How I get what I want – Part 1

Good morning! I hope all is well.

As promised, I’m going to do a series about how I save money. Now, I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say that it’s easy because it’s not. I just know that as the head of the house, I have to provide for my family and with only one income, there’s only a little room for error. You don’t have to do what I do, but you can certainly read what I’ve done and maybe it can help you look at a different way of spending and saving money. It’s not perfect, but it’s worked for me. Six months ago, I had been unemployed for 5 months with no income assistance – I was living off my savings. Today, I’m driving a brand new car AND I can still afford food! hehehehe….

Okay, here we go!

Never pay for someone to keep your money

This is my biggest pet peeve. I don’t know if it’s because our family has always been a credit union family, but paying an exorbitant monthly fee to a bank, especially a big bank, makes me crazy. Okay, so they provide a service to me, sure, but in reality, what am I getting for that service? For me, I have simple banking needs: I need somewhere for my incoming money to be deposited and I need access to it afterward for paying bills. I’m not investing, I don’t have a mortgage (YET! EEEK!), I don’t have a complicated portfolio. I just need somewhere to keep my money.

Now here in Vancouver, the average interest rate on a chequing account is around 1%, so depending on how much money I keep in the bank, I’ll be getting a couple dollars return for keeping my money there. Is that price every month worth it? For me, it’s not. I don’t think that I should have to pay $10 a month to keep my money in the bank and then they give me back $0.22 for my loyalty and basic service because, let’s face it, most of us use online banking anyway, so what does your bank really do for you to earn your $10 a month (which is $120 a year, by the way). That’s money that could be yours! Don’t pay banking fees because you have to, pay it because you are getting a service that is worth the money. I use a no-fee account that works just fine for me. I have never ONCE pined for a big bank.

If changing where you put your money is not an option for you, maybe you can look into changing the KIND of account you have. You know how you use your money – maybe there’s a cheaper type of account you can have so you can save a few dollars a month with little or no effort. Remember, the banks want to make money. They are not going to volunteer to let you know that you could change your account to one with cheaper monthly fees based on your usage. You have to look out for #1! You can always call in and ask for your options once a year to make sure you’re spending your money on the best products and services. You work hard for it, don’t throw it away.

Remember, with so much competition out there, they want OUR business, not the other way around. You have to ask, “What are you going to do to earn the privilege of keeping my money because I can get somebody else to do the same thing for less?”

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Okay, that sure sounded like a lecture, but I’m passionate about it.

Tomorrow: Knowing your money

 

 

Accomplishment roundup

Let me start by saying that I apologize: it’s been more than two weeks since I posted. No, I hadn’t been abducted by aliens and am just getting used to being back on Earth nor have I found love and have been shacked up making up for lost time. I haven’t been writing because I’ve been preoccupied.

Since I last wrote, a few things have happened:

In the Romance department

I went to a singles mixer. Well, that was kinda different and fun. There was no age restriction, so there was a range of 25 to 65. It was a classy event and I felt comfortable. The only problem was that there was no one there I was interested in. The best part of the night for me was the pesto wrap we had for dinner – sad, but true. Don’t get me wrong, there were nice guys there, just none that peaked my interest. It was a great experience though and the music was REALLY good. That’s my biggest effort lately to find a partner. I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’!

In the Personal Development department

I took a kizomba workshop. Kizomba is a dance that I do so enjoy. I started dancing it a couple years ago. I took a class, loved it, mostly because I was a natural, and never looked back since! I wish I could get someone to record me doing it…dancing, that is. You know, I am really happy that I’m able to learn new things. Actually, I’m even happier that I WANT to learn new things! Taking a workshop, practising, making mistakes in front of strangers is not easy and I’m glad that I’m still want to do it. The feeling of accomplishment after learning a new move is reward enough!

Kizomba looks like this:

In the Social Life department

I had a high school friend come from out East to visit us for a few days. Now THAT was fun. I opened our home to her. She is the first visitor I’ve had who knew the me from Trinidad. Sure, I felt a little self-conscious, but you know what? The pride I feel for what I am able to provide outweighed any insecurity that I had. At first, I was worried about tacit judgement, but then I thought, “What do I have to be ashamed about? I live an honest life and I’m providing a roof over our heads and we’re happy, so what?” We took her around and had some adventures, showcasing our beautiful city. Funny, while we were talking, we realized that we actually didn’t really hang out in high school! Ha! Oh well! What’s important is that we hung out now….20 years later. :)

In the Mummy department

There’s a teachers’ strike here in BC. School is yet to open for the new year. Kidlet’s been in daycare. He’s having the time of his life. I’m having a nervous breakdown worrying about his education and how hard it’s going to be once he starts the school routine again after being off school for almost a quarter of a year! Yikes!

In the Sister department

My baby brother has just been informed he’s finished his Bachelor’s degree! There was a delay between him knowing he had all his credits and the university confirming he had all his credits – longest two weeks in our lives. Phew! Now, it’s celebration time!

In the Celebration department

But perhaps the biggest thing that’s happened and has been the most distracting is the fact that I got a new car last week. Yes, it’s true! My old car, while well loved, has reached the end of its time with our family. I was really preoccupied with what having a car payment would mean, so I spent a lot of time crunching the numbers, looking at my finances. In the end, I figured out what I could afford and walked into a dealership with my bottom line. A few short days later:

[Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Do not copy without permission.]

[Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Do not copy without permission.]

That feeling of being able to get not only what you want, but what you NEED is incredible! It’s so exciting! Even after doing my financial analysis, I still can’t believe I can afford a new car! hahaha…over this past week, I’ve stopped mid-sentence and thought, “Can I afford a new car?” then I have to soothe myself with a “Yes, you can because you’re awesome!”

In the Blog department

Over the next few days, I’ll be starting a series about financial tips that I’ve used to gain fiscal health. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not rich, but I’m not poor either! I’ve been able to accomplish great things by being smart with money and being aware of my financial situation at all times. All the while, out enjoying my life.

So I haven’t been sitting around being fed grapes and lounging on the beach, I’ve been busy!  Stay tuned…more to come!

Week of Gratitude – Day 5

  1. I’m still able to embrace new things and learn new things.
  2. I’m really grateful that I can cook well!
  3. I can be pleased by simple things, like completing this challenge.

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I nominate Vikera Hunte to write 3 things for 5 days that she is grateful for and nominate 2 persons each day to accept the challenge.

I accept this challenge (kinda).

Too often, it’s easy to get down on ourselves about the things that are going not-so-good in our lives, but when we take a couple minutes to think about the things we are lucky to have, it feels a little bit better. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when someone can spend an hour listing all the good things I have going for me, but I would push out my lower lip, fold my arms in a huff and say, “Yes, but I still don’t have X, and I want it!” It’s funny how that works, huh?

Alright, you know how I do, I’m not going to do this challenge the way it was intended. I’m going to shake it up. I’m going to post three things for 5 days here on my blog and Facebook and instead of nominating anyone, I invite any readers to post one thing in the comments section. (I don’t like being told what to do, so I’m not going to impose it on anyone.) It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be as simple as knowing how to read.

Have fun!

V

Week of Gratitude – Day 4

  1. I am grateful that my family has taught me how to love properly.
  2. I am grateful that I am able to be the me that I really am and not the me that someone wants me to be.
  3. I am grateful that I am healthy and the most medication I’ve ever had to take was painkillers for headaches.

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I nominate Vikera Hunte to write 3 things for 5 days that she is grateful for and nominate 2 persons each day to accept the challenge.

I accept this challenge (kinda).

Too often, it’s easy to get down on ourselves about the things that are going not-so-good in our lives, but when we take a couple minutes to think about the things we are lucky to have, it feels a little bit better. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when someone can spend an hour listing all the good things I have going for me, but I would push out my lower lip, fold my arms in a huff and say, “Yes, but I still don’t have X, and I want it!” It’s funny how that works, huh?

Alright, you know how I do, I’m not going to do this challenge the way it was intended. I’m going to shake it up. I’m going to post three things for 5 days here on my blog and Facebook and instead of nominating anyone, I invite any readers to post one thing in the comments section. (I don’t like being told what to do, so I’m not going to impose it on anyone.) It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be as simple as knowing how to read.

Have fun!

V

A week of gratitude – Day 3

  1. I am grateful that I still believe in love at first sight.
  2. I am grateful that I have finally let myself believe in my writing.
  3. I am grateful that I continue to take chances and follow my heart.

****************************

I nominate Vikera Hunte to write 3 things for 5 days that she is grateful for and nominate 2 persons each day to accept the challenge.

I accept this challenge (kinda).

Too often, it’s easy to get down on ourselves about the things that are going not-so-good in our lives, but when we take a couple minutes to think about the things we are lucky to have, it feels a little bit better. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when someone can spend an hour listing all the good things I have going for me, but I would push out my lower lip, fold my arms in a huff and say, “Yes, but I still don’t have X, and I want it!” It’s funny how that works, huh?

Alright, you know how I do, I’m not going to do this challenge the way it was intended. I’m going to shake it up. I’m going to post three things for 5 days here on my blog and Facebook and instead of nominating anyone, I invite any readers to post one thing in the comments section. (I don’t like being told what to do, so I’m not going to impose it on anyone.) It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be as simple as knowing how to read.

Have fun!

V

A week of gratitude – Day 2

  1. I am not allergic to chocolate or cheese: my two favourite vegetables. (Okay, so they are not vegetables and I’m a little bit lactose intolerant, but not enough that cheese will kill me. Yay!)
  2. I have laughed until I tears run down my face more than once in my lifetime.
  3. I am grateful that I know compassion and a sense of fairness.

****************************

I nominate Vikera Hunte to write 3 things for 5 days that she is grateful for and nominate 2 persons each day to accept the challenge.

I accept this challenge (kinda).

Too often, it’s easy to get down on ourselves about the things that are going not-so-good in our lives, but when we take a couple minutes to think about the things we are lucky to have, it feels a little bit better. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when someone can spend an hour listing all the good things I have going for me, but I would push out my lower lip, fold my arms in a huff and say, “Yes, but I still don’t have X, and I want it!” It’s funny how that works, huh?

Alright, you know how I do, I’m not going to do this challenge the way it was intended. I’m going to shake it up. I’m going to post three things for 5 days here on my blog and Facebook and instead of nominating anyone, I invite any readers to post one thing in the comments section. (I don’t like being told what to do, so I’m not going to impose it on anyone.) It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be as simple as knowing how to read.

Have fun!

V

A week of gratitude – Day 1

I nominate Vikera Hunte to write 3 things for 5 days that she is grateful for and nominate 2 persons each day to accept the challenge.

I accept this challenge (kinda).

Too often, it’s easy to get down on ourselves about the things that are going not-so-good in our lives, but when we take a couple minutes to think about the things we are lucky to have, it feels a little bit better. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when someone can spend an hour listing all the good things I have going for me, but I would push out my lower lip, fold my arms in a huff and say, “Yes, but I still don’t have X, and I want it!” It’s funny how that works, huh?

Alright, you know how I do, I’m not going to do this challenge the way it was intended. I’m going to shake it up. I’m going to post three things for 5 days here on my blog and Facebook and instead of nominating anyone, I invite any readers to post one thing in the comments section. (I don’t like being told what to do, so I’m not going to impose it on anyone.) It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be as simple as knowing how to read.

Have fun!

****************************

A Week of Gratitude – Day 1

  1. There are people in five different countries who love me as I am. That is not an easy thing to have and I am grateful for that.
  2. I am able to be the breadwinner and provide comfortably for my family.
  3. Kidlet is a healthy, athletic, rambunctious child.

V