About Me

Monday, September 28, 2009

Plans for the week

I am working today. Only an afternoon, and tomorrow I'm only working a morning. Although I have to travel 45 minutes each way to get to the job. It is still worth it! Hope I receive a few more jobs this week! I get paid mid-October for these jobs, which will again help! Cannot wait! Pay day comes three times in October, but the first one will be extremely small! The next two I am hoping will be slightly more, as I have picked up a full-day at the rec centre next week and hope to continue getting supply work.

In other news, my best friend and I (as well as 3 members of her family) are going on a trip to the States next week. Don't worry, I have planned for this and have saved in order to do some Christmas spending and fun shopping there! I have not gone clothes shopping in a really long time, sometimes that is an advantage of living in a small town (there is not temptation). My boyfriend is also giving me some shopping money as he says I deserve it (what a sweetie). I think I'll end up spending quite it on anniversary and Christmas gifts for him anyway though!

I'm going to visit my boyfriend this weekend, he lives 4 hours away which is always a killer in gas. But we usually go out one night and do some free/inexpensive activities at home and around the city the rest of the time, so it doesn't end up being too expensive seeing him. Looking forward to it, have a great week everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Alright, I've been thinking about these two for a while now. I've talked to several people and I think I understand the difference a bit more.

With regards to retirement, the key variable is how the tax rate at the time of withdrawal compares to the tax rate at the time of the contribution. Here are 3 scenarios, and how they may affect your choice of account:
  • If the two rates are identical, the TFSA and the RRSP are equally effective tax-savings alternatives. You get the same amount at the end.
  • If the tax rate at the time of withdrawal is lower than at the time of contribution, the RRSP is the better choice. Especially because with an RRSP you get a tax break at income tax time. Meaning you won't owe as much to the government at income tax time because you contributed to an RRSP
  • If the tax rate at the time of withdrawal is higher than at the time of contribution, the advantage goes to the TFSA. But remember that you can only invest $5000 each year.
Of course if you can afford it, the best thing to do would be to contribute to both! 

What I was interested in knowing though, is what would be best to invest my money in for short-term (under 5 years) savings. Would it be best to put it into a TFSA or just keep it in my high interest bank account? It's not a good idea to put it into an RRSP for short-term goals because you are taxed when you withdraw it. So a TSFA is great for short-term goals. Also, when you withdraw money from a TFSA you have to wait until the next year to re-invest it but you can put it all back in.

For those who will be receiving pensions when they retire, they are limited in what they are able to contribute to their RRSPs, so a TFSA is a great way to add more to their retirement fund. Max of $5000 per year, but that can definitely add up over the years!

My goal for 2010 is to start a TFSA. In 2011 I'll also try to max out my TSFA and if there is anything extra I will put it toward an RRSP. Now to only find permanent work. Life would be so much easier with a full-time job!


Budgeting can be tricky! I do enjoy it though, did I just say that? I like the challenge of creating a budget and sticking to it. Right now because I do not have many living expenses (living at home) it makes it fairly easy. However, having a job where my income fluctuates so much each month can make it tricky to be accurate.

I like to use Gail's Interactive Budget (http://www.gailvazoxlade.com/articles_f/article31-3.htm) for several reasons. First it's free! Nothing against those that you have to pay for, but for me this works. I also like that it breaks up variable and fixed expenses, and then goes a step further and breaks down the variable spending into weekly jars. Trying to stay within those means or under is the challenge. Who doesn't like a challenge?? I find that from personal experience, as well as by watching TDDUP that many couples who have crazy over-spending actually have money left over once they are on the jar system!

So my budget, a little unusual because I have no money in housing or savings! That will change as soon as this debt is paid off, I have big plans for that! :)

Monthly Budget
Transportation $100 (gasoline, repairs)
Food $25 (grocery store)
Entertainment $87 (restaurant, dates, gym membership, games, books)
Clothes/Gifts $60 (clothing, b-day, anniversary gifts)
Everything Else $23 (bank fees, prescription)
TOTAL $295

The rest of my income goes to my cell phone bill ($40), and debt repayment (minimum $262). This varies each month because my income does as well, but I generally pay about $800-1000 toward debt repayment. Now that it is all out there, I will try to stay accountable!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One of those days...

Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to be going right? Today was one of those days for me. I went to work - I work part-time two mornings a week at a rec centre looking after kids. Well today I went into work there and there were no kids. My boss comes in and says that I am no longer needed there because I am a teacher and might not be able to work there everyday. They wanted someone to be consistent, I expected this, but was still disappointed. that job provided about $60 a week. Not a ton, but still every bit helps! I will still be working there full-time over holidays and on PA days.

I was feeling bummed about this when I got home, and decided to re-vamp my resume and cover letter and re-apply to the other school board in my area. After I had it all sorted out and posted to applytoeducation online I called HR who proceeded to tell me that they were not hiring any supply teachers. They have no need for any additional teachers. Darn! She told me that volunteering in one of the schools will help me if the principal gets to know me, so I think that is what I will be doing tomorrow, getting a new police check and asking the schools if I can volunteer a few days each week. Hopefully something comes of it!

Maybe I'll start advertising tutoring services to make up for that lost income. I have seen some other people talk about paper routes, surveys, babysitting, as a means of receiving that extra income. What do you do for extra income?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Financial Goals....the basics

I have so many goals, let's start with the money ones. I'll get into some of the life ones later on. I've seen some posts by others on their 26 goals of their 26th year. Maybe I'll do the same of my 24th year later. Okay now for the BASIC financial goals.

Pay off the rest of my OSAP by new years 2009 ($1975)

Pay off my family loans by the end of Feb 2010 ($5000)

Maintain a $1500 balance in my current bank account at all time (this is to avoid the monthly fees - what a waste!)

Create a TFSA (tax-free savings account) by July 2010

THEN after these goals have been completed I want to start saving for a down-payment on a house. I want to create a planned spending fund (AKA wedding fund). I also want to create an emergency fund. Those amounts are yet to be decided.

PS If anyone can give me tips on how to create those goal/debt tracking bars on the side of your blog please share how I can do this too! I think it would be great motivation seeing that bar move!!

First Day Teaching!

Last night I received my first call of the year to supply teach! I was literally jumping with joy. I do love my job. I however do not like the fact that it is so hard to get a permanent position as a teacher. Declining enrollments, surplus and redundant teachers are everywhere within my board. Well, not just my board - almost everywhere in Ontario is experiencing these difficulties. What I cannot understand though is why the universities in Ontario continue to pump out 7500 new teachers every year knowing that there are not jobs available for them. This is 7500 in Ontario alone, there are at LEAST that amount of new teachers also coming from Buffalo schools, New Zealand, and Australia. I wish they would make the teacher's program two years to weed out some of those who are only taking it as a back-up option. Sorry for the vent! I'm sure many can relate with other careers and this "recession" we are in. Let's stay optimistic, our dream job WILL come, be persistent!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day One

This is the first post of my first blog. It is an attempt to help me stay focused on becoming debt-free. I must say that I have been working hard at becoming debt-free and it's almost become an addiction reading other PF blogs and of course watching Gail's Till Debt Do Us Part.

My goal is to be debt-free by the end of February 2010. That is the first of my many goals, and then start saving so that I will be able to move out and really start life. About me: I am 24, living with my parents. I graduated in 2008 as a teacher, but right now as many people know it is a tough time to find a job for anyone, teacher's are no exception. Fortunately, I am on the supply list for the board in my area. Although, it has already been two weeks and I have yet to receive any calls! I have a long-distance boyfriend of almost 6 years who is completing his final year of his Masters program.

In addition to supply teaching I also work aproximately 6.5 hours a week looking after kids at our local rec centre while moms and dads work out. Those two jobs are my only income at this point, although I am looking into getting on the supply list for the other school board in my area, and possibly getting into tutoring students after school. We will see what happens! I am excited for this blog to help keep me on track and motivated! I will make a new post soon outlining my debts, goals and budget, wish me luck!