Basement Flooding

Guys...our basement is flooding.


Okay, so we don't have a swimming pool downstairs.  but every time the sun comes out and the temperature creeps up it gets sloshy under the floor.  We can here it squishing in a few spots and it pools in the storage room on the other side of the basement.

We're chatting to my Uncle (a general contractor in town) about our options.  It looks like we can either excavate around the entire house, put in weeping tiles, and a membrane around the outside of the house.  We'd have to take out a few sections of fence, and the very large wheelchair ramp.  Thankfully we haven't planted our gardens, or fenced the whole yard yet (just the dog run).

The other option would involve demoing the entire basement, jack hammering around the walls and installing a weeping tile/sump pump system inside.  Then of course, re-finishing the inside.  The basement is not finished well, so it's not like we'd be tearing out high quality finishings and there were some things downstairs that we wanted to do eventually - make a bigger bathroom.  Plumb for a bath/shower (it's just a half bath right now) and have a bedroom where right now there is just a giant great room.

So...we'll see which option makes the most sense in the spring, but I'd love to hear from anyone if you've had to make this decision.


More Bread!

I mentioned earlier in the week, that kiddo and I have stopped grocery shopping just to get out of the house.  One of the things we're doing to do something different, spend less, and save more, is baking bread.  I posted some of the cost savings a while back - but here's a few photos of our latest baking adventures.


It's Tax Time!

This year I'm doing taxes for myself, for Jordan, my great aunt, my grandparents and my deceased grandmother too.  They are all pretty straight forward, but I am learning a few new things.

For us, the big thing is finishing the claim on our moving expenses.  We moved in 2015, but our house didn't close until 2016.  So, we  are able to claim the real estate fees, holding costs and other pieces of the sale against income in 2016.  All that is to say, we're looking at a combined refund of about $9,000.  This is fantastic news, because our line of credit debt is sitting at about the same.  It'll feel great to have that cleared off the table.  It'll just leave the Kia and the Mortgage as our only debts.


February Spend Report

My last severance payment was the first week of February, so Jordan and I have been working very hard on sticking to our super uber frugal budget of $800/month for gas, groceries, medical, maintenance etc.  We've never spent so little in a month in all the years I've been tracking our money.  We did go over, but we had a really excellent month.  Here it is:

We did have one trip to Alberta, just a couple hours drive away, for a specialty appointment.  We brought road snacks for us and kiddo, but did wind up eating out for lunch.  We had one other day, when all of our plans went sideways, and we wound up getting a take out pizza.  So we ate out twice,

Another big change was how we are handling grocery shopping.  I've been making a list, using flyers, and going to the store once a week.  I haven't found a job just yet, and found myself going to the grocery store for 'something to do' with kiddo.  Grab milk, eggs, and something for dinner.  The thing is, we had the something for dinner in the freezer already.  So, I've been going to visit family, going for a walk, or building a fort inside with kiddo instead.

We went to the Hot Springs once, paid for Netflix, bought a $6 video game on steam and a few other odds and sods like that - which makes up for the Entertainment spending.

Pet spending was dog food, and education is actually a paid subscription to a job board that specializing in telecommute work.  The big piece of home maintenance was a new water filter for the fridge.  That was an unexpected $60!  The only one in town.  We're going to do some online research to see if we can find a better price for the next one.

The baby spending was a few new onsies, and a few toys for the summer.  There was a store closing that had some really excellent sales, so it felt like it made sense.  I put the toys away for then.

I feel good about the spending overall!  We'll keep working on keeping things tight, and hopefully in March, we'll be under $1,000.



2016 Average Spend Review

Here it is, our annual spend summary review.

We're going into the New Year putting a concentrated effort to reduce our spending on groceries.  Doing even more baking/cooking at home, starting to plan for a garden, and shopping sales.  There are no discount grocers in my town, so just going to a superstore/asian market isn't an option for us.

Eating out of course is higher then we'd like it to be, one of the things I'm going to do hear is improve my tracking when we're 'eating out' and when we're on vacation/out of town eating out.  I feel like this is different because it's planned for differently.

The same can be said for groceries and Costco shopping.  I tend to split a Costco shop roughly between groceries, clothes, pets, etc. but I'm not 100% accurate.  I'm going to start tracking Costco as it's own spend.

Home Maintenance is the obvious place where we spent a lot over the year - this was our home renovation, which was spendy and mostly budgeted for.

Overall I feel pretty good about how we managed our money last year.  I am looking forward to making some changes though, and reining things in even more.  I have yet to find a new job since being laid off just weeks before my Maternity Leave started, and Little Man is 14 months old now.  So, without my income, we will sure be spending differently.


Cloth Diaper Covers...Bam!

When I was pregnant, and we had decided we were going to cloth diaper instead of using disposables, my mom picked up the material and tools we needed so we could make some of our own covers (we use inserts/covers instead of the all in one systems).  Well, we also bought some ones that were already made, and then just never quite got around to sewing our own.

We're hanging all of our things to dry, and given that we can't dry outside right now, it sometimes takes a day or longer which means running out of covers!  So, we decided to get sewing.  We have two and a half so far, and enough material for a few more. 

The first one was pretty tricky, but getting into the third, mom and I found a bit of a rhythm.  Check out the first one on our model below!

Links ♥