Friday 31 March 2017

Facebook Made Me Look Anti-Social

Okay, so just to be clear, I have been blogging steadily, every weekday, as per normal. It is just that somehow my posts to Facebook had been marked as “friends only” or something like that.

I do post the link to my latest blog entry on my Facebook feed and Twitter (@geoffwestlock) under the hashtag of  #theurbannomads.

I post the link to the Facebook and Twitter, to let people know that something new is there, but this is not the only way to get this information.

I have always maintained that I post a new blog entry usually around 8am (mountain time) each weekday, so the easiest thing is to just check the site (

You will always see the newest blog entry up top but can easily scroll down to see the last few entries right on that page. 

To the right there is a navigation tool that will let you go back over the last few years and even to the first entry of December 5, 2013

I will continue to post each new blog entry to both Facebook and Twitter as a convenience but as always you can just check the site.

I also, and always, welcome feedback either through Facebook, twitter, or the contact form on the left. 

As a quick recap for those of you who have missed it:

I have started to put large payments directly on the Wanda Loan each payday.
I pulled some cash out of my holiday fund at work and put that on the Wanda Loan (bad idea . . . payroll taxes.)
I have knocked a considerable amount off of the Wanda Loan, so far.
I am on track to be totally debt free this year.
I am also going to pay my Truck and Trailer insurance, both up front and in full this year.
Before this year is out I will only have one monthly bill (my cell phone bill) and that is on a month to month basis (not obligated to keep it).

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

Thursday 30 March 2017

A Small Step Forward, is Still Progress

Okay, so today is a Wanda Payment Thursday, so I’ll update how things are going on the Wanda Loan.

It seems that the large chunks taken out of the Principle are a thing of the past and we have settled down to the expected pace of Pre-Large Payment on the Wanda Loan.

The extra chunks taken out of the Principle in the over $7 range is gone and we are back to the mid $3 range. 

To remind you the increases in the chunk taken out of the principle of last two regular Wanda payments were $7.35 and $7.84 (respectively).

Today’s chuck was almost half that at $3.36, yet still an increase if you compare it to the amount before the large payment which was $2.92.

So, while the $7.00 increases may be gone, I am still ticking up there and moving things forward towards the total demise of this loan.

I still look at the positives that after the next large payment on payday (one week tomorrow) I will be just above $20k of the balance left on the loan.

Considering this thing was just shy of $33K at the beginning of the year; that is some serious progress on this loan. 

I am still on track to getting this thing done this year, and paying for both of my insurance (truck and trailer) in cash, up front.

So, those are all positives and I will take note (and celebrate) any step in the right direction, no matter how small. 

With the weather being warmer (emphasis on the “er”) I am taking to refraining from turning the furnace on at all. I am just bundling up and muddling through in the mornings. 

I am also leaving the blinds open during the day to get a bit of a “greenhouse” effect with the sun during the day to warm the trailer up for the evening. So far it is working out fine.

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

Wednesday 29 March 2017

New Tricks for an Old BBQ

Okay, so I have been BBQing this year since Saturday, when I decided to actually start up the BBQ for the season. 

I started using up the last of the propane that I had in the small bottles that run my portable BBQ. 

You can see it here in this picture; it is on the table next to the BBQ (not hooked up)

I hate using them not only because they are wasteful but they are expensive! That little bottle is only 1 pound of propane and it costs me about $7.00.

When you compare that I can fill the 20 pound bottle of propane (sitting next to the table) for about $12.00, you can see how extortionistically expensive they are.

This is why I have finally tracked down a single hose to connect the 20 Pound bottle (from the front of Wanda) to the mini BBQ.

This way, when I want to BBQ I just disconnect one bottle from the front of Wanda (making sure to turn both bottles off fully before disconnecting) and pull that bottle over next to the BBQ.

This way I can use the propane that I buy cheaply and not use those small bottles or have an extra bottle for the BBQ.

Wanda does have a “convenient” hose connection so I don’t have to disconnect a propane bottle from the front. 

The trouble with that is 1) that hose is stupidly expensive and 2) I would need to buy a long hose to use the BBQ and not have it right next to the trailer. 

This would make it at least 15 feet of hose and would waste the propane when I disconnect the hose. This hose is 3 feet long, if that and I can haul it anywhere I  want.

So, here I am enjoying the fruits of my labours!

So if you have a similar situation, I recommend this small hose as a simple solution to this dilemma. 

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

Tuesday 28 March 2017

The Yearly Budgeter

So, my newest project, like most of my other projects, is born out of frustration. 

As most of you know I have three copies of my Paycheque budgeter. One is the current payperiod that I am in, and the other two are for the next two paydays.

I copy and rearrange them each payday so that I am working on the budget for the current payperiod. 

I can look ahead but the one frustrating thing is that the account balances don’t automatically carry forward. I have to manually enter them, as I shift things around.

I have started to make one large budgeter with a sheet (or tab) for each payday in one calendar year. 

This way the end result of my accounts or the finishing bank account balances are carried forward to the beginning of the next spreadsheet (or tab).

This way I can see what things could be like a few paydays ahead but more specifically, those balances are automatically carried forward. 

As well there will be no more copying and rearing of payperiod budgeting spreadsheets, other than once a year, and I can handle that. 

I still won’t look too far ahead, as the further you go into the future, the more uncertain it becomes. 

I will post a copy of a blank one up on this blog for those who are interested and think it may be useful.

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

Monday 27 March 2017

Weekend Away Aftermath

Okay, so yes I did not only book my site for the May Long Weekend, but I also went to the mountains this weekend as well.

Sure, it was nice; I saw some nice scenery.

Not to mention had a nice BBQ.

I even went for a little walk and took a look at my site that I have reserved and paid for, for the May Long Weekend. (Just for the heck of it.)

I did need the break and it was a good weekend yet there is the reality that is settling in. The weekend wasn’t free, after all.

So there is the cost of the trip and the extra fuel that I spent to go out there and back. All this will add up to take a serious dent in my next payday budget.

I will have to draw out some cash out of the savings to pay for this trip, and this is disquieting. (This pretty much ate up the last three paydays of savings.)

The plan of not going at all to the mountains was perhaps a bit ambitious, but certainly I know that I can’t do this again anytime soon.

I have to save up for two more large bill that are coming. The first is Wanda’s insurance (May) with the second being the Truck’s insurance (Late July.) Both are being paid in a lump sum I in advance.

All while trying to keep my scrimping and savings on track. One thing is clear, that I will be debt free this year, and that is something to celebrate.

I will continue my frugal ways and try to make up for this dash to the mountains. It was nice, though, it is just an extravagance that I can’t afford to do on a regular basis.

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

Friday 24 March 2017

May Long Weekend Booked

This is about as far as I wanted to push it before risking not getting a spot for the May Long Weekend.

That weekend, will also be the weekend that I will De-Winterize Wanda, and actually have running water in her for the first time since Fall.

That is, until late Sept – early October when I must Winterize her again. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to de-winterize her at all. 

Yet, one shower or being able to wash my hands by using a tap instead of pouring water from a pitcher answers that question in a hurry.

This is one of the two large payments that I have coming up between now and paying off the Wanda Loan. 

I know that I have to take at least one trip to the mountains and spend the weekend De-Winterizing and doing some spring cleaning. (As I need the full hook-ups to do it)

I am on track with my savings plan and so it doesn’t seem like such an extravagance to pay for it. I also treated myself with a weekend in the mountains this weekend.

After all, why not live a little as I continue to scrimp and save.

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

Thursday 23 March 2017

Gonna Break the Last Chain

With me rushing down this last stretch towards Total Debt Freedom (sometime this year) my thoughts have turned towards life afterwards.

I will admit to crafting a budget or two which has no Truck, trailer or Credit Card Payments in them (and giggled).  

That is when something stuck out at me like a sore thumb, something which didn’t belong there anymore . . . 

Two regular payments will remain after I am Totally Debt Free, both I can do something about. One I choose leave alone, but the other one I shall deal with.

The one that I will leave where it is, is my phone bill. I need this because it is my phone and internet for my computer, phone and laptop.  

I am no longer on a contract where I am forced to pay them, I just still choose to. I have long since let that contract lapse and refused to get a “free” phone from the phone company. 

When and if I do upgrade the phone, I will buy it outright and most likely directly from the phone manufacturer. 

That way not only will I not be forced to stay with a particular phone company (due to a contract) but the phone will come “unlocked” so I can just go to another phone company if I choose (but I digress).

The steady monthly bill that I will get rid of (this summer) is my truck insurance payment.

I have been paying this thing regularly for years decades even, it has not even been a thought, as I can’t afford to do anything about it, or at least I couldn’t.

When the time comes to renew, I will just pay it all out up front. This way I will avoid the finance charges that they tack on, and I will free up a bit more of my cash flow.

What is more delicious a thought for me is that once the Wanda Loan is paid out, I will have no contracts forcing me to pay anyone anything . . . think about that for a moment.

I will still have that phone bill, but that is a bill of my choosing and under my control. I can cut that off if I so decide to do (or if I have to).

If there is an obligation to pay, as in an insurance payment or a truck/trailer payment, then that will take priority over food . . . think about that.

This is why I am looking forward to breaking the last two chains that bind me (Insurance payment and the Wanda Loan) where I will finally be free.

I will fund my savings as I regularly do, and my truck and trailer insurance will come out of that in one lump sum (each).

This way the money will be in my savings account and I will be earning (the miniscule) interest on it. 

Earning even miniscule interest is better than paying any kind of interest or other financing charges, if you ask me.

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

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Walk Your Own Path

A wise man once told me “Never blindly follow the advice of someone who does not have as much to lose (in a given situation) as you do.” 

Put another way nobody knows your life and your situation better than you do, so do what you think is best. 

After all, it’s your life and no matter what you do, whatever choice you make, you will have to live with (and deal with) the consequences: good, bad or indifferent.

By all means, talk to others, seek advice and guidance, yet ponder and think things over before acting. 

For once you act, the choice is yours, and so you must own the results as well. You can’t do something then blame the person who told you to do something. 

After all, they don’t know your life as good as you do, you are the expert of your life, so be the master (or mistress) of it as well.

This blog is not about one man who has come down from the mount with the one size fits all perfect solution for every situation. 

This is a blog about what I chose do to and the unravelling and continuing consequences thereof. 

The underlying principles are still the same and those you can take to apply to your life and your situation (as you see fit).

1. Downgrade your lifestyle for a short period, in order to upgrade your finances.
2. To solve any fiscal dilemma you can either increase your income, or decrease your expenses (or do both). 

I have learned a great deal while going on this journey, and if I had to do it again, I most likely would not have bought either the truck or trailer.

I probably would have bought either an old truck and camper or an old motorhome and lived in it.

Yet, buy buying the new ones (and keeping them) I am playing the long game. I know that they are in good condition and will be for some time to come.

I know that I have the skills and equipment to park the trailer on the property that I want to buy and live in it as I: work, build up and develop that property.

These are the choices that I have made, because they make the most sense for me. I would not make them for others, as I don’t know what resources or options that others have at their disposal; only they do.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward (but to it your way).

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Half a Step Forward, is Still a Win

Okay, so I will admit that my current fiscal plans are not going as well as I had hoped. After all, there is only so much that I can squeeze out of my budget before it gets stupid.

I am about at the wall as far as what I can plan and manage, but that’s okay, as it is all in an effort to become totally debt free, sooner rather than later. 

(Don’t even start with me on “just let it happen when it will happen” . . . sit down.)

I am at the point where I am starting to contemplate how to cut back on food even more. (No, I won’t go to the food bank, as I don’t need it.) 

Besides, I was taught (by life) long ago that I don’t qualify for any assistance from any charity. Somehow, or some way I fall ‘just’ outside their guidelines, or whatever.

That’s okay as that has taught me self-reliance, a lesson that I have learned well, perhaps a bit too well, but that’s a discussion for another day.

I have managed to squeak out a bit of savings for each payday and still make the budget work.

What is helping me is that the warmer weather (emphasis on “er”) is back and this means less and less running of the furnace. Which, in turn, means less propane and less generator fuel. 

I am okay, and while it looks like I won’t be becoming Totally Debt Free, before my new target date (not even one payday) that is okay. 

After all, I will be Totally Debt Free this year and then I switch to saving and building mode, and that is indeed fun for me. 

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

Monday 20 March 2017

Officially in Spring/Fall Mode!

So, it is official, Spring is here today, and so it only stands to reason that I switch, officially into Spring/Fall Mode.

Part of that means that I am once again buying my water from the grocery store. I do this because I have faith that I can keep water liquid in my trailer.

During Winter Mode I fill bottles of water at work and only bring home what I need for that night/weekend. 

This way I am fairly sure that I can keep the water liquid overnight. This will usually mean me sleeping with the bottles of water in my sleeping bag with me and my electronics.

This is because my body heat will radiate out and keep the: bottles of water, laptop phone and iPad from freezing overnight. 

So with the weather turning warmer I have put the sleeping bag away (again) and I can actually sleep alone in the bed which I can once again spread out in.

Another perk of being in Spring/Fall Mode is that I can have my Jug Showers again. This is where I have a shower with a juice pitcher full of warm water. 

In essence you stand in the shower/bathtub, pour a bit of water over yourself to get yourself wet. 

Then you lather up your hair, scrub your bod with soap before rinsing off, starting with your hair and working on down.

This is not quite the same as a nice hot shower and you are certainly not lingering in the shower but you can get clean with two litres of water.

This also beats having the old “Bachelor’s Bath” that I have to do all winter long. Again, I keep adjusting what I am doing in concert with the weather and temperature.

This is just another way for me to keep looking on the positive as I rush down this last stretch to Total Debt Freedom. 

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

Friday 17 March 2017

The Fight Against Grumpy

No, not the Dwarf, but me in the morning (no short jokes). I will admit it, that in the mornings I am a bit grumpy.

Not long after getting up, or as I am getting ready for the day, rather I will rant and rail against all manner of things and generally be in a sour mood.

Yet this does not persist, thankfully, and I am in a better mood by the time that I am walking to work. How is this? 

Well I take the time to counter each of my unfounded rants with a positive point. I also tell myself, remind myself rather, of how far I have come and what good things await me, if I persist.

I am thankful that I don’t inflict this sour mood on anyone else, and I am working to shorten the period of time that I am miserable.

It does happen, though, and I am frustrated about how long this journey seems to take and I just want it over with. 

I try not to think that even after being totally debt free I have at least two more years living in this RV. 

That’s right I have two more years of parking and sleeping on the streets before I will finally have a home of my own and mayhap a family too.

I need to calm down try to stay in the positive frame of mind and remain optimistic about the future. That is the mindset that I want to have and the outlook that I decide to make for myself.

There are times, however, that I do look back on my life and regrets, poor choices, along with the roads not taken come back to haunt me. 

These are things that I try not to look at for long, as in truth, there is nothing that I can do about them now. 

I can only try to make peace with the past so I can focus on the future. This is yet another struggle that I face every day. I think that perhaps I am not alone in this.

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

Thursday 16 March 2017

Not An Anomaly!

Okay, so it is a Wanda Payment Thursday and what I had thought was just an anomaly turns out to be a new normal!

What am I talking about? Okay, well two Paydays ago I made a massive payment on the Wanda Loan. 

This caused a spike in the amount of increase that the regular payment takes out of the Principle. I had figured that this was just a blip due to the large payment.

Since last payday I put just a regular chunk on the Wanda Loan, I figured that this time would be back to somewhere near the $3.00 mark.

Nope, this time it was even better than the previous increase amount of $7.35, up to a whopping $7.85! 

If this pattern keeps up it will certainly help me in paying this loan off early, but I will still need to scrimp and save every dime that I can in order to do this.

I will just keep doing what I am doing and keep on keeping on, and enjoy the warmer weather. (And yes, I will keep looking for reasons to celebrate and stay positive.)

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

Wednesday 15 March 2017

No Break For You!

Says the taskmaster in my head, despite me genuinely needing a vacation. I know it, I know that I need one, I just can’t afford one, let me detail why.

First of all, it has been a while since my last vacation, okay, not that long ago, as in my Christmas Break, but that was huddling in my trailer next to heat.

As far as a go somewhere nice and relax in nature, it has been a while. For the past while it feels like I have been going all out, as in working all the time.

So a vacation or even a weekend away would be good, yet even that is out of the question. 

With my plan to put the cash back into my savings working out dismally, I need to avoid any unnecessary purchases.

At best I can only put any cash into my savings if my paycheque is larger than my budgeted minimum. 

So, the prospects of me putting all the cash back before I need to take it out again to become debt free is also not looking promising.

Beside the cash I would have to pay to stay for a week at some camping resort, there is the gas to get there and back and then worst of all the loss of income.

Sure, I have some left in the vacation fund at work but that does not cover the commission I make on online purchases. 

It is this amount that causes my paycheque to vary so much (along with the number of work days on it).

It would take a paycheque or two (perhaps three) to get myself back on track. Again, unacceptable, and certainly not in the cards, as I have two large cash outlays coming.

One is the renewal of Wanda’s Insurance in May, and the other is a weekend at a campground to de-winterize Wanda. 

That will be a spring cleaning weekend as well, so it will be a working weekend, not a plop and rest weekend.

This blog-entry is not to whine but to highlight that there are times that sometimes we don’t always get what we need, but we all must make do and soldier on.

For me, I will try to plop and not move much this weekend, other than with the rocking of Wanda due to some idiot zipping by (two feet from) my trailer at a high rate of speed.

Ah well, such is life, but at least the weather is warm, and that is something to smile about.

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

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Put The Bag Away (Again)

So, yesterday was warm, well warm when compared to the last few weeks, it was positively balmy. So balmy in fact that I put my -40C Sleeping Bag in the closet (again).

So it was nice to spread out a bit when I slept and also to not have to sleep with my bottles of fresh water along with my electronics in the sleeping bag next to me.

I still watch the weather and know that we are not out of the woods yet, so I won’t break out the shorts just yet. 

I will, however adjust what I am doing and take advantage of the warmer weather and take note of the positive turn of events that this warm wind is.

I will take any bit of positive news that I can get in order to keep my attitude from getting grumpy as time and this journey drags (or seems to) on.

I am still being as frugal as I can be in hopes that I can still raise the cash that I am hoping I can so I can finish this journey a full month ahead of schedule.

For now, though, I am done hibernating and enjoying not being so cold.

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

Monday 13 March 2017

The Small Charity Matters

I have always said that this is a blog about my successes and failures; so you can learn from both, and I can remain humble. 

This is a blog entry which includes both, let me explain.

I have always had tight budgets, but since starting on this last leg of this journey to Total Debt Freedom, I have had incredibly tight budgets.

As I have said before, every last cent is allocated into three categories: 

1) What I need to exist. (Current Expenses)
2) What I may need to exist (Savings)
3) Debt Elimination. (Currently: The Wanda Loan).

I have a list of things (in no particular order) I would like to buy, and right under “New Mattress” is “New Frying Pan.” Neither will become a reality until after I become Totally Debt Free.

I allocate myself a whopping $20.00 per payday for treats until the next payday. For me, that means a meal out . . . yes an extravagant $5.00 meal at a posh restraint chain that may or may not have large arches in their logo.

This week I was hit up not once but twice for charity (as in a few dollars). The first time was when I was just sitting down to my meal after doing my payday run-around.

It had been a long day at work followed by a few stops of errands: Auto Club Renewal, Bank, and Gas. I was a bit frazzled and the only bite that I had had was a stolen French fry or two.

This was when the young lad (around twenty years-old) walked up and asked for $2.00 to buy a cheeseburger. 

My reply was quick, a bit terse yet still polite in my refusal of his request. He walked away, apologizing for asking as he did so.

As I was eating my meal I stewed and was conflicted. On the one hand I was offended that someone was asking me for help, considering all that I am going through.

I then reminded myself that the individual was clearly in a worse position than myself and just wanted a meal. 

I had sized him up and didn’t see him as planning to use the money for booze or drugs. After all, we were still in the restaurant.

He had left before I got the chance to correct my error and oversight. After all it was only two dollars to me but would have made a world of difference for him.

The second encounter came on Saturday when I was doing my weekly grocery shopping, or rather just afterwards. 

I had finished shopping and was loading the groceries into Wanda in my typical way: tossing them on the bed whilst standing on the ground in the open door.

A man walked up, who looked nearer to my age and asked me to let him take my cart back for him so he could collect and keep the Loonie (1$ coin) in my cart.

Again the urge to lash out and tell this person to bugger-off rose up within me, but this time I refrained. 

I agreed but did take the time to point out to the man that the trailer was not my vacation trailer but my 24/7/365 home.

He then told me that he had been working operating heavy equipment in the oil patch until the downturn and reminded me that he knew a lot of people like him out there on the streets. 

(Keep that in mind the next time some bureaucrat tells you that the job picture is all rosy again.)

So, whilst I don’t have the cash for large donations, (as in anything where money is made of paper) I will make it a point to be more charitable in the way and in the denominations that I can be charitable.

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

Friday 10 March 2017

Steady As She Goes

This morning I logged in to my banking app to see that my large Wanda Extra Payment went through. 

It is nice to see that large chunk taken out of the Wanda loan and know that all of it goes to the principle. *giddy, evil cackle*

I also updated my two spreadsheets: Wanda Payment Record (which records what actually happens) and the Wanda Payment Guestimator (which estimates what effect future payments will have on the loan).

I am still going back and forth on which payday to pay out the loan, the earlier payday earlier or the target payday.

There are two conflicting theories here, one is to pay the loan off as soon as possible, using up all of my liquid assets to do so (not credit of course). As in using up every last dime (and I’m not kidding).

The other is to wait until I can pay things off yet not touch either the Long-Term Savings or my Personal Overdraft. This will leave me with some cash on hand.

If I do go ahead and pay the loan off as soon as I can, I will need a payday or two to recover and rebuild my cash-on-hand reserves before I can do anything else.

If I wait until I can do it prudently, I won’t have to do this and perhaps even take a vacation just afterwards (to celebrate). 

Since we are talking about an extra payday or two, when compared to the 3 ¾ years of this journey to Total Debt Freedom, it is nothing to wait an extra payday for success.

We shall see what actually happens and how things play out. For now, though, I just rest assured that things are going according to plan and that the plan is working.

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

Thursday 9 March 2017

I Don’t Like Winter, But I Don’t Fear It

Since it seems that a healthy share of the months of the year seems to have me dealing with the cold and snow, I have grown used to it.

I know how to deal with winter and the cold weather, just like I have grown used to dealing with the heat of summer. 

It is inevitable with this lifestyle that you lean to adapt and alter what you are doing in order to do what you need to do. You learn to dance with the temperature of the moment and weather of the day.

When I started living in Wanda, I thought that I would stay in the trailer just for the warm months and rent a room for the cold ones.

Yet as the weeks and months ticked by and I saw how much more ground I was making on my debts by living in Wanda, my mind started churning.

I kept thinking of how and if I could do it; could I stay living in Wanda for the winter months too? 

As it stands now there is no fiscal argument for living in a room for the winter months. So, if you are going to do this lifestyle, be prepared to do it for the cold months too.

Still, I ventured forth, yet I was fearful of winter and of doing the unthinkable: of actually living in Wanda in the dead of winter on the prairies.

After that first night when the temperatures just dipped below -30C and I was still alive with all of my appendages still attached I knew that I could do it.

My fear for winter ebbed then and steadily dropped. I still have a healthy respect for winter and I know what to do and what not to.  

I bring this up because of more wonderings after a few words with Boss yesterday. Boss seems to be more fascinated and apprehensive of me living in Wanda in winter than I am.

This caused me to wonder why; I still don’t have a definitive answer. It was during this wondering that I came to this peace with regards to the cold and winter; I don’t hate it, but I don’t fear it.

Don’t get me wrong, give me the warm weather (or just on the plus side of 0C thanks) and I am fine and dandy. 

I will admit that often times I will turn the air blue when I am changing from my work clothes to my warm clothes inside a frozen Wanda. 

I grumble and complain now and again but this only lasts a moment. Then I am back to my calmer self and just dealing with what needs to be dealt with as I get through winter.

I can do this cold and wintery stuff, but I don’t have to like it. Yet I don’t have to fear it either. 

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

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Ends Vs Process

So, Old Man Winter is back for one last hurrah, so what. It is nothing that I haven’t seen before and quite frankly, doesn’t bother me.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love the cold, not by a long shot. As I have said before, I don’t frolic in the snow and cold . . . I tolerate and survive it.

It is what I need to do in order to obtain my goals, the first one being Total Debt Freedom. 

After that comes establishing myself in a home whilst still being fiscally independent. Working towards total self-sufficiency and off the grid living is certainly an intriguing concept. 

So I will keep dealing with the snow and the heat of summer, because it is just another bump on the road to where I want to be.

I have never said that I am a perfect person or even that everyone should do what I am doing. There is always room to improve, yourself most of all and I am not Moses come down from the mount (as it were). 

I also don’t believe in imposing my beliefs or ways on others. I will do what makes sense to me and you can either do likewise or learn from my experiences (or just be entertained).

I also do my best not to judge others or put them in little boxes or slap labels on them. So and so does this because they are this type of person, and so on.

This is because I know that we humans are complicated and multi-layered creatures with many contradictory habits, beliefs and practices. 

The other day, Boss was lecturing on the motivations of people; he was elaborating on what motivates different types of people to do what they do. 

He said that sales people (who he oddly enough holds in high regard) are motivated by the Ends and the results, i.e.: getting that sale, and not care about the Process.

He then said that detail oriented people are more about the Process than the Ends. I bit my tongue and just let it slide. 

I have become a detail oriented person because I have always been tapped as the “responsible one” the one who has to somehow make things or organizations work. Not in charge mind you, just in charge of the enigmatic Process!

Strangely enough bosses don’t want to hear any excuses or reasons for slip ups, they just want results and leave the “Process” up to you. 

So you develop a sense and form a habit to focus on the Process and the little details in order to avoid crap from above.

I am not living in my RV and enduring the winters out here on the prairies because I love it or to lavish in the process, I am doing this to get myself debt free and beyond!

I will listen to what Boss says and try to learn from him, as I do with everyone I interact with. You can always learn from others, and yes teach others too.

I won’t blindly accept or reject what he says either, after all I, just like he, am my own person and responsible for myself and my own life.

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

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Adjusting Expectations

I am a man who has his head in two worlds. On one hand I am a dreamer and an imaginer, yet on the other hand I am a realist. 

What this means is that I can dream up fantastical things, see them vividly in my mind and then plot and play ways to make them happen (just add money and resources, most of the time).

So, I am always re-evaluating my plan to be debt free and do so before the end of this year. Due to two recent factors I am pushing back my expected Total Debt Freedom Date.

The first factor is the fact that the plan to take money out of my Holiday Fund at work did not result in the amount of extra boost that I had hoped. 

A large chunk of that went to the Taxman and we all know what happens once he gets any of my money (Le Sigh).

The other is the total evaporation of my Tax Refund. That means that even the slightest boost that I had hoped to get from that is gone. 

As it stands now, unless I have some stellar paycheques over the next number of months (unlikely) then I will be left with what I have in the bank now, or rather will have come the end of this month.

So I have pushed back my target date to one payday back from this new target date. Interestingly enough it is still one payday ahead of my old target date.

So, all in all, this gamble was worth it, in the fact that I have gained a payday in my quest for Total Debt Freedom. 

As with everything we shall see how things actually pan out and I will deal with situations as they arise. 

All I can do is continue my frugal ways and keep trudging forwards towards that goal of Total Debt Freedom by the end of this year. 

Once this chapter of my life has been closed I can turn the corner and truly focus on building that bright future for myself and my future family. 

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

Monday 6 March 2017

Got My Tax Refund

So, a week last Friday, (On Feb 24th) I filed my taxes because I figured I would get my yearly let down out of the way nice and early.

I did my best and filled out all of the boxes that I was supposed to with the actual real numbers, not fudging any of them. 

After last year of paying someone to file my taxes and still getting my yearly let down, I figured what was the point? 

So, I would file them myself (I have done this many times in years gone by). Anyways, I digress, off my tax return went (online). 

I figured that if I filed early I would get an answer early . . . well I did. On the weekend I checked my bank account (which I do every day).

I check my bank account and credit cards every day to see what payments have gone through and to watch for suspicious activity.

Well, there was an unexpected deposit in the bank account and the name suggested that it was my tax refund, but the amount didn’t match my expectations (or, in a way . . . did). 

I went online and logged into the Taxman’s website and saw there the “reassessment” that was done on my tax return. There in all neat and tidy numbers was the “justification” for my “refund.”

Detecting sarcasm? Well let me just say that I got 0.0274% of my expected tax refund back . . . beer money . . . thereabouts.

So, there will be no help from the Taxman in getting debt free earlier than my target. 

The old adage of whatever I give the Taxman throughout the year (no matter how much) they will keep remains true.

I am tempted to pay an accountant to go back as far as you can legally go to reassess my tax returns and see if they can somehow claw back some of my cash. 

I don’t have the cash to do anything like that right now, as I still have to save even more to make my deadline for myself. Perhaps later this year or next tax time I will.

It would be nice to have some high powered accountant and mayhap a lawyer as well to take on my case (pro bono, or at a serious discount) to go after the Taxman. 

That would require more cash than I can expect to get back. So I will roll over and take it, at least when it comes to the Taxman. I am too small to do anything about this or dare to fight back.

I will, however, survive, thrive and succeed despite this. I will still be debt free this year, and I will still buy my land. It will just take a bit longer, that’s all. 

I will focus on that and the positive and bright future that awaits me; a future of my own creation, one beyond Total Debt Freedom. 

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

Friday 3 March 2017

The Sting of Dreams

I have a lot of dreams, good ones, bold ones, fantastic ones; most of them are for the benefit of many people other than myself.

The trouble is that I am still here, living in my RV handing over every last cent that I don’t need to exist (or may need to exist) over to the banks.

In essence, my current realty is nowhere close to where I want to be. Therein lies the problem, one which I keep coming back to.

I can envision and dream up all kinds of things, then figure out ways to make those dreams and fantastical visions reality . . . just add: cash, resources and personnel.

The most frustrating thing is having that knowledge, that plan, that vision for the future but stuck and mired in the present. 

I know that I am working towards the future and the first step is to free myself from constant servitude in order to service debt. 

After that, I need to obtain land, a Quarter Section (160 Acres) bare minimum, with a Full Section (640 Acres) preferred. 

Why? Because I need to have a place to gather people who, like me, want to see more out of their labours than just mere existence with a few toys. 

You know, those who want to help build the future a bright and bold future. Those who wouldn’t mind having all of their needs met without being paid yet just asked to contribute (in a way that they like) with their labours and mental muscle whilst continually bettering yourself. 

I will dial my dreams back and, for now, push them away. As to look at them now, whilst I am on this side of that wall (indebted) it is just too painful to look at them.

I will, as always, keep trudging forward towards that future, with my next goal of Total Debt Freedom. 

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

Thursday 2 March 2017

My Bite Doubled!

Yep, the large chomp that I took out of the Wanda Loan last payday affected the little bites which the regular payments take out of the Wanda Loan . . . in a big way. 

Okay so time for a bit of an admission, this loan is the largest loan I have ever had. Larger than even my truck loan was and that thing was pushing $30K when I got it. 

Sure the price for Wanda Herself was somewhere in the $20 – 21K range. 

Yet with me still stunned that I was approved, and not really believing it was happening, I fell into the trap of the “Business Office.” 

Once they were done with me suggesting this extra package and that extra package, I ended up with a total loan of $37K (Yikes).

Well that was three years ago (May of 2014) now, with all of my efforts and focus on this loan I have just cracked the $25K mark (in the downward direction).

With regards to today’s payment, the increases in the amount that my regular payments take out of the outstanding balance, doubled! 

For comparison, the increase of the last payment (on Feb 16th) was $2.92. 

What that means is that the payment on the 16th took $2.92 more out of the outstanding balance than the previous payment on the 2nd.

Today’s payment took a whopping $7.35 more out of the outstanding balance! 

Okay, sure when you compare this to the outstanding balance of just shy of $25K, that’s chump change, but every little bit helps.

Add to that the fact that before I started making these large payments that increased bite was only $0.10! 

As well, something to note is that every extra payment that I make on this loan goes straight to the principle, no interest is taken. 

This also is huge and is helping me to pay this thing off much faster than if it was a credit card. I shudder to think how long it would take to pay off a $37K credit card at 19.5%!

I track these things to see how effective what I am doing actually is, as well to predict just when this loan will draw it’s last breath, scream its last curses at me and die.

This also helps keep me motivated to stay on track and stay in Super-Scrooge Mode, until this is done (but I’m still not saying when).

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

Wednesday 1 March 2017

My Mug of Motivation

Okay, so we all have those days where nothing seems to be going your way. Oh yes, we all have them.

It is during those days and in the lowest moments thereof, that we may need a motivational word or two.

A few weeks back I stumbled across a saying which led me to a quote from one of the Rocky Movies (the last one I think). It is Rocky Balboa’s inspirational speech to his son.

I was so impressed with those words that I bought a mug (and spent way too much on) with this quote on the side of it. (Despite never seeing any of the movies.)

I even bought a version that I could frame.

(If you can’t read it, Google it, you’ll find it).

For me it just keeps reminding me that if I want to get anywhere in this life I have to keep going. No matter what keep moving, trudging really, forward towards my goals.

We all have stuff to deal with in life and we all have problems. The trick to succeeding is to stay focussed on your goals and keep working towards them. 

Do something towards your goal each and every day. It doesn’t really matter what, but as long as you are actually doing something, anything towards your goals you will stay motivated.

For me, at this point in time, that is watching my budget and spending as little as possible. 

I know that each and every penny that I save, is a penny that I can put towards my last debt. The sooner I pay that debt off the sooner I will be free.

So, remember kids, life is tough, so you have to be tougher.

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