Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Savings Challenge Final Tally

The end of September is already here. Crazy stuff. Well in September I decided to join in on Carla's savings challenge. I'm glad I did because it gave me motivation to really put my nose to the grindstone and I met all of my goals. Here is a flashback to what they were:
  1. Save 50% of regular income. Right now this is $1240 monthly. So from this I would like to save $620 which I will do in 2 shots.
  2. Remember to also set aside $100 for ASP at the end of the month. My ASP is set to deposit into the "house fund".
  3. Save 50% of all bonus money that comes in. Just this morning I found a cheque from my previous employer that I forgot to deposit. Half of that will go into savings. I am also hoping to get my PBX cheque (if they ever send it to the correct address). Anything extra or bonus is subject to a savings cut.
That's my plan and do you want to know what my ultimate goal for this month is?


I did it!! And then some... here are the numbers...


Travel Fund - 50.76
Wedding Fund - 50.14
Furniture Fund - 130.37
House Fund - 150.17
EFund/TFSA -  2.68
Total Savings $384.12


Travel Fund - 380
Wedding Fund - 300
Furniture Fund - 250
House Fund - 700
EFund/TFSA - 2.68
Total Savings $1632.68

That's is a $1248.56 increase! I am totally stoked! I can't believe that I was able to make and surpass my goal and this is without the cheque from Pacific Blue Cross. I haven't cashed that yet and BF will be getting the bulk of that as I owe him 50% of our big purchase I forgot to blog about. 

Thank you Carla for inspiring me to really challenge myself. It's not every month that I would be able to do this but its showed me that I need to be more diligent with my savings and really think about where my money is going. 

BF has said that he wants us to save $40,000 before purchasing a house and I'm really keen on that so I want to get there as soon as possible. I'd also like to get married in the spring of 2014 and for that I am hoping to save $5-8,000 for. Those are some huge financial goals and I'm glad for this wake up call.

Yay me!!!! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Problem Resolved

So I talked it over with BF and he thought it was too much money as well but we knew that my sister-in-law would never ever take the money back. So we came up with another solution.

I had thought about buying something for each of the kids but their parents like to keep the children's things to a minimum. Something I noticed and admire about them greatly. I had considered an origami set for one and an different type of activity book for the other. Maybe those would be more appropriate for Christmas though.

BF suggested doing for their parents what we used to for my sister. Take the boys for an evening out with their aunt and uncle. What an awesome idea. We get to give a little back, the enjoy a nice night out and we get to hang out with our nephews. When I told SIL her face was priceless. She was sooooo happy :) and the best part is that BIL has been away at work and is only home for this weekend. So we decided to take the boy Saturday evening so they can have a nice dinner out somewhere together. Awwww

We couldn't decide on bowling or a movie but last night SIL told me that the boys were super jealous in March when we had couples bowling night and they were stuck at home with the babysitter. They have never been bowling before and well you guys know how much I heart bowling so its on! BF is calling now to make a reservation.

We are also considering asking his other 2 nephews (who have crazy schedules for kids) and switching cars with BIL so we can take them all with us. Not sure if that will work out but if it does we will go down as the best auntie and uncle to these guys.

This is why we moved here. Among all other reasons was that BF wanted to see his nephews growing up and spend time with them. So amazingly special.

So what do you think? I'd call this a win win situation for sure :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012


This week I'm helping out my sister-in-law by babysitting two nights for her while she's working and hubby is away. I've watched her kids (my nephews) a few times for an hour or two here and there and it was fine. I've always refused payment because she's family and if its only a short time its alright with me. She tells me I should except payment because its her decision to go out and if I wasn't here she would pay somebody else. I compromised and told her if its an hour or two its ok. If its longer than that I'll accept her offer.
Yesterday I was babysitting from 2pm until 1am. I think the kids are more comfortable with me now which is good but one of the boys was off the wall crazy and refused to listen at all. There is a language barrier but we get around it with my limited French and the older child's help. It was a LONG day but after the mother called and spoke to the wild one he settled down a bit. When BF came over to help out he took charge which was a relief. He put them in the bath and then to bed. My hero. We are neighbours to them so it works out well.
Last night she paid me for yesterday and today. I will be working the same hours tonight. She asked me what my rate was and just said whatever you think is suitable. She handed me cash and I just put it in my pocket. I felt weird taking money from family. When I got home I counted it and she gave me $140 and I kinda felt bad. Should I give some back?
I guess when its family its complicated. We've had many discussions about this and she gets frustrated at me when I say I don't like to take money from her. That's why BF and I discussed it separately a few times and then the 4 of us talked about it once out in the yard when they tried to pay us for watching the kids for 2 hours one night. We told them we ate their ice cream and that was payment enough. We agreed though that we would not fight against taking money when we are there long hours.
So what do you think? Is it too much?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Am Accepted

Today I had a meeting at the local Quebec employment office to find out if I qualify for job search assistance from them. Since I have a Diploma for Pharmacy Tech school I indeed meet qualifications and am so excited!!! The first step was to qualify as now I they will enroll me in full time French lessons.

It's been super frustrating and depressing not being able to communicate effectively since I moved here in July. I feel so lonely and caged in my apartment all day long by myself. It's started to really bring me down and make me yearn for my home town.

So the next step is for me to visit the 4 schools in different areas and see which one is best for me. There is one in Terrebonne which is closer to me. 2 in Laval and 1 in Montreal. There are pros and cons for each school. I have to consider things like commute, class schedule, class size, the instructor, the focus of the instructor and how it all works together to fit our current schedule.

 I visited the one closest to me but had lukewarm feelings about it. The class is small and people are at all different levels. There is only one instructor and so I don't know how much individual attention I would get. Its in the evening and there is a big 1 and a half hour break in the middle of it. I also was not sure about the instructor. Kind of rubbed me the wrong way and said they would focus a lot on speaking. I think that's what she thought I wanted to hear but honestly if I'm going to be working after this I need a balance of speaking, reading and writing. I believe it will be important for me to connect with the teacher to feel more comfortable.

Also this is the only one that is at night. I will have to commute at night in the snow during the winter. BF would be on an opposite schedule from me which means I would only see him on weekends and would not get to practice with him. The other students are mostly speaking Spanish so I'm not sure how well I'll be able to connect with people and honestly I'm hoping to make a friend or two :) *shy face*

Who knows? It's better to reserve my opinion until I see the other schools and how long it takes to commute back and forth. Although I'd rather be commuting than sitting in a cafeteria for an hour and a half eating a packed cold dinner. I'm getting ahead of myself. I am hoping to visit the other 3 schools before the end of the week because I have to choose soon. The waiting lists are sometimes 5-6 weeks long and I want to get on right away.

Full time French classes... very intimidating but necessary :)


Tuned In Tuesday

This song was a recommendation from BF. Loving it. Please enjoy :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

FUN Updates

So I have two very happy things to report!!!

1) I have reached my savings goal for September!!!! I have saved $900 this month already. Hoping to surpass my goal but seeing as BF and I made a HUGE purchase a week ago (more on this later) I don't know how far that can go. The last $100 will be from my automated savings plan at the end of the month. I will update you all on the actual numbers of each savings account at the end of the month. Woohoo!!

2) I got a letter in the mail today saying I've been a very good girl and have been offered a credit increase on my credit card. It seems like 6 months has just flown by since I originally got the card. It was a huge accomplishment for me. It meant I was on my way to improving my credit which is so crucial when we want to buy a house. Now that I've reached this step I am very proud of myself. I have definitely learned from the mistakes of my past. This is a great feeling just before my 30th birthday in a months time.

I am a bit weary of such a huge increase so I'm going to think about it. I have 3 weeks to accept. I would prefer a card that has some rewards like airplane miles or something because I now have to travel across Canada a few times a year. My Aunt has one that she thinks is great so I'm going to ask her. I wonder if I get the increase if I can also change cards? I am a total newb when it comes to this stuff. I guess I'll have to call the bank on Monday.

So that's my big update. Feeling pretty good right now about my financial accomplishments lately. Dreams of a home are dancing in my head :)

Tell me something that you feel really good about accomplishing lately.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to suck at blogging

Hang around your blog and don't post anything for over a week. Enough said. Just feeling blah. Should be back soon ;)

Friday, September 7, 2012


I love Fridays because it means that BF is going to be off work for two days. Woohoo. Love weekends with my hunny! Usually he gets home early on Fridays but it seems he is staying late to get stuff done because of the long weekend last week.

This weekend we have to do a bit of shopping. There are some great deals at Zellers on mattress covers and sheets. Since I need those things and have some returns to do there it's perfect. I also went through all the grocery store flyers and matched up sale items with coupons I have.

I don't want to do too much in the way of shopping because next weekend we have a day trip planned to Montreal because that is the only place we can buy the brand of food I prefer to feed my boys. I also want to do an IKEA run so this is perfect. I want to buy a matching lamp for our bedroom, some cute kiddies cups for when our nephews are over, pick up a new catalogue for 2013 (weird its almost a new year) and of course do some perusing of the store. *big evil grin* It would be nice to get something fun in there too. Not sure what though. I will have to look up fun activities during the week and pick out something for the two of us.

We might take a look at some TV's tomorrow as that is on our list as our next big purchase. Right now we are watching movies on a 13" TV from when BF was in University. Pair that with widescreen movies and the fact that its located across the living room from the couch. Not really optimal is it? Since we spend a lot of time watching movies and its one our favorite activities together I think its time to upgrade. We've never bought a new TV before so we are making sure to do our research.

Besides that I'm hoping to get in a lot of down time with BF. I foresee a lot of snuggles and lounging together :)

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Doesn't this bacon look like a Seahorse?

Mmmm bacon!! That is all. Just thought I'd share this pic from last weekend :) Yay for randomness!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Bed and Opinions Needed Please

Last week BF and I picked up our new bed. We got an amazing deal on it. We shopped around quite a bit for a new mattress. Finally we were at Leons and we found a discount area. There were mattresses stacked against the wall at really great prices. There was one regular $1200 down to $500 + taxes.

We moved it and set it up on the ground. BF and I laid on it and the heavens parted. No, not really. It was great though. Since we had done a lot of shopping many sales people had made us do a lot of testing of beds. We found we both like semi firm which is perfect.

We looked around the store more (I found some other things to lust over) and then asked to speak to a salesperson. We had a concern about the bed because it said it was 2nd hand on the tag? Huh? Since I have a weird paranoia about bedbugs and things after staying in Aussie hostels I needed to know what that meant. Turns out it had been the floor model at the store since November and now they aren't stocking that bed anymore so they were selling the model. I felt I could live with that.

This bed came with no warranty and a no return policy. We laid on it some more. Talked it out. We decided to go for it. Since we have a platform bedframe we didn't need the box spring which was an extra $150. The salesman said he's let it go for $100 but since we didn't NEED it (we could just buy some  wood slates to put under the mattress to protect it long term) we declined. BF asked him if he could do $500 tax included and the man checked with management and agreed. Deal made!

I was pretty happy. We were starting to get jaded looking at so many mattresses and they seem so pricey. $500 was more realistic for us and we got a kick ass mattress. We just love it.

There is a downside to this story. Our sheets don't fit. This sucker is massive. Well the silver lining is I get to buy new sheets. I did find some but after I washed them they didn't fit so I'm going to return them. I need sheets that have an 18inch pocket apparently. Yeesh! Well I found a duvet cover for 50% off that I love. BF not so much. I want your opinions.....

OK, so BF's parents offered us a box spring they had..... ahahahah what a joke.... look at how huge it was. I had to climb onto it. It was obscuring the headboard I love so much. Sheets... ahhhahaha. I think the box spring did make it a bit more comfy though... hmm.

So here is the duvet cover. What do u think? Its not super soft and there is a lot of white for people who have 2 cats and a messy man living in the house. I LOVE it though.... opinions???

 Pillowcase close up
 Oooh pretty design
Unstuffed, just laying it out to see how it fits the bed

So what do u think? I purchased the set for $45 as it was half price. I actually bought two. One king and one queen as I wasn't sure which would work better as we always tug-a-war for the blanket but this one seems appropriate (queen) even unstuffed.I will return the other with the sheets. Its a steal of a deal and I really do like it. Just the whiteness and softness are an issue. Maybe once its washed a few times it will be more snuggly.



September Savings Challenge Update

So I got to do a little banking today online and make some progress towards my goals. I put 50% of my income into savings. That added $310. Then I noticed I had some money left over from the last two weeks in my ING chequing so I considered that a "bonus" and moved half of that over as well as per my goals.
So that is a total increase of $380 so far. I am now $620 away from my ultimate goal of saving $1000 this month. $310 of that will be deposited when I am paid in two weeks and $100 of that will be from my ASP at the end of the month. That means I need to find $210 still in bonus money.
I do have that cheque still from my old employer. It probably won't get deposited for another week or two when we are out running errands on weekends. If I just use 50% of that it will give me approximately another $60. So then I still need $150.
Good news is yesterday morning I call PBX and the woman there recognized me and said she had already checked and the stop payment on the old cheque went through and they would be resending the new cheque to my correct address sometime this week. If that goes through I'm golden.

Hope I didn't just jinx myself! Very excited!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Couch Issue Resolved

So we have finally resolved our couch issue but it wasn't a totally happy ending. After over a month of dealing with this crap company we finally (by hounding them) found out we had been approved for an exchange on the part of the sectional that was damaged. We went there last Friday to pick it up but things didnt go as planned.

We brought the damaged couch to the store in BF's Fathers trailer where it was being stored and waited for them to bring us a new one. When they brought it to us we asked to inspect the couch before loading it. They tried to tell us it was against policy but we were very firm that we were not going to go through the same experience twice.

We opened it up and low and behold this one was damaged too! Earlier in the week they had 3 available and now there was only this one. I was immediately pissed off. Everything around me was very tense and in French. I told BF that this was completely unacceptable and that I refused to take this couch and demanded a new one because thats what we paid for over a freaking month ago.

There was very much discussion and debating. Finally somebody came up with the suggestion we check the store model couch. Since I had already seen the model the first time we were there and it too had been damaged I was unimpressed but when we went to look at it there was no damage at all. What are these guys playing at? They offer us the model couch or else we will have to wait a minimum of 6 weeks for the 2nd half of our sectional. BF and his father suggest they give us a discount since its the floor model and we've been extremely patient. The man says he can't do that. More heated debate in French. BF turns to me and says "well you decide".

You have to understand that when there is all of this going on and I can't understand and am then expected to make a decision that I am very confused. There are 3 sales people, BF's parents and the two of us. I ask to speak privately with BF and we go into another room where I started crying. I told him I can't help but feel like we are being put into a corner. No discount for a used sofa? We don't want to wait 6 weeks for a couch and then have the next shipment be damaged as well. It was all very stressful. Not to mention we saved up for this couch and spent a long time looking for it. It was our first new piece of furniture we bought in Quebec. It was a little more than heartbreaking.

Finally I tell BF I just want this to be over. I don't want to deal with these scumbags. Since there is no way we could do a full return we might as well take this one because its not damaged. BF suggests to the manager that we exchange the cushion from the new one we returned and the store model. BF's mother pulls me aside and makes me feel better. BF's father seems a bit annoyed but ends up laughing it off in the end. BF shows me a super cheap table that they are selling to which I just simply state "oh FUCK no".

So its over... we have our couch. Can you believe this? Never do business with Liquidaxion. I'm going to be doing reviews on every search that comes up on the internet. Holy cheeseballs!

This is a stock  photo of the couch:

Kitten Approved

 Yes he really sleeps like that!

Best buds 4 Ever!

Unfortunately Chipotle loves the couch a little too much and has already discovered how to find his way into the bottom. Luckly its not noticeable so we're not distraught over it. Darn kitty is lucky he's so loveable. Here he is in caught in the act....
End rant! :)

Tuned In Tuesday

Here it is as promised on Sunday. This is "our song". BF and I met many moons ago working on a cherry orchard in the Okanagan. Jack Johnson was big at that time with all of the hippies living on the farm. This song holds a very special place in our hearts.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Night Chit Chat

Its time for Sunday Night Chit Chat. Make sure to check the bottom of this post for even more fun!


Still making my way through my Jackie Collins books. The last one was rather blah so I'm hoping this one will be a little better.


This morning we finished watching Ratatoullie from last night :) We used to have a pet rat named Cherri. If you followed my previous blog you would understand that she was our precious little baby who broke our heart when she passed away after being quite sickly for a long time. Its one of our favorite kids movies. Not sure what we will watch later on tonight. We are big movie watchers in this house as we don't have cable.

Listening to?
I recently found two of my favorite CDs. One is Job2Do which is an artist from Thailand. The other is a Jack Johnson CD that I love. It has "our song" on it. I will post the song next Tuesday.


Yesterday I helped out with some beet canning. I was given 4 jars for helping out. I just love pickled beets. I can't wait until we have our own garden again so that I can stock our cupboard year round with veggies grown by ourselves.

Happy you accomplished this week?

We finally resolved the couch issue. It took some compromising on our end and some tears from me but its finally over with. More on this later. We also bought a bed on Sunday which we picked up Monday. It is sooooo comfortable. We had been sleeping on a mattress borrowed from my sister-in-law. BF finished creating our cat post which is a beauty. All these things will be featured in upcoming posts this week with photos :) I also hung up our new curtains in our bedroom and am very happy with them.

Looking forward to next week?

I'm looking forward to getting started on my savings goals. I'm also going to be working on my crafts which is always fun. I hope to resolve my issue with PBX so they can send me out that cheque I've been waiting on. I am most definitely looking forward to BF having Monday off. It's the first long weekend we've had since I moved here. I just love having him home.

Thankful for today?

I am thankful for the reduction in our bills since moving. We went from 2 rents and accompanying bills to 1 which is very stress relieving. The rent here is much more affordable. Our bills in general have been reduced and it makes it a lot easier for us to save towards our ultimate goal of purchasing our own home.

Do you collect anything? Purple elephants? Unicorns? Etc... ;)

Hmm. I guess I collect John Grisham books. I quite the collection now. He is my favorite author by far. BF and I also have a DVD collection.

For more Sunday Night Chit Chat check out Carla's blog for additional links :)

Savings Challenge September

Woohoo! I'm ready to start saving again. Last month I made sure all my accounts were organized and labelled appropriately. I also set up an ASP (automated savings plan) with ING for the next 6 months to earn me a nice $25 bonus. Now I'm ready to watch those numbers grow.

Ok So here is what my savings accounts look like right now : (try not to cringe)

Travel Fund : $50.76

BF and I love to travel. I would like to do some small trips in the next year and want to have some money put aside. I also will use this fund to fly home to BC a few times a year :)

Wedding Fund : $50.14

One day its going to happen so I'm starting my savings now. Since I would like to be married by spring 2014 I'd better get started.

Furniture Fund : $130.37

Getting rid of all your furniture and moving across Canada means you can buy new stuff. I'm a very frugal girl though so we are buying slowly to make sure we get the best deals. Also we are only buying things we need because we are hoping to buy a house in the next 2 years and thats when we will buy more because it will be to fit our home.

House Fund : $150.17

In the next 2 years BF and I would like to buy our own place. We are deciding between two things right now. One is buying the building we are living in right now. Its a 4plex owned by BF's parents. More on this later. The second is buying a house in our dream location Rawdon, Quebec. We are just in the savings process right now. I'll write about this more in detail another time.

TFSA : $2.68  (EFUND)

I totally emptied out this baby with my move and the removal of my wisdom teeth. It was a big safety net for me when BF and I lived apart for 6 months. While I still feel its important I am not as stressed about it as I was before. I don't have a specific goal in mind for what I would like to have in this account to feel secure so for now I'll just add to to it as I see fit.


I also have some RRSP savings from my last job. Once I confirm those numbers I'll add them to the next savings update :) It will be one of my goals this month to get this money moved to another bank as I can't keep it where it is currently due to not being an employee anymore.

Septembers Savings Goal

Well I'm not sure how much money is going to be coming in because I am waiting on a few reimbursements and such so I'm going to set this up a little differently then I usually do. Here are my rules for myself:

  1. Save 50% of regular income. Right now this is $1240 monthly. So from this I would like to save $620 which I will do in 2 shots.
  2. Remember to also set aside $100 for ASP at the end of the month. My ASP is set to deposit into the "house fund".
  3. Save 50% of all bonus money that comes in. Just this morning I found a cheque from my previous employer that I forgot to deposit. Half of that will go into savings. I am also hoping to get my PBX cheque (if they ever send it to the correct address). Anything extra or bonus is subject to a savings cut.
That's my plan and do you want to know what my ultimate goal for this month is?


I know.. it's a lot. There aren't a lot of times that I would be able to do this but I have all my ducks in a row right now and not a lot of expenses. We are being very careful with our money right now and have a lot of things to save up for. I'm really hoping things go my way and I can reach this HUGE goal.

I have not decided how I'm going to allot this money to the different accounts I have. I'm just going to arrange it as I think is best at the time I deposit the money :)

Wish me luck and diligence!!

This post is inspired by Carla's September Savings Challenge. Check out the other bloggers committed to big savings this month :)


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Family Time

I'll be back to posting tomorrow. Spent the morning canning beets with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Just helping out but was rewarded with 4 jars for my effort. Yay.

BF and his father worked on our bedframe a little. They returned a bed his parents had bought from Costco as it wasn't comfortable at all.

We had a family style lunch with everybody. Now BF and our youngest cat are napping together on the couch.

So nice :)

What are you up to today?