Thursday 31 October 2019

Dealing With Doubts

Doubts, we all have them. They come to us at all times of the day or night. When they do come, you have to deal with them, or you will succumb to them.

Doubts come at you in order to keep you inside that bubble, that comfort zone. 

If you start to stray (or think of straying) outside that little area that you are comfortable in (your lifestyle), then your Doubts will come for you.

When my Doubts come to me, I take it as a sign that I am doing something right, that I am making progress on my goals.

For me it my doubts (these days) are a variation on the theme that nobody will help me, and when I do achieve anything, that somehow in some way all that I have built (as in every last possession and every last dime I have) will be taken away from me (as punishment for trying to break free of my status as a Peasant).

You know . . . happy stuff like that.

It is best to keep in mind that those are your Fears. These Doubts are your Fears finding a voice to speak to you. 

Your Fears are trying to keep you from harm, in their own way they see themselves as doing good. They see themselves as helping keep you in the nice safe known space that is your current lifestyle (your comfort zone).

To combat this, when your Fears come at you (masking as your Doubts) you need to start listing off all that you have accomplished and all of the skills and abilities you have.

This is to remind yourself that you have done things and are capable of a great many things. In other words . . . Confidence, specifically Confidence in yourself is what defeats your Fears and Doubts.

With them kept at bay for the moment, you can move forward onwards towards your Goals and Dreams.

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

Wednesday 30 October 2019

You Deserve Success

One of the things that holds us back from pursuing our dreams is the fact that, deep down, we don’t feel like we deserve it . . . success it is (whatever you define success as).

This is as a result of a number of factors, most of which are . . . shall we say . . .  from outside sources that we have internalized and taken to heart (not that we wanted to or should, but we have).

This is a problem as this will prompt you to sabotage your path to success when you see that you are gaining too much success.

This is usually when you are starting to move outside of your comfort zone, as in outside of the area that you have said is okay for you to be in . . .  to live in.

We have a certain image of our life, a certain lifestyle and a certain level of wealth. If we stray outside of that, we will work to get back inside of that bubble.

This is fine and good if you lose wealth or your lifestyle lowers below what you are accustomed to, but it also works when you rise higher than that bubble.

If your success takes you out of that bubble, as in higher than that bubble (as in a better lifestyle, more wealth, etc) than you will work to get back down into that bubble.

The way to fix this is to simply move that bubble, get yourself used to the concept that the success, the place that you want to take yourself, is where your bubble is.

Success is defined by each of us in different ways, that’s fine, go chase your success and obtain it, really, you deserve it.

My point is to watch out for the little ways that you, that each of us, will sabotage your success, just as you are starting to make some traction on your path to success.

Once you recognize what is going on and why, you can find ways to combat it. Don’t let your fear of the new and the unknown derail your path to success.

One way I have found is to envision your success and to keep yourself focussed on being that success. 

Be a success, you deserve it.

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

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Envision and Own Your Success

There are a couple of reasons why it is important to envision your success. 

What I mean is that you need to spend a bit of time each day to see yourself succeeding in whatever it is that you are working towards succeeding at.

The way that I do it is to have my dream board, and on it put the goals that I am working towards.

This shows me every day what I am working towards. The progress charts shows me how far that I have already come, so as to remind me that I am making progress towards my goal.

The other way that I envision my success is through my cascade budgets. I have a special spreadsheet with a number of tabs, each tab is one payperiod of a given calendar year.

I set out the budget for each payday for that year in advance. I don’t do that because I am just that board or that “anal retentive.” 

I do that so that I can see, well in advance what my budgets, and more specifically my bank accounts could look like if I continue doing what it is that I am doing.

Yet there is also a deeper thing going on, by seeing what is to come, (my goals being accomplished) I get to get myself used to that outcome.

If I see that something is as good as accomplished then I will work towards making it happen, rather than sabotage my own success (subconsciously).

I have experienced it before and I have said it before. There is a certain level of wealth and comfort that we are used to, any more or less than that is outside of our comfort level.

This is partially why people (myself included) who gain a large windfall of money, blow it within a short period of time. 

It is unnatural for them to have that much cash so they try to get rid of it. Also, they, and most people are not used to having and dealing with that much cash, so we screw up.

I am constantly retraining myself to become used to the savings that I am building up in the bank. 

Just like I am holding on to the dream of having that land and that house, the one that I will have once this journey is over.

I also know that moving on to that land and moving into that house will be another adjustment for me. That is a problem and a challenge that I will deal with when I get there.

For now, my focus is on building up the savings necessary to move on to that next phase of my life: The Homesteading Phase.

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

Monday 28 October 2019

Meet The New Plan, Same As The Old Plan

So, I have been thinking a lot about my Grand Savings Plan. More specifically I have been thinking over how much to save and in what manner to do it.

Do I invest in this stock? Or that Mutual Fund? Bonds? T-Bills? What?

Questioning what you are doing is always a good thing, as situations change and from time to time you need to re-evaluate what you are doing and why.

Don’t be so committed to one plan so as to stick to it simply because it is what you are used to.

For me, I have decided to continue doing what I am doing because I don’t really have the time for such investments to do me any good.

I will still look into them and if one or two makes sense, sure. As you know, the plan is to save up my target amount and then start spending it right away on The Homesteading Process.

So, with that said, let’s get on with a delayed . . . 

The Homestead Fund Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” (to build my "Homestead Fund") 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

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

That is 12.8% (of my Savings Target).

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

That’s right things jumped up to 13.3% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 0.5% of my total Savings Target this payday.

Okay, that is a dismal number, but I was hit with two things this payday, one was paying for my Yearly Mailbox Rental. The other was paying for my Christmas Break.

I have decided to pay them both up front now, rather than try to carry a balance on a credit card, as even to think of doing so makes my skin crawl.

I will still make my goal of 17% by the end of the year. That means I have only 4 more paydays to go in order to get to 17% from the 13.8% that I am at now.

I can and will make that day and make that number, as this is what I have set my mind to in order to get out of this year, with a measure of pride.

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

Friday 25 October 2019

Savings Plans O Plenty

So, with me now reconsidering my current savings plan, I am considering what to do from next year onwards.

This has left me considering many options, and simply to be able to do so is a privledge that a lot of people don’t

Again, I don’t say this, or admit my deliberations to brag but rather to keep doing what I always do: state what I am going through at this current stage of my journey.

I am trying to figure out a balanced approach to savings and in fact wealth building. What this means that I have been considering various options in the recent days.

Therein lies the problem: so many different approaches. 

All of them could work yet all end up with a different mix of investments at the end. Even the end date keeps moving around.

I have considered and modelled a handful of different possible ways to save money in different savings vehicles. 

Some are modest and predictable; others are a bit more risky, with the rest somewhere in between.

The point is that I am still considering my options and I am trying to do my homework and make my best guess as to how each of these options would/could go in advance.

I will come to some decision by the payday of January 7, I have to.

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

Thursday 24 October 2019

Elections and Budgets

So, another election is over and another governmental budget is about to come down in the province where I live. 

The one thing I do know is that there will be nothing in it for me, other than a bill of some kind. 

I am always overlooked with these things as politicians seem to focus on everyone else, you know “families” and all that.

It is life, and just something that I have come to accept. Yet, I do believe in helping others out and providing a hand up to those in need around me.

I am currently in a stage of my life where I can provide little assistance to anyone, as all of my spare cash goes into savings.

The thought of getting assistance from the government in any way is odd. I don’t ask because I know that it is not coming . . . for one reason or another I don’t qualify.

When it comes to tax time I just look down the list and check: no, no, no, no, no, and no when it comes to this tax break or that tax incentive.

I did vote and the only upside I can see with this election result is that it will force these bunch of whiny brats known as politicians to work together and compromise in order to get anything done.

Yet, as they do that, I will not be looking for them to do anything for me . . . other than hand me a bill and the only help they will give me is to help me find my wallet (so as to pay that bill).

I will still persevere and still carry on and succeed despite all of that. It is just what I do. It is just frustrating that the best way I can do that is being an Urban Nomad.

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

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Focussing On End Of Year

Okay, so while my fiscal savings plans may be changing, that is next year, and another adventure. 

I am focussed on this year and getting my savings back to my high water mark. I am still determined to get that done, no matter what happens. 

(Well, as much as possible without being dangerous or stupid.)

I have locked in stone the savings contributions for the remaining four paydays of this year, and as long as I make those savings contributions, I will make my overall savings target.

I will have to cut back and watch my spending, more so than usual. Again, this is nothing that I haven’t done before, so I know what tricks I can do.

As far as next year and the years to come are concerned, I will take them one year at a time, one payday at a time.

I have a target and things that I want to do, but I will simply know when I am ready to move on to the next adventure, when I am ready.

That is all in the future, for now I will just focus on this payperiod and the four after that. I am coming into the home stretch and have a savings account to rebuild.

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

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Total Debt Freedom Day, Second Anniversary

It is two years ago today that I became Totally Debt Free. It is a special day for me as it is one that was hard earned and was a long time coming.

Getting buried in debt did not happen overnight and neither did getting out of debt. I will say that getting into debt is much easier than getting out of debt.

The same can be said of any traps, that is why they are traps.

Last year, I was still trying to figure out how to deal with savings, as in how much to keep in each account and what to do with it.

I suppose that I still am and learning to not only stay debt free (which is a choice) is one thing, learning how to build savings and wealth is another.

That last part is what I am still learning how to do, and I don’t mind saying it, as life, and this journey in particular, requires you to be adaptive.

So, I am still changing and evolving what I am doing and how I do it so as to constantly improve. 

I know, moving forward, that I need to diversify my savings and investments into a wide variety of vehicles.

Again, this is not something that I have had to deal with before, as I was eternally living one paycheque to another.

I see now that building savings is not as simple as stuffing cash in the bank, that I have to do more with it than that.

So, having a nice counter on my wall is one thing, but it is impractical when you have a variety of investments that all vary in value at various points in time.

I have a time frame (summer 2024 to perhaps summer 2025) yet my goal is to build my savings up to the point where I will feel comfortable moving on to the next phase of my journey: The Homesteading Phase.

I still have my plan: To own land and a house, and perhaps start that town, or perhaps simply a large house where people are welcome

That dream, like most of my life, is an ever-evolving one. The one thing that is constant is my desire to have land, a home, a family and do so with no debt.

I am still going to get back to my high water mark of my savings before the end of the year, next year, I will focus on building and diversifying my savings. 

Which is and will be a complicated matter to say the least.

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

Monday 21 October 2019

Saved By The Wallets

So, as you may or may not know (and may or may not care) I have been on a push to put back into my savings what I put out of it.

In essence, I want to get back to the “high water mark” of my savings account before the end of the year.

As life often does, it puts various boulders in my way as I try to achieve my goals. I grumble and move past them, but it is frustrating nonetheless.

I am talking about things like me having to book my Christmas Vacation sooner than I had hoped. The other thing was me having to pay for my Mailbox Renewal sooner than I had budgeted.

Then there was the last one that caused me to pull an old but undesired budgeting trick . . . the annual credit card fee.

I am talking about the fee that credit card companies charge you for the “privledge” of simply holding the card. They apparently don’t make enough money on interest they charge people.

Anyways, this last bump pushed me over the line so as being unable to balance my budget. 

So, what I did was refund my “Groceries” and “Treats” Wallets by shifting cash from my “Contingency Wallet”.

So I will not be pulling any cash out of the bank to refill those wallets. At some time in the future I can refill my Contingency Wallet, either all at once or trickled out over a few paydays. 

This way I can stay out of my Personal Overdraft and still make my savings target by the end of the year.

Technically it is robbing Peter to pay Paul, but it works for now.

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

PS: It is voting day in Canada, in our Federal Election. I don’t care who you vote for, just get out there and vote. Every vote is important and every vote does count. VOTE!

Friday 18 October 2019

Establishing Milestone Goals Helps

So, I have talked about the two types of goals that I have: Crossroads Goals, and Milestone Goals. 

Crossroads Goals are the large, life changing goals, such as me building up my savings until I have enough to go establish my Homestead.

The smaller goals along the way are there to mark your progress towards that Crossroads Goal, those mile marker goals are your Milestone Goals.

Laying them out is an important way to help establish a realistic path and timeline that you will achieve your Crossroads Goal, when you plan to.

For me it is looking at what my savings accounts could be at the end of each future year and set savings targets accordingly (my end of year Milestone Goals). 

This is important in a few ways, because it not only helps me see that my Crossroads Goal is in fact achievable, but shows me how I can achieve it.

Also, by looking at my budgets in advance, it helps me to visualize those future budgets as already achieved. 

That visualization of future events, not psychically visioning it but seeing it and believing that those things will come to pass is another key to successful goal setting.

By training myself to believe that those budgets will become real, (that I will have that much cash I my various accounts at that point in time) it helps me work towards it.

You have to have confidence in yourself in order to achieve your goals, envisioning future goals is not only a way to encourage you, but also to help you commit.

I have great things set out for the next five years (groan), but I am encouraged to see what each of those years can possibly bring me.

What I have to do now is to keep working the system that I have established in order to make those Milestone Goals come true.

As we all know, dreams don’t make themselves come true, you have to not only make a plan to achieve those dreams, you have to actually work that plan.

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

Thursday 17 October 2019

Budget Takes a Hit, But Still On Track

So, with the end of year, comes my Christmas Break. It is the one time of year that I actually take a vacation. 

Yet with things being so tight this year, (as a result of my end of year push) I have been trying to put off booking the site for my Christmas Break.

I have been checking the booking website regularly, and have noticed that the sites have been disappearing. (I've already lost my favourite spot.)

So, yesterday I went ahead and booked my site for my Christmas Break. 

I booked the site on my Low Interest Credit Card, so I could technically just carry a balance until the new year . . . technically.

The thing is that while I CAN carry a balance on a credit card, I am unable to actually do it . . . I just can’t stand having any outstanding balance on a credit card (after payday).

So, I will just bite the bullet, pay this off now (which will make the Savings Contribution of this Tuesday’s Payday take a hit).

You see this payday I will also pay off paying for my mailbox for a year in advance (it’s cheaper that way and I get a month free).

I made a few adjustments in my budget and I may have to take a smidgen more out of the vacation fund (at work) in order to do it, but I will still make my savings target by year’s end.

All it takes is dedication, belief in yourself and to follow through with your plans (and perhaps not buy as many books . . . sigh).

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

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Enjoying my Favourite Word

It’s that wondrous time of the usually cold weather season when people get confused over why it is so warm. The answer is my favourite word: Chinook!

All I know is that it has something to do with wind coming down off of the Rocky Mountains and bringing warm air with it, thus heating up my fair city. 

It’s October the 16th and we’re expected to reach 15C today, I’ve seen it be below -20C by now. This ain’t global warming, it’s just a wondrous freak of nature for this part of the world. 

All I know is that when these things come down, the weather gets warmer, and I don’t freeze my tuchus off when . . . usually I do.

The other thing I’m enjoying is the short work week. It is already hump day and tomorrow is my last full day of work.

Friday is either: dead and we’re board, or it’s a hair on fire day (as in we’re so busy it’s like we’re running around with our hair on fire. 

So, all in all I will just try to take it easy and enjoy the moment. So, I will enjoy the weather and the not so hectic work week.

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

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Closing In On Two Years Debt Free

As the time ticks down to October 22nd, my thoughts turn to the annual anniversary of me becoming Totally Debt Free.

I look back and say “what have I accomplished in the past two years?” Have I really moved forward, or have I not?” 

I will say this, as I look back on the previous years’ Budgets, I see that I am better off financially than I was two years ago.

For one, when I paid off Wanda (My last and largest loan) I had $32.10 to my name. I obliterated my finances just to make that happen.

Yet, as I look at the budgets for that year, that eventful year of 2017, I barely had the Personal Overdraft, and even that was iffy. 

If I was lucky I had $1000.00 in each account. I built up my TFSA, but only just until I had enough to pay off the Wanda Loan.

After that, after that bill was paid off, I was broke, but I was at least free. 

Since then, I have built up and maintained my Mid-Term Savings to the $10k that I like to see it at. I have maintained (for the most part) my Personal Overdraft.

I have also built up my TFSA and branched out into other investments. And yes, I have made a few improvements in Wanda and bought a small toy or two.

In short, since becoming Totally Debt Free, I have stayed Totally Debt Free, and that is an accomplishment in and of itself.

I have also built up my savings and managed my finances, in a non-hideous manner. It is a steady learning process and I am always learning and improving.

The point is, that while I don’t feel that I have really gotten anywhere in the past two years, I have. 

It is important to look back and see, notice and yes, celebrate your accomplishment. If for no other reason than to verify that you are in fact moving forward. 

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

Friday 11 October 2019

How To Crazy Budget

So, I have decided to make my target of putting back into my savings what I took out of it by the end of the year. 

It’s a personal thing and just a way to end this year on a positive note. Again, I didn’t blow the money I took out of savings, I invested it, but investments are not liquid.

So, since I am building up my savings (my cash reserves as it were) I am building up the cash I stuff into the bank so that I can go start that self-sustaining homestead/town/thing.

In order to do that I have made a few changes on both the income and the expenses side of my budget. 

First of all I have suspended the book buying program. I will resume building up the Homestead Archives in January, but for now, I am stopping all unnecessary expenses.

I was going to stop getting my hair cut every third payday, but then I would start to look scruffy, or I would have to go back to buzzing my own hair and beard (and I don’t want to do that).

I have cut back on the refunding of my wallets to their minimum practical level. Meaning the cash (as in actual bills) that I put back into my wallets each payday.

I can still function and do what I need to do, but my budget is now smaller. Since wallets contain actual cash, if I do go over I will still be okay. 

If I spend more than I have allocated, I will just have less than what I expect to have in those wallets (again, until the new year).

The other thing I have done is altered my target income for the five remaining paycheques for this year. I have increased them by $100.00.

Meaning, I have moved my “Budgetary Minimum” line that I have set for what my pay must be up by $100.00. 

If my hours and my commission will not make this amount, I will take a bit out of my vacation fund (at work as the “Holiday Pay fund”).

Again, the only vacation I take is my Christmas Break (which I have to book still) so there is always extra cash in there to raid.

All in all, I can make it, I can make this target and get out of this year, on an even keep, back to where I was before. 

Though, I will still have that investment, so I will actually be ahead of the game.

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

Thursday 10 October 2019

The Annual End Of Year Push

So, it is that time of year when I look to my goals and see if I will meet them or not. As usual I am falling a little short of hitting them this year.

So, the question arises, do I enact a super-stringent budget in order to make those targets (yes, the book buying was part of the mess that I’m in). 

It is possible to squeak up to and possibly over the line to make those savings targets . . . possibly. 

Yet, do I need to? Since I am talking about savings and building savings over time, is it that important to hit arbitrary deadlines that I set for myself?

It is complicated, you see, my goal for this year is to put back into my savings what I took out of it in order to do the investment I did this summer.

So, for me, this time it is personal and I do want to make this target. I want to get back to “zero” as it were; back to where I was.

It’s not as if I blew the money I took out of savings, as it was an investment, but since it is an investment it is not liquid, and therefore not cash, so it is not savings.

Since I am building my savings in order to buy a land/home and develop it into an off-grid, self-sustaining, homestead (possibly town) I need cash, as in cash I can spend.

So, we shall see what happens and how the budgets and paycheques shake out, but I will at least give it my best try to meet this year’s target. 

How stringent my budgets will be to help in that effort also remains to be seen.

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

Wednesday 9 October 2019

Another Day, Another Snow

So, yesterday it snowed, or rather it kept snowing, which was interesting to say the least with regards to the solar panels.

So, since my solar panels are on the roof of Wanda, they are flat, meaning that snow builds up on top of them. 

This makes things interesting when trying to keep them clean and clear in winter. 

As the clearer and unobstructed they are, the more light they get, the more light they get, the more power goes into my batteries. 

So, yesterday morning, before heading off to work, this was what the panels looked like.

I went back at noon and swept them off and I got a bit better, but they were still not clean. 

Also the batteries were still at 71%, meaning that effectively no charge had gone into the batteries all morning.

Yesterday was overcast and lightly snowing all day, so there was no heat to melt the ice. So they looked like this after the noonday sweeping.

By the time I got home it had stopped snowing only an hour earlier, but still I went up and brushed them off as best I could.

It is interesting to note that by the time I got home the batteries were up to 100%.

This is one of the reasons that I put as much solar panels on the roof as I could and got bigger batteries. 

Even with their diminished capacity (due to the snow and overcast skies) I was still able to get a full charge during the afternoon.

We shall see how the saga of a solar charging system in winter goes, but for now, it is working, it just needs a bit of elbow grease now and again.

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

Tuesday 8 October 2019

More Snow, More Ice

So, there was another snowstorm overnight. Nothing too bad, nothing to worry about. Yet, with regards to me, it is a problem: ice under snow.

What happened is that it rained overnight turning to snow. This then meant that the snow would be wetter, heavier, this much I expected.

I had feared that the rain first and/or the mixture of rain turning to snow would turn into ice overnight, and it did.

This is what I was left with after I brushed the snow off of the solar panels.

I wonder if anyone makes fitted covers for solar panels? That way I could put a cover over them the night before and take them off in the morning. 

Thus no ice on them.

I am expecting that the heat from the sun will melt the ice long before noon. I will pop out at morning coffee break and at noon, if need be, to brush the solar panels off.

Ah well, more fun with solar panels in winter.

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

Monday 7 October 2019

The Homestead Fund Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” (to build my "Homestead Fund")

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . .

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

That is 12.1% (of my Savings Target).

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

That’s right things jumped up to 12.8% of my savings target.

That means I put away 0.7% of my total Savings Target this payday.

Okay, so this is one of those paydays where I don’t get to cross of a square, because I am still in the same percentage square (12%).

The biggest news is that I have fully funded my Mid-Term Account and put some cash into my TFSA (Part of my Long-Term Savings).

I am also staying debt free and am committed to doing maintaining that as I build up my savings.

I am happy and a bit relieved that my Mid-Term Account is fully funded again, and that I am onto building up my Long-Term Savings again.

Yet as I do this I am wrestling with the notion of if I should spend $120.00 per payday on books or just do it on the payday of the 7th.

I have about %1500.00 on my wish list on an online book retailer that I would like to buy, so it will take time just to acquire those books.

I will chip away at it, again, over time.

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

Friday 4 October 2019

Be Different. Succeed

It is long known that success is typically found in doing what others are not willing to do. 

This is a fact and part of the reason why I have succeeded in getting debt free, and I continue to succeed in building my savings (for my future homestead).

I can do this by significantly lowering my living expenses by living in an RV trailer year round while parking it on city streets or in big box store parking lots.

It is not a fancy way to live, but an effective way to free up cash in my monthly budget and thereby get ahead. 

(By using that freed up cash to either pay off debt or build savings. Trust me, if you use that cash to go on a shopping spree, you will not be getting ahead, just getting some shiny new things.)

Anyways, whatever it is in life that you want to do, if you want to get it, if you want to succeed, you have to work at it and be willing to do what others are not.

Those two things really are key to success: work hard, do what others won’t.

(But, for a better set of “rules for success” do a web search for “Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules for Success.” 

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

Thursday 3 October 2019

So Far, So Good

I don’t want to jinx anything, but so far the weather has been . . . and the upcoming weather looks to be . . . not all that . . . wintery.

This is the prairies, so anything can happen and one could make a lot of money taking bets on what the weather will actually be like in a week or three.

Seriously, I choose to look on the positive side of things, or I am intent on focussing on the positive side of things, so I will see the nice weather now and be happy with that.

I know that cold and hard times are coming, but I also know that the warm and wonderful times are also on their way as well. 

So, enjoy the now, look for the beauty and the good that is always around you, and just deal with the bad times that have to be dealt with (when they actually arrive).

As the old saying goes: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. I would add: but enjoy the now.

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

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Ten Years Is Enough

So, I have been thinking, since Winter is coming again, and with it all the fun that it brings, how long I really want/should live this lifestyle.

For me, it has always been a means to an end, a way to free up cash in my monthly budget so I could get debt free.

At first it was the airy-fairy dream of getting credit card debt free (that was the hardest and took the longest, by the way).

Then it was to focus hard and pay off the rest of my debts so as to become totally debt free. I did that almost two years ago (two years as of the 22nd of this month).

I am still doing this so I can buy something, as in either land and build on it, or buy an acreage somewhere. In both cases I want to have some cash left over.

I could keep doing this indefinitely and keep putting ever more cash in the bank. For me, I am looking forward to that next step in the journey, of having a home, of having land.

So, I will make my current target by the summer (my best guestimate) of 2024, and in so doing I will have lived in my trailer, in Wanda for ten years by then.

I think that will be a long enough time to spend on this part of my life, on this phase of my journey. 

I will endure what I need to endure, but I will do so for another five years, and then I will move on (large crowdfunding campaign, lottery win, or large disaster fiscal or otherwise notwithstanding).

In all seriousness, to me that just feels right, as in to put an end date on this living in an RV, as I do want a home and land, I just don’t want the debt that typically goes along with it.

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

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Winterizing Wanda

Okay, now let me tell you how the winterizing of Wanda went. 

On Friday afternoon, after checking my mail, I drove up and parked outside of the RV Dealership. I did this so as to avoid the snow that was predicted to fall on Friday night.

Well, the snow didn’t fall, but it’s better safe than sorry. 

The next morning, while I was having my breakfast the next morning (about two hours before the RV Dealership opened) the gates to the RV Dealership opened.

I was content staying outside until the proper time, but if they’re going to open early, okay, sure, that works too.

A few other RVs decided to drive in, and I was wondering what to do. I decided that I was not in all that much of a hurry, so I finished my breakfast first.

Then, I hopped in my truck and drove into the RV Dealership’s lot, thinking that I might as well go get in line as well.

Yet, as I was sitting in the truck, waiting in line, about an hour before the RV Dealership was set to open, an employee snarkily said to me “This doesn’t start for another hour, you know!”

All I thought was, “You guys opened the gate, what did you expect?” It’s not like any of us blew the gates and stormed the compound.

Anyways, about twenty minutes later I was direct to move to get in line as they were getting started early. 

I did what I was told and registered inside the Dealership itself. 

I looked around at the various RV’s there had coffee and a doughnut while doing so. 

It always makes me chuckle and shake my head that a camper that goes inside the back of a truck is $10K more than an RV Travel Trailer that is a little longer than Wanda!

Anyways, since Wanda was the first RV winterized, she was the first one done. So, I paid and was on my way to my Western Home, just before the time that the RV Dealership was set to open!

Yet I spent most of Saturday and Sunday climbing up my ladder to brush snow off of my solar panels.

On that note, I popped back to Wanda over my lunch break to find that all of the ice had melted and was water. 

I made sure to brush/push all of the water off of the panels, lest they freeze back into ice overnight and I have the problem of ice obscuring the solar panels the next day.

Remember, the less light that hits the solar panels means the less electricity that they generate. Which is why keeping them uncovered and out of the shade is a good thing.

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