Thursday, 14 November 2019

Accept, Adjust, and Carry On

So, as I said on Tuesday, My Grand Savings Plan has received a setback, when I accidentally contributed to my RRSP instead of my TFSA.

So, this got me thinking as to how to handle such situation?

For me, it is now automatic, but for some it may be less so. So here is what I do when hit with adversity.

1) Vent Frustration

The first thing I do is to let myself get mad and vent my anger and frustration for no more than two minutes.  After that, it is time to deal with whatever has happened.

2) Deal With The Immediate

The next thing is to deal with the aftermath of whatever calamity has happened. Take care of whatever has to be taken care of right now. (This can be done in conjunction with step #1.)

3) Figure Out Why It Happened

The next step is to figure out what happened and more importantly, why it happened. As in why did the furnace stop working in the middle of the night? (Hint: you drained your batteries and probably emptied your propane tank.)

4) Change Your Ways

The thing to do after learning what went wrong and why, is to devise and implement a change in what you are doing so as to prevent whatever happened from happening again. 

5) Let Go of The: Shame, Blame, and Anger

Things happen. Things go wrong. The things we think will happen, don’t always happen. Life is a constant state of dealing with the mistakes and misconceptions you made earlier. 

So you have to: Accept, Adjust, and Carry On.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Planning Amidst Uncertainty

The one thing that nowadays does not lack in is uncertainty. It may be just me, but things seem to be so much more up in the air as to what will happen.

Any one of a thousand scenarios may unfold, all of which were prevented by the old rules of conduct amongst: nations, their leaders, and politicians.

Now we have a whole lot of people clamouring for change just for the sake of change and hoping it will be for the better.

We have the large and powerful nations looking to ever expand their power and influence over other nations: empire builders in the waiting.

We have groups of people wanting to break up nations and break down the bonds of cooperation that binds us together. 

Am I the last person to understand that we as humans, as people are always better together?

How this comes down to me is that with the political uncertainty boiling up in the area of the country that I am in . . . how to I plan for my future, when all things in the future are uncertain?

If the country splits up, and I am left in a new fledgling nation, my first question is . . . 

“What dollar are we using and does anyone seriously thing this new dollar will be worth the same as the Canadian Dollar is now? Or even close?” 

For that matter, if the country splits up, what will happen to the value of the Canadian Dollar? (Hint: it will go into the toilet). 

Even the rumblings of a serious possibility of the country breaking up causes the dollar of any country to take a nose dive (History is full of examples).

So, as I move forward, I am still left with an unsettling feeling of how to save and how to build for a drastically uncertain future?

This is a question I will have to answer, but I will push that off to the new year, as I have to rebuild my savings to minimum levels first.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The Homestead Fund (Interim) Update

This is a special update on how I shot myself in the foot (so to speak) when it comes to my Grand Savings Plan (sigh).

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

For review, here is how things looked from last payday (as in the one on this last Thursday, November the 7th) . . .

That is 14.3% (of my Savings Target).

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 

That’s right, things dropped to where they were the payday before (as in October 22nd) . . . down to 13.3% of my savings target. 

That means I lost 1% of my total Savings Target between payday (Thursday) and now.

How did this happen?

Okay so this will sound like a bit of “Rich Guy Problems” but bear with me.

So, when I put cash into my Long Term Savings Account, it is either my TFSA or will be another investment account, (or accounts). 

These kinda work like an RRSP, but you can access your cash without penalty 

Disclaimer Notice: There is a 30 day penalty if you take cash out within 30 days of putting it in there, but it is nothing like the massive clubbing you get if you try to take cash out of an RRSP.

So, when I put cash into my TFSA I have to first transfer the cash into the TFSA Account and then do something with it. As in, buy an investment of some kind.

What I do is buy a “High Interest Savings Account” that is traded like a Mutual Fund. It takes a two business days to get cash in or out of that account. 

What I have noticed is that any time I put a buy/sell order in, it is not processed until the next business day. That buy/sell order is not fully completed until the end of that business day.

So, here I was, with cash in hand (so to speak) to put into my TFSA, I transferred the cash into my TFSA, and put in a buy order for the Long Term Savings Account (mutual fund thing).

Or so I thought . . . 

What I had actually done was transfer the cash into my TFSA, but put the buy order in my RRSP. 

I didn’t realize my mistake until the order was processed. This meant that my RRSP was down, in the negative 1 full percentage point of my Savings Total. 

Now, what I could have done, if I was thinking was put in a sell order for that mistaken buy order (that was already completed by this point).

What I did was transfer cash from my Mid-Term Savings into my RRSP to cover it.

So . . . in theory my Income Tax Return should be a bit better than my usual 2 digit refund . . . but I have faith in the Taxman to ensure that I receive my usual 2 digit refund and nothing more. 

So, there you have it, I technically didn’t lose that 1% but it is in a place that I can’t touch (until I turn 65, at which point when I withdraw it from my RRSP, it will be TAXABLE income. (Do you see why RRSP’s suck yet?)

Anyways, I am frustrated and it will take a miracle (sales wise) or the near decimation of my Holiday Pay at work in order to make the day and make my Savings Target this year. 

How much will I miss my target by? By 0.8% . . . close but no cigar. 

It is not a disaster, as I am still putting a great deal into savings and any dollar that goes into savings is a success. 

It is just frustrating. We will see how this year and the next 3 paydays, the final 3 paydays of the year, turn out.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 8 November 2019

Hello Winter Mode

It’s that time of year, this is about as far as I can push it before I have to dump for the last time until spring.

It is warm today and it was warm yesterday as well it was warm overnight. That means that I have a good chance of dumping my tanks (Grey and Black Water).

It will get very cold Sunday night (-22C overnight) and Sunday during the day doesn’t look that much better -13C as a high.

It will warm up after that and bounce around 0C for the foreseeable future. For me, that is enough to dump and not use my tanks.

The last thing I want is to get stuck with my Grey and Black Water Tanks half-full and then freeze. 

That risks them cracking but at the very least I would then be carrying around a lot of extra weight until Spring . . . you know, when they finally would defrost.

So, I will err on the side of caution and dump today, right after work and not use my tanks till Spring.

Again, I have done this before and so I know what to do. I don’t like it, but I know what to do.

It is all part of adapting what I do to reflect what I can get away with (with regards to the temperature and weather).

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The Homestead Fund Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” (to build my "Homestead Fund") 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .

That is 13.3% (of my Savings Target).

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 

That’s right things jumped up to 14.3% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 1% of my total Savings Target this payday.

This is a big occasion and a task that is not likely to be repeated soon, or often rather, as it is more than I can typically put away.

Yet, I am able to do this by a combination of extra stringent budgets (on the expense side) and extra income on the income side (due to taking pay of my holiday pay at work).

This is all part of my great push to make my savings target before the end of the year. I want to get back to my high water mark of my savings before this year is out.

So, I will continue to work my plan, because my plan is working. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

A Teaser Of The Next Few Months

So, yeah it got cold last night but not all that cold, only down to -14C (ish). It has and will get much colder, and stay there. That’s life on the prairies in winter. 

For me I just grumble, look to my goals in order to remind myself why I am doing this and just carry on. 

I may not do so as gracefully as I perhaps could, but at least I carry on. (Grumbling, muttering and cursing away as I do).

I can endure the cold and get done what I need to get done . . . but I don’t like doing it. 

I know this is an odd thing to say for someone who is seriously considering moving to Manitoba where it is cold and snowy for what seems like a frighteningly longer period of time. (Like . . . 18 months of the year . . . or so it seems).

I remind myself that dealing with cold and snowy weather will be easier when you have a house that you actually heat . . . (what a concept).

Again, yesterday and today will be cold but in true prairie fashion it will be 8C tomorrow and so the snow will star to melt.

I may dump on Friday as a precautionary measure because the weather seems to be dancing around freezing for the daily high for the next few weeks.

The last thing I want is frozen Black and grey water tanks, so I don’t mind dumping my tanks a tad early this year.

All in all . . . I can live in and endure the cold . . . I just don’t like to.

So . . . that means that I don’t have “Seasonal Affected Disorder” I have “COLD Affected Disorder.”

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

From 6 to 2

No, that’s not my work schedule, that is my water bottle count. No, that is not the number of hot water bottles I have in my bed at night.

That number is the number of 2 litre bottles of fresh water that I have currently filled.

You see, in warmer weather, I like to have 6 of those two litre bottles filled in the house. So, I will take the empty ones to work and fill them.

Of course in warmer weather I am taking my jug showers in my bathroom. In cold weather I am taking a bachelor’s bath . . . elsewhere.

In the cold weather, as it will be for the next day (and a bit) I am down to just two of those bottles because that is all that I need overnight. On the weekend I may go back up to 4 bottles or even 6.

During the workweek, however, all I need is a bottle or maybe a bit more to get me through to the next workday.

Let me be clear, I take both bottles to work with me, full or not. This is because the bottles will freeze during the day while I’m at work. (Particularly when it I south of -10C). . . . Fun.

Again, it is these small ways that I change and modify my routine which helps me not only survive but thrive no matter what the weather or season.

As always: Keep your head up,  your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!