Category Archives: Updates

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

HAHAHAHAHA…. just kidding. I don’t like this time of year.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Christmas time. As in, December 24th and 25th.

What I don’t enjoy is Christmas music in November, spending money on gifts, exam season, the traffic, the crowds at the mall, having to wrap presents because I seriously suck at it… I could go on and on for hours.

I’m stressed as it is anyway with the impending move and school, let alone having to shop. I already know what I’m getting most people, so I’m hoping to emerge from the holidays relatively unscathed, only spending about $400. The worst part is the actual choice involved with shopping- I don’t want to waste money on something that someone doesn’t like.

I’ve already spent $225 and knocked 8 people off the list. I’ve bought for my brother, my sister, my step-dad, my aunt and uncle, their two boys, and my pseudo-nephew. Can I just say right now that all my pregnant friends are having boys and I want to buy girl stuff? It’s like in those Sims games when there’s too many guys in a neighbourhood and the game responds by shooting out girls to even the playing field.

All I have left is my mom, my grandfather, and Jay. Those are the hardest 3. My mom and my grandfather are the kind of people who buy whatever they decide they want or need. My mom I could get a gift card for Chapters and she’d be happy, so I’m good there.

My grandfather is a bit trickier. He’s a coin collector, and he has a contact at the Mint who he orders from exclusively. I knew last year I should get him a coin. Unfortunately, I had no idea what he had or what he had on order. I had to sneak a phone call to his contact and ask her to order something under $100 that he hadn’t bought yet- and even stop him from ordering it if necessary. It worked like a charm, but I’m on a stricter budget this year.  I’m thinking a DVD because he loves movies. Now it’s down to which one.

This year I told Jay we shouldn’t get each other anything so we could save, but I knew from the beginning that he didn’t listen to me (and he admitted to it). Maybe I’ll get him some pants that actually fit, or really nice work boots since he’s still working with boots that are 2 sizes too small. He’s working a LOT now so he hasn’t had time to go get a new pair. The only danger to that is that he could easily go buy some before Christmas. It’s either that or I’ll give up and get him a card for EB Games. I’d buy him an actual game, but he has banned me from picking his video games since the time we were looking together for a specific one and I suggested one with a similar premise because it was $30 cheaper. Apparently, quality reigns over value where that’s concerned. It’s his money, and he’s smart with it otherwise so I stay quiet.

How has your Christmas shopping gone so far? Have you started, or are you a 11th hour consumer?

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More Money, A Different Attitude

Gertie’s got some lifestyle inflation problems.

Remember how I got promoted, but I thought I’d have to wait until January to find out what my raise would look like?

I was told a few days ago that starting from my next paycheque, I’ll have a 17% raise in income. That’s before taxes, but it still REALLY helps me breathe easier. It comes out to around $150 extra every two weeks after taxes, which will raise my comfort level considerably. My budget has been going pretty well, but of course everything always costs more than you think it will initially. I’ve had to take care of various expenses such as getting my eyes checked, the dentist, getting new contacts next week, my last pair of jeans dying a hero’s death, buying a Swiffer because our mop and broom weren’t cutting it with the dog hair, etc. These little things eat up a lot of what I’d be putting towards savings. At least it isn’t just going onto the credit card (well, it is, because I get air miles, but it’s paid off in full monthly). Unfortunately lately I’ve been learning that putting off expenses just leads to a lot of money being spent all at once- ick. From now on I’m going to attempt to take care of these little things as soon as they come to my attention.

I’ve really noticed a change in my attitude towards money since I became debt-free. I’m waiting on a cheque from my insurance company for their share of my optometrist bill, and they’re really taking their sweet time about getting my $75.00 back to me. Although I’d like to have it ASAP, I’m not depending on that money to survive. When I was in debt, I would’ve been on the phone with them everyday complaining about how long it’s taking. Now I’m able to cover these expenses and it’s not breaking my bank. This is a huge milestone for me, and I’m loving every second of it.

All I care about right now is not paying interest, and getting all of my loose ends under control so I can start fresh again. I’ve been so busy at work lately because I’m straddling both sides of the accounting department until we have time to hire someone new. I’ve also started school again, and my social media class has been pretty interesting. My homework for this week? I had to make a blog. It was the easiest assignment I’ve ever done in my life.

I have another update as well. Long-time readers might remember Jay, who I was dating earlier this year and broke up with in March. I’m really happy to be able to tell you guys that through some connections, Jay is now working full-time.  I’m so proud of him and I’m happy that he’s finally being given a chance to work- that’s all he’s ever asked for.

Jay’s been over at my place a lot since I moved because we’ve stayed extremely good friends over the past few months. I won’t pretend there aren’t still sparks; we still love each other and neither of us has had any desire to start up with someone new over the past 6 months. He has also stopped talking about how he needs to make more than his future wife, which was a concern for me. Right now we’re both trying to focus on our individual goals, and navigating a serious relationship would be a distraction at the moment. Maybe in a few months or a few years, when we’re established, we might get back together 100%. Or we might not. Who knows? That’s the beauty of being in your early 20s- you have the freedom to change your mind so easily.

How has everyone else been the past couple of weeks?

Moving Up in the World!

Last week (as I’m sure you’ve heard from my drunken twitter tirade Saturday night), my co-worker told me that he had given his two weeks notice to my manager. Although I wasn’t really surprised and I was happy for him, it was a little saddening. He has been here from the beginning of my stint in the finance department, and he helped me out quite a bit at the beginning when I had 1 week of training and next to nothing as far as customer relations experience, let alone accounting knowledge. It’s the end of an era, as they say.

Before I even had time to wonder who I’d end up working with, my manager called me into the board room. I’ve been offered the Accounts Payable position, starting from my co-worker’s departure. I’m ecstatic. I’ve pulled myself rung by rung up the ladder from sorting product, to production paperwork, to being responsible for our money coming in, and now finally to paying out our funds- all in less than 2 1/2 years. I was given the opportunities, but I would have never gotten this far if I wasn’t good at what I do and passionate about my job. Plus, I’m being given opportunities to get involved in HR and purchasing as well. I’m able to take a shot at a lot of things to see what I enjoy, and that’s one reason that I really appreciate working for family. They expect a lot out of me and I’m more than happy to deliver.

Now, I don’t know if there will be a change in compensation. If there is, it wouldn’t come into place until the beginning of January. This isn’t really new- for the first 2 months in Accounts Receivable I was still working on an hourly basis for minimum wage. I actually think it’s a good system; it gives me a month to get acclimated, and a month to start kicking ass and look good for my performance review.

I know that I could still do my current job effectively at the same time as the new one, and I’d love to keep doing that; however, the question comes up of who covers for me when I’m gone? Traditionally, A/R covers for A/P and vice versa. I’m also a little bummed that I got pulled off the inventory data inputting for this month, because there’s so much else I have to do regarding getting the Receivables taken care of, training for Payables, and starting school this week.

Unfortunately all of this means that, once again, I have to put the blog on the back burner. I wanted to have all of this situated by the beginning of September, but it’s really not my month for organization apparently. There’s so many exciting, crazy awesome things going on at the moment that in the interest of quality posts, I have to keep them down to one every week and a half or so.

I’m still reading, and I’m still rooting all of you on from the sidelines! Just give me a few more weeks to walk off these growing pains and I’ll be back in the game.

Debt update for June 2012

I just got paid, and my money is already gone.

HOWEVER, that’s totally a good thing, because I currently owe under $1000!

+760.54  PAYCHEQUE

-435.40  CREDIT CARD 2 (PAID OFF!)

-56.57    TELUS

-24.95    CREDIT CARD 1 (MONTHLY BALANCE PAID IN FULL)

-90.34    (REPLENISHED OUR HOUSEHOLD FUND FOR PURCHASE)

-153.28 BALANCE TRANSFER CARD

My balance leftover on the low interest (1.99%) transfer card is $958.14. My debt on March 15th was $3415.97 split between two cards at 19.95% and 11.99% interest. That means I’ve paid off $2457.83 of credit card debt in 3 and a half months.

I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!

Now, paying that much to my debt left 0, zip, nada in my chequing account. But that’s okay. I’ve gotten pretty used to having no money whatsoever in preparation for this move. I’m also expecting to be paid back by my brother, who owes me $40, and I’m due for a Trillium Benefit/HST cheque from the government, which should be about $60. Both of those tiny windfalls will be deposited and immediately redirected to my debt. Every cent counts right now, because in July I’ll only be able to put about $437.50 towards debt, and in August that amount will have to be allocated to rent. In August, I’ll be lucky to put up $200 on debt. I’m still hoping to have all my debt paid off by the end of September, by whatever means possible (Cue me singing I Believe in Miracles).

This has been the best start to summer I’ve ever had. I’m really proud of myself for being so vigilant, and I’m looking forward to being able to tell all of you that I’m debt free!

This weekend I’m driving down to Niagara Falls with my mom, step-dad, brother and sister to see Death Cab for Cutie and The Tragically Hip tomorrow, which I’m so excited for! The Hip is Canadiana at its finest, and I grew up listening to them. Their songs remind me of a simpler time- it’s like listening to home. Don’t even get me started on Death Cab, either. I was obsessed with them in my senior year of high school. Hearing any song off Transatlanticism makes me feel like a teenager again.

On Sunday we’re going to do the Maid of the Mist boat ride under the falls, because none of us have ever done it before. You couldn’t pick a better weekend than Canada Day to be in the falls. Plus, my mom knows how hard I’m working to save for the move and become debt-free, so she offered to cover my weekend. That’s why I was able to pay so much down on debt this week. So, since I know she will read this as she found the blog earlier this week, thanks mom! I love you!

Just in case anyone is interested in hearing what I’ll be rocking out to tomorrow, here are my favourite songs from The Tragically Hip and Death Cab for Cutie.

Happy Canada Day, and to all my readers from elsewhere, have a great weekend!

Quick (Very Long Overdue) Update!

Hello my lovely readers!

I am extremely sorry for missing so much time! Unfortunately, at work, it has been insane. School hasn’t been a cakewalk either. However, I’m hoping to start blogging again full-force by the end of next week. Although I’ve been absent from updating, I have been lurking and reading posts in the personal finance world. In the meantime, I thought I’d drop in quickly to give you an update on my debt payments since it’s been quite a long time.

Since April 19th I have paid $1591.63 on credit card #2. I now have a balance of $1460.24. This is the lowest my credit card balance has been since September of 2011. By July 1st I hope to have a balance of about $550 (accounting for interest), by which time payments will have to slow down a bit because of a very exciting development that I will explain the next time I post.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned!

First Card Paid Down!

I was away on the weekend, so I made my final payment on Credit Card #1 today. SWEET! I am WELL on my way to freedom. All I have now on that card is my recurring charge to World Vision, which to me is money well spent.

Now, my spending this past weekend was a LITTLE out of control. I forgot to budget with the weekend trip in mind, and we bought SOOOO much fast food, plus some liquor. Grrr. So I’m way over budget there. That’s alright, because I still had a fabulous time and I feel a lot more peace than before, so I guess it was worth it. At least this time I didn’t go into debt for it, right? Next weekend I’m holing up in my house or the library and studying for exams/writing my business plan for my management course, so I won’t be spending period. Thank god for that!

As far as the smoking; I had more packs left over than I thought I would. So I smoked a pack a day up until Saturday, justifying it by not wasting money. Then yesterday I only had four. Today I’m sitting at one, and that one made me feel sick to my stomach. I will not be having another, because I don’t really feel like throwing up all over my desk today. So although I didn’t hit my target of stopping by Friday, I’m still not doing all that bad considering I used to be out every hour on the dot lighting up.

How was everyone else’s weekend?

April: Budget and Goals!

This is my first full month of budgeting and tracking, so I’m making the most of it.

BUDGET:

Payments
CC1 237.83
CC2 375
Cell Phone 100
Expenses
Savings 400
Personal Care 85
Taxes 173
Dental 30
Food 20
TOTAL 1420.83
Budget Totals
Total In 1551.08
Total Out -1420.83
Leftover 130.25

The personal care may puzzle you, but I ordered some stuff from my dear friend who is now an Avon lady. I buy my makeup pretty much all at once, and it lasts me the year. I’m running out of literally everything, so it’s time to stock up. The perks to this include great deals on makeup, and supporting her son, who is 5 months old. I’m getting tons of stuff I need for about $70, and I added another $15 to the budget because inevitably I’ll run out of deodorant or something, or need to get shampoo.

Also, I know I’m paying taxes, but my mom is giving me some money to offset that. Here’s the story: in order to get a refund in 2009, she wrote off all of my school expenses for university. That year, I ended up having to pay in $90. She offered to pay it, because if it wasn’t for her writing off my school stuff, I would’ve had a return (plus I had no income anyway). She sent in a cheque, but the CRA never cashed it. Therefore, the amount came off my 2010 return. When I realized I was paying in this year, she offered to give me $50 to go into my payment. Considering she owed it to me anyway (there is other stuff I paid for, feeding my siblings and such that I have never been reimbursed for), I obviously accepted.

I haven’t had a dentist appointment since 2008 (eek!), so I need to get that done on the 14th- my dentist is going to take one look at my teeth and know that I’ve been smoking for the past three years. I’m dreading that, because he’s been my dentist since I was 4 and is going to tan my hide. I need to get my eyes checked too, but I don’t have the energy for that this month, with the semester winding down- that’ll be a May expense.

GOALS:

  • At least 20 no-spend days (This is easier than you’d think, I’ve already had two, soon to be three)
  • No cigarettes period after Friday, April 6th
  • Start thinking about opening an RRSP this summer
  • Get through all my exams with minimal psychological scarring