My Money, My Choices - Level 3, Activity 1

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This activity takes us through calculating our personal savings rate.  Gail tells us that there is basically two different types of savings.
  1. Long Term - Retirement
  2. Planned Spending - Emergencies, Kids School Funds, Vacation
The personal savings rate, is the rate we're saving for number one...for retirement.


 Here is the break down for Jordan and I - combined our savings rate is 14.83% which is great for being late 20s/ early 30s - but there's a pretty big disparity between Jordan and myself.

Now...women live longer.  That's a fact.  So I'm comfortable that we're saving more for me; and we'll probably move the shares to Jordan's name when I retire from my company and they need to be put in a tax/shelter of some kind; however - I'm not sure that 10.5% is appropriate.

A part of the decision for the RRSP contributions were based on our expectation that Jordan's salary would have some significant variability, and it was what we could afford based on his baes ($30K); but now that his salary guarantee won't be going down, we can look at this again.  If we increase Jordan's retirement savings, by just $100/month - that brings him up to 12.50% and our combined total to 16.21%...not to shabby.

What do you think?

Should we increase Jordan's savings by $100, is that enough?

Check out the My Money, My Choices program by clicking here.

Puppy-Care

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This past Friday I worked from home so I was able to take our pups to the Vet to get their vaccinations up to date.  I had never actually taken them to one...never had a need to.  I've been wanting to get my ducks in a row for them, so that in case there was ever an emergency they had somewhere that was safe to be and that was familiar - part of that is getting their vaccinations done.

I looked at the neighborhood vets (about 4 of them) and compared practices (and price) as well as after hours and emergency care.  None of them offered the latter and so we chose to go with a vet about 20 minutes away (in the next city over), but has after-hours care in addition to a great reputation and the lowest prices!

We spent a grand total of $349.66.  This included:

  • Annual examinations
  • Rabies vaccinations & tags
  • DA2PP vaccinations
  • Bordetella nasal spray
  • Parasite Testing
It wasn't planned for, but their annual health care visit really ought to be.

We got a call back the day after the appointment and they came back all clear - no worms or other parasites! Yay! Healthy puppies...well healthy but a bit porky.  They aren't overweight, but they have certainly put on a few winter pounds.  Baxter is up to 22kg (48.50lbs) and Aries is up to 43.4kg (95.7lbs).


Spoke Too Soon & Car Trouble

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Well, yay.

Apparently I spoke too soon and jinxed it.  Jordan's salary guarantee was supposed to stay in effect...but guess what.  Someone didn't tell payroll about it, because this morning is pay dropped to $1,029...and no commission from March in site.  Crap.

Also.

Our Escape is back in the shop...ugh!  The rear windshield washer motor is gone..we we were able to get the old one off, but the bolts were all rusted out (the damn thing is only 4 years old too), we were going to keep fighting with it; but as we were looking at it we heard a hissing sound...yup, we have a screw in the rear tire too.  Seeing as we need to put the summers on, we figured we get them to do the tire repair, but might as well swap the new ones over while they have the car up in the air.

The Escape also has a 200 milli-amp parasitic draw on it that we *think* is coming from the automatic start system...200ma isn't much...but after 4 or 5 days of not being used, the car's dead...and we simply need it to be more reliable then that..especially with camping season coming upon us.

Last but not least, I figured while it was there we should get them to check the hitch that we had installed last year by uHaul.  I've never really liked the look if it, so we're going to get them to have a peak at that too.


My Money, My Choices - Level 2 Complete

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Now that we've got the spending tracking going well, and posting those updates to our spending journal (I'll do monthly posts for those summarizing), I've marked Level 2 Complete!  This step doesn't actually ever end, we keep tracking and posting our spending for a long time, but I think it's also important to keep going in the My Money, My Choices program so we don't lose momentum.

Check out the My Money, My Choices program by clicking here.

Jordan's Job

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Back in January, Jordan started a new job much closer to home.  His commute was cut from 45 minutes, down to about 7 minutes.  It's lowered both our gas and insurance bills and has immensely improved his job satisfaction.  He was put on a salary guarantee for the first three months to keep him at his old jobs wage ($54,000), with the intention that he would go down to a base of $30,000 plus commission starting in April.

April's here.

But....he's impressed them so much, that a promotion is in the works.  They will be keeping him at his current wage for the next month or two, until they get the details of the new job sorted out.  He'll be managing 4-6 people (currently he manages none) - responsible for their individual performance and the overall performance of their new team.  I have no clue what a managerial wage for this new type of position would be in Alberta in the Automotive sector.  I've done a lot of research, but I'm coming up empty handed.

My gut puts him around $60K, but then there is the commission piece which is a big part of the work they do....so we'll see what they come up with.

For now, it means we have a couple months of solid debt-snowflakes!

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