Monday, March 30, 2009

April Is Already Just A Few Days Away

I can't believe we are at April already. I really need to get my ass in gear. This year is passing by much too quickly. I have to start buckling down with my savings and plans for the big year long trip to Australia.

I did something I never do. I went through my online bank statement for March and added up all the money spent on eating out just on my debit card. $200!!!!! I am so pissed at myself. That doesn't include any money paid in cash or anything spent on groceries! Oh my! I have been feeling really disappointed in my weight lately and calculating how much I'm spending on putting junk into my body I can really see where the problem is. I'm just hurting myself, my wallet and my goals by being so reckless!

April will see some financial set backs as I missed four days of work in March due to feeling under the weather. That will affect my cheque in a big way on Friday, which will in turn affect my ability to save. The second financial setback is a little more fun. BF's boss is paying for us to go to a convention in the Okanagan. It's actually in the town that we met picking fruit 4 years ago. I'm very excited but I'll miss some work due to the trip. I think my only cost will be maybe getting a new outfit and shoes for the convention dinners. I also want to have a little extra cash to have some fun and enjoy myself as we have a room at a place across from the beach. This won't hit me in the pocket until May which is luckily a three payday month to help soften the blow.

Last Sunday we planted some seeds indoor to get our garden started for the year. We planted tomatoes, green onions and peppers. On Wednesday the onions had already growing. By Friday we had little tiny tomato plants popping up. Today we saw the first onion push its way out of the soil. It's very exciting! We also put up the bird feeder last weekend and its already very popular! April is going to be a great month to get the yard set up for another successful spring and summer. I miss spending time in the gardens with BF.

Now that Spring is here I need to get outside and lose some pounds. I've surpassed the weight limit I have set in my mind as too far and I feel panicked that if I don't do something now that I'm going to really put it on. I need to start watching what I eat and working out more. I notice now that I feel sluggish and tired all the time. My cardiovascular is horrible and I'm feeling more than chubby :( At least BF has already started to get in shape so I can learn a lot from him.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March TCOB 2009 - End of the Month Review

  • Hunt Down The Rest Of My T4's - DONE
  • Have Niece Over For Sleep Over Party
  • Organize House With BF - DONE
  • Finish Online Training
  • Save $750 Towards Australia Fund -DONE
  • Host St.Patricks Day Party With Friends - DONE
March was a fairly successful month for me. I was able to accomplish a lot of goals that will get me started on finishing the rest of the year on a high.

Most important was organizing the house. There are still the odd boxes to go through but the presort has all been done and all rooms look tidy and nice. We had a houseful due to the party we hosted this month and BF's friend coming from Quebec so that had us really motivated to do a deep clean. Since then we've been working as a team to keep on top of things. It's relieves a lot of stress for me personally to have a tidy home.

I think I've located all my T4's. I jumped around a lot last year and I this weird feeling I'm missing one. Probably not though. I have to write a statement for one place that paid me as a "casual worker" so I don't get a T4. I also have to check out how much money I made online.

I managed to save $750 this month towards the Australia Fund. I wish it was more but this contribution brought me to a total of 40% of my overall goal which is good. I now have saved $2300 since January and that makes me feel fabulous. I had originally wanted to save an average of $1000 a month but its been a hard task to accomplish.

I did not have my niece over this month. She's been sick on and off. This weekend didn't work for them so we made a commitment for me to take her next Saturday night. I want to take her to a movie and do some Easter projects. Sleep overs are exhausting but I know they mean a lot to her and I love my niece. I spent this last Saturday making dinner for my Grandpa at his house instead.

I haven't thought about my goals for April yet. I already know I'm going to have some financial set backs but I'm also going to have a lot of fun I think. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Night Rant

Work sucks as usual. Head tech is away AGAIN and the fill in tech and other reg tech hate each other. Goody for me! This makes every day stressful.

After work I was crossing the crosswalk to catch a bus when all of a sudden a car comes veering straight for me. I walk faster but soon her headlights are like blinding me. She's like three feet away before she stops, probably because I threw my arms up in the air as there was no way I could get out of the way fast enough. I kept going but she apparently stopped to have words with me because I hear:

Bitch in yellow car: "Maybe if you weren't wearing black at night I would have seen you"

Me: "Maybe if you observed crosswalks and people in them you wouldn't almost hit pedestrians."

Bitch in yellow car: "How am I supposed to see people dressed in black at night time? Besides, I was in a hurry."

Me: "The blinking white man that indicates its time for a pedestrian to cross should have tipped you off. You know what? FUCK YOU" (then I gave her the finger)

Bitch in the yellow car: " If I were you I wouldn't do that"

Me: "If you were me would you do this?" (smacked my own ass) "Kiss my ass bitch"

I then walked away. I saw her drive by later but I guess she wasn't into backing up what she said. By no means am I fighter but I really don't appreciate almost being hit and then being told its my fault by some idiot chick.

THEN on the bus my friend Nathaniel called me and so I told him what had happened. All of sudden the bus stops and the bus driver walks all the way to where I was sitting and towers over me.

Bus Dude: "It sounds like you've had a hard night"

Me: "Pretty much"

Bus Dude: " You swear like a long shore sailor. All I can hear is cursing from you. You need to keep it down or you'll have to get off the bus".

I agreed to keep it down and then continued my conversation. I would have told off the bus driver but he drives me home 2-3 times per week so I didn't think that's a good idea. I was kind of mad because the bus was empty except for some teenagers who were cursing louder than me. Whatever, I guess I was talking louder than I thought. Probably because I was so aggravated that I didn't realize my volume levels.

What a day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Forgotten Money

Today I logged into my Paypal just to see what was up and I found some forgotten funds in there! There was $10 Canadian and $10 USD. I was very excited. I was able to set up a transfer for the USD which ended up being $11 something to my regular banking but I need another $5 to be able to xfer the Canadian funds? Oh well. Once the money hits my bank I'll be sure to set up another xfer to send it happily on its way to my savings. Yay for found money!

Friday, March 20, 2009

40% Of My Goal Reached

I am very happy to report my pay did eventually come through and I jumped on setting up the transaction right away. I now have saved $2000 towards my trip and have reached 40% of the total goal. I'm so excited!

This also brings my total savings for 2009 to $2300!! I've never had that much saved in my entire life and I'm very proud of myself. I have real self control now. I don't ever even think about touching that money. I'm a woman on a mission. A savings mission, lol!

I'm not doing as well for savings as I'd hoped to do by this time of the year but I can't be upset considering the great progress I've made. :)

Prescription Refund

Last week at work I remembered to update my profile at the pharmacy to include my new benefits info. The week before I didn't have my card yet so I had to pay for my RX. Since I was technically covered during that time we could rebill once I received the card. The pharmacist refunded my money once it was resubmitted to our insurance company. I don't pay a dispensing fee since I work at a pharmacy and now benefits pays 100% cost so I was refunded the full amount! Yay for benefits!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tick Tock Tick Tock

I get paid on Friday which is 20 minutes away. I tried logging into my online banking to see if the money is there yet but sadly its not. I'm eager to set up a xfer to my savings right away. I really slacked off with savings during the last two weeks and have only put away $200 of the $750 I planned to save this month. This means I have to put myself on a strict spending watch for the next two weeks. Ouch! I really want to keep up with saving at least a grand a month this year so its time to start becoming more focused on my goals if I want to get out of here by the end of October!

I've Been Feeling Like Poo Poo

All this week I've had a weak stomach and have been feeling exhausted. Today BF looked at me and said "I don't want to go to work anymore, at all". I know how he feels. We both feel overwhelmed with our jobs. We are to the point of packing up and moving away tomorrow.

We are not crazy though. We want to do things right. Even though our minds are already on a walk about in Australia we're not quite ready. We been thinking about the cost of going and its quite extreme when you break it down. We have to consider storage fees, PO box fees, health insurance, and all these little costs that really add to the overall total of taking a year long trip to another country.

Still, its what we both need. BF is starting to doubt his career and I'm still searching myself. We both really need some time off to travel and explore. I'm hoping this trip will help answer a lot of questions we have about the future.

Since I've been ill and BF has had his friend here from out of province we missed Monday thru Wednesday. Today we took a mental health day so we'll only be working tomorrow which is Friday. I'm not sure if I have the flu or if its stress. Either way I'm SO beyond wanting October to be here so we can quit our jobs and move on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kick Ass Weekend Turned Long Weekend - Part One

You may have noticed that I am BIG into the holidays. Not so much Christmas or New Years. Maybe that will change when I have kids. I prefer the more fun holidays. Halloween is by far my favorite. 2009 saw a big turnout for St.Patricks though.

It started Friday night when BF's friend arrived to stay with us from Quebec. They had a little boys night out eating chicken wings and then off to play pool. I stayed at home to give them some space and to get some prep work done for the party. I made the most delicious chocolate cupcakes paired with the perfect green cream cheese icing.
Saturday was the night of the party I mentioned earlier this month. I decided to do a BYOB potluck. The night started slow as almost everyone was very late which is difficult when its a potluck. Once everyone was there it things started to go really well. BF and friend had made a ton of jello shooters which seemed to turn things up notch. Everyone was required to wear a supplied hat that was also the party favor of the night. Here is a picture of it being sported by none other than famous Vancouver journalist Nathaniel Christopher! Then is a blocked picture of BF hiding from the camera.
Estimated Party Costs
Food - $50
Party Favors - $11 (hats)
Decorations - $6
Liquor - Paid by BF

We also won in the time department. By choosing the items we did for the potluck we freed up a lot of time to be with out guests. Our contributions included 2 beer can chickens, cupcakes, jello shooters, chips and pop. All super easy and fast.

I'll post part two a little later on. I'm still cleaning up the joint and haven't been feeling well lately .

Monday, March 16, 2009

Australia Fund Contribution

I've felt a little bit guilty at my spending over the weekend so tonight I made a $200 xfer from my bank to my Australia savings account. I am now at 29% of my goal. I plan to make another deposit after payday on Friday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Benefits Blunder

Well, I received my benefits card last week. I was pretty excited about it. That reminds me... I have to rebill my last prescription. Anyway.. I was pretty happy to finally have benefits again. Then I saw my pay stub. WTF!>!

I have never in my working life paid more than maybe $15 per cheque for benefits. The deductions on my stub were about $160. I was shocked and immediately angry. Luckily my boss was working with me that day so while we were huddled in the blister area scarfing down some lunch I asked him about it. He told me it seemed really high and that he didn't blame me for being upset as he knows I'm trying to save for the trip. He told me to book all my dental and medical appointments during the next two months and then cancel if I'm not happy and don't get my moneys worth. He told me even if I'm told I have to have them he would deal with it. I like my boss! :)

The next day I was able to talk to payroll who is the nicest lady ever. First I asked her if the deductions looked realistic and she told me because she had to back date my benefits a bit that it would be on my next cheque as well. WHAT!>! She really is a sweet lady so I kept my bubbling anger down and looked her straight in the eye and said "well then I can't afford it". She broke down the amounts as there were four different deductions. Thats where we found the problem. My work takes automatic deductions for MSP. I don't pay MSP right now and BF has paid his way in advance. Anyway, even if I was paying MSP it wouldn't be the top amount because of my income. She apologized and said she forgot I told her that. Whew~~

So next cheque I should be getting a large chunk of that money back. The MSP alone was $96 and then there was another fee that I believe was about $30 that I will get back. Holy toledo's! So the actual extended health and dental is more like $30 a month which I can handle and don't mind paying so BF and I can benefits.

In the future if BF or I get notification to pay MSP I'm just going to pay them directly. I don't need a middle man for that. I'm so glad this worked out because I really didn't want to forgo benefits.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Forward

I hope everyone remembered to set their clocks forward last night. I saw it on the news before bed but haven't had a chance to update my clocks yet. We didn't have anything pressing this morning to do so I wasn't too concerned. Tomorrow I have to work an earlier shift though so I'd better get on that. :)

Mr and Mrs Clean

BF and I have really been working hard to get the house clean. I've been sorting and scrubbing all weekend. I'm starting to see some serious progress in my zone (upstairs) but I'm wondering how BF is going to get his end done (downstairs). We are hoping to get most of the house done before Thursday as he has a guest coming from Quebec Friday and on Saturday we'll have a houseful to celebrate St Patricks! At least the guest room is in my area of the house so our guest will enjoy a squeeky clean room, lol.

The freak snow storms this weekend have been driving me nuts. It snows heavily for two hours and then thankfully melts away. The flakes are as big as toonies though! I am tired of the weather changes the last few years. Usually we get approximately ten days of snow a year but this year its been hectic. It really makes me worry about the planet. Last years cold spells affected our garden and I'm hoping to avoid that this year. We have decided to start our seedlings soon for our tomatoes and peppers, but those start inside so we should be ok.

Now I'm off to gather some supplies for next weekend. I'm borrowing an air mattress from my mom along with her beer can chicken roaster as I'm doing two for the potluck. I also want to drop off some of my smaller sized clothing at my sisters and pick up some chairs she's giving me. I can't wait for the whole house to be organized it will be so much easier to downsize and figure out what we want to keep in storage before the big move.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March TCOB

My February goals sunk like rocks. This has been a very stressful month for me. I did make two of my goals though. I met and surpassed my goal for my Australia Fund. I also handed in all my benefit papers two weeks ago and should be getting coverage soon.

BF and I are on a roll getting the whole house clean and organized. It's a lot of work. I have boxes that have been moved around and stored for years completely untouched. Going through it all is so exhausting and embarrassing!! BF keeps finding old pictures of me that are not very flattering. Think band class group photos and such.

I have learned recently that I will need to have to have a certified bank statement proving I have $5000 when I apply for my work visa in June.. or July(?) don't remember. So I really have to focus all of my savings towards that goal right now until I hit that mark. Then I can concentrate on all of my other PF goals.

So here are my March goals:

Host St.Patricks Day Party With Friends - I want to have a potluck dinner with some old friends and play some drinking games.

Save $750 Towards Australia Fund - This will bring me to 40% of my goal!

Finish Online Training - BORING

Organize House With BF - Ugh, but it has to be done. :(

Have Niece Over For Sleep Over Party - Usually includes a trip to the "big movies" (theater) and dinner out with Auntie and Uncle. The rest of the weekend is spent hanging around the house. These weekends are fun but tiring :)

Hunt Down The Rest Of My T4's - This is so annoying! You have my address so send it to me jerks!