Wednesday 31 May 2017

The Digital Penalty Box

It is a place that I am sure we have all been in . . . that place you put yourself in when you get near (or over) the Data Cap of your mobile internet plan.

For most people this is an inconvenience but not that big of a deal, as they still have their home internet package. 

For me, this is a larger deal, as my mobile internet is my home internet. I have a plan which shares a pool of data between my: phone, iPad, and laptop. 

For the most part (as in all the time) I keep the mobile data on my phone turned off. This is because I only expect it to answer phone calls as well as send and receive text . . . and tell me the time.

The mobile modem for my laptop I only plug in once in a while and only for specific tasks. Otherwise I steal Wi-Fi (only from safe networks or ones I trust).

My iPad is the device that I use most of my data on. I check the news, surf the web and chat with friends over messaging apps, watch a few videos. You know, the usual.

Well, this month I have gone a bit overboard and have now just about reached the cap of my total mobile data plan. (Thank you, cell provider for texting me the head’s up.) 

This means I now face a choice . . . what to do until my plan cycle starts anew (on June 6th). 

I could respond to their offer to “top up” my data plan with one of their three options. That, of course, would mean an additional, unplanned, and unnecessary expense (and we all know how I feel about those).

I could (unwisely) just carry on and get dinged with those overage charges (higher than the “top up” offers). This is a bad idea on so many levels.

What I will do is the unthinkable for most people . . . turn off my mobile data on all three of my devices and wait it out. 

I will just steal Wi-Fi or use it when I am at work (where Wi-Fi abounds). I will be okay as I am not a Borg Drone with a constant need to be connected to the hive mind.

I will live, I will grumble, but I will live . . . and on next Tuesday morning I will giggle like a school girl, as I will once again be able to use mobile data.

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

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Keeping Busy, Yet On Track

Staying busy is important, and sometimes vital. For me keeping my mind busy is important to keeping me from doing something stupid. 

My goals are not ones which can be achieved in one weekend. I can’t just keep buying lotto tickets in hopes that I will win the jackpot. 

I have to keep chipping away at my goals over a long period of time, years even. To do that, I need to keep doing what I am doing, and not get distracted.

The secret to that is to in fact distract myself . . . Let me explain.

In order to funnel most of my cash into moving my goals forward, I need to live a very dull life. This is because, pretty much everything costs money. 

Even driving anywhere costs money. So, I need to keep my mind busy with what is pretty much busy work, just to keep me from costing me any more money that I have to spend.

This is not forever, just for now, just until I get over this hump, until Total Debt Freedom.

So, I either play a video game that I have played many times or I write one of a few books that I have on the go, just to keep my mind occupied and my cash flow safe.

I will get to where I want to go and I will deal with what I need to deal with along the way, but I will keep myself entertained in the cheapest possible way . . . for now.

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

Monday 29 May 2017

Bored For The Future

I find that my life these days is pretty much work and waiting. I do what I need to do, but otherwise I stick around the house and stay focussed on spending as little as possible. 

This is my life and the truth be told I could certainly have a nicer life if I were to loosen the purse strings, so to speak, and just spend more. 

That would lead to me being in the same position I was a few years ago, blowing through cash, living comfy, yet with a bleak future ahead of me.

I am in the midst of this savings crunch to get over this last hurdle and finally be on the right track to financial independence and yes freedom altogether. 

I am doing what I am doing in order to correct my lifetime of fiscal mismanagement and fix a problem that has dogged me all of my working life: the living with debt problem.

I am happy that the warmer weather is here to stay and that I have fresh water in my tanks. I count my blessings that I can BBQ on a regular basis and enjoy the sun shine.

I am thankful that I am, all things considered, doing rather well. I have food, shelter, savings building up, and I am on track to be debt free this fall.

There are many things that I want to do, yet I have to restrain myself . . . for now. As I have set ambitious goals for myself and laid out a very stringent budget in order to achieve them. 

Achieve them I will, and in the mean time I will continue to live a dull life, because that is the cheapest way to live. 

I can’t even read a book or otherwise plan for what I will do once I get my land. That is far too far into the future and it hurts to think of it too long. 

I need to become debt free first, for me it is the final obstacle that I must overcome, my final debt to the banks to end my eternal indentured servitude. 

Call it a bit melodramatic, but that is the way it feels, for with debt, one is never free, one is always tied to your job. I want more than that, I want my freeeeeeddoooooooom!

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

Friday 26 May 2017

Summer Mode

With the May Long Weekend behind me, and my de-winterization completed, I am officially in Summer Mode.

This means that I have fresh water in my fresh water tanks, and fresh water running through my pipes. 

What’s more I can wash my hands using the taps and yes have a shower. Apart from being at a campsite, this is as close to “normalcy” as I get.

Even still I don’t use the water in my fresh water tanks for cooking or drinking. It’s not because it is unsafe, but simply because I reserve it for: showers, washing hands and flushing the toilet. 

For cooking, drinking and washing of dishes I still use my five gallon jugs. This way I can stretch things out and get five showers out of my fresh water tank. 

I still haven’t figured out where I will get fresh water, other than the dump station in the north. 

That one won’t open up for another week, so I will likely be back to jug showers for next week. I’ll be okay; I’ll live and make it through, as I have seen this all before.

I stay motivated by knowing and reminding myself about the future that I am building for myself by living this way . . . for now.

The happy thing is that I am in summer mode and I can actually have a shower in my own shower and not have to bundle up with seven layers. 

Don’t forget to pause and take in the happy moments and small pleasures that come your way each day. 

Take the time to give yourself a reason to smile, even on the dreariest of days, by noticing even something small that has gone your way.

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

Thursday 25 May 2017

Massive Bill Moved Up

Okay, so as you may know my goal is to not only be totally debt free by October 22 of this year, but also to reduce my obligated monthly bills to one (mobile phone bill).

This means that my monthly insurance payment has to go . . . fine. To do this I must change the way I pay for my truck insurance at the time of renewal.

My insurance cycle starts on August 1, so I figured that all I had to do was go in on my July 22 payday and change things around. 

Since I was in the area on Tuesday (for my delayed payday) I decided to ask my insurance company. 

This was a good idea as it turns out that in order to do this I need to change things around on the July 7 payday, one full payday earlier!

This will make things tight, but I will be able to do this, and as the added bonus I won’t have any more monthly insurance payments, starting in July. 

My June Monthly insurance payment will be my last, so that is a positive. I will also review my insurance at that time to see if I can save a bit.

Now that the truck is totally paid off and there is no lean against it, I may be able to conserve a bit on insurance yet not put myself at a greater risk.

This will be one more step forward to my total mastery of my own cash flow and yes moving me towards getting a place to put down roots, my goal beyond total debt freedom.

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

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Close Call

So, as I said yesterday, I de-winterized Wanda over the weekend. What that means is that I got her fresh water circulation system up and running.

This means taking a few steps to get the hot and cold water system working so I can you know, turn the taps and water comes out. 

Over the weekend, everything was fine, as I was connected up to city water by way of the tap at the campsite. 

The one thing that didn’t seem to be working right was the water pump. 

This is a big deal as this is the device that will give me running water when I am not connected up to city water.

Yesterday was also payday . . . or rather the day that I could do my payday banking, due to the long weekend. 

I was going to wait until after work to do all of my running around but I was out of bread, so a run to the grocery store in the early morning was needed.

I figured that since the grocery store I go to was in my Western Home, near the place that I buy my gas from, that I might as well buy my payday gasoline as well.

So, after all this and finally getting to work, I was running a bit behind but I had enough time to take a shower, barely.

I turned the tap and nothing came out . . . I was sure that it was something to do with the water pump, but I didn’t have the time to deal with it then, I had to go (sans-shower).

At work I was wondering what to do with regards to the pump, but knew that there was only so much that I could do and that most likely the pump didn’t survive winter.

So, in the early afternoon I called the RV dealership and made an appointment for service. 

After all, they were the ones who winterized Wanda, and I had paid for the extended warranty, so I wasn’t expecting to pay for the repair.

This still leaves the problem of where I was going stay for the few days that Wanda was going to be in the shop (a month from now).

I had decided that I was just going to sleep in the truck, as I really didn’t want, nor could absorb, yet another unexpected expense, not and still make my goals on track.

My boss mentioned in passing that the type of pump that I have in Wanda can sometimes get a bit sticky due to the special antifreeze that they put in the water lines for the winterization process.

He suggested that I smack the pump with something hard and hope that will loosen up. I filed that away as something I may try, yet my evening was also going to be busy.

I still had to run to the bank and then buy propane, as I had run out that afternoon.  

So it wasn’t until later that evening that I was able to try to work on the water pump issue. I flipped the switch and lo and behold the pump started working.

I tried a few tests to check that it was indeed working properly and indeed it was!

Then I thought how this could be, as I hadn’t done anything different than I had done in the morning. 

Then I remembered. When parking and manoeuvring in a parking lot, I inadvertently hopped a curb with Wanda and that gave the whole trailer a jolt, nothing serious mind you.

That must have been enough to jostle whatever it was that was stuck in the water pump loose. Thankfully that was all that was needed, and indeed it works! 

I had a hot shower in my trailer this morning and am looking forward to many more over the next four months. 

The next challenge will be finding a regular source of water nearby.

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

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Marvellous Mountains Meeting

I am running a tad behind this morning, so this blog entry will be brief. I did have a relaxing Victoria Day Long Weekend, but this morning I have run some errands.

The drive and expense was worth it, if only for this shot.

I also had a neighbour who came around a few times to see me. 

I did de-winterize and enjoyed having running water in my pipes and yes, having a shower in my own shower. 

A friend of mine paid me a surprise visit with a friend of theirs in tow. It was nice to see someone I haven’t seen in quite a while. 

All in all it was a good visit, but the weekend is over, and the workweek starts anew, so I had to hit the ground running this morning. 

Today is payday (shifted one day due to yesterday being a bank holiday), so I have already started my running around. 

My groceries were running a little low, so I bought a few groceries, filled up my gas tank and yes had a fast food breakfast . . . All before getting to work.

Well, I have to run, so I hope you all had a good and relaxing long weekend. 

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

Friday 19 May 2017

Warranty Woes

Okay, so as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had a problem with Wanda’s radio. In so far as the left channel of the whole stereo was not working at all.

I contacted the people who sold me this radio (which was a replacement for the original radio that was in Wanda). 

I had to replace the original radio and pay for it myself due to the fact that the power button was damaged and I didn’t think they would accept a physically broken power button as a warranty claim. 

The people who sold the replacement radio to me, referred me to the manufacturer of the radio and wished me luck; washing their hands of it.

The manufacturer of the radio was decent to deal with, in so far as all they required was for me talk to their tech support to ensure that the radio was actually broken.

After that I was to ship the radio to them, my cost. Fine, (grumble, grumble) I know the drill. 

I was about to call them up and ask the status of my warranty claim, when I got a call from my mailbox store.

The people at the mailbox store said that I had a package and that there was a COD charge. I had to pay right then or “refuse” the package. 

Grumbling again, and not sure what I was paying for, I paid for it over the phone. 

Since I am heading out today after work for my trip in Banff, I went by the mailbox store yesterday after work, as planned.

That was when I saw that it was my warranty replacement radio, so that was a happy sight.

The way the manufacturer had filled out the paperwork, however, resulted in the COD charge from UPS.

How? Well, the manufacturer stated that the value of the item was $93.56. At the border the Canadian Federal Government insists on their GST to be collected (of course).

The GST on the radio was $4.68. 

UPS can and will handle the customs paperwork for you, but will charge you for that service. They will charge you a customs fee for any packages with a declared value over $19.00 (remember that kiddos). 

So, I was slapped with a $30.20 “Customs/Brokerage” fee. 

Since this fee was for a service performed in Canada, naturally there was a GST charge on that. So, I was charged $1.51 GST on the Brokerage Fee.

This brings our sum total up to $36.39! For a radio replaced for free under the manufacturer’s warranty!

I choose to look at the positive and take note that I did get a brand new radio and not my old one fixed up. That is a positive, and that they did honour their warranty, so, that makes two positives.

It is just frustrating that I literally had to pay for this coming and going . . . ah well, I am off to Banff this weekend, and that is yet another positive. 

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

Thursday 18 May 2017

To Account or not to Account?

As I look to my future, beyond “Liberation Day” of October, 22, 2017, I have had a strange impulse . . . to learn something.

That something is accounting, or more specifically, bookkeeping. Why should I do this, when I have a decent system already to manage my finances, you ask?

The reason is that as I move forward, I plan to move further and further away from the payday to payday world and towards some form of self-employment.

At this point I don’t know exactly what shape that will take, either in the form of a scientific research community or just a farm/community, or something else altogether. 

One thing is certain, no matter what form it will be in, I will need to know how to keep the finances straight and keep the books. 

I could just get someone else to do that, but at the beginning, like now, there will only be me, doing everything. So, I might as well learn how to do this. 

I am toying with the idea of starting the books at the beginning of the next calendar year (2018). This gives me the remainder of this year to learn how to keep books. 

I thought of taking a course, but then I realized that I don’t need a piece of paper that says I know how to do this, I just need to know how, thus reading a book comes to mind.

I have my eye on a book that is about to be released that should be good for me to read and learn from. 

At the beginning of next year, I can start to go through the process to keep the books for myself, as if I was a business.

Again, this is all for practice and personal growth, as I won’t actually start a business, at least not yet, as I am still working for someone else and don’t intend to rock the boat. 

Learning how to keep books and gaining valuable experience in doing so, is worth something to me, however. As it will help me build towards my future, and that is always a happy thought.

For now, I will keep doing what I am doing with regards to how I keep track of my finances, yet I will learn and grow as I constantly take small steps towards my future.

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

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Busted BBQ

So there I was, getting setup to fire up the BBQ, a nightly ritual for me these days. I like to enjoy a bit of outdoor cooking, just because I can. 

Yet, when I pulled out my BBQ, I noticed something odd, something was amiss with my trust BBQ, something that I couldn’t just fix with duct tape or a bit of wire . . . 

This is the regulator, and what is broken on it is the knob. I store the regulator and the hose (which attaches to the tank) inside the BBQ when it is tucked away.

Somehow the regulator bumped around and the knob broke off. I knew that this was not something to be messed with as this is a vital part of the safe operation of the BBQ.

So, I needed a new one. Considering that I had spent $30.00 on the BBQ in the first place, I just figured I would pick up another BBQ and say goodbye to this one.

Well, when I got to the store, the exact same model of BBQ as mine was now $90.00! 

I decided to explore my options and see if there was either one cheaper or a more solidly looked one for that price. 

Nope, they all were stupidly priced, and this one was the cheapest.

So, down to the BBQ parts isle I went and found this for about $20.00.

This fit perfectly! I can safely BBQ again, and keep this old gal still working away. My BBQ does work and works well; it has just seen better days (like most of us).

After dinner was done and the BBQ was set to be tucked away, I took a precaution to help prevent the knob from breaking off again.

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

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Grocery Spreadsheet’s Inauguration

Okay, so one thing I did over the weekend was to give my Grocery List Spreadsheet a trial run, and it worked great.

First of all I needed to populate the spreadsheet with data, not only on what stuff that I would want to buy, but also on what price they were.

To do this I went around both stores and pretended to shop with my iPad. To look less conspicuous, I pushed a shopping cart around the store while holding iPad.

My cart was empty but for the few times I had to grab an item and to in search of the “check price here” scanning device in the store.

At the start I had an identical list of items in each store’s list. If an item wasn’t available in a certain store, or a particular brand I liked wasn’t there, I just deleted that line from that store’s list.

When it came time to make my shopping list I found a flaw in the sheet and had to make a change. 

That change was to add a line at the footer of each sheet, telling me how much both stores were going to cost me.

This line is just under the line which totals up what that particular store is going to cost me. 

This way I can see what my overall grocery expenditure is going to be and adjust it accordingly, before I go to either store.

I am not sure if I will run around both stores again before shopping or just update the sheet as I go. I will see how it rolls out, but for now it is working as expected.

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

Monday 15 May 2017

The Outlook Cycle

I am not without my frustrations and self-doubts. I battle them daily, yet refuse to let them win. The basic reason should be self-evident and is twofold. 

The first is that I have to live with myself, so I might as well be a good person to be around.

The other is that your outlook shapes how you view the world and perceive things that are happening to you. 

A positive outlook will cause you to see the good and positive things that are happening around you, thereby elevating your mood.

A negative outlook will cause you to see the negative and bad things that are happening around you, thereby worsening your mood.

Both are self-feeding cycles, you chose which direction you want to go, you choose your outlook and so you choose your mood.

I am not an expert on this, nor am I a constantly-happy-yippie-skippy person, I am trying though, and that in itself is good enough.

I have my bad days, but I put them behind me and leave them there, I choose to move forward and just forget about that bad day. 

To dwell on and beat myself up over it will therefore worsen my mood and view of myself. This will put me on that negative cycle that I want to avoid. 

So, I will look forward to being totally debt free and the great release of tension and stress that will come once I finally achieve that, earn that.

I will buckle down, and make work whatever I need to in order to achieve that. I will, however, try to enjoy the ride as I continue to work towards my goals.

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

Friday 12 May 2017

Debt Slave, Indentured Servant, or Freeman?

I watched a video on YouTube last night and it got me thinking. I know what you’re thinking, you can’t believe everything you see or read on the internet, and I don’t.

There are times when little nuggets of knowledge will stick with and resonate within you. This was one of those times.

The video was on the theory that five very rich families rule the world. (FYI, they were: The Rothschilds, The Duponts, The Rockefellers, The Morgans, and The Bushes.)

I won’t get into the validity of the video or the theory that it was discussing. 

I, for one, am not sure if “The Illuminati,” “The New World Order” or any of that is true. That is the subject of a separate debate, to be sure.

What did resonate with me was a graph splashed on the screen and at the bottom was a band called “Debt Slaves.” It was this title that got me thinking . . . 

All our lives we are taught that money is vital, and that being in debt is not just okay, but “normal.” We buy things, not only to live, but also just to have then throw away.

We earn money just to turn around and give most of it away on or just after payday. We have come to accept that money is life, without it you die. 

Yet strangely, we can’t keep any of it. Odd, eh? 

Most of us have “debt which springs eternal,” meaning we can and will never see the end of it. This kind of debt truly makes you a Debt Slave. 

For you are a slave to “whoever runs the show,” because of, and enslaved by, debt. Take heart, for you can still find a way to buy your freedom, yet it will be harder, and take much longer.

If you have a big fat asset, like a house and you have enough equity in it that if you sold it, you could pay your debts off, congrats, you are just an “Indentured Servant.” 

This is because, while it is possible for you to buy your freedom in on fell swoop, you are still tied and indentured to whoever “they” are. 

You are better off than the Debt Slave, but you are still owned. 

Then there are the Freeman . . . no, not “Freeman on The Land.” 

I don’t agree with them because you can’t just ignore the laws or governments, just because you want to. Like it or not, they control the country you’re in. 

As long as you are in “Bob’s House,” you have to go by Bob’s Rules . . . it’s his house, after all! If you don’t like Bob’s Rules . . . leave Bob’s House. (But I digress.)

I use the term “Freeman” to mean any person (man, woman, trans, etc) who has freed themselves from debt and is therefore in control of their lives.

You can still use debt, but make sure it is on your terms, with a fixed end date, and that you are the master of it, not the other way around. 

A Freeman has more assets and cash reserves than debt, therefore still in control, and still free. A Freeman is free because they can choose to do what they wish, even stop working (for a time) if they wish.

As for me, I am an Indentured Servant, on my way to becoming a Freeman. I don’t write this blog entry to preach or push the theory of “New World Order” or any of that stuff. Stuff that I am not sure is real or not, but to do what I always want to do . . . inspire.

I hope that those of you who are Debt Slaves see this as a wakeup call and use my experience as an example that it is possible to buy your freedom and in so doing, take control of your life back.

If you need a few pointers or just encouragement, message me, I will offer what assistance I can, but is up to you to begin that journey and work to earn your freedom. 

It is possible and it is worth it . . . buy your freeeeeeeeeeedooooooooom!

Thursday 11 May 2017

The Grocery List Evolution

Okay, so I have done the whole “Grocery List” thing a few different ways over the years. 

At first there was the “Just Wing-It” approach. This means going to the store and grab things that you remember that you need. 

This of course leads you to having to go back to the store to get a few items that you missed. 

After a few times of that, you write the list down . . . as in on a piece of paper. After putting an item in the cart, you cross that item off of your list.

This then morphs into the “text file on my phone” style. After you put an item in your cart you then delete that line from the text file.

Both of these styles leave two key things out . . . How much is all this going to cost me?  . . . And which store is cheaper?

There are two major grocery stores in My Western Home. I won’t mention them but if you are astute you can figure them out. 

They are comparable and competitive on prices for most items. Sometimes, however, the price varies greatly on a particular item. 

Then there are also the times when I know that I have a very limited amount of money to spend on this grocery run. What then?

I then end up having my calculator app open on my phone and adding items up as I go through the store. 

I do this to avoid the shock at the till or worse, having to put items back. I know that I am not the only person to have to do this.

How to avoid that embarrassment and capitalize on the price variance (on the stuff I buy on a regular basis) between stores?

I will now try this little gem out this weekend in order to eliminate all that. 

This is a spreadsheet that I have created on my iPad. It is just a simple list of the items that I buy on a regular basis. 

There are two identical sheets, one for each store that I go to. As I go through the store I can update the price of each item at that store.

When I am done I will know how much each item is and what the total should be. This way I can put items back if I have to BEFORE getting to the till. 

Even better, is that when I am at home, making my list, I can have an estimate of what I expect to spend at the store. 

As well, I can see, which store is cheaper on which items and make a list for each store on which items are cheaper/best to get at each store. 

This may entail me to go around each store first pretending to shop and just updating prices on my iPad. I have the time and both stores are my “corner store” so to speak.

I have no idea what kind of reaction the store people will have with me shopping with my iPad with me. My phone is very old, so it won’t work for this.

If you want a copy of this Grocery List Spreadsheet for yourself just message me and let me know: What format? (Numbers or Excel) and what email address to send it to. 

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

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Plant Your Feet and Stand Tall

I know that my chosen lifestyle (being an Urban Nomad) may seem odd to some/most people. I for one find this funny.

To me, to stay in a fixed address whilst it buries you in debt and takes most of your take home pay just to exist . . . that is something I can’t understand.

Certain people in my life, one in particular, routinely suggests that I should buy a place (even a one bedroom condo) or even just rent a room somewhere. 

I listen to them, but politely answer that I have no interest in doing so at this time. 

Why? Because I am five months and two weeks away from being totally debt free, after which my paycheque will be mine to do with as I please.

After that, after that glorious day of October, 22, 2017, I will be able to put up to 90% of my take home pay into savings (or do with whatever else I choose).  

*** Pause for the reader’s shouting and cursing ***

So why would I stop now? Just to make other people more comfortable? I am living my life, nobody else is. 

I am the one who has to deal with the consequences and reap the benefits of my decisions. 

So why should I care if I make others uncomfortable? I shouldn’t and don’t; and neither should you. 

Your life is your own to do with whatever you choose. So do what you need to do in order to better your life and situation. 

Just remember, kids, that while you are free to do what you choose, you are not free from the consequences (legal or otherwise) of those choices.

So do something, but own the decision and deal with the results (positive or negative).

As for me, I am going to be debt free, then move on to bigger and better things . . . like freeeeeeedoooooom!

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

Tuesday 9 May 2017

Perception Problems

This is more about a problem that others have experienced, rather than a problem that has happened to me. 

People are used to a certain way that people are supposed to live. Everyone knows that you are supposed to get a job, give away most of that cash in order to just exist.

You are supposed to have a fixed address, a house or other dwelling. This is just what people do, ‘normal’ people anyways.

So when people first learn that someone lives in an RV parking on streets or in big-box store parking lots, they have a hard time understanding that.

This can lead to problems with people, specifically how they see you and how they interact with you. 

I stay away from any residential area, because people will get nervous and uncomfortable with someone living an RV which is parked outside their house.

Parking and living in an industrial area, however, also comes with problems. This is because of break-ins and people casting a suspicious eye your way.

There is the perception that only the poor and destitute would live in an RV. Even worse is the fact that the perception is that most of us out here are drug addicts.

This is where the perception becomes a problem. You see, in the evenings and weekends industrial areas are not exactly the hub of activity.

You could even say that they look abandoned, or even evacuated. This lack of people around in the wee hours of the night proves too tempting a target for thieves. 

There have been a number of break-ins in my area and the people who are doing these break ins are usually the actual drug addicts looking for cash or small stuff they can sell or trade for their next hit.

As yet, while I have been questioned if I have seen anything from a break in the night before, I have not had the hassles with the police or bylaw officers.

Part of my theory is to why this is, is that yes, that I move around twice a day, but also the fact that my truck and trailer are newer. 

This does not fit the preconceived notions of what a ‘desperate and destitute’ person would live in, and so I am not a ‘cop magnet.’

At least that is my personal theory, other than that, I have just been lucky, I guess. All that I or anyone else living this Urban Nomad Lifestyle wants is to be left alone to live our lives like we see fit.

I am doing this to get my debts eliminated and then build up my finances. Others do this lifestyle for the freedom of movement. All are attracted to the cheap cost of living.

More importantly, all are people who are just trying to get ahead in the world.

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

Monday 8 May 2017

Cascading Success

So, I was able to pull my hiney out my personal overdraft and this set me up to do the same thing for the following budgets.

I also set a new record when it came to fuel . . . $32.97 . . . that is what I used for two weeks of driving and generator fuel. (An all time low.)

I am on track to stay on budget and on track for paying off Wanda on October the 22nd. This will mark a turning point for me and one that I am looking forward to.

For now, though I am taking the time to recognize and celebrate the small victories and use that to remind myself that I am making progress on this journey.

It is far too easy to just see the distant goals that seem so far away and get discouraged. 

It is at those times that one must stop, look behind you and see all of the other goals that you have met and moved on from.

Those are the mile markers of success on your journey of life. 

So, I now celebrate this accomplishment and use it to set myself up for further successes to come.

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

Friday 5 May 2017

Budget Crunch

So, this weekend is a payday weekend, or specifically Sunday is Payday. This is also the payday that I pay Wanda’s Insurance up front.

This means that things are a bit tight and was one of the payday’s that I had planned to dip into my Mid-Term Savings in order to do this.

This is also the payday that I have vowed to get out of my Personal Overdraft, without dipping further into my Mid-Term Savings.

Things are looking grim and it looks as though as none of my regular Budgetary Alchemy will make this happen. 

As you can imagine, this will require me to dig deep into my bag of tricks and do some things I have not done in some time. 

In other words, I will have to resort to some desperate measures.

With the warmer weather upon us (last bout of the dead of winter notwithstanding) this means that I am using much less propane. 

This means that I can dip into my Utilities Wallet and transfer $40.00 of the $60.00 budget from that wallet and into my Groceries Wallet. 

I can then underfund the Groceries Wallet, only putting $20.00 or $40.00 into it and still manage to make it until the next payday. 

I will then have to keep up my budgeted $20.00 per payday that I have earmarked to go into the Utilities Wallet in order to slowly fund that Wallet back up to its budget of $60.00.

As I head into the last 5 months (and change) of this journey I am heading into a long, steady budget crunch. 

In order to become totally debt free by October 2nd, I will need to make every one of my budgetary targets from now until then, in order to make this happen. 

I need to make at least what I have targeted for my minimum amount of income. More importantly I need to somehow make all of my savings and expense targets.

So if my income is a little light during a given payperiod, I will need to cut back on less vital spending in order to make my key savings and expense targets.

I can do this, but as a result of the past few months, any and all wiggle room in my budgets are gone. 

October 22nd is still my drop dead, deadline date to become Totally Debt Free. I will make that day one way or another. 

This, of course, will require much more Budgetary Alchemy, to be sure. This is a place that I have been before, so I know what to do. 

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

Thursday 4 May 2017

I Don’t Like Working Without a Net

It’s funny, for most of my working life I have not had any kind of savings account. I have always been the paycheque to paycheque type. 

Now that I have had a taste of having a bit of a savings account building up, I like the thought of having that safety net, even for a short bit.

The past week or so at work has been a bit slow and since we are not a governmental organization and are a business, in fact a small business, this is not good.

One’s thoughts turn to what would happen if Boss decides, or has to, either downsize or shut the company down. While this is not likely, it is, of course, a possibility. 

With my current plan of handing most of my paycheque right to the bank, my cash reserves are quite low. 

If something were to happen now as in if I was “actively encouraged to seek other employment opportunities” even through no fault of my own, I would be in a tight bind.

So this is why I have decided to shift gears, I will still pay off the Wanda Loan by October the 22nd and pay my truck and trailer insurance up front.

What will change is that now I will put three quarters (¾) of what I was handing to the banks in my Long-Term Savings Account. I will put one quarter (¼) of that payment still directly onto the Wanda Loan.

A few days before October 22, I will drain the Long-Term Savings Account (along with my other fiscal reserves) and pay the Wanda Loan off. 

This will let me have a fiscal cushion and make large payments on the Wanda Loan. The best of both worlds as it were. I will not touch the money, but have it on hand, just in case.

This is a good balance and since the outstanding balance of the loan has been knocked down considerably, there is not much difference either way, with regards to the best way to pay off the loan.

I have modelled what will happen either way and noticed there was not much difference between the two, with regards to what it will cost me.

With that in mind I went with this and while it may end up costing me a few extra dollars (maybe a hundred, if that) it is worth it for my own piece of mind. 

That and this is the more prudent option. Life is always about constant revision, always tweaking what you are doing in order to make sure that what you are doing is the best possible option, given what you know now, and what the current situation is.

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

Wednesday 3 May 2017

The Propane Bottle Heard Me Boast

As you might have guessed, when I got back to my trailer after work, the fridge trouble light was on. 

This always means one of two things, either Wanda’s batteries are too low, or the propane bottle is empty.

Since my radio was still lit up, it was doubtful, that the problem was with the electricity. So, all it took was a quick check of the propane regulator to confirm that the bottle was empty. 

You see, there is a valve that I flip back and forth to indicate which of the two bottles of propane that I will draw propane from. 

When and if the pressure in the currently selected bottle drops too low, a red flag will rise up in a small window to confirm that the bottle is empty.

So, I had to flip the switch and switch propane bottles (oh no). 

I will do what I had said I would yesterday and use the $15.00 of the grocery wallet to buy this bottle of propane.

This will save me the $20.00 that I would have to put back into the Utilities Wallet, if I cracked one of its twenties. 

On a side note, I have been BBQing this week, and hope to continue as it is a nice way to have dinner and it’s just fun. 

I am still on track to somehow get my hiney out of my Personal Overdraft come this next budget cycle (beginning on Sunday). 

I know that things are on track for finally being debt free come the end of October, but it just seems to take way too long and time is moving way too slow. 

This is just me anticipating and thinking about it, I know. Before long, October will come, and I will achieve this goal, like all of the others before it.

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

Tuesday 2 May 2017

I Got a Plan

Okay, so yesterday I was grumbling about not achieving a balanced budget for the upcoming payperiod. I now have a plan to come close . . . though it is a long shot.

I won’t achieve balance, not really, as I have to pull money out of my Mid-Term Savings. This was planned, though, as I am paying for Wanda’s Insurance up front.

What I am trying to do is maintain my “always stay above $1k in my Main Account” policy to me, dropping below $1k, is dipping into my Personal Overdraft.

Why is this important? It is important because all of my future budgets are based on the assumption that I will be out of my Personal Overdraft by the end of the previous budget cycle. 

Failure to do this will have a cascading affect on future budgets and force me to scrimp and save down the line to correct the problem caused in this budget.

Staying out of my Personal Overdraft gives me option of dipping into that overdraft when I really need it, as in some dire fiscal emergency or large unforeseen expense.

I know that I will more than likely have to buy a bottle of propane this week. This is not all that unexpected because the last one I bought was on April 1 and it is still going (not bad).

If I use the $15.00 that I have left over in my Grocery Wallet for this, I can save the $20.00 I would have to put back into the Utilities Wallet if I used its money.

If I am super conservative with fuel and come in as low as I did last time, and if payday is even a few bucks more than expected, I just might do it . . . with like a dollar to spare. 

This is just another game that I play, in order to get things back on track and myself in a better mindset. 

The easy thing to do would be to just take more cash out of the Mid-Term Savings. That would then put my other further goals at risk and . . . be much less challenging and . . . let’s face it . . . less fun.

I know, Fun? Budgeting? For me, it is partially about how far I can push things and push myself. What can I do, if I really need to, if I really push myself?

We shall see how things turn out, but even if I am a few bucks short, I am still much closer to my goal and overall goals by at least trying. 

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

Monday 1 May 2017

Deficits are Draining

Okay, so all in all it was a good weekend, as I was in my Western Home. That is always nice, as I get to put my stabilizer jacks down, and the slide-out out. 

This means a bit of space, and not being so cramped as well as not having yahoos zip by my house at high speed, two feet from my window (always fun).

For me, a weekend in a big-box store parking lot, is almost (almost) as good as a campground. I do make sure to buy my weekly groceries at said big-box store, as a thank you.

Speaking of which; with regards to the subject of Friday’s blog, I did end up cracking a twenty, two of them in fact. 

So, I have ended up doing something that I haven’t done in close to a year now . . . spending all of my grocery budget for a given payperiod *gasp*. 

While this doesn’t mean that I went over budget, but to a miser like me, it kinda does, as my target is $60.00 per pay period and I spent $100.00. 

(Okay, I technically have $15.00 and change left, but it is officially spent, as per my budgeting system.)

This is sorta a loss, for me, but I know that there are large items that you steadily use over time that you don’t buy every payday. 

When you have to buy them, you have to buy them, there really is no choice. That is what happened to me this weekend, but we’ve all been there. 

That is not what put me into a deficit budget for the third straight deficit budget (as in this upcoming one for the May 7 Payperiod.)

What really put me into this deficit budget situation were the shorter days in April; that kinda killed me on the income side. (Which results in me having less hours on these two paycheques.)

The fact that my laptop power supply died, and a few other unforeseen expenses didn’t help either.  

Again, that is life, and is why we, or I, have a Mid-Term Savings Account. This way I can run a deficit budget for a few payperiods and not be totally screwed. 

I am not a government, however, so I can’t live on deficit budgets, only obtaining balance in election years. I can’t just float a bond or tax someone to raise cash. 

(If I did that it would be called extortion, but that is the subject of a different blog altogether).

I should return to balance come the May 22 Payperiod, and with it (as timing would have it) I should also have running water in Wanda’s pipes. 

(A luxury I live without for about 7 months of the year.)

I am still on track for making my new Total Debt Freedom Day of October 22, 2017. I have marked this date down as my hard limit date; I will not push it any further unless it is absolutely necessary. 

As it stands, due to my current fiscal constraints, my planed vacation in August is on hold and may not be resurrected, unless I have a string of surplus budgets (doubtful).

This is what I must do in order to finally turn the page on debt and do something that many working stiffs never do . . . become totally debt free.

On an interesting side note, Friday’s blog entry was number 800, this is my 801th blog entry, and it is interesting how time flies by. 

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