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Showing posts from 2016


I just updated the side bars and I noticed - unless I made an error previously - that my student loan balance is going UP instead of DOWN. I have read about this happening to other people, but because I have diligently applied and been accepted for the Repayment Assistance program every six months, I thought my balance was actually going down.

This puts the pressure on me to shift my fast-track payment from the car loan to the student loans. This is starting to feel right, because the student loans are old, so old, from 1996 - 2005 and I don't want to deal with them anymore.

I am making an extra $20 a month car payment and now I am going to increase the student loan payments. I haven't increased the mortgage payment yet.

The big news is that I started a full-time job in August, and I saw my first, full, real paycheque on Oct. 28. I saw an increase of $588 in my take-home pay, which is nothing to sneeze at, but our expenses for before and after-school care will increase dramati…

Mid-year review

It took me half a year to figure out that I might run out of money before year-end.

According to my spreadsheet, overspending and indulging has left me with only $1300 to cover groceries, gas, and spending money for the next five months (Aug - Dec).

It shocked me to see this, since I don't feel like I live an extravagant lifestyle at all. I haven't bought any new clothes or shoes for myself in 2016, and I last had a cheap haircut in August 2015.

I still haven't called the plumber in to fix the leak in the bathtub / kitchen sink either.

I did move $1000 from a savings account onto the car loan back in April. And I plan to do so again in August. I really want to get rid of the car loan.

Some expenses have gone up, such as house and car insurance, property taxes, and hydro but heating gas has gone down by half to make up for it.

I have my 2017 spreadsheet all set up and if I stick with it properly, everything will be covered, including savings goals AND I will still have $1…

In three years

In three years I will be 44. Bean will be 13.

In three years our car will be paid off. As soon as Bean's legs are long enough, I will teach him to drive it, and we will share it until it no longer runs. I don't plan to buy another car.

In three years I will owe less than $10 000 on my student loans.

In three years I will owe just over $110 000 on the mortgage.

In three years I will either be working full-time, or I will take the leap and reduce my work hours and practice living minimally and mindfully.

In three years we will be thinking about which high school Bean will attend. Will he go into the international baccalaureate program at our local school, or will he commute to the other end of town to continue French Immersion? We will have another year to decide.

In three years I will have hopefully reached my savings goal.

In three years I will have struck another couple of items off my bucket list in the sidebar.

Funny credit card ads from the past

Make do

It took a few months for me to figure out that the theme for 2016 is "Make Do." Because I have compulsive spending habits (that got me into over $20 000 in credit card debt), I have to be very careful with my idle time. If I am on a computer I have to avoid online shopping, and if I have a few free hours on the weekend I have to avoid the shops.

It is not made easy when my newest credit card allows me to designate three shopping categories to receive my 2% cash back each month. Since January, one of my self-selected categories is "Drug Store." I have been out of my nice face serum since late 2015, and it has been so tempting to go into the drug store and purchase another $50 bottle, knowing I will get $1 back for the purchase. But I have avoided the drug store and saved the money, and I am instead using up a jar of $50 cream that I purchased last year. Making do with what I already have. I am similarly avoiding Sephora, since I have at least 10 lipsticks and liners…

2016 so far ...

So far not off to a great start. I misread a letter from the student loan company and was $4 short for one of my payments. I started off the new year with a $45 NSF fee in my "no-fee" account. It was a really stupid mistake, since the line of credit they granted me is sitting there unused, and I could have transferred an extra amount from there just in case ... could have, should have. The mistake will eventually be forgotten, but not my grudge against that bank. I have already pulled almost all of my money from it to use another no-fee bank that is serving me much better.

It felt great to end 2015 with all my bills paid, thanks to the "Xmas Saving" account I set up, where I deposit a small amount each month to cover December (extra) spending. However, I forgot to leave a little bit in there to visit a friend before New Year's, and ended up having a larger than expected credit card bill to pay in January. So I'm playing a bit of catch-up this month and not …