Wednesday, July 28, 2010


So sorry I haven't blogged in forever, I've had a lot on my mind! I'm totally in wedding planning mode! Even though its at least 2 years away! Of course, the main thing for me is doing it on a budget! So, I will share with the blogosphere my journey to a budget-conscience wedding.

All ready I've had offers for a friend to take our photos (he's semi-professional, he did our friend's wedding 2 years ago and I saw the pics and they were terrific!) we haven't discussed financials yet, maybe at the engagement party. And another friend offered to do our wedding cake, again no financials, I just sent her a pic of what I'm looking for and we'll see.

We're looking at venues that will be $6000 or less for about 80 people. This weekend we're going to Fantasy Farm in Toronto, I think they may be out of the price range, but I'm willing to talk to the coordinator and get prices and what not. The great thing about doing this now (ie 2 years ahead) is that I won't feel pressured to make a decision. The fiancee said the other day: "I don't want you to fall in love with a place and want to book it right away, we don't have a deposit yet!" I find I really make the worst impulse purchases when I feel rushed so that's why I want to give myself plenty of time.

Also, I bought a book: "The DIY Bride" by Khris Cochran and its got lots of ideas for DIY projects for the wedding. I'm hoping to save some serious cash by doing the following myself (and/or with my Mom and wedding party): invitations, centerpieces, boutonnieres, favours, place settings, guestbook, jewelry, programs, thank you cards, and bouquets! Maybe more. Again time is on my side here :)

As for rest of my money, I will admit that I've fallen off the tracking wagon, however, I haven't gone overboard in my spending as of late (even on the trip, hooray!) except on a few wedding books and magazines. I hope to get caught up by the end of this weekend. Oh, and a tally of what I spent on the trip as well.

Ok, back to wedding planning! TTFN, Morgaine.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In Alberta and . . . Engaged!

This is the first time I've been able to post since getting here to Alberta. Right now we're in Banff and its seriously beautiful! Today I got a total surprise, my boyfriend proposed! I totally wasn't expecting it! So, the planning and saving will begin! I hope to post again soon, we've been doing a lot of driving and traveling. More details to follow. So excited!!! :D

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gail Picnic!

Going to see again my own personal heroine, Gail Vaz-Oxlade! If you don't read her blog and are interested in personal finance, you are missing out A LOT! Til Debt do us Part is one of my favourite shows on TV (also, Big Bang Theory, How I met your mother, and Big Brother) I've watched every episode at least twice (some maybe 4-5 times!)

Anyways, the followers of her blog get together (mostly through the help of Saver Queen) at High Park in Toronto and Gail shows up too! It was a great time last year and I'm totally looking forward to it!

Anyways, time to head out! :) TTFN, Morgaine.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Where the Money Stands - Mid July 2010

Here's where my money stands this month:

Own: $607.56 TFSA ($507.56 emergency and $100 gifts fund)
         $3469.59 RRSP
Total: $4077.15

Owe: $8457.00 consolidation loan
         $9575.00 MasterCard
Total: $18,032.00

Net Worth: -$13,954.85
Change since Jan 2010: +$5,315.60

Its very exciting to see that my Net Worth is now under the negative $14K mark, hard to believe it was almost -$20K at the beginning of the year! Also, my total debt is almost under $18K which is good as well. Keeping track like this is definitely motivating me to keep on truckin' with my debt repayment and savings.

TTFN, Morgaine.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bi-Weekly Update - June 24 to July 7

Here are my bi-weekly numbers:

So, as you can plainly see, I was REALLY bad last month!!! Over in both Clothing (no gifts in there! OUCH!) and Entertainment. I feel like I wouldn't be spending money in clothing if it wasn't for losing weight. Not, that I'm going to stop my weightloss challenge (I refuse to say diet!) just so I can not spend money on clothes, but it just feels frustrating. Entertainment was over because of a $120 share of a new camera, plus, its summer, its fun time! Oh, well.

This month will probably also be a spendy month since we are going on a vacation. Now, I wouldn't normally even think about going on a trip while in debt, but it is for the bf's sister's wedding, so, its kind of a must. Also, the bf realizes that the only reason we are making this trip is because of him, so he's paying for most of the expenses (hotel, car rental, food) and I paid for my flight (in cash with a travel fund!) and spending money - no more than $200 (I hope!) So, the financial impact for me isn't as huge. It will be really nice to get away from the stifling heat of Toronto right now too (33 degrees Celsius plus humidity). I am looking forward to the time away from work - which has been SUPER stressful right now (only 3 more months of this contract, then I'm FREE!) This is a good time mentally to go away, probably not the best time financially, but everything is booked.

I will try and post again before the trip with a rundown of what we are doing (I have to go over this with the bf since he booked everything) and then of course how it went when I get back. I may be able to get a post or two in from Alberta since I'm bringing my laptop, but it will depend on free internet and how tired I am.

Hopefully things will get better in August! TTFN, Morgaine.

Friday, July 2, 2010

HST - Boo!

Well, the HST is officially in effect here in Ontario, and all I have to say is - BOO!!! I have to change my budgeted amounts to compensate for the fact that my gym fees are now being charged HST. They went from $109.52 to $117.85 which is way to much to pay for the gym (it includes nutritional counselling, which I finished months ago but they prorated it over the year). Once my membership is up (end of September), I will NOT be renewing it. Yes, I was using it an average of 2-3 times per week for most of the year, but its just way too expensive. The bf and I discovered a rec centre a couple of blocks away from our apartment that has a pool and a gym that is $52 for the whole year!!! We thought it was one of those little family centres, so we hadn't put much thought into looking to see what they had there, but I will definitely be joining up there as soon as my gym membership is gone. That will give me a bit more wiggle room at the end of the month, which will be awesome.

We don't drive, so the HST attached to gas won't affect us that much, except when we go up north to visit the bf's family. It won't be on groceries, so that's good, although we are anticipating a rise in groceries anyways - as my bf puts it, "the groceries are brought in by trucks, the trucks have to buy gas, the gas will now have HST, therefore groceries will be more expensive". I'm not sure how else the HST is going to affect us, but I will post here when I find out!

In other "bad" news, I spent $82.48 on clothes today! Oops :S Its really only because I'm losing weight and I need to replace key pants in my wardrobe, otherwise I wouldn't be bothering. Yesterday I couldn't keep my pants up! I know it would be cheaper to buy belts than new pants, but I really hate belts, and its not just in the waist. In fact, the waist is still a bit tight in some pants (which should mean I can wear these pants a bit longer in the weight loss process) but the butt and legs are extremely droopy in most pants and it looks horrible. I think it was because I was buying Reitman's 16 plus (petites) pants and now regular 16 (petite) fit better, so the plus must have had extra room in the butt and legs, which is now annoying. At least I got everything on sale! A pair of jean capris for $22.99 (regular $45), a pair of work silver capris $30 (regular $36), and two lace camisoles (to wear under cardigans or v-neck sweaters) for $10 each.

I also realized that I didn't put any money on my MasterCard last month! Again, something I've been working on getting under control for quite a while now. I put $22.45 on the Visa, but paid that off before the billing cycle ended. I just have to keep this up and I will feel like I may have finally got the credit monkey off my back. We'll see.

This weekend, I will be going to a street festival tomorrow (maybe $20 in spending?) and then a Renaissance festival (yes, I am THAT geeky!) on Sunday - $22.65 for the ticket and maybe $10 for food? Should be fun, though! TTFN, Morgaine.