In early May we headed to Ottawa for a weekend. The weather was horrible and the 5 hour drive from Toronto took over 7.5 hours. There were lots of times when we had wipers on full speed and then took them down to normal and then back up again. It was dark and the highway had very few lights so it made the drive a little extra stressful. Not knowing the roads didn’t help the situation either. The back and forth of the wiper speed and the intense focus of the road were critical to make sure we were able to see the environment we were driving into. This got me thinking that adjusting to your changing environment is a skill that is good in all areas of your life, personal, professional and financial.
Ontario’s Pilot Project for Basic Income in the Province
Back in the Ontario Provincial Budget 2016 – the government made a commitment to launch a pilot project for a Basic Income Project in Ontario. The concept is that every (qualified) family would be awarded a basic income. This would happen regardless of if they were working or not. This year (2017) – the pilot is being launched in 3 Ontario communities to determine proof of concept. Similar programs have been launched all over the world with positive results. In very poor areas basic income seems to have a positive impact on child malnutrition. Parents are able to purchase basic necessities to feed their children. Not every person in Ontario is affluent by any means. Ontario does not have the same issues as many of the countries with struggling economies.
It is common to see personal finance bloggers share a monthly budget. This is usually done for one of a few reasons. Motivation for themselves and their readers or for transparency on what they are spending. I think for a lot of people they are very helpful and motivational for either the writer or the reader. It’s also cool to take a look at what other people are spending in different categories. Not that we encourage judgement on what other people spend their money on, because we don’t, however it is interesting to see what people spend just as a gut check to your spending. You won’t see a monthly budget here because we don’t focus on our budget like that.
Fuel Economy and How/Why to Figure it Out
A while back Sarah wrote a post about buying a “new to us” car. When buying a car there are so many things to consider – so many features to balance. How much the car has been driven, if there have been any accidents or liens put on the car, signs of rust or other factors about condition. You need to factor in style – SUV, sedan, truck, coupe, crossover. Then there are design features like sunroof, backup cameras, paint colour and navigation consoles. One stat that people always look at, even if they don’t understand it, is the fuel economy. This is a very important factor in the ongoing cost of the vehicle. I doubt I’m alone in not giving it fair play in terms of the financial decisions involved with a car purchase.
There was never a plan to get a Father’s Day card for Scott but her arrival at 6:05am was one of the most exciting moments of our life. We are all tired and sleepy but oh so happy. Our hearts are full of love and excitement but we know that there is a lot to do to keep this little one alive and thriving. Our first night at home was nice because there wasn’t a whole bunch of people coming or going into the room whenever they pleased. As can be expected it was full of emotion and chaos of night feedings and figuring things out as we go.
It was a tough delivery that ended in a C-section. I’m still recovering from that major surgery and it has been tough. Not being able to do some of the things I normally do, like drive, have been difficult. Laughing and coughing are rough as well and having a new baby around the house makes you laugh a lot. We are all from the same humble beginnings. What I do know is that things will get better over time. Every day I feel more and more like a normal person which is making me feel better as whole.
We are clearly very biased but she is so pretty (and smart and funny – since girls are more than just their looks). She looks exactly like Scott as a baby except her hair is brown like mine. It’s funny how nature works to let dad know “hey – this one is yours”.
One of the biggest changes to our lives is that things are a lot slower. As “list” people who deal with a whole bunch of things day to day things with a 1 week old aren’t that predictable or easy to manage. We knew that we would be slower getting to places but what I didn’t know is that you can’t really rush an infant into a schedule or routine that they are not ready for. We are just taking things a day at a time and learning as we go.
We will still be around with regular content coming but forgive us if we are slower than normal on some stuff. We are trying to figure life out and we look forward to getting into the groove of this new life we have. And yes I fell asleep at the computer just before I scheduled it.
Thank you for your support and love.
Sarah, Scott and Ava
We have mentioned a couple of times but Scott was let go from his job last year. He got a working notice which was basically means that he was told the last day he had a job. He got the notice in May of 2016 and his last date was December 31st. As Scott mentioned here we took some active steps to help prepare ourselves if in fact he was not going to be able to get a job after his last day. The most drastic step we took was moving to one income as of August, 5 months before he would have lost his job. Living on one income taught me more than I ever thought it would.
A Look At The Proposed Increase To Minimum Wage In Ontario
One thought that is shared amongst almost all millennials is that the cost of living is increasing at a much faster rate than income. In a perfect world, there would be parity between inflation of costs and inflation of wages. This isn’t a perfect world though and these trends tend to work more on reaction rather than cooperation. After much fanfare – Ontario is on the cusp of raising the minimum wage. This is part of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Due to the impact on retail and food service chains, the reactions are mixed. These employers often use a large number of minimum wage (or close to) workers to operate their business. I believe this is both a good, and necessary step towards improving our economy. Only time will tell if the effect is positive or negative.
From A Non-Millionaire’s Perspective!
There are over 1 million millionaires in Canada. Cross the border to the South and that number skyrockets to around 16 million. So in a sample of approximately 357 million people – almost 5% of us are millionaires. I wrote a post not that long ago about how the value of a million dollars has shrunk considerably. I still believe being a millionaire has a certain prestige to it even in today’s world economy. So if your goal is to have the title of millionaire – what is that going to take? I’m not talking about strategy – I’m talking about what you need to actually have to be a millionaire.
Sometime in late March we decided that it would be really nice to get away for a weekend. The last time we had gone on vacation was when we went to Las Vegas to celebrate our second wedding anniversary in 2013. It had been quite a long time for us and we figured it would be nice to get away even for a couple of days. We spent some time looking for a place to go. We knew we were not going to have a lot of time so we wanted to keep it in Ontario. After looking at a few places about an hour or two away from the city we decided that we would make a trip to Ottawa (our nation’s capital) for a weekend.