Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Free concert tonight

I just got back from the Nelly Furtado concert with my sister. Because we both work for a professional hockey team, my boss got us both free tickets to the show. They were great seats, but I was a little disappointed in the concert. This is her home town, afterall. If anything, this should be her most energetic show of the whole tour! (On a side note, Nelly graded from my high school, and her aunt used to be my hair dresser. Way back in the day before she became famous, whenever I was in the salon, Nelly used to come by with a basket of her independent CD, asking if anyone wanted to buy one for $20. I obviously said no every time, because who the heck did she think she was, anyway? Now that I look back on it, that $20 would have been a huge investment! She’s so famous now, and that CD would be a collector’s item). Anyway, it was a great way to spend an evening for free with my sister.

Although I guess the evening wasn’t exactly “free.” I wasn’t going to mention anything, but this blog is here for me to be open and honest about my spending. I spent $17.40 on food tonight with my sister. We went to a local sushi place, and paid $14 each for dinner (including tip), then I bought us both teas at Starbucks ($3.40 total) while we were walking to the concert. This outing puts me around $14 over my dining out budget for March of $30. My only saving grace is that each month I budget $10 for entertainment, and I haven’t used a single cent of that category this entire year.

What should I do with my tax refund?

Well, I’m only getting a refund of $1,300, but that’s still a decent amount of money. So, what should I do with it? Should I put it all towards my debt? Put it in my emergency fund, or stick it all in my condo down payment fund? Or split it up a few ways?

Right now, I’m leaning towards getting my emergency fund up above $1,000, so I can put $500 towards that, which will leave me $800 to go towards my debt. Is that a reasonable thing to do? It’d be nice to get my condo down payment fund going though …

The old me would have gone out and spent it on some hot new work outfits from Jacob, or some of the cute designer boutiques around town. But not anymore. Any excess money I have will go towards something useful like my debt, or my savings. Still, I’m so tempted to go shopping. I really want to get a professional black suit for interviews, etc. I don’t need one at the moment, but I know it’s one of the essential things a professional woman has to have. But I can’t let myself fall back into my old habits! If I let myself slip now when I’m weak, then in the future I’ll look back to this moment and realize I have no will power. I need to stand up for my money and protect it from my evil self!

Saving money to me is kinda like running a race; if you let yourself stop and walk (spend money), you’ll find it nearly impossible to get the motivation to run in the race again, because you’ve experienced the feeling of rest, and it’s not straining you. Walking and resting just feels nice. So the key is to always keep running – even if you have to slow it down to a jog … as long as you never stop, you’ll always feel motivated to run. It’s an internal battle, and a test of how strong your mind really is. And since I’m so competitive, it’s like I’m in a battle with my mind versus my body. I can’t let myself down and lose this war! At least, that’s how I motivate myself every day on that darn treadmill! :)

Anyway, I kinda went off on a tangent there. Bottom line is: my refund is not going into any cash register as long as I’m alive … I just have to figure out what the heck to do with it now!

It’s time to look towards the future

Some of you may know I’m currently on a one-year contract maternity leave position with a municipal government. I’ve been here since November, and I’ve learned a lot. But I’m beginning to realize that this job isn’t going to last forever (not that I’d want it to, but let’s just keep that between you and me). There is one co-worker I really get along with, and we’ve been talking about the job market, and what’s out there. She asked if I was actively looking for another position, and when I told her I wasn’t, she was shocked. She said that most people who are on contract are always actively looking for permanent work, that’s why it’s so hard to fill contracted positions. Which may explain how in the heck I ended up getting such a good job with no experience!

I thought about what she said, and she’s right! What am I going to do, wait until the very last minute to try and find another job? So as of today, I’m on the search for a new job. But because I have until November, I can (and will) be picky. I’d like to work in the public sector for a while – to build up the experience and earn that degree you guys rightfully convinced me I need to have. :) So I’ll try for the provincial government again (I worked there on contract from July-Nov last year) – tons of holidays, flex days, and an education fund to help pay for the degree I can’t afford.

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