Thursday 31 August 2017

Wanda Payment Update

It is not just any Thursday, but a Wanda Payment Thursday, so I thought that I would take a retrospective look at the Wanda Loan.

First of all, the extra bite taken out of the Outstanding Balance of the Wanda Loan increased by $3.19. 

This is up significantly from the previous regular payment of $2.15. I am not sure exactly what impacts this amount but it does vary somewhat.

The other interesting thing about this loan is that when is started taking note of this loan, last October, a few things have changed.

For one, before I started making large regular payments on the loan, the amount of regular payments taken up by interest was 64.80%. 

Today that number was 26.51% and it keeps on dropping each payment that I make. 

So that means that 73.49% of this morning’s regular payment went towards the Outstanding Balance.

That is a huge change which means the lower that number is the more of my regular payments (the ones I have to make anyways) goes towards paying down the Outstanding Balance.

This is a way of leveraging those regular payments to help pay this loan off faster. This is the real power of making extra payments on a loan, even if it is only a few hundred bucks a payday.

The Outstanding Balance has been knocked down to the range of a cheap, small car loan. I can see the end of this loan. 

I am excited to see that I am truly nearing the end of this the last loan which has been the largest loan that I have ever had. 

Once again, I am 4 paydays (inclusive) away from that auspicious day of making that last and largest payment on the dreaded Wanda Loan.

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

Wednesday 30 August 2017

The Wall Still Exists

It is still there and for whatever reason I cannot look beyond it. I just can’t let myself plan what lays beyond October 23rd . . . AKA Total Debt Freedom Day.

I try, but the best I can do is to let myself dream of the longer term goals and dreams. Yet, anytime I try to come up with actual plans after that day, I just can’t do it.

This is due in part to the fact that I just want this done, I just want to finally be Totally Debt Free (again). 

I want to close out one chapter of my life before moving on to the next one. Yet this is also due to the fact that life has bitten my butt off many times before.

Other times, when success was almost within my grasp something comes out of left field and smashes it. This is usually after hopes have been built up.

So, you will forgive me, and I myself, if I will wait until this deal is done and I am once and for all Totally Debt Free, before I will make plans for life after Total Debt Freedom.

As yet I just can’t peer beyond that wall, that wall of debt. I need to see it down and crumbled before I can move on. Call it a failing, but there you have it.

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

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Feeling Like a Short Timer

I am now 4 paydays away from being Totally Debt Free . . . that is the plan at least. 

I have things under control, or at least as much as one can have life and the various moving parts that is life under control. 

I am almost finished this long journey towards Total Debt Freedom. I can see the finish line, I count the days (54) and/or the weeks (8). 

My mind also wanders and wonders as to just how this soon-to-be-success could unravel and go decidedly awry into disaster.

Call it the revenge of Murphy’s Law or the stinging pain of the memories of the many almost successes that I (like many) have gone through before in my life.

I am finding myself treading more carefully, thinking twice before spending and generally more cautious than before. 

I am almost out of this quagmire that is never-ending-debt, so I am focussed on that date more than ever . . . that and not screwing up.

I feel like a soldier who has been in the field too long and the day of their rotation out of the field is coming soon. 

He (or she) is forced to wonder if they will make the day of rotation out of this mess, and back home to (relative) safety.

I am trying not to be paranoid or somehow bring badness onto me by focussing on the negative possibilities. 

I am decidedly more cautious and careful as of late, and that I try to spin as being more dedicated than ever to finally turn a page on debt, once and for all.

I will still look before I leap, and keep a weather eye out for danger, fiscal or otherwise.

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

Monday 28 August 2017

Energy Savings Realized!

I had a great weekend, yet still found a way to save energy. I didn’t run the generator all weekend, yet still had the laptop going for hours both days.

Okay, in the interest of full disclosure I did run the generator for five minutes yesterday, but that was for the awning. 

Sometimes the awning needs a bit of a nudge to roll back up. This can happen when the battery is a little low; it will start up and just stop.

Thus the only option is to give it more juice by running the generator. Apart from that, I was fine all weekend.

I listened to the radio and charged the laptop while I was taking breaks. I use the times charging the laptop (when it is off) as a break from the laptop.

Yet despite this on again/off again stop start go, my new charger worked like a charm. 

I am going to see how far I can push this. I wonder how many more days I can go before having to run the generator. I shall see.

This is interesting because the last time Wanda had any power was from the campsite a week ago today.

I was able to keep my spending under control this time at my Western Home. So, all I all, things are looking up and I am on track to making Total Debt Freedom Day. 

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

Friday 25 August 2017

Laptop Charging Problems

So, I’ve been having problems charging my laptop in Wanda. It has not been all of the time, just when I use my inverter. (As in the box that changes 12V DC to120VAC)

You see, when I plug my laptop charger into my Generator, or into a regular power outlet, everything is fine. When I use my inverter, then the laptop doesn’t like it.

What happens is that this little light . . . 

As in the one on the laptop that indicates that the laptop is charging. When it is amber, like it is now, it is charging, when it turns blue, it is charged.

When I am using my inverter, it blinks on and off erratically. This is a problem as each time it is off, it is not charging. 

This then seriously drops the efficiency of the charging session. As in I am giving it resources but it is not being used effectively. 

I know that the problem is that either my laptop AC adaptor or the Laptop itself is not liking the type of AC power coming out of my cheap inverter.

The obvious solution would be to spend some serious coin on a “True Sine Wave Inverter.” 

I won’t go into the details of it but, let’s just say it does a better job of mimicking line power and some devices like that better.

Not wanting to pay big coin, but still wanting to solve my problem, I came up with this little thing . . . 

That little box is a DC to DC converter, or more specifically (9V – 14V) to 19V. (I bought it online.)

That means that if I give it somewhere between 9V to 14V DC in it will give me a steady 19V out.  Why is 19V out important? Here’s why . . .

If you look closely, on the bottom of my laptop (and all, I believe) it tells you that it wants 19V DC in (and 2.38 amps) in order to function.

So, after finding this little gem online, all I had to do was connect it up.

There are wires for input and two wires for output. I connected the input wires to a jack that you can shove into a cigarette lighter outlet (or the round car power outlet for you youngsters). 

The output wires I connected to the barrel connector wire that I salvaged from the now dead power supply that came with the laptop.

Thus I was able to do this last night . . . 

It worked perfectly. In the workshop I had a meter on each side of this charging unit and everything seemed fine. The highest volts I got was 19.1 V DC, I can live with that.  

It seems to take about 10 Watts when charging, steadily less when it nears 100%. Just FYI, I never run the laptop when it is charging as I find it charges faster that way.

Again, I got lucky, with being able to find a DC to DC converter that can give my laptop what it needs to charge. 

It is possible that this could cause irreparable damage to the laptop . . . but this is a cheap laptop and I had to try something. 

For now, everything seems to be working fine.

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

Thursday 24 August 2017

Mindset Over Money

I have been through a great deal in order to get myself Totally Debt Free (Just shy of two months away). 

I have learned that your thinking is most important with regards to your finances. It is not so much the bills that you have, or how much you make but how you think about money and its usage. 

For the longest time I had been beaten down by the system to the point that I believed that all I was supposed to do was to earn cash and spend all of it. 

This was subconscious, of course, but that was the effect. I would: wonder, wail and rail at the injustice of my unending situation that I, myself, was perpetuating.

May people think that I have done something extraordinary by being able to pay my debts off, when in actual fact, the secret is quite simple.

My secret was to find a way to not pay rent (that was: legal(ish), ethical, and moral. I have cheated no one, I have not squatted on anyone’s land or apartment.

I then used the massive chunk of my monthly budget that I had saved and put that to use to chip away at my debts.

In the process I had to watch what I was spending and where my money was going. In so doing, I started to change my thinking around money.

That it really was mine to do with as I pleased and I was just a “cash sprinkler.” 

I have fought hard to take control of my finances and eliminate my debts, you can too. You just have to get started. The first step is to take stock of where you are, fiscally. 

What debts do you have?
What are you spending your money on?
Where can you cut back your spending?
How can you downsize your lifestyle so as to free up money in your budget?
How can you drastically save on rent?

If it will help, try this thought experiment. First make your monthly budget as it is now. Then imagine that your pay has just been cut in half. Now, find a way to balance your budget. 

If you can figure that out, if you can make that budget work comes the only one that really matters . . .

Will you put that plan into action?

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

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Preparing For Life Outside the Corral

As I mentioned yesterday, I am now two months away from being Totally Debt Free. I will admit that I am anxious to have this momentous milestone behind me. 

I have already pondered and dreamed of what I might do, once I achieve this goal. All of the immediate things are rather boring . . . no epic weekends in Vegas or what have you. 

For me, the goals and tasks immediately after achieving Total Debt Freedom, is to put into place various measures to ensure that I will not fall back into the trap of endless debt again.

The first of which is rebuilding/building up my: immediate, Mid-Term and Long-Term cash reserves. (So as to replace credit cards for emergency cash). 

After which my savings for the future can begin. This is the actually dreaming for the future part comes in.

In part, my path to ensuring that I will not fall into the trap of endless debt began when I started on this path towards Total Debt Freedom.

In truth, the first thing you need to do is change your way of thinking, change your mindset, and how you think of and relate to money and debt.

For example, I spend my day to day expenses with cash, so as to make them easier to budget and to bring back the pain of the spend.

Once any credit card was paid off (now all of them) I ensure that all credit card balances are paid off (in full) each payday.

This is to ensure that I do not carry a balance, other than in extreme situations. I have trained myself that the “available balance” on credit cards is not “free money.” . . . Any spends on credit cards will come to bite me within two weeks.

Finally, I make sure to balance my budget for each payperiod. This is to ensure that I live within my means and that fiscal responsibility is a way of life.

All of this is to help better prepare me for “life outside the corral.” Trust me, it is an adjustment to going from indebted to being Totally Debt Free.

I have been here before, this will be the second time I have become Totally Debt Free. (Okay, third time, if you count childhood through the beginnings of working life.)

The last time it happened in the wrong way, or rather I wasn’t ready for it. I had bought some property, just over 3 acres and the value had risen (the height of a bubble.)

So I sold it and became debt free overnight. I went from being under crushing debt to being Totally Debt Free in a shockingly short period of time.

It actually caused a crisis within me, as I had no idea what I was supposed to do, other than earn money so as to hand it out to governments and corporations. 

That is why this time I am making sure to change my mindset, to prepare myself for life beyond going through that gate. 

For now, I do not see anything beyond actually exiting that gate. I refuse to plan or think about what will happen beyond October 23rd. 

I know that a thousand things could happen to throw this process off; most of them would/could be self-inflicted (been there, done that).

That is why I just keep focussed on the day to day details of what I need to do to keep moving myself forward toward that goal towards exiting that Corral of Debt. 

I will plan and shift my focus onto that Rebuilding Phase, once I enter it. For now, I am still in the late stages of the “Debt Elimination Phase.”

So, I will maintain focus so I don’t do anything stupid . . . again . . . (Sigh).

Remember: Debt is a Corral, Debt Freedom is The Gate.

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

Tuesday 22 August 2017

2 Point 0 To Go!

That’s right, it is two calendar months (plus a day) exactly to go before I am totally debt free. 

I am still counting down to October 22nd because that is the day of the paycheque that will make me Totally Debt Free and the 22nd is the date of the cheque . . . 

(That and I don’t feel like redoing my countdown calendar for one day later.)

So, today I will be annoying and celebrate how close this (and the cold weather) is! On Friday, I will also be annoying as that is the day when I break two months (1.4).

The weekend trek to the mountains was good and more importantly I was able to make it through and not obliterate my budget. 

I am still on track to reclaiming a bit of wiggle room in my budget. 

I still am committed to being debt free on October 23rd. I would prefer, however, to have more than $20.00 to my name immediately after I achieving it.

As you may have guessed, this is just another blog entry about me looking for reasons to celebrate and looking for the positive things that are going on in my life. 

I am committed to staying positive as I constantly move ahead, making my life better and perhaps, just perhaps, good enough for some lady to want to jump into with me.

(I fear not that will not happen as long as I am freezing my tuchus off parking on the streets of a prairie town in a prairie winter.)

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

PS: I didn’t blog yesterday because I made it my own personal Long Weekend.

Friday 18 August 2017

Budgetary Basics

Most people out there know how to make a budget, even if they can’t seem to stick to it. The trick is to make a budget anyways, and keep on doing it.

Repetition is the key to success. If you don’t know where to start, start with jotting down what you spent. 

Keeping track of what you are spending, and on what, is a good way to see where your cash is going.
A good way to do this, for the undisciplined, is to sit down at least once a week and login to your online banking app/website. 

Go over what you spent and on what (in the history/record of transactions). 

At first this can be a humbling/shocking experience as you see how much you spent on what and at what intervals! 

At least it was for me . . . this should serve as a wakeup call on the necessity of taking hold of your finances.

I highly recommend a spreadsheet (message me and I can send you one) to keep track of your bills and expenses. 

The problem with just winging it, is that you tend to spend all of your cash. Even if your bills get paid, there is little to nothing left over.

So, on that spreadsheet plunk in your fixed bills (phone, power, rent, etc) then estimate your other expenses (groceries, treats, entertainment, etc).

These other expenses are harder to budget for as they are not fixed and vary. 

For these I use a wallet for each one and put cash in there. It is easier to budget a fistful of twenties then $43.27. 

Also, you notice what you are spending when you have to start handing over cold hard cash. It is a psychological thing, trust me.

As you budget, remember, it is always best to slightly overestimate your expenses yet at the same time, underestimate (slightly) your income. 

This way, the combination of the two will help to land you somewhere on budget.

As you get started, I recommend altering this spreadsheet to reflect what you actually spent (regardless of how disastrously off budget you were). 

These spreadsheets from previous payperiods will help you to hone and refine both your spending habits and your budgeting skills.

It is a learning process and something that you need to practice at. 

Trust me when I say that having a budget (and sticking to it) will give you the tools needed to take hold of your finances and improve your life. (Fiscally, at least).

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

Thursday 17 August 2017

A Light of Hope

There is always hope, if you look for it. This is another trick that I am using to keep my positive outlook momentum going. 

Yesterday was the first day of a new payday cycle, which means that I get my first glimpse at how good (or bad) my paycheque on Sept 7 will look.

All in all, it looks pretty good. Even if I make no sales, I will still make my budgetary minimum. This is before any sales have been made.

This is due to the number of work days that are in this particular payperiod. It is a luck of the draw thing. Most payperiods this works against me.

This leaves me fretting and working hard to claw my way up to that minimum Take Home Pay amount that I need in order for my budget to balance. 

It is nice to be racing ahead starting from a place where I know that my budget will be balanced and I can see how much extra I can make.

I will still not be stupid and just bank whatever extra cash I can, as I am still too close to the minimum needed to make Total Debt Freedom day. 

All it will take is one or two bad paycheques to sink me. This is why having that extra padding in the form of some savings would be nice. 

Again, we live, we learn, we move on. Learn from the past, but don’t wallow in it or beat yourself up over it.

I choose to look to the future and see hope.

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

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Ignore the Offense De Jour

These days there always seems to be something large and shocking hitting the news that riles us up. 

Something offensive that has happened that makes us scream at our televisions and/or radios.

This is often something that is happening in some far off place which will have little or no impact on your immediate daily life.

There are large issues that need to be dealt with, and if at all possible, sure, tackle them. 

Avoid the temptation, however, to get too wrapped up the anger concerning the offensive incident/issue, of the day.

To maintain mental stability and emotional balance, you will need to stay focussed on your own life and improving it. 

Avoid getting riled up by stuff that is, let’s face it, at best a distraction with regards to your life. 

Whether you are making a large change in your life, or just trying to make it through the day, you will be better served by keeping an even keel so to speak.

A calm and rational mind will help you make the best choices for: yourself, your life, and those around you.

It will also stop you from spiralling down into that pit of despair, by not allowing the negative emotions to impact you and alter your outlook.

Focus on your life, and making it better. Treat yourself and those in your life fairly and as best as you can and you will see positivity bloom in yourself and those around you.

Leave the negativity and harshness of the “Offence of the Day” outside of your mind and heart, do not let them in. It leads only to a path of death and destruction.

Anger begets Hate,
Hate begets Violence,
Violence begets War,

Do not go down this road,
It leads to death and destruction, 
Break this cycle.

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

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Two Dot One

I am two months and one week from being Totally Debt Free. I live for these days, the days when I get to cross off a day on the calendar. 

Each time I do, I know that I am one week closer to being free, free to choose my path and chart my direction in life. 

I will still need to build up my financial reserves and yes save up cash in order to move in the direction that I want to, but at least I am, or will be, able to do so.

I keep myself motivated as I do what I need to do whilst waiting until the next payday, so I can take my next step towards freedom. 

Each payday I take one step forward, then wait two weeks (or so) until the next time that I can take one more step forward. 

These in between days mark the passage of time. Next week will not only be payday, but also two full months until Total Debt Freedom. 

That is something, something worth celebrating indeed!

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

Monday 14 August 2017

Perception is Reality

How people see you, how they perceive you, is in fact what you are . . . to them. Okay, this part I could care less about, after all, let’s face it, I live in an RV.

To most people, at first glance, I am destitute, or one step above being destitute, but still a pathetic person who just can’t seem to get my act together. 

Yet, it is also how you see yourself, and the world which is your reality as well. How you see things, how you perceive them is in fact what they are . . . to you.

Your Perception is influenced by your Outlook.

Your Outlook is influenced by your Experiences.

Your Experiences are influenced by your Perception.

As you can see, this is a self-feeding cycle, which can either take you up into positivity, or drag you down into negativity. 

It really is your choice. Let me explain. 

What has happened to you and how they have affected you, influences or colours the lens through which you see the world. 

That “Lens” is your Outlook.

What you see through that lens is your “Perception.”

What you file away as what “actually happened” is your “Experiences.” 

Let’s say that you were bullied as a kid, or some large traumatic event happened to you. As a result of this you start to see the bad in the world, the bad in people.

You start to notice how people are being mean to you (even, and especially, in small ways). Even if that is not what is actually (as in, in reality) happening.

This perception of everyone is out to get you, to cheat you, affects how you continue to see the world and how you interact with people. 

This can then lead you to behave in an overly sceptical or suspicious manner, which causes people to pull away from you. 

This only serves to further entrench your belief that people are jerks who are out to get you. 

This then causes you to start to try to cheat others (Before they cheat you, of course). This cycle will continue ever further into the deepest depths of darkness.

The same cycle can happen in reverse and lift you up. You can start to see things better. 

You just have to decide to change what you are looking for, what you choose to see, as you go through the world.

How do you do that? You decide to look for the good things around you. You make a conscious effort to ignore the negative things that you reacted to before.

Furthermore, you stop yourself from getting angry over things that have no impact on your life. Why get angry over what is happening half a world away?

This is a cycle and an aspect that I struggle with daily, yet it is a struggle worth fighting. 

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

Friday 11 August 2017

I Found The $100.00!

I have found a way to make Total Debt Freedom Day, after all! 

For those of you following along at home, I recently ran the numbers and found that I was going to fall short of being totally debt free by October 23rd of this year.

Well, I have been looking at my budgets and found a way to squeeze that missing hundred bucks out of my budget. 

In the process I will gain a (perhaps) slight (if unhealthy) health benefit along the way . . .

I will reduce my food budget from $60.00 a paycheque to $40.00 a paycheque . . . eat less and save more, so to speak. 

I can make this work. I have to make this work, because Total Debt Freedom Day is not really Total Debt Freedom Day, if I am carrying a balance on a credit card . . . is it?

I have devised a way to balance nutrition and savings, all without using my refrigerator. It is not pretty, or desirable, but it is what I have to do, to get this done.

It is a long shot, but it is a shot that I have to take. If (and when) I manage to get extra cash in my budget, the first place that I will direct it towards is the food budget. 

This is temporary and just until I finally turn the page on debt, something that I need to do for: me, my freedom, and my peace of mind. 

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

Thursday 10 August 2017

New Way to Gather Water

It is a story as old as time, we always need to get water. In days gone by, it meant going to the local well or even to the local stream.

These days, things are usually much easier. For me, not so much; yet it’s not as challenging as it was in days gone by.

For those with a fixed address, and indoor plumbing, all you have to do is turn on a tap, and water comes out.

I have to go get water, and I do this in one of two ways. 

One way is to take my two 5 gallon jugs to the grocery store and buy 5 gallons of water for $3.00 (twice).

The other way, when either it is the dead of winter, or if I am in Super-El Cheapo Mode, I “bottle my own water” so to speak from a tap that I have regular access to.

For the longest time I have been carting my plastic bottles (that will fit under the tap) in a fabric shopping bag.

I cart this back to the trailer and pour the full bottles of water into my large plastic water jug (with spout) and use that to dispense water.

This is one of those examples where we stop questioning how you can improve this and just keep doing what you always have been doing.

Carting the empty bottles to said available tap is one thing, carting the full ones back is another . . . it can feel like my arm is about to fall off (okay, maybe not that bad).

The other day I was wondering if there was something else that I could do, some way to carry them that would be easier on me, yet still get the water home.

Then it hit me . . . 

I already owned the backpack and as you can see the bottles fit rather well inside it. This way the load is on my back and not on my arms and voila water carried without too much fuss.

So, if you are “bottling your own water” like me, then remember this little trick of using a backpack.  

If you don’t have to “bottle your own water” then remember to always question why you are doing something the way that you are, and wonder if you can somehow do it better.

There is always room to improve and revise whatever you are doing.

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

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Total Debt Freedom Day Pushed Back

It has happened, and it wasn’t my fault, but it was my choice. Due to circumstances that I can’t control, I have had no choice but to push Total Debt Freedom Day back.

As I have said before, I get paid twice a month, like clockwork.  

The first payperiod of the month runs from the 1st of the month to 15th of the month. Since there is a 1 week hold back, I get paid on the 22nd of the month. 

The second payperiod of the month runs from the 16th of the month to the last day of the month. Since there is a 1 week hold back I get paid on the 7th of the next month. 

It doesn’t matter what day of the week that payday lands on, that is the date of the cheque and so that day, and not before is when I can deposit or cash it.

This means, as with yesterday, if payday falls on a bank holiday I have to deposit the paycheque on the next business day.

I know that I can use the ATM or even the banking app to take a picture of the cheque and deposit it that way. 

What can I say, I am old fashioned, I like to go into the bank and talk to the teller. I do this for a few reasons. 

For one, I have had bad experiences depositing my cheque through the ATM. At one time there was a 10 day hold on any cheques deposited that way. Since then I have always deposited my paycheque over the counter, without fail.

The reason I don’t use the banking app to deposit the cheque is because I like to have the deposit receipt stapled to my check stub (for my books).

I was in the bank yesterday doing my (belated) running around for payday, starting with my bank run. 

That was when I noticed a sign on the door to the bank signalling that they were changing their hours. A few hours shaved off here and there, no big deal.

It was the fact that they have decided to close on Sundays, which causes me a problem.

This now means that when any of my paydays falls on a Sunday, I have to wait until the next day to do my banking. 

Again, this is not the 70’s, I have other banking options. I could use the ATM, that bank app, or even go to another branch.

The real problem, and the point of this blog entry is the fact that the auspicious day of October the 22nd of 2017, is a Sunday.

I have been going to that branch since I started this journey. I switched to using this branch because it was close to the house that I rented a room in (back in January of 2014). 

For me, I want to actually talk to a person and sit down across a desk with someone as I do the banking to close out my final loan.

So, I will wait one day in order to do that, so the new Total Debt Freedom Day is Monday, October 23rd, 2017.

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

PS: I was over my El Cheapo fuel target by $1.62. Even that target was not enough for me to balance my budget, so I am officially $4.83 into my Personal Overdraft. 

I have a few ideas to actually balance my budget for the upcoming 22nd payperiod. We shall see how things unfold, though.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Made It Through

So, I survived the long weekend in the retail abyss. It was a bit cosy, since I did not have my slide-out out, or my stabilizer jacks down. 

I was able to complete my major objective and that was to spend no cash at all. 

I also saved on fuel, and I hope this will pay off with savings at the pump today, and thereby balance my budget.

I know that my next budget will likely be a disaster but I will not go down (into deficit) without a fight.

That is a task for another day and another week, for today and this week is what I need to focus on. 

Wonder about tomorrow, plan for it, but work on today. Always keep your focus on: “What can I do this week/today to move my plan (and myself) forward?”

As always, keep an eye to the future, but your focus needs to be on today and this week. For me, my main focus is always on this budget, this payperiod, and my plan for it.

I will squeak through this week and try to get through this upcoming weekend without spending anything that is not absolutely necessary. 

This has become my new mantra . . . who am I kidding, it has always been thus, I have just wavered in my dedication to it now and again. 

I will succeed though, I will make it through to Total Debt Freedom Day . . . and into my Rebuilding Phase. 

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

Friday 4 August 2017

Going For A Record!

I get paid on Monday, as in holiday Monday. So that means that I won’t be able to deposit my paycheque until Tuesday. 

Sure, technically I can deposit via a bank machine or even the banking app, but I am old fashioned and I like the receipt. That and I get cash at the same time.

When I get paid I also do my grocery run, as well as fill the truck and generator with fuel. 

I have been very conservative with fuel this time and this got me thinking: how could I be even more frugal with fuel?

Then it hit, me, spend the long weekend in my Eastern Home (as in close to work) instead of going to my Western Home. 

The other reason to stay in my Eastern Home this weekend is that I do tend to spend more when I am in my Western Home. 

Living in a big box store parking lot, surrounded by other big box stores will have that effect on you . . . go figure.

Since I am on a moratorium of spending anything that I don’t absolutely have to, it makes sense to stay away from spending temptations. 

The record that I am trying to meet or beat is the lowest cost of fuel that I have bought on a payday. We shall see how successful I am come Tuesday evening.

I really do need to conserve every penny that I can, and hope for a few bounces to come my way in order to pull this together and make October 22nd. 

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

Thursday 3 August 2017

Might Not Make The Day

It has happened, I am now in territory that I have never wanted to be in: mathematically not able to make October 22 as my Total Debt Freedom Day.

Two things happened yesterday to shove me over the line into this murky grey zone. It was a combination of these two fiscal hits that did me in.

The first was when the company that I use for my anti-virus “auto-renewed” my “subscription.” 

I had somehow missed or forgot to unclick that little box saying I “wanted” them to do this.

This is frustrating because while the company and their product is okay, it is always cheaper (almost by half) to just buy their product new each year (even from their own website!) 

I was planning on letting my antivirus go out of date but just keep the laptop offline for a few months, until after Total Debt Freedom Day. 

The second hit was when I realized that I had not budgeted for the $70 - $100 to Winterize Wanda. 

Every year in early October the RV Dealership has a special Saturday where you drive through, they winterize your rig, all while you wait. 

Not Winterizing Wanda at that point would be stupid, as it would then be more expensive, next to impossible to get water for the main tanks and I would risk freezing my pipes and considerable damage.

I had forgotten to put this expense in the budget, and now as a result of the two, I am $200.00 behind the eight ball. 

Yet, while I am mathematically unable to make October 22, I will not shove the date back one Payday to November 7, 2017 (which is the worst case scenario).

Well, I suppose the worst case scenario would be sudden unemployment between now and then . . . but I digress. 

To push the day back would be admitting defeat on this time this day that I have marked down as my line in the sand. 

I can still somehow make this work, I just need to increase my income somehow, all while still, somehow, decreasing my expenses. 

(Who knows, I may get a better than bare minimum paycheque *laughs hysterically*) 

Pushing Total Debt Freedom Day back is something that I will do, only if I have no other option. 
Doing so would impact my other ambitious goals that I have set for myself post-debt freedom. That and I don’t like to miss my targets and I just want this done!

I am stubborn and resourceful, somehow I will make this day.

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

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Resolution, Confidence and Determination

These three things are key to success on any journey of change, or other such pursuit of a chosen goal. Let me explain.

The first thing you will need is a Resolution, more specifically the Resolution (promise) that you will follow through on what you have decided to do.

This is your Resolution, your promise to yourself; your conscious decision to complete your task and achieve what you have decided to do.

This is not a once and done decision, this is a choice that you make, a Resolution that you remind yourself of each and every time things get hard.

In essence you make a Resolution to get started yet you keep affirming that Resolution every moment of every day, especially in hard times.

The next thing you will need is Confidence, you know that feeling of, “I got this.” It is that Confidence that will steed you well when you see challenges coming your way.

You gain Confidence from tackling problems. Each time you meet a challenge and defeat it, you gain Confidence in yourself and your abilities. 

You do not gain Confidence by living a safe and cushy life; that much I have learned.

Then there is, of course, Determination, the sheer will to go on despite whatever is happening. 

This is that voice inside you that tells you to go on, that no matter what, you: can, will and must carry on, until you achieve your goal.

(For me, this voice is in the form of a drill sergeant . . . fun.)

There are other traits that you will need, but those are three and they are intertwined, as you can well see. 

If you have these traits, then you are all but done, and your goal is already achieved . . . all you need to do is get started and claim your prize.

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

Tuesday 1 August 2017

Had a Cup of Coffee With Myself

This morning I sat down, and with no other distractions going, had a cup of coffee and tried to make peace with my path in life.

I have regrets, mostly of them are the paths not taken, with a few arguably ones that I should have taken. 

In the end, I didn’t go down those paths; I went gone down this one, the one that has taken me to this place, to my current situation. 

I have regrets, sure, but I must not let them weigh me down, drag me down rather, down into anger and despair. 

I must choose to see the positives of my life and take note of the skills, abilities and advantages that I currently have. 

Ones that I would not have, had I chosen a different path in life.

Learning to deal with regrets is a constant process, and one that I am constantly working on. 

Having a chat with yourself is something I recommend (with some sort of non-alcoholic drink, naturally).

Go easy on yourself, as you can’t exactly fire yourself, or divorce yourself. You are stuck with you, so learn to accept the past, work on the present and prepare and plan for a better future. 

After all, that is really all you can do. 

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

(PS: it is officially 2m:3w to Total Debt Freedom Day)