Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Move Date

The movers are here today !

Last night we took possession of the new house. The final walkthru confirmed we made the right choice. The seller did everything we asked of them and more - I was blown away. 

Going to be a crazy week but it'll be worth it :)

Goodbye old house <3

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Mortgage Chat

We decided with this new mortgage to change things up a bit.

When we first bought our house 3.5 years ago, we went with a 25 year mortgage. It was a manageable payment, that's all we really cared about at the time. I remember the first anniversary of our mortgage we got an information sheet from our bank explaining how much we paid, the interest rate, etc etc. Pretty neat overview of our largest debt - until I got to the principle and interest breakdown from our payments. How depressing to see more money going to interest than principle. But alas, we had much bigger and more expensive fish to fry.

Now we are in a position where the mortgage is our only debt. If we kept things the same and ported our mortgage, we would have been on track to pay it off in 21.5 years (that half is important to me for some reason). But what fun is that? So instead we opted to pay the fee to break our current mortgage and secure a much better interest rate plus change the amortization to 20 years. The biggest difference, however, was when we changed our payment frequencies. Right now we pay monthly, we could have changed this any time but never really thought about it. With the new mortgage we changed our payments to accelerated bi-weekly. Doing that alone shaved off an entire two years of payments! So now we are set to be mortgage free in 18 years - or when I'm 43. How sick is that? And that's not if we pay any extra - which our mortgage allows without any penalties.

I'm really proud since not only did we get rid of 3.5 years off our mortgage by just changing a few things, but we also did this all while doubling the amount of our mortgage. Not that the mortgage amount is something to be proud of but it's a huge motivator to get it paid off even sooner!

We are also taking this opportunity to change our insurances (both auto and house) around a bit, but once I get the final numbers I'll share with you what we saved. :)

10 days until the move!

- M

Tuesday, 15 March 2016


I got an interview for next week!!!


{~happy dance}

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Budget Update

With the transfer pretty much dominating my life, I haven’t really shared how our budget has been. Even though things have been stressful I’m happy to report that we are kicking ass - and extremely lucky because there have been a few windfalls this month.

This week we will have cleared out our chest freezer and can begin to defrost it. Even though it is staying here with the house (the buyers wanted it and it's at least 20+ years old so we were find letting it go) I want to give it a good clean. I have meals planned that will get us thru next weekend - and a rough idea of meals to get us thru until our move. I’m really happy there has been minimal food waste. I’m happy and our budget is happy. We’ve only spent $91.67 this month for groceries and this includes the shop that will get us thru until next Sunday. I have $300 budgeted this month but I’m striving for $200. April will be a big stock up month/city run but at least I see it coming and can budget for it. 

Our dog Mocha has been doing so well! After such a tough last year and the vet bills to prove it, she is perfectly healthy. No issues at all so far this year other than insulin, needles and special food. Next month we will have to take her to the new vet to get checked and most likely purchase some more insulin but other than that she is really good. I’m a bit nervous with how she will adapt to the new house - since she got to know the layout of this house before she went blind. However the new house has less stairs for her so I won’t be worried about her falling. G and I will be home with her the first few days so we can keep an eye on her (there’s a joke here about her having no eyes but it’s too easy).

"It wasn't me who jumped up on the counter and ate that delicious bread..."

February our moving fund took a bit of a hit when we transferred $4000 out to put down as cash on the new house, but we made up for it this month. First, we got our tax refunds: just a tiny bit over $5000 for both of us, that money was moved right to the savings. Then we got medical reimbursements for some massages and eyeglasses. Those appointments were already paid for by the budget so it was extra money, so $400 got moved over to the savings. Our moving fund is $7500 currently. G just signed paperwork for the milage, meals and incidentals for our house hunting trip so we are expecting another $700 sometime soon - which again is extra since it's all already paid for. This is also a three paycheque month for G. If we stick to our budget we will have $4200 extra we can do whatever we want with. I’m aiming to add $3000 to savings, which would leave us some cushion in the chequing account. If G get’s some overtime on his cheques that’s even better - but I’m only calculating what his regular pay would be. 

So goals this month:

  1. Meal plan so all perishable food can be used before the move
  2. Grow Moving Fund to at least $11,000
  3. Groceries budget $200
- M

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Job Crazy: Read at Your Own Risk

Yesterday was the last day the job I applied for was accepting resumes. I’m hoping to hear anything (good or bad) by next week. This waiting is killing me and I’m starting to make theories I don’t think are entirely rational lol.

I was working on a project with the HR Manager - I’m a teller but also help with marketing for the company (yay finding a way to use my University Art Degree) - and she forwarded me a email with some information I needed. This email was from the manager at the branch I applied at… Not only was the information I needed in the email but also something I could be looking into waaaaaaay too much.

See the Credit Union I work for buys us all corporate wear about twice a year and the spring shirts were going around to the different branches for sizing. The manager had all the sizes in the email for the employees and asked the HR manager “Should I be ordering an extra? If so, what size?” Now, if they were still accepting resumes (this was earlier in the week) and hadn’t done interviews yet how would they know the size? And further more, it wouldn’t be the HR Manager who would be doing the interviews because she told me herself it was all going to be done by the branch manager so she would have never seen any other candidates to even guess their size. Hmmmmmmmmmm. 

I just need to stop and ~chill; I’m not being myself. One of my coworkers said “It’s good to be nervous, that means you really want it and aren’t expecting anyone to hand it to you”. And that’s the thing, I really want this job. To have a transfer where not only G gets to have a job in the speciality he wants to be in but for me to transfer within the same company (which is very small mind you): that doesn’t happen often. 

I know, I knew what I was getting into when G joined the RCMP. I was there when he signed the paperwork. The lady said “You understand the RCMP can send you anywhere in Canada?” “Yes” “Think about it, have you seen a map of Canada? Anywhere.” Yes that means anywhere for him but it also means anywhere for me as his wife. G has never put the pressure for me to work, I put that pressure on myself. I’m being my own worst enemy right now... 

Deep breaths and get it together (my mantra this weekend).

- M

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

New Job?

I handed in my resignation last Tuesday after we got the green light with the home inspection. I will work right up until the move, my last day will actually be the same as our possession. I volunteered myself for some overtime Easter weekend – only a few days before the actually move - to squeeze as much pay as I can out of this job.

Last Friday I got a text message from a co-worker letting me know that there was a posting for a position in one of our other offices. I asked her to forward me the email (since I wasn’t at work) and that weekend I dusting off the ol’ resume. 

The job would be different from my current position but since I’m staying with the same company my pension and benefits won’t be affected. Another huge plus: it’s full time!

When I got to work on Monday I loaded my emails and there was the email for the position (everyone got this email) and a personal email from our HR Manager with the following message:

“Not sure how far (town where I live) is from (town where job is) – but this will be an interesting posting for you if you’re interested. Contact (name of manager) if you have any questions.”

I submitted my resume first thing Monday morning and arranged to speak to the manager by phone. I've never met her so I thought it would be good to at least put a voice to my name. The phone conversation went extremely well.

On top of a what seemed like a good impression, I had my current manager pull me aside, letting me know how she thought I would be really good for that position. I let her know I applied and she said she was actually going to contact the manager to recommend me personally. THEN (okay things are going to get weird to explain) I had one of the financial planners I would be working with in the new position pull me aside (he travels to our branch once a week) to let me know he heard I applied and was so excited! I guess they have been looking for a good office assistant for a while. He was also putting in a personal reference for me. I would be mostly working for him, so to have a reference like that is huge. I was so grateful to both - I never asked them to do this for me - so for them to go out of their ways to vouch is definitely a confidence booster. 

Since all that happened I've had numerous co-workers tell me they hoped I applied, including some from our other locations making sure I seen the position. Everyone has been so supportive. 

The job closes this Friday - wish me luck!!

- M 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Why It’s Important to Have an Emergency Fund

This week I learned why it’s important to have an emergency fund ready and available. G’s paycheque was messed up.

Back in May the payroll systems switched. G said it was a headache at first but once he got used to submitting his claims it was easy. Not only easy but the payout of overtime is down to around 2 months of waiting instead of the minimum of 6 months we were waiting before. Don’t remind me of the 8 months it took to get G’s raise…

Fast forward to Wednesday's paycheque which looked like this:

Notice all those lovely negatives? That new system was being really generous and giving everyone too much money for overtime, on call and shift differential claims. So then this paystub shows up with a wall of scary negatives dating all the way back to June! 

We had no warning that this was going to happen or the amount it would be. Poor G went into the office Wednesday (one of his days off) to compare his accepted claims, with the original paid amount then this new deductions. Oi. He was there for 5 hours. In the end he confirmed that the amount of hours he entered (and were approved) were correct but they had indeed overpaid. But he also found one court date that they originally paid but took back the full amount earned. He sent in a ticket (he even gives tickets to the payroll dept lol) to see about getting it resolved or at least an explanation.

If you add up all those deductions up it comes to $1619.81. If this was a regular paycheque for G we would have only been left about $400. Luckily, he had a payout and it evened this paycheque out for us but I had heard of them leaving people stranded like that. One lady I know was telling me about how when her husband did an isolated posting and their rent from the Crown owned housing they lived in was taken directly off the paycheque. Everything was fine and dandy until a year later when the payroll dept noticed they charged them too little and then took all the money off at once. This was a single income family with two little kids, and they were left with very little for two weeks...

We were lucky enough to have it not really affect the pay it still made me extremely aware how important an Emergency Fund is. G works for the Government of Canada – the Government people! I know I shouldn't bite the hand that feeds us, but seriously? Had this happened to us a few years ago when we had nothing saved, it would have been a disaster.

So thank you Emergency Fund. Although there have been times I pondered if we should do something more with you, I’m glad we resisted. You never know just when you might need that little bit of cushion and piece of mind.

- M

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A Home Sold & A House Bought: The Final Chapter

If you haven’t read Part One or Part Two click for the links

Okay, so ND Chic totally got it right. We went with house #2!

Not only was it the house I had the best feeling about; it was also in the best shape, in our price range, and was the ‘youngest’.

Okay, so there we were in the basement of House #3. G and I discussing, our realtor adding some input and then G and I discussing even more. We opened up the offers $40,000 below asking price - we knew no matter how much we offered, the seller would counter and we weren’t going to offer the asking price. So we were able to sign the documents right then and there and went along our day.

The next morning our realtor calls up and says we have a counter. The seller only dropped by $10,000. We aren’t impressed. So we add $10,000 to our offer and the seller counters back within a few hours, dropping only $5000 more stating they were firm. At this point we are only $10,000 shy of agreeing and we were getting at the top of what we wanted to pay. There was lots of back and forth that day, all within a short amount of time too. So we backed off, or at least that’s what the seller and their realtor thought. We talked it over with our realtor and she suggested playing a bit of head games since so much had happened that day. Wait and counter in the morning - give the seller one sleepless night with our pause. Let them think about if it was really worth loosing the sale of the house by a few thousand dollars. We agreed we would counter $5000 more - meeting half way but not doing that until the morning. 

It’s totally worked.

First thing that morning (before the offer went in) the sellers realtor was contacting our realtor asking if we were going to consider the offer. “Well they aren’t sure, there are a few other houses they were looking at and they are getting new the top of what they want to spend on this house.” Late morning, our offer went in and we had a signed acceptance within the hour! Yay! 

The only conditions we had: Make sure it was cleaned up, aka all the garbage and crap was gone from the renters, Financing and Home Inspection.

Financing is approved. We were actually approved within two days, lol. I remember when G was trying to get approval for the mortgage on our current house and had such a rough time. No assets, LOC and Credit Cards all with balances, car loan and a shitty income. How much can change in a short amount of time. 
Home Inspection was done today and was extremely positive. The guy was really impressed with everything and confirmed the fix ups we already were figuring. G drove down to do a walk thru with the inspector after he was done and said that the renters had been all moved out and things looked a lot better then when we first seen the house.

Conditions should be removed this week. I’m so excited!

This month is going to go so fast. Now to get everything else organized, at least this move isn't from Ontario to Saskatchewan. Two provinces (then) vs. two hours (now). Much much better.

- M