Saturday, February 26, 2011

Budgeting 101 - 2.0 and Life After 40

Been talking alot about budgeting lately, and that's because I'm darned well having fun with it.    As they say, if you have fun at something, it ain't work (I don't know who said that, but I'm sure someone did).

Today, normally a ski day, was the execution of a new module in our Budget Program.     Flyers.   Yes, indeed, flyers.    Our friends (same friends who gave us the stainless steel jars), taught us a lesson on how they use the flyers to keep their house stalked with all that they need whilst saving $300 a month.

So, this morning, I poured a cup of coffee, and got out paper and pen, and started identifying the best deals in town (OK not in town but in the Westboro area).     Finshed that, grabbed next week's $100 bucks out of the "Groceries" jar, and away I went.   

And let me tell you!!!!!  I came home with a trunk full of stuff, it could last a month, never mind a week.     10 chicken boneless chicken breasts for $14.00!!    8 lbs of ground beef for $16.00!!    $4.00 frozen pizzas for those nights (ie, Friday) when pizza is required (needed?)     A large PC canneloni for $5.00!!!      Laundry detergent for $1.99!!  (picked up 2 of those!).     I realize an abundance of exclamation marks is surely bad writing style, however, I am trying to excude my enthusiasm sheer elation.

On another note, I follow this great blog titled:   Fabulous After 40 - and I have to say, it's nice to hear that these lovely women tackle everyday issues.     Yes, Jen Anniston is over 40, and so is Madonna, and Susan Sarandan (she might be over 50 actually), but really........let's just talk about everyday common issues.

Fabulous After 40

These women are bang on!

Happy Saturday night - watching "The Pursuit of Happyness" (love the title, love Will Smith).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Tax Man - grrrrrr, and "Christian"

I'm officially mad at the Tax Man.  I don't think I'm ever happy with the Tax Man, perhaps indifferent mid-summer or even fall.    But right now, I more more than displeased.     

Maybe I'm mad at my employer for not taking enough tax off.    OK, here's the beef.    I get a modest bonus at work this week;  I quickly assemble the tax stuff and get it to the accountant, and plead and beg him to do a quick analysis just to make sure I'm good, you know "safe" - all I'm looking for is neutral.    

But nooooooooooo, oh, noooooooo, he tells me if his analysis is correct - I owe $5,000K!!!!  OK, seriously - this is not cool.    I'm not cool with this, because this is not cool.

So, my modest bonus that had a home somewhere else, is now going to RRSP's, just so I don't have to owe the Tax Man.

'Nuff venting!     I will focus on wonderful and heartfelt things, AND NOT TAXES!!

Not sure if you've seen this video yet, but it makes me cry.    Every time, it just simply makes me cry.     And in a good way, not a bad way (like taxes makes you cry).


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ChaChing Part 2, and a little AI

OK, so here's the update - it's ah-mazzzzzzzing (said Oprah style), how little you spend, when you are actually thinking about it.     Tomorrow is Thursday and day 6 of our Cash-Only project.   And, I am proud to say that we have spent no money, and really, we have none to spend in the near future.    Ya, OK, we have a few groceries we'll need, but we are way under our weekly/monthly budget.   

I should mention, all credit cards are out of my wallet and..... God knows where (my hub took them off the counter, and I assume put them somewhere, but what do I care?  I don't need them).

OK, now let's discuss Stephen Tyler- wow - what is not to love about Stephen Tyler in all things entertainment?   Hmm.....??? Really?     If you haven't caught American Idol yet, and you wish to be entertained, suggest you catch ST on AI.    My goodness, that is some good entertainment.    

 Who is your favorite 80's rocker?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Running - back at it (I hope)

Some of you may remember that I was training for a half (for non runners this means a Half Marathon) when I got injured last summer = plantar fasciitis.     Arrghhhhh.     Drag city.

But I am excited to say that I am participating in a running clinic tomorrow on Chi Running.   

Here's a little exerpt from Chi Running:

"Many injuries are caused by moving your body in ways it is not meant to move. For instance, knees are hinges, yet most runners turn them into shock absorbers. You wouldn’t use a hammer when you need a screw driver.

Chi Running will teach you to run the way your body was designed to, the way you were born to, and will help you prevent and recover more quickly from running injuries. As an added benefit, you’ll run more efficiently, faster and with less effort."
Chi Running

BRING ON EASY RUNNING!! (and that's all I have to say).


Oh, I have been somewhat dis-engaged in the blog world for a bit.    I think it's winter, and me pining for spring this year.     I've always been the person who says "there is no bad whether if you dress for it", and "embrace winter" and "enjoy all that winter has to offer".     But this year............not the case, not even in the slightest.

But yesterday, with it being 12 degrees and sunny, I felt a little hint of excitement.  Could it be?   Could spring be inching closer?    GAWD I hope so.   Yes, I know!   It's only February.  But let us not forget about the little rodent who came out of his hole......and all that it stands for (it IS a credible data source you know).

OK, so Chaaaaaa-Ching.    This is a funny story, but it might be one of those "you had to be there".    Last summer we went to a finance planning weekend seminar with our friends Gloria and her hubby Marc.  So, the funny thing is the dude running the seminar kept yelling "Chaaaaa-Ching" and he would make us yell it too.  Arms in the air and all.  At one point I think we were all hugging one another, and standing on chairs, but anyway, you get the point.    You really DID need to experience this seminar.   We still laugh about it.  In fact, I am grinning as I type. 

That said, as crazy as the dude was, his methology was "cash-based" - meaning buying canisters or jars, and putting your budgeted cash-spend into each jar.      Seemed a little basic at the time, but we have since implemented this methodology.   We are just starting so will let you know how it goes.     By the way our friends (above) bought us these very cool and slick stainless steel jars as a house warming gift.    So, they even look awesome in our kitchen.   

I know I've posted about budgeting before, but I think this exercise is so cool.    I'm looking forward to the next 4 weeks.

What do you do?    How do you ensure you don't go over budget?    How do you make sure you don't spend too much at the grocery store?     

Friday, February 11, 2011

Itching to spread my wings......

Oh February - there's nothing like it!     And I don't necessarily mean this in a favorable way.      Having said that, it's minus 6 today and sunny, and I'm pretty sure I saw a couple of drops melting off the roof.   But I know it's temporary, and we likely have six to eight weeks to go before any kind of spring is upon us.     But, optimistically, we still have six to eight weeks to get some delicious travel in.   Because really, let's face it, once winter is over, we are less inclined to "spread our wings" and catch the next next jet outta town.

So, what will it be?    Will it be an Aspen ski trip?  (read:  hard work, but lots of fresh air, exercise and sun).   Or will it be Mexico?  (read: no work, good drinks and food).    Or should it be Vegas?  (read:  pool-side AND some pretty serious entertainment).    

Or could be Aspen with hub AND a 4-day jaunt to a beach with Genny.

All said, let's appreciate winter for what it is - fresh (an understatement) air, blue bird days, toasty fires, pretty snow falls, amazing winter food, and an excellent time to jet off.

Skiing right into Aspen Village
The Little Nell


The No Other - Las Vegas


A beach.

So what have you got planned this winter?     Any vacay's in your near future?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bell Let's Talk.......

Tomorrow is Bell Canada "Let's Talk" Campaign.    I work for Bell Canada, and am super proud of my company for taking a stand on this health issue.

Did you know that one in five people will be affected by mental illness?   Likely there is someone you know, you work with, someone in your family who suffers today, or has in the past.     Yet, so few are comfortable, nor prepared to talk about it.

Tomorrow, Bell is donating 5 cents for every long distance call or text message to support mental health programs across the country.    

Good for you Bell Canada - let's talk!