Friday 29 June 2018

I Bought Shares in Octobank!

I decided that if you can’t beat them buy them. Today I took the cash that was in my RRSP and bought shares with them, investing in Canada’s Big Five Banks. 

I refer to this group as “Ocotobank” as they really do behave as one, and complete only slightly. 

They just jostle back and forth and remind me of a group of rich enjoying a friendly game of sport, not really wanting to win, just wanting them all to win.

I have heard that they even own shares in each other . . . there’s a real incentive to crush your competition.

So, since I had to put cash in “my” RRSP and leave it there, I decided to see what would happen if I bought an equal dollar amount of shares in each of The Big Five Banks.

So, when Ocotobank makes record profits every year (and they do) they’ll be giving me some o that. After all, they are good at making cash, so now they are making it for me.

Any left over cash from this transaction will be stuffed into a mutual fund.

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

Thursday 28 June 2018

The Time to Shed Debt is Before Turbulent Times

As I look at my timesheet (two days before the end of this payperiod) and I see that I will fall far short of my Budgetary Minimum I do so with mixed feelings.

The first is frustration as that number, my Budgetary Minimum is what my budgets and forecast are based on. I am expecting to make that number bare minimum.

Yet, because I am now debt free, not making that number is not so large a deal as it would have been four or five years ago.

Back then, it would have been setting off alarm bells as I scramble to cut and trim my budget so that I could still meet all of my debt obligations.

Now, what it will do is cause me to put less into savings . . . oh well, much less of a calamity.

Okay, technically it is a bit of a pinch because this is the paycheque that I will pay for my truck insurance for the year all at once. 

The meaning is the same because I will still meet my obligations even though I will fall a hundred or so short of my budgetary minimum.

As I look around me and I see a global trade war brewing with everyone betting the other guys will fold first

Yet with nobody being able to withstand a trade interruption for long, very turbulent times are coming indeed, and nobody will be safe from the effects of its shockwave.

Whilst I do not know what will come and truly hope that cooler heads will prevail and the world will go back to “normal” I will still just trudge forward and build my savings as best as I can for as long as I can.

I am thankful that I am debt free; that is truly a blessing in turbulent times.

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

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Resisting The Nesting Instinct

Okay, so as you know, I have planned to stay in Wanda for another 4 years at least, until April of 2022.

This means that this trailer that has been my home for 4 years (4 years as of the 12th of next month) will be my home for at least another 4. 

So, as I look around, I am always looking to see if I can somehow make this place more comfortable. Therein lies the problem.

You see, each of those projects would cost money. 

Such as:

Having the foam in the couch base and bottom redone.
Solar panels on the roof.
Larger batteries for Wanda.

Those are just a few, but you get the idea. All of those would make life nicer and easier, yet they are not necessary and would cost cash I don’t need to spend. 

To do so would get away from my core purpose in my life at this phase of it: to spend as little as possible so as to maximize my savings and therefore enable me to get onto the next phase of my life: Founding The Terran Federation.

But I digress. Sure, all of these things would be nice, and I do like nice things, but I need to keep up my minimalistic existence for now, so I can stop living in this trailer once and for all! (sooner rather than later!)

Donations towards this goal, humbly and graciously being accepted now. 

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

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Propane Problem Update

Okay, so on Friday I posted that both of my propane tanks were empty and I had to go fill both of them after work. 

Well, I did that, and indeed I found a place that still serves propane by the pound (as they’re supposed to). YAY!

The place that I found is Co-op, Woo hoo!

The price wasn’t all that terrible, yet it wasn’t all that great either. The important thing to remember is that I was only charged for what they put in the tank, no extra fees.

Thankfully this particular Co-op is in my Western Home, so I can just fill a tank up when I arrive in my Western Home (before getting settled).

Yet this still leaves the problem of what to do with the automatic switching over and therefore leaving me with no propane at all.

In summer this is an inconvenience yet there also the added urgency of the fact that my fridge works on propane (and electricity).

This means that I need propane at all times (small interruptions are okay).

Now that I know that the system switches over without letting me know that it did, or even what tank it is drawing from, I know that I need to try something different.

What I will do is only keep the tank that is currently drawing propane open. The one that is full but waiting, I will keep shut off.

This way, when the system switches over it will draw no propane and I will know (the stove doesn’t work, and the fridge’s trouble light is on.

Then I can just open up the valve on the full bottle of propane and off I go. I can then fill up just the one now empty bottle of propane, just as before.

Again, try something, see if it works, then revise and try something else. Always improve, never stagnate.

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

Monday 25 June 2018

Goals . . . Simplified

Here are my goals as they stand now . . . 

I had originally planned to just keep the $5000.00 that I had in my Mid-Term Savings Account now, but that never felt right.

My Mid-Term Account is my Personal Line Of Credit, meaning that I can draw on it at anytime that I need. I can transfer money in and out of that account instantly. 

Yet, the downside is that account only pays me 0.5% interest and only on balances of 5000.00 or more. 

If you think that’s bad, my Main Account pays me 0% and I have to pay the bank to do business with them . . . don’t get me started.

My Long-Term Account has always been my TFSA; and in there I just put my money into a “High Interest Savings Account.” 

That HISA is a pseudo-mutual fund (kinda). What I mean is that I buy and sell it like a Mutual Fund and it pays me a “whopping” 1.1%. 

(Retirement in Tahiti here I come! *sigh*)

Today I have added another account to my Long-Term Account: a regular (Non-TFSA/RRSP) Investment Account.

Once I have filled up my TFSA up to my contribution limit I will then stuff my money into that Investment Account and yet another HISA.

I could go with multiple institutions by just buying a HISA from some other institution if I want, but it doesn’t make much sense.

You see, for one the CDIC or Canadian Depositors Insurance Corporation which is a government agency which insures bank deposits, does not insure HISA’s like mine (joy).

So, unless I want to make less than half of the interest, I have to take this risk (as far as I understand it now).

I am certainly not going to play the stock market or other mutual funds because I need my balances (as in what I put in there) to be secure and stable.

Modest growth is okay, as long as it will never go down (fiscal collapse notwithstanding). 

So, between my Mid-Term Account, my TFSA and my Investment Account (which I will start using sometime late next year (I hope) I will build my savings to that glorious savings target of $150,000.00.

After I have that in my accounts, I will quit my job and then head off into the sunset in order to find the right land to start that town of mine. 

Wish me luck . . . or better yet, send me a contribution ;-D!

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

Friday 22 June 2018

So, It Happened Just As I Thought That It Would.

I had resisted getting one of these for fear that this would happen . . .

You see, I have two propane tanks on the front of Wanda. 

When I first got Wanda, there was a device that switched from one tank to the other, but it was manual. 

That meant that I had to go out there and flip a switch for it to switch from drawing propane from one tank to the other. 

This allowed me the chance to fill up the now drained propane tank at my leisure. All I had to do was make sure that that tank was full before the other one was empty.

With this switching back and forth I was never out of propane. It was a simple system but it worked.

Back when I got Wanda fixed they replaced that manual switchover device with an automatic one. Apparently they don’t sell the manual ones anymore. 

I had hoped that I would see some sort of warning when this thing switches from one propane bottle to the other, nope, I didn’t. 

This morning, I awoke, went through my routine, and found that I was totally out of propane . . . in both tanks. 

I had feared that this would happen, but I will just go get my tanks filled up this afternoon and roll with it.

I still have my ten pound bottle of propane that I use for my BBQ, so if (and when) this happens in winter I can have a bit of propane to use. 

I didn’t bother this morning, I just left and ate breakfast out. 

There are propane measuring devices but the inline ones won’t work for me because the propane hoses were too short to allow the extra space needed for them to work.

There are some sonar type devices that work by attaching them to the bottom of the tank, and send a signal to your phone, but I don’t think I’ll go that far . . . yet.

Ah well, I will, as always, take this in stride and just keep moving forward.

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

Thursday 21 June 2018

$150K by Freedom Day! : April 7, 2022

That is my target amount for savings and my target date to have it by. I rarely mention real numbers in this blog because I feel that numbers are irrelevant.

Specifically, my: income, expenses, and debts are different from other peoples, yet the struggles we face and the methods we use to solve them are the same. 

Yet I am putting this one out there as another of the large public targets like the one that I put out there when I started this blog. 

I have been doing some research the last few days on High Interest Savings Accounts, and other savings vehicles. 

The name is a misnomer and misleading as the rates they pay are a joke, historically speaking. But if I am going to save, I might as well get the highest rate that I can. 

More money could be made if I played the stock market, but I have never done anything like that and STOCKS ARE NOT SAVINGS, THEY ARE GAMBLING!

Bonds are more secure, but you have to have a large amount to give them up front and you can’t touch that money until the end of the term (as you are loaning someone else money for a specific period of time).

So, for me the best option is at least two HISA’S. One will be in my TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) 

In a nutshell, a TFSA is like an RRSP that we all can setup, but this one you can take cash out of without the government freaking. 

The cash you make in there is tax free, so the beer money that I make (as in the I expect to make about enough to buy a case of beer) will be tax free.

I will have another HISA at this bank, and perhaps another one at a different institution, so as to split this savings up into thirds. 

As with all things this plan will be revised as I go, but I have a plan, to save up $150,000.00 in less than four years (by April 7, 2022). 

The plan is to work my last day, pick up my last paycheque then head (probably) east in search of the land to buy in order to found that town (the reason that I am doing all of this for). 

I will not setup a Gofundme page, as I seriously doubt anyone will want to give to help me do this, 

But, if you are interested, message me and you can send me cash via E-transfer. Or you can message me if this project seems like something you are interested in helping with. 

Anyways, this is me charting another large life goal direction and clomping on ahead with a: Dream, Vision, and Determination. 

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

Wednesday 20 June 2018

So, I Looked On A Room-Rental Website

Yesterday, I was checking out my options and took a look on a website that advertises rooms for rent. 

I don’t need all that much space and the thought of having a fixed address with four walls and you know . . . running water and heat, is an attractive quality.

I found one not far from work that would not break the bank, so I was tempted to take it. Yet, I did not, and won’t for some time yet, if ever.

You see, my great savings push, or as I am calling it “The Grand Savings Plan” has just begun, or rather it will begin next payday (as in on the 7th) . . . 

Then again, it will actually start on the 22nd of July . . . as I have truck insurance to pay for on the 7th).

At any rate, my big push for put a lot into savings is only just beginning, and in so doing, I am way behind the eight ball and have a lot of ground to make up.

I may revisit the issue when winter approaches again, but then again, to rent a room feels like giving in or giving up, despite how manageable the cost of a room might be.

We shall see, for now, while I was tempted, I will not give in, as I have my future to save for!

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

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Three or Four More Years

That is what I am looking at. I ran the numbers yesterday looking at some ways for a possible end game. Yet, not really an end game, more like a transition game.

You see, my plan is to buy some land (a quarter section minimum) and start a town. 

The plan is to start a homestead and a small farm and grow the community from there. After all, you have to be able to feed people, that is vital and basic.

Yet, in order to do that, you need cash for basic equipment and building materials to build that town, quarters, a mess hall, and a workshop at least, to get started. 

I have been debating if I should save up, buy the land then save up again (as that land sits while I still work here, nowhere near where said land would be).

The other plan is to save up enough to buy the land and be able to do something with it. Thereby, just driving off in search of said land to build that town, just go and do it.

No matter who I slice it, I am looking at 3 more years and even then that would put me in the summer (late July) of 2021.

That is a silly time to drive and start this journey, so most likely I would delay half a year and start off in April of 2022.

These thoughts were a double edged sword, for me. On one hand it is nice to see tangible, realistic projections for a dream of mine. 

Yet on the other hand it is also depressing to think of 4 more years of living in this RV only to drive, find land, park Wanda and . . . wait for it . . . continue to live in this RV as I start the homesteading process.

That is why I am now graciously accepting . . . (I can’t even finish that sentence). If someone likes the idea of this town and is good at fundraising, contact me, otherwise I will trudge on ahead, as I always do.

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

Monday 18 June 2018

My Weekend At The Impromptu Economic Refugee Camp

That is what it felt like, yet the truth is much more benign, I’m sure. There were twelve units in that parking lot, including me and Wanda, twelve.

Where I was staying was still in my Western Home, but not in the parking lot of the Big Box Retailer that I usually stay in. They are currently not letting anyone stay more than a single night.

This means that everyone has migrated over to the much smaller parking lot of a now defunct Big Box Retailer, literally next door to the other one.

As far as how things went, it was fine as everyone did their own thing and kept to themselves. 

I will say that it was nicer not having traffic rushing right next to my window. 

I still did my weekly grocery shopping in the currently unwelcoming retailer, as they do have good prices and are still close.

Problems and the unseemly don’t go away, they just move or are moved along.

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

Friday 15 June 2018

One Toe Over The Line

I made it, just squeaked over the line and just under the wire, but I did it. I made my budgetary minimum yesterday, and I have a day to spare. 

Again, this does not change the world but I did make my target for my take home pay. 

This means that my actual take home pay will be yet larger than I had expected, and that is always a good thing. 

It is always more fun to figure out what to do with “extra money” in a budget than looking for where you can cut to make up a shortfall in a budget (trust me).

As I have said before, this upcoming paycheque will be used to pay off the last of my governmental extortion 

(AKA putting the cash back into “My” RRSP that I “Borrowed” from “Myself” in order to fund the last bit of my film schooling) . . . that worked out well.

Regardless, I will put the last amount that I need to put back now, so that all of the extra cash in my budgets can and will go towards saving for my future. 

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

Thursday 14 June 2018

Falling Over The Line

Tomorrow is the end of this payperiod (sorta). As in it is the day that my pay period ends and I hand in my timesheet, yet I wait a week to get my paycheque.

I guestimate what my paycheque will be and I overestimate what the taxes and deductions will be, 

I do this so that when I get my paycheque it will be slightly larger than I had estimated. 

Trust me this is a far better sensation than the one you get when you have underestimated what the taxes and deductions will be.

This leaves you with a smaller than expected paycheque and you scrambling to redo your budget so as to make things work . . . not fun.

Speaking of budgeting, I have an amount that I target for myself to bring home each payday, I use this to base my budgets on. 

This number originated from when I needed to make that number or I would be at risk of not paying all of my bills. 

I keep that number, because I have earned back my paycheque, so I can do what I wish with it, not so I can live on less for the bosses. 

As I go through each workday I am always mindful of what my estimated take home pay will be, and if I am on track to making my “Budgetary Minimum” as it were (that magic number for my take home pay).

As the days come close, I am looking to see if I will actually cross over that line (and thereby have a surplus budget (woo hoo) or if I will “fall” over that line. 

What “falling over the line” means to me and my budgeting is, when the anticipated but not estimated difference between my expected paycheque and my actual paycheque actually shoves my paycheque over the line and I make my budgetary minimum anyways. 

This is one of those pay periods and while it is a bit of a game, it is one that I insist on playing because I deserve to reap the rewards of taking back my paycheque.

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

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Canada Day Camping Conundrum

The Canada Day Long Weekend is coming up and this year the day off actually makes a long weekend. 

I had been so focussed on savings and paying off the credit card that I had pushed off the booking of my Canada Day camping spot . . . this was a mistake.

I am now in a position where I will not have any spot for the Canada Day Long Weekend, and will instead be staying in my Western Home.

I am looking to see if other campgrounds have a spot available, but I doubt it, so there is the trouble.

Ah well, there will be other weekends, and other weekends away, such is life. 

Oh look, another chance to save some cash. 

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

Tuesday 12 June 2018

I Feel Better, And More Focussed

It is one day after I have paid off my Low-Interest Rate Credit Card, and I feel a weight lifted from my shoulders. 

I am once again debt free and I am determined to stay that way as I move forward. 

I will be contributing to my RRSP *spit* the last bit that I have to in order to pay back what I “borrowed” from “my” RRSP next payday.

This means that after next payday, moving forward, all of the extra cash that I have will be going into my savings. 

I will build up my Mid-Term Account until it reaches its savings target and then build up my Long-Term Account until it reaches its target.

After that happens (sometime in spring of 2020) I will then continue to build my savings as I start shopping for land.

All that is in the future, but the important thing to know is that I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me as I race on ahead into my future, debt free.

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

Monday 11 June 2018

Getting Back To Savings

Okay, so I have been doing a lot of thinking over this past weekend, and I am changing my plans . . . again. 

I have been working or rather I was beginning to focus on paying off my Low Interest Rate Credit Card slowly. 

I had decided to do this because I wanted to build up my savings and then keep those savings as I slowly pay down a credit card. 

So, I did what I always do, did some projections as to how long it would take. You know what I learned? 

I hate carrying a balance on credit cards . . . even a low interest rate one.

The bite to get rid of it, will take less than half of my savings, so it is not a total decimation, yet it is a serious bite. 

Yet, it will let me get back to my new “normal” that is having no debt as I put the bulk of my earnings into my savings. 

I will still move forward, I will still get ahead, yet I will do so in an honest sense, in so far as I will be debt free, with a meagre amount in my savings account.

At least, that meagre amount is mine and what I have earned. After all, the first thing I would do if I was suddenly unemployed is to pay off that credit card, so why not do it now.

After today, comes the fun time, the fun time of watching my savings grow, and stay growing.

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

Friday 8 June 2018

Pivotal Payday Hath Come

This is the payday where a few things happen, all for the good.

I will not only fund my Mid-Term Account to its half-way mark and in so doing have enough to live on for about a year and a half(ish).

I will also start to pay off my Low-Interest Rate Credit Card and in so doing begin to eliminate the only debt that I have. 

As a side note: In the few months that I have been carrying a balance on this Credit Card, I will say that the interest rate has made a massive difference, as they are extorting much less from me than my previous credit cards (and my current other one).

I am excited to begin this process which will take the next (including this one) 5 paydays to pay this credit card off.

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

Thursday 7 June 2018

The Freedom To Shift Payday

Okay, so today is Payday, so that means that my paycheque becomes live today. 

What that means is that the paycheque that I have had in my possession since last Friday becomes eligible for me to cash or deposit. 

This is great and usually I am rushing to the bank right after work. This is because of more than just the giddy rush of currency flowing into my bank account.

This is because I have had a whack of bills and debts taking currency out of that bank account almost as fast. So fast that if I don’t deposit that cheque right on payday, I am deep trouble.

It is nice to see how times have changed and that urgency is no longer there. Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to not deposit my paycheque or hand it over to charities.

What Total Debt Freedom means is that if I want to push off depositing my cheque into the bank for a day in order to save fuel (as in not making an extra trip) I can.

I will deposit my cheque, and I will pay what I need to pay, but the world will not end if I do not pay them today. 

I control the flow of the currency going in and out of my account, it does not control me. That is a nice thing, and with it comes a greatly reduced amount of stress . . . and freedom).

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

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Almost Half-Way Funded

Here I sit on the edge of payday, but not any payday, a turning point payday. Okay, technically my payday is tomorrow, but I will shove it off until Friday, to save fuel.

This payday will see me fund my Mid-Term Account to its half-way point, and also start to hammer down the Low-Interest Rate Credit Card. 

I estimate that I will complete this credit card payoff by August 7. I would be done by July 22nd if it wasn’t for the truck insurance that I have to pay on July 7th.

It is just nice to see things moving forward and me having a bit of a nest egg, yet at the same time returning to Total Debt Freedom. 

Again, as it stands the balance of the Low Interest Rate Credit Card is about half of what I have (or will have) in the Mid-Term Account this Friday. 

I could pay it off all at once, but I have decided not to do that, as it is depressing to watch my savings drop, only to try to build it up again. 

I will instead just put whatever I can onto the Low-Interest Rate Credit Card each payday until it is gone. 

After that I will (as I have said) continue to fund the Mid-Term Account until it is fully funded (as in when contains has twice what it does now).

It is moments like these that help me stay motivated. As in when I take the time to note that something important is happening, and that I am in fact moving forward.

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

Tuesday 5 June 2018

More Mealstarters – More Grocery Savings

Okay, so on the weekend, I made another batch of my Mealstarter. This time I used twice as much vegetables and meat, so as to increase the nutritional content.

Again, this cost me around $60.00 to make. What you see there are stacks of five, each bag is one pound of Mealstarter. 

Again, I freeze it flat, then I can store them vertical if I want, as they then become shingles of food.

I take one bag out of the freezer at a time and put it in that plastic container (currently holding approximately a bag and a half of stuff) and keep it in the fridge.

Then I can use a portion of that Mealstarter to add to any meal I make, ensuring that whatever I cook has some nutrition in it. 

Each of those bags, lasts me a little less than a week. It helps me stretch my grocery dollar. 

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

Monday 4 June 2018

The Pendulum Swings in Western Home

I saw the gritted teeth expression on his face which contrasted the professional and unbothered expression on the bylaw officer’s face.

I had noticed that a particular RV in my Western Home was still there, in the same place from the previous weekend.

In Western Home, this is not new, as there are, or were, a number of units that would never move. I always felt that this was a gross abuse of a generous policy of Western Home.

As for me, all I am asking is a place to park for the weekend, a place to put my slide-out out and my stabilizer jacks down, and in return I will do my weekly grocery shopping there.

Western Home seems to have a love-hate relationship with RV’s. The policy of letting people park there comes and goes, sometimes it is allowed and other times it is not.

This is one of those times that it is not allowed, or rather you can stay for one night, which is the new policy, as I was informed the store manager, (assistant or something of the like).

Again, it is their property and it is private property, so I will respect their right to do with it as they see fit.

Yet the effort in calling in and wasting the time of the bylaw officers will get old fast, of this I am certain.

It always does, thus the pendulum swings back and forth between allowed and not allowed.

For now, or rather this past weekend, I stayed in the parking lot of a currently unoccupied store.

I am sure I will be harassed out of here soon enough, as there was a slowly gathering collection of RV units to keep me company.

One thing is certain, I will always find a place to park, I will always adapt, and I will continue to move forward.

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

Friday 1 June 2018

Waterworks Ways Working Wonderfully

Okay, so I have been trying something new this week, I have been hauling water back to Wanda each day. I am doing this with my trusty backpack and 4, 2 litre bottles.

I am doing this in an effort to stretch out the times that I need to find a dump station. At a dump station is where I dump my tanks and fill my fresh water tanks as well. 

There is only one station that I know of in the city that is still working and has fresh water available. This one is in the north east and costs me ten bucks each time.7

There is a dump station in my Eastern Home, but they haven’t had water available for about three years now and the place is slowly falling apart.

What I have been doing is hauling my 8 litres of water back to Wanda each day, and then first of all pouring all of it into Wanda’s fresh water tank.

After that I was pouring the water into my 5 gallon jug that I use for my cooking, drinking and “jug showering water.”

This worked so well, and I have been using so little of the water in Wanda’s fresh water tank, that it only took Monday and half of Tuesday’s load to fill it up again.

This morning I didn’t even haul water back at all, as I was contentedly full.

If I keep this up, I can wait until the next time I go to a campground to dump (included in the camping fees) and fill up all of my fresh water tanks.

If I need to, I can dump my grey and black water tanks, at the dump station in my Eastern Home and not care that they are not giving me fresh water. 

This little trick means that I can harvest water from anywhere that there is a tap and keep my tanks full. 

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