Monday, April 22, 2013

Month 6: Debt Repayment Update

Month 6 between March and April was a really good month for debt repayment in this household! Toward the end of March we got our tax return which put us down to $56,000.   Since then, we're down another $1,494 (!) which brings us to:


6 months in, we're down about 10K ( approx. 15% of our total debt has been wiped out). Double digits feels nice! This month DH started getting some overtime and my raise kicked in. We also did some very small and inexpensive renovation projects like caulking, screen replacement, and spruced up the outside of our house a wee bit. 

This month we passed a significant milestone which was having a positive net worth. This gives us a huge sense of relief and added financial security and means if we sold all of our assets we wouldn't actually owe anything - we'd have cash in our pocket. So... if we both lost our jobs tomorrow, we could feasibly get minimum wage jobs and rental accommodations and be just fine! We also realized in looking at the adjustments that we've made to our budget that we could maintain our current standard of living (with all the frills of 2 cars, 2 cellphones, cable tv, internet, etc.) on just DH's salary. The costs we incur currently beyond DH's paycheque are things like childcare expenses and additional fuel costs which would be eliminated if I wasn't working. This also makes us feel more comfortable with our financial situation. 

In analyzing all of this, I've come to realize that we could actually commit more money/month toward debt repayment... about $2000/month without much sacrificing on our part. Actually... since the start of this journey, we haven't really given up much at all. With both of the boys birthdays coming up, I am anticipating not as good of a month 7 in terms of debt repayment but you never know. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Two is a pair.

With my paper under my belt, I've been spending a lot of time lately with these little monkeys. They are quite the pair. But their differences are also starting to show.

N takes on the little brother role pretty seriously - both idolizing his older brother and erring on the side of over dramatic at times to try to get his brother into trouble in order to get his way.  He is sneaky and stubborn too. He plays well on his own and will stay engaged in play for longer periods of time than B ever did. At almost 23 months, he's going through a huge naming phase right now. Bottles have been replaced by books. He loves reading. His favourite - Good Night Moon.  He will use the toilet if we put him on though we are nowhere near getting rid of the diapers yet!  

B is the quintessential big brother, always wanting to take care of his little brother. He just has to be the first one in to see him and help him out of his crib in the mornings and hates seeing N upset. At the same time, he's starting to play the older sibling card - sometimes trying to make sure that he gets more of something or gets to do something longer since he is older. Sometimes he snatches things away from N despite our constant reminders - "don't take from your brother". B is very social and is always looking for someone to play with. He adores being outside and jumping on the trampoline, riding his bike, rollerblading, or riding his scooter. His writing is becoming much more legible with school and his artistic abilities are coming along too. He has been wanting to draw and paint a lot lately. I can't believe he will be 5 at the end of this month. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

2013 Goals Check-In

There is nothing like putting your goals out there to put some pressure on to make yourself accountable. 
With the beginning of a new season, it seems fitting for a check-in with my 2013 Goals

- I will finally graduate from my Masters Program
WELL, I submitted my major paper yesterday to the Faculty which was a huge relief. If I've ever been close to crying with tears of joy, Thursday was it. I had an overwhelming amount of support from family and friends. I will have an oral "exam" at the end of this month and then likely attend the graduation ceremony this June. 

- I will find secure and meaningful employment
My contract was renewed (with a raise!) until the Fall. I'm still really hoping for the security of something permanent with paid vacation and sick days but for now, everything is pretty good in the work department. 

A few opportunities for jobs did present themselves over the last few of months, one I interviewed for but didn't end up getting. In retrospect, I wouldn't have exactly been the best fit for the position and might not have enjoyed it nearly as much as my current position. The others would involve travelling almost double the distance I currently travel (which is now 12km) for close to the same pay in a slightly less exciting and less upwardly mobile positions. I had intended on applying but forgot in one case and decided against applying in the other. I'm optimistic that something will come up closer to home in the next months or that I'll end up getting another contract extension. 

- I will continue to pay off debt (at least $15,000) this year while at the same time taking a family vacation in the Summer and buying a newer reliable vehicle

So far this year we've paid off $4913 in the last 3 months. Our tax return helped greatly with this so we're well above the $3750 we needed by this point to be on track to paying off $15,000. 

At this point, the week-long family vacation in the Summer just does not seem practical. Summer is DH's busy time at work and I might need to save my vacation pay for when my contract is up in August just in case. Nevertheless, we're planning a one night getaway to Great Wolf Lodge this Spring (just waiting for a weekend with cheaper prices) partially for the boys birthdays (April/May) and partially because I've been pretty absent at home over the past few months between my work, school, and my volunteer commitments. We're also planning on getting out to do some weekend camping too. 

I got a Prius in January. And I'm loving it! 

- I will make our house a home
For my birthday we hung a couple of picture frames on the wall. I'm hoping to print some more photos and get a couple more hung soon. Lately I've been inspired to do some Spring renovation projects. I love what Martina did with her exterior and what Sarah did more recently with her master bedroom

- I will make an effort to be healthy
This one I haven't actually made any progress on. Terrible, I know. I'm going to use the weather and school work as an excuse but 'tis the season with bathing suit time creeping up on us, BBQing, and nicer weather. No more excuses.