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Week 10 without an EI payment

10 weeks in, and I’m even more frustrated than ever. I’ve been calling in every week to ask about the status of my claim (checking online is useless b/c the messages always say the same thing) … today the woman said that I should wait until Monday, and if I haven’t heard from anyone, then to call back in. I never hear from anyone … ever! So I don’t know who she thinks she’s dealing with. And why do I have to keep calling in? Shouldn’t they be the ones doing their jobs?

In other news, I’ve lost my glasses. Lost isn’t even the right word. I left them at a White Spot restaurant on Monday evening. BF and I both distinctly remember me taking my glasses off and putting them on the table. I just never put them back on … and when I finally realized what I had done, they had already closed. We got up and went back to the White Spot as soon as they opened the next morning (6:30 am), and I called twice during the day, but my glasses seem to have vanished. But White Spot is seriously THE ONLY place they could have been. I did not leave the restaurant with them on, and I know that for a fact.

So, what should I do? I need glasses. I was thinking of heading to the mall after work to buy a new pair (I’ve had my old pair for about 2 years) … but it seems kind of lame to drop $200 when I’ll be covered under my medical plan at work in less than 3 months. And I don’t want to buy frames online, because my face is oddly shaped (tiny Asian nose = no bridge) and I literally have to try on dozens and dozens of pairs in the store to make sure I get ones that fit me properly. My back-up pair is back at home on the island, and even those are about 3 or 4 prescriptions old and don’t correct my astigmatism. I’ll probably go to the mall and see what kind of deals the cheapo 1-hr. optical places have, and then make my decision there. My only saving grace is that I can use the money out of my tax return to pay for them … and in the meantime, I’ll take the $$ out of my EF.

EI update, cable services, and my credit score

So Employment Services called me yesterday afternoon. After asking me some ridiculous questions, she said she would have to contact my previous employers to verify everything that I had said was correct. She didn’t know how long that would take, so she wasn’t sure when my claim would be finalized. I really really hope this gets done by the end of the week.

I got a call from Shaw Cable today, and signed up for high-speed internet and basic cable for about $60/month. Plus, there’s a promotion going on where I get a free modem. I’m happy with that … and after reading all of your responses about whether you have cable or not, I think I’m going to keep my cable. I want to keep my entertainment costs to a minimum here, so if I can catch the game at home, that saves me from going out to a pub, or taking public transportation over to BF’s. They are coming to do the install on Monday after 6pm, which is super convenient because Monday will be my first day in my new place.

Also, I really really want to check my credit score. I haven’t checked since last March when it was 727, but I’m scared. For some reason I feel like my score is going to disappoint me. But it’s not like it can be worse than 727, right? When I last checked, I was still in debt. Now I’m not. And I haven’t applied for any new credit, so it only makes sense that my score would be better. Hmm.

Dear Emergency Fund: You saved my butt!

My EF is what’s saved me over the past 2.5 months. Since I clearly couldn’t have relied on the government for EI benefits, I would have been completely screwed without that $3k I had saved. It’s so incredible to me, that personal finance and saving money actually works. I’m still in awe of it all, and it’s insane that just one year ago, I had not one dollar to my name, and a whole whack of debt to get out of. And even though things didn’t exactly go my way this past year, I’m in a much more stable position now – freshly out of 2.5 months of unemployment – than I ever was with a full-time job.

It’s such a simple concept: save money. Why didn’t I get it for so many years?

When I started the EF, I honestly never thought I’d use it – I just thought it’d be a little chunk of money that just sat in a savings account for the rest of my life. Who would have thought that, as soon as I fully funded the EF, I would have had to use almost all of it up.

I haven’t checked Quicken in a few days, but as it last stands, I have about $1k left in the EF. I’ll update the sidebar sometime this week. Once I get my EI payments (provided I do actually get it), I will fully fund the EF back up to $3k, and then bump up my EF savings goal to $5k for the rest of 2008. I think that’s a realistic goal to have.

With my tax refund, I still hope to get around $4,500 back … and with that money, what I really should do is stick the entire thing back into my RRSPs. That would mean I’d only need to save another $2k all year to reach my 2008 goal of having a $22k portfolio. And provided I pass my probation at the FT job, I would also have to count my RPP plan into the mix … so when it’s all said and done, I could have a bigger portfolio at the end of 2008 than I had originally anticipated.

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