Tuesday 30 June 2020

Sorta Half-Day

So, today is a day where I work all day today, yet will only make bonus on half of the day . . . sorta.

Let me explain. So, this is the last day of the month and so it is the last day of my current payperiod. 

I will get my cheque, (or be able to deposit it at any rate) in one week’s time but the window to earn hours and bonus for that cheque will be ending today . . . by noon.

Why? Well, Boss is heading out of town for a week, (starting shortly after noon today) and so Boss wants to process and hand out cheques today (or so is the prevailing theory).

That’s nice and all, as it will let me finalize my budget, as I will know exactly what I am getting on that paycheque.

Yet, since I have to hand in my timesheet by noon today, that means that whatever bonus I earn on any orders shipped after that, will go onto the next payperiod’s timesheet.

So, I won’t lose out on it, as I will get credit for it, just not on this paycheque. I will still get paid for all of my hours, of course, even those I work this afternoon, after Boss has left.

It is just one of those quirks of life working in a small company, and this company in particular. As I have said, I like my job and I like my boss.

I just notice these little things, is all.

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

Monday 29 June 2020

The Three and a Half-Day Workweek

So, here it is, the workweek with a day off in the middle. Kinda nice, yet kinda torturous.

What I mean is that it is a light workweek, so that is nice.

Yet, as a light workweek with a full day off in the middle, you kinda have a hard time taking it seriously.

As in you kinda can feel that every day is Friday. So you don’t have to take it seriously.

Yet, you then come in the next day to work (except for Wednesday).

So, it is that kinda nice, yet kinda not workweek.

I am still happy as well as, ready, willing and able to come in to work. I for one am still glad that I have a job to come in to.

It just would have been nicer to a long weekend rather than a weird workweek.

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

Friday 26 June 2020

Last Weekend in June

Here it is, the last weekend in June and the summer is upon us. What’s more is that this week, in the middle of it, is a holiday.

It is a silly day to have a holiday, Wednesday, but that is the actual anniversary of the birth of our country (or my country rather, Canada).

Regardless it will put a wrench in the works of the workweek, but in a fun way.

I am simply looking forward to a bit of a break as I continue to write this novel series that keeps demanding to be written. 

I have finished book five and now just have to sew it together and edit it one more time before moving on to book six (of what appears to be an eight book series of an estimated 1.2 million words).

It is a fun way to pass the time.

I will try my best to get out and about, enjoying a bit of nature and friendly companionship this weekend.

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

Thursday 25 June 2020

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

In our world these days, we want things to be done right now and in the blink of an eye. For many things that is possible, and that is great.

When it comes to change, however, that is a different matter. When it comes to changing your life and rearranging things within it, that takes time.

This is a good thing, because, for one, it takes time for you to get used to such large changes.

For another, sometimes you can only handle a bit of change at a time. So, make the changes that you are comfortable with right now.

Yet it is important to not just make one little change but a series of small changes. Make it a pattern of change, rather than completely changing your life all in one go.

This way, you will be more able to adapt to this way new way of thinking and doing, and accept your new ways as the new normal.

So, when it comes to change, small steps are good. Do what you can, for now, to better yourself, but keep on doing what you can, each and every day. 

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

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Made New Stew

So, as you all know, in order to cut down on food costs, I make a large batch of food and freeze it, so that it is ready to go when I want to eat.

It is my way of doing small-scale industrial pre-packaged cooking. Well, yes I did this, this last weekend, but it there was a twist this time . . . I had help.

So, a friend of mine suggested a few different suggestions as to what I could cook, rather than just my typical large batch of “Mealstarter.”

After some chatting bank and forth we settled on a nice beef stew. She even offered for us to cook it at her place, as it made sense, since she had electricity and running water.

I brought over my large stock pot, hotplate and scale and she brought her cooking skills to the table.

We cooked the meal on Sunday but let it sit until last night (yes it was refrigerated) before we divvied it up.

This time it was a bit of a challenge as while I was weighting it, this batch was mostly liquid, as it is a stew and not the more solid stuff that I usually make.

This meant that freezer bags were required rather than just my usual sandwich ziplock bags. (There were a few early failures in packaging let me just say).

Regardless we ended up with 32 meals and some leftover stock. With my more solid stuff, I can end up with twice that much, as I do measure by weight for each meal.

This stuff does look good and it is different than what I usually make, so that is another bonus.

So, to thank my friend for all of her help, I split the meals we made evenly, she kept 16 and I took 16 home with me.

All in all it was productive and quite fun. I certainly appreciated the help of my friend.

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

Tuesday 23 June 2020

Better Than Expected

So, yesterday I was reporting that I was switching focus in my savings plan. I said that I was pausing funding my TFSA for now and instead focussing on funding my Mid-Term Account.

I had dipped into my Mid-Term Account when the pandemic first hit and I had funded it back to the half-way mark.

I was going to wait until perhaps next year before funding it the rest of the way. This was because I wanted to focus on funding my TFSA and investing in the markets.

Well, with the unstable times that we are in, I recently realized that having ready cash I can lay my hands on, if I need to “run for the hills” so to speak would be wise.

So, starting from yesterday’s payday, I shifted to putting money into my Mid-Term Account until it was fully-funded again.

My original predictions was that it would take until the payday at the end of August (August 22) before it would be fully-funded, but that is not correct.

After refiguring my budgets, I was able to find a way to fund my Mid-Term Account fully by the August 7 payday.

It is one payday forward, but it is still a shorter amount of time that I will be not funding my TFSA

It is important, however, to stick to my Fiscal Directives and have both my Main Account and my Mid-Term Account fully-funded before I resume building my Long-
Term Savings Account (which the TFSA is a part of).

It is a small bit of good news, but I will take any bit of good news these days.

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

Monday 22 June 2020

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 40.0% (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 40.7% of my savings target. 

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

Believe it or not that is a good amount, not because I put extra away this payday, but because it was looking dicey for my investments.

In the end while one investment dropped, another investment went up, not as much as the one that went down, but at least it went up.

It is interesting to see how these two investment vehicles do tend to run in opposite directions and seem to smooth out the overall value of my savings.

After all, my investments are my Long-Term Savings, and so it is important to know what they are worth. 

Yet, because they are investments, their gains or losses will not be real, or realized, until I go to sell them, and that is planning to be years away before I do that.

For now, though, I am pausing investing and instead building up my Mid-Term Account back up to its fully-funded level.

I have come to realize that in times of uncertainty, such as now, it is important to have some cash reserves to draw on if and when I need to. 

Cash reserves that don’t involve selling investments at a possible shocking loss, due to urgent need. It should be fully-funded by the second payday in August.

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

Thursday 18 June 2020

Faith In The Future

In the midst of the turbulent times that we are in, I like to, I choose to, believe in the future, or rather I believe in hope for the future.

I reject the concept that humanity is destined to destroy itself and the only future is the apocalypse future (take your pick as to which, but destruction of society is always there).

I am not sure exactly why people have a fascination with the total annihilation of civilization, smashing all that we have built back to the stone age.

Perhaps it is rooted in the fact that we know that our current way of doing thing is less than perfect and woefully unfair to the masses.

There is the urge to tear down what is in place now and replace it with something else, something freer, something that looks after and builds up the masses rather than deceives and enslaves them.

Something better.

I, for one, am committed to building that “something better” now, and in so doing try to skip the total destruction of all of civilization and the incalculable loss of life.

I know that I may be naive to think that I may be able to, but I must at least try. Sometimes trying is more important than succeeding.

For in trying you may give hope to the hopeless and spur someone else, the one who will succeed into trying to make things better for all.

All I can do is all that I can do. For now, that is saving up the seed money to start that town of mine. The rest will be left to history, as it were.

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

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Settling In To Summer Mode

So, I was puttering around the house yesterday, and I was still stuck between two modes: Winter/Fall Mode and Summer Mode.

I was still pouring my potable water out of my series of two-litre bottles, yet I was washing my hands with water from the tap.

I did take the time to appreciate the luxury of using the fresh water from my taps. 

It was nice to wash my hands without pouring water into one hand from the two-litre bottle that is held in the other. I have gotten quite skilled in that.

It was nice to wash my dishes in the sink. It was nice to . . . well . . . flush my toilet without pouring water into it from a two-litre bottle.

All of these niceties that come with being in Summer Mode is pleasant and makes life a bit nicer to enjoy.

I also plan on getting out into the countryside more often this year. It will be nice to be able to do that and yes perhaps do it without any hook-ups at all.

We shall see what summer brings, but I will take the time to enjoy each day and the little blessings that come with it.

Such as running water (when I turn the pump on).

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

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Looking At Real Estate Listings Is Dangerous

So, one of the things that I do is to look at real estate listings, generally for vacant land in the form of a Quarter Section (1/4 square mile or approximately 160 acres).

I try to keep an eye on what is available and what I can get within my price range. 

Sure I could by a quarter section of land down near the city where I live, but it is beyond stupidly expensive. 

I’m not saying that it’s now worth it, but only with a lotto win could I afford it, and even then it would be very expensive to own (as in, extortionary property taxes).

Anyways, so as it happens a nice property came along, a smidgen out of my price range (or target budget) yet it was not far from a town and had a house and shop on it. 

Now, the house and shop were not finished but they were there and started. My mind started churning on how I could make this work . . . as in buy it now.

It was tempting but no matter what I came up with, everything resulted in doing so now would be folly. 

It would be nice and I would jump at the chance, if I could find that property, in that price within commuting distance to where I work (even if just for weekends).

I came back to reality and decided against buying that place, and while I will continue to shop for land, I will only buy vacant land if it is the perfect piece of land without buildings.

Buildings will deteriorate over the next five years that I won’t be there. The thought of putting renters in there is not possible, as the buildings are not finished.

It is nice to dream and it is vital to keep looking, so I know what is out there for what price and can watch the trends over time.

Buying just now would be foolish, tempting but foolish.

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

Monday 15 June 2020

What I Did This Weekend

So, this weekend I did something that I have been wanting to do for a while. In so doing, I was graced with a bit of luck . . . let me explain.

On a whim I decided to head to the local campground that I go to for “functional reasons.” It is a nice little place but it is not near any hiking trails or what have you.

I go there to de-winterize my trailer or have one last hurrah of running water before I winterize my trailer. As well as to give the black water tank a good flushing out before winter.

So, this weekend I did this . . . 

I de-winterized Wanda. Now, I could have done this and just stayed at the campground one night, as it doesn’t take all that long to do.

I decided to stay the weekend to simply relax and have a nice treat. To enjoy the company of the birds, as it were. They were pretty and kept me company.

So, there I was, out at my campground, nice shade that I and the multitude of mosquitoes liked, when it started to rain.

That rain turned to hail, and it came down hard. I watched from inside the trailer, always evaluating the size of the newest hail. Thankfully nothing larger than pea-sized hail came down.

That was not the case for the nearest edge of the city that I live in. They got hammered with hail and the flash flooding of the accompanying heavy rain.

So, on a whim, I had a nice weekend and came away with a trailer in full-blown Summer Mode, but I avoided a great deal of damage to my Truck and Wanda.

Others were not so lucky, may the repairs be swift and the insurance companies generous and just as swift.

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

Friday 12 June 2020

Don’t Let Them Burry Me, I’m Not Dead Yet

So, here I am the day after turning 50 and I’m still here, I’m still kicking and all in all I’m doing okay.

I had a phone call last night with someone who was asking me about my “revelations upon turning fifty,” I had to say that, apart from what I shared yesterday, I have none.

I still believe that as you get older, or perhaps at any age, it is necessary to do something to challenge yourself physically and something to challenge yourself mentally. 

Keep your mind and body active or you will just waste away, at least that is what I have observed from watching other people grow older.

I am still holding onto the vision of the people still active and doing all kinds of wonderful things up to their nineties. That sounds like a good life to me.

I have gone through the “what am I doing with my life” questioning earlier, as in that is what sparked me on this journey, to debt freedom and beyond.

It was the thought of facing mandatory retirement still buried in debt that chilled my heart and made me finally face up to the fact that I had to tackle my debt and now!

Once I got myself debt free, I could start to imagine and plan for life after debt freedom, as in what lays beyond paying off all of your debts.

No, it does not include getting more debt, that’s like quitting drinking and then celebrating by going out and getting drunk. Why would you do that?

Seriously, I am still working on my plan, that plan towards establishing that town, that community, so I can help break the cycle of never ending debt for many people.

That and I want to live a sustainable, low-pollution, low-cost, lifestyle, being surrounded by nature . . . call me crazy.

I will get there, one step at a time, one payday at a time, but I will try to get out more and enjoy the process. 

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

(And don’t let them burry me, I’m not dead yet.)

Thursday 11 June 2020

The Big Five-O

Yep, it’s here, my fiftieth birthday, and all in all, I’m doing okay, better than okay, and certainly better than I had thought I would spend the day.

Yet, I will admit that working and doing my regular routine on this day is worse than I could, and some may say should be spending this day.

I had thought of doing various things, a camping trip or other such activity in nature for the week. Never got around to planning it, what with the pandemic and all.

I had also thought, seriously thought of holding a day of mourning for the loss of the dreams that never will come to pass. 

A day where I turn off all forms of communication and just retreat into a day of darkness and despair, refusing to talk or text with anyone.

You know, fun, happy times like that.

Life is what you make it and life is what happens as you make other plans and life does go by quickly. 

I remember going grocery shopping as a child and seeing the stock boy with his price gun having to put a price sticker on each and every item, each can of soup, before he put it on the shelf.

I remember the game that some people would do by switching stickers on items for a cheaper sticker on a nearby item. Then, at the cashier they would argue to get that lower price. 

All before the invention and implementation of Universal Package Code, with UPC scanners at each checkout, so as to eliminate such costly games for the store. 

I remember walking myself to and from preschool a few blocks away, all on my own. 

As well to and from Kindergarten, remembering that I had to walk to Grandma and Grandpa’s house afterwards for the afternoon.

My age is relative, meaning that to a teenager I am ancient, yet to someone who is more . . . seasoned as it were, I am still a child.

In Hobbit years I am just getting into my stride, in my early twenties as it were.

In elf years I am barely potty-trained. 

Yet to a dog I am mindbogglingly old.

Age is all relative.

I am still here, still upright and still taking nourishment, and still pursuing my dreams.

I will have my house I will have my land, and yes, I will have my family . . . which includes getting my “S,” my travel companion as it were 

(The “S” refers to The Urban Nomads  . . . as in plural, as in more than one Urban Nomad . . . so as to make my blog address finally legitimate.)

Yet life can and will change and the plan could change, and I could move into a place . . . for the right gal as long as it made sense.

Never be so firmly dedicated to your plan to not . . . alter it . . . when needed. Yet, when making such alterations to your plan, make sure that you are still moving towards your goals and dreams.

It is okay to take a different path, as long as you get to where you want to go.

That and age really is relative.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!
(Says the barely potty-trained elf.)

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Summer’s Here and I Feel Fine

It is a nice time to be alive and summer and the warmth of it are here. I know that as I say that, that a large snowfall is about to befall us (this is the prairies).

I am just happy to be alive and looking forward to spending some more time outdoors this summer than last. As in, going somewhere in the mountains to camp and hike.

We shall see what happens and even if I can get someone to tag along for a weekend trek or two.

All in all, I am just simply happy to be alive and this time of year it is nice to live in an RV, despite all of its drawbacks.

Though, you will be hard pressed to find a perfect way of life, as every lifestyle has benefits and drawbacks.

I will just take things as they come and continue to head in the direction of my goals and dreams. 

While I can and do Dream for the future, as I Plan for the Mid-Term, I will work on, and enjoy, the Now!

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

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Changing Saving Strategies

So, there I was, looking at the sizable jump in the value of one of my investment vehicles last Saturday Morning.

The amount that it jumped up was a pleasant surprise but also told me that the window to invest is shorter than I had thought.

So, rather than split my savings into going into my Mid-Term Account to fund it back to its usual level and my TFSA, I am putting all of my Savings Money, into my TFSA, and the Market.

My focus now is to max out my TFSA as soon as possible, and it looks like I will do that late next year.

We shall see how things go, as that is too far out to set any certain plans, but at least I have confidence that I will max out my TFSA by late next year.

What the savings/investing strategy will be after that, who knows. Other than put the maximum I am allowed to put into my TFSA on January 7 of each successive year, that is.

One again, Dream for the future, plan for the mid-term, but work on the now.

That and be adaptable, always be free to change up your plan when you feel the need.

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

Monday 8 June 2020

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") This update is huge!

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

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

That is 37.2% (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 40.0% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 2.8%% of my total Savings Target this payday.

This is a massive jump, considering I usually put away less than 1% per payday. It is also a milestone to finish off a row (as complete a multiple of ten).

The reason for this is that the value of one of my investment vehicles has gone up. Predictably the value of the other investment vehicle has gone down.

Yet it did not go down enough to take away from the massive gains in the other. 

I know that the value of these investments do fluctuate and so the value of my investments can and will go down. I am just celebrating the gain for now.

We shall see how things go, but hopefully things will keep moving in the upward direction.

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

Friday 5 June 2020

More Neighbours

So, as I was out walking around my neighbourhood, something I do each day, I noticed more RV’s parked on my block.

I noticed others this week as well, some moved and were gone, others have remained. Again, something I have noticed as well.

It is the warmer weather and people are getting pinched more financially, so it only makes sense that more people will be living in their RV’s even temporarily.

I have long known that this Urban Nomad Lifestyle will grow in popularity, more out of necessity than actual desire, though there is that too.

Some do move into RV’s out of choice rather than economic desperation.

I am here for financial betterment, as I build for my future.

I welcome all neighbours who will come and go, as long as they behave themselves and play well with others.

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

Thursday 4 June 2020

Keep Your Dreams Alive

It is important to have Dreams and keep them alive in your mind. I mean the visions of the future that you want to make real. Those are great motivators for you.

As in to motivate you into action, action which will make your Dreams a reality.

A Dream that has been turned into a specific, measurable event or the acquisition of a tangible item by a specific date is a Goal. 

(Such as buying land/a house in five years.)

A Goal that has a series of steps to make that Goal happen along with some sort of measurable metric is a Plan. 

(Such as a savings target with a way to measure the amount in your savings.)

All that is then left to do is to work your Plan and keep measuring your success towards your Goal. 

(That is to motivate you to keep going, or perhaps trigger you to alter your Plan, as needed in order to make sure you achieve your Goal.) 

Yet all of that is moved forward by you keeping the vision of what you want to achieve alive and well in your head the whole time. 

Hold on to your Dreams!

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

Wednesday 3 June 2020

Consistency And Dedication Are Key

If you want to accomplish anything in life (great or small) you need to have the dedication and put in the consistent effort required in order to complete that task.

It really is that simple, the secret to my success (such as it is, thus far). I had a vision, made a plan, then decided to put that plan into action.

I have been working that plan ever since. Every day, every payday I nudge myself a little bit more forward towards my goals.

It is not a way to get things done quickly, but it is a way to get things done.

Yet you have to not only get started but stick with it. That is where consistency is arguably a bit more important than dedication.

You can develop dedication by setting up a pattern of consistency. For me it is just what I do, I revise my budgets for each payday, as I go.

On payday, I enact that budget. Throughout the payperiod I keep referencing and updating my budgets with what I have done, what I have spent and what I haven’t.

It is a pattern that I have established, a pattern that became a habit, a habit that has proven to help me succeed. 

It is seeing me succeed that has helped me keep dedicated to my plan to achieve my goals and dreams.

So, set up a pattern of success and consistently work it, dedication and success will follow.

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

Tuesday 2 June 2020

We Didn’t Start The Fire

It’s an apt song for any time, as in the song of that name from Billy Joel. Sure, it lists a bunch of names, but it says more than that.

What it conveys is there has always been controversial people and events throughout history. 

That song highlights the key ones from the end of the second world war until the mid-eighties.

It is an answer to the feeling that things now are way worse than they have ever been and the world is coming unglued at the seams.

Are there bad stuff happening? Yep. 

Things that should never happen? Yep. 

Being done by people who shouldn’t be doing them? Yep.

Are people getting hurt in the process? Yep. 

People that should never have been hurt in the first place and don’t deserve to be hurt? Yep.

My point is to calm down, and refuse to react emotionally to every little thing that goes on. There are people who benefit from a general feeling of instability.

Calm down, relax, think things through and deal with situations as they come with a calm and rational mind.

There are ways of dealing with injustices that are not violent, that are not destructive. As in: legislative, judicial, democratic. 

There has always been injustice and inequality, always. I am not defending it but just pointing out the obvious.

Such injustice and inequality falls along monetary and wealth lines not race lines or those of gender. (Arguably more along the lines of morality and a sense of humanity).

Stay calm, stay safe, and go forth and make real change in our society. 

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

Monday 1 June 2020

New Month, New Page

So, it is a new month and with it comes a new payperiod, two of them in fact, and that is the nice thing

Why is it nice? Well, with the way the days fall, I have more days, and yes more hours on my paycheque. 

Those who are paid by the hour know how precious this is, as it means that I start off with more money coming to me than other payperiods.

The ones in May were disastrously small, so much so that I had to raid my Holiday Fund at work in order to top up my paycheque. 

I refuse to accept any paycheque that is smaller than my “Budgetary Minimum” a number that I established years ago, when I was buried in debt.

It was the minimum number that I needed to see on that paycheque in order to pay my bills.

Since I have gone through so much in order to claw back all of my paycheque (well, the after tax portion) then I refuse to take less money because I “need” less.

(Don’t get me started on no raise since 2014.)

Anyways, with sales being slower and lower at this time, it is more vital than ever to start off with a larger number, as I can’t really rely on my commission (from online sales) to bump up my paycheque.

So, new month, new better fiscal outlook! Happy times ahead, because I choose to see it that way.

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