Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Excellent Budgeting Month

Just for the record this is the first year in as long as I can remember that we have gotten passed Christmas without any credit card debt. Even not buying anything dramatic or over the top on Boxing Day - although I did look but more on that in another post. It feels really good not only because I know we are entering 2016 completely consumer debt free but because we could have purchased something if we really wanted too.

We were $141.91 under budget this month and snowballed that money to our vacation fund. The biggest area we saved on was groceries - I had allocated $350 for the month and only spent $256.66. I’m really happy about this because I didn’t feel so great after failing the grocery challenge at the beginning of the month. Other areas under budget: $13 under for fuel and $35.57 under for Mocha.

So with that we moved another $200 to the vacation fund. I figured adding $2000 this month to the moving fund was more than enough and wanted to be a bit selfish. Not all months will be this good - we need to do a city run sometime next month so our grocery bill will be a lot higher unfortunately. You win some, you lose some.

- M

Monday, 28 December 2015


I hope everyone had Merry Christmas! Although G & I are not able to spend it with our families, we did have a very good day. In the morning I FaceTime’d with my mom, dad, sister and her boyfriend. We opened presents, laughed, my mom cried, I even got to watch them all try hot sauces my sister’s boyfriend had brought from the states! My dad was trying so hard acting like they weren't hot but you could see his face turning red, lol. We talked for about 2 hours - it was really nice.

G and I then started to get ready for a big Christmas plans. Originally we were going to have some people over but that got changed last week, so it was just going to be G and I. He had the day off and brought up going to Saskatoon to go see the new Star Wars movie - we haven’t been to the movies in such a long time so I thought it was a great idea! We even treated ourselves, getting tickets to the VIP theatre and seen the movie in 3D. The nightout: $66.24 ($43.98 for the tickets & $22.26 for popcorn, drink, M&M’s, a chocolate bar and a poutine). There was also the $42 in fuel but that was already built into this months budget (in fact we are $13 under budget). We both enjoyed the movie and had a nice time going to the city without a long list of places we need to go or things we need to buy. It was just a relaxing day; even seen a shooting star on the drive home - both of us made a wish.

So that was our Christmas! Even though we couldn’t spend it with our family in the traditional sense, I’m glad technology has come so far. This time of year always makes me a little sad and seeing their faces really helps. <3

- M 

Christmas Day 
Keeping me busy during the days off 

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Lazy Weekend & Planning

This has been such a relaxing weekend. The week was really stressful at work – Wednesday I actually just came home (pretty much ready to cry with frustration), went straight into the bathroom and prepared a bubble bath for myself. G is such a good husband though – he completely took control of the cooking and cleaning this week made an awesome chicken chow mien stir-fry that was the perfect comfort meal. Friday I came home to laundry done (my weekend routine) and the house tidy. Hence the super relaxing weekend.

Yesterday I started looking into vacations for next year – the one back home I’m not worried about since our flights will be paid for with credit card points and we don’t need any accommodations (staying a few days at my parents house and then G’s parents). $2000 should be more than enough for food, shopping, thank you gifts, etc). I’m overestimating because I’d rather have more budgeted than not enough and we may spend a couple days in Toronto. So that takes care of that vacation/ family visit.

What about some personal time for G & myself? I started planning that vacation aswell. With the Canadian dollar so low going anywhere outside Canada really isn’t the smartest decision right now – it’s a good thing I live in a big beautiful country! J Flying somewhere isn’t an option either, as we will have used all our points and credit card perks for our flights back to Ontario. So we settled on somewhere we’ve already been and absolutely loved, Banff, AB! Last time we went it was summer/fall, this trip we are planning on December before Christmas. We are so excited to experience winter in the mountains; I have already done a lot of research on different activities available to do. Driving there is only about 8 - 9 hours tops, completely doable for us in one day. As for the budget – well I’m still trying to figure that part out. The more money saved up the better so I think I’m just going to go big or go home in terms of stocking money away. Like the Ontario vacation – if we use it to have a good time – great that’s what it’s there for; if not then the extra money is there to either keep in the vacation account for 2017 or to help fund another goal.

Although I’m thinking about vacations I’m still aware of our #1 goal right now: the Moving fund. We still are throwing extra money to that fund but I may back off a bit and start with a few hundred here and there to the Vacation fund (extra, as we already have automatic transfers setup for that account). Besides, if shit hits the fan in regards to this transfer, the Banff vacation can easily be dropped/moved forward. I’m just trying to get all our ducks in a row regarding our budget for next year – or should I say moose in a row?

Does anyone think I’m crazy/ taking on too much? It’s just nice to look forward to something even if the dates aren’t settled and won’t be for a while.

- M

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Bad News/Good News

Tuesday I went to my friends’ acreage right after work. Her dog went missing last Tuesday afternoon and on Friday they found his body in a trap about a mile from their property. Friday morning another one of their dogs came limping back to the house, lip completely mangled, blood all over her face, eyes blood shot. My friend took that dog to the vet right away and her husband went into the bush with his gun (thinking it was coyotes). After about 10 minutes walking thru he found the other dogs’ body in a noose like trap. They didn’t know anyone was trapping near-by. The Conservation Officers for the area are involved – as they know who’s traps they were and its not his first time doing it illegally/without care. Her other dog somehow survived the trap that caught her but she is still recovering – what a fighter. So after work on Tuesday I picked up a flower arrangement I ordered into town and went to spend the evening with her. We had dinner, talked about what happened: she’s more at peace now knowing where he is and what happened to him. They buried him near a lilac bush where he would always bed– a very fitting final resting place. I left there after a few hours of visiting, drove back to town and gave Mocha a big hug when I got home.

On Wednesday I got a Christmas card from my grandparents with a $160 cheque. I deposited right away, then G & I agreed to move it over to our vacation account to help fund our trip back home to Ontario next year. Instead of $160 I moved over $200 just to squeeze our budget a bit. The account is sitting at just a little over $800.

Today, the good mail continued but this time it was our Energy bill (surprise, surprise). We are on an equalized payment plan with both our Power and Energy bills. Our Energy bill for the last year was $160/month. But they reassessed for 2016 and our monthly bill is going down to $115/month AND we have enough credit that we won’t have to pay our bill again until April – score! Now, we are used to the $160 in our budget and I don’t intend to start spending it on crap, so what’s the plan? From January until April I’ll snowflake $200 into the moving account (rounding up to once again squeeze the budget and I like round numbers better). That’s $600 extra dollars added to the account in the next three months. Then following months until we move I have a snowflake of $50 to help fund our moving expenses.

- M

PS: Any pet owners reading; hug your animals tight & maybe an extra treat <3

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Lets Double That Goal...

This was a very good week. Our moving fund goal of $1000 is going to be completely blown out of the water. On Wednesday, G’s paycheque had a good amount of overtime so just that day alone we were able to add $1300 to the moving account. Then on Friday I got paid and was able to move an extra $300 to the account – most of this coming from a bit of extra pay, travel expense claim, and selling a few items. The moving account now sits at $1700. Another $100 is for sure getting moved over as an automatic transfer so I just need $200 by the end of the month to double our goal. I’m confident we can do that.

I was able to send out all out Christmas cards this week, plus two packages. We were completely done Christmas shopping at the end of last month so as packages started arriving from online orders, I would spend a bit of time each night wrapping the presents. Once the last items came in the mail I could pack it up and off to the post office I went! Being organized really helps when I’m trying to make sure our packages arrive before the holidays, also saved us money because I didn’t have to express post it! Still cost $40 to ship two separate boxes out and prices are increasing in the New Year. Thank god we got a giant roll of permanent stamps from Costco a few years ago – we are pretty much set for life.

I never said this in my last post but ND Chic had a grocery challenge on her blog: $100 to get you thru to the 15th of this month. I was doing awesome until Friday when I went to do my grocery shop. Over budget by $10…. Damn. I’m not beating myself up too much about it since it was a slightly odd list of groceries I had to get. My friend came over today for lunch and she has a gluten allergy. So I had to buy some gluten-free pasta for the dish I made and I got a gluten-free brownie mix for dessert. Just those two items: a little over $10 – having allergies sucks. (Shout out to anyone with dietary restrictions – your grocery budgets must be insane). I don’t really care about going overbudget, she was really grateful – since she can technically eat gluten but gets really bad headaches and stomach cramps. I don’t want to make someone feel like that. We had a really nice time catching up and doing our Christmas exchange since we won’t see eachother till the New Year. Definitely worth the $10!

- M

Sunday, 6 December 2015


Okay so like said in my last post, we have a lot going on in our lives right now.  I’m trying my best to simplify things as much as possible and that includes our finances. One thing I’ve learned this year is G and I work better when we have one big goal to focus on at a time. We completely kicked our car loans ass this year, then went on a nice vacation (completely paid for) and then topped up our Emergency Fund again after having to use it in order to get our dog cancer free. Oh and did a mention we cash flowed a little under $10,000 in vet bills/pet care? (Don't barf people, we love this dog and would do anything to give her a good life after all the shit owners she's had).

Look at that smile! :P 

So what’s our focus going to be now? Retirement did cross my mind but then I had a reality check: G and I aren’t trying to achieve early retirement. A lot of blogs I read are people who have that as a goal and I used find it so frustrating because I think we weren’t saving nearly enough. I need to stop comparing myself to these people. Although it's an amazing goal to have: it's not our goal. It's personal finance after all - I need to remember that, lol.

“All wealth is accumulated with the first dollar saved”

We've started, that's what counts. I’m happy with what we are saving for our long term, $17,336 each year (yeah that's right, I did the math) comes out automatically without us even thinking about it. That is extremely substantial for our age and doesn’t include any growth and snowballs we or our employer's may add to it.

What we are actually saving for is boring, and not the greatest content to blog about but hey this is real life! With this upcoming move a lot of things are uncertain – and we would like to protect ourselves from any uncertainty by having a nice big cushion of money incase things don’t work out with my job, need to do any repairs on a new house, need to purchase any appliances or anything else that may pop up. I’d rather be safe than sorry and if we don’t need the money then we can decide which account to put it towards – but if we do, it’s there.

Right now the account sits at $5100. $5000 is our EF so really our Move account is only $100. I have $65 worth of cash to deposit from sales I made this weekend plus mileage I will get paid out for a meeting I have at work (I will find out how much that will be tomorrow). G’s paystub uploads tonight so I will be able to see if there is any OT. If there is, I can snowball that into the Moving Fund. I would love to have $1000 in the account by the end of the year. I'm pretty sure I can manage it even though it's the holiday season.

- M 

Saturday, 5 December 2015


- House on the market
- Last bit of donations (and by bit I mean 4 trash bags and 13 boxes) picked up this week
- The house feel so much nicer now
- Finances are on track, still debt free and topped up our emergency fund plus some
- Christmas shopping done, feels good to spoil those who we are close too. So many have given us so much over the years this is the first Christmas we don't have any debt and can truly give
- I am on fire with my food budget these last few months
- Sold $50 worth of random items today on the local buy and sell - meaning even more stuff gone from the house
- My life is full of reading policies after policies, this is our first proper government move and we are entitled (according to these policies) to different things. I want to make sure we understand everything and what certain things mean for G's taxes
- Lots and lots of meetings
- Enjoying this oddly warm December while it last, definitely making my walk to work more enjoyable

Although everything is pretty overwhelming right now I'm remaining positive and remembering to take things one step at a time. Breath ~

- M

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Transfer Talk

Okay, so lets talk a little more about the transfer.

We weren’t looking to move necessarily. The town we are in now is extremely small and the detachment itself has been understaffed a majority of the time we’ve been here however that has allowed G to work a lot of overtime – and I really believe we would not be in the position we are today (debt paid off, good emergency fund, etc). Also, I have a secure and excellent job, which isn’t easy to get in a small town where they know for a fact one day I’m going to move because of what my husband does for a living. Regardless, a really good opportunity came up for G and he was offered a traffic division position in a small town. This is what G wants to do, his career path within the RCMP needs him in a traffic unit so he gains more experience and can more easily get approved for specific courses and training. I think the total conversation lasted about a minute before I told him I was on board and that I thought he should accept, lol.

We’ve been looking at the town and it’s really cute. Still small town Saskatchewan, which I enjoy but a lot closer to Saskatoon and some other smaller cities with proper grocery shopping. It’s going to be very convenient for us and we can still be a single car (paid off car, I should add :P) family without any issues. G has already talked to his new Sergeant to see what the shift will be like and they are niiiiccee. I’m actually jealous. They are longer shifts but his rotation will only have him working max four days in a row with a minimum of two days off in between shifts (mostly three days off though). The only thing that will be different is there won’t be as much overtime. However, there are opportunities if G wanted on his days off to do prisoner transports in Saskatoon. G said he would be totally up for since it’s easy money and you don’t have to do any extra files lol. So there is hustling opportunity and my husband is a hustler.

So, what about me?

Yeah! What about me, this is MY blog afterall :P First of all, this life is not for everyone. The Force does not care about the spouses job, what is good for families (moves in the middle of a school year), a lot of spouses have given up careers to follow their significant other around Canada. I understood this 100% going in. I was there the day he signed the papers accepting their offer and the woman who was there said "You understand we can sent you anywhere in Canada?" and Gabe said he understood and then she said "Have you looked at a map of Canada?". I would never hold anything related to his job against my husband, because many of these things are out of his control. However, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. Like I said, I have been so grateful for how open and accepting the Credit Union I currently work for has been to me. I mean I scared my dog when I got the job offer and cried when they gave me a raise (haha lame). This mindset did not change last Friday when I told my manger what was going on. I went into her office after letting her know I needed to talk to her in private and just flat out no bullshit told her Gabe got his transfer notice. She said they knew this would happen one day, but didn’t expect it so soon and said it was going to be really difficult to replace me. I let her know we still have to sell our house and get all that stuff done so it’s not my notice or anything but I want to be open and honest about what is going on since it’s not my intension to screw anyone over. She appreciated that, lol. Now one thing I haven’t mentioned was the post that we got was at the top of our posting list (members need to have a list on file of places they would wish to go too) for a reason. Not only because of the traffic division for G but because about 15mins away, just up the highway, the Credit Union I work for has a branch. I let her know the location and my willingness to stay with the company – even if it’s just as casual as I don’t expect the same position/hours I have now. She said she would talk to the retail manger but she is sure that they wouldn’t deny an offer from someone that is fully trained. So I left her office feeling extremely positive. A few minutes later she called me back in and said that the retail manager was totally on board and understood that there isn’t a set in stone timeline for this transition to happen. But then she had a little pause and said “I can’t go into details, but there may be an opportunity at the beginning of next year that would work out perfectly with your move. –Insert managers name- doesn’t want to loose me”. Then gave me a very big smile. Eeeeeeee! Holy crap I couldn’t stop smiling all day. I mean honestly, even if it doesn’t work out just working the casual is going to be okay but how sick would something more be?! I’m not counting my chickens but yay!

So how about that for a perfect move? For both G & I. Now if only all future moves are going to be this lucky, lol.

- M