Wednesday, 17 July 2019

My Budgeting Style

A point was raised on how I budget, or rather on my style of budgeting. 

Once again, criticism, or rather constructive criticism is always welcomed, and this was certainly in that category.

Their point was that a budget should be set on the minimum expected income. Or rather, on salary alone, and should exclude any commissions or bonuses.

This is a sound and prudent strategy, and one that should be considered and employed when possible.

This is just like the strategy that I do employ (partially) which is to underestimate (slightly) your income and overestimate (slightly) your expenses. 

The combination of the two will keep you on budget and account for any slight errors in either or both.

My number that I base my budgets on, my “Budgetary Minimum” is the minimum amount of net income I need in order to make my budgets balance.

This concept and that specific number is a holdover from when I was buried in debt and I literally needed that number or I would be in trouble.

I keep holding to that number because I expect and will do whatever I have to (that is: legal, ethical, and moral) in order to make that number.

This is because I have gone through a great deal to win back my paycheque and so I will use all of it to better myself, my life and my future. I will not slack off simply because I can.

My budgeting style is a bit more of a realistic approach (sorta). I start out with my number, My Budgetary Minimum and keep focussed on making that number.

During my payperiod I update my projected net income for the upcoming paycheque will be. Yes I have a separate spreadsheet for that.

If the end of the payperiod is coming and it looks like I won’t make my Budgetary Minimum then I will usually take a bit out of my vacation pay (Boss lets me do that) in order to still make Budgetary Minimum. 

Either that or I will just accept not making Budgetary Minimum and adjust my budget accordingly.

When I make Budgetary Minimum before the end of the payperiod I update my income in my budget accordingly each day.

I also update my expected expenses each day. This is a constant process to keep tweaking my budgets in order to keep on track for my fiscal future.

I base my budgets on what I can realistically expect to make and spend, rather than on a lowered number. 

It may not be textbook, but it is what works for me.

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

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Bonus Bump

So, as some of you may know, I earn both a salary and a small commission on the online sales that I process. 

I have no control over who orders or what they order, but it is a small way for me to get a piece of the overall company prosperity; I appreciate it.

More than that, I rely on it as that commission makes up, on average 10% of my pay, so it is a big deal for me. 

It is also part of a game, of sorts, as to “will I make Budgetary Minimum this payday.” 

I have a certain number that I need for my Net Income to be in order to make my budgets balance. This is a carryover from the days of when I was mired in debt.

I still hold true to that number because I have gone through a great deal to earn back my paycheque and I intend to use it to further me, rather than simply take a pay cut.

Since nobody knows what my bonus will be until all working days are over, my bonus part of my paycheque cannot be estimated.

This is not a problem unless Boss goes on vacation around the time that paycheques are issued. 

Now Boss is always diligent about making sure that we have our paycheques in hand on or before payday. 

Again this is appreciated as we have all heard horror stories of people chasing paycheques.

Yet, since my bonus for any particular workday is not known until the close of business on that particular workday, when Boss goes on vacation before the end of the payperiod, this creates a problem. 

Such is the case this month, when Boss goes on vacation for the last week of this month and the first week of next month. 

This means that five workdays worth of my bonus will be missing from the affected paycheque (as in the one on Aug 7).

Now, to be fair, I will get paid the hours for those days (on the Aug 7 paycheque) and I will get paid the Bonus for those 5 days (on the Aug 22 paycheque).

So, this is shuffling income from one paycheque to another. To be honest, I am in a fiscal position to be able to weather it, but that is not the point.

I am grumbling, but I understand it is what it is, my thoughts and concerns go to my co-workers who may not be so able to simply take this hit.

It is just frustrating to have your pay jerked around by reasons outside of your control. 

Again, this is nothing new, and nothing specific to me; we have all encountered this at one time or another throughout our working lives.

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

Monday, 15 July 2019

Lined Out

So, this weekend I was not able to spend it in my Western Home. Instead I spent it in my Lakeside Home (as in, that pond that is in my Eastern Home).

The reason was that the parking lot lines were being painted in my Western Home. I could see why (or perhaps not see why) as the lines were quite faded. 

I will be in Western Home next weekend, as it is payday weekend and that means that I need to fuel up at my usual big box discount store that has the cheapest gas in the city (always).

I don’t think it will take more than a week to paint the lines but who knows. I am nothing if not adaptable (though I still resist and grumble at change). 

Other than being a bit compact as I had to keep my slide-out in (as I parked on the street) I was fine. 

It is always nice to see the birds and the bit of nature in the heart of the industrial park that I live.

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

Friday, 12 July 2019

Wanda Day Has Arrived Again

It is officially five years since I moved into Wanda full-time. Five years ago I backed my trailer up into the driveway of the house where I was renting a room.

I loaded up what stuff I had left into the trailer and drove off to McLean Creek to camp and make a home out of my trailer: Wanda.

This last year has seen me moving forward on this savings plan that is my Grand Savings Plan. 

There have been successes and setbacks but for the most part it is on track. I am committed to making that town a success.

First I have to raise the funds to get the ball rolling. Since I suck at promotions and salesmanship, a crowdfunding campaign is out of the question.

Thus I am left to raising the funds from my own paycheque (thus the four more years living in Wanda).

This day is about celebrating and reflecting. Celebrating the fact that I have made another year living full-time in Wanda and reflecting on what I have achieved in that last year.

My savings is steadily growing and with the growth of that savings comes ever more options available to me. That and a smidgen more of security.

As in, I can live longer without a paycheque (if need be) with each extra bit I put into savings. That brings peace of mind, and that is a nice thing.

I am still committed to founding that town, but I am working on relaxing and being Content, yet not Complacent.

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

Thursday, 11 July 2019

The First Step Is The Hardest

I still remember sitting in my truck after getting home from work. I still remember the moment the exact moment that I decided to start this Urban Nomad Journey.

I started this blog for two reasons, the first was to publicly declare that I was going to do this, the other was to document my journey. 

The third reason was that through this blog and the record of what worked and what didn’t, that others could learn (or at least laugh) from my mistakes.

Yet actually taking that first step was quite hard. I had to put in my notice at the place where I was living without knowing where I was going to move to.

That part, that first real concrete step was quite hard to do.  After that, however, each successive step got a little bit easier. 

Now, this is just my lifestyle and I still live in this trailer so as to build wealth, as in there is life beyond being debt free, it is called building up your savings.

Yet, you need to take that first step in order to actually better your life. 

Whatever it is, whatever journey of self improvement that you want to take, sooner or later the planning and dreaming phase must end and you must actually start working your plan.

Here is one final piece of advice I can give to those about to start their own journey. 

You don’t have to have all the answers in order to start, you just need to know what you need to do here today, this week.

You know what to do, so get to it and better your life.

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

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Better Your Life, Before It Gets Bad

We are always tempted to keep doing what we are doing, because it is working. It is natural to not want to “rock the boat” or “shake things up” when things are “working.”

There comes a time when you need to stop and evaluate your life from an outside perspective and ask yourself if things really are going the way you want them to?

I should have started this Urban Nomad Journey to Debt Freedom and beyond to Wealth Building, years ago, I really should have.

What always held me back were the social norms that were expected of me: rent/own a fixed address and all the costs associated with that.

The other thing that held me back was the fact that I kept telling myself that things were okay and that I had better not rock the boat.

The thing was that things were not fine; I was living and working just to exist. I had mountains of debt (relative for me) with nothing to show for it.

I had no savings, and most of my income was going to live and pay the interest on my debts. I wasn’t getting ahead and had all but given up on the “airy fairy dream of debt freedom.”

It wasn’t until an unemployment scare forced me to wonder what would happen if I was suddenly unemployed that I started to rethink my life and fiscal plans.

My point is that if you are in what feels like a rut and you don’t think that you can get out or make your life better . . . you’re wrong  . . . you can . . . and you should.

Don’t wait until things fall apart before you deal with things. Treading water will never get you anywhere. 

You need to shake things up in order to fix them, so don’t be afraid to do so.

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

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

How Much Gasoline Did I Use?

So, since this weekend was payday, I fuelled my truck, as I do each and every payday. I top up the tank on the payday to ensure that I have fuel, and to make it easier to budget.

Well, this was the first payday since I have started driving again, and since the solar system was installed. 

This means that this was the first payday that I didn’t have to fill up my generator fuel can as well as fuelling up the truck.

So, the only thing I was doing was replacing the fuel that I burned, as in all of the fuel that I have burned since last payday.

It was . . . 

As in the cost of replacing that fuel was . . .

$16.10

Yep, that’s it for two weeks of driving. Then again I only move the truck on weekends, as in too and from Western Home, and a dip down to check my mail.

The cost was around 96 Cents a litre (so about a $1.00 a litre cheaper than the Vancouver area) so it was not bad, but not incredibly cheap.

While it is a nice win and a small amount, it is nice to see a bit of the savings that the solar system is giving me. 

While it will be a while for it to pay for itself, I will take the fact that my fuel budget has been cut in half.

I am always looking for ways to cut my expenses in order to maximize the cash I am putting into my savings accounts.

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

Monday, 8 July 2019

Grand Savings Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 
   

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

That is 26.5% (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 26.5% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 0% of my total Savings Target this payday. Actually that is a win as it could have gone backwards, as in I lost savings.

So, while I was able to keep my savings intact, I didn’t put anything into savings. This was because it was Truck Insurance renewal time.

I sat down with the insurance agent and was able to adjust my insurance so as to save a bit of cash on my truck insurance. 

The loss is the date that you see on the bottom. That date went from July 7, 2022, to August 7, 2022. That means that I lost a full month on my “Calculated End Date.”

That is the date that is calculated to be when I will make my Grand Savings Plan, Savings Target. (As in put what my goal amount into savings.)

This number is totally irrelevant by now as the only date that matters is the one on the label below, “April 7, 2023.” 

That is the date that I will be stopping this Grand Savings Plan, as I will work though and put extra cash into savings until that date.

After which I will head on out and start to work the Homesteading Process. 

All that is but a dream as a thousand things can happen between now and then. All I can do is plan for the next 3 to 6 months but focus on today and this week.

So, I will continue to live simply and put as much as I can into my savings accounts.

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

Friday, 5 July 2019

Don’t Dwell On Your Mistakes

I’ve made mistakes, quite a few as a matter of fact and a number of them are documented here. 

The trick is to learn from your mistakes and move on. As in continue on with your life and not look back. 

Yet, it is funny that we, at least I, tend to look back and see more of my mistakes than my successes.

Perhaps it is just me, but my Successes and Victories do not come back to visit me in the quiet still of the night . . . or day for that matter.

My Successes and Victories do not whisper to me about how I succeeded here or how I won there. 

No, my Successes and Victories go quietly into the night and do not come back unless I pull them out and look at them.

My Failures and Losses are not as polite as they come back to me at regular intervals and let me know of their existence.

I have to shove them away and refuse to look at them. I find the best way to battle them is to start pulling out my successes and victories.

I do this not to puff myself up or feed my ego, but rather to mend a battered and bruised one. 

I do this to remind me that I am not as large or complete a failure as my Failures and Losses would have me believe.

Staying positive involves battling back the advances of your past Failures and Losses. 

Remember that they are in the past, learn from them but leave them there, for the past does not define who you are.

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

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Staying Positive

There is an old saying, prepare for the worst yet hope for the best.

While this is good advice, it can leave you with a rather bleak outlook on life, always looking for the worst case scenario. 

The trick is to balance this with a positive outlook. While you are looking for what bad may happen, look for what good may happen. 

In other words, look on both extremes of what may come. Look for what the worst may happen, but also look for what good may happen.

While it is good to prepare for the bad that may come, it is also important to prepare for the good that may come too.

Bad may and will come, though it will not come all the time. Good may and will come, though it will not come all the time. 

The best approach is to “hedge your bets” so to speak. Make preparations for both the good and the bad of what may befall you. 

Hope for, prepare for, and work towards the good outcome, while at the same time prepare for, and be ready for the bad that may come.

To stay positive you need to recognize your wins and celebrate your successes while not becoming overconfident or arrogant.

As I have said, balance is key in moving forward. 

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

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

How To Get In And Out Of Financial Trouble

It really is easy to do, yet people make it out to be much harder. The answer to the above question is to control your spending. 

Either you spend way more than you earn, and in so doing pile on the debt and wonder how you got there or you cut back on spending and get yourself out of debt.

The real crunch comes when you are in debt and feel like you can never get out. This is because you want to keep your current lifestyle and get out of debt.

The only way you can do that is to increase your income to pay off your debts and keep your current lifestyle.

The other way is to downgrade your lifestyle and in so doing free up cash in your monthly budget and use that freed up cash to pay off your debts.

It really is that simple, but the execution is more complicated and quite scary, especially at first.

Your only other option is to just keep doing what you’re doing and tread water in debt. This is the most dangerous option as it is the easiest. 

Yet let me scare you by painting a picture of you coming to the age of retirement still mired in debt. What then? 

What will you do when you have all that debt yet still forced to retire? 

Do you really think that somehow your debts will disappear along the way without you doing anything about it?

Control your spending and go beyond just getting out of debt, for beyond Debt Freedom is Wealth Building. 

You deserve it and you can have it, simply control your spending.

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

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Long Weekend Leisure

So, it was a long weekend that rarely is. I don’t know the last time that Canada Day fell on a Monday, (or the weekend) so we had a long weekend.

It was nice but mostly for me it was nice to have the extra day to relax and unwind. 

The weather was nice, but the few times that it wasn’t I just stayed in my trailer with my door, windows and vents closed. 

It is a nice way of recharging and resting, but there always is the getting back at it in the form of the Tuesday after.

The nice thing is that we do now have a short week, and one day of the workweek is already done, even without us working it.

Tomorrow is hump day, and the work marches on.

Rest is good, but rest does not get work done, nor does it earn you income. 

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

Friday, 28 June 2019

No Need For a Campsite

So, one of the advantages to having solar power is that the main draw for me to go to a campground was to have unlimited electricity all weekend.

The views are nice and the peace and quiet is also a welcome sight, but the main draw was always the electricity.

In the dead of winter, I can and will go to a campground, but that is because I can use my electric heater to warm up Wanda. 

I will see how warm I can get Wanda with my furnace, but that will take propane. Yet, I know that burning propane is cheaper than a run to the campground.

So, we shall see how things shape up this winter, all hinging on how effective my solar charging system is in winter.

The point is that I will be staying in town this long weekend, and in so doing, saving cash.

I will enjoy the downtime and rest and relax, but I will do so without burning extra fuel, and paying to stay somewhere.

After all, this phase of my life is all about saving as much cash as I can. While at the same time trying to enjoy life along the way.

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

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Make A Pattern To Success

We are creatures of habit, we humans, so why not use that desire to repeat patterns to your advantage.

I have a number of small habits that help me towards my goals.

A few of them are: 

I check my bank and credit card accounts daily (to ensure no fraud or false charges go through).
I budget and stick to that budget. (So as to control my finances and grow my savings.)
I spend cash on most things, rather than with my bank or credit card. (So as to feel the pain of the spend and to stay within my budget.)

The trick is to get yourself into these good habits by forcing yourself to do them every day for at least three weeks.

Habits are formed in about three weeks (so they say). So the trick is to get yourself into the good habits that will help you move towards your goals.

What you do, here, now, today, this week is what matters the most. For it is the small actions in your life that move you towards the larger direction in your life.

You are moving anyways, so why not move in a positive direction, a direction that you choose. Establishing positive habits are a way of helping you do that.

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

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Plan Many, Enact Once

So, as many of you know, I use spreadsheets to budget my paycheque pay periods. 

My budgetary cycle runs from when I deposit one paycheque in the bank to when I am about to deposit the next one. 

I use a spreadsheet to plan out how where my cash should go (before that payperiod arrives) and then record where my cash actually went (when I am in the middle of that payperiod). 

So, since these are cascading spreadsheets with the bank balances of my various bank accounts carrying over from one to the next, I can plan for a while into the future.

Again, when it comes to forecasting, the further you go into the future, the less accurate your fiscal projections are. 

So, you take these with a grain of salt, but it is nice to see what could happen. How things might play out if I do this plan or that.

I have worked up the paycheque budgets from now up until April 7 of 2023. (That is the projected end date of my Grand Savings Plan).

I have also reworked those budgets a number of times. Why? Well, each time I have an idea to do this or do that, I work up the budgets and see how it impacts my finances.

This lets me see what would happen if I save in different ways or invest in this or that. 

Again, the real power of spreadsheets is the ability to change things in them and see how they are impacted.

This lets me try out various patterns of savings/investing and see if I will still get my overarching goals of my Grand Savings Plan done.

It is through methods like this that I am not only keeping myself on track, but on the right track.

So remember kids: Plan Many, Enact Once. 

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

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Biting Your Tongue

It has been said that biting your tongue is a sign of weakness and submission; I disagree. 

None of us are in charge all the time, and in all circumstances. If you think that you are then you are likely a jerk. 

For only a brash jerk must always have things their way at all times and in all circumstances.

I will warn such people that almost everyone loves to see jerks fall flat on their face and rendering assistance to a jerk is almost never done because you want to.

At any rate, wisdom, along with a healthy dose of self-preservation, can and will prevent us from saying what is really on our minds at a particular time.

This is well known and well practiced by those who are gainfully employed and wish to remain that way. If I may say so, I know this all too well.

I put forth that having the strength to keep your tongue when “others” around you lose their minds, and my personal favourite, blame you for their mistakes, is not weak.

You know what really happened, and even that “other” person knows what really happened. Yet it is their immaturity and pride which prevents them from admitting it.

So, to all those out there who bite their tongue on a regular basis, take heart, for it is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength and wisdom. 

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

Monday, 24 June 2019

Grand Savings Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 
   

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

That is 25.5% (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 26.5% of my savings target. 

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

So, I am on track and putting my target 1% in my savings per payday. That is always a good thing to see.

The other interesting thing is that my “Target End Date” moved up one payday to July 7, 2022.

This end date moves around and is an estimation. It is just a fun thing I do but what it really is, is just another way to keep me motivated.

As long as I am putting more away, each payday, that is progress. Any progress is good progress. So even a dollar put into savings is a good thing. 

The more I put into savings, the quicker I will be done this Grand Savings Project.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Stay Motivated

Dreaming is often seen as a waste of time. It is often seen as being silly. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been told to “Get my head out of the clouds.”

Yet, I am here to tell you that Dreaming is an important part of your path to success. 

Why?

Because Dreaming is vital to keep you motivated as you go through the hard part of the path towards your Dream.

You need to see and envision where you want to be in order to be able to keep moving towards that Dream.

Don’t get me wrong, you will never get anything by just wishing hard enough, you need to work and do things in order to make that Dream a reality.

Trust me when I say that in order to keep going during adversity, you need to hold on to your Dream as motivation to keep you going, to keep you moving forward, through adversity. 

There have been many a cold evening where I have questioned my life’s choices and thought about renting a room or otherwise straying from my chosen path to success.

One look at my Dream Board (a place where I keep reminders of my Dreams and Goals) and I remember why I am doing this. 

For me, I am doing what I am doing for that land, for that town, to help others break the cycle of Debt -> Work -> Working Poverty -> Death.

The thing to remember is to hold on to your Dreams as you work towards them.7

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

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Dare To Be Different

Another key to success is the willingness to do what others are not willing to do. Go against the crowd and do what you are not supposed to do.

I’m not saying to and break the law, but just bend some social norms. 

Take me for example, societal convention dictates that every person either buys or rents a fixed address. 

Entire industries have been built up around this concept. Most people spend well over half of their hard earned income on this principle.

Why? Do you really need this to survive? I don’t think so.

I live in an RV trailer, and constantly tow it behind my truck. I park on industrial streets near work during the work week but in a big box store on weekends.

It is not a glamorous lifestyle, but it is a way to get ahead. I have a place to live and a place to call my own, but I do not have the costs associated with having a fixed address residence.

You don’t have to do what I am doing, but it is an example of getting ahead by doing what the crowd is not doing.

Again, I am not advocating to cheat or deceive anyone. Such as: renting a place and then never paying rent until you are evicted, drawing out that legal process till then end only to start the process over again with another landlord.

Just find a way to do things differently that will help you get ahead. As I said before, a path to success is found in doing what most people are not willing to do.

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

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Adaptability is Vital

Being able to change and adjust what you’re doing in order to achieve your goals is a vital part of the path to success.

Having a Dream is great. Having a Goal is better. Having a Plan is fantastic. Working that Plan is actually moving down the road to Success.

Yet, as wonderful as all that is, if your Plan is not working, or worse, is taking you in the wrong direction, you need to change your Plan.

To do that, you need to Measure your Progress and evaluate if this that Progress is in the direction that you had intended it to be.

If your Progress is taking you towards your Goal, great! Keep it up. 

f your Progress is not taking you towards your Goal, or you think that another Plan may speed up your Progress, then change your Plan.

Pride and Arrogance can keep you working a losing Plan simply because you are inflexible and don’t want to change or admit that you enacted a bad Plan.

I have to tell you that I have made many bad Plans in my life and I have learned to just learn from them and move on.

As long as you learn from your mistakes, they are not bad, just Learning Experiences. 

They key is being willing and able to adapt what you’re doing in order to get to your Goal. 

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

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Self-Reliance Is Important

While it is necessary to ask and receive help from others, in times of need, it is more important to be able to rely on yourself for what you need.

It is not a pride thing, but more of being able to control the things in your life, as you seek to improve it. 

While assistance from others is nice, and a boost, you cannot and should not rely on such assistance, especially in areas of genuine need. 

For people can and will let you down, for a myriad of reasons. People will also surprise you with their generosity and kindness too.

The trick is not to need help from others, not to rely on help from others in order to succeed or even survive. 

That way, when people do help you, it is a bonus, and a help, but when they let you down, it will not be detrimental to you. 

This may seem like a harsh way to look at life, but I see it as a practical and pragmatic view. 

I still believe in the overall and overarching goodness in humanity. 

I also know, from personal experience, however, that people can and will let you down, even when you need them the most.

So, always look to rely on yourself for what you need, and find ways to get the things that you need to get done to survive on your own. 

Get help from others on the things that are not vital. That way, if someone lets you down, it is not a crisis, just an inconvenience. 

This realistic view of life has served me well, and continues to do so.

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

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

Monday, 17 June 2019

Keep Moving Forward!

It is one thing to have a Dream, another nice thing to have a Goal, what matters is what you DO in order to make Dream/Goal a reality.

We all have wonderful things that we would like to happen in our lives. “I want to own a house,” is one. That is a Dream.

People then can make Goals. “I want to own a house before I am 25.” Is a Goal. For a Goal is a Dream with a deadline. 

What matters is the Plan that you make in order to make that Goal a reality. Then, you have to actually Work towards that goal.

Let’s take our example of a starry-eyed Twenty year old who wants to buy a house before they are twenty-five.

Well, they need to figure out:

1. What they will need to make that Goal a reality (what cash needed, other regulations, etc.)
2. How they will meet or beat those Obstacles (cash needed, other regulations met etc)
3. How they will measure their progress to overcoming those Obstacles on their way to meeting their Goal.

So, while it may be unrealistic to want to own a house in five years, I would never discourage anyone from setting or pursuing any Goal.

For while this person will likely not make the goal of owning a home in five years (or they may), they will likely make it in less than ten.

After all, isn’t the Goal of owning a home the real Goal after all?

I for one have had to push back my Goal deadline dates many times. While it is frustrating and you feel like you have failed, I just tell myself that the Date was unrealistic.

The one thing you must always do, when pursuing Dreams and Goals is to KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

If you remember nothing else from this blog entry, that would be it. 

No matter what you are doing or what Goals and Dreams you are chasing, always find a way to make some progress towards your Goals and Dreams each and every day.

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

Friday, 14 June 2019

Keep Your Head Up

So, with the weekend coming, it is time to enjoy the warm weather that is upon us. Yet, as I do, I must take the time to remind people to be kind to yourself as you do.

One of the things I still struggle with, is the “ghosts of past mistakes” coming back to haunt me. At various and inopportune times the things that I did wrong will come back to me.

I must pause to remind myself that since I am still here, still upright and mobile, that I have made more good decisions than bad ones.

I have also done my best and continue to steadily improve who I am and my lot in life. 

Yet, I will also be the first person to admit that I am not perfect and the world does not revolve around me. 

It is with that in mind that I say that we should keep our head up, as we go through life. This is two-fold and means two different things at the same time. 

The first is to take pride in yourself and your accomplishments. 

Let me be clear and say take pride, not arrogance in yourself and your accomplishments. For like me, the sun does not shine out of your ass.

The other is for you to be aware of yourself and your surroundings. 

You would be astounded to know the number of people I see walking around out and about who are oblivious to what is going on around them.

You need to see what is coming at you, both in real life, around you, but also when it comes to the events that are unfolding in your life.

A surprise party is good, a surprise eviction is bad. Particularly, when most times, you can see an eviction notice coming long before it gets handed to you. 

That’s it, so just remember to take pride in yourself as you remain aware of what is going on around you. 

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

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Great Attitude, Diminishes Problems

I like music and one of the bands that I like (among many) are the group Great Big Sea. One particular song comes to mind and that is “Ordinary Day,”

Other than being a catchy tune, it always serves to remind me the importance of that second phrase in my closing line “Keep your attitude positive.”

This is not only because it sucks to be around someone who is in a bad mood, and even worse when that person is you.

Not only does this suck because your bad mood puts you in an even worse mood, but you can’t get away from you . . . you’re stuck with you.

The other thing is that when you are in a bad mood, or just in a negative frame of mind, everything seems to be insurmountable, every little thing stops you. 

Problems don’t stop coming when you are in a positive frame of mind, they just are smaller and easier to deal with, because you don’t see them as a big deal.

Trust me on this, as I have been in both mindsets for extended periods and it is much nicer, and life seems easier when you are in a positive frame of mind.

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

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Age Is A Number

Okay, so I’m now forty-nine and I can look at this two ways. One would be to get depressed as I begin my slow march towards fifty and death shortly beyond.

The other would be to take a page out of my British upbringing, and simply deny all that negativity claptrap, keep a stiff upper lip and just solder on.

I plan on continuing to do what I have always done, clomp on forwards and just refuse to stop or let anything get in my way.

I know that time marches onwards and that we all get older, but no one says that I have to find a patch of dirt, curl up and wait for death just because I have lived a certain length of time.

I will move forward, I will continue to work my plan, because I have a lot of living yet to do. Though, sure, it may look like I’m not doing much of it now.

That is all part of the plan, to lay low, for now. 

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

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Happy Birthday To Me!

So, here it is, another birthday and I am officially forty-nine . . . yep, next year is the big one and I have no idea how I will be . . . marking that day.

This year I am looking back on a year of My Grand Savings Project and I will say that overall it has been a good thing, and a good year.

I am still building my savings and in reality I am under 4 years to go, as I still plan to be done and ready to move on the Homesteading Phase in early April of 2023.

I will say with my savings building up, my stress is ever lowered, and lowered stress is always a nice thing.

A year ago I was kinda drifting, not really sure what I was doing, what direction I was heading in. I was working to do some savings and enact some improvements in my life (such as trailer repairs and upgrades).

I am now focussed on building my savings and by doing so, breaking the cycle of work and debt for not just myself but many people, again, through the establishment of that town. (I really am not kidding about that).

I am now at a place where I am trying to maintain my attitude and mindset of being okay with what I have and where I am in life, yet not be stagnant and accept that this is as good as it is ever going to get. 

I do want more out of life and I do want a better lifestyle but I have to be okay with what I have and how I am living now, as I actually work to improve my life.

Thus the “be okay with how things are as I build my savings to a point where I can actually improve my life in a large and real way” attitude.

As far as love and romance is concerned, I have said it before, and I will say it again, I welcome them (and a lady of course) into my life, but I will not stop doing what I am doing, for it is too important to do deviate from my path.

Things will come in time, but for now, I am okay with my life and how things are in it, as I strive to improve it, or . . . as I say . . . 

I am Content, yet not Complacent.

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

Monday, 10 June 2019

A Nice Return To Western Home

So, I had a busy weekend, yet it was nice to return to my Western Home for the weekend. 

It was especially nice to finally be able to do something as simple as putting my stabilizer jacks down and my slide-out out.

That really does make a difference to my quality of life, while living in Wanda. It opens up the space a great deal and it is nice to not be walking and living on a box on springs.

I was also able to do my grocery shopping and comparison shopping much easier in Western Home, due the convenient location of both of my usual grocery stores.

Sure it rained, but I don’t care. I had a nice visit with friends and got a few chores done.

Again, not an exciting life, but a nice one. All in all, this is the life that need to live for now. 

As I have said before, I am Content, yet not Complacent; all in all a good place to be, I would say. (It is a mindset I highly recommend, for a number of reasons.)

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

Friday, 7 June 2019

Grand Savings Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!”

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . .
 

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

That is 24.3% (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 25.5% of my savings target.

That means I put away 1.2% of my total Savings Target this payday. Not only that, but I made it over a milestone mark of 25%, I am one quarter of my way to my savings target!

This is huge and it means that I am making progress and I am still moving things forward.

I am starting to think of ways to diversify my investments and look at something that mixes stability with growth.

We shall see how things go, as this is not a place that I have been in before (savings and investments of any note).

Again, I am still focussed on moving myself forward towards my Grand Savings Goal!

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

Thursday, 6 June 2019

The Sixth of June

It is the sixth of June, which means that it is the anniversary of D-Day, and while that is an important day, let me just say that it is something that should not be repeated as it was not cool.

Don’t get me wrong it, was something that had to happen and I’m glad of the results, but that that much death and slaughter is not something to be repeated, if at all possible.

That is a point that we seem to have lost our disgust for war. As these days, in “The West” war is something that happens elsewhere. (Though the Ukrainians would beg do differ.)

I didn’t want to do a blog entry on this subject, but I seem to need to. I’m okay in my little part of the world and I just cling to an increasingly outdated motto of “Live and let live.”

Yet others would beg to differ, in particular the empire builders, and there are a few of them in the world and yes they have power . . . this is not a good thing for all  of the little people.

For when the elephants fight, the mice get stepped on. 

Loretta Swit (who played Margaret Houlihan in MASH) once said that MASH was a protest against all war and that all war is stupid . . . I tend to agree with her.

Though, sometimes when war is brought to you, you must either capitulate or fight to defend what is yours. Whilst I do not welcome war, I will fight to defend what is mine. 

Yet I would prefer to live and let live, to find a way for all peoples to co-exist with dignity. 

My own saying is this: “If you come to me in peace, seeking assistance, you shall find that, if you come to me in aggression, seeking trouble, you shall find that too.” 

As always: Keep your head up (unless in combat), keep your attitude positive (especially in combat), and keep moving forward (unless the enemy is currently shelling your position)!

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Still Okay, Still Stubborn

So, I have: today, tomorrow, and the morning of the day after that to get through before I can move and get propane.

Why? because I don’t feel like moving, that’s why. 

In a firm upper-crust English accent, I say “You see, there is an established procedure and protocol, once I have parked for the week, I do not move unless it is an emergency or it is absolutely necessary . . . and while a lack of propane, in summer, is an inconvenience, it is not an emergency.” 

It is a bit of a pain getting on without being able to heat or cook anything, but I’ll live and get what I need to get done regardless. 

My fridge is still cool, as it is fairly well insulated. Besides, there isn’t much in there that would spoil anyway.

I have other resources that I can employ, and so things are far from dire . . . they’re just  . . . inconvenient.

I am nothing if not resourceful and adaptable. 

It’s only a couple of days, I can do this. 

If nothing simply to prove to myself that I can.

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

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Still Okay

It was windy yesterday and quite blustery; the trailer shook and rocked. Yet like all of the other troubling times in my life, this too, came and went.

It is quite fitting that I lean to keep my head around me and trust my instincts and my plan. It is quite easy to lose your head as you get swept up in the panic of the moment.

Yet, you need to remain vigilant and remain calm. Make rational decisions with respect to what is going on in your life. 

As for me, I keep saying: I have a plan, I’m working that plan, and the plan is working. 

So, all in all . . . I’m doing okay.

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

Monday, 3 June 2019

Out of Propane, But I’m Okay

So, it was expected, but I had hoped that it would not come to this, but it has . . . I am out of propane.

Due to the ‘limitations on my vehicular mobility’ I have did not go to fill the propane bottle as soon as I switched over to the second one.

So, this means that when I ran out of propane last night, I was completely out . . . as in totally out. 

Well, I do have my 10 pound bottle that I use for my BBQ, so I was able to finish cooking dinner. 

But I cannot (and will not) leave that hooked up long term. 

So, I will just do without propane until Friday afternoon, as I don’t feel like moving again before then.

I know how to handle being without propane, as I have been here before. I don’t want to buy a small 1 pound bottle of propane 

1. Because that would mean moving the truck
2. I don’t want to have a partially used 1 pound bottle of propane
3. I’m cheap

I can and will be fine, it is yet another adventure, a problem for me to solve. 

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

Friday, 31 May 2019

Another Unwanted and Unasked For Lecture

It never fails to amuse (and annoy) me how people seem to think that the reason why I haven’t bought any house/apartment/etc is because I fail to grasp the financial system.

I had another lecture from Boss yesterday about the: wonders, glories, and fantastic fiscal rewards of home ownership. 

I stayed quiet and let Boss talk, after all Boss is my Boss. This was also to keep my tongue in check, as it would not be wise to convey my . . . frustration . . . on this point.

I also have decided not to respond to these talks, because to do so would turn a lecture that I have heard many times over, into a discussion. 

And I will not have a discussion on my plans for home ownership, nor discuss why I don’t want to and flatly refuse to get a mortgage unless the property is an incredible steal of a deal.

I will not speak back on this issue with Boss, because I don’t want t give Boss any indication that I may change my mind if Boss continues to speak. 

Nor do I wish to hear any attempts to sway me, on the few times that I have said anything. 

I know about how home buying works, I know about house prices, and all that, I simply reject it all . . . for me, at least for now.

I do want a home and I do want land, I just refuse to go into debt to do it.

That and, after all, I am content yet not complacent.

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

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Okay Life, Boring Blog

As a writer, I know that good storytelling is about drama, tension, and is filled with all sorts of action, adventure and mishaps . . . drama . . . lots of drama.

Lately (thankfully) things in my life have been bumbling along okay. I’m doing fine. 

As always, things could be better, but things could be (and have been) worse . . . much worse. 

So, I am thankful for this hard earned bit of boringness. 

I am enjoying my life, I work, I go home, I listen to some music (satellite radio) and I do a bit of writing, or play a game.

Again, not all that fantastic or exciting, but it is nice . . . for now.

My life is in a holding pattern, due to the fact that I am building up my savings in order to start The Homesteading Process, where the: Action, Adventure, Excitement, and yes . . . Drama will pickup in my life and blog.

So, I’ll enjoy the bit of boringness for the time being thank you very much. 

(Unless you all want to start a crowdfunding campaign for me?  . . . no? . . . okay)

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

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Help Premier Kenny, Help The Little Guy!

So, the newly elected government of the province that I live in (Alberta) is introducing legislation to make the business tax rate in our province the lowest in the country.

This, after lowering the minimum wage for young people and people working in the restaurant industry. 

(Cause . . . you know . . . both of those  groups are swimming in cash and don’t need it.) 

There is logic and a legitimate need to helping business; I get it and I understand it. 

Let me put this little point out there, however . . . where would be without the average person? 

Imagine a place where nobody can afford to buy anything they don’t absolutely need?

Imagine if “Disposable Income” was a thing of the past? What good would lowering the corporate income tax rate do for businesses without any customers?

Here’s a radical thought . . . LOWER THE TAXES ON THE AVERAGE PERSON!

But, then again, I must be a communist to be thinking of such things.

I’ll just go make room for all of those people who will be parking their RV’s near me as the numbers of the Urban Nomads continues to swell . . . but what do I know.

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

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Warm Weather Wonders

Those days are back (at least for now) I mean those wonderful days where I am in my trailer with the: windows, door and vents open as I relax, enjoying the light breeze.

I know that the weather is unpredictable and that is has snowed in every month of the year in the province that I live in. 

So, the cold weather might return again, and it may do so soon (you never know).

What I do know is that, at least for now, the nice warm weather has returned and so I will enjoy it.

It really does play into the best way to get across my current mindset: I am content, yet not complacent. 

So, I will enjoy the warm weather as it lasts, and deal with the cold when it returns.

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

Monday, 27 May 2019

A Nice Weekend At The Lake

So, it was another weekend spent at my “Lakeside Home.” I enjoyed the peace and quiet as well as the antics and chirps of my fine feathered friends and neighbours.

Such as the growing family of Canada Geese that I have been keeping an eye on.
  

It is not a fancy life or a rushed life, but it is an okay life. 

I have what I need and I don’t intend on doing this lifestyle (Urban Nomad) forever. I am building my savings for my future as I move forward towards having a home and land.

Yet, I will try to take time to enjoy the process of getting to my goals.

Such as a nice relaxing weekend by a pond.

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

Friday, 24 May 2019

Keep Your Head

If there is one piece of advice that I would like to give to anyone going through hard times, it is this: Keep your head about you. 

There have been many variations on this theme, the most well known is the “Keep calm and carry on” motto from the British government during the second world war.

Yet it is good advice to take a moment and calm down in order to think things through rationally when your life is in total chaos.

If you allow yourself to panic, then you will make a rash decision, these are usually the ones that we regret the most, as they can make a bad situation worse.

I need to be reminded of this myself now and again, so I thought that I would pass this nugget of wisdom along to all of you.

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

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Grand Savings Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 
   

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

That is 23.4% (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 24.3% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 0.9% of my total Savings Target this payday.

I was close to putting 1% of my target away, but ah well, another of those last minute expenses cropped up. 

The key is to keep putting something into savings each payday while at the same time keeping on top of my bills.

I have targets but it is not the end of the world if I miss them . . . as long as I keep striving for them.

Just like with this missing of my target this payday, my “Estimated Completion Date” was pushed forward to July 22, 2022.

Yet this date is all but irrelevant, as I am not going to start my Homesteading Process in the middle of summer (not enough time before winter to do anything).

This is why I have pretty much decided to keep going until the April 7, 2023 before I will head off and start my Homesteading Process. 

Lottery win, or spontaneous crowdfunding notwithstanding.

So, while this budget didn’t turn out as I had hoped, it turned out okay. I got my bills paid, and I put cash into my savings. So that is a win.

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

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Renewed Push On Savings

So, the last few budgets have been frustrating for me, as they have seen me put less than I would like into savings. This has been due to a few bills that have cropped up. 

Some of these have been self- inflicted and some have just arrived. Again, some of these were scheduled and some were unexpected. 

What this means is that more of my paycheque has being going to these expenses. Part of this has been, what I call, funding my wallets (again).

For those of you who don’t know, I fund my operational expenses, in between paydays by spending out of physical wallets. 

This way I can clearly see what I am spending, get the pain of the spend (as in when I hand over cash to pay) and my bank accounts remain untouched. 

This is a key part of my strategy to remain on budget.

What is supposed to happen is that I put the cash I spend out of the wallets back into the wallets. 

For the past . . . say . . . six months this has not been happening as stringently as it should have been.

So for the previous paycheque and this one, I have been pulling extra cash out to put into the wallets. This paycheque will see that project completed. 

So, after this (unless I spend recklessly again) I will see myself putting as much cash as I can into savings again, and hopefully make up ground on that front.

Again all we can do is the best we can do with what we have at the time. With focus and consistent effort, we can and will improve our lives, fiscally and otherwise.

I know this from experience. 

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

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

I’ve Got Water, And That’s Okay

So, Friday afternoon I de-winterized Wanda and so now I have fresh water running through her pipes. 

So this means that when I turn a tap fresh water comes out . . . as long as the water pump I turned on.

All I use the fresh water in Wanda’s fresh water tank for is to wash my hands, flush the toilet and have the occasional shower . . . 

. . . as in a real shower with hot running water and everything. 

But I digress. As it stands now, this is a nicety, but even if I didn’t de-winterize this year, would be okay. 

Why? 

Because I spend most of the year without running water. 

I have just gotten used to packing my fresh water in (which I still do) and getting water out of my 5 gallon jug. I still do and yes I still pack the water in the 2 litre bottles.

It works, and it is a means to an end, as in saving money and building my savings, for my future.

But, I have running water and that is another nicety, I will enjoy it, but again, I can take it or leave it.

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