Friday, June 25, 2010

School's Out...For Summer!

Yesterday was the last day of school.  This summer I'm lucky, in that my Eldest Daughter is home on maternity leave.  That means Dear Child will hang out with her.  (Not sure that Eldest Daughter considers herself lucky, since that leaves her with 4 kids every day, and 5 if my Number One Son's daughter comes too, as she did some of the time last summer.)

Next year will be a much bigger financial burden for all of us, as she'll be back at work and all the girls will have to go to day camp right through the summer.  As it is, we are putting them in a couple of sessions of swimming lessons (necessitating me leaving work to pick up and drive everybody to and fro).  The lessons are 4 days per week for 2 weeks (but only 1/2 an hour per day) and we hope that the sustained amount of pool time will enable everybody to move up at least one level.  Last session (which was 8 classes once a week) nobody passed, although they all made progress.

DC will go to day camp for 2 weeks this year too, as my granddaughters' other grandparents are taking them out of town for 2 weeks.  That will give my daughter the relative quiet of only having her nursing baby at home.

Yesterday was payday. I paid some stuff then and some more this morning.  Right now I'm pleased to say that I'm current on all my bills (paid the water today) and that I have $651.14 in my TFSA, right on track for the year.  Property taxes for the rural house are due next week.  I have to check, but I think I have enough in the rural credit union to pay them.  Yay, me!

I went away to the house last weekend and spent some money, money on myself (gasp!) as well as gas.  But I just have the $50 odd dollars I charged for gas on the way back to pay back still.  And I made the regular $90 payment on the credit card anyway.

So, I have to pay for swimming lessons and I'm going to start some exercise stuff of my own that I'll also have to pay for.  And I only have about $150 left in my chequing account for food, etc. for the next 2 weeks.  But all in all, I'm not doing too badly.  And my hubby should be transferring some money over to me at month end.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thanks for the Support!

It's very nice to hear back from some of you, welcoming me back and encouraging me to stick with both the blogging and the work I need to do to.

Thanks for being there for me!

Things are very busy right now.  Work is crazy, the school year is winding down and every day seems to bring some departure from the norm (field trips, class parties, sports day, hot lunch, you name it), many people are dealing with the health issues of family members (at work, in our own family, friends) and I'm feeling stretched kind of thin.

I've straightened out some things that had fallen by the wayside, like my cell bill and will take care of the one remaining outstanding bill (the water) by next week at the latest.  I got the property taxes for my rural home and the garbage bill for it.  Both have gone up somewhat from last year, but not horrendously.  And, thanks to the fact that I've been setting aside money for those kinds of things most paydays (and keeping track of when I don't and then catching it up) I have enough money already in my rural credit union account to pay the bills when they're due at the beginning of July!  That's a big improvement from the past couple of years.

I also have been working on slowly paying down the massively increased amount that has gotten charged to my credit card over the past few months.  I have only one charge left to pay back from my Passover purchases but most of the rest are biggies.  There's about $750 owing for kitchen cabinets and flooring I charged at IKEA, the last couple of hundred owing on Dear Child's dental surgery, the $1,300 for my root canal, and about $125 for a new heavier duty weed whacker and replacement reel for the rural house.  Last year we bought the cheapest one we could find and that was a huge mistake.  The reel didn't feed properly (which meant it had to be taken apart and played with repeatedly Every. Single. Time we used it) and the whole thing broke under the usage it was getting.  We hope this one will last much longer.

My hubby is going today to finish his root canal and I already have an appointment booked for July to fill a cavity and discuss the crown I'm going to need on the tooth I had the root canal on.  Sigh.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Shevy, Reappearing

Interesting, no?  One minute I'm here, if a little busy with Life.  The next, nothing.  Two months plus of nothing.

And the answer is: I had a little crisis.  I don't quite know how to describe it.  Of confidence.  Of identity.  Of how I see myself.  Of how others see me.

What brought this on?  The silliest thing, something totally innocent.  Praise.

I've known pretty much forever that I'm not great with criticism.  Who knew a casual line of praise could totally undo me?  Well, certainly not my blogging friend who emailed me a short note that included the following line:

"you are so good at staying committed to your goals".

I read it and a voice from deep inside said, "You don't deserve that praise."  And I quietly fell apart.  Couldn't post.  Couldn't hide that truth.  Couldn't speak it aloud.  And, as time went by, things just got worse and worse.

I originally felt unworthy of praise because I'd just come through the whole financial devastation that is Passover.  I'd charged a lot of food, matzo, wine, you name it on the credit card for Passover.  I'd had to pay for Dog to go on his annual Pesach vacation.  And I was starting to fall a little behind on certain things, while trying to pay off Dear Child's dental surgery.  It seemed ludicrous to say that, because I was diverting $50 a pay period into my Tax Free Savings Account or $10 per week into my Baby Emergency Fund, I was staying committed to my goals.  There were so many places where I was bleeding money.

In the interim, things have just gotten worse and worse (as I said).  I bought the laminate flooring for Dear Child's room (and my Son-in-Law installed it!).  More money, but money well spent.  DC's room is finished except for baseboards.  I also bought four new upper cupboards, IKEA ones, about the week before Passover (because I wanted pantry shelves on which to put my food).  I spent about $500.  If they were in and being used, I probably would also consider it money well spent.  They're sitting in their boxes in my foyer.  Apparently, if (at some point) I put them together my Son-in-Law will demo the existing (mostly broken and unusable) cupboards and hang the new ones.

I started having terrible tooth pain and ended up with a major root canal that now needs to be finished off with a crown.  And my husband has just had pretty much the same thing.  Net result, big increase in the credit card balance.


Despite paying off as much as possible pretty much every payday we owe way more than we did in March or April.  I have a spreadsheet that tracks all the additional charges we've made to the card and when I've made each payment (in addition to the $90 per pay period that is our normal payment).

And I have continued to put money into both the Emergency Fund and the TFSA, as well as restarted deposits to my RRSP.  It just seems like such a drop in the bucket compared to the other.

So, that's my story.  I'm going to try to get back to writing here though, because (for all the embarrassment of having to admit all this) I find it valuable.