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Thread: January 2017 Frugal Chatter - All Welcome!!!!

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    Canadian Guru jasperandchar's Avatar
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    Welcome to January 2017's Frugal Chatter Thread
    This thread is currently associated with: N/A
    2019 is the year that we continue to save before we buy!!!


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    Yes TG I definitely had this on my mind last night-the death of the Good Samaritans at the road side! My brother and SIL were driving a ways behind us and made sure none of the cars in the ditch were us as they went by-we are talking driving 60 in a 110 km zone-which is usually enough to get you rear ended on that road as everybody whizzes along at 120-140 km/hr. Weather looks favourable in Newark and Calgary for flying home tonight despite the overnight snow and cold here- I made sure my daughter was on the only daily direct flight home just to reduce the chance of delays etc.( even though it cost more) it was worth the peace of mind to have her avoid a connection in Chicago or Toronto on a busy travel day in winter and possibly being stranded somewhere.

    For those who are interested, I thought I would post our total spending last year broken down into major categories. We are a family of 3 and I realize it would be much higher if our house wasn't paid for. As well we spent $11,000 more from our US account for travel ( 5 trips), groceries while away etc. We did of course also save some into TFSA's etc but that is not included in spending. We drive one vehicle, try to live frugally day to day ,save and splurge on travel! This is meant as food for thought, discussion, not as a competition or brag at all. I am sure some spend less and some spend more based on your expenses, family size, where you live in the country, stage in life etc. I will say we try hard to get the best deal on our day to day costs-whether that be food, cable, car insurance etc.

    Total CAN spending $33,918.16 ( plus 11,000 US)

    Medical 5608.179. Blue Cross premiums, our co pay for drugs, dental, physio for DD etc, also includes travel medical insurance-so basically any med expense allowed by Rev Canada come tax time. Seems high but we are getting older and DD has had some pain issues this year.

    Groceries $5491.34

    Utilities 4854.60(gas, electric, water, home phone, cell phone, cable, internet)

    Property Tax 3272.22

    Car 2543.75( gas, insurance, maintenance, registration, car wash etc-everything for the car-it is almost 2 years old and pd off so no payments)

    Clothing 301.51-this one is quite low but only includes DH and I as DD has her own allowance and clothing budget

    Household 2217.98-includes things like repairs and things like Tide, toilet paper etc which we do not put in our grocery budget as we don't eat them

    Eating out 705.60 plus some from our US $11,000- that obviously was spent on eating(groceries and restaurants on the road)

    Education 2750.01( this includes school fees, band trip, AMA driving lessons etc)

    House Insurance $916

    Gifts 739.30

    Entertainment 352.80-this is low but DD pays hers out of her allowance and earnings and we obviously spend more out of our travel budget for this

    Anyway I tried to hit all the major categories but left a few of the smaller ones out( charity, haircuts, miscellaneous etc, so don't try to add this up as it will fall short of our total.

    Anyway there you have it-we live a comfortable (my DH calls it luxurious) lifestyle in a nice home on a total spend of under $50,00- a year with lots of travel( usually spend FF miles, do house exchanges etc to reduce costs). But if we chose not to travel and save more our basic living costs are just under $3,000 per month and there is still room to trim-eg eating out, cable etc if we needed/wanted to. Disclaimer-we are not feeeding teen boys!! Also DD's allowance comes from a monthly CPP pension from her deceased birth Dad, so I do not count that as an expense as it comes in and goes right to her.

    Of course we do have money set aside for things like a new roof, new car etc when those things are neeeded. I am sure once DD starts university in Sept our budget and annual spending will definitely increase-but we are ready for that with her RESP/her earnings etc. And I always have a plan B-if our expenses were to soar too much over the years I could work more, travel less etc. There is plenty of discretionary spending left in our budget as compared to a family living in a hut in Africa or on a lower income or social assistance in Canada.


    Last edited by lizzie bargain; Today at 06:35 AM.
    Last edited by lizzie bargain; Tue, Jan 3rd, 2017 at 04:39 PM.

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    Nat-yes thanks for that-I may have a handle on my finances but clearly I can't post in the right month/year-lol. Yes I have no problem being open about spending but do not post my income, my families names etc-each to their own eh! Happy New Year all.

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    Gas is up to 111.6 this morning- so I am glad we filled up last night-of course by next weekend we will have to pay the higher price!!

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    Happy new year!

    Something bad happened on Thursday, Dec 30. I've debated telling you guys, but I've decided not to provide details until I have had the opportunity to deal with more professionals. It is not related to our health, so there's no need to worry about that.
    Help me out with Swagbucks and we can both earn gift cards and PayPal money
    Pm me for a referral link if you’d like to earn a $10 bonus! when you create your Checkout 51 rebate account
    Caddle Referral Code:
    ANGELA67343 and we will both earn $1 bonus

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    Canadian Guru avoncallingu's Avatar
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    Oh Angela, please accept our consoling thoughts and prayers. Anything "bad" has a way of affecting your health- either physical, emotional, spiritual or mental. You are always so busy caring for your family. Make sure you find the resources to help yourself, too. I will be thinking about you, and yours.

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    @Angela273 whatever your stressor/hurt, we are here for you.

    Happy New Year. I went to bed at 9:00pm last night.

    Church this morning and lunch out with a couple families.

    My 2017 goal is to try a different budget. I am using Every Dollar by Dave Ramsey instead of my complicated spreadsheet. The goal here is better budgeting and more shared ownership with DH. My spreadsheet with monthly averages was very helpful in setting it up though!

    https://www.everydollar.com
    If it interests you. My SIL recommended it.
    Last edited by Granger; Sun, Jan 1st, 2017 at 04:18 PM.
    "There are more important things--friendship and bravery...."
    -Hermione Granger



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    @Granger -are you using the 15-day trial version of EveryDollar or the paid version? Will explore the site in more detail later tonight.

    Last night, I had the chance to look at borrowed back issues of Burda Style sewing magazines. Saw two top patterns I want (have tracing paper!) so will try to sketch them out ASAP on Monday/Tuesday. The 2005 issue has so much content in comparison to more recent years.
    Did some shopping-replacement umbrella at Shoppers (tip: don't use your extended umbrella handle to clear slush off of sandboxes or railings-that is how I broke one rib on a 14mo old brolly) and some groceries at Fortinos last night. Dropped my gloves somewhere (found them today in frozen and dirty state at intersection-must have had lots of tires go over them); I took off the fabric from the older print umbrella with plan to make a snood or little bag that is easy to launder and can tote items when I don't have a bag with me or need a "hat" in the rain. The Velcro closures on the old umbrella clasp will be sewn onto my travelling gloves in order to make them easier to stash in a tote or pocket and minimize more drops. Very fortunate to have found the darn gloves. Still will look for a discounted 2nd pair this week just in case.

    I let go of my flannel pjs (could not stand the grey pattern anymore-we had about 5 yrs of use), one pullover (I cannot keep up with the removal of pilling and the colour is dulling), and the linen top (saved the embroidered sections and buttons; made rags out of the rest for boot polishing). I am open to new or newer clothing in 2017 starting this month. Want a couple of dresses this year and one tunic that I have yet to make despite years of owning the sewing pattern.

    Did a trip to Longos for a last free hot chocolate and some items. Gave another customer my chip coupon that expired yesterday as their purchase had the chips!

    My local Shoppers (today) does not seem to have any gift sets on Boxing Day clearance (wanted to see if Nivea sets were priced to sell). Realized that the stationery wall by post office is also the new clearance section (former front area for clearance is now a lotto/magazine/Joe Fresh jewellery nook) and I saw 44 cent Oh Henry peanut butter bars (got 2, and lots remain) and the the 3Musketeers bars (bought the last 4). There are also 99 cent PC berry fruit flavoured penguin snacks (2017 expiry dates-April or May?) on clearance. I could not resist the siren call of bright Post-It notes so I bought a block to start off the New Year.

    I noticed that Fortinos has Nivea deodorant sticks on sale for $3 (yay!) yesterday, but now the country of manufacture is Chile, not Germany. I did not go to an endcap with Nivea products but will check again to see if gift sets are there. The regular endcap during Xmas no longer has gift sets and the clearance endcap was cleared out and had boxes of some other product. Will look at the back of store 50% off shelves for stock too.

    Thanks to @annedougherty for posting the Sephora 2017 VIB birthday freebie options on the SC Blog. I have yet to get my e-mail from Sephora but I like knowing the choices ahead of time. Driscolls however has already sent me a birthday coupon for 50 cents off the raspberries. Can other January BD SCers confirm they received their Driscolls BD offer too?
    2020-Money & *baby Yoda*

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    Super-walking bean bun! Ciel's Avatar
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    Mom's bed needs a new bedcover but she keeps telling me I need a comforter. I really don't have a space to store one when it's not in use. The flannel bedding is doing its warm work (and yet I do wish to dash to Homesense to see if the other flannel sets have sold out or linger for another few days). If I was Mom with her credit card, I would have shopped last week for the bedcover. She's talking mattresses again so I mentioned a Hamilton company that makes them. Will see if a bus trip happens this month to look at the sets.

    Very delighted to see full sunshine today! Great introduction to 2017-ready for new everything. Of course, I flipped a couple of calendar pages.

    I remain puzzled why a neighbouring transit system would share at end of December that it will still accept HSR paper transfers when for about 5 months of 2016, the word was no more paper transfers from Hamilton bus system on Burlington buses as of January 1, 2017. That is very late in the year/buried news on Friday and well, not considerate towards transit users.
    2020-Money & *baby Yoda*

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    Angela, I don't need to know what it is for you to know that you've got a support system at SmartCanucks, whatever the problem may be. I've been quiet on the BB for quite a while but I've always been impressed by how people in the chat threads come through for each other -- you as much or more than others.

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    Canadian Guru jasperandchar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela273 View Post
    Happy new year!

    Something bad happened on Thursday, Dec 30. I've debated telling you guys, but I've decided not to provide details until I have had the opportunity to deal with more professionals. It is not related to our health, so there's no need to worry about that.
    Hope everythings alright, thinking of you and your family.
    2019 is the year that we continue to save before we buy!!!

  12. #12
    Canadian Guru jasperandchar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie bargain View Post
    Yes TG I definitely had this on my mind last night-the death of the Good Samaritans at the road side! My brother and SIL were driving a ways behind us and made sure none of the cars in the ditch were us as they went by-we are talking driving 60 in a 110 km zone-which is usually enough to get you rear ended on that road as everybody whizzes along at 120-140 km/hr. Weather looks favourable in Newark and Calgary for flying home tonight despite the overnight snow and cold here- I made sure my daughter was on the only daily direct flight home just to reduce the chance of delays etc.( even though it cost more) it was worth the peace of mind to have her avoid a connection in Chicago or Toronto on a busy travel day in winter and possibly being stranded somewhere.

    For those who are interested, I thought I would post our total spending last year broken down into major categories. We are a family of 3 and I realize it would be much higher if our house wasn't paid for. As well we spent $11,000 more from our US account for travel ( 5 trips), groceries while away etc. We did of course also save some into TFSA's etc but that is not included in spending. We drive one vehicle, try to live frugally day to day ,save and splurge on travel! This is meant as food for thought, discussion, not as a competition or brag at all. I am sure some spend less and some spend more based on your expenses, family size, where you live in the country, stage in life etc. I will say we try hard to get the best deal on our day to day costs-whether that be food, cable, car insurance etc.

    Total CAN spending $33,918.16 ( plus 11,000 US)

    Medical 5608.179. Blue Cross premiums, our co pay for drugs, dental, physio for DD etc, also includes travel medical insurance-so basically any med expense allowed by Rev Canada come tax time. Seems high but we are getting older and DD has had some pain issues this year.

    Groceries $5491.34

    Utilities 4854.60(gas, electric, water, home phone, cell phone, cable, internet)

    Property Tax 3272.22

    Car 2543.75( gas, insurance, maintenance, registration, car wash etc-everything for the car-it is almost 2 years old and pd off so no payments)

    Clothing 301.51-this one is quite low but only includes DH and I as DD has her own allowance and clothing budget

    Household 2217.98-includes things like repairs and things like Tide, toilet paper etc which we do not put in our grocery budget as we don't eat them

    Eating out 705.60 plus some from our US $11,000- that obviously was spent on eating(groceries and restaurants on the road)

    Education 2750.01( this includes school fees, band trip, AMA driving lessons etc)

    House Insurance $916

    Gifts 739.30

    Entertainment 352.80-this is low but DD pays hers out of her allowance and earnings and we obviously spend more out of our travel budget for this

    Anyway I tried to hit all the major categories but left a few of the smaller ones out( charity, haircuts, miscellaneous etc, so don't try to add this up as it will fall short of our total.

    Anywhere there you have it-we live a comfortable (my DH calls it luxurious) lifestyle in a nice home on a total spend of under $50,00- a year with lots of travel( usually spend FF miles, do house exchanges etc to reduce costs). But if we chose not to travel and save more our basic living costs are just under $3,000 per month and there is still room to trim-eg eating out, cable etc if we needed/wanted to. Disclaimer-we are not feeeding teen boys!! Also DD's allowance comes from a monthly CPP pension from her deceased birth Dad, so I do not count that as an expense as it comes in and goes right to her.

    Of course we do have money set aside for things like a new roof, new car etc when those things are neeeded. I am sure once DD starts university in Sept our budget and annual spending will definitely increase-but we are ready for that with her RESP/her earnings etc. And I always have a plan B-if our expenses were to soar too much over the years I could work more, travel less etc. There is plenty of discretionary spending left in our budget as compared to a family living in a hut in Africa or on a lower income or social assistance in Canada.


    Last edited by lizzie bargain; Today at 06:35 AM.
    Thanks for sharing Lizzie, it's interesting to see how others budget etc.
    2019 is the year that we continue to save before we buy!!!

  13. #13
    Canadian Guru jasperandchar's Avatar
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    Happy New Year everyone,

    Went to MIL's for slupper - turkey

    I took the Christmas tree down and all the decorations, the boys the need to pack away their own personal decorations and then 2017 we'll be behind us.

    Tomorrow we are off to Killaloo to pickup ds2 Walleye from the taxidermy.

    Wishing everyone a great New year and a wonderful evening.
    2019 is the year that we continue to save before we buy!!!

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    J and C-you seem in a rush to see the end of 2017-being as it just startd. Just kidding-my DD is winging her way across the continent and due to land in about 2 hrs. Her worst problem when she called from the departure gate was she had lost her earphones so no music on the way home-what would she do for 5 hrs on the way home? Such a huge issue-lol. I think we adults would often love 5 hrs to just gaze out the window or daydream. Anyway if she had to lose something, better those than her passport, retainer, phone or computer-or her new on sale grad dress which we hope Air Canada will get here for her!! I suggested she sleep but she claims not to be tired even though her friends Mum says the friend has been worn out since DD left-she probably will sleep enroute but will never admit it to me-lol.

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    Super-walking bean bun! Ciel's Avatar
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    The raspberry zinger tea smells berry delicious even though raspberry leaves are near the end of the ingredient list. Not sure of any joint relief/hormone balancing as yet since I had the tea before bedtime. Will have another cup of the tea tonight and work my way through the other 4 zinger flavours as well for the next couple of weeks.

    My recipe spreadsheet has yet to be started. I'm thinking an MSAccess database would be the better way to go since the fields are linked as part of each record. I do have an issue of saving recipe pages here and there, or pushing them into a binder but I don't have an easy way to say pull up all recipes using rosemary or needing bananas. I could use a master baking supply list too. Ideas fly out then boomerang back and fall down on the ground. Need to find the ones that stay launched.

    Value Village just had a Holiday Party clothing sale for club card members, so I expect a winter clothing sale should be coming along this month.
    @lilo0003 -if only there was some way to get your kijiji sales savvy to work with your parents' and inlaws' downsizing needs before any big decisions can be made. Maybe if they are receptive to your selling of smaller items and then waiting for warm spring days to hold yard sales, some things can make them money and find new homes. But since you and DH know best about who is involved (siblings and other relations) with their daily lives, you can decide how much time to book for potential "spot the deals waiting to be listed" scouting visits prior to selling things. Of course, the parents/inlaws would have to be receptive to knowing that wait lists for retirement or nursing homes exist and perhaps a savings account for a move would be wise to plan now rather than when the weather is nice and gee, someone's leg/arm/head needs extra care/one-level living.
    2020-Money & *baby Yoda*

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