Welcome Little Man!

Guess what guys?!

We have welcomed our little baby boy into the world!  He's about four weeks old now and our first month with him has been a whirlwind.  He's absolutely perfect in every way.  I have to say, that our family has also been absolutely amazing.  I've had a tonne of support from both Jordan (who took the first two weeks off) and my mom, who's taken the subsequent couple of weeks off from work.  They've both been making sure I'm eating and taking care of myself so that we can all do our best to take care of our little man.

He's quietly napping on me at the moment, and i've worked out how to balance my mom's laptop on my knee while he does that so I'm quickly writing out this post, and looking to update my financial spreadsheets too.

You can expect that posts will be a bit sporadic for a bit, and I'm also thinking of updating the look/feel of the blog to welcome the Little Man into the fold (much like I did when I started including Jordan when I wrote and we moved from Jessie's Money, to Jessie's Money and Jordan's too).

EI Salary Top Up

I'm so happy to be writing two such positive posts in a row.  I checked my online paystubs this morning and found that my employer paid employment insurance top up has been approved and processed.

A small bonus here, is that when I did my calculations earlier in the year for planning - I forgot that I had already maxed out my CPP/EI premiums for the year - so the benefit is about $65/pay more than I thought it was going to be for the rest of 2015.  Woohoo!

If you read yesterday's post, you know that as part of my employer paid benefit maternity/parental leave benefit package, once approved for EI, I'm eligible for a top-up.  They 'top-up' my EI benefit to 70% of my pre-leave salary for 15 weeks.  Normally, in exchange for this benefit you have to guarantee that you'll work for them again for a minimum of 6 months after your leave of absence.  In my case, that requirement has been waived because of the termination.

So, 70% of my $78,750 salary is $55,125.   That divided by my employer's standard work week (1950) gives me an hour rate of $28.27.   My EI benefit (pre-tax) is $524 - to find an hourly rate I'll multiply that by 52 weeks and divide by 1950 hours which gives me $13.97/hour.

The difference between the two is $14.30 - so I take that and multiply it by 75 hours (two week pay period) to get my bi-weekly benefit of $1,072.19.  After taxes, we're left with just over $970 every two weeks for 15 weeks.

So yay!   My next project is to update my budget sheets, and work out turning our savings plans back on.

Employment Insurance (EI)

It's finally come through!  Woohoo!

My recent employer took their sweet time to process my maternity leave, and didn't issue my Record of Employment (ROE) - which is required to get EI benefits - for five weeks!  Yes, yes, legally they are required to submit it to Service Canada within 5 days - but they didn't.  It's all sorted now, but I was getting super stressed out for a couple of weeks.

I've got my first EI payment and it was a titch higher than I had estimated a few months ago when I was building ur maternity leave budget.  I got the max benefit which works out to $464/week after taxes.

For my non-Canadian readers, Employment Insurance is a federal benefit that all employees and employer's pay into with premiums that are deducted from your pay/managed through your employer.  You can apply to receive EI benefits for a number of reasons, including maternity/parental leave.  You have to have worked to be eligible to receive benefits in the program.  The basic rate for calculating benefits if 55% of your average weekly earnings to a maximum of $49,500 - that means you can get a maximum of $524/week.  This is taxable income, and it looks like I'm being deducted $60/week - so my net is $464.

I've now submitted my application for employer top-up benefits, and should see that on the next regular pay schedule.  Employer paid top-ups are 100% at the employer's discretion.  My employer tops up my EI benefit to 70% of my pre-leave salary for 15 weeks to help with the transition.  To be eligible for this benefit, I first had to get approved for EI (otherwise, there is nothing to top-up).

I'm looking forward to being able to start some of our savings plans up again now that we have this bit of extra cash flow coming in.

It's Official

No, baby's not here yet, it's official that we have listed our house in Alberta for sale.  We were holding on to it for a while because it looked like one or two of my cousins might be interested in renting it for a while - but that fell through.

After many conversations amongst ourselves, and our Real Estate Agent we thought listing now made more sense then taking the risk of unknown tenants for a year and unknown market conditions a year from now.

Selling our first home while staying with my mom will give us the opportunity to pay off a little bit of debt and keep the rest liquid while we continue to save. The intent is that when we're ready to buy again, we'll have that ever elusive 20% down.

That does mean however, that we have a full house full of stuff that we need to deal with when it does sell (and a few small trailer loads of stuff we have to deal with now).  So, we've decided to buy a storage container.  It's 20 feet long and 8 feet wide and will be big enough to keep all of our furniture and belongings safe that we don't have in my mom's house.

The container was $2,200 and delivery is another $800.  So the delivery cost is sunk, but the container itself is an asset as it can be rented or sold afterward.  We thought this made the most sense rather then renting storage space (which is at a premium in the small town we're in right now) and would all be sunk.

Wish us luck in finding a buyer!

Spend Report Catch-Up

Whoops!  I missed the August Spend Report last month with all the hubbub that was going on so I thought I would post August and September next to each other.  September of course marks a big shift in our spending habits mid-month.  The last two weeks of September I haven't been working in an office, so no more temptation of the work cafeteria.  I've also been in BC with my husband, so wayyyy less driving.  I expect that October and November will show an even more drastic change.

So you can see right away that we spent about $800 less than we usually do (referring to the total less reimbursables).

There are no real surprises here - some spending for baby and home maintenance.  The latter was a Costco run for my mom's place, some odds and ends from the hardware store and that sort of thing.

I'm looking forward to seeing the total spend be closer to $2,000 for the month of October.

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