About Me

Monday, February 28, 2011

February Spending

Another month gone already! February was a busy month!! My roommate came to visit, I did some babysitting, I practiced my ASL for a weekend, I got the flu, D had a pond hockey tournament, and Valentine's and Family Day were in there too. Here is how my spending went this month, the budgeted amount is in brackets.
Car and Gas (15%) ACTUAL: 11%
Phone (4%) ACTUAL: 3%
Food (4%) ACTUAL: 7%
Restaurant (4%) ACTUAL: 5%
Personal/Medical (6%) ACTUAL 5%
Clothing (5%) ACTUAL: 4%
Gifts (2%) ACTUAL 1%
Education (2%) ACTUAL: 9% Paid Teacher's Membership
Entertainment (4%) ACTUAL 6% Bought comedy tickets on Wagjag
Everything Else (3%) ACTUAL: 6% Includes snorkel set, and photos
TOTAL (48%) ACTUAL 57%

And I thought I was going to be under for sure! This was my budget and it works this month again because I made more than I budgeted that I would. The OCT membership, and the comedy show tickets was what did me in. I bought 8 tickets that are good until September. It's an hour drive to get there but it was a good deal.
However, I also managed to SAVE! Budgeted amount in brackets again.

TFSA (35%) ACTUAL: 46%
Christmas (5%) ACTUAL: 8%
Computer (3%) 8%
RRSP (6%) ACTUAL: 0%
Travel Fund (3%) ACTUAL: 8%
TOTAL (52%) ACTUAL 69%
So you must be thinking that I overspent because 57%+69%=126%?? Well true. But really I did not overspend my earnings. I budgeted a certain amount per month based on what I TYPICALLY make. I may go under or over this typical amount and I'll save accordingly.

Again I am happy with the way this month went. I DID go over my budget in spending but I also went over my savings. Hope we have a good March!

March is D's birthday, Daylight Savings Time, SPRING, and St. Patrick's Day. D's B-day is in less than 2 weeks so will need to think about that more. Looking forward to 3 payday April already :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

RRSP Deadline is Approaching

It's coming up. March 1st. I have only contributed $1000 but I am not going to be adding anymore before the deadline. I do have a goal of at least another $1000 for this year though. Slowly building it. Better slow than never though right?

I consider my RSP as money I will never touch until retirement. I know that you can take it out as part of a home buyer's plan and that could be an option but will have to investigate that further when that time comes. I consider the TFSA as spendable money, planned spending though. Things like a car or a downpayment.

This was actually the first year I EVER added money to an RSP. Are you adding more to your RRSP before the deadline?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bits and Bites..

Wow being sick really knocks you out. I orginally thought I had food poisoning, but it must have been the flu since it was passed on to my mom and brother and D. D also passed it onto his brother-in-law, and my brother passed it onto his girlfriend. Hopefully the chain stops there!!!

We had a good week/weekend regardless. I taught high school for the first time on Wednesday and Thursday. It was a new experience for me but it turned out to be a good one. D and I went out for our fancy Valentine's dinner on Wednesday. I still did not have much of an apetite but the food was delicious and it was fun to go out with D. We were actually the only customers there!

Thursday I worked but went out for lunch with D since he had the day off. We haven't gone out in a long time and then bam twice in a row so it was nice. We met up with his cousins on Thursday night and played some board games.

More people came up on Friday for Pond Hockey but the weather was so mild that all of their games were pushed back to Saturday. We still had a good time hanging out with family and playing games. Saturday they played 3 games and won one of them. They had a good time still and it was nice to see them play.

Sunday and Monday were more family time activities where we played games at his parent's house and had a nice dinner.

Last night we watched Black Swan. Has anyone seen this movie?? It was not what I was expecting at all. It was good, but strange as well.

Today I am not working. Hopefully the jobs pick up soon! I plan on doing some sewing since both D's workglove and my mitten have stitching that came out and laundry needs to be done as well.

I added $600 to the TFSA and paid $120 for my teacher's membership. Oops forgot that one was coming but it worked out fine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Belated Valentine's Day

I went to D's last night. Felt a bit better by evening not 100% but I wanted to see him. We took it pretty easy. He gave me 12 beautiful roses.
6 of the roses, I'm drying the other 6.

 I then gave him what I made for him. I made him pink rice krispy hearts and included some heart candies as well. Mmmm. He had one right away :)
 I also made him a card.
We play scrabble quite often so I incorporated it into his card.

Tonight we are going out for dinner at the fancy restaurant we were supposed to go to on Monday. Yay!

Oh yeah, and today is my first day of teaching high school. It's just for the afternoon which I'm kind of glad about. Ease myself into it. Eeek, hope it goes well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Worst Valentine's Ever!

Yesterday I was so excited. I made pink heart-shaped rice krispy squares. D asked if I wanted to go out for a fancy dinner. And I was working on my Valentine's card to D.

I went to Wal-Mart in the afternoon to print off some pictures from our trip to give to D when all of a sudden I felt incredibly faint. I took my card out of the machine and started to walk out of the store. I dropped my purse, felt so weak. I sat in my car for several minutes before driving home.

I went to bed and hoped that I would wake up feeling better. At 6:30 I asked D if we could reschedule our dinner date because I was feeling so sick. He said sure and offered to make me chili and bread. I said I wasn't feeling up to eating.

Then I got sick. It was awful. I ended up being sick until 4 in the morning. A girl who was at the ASL weekend with me texted me asking if I had the flu. So it must have been something going around there or something that we ate.

I told D I wouldn't be seeing him at all tonight and he said that's okay but that I can't complain when my flowers aren't looking so good tomorrow. Aww, that was really nice of him.

I hope to finish off his card today and see him tonight. Still not feeling up to eating much so our Valentine's dinner date may have to wait a bit longer. Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Do you celebrate it?

I think it's an odd holiday and don't really think it's a big deal. Love should be celebrated (or at least shown) every day of the year, not just one.

What am I doing for Valentine's Day? Well since I am not working I think I will do some Valentine's baking. I bought some really cute sprinkles! I am excited to use them :)

Tonight I think D and I will just watch a movie and eat some baking treats. I am going to make him a card. But really we haven't even discussed Valentine's Day at all so it's going to be very low-key which is what I prefer. Whether you celebrate it or not, I hope you have a fantastic Valentine's Day! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

ASL Adventures!

This weekend I had an ASL weekend. It was a ton of fun!! I learned some more ASL and met some great people :)
I got there around 6pm on Friday evening after work. As soon as I entered there were people standing around chatting, but it was completely silent aside from the odd hand slap or laugh. It was cool. I set up my bed and meet my roommate from university. She introduces me to this girl she drove up with.

We had supper and played games until 2AM in complete silence!! We WERE allowed to write things down if we were having a lot of trouble but we rarely needed that, fingerspelling sufficed.

Saturday morning we woke around 8AM. Had breakfast, had a short lesson and then had some freetime where we went skating and sledding. After lunch we had several challenges that we needed to complete in groups (signing the alphabet backward, sliding down the hill and telling the instructor to act like a particular animal, blindfolded hand-over-hand signing, describing to an instructor where we hid two spoons, and phrasing an English sentence into ASL). My team came in THIRD!!

Later that evening the teachers put on a performance that had everyone crying with laughter. Then we played some more games until bedtime.

This morning we played some outdoor games including a snow sculpture contest. My team created the "I Love You" hand sign. It was neat. The instructors put on another performance, told some jokes and invited everyone else to tell a story or a joke as well.

I left around 3:30 today. It was such an amazing thing to be completely immersed in ASL for a weekend. It was challenging for sure especially since so many people there were more advanced, but I did learn a lot and am hoping to take another course soon :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Financial Milestones For Your 20s

I got this from Shoe.Gal.

#1 – Finance a dream vacation…in cash

Yes! I got back almost a month ago (already!?) from Dominican Republic with D. Okay maybe it's not a DREAM vacation but it was pretty awesome and it was paid for completely in cash.

#2 – Pay off your student loans

I owed $32,000 when I graduated and it's all paid off now...finally. It took a lot of work on a very low income and a little help from my brother (who I paid off with interest) but it got done. I really don't like accumulating interest.

#3 – Automate paying your credit card bill in full

I don't have it automated. I actually like doing it manually for now. But I have never had to pay anything in interest since I pay it off each month so I'm going to say I've met this milestone too.

#4 – Get rid of all bad debt

Got rid of all debt (good and bad) this summer when I finally paid the remainder of my family loan.

#5 – Build an adequate emergency fund

This one is still sort of a work-in-progress. On any given day my emergency fund ranges from $1500-$2000. Ideally I would have it at around $5000, but I have other goals I would prefer to reach first. What I have now is definitely adequate for my circumstances.

#6 – Make your first, and last, investment mistake

Still need to do this one. I really haven't invested at all. Will look more into this one.

#7 – Develop a statement of cash flows

I do this on a pretty regular basis by tracking spending and savings.

#8 & 9 Max out a RRSP & Contribute to your TFSA

Neither are maxed out. I don't make enough to max them out. But I have started both. I have almost $7000 in my TFSA and $1000 in my RRSP. Small now but they were only started last year and I have goals to increase both of them this year.

#10 – Get a degree or certification that increases your earning power

I have two (BA and BEd). They aren't exactly increasing my earning power right now but they will and they currently allow me to supply teach. I love teaching :)

#11 – Take a career risk

Haven't done this, but I've barely started my career.

#12 – Negotiate something

Nothing major yet. I plan on trying this for the next car I purchase. However I DID negotiate several souviner items in Dominican.

#13 – Earn your first side grand

I wouldn't say it's a side-grand since I worked at the Rec Centre before I started teaching. I HAVE earned more than a grand doing things OTHER than teaching. But it's pretty necessary when you are only supply teaching. I have advertised more for tutoring in the last week so hopefully something comes from that as well.

#14 – Start a sub-savings account for an upcoming financial goal

I have a bunch of these. They excite me. I have a Christmas fund, travel fund and computer fund. Last year I was able to fully fund Christmas without having to go into any debt. It was fabulous and I plan on always doing it now.

#15 – Set a target retirement date

I haven't really thought about this one. I'm guessing at least 60 though. We'll see where things are then.

#16 – Monitor your credit

Yep! I track my credit on a fairly regular basis (weekly).

#17 – Say no to a financial salesman

Yah, I say no more than I say yes for sure.

#18 – Give just enough to make it hurt

No not yet. I will work on this one though and want to give more of my time as well.

Two Milestones for the Over Achiever

#19 – Invest $1 for every $1 you spend

Nope!! But this year I am hoping to save more than a spend. Even in saving accounts that I know I will spend before the year is over (i.e. Christmas fund). However this does depend on whether I move out this year, and whether I buy a car this year.

#20 – Start a 529 College Savings Plan

No, kids are not on my mind right now. Will start this once a kid is actually born.

Overall, not too bad. There are definitely things I can work on and things I can start but it's not too bad for where I am right now. How do you stack up??

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Brother is Moving Out

I have two brothers. Both younger. Both living at home too. It's a full house.

Anyway my brother has been dating this girl for about 6 years. They lived together for a couple of years during university and now live in separate towns in the same region. His girlfriend works in both towns. They decided that they would prefer to live together and started looking for apartments.

My brother does not drive. He CAN drive but chooses not and does not have a car to so location was key for them. They had to find a place that was within walking distance of his work. They looked at several apartments and finally decided on one that met all their standards.

It's a two floor apartment, with a large kitchen and living room on the main level, and a bathroom, laundry room, and two bedrooms upstairs. They have a balcony and one parking space. The cost of this place is $900 a month, plus utilities.

They will be paying hydro, water, cable, phone, internet, etc.

Her parents were trying to convince them at looking at HOUSES to buy since they could get a mortgage for about that amount each month but they were not interested. The houses were pretty run down or in a location too far from my brother's work.

The day the move in is April 1st. This is nice because it gives them time to pay off student loans as well as purchase anything needed for the apartment.

I would soo love to move out but cannot afford it at this point :( I will just have to live vicariously through my brother. Kinda sad that my brother who is 15 months younger is moving out first. C'est la vie.

Monday, February 7, 2011

March Shape-Up Challenge

Today marks the first day of the March Challenge.

My goal is to increase my strength, flexibility and maintain my body weight during the challenge.

I plan on doing this by eating healthier, doing as many push-ups I can, stretching, and at least 50 sit-ups (hopefully daily). Maybe I'll even add some of that Jillian Michael's DVD I haven't used in too long.

Added To The Funds

Payday was on Friday. Although it was a small payday I was still able to put money toward some of my goals. I added $100 to Travel Fund, $100 to Christmas Fund, and $100 to Computer Fund.

I'm actually hoping that I will be able to fully fund these small amount accounts before the year is over. If I receive a good tax return again I am hoping to even complete some of them before the SCHOOL year is over. That would be so amazing and then I could focus on funding the others or topping them up even more.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cheap Weekend :)

My roommates were both supposed to come up this weekend. Unfortunately one was sick and didn't make it but the other one and I had a nice weekend. We chatted and ate food all Friday night.

On Sunday we made a good breakfast and then met up with D. Her first time meeting him!! We went to his parent's house and played some hockey and skated on the lake. We fed the birds and then chatted for a while. We then went out for sushi for supper and then played some board games at my house. It was really nice and she said that she likes him and "approves" of him :)

Today we just played some wii and talked a bunch about life and teaching. It was good to talk to someone who gets where I am coming from and is in the same situation. We also skyped our other roommate for an hour which was really nice! It was a good girl's weekend. Definitely need to have more of those hehe.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Phone Issues

My phone has been acting weird lately. If I get a long text from someone it will send the first two in separate messages and not the third message. Frustrating. It also goes completely blank once in a while.

This part worries me because I'm not sure if I CAN receive calls at this time as I cannot make them (calls=jobs). I can't see what I'm doing. I know the phone is still on because there is light in the background still. So I am considering getting a new phone.

I currently have one of the old flip phones. No fancy data-plan phone for me. But I think if I get a new phone that's the way I would go. I am thinking either an Android phone or a Windows 7. Anyone have suggestions?

I have an i-pod touch so I really don't need an i-phone. I'm Canadian but I don't think I have much use for a blackberry.

I think I can hold out a little longer. I am hoping that a good deal will come on and I can get a decent phone for not an extreme price. I'll likely go with the 3 year contract just to save money on the phone even though I REALLY do not want to be stuck in another contract. It will save me $300+.

Anyway I did not get a job today so today's goals are to FINALLY FINISH my sewing projects. This is number one. I also want to do some baking (already making cheesecake). Possibly get some photos developed. All before 4pm when I am supposed to babysit for a few hours.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy February!

It's February already?! Tomorrow is Groundhog Day and it's supposed to snow a lot tomorrrow, so I'm guessing the little guy is not going to be able to see his shadow and say an early spring. No matter what he says though, it always ends up being 6 more weeks if not more.

Today I taught in the morning and then got some gas and some groceries. My roommates are coming up this weekend so I bought some snacks and baking supplies.

I got two bags of items and it ended up being $44! Sure adds up fast! I didn't even get any meats since they were totally out of what I wanted. I think am going to make a lasagna for when they come on Friday.

Today I plan on doing some baking and sewing. I need to get my sewing projects DONE! Will post pictures when complete.