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Heading to the Oregon Coast!

oregoncoastI mentioned briefly in my post about postponing big travel plans that we are headed to the Oregon Coast on Friday. :) I’m really excited for this trip because work has been pretty busy, and I feel like it’s been forever since the last vacation. But, since everything is a bit up in the air with expenses this year and how much I can really expect to make with scaled back freelancing and my new job, I thought it would be a good idea to map out the expenses.

Here is an estimate of what I think my portion of the spending will be for the 5 days we’ll be gone:

Hotel – $205 (4 nights)
Food – $200
Entertainment – $150
Gas – $80
Miscellaneous – $50

ESTIMATED TOTAL: $685

A short, but sweet trip. And the cost isn’t too bad. I mean, it definitely could have been cheaper if we wanted to spend less on accommodation. None of the places we are staying at are fancy, but they’re all right on the beach, so that means the prices fall about mid-range at about $100/night. The estimated gas cost I got from plugging our mileage into the trip planner on GasBuddy.com, so I think it will be pretty accurate.

Based on the way we’ve traveled in the past, we’re both pretty good at eating simply. We are going to bring a cooler for veggies (bringing the juicer along), as well as food for lunches, etc. I do anticipate going out to eat for dinners, and I think our only splurge meal will be when we go out with my friends.

As for entertainment, we plan on hanging out in Oregon Dunes National Park (and renting dune buggies!), as well as checking out the Tillamook Cheese Factory. :)  Other than that, it’ll just be spending time at the beach, and relaxing.

The countdown is on. Now, my fingers are crossed the rain holds off and we get a bit of sunshine on our trip. :)

P.S. Has anyone gone to Sea Lion Caves before? Is it worth it? I’m having a hard time convicing BF that it’s worthy of a stop on our trip.

An update on life

It’s been a crazy few months, and I know I’ve been neglecting this blog a little bit. But I’ve still been able to keep up with reading all of the other PF blogs I follow, and I appreciate all of the comments you’ve left on the posts that I have managed to get out. :)

Here’s an update on what’s going on in my world…

On fitness:

photo(4)Three days ago, I was supposed to be running in my 4th half marathon – the BMO Half Marathon. I shelled out $132.17 on my registration back in February with the hopes of training hard through the spring and breaking the 1:50 mark.

But instead, I watched from the sidelines. It was really tough. Especially because I was already registered and really looking forward to this race. Injuries are frustrating, and mine keeps flaring up. I ran a pain-free 6km last month (which was really promising), but during a recent field hockey game, I stepped the wrong way, and the pain was back again for a few hours. My foot feels fine now (averaging > 10km of walking per day), but I’m really aware of how easy it will be to reinjure myself.

Related: Why running is not a frugal activity

Seeing those runners sprint by was really motivating, and even BF admitted that he wanted to start running too. I need to remember that feeling as I head into the summer and start training for the Goodlife Half Marathon in Victoria. :)

Oh, and after one full month of using my FitBit, I’m still extremely pleased. BF and I have switched up our diets slightly, and as a result of eating healthier and walking a lot more, I’ve lost 5 pounds since the beginning of April. Not bad! Part of June’s monthly challange will likely be about running and yoga.

On travel:

I was thinking this would be a quiet year for travel, but so far I’ve already gone to Portland, and to Las Vegas. Here’s what else is on the radar:

  • Edmonton (June) – Just a short trip for 3 days. We are staying with people there, so I’ll have to budget for a flight and spending money. Approx. cost: $450
  • Okanagan (July – tentative) – We’ve been invited by good friends of mine to spend the July long weekend in the Okanagan for some sun, swimming, and wineries. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to get the extra day off work, but my fingers are crossed. Approx. cost: $400
  • Seattle (August) – This is my (annual?) family trip to Seattle to watch the Blue Jays play the Mariners. It’s the third year taking my dad to a ball game, and I know he really enjoys it. Approx. cost: $300
  • Europe (September) – Besides going to Paris, we have no real plans. I’m letting BF plan this one out for the most part because I’ve been to the majority of the big cities in Europe already. We’ve tossed around all sorts of ideas (Paris-Amsterdam-Copenhagen, all the way to Athens-Santorini-Istanbul). Approx. cost: $3,000

On life:

Life is really good right now. A few days ago, my aunt commented about how “soul happy” I seem to be these days, and I think she’s right. Despite losing my job earlier this year, I think I was able to rebound relatively quickly. I feel settled and comfortable, which is something I haven’t felt in a really long time … and while I don’t have a lot of friends here in Vancouver, I think I have really good friends. BF always says that you get to choose who you spend your time with, and I think I’m spending them with the right people. :)

Work has been busy as well. I’m still really enjoying my new job, and appreciate how much the company values work-life balance. This industry is unfamiliar to me, but I’m glad that I broke into it, because I feel like this is where I belong. I’ve always been interested in real estate, architecture, urban planning, etc. and to be a part of a company that touches those industries… that’s really fun and exciting for me.

On money:

Back in March, I made a point to stop stressing about money. Sure, sometimes I stare at my RRSP numbers (currently saving 21% of my net income towards retirement), and sometimes I worry that I’m not doing as much as other people my own age, but I try to stop those thoughts as soon as I get them. Because I’m doing the best that I can to live a balanced life, and I can’t continue to compare myself to other people.

I’m also paid twice a month here at work, instead of bi-weekly. So I’ll have to adjust my mortgage schedule to reflect that. And I want to start tracking and reading up on a few companies so I can figure out what my next stock purchase will be.

Anyway, that’s my update! I hope you’re all doing well. :)

Wednesday Miscellaneous

I have a lot of lofty goals this year, and I’m already struggling with keeping myself on track. Not because the goals are too far out of reach, but because I’ve been a bit scattered with my thoughts lately (which is also probably why I haven’t been writing as often as usual on this blog).

So far, January has been booked solid with work, social plans, and field hockey/running. I haven’t had a free evening since before Christmas, and from the looks of my Google calendar, I won’t have one for at least another 3 weeks. I need to scale things back. Breathe. Spend time at home. I need balance, and I don’t have that right now.

Here’s been what’s on my mind lately:

  • What I thought would stress me out the most (saving at least $750/month into RRSP/TFSA) seems to be the easiest goal so far. Everything is automated, and I don’t even have to think about it. The same goes for my $50 bi-weekly contribution to a long-term savings account earmarked for travel.
  • Speaking of travel, BF and I have made tentative travel plans this year: a trip over the 4 day Easter long weekend (so far we have discussed Portland or Kansas City), and he’s thinking of joining me for my vacation to Europe in the fall. Since I’ll be in Sweden for work, we would travel to Copenhagen, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Normandy, and potentially end up in Paris. If that trip falls through, I’ll likely do a solo trip to Finland and Russia.
  • I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming vegetarian. I’ve been a pescetarian (no meat or poultry) for almost a full year, and that has actually been really good. But I really feel like going vegetarian will be super restricting in social situations. Especially coming from a meat-eating, seafood-loving family. Of course, there are millions of vegetarians out there, so it’s not like my issues are unique. It’ll just take some time to adjust.
  • There is a ski day planned in a few weeks, and it will be the first time I’ve gone in years. So, that’ll probably be fun, but embarrassing. Mostly embarrassing. :) There has been zero snow that has fallen in the last week, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that conditions on the mountains will improve by the time I go.
  • A few weeks ago, I had a wine and movie night at my house with my oldest friend of 19 years. After a recent falling out with someone I thought was my friend, I was reminded of how important long lasting relationships are, and what true friends mean to each other. :)
  • I’m going to have to buy tires for my car sometime this year. This is a major stress for me, because I know nothing about tires and I’m always afraid of getting ripped off with any car-related things. I know people who have saved a ton of money buying tires in the USA, but with the dollar being the way it is, I wonder if it’s even worth it.
  • After reading and re-reading my Chilly Chase Half Marathon recap, I created a running schedule for the next 3 months. I think it will be hard to simultaneously train for a 10km and a half marathon (the races are just 1 week apart), but once field hockey season ends, I should be okay. And I’ve decided that if I don’t PR in the BMO Half Marathon, I’ll scrap the idea of running a marathon in the fall, and focus on my half marathon time instead.

Anyway, that’s it from me over here. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. :)

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