Monday, 20 June 2016

Back from Vacation

Technically we were back a week ago but had a good amount of housework to do (the weeds in the garden…) and I picked up three shifts at work that kept me busy. 

The vacation was amazing. Ugh I love the mountains. Definitely more laid back trip this time around, I didn’t feel rushed to do everything but at the same time we seen a lot.

Top of the Whistler's 

Patricia Lake

Kinney Lake

Mount Robson 

Left over pizza and wine ;)

The entire trip came too a little under $2400 (this balance includes some of the stuff that was prepaid: Airbnb and symphony tickets). That is 4 nights in Jasper and 2 nights in Edmonton. Our top categories were 1. Hotels: $733 2. Food: $529 3. Activities: $361. Could we have done things a lot cheaper? Yes of course! But this was the first time I actually didn’t hold back my spending on a vacation and I loved it. I enjoyed myself, indulged in desert every night at dinner, even ordered drinks one night! G and I have never done that because it is so expensive/overpriced. And you know what? That was the best damn Strawberry Bellini I’ve ever had. The reason I was able to relax so much is because as soon as we got home I transferred the balance that was on our credit card over from our vacation fund to pay it all off. Just like that our vacation was paid off without even emptying our savings completely.

Now I’ll just dream of the next vacation while our savings balance creeps back up.

- M

Sunday, 5 June 2016


G & I will be headed off to Jasper/surrounding area this next week! Looking forward to hiking :D

Photo taken by G during our last trip there (no wonder we wanted to go back)

- M

Friday, 3 June 2016

$50,000 in 17 Minutes

No this isn’t a click bait title: this actually happened to us today. I got some explaining to do...

Since our move, we have been slowing updating our mailing address. I finally gathered up all the numbers for G’s work related things (such as his health insurance, my health insurance, life insurance, pension, etc) and he had the lovely task this afternoon of waiting on hold.

When he called the pension phone number I asked him to inquire about why we haven’t received a pension statement in 2 years. So when he finally got on with an agent he changed the address and then asked about the statements. Turns out a year and a half ago the management of the pension switched and the government (who now is in change of the pension) is having trouble figuring out statements. ...Okay? 

Anyways, the guy told G there was a better way to view his pension information online that gives an up to date (literally to the day) breakdown and a lot more detail. 

G goes to work - as for security reasons the website can only be viewed on the work computers - and sends me a screen shot of the information. “Is this what you need?"

Transfer Lump Sum Amount: $70,486.40

I ask him to click on a few more areas that have definitions/explanations because I couldn’t believe the amount. But after doing a bit more reading: yup, that is the amount he is entitled to transfer if he were to quit today. 

This is crazy to me because I had been using the pension amount of $21,659 in our Networth statements because that’s what I was able to pull off from his last pension statement then adding the amount he contributing to it (what I see taken off his pay cheques). But failed to even think about what the RCMP is matching, plus his years of service, plus some other magical spell - since I didn’t think he would be entitled to any of it if he were to quit! Boy was I wrong...

That phone call was only 17 minutes, I checked the phone log. Most of that time was spent on hold listening to instrumental 'Message in a Bottle' by The Police (omg I just got the irony). That 17 minutes netted us exactly $48,826. 

Although this is pretty sick news and we are more than happy to accept (lol) we are going to stay on the same path as before. This is definitely motivating though!

- M 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

RRSP Contribution

As I said in the last post, even though I wasn’t feeling to good last month that mood didn’t affect our finances. In fact, our net worth was able to jump by $9876 in May. The biggest bulk of that jump was from our transfer getting finalized and our personalized envelope payout. This ‘envelope’ has one month of G’s salary and can be used incase we need something paid for during our move that isn’t normally covered. Luckily for us nothing extra came up so we had the full amount ($7092.33) available to us. We had two choices with that money:

     1. Have a cash pay out.
  • This would have only netted us $3700.06 after taxes, CPP and EI were deducted.
  1. Roll it into an RRSP (spousal or individual)

  • CPP and EI are still going to be deducted but taxes would be waived for the contribution. 

Important thing to note is this payout is 100% taxable for G, just like our CMHC reimbursement we had last month. Although that is a good amount of money to have in cash we didn't need it. We were able to do the bathroom renovation with cash we had already saved up and currently saving enough to cash flow a new patio door plus our yearly property taxes. So really it was a no brainer for us to roll it into my spousal RRSP - G has the tax benefit and we get the long term growth for extra money we weren’t counting on. 

After CPP and EI were taken out there was a $6607.92 contribution done. G will get the CPP and EI back next year when we do our taxes as he is only a few paycheques away from maxing both his out for the year. This entire move has netted us just a little under $10,000 in extra income G will have to pay taxes on, but I’m confident we made the right decisions to help prevent taxes (in the short term) and will net us much more during the decades it’ll be invested!

- M