Monday, March 09, 2009

For the record

My soup kicks ass in tastiness.

And I explained to Ava today that the reason we don't buy her snacks and toys is because we're putting that money in a "Family Fun Bank Account" so we can go to the Toronto Zoo. She was very excited about this and thought it was great idea. I feel better explaining this way then the standard "we can't afford it" line we give her. We are not poor or broke, but smart and saving. There's a difference and she needs to know that. Even if she is 4 ;)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A little of this, little of that

A whole week has gone by since posting here. I'm lazy, I know it.

Yesterday was grocery day. I have developed a bit of a routine. Thursday the fliers are delivered so I pour through those, comparing my coupons and keeping in mind what is on hand I menu plan and make the list. I spent less this week than usual because I need to use up my supply of meat in the freezer. I think it'll be a couple more weeks of meat free shopping so we'll be that much closer to paying for our vacations this summer.

The last few months we've eaten basically the same foods so I'm trying to mix it up with at least 2 new recipes a week. This week's new eats were lasagna (amazing), a pasta/cheese/gr beef casserole (not amazing, but good enough to be put on regular rotation now) and a beef and bok choy stirfry (not good).

I stocked up on turkeys ($10 each) the last couple of weeks and we had one for lunch today. I am currently simmering the bones, veggies and a bay leaf to make soup tomorrow. My mom made soup every time we had a bird when I was growing up and she makes the best soup. I'm attempting to do the same. It smells great right now.

My little brother just had his hours cut in half at work this week. He wasn't even making ends meet before so this is a blow. I feel so bad for him. He's very young and just starting out. My parents are just waiting for their company to go under. It could happen any day. I'll join the crowds and say: this economy sucks!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Updated sidebar

Also updated the sidebar to reflect the last payment on the credit card. I'm happy to have gone under the $5000 point!

February Review

Ho-kay, here we go.

I didn't meet all my goals. In fact, only 1/4 of them. It all comes back to me being a bit lazy.

Goal #1 Get Private Disability Insurance

I'm happy with my work policy, so I'm sticking with that. I'm waiting for my husband to get back to me with info if he has one at work and if so how much is he paying for it before I make him get a quote. This is really my goal for him.

Goal #2 Get Life Insurance

The paperwork has been filled out and sent. Just waiting for a call that should come in the next couple of days to finalize it. We went through a group policy with my alumni association. I was rather annoyed at my husband (although I was nice with him) that he has had a couple of smokes in the last year. Grrr. If you're a non-smoker why do you need to have a smoke with a co-worker? Thanks for doubling your premium buddy.

Goal #3 Open up a TFSA

Still a goal. Really should have done this, but I'm still hoping to find my missing cheques so I can go with ING rather than my own bank.

Goal #4 Get credit reports

Not done.

We had a bit of a setback this month with the overpayment at my work. This cuts into the debt repayment and thus lengthens the time we need to save for baby number three. I'm a bit sad that I won't be able to take my last mat leave with Peyton. I had 2 mat leaves with Ava and it was wonderful for her and I. Peyton will most likely be in JK by the time we have a third.

I am still living off of the budget set from last summer when the gas prices were twice as high. Every week I manage to save about $55 from it to put into our fun account (for things like our 10th wedding anniversary in May, trips to Michigan and Ottawa this summer).

I'm getting used to using the credit/debit cards, but I hate figuring it all out each week. I do enjoy the points we are racking up to use for movies. Harry Potter here we come!

Overall -still happy with how we are doing. We're always within budget, usually way under. I've embraced coupon clipping and am mastering the art of combining them with sales (I got two freebies this week - shaving cream and Mr Clean all purpose spray!). Bills are paid in full, on time.

Goals for next month:

#1 - Open a TFSA

#2 - Get my papers to mom for her to file our taxes

#3 - Get credit reports

#4 - Fix Peyton's birth certificate (they spelled her name incorrectly) and apply for passports (I'll consider this a financial goal because it costs $$$)

#5 - Tweak budget to put $25/month in RRSP. I have a great pension but who's to say it won't bomb before or during my retirement? Plus I won't have a medical plan in retirement. I can afford $25 right now while focusing on debt repayment and will increase it as we can.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Experiences, not stuff

I've been doing thinking lately and while it hasn't been earth shattering, DH and I have decided that from here on out our life will emphasize experiences rather than stuff. We've been living together for 13 years and managed to waste quite a bit of money on stuff. Not that we have a lot of stuff, but the amount of money we spent on partying and eating out when we were young would have paid for several trips.

I've always wanted to travel but felt like we never had the money. Turns out it was the choices I made. If only I'd known about Gail Vaz-Oxlade 13 years ago. I'd be chock full of experiences right now.

So from now on we're focusing on this theme. There are several places on my list to see before I die. I hope to be able to get to all of them.

Mont St Michel, France
Manchu Pichu, Peru
Costa Rica
New York, New York

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Brought to you by the letter A and the word...

Just finished balancing my spreadsheet balance with my bank account. Total pain in the ass, took me an hour and it's always one number that throws me off. It was the gas money for this week that I hadn't spent. Finding one in a few hundred is the needle in the haystack syndrome. It's the first time since switching from a cash to plastic budget that I've put all the purchases in the spreadsheet and figured it all out. But it balances! Woot!

Last week I underspent by quite a bit so after taking off the prior week's and this weeks overspending I had $43.87 to add to the vacation account. Up to a total of $108.09. Better than a kick in the ass.

Ass seems to be the word of the day.

We had a wonderful day of entertainment with the girls yesterday. It was our town's winter carnival and everything was free for the kids! Dog sled rides, face painting, outdoor games, firetruck/ambulance tours (complete with fire helmets for the kids), a children's entertainer. It was a full day of fun for us and only 2 minutes from our house (we have to drive at least 1/2 and hour to 1 hour to do anything as we live in the bush). As an added bonus, the kids slept like logs and woke-up at 7:30! That's a whole 1.5 hours of sleeping in! When did 7:30 become sleeping in?

My dad and his wife came for a visit today. They brought Ava a cabbage patch kid (that she calls Patchy-patch - so cute!) and Peyton the laugh and learn puppy. He's always buying our love and I don't mind it one bit. At least I can get something out of him.

That sounds bad but he left my mom at the hospital when I was born and I saw him less than a dozen times before I was 20. He paid no child support either. For some reason he is into visiting with us when he comes now (unlike when I was a kid and he wouldn't ever tell us he was staying at the cabin - guess we cramped his style). I don't love him and I don't particularly like him. I guess I am tolerant of him, like a distant relative. All childhood bitterness aside, he's just a self-involved person who's a little strange. He's nice enough and I know he's doing the best he can with what he has (fatherly feelings). I feel obligated to not hurt his feelings and keep the peace in the family so we visit briefly every time he comes. And he always comes bearing gifts ;) He's the trophy husband of a highly paid corporate management wife so I don't have to worry that he's breaking the bank.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


So the payroll guy said I can have until August or even longer if I want to pay it back (provided I don't tell anyone). Guess I'm breaking that, but no one will know I mentioned it here ;) He's going to work out a few options and let me know what my net pay would be for each. It just sucks, but nothing I can do about it.

I'm mostly sad because it means we have to put off having another baby for an extra year. Pretty bummed about that. And I want to apply for a Masters program for this fall. It's paid for but I have to pay for the application fees and any book costs above $500. That would have been fine before this, but now I'm worried it'll just go on credit card. But I don't want to put off school for another year (provided I get in, that is).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crap day

I picked up Ava from daycare and the director came to speak with me. Ava had a rough day - hitting kids, teachers, ignoring the replacement teacher, freaking out about time-out. She spoke to me about her behaviour in general (very active) and suggested that perhaps I get her assessed by a pediatrician. I had wanted to speak with her doctor but he's still not back from being sick. The nurse last month said maybe after February. The director said that if I wanted we could go through the resources on the reserve to get a referral. I don't want to go that step right now.

Maybe it's just because I'm her mother, but I don't think there's anything pathological with her. I do believe that kids are over diagnosed with ADHD. I don't really want to go the route of labeling her at this point. I work in the schools. It will do her no good to have that label. What good is an IEP if the school board doesn't provide the resources to follow through with it? She's very intense and active for sure. But I feel like she's on the higher end of normal.

Nothing like the daycare director thinking your child needs to see a pediatrician to bum you out .

THEN I get a letter from the payroll department telling me that, oops, we've overpaid you $2544.89 and you need to pay it back by June. He was supposed to be taking it off every pay starting 3 months ago but I guess he "forgot." I always check my pay, but it was hard to tell if he was taking it off because of the way I'm paid. The pays were smaller after the first one, but I guess it wasn't what I thought it was. Great. $350 a month. Bye bye debt repayment plan. I feel sick.