Give Me Back My Five Bucks

How I manage my money

I’ve had a few questions about how I manage my money, and how I’m partitioning my funds. Basically, for every sidebar listed, I have a separate savings account. I also have a chequing account, which holds anywhere from $10-$600 at any given time. That money is always fluctuating, so I don’t bother listing it on the sidebar, or in my NetworthIQ.

  • Emergency Fund – PC Financial Interest Plus Savings Account
  • Condo Down Payment – PC Financial Interest Plus Savings Account
  • Travel Fund – ING Direct Savings Account
  • Gift Fund – PC Financial Interest First Savings Account
  • Retirement Portfolio – TD Canada Trust e-Funds

I like having separate accounts b/c it makes it way less confusing for me to try to partition pooled money. Plus, it’s not like it costs anything to have multiple savings accounts, so why not?! Also, I manage all of these accounts through Quicken.

I really love Quicken because I can get as detailed as I want to get with my money. I like how it will graph out my progress, remind me of upcoming bills and transactions, show me my net worth, and help me maintain my budget.

Before I used Quicken, I was tracking all of my spending through a really complicated Excel spreadsheet that I created. Once I switched to Quicken, managing my personal finance became FUN. Seriously. And it was way more motivating to see all of my money and progress listed in a real, professional program. As opposed to Excel, which is pretty ghetto compared to Quicken. Sometimes, I would just explore Quicken for hours, figuring out my debt totals, creating debt reduction strategies, playing around with a budget, and scheduling transactions. It’s awesome!

Anyway, if any of you have any more questions about how I’m managing my money, please let me know. :)

The 3-month review: conclusion

So yes, I’ve decided to stay in Vancouver. And out of this whole salary review process, none of it would have happened had I not spoken up and initiated the conversation. If this had happened a year ago, I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to ask for the raise/salary review, even though I was entitled to one. Which goes to show you that you won’t get things in life if you don’t grow a pair and ask for what you want.

I worked for a local music store PT, off and on for about 5 years … and not once did I receive a performance review or a salary raise. In 5 freaking years! I made $8.50 the entire time, and sure I wanted more money … but I couldn’t bring myself to ask for a raise. In the end, it was worth it for me to make a crappy $0.50 above minimum wage just to avoid that confrontation.

But not anymore. Last summer, I decided to make a life change. Along with getting my finances in order, I wanted to be happy with my life … and a big concern was making sure I’m able to stand my ground and believe in myself. I needed to become more confident. I also wanted to always speak my mind when something was bothering me. Not just professionally, but also financially, and in my personal life. There were going to be some big changes.

And now, I notice the changes at work. I’m more assertive. If my boss is giving me too much work, or I’m frustrated with the way he’s treating me, or the way something is being handled, I’ll tell him. Not in a rude way, but things like that need to be said … otherwise I’d be miserable at work. I also think my boss appreciates my honesty.

Of course I notice the difference in terms of personal finance. I didn’t like the way I was being treated at TD Bank, so I peaced out and switched to PC Financial. I didn’t like the funds my Financial Advisor was putting me in, so I dropped her and am managing my own portfolio now. If there are charges on my cell phone bill that I disagree with, you can bet I’ll call them up to ask for a credit. Even if it’s just for 10 cents, I’m still going to do it. Last month, I got $13.54 taken off my bill b/c of something I disagreed with.

I also notice a difference in my relationship with BF, compared to past relationships. If something is bothering me, I’ll tell him. And we’ll talk about it. Probably longer than he’d like to talk about it, but the point is he knows how I feel. :) Perhaps it’s a testament to his understanding nature, but in the past, if something bothered me, I would have kept it to myself. And that’s just not a healthy thing to do.

I think we all deserve to be happy in our lives, but it’s up to us to make that happen. If you don’t like something, don’t just complain about it. Do something about it. Take charge of your life. It’s amazing the difference it will make.

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. All I wanted to say was that I’m frustrated that nothing would have gotten done if I hadn’t spoken up and asked for what I was promised. That’s all.

April Budget Challenge – Week 4

WAHOO! We’re done! :) Now it’s time to focus on the May Grocery Challenge. Have you signed up yet? If you haven’t, today’s your last day!!! So far, we have 56 64 particpants, making this the biggest challenge yet!

How did you do this week, and what did you think of this particular challenge? Was it easier/harder than you expected? Did you learn anything from this experience?

I learned that I need to be a little more disciplined with my dining out, and I need to plan things better. When I’m hanging out with J, I never really know what we’ll end up doing … so it’s hard to keep within a set budget. Especially b/c he doesn’t budget for things like this at all. I would do better with an overall budget, I think … but I really like setting these goals for myself, and it helps to keep Personal Finance challenging and fresh and exciting.


Dining out




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