Another Saturday...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I have realized that February is going to be a 5-paycheque month, which makes me happy. (2 with regular-office job, which I get paid the 15th and the second-last business day of the month -yeah, I know, it's odd, and then every other friday with other job). So, Hopefully i'll be able to throw some extra moolah at my savings account.

On that note, I made around $5 of interest last month. I know it's not a lot, but it's pretty sweet because it's free money! I wonder how much interest i'll make from having $10,000 in there - can't wait!

This last week was my birthday, and while I haven't had a birthday party yet, I've gotten some nice gifts. These include a wallet (Matt&Nat - I love them!), two purses (One Matt&Nat and the other, an orange LUG bag which is seriously growing on me), a $50 MAC gift card (yay for makeup!), a vertical grip for my Nikon D80 (I am a serious camera nerd. Seriously.), and a picture frame.

So, all in all, I am enjoying my birthday gifts. I also treated and bought myself the Diana+ Camera. If you don't know what that is, you check it out here. It's a replica of a 60's toy-camera, something i've never used before. I've had a SLR camera that was my dads, a Panasonic Lumix FZ20, and now I'm onto a Nikon D80, which is my baby in terms of new technology. Oh, I also have an old polaroid camera for fun, although film is crazy expensive for it. This camera is so far fun to use, although I have been spoiled with the digital seeing-my-picture-now nonsense. When I get this film developped i'll have to see how the photos come out. I'm excited though!

January in Review...

Given that I've never actually followed a budget for an entire month before, I think I did pretty well. This was the budget that I laid out:

  • Savings: $1,400 (Done!)
  • Emergency Fund: $150 (Done!)
  • Food: $250 (My total ended up being $374. Ouch.)
  • Transporation: $100 (This went over budget slightly at $125, but the extra money I spent will save me $75 a month until April.)
  • Cell Phone: $45 (Just under at $40 even).
  • Clothing: $150 ($146.98 - this would've been over if I hadn't had a gift certificate.)
  • Entertainment: $50 (Shorted out at only $10 - apparently i'm not entertained!)
  • Books + Mags: $50 (A big fat nothing!)
  • Technology: $100 (This was waaaaay over budget at $358.49 - although most of that was the purchase of a new Wii, which I am selling to a friend...)
  • Toiletries: $50 (Another big fat zero! I'm actually impressed with this. I am a huge toiletry/bath product nerd.)
  • Misc: $150 (This was also over budget at $226.40 - this was due to some remnant xmas gifts and a couple special-people birthdays.)

I'm amazed at how having a budget really makes you think about what you are spending your money on. Yikes!

Overall, I'm pleased. I did some good work and didn't shop nearly as often as I wanted/usually do. I really only make a couple big-ticket purchases (that i'm keeping), and only made them after much deliberation.

Okay, onto the next item...

So, since January 1st, I have contributed $2,400 to my savings account ($1,000 of that was made on the first before said budget was created) and another $400 to my Emergency Fund (which right now, I am using as my plane-ticket-to-london fund.)

I have contributed $990 to my "London Fund". My savings account is my practical London-Fund, to spend on things like rent and food and such, while this "London Fund" is more, ahem, "Fun Money". Things like tickets to fly home to visit people, or take mini-trips when people come to see me, as, right now, I really don't know what kind of money I'm going to be making over there.

I just realized I'm also going to have to save for my Working Holiday Maker VISA. Bah, there's another $470 I'm going to have to work in. Hmmmm.

I have tweaked the budget a little bit for February, allowing a little more in food-spending and taking away some other areas, such as transportation and such.

So, my goals for February:

Contribute as much as possible to savings.

  1. Start a new fund for my VISA
  2. Get the London-Fun-Fund to $2,000
  3. Keep up with my laundry. (Not everything is $$$ related!)
  4. Get at least 7 hours of sleep. (My New Year's Resolution was to get at least 6, but I have readily found out that 6 is not nearly enough. Let's try 7!).

Hope everyone's January's were as promising as mine!



Thursday, January 31, 2008

That's how I'm feeling. Blah. It's my birthday, which so far has been a pleasing day. S treated me to a sushi lunch today, which was very tasty and K, getting back at me for decorating her desk for her birthday, covered my entire desk in newspaper today. On top of that, i've had 15 or so people wish me a happy birthday on facebook, which is pretty good, i'd say.

Other than that, it's just been like any other day. My boss at office-job, SF, wished me a happy birthday and told me that I could leave early if I wanted to, which I did. The plan was to leave around 5:30 p.m., when one of our volunteers came in. Damnit! Ugh. And I don't particularly like this volunteer either - she's a little bit awkward and wierd. Oh well. She left around 7:10 p.m. and so I didn't get home until regular time - boo.

Oh well. I'm working the day shift tomorrow with K so that we can go see "The Bucket List" tomorrow night - by boss at other-job, R, gave me a set of free passes. Free Movie = Yay!

I'm excited to do my month-in-review for January - as this is the first month I have truly set into a budget. But, I will cease to speak of this further, lest I spoil it for you!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's flippin' cold outside. Like, -52 C with the windchill cold. The kind of cold that kills people. Yuck.

I hate this weather, and, at the same time, I'm oddly proud of it. I always laugh when I talk to people who live in warmer climates and they talk of "really cold weather" - referring to, oh, maybe 5 C. I feel robust and strong when our city doesn't completely shut down when we hit temperatures such as this.

Even then, I am huddled up in my room, wearing more layers than usual, with my feet over the hot air vent, typing to you. Now all I need is tea...

Today was a reasonably good day. I'm starting to feel very poor at my job - and not in the $$$ sense. I feel as though i'm no longer doing a good job. So, this afternoon I was very productive. I did some stats and typed up a bunch of shit. I still didn't turn the phones on, which I really must do. It's starting to show in the stats, and that's not good.

K, as always, was pessimisstic. She greted me with "I may be going to Europe!". I was all excited for her (even though in the back of my mind, I was thinking "how the fuck are you going to pay for that?!"). She stated that her bf is going to Europe on some geology-type tour and that she may go with them. Sounds like a fun tour. It's 6 weeks and it's all through Eastern Europe - a place she'd like to go.

The meeting is tomorrow night. The catch? She can't spend more than $4,000 on this tour. I'm thinking - not gonna happen!. We paid $4,000 on our 3 week tour of Europe. I extimated that this one would cost $6,000 or so - she scoffed and retorted with "Yeah, I can't affoard that."

I wonder if she ever really thinks things through....

But, besides that, I've updated my budget for February according to what I spent in January. I have come to the realization that I spend a lot of money on food. Like, a lot. $300 ish dollars. Yikes!

Good news though, I am gettting three other-job paycheques this month! I get one cheque every two weeks and as such, I am getting three this month - which is a very nice surprise. Not sure where that extra cash is going to go, but probably to savings! :)

Anyways, I'm off to cuddle under a very heavy, soft, warm blanket. G'Night.

-37 C

Monday, January 28, 2008

Yes, it's THAT cold outside. With the wind chill and all. Yes, it does suck. But yes, I made it to work on time and reasonably un-frozen.

It's been a while since I've updated, and this has been for a number of reasons. I spent most of the weekend working and/or cleaning my ever-so-messy room. Yes, it's THAT messy. Not with garbage or anything - just a lot of stuff. Stuff stuff stuff.

I also don't have a lot of time to write when I'm at home. People are always comming and going -and I like to keep blogs like this private.

Friday K and I had our weekly "cleaning-day" and rearranged the office and the paper on the walls. I find it very relaxing to clean and organize. Especially since the sheets that were hanging on the office wall had been there since 2005. Muuuuch better now.

However, K kind of ruined the mood by constantly complaining about her desk/wall/anything. I get it. Her desk isn't as nice as mine. Her wall isn't as big. She's got the router on her desk.

blah blah blah blah blah blah.

I hate that she's so pessimistic all the time. Gack.

On a similar note, I found a very interessting article on MSN on Friday, that contained a quote that really hit home:

"Student loans are a self inflicted-debt. Advanced education is not a right but an earned privilege. I and 12 of my cousins made it through university/college by working at virtually any type of menial tasks we could find or committing to military service for 8 years, 4 years at university and four years to pay it back. I meet many young people to-day whom want to treat their time at university like high school, suck it up, work and pay your way."

That is EXACTLY how I feel!!!!!!

I completely agree with that quote. I wish I could show it to K everytime she sarcastically comments on how nice it must be for me to not have any debt. I want to slap her in the face and tell her how damn hard I worked to make sure that didn't happen. She seems to think that I sailed through college with money from some rich, dead, grandparent or some windfall from the lottery.

I wish.

I also looked up my credit report on Friday too. I've been thinking about doing it for a long time, but never got around to it. So, I sucked it up, entered my info and printed it out in all it's glory.

The damage? Not that bad, actually.

My FICO score is 744, which is "good". The report states that the problems are that it's been too recently that I applied for credit (which is true, since I habitually apply for an HBC card to get the %10 off the purchase, then never activate the card when it comes in the mail) and that I haven't had my accounts long enough (also true, I've only had my credit cards since 2003 - what do they expect? I'm only 23...) - but overall, I'm pleased.

I got it to make sure that I close all accounts that I have with people before I leave to London. I also wanted to make sure that I didn't have any outstanding debts - which I don't.

So, all in all I'm pleased with my credit report. I'm going to continue to check it every 6 months or so to make sure everything is in good working order. It actually makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to have my number reasonably high. Is there something wrong with me?!

On an unrelated note, I have birthday preparations on the way, and on the spur, decided to invite B and his wife L to the party. Now, I've sent B a facebook invite and L a facebook message as she is not my facebook-friend. Now I have seen that both of them have been online several times since I've sent the message and I have yet to hear from either of them. I understand that they are busy, but at least they could reply with a "We might be busy, but we will let you know". Drives me nuts.

Other than that birthday preparations are comming together.