Give Me Back My Five Bucks

November 2017 Goals

November is shaping up to be a fun month! I’m looking forward to bringing my boots and winter coats back out, and settling into a cozy routine at home. I want to cook curries and stews and fill the freezer with leftovers, and I also really want to clean out my closets and donate at least a few bags of clothing that I no longer wear.

This month is also when I’ll be headed to Toronto for 4 days for the 2017 Canadian Personal Finance Conference! I’m so thrilled because we have an entirely female speaker line-up for the Saturday. It’s just so exciting when the speakers, attendees, and sponsors are all equally enthusiastic about what’s been put together so far. If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, head over to CPFC.CO for more information – and as a special offer to GMBMFB readers, I have a coupon for 20% off the ticket price. Just enter in the code CPFC2017_GMBMFB! Can’t wait to see you there!

There’s also a chance I’ll be headed to Toronto in the middle of the month for a day or two of meetings with a freelance client. I’m keeping my fingers crossed about this one, because if it works out, I think it’ll be one of the coolest freelance gigs I’ve ever been apart of. :)

Our little cat Zoey has been with us for just over a month, and she seems to be settling in nicely. I’ve got a routine set around her meals, and we’re starting to get her sleep schedule more aligned with ours. :) She used to wake up at 2am and just got nuts running around the house playing with her toys. But in the past couple of days she’s slept until around 5am which is when I wake up most mornings anyway. Hopefully we can keep that progress up.

Anyway, here is my budget for November!

November 2017 Goals:

  • Set up a joint savings account. RD mentioned it would be nice to have a savings account set up so that we’re at least earning something instead of having all of our joint money sitting in the chequing account.
  • Consolidate my TFSA accounts. I have some money sitting in a Tangerine TFSA account from a few years ago, and I’ve been wanting to move it over to Questrade all year, I’ve just been too lazy to transfer it over. Then I’ll only have 3 TFSA accounts (TD e-series, Questrade, and stocks from work in a Sunlife account).
  • Get my boots re-soled. I two pairs of boots that desperately need a new heel. Not sure I’d survive the winter without them.
  • Pack a lunch every work day. This will be tough, but doable. The only exceptions will be if it’s a work lunch with my team, or if a friend from out of town is visiting.

Changing my mind about pet insurance

After I wrote my blog post earlier this month about if you have pet insurance for your cat or dog, I really started to think about what having insurance meant. My reasons for not getting insurance were because RD and I are excellent savers, I am giving Zoey the highest quality food, and the fact that no insurance company really covers everything (in fact, a lot of them seemed a bit sketchy).

But RD and I continued to talk about insurance. He was willing to spend money on emergencies and vet care should anything arise, but he wanted to have a limit to how much we would spend if she got really, really sick. I totally understood where he was coming from, but I’ve become a bit obsessed with my cat in the month we’ve had her. And I absolutely did not want a limit because I didn’t want to have to make that kind of choice. It would be too hard for me to put a dollar value on an animal’s life (especially one I love). If I had the money to pay for her to get better, I wanted to spend it, no matter the cost. Even if it got out of hand. Which, financially, is not logical. But emotionally, I couldn’t have it any other way. This is my first pet, and she’s had a hard enough life as it is … I didn’t want to potentially have to put her down over $10,000, or a few expensive years of vet bills for ongoing issues, or whatever the amount might be. RD agreed, and we (fairly quickly) changed our minds and ended up buying pet insurance.

It was $292 to insure her for the year (we split the cost). The insurance includes a $250 deductible, $15,000 annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement. None of the online reviews of pet insurance companies were spectacular, but I ended up going with Petplan. It got decent ratings, and came recommended by my cousin (who works at an emergency vet hospital) and a few other friends who had used them and claimed successfully.

It’s interesting how quickly I changed my mind about pet insurance, and I think it was writing the blog post about not getting insurance that tipped me over into wanting to get it. :) I know our rates will go up as she gets older, but right now it’s worth it to me. We might decide later on that it’s not, but I think it’ll just become an annual expense for us. Hopefully we never have to use it, but it gives me the peace of mind knowing that we have it (along with our savings) should anything come up in the future.

October 2017 Goals

October is probably my favourite month of the year – I just love the colder weather, breaking out my sweaters, cooking curries and stews, and spending cozy evenings indoors (except when I have field hockey practice in the evenings – brrr!).

One change to our Fixed Expenses it that our condo fees have gone up about $40/month – which is a pretty significant jump, but still cheaper than most condo buildings in our area. I like the fact that we have 24/7 security, full-time caretakers, and regular cleaning to all floors and common area spaces.

This month my spending looks pretty normal, with the exception of a few things:

  • We are installing a screen door to our patio – so we can enjoy some fresh air and kitty can stay safely inside.
  • We will be going away for the November long weekend, and about 12 days over Christmas, so we’ve hired a pet sitter to watch Zoey twice a day while we’re gone. Maybe two visits a day is a bit much, but I want to keep her feeding times on a regular schedule, and she hates (HATES) a dirty litter box.
  • I’m starting my Christmas shopping by giving myself a $300 budget for the month. My budget will likely be a lot more, but for now this will be fine as I have something in mind. :)
  • The car needs an oil change and a couple of small things fixed.

October 2017 Goals:

  • Work out 3-4 times each week (average). Gym, rock climbing, field hockey.
  • Check credit score. Once a year treat, for my birthday!
  • List at least 5 things for sale online. There’s a lot we can get rid of.
  • Research pet camera systems. We left Zoey at home overnight so that we could go to my parents for Thanksgiving, and I was surprised at my anxiety level. I think some sort of camera system will help me with that, especially since we’re gone during the days, and have a couple of vacations coming up. Initial research shows me they’re about $150-300 in price. I know that she’s fine by herself all day, but just being able to see her somehow makes me feel better. Maybe I’ve already turned into a crazy cat lady. :)
  • Work on freelance business. I need to follow up with some clients, and finalize a contract or two for the fall.
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