Category Archives: saving money

Finding that perfect balance

People have been commenting that I seem to have found a good balance between saving and spending my money. For those who have been following me for a while, I’m sure they remember when I was completely obsessed with saving every single penny … and I would hum and haw over purchasing the smallest things, even though I was making good money. I don’t regret any of that, because that was the right thing to do at that point in my life. I got myself out of debt very quickly, and was able to build up a decent RRSP portfolio. That being said, I’m not sure if I would want to go back to living that way again … but it’s nice to know that I have it in me if I wanted to.

I also think it had something to do with the kind of relationship I was in. With my ex-BF it was all about saving. We were both saving SO much money, but we didn’t DO anything. Ever. And it really affected our relationship. I wanted to go out sometimes for dinner, or go see a movie, or go do things that might cost money – and most of the time, he did not want to go. He wanted to stay home and save his money. And yeah, I saved a lot of money – but my quality of life was affected. I wasn’t happy.

With BF, we both have the same interests, and we both like going out and doing new things – but since we both have sort of the same financial goals, we’re doing it while still being responsible.

And we keep each other in check too. If something is too expensive, I know that neither of us has a problem telling the other person. And sometimes when I get out of hand (I wanted a gorgeous $200 coat, and I wouldn’t stop talking about it for like 2 weeks), he will talk me out of it. Or at least ask me if it’s necessary to buy another coat, when I bought 3 coats last year. And if he has some sort of grand scheme to buy something/make money, I might suggest something more financially responsible.

It’s a good balance. I’m certainly a lot happier, and I’m still able to save around $1,000/month. I mean, sure I could buckle down and probably save a couple hundred more, but I enjoy going out and doing things. Last year, I would have definitely forced myself to save as much as possible, but I’m happy with my current level of progress … and I’m confident that, if I ever need to save more money for something, I would be able to trim my spending without a problem, because I’ve done it before successfully. And that is a huge step.

Waiting to get paid…

Because I started my new job in the middle of their pay cycle, I have to wait 3 weeks to get paid – this is the 2nd week. Meaning I get paid next Friday.

With starting a new job and trying to find a new place to live, I haven’t really been paying much attention to my finances (besides nearly having a heart attack when I saw my RRSP portfolio). I’m going to have to get my act together and figure this out.

I’m almost certain that September and October will see my net worth fall – my RRSP portfolio has fallen, and I’m having to take $$ out of my EF to cover the damage deposit on the new apartment, and the 1/2 month of double rent I’ll have to pay. Plus, my Travel Fund will basically be cleaned out with my upcoming trips.

So, I’m really going to have to prioritize my finances, and look at everything from 2 years into the future. Where do I want to be, and how can I go about achieving those goals? Then, I’m going to create an action plan and stick to it.

Keeping track of what I’m eating

The past 2 days I’ve been keeping a journal of what I’m eating. I did the same thing a few summers ago when I wanted to lose weight. It makes me think a little harder about what I’m eating – is that food healthy? Am I actually hungry, or am I just bored?

And I think it’s also going to help me save money. I’m going to think farther ahead – so if I’m out and about all day, maybe I’ll throw a water bottle and a few granola bars in my purse, so I don’t have to go out and buy something. It’s healthier and costs less.

I’d still like to lose about 5 lbs. before the wedding, and I have about 3.5 weeks to do it in.

This coming weekend I’m going camping with a few girlfriends, and I’ll have to wear a bathing suit, which I’m not exactly thrilled about. But it’s the first time I’ve had to put it on all year, so I guess I had a good run while it lasted.

Anyway, I have to do a few things around town today, so I’ll be doing a lot of walking. And then perhaps in the evening, I’ll go for a run or a long walk.

I think BF and I are going to join a rock climbing gym. Apparently with his job, he gets membership to the gym for free, and I would get it for 50% off (a 3-month pass is $200, so I would only have to pay $100). BF said we should split the cost of the gym, but I don’t think it’s fair for him to have to pay for my membership, since he gets his for free. But whether I pay $50 or $100, it’s still a really good deal. I think that if we both commit to going at least twice a week, it would be worth it. And rock climbing is a lot more fun than going to a regular gym, so I think it might work out.

Should I set up a Health Fund?

After work today, I went to the chiropractor, and he said that my neck, back and shoulders seemed SUPER tense. I know that I should keep going to the chiropractor, but it’s $40 for each visit, which is more than I can really afford once I stop having extended health coverage. However, you can’t really put a price tag on your health … so perhaps I will have to continue with the sessions. They do seem to be helping.

Plus, I have about 60 hours of vacation payout coming my way, so perhaps I should start some sort of “Health Fund” and auto-deposit money into that account every pay cheque. It would help to pay for prescriptions, dentist visits, chiropractor appointments, or maybe even one or two massages per year – and besides the car accident I was in 2 years ago, I’ve never seen a massage therapist before.

I was thinking of saving $100 bi-weekly into this “Health Fund,” but perhaps I could just dump all that money into my EF and keep it all under one big EF-umbrella. It would certainly make things a little more simple in terms of keeping track of all my savings accounts. But, is a massage appointment really considered an “emergency”? It’s a tough call.

I heart movie theatre coupons

If you don’t already visit Smart Canucks on a regular basis, go there now. There’s a post with a link to an Empire Theatres coupon. Purchase one adult admission ticket & recieve a second admission ticket free!

Awesome! The new Will Ferrell movie, Step Brothers, is coming out at the end of this month. I’ll probably use my coupon to go see it with BF. There aren’t many movies that I deem “theatre-worthy,” but anything by Will Ferrell is kind of a given. The last movie I saw in theatres was Semi-Pro (and that was using a coupon as well). It’s a good thing my BF has the same sense of humour as me. :)

Speaking of comedies, what’s your all-time favourite comedy movie?

Mine is Anchorman. Without a doubt. Not only is it my favourite comedy, but it is the greatest movie ever made, and that’s a scientific fact.

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