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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.

A fitness update

Fitness is a big part of my life, but I haven’t been blogging about it recently, so now that I think I’m fully (?) recovered from the foot injury I suffered last fall, I thought I’d take a few minutes and write about how everything is going. :)

Running
This has taken me the most time to get back into it, but it’s been going fairly well considering I haven’t really run since January. I’m comfortably running 10-12km right now at a 5’35″ pace, which I’m happy with, but I still have a long way to go. I remember a few weeks ago, I decided to go hard for a short 3km run. I thought I was sprinting – for sure close to a 10km race pace (about 5’00″ km) – but in reality? I was running 5’20″ kms. Yikes.

My best half marathon time was 1:53:51, and I’m hoping to race in under 1:50:00 in October. That’s going to require some dedication this summer for sure.

I’d like to stick with the half marathon distance, because the thought of doing 10km races gives me such anxiety. For some reason, I see 10km races as an all-out sprint. They are not particularily enjoyable because there’s no room for error – if you have a bad few minutes, you’re done. There’s almost no coming back from that. My best time is 49:59, and I really struggled to cross that finish line. I’m not sure my body could run any faster than that, but I’d sure like to run a sub-49 this year. :)

Right now, the only races I’m considering are the Vancouver Eastside 10km, Victoria GoodLife Half Marathon, and the Vancouver Historic Half Marathon. I think that’s enough to keep me motivated.

Field Hockey
Try-outs are coming up again for the fall season, so I’m hoping that I’ll be placed on the same team as last year. My mom keeps telling me that I’m getting too old to play field hockey, and that I’d better quit before my body quits for me. :) I do sometimes worry that my back will cause me problems, since that’s the reason my mom quit playing. But for now, my back feels fine. I know I can’t keep playing at this level forever, but I know I have at least a few good years in me. So I’ll keep going until I can feel myself slipping, and then I’ll reevaluate. But I’m thinking I have at least 2 seasons to go.

Tennis
Well, I’m not very good. My forehands are weaker than my backhands, if that gives you any indication of my progress. :) I know I should be practicing in-between lessons, so I’m going to try to do that during the next few weeks. I think I’m lucky because I have good footwork and agility (thanks to a lifetime of field hockey), as well as stamina (thanks to running). All I need to learn is how to, you know, hit the ball.

The past few months I’ve made a real effort to eat healthier and exercise more in an effort to lose a couple of pounds. I started out at 135 lbs back in April, and am now down to 127. It’s been a slow process, but I feel like I’m doing this in a healthy, sustainable way. :) It also really helps that BF is on board with healthy eating, and he’s trying to exercise every day as well. My goal is to settle in at around 125 lbs.

Spending Recap: June 9-15, 2014

Monday 9th
No Spend Day!

Tuesday 10th
No Spend Day!

Wednesday 11th
+ $50 Tangerine referral bonus
$10 Starbucks card (reload)
$1.11 iTunes

Thursday 12th
+ $200 freelance income
+ $22.48 Great Canadian Rebates
$5.25 Subway
$50 gas

Friday 13th
No Spend Day!

Saturday 14th
$100.80 Swimco
$12.58 groceries

Sunday 15th
$5.93 Booster Juice

Freelance Income: + $200 ( + $72.48)
Expenses- $185.67

TOTAL: + $86.81

This was a really good week in terms of spending. On Monday and Wednesday evenings, BF and I went up to the Squamish area to visit his parents who were camping for the week. The weather wasn’t fantastic, but the rain held off and it was nice to get out of the city. :)

I didn’t spend much on groceries this week because Monday-Thursday I wasn’t at home. And over the weekend, I picked up a few things from the store and made veggie sandwiches with hummus for a couple of meals. Sunday evening I went out with BF and his family to The Keg to celebrate Father’s Day and a birthday. As a vegetarian, it was a little difficult finding something to eat there, but I managed to get by with the baked brie, as well as a spinach salad.

Speaking of the weekend, I splurged and bought a new bathing suit. It was more than I wanted to spend (I had originally budgeted $80 for the month), but after spending 3 straight hours in Metrotown (on a Saturday afternoon!), I was done. And when I told BF how disappointed I was about the cost of the suit, he said I would be silly to return it. The amount of time I’d have to spend trying to find another one wouldn’t be worth the $20 savings and hassle. He’s right.

How was your week of spending?

Spending Recap: June 2-8, 2014

Monday 2nd
+ $25 Tangerine referral
$5.25 Subway

Tuesday 3rd
No Spend Day!

Wednesday 4th
$21.34 Craft Beer Market

Thursday 5th
No Spend Day!

Friday 6th
$14.75 Thierry Cafe (macarons)

Saturday 7th
$50 gas
$5.25 Subway
$10.30 groceries

Sunday 8th
$23.69 groceries

Freelance Income: $0 ( + $25 )
Expenses- $130.58

TOTAL: - $105.58

This was a bit of a stressful week for me. Work was hectic and busy as our little two-person department will become a one-person department (me) for 2.5 weeks as my co-worker goes off on holidays. But, I’m actually kind of excited to see how it goes, and it also means I’ll have lots of opportunity to work OT – which means extra $$$ or time off in lieu.

On Wednesday, Nic and I went to do the Grouse Grind. The week before, we also did the Grind – my first attempt (ever) was clocked in at 54:14. I thought I was hustling up that mountain! But, as it turns out, I wasn’t. :) My second attempt I shattered my time, finishing in 46:47! I was pleased, but pretty shocked. Although, Nic’s time was under 40 minutes, so I’ve got a lot of work to do if I want to beat him. :) The Grind is by no means fun, but it’s a pretty good cross-training workout for my half marathon training. I hope to do this at least a couple times a month throughout the summer.

Saturday, I went hiking with Cait out in Port Moody. It was nice to get outside for a couple of hours and gossip about pretty much everything. And then Saturday evening, I played floorball in the Vancouver Corporate Challenge with people from work. The event is kind of like Corporate Olympics, with a bunch of different events over the course of a couple of weeks. It was actually pretty fun, and I’m looking forward to playing again next year!

Sunday I met up with BF and his sister for a charity walk and brunch. It was inspiring to be among people who were supporting such a great cause, and I hope they put on more of these events in the future.

How was your week of spending?

Setting priorities and putting travel on hold

photoThis year has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Everything in my life seems to have been up in the air at some point over the last six months – whether it’s my career, friendships/relationships, health, and travel. I want (and am trying to work towards) a lot of goals, but sometimes plans don’t work out the way you want them to.

That being said, our travel plans to Europe for September have been officially axed. I’m disappointed, because ever since I got back from Germany, I had envisioned going on one international trip each year. Last year was France/Morocco. This year, well I didn’t know where we were going to go, but I was excited that it was going to be somewhere that involved crossing an ocean. :)

But it’s really for the best. Among other reasons, I lost about 6 weeks worth of pay when I was laid off earlier this year. And while I didn’t have to use my Emergency Fund to get by, I still hurt my savings rate and my RRSP contributions for the year. Plus, I have some upcoming medical expenses (not covered under my extended health) that could end up costing me thousands. That alone scares me when I think about planning a trip that will also likely set me back thousands. Straining my budget like that would be too much, and I’m not comfortable with it. Making sure I’m saving enough for retirement is, and likely always will be, my number one financial goal.

Even though I’m disappointed, there’s still a lot to look forward to this year. In the past few months, I’ve been to Portland and Las Vegas. And BF and I just planned a road trip to the Oregon Coast for the Canada Day long weekend. There’s Seattle in August, and as a consolation trip for not going to Europe, we are tossing around the idea of going somewhere else for a week in the fall. New Orleans, perhaps.

You can have anything you want, just not everything. I think about that statement a lot. I can’t just buy whatever I want – nobody can. Even millionaires can’t afford everything on their wish list. :) But my personal health (and the medical expenses that come with it) as well as my financial health are more important than a trip, so that’s what I’m choosing. For me, getting to make decisions about where my money goes remains the most empowering thing about being out of debt. Not owing money to anyone opens up so many doors. It gives you choices, and freedom. It’s something I never want to give up, or take for granted.

As for next year… well, I’m going to have a ton of vacation time available. So that will give us even more time off (and time to save) for a bigger, better trip. :)