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Dear Employment Services: thank you. finally.

OMG, I just checked Employment Services online, and I’M GETTING PAID OUT FOR MY EI!!! I can’t believe it! Finally, 10.5 weeks later, I’m getting a grand total of $2,681 deposited into my bank account on Monday. That’s amazing.

I have some charges to pay off on my credit card from the past few weeks due to the move to Vancouver, but the rest of it is going straight back into the EF. I would imagine I’d be back around the $2k mark with the EF after it’s all said and done. Right now I’m down to around $200 (which is pretty darn scary to know that I’ve basically used up my entire EF) b/c I had to pay a $300 deposit & $600 for my 1st month of rent.

I know, I should really update the sidebars. I just haven’t had time to sit down for a few hours and really dig through my finances and get them up-to-date. This weekend is a no-go because BF and I are going back to the island. I’m thinking next week I’ll be able to get it done. I’ll have to block off a few hours after work one evening, and get my hands dirty. I really need to get this done, because I’m starting to hide from my finances again.

Dear U-Haul: you’re killing me here!

U-Haul. What can I say about them? I just got a call from them, saying they found 3 damage spots on the vehicle that I didn’t report when I did my walk-around. They said I would be fully liable for all of the costs, because I didn’t opt for the insurance. The woman on the phone was pretty straight-forward, but was nice enough and said that I should fight the charges because that bitchy customer service rep didn’t do a walk around of the vehicle with me when I first went to get it, and legally she HAS to. She said the back end looked like I had just plowed into a building (we were never even close to a building!), and also noted there was a puncture wound on the top of the vehicle and on one of the sides (and did you know that even if you opt for the insurance, that still doesn’t cover the top of the vehicle!?). She also noted that it was going to be pretty darn expensive to repair. WHAT!

I was so angry and at work and on the verge of tears after I hung up with her, so I immediately called BF. Not really sure why, since there was nothing either of us could do about it while we were both at work.

About 10 minutes later, the U-Haul woman called back and said that she called the head office in Phoenix, and explained my situation with them. She said that they ruled that since that CSR didn’t do a walk around with me, I couldn’t be held liable for any of the damage. I was SO relieved! There was no way I could have paid that bill without going into debt. Especially with my depleted and pathetic EF dwindling down to under $1,000.

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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