Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Friday Money Musings

  • I have gotten a couple of quotes for the minor renovations I want to do on my place. Looks like the entire project (including labour and materials) will probably cost around $3,500-$4,000. I feel like this is a very reasonable price for the work I want done, and will pursue this option late next week once I’m actually living in my place. This has all been budgeted for, and the money is sitting in my savings account, earmarked for this very purpose.
  • Yesterday I went into the bank to sign and finalize my mortgage details. My mortgage payments are $1,098/month. But by increasing my payments to $600 with the accelerated bi-weekly option, I will shave almost 4 years off of my mortgage. And that doesn’t even include the lump sum payment I plan on making every year on my mortgage anniversary date. So I’m feeling really confident with my financial situation, and can finally relax and enjoy the process of being a homeowner.
  • Someone commented on the phone yesterday that I sounded happy. Which I guess might have been surprising to him, since I was kind of mopey last week. And you know, I am happy. The last few days have been really good. I’ve been working extremely hard, and I’m finding the positives in everything.
  • I have found a desk that I want to buy for $179, less a 20% coupon code that I found online. Clean lines, minimalistic. Perfect. Once I’ve moved in, I will be purchasing it.
  • I’m headed back home again this weekend. It’s a somewhat unplanned trip, but since this is the last season for the hockey team in my hometown, and they’re in the conference finals for the first (and last) time in franchise history, I need to see them play. I worked for them for 5 years, so it means more to me than just being a fan. :) Oh, and I’m meeting up with Cupcakes and Cash, and the ex-blogger formerly known as Blonde on a Budget aka Dogs and Dollars aka Positive Pennies. :)

Drawing design inspiration for my place

I need some serious design inspiration.

Ever since I moved to Vancouver, I’ve never had a place that I can truly call home. And because of that, I haven’t spent any time or money designing a unique space, or even buying any furniture. I’ve been saving the whole designing experience for my first home – and now that the time has come … I feel a bit overwhelmed! :) Over the past few days, I’ve been figuring out what kind of furniture I will need, where to put everything in my new space, and of course – paint colour! As a graphic designer, I feel like I have a bit of experience choosing complementary colours, textures and patterns. But nothing to the extent of an entire home.

So GMBMFB Readers, what websites do you use to draw inspiration from when looking to decorate your place?

So far I’m using Apartment Therapy and IKEA Hackers. Maybe also some websites that you can buy cool, funky, unique things from (that ship to Canada)? Because while I love the idea of buying second-hand and refinishing furniture to suit my style, I don’t have the time to do it and my slight OCD tendencies will end up driving me crazy. But also, part of me thinks I should just go the IKEA route, because 1) it’s cheap, 2) I most likely won’t have this furniture forever, and 3) it’s cheap.

Goal: Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

This is Mt. Kilimanjaro. All 5,895 m (19,341 ft) of it.

And it is now officially my goal to conquer. Potentially with Money Rabbit. That’s right, my good blogger friend and I are planning on climbing this epic mountain together! :) How’s that for a close-knit blogging community?

To date, the highest mountain I’ve climbed is Grimface Mountain at 2,635 m (8,645 ft). And the longest hiking trip I’ve been on is 4 days. That being said, after reading numerous guides and trip reports on Kilimanjaro over the past few years, and talking to people who have done the climb, I know what to expect and I know I’m physically capable of doing it. Whether I can take the altitude, I don’t know. I’ve never climbed that high before, and you really won’t know how your body is affected by it until you’re actually there. But I do know that I am comfortable on multi-day climbs which involve 8-10 hours of hard hiking per day, at a maximum of 20-22km/day before I feel like absolute death. And with a little training, I know I will be able to build up my endurance even more.

I’m sure I’ve talked about it before, but going to Kenya and Tanzania has been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid. I’ve always been fascinated with that part of the world, and even contemplated a career in archaeology because of it. When the trip around the world with ex-BF got canceled a few years back, I was absolutely heartbroken for months. But now that this goal has been revived, I feel great. I don’t need anyone else to go with, but I think it would be absolutely amazing to share this experience with someone like Money Rabbit. We can stand on top of one of the 7 summits of the world, and feel proud that we’ve accomplished such an epic goal together.

Cost: approximately $6,000 (this includes flight, hiking guide/group, accommodation, meals, short safari, and a visit to Zanzibar)
Time: 3 weeks

(photo credit:


P.S. I just want to give a shout-out to Jim Yih who wrote a great article yesterday called The new breed of financial bloggers: Young, frugal and vocal, featuring myself and Young and Thrifty! :)

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