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$200 in credit from WestJet

Woo hoo! I just got 2 x $100 in travel credit from WestJet for booking that trip to Mexico! I asked my mom if she wanted it for her and my dad (since they were the ones who paid for the Mexico trip), but she said I could use it as long as my sister didn’t mind. Sis said she wasn’t going anywhere this year, and that I could have both credits. Score.

I plugged in my flight to Toronto just to check it out and it worked, so that’s awesome. But the ticket would still be $600+ after taxes/fees, so I’ll still keep waiting. I’m confident I can find a flight for around $500.

The 2 x $100 credit is good until December 31, 2010 with travel dates before March 31, 2011. Which is perfect. They have some blackout dates, but none of them apply to when I’d want to use them anyway. Even if I use 1 x $100 for my Toronto trip, BF and I could use the other $100 credit for our flights to Hawaii (provided the cheapest airfare is with West Jet), or for sure for our flights to Calgary in February.

Totally makes up for that WestJet FAIL when I was put on hold for almost 80 minutes last fall.

Pay day & benefits breakdown

Today is pay day (and Friday – woo hoo!). My net pay is only $60 less than my previous job and I’m getting more vacation days and full 100% coverage health benefits for the both of us. PLUS, previous to this job, BF and I were paying $114/month combined for MSP (since we didn’t have a health plan), and that is now covered. So really, I’m making more than what I was at my old job, even though salary-wise I’m making a tiny bit less ($1k difference annually).

After my car payment and setting some aside for regular living expenses, here is what I was able to save today:

  • $300 Retirement Portfolio ($250 RRSPs, $50 TFSA)
  • $50 Emergency Fund
  • $100 Savings Fund
  • $75 Property Fund (BF also contributed $75)
  • $50 Travel Fund
  • $25 Car Fund

That’s $600 I was able to save, for a total of 43.5% of my net income.

I’ve had some people curious about my health & benefits package. I’ve already started coverage – there is no waiting period. There is also a $1 million lifetime maximum under the plan – so in other words I can’t exceed $1 million worth of benefits. It’s a 100% full coverage package, which includes extended medical, dental, short/long term disability, and life (2x annual salary). The cost of this package for BF and I (which also includes our MSP payments of $57/month each  = $114/month) is $23.54 bi-weekly. This means all of our prescription drugs are 100% covered, doctor & dentist visits, emergency medical, as well as specialist visits (up to $500 annually for each) like chiropractor, massage therapy, acupuncture, etc. We also have a Health Spending Account (HSA) of $250 annually that we can use if we go over the $500 annually for specialist visits, or if we go over for custom orthotics or vision (which neither of us need). This is one of the best health & benefits package I have ever seen.

Anyway, I’m closing in on my 4th week on the job. I can’t believe how fast time is flying by! My old job still hasn’t found a replacement for me (they probably never will with the ridiculously strange qualifications they’re after), and it really feels like just a few days ago I was still unemployed and depressed. It’s good. I’m excited for what’s to come.

Pay Day Friday

I am so glad the weekend is here!  I’d really like to do some maintenance on this blog, workout a few times, and perhaps see a couple of friends. Although nothing has been planned yet. I’d also like to get down to Washington to try on a few other pairs of VFFs. Not too long ago I mentioned that I’d be interested in running a marathon – well if I did run one, it would be wearing VFFs. Interesting, eh? As if running a marathon isn’t challenging enough – now I’m going to have to learn and adapt to running “barefoot.”

Since it was also pay day, this is what I was able to save:

  • $300 Retirement Portfolio ($250 RRSPs, $50 TFSA)
  • $50 Emergency Fund
  • $100 Savings Fund
  • $150 Property Fund

That is 43% of my net income, which is right about average. I would have been able to save a little bit more, but BF and I bought a stove off Craigslist today. :) It’s a good, reliable brand and only 6 months old. Asking price was $575. I told BF to negotiate down to at least $500, but we’ll see how he does. He hates haggling, but I love it! At any rate, even if he ends up offering $575, we’ll be paying less than $290 each for it. It’s about time we got a stove! But we still need to get everything rewired and vented before we can use it. But, it’s a start.

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