About Me

Monday, January 31, 2011

January Spending

Well January was a short month for me since we were gone for half of it! I am not going to include trip expenses in my January budget. I already did another post on what it cost for our trip if you would like to read it here. The budgeted amount is in brackets.

Car and Gas (15%) ACTUAL: 28% This was due to fixing my door and driving A LOT.
Phone (4%) ACTUAL: 4%
Food (4%) ACTUAL: 0%
Restaurant (4%) ACTUAL: 1%
Personal/Medical (6%) ACTUAL 11% Geeze haircuts are getting more expensive!
Clothing (5%) ACTUAL: 0%
Gifts (2%) ACTUAL 1%
Education (2%) ACTUAL: 12% Signed up for an ASL course
Entertainment (4%) ACTUAL 0%
Everything Else (3%) ACTUAL: 0%
TOTAL (48%) ACTUAL 56%

Oops, went over. The hair was too expensive. I need to look into cutting that down, luckily I only get it done once every two months or more. The ASL course was also a one-time thing, will not happen in a typical month. Same as the car repairs, I had to fix my door and get an oil change which is more costly than a typical month.

However, even with this spending, I also managed to SAVE! Budgeted amount in brackets again.
TFSA (35%) ACTUAL: 38%
Christmas (5%) ACTUAL: 12%
Computer (3%) 15%
RRSP (6%) ACTUAL: 0%
Travel Fund (3%) ACTUAL: 12%

I ended up saving a lot. So you must be thinking that I overspent because 77%+56%=133%?? Well true. But really I did not overspend my earnings. I budgeted a certain amount per month based on what I TYPICALLY make. That's the amount I want to spend on certain things and the rest can sort of be extra (I was going to say snowflakes but they really wouldn't be them). Anyway, I may go under or over this typical amount and I'll save accordingly.

All in all, I am happy with this month. I got a pretty good start to my savings and spend on some practical things. No entertainment or miscellaneous spending this month! Hope we have a good February!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Last Years Budget and Spending

Well I tracked my spending last year for 10 and a half months. I stopped in November when Excel no longer let me input numbers. I purchased Excel and have the CD but no longer have the product number so the CDs were useless.

Anyway, this is what 10.5 months looked like for me:

I spent approximately $2800 on my car!! Eeek, hopefully less this year. No major car repairs *crosses fingers*

I spent just over $600 on eating out. Most of this was spent in the summer months when D and I went on more dates.

I spent a little over $300 on food. Most of this in the summer and early fall when I did a lot more baking.

I spent about $1000 on CLOTHES?!? Eeek this cannot happen again. I did buy some shoes, and a couple of coats last year but I can't even REMEMBER any other big ticket items! That is just sad.

I spent just under $200 on Education which includes my membership fee, applications, etc.

I spent about $1000 on Personal/Medical which includes prescriptions, dental, make-up, hair. I don't think this will change for 2011.

My phone was about $550. This will likely go up for 2011 if anything if I decide to get a new phone and I added text messaging to my plan last summer.

I spent about $800 on GIFTS. Eeek that seems high too. But I include when I take someone out for lunch or dinner. Also had birthdays, special occasions and a close friend's wedding.

The worst one was $1500 on what I labelled "Everything Else." I cannot even tell you everything that this contained. It was mostly entertainment though (books, going out, drinks, wii and board games, gym, fabric, crafts, toys, movies). Definitely too high. I need to track this one better this year.

I paid off $5000 in debt!

I made the most money in April (income tax!) and least amount in January.

I spent the most money in May. I saved the most money in April and the least amount in January and June (tied).

Hopefully I can do better in 2011!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

American Sign Language Weekend!

I signed up for a weekend of no talking!!! Am I crazy? Possibly.

But it's all about communicating with your hands, ASL. It's two weekends from now and I'm really excited about it. It's about 2 hours away from here and my roommate and her friend are also signing up for it. I haven't practiced ASL in a while so I am hoping I don't feel totally lost when I'm there.

I LOVE the language, it's amazing. I am also thinking about applying to become a teacher of the Deaf, so this may help me to decide whether it's something I want to pursue professionally or just out of interest.

The course is Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. It includes accommodation, food, two classes per day and activities. It cost $150. I think it will be fun!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gail's Budget and My Budget Compared

Many of you already follow Gail Vaz Oxlade. She is wonderful :) Anyway one of her resources is her interactive budget where you can add your own budget to this nice worksheet online here. Love it! It's really fun to play with.

It's even fun to fantasize about one day having a NET (he) too! More money to play with when you have a double-income.

Anyway I plugged in my budget #s (which I wrote about yesterday) into her interactive budget. Turns out:
I'm way under what she recommends for housing (I'm at 0%, she recommends 35%).
I'm about on par with Transportation (I'm at 15.38%, she recommends 15%).
I'm over what I should be with Life (I'm at 32.69%, she recommends 25%).
I'm under what she recommends for Debt (I'm at 0%, she recommends 15%).
And I'm way over what she recommends for Savings (I'm at 51.92%, she recommends 10%).

This is all okay though because I'm still saving lots and spending less than I make. All is good.

Now she also breaks down your Life expenses into a monthly and weekly budget which is nice if you do the jars. My weekly budget for life's variable expenses would look like:

Transportation: $46.15
Food: $11.54
Entertainment: $27.69
Clothes/Gifts: $19.62
Everything Else: $27.69

For a total of $132.69 per week.

Good to know that I should be keeping my variable spending under that amount weekly.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011 Monthly Budget

Now this budget is likely to also change monthly due to having a changing income. But it's a good guide for typical months with 8 days of teaching work (numbers are rounded, hence why it doesn't add up to 100%):

Car and Gas 15%
Phone 4%
Food 4%
Restaurant 4%
Personal/Medical (prescription, dental, make-up) 6%
Clothing 5%
Gifts 2%
Education (courses I take, schools I apply to) 2%
Entertainment (dates, movies, drinks, books) 4%
Everything Else (charity, fees)3%


Now I hope to NOT go over this budget most months. I think I will be able to generally keep it under. I can also take money from some areas to pay for others, but I will do my best to keep the spending under 48% of my typical income.

Now I don't just plan to spend and not have savings. So also here is a monthly SAVINGS budget:

TFSA 35%
Christmas 5%
Computer 3%
Travel Fund 3%


Now if I earn more then that will likely mean that I will put more into savings. If I have a low income month then savings also may be hit. Obviously I will try to do save more than this each month but it depends on the month. I also may not put any money into RRSPs until I have enough for a pretty good lump sum, so some months RRSP will have $0 added.

I tracked my spending for 11 months last year and never posted any of it. Not sure how many of you would actually be interested in seeing how I spend each month, but I think I may start posting it this year to keep me on track. It may also encourage me to spend less and save more. Might be good motivation!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No Longer Driving A Taxi!

So yesterday I got the door fixed on my car. Also got an oil change. It came to $180, eek. More than I was expecting, but hopefully it will never break again. $130 of it was "labour." Grrr.

I'm glad it's at least now fixed though. It opens from the inside AND the outside. But only if it's unlocked. The key still doesn't work to unlock the passenger side door. Oh well, I can live with that.

I am working today and the teacher left a message saying that the class is going skating so I stopped at D's last night to pick up my skates. I am still not very good on ice myself but I think I will give it a try, it's a primary class so maybe I'll be better than a couple of them hehe.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tired Of Feeling Like A Taxi Driver

So over our holidays my brother borrowed my car. I RARELY lock my doors, but he took my car to the city with his friends and locked it when they were there. He leaned over to let his girlfriend in and the lock to the passenger door came up and out entirely. So it's stuck in lock-position. Cannot be opened from the inside or outside. It's annoying to say the least.

I drove my parents and our neighbour to Boston Pizza on Saturday and they all sat in the back. Also I've driven a few places with D and he prefers to sit in the back rather than crawl over the driver's side. It's just strange. So today I made an appointment to have it looked at (hopefully fixed) and get an oil change too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Life Update

I only worked two half days and one full day this week. So on the two days that I did not work I did some baking. I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter marshmallow squares. Sooo good and really easy. They were a hit in my house.

The next day I made pizza. I made the crust with half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose. It was really good too. I cancelled the healthiness of the whole wheat with a ton of extra cheese. Ah well.

I bought the ingredients with a Wal-Mart card I received for Christmas. So I don't have to include it in my spending for this month right? Do you count your gift card spending in your tracking?

I have been using the Google Docs Spreadsheet to track spending. It's just as good as excel but free and online so can be accessed easier. I like it, thanks for suggesting it!!

D and I hung out every evening. We had a drink at Boston Pizza on Thursday. Last night he had 5 friends get together for the weekend to hang out and play pond hockey. I helped him get some things ready and saw his friends for a bit then left. Too many boys lol. I came home and had some wine with my parents which was nice.

My plans for this weekend are to hopefully finish making my roommates something that should have been done a month ago. I also want to finish my raq quilt. Yes, I am STILL not done. It's sooo close, why do I procrastinate the end so long?!

I finished reading The Girl Who Played With Fire. Definitely better than the first book and have now started the third book. We are going to watch the movie sometime next week. :)

Okay, now to go and be productive...hehe

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thinking About Going Back To School

I've been stuck in a rut. I love my job but unfortunately it is just not permanent enough, nor do I make enough doing this job.

My roommate suggested this Deaf Education program to me.

As some of you may remember I am interested in ASL (American Sign Language). My dad's parents are Deaf and so that helped me want to learn more about the language.

I have taken two ASL classes and loved them, I can't wait to take more.

Anyway back to the Deaf Education program. It's a program offered through York University in Toronto. It's available to teachers with at least a B average in Teacher's College. I had an A average. You have to have completed at least two ASL courses (I have bare minimum).

It's a full-time, one year program.

Did I mention it's FREE?? Tuition is free to Ontario teachers. I would need to cover accomodation, transportation and books.

It costs $50 to apply, and is a lot of paperwork (reference letters, essays, application). I am thinking about it, it doesn't hurt to at least apply.

I have looked more into the opportunities for Teachers of the Deaf. There seem to be some, but not a huge amount. Something to think about...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Price of a Vacation $

We have been back for a week now. Vacations are expensive even if you end up doing the all-inclusive deal.

Our flights, rides to and from the airport, hotel, and food we did through expedia and ended up costing $1031 for two weeks.

Medical insurance was $45.

I spent $620 while there!! Eeek! On what?!?!

Well $350 of it was on becoming open water SCUBA certified. That is good for a lifetime. I also did one additional dive which cost $40.

Then we did some day trips which ranged from $30 to $90 per person. We did a taxi tour of the city and cable ride up the mountain. We went snorkelling on Paradise Island. We did a plantation and a waterfall tour.

Then there were the other "extras" such as coconuts on the beach, drinks at a bar off the resort so we could watch hockey, cigars, rum, coffee, lunch while SCUBA diving, SCUBA pictures, cocao, mamajuana, and other souveniers for friends and family.

I bought an anklet for myself. A bottle of rum and a t-shirt for my dad. Some coffee, cocao, a bracelet, and a t-shirt for my mom. A bracelet for each of my roommates. I also bought some mamajuana to share with my family and another bottle for D. He doesn't know about this so I am going to give it to him for his birthday I think.

All in all the two-week trip cost $1696. Expensive sure, but it was an amazing trip :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dominican Trip!! With PICTURES!

December 29th we left for Dominican from Toronto. We left at 6:15 am. This is what our view looked like for the majority of the 4 hour flight.

I was actually sick the first day. I felt freezing in my jeans, two sweaters, a coat in tropical weather. I slept the first day. The next day D ended up getting sick. He visited a doctor and ended up having to get an IV and a ton of prescriptions. Glad I got that last minute medical insurance!

When we became healthy again one of the first day trips we did was to Paradise Island. It was a 2.5 hour bus ride through the country side and then another 10 minute bus ride to a sand bar. There we went snorkelling. It was my first time snorkelling and I loved it! We saw a ton of fish and it was a beautiful day.

After snorkelling we hung around on the island. This is me after snorkelling, don't mind the hair! But the water was beautiful and there was a neat pirate ship in the water.

On our way back we stopped at a restaurant and here we saw some kids playing baseball. I loved this. There were kids everywhere and they just played. Electricity is not very common and it turns off a lot so electronics were not very popular. We just don't see enough of this anymore here.

I liked snorkelling so much that I decided to become SCUBA certified. D is already certified so I thought it would be a good idea to become certified as well instead of just diving. It took 3 half-days of training, one day in the pool and 4 ocean dives and then a written test to become certified through PADI. I absolutely love it though and think I may be hooked so it was a good investment. This is a picture of D holding what it cost me in Dominican Pesos (12,375)to become certified. Equivilant to about $350 CAD.

SCUBA pictures!! This is a lionfish. It's apparently extremely venomous. I was not aware of this until AFTER my fifth dive in the ocean. I saw many of these and came quite close. EEEEK!

Can you see the fish here? There were so many cool camoflauge fish! We also saw an eel, and an octopus. The octopus even inked!!

Not sure what this is. But I'm assuming it's something pretty cool because my instructor would point at it everytime we saw one. As did another man we dived with when I was done my course. It looks pretty cool, anyone know what it is?

Hehe, this is me SCUBA diving. I thought this picture was funny because of the fish on the right, it's like he is posing for the picture! I actually got BIT by one of those fish on my thumb when I was feeding the fish bread and a banana. Ouch!

Even harder to see this one. I think he is cute though with his eyes and it looks like a smile! Awesome SCUBA diving, I definitely recommend it. Did you know SCUBA stands for self-contained underwater breathing aparatus? We did all our dives in Sosua.

On the day I was supposed to do my certification test we slept in late and had to skip breakfast. However D had bought a coconut on the beach the previous day so we took it with us and had coconut  for breakfast on the ride to our divesite. Other passengers thought it was pretty neat.

Another trip we did was go up Mount Isabel. We took a taxi that came with a tour guide and toured the city. Our first stop was the mountain. This is where Jurassic Park was filmed!! We took a cable car up the mountain and then walked around. The tour guide pointed out flowers, caves, fruit trees and more. It was really cool!
We also went to see a fort. Here we saw a crab, a donkey, and men making kites.

A picture of the city, the mountain and a palm tree. I'm slightly in love with palm trees.

There were way more motorcycles than cars on the roads in Dominican. Almost no one wore a helmet. We actually saw one tiny motorcycle with two adults and two kids. I thought this guy was pretty funny carrying a propane tank. At least he is wearing a helmet!

Our final tour was to see and jump down some waterfalls. Before the waterfalls though they took us to a plantation. Here we saw tons of fruit: mangos, oranges, cocao, bananas, coffee, pineapples, and more. Here are some bananas.

Did you know pineapples grow in bushes not on trees? We did not until we saw this. It's almost like a cactus bush. Not quite ripe!

This is a typical house. Maybe nicer than most. I loved the colours!

We made another stop on our last trip to see how coffee, cocao and cigars are made. This is Mama making coffee for us. It was really good! Us girls had to put on straw hats, and sing a song as we crushed the newly roasted coffee beans. Mmm smelled so good.

Along our way kids would be running after our bus. Many in barefeet on the gravel roads yelling for sweets. We would toss them some candy and they were so happy. Here I got a picture of a group that came to see us. Kids are funny.

Finally we made it to the Damajagua Waterfalls. There are 27 in total but we only had time for 7. We hiked and then swam and then climbed up the waterfalls. Once we were at the top we slid or jumped down them. It was so much fun!! This is not my picture but here is one of the workers jumping off one of the waterfalls we did.

So crazy to see moms holding babies in their arms on motorcycles. I was just amazed everytime I saw this.

Overall it was an amazing trip. We also went kayaking, D took me on the catamaran, swam in the ocean, played ping pong, played dominoes, laid on the beach, took long walks on the beach, ate a ton of awesome food, and met some cool people. It was a fun time hanging out with D for two weeks in Dominican!

Now we are back to Canada. I took this picture on our flight back. We could not see land for most of the trip back due to it being so cloudy. When the pilot decended and snowy Toronto came into sight the whole plane booed. It was pretty funny. I would love to go again! So here we start the vacation fund again...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Missed Pay

In the summer my paycheques were all messed up at the rec centre. The paystub would say a certain pay period but then it would actually be two weeks behind. It was confusing and frustrating. Anyway I worked 2 days in November and two days in December for the rec centre.

I noticed that I did not receive the second November pay which was for 9.75 hours. I thought maybe the pay system was still messed up and so I waited. It did not work itself out so I contacted my boss last night.

She told me today that I was correct and that November pay was missing so they are going to add it to my next paycheque. I'm glad I caught it. But it makes you think that maybe this has happened before and gone unnoticed.

Anyway, I'm teaching this afternoon so it should be a good day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Update

I worked on Friday at the Rec Centre. I am not enjoying that job, but it's extra income which is good. After work D and I went to Niagara region to visit his mom's side of the family for a Christmas party.

We got there really late and so chatted with his cousin and his girlfriend for a bit and then went to sleep. The next day we had breakfast and hung out for a bit with his cousin. Then we went to visit his grandparents (they are super cute, think the couple in Up!). We then went to see another one of his cousin's. Funny thing is, all these houses are right beside each other.

We went back to his grandparent's house for supper where we met up with some more cousins, an aunt and an uncle, and his sister and her husband. We had a great supper and then talked and played board games until it was time to go to bed. My cell's battery died this night and I did not bring a charger.

The real Christmas get-together was on Sunday but I had made plans where my roommate was going to come visit me. So we left early Sunday morning without getting to see the whole family. His family is really nice!!

We were running a bit late actually and sped home. As soon as I got home I charged my phone and went to text my roommate and it turned out she already texted me that she was no longer coming because she was feeling sick. I felt bad because we didn't really need to leave early afterall.

In the rush of leaving I also forgot my purse there at his grandparent's house. It's over 3 hours away so I wasn't going to run back to get it. Fortunately his cousin is coming up for a hockey practice this weekend so I will get it back then. It's just a little scary not having it. I don't have a licence or a debit card or any cash. I had my credit card in my coat pocket because I got gas on the way down and didn't transfer it back to my wallet thankfully. But I can see this being a pretty low spend week.

Last night I visited my cousin and we had supper at her parent's house. Then D and I watched "Burn After Reading" and part of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." We didn't watch much of the second movie though because I was too tired. Maybe tonight!

Most Depressing Day of the Year

That's today. They were talking about "Blue Monday" (it even has a name) on the radio this morning on my way to work. They say today is the most depressing day of the year because people are in debt from holiday shopping, most have already failed at their new years resolutions, it's still cold and gloomy, and the holiday and new years cheer is gone.

Today I sure could have pressed the snooze button a few more times but it has turned out to be a pretty good day so far. I taught this morning, and now I have the afternoon to run some errands and finish my laundry.

I also got a pretty good start on my new years financial goals. I started a computer fund (will need to add a sidebar for that) and added $200 to it. I added $500 to my TFSA, and $150 to the Christmas fund, and $150 to Travel Fund. Not HUGE amounts, but I was tired of seeing those sidebars so low. I also paid my phone bill.

D wants me to pick up a reusable coffee filter for him and a library book. However I left my purse in Niagara region at a Christmas party this past weekend and do not have my library card so might only be able to get the filter (if I can even find one).

Well I hope you are having a good "Blue Monday!"

Hehe, oops! I just transfered all those things and totally forgot that I still owed my mom and D money. I owe a total of $400. I forgot about it because I am unable to actually go to the bank since my debit card is also in my purse in Niagara region. Oops!! Maybe I will electronically transfer the money if they require it before this weekend when I should get the purse back. Good thing it's payday this week!

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Goals

Ah, 2011 has been here for a half-month already. But I was away so that's my excuse. Anyway, these are my 2011 goals.


Contribute another $5000 to my TFSA. It's currently standing  at $6350.

Contribute another $500 to Travel Fund. I wiped it out to go to Dominican, so it's currently at $0. I may or may not travel in 2011 but would like to put money toward travel anyway.

Contribute another $1000 to RRSPs. I currently have $1000 tucked away into two $500 RSPs. I know this is still a small amount but anything helps at this point.

In 2011 want to make an extra $2011 in ways OTHER than teaching.

I want to start a computer fund as well. Mine turns off when it feels like it and I am not sure it will last too much longer. So a fund will help when the time comes. I'm going to set this at $500.

I loved having money at Christmastime without having to use my credit card. I want to contribute $800 again to Christmas/Gift Fund. This was soo helpful!


I want to STRETCH daily. I am still not very flexible but I want to work on that more. I stretched a lot more last year and want to keep that up.

I want to maintain my body weight and tone it up. I am 5'6 and range from 115-125lbs. Typically hovering in the 120 region. I am not very strong though so would like to tone up. Let's say 15 boy push-ups and 50 sit-ups no problem by the end of 2011. I'll try to work on this most days as well.

I want to take a fitness class of some sort. I am thinking kickboxing, or a dance class. The trouble with living in a small town is finding things like this that allow beginner adults to join. I took fitness classses here when I first graduated and didn't sign up again because the other members were so much older than I was. I can't let this get me down.

I want to go SCUBA diving at least once this year. Now that I am certified and love the sport I want to go again. Maybe with D sometime this summer in our area.

Take a sign-language class. I LOVE this language and want to learn more about it. I NEED to sign up for another one. Hopefully there will be one held close to my region sometime soon. I feel like I am already losing a bunch of the signs I once knew.

Read 10 books. I only got to 6 or 7 last year. I really enjoy reading so I think 10 is doable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Decade Past

2000 - This was the beginning of a new millenium. I was excited for something big to happen, but unfortunately nothing did. I was 14, I was finishing up grade 9. I LOVED school, got along with everyone, enjoyed going to school dances and talking on the phone with a boy from school. This was my first summer having a REAL job (not babysitting) I scooped ice cream at a theme park, mmmm.

2001 - I was finishing up Grade 10, my friends were switching to a different school in town and I decided I would switch with my best friend in September. It was a great decision, I made so many new friends, being the new girl was fun. I went out a lot in the summer, stayed up late and had an awesome time.

2002 - I got a new summer job, had a crush on a boy I worked with. Found out in September that he liked me too, and we started dating. He was in OAC, I was in grade 12. I put my focus on my friends and school and we drifted apart. I was heartbroken that neither one of us put more effort into it.

2003 - This was high school graduation, high school prom, and finding out whether we got into the universities that we had applied to. I found out I was accepted to all of the schools I applied to, but decided I wanted to stay back in high school for another year to take Co-Op. When I spoke with the guidance counsellor to get this set up, she said Co-Op was full, and recommended that I go to university in the fall. I did. Only one other friend in my group of friends decided to go to post-secondary this year. I was extremely nervous, but once I got there I met some great friends that would eventually become my roommates and life-long friends. I failed my first test in university (first test I EVER failed). I hung out with a few different guys and then at a soccer party met a guy. I didn't like him at first but he was quite persistent and soon after I was falling for him too.

2004 - I finished first year. I said "I love you" for the first time. I graduated with great marks, I worked two jobs that summer, one of which confirmed that I wanted a career working with children. I had a tough summer being in a long-distance relationship. I moved into a house with the friends I met in first year.

2005 - We had some awful landlord troubles and decided to live somewhere else for third year (we ended up staying at this new house for 3 years). I passed second year and started loving the courses I was taking even more. I worked two jobs again in the summer and did the long-distance relationship again. I gained a lot of confidence in my job.

2006 - I got straight As. I decided to stay at school in the spring and take an extra course with one of my roommates. We had a blast living together and volunteering that spring. I started fourth year and began to apply to teacher's colleges.

2007 - I waited anxiously by the computer on April 2, to see if I was accepted. My third choice regretted to inform me that I was unfortunately not accepted. The others I applied to would come by mail. My heart was crushed. I was up in my room when I saw the mail carrier walking away, ran downstairs to find 2 large packages addressed to me. I was accepted. I started teacher's college that fall. I had my first teaching placement in a Grade Five classroom. I absolutely loved it, I also learned that not all kids have a good family situation and upbringing and this realization made me cry.

2008 - I had my second teaching placement in a Grade One class and learned that I am meant to teach primary. I received perfect teaching assessments from my placement teachers and counsellors which confirmed for me again that I am meant to teach. I had a falling out with a good friend. This was the year a close family friend committed suicide, my uncle passed away, and my grandma all within a month. I applied to school boards, I went to Europe and I graduated. I moved back home with my family, realized that I owed $30,000 in student loans, I got totally stressed out about this amount and put as much as I could toward this debt. I was promoted at my summer job and took my first additional-qualification course. I had my first (and only) interview and was accepted as a supply teacher. I had a few supply placements and absolutely loved it.

2009 - I taught as often as I could. I made a few big purchases for myself. I borrowed $5000 from my family and paid off the remainder of my student loan with it. I started this blog. I started learning more sign language and fell even more in love with the language. I had a brief stint with trying to learn piano. I learned how to sew. I realized that no matter how old we get there is always more to learn.

2010 - I became debt-free!! I started to save. I broke up with a boyfriend I was with for over 6 years. I had my first interview for an LTO and didn't get accepted :( I started a relationship with a new boyfriend, D. I went on my first couple's vacation with D.

2011 - Here we are. This is the year I move out? This is the year I figure out what I want in life? This is the year I turn 26...I sure hope I can get some things figured out. This is the year I get an LTO? One can dream...

I look forward to the next 10 years :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm Baaacckkk

Didja miss me? LOL just kidding.

I have a lot of blog catching up to do now. But I just wanted to give a brief update on the past two weeks in Dominican!

We left and I felt really sick on the plane. I was super cold and the entire first day I was wearing sweaters and a coat in tropical weather. I slept and woke up much more refreshed.

D on the other hand got what I had AND a cold and we ended up having to go to the doctor for him. Thankfully I bought medical insurance at the last minute! They gave him an IV and about a million prescriptions. Our first 4-5 days pretty much sucked, glad we went for two weeks!!

Anyway those were the downsides. The highlights....

I went snorkelling for the first time on Paradise Island!

I am now PADI SCUBA certified to 60feet/18metres! I ABSOLUTELY love it!!! Being able to go deep underwater is soo cool!!

We saw a ton of animals, a monkey, a parrot, an iguana, lots of birds and fish, a gecko.

We played ping pong and laughed so hard, he took me on a catamaran, and we went kayaking

We met people from Ontario that were super cool, old and young

I learned more about D, I think we became closer

Ocean swimming

The FOOD.....mmmm fresh bread with literally every meal (I think I gained at least 5lbs), and the FRUIT mmmm fresh pineapple....so delicious!!

We jumped and slid down 7 waterfalls. Super scary but amazingly exciting!

Oh I'm sure there are a million things I'm missing. It was a really good trip, I'm sad to be back but it was time to come back to reality. It was funny on the plane when people booed and even gasped when the snow-covered land came into view on the flight. Definitely back to cold reality.

Hope everyone had a fantastic new years!!