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.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Pay Day

Today is pay day. Last week is the first time in over 3 months that we went over budget on our variable spending. We went over by $8.62. Not bad. Still adjusting to the credit/debit cards. I stocked up on some meat last week on sale so that's what put us over. I went grocery shopping tonight after work and kept it small, just using meat from the freezer. I stocked up on canned tomatoes and spaghetti sauce that was on sale.

The total was 72.07 for the week. That's $77.93 under budget. I'll stick that in the surplus savings account.

The menu for this week is:

Sunday - Sweet and Sour meatballs with rice
Monday - Spaghetti
Wednesday - Glazed chicken with julienne vegetables and rice
Thursday - stovetop shepherd's pie
Friday - General Tsao's chicken with rice
Saturday - Chilli

And the birthday party for my girl last Saturday went very well. She got her "yata" - a pink My Little Pony. She was overjoyed with it. It's now hanging from the ceiling in her room. All the little girls showed up (5 guests). We had games, crafts, lunch and gift bags. It was a lot of work, but so much fun.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Life experiences

Saw this at Frugal Dreamer.

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (do fish count?)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cellphone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

A total of 32. Pitiful.