Wednesday 31 January 2018

Where Has The Month Gone?

Here we are on the last day of January and 2018 is already 1/12th over. I will admit that this month has not turned out as I had expected, yet this is somewhat “normal”.

I am used to things not quite going as planned, yet somehow levelling out to being at least somewhat okay, if not better than I had planned. 

I have spent on stuff that I hadn’t planned on spending on (the mattress, etc) and still plan to spend more (the repairs and upgrades). 

At first I was going to carry that debt, but soon I quashed that thought. 

I choose to be debt free, if I can help it and I will remain so, if for no other reason than for my own piece of mind.

So I am back to shoving my savings plan back and hoping that a few good bounces can help makeup that lost time.

Things will work out and just because things don’t go as you had planned, as the good book says “Don’t Panic!” 

(No, not “that” good book, but “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”) 

But seriously, if things do go awry, just deal with what you have to deal with and move forward from where you are. Berating, or belittling yourself (or anyone) will not help at all. 

As for me, I will fix what needs to be fixed, and I will build up my savings and I will buy that land and start the homesteading process as I found that town. 

It is all a question of when and exactly how.

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

Tuesday 30 January 2018

The Bitterly Cold Weather Returns

Here we are, after two days (sorta) of warm (sorta) weather we are heading back down to the bitterly cold weather (tomorrow).

The good news is that it looks as though this cold snap will not last much past Monday morning. 

After that the not-so-cold-weather returns and hopefully will stay as we continue towards Anti-Fall and on into spring and summer beyond.

Due to the fact that Wanda’s batteries don’t hold a charge worth anything when it is bitterly cold, combined with me being  . . . frugal . . . 

I am thinking of just disconnecting Wanda’s batteries tonight and waiting until the bitterly cold weather passes before connecting them again. 

I just don’t feel like wasting that much generator fuel to try to keep some sort of a charge in those batteries. 

Let’s face it, when things are this cold, all that electricity is doing is: 1) turning on the lights (I have candles) and 2) running the radio (I have an FM tuner on my phone).

I can get through this, this too shall pass. I will just bundle up and grumble through it . . . as I always do.

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

Monday 29 January 2018

Bed Storage Problem Solved

Okay, so as some of you know, I have recently upgraded my mattress. It is a lovely mattress that is three times as thick as my previous mattress. 

(It’s heavenly to sleep on).

Yet, with it being thicker it is also heavier . . . much heavier. So this makes lifting it up and holding it up there much harder, and getting at the stuff under the bed much more difficult.

Thus, I came up with this solution . . . 

Yep, that is a table leg that is holding up the mattress. I bought it at the local home improvement store . . . who knew they sold spare table legs.

There it is, nothing special, just an ordinary dining room table leg that screws into a socket. 

This also presented a small challenge, what to do with that screw in top.

As you see there is that threaded end sticking out of the top where it would normally screw into its holder. 

This is a problem for me as that end would then be sticking into and damaging the wood of the flap of the under the bed storage area.

So I bought a spare leg holder (thing). As in that silver thing is what you would attach to the underside of the table.

I have used it to simply be the top of my leg. I just leave it screwed into the top of the leg. This way it is now the top of the leg and no damage is being done to the wood.

It just flops down to store nicely.

This is also important because I have to grab and position it with one hand (as quickly as I can) as I hold up the mattress with the other.

I was thinking of just getting a piece of doweling, but then I would have needed some sort of end on both sides in order to protect the floor and storage flap roof.

Attaching the metal piece to the top permanently would be silly as then I would have to hold up the mattress as I screw in the leg . . . then unscrew the leg when I am done.

This solution is simple, yet it works, a reoccurring theme I am finding these days.

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

Friday 26 January 2018

Cost Vs Benefit

Okay, so I got a partial estimate yesterday for the repairs and upgrades to Wanda. There is still one key item for which an estimate has not come back yet. 

So, the repairs are still on hold, for now. (Call me crazy, but I am not giving the repair shop a blank cheque with regards to this last, yet important, item.)

One of the things on the estimate was solar panels. I had inquired about having them put two solar panels on the roof (two was all that would fit).

They had a special and while I knew that the RV Dealership would not be the cheapest place, I talked to them for one very important reason. 

I talked to them because they know how to work with my RV and not damage it. As in I don’t want careless holes in my roof which will leak and therefore damage the whole trailer.

Yet, when the estimate came in for $995.00 for each (160 watt) solar panel plus ten hours of shop labour at $155.00 an hour totalling $3668.00 (plus GST), I balked.

Sure, it would be nice to have solar panels on the roof so as to stretch out the time between running my generator. (As well as go green, woo hoo.)

I have to say that $3668.00 will buy a whole whackload of generator fuel and that generator is only a 7hp motor and does not burn that much fuel. (4 – 6 hours a week.)

For me, living in this trailer is a temporary measure until I get to the property and begin the homesteading process. 

The benefit of having the solar panels (using the generator less as well as being green) does not outweigh the exorbitant expense. 

I am not debating the price of the panels themselves or the amount of labour. For the sake of argument I will assume that both are fairly priced and justifiable on behalf of the RV Dealership.

I am just saying that to spend that much and get not all that much in savings in return is not worth it. (Only governments can spend like this and “justify” it.)

The only way I would spend this kind of cash for solar panels is if I knew that the apocalypse (zombie of otherwise) was coming in a month or two.

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

Thursday 25 January 2018

The Deep-Freeze Is Coming Again

As you can imagine, I look at the weather forecasts almost daily. This is to get a glimpse of what is coming, so as to prepare myself both physically and mentally.

By mid next week, it looks like the really cold temps are coming back, to stay . . . joy. Again, this is nothing that I can’t handle and certainly things that I have seen before. 

This too shall pass and with any luck I will be in a hotel (as Wanda is getting fixed) during the worst of it.

(Still no word on the estimate of Wanda’s repairs, BTW. I plan on phoning tomorrow afternoon, if I have not heard by then.)

Yet, even if I am still in Wanda, as she is, I will muddle through and make it work . . . somehow . . . I always do.

I am still doing this for my future; so I can build towards my dreams. Dreams that can and will come true: again that land, that town, that family.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward (but bundle up in the meantime.) 

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Beware the Sting of the Credit Card Insurance

Okay, as expected, after paying off my low interest rate credit card, there was a bit of a bounce. 

A “bounce” with regards to a credit card is the phenomenon of after paying off the credit card in full, yet a few days later a small balance appears on it.

This is due to the fact that at the end of your credit cycle the credit card people will do an assessment of the interest charges that were due from the last time it was calculated until now.

In my case it was twofold: 

1. Interest Charge: $9.04
2. Balance Protection Insurance: $30.19

Yep, you read that right the amount charged for “Balance Protection Insurance” was three times more than the interest itself. 

Just to be clear that “insurance” will pay my minimum payment for me if I forget or just can’t pay it. 

It is one of those things I signed up for long ago, or just was added to this card, I am not sure which. 

Here is how it goes; a certain percentage of the outstanding balance of the credit card is charged to my card as that “Balance Protection Insurance” fee.

This will rack up that balance much faster than any interest payments ever could. I will be cancelling that insurance today, as I have no use for it; I declare myself, self-insured.

It is little tricks like these that prey on the poor and those fearful of their fiscal situation which makes credit cards such a trap. 

When you are worried about your cash-flow and whether or not you can pay all of your bills, that “Balance Protection Insurance” sounds great. 

Considering what it costs you, it is quite the racket. Something to think about.

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

Tuesday 23 January 2018

It’s Done; I’m Debt Free Again

Okay, so yesterday was Payday, which means I did my usual run to the bank. (Yes, I’m one of those old-fashioned folks who likes to walk into a bank and deal with a human).

I also did my after-banking-in-branch-online-banking in order to shuffle cash around and pay bills. 

One of those shuffling involved paying my low interest rate credit cards off . . . again. So, there you have it, I am once again debt free. 

I am still waiting to hear back about the estimate for Wanda’s repairs and upgrades. This way I can know how much the next big expense will be.

The repairs are repairs that do need to get done and the upgrades are ones with an eye to longevity in Wanda. 

I should hear back this week about how much they will cost as well as how long of a lead-time is needed before I can book Wanda in for those repairs and upgrades.

In the meantime I will put what I can into my Mid-Term Savings (starting next paycheque). 

The actual bill for those repairs and upgrades will once again be put on that low-interest rate credit card. 

I will pull the cash out of my Mid-Term Savings to take a bite out of that low-interest rate credit card. 

I will then put what I was putting into savings onto that same card each payday until it is once again paid off. 

After that, I will begin my savings plan . . . again. 

This will then begin the rebuilding of my depleted savings. In truth it will actually begin the building towards my dreams of: home ownership, a family and starting that town.

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

Monday 22 January 2018

Sticking True To My Values

I do what I do (live in an RV) so I can get ahead, not because I love it. It is a means to an end, as in: land and home and hopefully a family (of some eclectic form). 

As I look at my life it is easy to see that things are still the same and have been for the past three and a half (or so) years. I am still living in this RV and I still park in parking lots or industrial side streets.

This leads to frustration and the illusion that I am not getting anywhere, that my life is stagnant and on hold. In a way it is, yet in truth it is not. 

I have put to rest a great deal of debt and I am now in a position where all I have is my current expenses . . . I have no debt (save for that I incur).

So, the temptation to rush on ahead and get to that next phase, the part where I get to shop for land, is great. 

It was that temptation, mixed with the frustration of the appearance of stagnation which led me to want to needlessly carry debt for a year and a half.

I have come to terms with these impulses and realized that I need to pause and take care of what I need to take care of, and do so while paying that bill now.

I will get the estimate for the repairs and upgrades to Wanda this week. What I will be doing today, however is to pay off that low-interest credit card. 

This will take a substantial bite out of my meagre savings, and it will derail my savings plan, but it is necessary. 

It seems that I just don’t want to wait any longer for a few nice things and have staged a bit of a revolt upon my frugal self. 

Like that mattress, and a few other small things, and my glasses broke so there was another chunk (joy). 

So, I will get Wanda fixed and I will pay for it, before moving ahead with my savings plan. This will shove my planned shopping for land date back to I don’t know when.

At least I will clomp on ahead holding true to my values of being and staying debt free. Carrying this debt is not a necessity, and so I should not carry needless debt. 

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

Friday 19 January 2018

Wanda Repair Estimate

Today, after work I will take Wanda to the RV Dealership to talk to them about the repairs that are needed to be done to Wanda. 

Again, I won’t be just dropping her off, as I want to be sure that they have the stuff needed and the ability to start those repairs right away. 

This is because for every day that Wanda is in for repairs, I am in a hotel. This is unavoidable, and what I consider part of the cost of the repairs.

The main thing that needs to be fixed is the propane system. It will be nice to have the option to run the furnace as well as use my stove once again. (Not to mention the hot water tank).

There are a few other small, minor things that need to be looked at as well. I will also see about a few possible upgrades (which I will blog about if/when I get them).

I don’t know how busy they are, but I know that if I don’t book it now, I will be looking at a waiting time of months, so I have to look into it now.

I am still hemming and hawing about whether or not to put this repair on my low interest rate card and carry that balance until after my savings targets have been achieved late next year. We shall see how that goes.

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

Thursday 18 January 2018

70ish Days To Warmish

That is what keeps me going, looking ahead and telling myself that I don’t have that far to go. 

As I look at the calendar, I can see that the first of April is just over 70 days from now. Why is this important?

History has taught me that come the first of April, Anti-Fall should be in full swing . . . should be. (That is what I am clinging too.)

So, while it is still warmish now, I know that the cold will return (I am eternally cold these days it seems).

Yet, my new bed and comforters keeps me warm at night, and that is a positive. 

So I know that I will make it through and back into the warmish days, and on into the warm days beyond.

One way or another, I will keep going, for I have a future to build, and it shall be a bright and bold one.

I just have to get through the cold days of winter.

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

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Warm Weather Welcome

Yesterday it got up to 8C yesterday! I, for one, was pleased to see it anywhere above freezing. It was a welcome break from the deep freeze that we have been in.

I am not delusional though, and I know that the cold and freezing temps shall return, and soon. It is nice to have that break.

If this keeps up, I may air out Wanda this weekend. I do this by opening the door, as well as all of the windows and vents, for a few hours. 

I still find myself hibernating and not really doing too much in the evenings. I do not do well in winter, and just get through it. I survive in winter, I do not thrive.

Yet, the warmer weather will return for good in a few months, and I can resume my routine then. 

Until then, I shall continue to do what I need to do in order to move my plan for a better future forward. 

After all: I have a plan, I am working that plan, and the plan is working. 

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

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Power Problems

As far as the weekend itself went, it was mostly uneventful . . . mostly.

The most troubling thing was the fact that on Friday afternoon, I could not get my generator started.

Due to the fact that I had not run it since before Christmas, combined with the deep freeze, this meant that not only was the generator cold but the oil was as well. 

As a result, I could not pull the cord hard enough to turn the motor over fast enough to get it to start. So, the only choice was to warm it up. 

This was an issue because late Thursday night the last “warning” that I really and truly need to run my generator went off at about one in the morning.

You see there are a few things which let me know that the power level in Wanda’s batteries is getting low.

1. The fridge shuts off and restarts constantly. (the logic circuits “brown out” due to lack of power and start to misbehave.) (So I have to shut my fridge off)
2. My radio starts to cut in and out in that staccato “digital distortion” thing. (again this is its logic circuits browning out.) 
3. If I don’t turn the radio off it will shut down and restart and will keep doing that until there is not enough power for it to even do this.
4. The display on the front of the radio will go completely dark.
5. Last but not least (and certainly the most fun) is that my propane sensor will beep every ten seconds or so, and will not stop until there is not enough power to do so.

The propane sensor is a small box that is near the floor and there as a safety device to detect a propane leak within the trailer itself. 

This thing is hardwired in and a safety device so there is no easy way to bypass it. I have yet to find the master fuse, or “main off switch” for Wanda’s systems.

So, this means that I have to disconnect the two batteries up front in order to shut it the hell up . . . or run my generator for a few hours in the dead of night.

So there I was and things were still cold and I had no power. I waited until midday and had the back of the truck open for an hour or so in hopes of warming the generator up.

Thankfully by midday, I was able to get the generator warm enough that I could pull start it to sputtering life. It was not pretty, but it was able to start and run well after that.

If the weather didn’t cooperate, I would have taken it to work and let it sit in the warmth of the shop for the day to let it warm up enough to start.

In retrospect I should have run the generator at least once over the course of my Christmas break, just to ensure that it would easily start when I needed it.

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

Monday 15 January 2018

Breaking The Blue Monday Blues

If there has been one reoccurring theme in this blog it is that I am the architect and chief engineer of my life and destiny. 

So, there is no one to blame but me for where I am in life. This also means that there is no one else to take credit for my successes either. 

I mention this because some statistician or other type of scientist has determined that this day is the “saddest day of the year.” 

I don’t know about any of that, but I do know about the ghosts of your broken dreams coming back to haunt you in the stillness of the night.

The thing to remember, to keep reminding yourself is that we are a combination of our successes and our failures. 

For your successes may have moved you forward towards your goals, but it is your failures which have taught you what you need to learn, in order to succeed next time.

I won’t list off how and where I have failed, nor will I list the people I have disappointed or let down. Neither will I list off the people who have disappointed and let me down, either.

I stand here on the cusp of a new year and forging on ahead and on into savings. I will be building up my savings in order to finally own land; land that I can settle on.

Again, it is a long road ahead, and me paying off my debts is but one phase in it. I also need to learn to be not so hard on myself, yet another lesson that I am still learning. 

So remember that your life is yours to chart and that if you are still here, you have succeeded more times than you have failed. That, in itself is something to be proud of.

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

Friday 12 January 2018

Seemingly Innocuous

We isolate ourselves until it is all that we know. My life is currently on hold and has been so for the past four years and counting.  As it stands, this phase will not likely end for this year and one more. 

After that I will likely get a room, in the winter of 2019, so it looks like one more winter in Wanda is in the cards. 

Yet even after that I am looking at another year or two after that of living frugally before I could consider moving to and living on that property I plan to purchase before the end of next year (2019).

What does all this mean? Many more years of living on my own, after all, I live in an RV and freeze my butt off while parking/living in an industrial area. 

Even then, if some gal were to get involved with me during this phase of my life I would be a cheap boyfriend, as in most of my take home pay (an estimated 80%) goes to savings with next to nil left over for a “dating fund.”

I understand that technically and theoretically I could find a gal who is as interested in what I am doing and willing to work with me to further this goal of land ownership/starting the town and put her own resources towards it. 

Yes, I understand theory, but . . . well . . . in practice . . . I have yet to get involved with a “cash-flow positive woman.” I will keep looking, but I won’t hold my breath.

I do need to find more ways to be social and just do that, but what holds me back is always towing Wanda everywhere, parking is a large hassle in the city when your vehicle is 45 Feet long.

I need to start to reclaim my social skills or at least gain some “real life” friends. That much I know. 

Yet while I do know that I am lonely, I don’t really feel it, as, after time, you just get used to being alone. 

The whole process can take time and . . . seem Innocuous, yet isn’t.

Thursday 11 January 2018

Plough Through? Or Pause and Pay?

Okay, so as I have said I have an aggressive savings plan and a low-interest rate credit card which I plan to use as a line of credit.

There are a few things that have been needed to be done, but I have put off. Two examples are, buying the mattress and the upcoming repairs to Wanda. 

Those are examples of things that I have and/or will put on the credit card as I continue my aggressive savings plan. 

Yet, I do like the idea of being totally debt free and I have thought about pausing my savings plan for a few months to pay this credit card off.

Yet, with days like today, (it was effectively -30C and both of my parking spots near work were taken up, so I had to drive back to my sleeping spot and then walk the kilometre to work) that makes me want to just plough through with my savings/line of credit plan.

I will see how things look once the interest charges come in and see what my comfort level is. 

Either way, I will not be screwed as I am putting cash into the bank as savings. As it stands now I could dip into my savings and pay off the card in full as it is. 

Yet I am pushing ahead with this savings plan so as to enable me to get land sooner. That is for my sanity and to have a piece of the world that is mine. 

As well as to be able to build my future (not in a trailer) sooner rather than later. Again, once I put my 2 years of living expenses in my Mid-Term Account I will see how I feel then.

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

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Still Hibernating The Cold Snaps Away

Okay, I’ll admit it . . . I hate the cold. I can handle it, I just hate it. For the most part I do okay in it, but I don’t embrace the cold and snow.

So, my way of getting through it is to hide under the covers . . . for 12 hours. Yep, when it gets this cold (South of -20C) I just hibernate.

I have my cold weather gear, so when I am dressed up and moving about, I am okay. it’s just that being out in the cold sucks. 

That and when it is that cold, I can’t run my laptop, because my fingers don’t like being that cold and have trouble typing . . . go figure (yes, I have tried).

Again, while you may be thinking that I am acting like a bit of a wuss, keep in mind that I have no heat in Wanda.

What history and experience have taught me that trying to heat up Wanda when it is that cold, is a waste of propane and electricity. 

Wasting the electricity at a campground is one thing, running my generator so I can run my furnace is another.

The weather will rise again and so I too will come out from under the covers. This is the most economical and efficient way to deal with cold snaps. 

So, on a plus, this new mattress and down quilt is working out great!

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

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Take The Win (Even a Bare Win)

So, Yesterday, after work, was my running around for Payday. Since my actual Payday was on Sunday and my bank was closed, I deposited my paycheque yesterday.

I know that there are a thousand ways to deposit my cheque and do my banking, but I just like walking in and dealing with a human. 

In this age of the rush to digitalization and automation, I like doing my small bit to resist that trend . . . I like a world that has bank tellers and cashiers in it.

What that means is that at the end of my running around I sit down, pay my bills and shuffle my cash around. 

Each time I do a particular entry or task, I check off a “done” box on that line. So as to keep track of what is done and what is not.

This also lets me keep track of what payment has gone through and what has yet to go through. 

Again, this is so I can keep an eye on what my bank balances should be at all times . . . and that I don’t do something stupid which will bounce a payment. 

Yet, there I was staring at a budget sheet with all of the boxes ticked off (other than the ones I tick off at the end of this budgetary cycle).

This meant that all of what I had to pay in this budget cycle was done . . . on the eve of payday. 

This is a stark contrast to just a year or so ago, when there were always automatic payments going out.

I have what I need to get through until the next payday, so all I have to do is just muddle through and not spend anything (out of the bank).

I was a bit off in my estimation of fuel and so I had to dip into my personal overdraft for all of $5.00. 

Since this is my personal overdraft I can sit there until next payday and it will not cost me anything. I like that . . . the bank doesn’t.

I also like the fact that this budget saw me put 88% of my take home pay into savings.

I like that too. Especially when four years ago I couldn’t even save 2% let alone 12% . . . the thought of saving 88% would have been so foreign it would feel like winning the lottery. 

So, while I may wake up a bit grumpy due to the cold, my grumpy spells are much shorter. While I may be in my overdraft for $5.00, I am starting my savings plan.

My savings phase is starting and things are heading in the right direction. With the ouch season that is the early parts of the year (tax wise) being able to do any of this is a win. 

So, I will take the wins that I see, notice them and then keep moving forward, towards my goals.

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

Monday 8 January 2018

Wanda, Meet Anastasia

So, I did a fairly large purchase over the weekend . . . in my books this was a massive purchase, one that has been three years in the making. 

I bought this . . . 

I mean, I bought a mattress. 

To put this into context, here is the mattress that I have been sleeping on since I moved into Wanda on July 12, 2014. 

And this is my new mattress . . . 

Okay, one thing you may have noticed is that it is thicker, as in one and a half times thicker. But, I don’t feel the plywood at all (so that’s a win).

One challenge of this new mattress is that getting to the storage under the bed is harder as this mattress does not bend and it is also heavier, much heavier. 

So this means more strong-arm lifting in order to get at that stuff, so I find myself lifting it less and doing more each time I have to lift it.

This is the mattress all made up.

I bought new down pillows as well as a down comforter (not in the picture) and I have to tell you, this was an amazing sleep. 

It was well worth it and I didn’t wake up stiff (or grumpy). Okay, it wasn’t all that cold last this weekend so, we have yet to see, but there is something to be said for a good mattress and a good night’s sleep. 

Again, I do not plan on going crazy, and this will do me on my extravagant spending for some time to come. 

This was necessary, though, and I will keep on with my savings plan so as to build for my future. 

By the way, that thing on the bed in the last picture is my frying pan that I have wanted to buy for some time too.

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

Friday 5 January 2018

Focussing On Building

I will admit, that I do not do well in the cold, at least, getting out of bed in the cold I do not do well, I am grumpy (it is just as well that I live alone).

Come to think of it, I am also a bit snarky when I am stripping down to my skivvies to get into the sleeping bag 

(Hint, you will be warmer all night in a good sleeping bag, the less you wear. This is because your body heat will warm up the sleeping bag and thus that warm air will keep you warm.)

Once I am situated in my warm clothes and moving about I am fine, but it is just that transition period, which causes me to question my life’s choices that lead me up to that point. 

I will be fine. I will survive and I will move on and in so doing, I will steadily improve my life. I just need to change my focus, to keep myself motivated and positive.

I will now turn my focus from debts to savings. This is a shift in mindset that needs to happen. 

I will keep in mind my personal debt limit that I have set out for myself with regards to my line of credit, but I will overall focus on putting cash into the bank.

This is a happy phase for me as I am debt free and I should enjoy it, be relaxed and less stressed, yet I am still a bit stressed. 

I know that I am not technically totally debt free, as I will be carrying a bit of debt moving forward. (I will be buying that mattress today after work).

The difference there is that my debt is backed up by savings that could pay it off at anytime. 

Thus, if I ever choose to, I could simply pay it off all at once. In this, I control this debt, it does not control me (but that was yesterday’s blog).

I will try to get myself into the happy mindset of focussing on growing my savings, and in so doing hopefully relieve my stress. 

I also know that this living in an RV is grating on me, as I am not out on the open road travelling where I like when I like, I live in an Industrial park and weekend in a parking lot.

My days of living in an RV on the roadside are numbered; it’s just that that number has at least three digits in it.

Thus I need to simply focus on the coming of Anti-Fall! (That time when the real cold leaves the land and the not so cold comes in).

I will do better in the warmer weather . . . I always do. 

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

Thursday 4 January 2018

My Personal Debt Ceiling

Okay, so this year going forward I am going to try a bit of fancy-dancy fiscal trickery (at least for me). I am going to keep my large payments into my savings.

I will first be putting those payments into the Mid-Term Savings Account (up until that 2 year Living Expenses Target).

After that, I will be putting those payments into my Long-Term Savings Account. I sometimes refer to this as my “Dream Account,” as it will fund my dreams.

If I am able to keep these payments up, then by the middle to late of 2019, I will be able to start shopping for land.

Yet, in order to do this, I will be putting the large, expenses, onto my low-rate credit card. This one has an insanely low interest rate, so I will be treating it like a Line of credit.

I will be putting at least $100.00 onto this card each payday, as well as all of the extra cash that I can spare from my payday budgets.

This will ramp up when I near the end of the year and put a serious bite into this card. Once I hit my target in the Dream Account, I will then pause that savings plan and pay this thing off.

Yet I have decided that I will not put more on that card, than I have in my Mid-Term Savings. My max limit on this card is two thirds of my target for the Mid-Term Account.

I will not go crazy but there are a few things that need to get done, so the decision had to be made: Savings Vs Expenses. 

Do I pause my savings plan in order to pay for things like: the repairs to Wanda, or that Mattress that I have needed for the past two years? 

This way I can do both, and since I will have more in savings than on that credit card, I will be able to pay it off at the first sign of trouble. 

This is key, I think, when dealing with credit: Don’t have more on credit than you have the ability to pay off in a short period of time. 

The reason why I am doing this, trying this approach is so I am able to keep those savings payments on track. That is everything. 

Again, I will see how this goes and I reserve the right to change this plan, if it doesn’t seem to be working. 

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

Wednesday 3 January 2018

If I Could Ever Have Scheduled a Cold Snap

So, it got a might bit cold this past week. Oddly enough it was cold from the beginning of my Christmas Break, until the end of it.

So, on one hand it was bad for the Christmas Break, as I never left the campground. Yet on the other hand it was perfect for me . . . I had electricity.

This meant that I could use my electric heater which was a lifesaver. Sure it was cold and some mornings it was literally freezing when I got up (as in 0C or 32F).

At first I used my portable propane heater and while that did help raise the temperature, it used up a lot of propane, so I stopped using that.

I figured out how to get my electric heater and my electric hotplate going at the same time. That was able to help, but not by much. 

The most I was able to get my trailer up to was 10C. So, I just bundled up and stuck it out. I was fine but you could feel the chill that was literally at the walls. 

The other downside of a trailer that has a slide-out is that wind can get in through the sides of the slide-out, where slide-out meets trailer.

All in all, I was able to get through it and it was a much more pleasant experience than braving -30C temps without electricity to help heat me up (at no extra cost to me).

I have done it, and I know what to do to endure -30C temps, but I was thankful that I didn’t have to . . . this time. 

Winter is not over, however, and another cold snap or two is likely before the end of it. 

Whatever happens, I will manage and I will make it through, because I have seen this before, and I know what to do, that doesn’t mean that I like the cold (I loathe it) . . . but I know how to handle it. 

However, if I ever had the chance to schedule a mandatory cold snap . . . that would have been it.

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

Tuesday 2 January 2018

The Dawn Of the Year of SAVINGS!

Okay, so happy new year to everyone and all the best in 2018. Not to rub it in or anything, but this year, I will be focussing on building up my savings, (come hell or highwater).

Why? Because I have spent the last seven years mired in debt and the last 4 years living rough just to dig myself out of that debt.

Newsflash: I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life. 

So, this year I will focus on stuffing as much as I can predictably put into savings. Thus this is the dawn of the year of savings . . . 

I still have some things to take care of and other expenses to look after. So, 

What I am going to do is to put them on my low interest credit card and budget $100.00 a payday to pay on each card. 

Also, I will put whatever extra cash I can save in my budget. I am not going to go crazy, or anything but there is that mattress, and a few repairs that are needed on Wanda.

I could and probably should pause my savings to pay these as I go, but I just can’t stomach doing that. I am doing this to buy land and I will do that. 

This credit card is an extremely low-rate card and so the interest is negligible. By putting cash into savings, I could, if I so chose simply pay it off at any time. 

At least, this is the theory that I am going forward with. My goals going forward are as follows:

1. Put 2 years worth of living expenses in Mid-Term Savings (by April 22, 2018)
2. Put 45% of my “Land Buying Goal” into the Long-Term Savings (By Dec 22, 2018)
3. Contribute to my RRSP 
4. All extra cash to go to knock down that Credit Card. 

Again, as with all plans this one will be evaluated as it goes. It may work or it may suck, I don’t see me carrying this card for all that long a time.

However, if things continue like this, then by Sept 22, 2019, without dipping into my Mid-Term Savings I should be ready to start shopping for Land. (1/4 Section Minimum). 

What I do know is that I feel like I have turned a page on debt, I may have one credit card, but it is a low rate card (not maxed out) and can be paid off at anytime. 

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

PS: here are some mountain shots from my Christmas Break.