I have seen some financial advice along the lines of “wait a long time for big purchases.” I get the concept of this advice but it is more to do with impulse spending. If you are prone to spending on a whim or tend to make a lot of unbudgeted purchases, wait to spend money. This goes for purchases that are big or small. Today marks 5 years that we got the keys to our house and it was the biggest financial decision of our life. I could also say that it was one of the fastest as well. If I think about advice to wait a year on a big purchase I know that for our home it doesn’t make sense. In honour of 5 years in the house I thought it would be interesting to share how we went against that advice and made the biggest purchase in our lives in 4 hours.
By the third month I felt like we had turned the corner. Ava was sleeping consistently through the night (we are so lucky) which made for better sleep for us! At this point I was more mobile and I went out as much as I could. Knowing that the winter was coming upon us, I know that it will be harder to get out every day so I was trying to soak it up when the struggle wouldn’t involve bad weather.
The Basement is FINISHED!
After months of finishing touches the basement renovation is finally finished. There are some décor items that still need to be found but that isn’t much of a priority. Several months back I did a post showing the mid-way point of the renovation. Now we are very excited to have a finished area with nice tiles so we don’t need to wear shoes to do our laundry!
We are now in the midst of a renovation break. We have some worked planned to redo the front of the house and possibly our powder room next year depending on finances. Then after that we have to save up to do hardwood on the top floor of our house (and either stain or replace the hardwood on our main floor).
It’s that time of year where the holiday music is playing non stop and ads for Black Friday are popping up. In Canada since we have Thanksgiving in early October the unofficial start of the holiday season is right after Halloween; basically 2 months long. In the United States it’s only about 5 weeks long starting on the day after the American Thanksgiving, Black Friday. Here are some tips for your holiday shopping.
How we planned and replanned for formula & diaper costs
Hopefully you are aware in June Sarah and I welcomed our wonderful baby girl Ava into the world. This was not only a planned baby in the traditional sense of the word, but also the money/financial. Sarah and I did some pretty extensive research and planning for the financial implications of the decision we were making. We dug through blogs giving lists of must-have purchases. Math was completed for what Sarah would be getting from her company for maternity pay. The Canadian government also has an amazing maternity benefit through our employment insurance program for which we are extremely grateful.
During the planning we added several line items to our budget. We had a line item to cover the drop in pay from the household second income. A line for purchases we knew we’d need. Registered education savings plan (RESP) on another and then a separate line to cover formula and diapers. This was the most stressful line to figure out as the requirements were loaded with variables.
I mentioned before that we have had our own share of financial privilege. This is a topic that is so deep and difficult to discuss but I’m going to talk about it some more. This community doesn’t talk about it enough but it is so vital to some of the success that people have had that it needs to be discussed. I don’t think it is ever enough to stop talking about this one.
As mentioned in the Life with a Baby Month 1 update Ava struggled with eating. I was desperately trying to breastfeed but it wasn’t working the way it needed to. I was trying to feed her all the time and supplement with some formula but honestly we didn’t know how much formula to give her. We were giving her 2-3 oz at a time and then when she finished and still appeared hungry we didn’t listen to her and tried to soothe her in another way. This resulted her being only 5oz over her birth weight by her 1 month appointment. I didn’t really know how much we should give her or how much she should weigh. The doctor told us in no uncertain terms to feed her until she doesn’t want anymore. If she finishes 4oz put another oz in the bottle. Keep feeding her until she doesn’t want anymore. Read more
Talking About Our Goals
Sarah and I were having a chat the other day regarding our financial goals which inspired me to write about the importance of goals in making financial choices. There is also a difference between a financial goal and financial priorities. The terms GOALS and BUDGET get misused quite frequently. Too often, priorities don’t match up with either which is where you can run into problems with satisfaction in your life.
We just came back from a lovely wedding of a close friend of ours this weekend. It was an out of town wedding with 2 nights in a hotel. It was loads of fun even if we did have a 4 month old! The wedding had me reflecting on our wedding that was just 6 years ago (or forever ago depending on who you ask). The thing about reflecting is the line of questioning that eventually pops up is “would you do anything differently?” Scott has touched on this previously; financial regret only happens when things don’t work out the way you want them to.
We are happily married so I don’t regret getting married but do I regret spending what we did? Read more
A Look At Sales Techniques
As I mentioned earlier in the year, I am currently working in a role that is sales/commission based. I am part of a fantastic team, very little cutthroat, quite supportive and am happier than I have ever been. My team is comprised of a manager and one other account manager. All three of us have a certain number of clients that we are responsible for and of course we are all focused on getting new accounts. The service we sell is the exact same – yet we each have very different approaches. This isn’t an “Art of the Deal” type of post; I don’t profess to know everything there is to know about selling/closing. The approach I strive for isn’t important either – I’d love to hear your feedback on which you think is the most effective. A combination of the three is the easy way out – but if you HAD to choose, let me know what you think.