Friday 30 November 2018

Warm Clothes Out of Storage

So, it happened last night . . . I finally broke out my Thermal Underwear. Yep, the cold weather is actually here and so I can’t push it off any further. 

Winter is here and so I donned what will be my usual outfit around the house. That multi-layered thermal underwear outfit with an outer covering of sweat pants and a sweat shirt.

Glamorous, I know. Just like with the rest of my life, function overrides fashion or . . . “normalcy.”

The key is that it will keep me warm without heating the house, and that will save me cash as I use less propane and electricity. 

Again, all in an effort to put as much cash into my savings as possible. All in an effort to have a house and more importantly . . . land.

So, I will get through this and many other winters with my crazy looking getup. 

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

Thursday 29 November 2018

November Chills

Okay, this time the chills that I am talking about have nothing to do with the temperature. What I am talking about are sales at work. 

Things are work are still slow and it is not a good feeling. 

For one, I want to be busy and productive at work, you know, actually contributing to the betterment of the company. (I’m sick that way.)

For another, I know from experience that things can’t remain slow forever. Sooner or later things either have to pick up, we go in another direction, or layoffs start.

All I can do is do my job as best as I can and hope for the best. 

I am also thankful that this is not five years ago, when I was buried in debt and would have been in serious trouble if I were laid off then. 

As it stands now, come next payday I will have put two-year’s worth of living expenses aside in my savings. 

I hope to not have to draw on that, as I am still building those savings in my Grand Savings Plan! You know so I can buy land all with cash and without a loan or debt. 

I remind myself that all I can do is to manage this payperiod’s budget as best as I can and plan for the mid-term. 

I cannot tell the future, so I should now worry about it. I can dream about it, plan for it, and yes do my best to prepare for any negative eventualities. 

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

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Winter Hath Come

It’s going to get cold for the weekend (again) yet this time it will stay cold. Winter has arrived and will stay for some time to come. 

On the plus side, it doesn’t look to be getting all that cold, as in it will (apparently) stay north of –20C. So, that is something at least. 

It is a frustration and certainly not something that I like, but it is something that I know how to deal with (winter and cold).

I am in the process of just getting into that winter mindset and not caring about it. Currently I am at the sage of grumbling with a side of whining. 

Winter and cold is nothing that I haven’t seen before, and something that I will see again, that is for sure (well, as long as I am still alive that is). 

This is winter number 5 that I am entering into, and so, by this point I know what to do and how to handle it. 

I also know that the longer that I stay in my trailer and do what I do, the sooner that I will achieve my goals. (And thereby move out of my trailer and into my cabin/house).

As I have said to my doubters before: I have a plan, I am working that plan, and the plan is working. 

So, winter shminter, bring it on.

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

Tuesday 27 November 2018

From Failure Comes Opportunity

This is a hard lesson to learn, but one that must be taught. For, we fear failure, yet it is our greatest teacher. You learn to just accept that failure is a natural part of life.

I, for one, can personally attest that we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. 

So, to with failure we get the chance to pause and rethink what we were doing. We get a chance to start again in a new direction. 

(Why not, since you have to start again anyways.)

So with the closure of a large auto plan in Ontario, I see an opportunity for another manufacturer to come in and put that plant and its workers back to work.

Companies need to make a profit, yet at the same time, workers need to make more than just a living wage. 

Why? Well if nobody is making anything more than they barely need to exist, who will buy anything? If nobody buys anything, then the economy will crater.

If this auto plant is really the fantastic place that it has been reported then it will not sit idle for long. Even if it is not making autos, it may make something else. 

So, from this closure, I see an opportunity for the community and this plant to renew and rise again, because from failure comes opportunity.

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

Monday 26 November 2018

Winter For The Weekend

So, it snowed and got cold over the weekend. It should warm up for the workweek . . . because of course it will.

It is just another reminder of the time of year that it is and that my thoughts and processes must change towards what I do in winter.

(Namely bundle up and hibernate).

But seriously, I simply roll with the punches and just adapt what I am doing in order to still do what I need to do despite the weather or temperature. 

This weekend I was in my Western Home all set up before the snow really started to fall. So, I was okay.

I know that this is winter number five that I am heading into, so nothing scares me by this point. 

I know what to do, and if I have to learn something new and adapt yet again, I will. After all, do not fear failure, for it is your best teacher. Learn from it and move on.

Yet there are those in my life who just don’t understand why I do what I do. 

One particular person seems to take delight in my “suffering” and is passively-aggressively discouraging of me. 

(As if I’m going to give up now.)

I take it all in stride and chuckle at their comments and otherwise try not to rise to their antics. Again, I left “normal” long ago . . . I know that.

So, I will continue to clomp on ahead into this winter and the winters beyond, simply because they stand in between me and my goals. 

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

Friday 23 November 2018

Grand Savings Update (And More)

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 . . .

That is 11.8%

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

That’s right things jumped up to 13.2% of my savings target. That means I put away 1.4% of my total Savings Target this payday.

This is one of those days when I “Stole a Square!” I managed to jump past 12%. This is because of how those .X% landed.

Well, that and the fact that at this part of the year, my payroll taxes drop off, so I get to keep more of my hard earned pay. 

Come January those payroll taxes will be back in full force and I will hit the wall. So, don’t expect these great numbers to continue. 

This is the “Woo-Hoo” end of the year where payroll taxes are approximately 18 – 20%). 

From January onward it is the “Stick-Em-Up” end of the year, where the payroll taxes take a much larger bite, as now they are approximately 27.5%.

One thing is clear, that I will continue to put as much as I can into savings to build for my future, regardless of how much I can put away each payday. 

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

Thursday 22 November 2018

I’m Ready to Start Homesteading

. . . but my finances aren’t. That is the trouble, is that I am ready for the next adventure, the next phase of my life. 

Yet the fact remains that I have not built up enough savings in order to go do that. I refuse (not that I would qualify) to get a loan or other mortgage.

If I did get a loan or mortgage, then I would have to pay that back, which means getting a job or pressure to somehow generate income immediately. 

The whole point of homesteading would be to provide a break from the debt-slavery that is the regular work-a-day world. 

(Don’t think you’re a Debt-Slave? Just imagine how far you would get if you stopped working. So, do you really have a choice but to work and pay your bills and debts? That would make you a . . . )

Anyways, I must understand and accept that patience is once again required, as nothing, no changes in my life, ever happen quickly (other than the bad ones).

This path is a slow, plodding progress towards my goals, not a fast, sprint. 

This is the true test of my lifestyle, enduring the almost glacial pace of change. Yet change is happening, and things are progressing, just not as fast as I would like.

I will survive, I will thrive and I will begin my Homesteading Process . . . just not for a few years yet.

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

Wednesday 21 November 2018

One Month and Three Paydays

It is exactly one month (and three paydays) from the start of my Christmas Break. I get paid tomorrow, (but I will wait to do my banking on Friday).

I also get paid on the 7th (as in two weeks from Friday) and of course on December the 22nd as in four weeks from Saturday. 

In that case I will withdraw my cash to fund my wallets on Friday the 21st and do the actual deposit the next day via the online banking app. 

What all this means is that I am excited to be closing in on my break, the glorious 11 day, 12 night break where I can just plop and rest in my Mountain Home.

It also means that I am closing in on the end of the year and my chance to make my goals for this year. 

All in all, those are looking good and that I will make them, but it all remains to be seen how it will shake out.

The important thing, when it comes to goals, is that you keep working on them, that you . . . 

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

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Why Do I Still Do This?

I got asked yesterday why I am still living in my RV Trailer even though I became Debt Free last year.

To me the answer is obvious and self-explanatory, but I will break it down anyways. 

I do this, still live in Wanda and freeze my tuchus off because I am worth more to me than just existing. 

I want more than to just pay bills, live comfortably and die. 

I am more than just a cash-sprinkler. (If you don’t get it right away, pause and think on that term for a moment, it will come to you.)

I froze my tuchus off to pay the banks off, now I am freezing my tuchus off in order to pay me . . . to build up savings.

I won’t do this forever, but I will do it so I can have what I want: a home, land, a community, and do so without debt.

I do this for myself, my future, my dreams and yes for those who will come to settle in my town in the future. 

Even if it is just me and my future wife (whoever she is) in a cabin somewhere, peaceful, remote, and beautiful, that will be okay too.

So, in short, I still live in Wanda, because I choose to, because I can, and because I am building my future, after having paid off my past . . . and bought my freeeeeedooooom!

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

Monday 19 November 2018

Winter Mode Testing

So, all in all, it was a good weekend, a bit cold, but nothing that I could not handle. I bundled up and made do with what I had. 

It was a precursor to what I am to expect when the real winter hits, you know the sub -20C stuff. 

I have my warm clothes. I have my sleeping bag. I have my nice new mattress and thick blankets. All in all, I am warm, I am just not all that fashionable.

I don’t like winter, I don’t frolic in the snow, I tolerate it, I get by. The one thing I do know how to do is to survive and adapt.

(No, I am not claiming to be ‘survivor man’ or anything like that). 

I mean that I just know that one way or another I will figure out what to do in order to survive and yes thrive no matter what comes at me.

So, it will get cold, so what, I will adapt what I am doing in order to still do what I need to do. That is, after all, the essence of what I do: adapt to survive.

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

Friday 16 November 2018

Trading Comfort for Cash

Okay, so it snowed and got windy last night . . . oh yeah, and it got cold. It will continue to be cold today, but again, this is nothing that I haven’t seen before.

I have been spoiled with the way that things have been recently, and I know that things will get much colder.

One thing is clear . . . January and February will always be bitterly cold. That’s just a fact of life. 

Yet, all this is stuff that I know how to handle. Last evening I was snugly warm in my sleeping bag on the couch as I listened to the radio.

I spent the night in my bed all warm and cosy. All in all, it was not bad, and nothing I haven’t seen before. 

I do this because I have to, because I choose to in order to get ahead. 

I am trading comfort for cash. In that I will give up a good deal of comfort in order to gain cash that is freed up in my monthly budget. 

Cash that I can do what I want with, like pay down debt or build up savings. 

Just ask yourself how much and what kind of comfort would you be willing to give up in order to free up some cash in your monthly budget? 

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

Thursday 15 November 2018

Back In Black

So, with the resolution of the frozen Black Water Tank taken care of, I can turn my attention to the closing weeks of this year and my financial goals for this year.

Since I do not have to pay for service or hotel stays or weeks long stays at a campground in order to deal with this issue, I can get back to what I do best . . . save money.

I will be doing my best to stuff as much cash into my savings as I can in this golden time of year when the payroll taxes drop off (I hope). 

I am now focussed on putting at least two years of Living Expenses into my savings before the year is out. 

Then there is the seeing how much of my Savings Target I can put into savings. 

Again, it may not seem to be the best, most glamorous or exciting life, but it is only one small portion of it. One that I am happy to give up in order to get myself ahead. 

After all, the goal is to have: Land, a Home and a Town, all without debt or a mortgage. 

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

Wednesday 14 November 2018

I Got Lucky (Not That Kind)

Okay, so all through work yesterday I was going through various scenarios, things that I could do to solve this problem of my full Black Water Tank with cold weather approaching.

I need to dump it because in the dead of winter, without me plugged in somewhere, I will not be able to keep it from freezing solid and cracking that tank. 

(That’s bad and an expensive fix, by the way).

It was warm yesterday and so after work I decided to risk it and take a chance on seeing if I could actually dump.

You see, what was preventing me was a frozen blockage, a plug if you will in the middle of the pipe that leads down from the Black Water Tank (aka where the toilet stuff goes into).

I opened the valve (with a garbage bag over the opening to catch anything that may come out) and a few slush chunks dribbled out. 

I poked at the blockage with a sacrificial broom handle, and I found that it was soft, soft enough for me to take a chance.

So, of to the neighbourhood truck stop I went to try to dump my tanks. 

When I finally got things ready and in place (as in got my drain pipe all situated and ready to accept anything that would come out of said pipe) I poked at that blockage.

It took but a few prods to poke a few holes in it to cause (let’s call it ‘water’) to flow out.

I quickly pulled the sacrificial broom handle out and connected the drain pipe up and watched. 

This is my inspection pipe and I highly recommend it because it lets you see what is actually flowing out. 

Now, that may be strange, but it will let you see, as in this case, that darned blockage be eroded and flushed down the pipe by ‘water’ that was flowing around it.

It also lets you know when the tanks are completely drained and when you are flushing your tanks you can see when your tanks are cleaned by only seeing clean water run out.

You can get that inspection pipe at any place that sells RV accessories.

As for me, I was just happy to see the tank finally drain.

So with that, a potentially very large hole in my budget was closed up and I am now in full-blown Winter Mode.

I will not use my toilet or sinks until I can be sure that the tanks will not freeze solid. I do not want to be caught out like that again.

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

*Mental Note to Self: Need new broom.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Nice Extended Weekend . . . It Didn’t Work.

Okay, so I will call this past extended weekend (from Thursday Evening to this morning (Tuesday) a nice weekend in the forest. 

My primary goal (to dump my tanks) was not a success. Yet, I was able to get (what I could tell) most of the tanks defrosted, the essential bit is still frozen. 

I don’t know the exact term, but I will call it the downpipe. This is the pipe that leads from the tanks down on an angle to the connector for the drain hose. 

This two foot stretch of pipe is still frozen, despite the heat tape on all that time and the heat cranked in the trailer. 

I will be okay today through to Thursday during the day, after that, once night falls on Thursday, I am in trouble again. 

For Thursday night it will dip below zero and stay below zero for all of Friday. And after that I won’t get warm enough during the day to thaw that pipe out.

What I really need is a warehouse or other indoor space large enough to park Wanda in for a few days to get heat in from the outside.

If I can’t dump my tanks this evening, (or that warehouse magically makes itself available) I will have to contact the RV Dealership.

I will have to have them finish this thawing and tank draining that I started. I just can’t risk it any further. 

Sure, this means extra cost in the repair bill, as well as staying in a hotel for the better part of a week, but it is better than the repair bill for a cracked tank(s).

One way or another I will make this work, I will solve this problem and keep going. I simple can do no less; it’s just what I do.

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

(And yes, always dump your tanks BEFORE the freezing weather hits.)

Thursday 8 November 2018

Grand Savings Update (And More)

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 . . .

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

That’s right things jumped up to 11.8% of my savings target. That means I put away 1.7% of my total Savings Target this payday. 

The other cool thing is that the "Estimated End Date" moved up one payday to July 7, 2022. 

So, this is partly due to the fact that my taxes have started to drop off, coupled with my savings mentality. 

We shall see how things go, but I may make my target of at least 15% by the end of the year (17% preferred).

With regards to winter and my still almost full Grey and Black water tanks, things are looking dicy. 

Did you ever have one of those days where all of the little things went wrong? I had one of those evenings. 

It started out hopeful, I could get those valves open (in order to dump). So I went to the local truck stop and just paid to dump. 

I didn’t get a discount that I had expected and paid nearly full price, all to find out that there was some ice further up and that was why neither tank would dump. 

Naturally, the place would not give me a refund.

I call this the “Geoffie Level of Customer Service” As in the level of customer service that I usually get which can be summed up by the statement “Why are we talking? We already have your money?” 

Anywhoose, I decided that since I was moving, I may as well do my payday running around. This despite me depositing my paycheque yesterday morning over the app because I didn’t want to run around. 

So, I did my shopping, bought gas, etc. 

My plans are to now go to McLean Creek, yet I plan to head out for tonight and take tomorrow off. 

This way I will have an extra day and an extra night to plug in and try to defrost my tanks, at least enough so that I can get most of the water out of there.

If this is not enough I will look at finding a campground that is local and open over winter to plug in and thereby continue my defrosting efforts.

Again, one thing at a time, I will try this, as I don’t think those tanks are anywhere near fully frozen yet, just frozen around the outsides.

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

Wednesday 7 November 2018

A Dump Delayed

Okay, so we’ve got a bit of a blast of cold weather currently. I still have my nearly full Grey and Black Water Tanks. 

Currently in the trailer it is still hovering around freezing, if a little bit below. So, this is good, because it will take a while for the black and grey water tanks to freeze.

Yet the problem is that the end where I actually connect the hose to dump the tanks has a couple of valves out there in the cold.

They have frozen shut, or at least as far as they have done so currently. No pipes are cracked but I can’t open that valve, yet.

A bright spot is the fact that it will warm up to 6C on Friday, and that should be enough, with the warmth of the sun, to warm up that valve enough for me to be able to dump.

Again, we shall see, as if I can’t open those valves, I may have to go to a campground so I can apply some heat to the insides of the tanks (by way of internal electric heat tape) and an external electric heater.

Either way, I will dump this weekend, I would just rather not risk the budget in order to do that. (By going to the campground).

All in all, one way or another I will deal with this and get it solved.

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

Tuesday 6 November 2018

With a Wisp of Winter, I Hibernated

It got cold, colder than “Ah, it’s a bit nippy” as in below freezing, so I just turned in early. 

We go a bit of snow and with that I just turned around and tucked into my bed, early and stayed warm. 

This morning despite the fact that it was already below freezing in m house (okay, -2C) I turned the air blue.

Again, I am not all that proud about this, and it is a process I go through, when winter actually arrives, the mentally getting into Winter Mode. 

As in getting ME into Winter Mode.

I have done this before, for four winters behind me, I can certain handle this one. I know what to do, I know what to do in order to get through it.

Again, I do this, I endure winter so in my RV that I can get land a home, (without a mortgage) all that much faster.

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

Monday 5 November 2018

Long Weekend Dilemma Again

So, this weekend (the upcoming one) is a long weekend, at least for me. As it is the Remembrance Day Long Weekend. 

This is due to the fact that the actual Remembrance Day is on Sunday, but the day off is on Monday.

So, as with all things, I am considering heading to a campground for the long weekend. This is mainly for the free-flowing electricity (ooooh luxury).

I can also cook up my next batch of Mealstarter and enjoy the peace and quiet. 

Yet there is also the fact that it is an unnecessary expense and we are in the closing days of this year and the rush to 15% (of Savings Target).

Sure, it is easy for someone else to tell me “go, enjoy the weekend, don’t worry about the expense.” It is quite easy to be generous with someone else’s cash.

I will decide what to do later on, but either way, I will still cook up my Mealstarter. After all, I have had the ingredients for the past two weekends.

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

Friday 2 November 2018

One Week to Winter Mode (Probably)

So, as is normal this time of year, I look at the Weather App to see what may come this way. 

So far it is saying that the weekend will be decent (as in 10C) high for the weekend. So, that’s good and I’ll take that positive.

Yet in a week it looks like the daytime high will drop below freezing and stay there. 

This is always my sign to stop using my Black and Grey Water Tanks. Meaning, I can’t pour things down my sinks or use my toilet. 

This is because the valve that I have to open in order to drain those tanks will freeze shut. As well all or some of the contents of those tanks will freeze. 

I don’t feel like carrying around a block of ice and/or frozen poop for the next four months. 

So, it is a precautionary measure that I do, I dump for the last time and just don’t use the sinks or my toilet. 

Maybe I could push it a bit longer, but for me, it is not worth the risk. 

I will just take things one day at a time and do what I need to do right now in order to get ahead. 

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

Thursday 1 November 2018

It’s Silly, But it Works

So there I was going through the motions of getting ready for the day and paused to realize how silly I must look most times.

After all, there are some silly things I do, silly things that work. I have long since abandoned the idea of “looking cool” or otherwise “normal.”

I do what works, not what is stylish. 

For example, I: 

Putter around in the dark with only a flashlight strapped to my head for light.
Work on my laptop by candlelight.
Listen to a portable radio when the radio in my trailer works fine.
Dress in the same multiple layers of clothes every day when around my trailer
Sit in a sleeping bag on the couch to stay warm without turning the furnace on.
Pack my water in on my back daily.
Live in an RV Trailer on a street in an industrial park.
Weekend (and look forward to) in the parking lot of a Big Box Retailer.
Pee outside in the dead of winter.

Those are a few of the odd things that I do, just because they work. It is in doing these little odd things that helps enable me to get ahead. 

Conformity to what society expects is what really holds people back from doing what they need to do to get ahead. Think about that. 

What “odd things” are you willing to do in order to get yourself ahead?

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