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January Goals - Getting there!

January 18th, 2015 at 09:51 pm

Progress on my January goals:

First of all, working two jobs is really hard. Suddenly 40 hours per week takes 50 hours once you take travel and transition time into account. But I think it will all work out. I am so fortunate for these extra opportunities. My short term 4 - 6 week second job looks like it might turn into a long term gig.

I made it my goal to start singing again. And I did. I had my first event last week and loved it. And coincidentally the song I have been singing popped up on the radio tonight as I drove to the grocery store. OK, serving up joy and abundance there. I had a chance to sing harmony!

And I am working on walking 5,000 - 10,000 steps a day. I really like this fitbit wrist band. I am shocked at how little activity I do. What a slug! This has helped immensely. I have achieved 10,000 steps only once in the last three weeks. Don't judge:-) But interestingly enough I can see that I have actually walked less each week since I started with this gadget. I'm really surprised that I haven't upped the walking even though I'm focused on it. Just a sign of my resistance to change.

I have lost 3 pounds in two weeks. It should be more but I made an amazing home made ham and pea soup that we've been devouring.

It's a challenge to balance work and frugality (home made soup)and calorie counting. Can you imagine if I bought a bread maker?

And one last comment. Last weekend I went to a local mall to get in some extra walking. I felt a sense of cabin fever so I shot out and walked for at least 4000 steps. But I didn't think the mall cops would think it was acceptable so I skulked through Target and then then through the mall trying not to look conspicuous. Imagine my surprise when I went to the public washroom and it directed me to the "mall walkers cloak room". Duh! They have a community walking club. Fantastic!

Hoping I lose another pound or two or three in the next few weeks.

January Goals

December 31st, 2014 at 10:58 am

Just a few things:

1. Join chorus - done. Starts January 13th. Can't wait!

2. Lose 8 pounds. That sounds aggressive but I've put on a few pounds over Christmas and that will drop off quickly. I also have a new fitbit so...

3. Walk 5,000 - 10,000 steps per day.

4. Keep balanced as I work 2 jobs for 6 weeks.

5. Express gratitude and be joyful.

2014 - Summary

December 28th, 2014 at 04:32 pm

It's been a busy year with many changes. I am blessed to report that I am experiencing more and more joy as the days go by. 2015 looks to be fantastic and abundant.

In sum, 2014 was very expensive. But it was also filled with unique opportunities.

In no order, here is a list of this past year's events:
Empty nest in September - youngest moved into residence for first year university and older was married in Brazil. Both events within 5 days of each other.
I quit my contract job in August to work part time for a start up, and found additional work at two other companies. Making just a little less that I was before. That will change in January as I will be back to full time work.
Increased my hourly rate charged by more than 40%.
Enjoyed a week in balmy Florida.
Remained smoke free (2 years in January).
Had a blast growing the start up company.
Did a lot of spiritual work. That's why I'm experiencing so much joy and abundance. In fact I had two job offers in December, and was also asked to go for an interview in finance (yikes, haven't been there since the crash of 2008). Turned down the opportunity.
Spent money - hired someone to paint both the exterior and interior of home, gutted main floor bath, eaves troughing at second home, just found out I need a new roof on main house - arghhhh! Cost of university as well as the wedding were crazy. Car repairs were $1300.

I am fortunate that I could fund these costs. But it would be really nice if it all just stopped for a while and I can just enjoy the money coming in.

All the best to everyone in 2015! Health, wealth, and happiness, and the time to enjoy all three!

A non-financial entry - Goals for 2015

December 12th, 2014 at 05:14 pm

Three goals for next year:

Join a chorus in January,
Learn to sing Handel's Messiah and sing it at least once with a group,
Take the camera out and shot pictures of hawks. Tried it for the first time today and darned if I could find one!

This makes me happy!

What a difference 5 months makes (3 of 3)

September 15th, 2014 at 07:24 pm

So my job and home life changes have been covered in my blog entries parts 1 and 2 of 3. And I figured out that it's the day to day things that I need to get together. Panic! So I've spent the last 48 hours writing down my thoughts on working from home, new activities I need to pursue to get me out of the house and away from the computer, and how all of these changes affect my finances. Looks like it will be a financial windfall. No gas costs, no big grocery shopping trips. We'll see how it pans out but so far I am feeling like this is a good start to my new empty nest life.

Hug your kids

September 14th, 2014 at 07:06 pm

I found out that an 18 year old girl was killed by lightning last week at my son's school. My son was 900 feet from her. It was totally random - it wasn't raining. But the sky started rumbling, she took cover under three trees. All of the students in the nearby residence heard the lighting strike. It's so horrifying and my heart goes out to her family. I told my son that that was the most important lesson of his first year in university. Carpe Diem.

What a difference 5 months makes (2 of 3)

September 13th, 2014 at 05:56 pm

I've been working on contract for more than 4 years for a stable company. Unfortunately the pay and the benefits are terrible, and the contract could be cancelled at any time. I really loved my job. Since I started there I've been able to take as much time off without pay as I needed. This year the amount of time off was cut back to 10 days. Having already taken 5 days this year I was in a real bind about going out of the country for my son's wedding. My request for an extra 5 days without pay was turned down. It's unfortunate that the policy changed after I took 5 days but in a way I understand that if they let me take extra time it would open the door for all the other contractors to have extra time.

In the meantime I have been working part time for another company doing the same thing as my day job. This was fully disclosed to my contract employer when I started last fall. I started doing about 2 or 3 hours a week and by June of this year was doing 60 hours per month. So with only five days of vacation available in my day job I knew I had to put family first. My last working day was in mid July. Now I work fewer hours for the same pay. I work from home. I was offered another part time job for 10 hours per week as well. Perfect!

So far so good. I couldn't have done this last year.

Stay tuned for part 3 of 3 tomorrow.

What a difference 5 months makes (1 of 3)

September 12th, 2014 at 05:09 pm

I last posted in May 2014. So many changes! Most significant is that we are now empty nesters. My oldest was married last week on the 5th, my youngest off to university on the 1st. The wedding was in South America (I'm in North America). We returned home today after a 23 hour door to door trip. It was very sad that my youngest had classes that he couldn't miss. But these things happen and we're all trying to support each other. The wedding and festivities were beautiful and we were fortunate to be able to participate. Paying off my debt last year made this a relatively stress free trip (except that I hate flying and both my babies have moved out :-))
Part 2 of 3 tomorrow.

Wedding for a co-worker

May 8th, 2014 at 07:16 pm

Not sure on what to do. I have be invited to a wedding but my partner and I don't know the couple other than as a new co-worker. We will be on vacation and can't attend. What do we do for a gift?

Anyone have travel experience? And a thank you.

March 28th, 2014 at 06:28 pm

First off I'd like to thank all of the SA member for their kind thoughts on the loss of my family pet. And for the suggestions of debt free planning. Having people comment objectively and respectfully is just so gratifying.

Here's the next issue:

I am not so good at flying. I can do a 3 hour flight no problem. As a new non smoker (14 months smoke free!) I can even do a 4 hour flight. But the idea of doing a 12 hour flight scares the daylights out of me. I need to get to Vitoria, Brazil. Is there anywhere in North America that will get me there in less than 13+ hours? I'm not concerned if it takes a day or two to get there. Suggestions gratefully accepted.

My cat just died

February 24th, 2014 at 10:47 am

Heart attack while at the vet's this morning. My little boy is sobbing and he's 17. Our dear companion and my boy's best friend. A sad day.

I've never been here before. What to do? What to do?

December 28th, 2013 at 10:30 am

What an interesting situation to be in. Debt free. And extra income coming in. I'm all set for January in that all of my extra cash is going to Christmas debt on my Amex. That will be paid off by February 1st. Off the top of my head I think the first action will be to put some funds into my RRSP (Canadian retirement savings plan) to I can avoid tax on my extra income from 2013. I have until the end of February. Then I need to max out my EF. I just need a bit of time to get my head around having extra money. I have a family wedding coming up. And I'm thinking of changing jobs. I have a short term venture that will bring in a lot of money but will only work for a few years. Lots to think about. Any suggestions are welcome.

Merry Christmas from Canada

December 25th, 2013 at 08:52 pm

To all my SA friends, have a wonderful holiday and happy New Year. May health, wealth, and happiness be part of your life in 2014.

Credit card debt gone, and 5 years ago today...

November 29th, 2013 at 05:39 pm

Today I made my final payment on my last credit card debt. I paid off $8,850 this year (not including interest), and a total of close to $16,000 since I joined this blog in May, 2009. Coincidentally it was exactly 5 years ago today that I left my well paid position in finance due to the layoffs resulting from the crash of 2008. I'm not yet making the salary that I made in 2008 but a review is overdue and perhaps I might be back where I started from. As a contract worker I miss paid vacations, paid sick days, benefits, and all the other perks.
Thank you to all my SA supporters who have lifted me up when I was about to give up.

Is everyone sick?

October 27th, 2013 at 06:59 am

I've heard there is a nasty couple of bugs going around. Flu and pneumonia. I'm still working on the pneumonia that popped up at the end of August. Anyone else heard of anything?

Selling on Ebay update

October 5th, 2013 at 02:08 pm

So after my last round of selling on ebay I was amazed at how much the costs have increased. Has anyone else noticed how much the prices have gone up?

Great deal on an oil change

September 18th, 2013 at 05:09 pm

I went to a Mr. Lube yesterday for an oil change. It was $54. I knew there were better deals out there. A local car lot is offering an oil change for $22.60 including tax. I had it done today. Awesome deal! It pays to shop around.


July 16th, 2013 at 06:43 pm

I've updated my side bar. Only $3,700 or so to go to have all the credit card debt gone. The EF is building - all my former cigarette money is auto debited to go to the EF.

The last few months have been strange and busy so I haven't been blogging much. It's been great to lurk for a while and I'm especially enjoying Lucky Robin's new blog "when did this become a farm".

I've been thinking about what I'm going to do when my last credit card is paid off. As of November I'll have about $800 or more a month. I'll probably use the first two months for Christmas, then use January and February for RRSP contributions, and then the next 5 months saving for a wedding in South America in August. Oh, and then in September 2014 it's time to start paying for youngest son's university education. Geez, how depressing is that! I'm gonna be broke for another 5 years! But the good news is that at least I have the ability to make choices. Life is good.

April Summary - it was a good month

May 1st, 2013 at 05:57 pm

All is well in my world. Finances are looking good altho I'm feeling a bit of burn out. I sold 2 items on ebay and the cost of mailing affected my profit more than I anticipated. But it means I have an extra $22 to put against my line of credit. In other news my EF is growing by $24 a week and I'm closing in on $400. My line of credit was $8,850 on Jan 1, 2013. Today I'm at $5,994. I'm looking forward to flipping my Rolling Stones tickets for a couple hundred dollars in profit to add to the credit line paydown. On the other hand I've really been pushing the financial front and I'm going to give myself a bit of a break by paying about $250 less this month. It's just a little too tight and I have grad pictures to buy and some Spring cleaning projects that will cost me. And Spring finally arrived today!

The Rolling Stones - tickets for sale

April 12th, 2013 at 07:15 pm

Wow, am I ever old! I'm very fortunate because I've been to a bunch of concerts including several Supertramp events ("Breakfast in America"), a few Springsteen concerts, a few Bowie concerts, and New Order as well. But I don't ever remember tickets being uber expensive. This past Monday I scored on a pair of Stones tickets and they were - get this - $1257.00 for the pair. Seriously! I'm selling them for $900 each. Crazy, I know, but it's sold out. Taking a risk but I've had some interest. I can't imagine buying event tickets at that price. Does anyone have experience flipping tickets?

Reached my target for Q1

April 5th, 2013 at 06:46 pm

Successfully reached my stretch goal towards paying off my line of credit. I'm at $6,685.00, and was aiming for $7,000.00. In other good news I am being compensated for any extra hours worked rather than just time in lieu. About an extra $85 a week net. That will go a long way to expediting the line of credit pay off.

Lots of progress

March 17th, 2013 at 09:05 am

My stretch target for the line of credit debt was to have the balance at $7,200 by the end of the quarter. Looks like I might make it to under $7,000 which would be just beyond amazing. Because there is no room for raises this year I have been told I can work extra hours for pay. This works for me and might mean I can pay of the line of credit in full by the end of September rather than by November 30th this year.

In other news I've saved $242 by quiting smoking and have added a new category to track my non smoking success. It's called NOPE meaning not one puff ever. I loveeeee smoking and know that one cigarette will start it all over again. So not one puff ever. I have gained 10 pounds since I quit. I didn't realize that smoking affected metabolism. Of course it has nothing to do with all the salty, fatty crap that I'm eating when I'm craving.

Just returned from a weeks vacation. The house is chaos. Off to try to get it all together somehow before going back to work tomorrow.


February 24th, 2013 at 06:36 pm

My oldest son is now engaged to a lovely woman. They've been together three years. I'm happy for them. No firm date but they say it will be off season 2014 because it's cheaper. I'm so proud!

One month smoke free!

February 11th, 2013 at 04:59 pm

I just can't believe it.

My Mileage
Smoke-Free Days: 30
Cigarettes Not Smoked: 660
Amount Saved: $101.64
Life Gained:
Days: 3 Hrs: 15 Mins: 13 Seconds: 55

Snowmaggeden? Frankenstorm? It's real and it's here

February 8th, 2013 at 10:57 am

We were hit with THE storm in the middle of the night. I usually listen to the storm reports and think "really?". Most of the time these storms don't pan out the way the media reports them. Here's my shout out for today. Listen to them! I have at least 10 inches of snow and it's coming down in buckets. We're due for another 9 hours of snow, up to an inch an hour. I haven't seen a snow plow yet. You might want to do what you can to get ready for it. Stay safe and warm.

Power outage, Super Bowl

February 3rd, 2013 at 05:55 pm

This is bad, someone forgot to pay their bill :-)
They should be a member of SA.

Eye of Round - That was easy!

February 3rd, 2013 at 04:09 pm

Whenever I see eye of round on sale there are usually several people lined up to buy a few. I finally bought one (over 4 pounds for $9 for the whole roast). I've googled how to cook the massive beast. Well it turns out it's easy and fantastic. Preheat the oven to 500 F. Sprinkle thyme, garlic, and ground pepper on top. When the oven is pre-heated put the uncovered roast in the oven. Turn down heat immediately to 475 F and cook for 7 minutes per pound. Turn off oven and keep the door closed for 2.5 hours. Check that internal temperature has reached 125 F. Allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Cut thinly and serve. In my case it was too cold so I heated up a gravy and poured it on top. It was fantastic! Now that's cheap and cheerful!

Contract worker looking for a permanent position

January 30th, 2013 at 07:25 pm

As noted on my side bar info I have a job that I love. Sure, I have the day-to-day OMGs and WTFs that we are all facing. So I'm facing a bit of a challenge as I saw the perfect permanent job (with benefits/vacation and long term employment) and I sent in my resume.

It saddens me that I might have to leave a job I love. But it probably offers a salary that's more than 25% more than I earn. It has a retirement plan, paid vacation, full benefits, and stability as long as I do a good job. It's also closer to my home.

And it's not as though I'm in my 20's. I'm beyond the point of seeking a career building opportunity. I'd like to have a job for another 10ish years and then retire. I'm not remotely interested in taking on more responsibility. The ideal situation would be if my current employer bought into a new job level and paid me what I should be paid and offered me a permanent job. The improved job market suggests to me that some employers may lose valuable employees because new jobs are finally being posted.

I can't stand being disloyal. Thoughts?

52 week challenge - a change of plans

January 26th, 2013 at 03:13 pm

I've decided to change direction on the 52 week challenge. The yatzee one appealed to me but I'm not that disciplined to keep it up. So I've set up an auto deposit of $24 per week into my emergency fund. It's the amount of money I used to spend on cigarettes each week. I'm on day 14 as a non smoker. If I get to November and my line of credit isn't gone I will use it to clear off the balance. I feel good about this plan.

Success! Sell Off Challenge and Smoking

January 19th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Success on two fronts! I sold two items on Kijiji today for a total of $235. I gave my son a $5 fee for his help so I have $230 plus a $3 pinecone cheque to go to my LOC. Hurray! I'm also on day 7 without cigarettes. Not one puff. I know could start again in a heartbeat. Staying away from smokers for a while. Will update my sidebar soon.

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