Hope everyone had a good week and keeping warm during these freezing times! I've been wearing long johns every day to the office to stay warm. Clothes have been a bit more snug but it beats having to go outside unprepared. I can't wait for summer!
Just wanted to give you all an update of what's been going on:
I've been pretty good at cutting out most of my miscellaneous expenses. It's brutal to walk down the aisles of a grocery store and want to buy everything you feel like eating but instead just walk away. It takes a lot of will power to keep moving on. It's horrible! I've refrained from online shopping, buying things I know I'll need eventually and just holding off until I actually need them. I've been better this week saying no to friends and functions, it's very hard when you want to be there for birthdays and to see people you haven't seen in ages but it's what has to be done until I get out of this rut. Winter months are usually the worst times for me financially and I do my best to plan accordingly. But man, when crap happens it's hard to predict exactly what you'll need to take care of it. The last two months I've had plumbing problems, unexpected health care costs, and computer issues. The one thing they don't tell you about having health care benefits from our insurance is that they make it incredibly tedious to make your claims. My doctor can print copies of his invoice for me or email them. I offered to have my doctor submit them directly to my insurance for me but unfortunately they want a physical copy mailed to them, two weeks for processing and then time to mail it back. I mailed my first bill on January 15th and I just received the first of many cheques yesterday. So, I'm out the dough until the cheques come in and its hurts my wallet so very much. I have my emergency fund to cover expenses but that's not what I want it for. It's my "I'm very sick and can't work" and absolute last resort money. Stupid stuff like this I notice will always happen and I don't want to keep dipping into other funds to cover it. My solution is building a slush fund, a buffer for unexpected expenses that aren't real emergencies. Starting one is honestly one of the smartest decisions I made and gives me a nice buffer for my budget.
Re-organizing My Saving Accounts
Did you know you can have as many saving accounts as you'd like for free? I certainly did not! I have a PC Financial Account and Tangerine Account. PC is great for daily banking and has lots of machines available in Toronto, thanks to their partnership with CIBC. I am obsessed with getting PC points for free groceries and getting a free cheque books for the odd cheques I have to write for work. I don't have a Tangerine chequing account, but it has a feature where you can take a photo of a cheque to make a deposit. With a partnership with Scotiabank it's a bit more inconvenient for me since there are not many locations around my neighbourhood. Transferring funds from PC to Tangerine takes a couple days, which at first was sort of a hassle but I like that I can't easily dip into it. I only use the Tangerine TFSA account and regular savings account. The main thing when I was figuring out how to better organize my moolah was convenience. I currently have one account and via a detailed excel sheet, I kept track of all the money in the account and which fund it belonged. I wanted to simplify everything! I want to open my account and see exactly how much money was in each fund. I believe when you make budgeting simple and easily accessible, you are more likely to keep up with it and stay on track. It's hard at first, but it gets easier and builds up the habit over time. Sometimes, I feel like throwing out my budget but it's constantly evolving and updating to fit my lifestyle. I find reading articles everyday about personal finance helps keep me motivated, educated and on track to reach my goals.
Ideally, I would have liked to go with PC for all my funds but when I spoke to them they told me the accounts could not be named and I would have to remember the account by numbers. That is really crazy when you think I'm planning to open like 10 accounts! I can't even remember phone numbers, how will I remember bank account numbers? So, when I called up Tangerine all you have to do is open up to the 5 account limit online, and they will have a manager to override the system and give you the additional number of accounts you'd like. And you can easily name them and name them in order to your preference! I had to rename some of the accounts so the important funds are near the top. Small stuff like this may seem kind of OCD, but you'll thank yourself for doing it right the first time.
Hope this helped get you a bit closer to your financial freedom!
Eros And Pookie