About Me

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Retroactive Pay

Apparently I was getting paid the same amount as an "unqualified teacher" in our school board. I hadn't noticed since I have only had one short term contract before this one that I was in the lowest pay bracket. 

With more qualifications you are entitled to a higher salary in a pay grid for teachers. I SHOULD be at the second highest one and am finally going to have it show on my paycheques too. I've been trying to get this changed since the end of September when I first noticed!

So Friday is pay day and it will be an extra large chunk. Approximately $2000 more than I have been getting paid so that will help put a dent in some of the goals I have for this year. I actually think I will put half in my TFSA and the other in an RRSP. 

Now my regular paycheque will be increased by about $225 after taxes. That was a lot to be missing out on for several months. So excited!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year!

Wow, it has been almost one year exactly since I have been on here. I've somewhat missed it but life has been absolutely crazy busy!

What has even happened? Well J and I went on all the dates I gave him for his gift last Christmas. J's brother got married to his wife after 12 years of dating! J's sister had a baby at the end of November and we were asked to be Godparents (maybe the highlight of my year).

At the end of the summer (I was a waitress all summer) I had an interview for a teaching position within my board but an hour away. I thought it would be good practice to go for the interview, the principals made me feel pretty at ease and I joked around a lot with them thinking I didn't stand a chance. Well they took a chance and offered me a full-year contract which I am almost half-way complete!

I am teaching the most adorable and challenging group of 23 (was 24) SK/1 students. I've never felt more stress or more joy. I have gone home crying and other times laughing, it is the best job!! I am completely sleep deprived but wouldn't want to be doing anything else. Those kids can drive me crazy but in the same day they can make me feel so proud of their accomplishments. Kids that didn't know all of the sounds in the alphabet who are already reading simple texts. Kids that could barely count to 11 that can now count past 100 and skip count by 5s and 10s. And we are not even halfway through the year.

Financially, I maxed out my TFSA and contributed $1500 to my RRSPs and that's about it. But I'm okay with it.

Why? Well, my career is what's important to me right now. I have money in the bank and rent is kind of consuming me right now. Again, I'm okay with it.

J is definitely the man I want to marry. Even a year and a half later I laugh everyday and love to be around him. So why not just get married? Well, he has debt: OSAP and a bank loan. He has been picking up reffing hockey games and making $3000 payments to his loans each month. We have the same goals and he is determined. I said I would help by paying our rent, he pays groceries. In addition, I have also been renting a room from a teacher to cut my 2.5 hour a day commute down 4 days a week. So I am paying $1325 a month in rent, plus oil heating.

I am not able to save a lot right now but I have $28000 in my TFSA, plus a comfortable amount in the bank plus I'm able to help J, I am really not worried about it right now.

Tomorrow I have to be on a panel and speak in front of more than 300 people, now that is what is really worrying shy me right now.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Facing Potential Eviction

J and I moved into our apartment in May of last year. We met up with our landlords days before that and paid them a year's worth of cheques. We did not sign a lease.

About 2-3 weeks ago a man came over and told J that our landlords have not been paying their bills and unless they pay within the next 24 hours that our place will then be owned by the bank.

Well it seems as though they did not pay because last Wednesday a man came to our house to inform us of the changes. He said that the house is now owned by a branch of Scotiabank. We were told to cancel our cheques to our landlords and issue new ones to Veranova. A woman called last week to ask a bunch of questions (appliances in the house, amount we pay each month, what utilities are covered, asked about water and heat, pets, etc).

The man returned on Friday to change our locks and take pictures of every room in the apartment, he told us to call them if we see the former landlords ever on the property or trying to take any of their items.....yikes!

Anyway the good news is that we are still allowed to live here. The house will go into foreclosure soon and then the bank will try to sell the house. If someone buys the house we still get 60 days to stay if they want us gone. However because we live in an apartment attached to the house they may even want the extra income of tenants and allow us to continue on in our agreement and stay as well.

The first thing J said to the man when he told us all this was "we still have two and a half years left on our internet contract!"

Before J and I started dating we both joked that we were going to live here forever because we liked it so much. We even joked that we would raise our families here in the two separate bedrooms. I really hope that things work out and we can stay!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

30 Day Shred....Again

It's been a few years since I last tried completing the Jillian Michael's 30 day shred....okay FOUR years!!

Anyway I think there is no time like the present and I did day one today. Feelings....glad I made it through!! I did have to take probably three 5 second breaks especially with those lunch curl-ups. I have no arm strength!! Annnd I was using two 3lb weights :S

I was sweaty and somewhat shaky afterward and may have had the fainting feeling after moving from a sitting to standing position but....it was great and I am happy I did it. Tomorrow will be another story but I want to do 30 days, preferably consecutively but days off are okay too. I think that whenever J goes out to hockey or if he is at work and I have the day off I will do a video. 30 days...I can do it.

I am doing it mostly to tone myself. I wouldn't mind losing maybe 5-6lbs though either! Since the end of summer I have gained close to 10lbs so I wouldn't be opposed to them vanishing. So I'm also trying to eat healthier (actually had a food craving for cottage cheese today, who does that?)

If anyone would like to join me, the first part of the workout can be found HERE

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cousin's Wedding

This past weekend J and I went to my cousin's wedding in Toronto. It was an awesome wedding, short but sweet and the reception was a lot of fun. It's always nice to catch up with my family.

J and I know that we already have at least three weddings to go to this year. He is IN two of them (being the best-man for one). We have to really budget for these weddings.

Weddings are crazy expensive!! Not only to have, but to attend.

The last wedding I was in was Septemeber of 2012. I went to the engagement party, the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, the wedding (obviously). Then additional added expenses were that she lived in Toronto (a two hour drive) and so gas alone plus gifts for each event, accommodations (on wedding night, otherwise I just stayed with her) and a bridesmaid dress ($230ish). It was A LOT!!

This past weekend our hotel was $130, gift we gave $200. Gas to and from was $40. Luckily it was an open bar and I found a dress for $23 so that saved us some.

I never know what I should spend on a gift. What is the average gift?

Have you ever turned down a wedding because you couldn't afford it, even if it was a close friend or family member?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 Working Budget

My budget changes a lot and while I do have a number of fixed expenses (insurance, rent, internet, etc), I do have a lot of variable ones too (entertainment, groceries, clothing, etc). The tricky part to creating a budget for myself is my variable income.

Oh I cannot wait for the day to become full-time so that I get a regular paycheck; it would make budgeting SO much easier! I try to save a lot on the higher income months and spend very little on the low income ones. For instance, this month in particular I likely won't have any income, or VERY little. I was paid on December 20th for the last two weeks of school before the break since I was in a contract. I get ZERO income over the holidays and finally when school starts again on the 6th I will have to wait until January 31 before getting paid (IF I get work in those first two weeks back). Therefore if I didn't have savings FOR January I would definitely be going into debt this month.

This is how I lay out my monthly tracking. I changed a few things since last year since I no longer pay hydro (instead just heat through oil), I did not use my Christmas savings this year so they are still in my ING account and will just accumulate until next Christmas so it was removed.

So here is the working budget:

CategoryAverage
INCOME2200
EXPENSES
Rent500
Oil70
Internet50
Car230
Gas180
Phone70
Food160
Restaurant60
Personal/Medical50
Clothing60
Gifts50
Education100
Entertainment75
Everything Else75
TOTAL1730
SAVINGS
TFSA250
Travel50
Furniture50
RRSP120
TOTAL470

Let me know if you have any suggestions for it. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Goals

Now that the new year is here I have been thinking more and more about my resolutions/goals of the year. I always make them and don't always succeed but I think it's still good to have those goals to work toward.

Financial:

Save $6000 to TFSA. This is my priority since I want to use it toward saving for a down-payment on a house and contributions toward a wedding (one day...)

Save $500 for Travel. I am travelling this March for a week to go to Texas (already paid for my flight), I have money saved in my ING Travel account already for this but I have another road trip vacation I would like to go on in September that will require more savings (gas is expensive).

Save $1500 toward RRSPs. I always put these on the backburner because retirement seems SO far away. BUT these can be used toward a first home down-payment, and the sooner you save the more it adds up for when retirement does come along. I know it is smart to do now, it's just boring!

TRACK MY SPENDING. I used to be so good at this and then this summer I fell off the bandwagon. I generally knew where everything was going but it's nice to see the trends and where I can improve.

Personal:

Do a fitness challenge. Whether it be a plank, squat, yoga or Jillian Michael's 30 day shred challenge, I want to attempt one again.

Take a new class. I think this one will be easy since I plan on taking an additional qualification this winter (need to sign up still) and of course ASL this spring.

Read 10 books. I did not read NEARLY enough last year and want to get back into it. Audiobooks can count for this!

Tone myself. J says when you are happy you gain weight and we have both put on some weight since the summer. Maybe it's my metabolism finally catching up with me or my immense happiness but I have gained over 10lbs since August to a weight I have never seen before. It's not the number that bothers me but I definitely just want to start eating healthier and tone up a bit. If I were in the hunger games, I would definitely be one of the first ones killed.