Sunday, December 28, 2014

Alone and Happy

I'm supposed to be on my way to the big city right now with Bean to meet up with my mom's family for xmas dinner, but I got a call today saying that my Gramma is sick, and we are postponing to maybe next weekend. She is the reason why we get together so we meet at a restaurant near her condo. Since everyone has to drive in, and one of my cousins is also sick, and another cousin spent christmas with her baby son at Sick Kids Hospital, we will wait to get together.

I spent the morning organizing all my photo files from 2014, which I will transfer over to two separate external hard drives. I also cleaned up my desktop on my laptop. I'm trying to catch up on Feedly, but am almost three weeks behind again on blogs. Maybe I need to go through and delete a bunch, but I don't really want to.

I get a lot of ideas reading other people's blogs, but I rarely come here to flesh them out. I have been meaning to write about my solo home-buying adventure for weeks, but I'm not sure what to say. I did a disappearing act when the previous relationship ended as well. I guess I just hate admitting that I tried again, and failed again.

Both breakups - the 2011 one and the 2014 - were finally determined by lifestyle decisions. In 2011 I was pressuring my sweetheart to settle in the same city as me - any city - and I was hoping he would propose to me but he didn't. It was a painful breakup but I met Partner (ex) immediately and was so distracted by him that I never properly processed the hurt from leaving my sweetheart. Partner (ex) immediately hurt me but I stayed with him anyways. I think I thought I deserved it because of the way I left my sweetheart.

Partner (ex) had a lot of strikes against us from the beginning. The big thing - and it shouldn't have been, but it was - was the age difference. He was ten years younger than me. I spent a lot of time teaching him, mentoring him, influencing him, to get back on financial track, and I resented him a lot for it. After we moved in together I brought in a financial advisor, and two years later we had not implemented any of his suggestions. I felt like I was constantly nagging. It was awful.

One of the final straws was when I decided I wanted to retire at 55, and I needed to start preparing immediately. I was turning 40 and running out of time. Partner (ex), only 29 years old, could not imagine himself retired at 45. He planned to work till 65, take his CPP, etc. I would be 75, waiting for him.

The theme of all my relationships: waiting. I waited for Bean's father for years, I waited for sweetheart, then I found myself waiting for Partner (ex) to grow up, and I grew impatient. I told him to move out, I cashed out my RRSP, and I bought my little house.

Neither sweetheart nor Partner (ex) will talk to me now, and while it bothers me a little, I know it is for the best. When I was 17 years old, I told myself and the world that I was a feminist and I would find my own way in life, and never depend on anyone, and this became a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I'm damn proud of myself for sticking to my principles, even if it does make my journey somewhat difficult and lonely sometimes.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thanks to this post on The Simple Dollar, I learned about a site called, which gave me something to think about regarding my debt repayments.

I plugged in my minimum amounts:
1) Mortgage - $862/month at 2.94% (paid bi-weekly, but there was no place to show the two months of the year where I pay $1291 - I guess I could have used $933 as the average);
2) Car - $250/month at 1.9%;
3) Student Loans - $144/month at 4% (I guessed, since there are actually four loans with different percentages - the most common one is Prime + 1.5%).

The result told me that I should continue making these minimum payments until March 2021, when the car will be paid off, and that $250 can then go onto my student loan payment. In October 2024 the student loans will be gone, and the combined $250 + $144 goes onto the mortgage, paying it off by October 2030.

This is pretty cool because I have decided I want the mortgage paid off in 15 years so that I can think about early retirement. October 2030 is a month before my 56th birthday. I can take a reduced pension from my job then, or wait four more years till December 1, 2034 and retire at 60 with a full pension.

Not bad for a part-time secretary, eh?

I also have to consider that in ten years my son will be eighteen, which means no more child support or child tax credits, so I will probably have to start charging him rent, or take in a roommate for the remaining five years of my mortgage payments. Either way, I am about to start saving up to renovate the basement so that Bean or Roommate can live downstairs.

Or I can find a better-paying job, but I would probably have to upgrade my skills to do so. I'm pretty much at the top of my scale right now, except for the 7 extra hours I could be working if I were full-time. That 7 hours actually makes a pretty big difference in my gross pay, but also increases my payroll deductions and student loan payments, and decreases my child tax credits.

Anyways, it is a pretty little site to play with. The recommendations were the same for me whether I chose Avalanche or Snowball.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Money Monday - 3 days late

Happy Thursday!

The plumbers returned last week to check the leak on the brand-new hot-water tank, and said it was perfectly fine. They think the leak is coming from the bathtub upstairs. So I didn't need to have the old tank replaced, and I didn't need to sign the five-year contract for the new one. Too late.

The bathtub does not leak when we take daily showers; it only happens when we take baths. I thought maybe we were filling it up too high and the overflow drain had a leak. We had a jacuzzi tub in the last rental house and were spoiled with a big bath. On the weekend I took a bath and was careful not to fill it up too high.

When I checked the basement afterwards it was like a downpour, running across the floor to the drain. Worse than I had seen it before, but before I had not checked immediately after the bath and it may have dried up some. Still, I felt it was lucky that I had spent a few hours in the basement earlier organizing, and nothing got wet.

A family member suggested it might be the sealant (or lack of) around the tub drain, so I went to Canadian Tire and spent less than $5.00 for a tube of clear sealant. I made a nice mess with that and left it for 24 hours, and then tested it out with another bath. No leak!!!

My first DIY fix was a success!!

Yesterday for fun I looked online at dishwasher prices. A portable dishwasher is about twice the price as one installed. I'm not sure I have the cupboard space to install a dishwasher. I will think about it for a couple of months while my savings account is replenished.

The carport is still embarrassing, but I'm not sure what to do with it. I could just take the whole thing down but that would admit defeat. I will see how much time I have this weekend and decide then.