Friday, February 22, 2013


My pal over at The Quest to be Financially Abundant listed my wee little blog in her list of 10 blogs that she loves. Thanks P! :)

I thought I would join along as it has felt like ages since I've posted. (No need to worry, just life getting busy on us.) So without any further ado, here is me playing along, for the fun of it.

10 Blogs that I love:

  1. Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Just like I can't imagine starting my morning without a cuppa, I also can't imagine starting a day without a daily dose of Gail wisdom.
  2. My Half Dozen Daily is the second blog I read daily. She's a SAHM who homeschools, and is currently trying to sell a chameleon so her teenaged daughter will come home, lol!
  3. Over at When I get to Where I am Going , J udy is an avid knitter, who attends school, is paying off her debt, all while running a household of adult and teenaged kids, a husband, and her mother. Update: Judy has taken down her blog. I'll miss her posts. :(
  4. Saving for Travel or SFT for short, keeps us up to date on her travel around the globe (I'm so jealous!) and is our gracious host for The Sealed Pot Challenge 2013. She hosts weekly updates on this for those who are interested.
  5. Sharon at MidLifeMomMusings just recently moved to her own domain and Wordpress after deciding to commit to blogging. She always has something good to share.
  6. The Warm Hands Network is a charity knitting blog that chronicles the yearly shipments of knitted good to some needy children right here in Canada. Not only do they take knitted items from a specific list, they also accept Canadian Tire money toward the purchase of boots for folks who live in an area where the temp can drop to -40 C (that's the same as -40 F).
  7. $lay the Monster  is B-Kat's blog. She paid off her $148,000 mortgage  in ten years. Nowadays, she works diligently to keep out of the clutches of the Debt-Monster.
  8. Jolie writes Shaking the Money Tree, and I love reading about her life.
  9. I love to read alottastitches where Linda crochets one child sized blanket per week for children entering foster care. That on top of the knitting, sewing and other crochet projects she has going.
  10. Sass writes about her life with Princess Penelope (her daughter) and her two pups, Thing 1 and Thing 2 over at Getting Us There. I love her pictures of her shopping trips.

7 Things about me:
  1. I love to observe people. By nature, I'm kind of quiet, a little bit shy, and would much rather sit and watch people at a party or gathering than getting involved in conversations.
  2. I am a member of the Bear Clan of the Oneida First Nation people. To me, this means that I have a strong connection to family (by birth or by choice) and will do most anything I can for them. It also makes me want to sleep a lot in the winter time.
  3. My self-esteem has bipolar disorder, I think. I either have all the confidence in the world in my strengths and abilities, or I have the worst self-esteem in the world. Depends on the day, I guess.
  4. I do have a strong personality with some very strong opinions on things. I find that people either really, really like me or they absolutely hate me. I have learned to live with this and not to worry about those who don't like me.
  5. I'm learning a lot about myself through knitting. I used to think knitting was all about the end result, the item I made, but it's become more about me just doing the knitting and what occurs in my head while I'm doing so.
  6. Some of my favourite music is fairly heavy. Like heavy metal heavy. I don't seem the type at all, lol.
  7. I want to get a dog in the worst way, but until we are in an actual house and not an apartment, I won't do it. It wouldn't be fair to the dog.

Rules if you want to play.

1. post awards on blog
2. thank person that nominated you, that would be me, but your blog is thanks enough!
3. List 10 blogs you love
4. list 7 things about you
5. List these rules
6. tell people you nominated by posting on their blog

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Breathing a Bit Easier

Today was my final pay from the company. It's direct deposit, and I was sent a notification yesterday as to how much it would be. I still have a few outstanding financial things with them, but at least this part is done.

I logged onto my online banking and immediately paid our rent for March 2013. I know it's really early, but I don't want to have to worry about where the rent money is coming from. I quickly dropped another $200 into our Emergency Fund, which now sits at $600. I'm hoping to make it through the next couple of months without touching it.

I've still been adding to my Sealed Pot, although I don't know for how much longer I will able to. My savings booster challenge is a fabulous idea, except when your income is cut in half. At least that's what I figure I will get from EI. Nothing is in stone though.

I can breathe a bit easier now, knowing that we will still have a roof over our head.
Maybe I can relax enough to knit tonight. Maybe upload some pictures for you all. :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pennies for Thought

A Penny for your Thoughts

Today marks the first official day without our beloved Canadian penny. As of today, stores will be allowed to round up, or down, for your cash purchases that have any number other than zero that is two spots to the right of the decimal point.

The Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute pennies as of February 4, 2013. In phasing out this coin, it is estimated that the taxpayers will save$11 million dollars per year.

Pennies can still be used in cash transactions however only with businesses that choose to accept them. Yep, that means if you want to buy something from your local store, they do not have to take your pennies as partial payment for your cup of coffee or whatever it is that you are purchasing.

The Rounding Guideline

The Canadian Government is adopting a rounding guideline that has been used successfully by other countries that have chosen to phase out their one cent coin. Final prices that end in a 1, 2, 6 or 7 should be rounded down to the nearest 5 cents. Prices ending in 3, 4, 8 or 9 should be rounded up.

But here’s the kicker: retailers do not have to follow this guideline that is supposed to make things fair for consumers. When you head off to your local coffee shop or hair salon, they can choose to always round up if they want. Want to bet most retailers will do just that?

Other methods of payment

When you are using a cheque, debit card or credit card – any form of payment other than cash – the transaction will not be subject to rounding guidelines. These types of payments can be settled to the exact amount and do not need to be rounded.

As a consumer, I suggest that we all need to be vigilant over the next little while. If you don’t normally pay attention at the cash register when you are making purchases, now is the time to start. Make sure that all items are being rung in correctly, and when your final total is presented to you, ensure that the retailer is not trying to get you to pay more than you need to. Make a little card to carry in your coin purse or wallet so you know that totals ending with 1, 2, 6, and 7 round down; totals with 3, 4, 8, and 9 round up. Then write CASH TRANSACTIONS ONLY along the bottom.

How Can This Save Me Money?

If, in a typical month, you make a total of 75 transactions total, either using cash or another method of payment, you could be paying 0.01 to 0.04 more per purchase if the retailer you deal with always chooses to round up. Potentially, that could be $3 more out of your budget than you are used to spending. If your monthly transactions total more than 75, this dollar amount could be much higher. Now $3 per month doesn’t seem like a lot, but that is $36 dollars per year. Over time, that adds up to a lot of money that was unnecessarily spent. Wouldn’t you rather keep that money in your pocket?


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Putting the Plan Into Action

Now that I've had some time to internalise everything that has happened last week, I'm ready to start putting our Action Plan into place. Hubby and I have talked and talked about what we can do to keep things on an even keel around here until I find somthing else to bring in an income. The way I figure it, we will have a reduced income until February 28th, and then after that, who knows? There is so much that is unknown and to tell you the truth, I'm a little bit scared. But now is the time to really prioritise what is important to us and what is just 'nice to have'. Even when we had gobs and gobs of debt, I wasn't as willing to let go of things as I am now. Knowing that there is *some* money in the bank to see us through is certainly helping me to sleep at night.

Here's a list of actions I'll be taking to reduce our expenditures:
  • go to the bank and temporarily stop RRSP, RESP and House downpayment contributions.
  • calling cellphone provider and reducing plans to something more affordable.
  • make a freezer and cupboard inventory; we need to eat what we have to reduce grocery costs.
  • inventory items that can be sold to list on Kijijii and other sites.
  • list items on Kijijii; have already started with two.
As for looking for other work, I have an appointment on Wednesday to get some help from an employment counsellor. Also, I had an unexpected tip on a possible job lead kind of within my field, but not quite. However, I will be in contact with them to see if they are interested in hiring me. Fingers crossed.

I'll be going over my invoicing tomorrow to see how much money that I am owed from various companies, as well as making sure that I pay any outstanding invoices from my business. I'd like to get as close to a clean slate as I can, before we start feeling the pinch of living on one income.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

How I Wish To Do This!

As a knitter, I am very reluctant to join a Knit-Along because usually they entail fancy patterns that are a little out of my league, or the end product is just too ambitious for the basic knitting techniques that I know. However, this one, the Temperature Scarf Crochet-Along and Knit-Along could just be the thing for me!

Using these eight colours only might be a bit tricky, as here, sometimes our temperatures vary widely from day to day. I'll have to take a look through the stash to see what I can come up with that will be close to these colours. I like the idea of using the 'feels like' temperature to determine the days colour.
(Using my idea, I need to have 16 differing colours and a border colour.)

One other great thing about this is that I only have to knit two rows per day, on average. Some days it will be 6 rows, as one should add four rows of the border colour when the month changes. I could take pictures and upload how the scarf looks every month. :) How's that for ambitious? LOL.

The idea was inspired by this blog posting and now there are lots of folks around the world knitting and crocheting the same thing. Well, sort of. Anyhoo...I'm off to dig through the stash to see what I can find. I have to at least cast on today. I'm already behind in the pattern. Good thing I only have to make up 9 little rows.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Thank You All

This week has been one emotional roller coaster! I've experienced feelings that I have not had in a long, long time. Feeling down, blaming myself, and a plethora of things have gone through my mind.
What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? Would any of that matter anyway? Would the outcome have been different?

I've resigned myself to the fact that I may never fully know the answers. What I do know is that I handled it with all the grace and dignity that I could muster, and waited until I was home with Hubby, feeling safe and loved before I fell to pieces. I'll admit to being hurt by the fact that I have had no communication with company representatives since then. I'd love to have some sort of explanation, but I know there isn't one coming. I'd like to tell them, "Hey! I'm a grown-up. I can handle that I'm not the person you think can make your business the best that it can be. But at least have the guts to say it to me!"

I'll bide my time and see what the reason code is on my Record of Employment. I've already filed my Employment Insurance claim. Now I wait.

In the mean time, I want to say thank you to you all for the kind words. I don't know what this next chapter in life will hold, but I'm excited at the prospect of something new and different.