About Me

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dating is Expensive! or at least can be...

Many of you know that I broke up with XBF in June. It was a hard decision but the right one as well. We were together for a long time, 6.5 years. He would pay for a lot of the things we did together, I contributed as well but he covered most expenses. In the beginning of our relationship I wouldn't allow it, but I became very poor very quickly and he wanted to pay for things. It made going on dates really easy.

Now that I am starting over and it's summer there are a lot of things going on and a lot of them cost money. I don't want to have to rely on someone else to pay my way. But I'm also realizing quickly that dating is expensive!! I forgot HOW quickly things can add up. A movie here, a dinner here, a tank of gas, and there goes $60.

So I've been searching for cheap date ideas. I've been to the movies on cheap night ($6 awesome). I've looked into the drive-in, see 3 new movies for $10 each, or $15 together on carload night. Movies at home are always good too. There is a band that will play every Sunday, Monday and Thursday locally for donations. I live where there is a lot of lake access and beaches so that is always a fun option as well. Who doesn't love game night?? Tonight I am going to see a free improv comedy show. Tomorrow the town closes the streets downtown for shopping and entertainment.

Dinners are always fun to go to, but they add up so quickly. So I am thinking about seeing if he would like to make something together once in a while. Kind of a fun date and a delicious result.

Do you usually split the bill on dates? What was your favourite inexpensive date?

One of my FAVOURITE dates with XBF was actually a pretty cheap date. We went grocery shopping together and picked up these Easter colouring contest sheets (for kids, we weren't going to enter the contest), and a bottle of wine. We made supper together, then I brought over some crayons (yes, every teacher has crayons in their dorm room) and we watched the Leafs play as we drank wine, had some snacks and coloured. It was so fun and did not cost very much!

My FAVOURITE date so far with D was when he had a weekday off and we met in town. We got some ice cream from a new store and walked to the falls. We then stood in the water cooling down and just talked. It was so nice and peaceful there. Total cost was about $3 each. Another easy cheap date is when we take his roommate's dog for a walk. It's fun and free :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Budgeting on No Income

I haven't been working very much this summer. I have received two paycheques in July and one GST cheque which have been helping me a lot this summer. I also have $1000 in vacation money that is unused. I asked XBF to take it or give it to his family but he refused.

So now that money will help fund other things this summer. I depleted my vacation fund but would like to bring it back around $500 in case I decide to do some travelling this year I will have some money on hand. It's a small start, but I have also been thinking about teaching overseas and that will be a start for that as well.

I also over contributed to my Christmas/Birthday fund because I was thinking of buying XBF something big for his bday in September. But since we are no longer together my Christmas fund is at $800 and I think that I could stop funding this and be totally prepared for December.

My TFSA is at $2050 and my goal is $4000 for this. I want to add more to this soon. Also my RRSP is non-existant right now and my goal for that is $1000. I want to get a start on this as well. Not sure if I should use my regular Scotiabank or perhaps ING to start a retirement savings plan. Any suggestions?

I still want to leave some room for other things like my car, entertainment, etc. I will be receiving a small paycheque this friday from working 2 days in July, but I do not know when I will receive another paycheque as I have not been working lately. Maybe I will cash in my EUROS today.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Awesome Wedding :)

On Thursday I headed down to where my roommate lives. I met her where she would be having her wedding reception. We decorated and put on chair covers. Most of the other things were already done or would be done by the owner of the building. We then headed to her house for some supper and then got to work on wedding programs. Wow that was a ton of work!! My fingers hurt so much.

Friday we woke up early, had some breakfast and headed off to the spa. We all got our nails done and it took 5 hours. Too long, but it was fun to spend the time with the girls. Then we got some well deserved fast food. We went back to her house where I practiced my reading and the bride (roommate) worked on her rehearsal dinner speech and wedding day speech. She is SUCH a procrastinator!!

We then headed off to the church for the rehearsal. The priest was hilarious and made it really fun. Then we went to the groom's dad's house for a very fancy dinner. It was very nice! We went home and tried to go to bed early but everyone was so excited for the next day that it was hard to fall asleep.

Saturday we woke up early. The girls had their hair professionally done. My roommate did mine. Then the bride paid for everyone's make-up to be professionally done. That was very nice. The photographer came and took a ton of pictures of the bride getting ready and a bunch with the bridesmaids and her on the farm. The bride looked absolutely beautiful :) We put out a rosary on the clothesline to keep the rain from falling. It didn't work but I'm sure the pictures still turned out well.

Then the limo came. Red carpet and everything! We all jumped in and sang along to "we're going to the chapel." Got to the church and it was a beautiful wedding. A few tears before the ceremony began when she saw her grandma who they didn't think would be able to make it. But during the ceremony it was all smiles. Then we headed to the groom's dad's house again for some snacks before the reception.

The reception was great! The food was amazing, the songs they chose for dancing were great! I had a blast. I even got a centre piece! The groom grew up on a golf course and so their kissing game was a putting game where you had to get a hole in one. Also one of their favours included a golf ball with one of their engagement photos on it. It was the best wedding I have been to, just a ton of fun.

XBF was there too, but it wasn't very awkward. I think the group of people we were around made it a lot easier. It was nice to see him.

On Sunday we headed off to the groom's mom's house for brunch. Then the bride and groom opened all of their gifts. Most were household items they needed from their registry. They received a lot of really nice things. XBF and I bought them a wii (not on registry). It was a great weekend!!

Sunday night I hung out with D. We went out for Chinese food, played some boggle, then drove to a small town very close to me that I have never been to and sat on a dock and talked watching the stars. It was very nice.

For the weekend, I spent $45 on gas (filled up twice), $140 on the gift (shared the spending with XBF), and $22 on supper. It was well worth it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Getting Paid To Have Fun

That is what today felt like. I worked for the camp and we went to Ontario Place. I had a great group and it was a perfect day. We went on some rides and then spent a lot of time in Soak City. To top it off, we were even given supper on the way home. It was such a fun day it hardly felt like work, and it was over 12 hours!

Tuesday night I went to see Despicable Me. I thought it was really cute. After the movie we went out for ice cream and sat by the lake. It was a nice night.

Tonight after work D came over. We had a word-game board game night and my brother joined in for a bit. We played Boggle and Bananagrams, good ol' fashioned fun :) I am heading off to my roommate's hometown tomorrow which is close to 5 hours away for her wedding and will be there until Sunday at some point.

I hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy the sunshine :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Keeping It Frugal

I have been keeping things fairly frugal with this lack of work. I went out for ice cream last night. I also bought some groceries earlier last week and some gasoline. Other than that I haven't spent any money. I plan on going to the movies tomorrow ($6) and will be driving to visit my roommate on Thursday (she lives 5 hours away), and we are getting our nails done (mini mani and mini pedi, not sure what the mini part means) on Friday morning (unsure of what the cost will be for that, but I'm looking forward to having my nails for the first time).

I have been watching a lot of movies and going for walks with D. During the day I have been baking and doing some cooking. I made some dips, taco pizza (mmmmm) and regular pizza, nanimo bars and chocolate chip cookies.

On Friday I went to visit a cottage my roommate's parents rented. I brought cookies. Her parents made us lunch, we spent the day swimming and lounging in the sun. We went for a walk and had a sodoku challenge! Then we went out for supper, and her parents generously paid for all of us. They also gave me some desserts they picked up :)

Friday evening I hung out with my brother and D. Saturday I went to the craft show with my mom and then some friends came over for board games. Sunday D came over and we went out for ice cream and watched a movie.

Today I researched volunteer teaching in Africa and South America. I think it is something I am interested in for next summer. The costs are close to $5000 for two months (including flight, meals and accomodations), I will need to look into other programs. I would be very interested in doing something like this. Helping to teach young kids, and getting a great experience of visiting another country. I will need to think about this some more but it is something that I would love to do. Now there is really nothing holding me back except the finances. The program does not start until mid-June though so I have time to save. Something to think about!

Tomorrow I plan on being a bit more productive around the house and make supper for the family. D called me today and asked if I would like to see Despicable Me. Tomorrow is cheap-night at the theatre $6 for all ages, so it will be a fun date :) Has anyone seen it yet? My cousin said it was very cute.

I also got an e-mail asking if I would like to work Wednesday and Friday of this week. I told them I could work the Wednesday (Friday I will be busy helping and preparing for my roommate's wedding). Turns out Wednesday is also the day they are going to Ontario Place so it will be a fun day of work and extended hours! Hope the weather is nice!

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Boredom Busters

LOL I've been a bit bored lately. This no working thing is actually harder than I thought! My mom was laughing at me yesterday because I was cleaning out the pantry. She said "wow you must really be bored."

Yesterday I made nanimo bars, my FAVOURITE dessert. I made chocolate chip cookies today, and for supper I am going to make two types of pizza, regular and taco pizza. I haven't made taco pizza before but I saw a recipe and it looked good!

I've been listening to a LOT of music on youtube too. I think my new favourite band is Lady Antebellum. Perfect Day might be my new favourite song at the moment. Every song is very catchy and relatable.

Friend, let's call him D. He came over last night and the night before. We went for a walk and watched some a movie both nights. I think he is going to come over again tonight after work. I think we are going to watch Disney's Earth. Looks pretty interesting, like the Planet Earth series. Last night we watched Hancock which I thought was good too!

I've also been reading Harry Potter. I'm about halfway through the first book. It's getting more interesting. I think I will finish this one but not sure if I will read any of the following books. D also brought me over a book called Generation A by Douglas Coupland. Ever read any of his books before??

My friend's parents rented a cottage for the week so I will be heading there tomorrow morning for the day, yay a change of scenery!

Off to read a chapter outside now and then do some grocery shopping. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



Wow, this day has finally come. It took me a long time but it's here. I procrastinated the last bit too in order to start some savings. I finaly paid off that pesky family loan ;) I also paid off my credit card and phone bill today so I'm literally debt-free. However I also have very few assets. An education, a bit of savings, an old car, and a few personal items.

So now what??

With very little work this summer I think I will try to keep the spending to a minimum. But I also want to enjoy myself this summer but I won't go overboard. I think want to focus on the TFSA and start RRSPs. Any other suggestions??

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fantastic Weekend!!

Friday I worked. It was a rainy day so it ended up going by quite slowly working with the kids but overall it was a good day. Nice to keep busy. Friday evening a friend from elementary school came over and we watched some comedy skits.

Saturday the same friend came over and we played some Beatles Rock Band. Then I got ready and left to go to Guelph where my roommate was having her Bachelorette party. It was a lot of fun. We played some games at the hotel and then headed to The Ranch. Nice to have a girls night :) A bit expensive, but worth it!

Sunday I drove back home and then elementary school friend and I went to see a Beatles tribute band. It was really well done :) They looked like the Beatles, we got some ice cream afterward too mmmm. Then we watched Star Trek the movie. Now I'm no trekie and I've never seen a Star Trek episode but the movie was really well done. It was actually surprisingly funny too :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Always An Upside

The upside of a break-up. There are some really!!

I've lost 4lbs, well it's only 3 now that I am getting back to normal. But what perfect timing for swim suit season. The heat makes me not feel as hungry as well, either that or I just don't feel like cooking anything.

I am also getting out more. I've been seeing and talking to friends a lot. Including some friends from back in elementary and high school! I went for a walk with a friend last night, and the night before went swimming and had a campfire :)

I've had a lot of time. I have looked into jobs a bit more, had time to apply to a lot of them. I am also thinking more about what I want in life. Still thinking about that one.

I have also had more time to play games, listen to music, read etc. I think I might start some sewing again soon and I have a book list with some books I would like to read this summer.

Tomorrow I am working at the rec centre and am looking forward to doing something a bit different. Getting out seeing old co-workers will be good.

I also put another $300 to my TFSA which brings me to over $2000 now yay!

Tomorrow I will stop by the bank on my way home from work and pay off my family loan. Which will make me debt-free. I will then be able to sock away a bit more in savings. Although the summer will be quite tight with the lack of income.

My old roommate is having her Bachelorette this Saturday and there is a concert on the lake on Sunday that I would like to go to. I'm glad summer is such a busy season! Any other cheap summer ideas??

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back in the Swing of Things

Wow a week ago I was a total mess. Today I am feeling great! I definitely know I made the right decision. I still am unsure what I want in life exactly but this break has made me realize I have a ton of options.

I applied to several jobs within my school board but I did the same last year and never heard back so I'm expecting the same response. So I have been thinking about applying to teach overseas perhaps or in another province, maybe a developing country. I really don't know where I will be in a year.

I was talking to a friend last night and he asked me what was on my bucket list. Do you have one? What's on it??  I have a lot of goals in life, i.e. to learn more sign language, to have a career in teaching, to get married, to have kids, to do something important. That one stuck out between the both of us. He also wants to do something important, leave something behind that will make the world a bit better for another person.

He has been to Nicaragua and helped to build a community centre. He thought the experience was great and wants to do something else similar like that. I think that is a great thing to do, what an amazing experience that would be! My cousin does something like that every year in Peru so I might look into that as well, although I would be particularly fond of going to an African country. Lots of options!

I still have not paid off my family loan. It's been so hot I have been keeping cool at home and not going out. But tomorrow is supposed to rain so I might get down to the bank then. I also called my employers at the rec centre and told them my plans have changed and I will be around for the summer if they needed someone at any time. They already have work for me on Friday! Also I may be working for the month of August but we will see.

Things are really looking up. However, XBF has texted me twice and emailed me twice as well. I responded to one of the emails just saying that I did get his messages (he asked if I was receiving them) and that I was glad the Netherlands won in soccer. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything, I don't know the rules of a breakup.

Hope everyone is keeping cool :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunshine :)

So it's been a week since I broke it off. I am actually still very content with my decision. I haven't really thought of BF too much either ummm let's call him XBF now lol. Thank you all so so much for your support. You are all amazing :)

Netherlands won against Brazil on Friday and there were a lot of people at the lake wearing orange. So I thought of him then. He also texted me says it's been a hard few days for him, that he will always be here for me and that he still loves me. I haven't responded and don't know if I should??

I know he wants me to change my mind, but I just can't. I know it's not the right thing to do. I am having a lot of fun, staying busy with friends. I went to a stag and doe this weekend and had a blast chatting with old high school friends and some new people. Things have been really good.

I haven't looked at my budget since the end of June. I have not spent too much money though either. Mostly gas and a few drinks at the bar and stag and doe. I will have to get back on track and start tracking it again. I also will need to exchange my euros back into Canadian dollars and then I'll be able to pay off the last $200 on my family loan. Maybe a job for today?

Things are looking good. Life is a little crazy right now but I'm enjoying it. Off now to apply to some jobs and enjoy the weather!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Everything Is Fine...

Kids always preface something bad with that line.

I broke up with BF. I got really nervous over the weekend thinking about going to Holland. I thought about us and wasn't sure if we were right for each other.

He is SUCH a great guy. So nice, kind, generous. But...I just don't know, there was something missing I guess. You know that feeling? I think you are supposed to just know when someone is the one, and I wasn't feeling it. I so wanted to, but couldn't.

So I called him (lives 4 hours away, and we both worked the next day) and told him I didn't want to go on the trip anymore. I told him why and we cried. He told his parents that night who were also shocked. If things do work out things are going to be really complicated with his family, they are so nice but I really hurt their son/brother. Then we worked the next day. Thank God for work, really helped me get through that next day.

He texts me at work and asks to come see me. I told him I would come see him the next morning. Then after work I get a text that he is on his way. So I meet him and we talk. It was sad but it was good to talk in person. I saw him the next day too and we went for a drive and a walk. Joked how every song is about love. It's true!!

Then he left. They are now all in Holland. I really hope he enjoys his trip. Things have been okay for me here. I've been keeping busy. I think a break up is a bit easier if you are long distance because you are used to having to be apart and do your own thing. I know everything will be okay either way.

I think I need some time to myself. Surround myself with friends and go out lots to figure out what I really want. I was with BF for 6.5 years. It's going to take some time to think.