Thursday 31 May 2018

Spending Being Corrected

So, I am one of those people who watch my finances like a hawk. 

I do this so I know exactly where I stand as well as watch out for any odd transactions that happen on any of my accounts or credit cards. 

Since I am now in the mode to pay off my Low-Interest Credit Card, after funding my Mid-Term Account half-way to my target I have decided to stop using it (makes sense, right?)

I have to make another batch of my Mealstarter this weekend yet I have no extra cash in the bank to cover this (without dipping into my Personal Overdraft).

The usual thing that I do is to just charge it on the card and pay it off when I get paid. This way my Main Account stays above zero yet I still get what I need.

So what to do this time? Do I push off making my Mealstarter? Do I dip into my Personal Overdraft?

What I will do is blow my Grocery Budget (as in spend everything left in it) and dip into my Contingency Fund, to top it up, in order to buy what I need to buy.

This way I can still get what I need to get, yet keep that Low Interest Credit Card turned off (as it should stay until it is totally paid off again).

I can also keep my Main Account out of my Personal Overdraft. 

It is a bit of a dance, but I can still do what I need to do while keeping my fiscal plans moving forward.

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

Wednesday 30 May 2018

To Camp and Cook, or to Annoy my Western Home

It is that time again, time to cook another batch of my Mealstarter. This means that I will need to cook in my trailer, for a few hours.

Since I don’t feel like wasting that much propane (as I cook for about 3 – 4 hours) this means that I will want to use electricity and use my hotplate.

If I do that, and I am not at a campground, I will then have to run my generator. This is where the annoying my parking lot neighbours comes in.

You see, while it is a nice generator, my new generator is louder than the previous one. This is to be expected, as the engine in it is about double the size of the previous one I have had.

So, this means either I annoy my neighbours and have comfort of being in my Western Home, or I stay in my Eastern Home all weekend and annoy nobody.

I am too cheap to go to a campground, not yet anyways, even one in town, as the nearest one would save me gas, but cost me more to stay there.

One thing is for sure, I will be cooking my Mealstarter, as this is the stuff that gives me the nutrition I need yet allows me to spend so little on groceries.

It is not a fancy lifestyle, but it is effective in getting me ahead in this world. (Yet in doing so, I try not to be a jerk to my fellow ‘Hew-mons.’

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

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Heat On, Heat Off

It was hot for the past few days, as in bordering on 30C. This means that in my trailer it got a bit warmer. 

So, like always, I just found ways to deal with it, mostly by wearing less and opening up the windows and door so as to let the breeze blow through. 

Yet today, the temperature dropped in half, and it looks like it will hover between 15 – 22C for the next while. 

This is the prairies, so, as they say, if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. So, change in the weather is always a constant. 

It is nice to have a break from the heat while not freezing my tuchus off. 

Yet, no matter what comes my way, I will roll with it and adapt. It’s what I do.

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

Monday 28 May 2018

The Plan Is Tweaked

Okay, so I have always maintained that it is best to keep evaluating the plan you are working in order to reach your goals. In so doing, feel free to change your plan, if need be.

Never blindly, go forth on a plan that is not doing what you want. Or even, continue down a path that at one point felt like the right thing to do, yet now no longer does.

I have made a change in one of my targets, and in so doing altered my plan. Let me elaborate. 

As I have said before, I keep $1000.00 in my Main Account at all times. That is my Personal Overdraft. I am not changing that.

My Mid-Term Account is my Personal Line Of Credit, and in there I want to keep 2 Years Worth of Living Expenses.

This is the Target Amount that I have increased. I have increased this by a third so as to add a bit of extra cushioning and make the number a nice round number (why not).

In doing this, I am now about half-way to that new goal (or will be, come the payday on the 7th). 

So, I have decided that since I have at least something in my Mid-Term Account, I can relax just a bit and focus on paying off that Low-Interest Credit Card, the one that I have been racking up.

After that is paid off (estimated to be done by July 22) I will then resume working towards putting my newly increased target amount into my Mid-Term Savings Account.

After that I will start on the long trek to putting my target amount into my Long-Term Account.  

Somewhere in the last quarter of this year I will put the last of the money that I have to into my RRSP *spit*.

I do prefer to be totally debt free, but I wanted to have at least a bit of a cushion, and I now do. I can now get back to what feels natural and right to me, being debt free as I build up my savings.

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

Friday 25 May 2018

The Batteries Seem To Be Okay

So, one of the things that I was checking when I went to my Mountain Home was to see just how healthy my batteries are, and if they do, in fact, need to be replaced.

I was plugged in from the time that I got to the campsite, late Friday afternoon, until when I was rolling out of there at 4:15 Tuesday morning. 

That was a nice long charge at full power (120 VAC/30A) and that seemed to be what they needed.

As it stands now a few days after that charge the batteries still have a healthy charge in them and not the almost empty charge that they typically would have.

So, all in all, I will stick with these batteries and just make sure to give them a good charging once in a while, as in, on each long weekend. 

So, the next large charge will be on the Canada Day Long Weekend (July 1st). 

It is good to see that the batteries are still usable, as replacing them is not an expense that I want to incur, if I don’t have to.

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

Thursday 24 May 2018

Stretching The Grocery Budget

This payperiod is a longer one than normal. It is also made more challenging by the fact that they way the paydays land, it is the better part of three workweeks on this one paycheque.

This means that out of the current Grocery Budget, I must feed myself for three weeks. So my frugal ways will come in handy for this upcoming stretch.

The nice thing about this particular pay period and how it lands is that with all of those workdays on one paycheque, I actually started this pay period above Budgetary Minimum. (I honestly can’t remember the last time that has hasn’t happened).

So, while it is a longer stretch, there is a payoff at the end of it. If I can keep being frugal, I may just possibly be able to put all of my budgetary minimum into my Mid-Term Savings this payday too.

So, while I will eat, I won’t go crazy. After all I have a number of extra days to feed myself for.

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

Wednesday 23 May 2018

The “Hope Not Package” Has Been Deployed

Okay, so yesterday was payday, and so that meant I did my payday running around. This centres around going to the bank and depositing my paycheque, of course.

While there, I got a Safety Deposit Box at my favourite bank branch. In there I put copies of everything that I need to legally prove that I am me.

This is because while I do have a fire safe box in Wanda, the thing is that everything I own is in fact in one convenient carry case . . . Wanda!

Any number of things could happen to my truck and trailer to make them go bye-bye.

Apart from starting over and being truly homeless, I would have the arduous task of trying to legally prove that I am me, (in the absolute worst case) without a single piece of ID or other necessary documents.

I have no valuables to speak of, as I don’t collect shiny things, I am just focussed on building my savings and moving forward towards my goal of buying that land and starting that town. 

On the front of my building my savings plan while carrying debt, things are on track and in fact I am slightly ahead of schedule. 

It looks as though I will have my Mid-Term Account fully funded and begin paying down that debt on the July 22 payday (4 paydays from now, not including yesterday).

All in all, things are looking up, as I try to be realistic and pragmatic while still working towards my goals and dreams!

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

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Full-Blown Summer Mode!

Okay, so I did go to my Mountain Home and I did de-winterize Wanda. The spring cleaning? . . . not so much.

The wonderful thing was that the de-winterizing went off without a hitch and now I have running water in Wanda!

The fear that I had was that the water pump would be stuck and so not working quite right, it would just run and never get up to speed.

The one thing I tried this year to try to avoid that was to fill Wanda’s fresh water tank first and run the water pump to flush the lines out.

After that, everything else was a breeze and I was able to enjoy the weekend.

I had planned to clean out everything and organize things but I didn’t do any of that. I will pick away at it over the next while, but I won’t do a massive pulling out of everything anytime soon.

Here are some nice pictures that I took this last weekend.

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

Friday 18 May 2018

Running To The Hills (Yet Again)

The big day has come, and after work, I will be on my way to Banff and my Mountain Home, out there.

I will de-winterize, yet I am sure that I will mostly plop and do very little.

At some point I will do some spring cleaning, but I feel a good relaxation coming on.

I have been going pretty steady, so a rest will be good for the soul (and body).

It has been a while since I have been at a campground (late February, I checked).

The nice thing is that payday is the day that I get back, so that is always a good thing.

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

Thursday 17 May 2018

Full-Blown Summer Mode Almost Here

It is now Thursday before the May Long Weekend, and I am eager to get going out of town. Not only will I be in my Mountain Home, but I will be finally De-Winterizing Wanda. 

This weekend I will be doing my spring cleaning as well as getting Wanda’s pluming up and running. 

It will be nice to have running water again, as that is always a treat for me. 

I will also be doing my spring cleaning, where I pull stuff out of every storage container and look at it asking myself “Why do I still have this stuff?”

I plan to be more critical this time around, as I have an eye to de-clutter once again. 

It is an annual tradition, that usually takes place in early April. 

With the delayed starting of spring, and me not wanting to pay for a campsite in twice in May, I am doing it this weekend.

At any rate, I am looking forward to having running water again.

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

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Hot In The City

It has been hot these last few days, but you will not hear me complain, because I well remember a few weeks ago, the bitter cold.

In a house, you have air conditioning you can run (if your house has air conditioning, that is). 

So what do I do to beat the heat?

Not much, really.

First is dress less (yet not so little as to get arrested).

After that, I open the door, both vents, and all the windows and let the breeze blow through.

I had to run my generator last night, so for a bit, I did have my air conditioning running, mostly just to see if it would work, and it did (yay).

It was 30C or above in my trailer most of the evening, and so I didn’t close up the house get to bed until after the sun went down. 

Again, there is little else that I can do, other than to move and park in the shade somewhere, but that takes fuel, and I am only moving if I absolutely have to.

I am adaptable, and I will just roll with the punches and get through this hot spell, just like I get through the cold snaps . . . by changing what I am doing in order to deal with it as best I can. 

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

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Wanda’s 4th Birthday!

It was four years ago today that I picked my trailer, my Wanda, up from the RV dealership. I didn’t move into Wanda full-time, but I was thinking about it. 

So, today I look back and ponder the wonder of having my home on wheels for four years now.

It has been a rough road, but all in all I am better off for buying Wanda, and living in her for two months short of 4 years.

There have been ups and downs, and there have been disappointments in what Wanda is capable of. 

Then again, that is life and I am nothing if not adaptable (yet I’m not a big fan of constant change) such is the dichotomy of the human existence . . . or at least mine.

She is my home, though, and she has carried me well these past four years, and will continue to carry me for many more years. 

Yet, I hope and plan to be living in her on my land inside of three, perhaps four years. 

When I do, though, I shall do so without debt, for that is the overarching goal of this journey, to Total Debt Freedom and beyond to a totally debt free life and a self-sustaining a home and town that I can make. 

All in all, a big task to help me with, by my Wanda will see me through, of that I am certain. 

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

Monday 14 May 2018

Cheating The Budget (A Sorta Bad Habit)

So, as I have mentioned, I am focused on building up my savings, first one then the other. 

I will take a break in between building up one savings account and the other to pay off the ever increasing credit card balance that I am building up. 

You see, what I have been doing is “cheating my budget” so to speak. Let me explain.

I have a set budget for a number of things with the focus to put the maximum amount into savings. I have a set minimum that I have decreed must go into savings each payday.

This set amount is what my budget forecasts are based on. If I am able to put more into the savings account, then all is well and that is a bonus (Yay!)

If, for some reason, I am not able to put that base amount into savings, then I cut back on my budget to make that happen.

Sometimes, this means reducing budgetary amounts to less than what I actually need to spend. The first casualty is always the grocery budget.

This is where my “cheating the budget” comes in and what happens is what you already have guessed. I put some groceries on the credit card.

Again, I stress that this is my low interest credit card that I will pay off starting in August, and expect to have it paid off by early October at the very latest. 

This is a bit of stealing from Peter to pay Paul, but as this is going on, I am building up my Mid-Term Account (to my 2-Years of Living Expenses Target).

It may not make the best financial sense, but it is what I am doing (and yes, my savings can easily pay that credit card off).

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

Friday 11 May 2018

Batteries Still Suspect

Okay, so I ran an experiment last Saturday, which came to fruition yesterday. 

I ran my generator for seven hours last Saturday just to see how long my batteries would last. 

Well they lasted until yesterday afternoon. Again, this was not a soft shut down, but a hard one, as in radio display off, kind of shut down.

This lets me know that the batteries are showing their age, yet they are better than the need to toss them out altogether and upgrade.

So, while I am sure that at some point I will need to upgrade the batteries, for now they do not need to be tossed out altogether. 

I am banking on the fact that the warm weather of summer, will help them last longer than they have, but we shall see.

With a tiny generator that uses almost no fuel, the cost of gas would be much less of an issue, but then again, 20 litres every two weeks is not all that bad, I suppose.

I will still stay on course to build up my savings, as this is a debt that I have to myself, my last and largest debt that I need to pay off.

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

Thursday 10 May 2018

Rain, Rain, Rain

It rained for most of yesterday, and it looks like it will rain today and on into tomorrow as well. 

For a guy who grew up in the Vancouver area, I gotta say, this stuff is barely worth putting your jacket on for. It’s a light sprinkling at best.

Yet, I am thankful that the weather is warmer, as this means that it is rain, and not more snow. 

This is just another example of how a positive attitude can help make the best of any situation. 

As for me, I just keep my windows and vents sealed tight and just deal with it. 

I will continue to live cheaply and deal with whatever comes as I move steadily towards my goals.

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

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Reserved Parking Must Be Nice

I hate to keep bringing this up, but it keeps happening to me: My favourite parking spot was taken this morning. 

It happens and it has happened in all of the places that I park in. At some point someone else has parked there, this happens, this is normal and expected.

I park on public streets and so, as I have said many times before, those streets belong to everyone and no one, as they belong to the city.

Yet, we all have our favourite places to park: at home, at work, and while out shopping, I am no different.

This morning it wasn’t a large truck that took my spot, it was a pickup truck towing a boat. 

This person didn’t even park considerately, as I do. I park as far up as I can, so as to leave as much room behind me to park. 

This person was parked smack in the middle so that nobody but them (and cars) could park on either side of them. 

I was then forced to park beside work again, something else I don’t want to do, due to the increased risk of being “asked nicely to never park here again” by a representative of the condo association. 

I will continue to do my best to acquit myself with grace and dignity as I make my way through life. 

I keep reminding myself that there are always a million other places to park, and just find and use one of them.

Yet, there is something about having a spot (or place) that is yours, that says something about belonging, that has a nice ring to it.

I am nomadic, and so nomadic is what I shall be. 

Yet one day soon, I will have a place of my own, a place to put down roots, until then I shall be tumbleweed. 

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

Tuesday 8 May 2018

The Gasoline Pinch

So, yesterday was payday, and part of my running around was to buy fuel at the cheapest place in town (a large wholesale store that sells gasoline only to its members).

I was hoping to save, and I suppose that I did, but it cost me $58.66 and I was over budget (by $8.66) despite my best efforts at saving fuel.

Even worse was that my generator went through the full 20 Litres of fuel in its tank. Again, this is what I get for buying a larger generator. 

Sure, it will have its uses on the property when the homesteading and early construction phases are underway. 

It is also nice to have full power, but a smaller generator would use less fuel and therefore save me cash now. 

It looks like I will have to raise my fuel budget, for the mid-term as these higher fuel costs are not likely to subside anytime soon. 

The other worrying thing is the fact that my trip to Banff is coming up and that will likely triple my fuel budget. 

It also looks like trips to my Mountain Home will be few and far between for the foreseeable future. 

This part of my life is about putting savings in the bank in order to correct a lifetime of fiscal mismanagement in as short a period of time as possible. 

I will get through this, I will adapt, and I will constantly move towards my goals. 

All I can really do is adjust what I am doing in order to deal with what is happening right now, so I can still constantly move towards my goals.

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

Monday 7 May 2018

The First Summer Weekend

Okay, I know that it is not officially summer, but for me I am in Summer Mode (almost). 

I know that I have not de-winterized, so I am not officially in Summer Mode (as I don’t have running water, yet), but for me summer is here.

Why do I say this? Here are a few reasons why: 

I had my door and all windows and vents open as I enjoyed the light breeze wafting through the trailer.
I didn’t use my furnace once.
I put my cold weather gear into storage.
I actually took two quilts off of the bed (and I was fine).
I had to roll those quilts back for part of the night (to cool down). 
I was in shorts all weekend.

It is nice that the warm weather has returned, but it is also nice that things are looking up and non-freezing temps are back.

I know that things can and will turn on a dime, yet with all things I will adapt and roll with whatever comes, yet I will also enjoy the little nice things in life as they come along.

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

Friday 4 May 2018

Jittery Neighbours

As I mentioned yesterday, my parking options (near work) have been reduced as of late. This has led to some (as expected) jittery neighbours.

Okay, so where I work the road bends about half a block up from where I work. I like parking here because it is therefore the widest part of the road.

This is important because in the dead of winter and the pattern of ploughing of the roads that the city does, I am shoved into the street due to the formation of snowcrete burms. 

(Mental note: get a hold of snow shovel before next winter so as to shovel my favourite stretch of curb bare from the first snowfall to the last.)

Yet there is a warehouse at that corner which has large trucks that come and go. 

Frequently this means that one or more of those trucks are waiting for their warehouse door to open up. 

This means that they are parked on that street. Again they have a job to do and have as much right to that street as I do, I begrudge them nothing.

There is one truck that is there on a regular basis and they park down the street a half block, so as to leave my little spot open for me. I greatly appreciate this. 

Yet, there is a cube van that is mucking the usual order of things up by being parked in a very inconvenient spot, and not moving for about a month.

They are parked in the spot that the considerate trucker parks. 

This then means that the only other place on that stretch of road, without going out and coming from a different direction is my favourite spot at the corner. 

So, I then took to parking in front or behind of that cube van, because I could fit (and had to park somewhere).

Yet, a manager from the business that the cube van is parked in front of “kindly” asked me to never park in front of their place again (because my trailer is hard to see around when coming and going from their lot.)

After that there has always been (surprise, surprise) a vehicle parked in front an behind of that cube van.

This means that I now have to park (when my favourite spot is taken up) on the other side of the street. 

Due to how things are situated, this means parking right next to the building I work in. I don’t like doing this because it is too close to work, and the people around here are a bit jittery. 

There have been a few break-ins in this place and so I suppose that is understandable. 

Where I work is situated in one of those “commercial condos” meaning that each bay is owned individually, yet there is a condo board to look after everything.

Even worse is the fact that the company I work at doesn’t own the bay we operate out of, we rent it from another company. 

This sets up a tenuous situation, where I don’t want to do anything to tick anyone off thereby causing problems for the company I work for (due to crap rolling downhill).

So it was aggravating, yet understandable to see not one but two trucks slow to a stop next to me before turning to enter the place that I work.

I am not exactly a new sight on this street. I have been parking my trailer on this street every workday since July of 2014.

The one day I park beside the building everyone sees me walking to and from, every work day, all of a sudden they are “concerned.”

We shall see if there are any notes, nasty or otherwise, left on my windshield or if I am “encouraged” to never park here again by some “concerned citizen.”

It is funny how people are used to certain patterns and if you disrupt that pattern, they get concerned. 

Thursday 3 May 2018

Fuel Savings Mode Engaged

So, with fuel extortion being top of mind, we are all looking for ways to save on fuel, myself included.

I typically go through an 1/8th of a tank of fuel between paydays and budget between $30 – 50.00. This was before the inexcusable extortion began. 

The last time it was $83.00. Now, I did do a bit of running around, but still that is blowing the budget, I would say.

So, in order to try to bring the budget back under control I am driving less. As in I am moving my house fewer times throughout the workweek.

Typically, I have one place that I park during the workday, and then move to another place that I park at night. This is about 1km door to door. 

I just decided to skip that and stay in the working spot, for Monday and Tuesday nights. 

I moved last night because I needed to run my generator, and I don’t like running it near work. (I don’t need to tick people off in this area.)

I plan to stay in my work spot, for tonight, and then off to my Western Home, where I won’t move all weekend.

So far the fuel gauge reads full (or barely off of full) and payday is on Monday.

We shall see how good I was at saving fuel then. We all need to do something to combat this fuel extortion, and driving much less is one way to fight back.  

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

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Preparing the Hope-Not Package

The most noticeable thing about my lifestyle is that I am mobile. That may sound fun, but that means that I take everything I own around with me.

Again, this means that technically I could traverse the open road and go wherever my whims may take me. 

Sure, that sounds fun, but that also means that if anything were to happen to my truck and trailer, I would be totally screwed. 

Any number of a thousand things could happen, but let’s just say boil it down to destruction or theft. 

In either case I would lose not only all of my stuff but all of my important documents as well, as in all of the stuff that proves that I am me.

This is why I am putting together a package of all of that vital stuff and putting it into a bank’s safety deposit box. 

You might have guessed that I am calling this package the “Hope Not” Package, because I hope that I never have to actually crack that package open and use its contents.

Along with the important cards and documents that I need to have, yet not carry around with me, I am putting photocopies of all of the other cards, the ones I carry around and need, yet are still important.

One final thing that I will be putting into this safety deposit box is a hard drive of all of my vital data, the stuff I can’t afford to lose.

This way, in case of any number of a thousand things, I will at least have the necessary papers to prove that I am me.

While those of you out there living in a fixed address may be feeling all smug, just remember that you are in no less of a danger than I am to something bad happening to your house and all of those vital docs.

This is why, in my humble opinion, the cost of a bank’s safety deposit box is a worthwhile investment to guard against something so catastrophic. 

Imagine not only losing everything but not being able to legally prove that you are you?

With that happy thought . . . 

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

Tuesday 1 May 2018

What Personal Space?

I had to do a double-take. There was a man walking right by my window, and I do mean right by; as in his shoulder was inches from my trailer.

I would like to say that this is a new thing, but it is not. I have had people walk right by my door as well. 

Those are understandable, as at those times, they are walking along the sidewalk. I also understand this time as well, as he was just walking to work. 

Let’s face it, my home is a vehicle, so people interact with it like it is a vehicle. He was walking right by it, as he was passing my trailer on the street side.

I have had only one person look in the trailer window at me, though that person was trying to get my attention. 

He wanted me to park my trailer in the lot of neighbouring business. I declined, as I don’t do that sort of thing, as I would feel obligated to be the night watchman, and I don’t want to be the night watchman.

I don’t have any personal space around my home, as I have no right to it, despite my desire for some. 

This is just a fact of life, and one that I have long since accepted as I live this Urban Nomadic lifestyle. 

One day soon I will have that land and have quite a lot of personal space. That day, is not today, but I will still get by, I will be okay, with or without personal space.

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