Monday, April 27, 2009

A Frugal Holiday

Grace mentioned me in her blog last week, while talking about debt burnout and the need to take a holiday from frugal fretting for a day or so.

I had been thinking of taking a day off from laundry and brooding to spend a day in the big city with good friends and nice weather, and Grace's mention gave me the kick in the butt I needed to just go and do it. I spent about $100 in total for my day of silliness in the city. That included 24-hour parking, some drinks, and cab fare. I also got a much-needed haircut and bought a couple of things for my kitchen that I had been eyeing up for awhile. My partner-in-crime for the day covered meals and some drinks, which was a nice treat.

It's a busy week for me, with our final program meeting until September scheduled for tomorrow, a lunch planned for Wednesday for a friend and co-worker who is going on maternity leave in only a few days, and then on Thursday it is Bean's third birthday!

Today I must get to the store to find a cake mix because I want to bake two dozen cupcakes for his daycare friends. I have not baked cupcakes since eighth grade, so I hope they turn out well. Cupcakes can't be that difficult, can they? Any pointers or suggestions to make this project as sweet as can be?


Friday, April 17, 2009

My blog needs a kick in the butt

I no longer have access to someone's wireless connection at home, and I've been WAY too busy at work to blog from there.

And I have lost my focus. I have to remember why I started this blog in the first place.

Before I started here I enjoyed reading three kinds of blogs: self-help, single moms, and personal finance. The plethora of these blogs got me through some seriously dark days and some really lonely weekends.

When I found myself ready and willing to start posting my own, I wanted to come up with a combination of the three. With a fourth element, the Canadian bias.

Mostly, I was tired of trying to find inspiration in PF blogs written by one half of a couple. I don't have a problem with couples, but I can't tell you how many told me in their blogs, "WE paid off a $20 000 debt in just TWO years!"

I'm on my own here, and no one is going to help me pay off my debt. As well I can't work more for extra income because I'm a single mom to a three-year-old. I have enough guilt in me for putting him in daycare at ten months old.

I'm fortunate that I have help in the way of childcare subsidy, child support (not court-mandated) and student loan interest relief. Also I keep our expenses as low as I possibly can with the help of amazing hand-me-down clothes from an aunt of Bean's dad. I don't buy many snacks or take-out foods, and I use the community food box program to supplement the grocery bills.

I feel like I'm losing focus. I'm tired. I'm paying off the $20 000 debt one month at a time and trying my best most of the time. Sometimes I want to say "f&*k it" and run away.

I need to keep my attitude of gratitude in check, because at the end of the day that's what gets me through the night.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fifty bucks

I have checked and double-checked, and I cannot figure out what I did wrong. Or should I say, what I did right? I have an extra fifty dollars in my bank account that will not reconcile with my budgeting spreadsheet, no matter how many times I add up the figures. Of course I would rather be fifty dollars OVER than under, but if this were someone else's books it would still be an error. I'm tempted to go to Winner's and buy myself a fifty dollar bag as a "treat" but I'm sure if I do that the answer will mystically appear and I will suddenly be fifty dollars UNDER.

I'll sit with it for another week or so and make a decision next weekend. I don't have time to shop this weekend anyways because I am on the road visiting family for Easter. This is the first time I've had my laptop out in almost two weeks. Bean is in another room watching Dora so I have a few minutes to read and make a post. We're at my Dad's today which gives me a bit of a break. The one-bedroom apartment was starting to feel quite stifling.

Have a happy Easter, if you celebrate, and if not, have a most excellent weekend! :)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tax returns

So much is going on in my little life, and I have to start somewhere, so here's a list:

- union issues bumped my good friend and co-worker out of our adjoining offices, so I'm dealing with the change of missing what was and getting used to what is

- I'm thinking of taking a summer school course in first-year accounting, which can lead into a degree in Business, if I decide to go that route

- the Bean is beautiful and challenging, just like life should be

March spending was about the same as previous months, with a little overspending in the food/house category, and underspending in car fuel/oil. Debt payments are excitingly moving along (as you can see in the sidebars).

I received my income tax refund today of $1687.49.
I put $860 into an RRSP account, bringing it up to $2500 or so.
I put $300 on my line of credit and $500 on my credit card.

Financially I'm feeling good. As for the rest of it, I'm feeling a little low lately, which is why I'm having a hard time posting to my blogger. As well, Bean hasn't been away from me in almost two weeks, so I haven't made time to just sit and write. Hopefully more to come this weekend!


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hump Day already

How did it get to be Wednesday already?

I do most of my posting in the middle of the night, and I've been sleeping all night lately (which is good).

I also do a lot of posting on the weekend, and this weekend it is my turn with the Bean ... so I don't expect to be online much, if at all. I can't bring out my laptop without him freaking out about watching "little movies" (youtube) and I'm doing all I can to avoid fighting these days. I just don't have the energy.

I hope to post about March spending tomorrow, or if I can get to it, later today.