Friday 28 September 2018

Bye-Bye Running Water

So, this is it. This is my last full day that I have running water in Wanda’s pipes, until spring. Again, it is something that happens each year and each year it hits me less and less.

I have no running water for most of the year (From October till April-May) so I just get used to living without it.

So, having running water is a treat that I rarely use because I still have to pack my water in on my back, so wasting water is not really a smart thing to do.

Still, it is a sad time when I have to Winterize Wanda. I Winterize Wanda when the RV Dealership has its one day Drive Through Winterizing special.

For me it is a bit of insurance as they do it right and I am assured that I will not ruin my plumbing if I do it and muck it up.

So, tomorrow morning I will be saying goodbye to my running water for another winter. Ah well, life move on.

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

Thursday 27 September 2018

Year End, Home Stretch Worries

So, it is that time of year when finally the Taxman figures that he has taken enough of my lunch money and that I can keep a little more of it (it’s Christmas and all that).

This means that my paycheques are larger this time of year because fewer taxes are taken off.  Conversely, in January they are brutal as more taxes are taken off.

So, couple this with the fact that it is the end of the year, and so I have grand goals in order to finish the year off with a bag (savings wise) and you have grand expectations.

I am still not sure if it will all come together but I would like to get to 17% before the year lets out. 

Again, we shall see but with how things are shaping up, I am not sure if that will happen. 

Sales have not been all that great and the great push we had hoped for has not materialized, as of yet.

I keep reminding myself that all I really have is this paycheque in hand and the one that I am working on. 

All I can do is be frugal with what I have now and take that one step forward towards my goals each and every payday.

I will get to where I want to go, it will just take time, and even if I don’t make 17% (of my savings target) by the end of the year, any progress is good.

After all, we are talking about me building up my savings and so any dollar in there is a win. 

Targets are nice but even if you miss them you are still further ahead, just by shooting for them. I will get to 17%, (and eventually 100%) but it will just take time.

Time is something I cannot control, my finances and cash in hand those are something that I cannot control.

Patience is a virtue when it comes to the slow prodding progress towards grand goals.

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

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Priming The Coin Purse

Okay, so I have said, I now have a central coin-purse that is the catch all for all of the coins generated from any and all of the other wallets. 

I have another coin purse for my laundry, this one is just for spending. 

This way I have one coin pure shush-fund to help prevent unnecessarily cracking of bills in each of the wallets. It also prevents me from having pockets of coins in each wallet.

This way, there is one place where all of my coins gather and I can raid it if I want to in order to prevent spending in any one of the wallets (for small purchases).

This is what it looks like on its own.

I decided that in order to help get it going I would put a roll of quarters and a roll of loonies in there, just to get it going as a viable slush fund.

Here is what it looks like now, after top up.

I don’t plan on doing this often, if ever again, as any time any coins are generated, they go in here. 

It should pay for the odd cup of coffee or that loaf of bread which will help me stay on budget and not crack another bill in each respective wallet.

The plan is to help keep my spending down, yet still be able to function. 

So far, it is working rather well and doing its job.

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

Tuesday 25 September 2018

More Than Just A Real Estate Revolt

Real Estate Revolt . . . I wish I had coined that term, but that was coined by a reporter in the video that I will link to later in this blog. 

The video is a news report about a bunch of working people who are living in RV’s and other vehicles while working in a mountain resort town.

There are houses available, but like elsewhere, they are stupidly expensive. So, in order to get ahead, they have opted for the “Urban Nomad” lifestyle. 

Yet, this is not a localized phenomena, nor is it a new thing, yet it has been growing in size and prevalence for a number of years now. 

(As in being an Urban Nomad AKA: Living in an RV or trailer full time yet keeping a job.) 

It did not start with me, as others have done this before I started in December of 2013. 

I have always said that part of why I am doing what I am doing and blogging so publicly about it is as a protest and to draw attention to the unacceptable direction of the general cost of living. 

The problem is not just with rent, it is with all of the things that people need to exist in a traditional lifestyle: 

Utilities (water, heat, power)

The list goes on but you get the idea, it is not just the cost of a home but the cost of also maintaining that home and yes a life. 

It comes down to the basic problem that we all have known about for years, yet fail to, or are incapable of doing anything about the spread between wages and the cost of living. 

The cost of living keeps going up at a much faster rate than most people’s wages. I don’t think that I have ever gotten a “Cost of living increase.”

This cannot go on or there really will be “Economic Refugee Camps” in the middle of every major city in our country. 

As in people who have been forced out of their homes due to economic factors. So they band together in a conspicuous place to be seen and demand that all levels of government do something to rectify the situation. 

And they will . . . 

Send in the police and club everyone back to the shadows.

Yet, there are those who smugly say there is little that government can do to fix the situation that it is just the “Market Forces” at work. 

I will still remind both camps that things cannot go on for much longer without some serious problems coming our way.

I for one am tired of being told that if I (as an average person) can’t rent a place and get ahead that I am a looser and it is all my own fault.

Likewise I am tired of looking somewhat enlightened for doing what I am doing (being an Urban Nomad) for why should anyone have to live like I do to get ahead?

Anyways, with this rant over, here is the news report video. 

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

Monday 24 September 2018

Grand Savings Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!”

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . .

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .

Yep, that was 7.8% of my Target Saved.

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . .

That’s right it went up to 8.7% of my savings target. That actually means that I put less than 1% of my savings target away so, I lost ground, sorta.

My target is to put at least 1% of my total Savings Target away each and every payday (truck insurance payday notwithstanding).

I will chose to look at this as I still moved the number forward and still crossed off a box, as I went from 7% to 8%.

The less than a percentage points matter in me “stealing a box” meaning when I get to cross off two boxes due to those little bits extra adding up.

You know as in going from say 9.9% to 11.0% due to the way the numbers fall. Again, I will get there but I am just still getting into the rhythm of the savings.

As I have said, any cash put into savings is doubly-earned. You earned it once when you worked for it, but you earned it again by finding a way to put it aside.

In this economy and with ever increasing costs of living, it will continue to be ever harder to save and just break even while living in a fixed address.

I continue to do what I am doing so I can get ahead and I can start that town.

I will get there, one payday, one savings contribution at a time.

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

Friday 21 September 2018

Eve of Payday

So, here I am on the eve of one payday looking onward to the next. This is what I do, for it is with each payday that I take one more step forward towards my goal.

Yet there are also things, small projects that I want to get done each payday. These are things that will make my life a little bit easier or nicer.

So, there is the struggle between how much and when to do of the little nice things and the overarching savings target and goal. 

Somehow, someway I get it done and as long as I get to cross off another “X” for a percentage box on my savings progress chart, I will call it a win.

Okay, there will always be the July 7 payday where I don’t, but that is because I pay my truck insurance all at once and in so doing, save money.

So, here I go, about to take another step forward tomorrow.

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

Thursday 20 September 2018

Just Keep Going

So, there have been a few things that have been frustrating as of late, but this is par for the course of life. 

I am in the midst of my reduced paycheques (about to get the first of the two) and having to cut back on savings, particularly below target is very, very frustrating indeed.

Yet, due to my Fiscal Directives that I have put in place, Savings is last on the list. 

1. Pay all my bills
2. Fund My Expenses
3. Put any Cash spent out of the Wallets back into Wallets.
4. Put remainder (Whilst staying out of my Personal Overdraft) into Savings.
5. Fund Mid-Term Savings to Target.
6. Then build Long-Term Savings.

That really is it and all I have to keep reminding myself is that as long as I do that, I will stay on course and build my future. 

Albeit slowly, but one paycheque at a time will still move me forward. I just have to keep with it, keep at it and have patience.

I am still in the process of teaching myself to remain debt free and build my savings. (As in not do anything crazy like buy some large extravagant purchase).

(Still working on that).

Yet, I just have to remind myself to stay calm, work the plan, and in so doing . . . 

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

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Thirty Seconds to F*ckit

There is a palpable sense of unease around the office these days. It has increased in recent days 

What with the increased tensions around negotiating NAFTA and the ongoing tensions with the . . . let’s call it what it is an all out trade war between the US and China.

You see, I work for a company that designs products and has those products built for us in China, yet we ensure quality and that they meet all North American (as well as our own) standards. 

It’s good stuff and we are proud of what we sell as it not just being the cheapest crap that we stuff out onto the market, yet we are still competitive. 

We sell out products to installers and end users throughout Canada and the US. 

Our products are not easily installed by the average user (but it is possible), so mostly a professional installer is involved in the process. 

This means that through us selling our products we not only help the local economy, as well as help the Canadian economy, but we also help the economy of wherever our products are sold and installed.

Yet, because we are in Canada, and import products from China and then export them to the US then we are can be hit twice from these ongoing trade wars that the US is waging. 

What this means is that, as I said, our own economic outlook is uncertain, as all of these extra costs unnecessarily inflates our costs and makes us less competitive, through no fault of our own. 

My co-workers and I have our own “doomsday clock” where midnight means that Boss just throws up his hands and says . . .  


At which point Boss will most likely go back to being a one man operation as he reconfigures into some other business that is not vulnerable to these pressures. 

As of yesterday at close of business we co-workers figured that we are now at half a minute to that happening. 

All I can say is that I am glad that I am where I am: Debt Free and building my savings instead of where I was five years ago: buried in debt with no hope of getting out from under it. 

I would have been screwed and unable to pay any of those bills if I lost my job back then.

I will take that thought with me as I take it one paycheque at a time and continue to move forward as I save and conserve what I can as I build my savings and in so doing build my future.

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

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Starting To Draw Down Water

So, as is usual this time of year I count down to saying goodbye to fresh water in Wanda’s Pipes. 

I do this because every year the RV Dealership that I bought Wanda from has a special which is a drive through Winterizing.

This means that I pull up, they take Wanda in the back and properly make sure she is ready for winter. 

They do this by draining all fresh water from her tanks and water lines and filling those pipes with special antifreeze that is designed for this job. 

I could do this myself, but so far it is cheaper to have them do it than to go to a campground for the weekend and do this myself. . .  so far.

What this means for me in the two weeks I have left before that happens (on the 29th) is that I need to draw down on the water that is in Wanda’s fresh water tanks. 

I am doing this by first of all not pouring a gallon of water each workday into her fresh water tanks that I have been. 

This has been great in keeping her fresh water tanks filled and I will keep this going next spring.

I am also splurging by having an actual shower each and every Monday morning. 

As in having a shower with hot water from Wanda’s hot water tank . . . ooooo the sinful luxury of it all.

This means that I am bringing home less water now as I just fill the two litre bottle that I drain. I still have my 5 gallon jug of water filled and ready to use.

It is a transition and one that I must get used to, as time does move on and the cooler weather is approaching.

One constant theme in my life is looking at the temps and weather and ask. “What can I get away with today?” 

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

Monday 17 September 2018

You Light Up My Life

Yes, yes you do, you know who you are, my new little friend . . . my headlamp. Yep, I bought one, one of those flashlights you wear on your head.

Why did I do this? Well, here is my life without it . . . 

Here it is with the lamp turned on . . . 

Big difference and with the added bonus of it shining a light where I am looking it leaves my hands free to work on what I am working on.

The other nice thing is the fact that it is another way to light my life without having to use Wanda’s main batteries. 

This will be especially useful this winter when it dips so low that I just disconnect the batteries. (Cause south of -20C lead acid batteries are useless.)

Anyways, this was a great help this morning as I got ready for work and with it only taking 3 AAA batteries it is simple to make work. 

I will likely have to have this under the covers at night to keep it warm (the batteries rather) and I will take it to work with me to also keep it warm.

Those are a few of the odd quirks of my life that I have to adjust as the temperature gets ever colder.

It is that time of year again when the weather starts to dip. So, any little advantage that will help me manage in the dark and cold is welcome.

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

Friday 14 September 2018

It Snowed(ish) . . . I Went to Bed.

So, this week has been a bit hectic at work with one person off on vacation. So I have been busy doing . . . you know . . . work stuff . . . just more of it.

This is good as I always say “Being Bored in Business is Bad.” 

This is also true for employees because of business is slow, then so too is revenue, and revenue is the lifeblood of any business and nothing can bleed for too long and not die.

(Nope, not going to drop “that” joke in here.) 

Anywhoose, so all that extra work caught up with me, and so I crashed early. This morning, when I woke up, I ended up staying in bed until I absolutely had to wake up.

What did I see as I was walking to work? Snow(ish). 

I mean it was kinda snow, it had sorta tried to snow, but all it did was end up covering the top of the grass with frozen, icy snow patches. 
You could see the grass clearly and there was no snow on the pavements or streets. So, barely worthy of note out here on the prairies, but it would certainly shut down Vancouver.

Here . . . see for yourself . . . 

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

Thursday 13 September 2018

The Chilly Hand of Fall

So, it apparently got down to -2C last night. This morning I actually turned the furnace on for a bit, just to take the chill out of the place.

Don’t worry, I don’t see it going down below zero again, or if it does it won’t stay there long. 

Things are getting a bit chilly though, and so Fall has come, even though the calendar may differ. 

So, such is life, as it stands I haven’t changed what I am doing much, but that will slowly change over the next while.

In about two weeks (on the 29th) I will winterize Wanda and loose my fresh water plumbing till spring.

I still don’t know which way winter is going to go, either come in early and stay till June, or be mild as a kitty and only come for January and February.

Again, I don’t know, but I do know this: no matter what comes my way, I will adapt what I am doing in order to deal with it and not only survive, but thrive.

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

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Not Completely Hideous

Okay, so I have three working days (including today) left on the payperiod that is for the Sept 22 paycheque.

I started this week with a number of “charge backs” . . . not good. 

Anyone who has worked in sales will know that when a sale is returned, you must give back the commission you earned on that sale. 

I had a few large sales come back all on Monday and that wiped out any of the commissions I earned on Monday and even put me in the hole. 

Meaning that I actually lost money on sales that on Monday . . . as in I and my paycheque was worse off (other than my hourly rate) than I was when I started . . . joy.

Yesterday was my saving grace and I had a few good sales. 

So, it looks like my paycheque, while it will still fall very short of Budgetary Minimum, I will still make a bit more than disastrous. 

As in, I will actually have some sort of a commission bonus that may even approach triple digits (you know, before taxes, of course).

Again, I just keep reminding myself to just trudge forward and take things one payperiod at a time. 

All I can do is just do the best that I can with the funds I have in my hand. That’s it. So, I will keep trudging forward and keep building my savings. 

And in so doing, build my dreams. (Be it a Fantastic or Hideous Paycheque.)

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

Tuesday 11 September 2018

The Measure of Their Resolve

So, I did go to my Western Home and test the waters of parking (and shopping) there for the weekend. 

On that front things went well, as I saw the usual regulars as well as a few new ones, both: RV and vehicles. 

As I walked around the place in order to get a bit of exercise, I saw something that made me chuckle.

This is the parking lot of the big box retail store that closed last winter. 

This is the parking lot that I and everyone who usually stayed in Western Home, moved over to when they freaked out. 

As you can see in that picture all four entrances to the parking lot are blocked with those large concrete barriers. 

There barricades are three along the front, near me and the store itself, with the last one being in the back right. Right in front of me is a thick chain with two large and solid padlocks on either end of it.

Again, this is their private property and they can do what they want with it (as long as it is within the law, of course).

Yet, to do this tells me and everyone that you really do not see you renting this space anytime soon. 

I mean really, if you were just about to put a tenant in there for, say selling Halloween decorations, would you bother putting these blockades up?

Then again, this would not really stop a spontaneous tent city, would it?

I just found it funny is all. 

I am simply glad that I was able to spend the weekend in my Western Home (blockades and all).

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

Monday 10 September 2018

Grand Savings Project Update!

Okay, so here we are, the next blog entry after my Payday! So this means I get to be annoying and let you know how much I have increased my savings by.

So, the question is, what percent of my savings goal am do I have in my savings now? 

Just for review, this is what it was from last week . . .

So, this is what it is this payday . . .

So, the pattern seems to be holding that each digit went up by one. So it went from 6.7% (of target saved) to 7.8% (of target saved)!

So, sure I have a ways to go, but again, I am working on keeping myself motivated and upbeat.

I know that the next couple of paydays will be lower than expected, but as long as I move that savings needle by 1% I will be happy with that. 

As long as I get to cross off a number (on that savings chart) then I will call it a win and move on. 

In fact, any amount of cash put into savings is a win, no matter how small. For that cash, the cash in savings is Doubly-Earned!

Why do I say that? Why is the cash in savings Doubly-Earned? Because I have earned it twice! 

Once when it was on my paycheque, and again when I was able to conserve enough in my budget so as to be able to put it into savings.

That is why savings is extra special to me, in this day and age, in this economy, I am still able to put cash into savings (I just don’t live all that glamorously). 

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

Friday 7 September 2018

The Future is Not Set

 . . . There is no paycheque, but the one in your hand. 

That statement alone should scare you, hopefully it should scare you into action to do something about your fiscal situation. 

(But that’s another rant, for another day).

Any number of things could happen to make your job go *poof* and with it that next paycheque that you were counting on. 

So, all you really have is this paycheque that you have in your hand to make your fiscal life better. 

You have a good shot at being guaranteed the next paycheque but only as far as being paid until end of business today. 

I can get so caught up in my goals and looking ahead that I have to pause to remind myself that goals are fine but those yardsticks get moved around all the time.

And that’s okay.

I need to just focus on this paycheque in my hand and deal with the realistic estimates for my next two paycheques. Whatever will come, will come, and I will deal with it.

For me, at this stage in my life and journey of fiscal improvement, taking a 10% pay cut for the next two paydays (out of the blue) is a pain in the butt, but not a disaster.

I am still able to pay my bills and function on 10 – 20% of what I take home. It is not five years ago when I would be in full panic mode over this impending fiscal disaster.

So, if I have to put a little less in my savings for the next couple of paydays, so what. My goals will still be accomplished, and I will build my savings to my goal and move on to the next phase of my life. 

It may just take a wee bit longer, again, I’ll live.

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

Thursday 6 September 2018

Wondering About Wandering Into Western Home

Okay, so tomorrow is Payday, Woo Hoo! That also means my running around for payday.

The end of this running around always takes me to Western Home, as there is where a Big Box Wholesale company always has the cheapest price on gasoline.

So, I always end up there, after depositing my paycheque to line up and fuel up.

Which got me thinking . . . if I’m there anyways, why not at least try to stay there and see if I can get away with it?

Again, I haven’t decided, but it may be nice for at least a night, perhaps two. If only t put the slide-outs out and my stabilizer jacks down.

We shall see, but a tiny slice of ‘normalcy’ would be nice. 

I will remain committed to conserving as much cash as I can to get through this coming fiscal shortfall that looks to be worse than I had figured . . . oh joy.

The only bright side is that I as a result of this fiscal shortfall, I am dealing with putting less into savings and not scrambling to pay bills and debts. 

That is a massively different issue to deal with . . . trust me. I am more lenient with myself putting cash into savings (not by much) than creditors are about not getting paid.

(Just saying.)

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

Wednesday 5 September 2018

More Deficit Spending

Okay, so this may seem silly, but unless sales skyrocket for the next month (possible, but unlikely) I will be enacting two consecutive deficit budgets . . . after this one.

Let me explain.

Okay, so because of how the days ended up, the payperiod that produced my paycheque for this Friday was bonus. (Woo Hoo!)

That means that I had an extra two day on this paycheque and all was happy and good.

There was much rejoicing, as this meant that I was less reliant on sales to bring me up to budgetary minimum . . . Yay.

I used this bonus to do some slight overfunding of my Wallets, so that I have a bit extra cash on hand just in case.

(Don’t get too excited, I said a little extra.)

There was also the purchasing of the new wallets and coin purses. So, I spent this budgetary surplus on a project that I have wanted to do for a while.

(It was a relatively lower priority.)

Yet the next two successive payperiods (as in all of September) swings the other way). They fall in such a way as I have less than average work days on my paycheque.

(As in, the Paycheques on Sept 22, and Oct 7.)

With my afternoons off on Fridays it means I am going to get about 73 hours on each of these cheques. Ouch.

Yet I have another important (for me) Milestone Goal coming up on the payday of Putting 10% into savings as of the Oct 7 paycheque.

So one option would be to just reduce the amount I am putting into savings and . . . you know . . . miss that goal . . . seriously? Is that even an option?  . . . Miss a goal? Not bloody likely (he says in a strong Scottish accent).

So, I will just conserve where I can and try to somehow make up this shortfall until the October 22 paycheque.

It isn’t much, but again, this is why I have my Personal Overdraft. All I am doing is dipping into it for say $100.00.

That means that I will only have $900.00 in my Main Account, rather than what I expect and understand as “$0.00” . . .$1000.00.

Giant flashing red lights would go off and alarms would wail if I were to ever . . . EVER . . . get near . . . you know . . . actually having $0.00 in my Main Account or . . . shocker of shockers . . . dip into my ACTUAL OVERDRAFT  *gasp and faint*

So, again, I will live, I will do what I need to do and I will continue to make my Milestone Goals as I clomp on ahead towards my Crossroads Goal of fully funding my Savings (currently at 6.7%, so I have a ways to go yet).

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

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Quiet Weekend, Short Week

So, this past weekend was Labour Day and so September has officially begun. I had a relaxing time this past weekend yet still stayed in my Eastern Home.

I have heard rumblings that Western Home has not been as committal with ticketing and towing RV’s there. 

My Canary has been spotted to still be there and it has company.

I may try again in a week or two, who knows.

For me, this past weekend was about conserving cash, and with the next two paydays looking to be bleak it is a theme that will sick with me for a month at least.

Such is life, and such is the state of my life, at least at this stage of it. This ultra-conserving and saving cash by living in my RV is not forever, just for now.

Yet, I always try to look for the positives, such as my ever and steadily increasing savings . . . that’s good. 

That and it is a short week this week . . . it’s already Tuesday, and that’s good too.

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