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011: Once upon a time, I started a blog...

October 18th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

And then I promptly stopped for several months. What has happened since then?

February:
-Survived the Olympics.
-Finally tackled the beast known as my Canada Student Loan. Paid a small amount of money. Was reassured that situation would be fine. Applied for the Repayment Assistance Program.
-Major depressive disorder got a little bit worse.

March:
-Owed Student Loans more money.
-Had a severe lung infection.
-Major depressive disorder got a little bit worse.

April:
-Found out that Student Loans had messed up. Owed about 750.
-Got extremely sick of work.
-Broke down and sobbed at work.
-Went back on my meds.
-Made the steps to go to a food bank.
-Was contemplating dark and morbid things when the Canada Revenue Agency gave me a generous tax refund.

May:
-Paid off that enormous debt, was approved for the Repayment Assistance Program.
-A friendship started to unravel.
-Found out my financial situation allowed me to get my depression meds for free.

June:
-Meh.

July:
-Went on a trip to visit family. It was horrible.
-My younger cat turned three!
-The money left over from my tax refund started to dwindle.
-Some dear friends moved out of Vancouver.

August:
-Money left over completely dwindled.

September:
-Paid off a 500 overdraft and closed it!
-Moved to a new bank, finally. No frozen funds for me!
-Still had yet to hear a Justin Bieber song.

October, so far:
-My older cat turned four!
-Paid off a 100 overdraft and closed it!
-Received motivation to apply for new jobs.
-Have a tiny amount of savings. Small steps.
-Found out that Justin Bieber assaulted a twelve-year-old boy. Did not care.

2092:
57,837.33 of debt, excluding interest, will be all paid off.

010: PAY DAY.

February 16th, 2010 at 04:18 am

Hello! I hope you all are well.

I am very tired, will catch up tomorrow.

I also found a kindred spirit at work. Her situation is not as bad, but it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who worries about money.

I just wanted to say that I MADE IT. I was down to 2.92 today before I got my check. Yippee. I'm very pleased. I'm going to try to stretch eighty bucks until next pay day (Friday, February 26, which will be low). Maybe that's going a little too far. I won't be using debit to pay for ANYTHING, though. Only in emergencies. I have learned my lesson about nasty bank fees (maybe one day, I'll have a minimum of a thousand bucks in my checking account, and the fee will be waived).

Ugh, I'm too tired to do this, but then I'll forget, won't I? Yeaaaaaaah.

Timmy Hos: 3.02
Phone bill: 138
VISA: 185
Groceries: 40.12

Total monthly spending so far: 1029.11

Dining in challenge: 5

P.S. I'm watching the pairs' free-skate coverage on CTV's site (Russians planning to do a quad?! I don't know if I can bear to watch!), as I don't have a TV. Haven't had one in years. As corny as it sounds, I smiled when I saw the VISA commercial with Morgan Freeman's silky voice congratulating us on our first gold. Also, congrats to the US for being in the lead thus far!

009: I love the way you move.

February 15th, 2010 at 07:57 am

Happy... Feast day of Saints Cyril and Methodius!

I'm down to six bucks. I'm in the final stretch. It's been an emotional and stressful period, I must say. I don't know how I made it. But I did, and I thank you all for your supportive comments.

I did end up spending money yesterday. My friend and I split an appetizer. Meh. I wanted to save that money, but I just felt self-conscious about not ordering anything. I'll really have to get over that or just not go out.

I watched the Opening Ceremonies in Robson Square on Friday night. As I have friends and family in the US, I was extremely dismayed when almost everybody else started to boo when the Americans came out. Aren't the Olympics supposed to bring the world together? So I cheered as loudly as I could. I don't care if I annoyed anyone. If I ever end up moving back to the United States (a strong possibility, as I have a green card), I will eventually apply for citizenship, anyway.

I also found out that I don't need to deposit my checks in person at the bank. They only put a hold on portions over a thousand dollars. What on earth? The guy on the phone apologised on behalf of the teller who had "grossly misinformed [me]." No kidding.

I just realised that maybe I'll be going through another rough patch after the next pay period on February 26. It is only a nine-day pay period, and I will be paying off the rest of my phone bill and my rent. I keep forgetting to contact Telus about getting a $100.00 refund on a bill I accidentally paid to them back in May, but I imagine that will take a while to process.

Calamari: 5.65

Total monthly spending so far: 662.97

Dining in challenge: 5

007: This is it.

February 11th, 2010 at 08:10 am

I've got $11.00 and some change to last me until pay day. Four more days. The Olympics start the day after tomorrow. I've been pretty cranky about the Olympics being here, but I think I'm doing a one-eighty. I'm starting to get excited when I see various people from around the world. Plus, I'm hoping to take advantage of the free concerts that the city will offer.

I found out that one of my favourite bands, Stars, is playing here next week. However, I certainly will not shell out fifty bucks for a ticket, even though I'm getting paid a few days before the show. This period has taught me a tough lesson. Because imagine four days before the next pay day. I might desperately need those fifty dollars, right? Stars will play again. My cats need their food.

Bagel: 1.21
Wendy's*: 1.46
Candy bar: 1.35
Groceries: 10.84

Total monthly spending so far: 657.32

Dining in challenge: 3

*All right, what the heck happened to their 1.39 Value Menu or did I just dream that? I thought it consisted of chicken nuggets, a junior cheeseburger, baked potato, chili, and sundry food? But, no, either I dreamed about this or it no longer exists.

I am definitely aware that I spend money on unnecessary extras, like muffins and fast food. I think I'll try to resume counseling sessions in March, after the Olympics. I haven't had a session since July. (Yeah, that came out of nowhere, didn't it? Hopefully, I didn't scare some of you readers. Ha.)

Also, I received my credit report. Didn't get my credit score, but I have a general idea of what it is. All I can say is... OUCH.

I am pretty exhausted, so I'll respond to comments and catch up on blogs tomorrow. Take care, everyone.

006: Don't cry. Don't raise your eye.

February 9th, 2010 at 06:59 am

Didn't watch the Super Bowl (but way to go, Saints!). I did watch "Baba O'Riley" on YouTube, though. I love that song so much! But, um, the performance? Roger Daltrey's vocals made one of my cats jump up in fear. My little baby was sleeping so soundly, too. Sorry, munchkin!

I am pretty proud of myself, even though I broke and spent three bucks in loose change on spring rolls for lunch (I paid the price... the less junk I eat, the more my body adapts to that change, naturally. So when I eat more junk and my body isn't used to it... well, woo-eeeeeee!). That sure taught me a lesson.

Also, thanks for the advice about Saturday. So I'm going to go, but I'll order a soft drink. I think I'm in good shape. I bought ingredients to make chili tonight. Because I had a lot of the ingredients in my pantry, I only spent $8.56 on groceries tonight.

Muffin: 1.21
Spring rolls: 3.00
Candy bar: 0.35
Groceries: 8.56

Total monthly spending so far: 642.46

Dining in challenge: 3

Also, thanks very much for the support. I am overwhelmed by how helpful and friendly people are here. I also appreciate that people are honest but not preachy or judgemental.

This is one of the hardest financial periods I've ever been through. It's tough. Super tough. I just have to remember that some people have it a lot worse, and I can make it.

004: Brain Stew

February 4th, 2010 at 02:37 am

004: Brain Stew

I'm having trouble trying to sleep,
I'm counting sheep but running out,
As time ticks by,
And still I try,
No rest for crosstops in my mind


12 days until pay day.

I was quite bad and performed two transgressions:

1) I used my debit card twice.

I will try my darndest to not use it very much from now on. Those fees are a nightmare. Note to self: STOP IT RIGHT NOW. STOP IT. (I'm okay. Really. Haha.)

2) I made unnecessary purchases.

Various people at work were in low spirits, and I purchased a small block of chocolate cheese (chocolate fudge mixed with cream cheese). I am scolding myself so much. I was going to use that money for lunch tomorrow, as I'm meeting a friend. Will have to bring something from home, I guess. Except I'm waaaaay too tired to shop for groceries right now. Well, people enjoyed the cheese, at least. It tasted like a less sweet chocolate cheesecake. Mmm.

Yesterday was tough. I work downtown, and during my lunch break, I went to buy the cat litter. Smells of delicious food were wafting from every corner. I looooooove food, and I am very fond of a little Greek place and Japa Dog. I ended up not eating anything. It wasn't a wise decision, because I felt rather woozy at the end of the day. I know I am getting sick. My throat is quite sore, and I feel stuffy and tired.


Muffin: 1.21 (ah, Timmy Hos)
Cheese: 5.83
A six-pack of double-roll bathroom tissue, a ten-pack of garbage bags, a ten-pack of Nature Valley Oats 'N Honey bars, two two-packs of paper towels, and dishwashing soap: 5.66 (Thank you, Shoppers Drug Mart's Optimum program!)

Total monthly spending so far: 34.27

Also, I really do appreciate all the supportive comments so far. What a great community! Just so you know, my Internet connection is spotty and unreliable, so daily updates may not occur. But I'll definitely try to update as much as I can.

For those of you in my boat or who just want to eat cheaper, here are some ideas on how to eat on just $50.00 a week (half that amount, in my case... but yes). Also, 30 Bucks a Week.

Inspired by the latter, I may join this. Not now, obviously!

003: Oh, dear.

February 2nd, 2010 at 02:58 pm

I have about $100.00 to live on until February 15. 13 days until pay day.

Things I need to buy before pay day:
Groceries ($25.00, tops)
Cat food and litter ($25.00, tops)
Paper towels, garbage bags, bathroom tissue ($7.00?)

Other things:
Friday dinner: $9.00
Drinking with friends on the 13th: $7.00

I think one drink only ought to be okay.

Which will leave me about $25.00, if I play my cards right.

Also, my bank took out at least $40.00 in monthly fees. It's my fault for being so reckless and using my debit card, but I was gobsmacked just the same. Unfortunately, my credit is bad enough that I can't switch banks.

And now I have to get ready for work.

Edit: Oh, what a tiring day. Also, I think I'm catching a cold.

Found an extra seven bucks in Toonies and a loonie. So... muffin. I only had that and a granola bar today. Potatoes and oatmeal for dinner, banana for dessert.

Muffin: 1.80
Cat litter: 10.07

Total monthly spending so far: 21.57

002: Wow!

February 2nd, 2010 at 02:18 am

I really appreciate all the warm welcomes from people! Maybe I should change the name of my blog, as I've always been a pessimist. Epic Trail? Epic Tail? Epic Tale? Haha.

I had to resort to transferring funds from my US bank account to my Canadian bank account. I'm not very proud of that, but I don't think I can get away without eating until pay day (February 15).

Also, I'm not going to be able to make the Debtors Anonymous meeting tonight. That's disappointing. I'm extremely tired, the landlord chose to pick up the rent between 8:00 and 9:00 (well, I don't even know if I can stay awake by then), and I have to call my bank to figure out what my options are for the credit card. That's the most important thing. I think I get a five-day grace period, but I won't be able to come up with the money by Thursday.

Finally, I'm relatively disappointed in myself for spending money on junk today. It wasn't junk food, really, but I could have saved this money. The positive? It was so tasty.

Muffin: 1.79
Lunch: 6.41
Snack: 3.30

11.50. Goodness. I like this idea of keeping track of my spending, though. It will definitely help me put things into perspective. Off to make that phone call soon. I'll let you know how it goes... sigh.

On an unrelated note, there's a creepy white van parked at the end of the driveway, blocking it. Uh... are the men in the white coats here for me already? I'm not that crazy, I swear!

Edit: That phone call took, like, three minutes. So I arranged to make the minimum payment of 182.00 on pay day. Phone bill of 138.00 will also be paid on that day. Wince. 320.00. What's done is done, though. I can sleep a little better tonight, I guess...

P.S. I downloaded this yesterday. It's really helping.