RRSP’s For Dummies

I literally just googled those exact words… I have been contributing to RRSP’s at my workplace for the past 16ish months. If we would like to contribute we have to put a flat 10% into the RRSP and my employer will match 5% (I have previously asked to have mine lowered to 5% me/ 5% them but apparently we’re not allowed to customize the plan). I am happy that I’m currently used to putting away 10% of my income without noticing it, sometimes I get frustrated when I feel like friends my age are making more than me. I try to remind myself that by putting $250 a month in my retirement savings now, I’ll be happy in the future!

Here is my next dilemma… when I’m done paying down debt (and that will be a WHILE from now), do I contribute more into my RRSP’s or share the love and open a TFSA? Time to get back on Google!

I often feel like I should go into my bank and speak to a financial planner, however the last time I was there looking for help with my debt repayment strategy… I didn’t get any help at all. I got a “keep doing what you’re doing” talk from a girl who was being transferred to a new position the next day and seemed a little anxious to get out. I also feel like I haven’t made enough progress to go yet :S. Common theme this past week, not feeling like I’m making enough/ contributing enough. Hopefully a long weekend will be the trick to cheering me up!

Hockey Season 2014-2015

hockey

The verdict is in! I have been waiting for this Facebook post for a while now. Hockey registration this season will not being going up, staying at $410 this year with $20 for time keepers. This is definitely going to be putting a strain on my budget with extra money spent on gas.

Monday Check In

mermaid

^ Self portrait from Saturday…

This weekend was great for re-charging. Friday was my company staff picnic. We started out with some drinks and snacks in the lunchroom, then had a crazy photo scavenger hunt, went to a patio bar for some more drinks and snacks then on to yet another bar with slushy drinks and a huge outdoor patio with big couches to lounge on. Nachos and margaritas are a great way to get to know your boss!!(Who enjoyed spraying me with his corona….pest!). On Saturday BF and I headed up to his parents’ trailer with his sister and sat on the beach and caught hermit crabs and more drinks. I’m beginning to learn that I’m not as young as I used to be when it comes to all the drinking as BF and I spent the majority of Sunday in bed watching Duck Dynasty.

I have been doing great with the whole gas/food budget on my credit card situation so far. It’s really been motivating me not to buy unnecessary things when I see the balance lower than it normally is. I need to fill the tank today and pick up some groceries tomorrow and am confident I’ll be under budget for this pay.

Vacation is coming up in a few weeks and I really hope that I can get everything cleaned and organized at home so I can post from home more often. Right now I do 90% of my blogging and blog reading from work. My poor old laptop is so slow but I’m not sure if it just needs to be cleaned or if it’s just going to bite the dust one of these days. Hopefully by the time vacation rolls around I’ll be ready to roll in a DIY home office :).

How Do You Use Your Credit Cards?

credit-cards_2007247b

I’ve been reading debt repayment blogs for a little while now and one of the things I always notice is the different standpoints that bloggers take on credit card usage. It seems people are completely against using their cards or they use them for everything and then pay the balance (off or for what they use). I have been one of those people who assume that because I am trying to pay off my credit card it is off limits…I’ll go into the overdraft but not use my credit card with available credit.. It doesn’t make sense! So for the next 2 weeks (I get paid every two weeks) I am going to put my gas and groceries onto my credit card (I’ve already transferred my budgeted money over) to see if it motivates me to spend less or more.

How do you use your credit card?

Well That Lasted Long…

grumpy cat

My no-spend week was RUINED! In all fairness I probably should have started with a few no-spend days… Friday night BF informed me that he had invited his friend and the friend’s girlfriend over for a BBQ…I’m not a huuuge fan of the girlfriend for long periods of time so I also invited a few other friends over. Needless to say when you invite people over for a BBQ they kind of expect you to feed them so I did have to get some groceries. A little disappointing but it was the first time I’ve had MY friends over since I’ve moved in so it was nice for them to be able to come see me!

On a positive note I’m pretty well on track with my 2-3x week workouts.

July Debt Update- Yearly Check In

Debt as of July 18, 2014

Student Loan- $0

Visa- $4,550.00

Student Line of Credit- $9,258.84

TOTAL: 13,808.13

As I was adding up the numbers for this month’s debt update I discovered something shocking. From November 2013 to July 2014 I have only managed to pay off $3128.13. Yep. That’s an average of $347.57 per month. Come on girl, time to give your head a shake and get your ass in gear! My Blogiversary is quickly approaching and I was really hoping to see more progress than that.

So here is my new goal, $4000 paid by my 1 year mark. I have actually sat down and drew up the most ghetto budget of all time on a piece of loose leaf for every pay from next week to September 18th.
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The catch is that the budget does not account for the interest I’ll have to pay or add up to the $4000. That’s where side hustle will have to come in! I’m going to install a countdown over on the side to countdown to my Blogiversary and $4000 paid. I’m still a bit discouraged by the look of only $4000 but I guess this is the (second) wake up call I needed.

I thought I’d also give you all an update on my 52 weeks of savings progress. Currently I’m sitting at $734.85 over halfway to my goal of $1400 and right on track! *Spoiler Alert* Hockey registration is usually $400 and might have to get paid out of this account early if I don’t get my shit together. I’m hoping I can make enough at my second job to cover this though. I also haven’t budgeted in the $150 for a cottage rental for the Labour Day weekend. A lady at my second job has graciously allowed me to rent her beachfront cottage on Prince Edward Island for the long weekend and I can’t wait! I’m excited to have scored such a sweet deal. I also like the idea of having a full kitchen in the cottage so BF and I can cook our own meals instead of having to eat out for each meal.

How are you guys measuring up to your yearly goals? How do you make your budget- are you an excel expert, post-it note perfectionist, legal pad legend?

No-Spend Week

I would like to begin this post by thanking everyone who weighed in on the gym membership! I agree with most of you who said that I should take advantage of the good weather while it’s here and if I stick to working out 2-3x per week at home then I should revisit the gym membership in the fall. I was feeling a lot of blogger love that day!
not buying anything

I have also decided to have my first ever (on purpose…) No-spend week! From today until Thursday there will be no fancy coffees, no new books, no lunches out. Aside from a haunted tour of the city which I already have planned for date night tomorrow night, no money will be leaving my wallet! I’m both excited and nervous about this one. No one likes to fail and we all get lazy sometimes and buy lunch instead of bringing it (although I have been REALLY good lately).

liebster
I was also nominated for another Liebster Award by B. at Banishing Loans, and while I won’t be nominating another 5 blogs, I will answer her questions!

1. What was your big ‘aha’ moment when you realized you wanted to change your finances? I don’t know if I had an ‘aha’ moment…but seeing my friends moving on and buying new cars/houses while I was sitting in my parents’ basement streaming tv shows on my laptop sure helped move things along…

2. If you could talk to you two, three, or five years ago, what advice (financially) would you give?
“Don’t buy that” “Don’t buy that either” “Break up with him, he’s a douche” “You should probably put that pay towards school instead of drinks at the bar”

3. How do you best fight off a case of the budget-busting spending urge? By not being able to afford things..HA!

4. What would you like to see more of from the blogs YOU read? Hmmm… I’m not sure…I really like those “How I….” posts on Newlyweds on a Budget like this one and this one as well as this one from Young House Love who aren’t really a financial blog but I LOVE them and their adorable family!

5. What has (to date) been the hardest thing you’ve done in name of financial well-being for yourself? Probably not going places…like anywhere… Vegas, Europe, and even weekend getaways are all things I’ve missed because I don’t feel I can spend the money on travel just yet.

Thanks for the return nomination!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Current Debt update!! 🙂