Lines of Credit

We have been offered a $10,000 line of credit with the Bank of Montreal because of our good history with our auto loan and credit card that we have with them.  They are offering us a really reasonable rate (less than 4%), no credit check and it would be unsecured.

We're very interested because of the work were planning to do on the back yard this year, we were planning on having to use the credit card a bit as we saved up money (we won't have the $10,000 for the yard technically until December, 2013 so were planning on using the CC and then paying it off as we saved the $$).

A line of credit with such a low interest rate would seriously help with the interest for next year's back yard project.

....what are your thoughts?




2013 Plan

Last week Jordan and I went out for a budget date - Vietnamese soup - so it was an inexpensive budget date.  I really like saving for everything at the same - money going into each 'pot' each week, so that you can see the progressive growth overtime.  Jordan likes aggressively tackling one goal at a time.

Such is life, we compromised.

We are going to continue to make weekly RRSP contributions, while we aggressively tackle one (other) goal at a time.

Here's the breakdown of our goals:

We're going to save for each of these goals in order - it was easy for Jordan and I to agree that our emergency fund was the number one priority and the past $1,000 we maintained was simply not enough.   Following that is our Vehicle Maintenance/Emergency Fund - we're planning on buy a second set of rims in the summer when we switch our tires back from winters to all seasons.  That will save us about $200/annually on switching and will extend the life of the tires/rims all around.

Our camping/vacation fund is seriously lacking this year.  Under some protest (by me), we decided that we just can't have it all - and trying gets us into trouble.  So we won't be going on our two annual week long camping trips this year.  Instead, we'll hopefully have some long weekends and staycations.

Next are our gift and Christmas funds that Jordan wanted to separate - we never save enough for these, and want to do better this year.

We will reach the first 5 goals by the end of May.
Check out the 2013 Budget Page to see the budget breakdown.

Last for 2013 is the House fund - and all remaining cash flow will go into that account.  We are going to be building a fence, installing the grass, building a dog run and a deck - and biggest of all - a garage.  Within our current budget, we'll save about $10,000 - so we have to find ways to come up with another $5,000.  We've got some ideas for that - but I'll share those in another post.

the baby fund
is on hold.

I had a look at our baby budgets again after considering Jordan's raise, and we can actually now survive without additional savings or income with Jordan's salary and me on EI.   There wouldn't be extra's - but it can be done.  So, that's on hold.  Getting the yard done is the last big thing that Jordan wants to do before we start a family - and so I really want to support us getting that done so we can start our family together with both of us feeling strong and confident about the decision.



Yesterday morning, our family dog of the last 14 years passed away peacefully.

My mom let my brother and I know straight away and it was so very difficult for us to all be in different cities - provinces too actually.  I'll be going back home in three weeks to visit - and it really just seems so far away.

There has been so much loss, heart ache and upheaval this past year.  My heart needs time to heal before I can manage any more life challenges.  My family needs time to heal.


a Pleasant Surprise

Never have I, nor has Jordan, experienced what we did this past Friday.

I mentioned in my last post that we knew the second part of his raise had finally been approved albeit six weeks late.   We weren't actually expecting it to be processed so fast - but it was - but the real surprise is how much it was.

I pride myself on being able to run the numbers and figure out within about 10 cents what our net will be when we get a raise - and I was off by quite a bit.  When I got to my spreadsheets I realized that Jordan didn't get a raise to $50,000 he got a raise to $51,600.

He's salaried - but for hourly folks that's a difference of $24.04/hour vs $24.81/hour.

Gross Monthly it's a difference of $166/month vs $300/month.

At the end of the day Jordan will take home an extra $33.63/pay or $874.38 over the course of the year.


Making Up for It

So we got a random deposit of $500(+) from Jordan's insurance provider this morning - that's fantastic because today our weekly mortgage payment also came out.

We have looked into a few other things we can do to help with the bit of shortfall, and still meet our goal of paying of the credit card.

  • We checked our points Aeroplan/Air Miles balances
    • We had enough Aeroplan to order a $100 Costco gift card - it should arrive in the next week or so
  • Checked with Enmax
    • We have signed up with something called Easy Max Rewards with Enmax - basically you accrue $100 a year (or you can get it applied to each bill in increments) as a 'thank you' for bundling your utilities with them
    • We have a $88.48 credit we'll be applying to the next bill 
  • Return Pop Cans
    • When we have a bag full of recyclables we toss them in the back of Jordan's truck (it has a canopy and isn't driven much). 
    • We haven't gone yet (but hopefully this weekend) - the truck has half a dozen black garbage bags full - I'm crossing my fingers for about $50-$75 there.

With these three methods - we've almost found the $300 shortfall!! 

What strategies do you have to find more money when you have a shortfall or unexpected drop in income? (other than your emergency fund, which I know, I know, we need to get funded again).


STD - It Continues

So yesterday we found out that Jordan was actually only paid for 6 days at full time for the days he was at work before he went on short term disability.  The insurance company, will pay him separably for 80% of his pay for the 9 full days that he was off work.

Jordan also found out yesterday that the rest of his raise is FINALLY approved.

So I'm not sure if his STD will get paid at his new salary or his old salary and no one really seems to know the answers.

I had a look at the budget and realized that over the next few days we were going to wind up in the overdraft pretty badly - so I transferred my allowance money ($702) into our joint account as a buffer.

For those folks who remember, yes we stopped giving ourselves an allowance, but I still had some cash stashed away.  I was planning on using this money for a pretty day bed for my craft room - and hopefully will still be able to once we get the disability money and Jordan's raise comes through.


Short Term Disability

So..Jordan had emergency surgery two weeks ago to have his appendix removed - he went from mild discomfort to get that thing outta him in about 14 hours.

He's set to go back to work on Monday - but didn't have enough sick time to cover the two week period.  We applied for STD through his work benefits program and was approved.  Thankfully, his program didn't have a waiting period.  Unfortunately, the benefit is only 70%.

On top of that, the second part of Jordan's raise STILL hasn't gone through.  Which means he got 70% of $48K not 70% of $50K.

Needless to say - my whole budget is out-of-whack. We're $500 short on his regular pay plus another $200 short because of his raise.


Guess who's credit card is not getting paid off in time for Christmas.


I did have a bit of a buffer with cash flow in December - but we're going to be $300 short...and that assumes that Jordan's raise will at least go through for December..only two months late.

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