Author Topic: I like this place, but I'm not sure this place will like me... :-) (Canadian )  (Read 9380 times)

KimAB

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I've been here for quite a few days and seen a LOT of face punching and quite a few people being told "this is not the forum for you"  Admittedly, this forum probably wasn't for them.  Still, I don't know that I'll be accepted any more readily.

If all you look at is the numbers I look like a complete idiot- 43 years old, half way through bankruptcy, little savings, contributed $2,100 to my RRSP this year and working in a low paying, soul sucking job.  Don't feel motivated to get second job or work harder so that half of what I make goes to RBC.  Sorry, Visa.  20 years of interest is all you are going to get.

But on the other side of the paper is the rest of me- my husband was unemployed for 3 1/2 years.  We had a year's worth of expenses in the bank.  I've worked two jobs for most of my married life.  The last five years I've worked 75 hours a week and picked up any shift I could.  I've NEVER had a stat holiday off and have rarely ever had a long weekend.  We spend everything trying to avoid bankruptcy and in the end it was that or be sued.  I'm currently only working 50 hours a week because I am REALLY burnt out.

I don't take vacations, pay for haircuts, have a vehicle or spend much on anything.  All I cook is peasant food and I turn off the heat when it is warm outside and the sun is shining.  I've turned the water heater down to see if we can save anything.  I try to save 20% of our household income.  I am looking for something closer to home than what I have now- 3 kms- to avoid the bus.  Before you judge... It is slippery and sometimes cold (in the -40 C range and sometimes colder).  I am able to bus 4 of 5 nights a week, but there is no bus on Sunday nights or stat holidays.  That will save me about $300/ year in bus fare.

I admit I am not badass and am, probably, whatever is the exact opposite of badass.  So...  are these forums for me or should I take my thieving bankrupt self elsewhere?  :-)

The Taminator

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KimAB,

If you truly want to get out of the mess you made of your financial life, then yes, these forums are for you. This is a community of smart, motivated and helpful people. We are from all walks of life and from all financial backgrounds. We are all at different stages of our mustachian journeys. We all have something to learn from one another if we are open to that learning.

We generally don't tolerate complainypants whining. So, you've whinged. Now put on your big girl panties and fix your mess.

You've declared bankruptcy. Clean slate. Don't mess it up again. Take a long hard look at your attitude towards money and debt. And your goals. If you're floating around through life, you're likely to get embroiled in a similar situation.

You do some badass things though, like taking the bus, contributing to your RRSP, not taking vacations etc. Those are all things that will lead you to a better financial situation. But it's mainly your attitude. Adjust that and you'll come out a winner!

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Kim a few questions what exactly do you do. There is some wrong wrong when you work 75 hours a week and live like a homeless person, perhaps you could fill us in

Secondly as someone who made every possible finacial screwup in the book (I won't bore you with details) and who is well beyond the age of early retirement I can tell you it's never too late. I sat down a calculated our retirement income (15 years hence) would be in the range of 80 grand a year, not bad for someone a few years ago could barely pay the bills rephrase couldn't pa the bills.

What I did and what I recomend you do is read the first 3 years of Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar and apply the principles presented there. Why them over MMM, simple they like us were total financial fuck ups, no living on 20% of my income there, more like a 120%. I could relate to what they said.

Secondly and sadly it will take you years to overcome the sound track in your head, even today I had to fight off a panic attack over our pending move

It can be done just not easy

Rob


marty998

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Hi KimAB. Kudos to you for trying to hold it together. Not everyone has the perfect financial life.

What has your husband been doing for the past 3 & 1/2 years? Sitting on the couch watching TV or getting out there trying to find work? Doesn't seem fair that you're working 2 jobs to keep the lights on and he's not at all. Canada's economy surely isn't as bad as the US or Europe, the excuse that there are no jobs out there doesn't wash with me. He needs to pull his weight or get cut loose because it sounds like he is not contributing anything.

That fact that you are here means you are motivated to do something, which is a big positive. Once you take that first step it's much easer to take another. After all, walking is simply controlled forward falling, momentum carries you half the way.

I'd suggest you set yourself a very short term goal (something that can be done in a day) and keep moving the goalposts further back every time you reach it. Then reward yourself with an office admin course to upskill yourself and give you more work options. This way you're not trying to turn your life upside down in a day, but you can take the path one step at a time
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 02:58:13 PM by marty998 »

arebelspy

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I've been here for quite a few days and seen a LOT of face punching and quite a few people being told "this is not the forum for you"  ...  are these forums for me or should I take my thieving bankrupt self elsewhere?  :-)

I think only two people have directly been told that (that I can recall at least), and one was an obvious troll and the other had never read a single MMM blog posts (must have stumbled upon the forums through a Google search?) and didn't understand the philosophies espoused here.

If your have an open mind, are willing to listen to advice, and are wanting to improve yourself/your situation, I think this is a great place for you.

If you're a complainypants who wants us to feel bad for you, you're in for some hurting.  :)

Welcome to the forums!
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
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meadow lark

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I think you'll fit in just fine.  Sounds like you are very hardworking and have had some bad luck.  The best thing about the kind of education provided here is it will manage to improve your luck!

KimAB

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>>If you're a complainypants who wants us to feel bad for you, you're in for some hurting.  :) >>

I can absolutely assure all of you that I am anything but a complainypants.  I am fully aware the choices in my life have led me to today and that I half of everything is mine- including the debt. 

My husband has depression/ anxiety/ ADHD/ a personality disorder and Asperger's.  Sometimes he is unable to work.  The three and a half years was the longest stint of unemployment and it was a bit of a marathon.  Since going back to work  in the summer he's done his class 3 license so he is making $3/ hour more than his starting wage and considering doing the Class 1 which would give him a lot more marketability and a much larger income.

About me- I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  I only know I don't want to do this forever.  I am a rehabilitation support worker.  I'm currently only doing 10 pm - 8 am shifts so it is minimum wage.  I work with developmentally disabled adults who are also mentally ill.  I make more if I work day shifts, but less than the girl who pours your coffee at Tim Horton's.  Why do I stay?  :-)  I'm sure everyone is wondering.  I really am very good at my job and it's a job that needs good people.  Anyone here who has a disabled family member appreciates people like me.

 Anyway- I am looking for something else, but probably won't make any kind of big decisions until the bankruptcy is complete.  If something great comes up I'll apply, but I'm biding my time until the other night person leaves and I apply for her shifts (Friday and Saturdays 10 pm- 10 am) and I'll just put it all into the RRSP.  Then I'll do something else full time, of course.

We've got 3 semi-adult children still at home (18-21.)  Two of them have Asperger's.  We also have also have a 22 year old Aspie who lives down the street.  She is higher functioning than the other two, but needs a lot of parenting.  We do NOT give her money... but do nag her relentlessly about her debt... 

We expect to have the empty nest in less than 5 years, but also expect that one of them will need to live close by and probably need some amount of financial assistance.  Still - our financial picture is going to begin rapidly improving and I know that.

Now everyone knows everything about me!  I don't know if anyone thought it was complainy, but it wasn't intended to be.  I don't sorry for myself and I don't want anyone else to, either.

needmyfi

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So you've been here for quite a few days and seen a LOT of face punching

I guess I resent ah... resemble that comment.  No face punching here unless you declare bankruptcy again in 7 years, then you may get some hits below the belt.  But we are generally docile creatures as long as we are not provoked.  Have you worked out a budget?  Its your first priority, numbers don't lie.  It helps to make more, it helps to spend less, but most people in the first world can find a balance of income and  spending that is sustainable.  This way of thinking is about working smarter, not harder.

All that being said I think everyone here will recognize that you indeed have special challanges, and probably alot more real complaints than people who would rather be homeless than live without a hummer.

marty998

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Honesty helps. I probably deserve a face punch now for being harsh on your husband without knowing about his issues. Sorry.

Togoshiman

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Hi KimAB,

Fellow Canadian here.  You'll get lots of help and ideas here.  I would recommend to start compiling a detailed budget - see what's coming in, where it's going out and so on.  Even if this is all up in the air due to the bankruptcy, put estimates of what you plan to spend on the other side.  Then post it here and watch the friendly face punches come in.

You do sound like you've had some knocks, but you also sound tremendously strong and resilient.  You're young and have a lot of time and space to get to where you want to be financially.  One way to start is to get methodical - read MMM's posts with a notebook and keep track of the ideas re cars, tv and phones, signing up to Mint.com, how to deal with credit cards, and so on.  Write down every financial and budgeting question that pops into your head, even if it's general in nature, e.g how do I live on $x a year?  The folks here will help you find some answers.

The only other thing is to really examine your income stream.  You do a service for others which is invaluable and you have significant family obligations as well.  There's no shame in looking for a higher wage and taking care of yourself.  Folks who like to give of themselves sometimes can't stop giving even when they have nothing left to give.  Perhaps you can find a way to help people in need while earning a higher salary.  I don't know your field, but hoping some Mustachians have ideas.

Best of luck.  Keep us posted.

meadow lark

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Wow.  Your family of 5 has 4 people with Aspergers.  I am SO sorry.  That is overwhelming.  You do work a hard job at work, in your marriage, in your family.  So.  How do you make your life better?  It sounds like you need a better job.  Sure, you help people.  You can also have a job where you help people and make a living wage.
 Are you receiving all the gov't programs you can get for your 3 children and husband's disabilities?  Can you own an assisted living facility, place your 2 kids plus a couple of other clients in it, and run it as a business?  Hire some other caregivers to give you some help? In the US this is possible, and profitable.  Don't know about Canada's disability payments, but if I were in a similar position that is what I would do. 
  Good for you though, you're a strong woman.  Your situation makes me want to get divorced, and run away from the responsibilities! 

amyable

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My husband has depression/ anxiety/ ADHD/ a personality disorder and Asperger's.  Sometimes he is unable to work.  The three and a half years was the longest stint of unemployment and it was a bit of a marathon.  Since going back to work  in the summer he's done his class 3 license so he is making $3/ hour more than his starting wage and considering doing the Class 1 which would give him a lot more marketability and a much larger income.

My husband was unemployed for two years due to a major depressive episode in his early twenties.  That can definitely be tough, especially if the person is in denial that their problem is depression.  I definitely sympathize.  The large part of our debt comes from this awful time in our lives, and sometimes it feels like a constant reminder of how bad things used to be.

KimAB

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I've got a budget.  The bankruptcy trustees gathered around and praised me on it.  And every month I have to file a budget.  Okay - I AM complainy about the budget that I have to do for them!  I am a complainypants and I know it!

My issue with the budget is that there is no starting and ending numbers (ie...  there is no way for it to balance) and on paper you are using the money you made in that month (15th and 30th) but the last paycheque of the month is what I use for the first half of the next month.

I'm happy to share my budget.  There is nothing exciting in it.  Although...  I'm pretty sure I'll get questioned on my utility costs...

Meadow Lark posted as I was posting.  No one in my house qualifies for ANYTHING.  I could run a support home, but I would have to own my own home.  It is a good option as a second, though!  :-)  I am looking for something in a different field. 

Anyway - I really just wanted to say thank you to all of you for being kind to me.  I do really appreciate it.  :-)

needmyfi

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After the debts are discharged by bankruptcy, will your monthly expenditures be lower than your expenses and if so by how much.  Could you post your budget for us?  Also, will your two children still at home be able to work, will they contribute to household expenses or will they be moving out.  You mention an empty nest in 5 years-what happens then and what happens in the meantime?

You sound like you have lots of heart and lots of patience.  Can you get any free training in Canada for classes or education?  Healthcare here in the states is a little different, but there are lots of two year programs in allied health that won't get you rich quick but pay a solid wage and there is fairly high demand.   

kythuen

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and on paper you are using the money you made in that month (15th and 30th) but the last paycheque of the month is what I use for the first half of the next month.

Just stopping in to say I totally get that - it annoyed me, too.  But the problem wasn't with my budget, it was with the fact that I was living from paycheck to paycheck. 

Around here, we say a lot that the first step is to build an emergency fund, if you don't have one.  But my first step was to save up a cash buffer in my regular checking/savings accounts equal to a full month's income. 

That way, I'm always paying this month's bills out of LAST month's paychecks.  For instance, on Feb 1 I already had the money to cover my February budget.  On March 1, February's paychecks will already be available to pay for my March budget. 

It may take a while to build up this kind of buffer, if you can only save a little every month -- but it's totally, totally worth it for your peace of mind.  In addition to making the budgets come out right (and making the math a lot easier), it also makes me sleep better at night, knowing I don't have to worry about when my "every other friday" checks will arrive in relation to when my bills' due dates fall. 


KimAB

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The numbers vary month to month.  Even though the amounts are 'ish' on this budget I do know what the amounts are.

Income -usually works out to about $4,000 between the two of us. Sometimes a little higher.

Rent 1194.  Just got a rental increase to 1249 for May 1.
electricity 150 (last two months have been higher.  I'll adjust the amount up if if is still over $150 on my next bill.  Shouldn't be)
gas 110 (118 last month)
phone/ internet/ cable $134 (on a three year contract...  it wasn't me...)
water/ sewer/ recycling 75
garbage is provided by the property management

smoking 0
drinking 0
gambling (including lottery tickets) 0
entertainment (see cable!|)  Sometimes we spend a little. 
lunches out, take out - sometimes we get take out or something, but rarely.  It's a planned thing if we do.
Haircuts, grooming supplies, make up- 0  We just use soap.  DD and I have long hair and I use the clippers on everyone else.  I did get a trim last year - $15.

Groceries $800-1000.  I felt a big breeze when everyone lifted their hands to backhand me, but let me just say food comes in refrigerated trucks in the winter and it is expensive.  My vegetables were double when I went to the store a week ago.  And I don't mean tomatoes, friends.  I mean cabbage, yam, potatoes, carrots and parsnips.  At $800 there is no room for chips, crackers, etc. though I do buy people kibble (cereal) for dh. We mostly eat wild meat, but sometimes break down and buy beef or chicken.  On sale.  It doesn't seem like it but I really do keep it as low as I can.  I can only tell you that I'm not delusional and you can believe or not.  :-)

car payment - 0  It's usually $1,000- $1500 every fall to maintain.
insurance 87/ month - no discount for doing it yearly
public transportation.  I buy pass packs twice a year for $187 and walk the other four months.  Some winters I can walk all winter, but this winter I can't.  Sometimes I buy extra tickets (20 for $28) for summer or kids.  We live in the center of the city blocks from everything and aren't more than 4 kms from anywhere we drive and that is Costco/ Mark's.
gasoline- $150 budgeted in past months, but this month we are going to let it go to half then dh and son #2 are going to take turns. 
Blue cross $118 Dh has a plan through work, too, probably making us over-insured, but the money comes off his cheque and the plans work together making all of the medications in the house free.  So I feel pretty fine with it.

Debt - zero except the bankruptcy trustee and that is $197 for him and $243 for me.

Clothes.  Dh works in a manual labour job and it is new gloves ($15) about once a month or new jeans.  He's set up for work boots, winter work boots, snow clothes, etc.  I often get birthday money from my mom and usually buy new clothes for myself with that, but I did buy a whole new wardrobe of .50 t-shirts when Zellers closed.  I don't need work clothes and usually wear my sleep sweats and sleep tank top to work.  I only buy clothes for one of the kids and it is soft sci fi t-shirts from Value Village.  I try for half price day but it doesn't always happen.

I've got a little bit for savings.  I couldn't tell you how much - I take it from the joint account and put it in my account then ignore it.  Realistically it is probably right around 1 month's expenses. 

Whatever is left at the end of the month goes into savings.  I know that seems like money will get frittered away, but we are all good about buying what we need not want and need.  It is usually $500- $750.

In a year I'll worry about investments and retirement.  Right now I'm just focusing on ready cash.  I do usually have a fairly respectable (by normal standards- not MMM standards ) emergency fund. 




Captain and Mrs Slow

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Unless bankrupty laws have changed from when we went under many years ago, we didn't have to pay anything, walked filed some paperwork, had a creditors meeting which no one came and that was it. No credit for 7 years. The trustee fee was paid whne we filed a tax retrun. So why are you paying so much?

The other problem your facing is Canada is bloody expensive, no 10 dollar a month cell plans.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Just read this on zen habits

http://zenhabits.net/sticky/

Don't try and change the world overnight, start small and build on your successes

KimAB

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Captain and Mrs Slow- why is it so expensive?  (Deep cleansing breath...  I've got some anger)  While I take full and complete responsibility for my actions and my debt -I've got some anger.  The price was originally $200/ month each which I paid in full up front.  Alberta elected an oil-loving government and my 7 year wage freeze was over.  I got a little raise- retroactive and a couple of bonuses.  Dh got  a job and together we made too much money.  So fine - we knew I'd have to pay longer.  Two weeks before Dh was to be discharged they phoned and asked how old my kids were.  The oldest had just turned 21.  They said - oh, you either have to treat all of her income as household income OR say she hasn't lived with you in the last year.  I said I won't involve my (highly anxious) daughter in our finances so they readjusted to the beginning using the month with the highest income and lowest expenses as a guide (co-incidence...  ?)

I think they've clamped down since 2008 and are trying to make it more difficult.  Everyone has been wondering if I will declare bankruptcy again.  Most assuredly no.  *NO*  And what is different now?  *I* manage the money and the savings and am the only one with access to the bulk of it.  When the bankruptcy is discharged I will never have joint debt again.  I can't see myself having debt of any kind, honestly. 

When I was in high school in the late 1980's girls were told make sure your name is on EVERYTHING- it is the only way to protect yourself. I found out that wasn't QUITE true.

I tried having the cell phone only and I hated it.  When the cell contract was up we ditched it and got the phone back.  I agree that bundle is something to look at again, though.

Oh, and I'll happily accept a face punch for anything that I've said in this post.  I *know* I've got an attitude about the fact that they readjusted my numbers.  I'm working on it and generally keep it to myself.  :-P

arebelspy

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Just read this on zen habits

http://zenhabits.net/sticky/

Don't try and change the world overnight, start small and build on your successes

I don't read zenhabits, but I do read Tynan, who wrote a similar post a week or so ago that zenhabits linked to, so that's a link worth clicking if you're into that whole habit setting stuff.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

GuitarStv

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Why did you keep your extravagant phone/cable/Internet bill when declaring bankruptcy?  You can use an antenna to pick up tv signals, the library for entertainment/Internet, and cut this bill down to about 20-30$ a month by only owning a home phone.

If you aren't more than 4km from the places you usually drive, there's little reason not to bike most of the time, which will save you a lot in gas and wear and tear in the car.

If you're making less than you would at a Tim Horton's . . . You need a new job.  You also absolutely need to involve your 21 year old adult daughter in your finances if she's not supporting herself and still living at home.

Can I suggest you purchase large bags of oatmeal and raisins rather than boxes (expensive as hell) cereal.  It's not just cheaper, but healthier too . . . Also, you need to buy your carrots/potatoes in bulk and leave them in an unheated shed or porch or something to avoid paying such a ridiculous amount for groceries over the winter.

Your electricity bill is also a bit high.  Are you using CFLs?  Are you running electric heaters?  What's sucking all that power?

Water sewer recycling of 75$ a month seems really high.  Have you tried cheap and easy ways to reduce usage?  Low flow shower heads, putting a brick in the back of inefficient toilets, fixing leaky faucets might help that out.

Please don't take any of this the wrong way . . . You sound like you're doing a great job and are a very hardworking person, but there is still a little room for efficiency.

tmac

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I've got a budget.  The bankruptcy trustees gathered around and praised me on it.  And every month I have to file a budget.  Okay - I AM complainy about the budget that I have to do for them!  I am a complainypants and I know it!

My issue with the budget is that there is no starting and ending numbers (ie...  there is no way for it to balance) and on paper you are using the money you made in that month (15th and 30th) but the last paycheque of the month is what I use for the first half of the next month.

I'm happy to share my budget.  There is nothing exciting in it.  Although...  I'm pretty sure I'll get questioned on my utility costs...

Meadow Lark posted as I was posting.  No one in my house qualifies for ANYTHING.  I could run a support home, but I would have to own my own home.  It is a good option as a second, though!  :-)  I am looking for something in a different field. 

Anyway - I really just wanted to say thank you to all of you for being kind to me.  I do really appreciate it.  :-)

You're doing great. You're in a heck of a hole, but you're climbing out of it and are acting like a grown-up. That's a lot more than many other people can say. :)

Can I suggest, if you haven't already, that you look at You Need a Budget (ynab.com). It's budgeting software that works great for these kinds of difficult situations. We have a business and our personal income is extremely variable. I'd never been able to budget successfully before, but two months in, and I finally have a grasp on it. It costs $60, but there's a month-long free trial. I saved more money than that in my first month just by having better control over everything.

Best of luck to you! :)

KimAB

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>> You can use an antenna to pick up tv signals, the library for entertainment/Internet, and cut this bill down to about 20-30$ a month by only owning a home phone. >>

I really can't cut it to $20 or $30 by having only home phone.  I use the library all the time and paying for TV is my only option for TV.  Not that I think TV is a necessity.  It was a bundle deal and putting TV into it added $15/ month to the bill. 

>>If you aren't more than 4km from the places you usually drive, there's little reason not to bike most of the time, which will save you a lot in gas and wear and tear in the car. >>

The reason right now is safety because of cold or ice.  We walk or most places during the day, but I wouldn't walk to work unless it was it was necessary because of no car or no bus.  The danger of falling is very real and I'm not being dramatic when I say I could freeze to death before someone found me.  My walking route to work is an unlit bike path.  I do walk as often as I can, though.

>>If you're making less than you would at a Tim Horton's . . . You need a new job.  >>

Agreed!  :-)  To put it in perspective my husband makes $17/ hr and I make minimum wage but we take home about the same amount because I put in more hours.  So girls at Tim Horton's make $16/ hr (if you never trade a shift) All things considered I likely wouldn't make more money anywhere else.  I would make a change so I could sleep at home in my own bed, work a job where I wasn't dependent on the bus and hopefully something a little safer/ less stress.

>>Can I suggest you purchase large bags of oatmeal and raisins rather than boxes (expensive as hell) cereal. >>

Of course!  I buy HUGE bags of it at Save on Foods for $15 (20 Kg?) Cereal is about $10-$15/ month.  My husband is the only one who eats it.

>>  Also, you need to buy your carrots/potatoes in bulk and leave them in an unheated shed or porch or something to avoid paying such a ridiculous amount for groceries over the winter.>>

I'm starting to think you don't live very far north... ;-)  I buy vegetables that keep fairly well in the basement.  I couldn't keep them all winter, though.  All I can really do is buy whatever is on sale or cheapest when I go to the store.  That goes especially for fruit and vegetables, but with all things.  I usually make our buns or baking, but if I buy it is off the 1/2 price rack.  Sometimes, though, you have to just pay the price that they are charging if you want that item. Sometimes I can do a little better at Costco- not always.

>>Your electricity bill is also a bit high.  Are you using CFLs?>>

Absolutely!  And any fixture with more than one socket only has one light.

>>  Are you running electric heaters?  >>

Nope.

>>What's sucking all that power?>>

Furnace.  It's a natural gas furnace, but the blower is electric.  Let me break down my bill for you.

Current energy charges:
Administration fee- Fixed $8.27
Cost of electricity - variable $52.05 (this is where I could maybe knock off a couple bucks)
GST  $3.01

Total: $63.33

Current distributor charges:
Transmission charge $16.64
Distribution charge $66.11
Rate riders $1.90 credit
Local access fee $8.14
GST $4.45

Total $93.44
Total amount due $156.77

The group home where I work is a small one bedroom apartment with one older lady.  No computers or any energy hogs, etc. and her bill was over $95 last month.  And she has no furnace- that is just lights and appliances.

>>Water sewer recycling of 75$ a month seems really high.  Have you tried cheap and easy ways to reduce usage?>>

Oh, yeah.  The city gave away low flow shower heads a few years ago and we put it on. 
 
It might have been an estimated bill.  It is usually one bill of $65 then $75 the next month.  I don't know why.  We use the same amount every time.

Water consumption $19.10 (you are probably thinking it's long showers, but it's not)
Water fixed rate $9.38
Municipal water franchise fee $2.85
Sewer $23.87 (we only flush when necessary...)
Sewer fixed rate $6.66
Municipal sewer franchise fee $3.06
Recycle program $9.00
Total: $73.92

>>Please don't take any of this the wrong way . . . You sound like you're doing a great job and are a very hardworking person, but there is still a little room for efficiency.>>

I don't take it the wrong way all.  I know my bills seem high (really high to some of you), but that is just what it costs to live here.  Someone is probably thinking why the HELL would you live in the north? =8-o  We don't know!  We love winter?  A lot!  We also have something in Canada called the Northern Living Allowance.  We live in a 'prescribed zone' and get very hefty tax returns and that helps.  We won't get one this year because of the bankruptcy, though.

I am tightening everything up until we can turn the furnace off.  We keep it between 15 and 17.  It might be 15 at the thermostat, but it gets rapidly colder as you move away from it.  We all wear layer, fuzzy socks and wrap up in blankets if we are stationary.  Oh, and our 'window plastic' is vapour barrier plastic.  We reuse it every year and only have to pay for the double sided tape.  :-)

JT

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  • Location: NZ
Sounds to me like you're fairly badass.

The only difference between you and the moustachian community is they're aiming for financial independence with their badassity.

It could be argued you are also aiming for financial independence - starting with bankruptcy avoidance.

You are surely working pretty damn hard though and it doesn't sound like you have much fun on the side.

Being frugal doesn't mean the fun of life should be sucked away.

But your situation is quite intense and it sounds like you're doing what you can to avoid a situation you don't want.

Good luck with avoiding bankruptcy.

One thing I like about the moustachians is we're not shy with our number crunching.

If you've only just discovered the site, I can really recommend reading the posts from the start.  They're great reading and contain nuggets of information that can be used in day to day life.




totoro

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What about moving further south in Alberta?  You sound like you are paying some of the expense but not reaping the benefits of typically much higher salaries up North?  I wonder if your boys would qualify for some services down south - or at least support groups. 

I understand this might not be possible or desirable for you and the change in routine might be too much for everyone.

JT

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  • Posts: 146
  • Location: NZ
Whoops! Sorry!

I read the original post and then trucked on down to the very end to do my reply.

Since then, I've read everybody's replies and realise you're getting the hang of how things are.

All the very best to you and your family.

KimAB

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>>You are surely working pretty damn hard though and it doesn't sound like you have much fun on the side.  Being frugal doesn't mean the fun of life should be sucked away.>>

I don't know how to insert- sorry everyone.  I just had to comment to that because I was thinking how odd it is to see yourself through other people's eyes.  And after my posts the last couple days wonder what people must think about my life.  :-/

I absolutely agree that a frugal life or even austerity measures like I'm in this month (and maybe next month...) shouldn't mean the end to a little fun in a person's life.  You have to understand that I've ALWAYS lived this way.  Our standard of living didn't really drop when we declared bankruptcy.  We didn't lose a house, car, cottage, fine art, jewellery (we were given a three page list of assets that we had to declare and sell- we didn't have anything)

I *am* striving for financial independence so that I can retire and so a couple of my kids can live independently.  Anyway- I'm off on a rabbit trail!  What I actually wanted to say that happiness is ALWAYS a choice.  Some days it is a little bit HARD to find a bright side, but there is always something to be happy about and *always* something to be grateful for.  The kids and I joke all the time about our 'first world problems.'  It's good to keep these things in perspective.  It's only life and none of us is going to get out alive!  ;-)

marty998

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  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Hit the "quote" button on the top right of every post.

If you already hit reply, then scroll down below the typing space and the previous posts have "insert quote" links.

>>You are surely working pretty damn hard though and it doesn't sound like you have much fun on the side.  Being frugal doesn't mean the fun of life should be sucked away.>>

I don't know how to insert- sorry everyone.  I just had to comment to that because I was thinking how odd it is to see yourself through other people's eyes.  And after my posts the last couple days wonder what people must think about my life.  :-/