I work a stressful job for the industry I’m in. It’s not brain surgery, active military duty or coal mining however it is fast-paced, active and I have to think on my toes and dance every day. I love my job and it’s the best role I have had in the 9 years I have worked for this company.
As personal finance bloggers, we are extremely passionate about helping people with budgets, saving money and investing. One of the downsides of being so passionate about money is that we have to constantly keep ourselves in check regarding judging how other people do things – especially how people spend their money.
When was the last time you made budget decisions? Changing your budget is important. A good budget makes a difference between financial success and crisis. This isn’t just making sure your extra money is moved into the right investment vehicles. This could also be dealing with a loss of income or other financial setbacks.
A couple of years ago, Sarah and I decided to do a basement renovation. The ground level floor plan of our house didn’t leave much for living space. We wanted to expand our square footage, and we had this unfinished basement sitting there waiting for some work. The great thing about our situation is that we both are able to do renovation work (yes Sarah can use a drill). We both make decisions on design, and then we both get our hands dirty making it happen. Additions included an entertainment area, a little eating area, a wet bar and a 2-piece bathroom.
The second half of the basement was left unfinished (storage, laundry and furnace room). A few months ago – we started to tackle a renovation on the 2nd half of the basement. One of my big regrets with the first renovation was that we didn’t take pictures of the progress and that is something we corrected this time through. So here is part one of our 2nd basement renovation. Part two will follow once we are finished the area.
As part of Scott’s change in jobs at the beginning of 2017 we needed to make a car purchase. Scott has had a company vehicle since 2009. A new car as well as the increase in insurance had not been part of our budget. Setting aside money every month for a replacement car for me was.
For the record I don’t buy new cars. I have a tendency to run the car until it doesn’t work anymore the math doesn’t work out for me. If I want to spend $300 a month on a car if I were to buy a new car for $35,000 I would have to drive that car for almost 10 years to make it worth my money. If I were to buy a 4-year old car for $15,000 I would only have to drive it for a little over 4 years to make it worth my money. Which is the difference between , making the car 8 years old vs 10. So much deprecation happens within the first few years of the car you can save some money buying used. I would rather someone else pay for the deprecation vs me.
Our Recipe for Successfully Losing an Income
In a previous post, I provided some insight into a big change in Sarah and I’s financial world. In 2016 I was given a working notice for the job I had been at for the past decade. This meant that we had to prepare for the possibility of going down to one income for 2017. It was a scary situation. Sarah and I have had comparable salaries for several years. We both considered ourselves lucky to have solid incomes. We had worked really hard to get to where we were. The potential loss of my pay meant that we’d have to prepare to cut our expenditures in half. Read more
Do you have a banking advisor? Have you ever been influenced to change your actions because of what they said? I have. And it sucked. This is going back a bit but to be honest this put me off of bank advisors. To this day I have a really hard time trusting anything that they say is legit. Did you know that 95% of Canadians who use bank advisors have confidence in their advisor? That is an insane high number. That’s like dictator approval rating high. Not at all saying that banking advisors are dictators however with all the frustrations that we see in the media about shady practices that number seems off to me.
A Rant After Paying My Monthly Bill & Hot Water Tank Rentals
So a head’s up that I’m writing this a bit hot under the collar; just need to get this off my chest. That is one of the wonderful things about blogging – it can be just as therapeutic to the writer as it is helpful to the reader. So, that being said – here is a bit of a rant.
In December of 2012 Sarah and I moved into our new home. It was a magical time with a ton of paperwork on closing and several delays before that. If you have bought a home (new or resale) you know the house often includes a hot water tank rental. The term hot water tank rental can be quite deceiving though. The practices of the “service supplier” can be shady at best. I’m not going to talk about the company by name but feel free to DM on Twitter or email me if you are curious.
Prioritize your money. To change your money habits all you have to do is understand what is urgent and important for you and then line align your actions up with that. That’s it. Often people make prioritizing out to be more difficult than it really is. Let me show you an example using my laundry situation and to explain the basics of urgent vs important.
As a personal finance blogger, I feel it would be irresponsible to not post something to do with RRSP contributions. We are now in the last week of February. You may notice recently the offices of the financial advisors at your bank are consistently packed. There are advertisements and articles in every financial magazine or newspaper reminding you to contribute now. Contributing to your RRSPs is incredibly important, I’m not going to tell you otherwise even for an instant. Having meals is also really important. Do you have the whole day’s worth of food at night – or do you spread it out? Is there really such thing as an RRSP Season?
This is what I think every February. Why do so many Canadians wait until the end of the tax year to contribute?