About Me

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Wow, what an AMAZING game. I was right on the edge of my seat (and leaning forward) during overtime of the men's Canada vs USA hockey game. Great game, well played hockey by both teams. It was amazing to see the coverage of different places celebrating across Canada (Robson Square, and Yonge St)!

I am very impressed by all the athletes that represented Canada. It was simply a joy to watch them compete. My favourite was hockey and then figure skating. I was really rooting for Patrick Chan, but loved the performances of Evan Lysacek (soo good at the exhibition gala), Johnny Weir (he's so funny), Kim Yu-na, Joannie Rochette (so glad she earned a medal) and Asada Mao (triple axel girl). I wish I could skate like that! Ah, I wish I could even skate!

I worked 4.5 days this week. Which was awesome, I hope next week is good too! BF came this weekend. We went out to the Mandarin on Friday which was soooo delicious. I definitely ate my money's worth. We watched a lot of olympics and then went for sushi today for lunch. It was a fun weekend. I am going to visit my cousin in Toronto next weekend, BF is at a conference in Mississauga and will meet us when he is done. Then I will go to visit his family on Saturday night. I'm looking forward to it.

Happy March!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being Nice Pays

I've noticed that being nice to someone can help you in so many ways. First of all it's just good to be nice, to smile, to strike up a casual conversation, it puts you and the other person in a better mood. Recently being nice has helped me get some "extra" things. TWICE I was at a thrift store buying used books and the cashier reduced the price just because, and these were different stores. I was nice to them and I think that helped. I was at Tim Horton's the other day buying timbits and the lady gave me TWO extra ones, yes I counted. We chatted at the counter and when she handed them over she gave me a wink so I had a sneaking suspicious she might have given me an extra one. Today I was coming home from work starving and stopped at Subway (over an hour to get home, I couldn't wait) and ordered a sub. The girl and I chatted and joked about the Canada hockey game and guacamole of all things and I noticed the girl gave me extra meat and cheese. Yay! Last summer I even once had a girl buy me a drink at a bar because we were both waiting at the same time and she was getting drinks for her friends.

Be nice, be funny, be polite, smile because really it pays :)

Have you ever had things like this happen?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Business Doing Pleasure?

This song by Tim McGraw came on while driving home from work today.  It's about men paying for everything for their girl. Too much, and extravagent things. Do you know anyone like this? I appreciate when my boyfriend treats me to things, but I would never expect it. Do you split things evenly with your SO? BF definitely pays more than me. In the beginning of our relationship I would always split with him, but now it's moved toward where he is paying for more. I really appreciate it though :) When I'm working more consistently I know I will help out more, and we will split more evenly again.

Here are the song lyrics:

I spent fifteen hundred dollars on your damn dog's collar
Put new spinners on you escalade
I swear I almost started cryin'
when you brought up buyin' diamonds
Lord I'm spending more than I'm getting paid
You got more purses than Versace
Got more rings that Liberace
Fill your closets full of fancy shoes
All my credit cards are cookin'
Girl you don't know what your puttin' me through
It's a business doing pleasure, a business doing pleasure with you

You got me walkin' past the fellas
Holdin' drinks with pink umbrellas
on some island that I can't even spell
Then we slide over to Gucci
Right before we go for sushi
That's a version of my personal hell
You just spent all day long trying on Louis Vitton
There's a thousand things that I'd rather do
Lord my mom would beat me senseless
if she saw what I was spending on you
It's a business doing pleasure, a business doing pleasure with you

Your gonna break my bank before too long
I'm taking out a loan
But when you turn your kind of lovin' on
Honey I just can't say no, no no no no no no

Your gonna break my bank before too long
I'm running out of dough
But when you turn you kind of magic on
Honey I just can't say no, no no no

Maybe I'll play the stock market
Put some money in my pocket
ain't no telling what your gonna need next
I need to steal a Sherman tank
just to break into a bank
I pray to God this song will be a success
All my buddies think it's funny
Cause I'm spending all my money
On some honey like there's something to prove
Cause for a little of your lovin'
there ain't nothing much that I wouldn't do
It's a business doing pleasure, a business doing pleasure with you

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cause of Car Problems

It was the brake line. Apparently there was a leak and so I ran out of brake fluid, Jason you were right! The one line had a visible hole in it, and the other was wet meaning it likely had a small not visible leak. So it was a bit of a process to get it fixed. My dad went to get it checked but now it's done and working again. Yay! They also fixed the holes in the exhaust. Total damage is $300. I know my dad won't ask for the money, he wouldn't even tell me what it was. I had to get it out of my mom today. I will pay him back soon. Instead of taking it out of my TFSA (E-fund) which is very minimal already, I'm going to make a smaller contribution to my family loan next month.

Friday, February 19, 2010

T4s Coming In

I have now received both of my T4s, and have received my interest on OSAP. I think that is all I have for tax time to come in. I am now wondering if there is a way to estimate what my income tax return will be. Any ideas? In 2008 I only worked 6 months and received a little over $400 back. In 2009 I worked 12 months so I'm hoping for more back this year. I'm anxious for it to come in to make some dents in debt repayment. I just hope I don't end up OWING money.

Are there any ways to estimate this before my taxes are all filed?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brakes Failed

My brother was borrowing my car for the past two weeks as my parents are in Florida and I'm using their vehicle. He comes to me yesterday and says the brakes are shot. I ask what he did, he says nothing. He only drives to work and back and ocassionally the bank. 10 minutes of driving total. So I didn't believe him, I JUST got the car serviced last Monday. So I take it for a spin, and sure enough the brakes are VERY VERY slow at working, and the brake light is on.

I can press the brake pedal right to the floor, there are no squeaking sounds or anything it just slows down extremely slowly, and I was going about 10km/h. I am going to have my dad look at it when I pick them up tonight, hopefully it's just a basic problem like needing brake fluid or something. Somehow I'm thinking it's more than that though since I'm sure they would have checked for that when I got it serviced. Please be an inexpensive and easy fix!!!

Now I can joke about having a Toyota with failed brakes though. Although mine isn't on the recall list...it's 11 years old.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Impulse Buy?

I don't know why I do this. It's impulse buying. Online shopping is so easy!! Way too easy.

Last night I received a magazine I have a subscription to. It's "The Mailbox Magazine" it's a magazine for teachers, I really enjoy it even though I don't have my own classroom. But I'm pretty obsessed with books and teaching resources. The subscription was a gift :) I was browsing through the magazine and they had an ad for other things this company sells. Gotta avoid the ads!!

I follow the ad to the website. I browse online looking at the freebies that you get for having a subscription, very cool stuff. Freebies make it even better. Then I go to the books section, clearance section. And I browse and pick out a bunch of books that I would want on my wishlist. But instead of leaving them there I add them to my cart, type in my credit card number, and click submit. Total was *hangs head in shame* $151. Yikes! $25 was shipping, darn shipping!

Why do I do this?!? I don't do it often but yikes $150 spent in minutes! On 13 books! Books I don't even have a classroom for. Why?!?! Do you impulse buy very often? Is it usually on gum at the grocery store, or you ever have big purchases for things you know you don't need? One day I'll use them at least (I hope), and at least they were on clearance...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pancake Tuesday!

Mmmmm pancakes!!

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and also the day when I give up something for lent, OR do something extra. I have given up all sorts of things before, chips, chocolate, candy, doing one nice thing for my family each day, etc. I'm not sure what to do this year. I am thinking I will exercise each day and maybe something else like no eating out or I don't know. What about you? Do you participate in Lent, are you giving anything up for it?

Amazing Performance!!

Did anyone else watch pair skating tonight? The Chinese did amazing! It seemed like all of the other teams choked because of the olympic pressure and fell or downgraded their program. The Chinese who have never received a medal in olympic figure skating placed first and second in the pair freestyle skate. So good, happy belated Chinese New Year to them. The French yesterday were also really fun to watch. I clapped for them and the Chinese teams in my living room :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!

How are you spending this Valentine's weekend? Anything special planned for Family Day??

My BF came over Friday night. He stayed for a total of 14 hours before going home on Saturday because I had a Girl Guides sleepover to do. We were thinking, we have been together 7 Valentine's days in our 6 years and 3 months together but we do not think we have ever (this year being no exception) seen each other on the actual day, reading weeks, and then long distance. But that is okay since it's not a big deal to me.

Usually we make a card for each other and that's about it, but this year when he came on Friday he surprised me. Since we are going to Holland this year he got me tulips, while there we plan on visiting Belgium and he got me those shell Belgian chocolates, and we also plan on visiting France, so when I opened up the card I was expecting it to be in French but he just missed that country. It was pretty sweet. A lot more than I expected and I think it was nice. Surprises are always fun.

We watched the Olympic opening from start to finish on Friday night. I loved seeing Betty Fox there carrying out the flag, I actually thought she would be the final torch bearer but they did a good job. I am glad they changed the luge set up and am excited to watch some more Olympics this weekend. That, and some sewing is likely how I will be spending my family day and Valentine's, what about you?

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Believe

Olympics start tonight! I'm excited to watch the opening ceremonies, they should be amazing. I bet the hype is crazy in Vancouver, it's even exciting in my small town in Ontario.

I am mostly looking forward to men's hockey. But I'm also excited to watch some women's hockey, figure skating and highlights of some of the other sports, bobsledding, snowboarding and luge is always fun to watch.

I have a Girl Guides sleepover to do this weekend, and then will be spending family day with my brothers. I am also working on a new sewing project (my first from a pattern) and I am going to try to finish that on Monday as well. I will show you when it's done!

Are you going to be watching the Olympics?? What is your favourite sport to watch?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I drove 40 minutes to my HALF-DAY job today and they told me I was early....a day early. Oops!! Darn, that was a waste of time. I ended up dropping some things off at the Salvation Army and storage so it did end up being a productive afternoon afterall, minus the 80 minutes of useless driving!

How to Save for a Baby (Guest Post)

*Todays post is not written by me but by a special guest writer, Fred. He is providing us with his ideas on how to prepare for a new baby.*

Saving for a New Baby
You may do all the preparation in the world for the arrival of a new baby, but when the big day arrives there are still going to be things you have to learn on the go. However, one of the things which can be easier to plan and manage with the arrival of a new baby is the money, if you take the time to be organised, make budgets and stick to your plans.

Why You Need to Plan to Save for Your New Baby

The expenses for a new baby will begin long before the baby is born and will continue right up until they start college or move out of home. That is why you need to be prepared with a realistic idea of how much a new baby will cost, and how you are going to pay all these costs.

Costs of a new baby:
  • Health insurance for you and the baby. Having health insurance when you are planning a family will give you pace of mind and will help cover the costs of a lot of expenses associated with a new baby, and with raising a child. However, some health insurance policies will only cover mother and baby expenses if you have been with the health fund for a certain period before you got pregnant and this period can be as much as a year. Therefore, you need to make sure you can afford your health insurance premiums now, during pregnancy and throughout your child’s life.
  • Reduced income. Whether you or your partner plan to return to work after the baby is born, there is still going to be a period of time where one of you will have to stop working to look after the baby until it is old enough to go to childcare. Then if you do plan to be a stay at home parent, you need to know whether you can afford this option, or whether you would earn enough returning to work to cover childcare expenses and the normal family bills.
  • Baby needs. In preparation for your new born you will need new furniture for their room, clothes, toys, prams, car seats, baby baths, bottles, not to mention all of the disposable items like baby powder, milk, nappies, and the list goes on. As your child grows you will need to spend a bit of money baby proofing your home to buy safety covers for your power points and baby gates for your stairwells. Then of course as the child grows you will still need to clothe him or her, send them to school then to university, college or help them get started in their own place.
How to Save for a New Baby

Saving for a new baby can be much like saving for any other goal in your life, and a great place to start is with a high interest savings account, and regular deposits. However, it can help to know whether you are entitled to any extra payments from your employer to boost those savings, and to find out how to make the savings you do make, go further.

Ways to save for a new baby:
  • Know how much you need. This is where you can start deciding how you intend to live after you have your baby. Whether one parent decides to stay home with the baby, or whether both parents will return to work will affect the amount of money you need to save before the baby arrives. If one parent plans to stay home with the baby, start living off of one income as soon as possible – this will help you get an idea of whether you can afford to live on one income, plus by spending just one income, you can transfer all of the second income to your high interest savings account. Also find out whether you will be entitled to any parental or maternity leave and whether this leave is paid; you may also be able to have your long service leave paid out as a wage while you stay at home looking after the baby and this regular income will mean you need to draw less on your savings.
  • Make a budget. Once you have made some of the decisions from the point above, you can start to make a post-baby budget to see just how much you will need to draw on your savings to supplement the family income. This means you need to include all of your regular expenses, plus ongoing baby expenses like nappies, doctor’s appointments and clothing. To help with this budget consult someone you know who is already a parent for their advice on expenses, or read up on a baby book to help with baby budgeting. Making a pre-baby budget, or reviewing your current budget can also help you see where you can cut back on your spending to direct even more funds to your high interest savings account.
  • Make a list of the things you need to buy. If you know exactly what you need – finding this out from friends and family members with babies – you’ll be able to save money when you do your baby shopping and you won’t feel pressured by the staff at the baby stores who will want to convince you that you need every single product that they stock. As well as not spending money on things you don’t need you can also use your list as a baby registry so the gifts you get for your baby shower will fill out your list, and when the baby arrives you may only need to dip into your savings account for a few items.
  • Start your savings plan. Transferring just a little money each week to a high interest savings account when you start planning for a baby will give you a head start on your baby expenses. If you make the transfer automatic each pay day you won’t even notice the money being moved, and if you plan to life off of one income and transfer your entire wage each week you will soon see impressive increases in your interest earning too. Making regular deposits to a savings account also gets you into a good habit to be able to save for your baby’s future too, to cover expenses such as their education which can really add up down the track if you’re not prepared.
  • Transfer your savings to a term deposit. Building up your savings account balance is great, but you can get even better returns on your baby savings by transferring your balance to a term deposit. Term deposit accounts offer the best interest rates and returns on larger investments, secured for the longest term, so transfer some or all of your savings account balance to a term deposit when it is large enough and watch it grow even more.
Raising a child can be hard work, but saving for their arrival doesn’t have to be. Just take a little time to make some financial preparations and think about the way you plan to live after your baby arrives and you will be able to find a savings plan and strategy which suits you, and covers all your baby expenses.

Fred writes for Credit Card Finder, where he helps people compare and choose the best no annual fee credit card.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Little by little...

Debt: I added $300 to my family loan. I'm now at 50% woohoo!

Savings: I added $100 to Travel Fund, $250 to TFSA (planned spending/EF), and $60 to Christmas/Gifts.

I want to try to up the amount I give to Travel and Gifts next month (depending on how much work I get this month). This is because I want to be able to give about $500 to BF's family to help contribute, and about $150 or so in spending money. But I only have 4 months left to do it. *Moved the progress goal to $500 instead of $300 since we are going on a bigger trip than previously expected*

I want to also up the Gift savings account because I have a wedding to go to the day after we get back and would like to make a gift basket or something to say thank you to BFs family for taking me on vacation, all will be in July. I also will have no income coming in for July ahh!

Now to update those progress bars, yay!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm Moving Out!!!

In my last post I mentioned that I decided to move in with BF for the rest of the summer after we get back from Holland. This is very exciting yet a bit scary for me.

I always thought that I would not move in with my partner until after marriage. But I guess this is kind of like a trial marriage for us, plus I think it makes the most sense. We have been together for over 6 years as well.

I want to eventually work where he lives, to be closer, since it is easier for me to move my work because he will be established and working full-time very soon.

We are already going to Holland together for 3 weeks, so as a teacher that takes up almost half of my summer off. Where am I going to work for the month of August? So we talked about it and decided that I could live with him for that month. I would apply to places in his city to work for that month and hopefully work at least part-time for the month while he is working full-time at his new job.

ALSO, this works out because I thought about it, and staying until at least mid-September would also work out very well for us. I do not start getting supply calls until closer to the end of September, so if I stuck around with him until I started receiving calls I would have an opportunity to volunteer in the schools in his area to hopefully gain some experience and get noticed to better my chances of getting an interview with the school boards in his area.

There is an apartment available above the clinic he will be working at. His mom owns the clinic and apartment, so hopefully a good deal on rent could be negotiated, especially if BF does some work around the clinic, shovelling snow, clean up, repairs, etc.

Nothing is set in stone yet, all just things that could happen. But the apartment is very nice. He is having this meeting that will negotiate rent, salary, benefits, etc in March. I am already getting anxious for this meeting, as I want to know the numbers now. You know how we PFers are. But right now I am very excited, we have already looked at furniture!!

Why I've Been MIA

I had an excellent weekend. I dropped my parents off at their hotel on Wednesday and then continued to BF's house.

The highlights are that on Thursday we went to a concert and got a meet and greet with Deric Ruttan!! I was super excited, but unfortunately we both forgot our cameras, it's okay though because I got a signed CD.

Friday we spent the day together, and BF has been planning a party for this night for about a month. He picked up some supplies. Fun party, I met all his friends from his program, and some of my friends even came.

Saturday I bought some thread to crochet more with, still learning. That evening we went to see a musical. It was called The Last Five Years. It was really well done although a sad ending. Later that night we went to his friend's house who were celebrating a birthday.

Sunday we visited where he will be working when he finishes school and looked at the apartment he will be moving into after we get back from Holland. It is still a work in progress and people are fixing it up a bit more, some painting and cleaning, but it looks REALLY nice, also I've decided I will move in with him for the remainder of the summer. Eeeeee!!! More on that soon.

Total cost for the 4 days was about $50 with gas and yarn expenses. He took me out a lot, sometimes I get spoiled, he really is too nice.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day!

Willie saw his shadow in this area so for us that means another 6 weeks of winter. Did he see his shadow in your area?

This weekend I had a great time with friends. We did a lot of pretty inexpensive activities and we all had a great time :) Friday we just hung out discussing life and teaching, and playing a bit of rockband.

Saturday we made breakfast together and then went snow tubing. It was $16 for two hours. They decided then that they also wanted me to teach them how to sew so we went to Fabricland and got some material. We then came back and played some wii fit plus and they cut out the pillows that they wanted to sew.

On Sunday we made another big breakfast together and then played some wii fit plus. It was fun having some competition. Then I taught them how to sew and they made pillows. They turned out pretty well and they enjoyed making them. They are quick learners.

In total, I spent about $60 on groceries and a tubing pass. Overall I think it was pretty good. Always nice to catch up with friends.

Also this week I worked a half day yesterday and a half day today. It is annoying when I get a call when I'm WORKING for another job. I turn my phone on silent when I am teaching, and soo many times when I have a half day I receive a call for the afternoon when I am teaching.

I am working tomorrow at the rec centre and then driving my parents to the airport for their vacation and then continuing on to BF's house for a long weekend. Yay!

Monday, February 1, 2010

How Much Do You Spend on Wedding Gifts??

One of my good friend's is getting married this summer, the day after we get back from Holland (please no delays!!!). So I have a lot to save up for. This friend was my university roommate for 4 years. We meet up about 3 times a year for a weekend. We send birthday and Christmas gifts, and send e-mails every couple of weeks.
I am not in her wedding but I am pretty sure I am doing a reading at the church service. I don't know how much to budget for this exactly. I have not been to very many weddings, I've only been to one friend's wedding in my life, the rest have been for family (and then I usually go in on a gift with my parents).
They have just purchased a home but are renovating it and will be moving in together after the wedding. They will be doing a registry which helps to know what to get them exactly.
How much do you spend on a wedding gift? Do you always buy things on the registry?