Sunday, October 31, 2010

Snafoo or Human Error?

Through computer, or more likely, human error I have lost a post (and subsequent comments) that I wrote quickly yesterday that included this photo. NLA - you asked if I took the pumpkin picture in my header and yes I did. 

All the photos I use are my own except for ones I "borrow"  from a free photo website called Everystockphoto

  • I wasn't going to mention this but since you folks are the best I will let you know that I ended up NOT going to the party last night. I drove my daughter to her boyfriend's house (first time she'd been out of the house all week) and when I got home I had a crying jag that left me feeling drained and exhausted. I'm sure most mothers try to keep themselves STRONG for their kids and for those single mothers, like myself, all the stress lands on our shoulders making traumatic events like my daughter's car accident even heavier. But eventually we can't hold it together any longer and last night was my night to "let it all out" while my DP, Michael, listened and loaned me "his shoulders" to lean on. Thank you my dear and thank you for making today a day just "for me".

  • Today my oldest sister is on her way back to PEI for like me she has purchased a house and acreage over near Montague. She is going to supervise the building of a new red metal roof and get the paperwork all straightened out.  Wish I could go with you!

  • Tomorrow Sharon and I are embarking on a ten pound weight loss goal - it's not too late to join us!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekly Wrap

Heart Beat:

Dear Daughter continues to improve. She had a friend over today and they worked on school assignments all day. Now she is relaxing with yet another Harry Potter book.  The pain is more manageable and she is sleeping better: she said to me yesterday that all she can do is keep telling the truth to whoever asks about the accident. While waiting is hard it's not nearly as hard when we're doing it together.

Financial Beat:

It's a wrap! The end of another loooonnnng week and for me, the end of the month. I get paid on the last day of the month and if it falls on the weekend then I get paid on the Friday prior making today - PAYDAY! Gee, it seems like it just was payday last week but it's been two weeks! Wow, time flies even when you're NOT spending money - what a concept!

I met my goals for this month - I paid down the line of credit by $1000 (plus the interest) and saved almost 30% of my income - $1400 (split between TFSA, Emergency and RSPs).  My Christmas/Birthday account doesn't get a weekly/monthly deposit as it was an afterthought and didn't make it into my original budget so it is the recipient of any extra money I can squeeze out of my misc., food and gas budgets. The past two weeks I didn't use any of my gas budget ($150) as DD and DP (dear partner) fed the car so that $$ went into the Christmas account.  I also slip spare change and whatever else I can wring out of an already squeezed dry budget into the Crofters Lane Jar as well as any snowflakes that come my way.

Today I spent just $88 of my next $250 for food as we are very well stocked and spent only $15 on gas for the rental. I'm not going to put much gas in it at a time as I don't know when I'll be returning it. No more news from the insurance company so the state of limbo continues. I'm a lot calmer about it all today - it's out of my control for now so will just have faith that it will all unfold as it should. I have appreciated the support and advice from you all.

November will be a "mystery month" for now as we wait to hear about the car. It will have some sort of impact on the budget and I will likely have to rework the numbers somewhat. To what extent remains a "mystery"! Just one more challenge to meet with humour and perseverence:)  The good news is that I don't pay property tax in Nov. and Dec. being on a ten month payment plan so that will be another $304 going into the Christmas fund which will almost bring me to my goal so YAY! for Christmas:) Other goal for November - start my 10 lb. weight loss goal - GO ME!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Muffin Tops

The upside to this otherwise traumatic week has been all the time my DD and I have been spending together. It's been like old times. All through elementary and secondary we were on the same schedule - I would pick her up at her bus stop everyday and we would spend the rest of the day together - doing our school work, eating dinner, watching TV. But since she turned 18 two years ago and started university our schedules no longer matched up. Plus her girlfriends and longterm boyfriend have had first dibs on her free time.

So I must admit to enjoying the last few days we've had to reconnect over many pots of tea and good chats. I've loved tucking the blankets closely around her, smooching those big round cheeks, making her favourite foods, sharing laughs over exerpts from the Harry Potter books she is rereading for the umpteenth time and just simply being together in the same room for more than just a few minutes.

I'm also enjoying sharing that big box of Arrowroot cookies with our tea and the many goodies her boyfriend has brought over for her to munch on. What all of these treats are doing to my waistline I'd rather not say, I'll just direct you to the photo above and cringe.  Now she wants to go to Dairy Queen!

So I've decided I have to set a date to start on my weight loss goal and I plan to begin on Monday, Nov. 1st. A fresh month, a fresh start and Halloween will be over:)

Who's with me??

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting, Waiting and More...yes that's right....Waiting

Everything is on hold. And I don't like that as I am a woman of action. I am not a patient "waiter", not at all, and especially when that involves someone I love - my DD.  Someone from my insurance called me at work today; it seems that a "mystery witness" has come forward to say that when the other car struck my car that my daughter was driving the traffic light was green, not red as the original witness stated. This means the investigation is in limbo until police sort it all out. What can we do at this point? Nothing but wait.

If the other driver is at fault and charged then his insurance will cover my deductible ($500) and our insurance will likely still go up. If my daughter gets charged we lose that $500, our insurance goes up and I don't know what else - perhaps she loses some demerit points and gets fined? I don't know the answers to those questions. My daughter swears the light was red and so did a witness at the scene. Of course I believe my daughter who is now considerably more stressed out at the thought of being charged by police - but who will the police believe? She is having trouble sleeping and is unable to concentrate on her assignments and all I can do is make tea, keep her close...and wait.

My weight goal (to lose 10 lbs.) is also on hold. In this frame of mind the last thing I can do right now is diet...though I should try to eat healthily so I don't get sick. I have added a weight loss goal bar to my sidebar and will get started on it once this situation is all sorted out.

I continue to drive the rental car. I spent most of yesterday perusing car ads on the internet to see if I could find a replacement car that is similar to my old car for a reasonable amount of money.  Of course, buying a replacement car is now on hold as I won't get any insurance settlement until "fault" is determined.

So, what should I "DO" while I wait - I am very open to suggestions my friends.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Arrowroots Make a Great Birthday Gift

Kazi turned 20 in September. I gave her a card with some $$, a Shopper's Drugmart card because the bathroom isn't quite full enough of shampoos, conditioners and cosmetics :) and her very own Starbucks card so she could get a free latte on her birthday.

But I gave her a couple of other gifts too: two bottles of contact lens solution because she's the apple of my eye...get it?

And a huge box of Arrowroots, her favourite cookies because she'll always be my baby...

It's not easy letting your baby go out into the big scary world where you can no longer control their every movement. When accidents happen you wish they were little again and looking at the world from behind your legs. When they were little you could protect could scoop them up into your arms when an off-leash dog comes bounding towards can hold their hand when you cross the street or walk in the can give them warm loving arms to curl up in when they're hurt, sad or tired...and you can give them all the advice and love that's in your heart to give...but then you have to let them go.

She's sticking close to me right now - wanting me with her wherever she is in the house. I cherish our time together knowing that soon she'll be back out in the world where she belongs.

So you'll have to excuse me while I make a pot of tea and go cuddle with her in my bed and watch the "Gossip Girls" :)

PS - thank you my wonderful friends - I so appreciate your support and well wishes, I am grateful for each and every one of you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just Wanna Let You Know

My beautiful daughter was in a car accident late Saturday night - she is Ok - sore knee, fractured wrist, sore tummy from the seat belt and aches from head to toe.  Thank God for seat belts and air bags or her injuries would have been so much worse.  She was hit by another car running a red light.

We spent the day at emerg and I am taking a couple of days off to deal with doctors and insurance claims. We think the car is totalled but will deal with that tomorrow. I'm kind of glad I didn't see the car - I think I would be totally freaked out if I saw the damage. We are just so thankful that she is ok.

Will update you all tomorrow and thanks for being there.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Right around when this picture was taken (May 2010) I was at my lowest weight for the past few years. I had been following the Calcium Diet and it had been going quite well. And yes, I was going to a highschool reunion in June:)

What I just realized today when I was getting fall/winter pants washed and pressed for the upcoming cold season (yuck) and hence my post title "Woops" is that I gave away all of my "fat pants"!!!

Hmmmmm...didn't think about that when I made the decision to not buy any clothing for a year.  The reason I gave away all of my "fat pants" (you know you all have them so don't judge me lol) was to give me motivation to stay at the lower, more desirable weight. In retrospect I wonder how I could have been so stupid!

Winter is coming, I need to store up some fat to see me through the cold and flu season (see how useful juicy rationalizations are?) but now I have no cushion, no extra stretchy pants with slightly looser waistbands and baggier butts! What was I thinking? I am sitting on the horns of a dilemma.... either that or I am sitting on a large bag of popcorn from the movies last night after a big bowl full of delicious pad thai a la Michael!!  Not to mention a box of Smarties!!

Big sigh...

So now I not only have a budget to stick to but will need to drop a few pounds so I can stay in my current size-restricted winter wardrobe.

Another big sigh....

Perhaps those two goals can work together: eat less food --> save $$ on the food budget. This is going to be tough people - anyone want to drop a few pounds with me and keep me motivated?


Thanks Sharon for sharing this video - I love it!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekly Wrap

Oh how I love to "wrap" up another week. October is almost finished and so far I'm still in the black.  This has been a very low spend week and I don't mind a bit.

To summarize: our food budget is empty but as Michael just showed me there isn't any room in the freezer to store any more food. I replenished our milk supply, bought green onions for tonight's pad thai, and splurged on two 2-liter bottles of pop: Jamaican Ginger Beer for guess who and Fresca for me. We seldom buy pop but since we're having a guest for dinner I thought having a couple of different drinks on hand could classify as being "hospitable" and hey - we all need a few juicy rationalizations to get us through the week:)  There is $1.81 left in the food budget til next Friday. Unless we suddenly go on an eating binge (it has been known to happen) we should be ok. Anyhoo, I could stand to lose 5-10 pounds.

On the bright side (and isn't there always a bright side?) we have used NONE of our gas budget as other family members have kindly gassed up the car so that extra $$ will get funneled into Christmas & birthdays which is currently looking rather dejected:(

We are still coming under budget for hydro (though not for long) - this month by $12 so I added that to my misc. spending which now stands at $90 until next Friday. I'll have to buy some Halloween candy with that and a couple of items at the pharmacy but should still have something leftover by next payday (Fri. Oct. 29). Barring any unforeseen Halloween candy eating binges that is...

P.S. the photo in my header was taken on Cascumpec Rd. just a few miles south of Alberton, PEI.  In the few seconds that I stepped out of the car and onto the bridge to take the picture I fended off at least 8,000 giant-sized mosquitoes:) I WON!

No Post Yesterday

I seem to be living at school lately. We had parent/teacher interviews last night so by the time I got home all I wanted to do was pop into bed and sleep. Now, a few short hours later I am back at school again for a PD day. The good news is administration is providing breakfast and lunch:) And since both of our VPs are male and our principal is male I know it will be good food!  And of course it's FREE food!

The moral of the story is - there is always a silver lining if you look hard enough!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stuff vs Good Stuff

Excellent post on Gail Vaz-Oxlade's blog today - check it out!  Canada's answer to Dave Ramsey:)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Money Madness

I reluctantly had to part with some cash...well, truth be told it wasn't all necessary spending, in fact, I caved and bought myself a wig.

I had to spend $6.99 to get a prescription renewed, and I just happened to walk down the "seasonal" aisle at the drugstore and noticed they had their Halloween wigs on sale.....

If you've noticed how short I wear my wiry silver hair you will understand Michael's wish to see me in a wig once or twice a year. Last year I borrowed a wig for Halloween from a friend and he thought he'd died and gone to heaven - he got to spend the night with a NEW and MYSTERIOUS woman:)

So I decided to fork over $10 of my misc. spending money and will build my costume around my long black hair...I could be a witch, Pocahontus, Frankenstein's bride etc etc

P.S. Pictures to follow ha ha hee hee ha ha .....

P.P.S. Left in misc spending til Oct. 31st - $80

P.P.P.S. See, I should just stay OUT of stores altogether...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Year I Didn't Buy Any New Clothing

My "New" Alfred Sung Sweater

On Sept. 22nd I declared this "The Year I Didn't Buy Any New Clothing" and almost a month has gone by without making a purchase. That's not to say the thought never crossed my mind - it did and still does almost everyday.

It's been an interesting process so far. I saw some really nice winter coats at Costco - great for hiking in the snow, making snow angels, skating outside at Victoria Park and so on. Then I said to myself - "self, you can continue to wear your daughter's lovely castoff she gave you last winter when she bought herself a new coat - you don't NEED a new coat, you just WANT a new coat."

Whew! Made it over that hurdle.

As the weather started to get colder I thought about new gloves and new boots. Then I thought I could stitch up the hole in last year's gloves and start polishing up my collection of boots. Yes, there is the odd scuff here and there but they can certainly get me through another Canadian winter. Suck it up Jane...and I did.

Now Halloween is looming and we've been invited to a party.  Ideas of costumes started running through my head and I envisioned myself out shopping at the local Talize but then I wised up and decided I would rummage through the house and be "creative" instead.

Betcha thought I'd forgot about that picture up there of me (squinting into the sun) with my NEW black Alfred Sung silk/cotton sweater on that absolutely fits me to a TTTTT! I love it and it's just what my wardrobe needed. And it didn't cost me a penny.  I found it.  In my condo complex parking lot. I had walked by it once or twice and just thought it was a rag. Then I picked it up to see what it was (luckily it wasn't a dead skunk!) and saw it was a sweater. So thinking that it was perhaps my daughter's and she had dropped it getting out of a car I brought it inside and washed it.

Well, turns out it wasn't hers so I was faced with the dilemma of going door to door to ask everyone in my neighbourhood if they'd lost a sweater or I could just keep it as a reward for my discard rescue efforts.

I tried it on and of course decided to....keep it! Yay me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Springwater Conservation Area

First off - yesterday was another beautiful day in the neighbourhood so Michael and I took ourselves off to explore a new (to us) trail near Aylmer, Ontario called Springwater Conservation Area. It's only 40 minutes away yet we'd never been there before - had never heard of it in fact - it was recommended to us by another hiker met upon another trail. We took snacks and water with us and other than gas it was another NO SPEND day. (That $10 I had left after Friday night's movie rental is still in my wallet :) I think one of these weeks we should have a challenge where we each put a $20 bill in our wallet and see how long we can make it last - the winner wins $20 ha ha!!
As you can see by the photos Springwater is a natural treasure - full of maples and beech and very tall, very straight white pines reminiscent of the Group of Seven paintings.
For the first time I have spent all of my allotted money for food as I took advantage of a lot of specials while shopping on Saturday: sirloin tip roasts at $1.97/lb., pork loin at $1.29/lb., shrimp, talapia and haddock all half price and so on. So while I spent a lot we will be rolling in meat for several weeks to come.
This week looks pretty busy - meetings on Wed., parent/teacher interviews on Thursday, and a P.D. day on Friday so won't be much opportunity for spending temptations. Just the way I like it!
It was wonderful getting outside again yesterday. When I am able to put myself into such inspiring surroundings I totally forget about the daily challenges of balancing the books, ironing the big stack of clothes sitting on a chair in my bedroom, vacuuming the cat hair or the disaster area my daughter calls her room.
Blessedly all of that inner noise is drowned out by the soft sighing of the wind in the branches 100ft. above my head, birds chirping, frogs glugging, children laughing and me snapping away with my camera. Life is good.
Although there were a TON of leaves on the ground there were still enough left on the trees to ooh and ah over.

Those pine trees are humongous!!
Can you see tiny little Michael on the other side of the bridge walking on the path?
He walks a lot faster than me:)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Westminster Ponds - Saturday's Hike

 Cost of today's walk through Westminster Ponds = $0.00
Value of today's walk through Westminster Ponds = Priceless!!
 Having a pretty "low spend" weekend so far: last night we rented "Splice" (a very disturbing and creepy movie - my favourite kind:) and we had a $2.00 off coupon. NO WINE!! (See? I'm trying:)
 This morning I thought I was going to get away with a "no spend" day as my partner bought me a coffee and a cookie while we hung out at the market but I decided to buy a National Post to read.  I cancelled my daily newspaper in August buy like to get the Saturday paper. Then, because I forgot to get my parking ticket validated at the market I ended up paying $4.50 for parking which really annoyed me.
 But I'm over it now. I had a great grocery shopping day - we have so much food it should last well into November instead of just til the end of the month. I prepared by going through the flyers and finding the best bargains at three different grocery stores.  While Michael worked at his friend's restaurant I did a major shop and bought up all the meat bargains, fresh fruit and veggies, bread, bagels the works! And still have about $30 left in the food budget. The great thing about my grocery shopping today is it was all spent on FOOD - no inedibles like kleenex and dish detergent this time around.
 Took out just $20 for this weekend's misc. spending - so far just spent $ on the movie rental and the newspaper. Have $111 left in misc. spending until the end of the month - should be ok.
 It was a glorious day today in London, Ontario. Sunny and high of about 15c - perfect for hiking.
 For dinner I had bought a roast chicken at Costco (only 6.99) and Michael made one of his famous "medleys" of vegetables and leftovers, fresh bread, fresh tomatoes - have I told you he does ALL of the cooking? It means everything I eat has either curry powder or cayenne pepper in it (or both) which tends to increase the number of hot flashes I have in a day but the enjoyment of being cooked for seriously outweighs a few sweaty moments:)
 Tonight we are staying in again and Michael is treating me: he rented "The Killer Inside" with Casey Affleck (the more talented of the Affleck brothers IMHO), Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson. We've seen the trailers and it looks so good.  Then after he dropped my daughter and her friend off downtown he stopped at DQ and bought us both a Pecan Mudslide Blizzard!!! The muffin top just got a wee bit bigger but what the heck - it's the weekend! And yoga pants are stretchy!
 Tomorrow we are hiking again so I'm going to work off a few of those blizzard calories. Not sure where we'll end up tomorrow - there are so many great places for hiking around London.
 I bought Starbucks coffee beans at Costco (2 pounds for $10) so we'll make our own coffee instead of wasting $10 on lattes or fraps or whatever else they tempt us with. I've only read two sections of the Post so I'll finish that off in the morning with my own Starbucks brew. So hopefully I can keep that other $10 in my wallet.
 Michael flashing his million dollar smile.
 There are still a few flowers to be found:)
I love being outside!
If you stayed with my nature shots to the end you get to see the bonus shot of my daughter (on the right) and her friend before they headed downtown to celebrate her friend's birthday. Aren't they cute?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekly Wrap & Crofters Lane

Crofters Lane
Today MCM of TO asked me what is Crofters Lane? So glad you asked! Crofters Lane is a magnificent little acreage near Alberton on PEI - it is home. It is the culmination of a years long search for "just the right place" to retire early retirement I hope.  I've spent the past few years scouring the MLS listings, finding many an idyllic home/acreage just to watch it get sold to someone else. This past summer when I saw the homes for offer I impulsively decided to drive the 1626km. there to check them out in person. 
(This was kind of  out of the norm behavior for me - I don't usually do things that spontaneously though I had the foresight to slow down and get pre-approved for a mortgage before I left for PEI! You know, just in case :)

Even though I got the pre-approval I really didn't plan on buying anything, I wanted to check out the island, see if I wanted to live there and have a nice summer holiday. HAH!
View from front porch
Check out August's archived posts for my journey around the island looking at four other properties before finding that house #5 was the one for me. Within hours of arriving at Crofters Lane I was signing an Offer to Purchase.

View looking east from front porch
 My partner and I tossed around a number of names for our new home and we finally decided upon Crofters Lane. I wanted to recognize our .4km laneway which we walked up and down every day while we stayed there, coffee in hand, birds constantly flitting back and forth between the red berry laden trees, and acknowledge the scottish "crofting" way of life that we plan to emulate- a lifestyle that is environmentally friendly, thrifty and sustainable: a few chickens, a few goats,  a large vegetable garden, some fruit trees, a wood stove & some tilley lamps.

The "Lane" part of Crofters Lane all .4km of it
 Until I actually retire I need to be extra-frugal as I carry a mortgage and maintain my condo and my trailer. If I can keep my costs low now and in the future then I plan to take a reduced pension and retire two years early.  So Crofters Lane is my motivation and the reason I squeeze the life out of every penny that I make. Oh no, wait, that's my scottish blood!

View from the lane
 Weekly Wrap:  I made it til Friday without spending the last $20 in my account so that goes into the Crofters Lane Jar. We did really well with spending over the last two weeks and actually had a surplus of $154.69 (didn't spend all of the $ allotted to food and gas) AND I had set aside $50 for my cell phone and the bill was only $33!! So I tucked another $120 into my Christmas fund raising it to $200 and left a bit extra in my misc. spending as I need to cover a $60 bill for winterizing my trailer (forgot about that!)

Two huge raspberry patches behind the house & backed by our forest
My final pay for October is in my account and every cent has a place to go except for $131 in misc. spending for the next two weeks. There's also a good chance that I won't need all of the $80 ear-marked for natural gas as I haven't had the furnace on yet and I usually come in under the $80 I set aside for London Hydro so barring any other forgotten bills I should make it through October in the black!

And that's a wrap!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So How's Your Week Going So Far??

Some scenes from the past weekend - I spent two warm sunny days and gorgeous evenings at my trailer in Bayfield.

A friend just asked me "so how's your week going so far?" I thought I should address that question.  If you're like me, sometimes you just push thoughts about yesterday, today, and tomorrow into a file folder in the filing cabinet known as your brain and focus only on a goal off into the future - that being PAY DAY (Friday) for me.  If I can just get through til Friday....yes Friday all will be fine, my bank account will get a shot of life-saving plasma....I can put a little cash in my wallet again...

So now I will take a moment and examine how things are really going, right now. Actually - not too bad.  I needed "no spend" days and I am having them - nothing spent yesterday, nothing spent today. I was going to take out my last $20 of misc. spending to have a beer tonight after volleyball but I've decided to skip the beer and save the $$. Tomorrow is Thursday, I have a meeting after school and then will come straight home, will NOT pass GO.

Then when I wake up it will be FRIDAY!! YAY! And I'll take out that $20 and put it right into my Crofters Lane Jar! That will be much more rewarding than that icy cold Stella after getting all hot and sweaty playing my favourite game....oh, the sacrifices we make:)
So things are going ok, thanks for asking!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chile Miners Rescue

I am glued to the TV watching the test run of the rescue capsule on BBC World News. This is all I can focus on tonight. I hope and pray that all goes well with the rescue mission and that all 33 trapped miners reach the surface safely.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oh Money - Where Did You Go??

Last Friday I once again took $40 out of my misc. account leaving me with a mere $22 to see me through until payday next Friday.  No problem, I thought, I won't spend it all. 


It slipped through my fingers faster than water.  I had loaned myself $10 out of our Crofters Lane Jar because I was going out to breakfast with some girlfriends and didn't have time to go to the bank. So the first thing I did was repay to jar. OK, down to $30.

Later in the day when we arrived at the trailer we found that the hydro was off. It seems that someone who had perhaps closed their trailer for the season had flipped off the wrong switch. Easy problem to solve but everything in the fridge was spoiled. It wasn't much - nothing in the freezer and mainly condiments and drinks in the fridge. We needed cream for coffee in the morning so off I went to the variety store as the grocery store had just closed. So a measly little pint of cream and a newspaper was about $6.00.

Then I spent close to $20 on a nice bottle of wine to drink around the campfire. See how quickly my $40 disappears?? Nothing but loose change left.

This morning I decided to treat everyone to a coffee from Tim Horton's as we lazed around the house.  Loose change?  Gone!

So now I face the remainder of the week (4 days til Friday) with only $22 left in misc. spending. $10 of that is earmarked for my volleyball game Wed. night. So looks like I'll have to have a couple of "no spend" days between now and Friday.  Can I do it??

I sure hope so!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weekly Wrap
All in all not too bad of a week, though I have a confession to make...

When I was summing up my spends the other day I forgot to take into account something I bought on the internet.  I joined a website called which is a "groupon" type site where something is offered for sale at a reduced price and if enough people commit to buy it then a coupon is provided for up to 50% off.

First of all the offer of a free cupcake at the best bakery in town suckered me into signing up to receive emails about the offers in my city. (God I'm easy aren't I??)  Then if that wasn't bad enough there was an offer from my absolute favourite restaurant owned by friends of mine and where my partner actually works a few shifts each week. It seemed meant to be. $50 worth of scrumptious food and drinks for $25.  Yes, I thought - this will save me money! I haven't eaten there for so long because I am saving my money for Crofters Lane. (Of course I now realize that if you have to SPEND money in order to SAVE money then you haven't really SAVED anything)!!

So I am going to bite the bullet right now and make a payment on my credit card instead of waiting for the bill. So knock off another $25 from the misc. spending total. I did take out $20 on Wed. so I could buy a beer after volleyball and with the $12 I had left I bought a glass of wine at the event I went to last night (Ecolivinglondon), put $2.25 in the Crofters Lane jar and have $5 left in my wallet.

I got a few freebies this past week that somewhat helps to compensate for my indulgence. Actually a lot of freebies now that I think about it. Said restaurant gave us a huge and I mean huge bag of frozen carrots, broccoli and cauliflower as well as a big pile of Jamaican patties they had leftover from selling out front of their restaurant downtown on car-free Sunday. Then Michael (my partner) happened to be at a Starbucks on Tuesday night when they were closing and he knew one of the people working there and they gave him all their leftover food - sandwiches, wraps and a couple of oatfudge bars. Yummy! And today I brought home some leftover food from a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch my staff and I made for our students: huge dish of mashed potatoes, gravy, salad and a GIGANTIC pumpkin pie from Costco. There - I feel better now.

So to tally up - I spent $12.63 at the grocery store today (yogurt, juice, more salad, bread) and have $50.74 left til Oct. 15th - that's enough I think. And after deducting $25 for my "dinner out" coupon I have $62 left in misc. spending. The gas account is at $107.00 because Michael put gas in the car and so did my daughter so I didn't need to fill it up til today's $43.00. So far so good (she said crossing her fingers...)

So what do you think - should I cancel my membership to Also - lesson learned on the lure of credit card buying - it seems like you're not really spending anything until you get the bill in the MAIL!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Time to Make a Withdrawal

Since my $40.00 blowout last Friday night I haven't spent ANY money. On Monday I spent $6.37 from my food budget at the grocery store and still have $70.00 left for groceries until October 15th (have already bought a turkey for Thanksgiving this weekend) so feel confident that I won't overspend on groceries.

(I HAD to buy Liquid Plumber as my upstairs bathroom sink was clogged!)

Well the clog is fixed and I've had 4 No Spend days. Today I'll have to take $20 out of the bank as I play volleyball tonight and we always go out for a drink afterwards - my pint of Stella costs $8.00 including tip. That will leave $87 in my misc. spending jar which should (along with the $12.00 in my wallet) last until I get paid on Oct. 15th.

You know, I'm getting to like this challenge!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One Woman's Junk is Another Woman's Contribution to the CL Jar!!

I have seen the term "snowflaking" referred to on other blogs but wasn't entirely sure what it meant. I thought perhaps it was a different spin on "snowballing" a strategy Gail Vaz-Oxlade uses in paying down debt. Pick the debt with the highest interest to pay down first while maintaining minimum payments on the other debts. When the highest interest debt is paid off combine, or "snowball", that payment into the next highest interest debt and get it paid off, then add that payment...well you get the picture.

So I googled "snowflaking" and came across a post by Matt at One Million and Beyond that explained the concept.

"The idea of snowflaking is pretty straightforward in that any extra money that you save or make is applied to a financial goal right away regardless of the amount."

Well I am proud to say that today we "snowflaked" (can I use it as a verb??) A few days ago my partner brought home 2 boxes of old LPs that a friend of his was going to give to Goodwill and today he exchanged them for $70.00!!!  We immediately socked the money away in the Crofter's Lane Jar. We hope to...or should I say we PLAN to have enough money for gas and motel to and from PEI next summer for which we would need approximately $500-$600.

Stay tuned....

Have: $209.20              Need: $600.00

So over 1/3 of the way there!!
P.S. can anyone tell me the secret to making those financial goal bar graphy things in their sidebars??