Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bypassing the Tax Man



I'm having some serious tax issues that I'll elaborate on in another post so I took my chances on trying to call their forever busy toll free number. Amazing I got through and had my call answered within 3 minutes. Wow!

After I finished all my questions I asked one on behalf of someone close to me. I was curious as to what happens when you decide not to do your taxes by the deadline. She stated very simply that if you are receiving a refund that there would be no penalty but it would be noted that it was filed late. If you owe then the amount will start accruing interest as of May 1st and may be subject to a penalty of 5%.

So today is the day people... the final chance to get them filed on time!

If you are trying to get some help with your taxes the toll free number is 1-800-959-8281. If you get a busy signal...I wouldn't be surprised,lol. If you get through and the mechanical man comes on just press * to bypass all the crap and get into the queue. Works like a charm.

End of the Month Figures for April 2008




It's time to see what type of progress I have made this month as far as debt and savings go.
March left my numbers at:

Federal Student Loan $3462.34
Savings $410.00

End of the month figures for April are:

Federal Student Loan $2759.26

Savings $600.00



I feel really good about the amount I paid off on my student loan. I would have liked to have done more but isn't that always the case? I am really looking forward to knocking it down again this month again. I love watching that number drop.

On the other hand my EFund is so little and scrawny. I would really like to put more into but my debt is my number one. I try to make sure I put a little bit each month for savings but any windfalls still go to debt. My interest on my debt is at 8.5% so its better it go towards my student loan anyways. In a few months time I will have the ability to do whatever I want with money without having to pay out huge chunks towards debt. I can't wait to actually
save all that money!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

End of the Month TCOB Review for April 2008



1) Bump EFund up to $600. Completed

2) Pay Student loan down to $3000. Completed!! I'm now starting to work out the numbers to see if I can squeeze it under $2500. I'm not sure though yet!

3) Apply for International Student Homestay/Peerstay Program Still weighing in if we really want to do this or not. It's a big decision as it takes a lot of commitment.

4) Organize two boxes from storage room. Nope! At least the storage is room is clean :)

5) Track all spending during the month N/A

6) Produce 5 jewellry pieces for sale at this years farmers market. Nope, but I did find some cute beads on clearance! I have to be in the right mood for this.. you can't force creativity.

7) Plant garden. This one is not my fault. Blame Mother Nature for this one! Maybe I shouldn't pick goals that can't be wiped out by her wrath.

8) Get Learners License!!! No, after work all I want to do is rest!

9) Organize Personal Office There has at least been progress here. I took a "before" picture and then I took a good look at the task ahead of me. I did manage to sort out a huge basket of clothes from a friend to go to goodwill from this room.


I know it doesn't look like I did a lot, but I still feel content with everything. My focus is with the financial end of things and in that area I've been very responsible. For May I will choose fewer goals and concentrate on completing them rather than pick a bunch and feel pressured. It was a long month for me at my new job as its very physical which is not something I'm used to. I feel pretty tired, in a good way, a lot of the time. Hopefully soon my body will catch up to this new pace I'm working at and I'll be able to get more done.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was spent mostly relaxing and having a little bit of lazy fun.

Friday night was spent asleep on the couch with my hair still in the towel from my shower that afternoon after work. I must have been really tired because I slept until 10am Saturday. I woke up on the couch to find my hair still in the towel and it was NOT a pretty site, lol.

That day we decided that we would invite my niece to spend the night. She loves coming over for slumber parties. We had dinner with her and then watched movies and ate popcorn. She and I fell asleep in my bed together during the movie. I didn't sleep well that night as she kicked and punched me in her sleep all night. She usually sleeps in the guest room but my BF didn't want to disturb us.

The next morning was spent eating pancakes, drinking chocolate milk and playing Nintendo. Yes, thats right, I have an NES and I LOVE it!! It was a great morning and after lunch she was whisked away to a play date. We tried to dig the garden but as soon as we went out it started pouring rain so I only got a small portion done.

I think next weekend will be dedicated to the yard. We tried really hard this weekend but mother nature just wasn't playing fair. I can't wait to get everything planted!

Housesitting

A week or two ago I was looking around on Craigslist because I was bored and I posted an ad saying I was available to do house-sitting in my area. Today I came home home and there was an email requesting my price range for a lady whom has three cats. She doesn't need somebody currently but she likes to take short vacations here and there.

I hadn't thought this far ahead (yeah I know). So now I need a little advice from you all. Have any of you ever house sit or paid for a house sitter? I'm not sure what the average range is.

I just thought it would be a good way to make some extra money on the side but I forgot about having to be at my job at 6am. I guess as long as I don't have to stay there it would be alright.

Any advice is greatly appreciated! :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

2nd Payday

Yesterday was my second payday at the new job. I'm so excited to be able to reach my financial goals this month and even surpass them but the rest of my goals seemed to go up in smoke.

I think I need to decrease the amount of goals each month as sometimes my feelings on the goals changes or things pop up and I just don't get them completed. To me, the most important part is in making sure my financial goals are completed as that is the biggest priority in my life right now.

One of my yearly goals was to put less stress on myself this year so my goals for May will be less but more significant to me personally. :)

Readers Poll




So it looks as though the Windmill bag has won the poll. It's the one I had my eye on as well so I'm happy with the results!

Now I must email the owner of BYOB to claim my prize. Yah!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday!!! - Caraway Seed and Potato Salad



Caraway Seed and Potato Salad


1&1/2 lbs new potatoes, scrubbed
1 tbsp caraway seeds, gently crushed
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
salt
pepper

Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until tender (about ten minutes).

Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl.

Stir in the oil, caraway seeds and some salt and pepper into the steaming hot potatoes.

Set aside to cool.

When the potatoes are almost cold, stir in the parsley.

Serve and Enjoy!



**** Note - I have made this recipe a few times to accompany dishes for guests. I recommend buying a small amount of caraway seeds from the bulk section. I bought a spice container full and haven't had too much other use for it.

This recipe can be served warm but is best served cold as the it gives the potatoes time to absorb the flavours of the oil and caraway seeds.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Thumb? Maybe so!


Here's an update on my little starter plants. In this tray there are beefsteak tomato, sweet cherry tomato and bell pepper plants. I started them from seed last month. I'm proud to report they are all doing very well. My BF and I try to remember to take care of them all the time. We are very excited to plant our first garden together. I think it will be really great for our relationship to be out in the yard together working on it. Gardening is so therapeutic.

Procrastination Paid Off!!



Last week everyone was giving me crap for not planting my garden yet. Haha! My procrastination has finally paid off because had I planted last week I would have been enraged by the freak snow store this last weekend. Boy am I glad I missed that one.

I woke up Saturday thinking joyfully about how bright it was in my home. I was thrilled because I needed a sunny day off to do laundry since our dryer element broke in half (new one ordered, being installed by BF tonight :)). I jumped up, put on my spectacles and realized the brightness was coming off the gleam of the snow.

Huh? Snow?

We rarely get snow on the west coast as it is but NEVER at this time of year. The planet is going crazy I tell ya! Everyone was in shock about it all weekend.

I took the time out to learn how to make california rolls at home. It was really fun. I also made wonton soup along with some extra wontons to freeze for later ;) I love wonton soup but folding the wontons is tedious so I usually get a team going. This time my BF and his friend folded the wontons while I prepared everything else.

BF made his butter chicken last night so I don't have to make a lunch for a few days! I am so glad that I HAVE to bring a lunch to this job! I save a lot of money and I eat really well. The hardest part about lunches is keeping things interesting! I always make my lunch the night before and I'm always glad I did once morning comes. My morning is 4:45 am so anything I can do to sleep an extra 10 minutes I will!

WTF?!?!















This weekend I had a lot of things plans... mother nature took over and instead ordered me to forget everything and relax :)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I've add a poll

If you'd like to take part in my poll for helping me pick the BYOB bag please participate by picking you favorite on the right hand side of the screen.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about please refer to this post with links to all the bags!

Thanks everyone!

The New Bedframe




Here are the pics of my new bedframe. My room is not that huge so it's only showing the headboard but the kickboard is practically the same.

I love it! I was shopping with my mom looking for a foam topper for her bed when I saw it at a business that is selling out to close in the summer.

When we first moved to this house last summer my BF promised to buy us a new bedframe. So he went with me to go see the one I had FINALLY picked out and after a scan of a few more stores he purchased it.

Don't worry we talked them down in price quite a bit!

It's so nice not sleeping on the floor anymore with our mattress, lol. The bed is sooooooo comfy now! We have tried not to buy much furniture because of our upcoming trip to Australia. We don't want to have to store a lot of things so most things we buy are second hand or dirt cheap so that we can get rid of them before we go. I don't want to pay for a big storage unit so we'll only keep the things we can't replace.

This bed though... I love it!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Ray of Sunshine Thru The Clouds




Yesterday I returned home, after being in annoyed state all day, to suddenly perking up to have something in my mailbox catch my eye. I noticed a letter with scrolling penmanship addressed to me. Hmmmmm what's this?!

Usually my mailbox is like my inbox... full of spam. I get so much junk mail and mail from the same past tenants that I don't even look at it anymore. It piles up and eventually I throw the junk in recycling. My mom also gets tired of it and takes on the job of returning the mail to the senders. (Works for me!)

This envelope was different! It was special and it had a stamp with the Queen on it! I instantly knew it could be none other than my dear friend Nathaniel. It immediately turned up the dial on my happy meter.

Enclosed was a sweet card with the following written:

Dear Dolly,
I know you collect Canadian Tire Money so I've sent you this dollar. I got it in 2003 when I got my first DVD player.
I never go to Canadian Tire so I've gifted it to you!
May it bring you one dollar closer to financial freedom!

Love, Nathaniel

BYOB


A month or two back I won a free bag from a company called BYOB.

I was so thrilled! I just need to narrow down which bag I want. I have it down to almost any of them on this page.

I would say my top 4 are:

Cheeky - I'm worried about it offending people but I love it!

Translation - Basic but I live in a very multicultural area and so the message is clear to everyone who reads my bag.

Lovely - It's a nice qoute but I'm not sure its "me". I don't mind the color though.

Windmill - I like the color and the informative statement on the bag.


Let me know your opinion readers!! Don't forget to take a look around the site.

PineCone Has Accepted Me

Last week I got an email offering me a chance to apply for PineCone. I was so excited because I've been trying to track down their adds for awhile. I applied once with no ad referral and was rejected last year. So anyway, the link didn't work and when it did all the spaces were taken. I wouldn't take no for an answer though and tried the link a few days later and it worked!!!

Today I got an email saying I had been accepted and received a survey. I'm thrilled this worked out in the end because every cent counts.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Perfect Timing

The day I post about Canadian Bonds as gifts for newborns my BFF calls me and tells me she is pregnant after trying the last few months!!

Guess I have about 8 and 1/2 months to save up that $100, lol.

Pay Per Post - One Month In




So .. one month into being with Pay Per Post I thought I'd give you a little update on my progress.

My first opportunity to make money was to blog about the company itself for $20. It was a pretty easy task just taking a few minutes of my time.

Two days later I got another opportunity at a payout of $5.

A full week went by before I saw any others and I scooped it up right away for another $5.

After being reviewed and then waiting the 30 days I was paid out for each one to my paypal account. It was just a little less, some small change worth, I'm thinking this is the exchange rate? I thought I read somewhere on PPP that they pay the paypal fee to deposit the money.

Anyways, then I had a hard time getting any. I logged in all the time but could never find any. A whole month passed by, I was a little disheartened by it. I would see a lot on other blogs but I would notice they stated their Google ranking was high.

Then the other day I logged in and there were a few. I was able to do 2 for $5 a piece.

Then the next day I got another one that was $8.

I don't seem to see in pattern in when they are posted but I know when you see them you have to reserve them right away or they get snatched up fast! There was only ever one that I reserved and then didn't write because I didn't think it was at all suitable for this blog once I reread it thoroughly.

All in all I have made about $30 and expect to get paid out another $18 in about 29 days so I'm happy. It's been far better than trying to make money doing surveys. I can never seem to get ones that pay well.

So, if you are interested and would like to join PPP please use my referral as I will get paid $15 and would be so very grateful!


Canadian Bonds - The Gift That Accrues Interest!

Earlier this week I did a small post about starting an RESP for your friends or families children. I promised to post about an alternative that I found.

Roaming around on the net I found myself reading up on Canada Savings Bonds and how they are available to purchase as a gift.

Wow! I think this would be a great alternative for me. The lowest amount that you can purchase is $100 so its not something you'll give out at every baby shower or friends child's birthday party. Still, I think its a great alternative to have something for them stashed away and accruing interest.

I like this idea because its a gift that keeps on giving and it will appreciated much more later in life than a toy or something that will depreciate or not be around in a few years. The only thing I wonder is about people buying them as gifts and then the parents of the children just cashing them out. Hmm.....

It's something I will keep in mind for when I'm more financially secure myself! I have to get myself in order and set up before I can do so for others, right ?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday!!! - Honey Mustard Chicken

Honey Mustard Chicken

8 Chicken Thighs
4tbsp Whole Grain Mustard (I've used Dijon before)
4 tbsp Honey
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Put the chicken thighs in a single layer in an oven safe dish.

Mix together the mustard and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Brush mixture all over the chicken thighs.

Cook for 25-30 minutes (or until cooked thoroughly), making sure to brush chicken with juices from the pan occasionally.



*** Note - Replace chicken thighs with 4 breasts if you would like to reduce the fat. Chicken thighs are yummy though, aren't they?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

*** GASP*** Could it Be?

Yesterday I nearly died in shock on the spot when my BF came in the room and blurted something out me. Something I have been dying to hear. You guessed it....

"So I don't think I want to do the whole ING Direct thing but I'm ready to do something with my money short term."

"What? Really? Ok, well you don't have to do ING Direct hunny. You can do lots of things on a short term basis."

"Yeah, I think I'm going to call my father."

Could it be? Like the heavens parting and angels singing it was beautiful folks. Have I finally inspired some thirst for taking care of his finances? Maybe it was all the happy dance jigs after a whopping payment?! I really don't know what it sparked it but its there, so I don't care, as long as its there!!

Two Days - No Work

Well I didn't get called in yesterday but I did today. I didn't answer though because the call came at 5 something in the morning and I wasn't prepared to go to work. Plus, I didn't have my ride arranged either. I needed the extra day I think. I spent it with my mom and her best friend.

I work tomorrow though! :)

A Woman of Independent Means

Gail is republishing her book " A Woman of Independent Means" soon!

I am thrilled!! I've been scouring around for copies of any of her books for ages and have come up with nothing. I'm glad she posted about what's been going on. I'm even more glad that she has decided to republish the book and will consider doing more if they sell well.

As soon as they post a link for where and when to find it I will be sure to update everyone!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Giving Back


A few months ago I was invited to play a game online. It's a game where you look at the word shown on the screen and then you have to pick the correction definition from list of four possible answers. Its highly addicting and pretty educational!

The best part is... every time you play you are earning rice to be donated by the United Nations World Food Program. It's at a site called Free Rice.

The rice is paid for by the sponsors who can advertise at the bottom of the screen where you are playing. For every word you get right, 20 grains of rice is contributed. It may not seem like a lot but if everyone just did it a little bit it would add up. Besides, there are a lot of time wasted on the internet, and this is time well spent for the people receiving a meal.

I urge everyone to check it out when you have some free net surfing time!

** Note... this post is not sponsored :)

More Thoughts on BDU Pants

Last week I wrote about how I was in Sea Cadets for fun as a teenager. One thing I can remember is all the boys owing these BDU Pants. They could fit just about everything they could ever need in those pants which was great during our survival weekends! They had pockets galore!
Seeing a picture of them online brought back some good memories!

RESP - For your Friends and Families Children

I have been reading over RESP info that I obtained while at the Government office the other day with a friend. I was happy to read that you could start RESP savings for children that are not your own. I have often wanted to start some type of savings for my niece and nephew, but wasn't sure how to approach this.

I know my sister received some literature in the past and I do think she would qualify for the $500 grant but she hasn't started the steps for it yet due to some other issues more urgently at hand right now. A friend of mine has also wanted to start savings for her child who just turned one. So I picked up the info, stapled it into packets and have been handing them out to people.

Last night I stumbled across an article on My Open Wallet while catching up on blogs I regularly read in which she discussed the similar desire.

Problem being that I shouldn't just jump in there because my sister hasn't done it yet. I don't know if it would offend her or if she would appreciate it. All I know is that I want my niece and nephew to have more opportunities than we did.

All in all I am starting to think that while I can encourage my family and friends and supply them with information that I might not want to go to the extent of opening one for them. Instead I have come up with something else that I will post about later in the week!

Gail Vaz-Oxlade Update from Facebook

I am in a group in Facebook that includes Gail and is about her show that we all know and love. Today I received an email from the group stating the following:

Hi everyone,

We are planning to produce two special episodes this year featuring couples who have made the decision to split up. Couples cast in these episodes would get all the same great information about managing their money, paying off debt and planning for the future - as well as some practical tips to help them start to build a new life. If you know anyone in this situation who could benefit from Gail's help, please send them to themoneytest.com to fill out the application. They should note the status of their relationship clearly in the application.

I also wanted to let you all know that as of April 11th, Til Debt will now be airing on Fridays in primetime, at 9 and 9:30pm. Any new episodes remaining from season IV will be seen there first. This schedule will continue until July, with repeats from Season IV and III.

Our season V families will unfortunately have to wait to see their episodes until the Fall schedule begins (likely in October).


Thank you all for your continued support of the series.

Jennifer Horvath, Series Producer


I thought I'd pass this bit of info on to my readers because I know you all love Gail as much as I do!

Cheers!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mid Month TCOB Review for April 2008

1) Bump EFund up to $600. Already 50% of the way there!!

2) Pay Student loan down to $3000. Completed!! I'm now starting to work out the numbers to see if I can squeeze it under $2500. I'm not sure though yet!

3) Apply for International Student Homestay/Peerstay Program Not Completed

4) Organize two boxes from storage room. Not Completed

5) Track all spending during the month I've already decided this method will not work for me.

6) Produce 5 jewellry pieces for sale at this years farmers market. Um... nope.

7) Plant garden. We are working on this one together... its not time yet and we still have some digging to do.

8) Get Learners License!!! No, but I have to check to see what time they will do tests until during the day because of my new job.

9) Organize Personal Office This room is a mess!! I've been spending all my energy on rearranging the bedroom and living room... oops.

Late Night Payments


Even though this will post under Sunday's date its still Saturday night to me.

I checked my PO Box and was happy to find both my tax refund cheque and GST cheque waiting for me! I took them to my bank next door and deposited them immediately.

I just transfered $600 from my account to pay towards my Federal Student loan which brings me past my goal of bringing that debt under $3000 this month!! I got $90.50 for GST which I applied in full to the loan. My refund was $503.53 which also went in full to the loan. So I just rounded it all up and made it an even $600.

I know I said I was going to take $100 out and put it towards my clothes budget but something really thoughtful happened. When I tried to pay my bf back for the sweater he picked up for me he declined and convinced me not to pay him back. He said he wanted it to be a gift and that he'd rather see me put my money towards my loan instead since I'm so eager to pay it off. So I decided to put my entire refund on the loan.

I also initiated a transfer of $100 to my ING Direct Savings account as well! That brings me just over 50% of my monthly goal. I am happy to see that EFund growing again!

I may have been a little neglectful to some of my monthly goals but I always take care of the financial end of things which is most important to me. When I plug my payments into the Excel sheet my bf made me I drool watching the numbers melt away.

I'm feeling pretty good :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Smart Cookies


I am absolutely loving this new series on W Network called Smart Cookies.


I feel like breaking out a notebook and pen every time its on because there are so many great random tips throughout the show. I'm so glad to see so many personal finance shows on TV now.

Friday, April 11, 2008

First Pay Day of the New Job

WOOHOOOOO!!!!!

Wow! Does it ever feel good to be working full time again. When I first started the manager wasn't sure I could get full hours for the first month but then some people left and hours needed to be filled. The job is union and I'm already slowly rising up the list which means I'm priority over them for getting shifts.

I love the hours of my job. 6am - 230pm Monday to Friday. There was one week that I didn't get to work the Monday which means my cheque is for 72 hours which still makes me very happy.

I love getting paid so that I can funnel the funds where I want to and feel good about the decisions I make with my money. I can never wait to make an extra payment onto my debt. Its an incredible feeling to be one step closer each time.

I've also learned to not even think about the money in my savings. Last week the money in my account went into overdraft for the first time in forever because things were so hectic I forgot about a few things coming out. OOOPS !! It stunned me that I had let my account get so low but I guess I was caught up in all the drama happening around me. Never once though did it even cross my mind that I had money sitting in my ING Direct account for my EFund. There wasn't any emergency anyways, but it shows how my thinking has changed in the last few years. Before I would have just dipped into my savings without a second thought.

I'm glad that I actually utilize my pay now and make it work for me instead of blowing it. I'm so happy for my first payday to finally be here! I think I'm just on call for Monday and Tuesday which sucks money wise but I'd probably enjoy an extra day to get things caught up around here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tying up Loose Ends

Yesterday I took time out to reward myself. I finally managed to get the manager of the dietary aide job on the phone. He's been dodging me since that last shift I had. Good thing I smelled a bad manager and found this new job that I actually like quite a bit. Since I could now tell him just what I thought of him I did. I didn't curse him out but I did point out all his "misinformation" and lack of professionalism. It was great!

Most importantly I confirmed where to send my ROE, pay stub and for the end of the year my T4. I also confirmed that I will not be charged any union fees and that my tuberculosis test and criminal record check costs ($45 total) have been reimbursed to me.

I am so glad to have that cleared off my plate.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

7 Random/Weird Facts About Me

I've been tagged by Canadian Saver at Saving for Later to list 7 random/weird facts about me. Here is my list:

1. I purchase things and then put off using them because I don't want to ruin them. Weird, yeah I know. Check back again as to what this post was entitled.... remember?. For example, after being on my computer screen for 5 years or more my BF removed the protective film off because he just couldn't take it anymore.

2.I can eat a lot. The ladies at work tease me about my "man lunch". They think its big and kid me about it all the time. I would like to tell you its just because I work a labour job but no. I also eat the same as the guys at wing nights and usually out eat them at the smorgy. I can't help it! It may not show but I can EAT!

3. I cannot swim, skate or ski. Hmm.... I also can't drive, but you already knew that!

4. Saran wrap is my nemesis. It refuses to be my friend. Damn you Saran!!

5. I was in Sea Cadets during high school. First for the boys and then later for the weekend trips and fun activities. I never even tried to move up in rank at all and eventually did just because they gave them to me. Sad, lol.

6. When I was young it was always a fear of mine to accumulate debt. I had a paranoia about it, but still I fell prey to it. I do think though that I'm glad I learned it sooner than later in my life.

7. I had ten different jobs in the year 2005. The tax lady yelled it out accidentally in shock. Hehe
Cherry Picker - Okanagan
Excell - Call Center - Penticton
Moula - Luggage Store - Vancouver Island
NCO - TMble Call Center - Vancouver Island
Xbox - Vancouver Island
Warehouse One -Clothing Company - Vancouver Island
The Ladle Company and Catering -Restaurant- Salts Spring Island
Dragon Gardent Buffet -Chinese Food - Penticton
Rexall -Pharmacy- Vancouver Island

Oh, the last t4 was for EI, I forgot. I had left Rexall due to medical reasons. 8/9 jobs on that list were during the last 6 months of that year.

I tag:

Ginger at Ginger Won't Snap

Sister Ant at The hustle of Sistah Ant

Debt Fretter at So Sick of Debt

The Rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog. Some random, some weird.

3. Tag up to 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

It's GST Cheque Time Again Boys and Girls

This weekend when I visit my PO Box I am hoping that I will find both my GST cheque and my tax refund. That would make me a happy Dolly for sure!

A recent commenter asked what I plan to do with my GST cheque. Well, I think that I will plunk the full amount onto my student loan debt. I think I get about $95 or something quarterly so it will definitely help out.

As for my tax refund I've already posted that I will use $400 towards my student loan debt and reserve $100 for clothing. It looks like that money has already been spent as my BF went to Victoria for work today and while he was there he stopped in at MEC to pick up some things. They finally had THE sweater I have been drooling over for two months in stock in my size and I am thrilled. It's got 5/5 reviews and will be a great investment piece to take to Australia.

So what are you doing with your GST cheque?

What's Cooking Wednesday!!! - Lemon Grass and Ginger Pork Burgers

Lemon Grass and Ginger Pork Burgers


Mmmm, I haven't made these in awhile... I'm glad I found this recipe again.

2 cup Ground Pork
1 tbsp Fresh, grated ginger root
1 stalk Lemon Grass
2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
Salt
Pepper


In a mixing bowl combine pork with ginger.

Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the hard exterior of the lemon grass and discard.

Chop the center of the lemon grass as finely as possible and also mix into pork.

Shape mix into 4 patties and chill for 20 minutes.

Heat Sunflower oil in large, non-stick frying pan and add patties.

Fry for 3-4 minutes one each side over a gentle heat, until thoroughly cooked.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Relationships and Money

I couldn't think of what to post today when I found this old one that I had never posted. Here it is:

Anywho.. it's been really starting to bother me lately that my BF is not as excited as me when it comes to learning about personal finance.

I've tried showing him charts, dragging him to the Gail Vaz-Oxlade seminar, talking to him about it and my favorite... trying to scare him into it lol.

I just want us to kind of be on the same level. I don't expect him to be as giddy as I am about it, but I'd like to see him take on more responsibility when it comes to his money.

For example, paying bills on time! Oh, this drives me absofreakinlutely insane!! Or how about letting his money sit in his chequing account not making even one cent of interest. OR how about not starting his retirement savings yet when he has the means to do so.

We plan to marry in the years to come and quite frankly I sometimes get very, very upset at him about his lack of commitment to building a better future for us. I know he has a great career ahead of him and he will be able to live a comfortable lifestyle with that income but I want us to be 100% secure. Money = Security to me.

I know that nagging him won't make a difference and may just turn him off of it more but I only do it because I care. I thinks its important for both of us to save for the future. He wants to retire early so maybe he should get to work saving for it? Hmmm

I guess in the end all that should truly matter to me is that I am doing the best I can so that I will always be secure. His actions aren't prohibiting me from doing what I know is right with my money.

Anyone else having this problem? :(

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Unexpected Guests

Last weekend we were blessed with an unexpected guest a few hours before their arrival. This weekend it happened again. This time its the BF's friend all the way from Quebec.

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. With the new job, the loss of my furbaby and frequent house guests I've been pretty tired and have been trying to get so much other stuff done.

Here are some updates:

I received a small amount for the few short shifts I worked as a dietary aide. The manager and staff there were horrendous and I'm glad that I had this other job lined up. I have to make sure I get a hold of the pay stub to make sure my fees were reimbursed for my tuberculosis test and criminal record check.

I have completed two weeks at my new job and I don't hate it yet. No, I actually like it for the most part.

Today I put the extra $50 on my student loan that I promised to do monthly.

Our new bed frame (purchased by my BF) has arrived and is waiting to be assembled.

I have not received my tax refund back yet. :(

I think its gst cheque time again. :)

I have not been tracking my spending - I may have to figure out another path for myself in figuring out a budget.

I hope you all enjoyed this weekend!! We had a BBQ last night with a few close friends and family. Today for me is just rest and catch up day. Can't wait to kick back and watch BB9 tonight.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Solved My Bus Pass Problem

Today at work I was talking to a friend that also takes the bus all the time. I told him I bought a bus pass and didn't really need it anymore. He asked how much bus passes are because he had never bought one before. I told him they were $60 but if he wanted to buy mine off me I'd sell it to him for $50.

He thought it was a good deal and so did I because I won't get much use out of it and he will.

He's going to pay me next Friday on payday. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I bought my bus pass too soon

As you may remember I had mentioned having to take a cab to my new job because it started so early in the morning that there is no public transit. Well I did this for a week with the cost being at $10 per day. Hmm... suddenly I feel ill, lol.

This week I was fortunate to get a ride yesterday to work from a woman who's husband had to leave work to drive her as she has the same transit issue. Today I got a ride to and from work from another woman who is willing to take me any days we work together, which is every day unless one of us is ill.

Well yesterday I had taken the bus home from work to discover that my pass had expired because it was April 1st. So I sucked it up and paid my $2.25 to get home. I stopped at the local store to get a bus pass so I wouldn't waste money. I thought I was being organized but it seems I may have jumped the gun.

This woman is willing to drive me to and from work everyday for $5. Not bad I think, seeing as I am out of her way to go to work. I'm glad that this all worked out but now I'm out $60 for the pass I probably wont use much. I would have been better off buying a pack of prepaid tickets instead. If only I had procrastinated and waited another day to buy the pass.... *sigh.



Today I spent $8 Eating out :(

Today I received a cheque for $225 from a labour dispute that ended today with a former employer. This will probably just go to helping out the bills as I need to get some paychecks coming in regularly.

What's Cooking Wednesday!!! - Cantaloupe with Grilled Strawberries

Cantaloupe with Grilled Strawberries

1 cup strawberries (hulled and cut in half)
1/2 a cantaloupe
1 tbsp icing sugar

Preheat broiler to high.

Arrange strawberries cut side up in a single layer on a baking sheet or in an oven proof dish.

Dust with icing sugar.

Broil strawberries for 4-5 minutes or until sugar starts to bubble and turn golden in color.

While the strawberries are in the oven clean out the half cantaloupe by scooping the seeds out with a spoon. Remove the skin and cut into wedges.

Arrange strawberries and cantaloupe on a serving platter. Dust with icing sugar if you like.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Spending Journal

At the end of each post for the month of April I will list what I've spent to help keep me on track and to make me reconsider purchases when realizing I have to post about it, lol.


Today I spent

$2.25 Bus Fare - I forgot it was a new month.. oops

$60.75 Bus Pass - Self explanatory.

I will also be noting my use of my pass to make sure I'm getting my moneys worth.

TCOB April 2008

1) Bump EFund up to $600.

2) Pay Student loan down to $3000.

3) Apply for International Student Homestay/Peerstay Program

4) Organize two boxes from storage room.

5) Track all spending during the month

6) Produce 5 jewellry pieces for sale at this years farmers market.

7) Plant garden.

8) Get Learners License!!!

9) Organize Personal Office