About Me

Monday, November 30, 2009

November and December Goals...and a little baking

November goals recap:
Go to the gym at least twice a week. FAIL. I went twice in total :S

Read a new book. PASS. Somewhat of a pass, it was a children's chapter book (217 pages). Still counts right?? Mmm maybe not.

Complete the quilt I started. PASS. It's done, and so are all my pillowcases and a pillow. I am working on a second pillow and a second quilt.

Complete Christmas shopping for my friends. PASS. This is all complete, I just need to mail them, but will wait until the second week of December to do this.

20 no shopping days. FAIL. It was close though, I had 11 spend days and therefore 19 no shopping days.

Keep $1500 in my account. PASS. Of course this is going toward my family loan but that was the goal. Yay I will avoid monthly bank fees for the first time in a long time!

New December Goals:
Go to the gym at least twice a week. Let's try this goal again.

Finish buying and wrapping all Christmas presents. Hopefully this will be done in a couple of weeks.

Try to get  work over Christmas break. I think it might be possible to work at the rec centre over the Christmas break for at least 5 days. This will help as otherwise I have very little income for December.

Open ING account. I have sent the $100 in the mail but once it gets deposited I want to look more into the different options ING has. In January I want to set up a TFSA with them.

Determine some personal and financial goals for 2010. I have a few in mind but want to lay it all out.

Do some Christmas baking. I think I want to make and decorate Christmas sugar cookies. If I can find some cute cookie cutters!

Yesterday I made some braided bread. I think I could have let it rise a bit more, but it turned out pretty well for baking bread for the first time!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Change of Budgets...

Yesterday was payday and I am going to put $1000 toward my family loan. I will update my progress bars to reflect this change. My original goal was to put all my effort into debt-repayment before starting any sort of savings plan. However I spoke with my family yesterday about this and they said that it's okay if I want to take my time paying them back. I will aim for $3000 by the end of February and hopefully the rest by July.

I think what I will do is send in a cheque to ING and open up an account there. Then start contributing some money each month to start a TFSA with ING. I also think that I am going to change my budget, as it is not really working that well for me. I often end up overspending in certain areas and underspending in others depending on the month. So I think that I will take an approach that Jessie has taken and plan my budget dependent on each paycheque. This will also be helpful because I have such a variable income.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Check This Out

Browsing through some sites the other day I came upon this site talking about unemployment rates in the United States. I'm sure it's similar to Canada's. It's quite interesting to see especially for visual learners :)

In other news, I got paid today yay! It was a good paycheque as I worked almost full-time during that pay period. My next pay day will be quite small as I only got one full day of teaching in the past two weeks, however I did work a day and a half at the local rec centre as well.

I was also reading a lot of blogs yesterday and think that my original goal to payback my family by the end of February may not be the best use of my money especially since they have told me many times that they don't care when I pay them back. I asked them if it was okay if I paid them $3000 by the end of Feb and then the rest in the near future and they said  of course. So I was thinking it would be more beneficial if I started putting at least SOME money into savings, as I have none. By the way have a look at Jason's post here about the difference saving early can make on your retirement. Quite amazing, although so are return interest rates of 10%, but still it gets the point across quite clearly.

I am going to make a 2010 budget plan soon that is going to have to change from my current plan which is basically 80-90% goes toward debt. It was my priority and I'm glad I finished my OSAP that way, but I think now with only my family loan left, that it is important to start saving as well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

How Do You Set Up Your Funds??

A lot of people discuss putting money away in an Emergency Fund, a Christmas Fund, a Shopping Fund, a Wedding Fund, a House Fund, a Summer Fund, a Vacation Fund, you get the idea.

I want to know if you separate all of these accounts? Do you have a different savings account for each within your bank? Or do you just add them all to the same account and know what you have saved the money for?

I want to set up different funds as well once I pay off my family loan and want to know an easy way to do it. I will be setting up an ING account in the new year and that may be a way to do it. But I also don't want to have a ton of transactions coming from my bank account each month. I also don't want automatic withdrawals into these funds because having a variable income there could be some months I am not able to contribute.

How do you set up for your different savings funds??

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's In My Bag?

This whole thing was started by Well-Heeled's contest. Today along with a few other Canadians (Asian Pear, and Krystal) I decided to post what's in my bag. Here she is:

What's in it:
  • Purse. It's a no-name but it's awesome. It's my one of two purses I own. It was $50 from a baggage store in a mall. It has a nice zippered pocket inside, as well as two open pockets, and a magnetic snap pocket on the front.
  • Wallet. Bought it from a Calvin Klein outlet store for $23. It includes: debit card, mastercard, gym membership, driver's license, cash and change.
  • Electronic Sudoku. It was free - Christmas gift from last year. Never know when you are in one of those boredom situations (waiting for oil change, waiting for children at work).
  • Second wallet. It holds all the cards I don't use on a regular basis. It was about $10 (I've had it for a long time) It includes: gift cards, points cards (Shoppers, HBC, Staples, Airmiles, Ricki's), Canadian Tire money, library card, health card, teacher ID, car insurance card, CPR certificate, and a couple of business cards.
  • Granola Bars. Probably about 50 cents each. These have been in here forever (hence why they are squished). Good to have in case I get hungry.
  • Phone. This was $20 because I bought a contract with it.
  • Nail Clippers. $3. Always handy when you break or chip a nail.
  • Scissors and pen. Scissors were $1 from Dollarama and pen was free from a conference. Both are always useful.
  • Notebook. I got this free from a conference my boyfriend went to. I just got it last week that is why it is empty. It's awesome, has a place to hold business cards, lots of sticky notes (useful for teaching), and then a regular spiraled notebook to jot down notes (or directions in my case).
  • Hand sanitizer. This was 99 cents at a Bath & Body outlet store, smells so nice.
  • Blistex lipchap. I used to have Burt Bees but I ran out and I got this in a "teen pack." Probably worked out to be 0.75 cents.
  • Moisturizer. This was free from a hotel and smells amazing.
  • Bandaids. Free from my work (it's okay I only took 6).
  • Movie tickets. I found these in the front pouch, and my keys (keychain has a car with lights on it, it's amazing how useful that light is). Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D.
  • Girl stuff. There are a couple of these items still in the bag (not so photogenic).
Things I don't include:
  • Umbrella. That's for rainy days only.
  • Scarf. Usually wear it, or put it in the sleeve of my coat when not wearing.
  • Sunglasses. I generally keep these in my car glove compartment.
  • Makeup. It's basically a one time application and then done with for the day. I don't wear much of it anyway.
  • Book. I sometimes add one, but only when I know I'll be waiting for something/someone.
  • I-Pod. Same thing, I don't use it often, I prefer the radio in my car.
If you have not done this yet, what's in YOUR bag??

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Connection Between Health and Wealth

The Biggest Loser is one of my favourite shows, makes me happy and cry at the same time. Suze Orman (the Gail Vaz-Oxlade of the United States) was on tonight. She talked to the contestants individually about the connection they have between health and wealth.

"Usually we spend more than, when we feel like less" is one thing she mentioned to a contestant. Isn't this true? I know when I feel low I want to go to a store and browse around for a pick-me-up. Whether it be comfort food or a new toy or clothing.

She mentioned that you can look into your credit score and report as often as you like. It will not affect your score. It's if the creditors are looking into your credit score a lot that means that you are applying for credit a lot which is not a good thing.

They then played a multiple choice game on the treadmill and these were the results of their game:
  • Obese employees earn about $7000 less than their co-workers (you are sick more and cost employers more).
  • If a family of four swaps one meal out for a meal at home everyday for a year you can save $8750. This is approximately $24 a day.
  • Americans spend approximately $4.4 billion on gastric bypass surgery each year. 220,000 Americans get this surgery each year at $20,000 per surgery.
  • Americans spend $147 billion on obesity-related health issues each year. They spend $90 billion on cancer related issues. That's $57 billion more spent on obesity.
Sorry I missed the last statistic. It was how much you save each year from going from obese to your ideal weight. They went through that last one too fast for me to catch it! It was either $10,000 or $100,000. If you caught it let me know!

It's pretty amazing how staying in shape and eating well can actually SAVE you money!

I Ordered My Credit Report

I ordered my credit report from Equifax a couple of weeks ago and it came in  the mail yesterday. This was my first time ever ordering it so I didn't really know what to expect. The creditor stuff was all correct (Mastercard, Student Line of Credit, Government Student Loan, Cell Phone). However my personal information was sooo wrong, such as where I lived and where I was employed. It was information from when I started university 6 years ago!

I've heard a statistic that about 80% of credit reports have something wrong in it. I am surprised at that but it seems to be true! I would order your credit reports, you can get two per year free. One from Equifax and one from TransUnion. I am in the process of ordering one from TransUnion now however they take a lot more effort than Equifax. Although now that Equifax has some inaccuracies I now have to put in more effort by mailing two pieces of ID in order to have the inaccuracies corrected. Hopefully that will help me when I need to apply for credit.

It's too bad that you need to pay for the credit score, as that is what I am really interested in. Although I guess it's good to have the report corrected first!

Monday, November 23, 2009


I have been hearing a lot about Swagbucks on different blogs I read. I decided to take part in it as well.

Basically it is a search engine that you can use just like google. But with certain searches you can earn money (swagbucks) by using it. "Every time you search with swagbucks.com , you have a chance to earn from 1 to 5 Swag Bucks (on Fridays, you can win as many as 100 Swag Bucks in one search!). These Swag Bucks can be used to redeem thousands of prizes from our Swag Store." There are a few other ways to earn swagbucks as well, getting referrals, typing in codes, etc. You can then in turn use those swagbucks to purchase various things, gift cards, video game consoles, music, t-shirts, there are a lot of items.

Anyway, to those who are interested this is my refferal code: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/girlmakescents They will start you off with 3 free Swagbucks. Good luck, and happy searching!

Six Years

Wow time sure flies! It's been 6 years (on Saturday) since I had my first date with my boyfriend. We met in first year university. Four years of going to school in the same city, and then summers long-distance. Now it has been 2 years of long-distance, never fun but it's working for now. Hopefully soon one of us can move closer to the other, likely it will be me moving closer to him (he will have a job when he graduates). I am in no hurry to get married though, we get asked that a lot, "so when's the wedding?" I want to be in a place in my life where we can afford a nice wedding, and be able to afford to live with each other. Right now that is not an option. 5 year plan ha! Hopefully sooner than that though.

We had a great weekend, went out Friday night with friends, then spent Saturday watching movies (seriously everyone needs to see the movie Up) and now we are all caught up on Dexter. We went out for supper that night and then hung out with friends again. It was a fun trip! I hope you all had a great weekend.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Almost Done...

Last night I wrapped our anniversary gifts and a few Christmas presents. I finished all my pillowcases as well. They look very comfy. I got a new pillow a few days ago and it is a "queen" size pillow so I made an extra long pillowcase for it and it's very comfy! I realized though after finishing ALL of the pillowcases that I was measuring the pillowcases on one that my mom made a few years ago. Apparently it is about 2 inches short. So now my pillowcases are also about 2 inches short. Darn. Still covers the pillow at least.
Yesterday I went shopping as well I got several small things for my friends, my mom and my boyfriend's family who are now all done and now I am done my dad, and half of my brothers. I had a $100 gift certificate for this place and so with everything I got I only paid $47. I bought the gift certificate in the summertime for this purpose and it was only $40. Fantastic!

Now I am going to watch some TDDUP as I pack and then I'm off to the big city for the weekend. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is The Swine Flu Over??

I hate to say it, but I kind of enjoyed it when the cold season was in full swing earlier this month. It had it's advantages for some. I was getting work regularly. 8.5/10 days the past two weeks. This week so far I have only worked ONE full day. How am I going to reach my goals with only working one day a week??
 Hope things pick up soon!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Birthdays, Christmas, Spending...

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday the big 56! I am going to get his gift today and also withdraw the money that I owe for the snowtires etc. Novemeber is an expensive month, I am wayyy over my budget already. If I do not include Christmas and tires then I am doing fine. But because of tires I could only contribute $300 this past paycheque toward the family loan.

This week I have also not received any supply calls. I am thinking that my goal of having the family loan paid off by the end of February might be more difficult than the original difficulty level I thought it was going to be! I am not going to change it though, I will just have to be very careful and get as many additional hours working at the rec centre as I can over Christmas break.

On the bright side, with the time off I have been able to get in some more sewing! Some of which I am going to turn into Christmas gifts for friends if it turns out :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cars are expensive!!

I just got an oil change at the beginning of the month ($56) and this weekend I just got snowtires for the first time. At first I was against them. They are so expensive! But since I am supplying quite a bit and often have to travel long distances I think they are a good thing to get. Some provinces even make snow tires mandatory to have (Quebec). The tires I had to get were just under $100 each. I got four put on for $420. Ouch. But my mom just won a draw last week and won almost $2000 and said she would pay for half. So that is very very helpful. However, when the guys were putting on the tires they had a look at my old tires and said that two of them are just terrible and need to be replaced. They discarded them there! So come spring I am going to have to buy two more tires....it's never ending. I also need new windshield wipers, please nothing other than gas until spring!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekends Should Be Longer!

Had a great weekend, short but sweet. I worked Friday and the boyfriend met me at the school I was at. I was finished before 4:00 so we went to the closest Fabricland and I bought some material, to make him a gift and enough fabric to make some friends a couple of comfy winter pillowcases. They didn't have the right green I needed though so I will have to visit another Fabricland soonish. Total cost for that was $23.

The rest of the evening we spent eating supper, playing wii, and chatting with family. Saturday we went to paint ceramics. This took a lot longer than expected. He painted a football character, and I painted a purse box. We had to leave them there because the owner takes them and then fires them up and then will call us to pick them up. These were about $20 each. A little pricey but was still a fun afternoon. That night we had supper and then watched 5 or 6 episodes of Dexter. Anyone else watch this show??

Today he left early. He had to go to play soccer at 1:00 and he lives 4 hours away. I will be going there next weekend, as it will be our 6 year anniversary. Woohoo!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Craft Time!!

My boyfriend is coming up this weekend. He asked me if I want to do anything in particular and I said I want to make a craft. I didn't have any ideas at first, and neither did he. I got thinking about what is in town and decided we would go to this place where you can paint your own ceramic. I have done it before, I made a piggy bank. Well actually it was shaped as a school bus. But that is what we are doing this weekend as one of our dates.

What sort of thing do you like doing on dates that are relatively inexpensive? I always enjoy crafts and he is always willing to go along with me, as long as they are not too girly :)

Things we have done: colouring contests from the grocery store (free and no we didn't enter), watercolour painting (initial costs were about $10 for paper, watercolour paint and brushes), painted birdhouses (about $30 (cost for the birdhouse, or pirate ship birdhouse in his case, and several acrylic paints), friendship bracelets (about $2 for a bunch of colours), dipped candles and made our own candles from coloured wax (it was about $1 per dipped candle and we chose nice jars for the coloured wax ones so they were about $6 each). I think that's basically all the crafty things we have done together, suggestions?? He wants to make a big abstract art painting on canvas together to put up when we get our own place like the couple from the e-harmony commercials have done.

What are your favourite date ideas? Or fun craft ideas that you enjoy?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Working working working!

I love it lately! I worked a full day today, working a full day tomorrow and a full day Friday! Cannot wait for that paycheque. A principal actually called me personally from his house tonight to ask if I would work at his school tomorrow. That's a good sign right?? Hope next week is just as good!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Onto the Next Loan...

My family loan is $5000 with interest included. So from now until the end of February (the goal I have for myself), I need to save $1250 each month in order to pay it off in time. I hope this is doable. This payday I will save $500 toward it, and next payday for this month I will try to save at least $800.

Right now I have been busy working most days but in December I think that I will be getting less supply calls, and also the kids are on holidays for two weeks, so hopefully I can work at the rec centre for at least one week during Christmas break to still have some income to help meet my goal.


I got my hair cut today! Highlighted too, so although it was $90 with tip, I think it is worth it. I have not had my haircut since the beginning of June so it was due. I got it thinned out too, so it's so nice and light. I love when they straighten it for you! Of course I could be frugal and highlight it myself and just go in for a cut. Without blowdry etc is a lot cheaper. But a girl has to spoil herself every once in a while. I have never had a manicure/pedicure, or anything done at a spa, so my hair cut/highlights 3 times a year or less are a treat!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

House Envy

Serendipity discussed in her last post her dream house and wanted to know what the dream house was like for others.

I too have a lot of house envy. Living at home with family is nice, but I would love to have a place of my own. More space! I have a friend that is getting married next summer and just bought her grandma's house last month. I would love to be able to do that, but unfortunately is too expensive for me at this point.

I think what will happen is that I will move to where the boyfriend lives, and rent an apartment together. Live there for a couple of years and save up for a house while starting our careers. Then get married and move into a house. It's a dream of mine to move into a house once I get married.

What that house would look like:
  • It would be located in a small town
  • 3-4 bedrooms (future for kids, and a workspace area for lesson planning, crafting)
  • 2 bathrooms
  • Open concept
  • Large enough living room for entertaining and playing games
  • Large kitchen is important, with dining area attached or in same area (likely the space where most of the time is spent)
  • A den area for watching movies, and playing wii
  • Big enough backyard for gardening and playing
  • Garage (place to store bikes, yard equipment, and of course car, double garage would be even nicer)
  • Enough storage space throughout and large closets in each bedroom, preferrably walk-in for the master bedroom
  • Lots of windows, bright space
I look at the MLS and Property Guys listings online at least once a month, just to see what is out there and how much people are expecting for a house. I also love watching shows like Moving Up, Holmes on Homes, Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, etc. I look forward to decorating. Hopefully this can one day happen! 3 year plan?? What does your dream house look like?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Having A Baby...

Not me! That's a few years away...

But I was talking to a teacher at the PA day today and she said that she has two kids (a boy and a girl) who are in their 30s, close to 40s now. They got married in their 30s, and wanted to wait until they had their life settled and some money saved before they had their kids. She said they had the "Canadian Dream" of owning a house, nice cars, etc.

She went on to tell me that she thinks they waited too long in order for everything to be in place to have kids before trying to have kids. As now both of her kids are having difficulties conceiving. Both her daughter and her daughter-in-law have spent approximately $20,000 in fertility treatments and have not been successful, and are finding it hard to come up with money for the next treatment. She wonders if they risked the chance to have kids because they were saving so much in order to be prepared for kids and live the dream.

Is it possible to save too much that you do not have a life? Should we really put our lives on hold in order to save for the life we want to live? Or is it just that these couples were saving/spending in the wrong ways?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Weekend Plans??

Had another great day of teaching! It's a tiring job though (even as a supply)! I am going to the PA day tomorrow and carpooling with a couple of other supply teachers. I will give them gas money, so that is helpful, although I wanted to have a look at this teacher store in the city that is having a sale tomorrow. Maybe it's a good thing though, less spending.

Plans for the weekend....nothing! I think I will do some work on the baby quilt. Hopefully get it finished!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Full-Time Work....this week...

I wish I had PERMANENT full-time work. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to get that in this board. However this week I am booked full days every day this week! This swine flu has an advantage for some people. The principal at the school I was at today asked me if I would work tomorrow for the same class, of course I said yes! It's an awesome class, I love when teachers are organized! We have a PA day on Friday about an hour away. So I will be going to that, I'm somewhat excited actually, it's a PA day JUST for supply teachers. Hopefully next week brings just as many calls!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Well at least OSAP debt-free. My final payment went through to OSAP today! I am now OSAP debt-free!!! I looked at the statement online today and then literally jumped up and down. Was nice!

In 17 months I paid off $31,000!

What would I do with $31,000??? Oh to have that money back! I would save $20,000 toward a downpayment on a house, $5000 into a TFSA, $3000 into an emergency fund, and $3000 toward a car fund.

Now just $5000 more that I owe to my family then I will really be debt-free. Yay!

Monday, November 2, 2009

November Goals

I'm glad November is here. I think that I am OSAP debt-free today however it is not updated yet on the NSLSC site (usually takes 5 days) and it has not been withdrawn from my account yet. If it's not done tomorrow I will call them. I will not update the sidebars until I see that my OSAP account is at $0.

This weekend I went to Toronto with the boyfriend. He had a conference there and then I met up with him at the end of it and we stayed one night. It was really fun. He received spending money from his conference so basically everything was covered for our dates. We went out on Halloween, and went to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D on Sunday. Was very cool, I have not seen a 3D movie since I was a kid (back when the glasses were one red, one blue). It also covered our eating expenses, was great! I hope he gets to go to more conferences!

I have six new goals for November:

Go to the gym at least twice a week
I didn't do so well at this in September, but am going to give more effort to it this month.

Read a new book
I read one last month right near the beginning and didn't get into a second. I have one on hold at the library but it hasn't come in yet. Hopefully early this month so I can get a good start on it.

Complete the quilt I started
I have all of the materials to do this, I just need to get motivated. I want to start new projects before this one is finished so will have to resist that urge and just get the baby quilt done.

Complete Christmas shopping for my friends
Then I will only have my brothers and dad left to buy for. I can do them in December.

20 No Shopping Days
No spending of any sort. Minimum 20 days this month.

Keep $1500 in my account
This will avoid bank fees at the end of the month, and also start my savings for my family loan. $1500 is somewhat out of my control, but I think I should be able to do it if I continue to get fairly regular work and don't overspend on anything. I have never not paid for this account, so that will be a new experience if I can attain this goal!

Happy November!