Monday, February 28, 2011

Spending Report: Feb 21-27

21:  $20.74 (debit - dinner for 2) + 25.50 (debit - movie for 2) = $46.24
22: No Spend!
23: No Spend!
24: No Spend!
25: $1.40 (cash - Tim Horton's breakfast and free coffee!) + $40.00 (cash - food and drinks after work) = $41.40
26: $20 (cash - lunch) + $4.92 (debit - birthday card) = $24.92
27: $3.45 (cash - $2.32 gift wrap and plastic sandwich box $1.13) + $10.09 (cash - Timmie's breakfast for me and T) + $10.00 (cash - dinner) + $6.20 (debit - pet food) = $29.74
Total $142.30

Not too bad, I'm pretty happy about the 3 no spend days. Monday was a holiday and we went out for dinner and a movie. Friday went out for drinks and apps after work, $40 was a bit expensive but it was nice to unwind and celebrate the new job with my co-workers. Saturday I went to an "Ice Festival" with ice carvings. I've seen them in pictures but never in person before. They were neat! Pictures below. Sunday it was a friend's birthday: we went to Denny's for dinner (I've never been before, had chicken fingers as I'm not much of a breakfast person) and glow-in-the-dark mini-golfing. That was fun, but we definitely ate out too much this week, hopefully this week will be better.

Tomorrow, February's monthly numbers :|

TTFN, Morgaine

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Job :)

I start the new job tomorrow! I can't wait to update my budget with my new numbers :) It seems from my February weekly spending reports that $150/wk seems to be a more realistic amount of what I spend on a weekly basis so hopefully I can be a bit more realistic with my budget with the new salary. I won't get paid on the new rate until March 17th. I will get one more weekly cheque at the old rate on the 4th so I won't have to go too long without money, but I will get 3 weeks of pay on the 17th, which is nice :)

Ok, time to get to bed, gotta be fresh for my new role tomorrow :)

TTFN, Morgaine

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Blog: 10K Wedding

I started a new blog to document my journey to my wedding in 2012 for $10K or less :)

I have some post scheduled once a week for the next few weeks, I hope to blog on that site more as it gets closer to the wedding and I start to actual plan and book/buy things.

Check it out and let me know what you think: 10K Wedding

TTFN, Morgaine

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cash vs Debit

Debt Ninja at Punch Debt in the Face had a very interesting post that put into words something that I have thought about myself for quite some time. Contrary to what a lot of pf experts (Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Dave Ramsey, etc) think, I find I spend less when I spend using debit or credit than with cash.

I will, with out a doubt, spend $200 in cash faster than with my debit card. I'm not 100% sure why I'm wired this way. I do remember my Mom saying that cash "burns a hole in my pocket" I certainly have memories of going out and spending cash given to me as a child as fast as possible before it went away or was stolen by my younger brother.

I think it may be that I am more conscious of when I have cash then the fact that I have money in my bank account. Don't get me wrong, I know exactly how much I have in my bank account right now ($127.45 - without checking!) but I'm not as conscious of it because it isn't physically there. I am a visual person. I need to see something in front of me to know that its there (or to understand a concept I've never learned before) so that may be a part of the reason too.

Also, when I don't have cash I don't make as many small frivolous purchases. One of the reasons why I've had a lot more no spend days recently is that I don't have cash to go to the convenience store (I refuse to pay a surcharge to use debit at a convenience store!) so no little purchases that would make the difference between a no spend day and a $1.50 or $2.00 spent day. Those little purchases add up!

I also track my purchases more effectively and have more of an idea of when I need to "stop" spending because my bank account is low or I've already spend X amount of dollars on stuff this month. I've only recently started tracking cash spending too and since I don't want to track a lot of purchases, spending no cash most days appeals to my lazy side ;)

I think what we all have to do is find out what works best for us and perfect this method by tracking and budgeting. I think this is what works best for me, despite what others may say.

How about you, do you spend more when you're using cash vs debit/credit? Do you think that in general people spend more when they use plastic?

TTFN, Morgaine.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Savings Goals - Realistic Edition

I'm the type of person who makes up a lot of goals, but rarely follows through on them. Most of the time it is because I don't have enough motivation (i.e. losing weight without a vacation to look good for) or because I don't have a concrete plan. With my weight loss I now have a motivation (wedding) and a concrete plan (weight watchers plus 3 days/week at the gym). With my money goals I definitely have a motivation - debt free! but I didn't always have concrete plans on how to get there. This blog has certainly helped me with tracking and trying better to control my spending :)

I have been doing pretty good with savings as well (especially in the wedding fund - see, motivation!) but again I didn't have a concrete plan for a lot of savings, it was just for when I needed the funds and I didn't have an idea of when I would have enough saved for a particular goal of mine. So, I decided to create a new sheet on my budget spreadsheet to track my savings goals on at least a semi-yearly (hoping for quarterly) basis. I am a bit behind having started in February, but its the thought that counts.

Anyways, here's my new Savings Goals spreadsheet:

So, in March I will be starting my Honeymoon and laser eye surgery funds and I will increase my RSP contributions. For the wedding fund, its actually the fiance that needs to increase his portion of this savings goal but he wants to wait until his debt is paid off (as soon as he gets his tax refund). I may need to increase my portion too depending on how much he is willing to put in and what that would mean to reaching our goal in time. I can't wait until I start the new job (Monday) and get my raise, I'm really looking forward to the dents I can put towards my debt and savings goals with the extra money :)

TTFN, Morgaine

BTW, what does everyone think of the new banner? I'm planning on making a few more changes to the design of this blog to make it more personal to me. Can you guess I like fairies?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Updated Blog Roll

Just a quick note that I just updated my blog roll. There are a lot of blogs that I have been reading through my blog list on blogger but I didn't add them to my blog roll. So, now its all updated with the blogs that I read regularly and I've taken off some that I don't read or they don't post anymore :(

Today was a no spend day, here's to 3 more this week :)

TTFN, Morgaine

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spending Report: February 14-20

14: No Spend
15: $2.00 (cash - chocolate, damn co-workers!) + $28.74 (credit - for soap molds!)=$30.74
16: No Spend
17: No Spend
18: $8.69 (cash - lunch) + $21.10 (debit - personal care items, damn cold!) + $31.00 (cash - dinner) + $22.13 (cash - personal care: contact lens solution and some other things) + $3.78 (debit - entertainment: 2 books)=$86.70 (ouch!)
19: $14.72 (personal care: BC pills) + $12.58 (cash - dinner)=$27.30
20: $6.00 (cash - tea that my Mom is going to reimburse me for)
Total: $150.74

I'm happy that I had 3 no spends (almost 4, in fact since my Mom is going to reimburse me, I would like to count that too, but anyways) but Friday I went overboard! There was some personal care items that I had been putting off buying for a while (hair ties and clips) but I knew that I was going to have to buy the contact lens solution since I had just bought contacts and the BC pills. The hair items could've waited. I HAVE to do much better on controlling my spending than that!

On the 18th I went out with my Godmother to the show I had bought tickets for her for Christmas: "The Man in Black: a Johnny Cash Tribute" which was a really good show. I didn't really know much about Johnny Cash before the movie "Walk the Line" but I did enjoy the movie (Joaquin Phoenix TOTALLY got robbed of an Oscar on that one!) and I found that his music was one that I could appreciate even though it isn't my usual style of music. Anyways, we went out to a nice dinner and so that put me back $31 but it was a place that I really enjoyed, I had a nice glass of wine and we shared a desert, so it was a very nice evening :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Savings Goals

Ok, so I stole this idea from hklover86 over at My Money Journey (if you haven't checked out her blog, you should, I loved her posts on the 7 deadly sins of personal finance).

I know I have the sidebars, but I think I'd also like tracking my savings on a spreadsheet too, it does keep me a bit more honest on my savings goals. As well, it has some categories of wants that I haven't actually started saving for but hopefully soon. I want the Efund to be at least $1K before worrying too much about the other stuff.

So, most are not until mid 2012 because they are wedding related (wedding, honeymoon, eye surgery) but I hope to at least start saving for them soon, even if its only $10 per pay. I probably should run one of those savings calculators and see how much I need to set aside to reach those goals. I know the wedding one will be on track soon, fiance will be adding more per pay once he receives his income tax return and pays off ALL his debt (I'm soooooooo proud of him!) and I am hoping with the new job to increase my contribution to this fund as well as at least the emergency fund.

You know what, I will run those calculations and update the spreadsheet. I will write another post (hopefully not too long from now) and try and keep this updated.

TTFN, Morgaine.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I mentioned in a previous post, that I have taken up a new hobby - making soap! So far, I've spent around $200 and have made a few presents. I have a lot of birthdays coming up so I will be making soap for my friends. I am also making soap for my wedding favours! I think it will help keep cost down since it is DIY and its personal and totally goes with our Celtic theme. So, here are some pics:

Wedding Favour Soap! Teal Celtic Heart with "Atlantic Seashore" scent

Gingerbread scent with Oatmeal

Grapefruit dual layer

Heart Soap for Valentine's Day

Raspberry body scrub

Pacific Seashore scented with sea salt scrub

Love Soap for Valentine's Day! Bottom layer is clear glycerin with real rose buds and the top is goats milk with hearts stuck into it. All scented like roses :)

Side view of the love soap so you can see the layers and rose buds

Stars - using ice cube trays from Ikea!

Stars embedded in the bar

"Tutti Fruitti" bar - bits of soap embedded in the bar

I'm hoping to make some more really special bars to sell on my Etsy store. More on that coming ...

TTFN, Morgaine

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Glasses!

Just got my new glasses from and they are great! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wears glasses and/or contacts. They were almost $300 less than my last pair of glasses and they are nicer and way lighter! It only took 2 days for shipping and shipping was free!

Today, I am home sick with a cold. My finance thought it would be a great Valentine's gift to give me his cold! I think I would have been able to go to work but I didn't get much sleep last night as all we had for cold medicine was daytime formula and I find it keeps me up. This is bad for my budget, though as I'm still temp and I won't get paid for today :( But the thought of being on the phone queue all day was too much for me to bear today. The next couple of weeks are going to be tight, but soon I will be starting my new job at my new pay rate and that will help a lot towards my financial goals.

Ok, time to get more rest and make some soup!
TTFN, Morgaine.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spending Report February 7-13

Feb 7: $0.75 (cash - coffee)
Feb 8: No Spend!
Feb 9: $0.75 (cash - coffee)
Feb 10: $8.46 (cash - lunch)
Feb 11: $0.75 (cash - coffee)
Feb 12: $14.73 (debit - gift) + $25 (debit - gift card) + $14.38 (debit - $12.68 gift and bag $1.70 household), $70 (cash - reimburse from planned spending - eye doctor), $25.25 (debit - Valentine's Day gift) + $4.52 (cash - gifts) + $14 (cash - bingo - for friend's birthday celebration) =$153.88
Feb 13: $20 (cash - lent to brother) + $3.00 (cash, conveince store) + $164.18 (credit - to be reinmbursed from planned spending - eyeglasses and contacts) =$187.18
Total =$351.77-$234.18(from planned spending acct)=$117.59

Notes: friend's birthday caused me to spend $58.25 ($12.68 gift for another friend's birthday later this month, I saw it and said this is PERFECT for my other friend so I had to pick it up - last one!) Plus $25.25 for Valentine's Day gift for the bf. We decided not to spend a lot of money on Valentine's Day for two reasons: (1) we are saving for wedding (2) our anniversary (1st date) is March 10th so we tend to celebrate this day more than Valentine's anyways.

Glasses are EXPENSIVE! glad I planned ahead for this purchase! And, I will be reimbursed the $70 eye exam fee from bf's medical plan, so it can go right back into PS account. Although, this time I ordered them from which was a lot cheaper than my last pair of glasses which were over $400! I also ordered some contacts to wear on special occasions.

They just made the move from free coffee to $0.75 for coffee at work, but rest assured, I have now brought in my own tea and will use the hot water from the machine for free from now on :) So, there may be more no spend days in my future ...

TTFN, Morgaine

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spending Report: Jan 31 - Feb 6 - Finally!

In my efforts to ramp up my budgeting by tracking my expenses more effectively, I am tracking my cash purchases in a notebook and regular purchases from my debit/credit card weekly on the blog. I'm hoping to put this up every week on Mondays, but this week I wasn't feeling well at the beginning of this week. Well, without much further ado:

Jan 31: $1 (cash - snack) + $12.19 (visa - ebook) = $13.19
Feb 1: no spend!
Feb 2: $2.48 (cash - snack)
Feb 3: $7.98 (cash - lunch) + $8.99 (cash - magazine) = $16.97
Feb 4: $8.80 (cash - lunch) + $38.02 (debit - personal care) + $16.70 (debit - $13 clothes, $3.70 food) +$2.15 (cash - snack) + $7.10 (cash - snack) = $72.77
Feb 5: $22.30 (debit - hobby) + $15.32 (debit - $9.13 hobby, $6.19 food) = $37.62
Feb 6: no spend!
Total: $143.03

Wow, the 4th was a really bad day for me! Why are vitamins so expensive? Also, I bought a pair of those portable slip on shoes because I had an interview and I was wearing my winter boots. But since they have multiple uses (and I am interviewing quite a bit lately) I figured it wasn't a really bad purchase for $13 (even though I didn't get that job :( ) But, I do have 2 jobs that are checking my references, so that's a good sign, right?

TTFN, Morgaine

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Job!!!

Wow, 2 posts in one day!

I got the job that I REALLY wanted hooray! It is for the same company I'm working for now (pension industry) but not the same job I'm working at now - which is temporary anyways. I've already admitted that I don't like the job that I am doing now but I love the company. Basically the job I'm doing now is practically call centre (on inbound phone queue from 9-5) but I also have cases assigned to me that I have to work on during the day. The combination of these two with very little time to follow up and get in touch with clients has been making this job very stressful for me. I also have to tell someone when I'm going to get water or coffee or even if I have to go to the bathroom! I can't eat when I want because a call might come in.

So, the new position I will be off the phone queue (Thank God!!!) and processing requests for a different department and answering email questions. It is another maternity contract until Dec 31st but who knows, maybe she won't come back (unlike the last contract) or I make a good enough of an impression that they find some way to keep me - fingers crossed! The job is a significant raise in "salary" - $23.60/hour which is actually the highest salary I've ever gotten :) Downsides: no vacation - boo! and I have to "earn" sick days - I get 1.25 of sick days for every 1 month that I've worked. I don't take many sick days so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. I didn't have any vacation planned for this year (next year - wedding and honeymoon!) so I can't be working a contract then, please, please! But, I also get 8% added to my pay to compensate for this, so that's not too bad. Oh, and I will be part of a union (union dues, boo) but I can also contribute to a pension! I'm not sure I will do this yet, actually, I might wait until the contract is up and see where I stand then and then possibly do a non-contributory buyback (pension terminology has already creeped into my brain!!!)

So, I will be updating the budget yet again with new numbers as soon as I get paid. So looking forward to it!

TTFN, Morgaine.

January Numbers - Finally!

So, I've finally gotten around to posting my January numbers. I really need to make budgeting more of a priority, and I think I've gotten to a decent start in February with tracking better. But, anyways, here are the numbers:

So, I was over in pretty well all the categories! Bad PF blogger, BAD! February definitely seems that it will be more in line with what I SHOULD be spending, more on that later.

The notes there are hard to read, so I will repeat them here (I just wanted to be able to see at a glance when I look at my Excel reports what happened in that month).

Food and Entertainment: I could be way off as I didn't track cash purchases. So, I could have spent more on entertainment than food or vice versa, not really sure. But I have been tracking my cash purchases since beginning of February so February numbers will be more true.

Clothes and Personal Care: bought a new pair of winter boots ($150) and got a haircut ($42.50 - never going there again!) Soooooooooo glad I bought those boots though, its been quite the snowy winter! I will have to go back to the place I usually get my hair cut because its only $20! I was trying to find a reasonable haircutting place in my new neighbourhood, but that one certainly isn't it! And, I joined a new gym. Its close to my new neighbourhood and it is a LOT cheaper than the gym I was a member of last year. This gym had a new year special: $69 for 3 months and then it will still only be $32/month from April to December! My last gym membership was over $100 per month! Now, I just have to start going regularly ...

Hobbies: I started a new hobby - making soap! So, some start up costs are included here that won't need to be repeated, but I will be replenishing supplies as I go along, of course. I hope to have some pics of my soap up soon as well. I will be revamping my Etsy store to include the soaps too.

Tomorrow, I promise I will have the first week of February's numbers up too!

TTFN, Morgaine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

MasterCard Limit

So, today I lowered the limit on my MasterCard down to $9000 (from $10,000). I am doing this every $500 paid off to eliminate the temptation to spend on it EVER again! I want to get it down to $2500 and leave this as my limit FOREVER and close my Visa as well. No more using credit to fill the gaps for me! I am done paying interest, I am done with debt! Its just gonna take time to pay it off, and I'm working on it ...

Also, I realize I haven't posted my January numbers yet, I haven't been feeling well, but I hope to have that up tomorrow. I've been tracking my cash spending in a notebook for the last week, so I should post that too, again hopefully tomorrow. I feel better now than I have in a while, but I think I need new glasses and that's gonna put a strain on my efund, again! Well, that's what its for, I suppose.

TTFN, Morgaine.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Job Situation

So, I lost my job early October last year. It was a maternity leave contract, so I knew it would mostly come to an end a year after I started but of course, one always hopes that the company will find them a spot once the contract is up. This didn't happen.

I was out of a job for almost a month, while applying EVERYWHERE I could think of in my industry but it took me almost the whole month just to find something (and had to take money out of my Efund to pay for rent in October!) Luckily I picked up a decent paying temp job ($18.50/hr) it was only supposed to be until Jan 1st but they decided just before Christmas last year to keep me on until the end of April (tax season).

I really don't like this job. I felt it was better than being unemployed and would give me time to look for full-time employment while having a job. Lately, its been getting quite stressful, so I have stepped up the job hunting. In this past week I have had 2 telephone interviews, 1 recruiter interview, and 2 company interviews. Talk about stress! I HATE interviews!!! I find too that my industry (financial services) seem to take a lot longer than other industries (my fiance works in computers - software development - and found a new job within a week of looking for one and they hired him the same week!) it works a lot slower in my industry and I'm just hoping I can find something I like that's not too stressful but pays what I think I need (and deserve) to be paid.

So, hopefully soon I will be able to say I have a new job and I have to rethink my budget (again!) Oh well, if its more money (fingers crossed) then I won't mind rejigging the budget anyways ;)

Wish me luck! TTFN, Morgaine.