Friday, 31 May 2013

Food Waste Meets Goal Review End May

It being both a Friday and the end of the month I get to do a double post!  First off the only food that got binned this week was the remnants of a kitchen experiment.  Meet the not so tasty split pea salad that I made and tried to eat.  I did manage to eat most of it besides the fact that it was decidedly bland and had way too much onion.  At this point it’s a bit to old to consume to I’m tossing the rest with a certain cense of relief.  The next part is my monthly goal review. 


- Set up RRSP investments with my return of value pension from the military and contribute $359 a month for the year, along with any tax refunds. CHECK [My RRSP and Locked-in Account are all set up and I just keep setting aside my 10%.]

- Pay off house in 5 years.  I should be able to accomplish this by doubling up every payment and paying a 10% lump sum every year.  CHECK [Revised my mortgage plan to make sure it was still do-able.  Also bringing in some extra money by renting out one of my rooms to a colleague for $400 a month over three months, as well as tutoring three hours a week.]


-Start Masters of Science / Masters of Science in Nursing in the fall.  CHECK [Met with my thesis supervisors, which was great.  They seem to be really interested in what I want to do and preparing me for life/job after Masters.]


-Join two new clubs in the local area.  Kind Of [I skipped off quilting club over the last month to tutor.  It’s shutting down this month for the summer.  The writing group is struggling a bit to get consistent meeting attendance, fingers crossed.] 


-Have my novel accepted to be published.  I plan to have it ready by the end of the month (January), so I can start sending it out. CHECK [My query letter got answered!  They wanted, and I sent in, the first three chapters of my novel.  Got to say I’m a bit on cloud nine.]

-Become a respite foster parent. CHECK [Medical’s been completed and I started my training course, 2 classes down, 8 to go.]

-Take a big backpacking trip solo. CHECK [Saving is going as planned and I haven’t touched my vacation days yet.] 

-Finish my current crafting projects.  Kind Of [One month left to get my most important project done, it may be a tad bit tight.] 

I’ll give myself 87.5%.  A couple of goals have been lagging but the goals that I have made progress on have grown by leaps and bounds.  In June I want to focus on a couple of things.  1.GET MY EMBROIDERY DONE (and wrapped in time to be given as a gift). 2. Take a good long look at my travel plans.  3. Do some studying in preparation for starting my Masters (I’m kind of straddling two very different fields and I need to make sure I am ready for the more technical portion.) 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A stitch in time saves nine

We live in a disposable era it seems.  If something breaks/rips/tears it goes in the garbage and we go to the store.  Not only does this get expensive it is also terrible for the planet and decreases our self-reliance. 

Take a look at the following picture; that is the cushion of the new (to me) couch in my sitting room.  It had developed a tear a couple of inches long the length of one of the seams.  It took about a minute and a couple of cents worth of thread to fix (I can’t give you a more exact estimate as I’ve had that thread for over a decade and have no idea what it originally cost.)  The other option would have been to ignore the rip until such a time that it offended my sensibilities and then replacing the whole thing for several hundred dollars.  Give that any one can learn the sewing that I did in less than 5 minutes the obvious economic choice is to grab a needle and some thread. 

Of course the indiscriminant tossing of stuff results in completely unnecessary strain on the natural environment.  Resulting in tons of stuff in a giant hole in the ground requiring a couple of centuries to break down.  Also resulting in the over production of consumer goods (using up precious natural resources) meant to replace the stuff rotting in the ground. 

Finally relying on stores, or professional trades persons to fix and/or maintain our stuff makes us dependant on the stores and professionals and ultimately, on money.  Sure most people can go out and earn more if they have to, but what if that is no longer a possibility?  What if the economy is in the midst of a recession or you are too sick to do your job?  Cultivating and refining the skills required to take care of your stuff (be it sewing, cleaning, carpentry or basic plumbing) gives you options other than running to someone else with a fistful of dollars or watching your possessions crumble.  

Monday, 27 May 2013

FP - Clothesline

It’s slick, it’s silent it’s . . . my brand new clothesline.  (I’ll give you a moment to appreciate it.) 

There we go!  Isn’t it lovely?  Conceived and designed by my father and constructed by yours truly, it is indeed a work of art; which coincidently also saves me money. 

How much you ask?  Well there is no such thing as an energy efficient dryer; they’re all hogs.  Mine will use an average of 950 kWh per year (79 kWh per month.)  I estimate that I can (aka am challenging myself to) use it from April until October.  Seven months use and five months in the dryer. 

I pay for electricity based on time and day.  There are three levels and cost as follows:

On-peak – 0.11800 $/kWh
Mid-peak – 0.09900 $/kWh
Off-peak – 0.06300  $/kWh

So depending on when you do your laundry, in my area you could potentially save anywhere from $9.32 to $4.98 per month.  I'll go with the higher amount because the line also frees you up to do your laundry whenever it is convenient.  Every year this simple construct (which was amazingly fun to build by the way) will save me $65.24.  The materials cost me a max of $25, which means that it will pay for itself in two and a half months, everything after that is gravy.  

I expect the line to last a long while and it was loads of fun to build.  It was certainly worth the investment!  

Friday, 24 May 2013

Food Waste - Double or Nothing

The good news first.  I had no waste this week.  (Please stand up and cheer . . . ok you can sit down now.)  The bad news, that means no photo for you today.  (Maybe tomorrow though.)

I'll admit it was a bit of a close call.  My split pea salad was hanging around my fridge for days.  Probably because I messed up on the recipe some how.  Way too much onion, definitely not enough (or not strong enough) dressing.  Such is life, but you won't see that recipe on my table again any time soon.

On the bright side I've been doing "Double or nothing" meals all week and loving it.  A double meal around my place means one meal that makes two suppers and two lunches in the same week.  (As well as the possibility of frozen meals in the freezer.)  I have read of some people eating the same meal for weeks to save money and time.  I'm not sure my pallet would be happy with the same thing day after day, however I have no problem eating the same thing for four meals a week.  (Especially if it is something as tasty as split pea soup from scratch.)  Plus, it frees up a whole bunch of free time, which I think will be really useful when I start my masters in September.

Have a question?  I'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Building It Yourself

After becoming a home owner I have become very interested in fixing, and building things myself.  Despite my strong academic background I have always been fond of making things with my hands.  That is one of the reasons that I went into nursing.  The requirement to master tactile skills and put them to use on a daily basis (above and beyond typing of course.)

There are a lot of good reasons to learn to build things yourself.

- It tends to be cheaper to buy the components and assemble it yourself as oppose to buying the product already made.  This keeps the cash in your pocket instead of thoughtfully sending it to somebody else.

-It's good entertainment.  Any project when approached with the right attitude can be a lot of fun.  You learn and toy around with the project as you go making the process an entertaining pursuit.

-It leaves a sense of pride with you.  Not just immediately after you build the object but every time that you use it you can feel a sense of pride at what you've created; and humans were meant to create.

-If you made it you can fix it.  If you made an object you are familiar with all its components and how they are assembled.  This means that when the thing breaks instead of running to a professional to repair it or chucking the whole thing and buying a new one you can fix it yourself.

-It is incredibly empowering.  We live in an age where we depend on specialists to do things for us.  What we tend to forget is that they are humans just like us.  Now I'm not recommending that you try and take out your own appendix or anything so drastic.  I do recommend that you challenge the idea that you are not capable of what another human is capable off.  No man is an island and empowering yourself does not mean that you can't depend on others from time to time.  What is does mean is that you should be able to depend on yourself.

So go build something, learn a new skill, and enjoy what you've accomplished.

Have a question?  I'd love to hear it!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Retirement - Making my own Pension Plan

Following yesterday's post I'd like to address the monitory side of a readers comment.

"Keep in mind that the earlier you retire the more you have to save because you'll have a larger number of retired years to budget for. There's always the option of semi-retirement - getting a low stress part-time job where you get out of the house, have that social time and financial reward but leave behind the stress of a full-time career. Just something to think on.. "

Actually I will need the same amount of money no matter when I retire.  Allow me to explain.  

When I was in the military life was pretty sweet.  I had a defined benefits pension plan which guaranteed a certain sum every year until you died based on how much you earned just before retirement and number of years of service.  It was even indexed with inflation.  The pension plan would only fail if the government collapsed, which is unlikely.  

Upon leaving the military I knew that the chance of seeing a pension was remote which led me to the conclusion, I needed to make my own pension plan.  I need a pot of money that will sit in investments and allow me to live of the interest while never touching the principal.  It is generally accepted that 4% is a safe withdrawal rate, you can read why here.  

If, as I planned in my Early Retirement post I saved $700,000 on top of a paid off house I could safely withdraw $28,000 per year or $2,333 per month with out ever touching the principal.  The real kicker is that my current cost of living is roughly $1,440 per month.  So if I save $700,000 before retirement I could do any of the following:

a) live it up and spend an extra thousand dollars a month (unlikely)
b) take care of a lot of kids during my retirement (very likely)
c) watch my net worth grow ever month as I live on only a portion of the interest (very likely)

It will probably end up being a combination of b and c.  Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, $432,000 is enough to generate $1,440 per month of interest.  Personally I like the flexibility that my very big safety margin gives me.  

Have a question?  I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Retirement - The non-money side

One of the things I love about blogging is getting reader feedback.  It gives me something to think about . . . which is one of the reasons I blog in the first place.  Which is why I really enjoyed getting the following comment.  

"Keep in mind that the earlier you retire the more you have to save because you'll have a larger number of retired years to budget for. There's always the option of semi-retirement - getting a low stress part-time job where you get out of the house, have that social time and financial reward but leave behind the stress of a full-time career. Just something to think on.. "

I've been thinking about the above reader comment which was posted on Early Retirement article.  The comment has two aspects, the numbers side which I'll get to at a later date and the question of what I would do when retired.  It is true that a low stress part-time job (like being a kayak instructor or a camp councillor) gives you both meaning, social interaction, and a sense of purpose and for a lot of people is a great idea.  Personally I'm planning on taking on a high stress full-time job that costs me money instead of making it.  

In other words I want to be a parent.  Specifically I would like to be an adoptive parent.  Financially I would like to reach a point that for my retirement the number of children that I raise is limited by my energy and time not by finances.  I believe that this would give me an amazing challenge and a deep sense of fulfilment.  I am not deluded into thinking that it will be easy or that it will be all happy days, both the things in this world worth doing are seldom easy.  

Have a question?  I'd love to hear it!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Food Waste Friday - Too much stuffing

Meet this weeks food waste faut pas.  It may not look bad but it certainly smells off.  This was the stuffing for a stuffed red pepper recipe.  While tasty inside the pepper I had a bit leftover once my peppers were full.  Unfortunately there wasn't enough for a full meal and it's not quite snack material.  I should have seen it coming.

Mean while we're heading into the long weekend and I could use the break.  Besides my normal weekend chores I've got lots planned to do around the house now that the weather is warm.  My to do list over the next 3 days is comprised off but not limited to:

-Plant Garden
-Remove dandelions from back yard
-Mow lawn
-Add down spout to car port
-Build rain barrel
-Start refinishing dresser
-Put up clothes line

Most of the above (except 2 and 3) are new ventures for me so it should be exciting around my place this weekend.

Have a question?  I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

May Mid Month Check-Up

Here comes the mid-month review. 

Mortgage - Successfully doubled-up
Retirement/Emergency Savings - On Track
House Maintenance - Savings are up to $1,336.49. Will probably be raided for a couple of projects around the house.  Some are money saving (clothes line and water barrel), some are essential (seriously who builds a gutter system without a down spout?) and some are just fun (gardens, lots of gardens.) 
Housing Taxes/Insurance – Taxes savings are at $873.23 with the bill coming next month, but between next months contribution and my slush fund I’ve got that covered.  Insurance is on Track
Big Ticket Items - $243.14 in savings. 
Travel - On Track
Health Insurance - Spent
Bus Pass - Spent
Cell Phone/Internet - Bills have not yet arrived, but I have a bit extra hanging around in this category just in case. 
Car Savings - Going well, I’ll be able to decrease my contributions to this in September. 
Train - $89 still there.  Almost two sets of round trip tickets. 
Other Transportation - $90.70 set aside, mostly because people have been offering rides or lending me their car when I’m out past the time that busses run.  
Utilities – I’m using more with my roommate here (obviously) mostly because she gets a lot colder than I do.  (I’m happy at 15 degrees Celsius - she’s not.)  Bills been paid, only $123.64 set aside for next time. 
Food - $198.23 left.  That will drop when I go buy seeds for my garden next weekend.  
Miscellaneous - $6.59 left.  Plus a bit in my wallet, I’m going to have to allot more next month. 
Entertainment - $9.44.  Lucky the library doesn’t cost me or I’d be broke! 
Social/Sports - $30, I’m considering a new sport so I may end up spending more.  
Clothes - $50
Gifts - $28.40.  I’m thinking my family will phase out gifts between adults over the next couple years.  We don’t need all that much. 
Financial Planning - $16.44 My monthly payments for this come out on a strange day.   

I’ve also got a steady student that a tutor 3hrs a week $15/hr.  Lots of fun and something extra for my mortgage!  Add to that $209.69 sitting in my slush fund.  

Have a question?  I'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Mortgage Prize

A lot of the personal finance bloggers that I read have set themselves a reward for paying off their mortgage.  Generally the month after they pay off their mortgage they will use the money that they would have otherwise been putting on their mortgage to treat themselves.  Sometimes it's a new gadget or a nice supper or a trip.  I've been putting a lot of thought into what I would do to celebrate my achievement in 4 and a half years.

When it comes to gadgets I'm not sure what I'll want in 4 years time so it's hard to pick a prize, after all the reward shouldn't be constantly moving.  I toyed with the idea of a nice time out, but I certainly don't plan on depriving myself of those in the interim.  Maybe I'll make a cake and share it with my family to celebrate but it wouldn't be a big production.  For the most part I had decided that I would just jump straight to saving more for retirement, which for me would be satisfying in and of itself.

Then I got an e-mail from KIVA.  Saying that I was among the top 1% of lenders.  It was a bit strange, at the same time I felt incredibly proud and somewhat sad.  Proud because, lets face it, everyone enjoys a pat on the back.  Sad because the money that I put in my Kiva account was earned over 3 years while I was working for minimum wage.  How could I who earned so little be one of the most prolific lenders?  Should I step up my giving since the rest of the world isn't keeping pace?  I had stopped adding to my Kiva account when the loss of my job was imminent and since then have put all my financial effort towards saving in order to build a financially stable house for as many foster kids as I can handle.

On the bright side it did solve the problem of how to treat myself for getting rid of my mortgage.  The month after I pay off my mortgage the amount of my monthly pay check that normally goes towards my mortgage (should be about $1,900 at that point) will be lent to people through my Kiva account.  So I rub my hands and plot and plan and scheme for the day that I get to pay off my mortgage and, more importantly, the day I get to make huge loans on Kiva.

Monday, 13 May 2013

FP - Junk Food

I've never been one big on junk food.  Given my preference I would take home made baked goods over something produced en-mass in a factory any day.  While I will occasionally munch on potato chips it's usually at a party instead of because I bought some myself.  So I wasn't particularly invested in finding a cheap yet healthy alternative.  But I did and figured I would pass it on to you.


Simple yet tasty.  Just grab a bunch of Kale, put it on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350.  Eat while warm.


Seriously, I think I prefer these over potato chips, not to mention that they're healthier and cost less.

Kale (enough to make the same amount as a large bag of potato chips) - $2.00 (or less if you grow it yourself.)

Chips - $3.50

Difference is $1.50 or 43% less.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

You WIN! (Now please pay up)

Am I the only one who thinks winning a car is ironic?  Possibly, it seems that a vehicle is one of the most popular prizes these days.  From fast food restaurants to charity draws they all seem to tempt you with a shiny new vehicle (usually fancy and top of the line.)  Personally, this seems more of a punishment than a win.

Assuming that you actually take the prize instead of asking for the cash equivalent the "win" is probably going to cost you money.  Why?  In most cases I would assume that the car you win is bigger/fancier than the one the you currently have (otherwise why would you try and win it?)  As a result of winning you are going to:

-Pay more for insurance, the car is new and expensive and will cost more to replace hence the hike in your monthly payments.  Add extra if the car is sporty since the insurance company assumes that people who drive sporty cars are more dangerous drivers.

-Pay more for gas, I have yet to see a hybrid as a prize but I've seen lots SUV's and vans.  Needless to say your fuel efficiency is going down with these vehicles and your costs are going up.

-Pay more for your next car.  Let's be honest, when this car wears out are you going to be happy downgrading to what you had before?  Or have you adapted to your new normal?  If it's the later it's going to cost you.

-Pay more for maintenance (maybe).  Ok, I'll admit that this is fairly variable.  A new car may need less maintenance at the beginning (especially if you are driving an old car) but the more bells and whistles it has the more there is to break.

In other words why on earth would you want to win a car?  On the other hand I would love to win a TFSA or RRSP contribution, but I haven't seen any of those about.  What's up with that?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Mortgage Plan Revisited – Yearly 10%

Following yesterdays post I am looking at what I’ll need to make my 10% principal payments over the next four years.  The payments are laid out as follows:

Year 1 - $15,200 - PAID!
Year 2 - $15,200 - Sitting in bank account waiting to be paid
Year 3 - $15,200 - $4,697.90 sitting in bank account
Year 4 - $15,200 – Not saved yet
Year 5  - $1,900 – Not saved yet

Amount still needed - $27,602.10

The biggest way to take a bite out of that would be to get funding for my Masters tuition thus freeing up the $15,700 that I have set aside.  Other sources of money are

Tax Returns - $1050/year for four years.  ($4,200)

Yearly bonus - $300/year for four years.  ($1,200)

Tutoring 3hrs/week until September.  ($720)

Tutoring 1.5hrs/week past September.  ($4,590)

If all of these pan out I would be short $1,192.10.  That said I may be able to pick up extra hours with my day job, or more students after I finish my Masters.  I estimated low on my tax returns and assumed that my yearly bonus would not go up at all.  In a pinch, near the end I could dip into the $9,000 that I have put aside for a car but am not planning on using as long as I have two working legs and the bus system keeps running. 

In other words . . . bring it on world, that mortgage is toast! 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Mortgage Plan Revisited – Monthly Payments

A lot has happened since I first formulated my Mortgage Plan.  While the numbers for how I can make the mortgage disappear are still valid I have had to go back and take a look at where the money is coming from.  The biggest change has been that I will not be seeing disability benefits at my current pay level.  I wish I could tell you why but I don’t actually know how the calculations work.  Apparently they just type people’s information into the computer and it spits out an answer.  No one I spoke to seems to be able to do the calculations themselves.  Add to that the fact that I have been accepted to start my Masters in September and could potentially see a 20% pay cut. 

As things stand I:
- made my 10% lump sum payment for the year
- have enough money from rent to cover my double ups until September
- am on track to finish saving for a car and emergency savings by September
- have $19,913.45 in savings to put towards my mortgage

So I have decided to take a slightly different approach to the problem and divided it in half; the monthly double ups and the yearly 10%. 

I am challenging myself to come up with the money for double ups ($1,422.56 this year and $1,564.80 next November) entirely from my monthly paycheck. 

If my pay drops to 80% I will see $2878.71 every month while I do my Masters.  I am hoping to divide it as follows:

Mortgage – $1,564.80 (as of next November so I’ll plan for it now)
House Maintenance - $250.00
Housing Taxes - $182.50
House Insurance - $72.00
Utilities – $230

Savings - $290

Transportation – $15 (I’ll get a “free” bus pass with my tuition)

Food - $100
Cell – $25
Internet - $50
Health Insurance – $23.52
Clothes - $5
Gifts - $5
Misc - $10
Big Ticket Item - $25
Entertainment - $10
Social/Sports - $5
Financial Planning - $14

Left over - $1.89

Yes, I realize that it is a supper squeaky budget, but at the drop of a hat I can move my mortgage payments back to $646.62, thus freeing up $918.18 a month.  The sooner I make extra payments the more of an impact they have on interest earned.  Since I’m always up for a challenge I plan on giving this a go and seeing what happens. 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Freeniture not furniture

On occasion when I have visitors to my house I'll get the comment, "looks like you need to go to the furniture store."  Normally I'll just smile and nod.  You see I own somewhat of a large house for one person and most of my furniture came with me from my university apartment.  Because of that one bed room is almost empty, my front room held a solitary (though quite comfy chair) and I have an area of the basement that is not furnished at all.  At the end of the day though, I had no need to go to the furniture store.  After all I had a bed to sleep on, a dresser for storage, a table to eat at, and the comfiest chair in the world.  I needed nothing else.  After all I can only sit on one chair at a time.

I knew that more furnishings would come into my house eventually, which is a good thing seeing as I am hosting a number of relatives for my brother's wedding this summer and I am in the process of being approved as a foster parent.  So I kept my eyes peeled looking for freeniture instead of furniture.

I had the advantage of lots of time, I moved to my new house in November and my brother's wedding / approval to foster won't come until June/July.  Patience won out for me twice in the past week.  First find was a look-like-new couch that was being moved out of my office building to make room for another desk.  A co-worker with a pick-up was kind enough to deliver it to my house after my boss asked me if I wanted it.  (Though the programmers and I were a bit put out to see it go, not that anyone sat on the couch, rather we would no longer have a place to store our stuff!)

The second find was equally awesome.  I chanced to see a lovely little dresser on someone's front lawn Saturday morning.  This one is a fixer-upper for sure.  It needs a new paint job and some of the drawers need a bit of fixing, but I figure I can do that myself for minimal costs.  To be entirely honest I am really looking forward to the project.  It should be a great learning experience and I am planning on having a lot of fun doing it.  I also had a good bit of fun bringing it home.  As you can see from the picture the drawers came home in my snazzy wagon.  The base I ended up carrying home by hand.  The whole process took almost two hours.  I know that some people are gasping at the idea of spending two hours carrying home a piece of furniture that will need to be fixed.  Just go to the store, it's not worth it!  They might say.  But to me it is worth it.  I got out in the sun and used my muscles for something other than sitting and typing.  I spent the time planning how best to fix it up and figuring out what I'd need, trying to use my ingenuity to keep the costs low.  Add to that the amusing and encouraging remarks that you'll get from people when they see you walking along with a dresser balanced on your back!  So much more entertaining than two hours at the movies.

Have a question?  I'd love to hear it!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Reader Question - My Financial Road

I got an interesting question this week.  

"How did you get started on your financial road? I am 51 and wanting to get things in order. "

It's interesting because it's complex.  How much of my success do I chalk up to my personality, to my child hood or my planning as a young adult.  There are many, many reasons why I am in such as comfortable financial position so I've decided to whittle it down to what are (likely) the three most important factors.  

1. I was able to earn and manage money at a young age.  I learned it's value by working for it and then using it to buy what I wanted.  I also learned the importance of saving and giving it away.  You can check out detailed posts on how talking to kids about money is important, learning to handle money as a kid, and making money mistakes early on.  

2. I always lived on less than I earned.  When I started earning money as a young child 40% went to savings and 10% went to charity.  I only spent half of it.  When I earned money lifeguarding as a teenager every penny was saved.  Working for minimum wage over my university years I lived on 50% or less of what I took home and invested the rest.  Currently I live on 48% of my income and the rest either gets tucked into my RRSP or goes to building equity in my house by paying down my mortgage faster.  This may be a difficult idea for somebody who is use to living off 90% of their income, but try deflating your lifestyle a bit.  I am willing to bet that you lived on a lot less than you do now 10 - 20 years ago.  I am also willing to bet that you were just as happy 10 - 20 years ago as you are now.  So start moving back to your old spending habits.  

3. I know what I want and I plan for it.  Even though I'm not sure what my life will look like when I retire I know how much I'll need to maintain my current lifestyle and I'm working towards it.  I planed and researched my investment strategy in detail over a couple of years.  I also planned for the purchase of my house and saved for it for four years.  At all these points I knew what I wanted, where I was, and I made a detailed plan to cover the distance.  

Have a question?  I'd love to hear it!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Food Waste - Growing Things Addition

I feel terrible about my food waste usually.  This time however I can some what justify it as it helped give root to budding new organisms.  See?

Ok so mould may not be the most exciting of organisms but still, it gave us Penicillin.  Sacrificed to grow this fine culture was half a dozen home made crackers that I had forgotten I had when I ran out of home made cheese to put on top of them.

On the other hand these went bad in 2 weeks.  I've had store bought crackers that wouldn't mould after 2 months.  Kind of makes you wonder what they put in so that mould wouldn't find them edible.  I have a new policy, if it won't rot, decompose, grow (like nuts and seed), or mould it's not fit for my consumption.  That said mould wasn't the only thing growing at my place this week.

These are the plum blossoms that erupted yesterday.  Hopefully I'll be enjoying their fruit all summer long!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Pay Day May 2013

So my monthly pay check is in for a total of $3,598.39

Housing 40% - $1,439.35
Mortgage - $646.62
House Maintenance - $315.00
Housing Taxes - $182.50
House Insurance - $72.00
Utilities – $223.23
Total – $1,439.35

Savings 10% - $359.83 – All going to my RRSP

Debt 10% - $359.83

Transportation 15% - $539.75
Bus Pass – $68.25
Train - $0
Other - $0
Car Savings – $471.50
Total - $539.75

Life 25% - $899.63
Emergency Savings - $240.10
Travel - $175
Food - $160
Cell – $30
Internet - $50
Health Insurance – $23.52
Clothes - $10
Gifts - $10
Misc - $10
Big Ticket Item - $100
Entertainment - $10
Social/Sports - $5
Financial Planning - $5
Slush – $71.01
Total - $899.63

I’ve entered a nice grove on the budget front with only minor adjustments being made each month.  Looking forward to reaching my savings goals for my Emergency fund and car savings so that those funds can be redirected towards my mortgage.  On top of my day job I earned $30 from tutoring and $420 from renting one of my spare rooms to a colleague.  I’m hoping to average $30 a week tutoring until September and my housemate will be here for another two months.  It’s nice to see some alternative income coming in.