Friday, November 30, 2012

2013 Shopping Ban

I know I've said I would do this, umpteen times already but I think I'm ready this time.

No shopping in 2013!

Here is my inspiration:

1) And Then We Saved's 2010 Spending Fast
2) Krystal at Work's 2011 Shopping Ban
3) and this article from the Thought Catalogue

Reading these (and probably having to re-read them over and over again) has giving me the inspiration to try this for next year. I don't see myself going as extreme as #1 or 3 but I have found that I've been doing a lot better in the spending department lately because I haven't gone shopping. Makes sense, right, you can't spend money if you're not somewhere to spend money.

At the same time, I don't want to feel like I'm giving up my life, so I will still include some going out for dinner, movies, and some (very limited) craft supplies.

I will also need to buy some personal care items but I vow not to buy anything until I am out of it at home, except hair dye when its on sale because otherwise it can get expensive!

I may lose/gain weight next year (hopefully lose!) but I have sizes of pants ranging from 14-18 so I should be ok in the clothing department (I am going to look for a pair of black pants while shopping in the US this weekend) but I do need a new pair of running/gym shoes AND walking shoes, I was waiting for my trip to look into these. I killed (and I mean killed) my walking shoes on my honeymoon, they are dead. If I cannot find a suitable pair in the US I will wait until spring but then I will definitely need them so I will consider it a need and not a want at that point.

Other than that its regular bills and savings. I want 2013 to be the year that I am 100% fully out of debt and ready to buy that house! Wish me luck!

Have you tried a shopping ban? Did it work out for you?


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Shopping Planning

I'm going to the US on Sunday to (hopefully) complete my Christmas shopping. I have to say I haven't prepared as well as I probably could have for this Christmas, I blame the wedding and honeymoon :)

We were saving, saving, saving for the wedding and honeymoon right up to the date (Sept 8/12) and I still had to pay off some c/c damage from the honeymoon when we got back (Oct 1/12). So, I only have 2 and half months to save for Christmas (plus the fact that my first paycheque when I returned was less than $400!) I already bought some presents and the money that I had saved for Christmas is already gone :( At least the MasterCard is sitting at $0 but my savings account is sitting at $0 too.

Starting in January, I plan to start putting $50 per pay aside for gifts (Christmas and birthdays) so that hopefully I'm better prepared for 2013. Here's hoping!

Here's a list of what I already bought and what I still need to buy (not being specific, as I don't know if anyone I know in real life reads this blog or not, except Bianca).

Bought (actual amounts, rounded)
Mom - $55
Godmother - $35
Aunt 1 - $15 plus some home-made goodies
Total: $105

To buy:
T - around $100-150
Aunt 2 - probably around $50 as she is also our landlady and is renting this house to us super cheap :)
Cousin - $5 (home-made gifts)
2nd Cousin - Around $50 to $60
Brother - $25-30
Friends Secret Santa - $25 cap
3 other friends - approx $20 each
3 kids of friends - approx $20 each
Total - $440

Combined - $545 (using highest total) Its a bit over $500, I'm hoping to cap at $500 so we shall see if I can find some deals :)

I will re-post when I have my purchases done and the actual totals. And, how I plan to pay for this all! :S

How about you? Did you do a good job of planning for Christmas this year? What's your budget cap?
TTFN, Morgaine

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I spent a good chunk of today re-reading my own old blog posts. It really puts things into perspective. When I started this blog I was $22K in debt (currently $6K) and -$19K (currently +$6,200) net worth. That's an increase of +$12,800 in net worth over 2 years without owning a home or a car. I'm pretty happy with this.

However, my attitude towards money hasn't changed that much. I still overspend on stuff I don't need. I still use my credit card(s) as a crutch and I still don't track and budget like a person should.

I keep thinking about wasted money and how I probably could have had all my debt paid off by now if I didn't keep making the same dumb decisions. I think I need to keep using this blog to keep myself accountable, even if its hard. I found that when I was at my most honest about my money, I kept myself (mostly) out of trouble. That's where I need to be going forward.

I'm not too sure how that's going to pan out for the next 2 months with the Christmas spending craziness that happens around this time of year. But I know that I can do better I just need to try harder.

When you look back, what's your perspective of the past?


Monday, November 12, 2012

The new job

Well, its taken me a few more days to write this because I took Friday off and today is a government holiday, and it so happens I work for the government. Anyways, I mentioned on Thursday that I got a one year contract at my current work place for a job that pays about $100 more per week. It will of course come with more responsibilities and I will have some learning to do, but I'm excited. I was feeling a bit lethargic in my current role. There is sometimes only so much you can learn in one role. I spent a quite a bit of my day looking at Facebook and Pinterest. I was bored.

I start on November 19th so I have the rest of this week to get whatever I currently have in my personal work queue done and get ready to take on the new role.

I also am looking forward to working out a new budget and seeing what this extra money will net me on my paycheques. I'm debating on either upping my credit card payments or increasing my discretionary money (only to ensure I don't spend on the c/c). I might end up splitting the difference between the two.

I will keep everyone posted on this.

In other news, yesterday was my birthday. We kept it fairly frugal. On Friday we went out for dinner with some close friends, I got some books and gift cards (some for books, I love my friends!) and T bought me 5 different $25 gift cards for the movies, books, Starbucks (for yummy gingerbread lattes), Old Navy, and Best Buy. I'm sure these will come in handy over the next 2 months when the priority is Christmas spending but you always want something for yourself too. On Sunday we went to a movie (gift card paid for movie and some treats), bowling (which isn't as cheap as I remember but I did have a $5 off coupon), and dinner at Caseys because they have free dinner on your birthday! Yummy stacked sandwich! It didn't end up costing me or T too much money and we had some well deserved fun.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Some bad news and some good news ...

So, I won't be needing a "pet" category in the budget for a while. Tuesday night we came home from work and found that my pet rabbit Hunny Bunny had died. I don't want to be graphic, so I'll leave out details, just know that we hadn't noticed her to be much different in behaviour and not in pain. We did notice she wasn't eating as much and was more lethargic than usual. We had an appointment for the vet Tuesday night but she didn't make it. She was a great pet and friend and we will miss her a lot.

I don't plan on getting another pet for a while, maybe not even until we have old enough child(ren) to help us take care of it. Mostly because I want to be financially able to take good care of a pet and having Hunny Bunny made me realize that it can be a challenge. I took her from my brother because he wasn't taking good care of her at all. He was living in my parents basement and she was living in the bathroom. He was a 20-something that was unemployed and partying a lot. He couldn't take care of himself, let alone a rabbit (he got it from an ex-girlfriend he wanted to get back together with). So, I took her without realizing how much this would cost me. Don't get me wrong, the financial aspect aside, she was an amazing pet and I loved her to pieces, it was just more than I bargained for. Monthly expenses like shelter and food were quite cheap (under $25 per month!) but whenever it came to taking her to the vet it was really expensive. When I first got her I was still significantly in debt (about $20K) and maxed out on my credit card. The vet ran basic tests which cost me about $300 then he told me that I should get her fixed and that would cost me another $450! I couldn't afford it at the time, so we let her be. Over the years I've been tempted to get her fixed now that I'm better able to afford it (still in debt but not as much and I have an emergency fund) but I never did. I do feel guilty because it may have been a contributing factor in her death on Tuesday. However, I had her for 5 years and I believe my brother had her for a year or two before that so she still lived a pretty good life (rabbits live about 8-12 years) and I took good care of her otherwise, she always had food, water, pets, treats, and I changed her litterbox regularly. I wish I had taken her out of her cage more for exercise, but life gets in the way.

Anyways, this was longer than I expected, I just wanted to be clear about the background. My point was that having a pet is a big financial responsibility and I want to be better prepared for it for my next pet.

And now for the good news. I got a one year contract at my work that will see my pay increase by about $100 per week. More about this tomorrow, I've wrote enough for one day.

R.I.P. Hunny Bunny :(