debt debs

Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!


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Couples Money Conversations You Want to Avoid

Couples-Money-Conversations-You-Want-To-AvoidTime to kick up my heels and get a bit crazy.  Things have been a little too serious ’round here lately and I’m ready for an all out silly laugh out loud (or at me) poke fun tirade like I promised in my first post How did I get here?

To start off the fun, I refer you to this little gem I came across when I first starting blogging from Joe Saul-Sehy at Stacking Benjamins (go check out the picture, it made me LOL):

Struggling With Money? Steps to Help You Avoid Divorce

Well y’all know we have averted this D-word (so far – touch wood, touch my head, turn around three times fast, don’t step on a crack – hey OCD runs in my family, I’m allowed to do this!) but that doesn’t mean we didn’t and still do come across many delicate money moments.

You may have your own situations you can recall.  Give yourself 2 points for every item you can relate to on this list!

Couples Money Conversations You Want to Avoid

  1. You spent how much at Future Shop and for what?!  😕
  2. The car repairs from your accident are going to cost $650.  No more pedicures for the next 7 years.  😦
  3. Honey, you know I love your homemade bean soup, but can we just have some meat after 3 days?  😎
  4. You know how the bumper on the truck is starting to rust?  Well I found a good deal on a replacement at a car parts dealer for $150….. Oh ya, I forgot to tell you, I dented the bumper the other day in a parking lot.  😳
  5. I need $20 cash for my annual membership dues.  “I gave you $20 last month.”  Oh yeah….   😐
  6. I got a great deal on salad dressings, they were on sale for $1/each so they’ll last all summer.  “Did you look at the expiry date?”  Ya, they’re good until Dec 6.  “Um, no, that is Jun 12”.  😥
  7. Did you get your hair cut?  “No, I just brushed it differently”.  You should get your hair cut.  😉
  8. I’m so happy that Dairy Queen Customer Appreciation Days falls right around S’s birthday.  I got her a 50% off birthday cake.  “Um, she’s the kid who doesn’t like ice cream cakes”.  😥
  9. Oh, look at the price of gas here, we should fill up.  “Oh, no, they’ll be cheap ones once we get out of the city”.  I told you we should have filled up.  😡
  10. Did you deposit your cheque?  “Ooops ….”  😮
  11. I have a surprise when I pick you up from the airport.  Look for a white truck.  👿

Now I’m not saying that any of the above conversations happened in Debt Debs’ household and I’m not saying they didn’t, but since I pretty much tell it like it is on this blog, you know there’s at least an element of truth in every one.   :snarky eye roll:    Except for #11, that is 120% true.  He bought a truck when I was out of town on business without my knowledge or even discussion.  *I see your mouth gaping open*  But we’ve moved on from that and keep on rollin’.  😀

Next Topic – Time for Your Input

Ahem, in other news, I’ve got a lot of things on my Financial To Do List and having trouble finding time prioritizing for what I should work on first.  I’m gonna let you vote on what you think my priorities should be.  And then I’m gonna do whatever I feel like.  Ha ha ha.  Not not really, I will heed your advices very carefully, and then I will do whatever I feel like think best.

I’m probably forgetting things so feel free to add your own.  Also, some things are meant to build on another thing, so for example, I kinda have to do 1 before 2 and 2 before 3, for example.  Others are completely unrelated.  So here’s the list:

  1. Create a spreadsheet of all my investments in my retirement portfolio and start tracking the stock prices, EPS and dividend payments daily.
  2. Add to the list potential other buys and track and understand their metrics to determine if and when I should acquire.
  3. Open a self-directed stock account and move all of the equities in my retirement portfolio there, making all future decisions myself.
  4. Figure out how to get my grocery budget down from $800 / month (for three people).
  5. Move my blog to a self-hosted site.
  6. Take steps to monetize blog.
  7. Cut the freakin’ cable and save $83.56/month minus the cost of a good quality digital antenna.
  8. Fill out an application at Shopper’s Drug Mart for a job starting in September.

I felt like a fish flopping around on the boat deck, as wrote the above list.   You can tell I’m floundering a bit, ay?  I’m gonna put the above in a poll format too, because I like techy things.  You can either vote in the poll, put your answers in the comments or do both.  No pressure.  Do whatever you want.  Or not.  But if you want me to beg …. pleeeeeaaaazzzze tell me what you think I should do.

I very much appreciate your inputs!!

Call me Flounder.  (But call me.)

Random useless bonus question:  What would you prefer to be called pretty or cute?

flounder-fish

Real Flounder Fish – Pretty

Flounder-character

Fake Flounder – Cute

Images courtesy of flickr.com
Couple Arguing / Erin Nekervis
Flounder Fish / Steve Jurvetson
Flounder Stuffed Animal /The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek – Doug Kline

 


32 Comments

Mother Money Moments

I always become a bit melancholy around Mother’s Day.  There’s a lot of strong emotion around mothers, whether you have one (or not), whether you are one (or not) and basically just all of the personal experiences we have related to the phenomenon of motherhood.

Interestingly enough, I can relate a number of my stories surrounding motherhood to personal finance.  Revealing these facets helps to explain, in part, why I am where I am today in my debt journey.

Excuse me, while I go and grab a box of kleenex.

My Second Mum

Hip Auntie - I'm Blondie on the far right

Hip Auntie – I’m Blondie on the far right

She wasn’t really my second Mum, but it sure felt like it.  You see, I was blessed with not only my own mother, but a wonderful relationship with my aunt.   She was a only a couple of years younger than my Mum, but she acted like our hip Auntie and spoiled us like a generous grandmother.  As she never married or had children of her own, we received all the benefit and love that her mothering instincts desired, and then some.

I paid my way through university, as I had the benefit of coop work terms every four months throughout my 5 year degree.  However, usually near the end of the school term, cash was getting low for me and my aunt would always seek out in our weekly phone calls the state of my bank account.  She was very generous to send a cheque for several hundred dollars to tide me over until I started my next coop work term.  No repayment was expected.  I was always very thankful for this cash relief as I was trying to finish up my exams and did not want to be distracted by my growling tummy.

Fast forward well past graduation, past my first apartment which I furnished after living at home for a year and saving, on to buying my first home.  For some reason the elderly couple I bought from wanted to leave the microwave, which I didn’t need, but took anyways – it was a little bigger than the one I had in my apartment.  I offered the one from my apartment to my aunt, and to this day I do not understand why or what got into me to suggest what I said next.

I said that she could pay me $50 (or some such amount) for the microwave, as she didn’t have one and wanted to get one.  Well this did not sit well with her, and she became rather withdrawn.  Initially, I did not clue into my faux pas.  I thought it was actually a pretty good deal (in those days) – it was still fairly new and nice and compact for her condo.  Well her sullenness lasted for days until we had a heart-to-heart and she explained how hurt she was after all she did for me when I was in university.  Many years had passed since that time, and I had let my busy, selfish, determined self get in the way of seeing the big picture.  She had always been so generous and kind to us, and I let that blind me so that it never entered my purview when I made that stupid, ridiculous request.  I cried a lot and told her how sorry I was.  Of course, we made up instantly, but I have always harboured great guilt over that incident.  I loved her dearly, and still miss her like crazy, even though she’s been gone for 15 years.

Suddenly, I’m a Mother

WeddingIn my late twenties, after a series of some quite long and some shorter relationships, I met a man through a mutual friend.  It was a blind date, which I openly confess I only went on because I suspected he might have some single friends.  He was a widower with three young children, and I felt assured that he would not meet my criteria, which included having my own children.  Well, you know what they say, you find love in all the unsuspected places.

The great part about our relationship, from the beginning, was that he was looking for a wife, not a mother for his kids.  They had been managing on their own as a family for 3 years.  I was able to slide in with no expectations put on me, which, in all honestly, made me want to assume my new role as Mum, which I did.

Within a year, we had a fourth child.  Life was busy but fun.  We worked hard and played hard. I loved buying things for my kids, taking them to movies or out for a meal.  We had holidays in Florida 3 summers in a row! Life was grand and I loved it and my family!!

Christmas was so exciting – I learned all the tricks of the trade from my aunt.  I would plan out our Christmas purchases of toys and clothes, often buying one more thing right up to Christmas eve.  Of course, then I had to buy 3 more things,  always making sure the appearance and spending was balanced amongst all four kids.  I wouldn’t change a thing about those early years!

Life Takes a Turn -> Impact on the Maternal Breadwinner

In the mid-nineties my husband was laid off from his job after a series of Corporate restructurings.  Even though we had some indication the cuts were continuing, it still comes as a bit of a shock.  Even, when employed, my salary was always higher than his, but it did not mean anything to me.  I always felt we fed from the communal trough.

He decided to pursue a different career path, working for himself instead of seeking another full-time position.  I won’t go into the details and ups and downs of this avenue, but I know it has had a significant effect on my psyche, having been the primary breadwinner of the family for the last 20 years.

I was always a high achiever, high performer, but with the added stress to keep my position, salary and benefits for the sake of the family,  I felt an overwhelming burden.  I was no longer a loving wife and a fun mother.  I was providing for my family, and I had better not screw anything up.  I would work long hours, to ensure my position was always secure.

The stress and pressure could always be relieved by “I deserve” purchases while out shopping, holidays with the family or get-a-ways on our own.  Since I was bearing, what felt to me, this great burden, I left The Irishman to manage things more on the homefront, including managing the finances.  I worked with a computer and numbers all day, why would I want and why should I do this in my badly needed decompression time?

Mum Goes on a Trip with Nana but Ignores the $igns

Life goes on.  The children start to become teenagers and we try to roll with the punches.  My dear aunt passes away from cancer at age 64.  YOLO ensues.  Money is used as a de-stressor.   We have enough on our plate.

I decide to take my youngest on a trip to Ireland with my Mum, for her 14 birthday.  Exciting times!  We are so looking forward to seeing family and I’m ecstatic to show her around the Ireland I’ve come to know and love.   I go to pick up the rental car at the airport and my credit card is declined.  I manage to contact my husband who calls the bank, something about a lost payment or other.

Mum Misses Nana and Auntie, so YOLO Continues

Youngest daughter develops severe OCD.  Life continues to be stressful.  We don’t spend willy nilly, but we don’t hold back either.

Mum ~ Taken in Ireland What a glorious time we had

Mum ~ Taken in Ireland
What a glorious time we had

Mum passes away suddenly almost a year from when we left on our trip to Ireland.  Life becomes almost unbearable.  So thankful that we did that trip together.  Wonderful memories.  YOLO continues.

Mum Quits Making Excuses and Gets on the Bandwagon

I wouldn’t have done it, if I didn’t have to, but after a series of ‘signs’ that I chose to ignore, I finally got the big sign that I could no longer hide from.  I can’t even remember what it was, probably another credit card decline.  It’s not important now.  Mum has to either face the music and commit to supporting her husband and family to get out of this mess or have herself committed.  I chose door #1.

Mum is Now a Grandma

Nama is the New Black

Nama = Na + Ma from Nana (my Mum) and Grandma (my MIL)

So after two years of frugal living and debt repayment, I’ve learned a lot.

About myself.

Most importantly, I want to help my children be good money managers.  I feel I’ve let them down in this regard.  But it’s been said before that guilt is a wasted emotion.  One of my favourite PF blogs has given me the fortitude to face it.

If you are at all touched by this post, you should go check this out too ~ Mea Culpa @ The Pursuit of Riches.

I have forgiven my husband.  Now it’s time to forgive myself.

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers, Aunties, Mother-in-laws, Soon-to-be-Mums, Wanna-be-Mums and Chrysanthemums!

Sure hope I didn’t leave any one out! 😀

Don’t forget #FinSavSat blog hop party.  I’m co-hosting this week.  Just slide on down to previous post and add your link!

debt debs

This post is another as part of the Financially Savvy Saturdays blog hop.

Click on the logo above and join in!

Tweet Hashtag #FinSavSat


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Worth IT Wednesday! ~ Blog Reader Choice

Worth-IT-WednesdaySome of these Worth it Wednesday posts are becoming a little bit techy, hence I capitalize the IT in the title on these sorts of posts!

This post will be a little face off between feedly and Bloglovin with a few other personal updates thrown in at the bottom.

feedly

feedly icon (looks familiar)

Bloglovin

Bloglovin icon (who knew?)

Last Wednesday I asked for some help on choosing a good blog reader that would work on an Android tablet and I got 5 responses (I think 3 of them I entered on behalf of those that responded in the comments – note to self:  they’re not a big fan of polls in the personal finance community 😀 ).

So the consensus was 60% Bloglovin’ and 40% feedly as the tools of choice.  Being that the vote was somewhat arbitrary (translation:  lame  not many responses), I decided to try out both applications on my new Yoga Lenovo B8000-F tablet that I got for Mother’s Day to see which one I liked better.

I installed both straight way and tried feedly (aka feebly, BTW their brand is with lower case “f”, kinda like my “d’s” 😉 ) first.  Some of the comments below pertain also to the non-tablet version as well.  I’ve tried to highlight only the features that I see as different between the two apps.

If you think I’ve missed something, or I’ve mistakenly noted something that is incorrect, only because I don’t know how to use the tool yet ….which is entirely possible…. please let me know.

feedly on Android Tablet

Pros ~

  1. Ability to group your feeds into different categories i.e. Debt Blogs, Investment Blogs, Blog Blogs, Dog Blogs, God Blogs, Funny Blogs, Oh My Blogs.  These topic lists can also help to prioritize your blog reading, as in PF Favs, New, etc.
  2. Ability to mark items as “Save for Later” if you want to read later, or comment later, or send to Pinterest etc. later.
  3. You can go back to recently read, if you swipe away a page and then realize you want to go back to it.
  4. You can sort the posts so that oldest shows first.  (Good for anal people like me who don’t want to miss anything)
  5. You can mark specific blogs as “Must Reads” and select those for fast and easy priority reading.
  6. There is an ability to link it up to Evernote, but I must admit I don’t know what the advantage is with this or how to do it.  Evernote looks like a cool app though.  Anyone use it?

Cons ~

  1. Not very intuitive to know how to add blogs (but that could just be me as I’m still learning how to use the tablet)
  2. When leaving comments, often my screen would disappear and I would lose my comment.  This could be user error on my part, but it happened enough and I can’t tell what sequence of events prompted it, to say that it’s a bit finicky.   I also noticed that it stays in a feedly screen as opposed to launching the website in your browser.   This may have something to do with it.

Bloglovin’ on Android Tablet

 Pros ~

  1. You have the ability to like posts which I think can be used similarly as the “Save for Later” above in feedly.  I know I said I would only talk about the differences between the e-readers; I just point this out because it is a little different.  In addition, you can see how many “Likes” have been marked by all Bloglovin readers for a particular post.
  2. Posts are marked as unread until you mark them read.  They do not disappear, but any blogs with all read posts, will move down your reader list, so that only blogs with unread posts show at the top (I didn’t notice this at first).
  3. When you select “View original post”, it opens it in your preferred browser which is preferable and may avoid the commenting problems I noted above on Feedly.

Cons ~

  1. No ability to group your feeds under different topic lists.  For me this is a big missing feature.
  2. Posts sort in following order:  Unread first (good), most recent first (not alterable).  This may not be a bad thing for people who are trying to be more efficient and effective, because likely they will want to read and comment on the most recent post, and skim the others for something that spikes their interest.

So what am I doing now?  Oh.my.blog, I wanted a reader application to help me do damage control on my email.  Now I’ve got two readers going on top of my email.  LOL  They are a nice way to track the blogs you follow, no doubt about it.

So the conclusion is – there is no clear favourite, for me anyways.  I’m leaning a little more to feedly if I can get the commenting thing sorted out.

I need to figure out if I’m going to drop one or use each for different purposes or different blog lists. Dunno.  I promise I won’t do another post on it, because this is boring the death out of me, so I can just imagine what it is doing to anyone reading this!!

P.S.  You may notice I added the two follow buttons at the top right of my blog.  Of course, email, facebook and wordpress are still other good options and buttons are up there too!  Gotta keep those options open!  Can anyone help me with that RSS button?  I still don’t know what that is and where it’s going.  HAAALP.

Post editorial add:  Holy crap, I may take away my endorsement of feedly because I just tried to look at my own blog in there and when I click on the link to “Visit website”, once you start scrolling down the page turns to just my page background and you can’t get back to the post.  Not nice.  Don’t go there.

Update 26 May 2014:  Well I never heard back from feedly after submitting 2 tickets but it appears that the display of my blog is fixed on the Android.   Yay!

OK, on to other news!

FinSavSatI am co-hosting the Financially Savvy Saturdays blog hop with creator Femme Frugality this week.  Check out last week’s edition which was co-hosted by Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt for more info. Plan to join in starting on Saturday with a recent non-sponsored/giveaway post from this week.  A new post will be here early Saturday (including this weeks html code to add to your post) for you to link up to.  A great way for people to highlight their favourite posts plus it’s fun and easy peasy!  #FinSavSat

Things are a little crazy around here on a number of fronts. I’ll point out the $finance impacts, because these points are obviously personal.

DoodleWe have a guest for the next four days while my sis and her husband take a short trip.  He will be back again for a week later in May when they go on their cruise without us.  Yes, I am very happy about that spending decision, even though they offered to pay.  Never mind the hidden financial impacts, it just feels right too.  Plus I get to spend four fabulous days with this awesome pooch!  We are doggy owners again!  For four days!  Count our blessings!!  $no dog for us right now due to no money in the budget$

My daughter and her family are closing on their new home today; they start moving some breakable stuff today and the movers are coming tomorrow.  They will be about 13 minutes closer to our home which means 7 minutes only to see my grandson!  Heeee!!  $less gas$ $can ride my bike in about 20 minutes$

Okay, that’s a wrap.  This post has been written with only 11 revisions.  Holy cow.  What have I forgotten to do?


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Worth IT Wednesday! ~ The POLLING Edition

THE PREAMBLE:

On my first edition of Worth IT Wednesday! I reflected on what type of blogger I want to be when I grow up!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you that I write a lot younger than I sound… or something along those lines.

chicken by debt debsI got some awesome feedback about writing styles and the unanimous consensus was to write as if I was delivering a speech … about how to prepare an income tax return … while living in a different country … where I didn’t speak the language … and chickens were running around my feet… so I had to keep lifting them up … so I could finish in time … before the rains came …. or I had to catch my plane … which ever came first.

No?  That’s not what you said?  Oh, well then, I may just need to pay a little more attention….get myself organized.  I mean this blogging thing is give and take, right?  You give and I take (apparently, not very well).

THE DIGRE$$ION:

Oh silly me.  Truthfully, the PF blogging community has been quite cut-throat, just ask Girl Meets Debt who asking us to start sparring in the name of personal growth:

Ask the Reader: What Do You Think of Some Healthy Competition?

Now I’m all for railing on her for $hits & giggles, but ain’t no baby gonna touch that baby … and by baby I mean the collective group of babies that is ten most of you reading this.

THE 2ND DIGRE$$ION:

But, I am quite competitive at board games, as her automated commenting machine forced me to confess.  So, if this is what we’re gonna do, then I’d better sharpen my pencil, that tax return is not gonna complete itself.   Eeeeks… 😮 I’ve got until midnight tonight or was there an extension on the deadline because the heartbleed bug ate my homework? ¹

bart-simpson-generator.php

I will never leave my taxes to do this late again
I will never leave my taxes to do this late again
I will never leave my taxes to do this late again
I will never leave my ….

Huh?  What?  Hang on the Irishman’s talking to me….

 

The Irishman:  You’re getting $1,000,000 dollars back. And I’m getting $5.67.
Me:                     Oh, you did the taxes?
The Irishman:  Ya, aren’t you happy that you’re getting $1,000,000 back?
Me:                     Yes, but I’m even more happy that the taxes are done on time!!
The Irishman:  I know, but that’s a pretty big refund don’t you think?
Me:                     Yes, I’m thinking about the lost interest on that money if the taxes had not been on time.  Thanks, Hon!
The Irishman:  Ohhhhkkkayyyy {walks away shaking his head} ²

THE ATTEMPT TO REDIRECT:

Ahem… small combustible meteor attack averted.  [Mini digre$$ion:  Hey did you hear about the new Star Wars: Episode VII?]  All systems normal.  You may now return to your stations and continue watching American Idol. (or Netflix for all the cable choppers out there, and may I say I bow to your awesomeness).

OK, where was I?  Oh ya, so if GMD can roboticize her commenting, then I need to make some major IT investments here at Fraggle Rock.   One of my allies, EM @ Journey to Saving (BTW our blogs are both blue, so actually we’re like twin sisters in another time dimension), very aptly suggested I may need to invest in an RSS reader, so that I can continue to spy gregariously feed GMD’s robotical comment widget.  Not quite sure how that will work yet, but I’m all about BIG planning and let the details come out in the commenting/reading machine. ³

FINALLY!  THE POLL:

So without further ado than I’ve already done, I introduce my sophisticated polling machine over on the left ⇐ to ask you all what type of RSS reader do you recommend?

Keep in mind I want top notch.  With all the latest gadgets and wizardry.  I’ve gotta be on top of my game.  I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  Oh, and I want it free.

Don’t let the size of the icons influence you.  They do not represent my preferences.  I don’t even know what I want, that’s why I’m asking you. Plus I’m just happy I even got the little suckers in there. Hee

Oh, one more piece of info.  My husband and kids have bought me a Lenovo Yoga 10 Tablet as an early Mother’s Day present.  It just arrived Monday.  I’ve been wanting to get a tablet for awhile.  An IPAD was just out of our budget, so I hope that this will do the job.  I want to choose a reader I can use on the tablet too, if I can ever figure how to swish and swipe the thing. #grandmothertabletlessons.

I found this article on Best RSS Feed Readers for Android Tablets so that’s how I came up with the choices listed, but if I missed some, please feel free to add or put in comments.

What does RSS stand for anyways?

Thank you for your feedback.  I am not worthy. 🙄

¹ Note to non Canucks:  Canada tax filing deadline is midnight April 30 but in 2014 it has been extended to midnight Monday May 5 due to the impacts of the Heart bleed security exploit.

² Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray would be helpful to understand this behaviour.

³ Seriously, is there any sort of frugal help that can help with sort of techy stuff? I can blog a big talk but when the spammer and the wizywig start colliding in intersphere, I run under my rock for comfort.

¼ And since digre$$ion is my middle name, can the IT techy people not talk in humanoid terms so that I don’t feel like I’m the last person standing on the cloud trying to get through the pearly gates? 😕

clouds

 

 

 

 

"Alcohol and Ulcerative Colitis" by Kimery Davis Attribution License


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Booze Budget

https://flic.kr/p/jWkzYF

“Alcohol and Ulcerative Colitis” by Kimery Davis
Attribution License (from flickr)

When spending needs to be lowered to match income, usually cell and home phone plans are renegotiated, brown bagging of lunches begins,  eating out is well curtailed …. ya da ya da ya da.

We’ve all been there right?  OK, well some of us have been there.  Any frugal readers retiring early out there…. I’d love to know your take on this.

So Debt Debs and The Irishman have done their bit.  Well Debt Debs has done a lot and The Irishman has grudgingly been pulled along.

I have the numbers along with graphs, people!  I know you want it!

OK, I need to clear up something first though.  I was working on a brilliant post to educate everyone me on the Power of 72 (hands up if you’ve heard of that :ponder:).

I thought I’d change things up a bit from the focus on debt and look at a$$ets for a change.  Oh, big mistake.  Apparently, I have none.  Well that would actually be lying, because I do have some but not ones that fit well with the Power of 72… or is it the Rule of 72?

Ya, I had negative numbers, and upside down numbers and way up numbers to oh so low numbers.  So I decided to show you my a$$ets per the rule would be more embarrassing than showing you my a$$.  At least not until I go to Class of 72 training.

Ahem… since there is no money in my budget for “72” training, you will have to wait until I self teach myself and then you can all yell at kindly point out to me as to how I’m doing it wrong.

So for today, we are going to focus on Booze.  Pretty hard for a Monday, right?  Ya, well sometimes it’s the hangover we need to cure us of our ills.

Why do I want to focus on BOOZE you ask?  Well, I was a bit miffed on Friday when the Irishman spent almost $70 on it,  which is almost all our total monthly budget of $75 in one shot.  This, coupled with a perception that spending in this area has been going up recently, made me decide to launch an audit.

$75 / month may seem high or may seem low to some of you.  Generally we tend to consume more in the summer, so I like to underspend this budget in winter so that we’ve got lots available come cottage weather.  Well actually I’ve never done that, but a goal is a goal, right?   Like I’m not gonna spend it in summer ….

We started last year making our own wine at a wine making store.  That has helped costs a lot (and increase consumption somewhat but we won’t go there).   However, we have run out and recently have resorted to lovely bottles of Jackson Triggs Pinot Grigio, high quality wines like that (actually, they’re not bad).  I have resorted to nagging The Irishman to starting another batch of ferment-your-own.  I may have to step up the pressure.

So first I check the actuals versus budget this year from MINT:  Mint  Budgets - Alcohol

Hmmm… not bad at all, but this does not include the $70 above which has not hit my credit card yet and thus not in MINT.  However, there is not a lot of savings so far to carry us into the high usage summer period.  Generally I like to see this number quite negative at this time of the year.  Better do some comparison to previous spending.  Just so you can audit me auditing my figures, I present you now, THE NUMBERS (if you can read them):

2012 Booze Spending

2012 Booze Spending

2013 Booze Spending

2013 Booze Spending

2014 Booze Spending

2014 Booze Spending

Don’t worry about the colours.  They represent spending on different credit cards.  Ya, I’ve now standardized on one that gets me big points because I’m a smart cookie.

So a visual glance shows things don’t look too bad in 2014.  Definitely improving over the years.  Need to do a deep dive.  Let’s look at the pretty graphs:

Booze Trends

Jan_Mar Comparison
Oh my… look at March 2012.  LOL That was the month of D-Day (debt acknowledgement day).  Lots of tears folks… lots of tears… (and apparently lots of booze).

Look at those trend lines!  Are they not a work of art? How predictable are we ay?  Like a pair of synchronized swimmers, we move effortlessly through the water (booze) with every turn (gulp) in perfect harmony.

And the pie chart sure shows a lot of year-over-year progress… yay us!

Wait, I spotted something.  Look at the little orange trend line for Q1 2014 above.  See how it perkily points up to the right?  There’s definitely a wayward habit starting there.  Better nip it in the bud before it becomes a run-a-way train.

Note to self:  Talk (plead) with the Irishman and show him these graphs.  Wait don’t show him the year-over-year graphs ’cause he thinks that gives him license… you know how he thinks.  Use your psychology.  OK, just focus him in on the little orange Q1 trend line and remind him how we like to party-hardy at the kot-kot.   And remind him to get that wine on!!  Whew!

Now I know that you’re dying to compare your numbers with mine.  Sounds so dirty, doesn’t it?

Go dig ’em out and give it to me.  Is your booze budget more or less than mine (2 people)?  I got my big a$$ panties on so don’t be shy.

BTW, I did not drink the 1.5 litre of Jackson Triggs this weekend.  It is hidden. 😉

P.S.  Had a good laugh when I noticed something  See the red negative number in the 2012 chart in October?  That is when I made him take some booze back.  I kid you not.


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Throwing up a Blog Time Capsule

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonitunes/681833014/in/photolist-23fzcC-6zQj9Y-9PMUG-8aB2qi-6FzXj8-5HqG2Q-54eMqr-a1Hkqo-a1HkpY-38T42D-a1EsZD-6G5UNE-drMtvR-6kEUme-6kEUDx-6kEUJ6-6kK4ju-6kEUze-6kK4oE-7PPpmG-6svrAX-aYfGqz-7PPpmS-6VER4i-53xgVg-8mi5Sj-z1xxf-z1xxp-7Dj741-7PPpn1-7PPpmN-98TrwP-7PPpmA-z1xxk-z1xxt-85BvDj-9AQgew-9AQgc7-6G1Lvt-uTkh9-z1z3N-hdHQD-4wpxPk-6G5SHC-7Dj6pf-7Dj5dS-7hDMz6-7hDNAK-7ANvfb-7ANvC9-78CDcp/

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Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
flickr Tonya Stinson

Need a little fun today after a stressful week.   Rather than throwing up on Throwback Thursday, I thought I would throw up this post instead … har.

eemusings at NZ Muze gave me this idea for what I call a blog time capsule.   She wrote her post in 2009, predicting her future in 5 years which is now, 2014.

I won’t wait 50 years like the time capsule in the picture.  5 years is a good number of years to wait because it also coincides with the year I want to be debt-free.

That’s right, consumer HELOC debt, mortgage debt, car debt (that one might be tricky) – all of Debs Debt (which includes the Irishman’s debt but we won’t start pointing fingers).

I know many of the blogs I read are already past their DF-day or much closer than I am.  Of course I am happy for you and will look forward to your countdowns in anticipation.  It will only make our own DF-day so much sweeter.  I look forward to that day so much!!  One foot in front of the other…. #WE-WILL-GET-THERE

So with respect to the time capsule, I’ve used most of eemusings questions and added one with my own at the end.  I wanted to be super creative but found her questions were things I want to know from my future self so here goes!  Play along with your own time capsule on your blog.

Continue reading


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The Evil and Grace of Low Rate Cash Advance Credit Cards

We have gathered up quite a bit of available credit (like rolling tumbleweeds) in our debt journey (enough to hang our self with a rope, but lemme try to keep this post positive).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/denise_rowlands/4262433471/sizes/m/in/photolist-7uE5Yg-dgzXnu-4h6bUo-xSUbW-aWcDCx-y2CZX-6SGv-5zt5Jw-4h6c5A-7AhP2e-hQy1pm-3JMPg-ek6urh-b6dUNF-7Sf5oK-FRvA1-8cTe43-axko2Q-4aMjh2-5NyW8-46gqkN-fGBqUR-78Ww5k-5NwdpD-78WMg6-fT3vJw-99ryV-3jkc6s-4H9Mhv-vsdKy-5NAug5-5GZ7M-94nTab-3yq622-3yq5Hv-4h29zT-4h6cgC-bxM8LA-3cFbF8-87XJs2-881VMy-618VEp-xZ5vi-3JMPi-eMVTV1-x9jRV-5XbcqR-7HD3ch-7Hz7RR-7HD4hJ-7Hz72x/

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Ðeni (break) Denise Rowlands on flickr

Consequently we used to get a lot of telemarketing calls trying to get us to use these credit cards by transferring higher interest debt onto a card with a low balance transfer rate.

Apparently, while I had my head in the sand, the Irishman started to play along. Hence our debt story where we had amassed $250K of consumer debt up to D-day. (I kid you not, go read about it here).

So fast forward to March 2012, more affectionately known as D-day, I put my big girlie panties on and start wrangling this debt monster.  Strategy becomes my game.  Hey, I got nuthin’ else. Continue reading