One Car Family

Currently Jordan and I have a small truck (which we just paid off) and a small car.  We've decided, in the interest of becoming debt free as fast as possible and fast tracking our savings for a home of our own - to sell my car.

The small truck is the most versitile of our vehicles (for camping etc.) and the car, w/ its low mileage is the most sellable.

We've listed the car for $2,500, in hopes that we'll be able to come close to the $2,000 mark. Needless to say, I spent a few hours yesterday cleaning the car out and making it pretty for it's new owner.  In addtional to the money we'll get for the car, we'll also save on insuring a second vehicle and gas for a second vehicle - of course those costs will increase for the pickup - but it should sitll work out to be less.

Jordan and I will carpool, as i can drive right by his work on the way to mine.  In the summer, he'll likely walk/bike home.  Come winter, we'll re-evaulatue and might use some transit.


Update - Visa

Thanks for all of the feedback/support yesterday!  I wasn't sure how folks would respond to using my emergency fund to cover everything.

The transfer's came through, and my visa is now sitting at a $0 balance.  I've got a bit of money left over for when the part we had to buy for the truck gets posted to the account. It's a mixed emotion I have about paying it off, I'm happy that it is once again a zero balance - but I'm disheartened that it got that bad again.

That said, I'm looking forward, to moving forward.

My next focus, aside from re-establishing my/our emergency fund will be to get my final student loan paid off.  I think I might have debt fatigue...le sigh.


It's time again...

A while back (perhaps a year and a half or so) when I was crawling out of the credit card debt hole, I made a decision to deplete my emergency fund to pay off my credit card.  I knew that If i didn't have a zero balance - it would be way to easy to justify small purchases - and keep the end balance high.

it's that time again.

On our way back to cow-town from my parents home town, Jordan's truck broke down.  I learnt that a 61km tow costs just under $300 - and that's after we got a 'deal'.  I also learnt that an alternator costs about $180.  Those little devils, plus the visa balance I wrote about last week, plus the gas for our vehicles and other fun times in my home town = a very nasty credit card bill.  

we've had to re-evaluate how we're going to pay it off.

My total visa balance is now about $2,080 - not everything has posted yet - but I believe that number is fairly accurate.  Well, it will be about that when Jordan buys the truck part today.  

I have already taken $575 from my account - this includes monies from my pay pal account, gift fund and a little from my e-fund.  That was part of my original plan to pay off my lower balance last week.  I have also already taken $500 from our joint chequing bills account.    I have transfered the money from my christmas and Efund, but it hasn't hit my main bank - it should later today or first thing tomorrow as I initiated the transfers last night.

Jordan is still intending on giving me at least $500 from his $1,000 grant that's coming his way - and that will go straight into the emergency pot.  I should also have about $350 from my next pay day (Friday) to put back as well.  

On an aside, I'm not longer sure that $1,000 is a good enough emergency fund.  Sure - it's gotten us out of this mess - but what if it was something bigger then the alternator - and what if it was 100km tow - not 61km.



What does it take?

Yesterday evening, I asked several family members "What does it take?"  I wanted advise, words of wisdom etc.

This is what I was told:
  • Patience
  • A committment to commitment
  • Knowing what you want out of life 
  • Luck to find a good woman
  • Know that the woman is right
  • Have a sense of humour
To anyone that reads this who has been in a long term, stable, committed realtionship - I'd love to hear your advise as well.


Happy Anniversary

to my mom and dad!

Today we are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary!  We're having a big party at their house - I imagine 25-30 people or so will swing by today.  We've got a list of items things to do before we're ready:
  • Mow the lawn
  • Get the ribs marinating
  • Sweet up the house
  • Get beer in the fridge
  • Make potatoe and egg salad
  • Make green salad
  • Pick up large table from my aunts
  • Set up the back yard
  • Vaccume the house
  • Unload firewood from the truck
  • Move the flower planters to the front of the house
  • Buy some chips and dips


this weekend....

...are you looking forward to it?  I sure am!

My cousin is flying into the city tonight - we're planning on going out after her flight gets in at 10pm.  We'll see if she still feels up to it once we're back to the house, but it might be as late as 11pm or so.  Tomorrow morning we're headed to our home town for a huge family get together this Saturday!  Its bound to be good!

What are your plans for the weekend?


the truth...

I haven't been completely honest with you lately.  I've been lying by omission.

When I got back from Palm Springs last month I had shared that I had done quite a bit of shopping, but was on track to paying it off - well, I was.  I've said before that when I have a visa balance it's too easy to justify spending more.  The "It's just $50" and the "what's another $20" - added up before I knew it.

I'm not going to detail everything I've spent money on, but a lot has been for both Jordan and myself - I tend to pick up some of our discretionary spending on my visa (I know, I know - bad Jessie).

Below is my plan to pay it off!  My current balance is gross....$1,545.53.

The breakdown...
  • I have some money in my PayPal account from some advertising revenue
  • I have $100 currently un-spent in my chequing account
  • I've committed $500 from my next pay day to put on my visa (May 28th)
  • I've transfered $105 from my gift fund
  • I've transferred $136.62 from my emerg fund (takes me down to exactly $1,000)
Finally, Jordan has offered $500 to help me pay down my balance.  A lot of the spending was ours (I just have a bigger visa limit then he does).  He will be getting a $1,000 grant for completing his first year apprenticeship in a month or so and offered to help.  I hope he takes the other $500 and does something fun with it.


Truck Loan = Dead!

I'm pleased to be able to share that on Thursday Jordan's truck loan will be dead!  He received some extra money last week and that combined with lowering his normal visa payment - he'll be killing off the truck loan when he gets paid in two days.

The current balance is $512.36 so after his regular payment of $150.00 he'll be putting an extra $362.36!

We're both so happy that the truck is now free and clear - and Jordan will get a boost of $150/bi-weekly to his discretionary income.  Next month we'll attack his Visa and then look at if he wants to change his savings plans.


Bi-Weekly Budget

As most of you know I received a raise in pay that was effective as of April 3, 2010. This raise was 12.77%.  When I wrote about it I said it was 11.30% (I  had done the math wrong).  It's a pretty significant sum of money.  That said, for the two pay periods following my raise I asked for some of my banked time to be paid out so that I could finally pay of my Federal/Canadian Student Loan.

Today is my first pay day where I will actually see what I'm going to be making for the next year.

So, my first pay of each month will be $1,445.52 and the second will be $1,479.39 for a total monthly income (except for two pay's a year) is $2,924.91 (it was previously $2,623.21).  This is a little bit less then I thought (I had guessed closer to $1,500/bi-weekly) - so I've revised my bi-weekly budgets a tad.

Here is how we're shaping up for the next two weeks:

...here's the breakdown:

  • I have re-instated contributing to all of my planned spending/saving accounts.  I would like to increase these numbers but I won't be able to for a few months.  I've got a bit of a credit card bill left over from Palm Springs that I'm still hacking away at
  • Transportation budget has gone up by $50/bi-weekly for the summer months - we're bound to do more driving
  • Joint Account - same same
  • My Alberta Student Loan payment is set to be $300/bi-weekly.  This will have it paid off by December 24, 2010.
  • Car Insurance - is as per usual.  I'm hoping this will go down in October when it's renewed.
  • Visa Bill - this will be pretty steady for the next few pay periods



A Home of Our Own

One of the big topics while I was in town over the weekend, was an idea Jordan had about a transitional option to sell my great aunt's house to us. This isn't something I've talked a lot about before, but I've written about it a few times.

Jordan's idea was that we renovate and move into the basement and do a rent-to-own scenario.  We would want to do a proper legal suite and would have to ensure that her smok(ing) wouldn't get down into the basement.  Pluses in the space is that it's already plumbed for one bathroom and has a bedroom.

This would work for both parties in a number of different ways.  We would be able to get a head start on renovating, we wouldn't have to rent anymore (in the rent-to-own scnario, the 'rent' would be going straight to principal).  We would be there to provide support to my aunt.  This is something we do anyways, it would actually be easier because we wouldn't have to drive accross town. 

This is something I'm likely to start writing more about as time goes on, investigating the different ways this could play out and the steps we would need to take.

Has anyone ever renovated a secondary suite?


Weekend Update

Good Morning All!

I hope you had a great weekennd!  I went back home to visit my mom for Mother's day.  I went on Saturday and came back Sunday - so it was a very quick visit, but an enjoyable one!  Coincidentily, when we stopped by my grandmother's house to say hi, three sets of aunts/uncles stopped by as well - so I really got my visiting in!

I'll need to fill up my tank now (~$30) which is a week early then normal - but I was good and didn't buy a bunch of crap to eat for the drives there and back.

While I was there we did a lot of talking and catching up which was nice.  I also helped my mom w/ some yard work.  We're having a family get together at their place in a couple of weeks - so it was nice to get some work done now.

What did you do for mother's day?


Potential Joint Budget?

Below is a potential Joint Budget for Jordan and I once we become debt free and are in a home of our own.  A lot of the numbers are guesses, but I believe they would be fairly close to this (like my income and a mortgage, for example).

I wanted to throw it out there to get thoughts from people who budget with more than one income in mind - do my numbers seem realistic/fair?

Although most of the budgets I post are based on a bi-weekly scenario, please keep in mind this would be a monthly budget :)



an Update on Jordan

I talk about him and I quite a bit on this blog, and every now and again i share things about his truck loan or other such things - even though this blog is all about Jessie's Money.

I'm pleased to be able to share with you that his truck loan is so so so close to being paid off.  He's been steadily paying $150/bi-weekly for the last several months and his current balance is now $512.87.  This month, he'll be get a benefit cheque of $400 and that will be applied directly to the loan.  As long as it comes on time, he'll be 100% debt free this month - and at the latest, next month.

He's given his Visa to me - much like I gave him mine a while back when I was having troubles not using it.  It's about half paid off and he's got about $300 to go.  That too should be paid off by the end of this month.

I'm so proud that he's making headway on these two things and I know he is too!

Here's an image of his spending for the next two weeks:

After all his fixed expenses as well as a Visa Payment, paying for the lunch truck and a tank of gas - he'll have about $100 for entertainment/other - which is the same that I give myself every two weeks.

He's so looking forward to having the truck paid off - which will give him an extra $150/bi-weekly.

I've told him what I think, and he's said what he thinks he should do - but I'm curious, what would you suggest he do with it?


Where The (Joint) Monies At

So, our roommate gave us notice a couple of days ago, along with May's rent.  We knew that he would be temporary (although I was hoping he would stay until July).  So far, it sounds like his friend that moved in at the same time, will stay.

As our joint account is based on bills for three people, we don't have to panic about finding a new fourth - but we're considering it.  For the last six months or so, we swore we didn't want more than three people in that house - but the two months we had of overlap was pretty great.  They guys got a long great, and helped out around the house. My mom suggested perhaps we look for a new fourth, but be very picky - because, why  not?

In our consideration for another roommate, I thought it prudent to check the numbers in our joint (bills) account - to see if we are in a position where we need another roommate, or it would be a luxury.

I  haven't gone over Jordan and my Joint account lately - so as a refresher here's how we figured out our joint contribution:

  • Rent ($1,350) less a roommates share ($500) and split two ways is $425/each
  • Max Utilities with three people is $150/each

Total bills for Jordan and I combined is $1,150.  That split by four (because we're both paid bi-weekly on opposite weeks) is $287.50.

Here is an image from my excel spreadsheet that shows where the monies at in the joint account:

In summary - I think we'll be fine.

It would be nice to have a larger joint cushion, but I think it's building at a pretty stellar rate.  Considering last month we bought a BBQ ($400) and we owed GST (~$200).


WHAT?! Something's not right...

So, I was going to write about my flower garden again - but Southern Alberta is facing another winter storm warning.  I covered my newly planted garden with a tarp and laid heavy rocks (and flower pots) around the edges so it wouldn't fly away.  This will help keep the snow and biting cold from the wind (which is supposed to get up to 80km/hour today) off of them.  Residual heat from the ground will also stay under the tarp, created a sort of greenhouse.

At least, that's what I'm hoping will happen.

It's entirely possible that the wind will get so strong and be long gone by the time I get home.

So, on to the bills.

Enmax: $360.58
includes all utilities: gas, water, electricity, waste water and drainage and waste and recycling.

Whoa! That was my reaction too when I saw the bill online.  I was expecting something closer to $220.  I did some investigative work that included calling Enmax to find out possible reasons why I had a summer bill this high when I've lived in the same place for three years and it's never been that high.  I checked out the electricity meter (which the enamx folks said was where the trouble was), which was hard to find by the way.  The conclusion: the person who reads the meter, did so incorrectly.

On April 9, 2010 they reported that our meter read 38,445 kWh. Jordan and I checked it on April 30, 2010 and the meter reads 38,026. So, Almost a full month later and we still haven’t used as much electricity as the meter reader said we did

Next months Enmax bill will show our true usage and thus will be next to nothing for electricity usage (as we will have already paid for it).
Shaw: $130.96

We recently changed our Shaw bundle to include home phone, internet and TV.  

This particular bill includes $13.45 in long distance charges and $7.99 from a video rental. The raw cost of our services is $214.80 and we receive $114.50 worth of bill credits each month. That plus taxes is where the $130.96 comes from.

So for this month the total is $491.54 - so we each pay $122.86.
...which really isn't that bad. 

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