Saturday, June 26, 2010

The PF Monster.

 Guess what?  The bf and I have now found a show that we love to watch together: ‘Til Debt Do Us Part.  He’s just as enamored with Gail as I am. 

Perhaps he has a crush on her?  *lolz*  In all seriousness, I think I’ve totes transferred the personal finance bug to him.

He’s paid off all his student loans {within less than a year of graduating – stellar if you ask me!}, he’s making a budget to see how much he can realistically afford to move to the city, and is leaving room for Fun, Food, Entertainment and General Savings.  I think that I’ve created a monster, in the best way possible.

He’s not a spreadsheet guy, so he’s not quite as organized as I am on that front.  But it’s the idea, and the actual physical action of budgeting that counts, right?  He doesn’t write down each expenditure he makes like moi, but he keeps track by using his debit card {he somehow has a grandfathered account thru TD whereby he doesn’t pay fees.  Eff. I’m jealous}.  It’s the same general principle, and if it’s working for him it’s a good thing. 

So proud of bf today – this post is in his honour, though he doesn’t have a foggy that I even have a blog!!  Once again, it’s the thought that counts, right?


*Canadian Girl

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Am I Saving Too Early?

I was out for lunch today with some work colleagues who are the same age as I am.

As usually happens, we got to talking about our social lives which turned to a discussion {somewhat} about personal finance.  The general consencus was this: we’re too young to have savings.

Huh?  Really??  I own my own place, work the same hours and make relatively the same wage.  I don’t really deny myself many pleasures in life, but live on a budget, and save for big expenditures.  How can someone my age not be thinking about the future?  Not only am I putting money away for a lump sum mortgage payment, but also for taxes, discretionary spending and even retirement.

The only hole I see there is retirement.  I am in my mid-twenties, and hope to have many high-wage earning years ahead of me.  I hope to be married in the next 5-10 years, maintain home ownership, and travel a bit. Should I be focusing less $$ on retirement, and more on discretionary spending {which, btw, would be for weddings, gifts, travel, spending $$ etc…}??  Is this too early to start saving for my future?  Or is it never too early to do so?

I get that the mortgage and taxes all come with the territory of home-ownership.  However, should I look at it as a $100k nest egg, so to speak – and be happy I’m not paying rent, like they are, to live in a home that I couldn’t afford with a lack of savings?

HELP!  I don’t know what to do with my $100/ month that I’m saving for retirement.


*Canadian Girl

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This is Getting Serious. Fast.

This past weekend, I had the privilege of spending the weekend with the bf's fam.  I say privilege and mean it.  The weekend was enjoyable, and low-key.  

It's scaring me.  And I mean that too.  Every single relationship I've ever had, where I've let myself fall for someone, has ended abruptly and without reason.  In the past I've chalked that up to men being idiots.  Or, perhaps it's something wrong with me.  Either way, I am petrified it's going to happen again.  I don't know what to do.

I think the bf has fallen hard for me too.  At least, that's what he says.  We're about 7 month in, and he's brought up marriage.  He ended a 4 year relationship in September, and met me in November.  I am trying to logically tell myself that if I were the re-bound chicky, it would long be over.  But it just weighs in the back of my mind that I am somehow still THAT girl.  What if he's with me for 4 years and decides that he's only had 2 serious relationships?  What if he decides that he needs to play the field?  

I guess these questions all come up in any relationship; after all, there are people who are married for 30+ years and then break-up.  I guess I'm looking for the answers where I'm not going to find any.

I'm falling and I'm falling hard.  I don't give love easily, nor do I trust easily.  Just when I thought I would never find someone for me, it seems as though I've found that perfect someone who compliments me in all ways and who understands me.  I think I'm so afraid to lose that ideal that my fear may cause him to run.  I’ve picked fights and searched for reasons to argue, trying to find that reason to distrust him, like I’ve had in relationships before.  I’m just so afraid to lose him.

For a *Canadian Girl who’s used to being on her own, this is a scary thought.  Yet I’m excited just the same.


*Canadian Girl

Monday, June 21, 2010

Personal Banking. There's an App for That.

**Review below***

As you all know, I'm a die-hard Blackberry user.  In an effort to streamline not only my life, but my personal banking as well, I recently downloaded the TD Canada Trust app for BlackBerry.

Can I say - LOVE IT!  At first it didn't get stellar reviews.  However, I think that they've worked out some kinks, and have made it much more user-friendly with an interface as closely mirrored to their EasyWeb online banking as possible. It is not simply a wap site, or even a link to the Blackberry browser and then to your TD EasyWeb account; it's an app that links directly to the TD BlackBerry site.

I am able to check ALL accounts {Chequing, Savings, US and Visa, as well as Mortgage}, pay bills, transfer dollaz and even do interac money transfers.  Now, to be perfectly honest, I don't know that I will use it all the time.  But I do know that it will come in handy in a pinch, when I need to know what's in my account, or to make a payment that I've somehow missed or have somehow under-made. 

How many of you BlackBerriers { have no business here....*lolz  I kid, I kid*} have tried this and love it, or hate it?  Comment below, puhlease.


*Canadian Girl

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Workin' On My Fitness.

Since I'm so uber stressed at work, I've been going to the gym like a mad-woman.  I'm not trying to lose weight, but am using the gym as a method of stress management.

I take my gym-ish clothes to work, and force myself to go on my way home {my condo building has a crazy ass gym, so I just go there fo' free}, so that I don' t have the excuse of sitting on my butt at home, cuddling with the pup and then not budging my ass off the couch all night. 

It's working!  Not only do I feel better, but I'm lookin' damn fine too!  { more *Canadian Girl, it's *Conceited Girl now...LOLZ}  I wish I'd gotten this into fitness earlier.  I used to work out 24/7 in high school and uni, but lost it once I ventured into the 'real' world.  My body craves exercise.

I'm always looking for new ways to use the weight machines tho.  Any suggestions and/or sites with cool info?  Lemme know!

    This is the doggie version of me.  No joke. --------------->


*Canadian Girl

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Job {Let's Hope}.

I believe I'd briefly mentioned my somewhat disheartening performance review the DAY before I left for Cabo.  It wasn't that I got a negative review about my performance, but rather my boss chose to focus on the fact that I wasn't putting in my 'face time'.  That's right.  Just showing my face is supposed to be what will ensure a promotion and "good" performance?  F*that.

I am done.  My boss said that I am to be 'staying until 8pm' every night.  And make the peanuts that I'm making AND pretend to be busy?  Screw you.  I need a life.  I need to go to the gym.  I need to do social things.  I need to spend time with the pup.  This is just NOT the place for me.

I like the industry, but I don't like the company I work for.  I have to get out.  So, I've begun the job hunt.

I have an interesting offer on the table from an ex boss.  HOWEVER, I would have to purchase a car, as the office is about 30 minutes out from where I currently live.  This adds a huge expense to the budget.  So, I've calcuated that my monthly expenses will increase by:

- $250 {base for car payment, considering the purchase of a used car}
- $150 {rental of  parking spot}
- $100 {car insurance}
- $150 {gas costs}

That means I would have to make another $650 per month.  I don't know that this rather small shop can afford that.  But - the position is for sales, so commission may help with that.  AND, there may be the potential for a car/mileage allowance.  The particulars still need to be worked out, but the more I think about it, the more excited I am for a new challenge, and a work environment that I enjoy being in.

I will keep you all posted as I know what's coming.  I would like your opinions - do you think the potential pay cut worth the happiness?  Lemme know in the comments; I value what you guys say.


*Canadian Girl

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Importance of the E-fund {ask and ye shall find}

Owning a home is crazy expensive.  Not that I’d expected it to be all roses n’shiz, but serrrrriously?  This is insane.

Not only have my condo fees and mortgage gone up {read = locked in mortgage @ 3.79% which isn’t bad, but an increase nevertheless, and the condo fees $100 up per month}, but MY WASHER HAS BROKEN.

Lately I’ve been noticing that my clothes just aren’t coming out clean.  There’s little bits of dust on them, or you can still see small stains like deodorant stains on them when they come out of the wash.  So, I called the *Canadian Parentals to see what they thought I should do.  Papa Canadian said “buy a new one”.  Gee thanks, Mr. Frugal.  Momma Canadian suggested I ask the property management office who supplied the washer/dryer and see if I could get someone to repair it. 

Never the one to not look at my options in the worst case scenario, I begun researching stackable washer/dryers.  I wasn’t planning to go for the high end, but didn’t want cheap appliances that would poop out in a year or two – middle of the road was my target.  Middle of the what?  These started at about $2,000.  HA.  NO.  My e-fund has $1,000 and that’s all I could afford {first time in a long time that I've learned to live within my means.  Kudos to me!!!}.  Seems as though a bucket and a washboard was how I would be doing all future loads. 

After simply asking the management office, I was able to have a repairman come out to my place and FIX the washer.  He was so kind as to inform me that it’s likely been broken since I moved in.  Therefore, my clothes haven’t been washed in about 6 months.  Gross.  However, just for the record, I wasn’t stinky!  After labour and parts, $300 all in.  Thank you e-fund!  All paid for and my clothes smell amazeballs.

The moral of the story:  always have an e-fund – you will need it.  Oh, and if your clothes have dust, chances are, your washer is broken.


*Canadian Girl

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mexico Porn {Not THAT kind...Don't Get Excited}

So as promised, here are some Mexico pics from my vacay.



*Canadian Girl

 ***Click to enlarge, if you're so inclined***