Category Archives: money

PayPal = DEATH GLARE

I hate PayPal and eBay now. It’s official.

They dick you around and steal your money, all without you having a clue to what’s going on.

Long story short is that I tried selling some of my clothing on eBay (since it’s nice stuff and too big [yay!] for me now). Most of it sold and the buyers sent payment.

PayBully/eRipoff won’t let me even accept those funds without upgrading my account and paying extra fees. I spent 1 hour and 9 minutes on the phone with their customer service tonight, trying to figure out why the fuck not.

Suffice to say I will never be selling through either of them anymore. I think I’d have better luck doing something like FB.

Now I’m cranky, tense and irritable on top of injured.

Did I mention a nice and buff paramedic landed a killer shin block on me last night? The bruise is the size of my palm and in the outline of his heel. Oh yes. Sparring definitely exacts a toll.

Stupid Spending!

Ack! I’m in hot water now!

So, you know this weekend how I bought all those lovely new things? Yeah umm… I guess I can’t really afford them at the moment. *sheepish*

I just looked at my MasterCard bill and it’s over $1000. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that high before, other than when I’m travelling or having eye surgery!

I feel like there is a rock in my stomach, I can’t believe I let all this spending get away from me. But I’ve thought about it and at least figured out why it looks so bad. And it’s not like I’m in the red or anything.

A couple weeks ago I posted about my stupid move, transferring $3-4k from my condo fund into my RRSP. I think this issue right now is some more fallout from that decision. Basically what has happened is that on top of my large purchases this weekend, my tickets to Evil Dead, my cell/internet bill and allllll my Jenny Craig bills have been charged to this month. And my little detour to the spa last weekend, too. Oops.

I should have been on top of that, but I’ve been negligent and now I have to pay the price by diverting some smart, interest-earning funds from my condo fund to chequing so I can pay this monster off. If I get dinged with interest on this sucker I’ll be in a bad way for a while, so I can’t let that happen.

As of March 29th, $1000 will be funneled into my credit card, and it will be paid off. Also in the good news front, I get paid on Thursday. That will help counter some of my stupidity.

I’m so ashamed that this has happened. I mean, I’m really good with my money for someone my age. But I guess it just goes to show that even if you’re good at it, being lax for even a short period of time can come back and bite you in the ass.

I hope all you lovely readers out there take a lesson from my misfortune.

Constant Vigilance!!!!!

Easter Weekend

Well, I had a great Easter weekend this time around, but unfortunately I’ve blown not only my diet but my budget to hell as well!

Bummer.
The diet woes started on Thursday, I went out with the people from work to Hooters for the night… much beer and fried chicken products ensued. Friday I had to buy a Timmy’s sandwich while I was on the road to P-Town, and then T’s mom made a huge Easter dinner (with copious amounts of delicious delicious foods!) for us and T’s family, so of course I could not pass up on all the scrumptious tasties.

I am happy to report though that I drank water the whole time and passed on the candies and snacks after supper!
On Saturday we went for her wedding dress fitting and then to the mall for some good old shopping. Of course there were no microwaves for my Jenny Craig food, so we ate out at East Side Mario’s and I had a burger and all you can eat garden salad.
We ended up stopping at an Addition-Elle and I bought a couple of shirts and this really cute brown cotton wrap dress even though I had not planned on spending anything. Oops.
To compound the spending issue, I then bought this new watch:

For $85, then some scrapbooking supplies since T and I have decided to make a scrapbook about the two of us. Oi. After the mall we scooped up some videos (Pride & Prejudice, Practical Magic and The Mummy boxed set) at Best Buy and I grabbed a copy of Guitar Hero III for PS2 (which I returned today because I just couldn’t justify that amount of money…).

I think that’s mostly it for spending. Yesterday my mom put out a big spread for the extended family for Easter dinner. We had turkey and all the trimmings so I couldn’t pass that up either.

But today I’m trying to be a good girl in terms of eating and spending. I’ve stuck mostly to my Jenny diet and haven’t spent much money yet today.

I haven’t done a total tally of how much my weekend cost me, but I’m estimating around $250 all told. Hopefully less than that though.

I hope you all had a great holiday, I’ll have to check all your blogs to see what you did!

Oh yes, thanks to all the new commenters and readers on my blog, I’m happy to know that you like my ramblings!

As Promised…

Here’s for another money post! I’m working on another Going Green post and some product reviews (product junkie, right here, everyone!) to post in the future, as well as one about the new Jenny Craig diet I’ve just started.

But first, I wanted to do an update on my personal finances, and the Bridesmaid Costs as well.

Personal Finances

…Are not looking too hot right now. The reason for this is that I am a goofus and moved my money around without thinking it through.

I moved $4k from my Condo Downpayment Fund and into my RRSP. The reason for this is that
1) It can earn just as much more more (tax-sheltered) interest in my RRSP being handled by a senior VP investment advisor,
2) It reduces my income for 2007, and increases my tax refund
3) I can use the Canadian homebuyer’s plan and borrow the money back from my RRSP in the future, so essentially it still IS going towards my condo. It’s just also going towards my retirement now, too 😉

The only problem with this scenario now is that I don’t have that $4k as liquid in my accounts anymore. And I was stupid and forgot I had all my monthly expenses and a big MasterCard bill coming up. Bad Ginger, bad! I ended up having to transfer money out of Travel & Entertainment in order to cover everything and maintain a decent float in my chequing account.

OMGWTFBBQ?!? I’m looking at my account now, and I just got paid… but it looks like this deposit and the last one are mysteriously LESS than they should be! WTF? This month is not turning out in favour of money! I’m pissed!

You see, there are a few things you just don’t want to mess with me on. The first being my family and friends, the second being my money. I’ve been learning Tiger form in kung fu and let me tell you I am ready to use my skull-smasher on someone right now. Or possibly rip their eyes out. And eat them.

On the brighter side of things, all my other savings accounts are growing steadily, and I’ve found some ways to save money for T’s wedding. Onto…

Bridesmaid Costs

Wedding
Dress & alterations: $300
Shoes: $101.70 (Alber by Nine West)—>
Pedi & Mani: $70
Hair: $50
Makeup: $30
Wedding Gift Part 2: $100
Housegift: $25
Travel Costs: $25
Incidentals: $50

Stag & Doe
Incidentals: $50
Drink “Donations”: $15
Travel Costs: $25

Bridal Shower
Wedding Gift Part 1: $100
Incidentals: $50
Travel Costs: $25

Bachelorette
Activities: $75
Bridal Contribution: $25
Travel Costs: A big fat zero!

Grand total: $1,116.70

So there you have it! Even with my generous estimates I will be able to cut $438.30 out of my budget, and I expect it to go down even further.

Here’s what happened: The major cost (aside from the actual wedding) would have been the bachelorette. We were going to go down to Niagara Falls and whoop it up with a hotel suite, male stripclub, indoor skydiving and day at the spa. Until half of the invitees flaked out (They knew it was going to be expensive from the get-go, they should have piped up before we planned the whole damn thing, but that’s another rant).

So the 3 of us most-dedicated bridesmaids got on ye olde MSN and devised a new plan of action, because let’s face it: When good old Ginger laid out the costs of the proposed activities they both agreed that it was a little excessive, especially since we would have to add the bride’s cost on top.
Needless to say, it has now moved to merry Toronto, and everyone will be staying at my place downtown, or some will stay with another bridesmaid in Newmarket. We’re going to look at some activities to do, but will probably end up going to a couple of pubs and possibly a club, and maybe dressing up silly or trampy and playing games. A much cheaper night for all involved, and I won’t have to drive 3 hours to get there! Yay! And my penis mints will come in handy.

I am also saving money by carpooling with M, another maid, and possibly staying with her in P-Town the night of the wedding (hence the housegift). I also got a better idea of what it costs to have your hair and makeup done in a small town. Much cheaper than the big city.

I’m going to try and save more by cutting back on food and alcohol costs for myself, and I may even flake out on the stag & doe if my pocketbook can’t handle it. Of course I’d rather be there, but it’s a lot of money and I wonder if it’s worth it. I don’t think T would really mind if I did it at someone else’s event, but I don’t think I’ll mention to her that it would be her event…

Anyway, I think that’s all I should include in this post… it is getting rather long. Like I said, I’ve got plenty of blog fodder and my wonderful skills of One-Sided Conversation to help me create some content.

Stay tuned, folks!

Financial Update

I really should be in bed right now, but I just painted my nails with my fave nail colour: OPI’s I’m Not Really A Waitress.

Coincidentally, this is the best-selling colour of red out there. This photo really doesn’t do it justice. Maybe once I clean my nails up I’ll take a photo to show you how really gorgeous it is!

*edit* Here’s a photo of the colour on my nails… this is two coats. I needed something extra in the photo in terms of visual interest, so I placed my hand against my pewter purse so you could see how fabulous the colour really is! OPI, I love you! (Unfortunately the resolution isn’t good enough to catch the subtle shimmer and shine, but let me tell you the colour is so rich you could lick it!)


Anyway, what I was going to say is that I’ve just updated my money goals, and a revised list of Bridesmaid’s Costs is on it’s way! I think it would be a neat exercise to keep track of just how much this wedding will cost me, from initial estimates through to actual costs!

Ooooh man. Boring side of advertising, what have you done to me? Numbers! Bah!

Financial Review

So you may have noticed that I’ve added some progress bars to the side of my blog. I found them on a personal finance-related blog, a girl was using them to track her savings for various things, as well as her climb out of debt. I thought it was a pretty cool idea and I am a visual creature after all… so I got some for myself.

While I’m fairly healthy financially, sometimes I get carried away with my spending (I like to shop and buy new things to fill the void inside of me) and I don’t feel that I save enough. Having these visual tracking aids will hopefully keep me on track.

I think it’s a good idea for me to set some more goals for myself. I currently only have an RRSP that my finance dude handles, and a couple of savings/chequing accounts, many of which I don’t know what I’m saving for.

Currently I have:
PC Chequing account
PC Savings #1
PC Savings #2
ING Wedding Fund (Savings)
ING Savings #2
RRSP

So far I’ve just been using my PC Savings #1 as my catch-all. It gives me 4% interest per annum if my balance is over $1000. ING only gives me 3.75%. I recently opened PC Savings #2 because I thought it might be a good idea to have another account to help me save for a specific goal such as travel or emergency fund. I currently have $25/month being deposited automatically in there.

I haven’t been using my ING Savings #2 since I discovered that PC gives me more interest. However, I think I may start using it as my emergency fund even though it has a lower interest rate. My reason? Lately people in my office have had their debit card numbers being stolen, one girl had $3000 taken out of her accounts. She got it back, but still… Last week I also got a call from PC saying that my card was on hold because a shop I had used it at was busted for fraud. If all my money is in my PC accounts, which means that they can be drained with only one card & PIN. Not cool. So, starting tonight I’m going to start funneling some of my cash into ING Savings #2 to establish an emergency fund.

I’ve already got an account in place to help me save for my eventual wedding. This may sound funny since I have no boyfriend and am pretty socially retarded, but I hold hope that one day I will in fact get married. Knowing my expensive taste in things I figured I’d better start saving early and make use of the wonders of compound interest. My goal is roughly $5000 (for now) and I automatically deposit $75/month.

So, after some thinking, here is what I plan to do with my accounts:

PC Chequing: Nothing. This is where my pay comes in every 2 weeks, and my rent comes out of. I’m going to keep a float here for expenses. Basically this is the Outbox of my savings accounts.

PC Savings #1: Shall now be for my condo downpayment. There is a lot of money earning interest in here, and if I split it up into my other accounts, I won’t be making as much interest. So I suppose I will have to start from scratch with my other accounts. Savings Goal: $25,000 until I start making more money, or can find a more effective way of saving/creating income from investments.

PC savings #2: Travel & Entertainment. I’ll start saving in here for travel and “fun” but larger purchases, like maybe a Vespa scooter in the future? Things that bring me pleasure and are under $10,000. Savings Goal: $5,000.

ING Wedding Fund: Already covered. Savings Goal: $5,000

ING Savings #2: Emergency Fund. I’m going to start saving rigorously for this one right now. They say you should have minimum 3 months’ living expenses in there. I’m going to calculate based on what I earn monthly right now, and add a little extra because I’m paranoid like that. Savings Goal: $10,000

Scotia McLeod RRSP: I’ll continue to contribute to this monthly. $100/mo right now. I’m still deciding whether I should throw a chunk of change at it before tax season so I can get a nice refund, then invest that again. It would mean draining my condo account. I’ll have to think about it. Savings Goal: One hundred BILLION dollars! Muahahahah! Realistically, I don’t know yet. I’ll have to talk to the money dude.

So here are my goals all added up: $45,000. This is not including the RRSP, I consider that separate from my personal savings. It seems like a huge amount, but once I start chipping away at it, it won’t be so bad. It also gives me some perspective now. I really need to stop spending so I can watch this bad boy grow instead.

I should also mention that I still owe my parents $1000 for my eye surgery in October. I’ve been giving them $500 every time I felt I could afford it (initial loan was 2k). I should have that paid and off my plate by March, if all goes well.

So there’s a general financial breakdown for me. I’ve got a lot of good advice and ideas for managing money, but it’s always different when its yours! Hopefully this will help some other young people out there with their money… I know I am always wondering how other people my age manage theirs, and if there’s anything I could be doing better. I’ll have to develop a clearer strategy for myself in the future, but for right now I think establishing the goals is enough. Now I know what I’m aiming for!