-have: it's going awesome! I've actually inspired my best friend to do the same thing with her kitchen and freezer; and it definitely helps to brainstorm meal ideas with someone else. :) For lunch today I made some soup and for dinner we had slow cooked ribs. Tomorrow we are having burgers (I even found hamburger buns in the freezer), Saturday I am making stew & currently I'm enjoying some popcorn. I have the next weeks worth of meals planned out day-by-day and my market list is ready for tomorrows grocery shop. I have 15 items of my list and 8 of those are items are vegetables. I've never been so excited for a grocery shop before! It's nice having a simple list with everything planned out. This whole process is definitely a lot less stressful then I thought it would be.

Tomorrow is my payday and I know I'll be getting some extra hours on this pay cheque that aren't part of my regular pay. Looking forward to moving some money around and making a small payment towards to LOC. Every little bit helps right?

- M

Monday, 16 June 2014

Meal Plan

After the harsh reality of our roof bill that I spoke about in my last post, I took the weekend to brainstorm ideas on how we can be cutting back. The main idea I came up with was grocery shopping my own kitchen!

The first big job was taking inventory of all the food in our kitchen. I'm always amazing how much stuff we have and how many things get pushed to the back of cupboard and freezers. I'm one of those people that have to take every single thing out of the area I'm cleaning and reorganize, so my kitchen looked like a bomb exploded. I was happy to only have to throw out three items that were expired, even though I had prepared myself for more.

While organizing, I was making a meal plan for these upcoming weeks at the same time. I'm hoping for the rest of the month to get creative and strictly use what is in our cupboards. Only really grocery shopping for the basics: fruits, vegetables and milk. If we can do that it'll go a long way in not just helping us save money but make the most of the money we already used when we bought all this food. Otherwise it's just sitting there forgotten about getting closer and closer to it's expiration date, and there's nothing more I hate then throwing out food.

So far I've been working on eating some english muffins for breakfast I found in the freezer, I made pork souvlaki wraps, and yesterday we made pulled pork in the slow cooker with a mix I had found in the cupboard. Today I made homemade granola bars when I got home from work that were easy to make with really simple ingredients! I even was able to use some frozen cranberries that were in the very very back of the freezer. They turned out awesome and I will definitely be using this recipe again (link below).

Have any of you done a full inventory of your kitchen? Do you enjoy getting creative with meal plans?

- M

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Bad Week

This has been an extremely emotional past few weeks for me: but it has gotten G & I's butts into gear about what would happen if either of us passed away. We were mostly inquiring about his work plan, because unfortunately as a result of recent events, I realized it's a reality of his job. We had a lot of really good conversations over the last week, and although it was really tough to talk about (i.e. Do you want to be buried here in Saskatchewan or back home in Ontario?) I'm glad we have had those conversations because if something happens to either of us we aren't worrying about if we made the 'right' decision. By the end of this year are going to be getting a Will in place incase of the worst. I hope to never ever have to use it, but at least it's there and our wishes are made clear.

To add to my already emotional wreck of a week: we got our bill for our roof. $5909. After hyper ventilating and then going thru his extremely detailed bill making sure everything added up correctly (he even included his invoices from the hardware store, I guess he knew I seemed like the type to want to go thru them) I came to the conclusion that yes, that was the price... That night after sulking around the house I called my mom who gave me the harsh reality of "Once you get just a little ahead, something will happen that will set you right back" Thanks mom... you totally made me feel better... G was on the same page as my mom, but added that a year ago if we got this bill we wouldn't have been able to pay for it because everything was max out and we had zero savings. He always says the perfect things  So after a transfer from our EF to our chequing account, I wrote the contractor a cheque without any tear stains or writing 'F- You' in the memo line. 

I consider that a big win for me ;)

- M

Sunday, 1 June 2014

May Budget Overview

Look at that beautiful debt repayment slice... I could stare at it all day.

Debt Repayment: (48%)

We are winding down everyone! Our LOC stands at just $3500. This month we put just a tad bit over $5,500, which is actually $500 short of our goal. I'm kind of kicking myself because I could have definitely done another $500 if we didn't go on our city trip but oh well. $4000 of that payment came directly from my income tax refund (such a good feeling to transfer that amount) and the rest came from regular payments. Our goal this month is to put $2000. G has been working a lot of overtime the last week, and they are going into the busy months short by two members so I suspect a lot of overtime this summer for him as well. The money is really good but I hope he doesn't get burnt out: I will definitely be watching for that.

Savings: (12%)

We have all our savings automatically transferred from our accounts the day our pay cheques go in so we don't even miss it/ notice it's gone. It's the best way to do it in my opinion! Once our LOC is paid off we plan on bumping up savings quite a bit and I'm hoping to have a more specific visual break down on what we are actually saving for (i.e. Retirement, Car, House Repair, Emergency, Vacation, etc.)

Food: (8%)

Booooo. We spent just a little bit under $900 on food this month. Not happy with this at all. $200 of that is from restaurants alone. Most of this number is from our out city trip to Humboldt where we stocked up on a lot of grocery and then of course ate at restaurants. I am happy to report that I saved a total of $69.48 this month strictly by clipping coupons, and I also saved a bunch shopping sales but I haven't calculated that yet. Hoping to stay at a reasonable amount for June, we have a lot of frozen meat to use for the BBQ.

Shopping: (6%)

Purchased a few items of clothing during Victoria day sales online, G pre-order a video game a while back and the PayPal transaction went thru when the game shipped and when I was in Humboldt a did a bit of drug store shopping -- the majority of it being shampoo, conditioner and medicine but I included it here.

Personal: (4%)

I'm actually surprised how low this number is considering this includes a Mother's Day gift, anniversary flowers G bought for me, and the dental cheque I wrote (which I will get reimbursed for anyways). 

Home: 13%

Besides are our mortgage and insurance payments this number is a lot bigger this month because we purchased some bushes & flowers for our front yard and G purchased a few tools he had been waiting to go on sale. Next month this number will be huge because we are going to be getting the bill for our roof, not looking forward to writing that cheque lol

Utilities: (3%)

Normal, aka boring

Transportation: 6%

I'm so excited to see what this will be next month! Now that I've started my new job here in town, I'm not doing the hour round trip commute 5 times a week. Instead, I know walk to work and walk home for lunch aswell! Only time I really see myself using the car is if it's thunder storming, but I doubt that will happen often. 


Although it looks like we've had an excellent month, I'm kind of disappointed. $500 short of our debt repayment goal, food spending way over, shopping for the clothes on Victoria Day. Wow, I'm actually really embarrassed with myself how we let some of our spending get so out of control. Here's hoping next month is better. We are so close to paying of the LOC, I think that's why it's hitting me the hardest. I just want it gone! :( But there's no one to blame but myself.

- M