Saturday, 30 April 2016


With me not working full time and G actually in a unit where he can take his vacation time we have a few trips planned for this year. G had 298 hours of vacation and even after booking the ENTIRE month of September off plus two weeks in June he still has 108 hours left. 

September is our big trip home (Windsor, Ontario) to see our family. G’s never been back since we moved and last time I went was two years ago for a wedding (we could only afford to send one of us). Our plane tickets have been purchases and we spent $229.27 for both of us! Thanks to our credit card perks and points we only had to pay taxes and fees. We were able to take that money from our vacation account savings. The only other major expenses: boarding our dog ($30 a night) and renting a car. Although both our parents have told us we can borrow their vehicles it’ll just be easier to rent a car. G and I are going to be doing our own separate things lots of the time so I could borrow my moms car and G can take the rental or vice versa. Just gives us more options.

The two weeks in June is a late anniversary trip to Edmonton and Jasper. There is a symphony we both really want to see in Edmonton and Jasper is just going to be a mid-week adventure. Last time we went was in Autumn and we had perfect weather so hopefully we are just as lucky.

I’m really looking forward to these trips! I’m happy we’ve made saving for vacations part of our budget even when we don’t have anything planned. That way these ideal trips can become reality without it straining our cashflow or going into debt. We contribute $100 bi-weekly (automatically) but snowball money into that savings account as well. As the numbers become more finalized for our trip in June, I will share our trip budget.

But now I leave you with a super cute photo of Mocha enjoying the beautiful weather!

I wish we could take her to Windsor but I don't know how she would be on a plane :(

- M 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Balanced Budget

We are absolutely loving G’s new work schedule - so much more flexibility. This week he didn’t even work in the field - he had courses most of the week and has Friday to tomorrow off. He is using that time starting our main bathroom renovation. It’s not a hardcore reno - just a new tub surround (our old one is cracked), new dry wall, toilet, and vanity/sink combo. We are hoping to save the floor but once G starts pulling out the drywall we will see if there’s any water damage. We priced out new vanities cabinets but found out it was cheaper just for G to build our own - so that’s what he has been working on. I think the actually demo will start during his next round of days off. We have the extra full bath downstairs so there isn’t any rush to get it done, I’d rather have it done correctly. 

I did a detailed budget for next month now that I have an idea what our expenses will be. Even with me not working (I didn’t want to include my income since its not guaranteed) our budget still balances - actually with about $350 to spare. That’s a relief! I was worried without my income and double the mortgage payment some things might need to be cut but thankfully not. I was actually thisclose during one of my ‘overthinking episodes’ to changing my TFSA contribution to $100 bi-weekly instead of the $200 we are doing now. I should have just done the budget properly in the first place instead of stressing, lol. 

I calculated what our retirement savings rate is just for curiosity against G’s base salary (which is what I budget with) and we are at 25%! That doesn’t include G’s pension (which is taken off before taxes and automatically so we never miss it). That also doesn’t include any snowballed money we might toss in there during the year. I feel way better seeing that number and a balanced budget. I have been able to work about one shift a week which helps bring in some 'extra' money. I’m sure in the summer with people going on vacation I can pick up a lot more shifts. I’ve been applying to other jobs in the area but no call backs so far. I’m glad we are in a position where being down one income doesn’t hurt our bottom line.

- M

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Move Update

Just an update from my last post: thank you all that responded! We decided it was best to put the money into my spousal RRSP as it will help G at the end of the year with taxes and we didn’t need the money for anything else. G will also be getting one months’ salary ‘bonus’ once all the transfer paperwork has settled and we don’t have to submit anymore claims - it works out too a little under $7000. This money however, only has two options: either take as cash (this is taxable income so they take regular payroll taxes off) or roll into an RRSP. Since the beginning of this entire process we knew we would roll it into my RRSP without question and that hasn’t changed now that the transfer has happened. We just have to wait for all the behind the scene paperwork to finish up which may take a bit but once it’s done it’ll be another nice boost to retirement.

The move itself went really well. EXTREMELY stressful though; I don’t think I will ever get used to G's transfers. There was one point when the moving staff was unpacking the kitchen and kept asking me where I wanted everything I just got so overwhelmed I had to leave the room. I should have taken an anxiety pill in the morning but I thought I could handle it: obviously not. We opted to unpack ourselves last time so I was able to go at a normal pace not have three people shoving things in my face asking where they go. Everything found a home though and I’m really happy with how everything came together.

Three things did end up breaking, unfortunately. Two lamps and an antique glass jar my parents had given me. It's weird because everything is covered under insurance but they ask you to put prices on the items that broke. The lamps were IKEA lamps, and even though they didn’t have the exact ones we found similar lamps in the current catalogue so those prices were easy to figure out but for something like an antique from my parents - that was a lot more difficult. Not that it was crazy rare or expensive (we found one similar on eBay for like $10) but my dad remembered exactly were he got it from when they were on vacation. I felt horrible telling them it was broken, even they they understood. We submitted the claim this week and they will be sending us a $100 cheque (what we estimated the replacement costs to be). We won’t be replacing any of the items so that money will most likely just be going into the home fund for upcoming repairs. 

And the job. I had my interview and it was an hour and a half long! I had such a good feeling: they were asking lots of questions, open discussions, they seemed sooooo interested. I didn’t get it. I honestly thought I had it, everyone I worked with did, I was so sure... I’m still in a weird funk about it. I’m in-between everything happens for a reason and where did I fuck up? Although I’m mopey it hasn’t stop me from applying for other jobs. Technically, I’m still employed but only as casual. Better than nothing though. One thing I’m extremely grateful during this time: no consumer or car debt. It has made things so much easier this last month, and one more thing we didn’t have to worry about.

- M

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


Hi everyone! I survived the move and will write a more detailed post in the coming week but I need some advice.

We didn't have 20% down to purchase this house so we had to pay CMHC insurance - this was rolled into our mortgage. Now the Crown pays for CMHC insurance - but it is a taxable benefit. We received a cheque from the lawyers office yesterday for $3250.00 to cover our CMHC fees. This money doesn't have to be used to pay CMHC, it's ours to do whatever we feel right - I've checked and rechecked, the only thing that we were constantly reminded of is it will be taxed at the end of the year. So my question is: do we put it on our mortgage - which we are on track to pay off in 18years and have a 5yr fixed rate of 2.89%? Or should we roll it into my spousal RRSP so G gets the tax benefit this year? Or should we go on a vacation (lol jk).

We are leaning towards the RRSP since it'll have more time to compound and we are comfortable with our mortgage amount.

Any opinions?

- M