Thursday, January 29, 2009

I've Been A Bad Dolly


Since I've worked at the pharmacy I've been a very bad Dolly when it comes to packing lunches. I used to be such a great lunch packer. Why is that?

Previously everywhere I've worked did not allow me the option of buying a lunch. I basically had to bring one or starve. It really motivated me to be on top of having food at home that would pack easily. Now... I never make the extra effort and its costing me big time!

Its been eating away at me how much I've been spending on food. At a time where I'm deciding to take hold of my health and finances I'm ruining it all by eating out every day. I'm going to be honest, I am spending more than just lunch money. I also usually by a smoothie in the morning, and some snacks at work. This is on top of buying lunch. I don't even want to guesstimate the amount I spend monthly. I know I should and stop putting blinders on but I'm so angry at myself.

Part of it is an attachment to the people working where I buy these things. I love the food court ladies and I'm sure they love me and the dollar signs above my head. I've worked in this particular mall a few times in the past so I know other workers very well and I like the social interaction.

Another big part is laziness, and being unprepared. Oh, and then there's the fact that work is stressful and sometimes I just want to get the F out of there and relax. Sometimes I even eat before work because I was rushed getting out the door and the bus causes me to be a half hour early.

Things have got to change. I'm wasting money in a big way at a fast rate. This is going to be one of my goals for February. It's time to get back on track.

$275 Added to the Australia Fund

Today I set up another xfer to ING for $275 to be added to my Australia Fund. I now have $600 saved in that account. I wish it was more but being sick earlier this month hit my pocket hard. Darn sickness!

Total savings for all accounts in 2009 - $900

I was hoping for $1200 and would have done it but as I said.. the sicko bug hit me hard. I may be making some changes to my financial goals for the year soon. My work is offering a match program for RRSP contributions so once I have my paperwork in order I'm going to find out what the max they will match is and go from there.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Blues

The weekend is over and the new work week is here. Booo! I am not a big fan of Mondays at all.

This weekend was great.

Friday night BF insisted we go over to my sisters to see her new place. My sister seemed really happy to have us over and I always love seeing the kids. Their new house is really awesome and they got a great deal on it. I'm very happy for her.

Saturday we helped my Grandpa move into the new house. It was an all day task. There was my grandpa, my uncle, my mom, BF and me. I was disappointed nobody else showed up to help seeing as I have so many cousins and family. It really pissed me off a lot. My uncle told me that insurance would pay for two movers and so BF would be paid for the day but BF refused to take any money and told my Grandpa to use the money to buy lunch for everyone that helped. Aww. He and my uncle had to do all the heavy lifting on their own but they managed.

Sunday I laid in bed all day. I mean ALL day. BF surprised me by going out in the evening to get groceries. He bought me all my favorite fruits and even brought home dinner. He came upstairs to bed and served the food right to me. Then he secretly put a movie into the DVD player and turned it on. It was Pineapple Express! I've been dying to see this movie since it came out in theaters and I finally got to see it.

Things have been going really good lately. We've been watching our spending big time. Every little purchase is weighed against saving for the trip. Today though I'm going to spend a bit of money because a coworker is coming back from eloping and I want to buy her some flowers to mark the occasion. I'm so excited for her!

Well... I must make breakfast and get ready for work now. I hope everyone enjoys the first day back at work this week! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Songs Of The Day - Blue October

Tonight BF and I were sitting in the office listening to music when he offered to try and help me find two songs that I REALLY wanted to hear. I hear them both at work all the time. The first song he found right away.



Then after many tries of me singing the words unsuccessfully to the second song BF gave up and went to do something else. I gave it another try and I found. I was shocked to see it was actually from the same band because I'd never heard their name until today. The best part is my favorite color is blue and October is my favorite month. Here is the second song, my preferred of the two. Sorry, you'll have to click the link as it won't let me add it here. It's worth it!

Moving Day

Today I'm going to be helping my Grandpa move into his new home. Last February I wrote about how his home burned to the ground and the struggle we went through climbing through the rumble trying to retrieve anything we could. Its over 11 months later and he's finally able to start moving his new possessions in. When I was called to see if wanted to help earlier in the week I jumped at the chance. Normally I hate helping people move but this is for my favorite person in the entire world.
More on this later, I have to get moving....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Pay Woes

I'm so happy its finally Friday. It's been a heavy workload with us being one technician down at work. We have two fill in techs that usually work weekends that have been helping out. One is really helpful and is able to take on and complete tasks that we need to catch up so its great. The other... well let's just say it's not so fun.

Even though its Friday payday which usually makes me happy I was sad today to see my cheque be $240 less than I thought it was going to be. I forgot about those 3 sick days this pay period. :( I really wanted to sink some more cash into savings. I only have until October to save a massive amount of money and I hate being set back so early in the year. Oh well, I'll make it up somehow.

Besides that I'm working an earlier shift today which lets me get off at a decent time to hang out with BF so that makes me feel good. It's been hard with me working so many late shifts this month because of fill in techs. We found out two days ago the other tech is not healing properly from her surgery so we're looking at about another two weeks of crazy town at work.

Monday, January 19, 2009

$125 Added to the Australia Fund

Today I decided to make a xfer to ING direct. I had approximately $200 left in my account and I get paid on Friday so I decided to leave myself with $75 for the week just in case and xfer the other $125 to ING.

This brings my Australia Fund to $325.55. I can't wait to get paid on Friday so I can boost this number again before the end of the month! Yay!

So far I have saved $625 this year with all my savings accounts combined. 2009 is definitely the year of saving for Dolly.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Money - The New Hot Topic

I've never had a problem talking about money. I've been open with everyone I know about my finances. Even when I had huge debt with large interest rates I had accepted it. My friends, family and boyfriends over the years all knew I had debt and that it bothered me. I found that by being very frank about my own finances that people were eager to talk to me about their own with great ease.

Everyone needs support when it comes to finances. We should all be able to talk freely about money. After all, we all use it and we all are aware of the rewards and repercussions it brings.

I feel lucky to be living at a time where personal finance is such a hot topic. Thanks to people like Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Suze Orman and Alison Griffiths, to name a few, the topic of money is no longer so taboo. We are lucky to have so much information available. We can communicate and gather valuable information through blogging and online support. We don't have to be ashamed about financial problems, we just have to make a decision about it and take action.

I now have friends asking me about money and talking to me about their struggles. It feels good to know that people want to talk to me about money. I know I'm not an expert by any means but I can give some friendly advice and direct people to some good resources. I'm slowly seeing my money habits and theories playing out in the lives of people around me and it makes me feel really good. I'm happy these people are making positive steps in their lives. When your finances are in order it eliminates so much unwanted stress and worry.

When I was a little girl I used to think to myself that the one thing I never wanted to do would be to get into debt. Well... life happened, and I had to fix my mistakes. Making the decision to take hold of my finances and sticking to it was the best change I've made for myself. Money problems can make you doubt so much about yourself and can sometimes make you feel less of a person. Money should never control our emotions but we let it. This needs to change.

I am so happy and proud to be part of such an amazing blogging community. The support I have received since moving to Blogger is unbelievable. The comments on this blog brighten my day every time I log in and see them waiting for me. My only hope is that this new trend sticks around and that we are able to see many more bloggers go from debtors to savers.

Cheers to a new age of personal finance!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Have An Amazing Sweet BF

Last night BF surprised me by meeting me at work. He had to bus there after work because our trucks starter died and we don't have time to fix it until Saturday. I was very grumpy and involved in my work when I looked up and saw him. I felt a warm rush come over me, kind of a safe feeling. He instantly made me smile. Aww..

Once I was able to free myself from the grips of the dispensary I ran over to hug him and told him what a horrid day it was. He told me he was there to surprise me by buying a gortex jacket I had been eying up since the end of November. I was shocked. I was also worried about busing not running very often that late in the evening and told him we'd miss the next one if we did that. He already had that all planned out and said he was taking me to dinner at a restaurant close by to ensure we'd have more than enough time and we'd catch a later one. Aww...

When we got to the store I tried the jacket on, like I've done a few times already, and we talked about it. BF pointed out a few things that may be lacking from the jacket. We got all the way to the register and I froze up. I asked what the return policy was and they said exchange or store credit only. On a $300+ coat? I'll pass for now.

BF seemed a little disappointed that I declined but thats just me readers. I have a really hard time pulling the trigger on bigger expenses. I get emotionally wrapped up in it. Maybe it comes from being poor and holding onto dollars when I was a kid. Maybe its from being in debt and depriving myself for so many years. We talked about it and decided it would be better to check out more coats just so I can feel more comfortable with the purchase. BF says its a gift and not to worry about it but I have to. That's just the way I am about money. Even his, lol.

After that we went to dinner and it was great. We rode the bus home together and he got a first hand experience on how much transit riding sucks for me which is good. It gives him some perspective, lol.

Overall it was a great night and on the ride home I realized how he'd planned it all out and just how sweet and considerate he was. I made sure to tell him once we got home how much I appreciated it and that just because I didn't get the jacket, it didn't mean that it wasn't a great surprise.

Oh! He just messaged me from work with links to other jackets he thinks I would like. Aww... I think this man is a keeper!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dolly Gets Benefits!

Today my favorite lady (payroll) at work spotted me on my way in and told me she had some paperwork for me to fill out. I didn't get a chance to talk to her as I was on the phone when she dropped them off to me in a hurry at the dispensary. She quickly told me to look them over and that we'll get together on Thursday to talk about them.

I was shocked to see that there were RSP papers there. My boss had told me in the interview that he didn't think I would be eligible until I reached one year of employment (I'll almost be in Australia by then). I asked another tech and she said that you're eligible for them the same time as your benefits. YAY!!

I can't wait to learn more about this. I'm totally into having my contributions matched. Heck ya!

Song of the Day - "Heartbeats" by Jose Gonzalez



The other day I wandered into the office and BF had this song playing on our computer. I was surprised to find out that he didn't download it because I never did. I love how there are so many random songs from random people on my computer. I have loved this song a long time and had no clue who it was. You can also hear the original version on YouTube by The Knife, but I prefer this softer version.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Move My Money

I did a little xfering to ING today. I made the following deposits:

a) I transfered $90.00 to my Secured Credit Card Fund. This brings the total to $100 which was my goal for the month!

b) I also transfered $90.00 to my RSP Fund, which is also a grand total of $100 and the monthly goal :D

c) I decided at the last minute to throw another $100 into the Australia Fund. I'm hoping to make another, healthier deposit to this fund next pay day which is still almost two weeks away. This brings the total of that fund to $200.

So today I managed to check off two goals on my January list. The first was to top up all savings categories to at least $100. I'm happy to have that completed in the first half of the month.

The second was hosting my mom's birthday party last weekend. It turned out to be a success and I think my mom had a pretty good time. Yay!

Our Truck is Sick

It seems our truck needs a new starter. We thought it might have been the battery but no... its the starter. I still love our truck though. It's a 93 Nissan Pathfinder and it suits us perfectly. We could have bought a cute car or something but it would have limited us. We love going off road and camping. We live on Vancouver Island! Who wouldn't?

Luckily BF takes car of all vehicle issues because he's the only driver.

Friday, January 9, 2009

All Is Well

I am so happy to have BF back. The last few days have been great.

I've been back at work since Thursday. It's been super busy and we are one tech done due to knee surgery so we've had fill ins all week. It's definitely crazy town at work, but I try to keep my sense of humor.

I got paid for one week because in some changes to the pay schedule today. I haven't yet checked to see how much I was paid nor have I decided how to allot it yet. I checked today and both of my new ING Direct sub accounts are now open and all my money transfered over. Yay! I have not yet checked my PO Box yet for GST. I'll try to remember that on Monday.

Tomorrow I'm hosting my mothers' birthday party at her house. It's a potluck and I've invited all of her friends. BF and I are contributing mini quiche, a salmon, two beer can chickens and birthday cake. I'm looking forward to celebrating with her and close family friends.

BF and I have made resolutions to lose some weight before the summer. We both have different strategies. I'll post more about this later.

I am glad its Friday! Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Airport Drama

I HATE AIR CANADA!

We just drove all the way to the local airport to get a call just before we get there that BF isn't there. He said his plane was delayed from Quebec to BC and that then his flight to our hometown was canceled because of fog! Gosh darn crappy weather. He said it was his first chance to get to a phone.

Now he has to see if there will be any more flights or if he should try and travel to the ferries which is NOT fun and then take the 135 min ferry ride home. Poor guy! He also has to chase down his luggage now if he can. I was angry when I heard this because I had made him promise not to check in any luggage. If its lost this will be the 3rd year in a row!

I miss him and just want him home. Every year we have flight problems with them and every year our luggage disappears. AIR CANADA SUCKS! Now I'm stuck here waiting for him to call collect with his travel plans. :(

Getting an Early Start


I've decided to start tackling my January goals. I set up two additional sub accounts at ING direct. One intended to save for the secured credit card and one to put money aside until I can get to the bank and talk to somebody about starting my RSP. This means I now have 4 accounts with ING. The other two being for my EFund and the Australia fund. Yay!

So I can check that goal off the list! I opened them both with the minimum $10 contribution but plan to bump them both up to a hundred dollars to meet my other goal before the end of the month.

While I was playing around on the ING site I decided to transfer some other funds. First $50 to the Australia Fund to make it a nice round $100 as per goal and another $80 to the EFund to meet the $100 goal on that one as well. I'm half way to the second goal!

I definitely plan to put more in the Australia fund before the end of the month. I am getting a one week check this Friday because of changes to the pay system at work and then another two week cheque before the end of the month. I did miss 3 days of work sick though. I return on Wednesday.

I have to say it is a wonderfully new and strange feeling to wonder how to allot my extra money towards savings rather than debt. I have to say... me likey! ;-)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy Blogoversary!!


On January 4th my blog, here on Blogger, turned one year old! Awe! I had already been blogging for two years prior but made the switch last year. I have to say its been a great switch!

I would like to say a big thank you to all my readers and supporters. You've made me laugh, made me feel good when I'm down and most of all... you've made me more accountable for my actions.

PF blogging has helped me progress so much over the years. 3 years ago I had just under $18,000 in debt. As of December 2008 I am now debt free.

For my next year on blogger I am planning big. Along with my goal of moving to Australia for one year I am also starting my retirement savings and a new healthy life.

I am thankful for every single comment I get and appreciate you taking the time to read along with my daily happenings. I think this year I may change the name to something more positive to reflect all the great changes.

Cheers to you and yours,

Dolly

January TCOB


January is already in full swing and I haven't laid out any goals for myself. I've updated my sidebar TCOB (taking care of business) list for the month. I feel these will all set the tone for the New Year.

While I'm happy to be starting the New Year off debt free I really need to focus now on my health. The last few years have had a lot of ups and downs and unfortunately I didn't take care of me. I would like to work on my physical being.

My focus for January is to set the tone for the year. Strong, healthy and in control of all aspects of my life.

GST Baby!

I'm feeling a little better today. I don't think I'll be returning to work until Wednesday though. It's hard to stay in bed when there is so much stuff to do around the house. I know, I know! Rest first.

So it's GST time again and I think we may get a little bit of global stimulation again here in BC. I'll have to check my PO Box when I go back to work. Mine will be saved of course. I'm thinking the Australia fund but I have some other ideas as well.

I'm thinking of throwing a lump sum this month and next month at starting my RRSP so that I can get part of it back when I do my taxes and then put that money toward the Australia fund. What do you guys think?

So.. what is everyone else doing with their little stash from the government?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Big Sicko!


Every time that I think... what else could happen? It gets worse. Wednesday I started to feel as if a sinus infection may be coming on. Thursday the pharmacist working with me wanted to send me home because he thought I was going to pass out. I'll spare you the gross details. As of yesterday... completely and horribly sick.

I went to the walk in clinic and apparantly I have a sinus infection, possibly paired with a virus and they also took a swab to test for strep throat. All of this just before BF comes home on Tuesday. My boss wants me back at work ASAP. I've only missed Friday so far and he's already antsy. I got upset and cried about to my mom who told me there's nothing I can do about it and not to feel guilty. Yesterday I was told I looked like the walking dead but I really didn't care.

So its bed rest and liquids for me right now. I have to go out for an hour tomorrow to collect the rest of BF's xmas gifts before he returns. I also have the house to tidy but I feel absolutely exhausted.

The worst part is missing out on pay! Oh, and the staff party tonight :(