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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
9/13/17 12:20 A

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How is everyone doing?



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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
8/17/17 11:19 P

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Thanks. Unfortunately the interest rate is 30% but it still provides some breathing room. I spoke with VISA today and they did not have any record that I spoke with them in July - about closing the account and having the fee returned (as the account I held cost $170/year). Fortunately the supervisor believed me and he took care of it - the fee is being returned in full (as it should not have been placed on the account to start with) and close out the account. I told him I realize I owe on the account and told him my plan on paying it off. This is a first for me, he stated "don't worry, simply pay off the over-amount tomorrow and you'll be back on track for monthly payments." He did agree though, biweekly is smarter as the interest rate is 28%.

It would feel better if I could say I went on a big trip or I bought fun stuff, blew the money on things I didn't need, but had fun doing it. Instead, it all added up due to supporting my nephew for a few years (he contributed to food and small amount for room and board) while he got on his feet, car repairs, buying new winter tires (not a choice in the north, to skip this), paid rent, hydro and bought groceries. I think I'm back on track now. I will re-evaluate every month, so that I stay on top of it all.

It also didn't help that everything went up and up this past year significantly. The pay raise I received was taken away by taxes. But I know I'm not alone on that. Frustrating.

Edited by: SASSISPRING at: 8/17/2017 (23:20)

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KIMBER2245 Posts: 41
8/17/17 10:36 P

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Hang in there. It'll be easier to keep track of one bill than numerous ones. Plus, hopefully the interest rate is lower. :)

Edited by: KIMBER2245 at: 8/17/2017 (22:37)
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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
8/13/17 3:39 P

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How is everyone doing?

I'm deeper in debt but it's due to taking out more on a loan - paid off some bills. It helped pull me out from under water. I'm breathing a little easier, not freely but it's getting there.



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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
4/7/17 9:24 P

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How are folks doing?

It's been a long 3 months and not sure it'll get better financially, but it will improve on the personal level. I receive a pay raise in this next pay cheque, but I anticipate it'll be eaten by income tax, and actually decrease my take-home pay. That's what has been happening with all the pay raises - it's too little to make changes, but enough to increase taxes. It's only .5%. It's so frustrating and I can't say no, as it's province wide. Ugh. Ah well, life goes on. Hope all is going well.



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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
1/2/17 5:25 P

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Very excellent, pretty dress and you look great in it.



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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
1/2/17 2:53 P

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Here is what I looked like in the dress. Unfortunately, I had removed the headband before getting home and didn't take my phone with me so I don't have a pic with the headband.




This is what the dress looks like finished.



I also wore my chinchilla cape.




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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
12/26/16 4:22 P

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Happy Boxing Day!

I was watching TV and flipping channels this morning. I watched Extreme Couponing and was really turned off. The people - mainly women - filled their home with items they'll never use in a lifetime, and fought to buy more, all the while stating "I'm saving money." One lady needed $350 for medical bills, so she went coupon shopping, saved $350 and said "there, I did it." Uh, what? You used close to $100 to buy stuff you will not use in a lifetime (seriously, who need 50 cases of Gatoraide and another 200 packages of toilet paper to add to the almost 1000 packages you have in your home) but somehow that saves you money? Why not put the $100 towards the $350 medical bill?

This can't happen in Canada as we are strictly limited on how many coupons one can use at one time. The majority of coupons cannot be used on sale items either. However, I know people that'll buy on sale or at Costco, in bulk, pile it up in their home and say "I will never need anything." The only thing is, it's all dry goods.....and while that's great (and yes, it's good to have on stock, ideally 6 months of toilet paper, water, paper towels and such), it's not food. Seriously, the majority of people on these shows carry weight. They buy up cartons and cartons of chocolate bars, Gatoraide, junk food, Mr Noodles but what about veggies, fruit, protein?

I use coupons if they fit what I eat and need in my home. I don't fit my home to the coupons. I don't use them often because it's usually for items that I either don't eat or seriously don't need. I tend to look more for sales, what is on sale today or this week that I really need and then I look at my budget - can I afford it. Do you use coupons and if so, how do you deal with them?



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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
12/22/16 2:41 P

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HI!

I lost my subscriptions on everything from boards to blogs, so I'm slowly getting it all back. I hope everyone is doing well. Whatever your beliefs, whatever you choose to do over the holiday season, do it with flare and enjoyment!

Is there any goals that people would like to focus on for 2017, as a group? I'd love new, fresh ideas!

Take care.



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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
12/13/16 10:10 P

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just checking in to say emoticon

How are you all doing?


Diana - Bellamagoo
Pacific Time Zone
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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
12/9/16 9:31 A

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That sounds so cool!! I'd love to see a picture when it's done!

I'm feeling much better today - I had put a couple things on my credit card as the nursing foot care course I registered for in January wiped out my savings... It's pay day today, so the credit card is back to a $0.00 balance emoticon and I am building up my savings again. I am totally done my Christmas shopping now and feel like my money is back in order... now that I'm so eager to pay off my debt and keep my credit cards at a $0.00 it was really bothering me to have $200 on the one card as I know how quickly it can spiral out of control. I am not willing to let that happen again.

I now have the money aside for my foot care supplies that I am going to have to purchase in January. It means I'm not paying down the extra money on my debt, but I will get back to paying that down faster once my savings is built up again and my nursing registration is paid in feb (just over $500 for the year emoticon ). 100% of my tax return will also be going on my debt which will be a nice chunk!

but I can breathe again... I got it under control... emoticon


Diana - Bellamagoo
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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
12/7/16 4:39 P

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Roaring 20's dress with lots of fringe and feather headband! I will post a picture when it is finished. I have everything except the headband, it has been ordered, but might not arrive on time. If it doesn't then I will have to make one. Since I have everything I need shouldn't be a big deal, but I really liked the looks of the one I ordered.




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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
12/7/16 10:26 A

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Linda - way to go on your success!! What's a flapper dress?

Diana - Bellamagoo
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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
12/5/16 3:08 P

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I've been busy working and socializing with my bf, but am down a total of 21 pounds as of last week (tomorrow is my next weigh in, not sure if I've lost anything this past week or not). I will be getting busy making my flapper dress this week. I think everything is in (have to pick up the material at the post office) so I should be able to start laying everything out and putting it together by the end of the week.

Linda




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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
12/3/16 1:34 P

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Good morning!

Hope you all are doing well - seems to have gotten quiet in here again.

I was approved for a week off in January, which means I will be taking a nursing foot care course! I've already registered and paid for the course, so now I just need to buy the books and supplies. I'm hoping to build a side business with this certification. It's setting back a bit on my debt repayment plan for the next few months, but hoping in the long run that it will bring in some extra income and provide me with work/career options down the road. If not, then it's professional education and that's always good for the resume/experience. It's just going to be tight for the next couple of months while I build up my big expense savings fund again. Credit cards remain at $0.00 balance and Christmas shopping is almost done...

I'm also starting to explore art! I have started an art journal and am watching lots of youtube videos for ideas and tutorials. I have a bunch of art supplies at home but haven't really used them as I'm scared to use them... not sure how to use some of them properly and/or am worried that what I make won't be 'good enough'... so I'm trying to let go and just "play" in a journal and explore the different mediums I have. So far it's been fun..

I've also joined a Biggest Loser Challenge (BLC) and am hoping to get back on track with some 'healthier' habits... like committing to increased activity, tracking my food, increasing my water intake...

What are you all up to?

Diana - Bellamagoo
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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
11/26/16 9:37 P

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Ok - I just have to share this exciting news with you!! I got my new loan statement last week and decided to compare it to my last statement from September...Would you believe it?!! I have saved $192 in 'borrowing cost' on my loan in the last 2 months!! emoticon How?? by doubling up on my payments PLUS putting a little extra that I could squeeze out every 2 weeks. I must confess that I was totally shocked to see the difference in the 'borrowing cost'!! I can't believe it!! emoticon I am eager to put more money on it now... only I don't have it... I just paid for the foot care course! LOL

If I'm not approved for the time off work in January for the course, I've decided to put 1/2 of the refund on the loan and the other 1/2 back in the savings account for my upcoming bigger expenses. If I am cutting down that much of my borrowing cost it may well be worth it!



Diana - Bellamagoo
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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
11/25/16 4:09 P

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Wow - that sucks that you can't get the courses to work out at a more convenient time. I am not surprised that the focus for cnc is in Prince George. That's actually where I started my nursing degree!! Then finished St UNBC. It was a collaborative program between the college and university.

That's great you have funding for education! Practicals are definitely tough when you can't work and that's a long stretch to go without the pay/income. Thats one of the reasons I haven't really looked into furthering my career /education... never mind the cost of tuition, books and supplies but to lose the income... I'm no where near in a position to lose income to spend money on education the days.

Diana - Bellamagoo
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Proud member of the Golden Phoenix BL CHALLENGE

www.fitbit.com/user/2B5B6T


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
11/25/16 1:41 P

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I hope that it all goes smooth with the foot care course. My friend who is a LPN, she took the foot care course and had a good side business. As I told my niece, she has to take good care of her feet and as she ages, she'll probably want someone like my friend to help care for her feet. It's such an important piece of health care.

I am taking ECCL - Early Childhood Care and Learning Certificate. It's a 9 month program with 3 practicums - 2 practicums are 3 weeks long, the last practicum is 8 weeks long. I have issues with this, but my voice is too quiet alone. I know that we all have learned by providing free work to employers, and it's time that the system changes. I am not alone with trying to figure out how to do practicums and stay afloat at the same time. When I was in nursing school, I had a loan and bursary that covered all my living expenses, plus school and now, with the changes, I don't qualify. I can use my vacation time for the 2, 3 week practicums, but I'm really not sure how to swing the 8 weeks. I have a few ideas, including using my yearly pension cheque to cover the weeks I cannot cover with vacation.

Fortunately we won't need to worry on this until 2090! LOL!! No not quite that far in the future, but it's far - as I figured out that it'll take up to 5 years to complete this course, at the rate CNC is offering the classes. When we ask for 2 classes per semester, we are told "well, it's hard, no instructor wants to do this in the evening." We are told it's our fault for working and not being available in the day. It's really frustrating and it doesn't help that CNC isn't focused on providing quality education services to our town. (they are based in Prince George) Success by Six funds our tuition, we pay the books and admin costs, so I'll keep going forward as long as the tuition is covered.





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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
11/25/16 10:12 A

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ugh.. I just registered & paid for the nursing foot care course I want to take in January... I'm still waiting to hear if I can get the time off work, but registered for the course as I didn't want to take the chance of losing a spot in the course. I will eat a $35 administration fee if I have to cancel which isn't too bad. It would be much worse to waste a week of vacation in January with nowhere to go and nothing to do.

While paying for the course has wiped out most of my 'big expenses' saving account, it's an investment as I am hoping to start a side business to make more money in the long run and give myself options for work when we move (in a few years). Knowing the course is paid for vs on my credit card feels pretty good. It's going to be tight for the next month now and I won't be putting extra money on my debt repayment.

Now I have to start to build my savings back up as I have a few bigger expenses come feb (nursing registration) and June (car insurance which I pay for the year in advance). I will have to make a big push to try to get clients for the nursing foot care so I can make extra money and have the course and supplies pay for themselves...

How are you all doing? how are those gift baskets selling?


Diana - Bellamagoo
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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
11/23/16 9:59 A

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Good Morning!

Sassi - what are you taking at school? Have fun in the snow!! I remember loving the first few snowfalls of the year... I actually didn't mind the snow at all when I was living up north. Down here in the city it's terrible and so slick and dangerous. People here don't know how to walk or drive in it!

Fitness - sounds like you have a lot to be happy and grateful for! way to go!!

I've been toying with the idea of taking a nursing foot care course. There is course offering in January that I've requested the time off my job for... I'm excited about the possibility of starting my own business (on the side of my regular job). It's going to cost about $2000 for the course, materials and supplies needed for foot care... which means a hit on my debt repayment plan for a couple months, but if I am able to make a go of it and find a handful of regular clients, it will be worth it. It's a skill I would be able to take anywhere we move. It's just a matter of building up clientele. I still need to look more into it and understand more about having a business and what that would mean for me.

Diana - Bellamagoo
Pacific Time Zone
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Proud member of the Golden Phoenix BL CHALLENGE

www.fitbit.com/user/2B5B6T


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
11/21/16 1:42 A

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Good evening all.

The snow finally arrived - started yesterday, on and off since then and still trying to fall. When I drove home after dropping off my brother and niece last night, I turned off their road onto the main road, then something hit my eye. I had the lights down and all I saw was a shadow, but I reacted. It was a big buck deer, the other deer were already across the road. Good thing I"m always going a little slower in that area - as it's quite dark, bush on both sides and the deer often cross there at night.

I don't have anywhere to garden either, and don't like to put stuff on the ground outside my balcony door, as it might invite folks to come up. The door is secured with a broken hockey stick, but it doesn't lock. I think the worst place I lived - besides up north in a cruddy old trailer with no running water - was an underground basement suite that was around 350 sq feet. It had two tiny windows at ground level. People forgot I was down there, so would park to the side (where there was no official parking) and leave their cars running. One time I was reading, the little window was open to get air and my cat Max was up there on the sill. Next thing he falls on the couch having a seizure. Then I realize that my head is splitting open with pain and the smell hits me - the guy had parked so his exhaust was coming straight into my window! I grabbed my cats and went upstairs. I kept the door open, the cats were fine in the parking lot and looked for the jerk. I couldn't find who it was, so I wrote a very angry note and slapped it on the windshield - didn't happen again. Imagine though if I had fallen asleep, the jerk could have killed me!

4AM is far too early to wake, but I hope you did manage to get lots done.

I took my niece and mother to a craft sale at the Friendship Centre. It's so wonderful to watch my niece be off and running, having fun and not sick. She kept saying for the rest of the day "I wasn't sick auntie, I had so much fun!" The last time there she was really ill, and 4 days later was Code 3 to the city hospital, as she had ketoacidosis. Her family doctor diagnosed pneumonia, then when that didn't pan out, anxiety....and she was dx Type 1 diabetic. I think she was flooded with memories of that last day there, and like many children do, made lemons into lemonaide. We also played many hours of Barbies and goofed on the computer for a bit too. It was a great day.

Today my friend from Maple Ridge tried to fix my computer issues through Team Viewer but it's something she hasn't seen. She sent me a screenshot of my monitor and it's different than what I'm seeing - very bizarre. I also cleaned up a bit, slept in and cancelled going on patrol - windy and snowing, bad guys tend to stay home. They don't like being cold. haha!

I'm dealing with an issue coming out of the Library Board where I'm a trustee. I sent them an email 2 weeks ago and heard nothing back. It's looking more and more like I'll be resigning. I really wish when people take on executive positions that they also do research and training, rather than simply copy what was done in the past. I'm being reprimanded, based on gossip and I have no patience for such a lack of professional behaviour. I'm giving them to the end of this week, then I'm sending in a resignation letter - which is a shame, it'll leave them short and they'll need to recruit, but that's not my problem.

School is going well, things sorted out with the class and even though it's all review, I'm still learning much. I have to go up tomorrow and register for the next class, starting January. It doesn't sound though like they'll have a double class happening - 2 classes held at same time. That's a shame as a 9 month course is looking more and more like it'll take 5 year to complete!

FITNESSGRAD enjoy your new website!

I better go get things done and get ready for bed, work tomorrow. That and a dentist appt - cleaning. Have a good week!



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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
11/19/16 1:12 P

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Hello! How are you team?

I am excited as I may be getting another website to be chief editor of! I ran an idea across by higher up and am waiting for a reply. Wish me luck!

Showered with pedometer on and ready to roll!

Seltzer water and lemonade at my side.

Awesome Sparkfriends that are always there!

$2.00 sneakers from a thrift store that are more comfortable than expensive ones!

A crockpot that never fails to make a good dinner!

God giving me another day without really bad weather!

A family that loves me.

Not too shabby, huh?

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
11/19/16 9:38 A

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Hiya!

Hope you all are doing well and off to a good start for your weekend! I woke up at 4am and couldn't sleep. Boyfriend was up at 5:30 to go to work so I'm up early, even though it's a day off for me. I have lots I want to do today so an early start doesn't hurt... I want to hem some pants, make some napkins (christmas gifts), go to craft store to pick up a smaller crochet hook and more wool for scarfs I'm making for mom & dad, make a lasagna for dinner, get my walk/run in on the treadmill...

I'm envious of you who have space at home to garden - I want to try gardening but will have to wait until we move out of this condo. There is no sunlight on my patio - there is a tree that will at some point get cut down, when that happens I could probably try some things in pots.

The baskets look good - what's in them?

I've heard of creative memories. I used to scrapbook a bit, but now I just do cards. I don't do it often, but I like to make a bunch of them at once for the year and make assorted ones so that I have cards for different occasions. I do enjoy it once I get into it. My challenge is space - so often I go to my mom & dad's and put everything all over their dining room table and make a day of it. Space is also going to be my challenge for sewing - but I'll figure it out. Probably take material/patterns to my mom & dad's and use their dining room table for that too! LOL. I can do smaller projects at home no problem though.

Roommates... yeah.. that's a tough one! I have had my share of them too... I also had one that thought drugs were cool - I had to move out of that place. I then had one that was pretty good as we were friends and worked different shifts so we weren't always home at the same time. We lived together for 3 years and I only moved out as I was leaving town for a job. I had another roommate after that who wasn't too bad, but there were issues with leaving dirty dishes out and eating out of my ice cream tub (not using a bowl) and sharing it/the spoon with her dog and then scooping out more ice cream with that same 'dirty' spoon... I swore after her I would have no more roommates. Yes, they can help financially but I much prefer my own space.

My boyfriend moved in with me - into my 650 sq ft 1 bedroom condo and we've done really well living together so far; although a partner/spouse is quite different from a roommate. End of feb will be 1 year of living together. My only issue is that our place is too small for both of us to have all the stuff we want in our home... but we are making do with a bit more clutter than I would prefer and a storage unit for everything we can't fit in here. We are happy to be living together and know that this is temporary as we are planning to buy property and house in Northern BC in about 5 years...But first.. I need to pay of my debt... then start saving for down payment!

What are you all up to this weekend?

Diana - Bellamagoo
Pacific Time Zone
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Proud member of the Golden Phoenix BL CHALLENGE

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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
11/17/16 11:59 P

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The baskets are cute, I'm sure they sell well.



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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
11/17/16 5:30 P

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These are some gift baskets I made to sell to earn extra money for Christmas:





You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
11/17/16 5:16 P

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There are many people who are using digital to create "scrapbooks." There aren't that many folks left who are doing actual hands-on scrapbooking. I prefer hands-on, as I find it very calming.



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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
11/17/16 4:22 P

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I will have to look it up... I have heard a lot of people are scrapbooking these days.

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
11/17/16 1:28 A

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HI, this is the Canadian site. www.creativememories.ca/user
/beverley


Creative Memories sells scrapbook items. I really like the quality of their scrapbooks and embellishments. I love their papers. I became a consultant as there was a great deal at the time where not only did I receive a beautiful puncher, but so did my consultant. I also receive 10% discount when I order.



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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
11/16/16 11:48 A

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I have not looked it up yet, but what is creative memories?

emoticon

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
11/15/16 6:56 P

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Hello Everyone it was great to come to the team and see many posts. I like seeing life coming back into the team. It was great to read everyone's news.

The garden looks cool. I used to companion garden when I had a little house that I rented, when I lived in Alberta. I used this book:

www.amazon.ca/Carrots-Love-T
omatoes-Co
mpanion-Successful/dp/158017
0277


Carrots Love Tomatoes. It was a great book and cheap. Have fun with the gardening!

FITNESSGRAD, I'm sorry you have troubles with your roommates. It's very draining. The last roommate I had was straight out of a horror show. I threw her out, found a tiny house to rent (big drop from the apt rent too!) and never looked back. I've had some excellent roommates, but this one and one during college took the cake. The one in college, I had a 2 bedroom apt and someone I knew from high school said she'd share. I was very leary, but agreed. I came home after being away a few weeks to discover she was selling cocaine out of my apt. The other tenants knew I'd deal with it, so they didn't talk to management. I walked in and told her two choices - she leaves immediately or I call her mother. She was gone in 2 days. She spread lies all over about me, but I did not care. She was a peach. ;)

No snow up here as we've had a heat wave - up to 17C at times!! Today is different though, it's around 0C but it doesn't smell like snow. We are supposed to have snow tonight, then on Thursday, then Saturday, but the weather has been changing constantly.

The gift baskets sound nice. Definitely share when you are done, FITNESSGRAD.

Diana that is excellent with the debt repayment. That's something to feel really good about, for sure!

Well coffee done, so better refocus on work. Taking the car for oil change after work as I put it off for too long and with winter setting in, I don't want to create engine issues. Have a good evening all!




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11/15/16 5:51 P

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I just do not feel like exercising today. I could not sleep last night at all. My housemates have been treating me like #!%&. I overheard them talking this morning calling me a beep.
I treat them like gold. So, a little while ago, I got out a baby crockpot that a friend has bought me (instead of my big crockpot) and am only making enough dinner for myself. I am sure I will hear crying and complaining as housemates know 2 things... (1) free food and (2) chores done. By who? Me, myself and I.

Sorry to complain so much, but calling me a beep really hurt.

I hope to do some gift baskets tonight. If I do, I will take pictures for you to see them. For the coffeemaker gift basket, I have pumpkin spice coffee and pumpkin pie coffee... Sound good?
For the crockpot gift basket, I am stuffing ingredients inside of it for making mocha cocoa... I thought a nice holiday drink. Sound good?

I am going to look at some of the teams I lead and ask myself if the teams are really worth keeping. Would any of you like to be a co-team leader? Maybe you would spark some interest!?

So, sorry I am not active with the team today but wanted to tell you I am alive.


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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
11/15/16 3:30 P

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Hi All

Sorry I've not been around much... Time flies and I haven't been on Spark for a while. Getting back and getting caught up now. I'm doing OK - status quo I suppose. Moving as I'm still doing my treadmill walk /run every other day. Need to work on diet and water.. Hard to balance everything!!

I'm happy to see in making progress on my debt repayment and have been putting quite a bit extra on. What's super exciting for me is not only the amount I've managed to pay off this year so far, but the fact that I've also been on holiday, bought treadmill with boyfriend, finished most my Christmas shopping AND accumulated savings for unexpected and/or larger expenses. Best part is that my credit cards remain at $0.00 balance!!! emoticon

Fitness - I have to ask.. What is a flexitarian??? What do you write your articles for (school? Work?)

Sassi - how are you going with winter seeing in?? Must have snow by now!!

Linda - Sorry to hear about you so sports watch. That sucks. Thanks for sharing your garden pics. I wish I had space to experiment and try gardening by my patio has no sun.

Edited by: BELLAMAGOO at: 11/15/2016 (15:34)
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11/14/16 7:04 P

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Evening team,

Thought I'd pop in and see how everyone is doing. I am doing fine but I am a bit upset at the watch (sports) that I purchased. Now I did get it used so I shouldn't be too surprised that it didn't last more than 3 or 4 weeks. However, it should have lasted longer though. It is one of those type watches that have a number of functions although all I was interested in was the fact that it looked like a watch and had a pedometer to count my steps. When it arrived, I had to go get a new battery. Then every couple of days sometimes longer it would shut down and re-zero everything I had entered and all the steps I walked. Now that was the most frustrating thing about it, especially when it happened towards the end of the day! I do have an app on my iPhone but it doesn't count every step because I have to put it on charge through out the day. With the iPhone all I am getting is a rough estimate of what I am walking.

Anyone here garden? I have a nice patch, about 10 x 10 or a bit bigger of a container garden. This year I purchased some kiddie pools to use as large planters. I plan to do some companion planting in them, just need to figure out what crops work best with what. One of the pools will be a variety of herbs, another I will try planting cucumbers (will train the vines to grow around the inside edge) with beans or lettuce or what ever else works best, and the last one I haven't decided yet what I will plant in it. I have 4 large rubber maid like tubs for tomatoes and may plant carrots or lettuce around the base of them or try a variety of crops that work well with tomatoes. I also have several 5 gallon buckets for peppers. I have too many for just a few peppers so need to come up with something else that will grow well in that small of a container.

Here is a pic of my finished garden.


Linda




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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
11/12/16 8:32 P

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Hello team!

Today, I got to go out and about again! I hardly ever get to!

I went to an up-scale local thrift shop. I bought hats to use as vessels for gift baskets. I got the idea off of Pinterest. All you do is turn the hat upside down, then stick the gift items inside and shrinkwrap it. They will be so cute! One of them is a Budweiser, a Polo, etc.

I also bought a beverage cookbook. There is every imaginable non-alcoholic drink recipe in it.

Following, I bought "The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet". I think it will be a winner. Have you ever heard of it?

The total for all was $14.00. Not too shabby.

I have not gotten to my job yet today. I hope I can do an article tonight. I have so much research to digest. However, shopping for gift basket items is a job in itself!

I am attempting to become a flexitarian. I cannot promise, but will see how it goes.

My bookshelf has soooo many books on it that I have yet to read. Diets, religious, leadership, fitness, etc. How am I ever going to get a chance to read them all? I really want to! Before bed is too late. Morning too early. The rest of the day is work. The only thing I can think of is to pick one day each week to devote solely to reading a book.

I did all of that walking today, right? Before typing this, I took my shoes off and guess what? No pedometer! It fell off somewhere. Oh well, hopefully some other person will find it useful and get into shape!

My Joyce Meyer "Look Great Feel Great" team is not doing too good. No activity at all.

Well, I will close for now. Be good and remember to pray for those who cannot pray for themselves.

emoticon



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11/9/16 5:24 P

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Hello! I am ready for a good evening iced coffee!

I submitted two articles today. I am pretty excited about them. One article is about cortisol and the other about laughter.

The days and nights are being evil to me. I love the Sun but now by 5:00pm it is dark outside. uuugh...

I may have found a way to get to the stores I need to go to for gift basket items, but not until this weekend. I am so excited that I could pee my pants.

Joyce Meyer has talked about fear alot on television lately. Are you ever afraid?

I would like to go shopping for a new Sparkteam at the Sparkpeople Boutique but not sure which one. What is your opinion? However, I want to join an ACTIVE team. I already talk to myself enough as it is! LOL

I am grateful today for another day, my family and friends. How about you?

Remember to pray for those who cannot pray for themselves.

Have a Sparking evening and be good!

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
11/8/16 12:00 A

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Welcome back Fitnessgrad!

Well....boonies is where I live. If you go two feet from town centre, you have to use either a stick or DSL or see if you see the mountain so you can get Wifi and as for cell phones, it's hit and miss once you are out of town. I currently run DSL (in town centre) because it's cheaper than Wifi. But I hope you had a good time, it's always nice to have quality time with family and friends.

I don't clip coupons. It's a whole different system up here than down in the USA. Up here it's more work than it's worth, especially when you have limitations on where you can shop. Our stores are good at putting out in-store coupons, which I'll grab if I'm going for those items.

I tried something new for food, roasted chickpea. I hope I don't regret this, as I have IBD and chickpeas are beans, so I hope that it's fine. It was good, although I did use a little too much pepper. I rinsed off the canned chickpeas, put on a cookie sheet, oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and oregano, then put in the oven for 15 min at 450F. They were quite tasty.

I'm on a week break from work. Doing homework, cleaning house and organizing now that the nephew moved across the hall - to a bachelor apt.

I enjoyed reading all the posts. take care all!



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11/7/16 12:53 P

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Hello team!

Sorry about this being a form letter, but this puppy has tons of catching up to do after being away on vacation for a week!

I spent quality moments with family and friends. However, being in the boonies without any Wi-Fi or cellular phone service...uuugh...

I hope your fitness and nutrition has been Sparking! Have you been getting in your 10 minutes of activity atleast? Have you been having healthy meals? Keeping hydrated? Excellent!

Remember, clip those coupons!

Christmas is fast approaching. I cannot wait to make up more gift baskets to sell for a donation. It is fun and the spare money comes in handy. I am creative with the weirdest things...gift baskets, make-up and hair styling! LOL

Today, I am celebrating Meatless Monday. I have potato soup in the crockpot for dinner! Yum!

Well folks, I hope you have a Sparking day! Be good!

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
10/31/16 3:13 P

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emoticon

Linda - Thanks for craft website! Well check it out.

Sassi - sounds like you have lots going on with the education and courses! That's great that you have those opportunities! When I was in high school we had to take "home economics" which had us go through each sewing (made boxer shorts), cooking (several recipes), electronics (made some sort of blinking circuit board), woodwork (made a keyhook) and metalwork (made a metal bracelet). I liked most of it.

I had a good weekend emoticon the weather was really nice so I got out waking with my dog Bella. Mymom and dad came over for dinner last night - I made roast pork, roasted potatoes, brussel sprouts with bacon & onion, and carrots. The roast was huge (6 lbs) for $20 from Costco. It feed us 4 adults last night PLUS both my boyfriend and I have meat for 4 lunches (he added pasta and cream, I'm adding either salad or lentil soup), PLUS we 2 dinners each!! What a cheap week for food!! Only we are eating pork all week!! LOL the key for me is to mix it up, some with leftover veggies, some with salad, some with soup... So it doesn't seem like I'm eating the same thing every day.

How was your weekend? What exciting Halloween stuff are you up to? I'm not dressed up and haven't bought any candy (I live in a condo so no kids come to the door) which means I won't be eating a bowl of chocolate!!


Edited by: BELLAMAGOO at: 11/2/2016 (09:57)
Diana - Bellamagoo
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Proud member of the Golden Phoenix BL CHALLENGE

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10/29/16 5:01 P

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Thanks for the craftsy tip!

emoticon

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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
10/29/16 4:36 P

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Afternoon everyone,

Here is a picture of one of the BBQ aprons I made before any embroidery has been added. It is a pretty simple design. This one has armhole interfacing for the tie straps to go through. I made my own bias that I used for the straps but you could buy packaged bias. Just make sure it is the right width and length.And before you ask bias works best because it has a bit of give and works better when stitching around the armhole curves.



There is a website where you can get some good craft information and some patterns are even free. It is called craftsy.com . I have a number of pouch patterns from there as well as a couple classes that were free. Check it out you may find something you like.

Well back to work,

Linda




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10/29/16 3:40 P

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Hello all of you! Just thought I would stop by...

I have found a new job and am very excited. I will not quit my usual jobs, but this new job will bring in more money than all the other jobs combined...Which is a good thing!

Then, I never thought to do so until recently, was look up back home radio stations on my computer. Really cool and blocks out my housemates' televisions

Following, I have stopped drinking bottled water for a while. I absolutely hate water. However, I have found a happy medium...Seltzer water. Also, if I want a diet soda, I will drink a diet soda. I do not do drugs or drink, so why not drink a diet soda every so often?

I made steak-um sandwiches for lunch. A housemate requested potatoes and onions with butter in the crockpot for dinner. Not ideal food for the day, but makes the day tolerable...She is spoiled and picky.

I would like to create a Sparkteam. I would love to know your opinion...What do you think would be good for me to start a team about? You are Sparkfriends and know a little about me. What do you think?

Well, I will close for now. Have a blessed weekend! Be good!

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
10/29/16 12:59 A

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I'm glad that you are happy with your benefits and work. I'm thankful that I'm not working casual anymore, as that is not the way to live. It's both emotionally draining and physically draining, unless you have someone in the home with a solid income. (I didn't)

Enjoy your time on the range. I hold a gun and shake like the dickens. I am very afraid of guns. My late boyfriend, he was Navy and American through and through. I think if he had lived, I might have moved past the fear. He was really kind when it came to taking me to the range - my idea, as I wanted to understand more on why target shooting was his favourite past time. He took time, explained things and by the 6th shot I stopped jumping. Afterwards I had to clean the gun - like your boyfriend is doing, he also gave me lessons. Being able to touch, hold, smell and really get a sense of the gun helped......but as I told him, I don't think I'd ever shoot. I really wanted to know his interests and wanted to rise above my fear - both were accomplished. I hope you have a great day on the range.

Yeah with work, I didn't share all my jobs - am known as "Jill of all Trades." The sad frustrating part is that it's not something that is valued any longer- degrees are where the value lies. Fortunately when the changes came down the pipe I was grandfathered into the position(s) and even now, if things go sideways, I can argue that they have to push aside the degree as I've done the work for years. (if I ever have to bump) Oh and I'm a LPN by trade.

I hated sewing in school. I also hated cooking in school. I argued that I shouldn't take the home ec courses because I was already cooking meals for my family at home (had been since age 11) and I hated sewing. I wanted to do woodwork and metal work. Back in those days girls took home ec and boys took industrial arts - so glad that sexist way of teaching is gone to the dinosaur. My sewing teacher was horrible. She hated most of us. I couldn't sew my way out of a bag, and we had to model our clothes - at a modeling show, in front of the whole school and parents. So I took my shirt home, my mother sewed it up (like me she thought the whole thing was ridiculous) and I brought it back. The teacher said it was the worst sew job she ever saw, but since it was the day of the show, she'd let it go. I had to bite my tongue because wow, did I ever want to slam her. My mother sewed my clothes and my Barbie's clothes all my childhood - worst sew job ever, I think NOT. I got a C on the project and my cousin proudly wore the shirt (until she outgrew it).

I hope you manage to find some classes or groups for quilting. My friends really enjoy it and they make such beautiful blankets - which I buy. That's my contribution to sewing. haha!

Seriously though, if you can get your hand on the Readers Digest book of Sewing, grab it. It would be in a 2nd hand store or give'away book bin. It's like the bible for sewing, it taught me everything!

I'm off to school tomorrow. The college didn't get us going until October, so we have to make up hours with 2 Saturday school sessions. Hopefully we'll find out what is happening with the 2nd course that was put on hold. I also start the Douglas College FASD certification course on Monday. Plus I'll take another couple free courses online from my union. It'll keep me busy this winter. All free - except with the CNC courses, I have to pay for the books.

Have a good evening all.





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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
10/28/16 10:14 A

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Good Morning !

I am off today again (flex time - which is extra (unpaid) time I worked in the summer that I am now getting to trade those hours in for paid time off). I don't have too much planned for today. Going to make some sausage patties, clean the fridge & freezer out, meet a friend for coffee and them watch some videos online to learn more about my Mac laptop & iPhone (found a great website called techtalkamerica.com - lots of great free videos about computers, tablets and phones). Will be spending time with my boyfriend this afternoon too as he has Friday afternoons off work - he's going to give me a gun cleaning 101 class... we are going to the range tomorrow for some target shooting and now that I finally have my possession and acquisition license it's time to learn about maintaining firearms.

My boyfriend has a praff sewing machine which is actually why I decided to get into sewing. I enjoyed it when I was in junior high school but having sewn since. I enjoyed the sewing class I took in august, although I don't see myself making clothes as I think it will be way to frustrating being a plus size woman. I am more interested in doing crafts (napkins, table runners, bags, aprons etc) and want to try quilting. I am hoping to sign up for a beginner quilting class in the new year. In the meantime, I might have to check out my local library and see what books they have that may help me to start that venture in the next few months... for now, I did buy some material to make napkins (thought that would be a great beginner project and get me comfortable with the sewing machine) and hoping to give them away as Christmas gifts. I also have 2 pairs of sweatpants I want to hem as they are a tad bit too long and get soaked if I wear them out in the rain.

Sassi - sounds like quite the history with your work! Health care is definitely a challenging career - working with other people especially during times of difficulty. I find it even harder as working front line, we see a different picture than managers/executives/ministry/governments who are making decisions that affect what and how we do our work.

I've been lucky as I work for the health authority and am under the BCNU (British Columbia Nurse's Union) so feel that we have great pay, great benefits and I'm grateful for what we have. I took a lot of my benefits for granted and talking with my boyfriend who has crappy benefits has highlighted just how lucky I am. I am looking forward to feb when I can add him to my extended health/dental plan (have to live together for 1 year before he can be added).

Linda - your sewing projects sound fun!

emoticon mmm.. maybe I'll sew a BBQ apron for dad for Christmas...



Edited by: BELLAMAGOO at: 10/28/2016 (10:23)
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10/27/16 12:54 P

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Good morning.

We are having a coastal morning - it's warm out and raining. Since we live between two major mountain ranges in the exact centre of BC, it's feeling quite odd. It's actually 7C!! It's looking like another brown Halloween. That's so strange to me. I grew up here and Halloween was always cold with snow. It's nice for the kids though. Monday is supposed to be overcast holding at 4C. It'll be nice as we'll see the costumes, instead of snow pants. haha!

It was great to come here and read everyone's news. emoticon

The reason for the deductions on the payslip is that it means I don't need to pay for all this upfront. We have a great pension plan where the workplace matches our contributions. We fought hard for this plan and while I moan on paying it, I'm quite thankful to have it.

In BC we have to pay medical upfront, so it's always helpful when we can do that through payroll contributions and have the workplace assist with it through the benefit package. It also includes dental, which is a big deal as I didn't have dental for two years when I wasn't working under a union full-time. So I complain, but in reality, it is better than having to pay upfront - which is what I did before we had a union.

I work in community services - Nov 17th will be my 25 year at this workplace. I've done a variety of positions, as back in the day, you basically did whatever was required. My list of positions are: Home Care Nurse, Counsellor, Support Worker (parents, youth, children, special needs), Community Inclusion Worker (adults/special needs), Transporter, Supervisor (of family visits), Administration Assistant, Supervisor....I think that's it. We lost home support program some years back when the province forced all home support to be completely under Health. We almost shut down, as that removed around 50 employees in one swoop and left around 20 employees, including the ED and admin. We amalgamated with another community service agency that was under CLBC (Community Living BC) which focuses on supporting adults with special needs and disabilities. We are back up to around 65 employees. The longest programs I worked under were "Children Who Witness Violence" which is a counselling program focused on supporting victims of domestic violence and CRFS, Child Resource Family Services basically a counselling program involving children, parents, youth and families.

I currently work as Foster Parent/Caregiver Support Worker (30 hrs/week) and Child and Youth Support Worker/Child and Youth Support Worker Special Needs (8 hrs/week).

The unfortunate part is that our work isn't viewed as professional by mainstream society or a necessity - social service programs tend to be viewed lower than low. That means we one of the first areas to receive cuts. It was refreshing when we were on the picket line last year to have folks wave and honk, to show support. In fact, we had more support than the city!! Small town - if the people in this town had their way, we'd have better wages, that's for sure. The tri-communities very much support the programs - it's the province where the struggle lies.

My history with nursing was working mainly up north in the Arctic, 2 years in Alberta and a few years in BC, between hospital and home support nursing.

I have many funny stories about sewing, as I struggle with "seeing" what I'm doing. I flip left and right easily, I cannot see a pattern except as a bunch of squiggles on a paper that holds words which I don't understand and I can't see the finished product in my head.

My ex's daughter was 6 years old when she asked me to make a ballerina costume for Halloween. I agreed and her Dad bought me a Singer machine. I had the Reader's Digest Sewing book and with help from friends, sewed the costume. She won 2nd place.

She asked me for a dress for the Christmas concert. She wanted velvet and I agreed. My friend was floored. We lived in the Arctic and everything had to be shipped. What I didn't know was how expensive velvet is and how hard it is to sew. Lynne talked me into velveteen as it's a little more forgiving and cheaper to ship up. Lynne planned to assist me with the dress, but she got super busy - worked with me (RN) and had a catering business. I brought the material to night shift and she assisted me to cut it out - as she feared I'd cut backwards, wrecking it. She gave me tips and off I went, to sew the dress.

Everything that could go wrong did but thankfully the velveteen wasn't wrecked. I used that book to help me figure out how to fix my mistakes. I was very thankful for ric-rac and lace. It covered up the errors. At one point I put my head on the machine and cried. Brandi came up to me, put her arms around me, then patted my back. In all her 6 year old wisdom she said "Bev, I'm going to wear the dress and be really proud. I'm going to love that dress, even if it's really ugly."

Okay I dare you to not smile when you hear that - I sure couldn't stop smiling. I burst out laughing and said "Okay then", then gave her a hug. I got that dress sewed and my friend Lynne said it was gorgeous. Like I said ric-rac and lace saved me. Brandi wore it the next year too - as I made it too large, so had pulled it in. I let it out and the length was perfect, as it was above her ankles - she was doing a Metis jig with her class for the Gr 2 Christmas concert, so had to show her feet clearly. So that dress which didn't turn out ugly, was much loved and totally worth the headache. haha!!

Well I rambled enough and the coffee is done, so I better re-focus back on work. Have a great day everyone.

Edited by: SASSISPRING at: 10/27/2016 (13:37)

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This is basically how I must live every day...

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
10/27/16 10:33 A

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BELLAMAGOO - Yes I do sew and enjoy it when I have the time to do so. Recently (mostly this past summer and a month or two before) I have made several BBQ aprons w/ specific embroidery on them for my boyfriend, I made a 'Spanish' skirt w/matching blouse (haven't worn it though) and a 'Poodle' skirt (actually has a cat on it) which I will be wearing this coming Monday. I need to sew up the petticoat for the 'Poodle' skirt, shouldn't take too long. Since I am off tomorrow that will be at the top of my to do list.

My mother started me and my sister when we were about 8 or so. It is something that stays with you even when you don't sew for a few years. It is like riding a bike, just a little bit of practice and you can get it all back. I currently have 4 sewing machines :2 Singers (one is a vintage 99K), a Riccar, and a Phaff. The big Singer is a combination sewing / embroidery machine. It sews very well but the embroidery side is touchy. I would love to get rid of it and get an embroidery only machine, maybe one of these days!

Hope everyone has a great day! For me I am working a double shift so will probably be getting out and doing some walking or maybe I will just jump on the treadmill for a few minutes several times today.

Linda




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10/27/16 9:54 A

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BELLAMAGOO,

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I distribute my baskets among friends. I gather cookbooks in supurb condition from yard sales and thrift shops then I make up assortments, maybe 4 to 5 a basket, wrap in cellophane and bow. Seems really plain, but hey, they sell.

I am not making a fortune. Just a donation. But it does come in handy around Christmas.

Be good!

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
10/26/16 9:07 P

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Linda - that's great news about your car payments!! I bet that will feel so great to have done!! Way to go! You're a sewer!! I just started sewing - took a beginner sewing class in august. it was run out of a woman's home - she had a set up for 5 students (5 machines were donated by Brother) and I really enjoyed it.

Fitnessgrad - I understand now that you watch baseball for the men in tight pants... not for the sport?? LOL. emoticon sounds like you're organized with your plan and goals! way to go! Love the idea about gift baskets by donation. Do you sell them at work? craft fairs? through friends? family? can you tell me about your cookbook baskets?

Sassy - I too am a nurse. What kind of work are you doing? sounds like community or home care? I actually consider myself very lucky as I think my wages are very good and my benefits are good. I mean things can always be better... but I'm happy I have what I have. I think that job security is so important and something I have taken for granted. I'm happy with where I am at for now. What's hard is the cost of living - living in Vancouver, BC is not cheap. I paid $55,000 more for a 650 square foot condo than my best friend paid for a 3 bedroom house on lakefront property in northern BC. CRAZY!! I love your gift basket ideas - I'm thinking about that for gifts that I may be giving this year now... food for thought...

I am looking forward to having my debt paid off so that I can start contributing seriously to my RRSP because I do want to retire and don't want to be someone that is not prepared or forced to work because I can't afford to live otherwise. I also want to make sure that if something was to happen to me and I couldn't work that I can afford to live comfortably.

Edited by: BELLAMAGOO at: 10/26/2016 (22:13)
Diana - Bellamagoo
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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
10/25/16 8:25 P

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The way things are going here in the US, we may end up getting less SS. What really sucks is that our employers pay the same exact amount that we as individuals pay but that does not increase what we get when we retire. My bf says that money goes to pay the dead beats that do drugs, lay out on their butts, or end up with some other kind of ailment and have no money, no jobs, etc., etc. etc. It is probably what they call Supplemental Security and is for those individuals who haven't worked long enough to get SS or something else.

I don't know how things are going to work out in the end, I guess only time will tell.

I am glad that we don't have all the extras you are paying for, only gas, electric (would love enough solar panels to reduce it by half), water, Internet, telephone, cable / satellite, and if one is lucky cell phones. Then you have the other things like a mortgage, car payment, credit cards (mostly paid off, except for what David charged), and an type of personal loan that one might run up but I don't have, thank goodness.

Right now we are having a good bit of overtime at work so my take home is about $100 - $200 more per pay period. I don't know how long this will last but I am taking advantage of it to build up my bank account as much as I can. Now when I pay my property taxes that takes a nice chunk out of it and it takes a few months to build that back.

Take care. I know how you feel, because when my husband died I was so deep I wasn't sure how I would get out of it. I spent all the life insurance to fix up the house and it still needs a ton of work. That is a completely different problem I will have to deal with one of these days. I hope to just unload it someday before it is too late.

Linda




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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
10/25/16 6:48 P

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Fitnessgrad, I really don't have much on ideas for gift baskets. You could go with themes, such as a coffee lovers basket, tea lovers basket, diabetic focused basket, book lovers basket, stress reduction basket......and add things that you feel would reflect those interests.

Linda, that's good you are not too bad financially. Up here the government cut back on benefits for seniors, especially in the unions and it happened after my mother retired. They lost mainly with dental, but fortunately my parents are able to pay the deductible. Some people weren't as fortunate. It makes no sense to many of us, you work hard to build up a good plan and then after retirement, watch it being chunked down. I'm not sure how it was in other provinces - as health care is provincial based, not federal.

I received my pay slip today (pay day is Friday) and realized there is a reason that I'm broke, the numbers come out at the other end very low. After I remove the total amount for deductions (medical, pension, taxes and such), it brings down the overall salary $10K less. When I remove the amount I pay yearly for hydro, car insurance, rent and loan payments (car included, no choice up here, there is no transit and I work in 4 communities, 60+ kms apart), it chunks it down to $3000 - for food, gas, medications (one of my meds starts at $125/month) and incidentals. Now I understand why I went bonkers when all the costs went up significantly - around the same time.

I am drawing from one pension, $3000/year (given in one payment) and I'll get that in January 2017. I will use that to purchase clothing (something that is badly needed) and chunk down a couple bills. Thank goodness I started that this year. I won't receive much more if I wait out this pension, so it was advised to use it. It'll run to age 90 years.



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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
10/25/16 4:48 P

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Financially I am in good condition, not perfect but decent. I have a nice savings account but would love to double it, but that is probably not going to happen at this stage of the game. I can or should be able to start collecting SS in January when I turn 66 and hopefully continue to work for a few more months. I also have a pension plan from my current employer. I expect my total to be about 2/3rds of what I've been making.

My boyfriend seems to think I need to stick around in the work force for a while longer to build up my benefits. I really am not at all happy about that prospect but might continue for another 6 - 8 months, especially if I can start to collect my "widow's benefits" from SS. That will allow me to put a little more into savings and pay off the debt that David has racked up using my information.

Also, I will continue to work on building up my sewing classes at the local Joann's fabric and craft store and maybe with some luck get something started at home. Years ago I had several ladies I made (sewed) garments for, it kept me busy. I didn't make a lot of money doing it but it helped to make ends meet.

Linda




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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
10/25/16 3:14 P

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My Steelers lost...but it is always nice to watch men in tight pants.

The Christmas season is always a success for gift baskets. I just would like more of a variety this year. I have pinterest ideas. Last year, I sold a lot of cookbook baskets. Any suggestions from this team?

Be good!

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
10/25/16 12:38 P

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I read recently that the job market is shifting and those coming up to retirement age or younger are not going to be retiring. It's due to either no pension plan at work, or being under-paid, everything goes to expenses. It's a shift that the economic think tanks see as being positive, as they feel that retirement is an antiquated system which was set up when life spans were short. We are living to be 100 years old on average now, and it's recommended that your pension plan allows for this.

The other piece that came up was that jobs will continue to be short-term, which will allow for job hopping. The think tanks see this as a positive, as a person can have many different experiences on their resume. The recommendation is that job places look at this trend and accommodate for it.

My personal opinion is that it all sucks. I don't anticipate retiring and that scares me. It scares me because I am not in this life to work, I work to survive, not survive to work. However, I don't have pension that will allow me to retire at 55 years like a couple friends of mine, heck I don't have it to retire at 65 or 70 years. I cannot imagine doing my work at 70, the driving alone will wear me out. I've been doing this since I was 18 when as a student nurse, we started working in the hospital (within 2 weeks of college starting). I was also a volunteer at the hospital as a teen, when I was 14-17 years of age - raked up 500 hours. But we had a bad pension back in the day combined with low pay, and now, the pension is better but the pay is still average - meaning it makes the bills and some days not even that.

As for short-term jobs, it's a way for companies to not offer benefits and pension plans. I worked short-term through the recession and it's exhausting to deal with. The pay went depending on the employer - from minimum wage (yes, as a nurse I was paid minimum wage, you take what is offered when you have very little) to average wage. I have pages of job experiences, but none of it counts as all that matters is that little piece of paper stating "you have a university degree." It doesn't seem to matter what the degree is in, you simply must have it. I remember working with social workers up north who had their BA in Fine Arts! They were completely overwhelmed by the work and left after a few months. My current supervisor here at work, he has a BA in Philosophy. It's frustrating.

I'm just grouchy, I know. I just get tired of hearing how great life is, when I look around and see how many people are struggling to meet every day expenses - forget the rest of the bills. My bff is coming up retirement soon. I'm happy for her. She started working under a union when she was 18 and when the workplace shut down, she was retrained, placed into a new workplace. She has topped up her pension at 35 years employment and working towards retirement for next year (at age 55). She's off more than she works now, so is able to enjoy life.....I told her I'm really jealous. haha!!

I was fortunate with my student loan - back in the day. In those days they gave 1/2 of the loan as a bursary which you did not have to pay back. The other half was a loan. The loan didn't start to accumulate interest until you held your first full-time job. The interest was low, around 1 or 2%. I was deferred for over a year due to the recession and working casual and it was a great relief to know I did not have to make loan payments. I was fortunate with my first full-time job to be living in subsidized housing and eat mainly at work, so I paid off the loan in 6 months. My actual pay was lousy, especially for the north ($5/hr under the national rate for nurses) but having those two areas subsidized really helped. I really wish they'd bring back that plan, as it got many of us into school.

Anyhow, I'm rambling so I will sign off. Have a good day!



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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
10/24/16 7:27 P

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Bellamagoo,

I am with you 100%! I hate the fact that this has happened and would love for this money to go into a savings account for my retirement days but one does what one has to do. I just may have to put off retiring for a few more months.

When I was paying off my school loan, the closer I got to getting it paid off the more I applied to it so I could get it paid quicker. I am doing the same with my car loan, which I am down to about 5 more payments give or take.

Linda




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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
10/24/16 6:41 P

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Diana, I hope you are feeling better now.

FITNESSGRAD, hope you enjoyed your Steelers game.

My parents have always been focused on fairness, my father even more than my mother, as my mum is like me - we know it all works out in the end. If my brother gets something, like their pickup when they stopped camping, my Dad sorts out an amount in cash for me. I borrowed some money from them for rent this year and went to pay them back. I was informed that my brother will be taking their snow blower (as they hired someone to do the driveway), so it's all good. My brother and I are quite fortunate that way and we really focus on not taking advantage of their help.

Sounds like a neat idea to make gift baskets for people to buy by donation. I'm sure you'll sell many and hopefully enough to tuck money away too.

Just dropped in to say hi. take care all!



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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
10/24/16 10:20 A

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Hi All
I've been sick for the last 2 weeks and am finally recovering and going back to work today. I've been off work 5 of the last 9 days. Thank goodness for sick leave benefits!

Linda - I'm sorry if my post was harsh. I can see that you and your son both have been through a lot. It sounds like you're seeing things clearly and have a plan in place. My brother has taken advantage of my parents financially a few times over the years and I find it infuriating. He racked up debt and then they bailed him out several times (I would guess they've bailed him out at the cost of $100,000 or more over the years). Then they paid for his private & commercial pilot's license about 8 years ago (about $80,000 at the time). Meanwhile, I took out a student loan for my nursing degree... and paid it off myself. My brother no longer flies... I'm still working full time as a nurse. I resent the unfairness we've had but I also appreciate that I am where I am because I've worked for it. My parents have definitely helped me out over the years (helped me with my downpayment for my condo) and I'm very appreciative of their help. It's never been 'expected'. I've made my own mistakes financially and racked up my own debt and am paying for it myself. I'm not expecting anyone else to bail me out. I've been so lucky to meet someone who has good money sense and it's rubbing off on me. I've made a plan of how to pay off my debt and am sticking to it and paying off more than I have budgeted for as often as I can to help pay it down faster. I'm impatient and want it paid off asap!! I want to be able to spend that money on 'fun' stuff! and savings :).

anyway - I'm off to work now. Have a great day!

Diana - Bellamagoo
Pacific Time Zone
British Columbia, Canada
Pacific Standard Time
Proud member of the Golden Phoenix BL CHALLENGE

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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
10/23/16 6:39 P

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Today was a work day and now I am getting caught up on Sparkpeople while the Steeler game is on...

I made dinner in the crockpot and have to do the dishes yet again with a couple of loads of laundry also.

I joined a Leslie Sansone team this evening. I do in-home walking anyway but have been away from her DVDs for a good while. It is nice to have someone to walk with.

I have coupons to clip as have coupon fairies.

To make a little money for Christmas, I will be making up gift baskets for people to buy with a donation.

Have a blessed rest of your Sunday and Go Steelers!

emoticon



You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
10/20/16 4:22 P

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Problem solved... here it is:

ocpnet.org

Overseas Coupon Program

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
10/20/16 4:18 P

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I will have to check on the ocp.net link...

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
10/20/16 10:32 A

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FITNESSGRAD - the link is for sale, there is no information on coupons.

LFLYTHE = you've gone through much, and good you are able to see things clearer now. Abuse is far more than physical. Abuse is sexual, emotional, mental, financial and physical - none is worse or better than the other, it's all a form of power and control. Keep one foot in front of the other and hopefully with the rules you've set up, your son will follow those rules.



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ON_A_DIET's Photo ON_A_DIET Posts: 7,345
10/19/16 7:23 P

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Do you have coupons you do not want or are expired? Give them to the Overseas Coupon Program! Our military overseas can use them!

To learn how, go to: ocp.net

You Only Grow Old If You Want To!


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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
10/17/16 3:05 P

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Thank you Bellamagoo for responding to my earlier post and I agree with everything you have said, however this is a complicated situation and I will try to explain it as best I can. I do not approve of what he has done but gave him fair warning if I see one charge that is not approved by me I will disconnect the Internet. What pisses me off is this just might delay my ability to retire (planned to by the end of January).

My husband died in March 2008. I had dealt with him and his issues for a number of years. By the time I realized that I should have left him it was almost too late! He was never abusive physically but in some ways mentally. He was 15 years older than me when we met and married about a year of so later. As with most marriages like this it was good at first, the good times lasting about 5 years. Then I became pregnant and of course he didn't think it was his because he had had a vasectomy long before we met. He didn't think he could get anyone pregnant! But it was his and he had to have one side redone. There are a lot of things that happened after that but the main being I caught him fooling around on me. I should have left him then but didn't because he said he wouldn't do that anymore. And he didn't but he did run up lots and lots of debt! We went through 2 bankruptcies during our marriage. The past 5 or so years he was pretty much house bound and was still charging on the cards. My house should have been paid off long before he died but he refinanced after I graduated from college and then turned around and got a second mortgage on the house to consolidate the credit card debt!

While my husband was alive I was sitting in the middle of all these issues and couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel! Now that he is dead 8 years and I started dating I can see that light. Sometimes I find it difficult to realize just how bad it was, but I am out of that and dealing with the aftermath part of which is making our son see that light.

Now about David. His father was never that great of a father! He pretty much let him do everything he wanted to do and buy whatever he wanted so he never learned that you can't spend money you don't have. In fact, he is probably treating me the way his father did! The only difference is that I am now fighting back and laying down the law that should have been laid down years ago.

David never learned to drive so he is dependent on public transportation, nor was he encouraged to go out and get a job. That is, until his father died and I started to date someone who couldn't believe this whole story. I almost don't believe it all myself.We got him into counseling, he was placed on meds, given job training and assisted in getting him a job. He has been working part time now at a local Walgreens a a little over a year. He is also supposed to keep up the yard and help me with cleaning the house. I have to get on his case to get the grass cut but it gets done from time to time. Now the house, that is a completely different issue! It will get done eventually, if I have to do it a little at a time, it looks better than it did when my husband was alive!

I know this is a long rambling post but hope it helps explain everything a little.

Linda




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BELLAMAGOO's Photo BELLAMAGOO Posts: 886
10/17/16 9:53 A

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emoticon Linda - i too am returning to Spark after a few years away. I'm trying to be healthier, lose weight, be fitter & gain control in all areas of my life... including my finances. I've been living outside of my means for too long and am now spending 1/3 of my income to debt repayment for the next 2 years in effort to being debt free (other than my mortgage).

Linda - It sounds like you've been through a lot recently. It bothers me to read that you son is taking complete advantage of you and that's not right. Sounds like he is old enough to know about invasion of privacy and is completely disrespecting you. He will never learn how to manage money or the consequences of his actions if he is racking up YOUR credit. As you pointed out, you are on the hook for his charges. I'm not sure if you're talking about charges of $20, $200 or $2000 but regardless... it's not OK for someone to steal your information and make charges that you are not aware of or consent to. I would cancel the internet and tell him that $90/month internet cost is going towards paying off the debt he accrued on YOUR credit. I would also cancel the credit cards he's used and next time he breeches your privacy/information - call the cops. Warn him that next time he does that, you WILL call the cops...and follow through with it. I would also have him find other accommodations as it appears that he can not respect you and is probably quite content mooching off you. Now I don't know what his reasons for being unemployed are, but if it's not legitimate reasons, it's time to push him out of the nest to find his own wings. He might appreciate all you've done for him more once he is stuck paying rent, utilities, food, transportation etc...

Sorry if it sounds harsh, and I get that it's always easier to say than to do. I find it so irritating when parents are taken advantage of, and you have a part to play in that. You're allowing him to take advantage of you. You may have good intentions, and perhaps he does too... but it's still not a valid reason to breech your trust and steal your informing to charge things to your credit. He needs to be an adult and that comes with accountability for our actions. If you don't teach him that, who will?

Edited by: BELLAMAGOO at: 10/17/2016 (10:09)
Diana - Bellamagoo
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Proud member of the Golden Phoenix BL CHALLENGE

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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
10/15/16 3:20 P

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I hope so too because I really don't want to turn the Internet off but will if necessary. Then again it would save me about $90 / month. I could use that money to help pay down that debt! Ha! Wouldn't that be a kicker to my son!

Linda




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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
10/15/16 2:04 P

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Welcome to the team and welcome back to SP.

Sounds like you've had many ups and downs with fiances, hopefully this time round things will improve shortly for you. In regards to your son, is it possible for him to find his own accommodation, so that he's not there using you for his debt load? It's tough when the one doing things to a person is your own child, for sure. I hope that your last talk with him really helped to make changes.

Take good care!!



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LFLYTHE's Photo LFLYTHE Posts: 5,517
10/15/16 9:22 A

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Good morning team

My name is Linda and I am an older team member who has been away from SparkPeople for several years now. Up until recently I was pretty much debt free. Well except for my car payment and mortgage!

I graduated from college in '98 with a BS in Biology / Education minor and about $15k in debt. My late husband refinanced our home in '99 then turned around and got a second mortgage on the house to consolidate his credit card debt. We had already been through one bankruptcy at the time. I taught school, high school biology, for 2 years, losing my contract the 2nd year because I was not happy with the school system and it's support of the teachers. I had made the mistake of looking for a different school in the same school system and the principal I was working under 'fired' me. I worked jobs as I could find them until I was hired by the county in 2003 as a water treatment trainee. Once I had a good steady job I started to pay down my school loan, paying more than the actual payment. Due to my late husband's affair with credit cards he had run up more debt on cards so we ended up filing bankruptcy again.

When my husband passed away in March of '08 I used the life insurance to fix the outside of the house, including the roof. However, the inside still needs lots of work done. I don't know when or if I will be able to get any of that done because I am still in the process of just declutting the house. I paid off the second mortgage as well and all the debt that had accumulated at the time. So up until recently I was almost debt free.

My adult son still lives with me and was unemployed until about 2 years ago. However, he seems to have the same love for credit cards that his father did and has no respect for how that affects me. I am trying to support him as best I can but his lack of respect for my personal information really ticks me off. Yes I could have him arrested for misusing my personal information, but I would still be responsible for the debt he ran up. I have actually laid down the law this time (I hope he thinks so)! I told him if he runs up anymore debt other than what I approve (meaning he better tell me in advance what he needs) or I will cut him off permanently as well as disconnect the Internet. I can do without it if necessary!

Well that pretty much summarizes everything.

Have a good day everyone.

Linda




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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 12,388
10/14/16 2:34 P

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That is great how you were able to move past your fears and open up with your boyfriend, on the debt load that you are carrying. Sounds like you found someone who understands and is very supportive, excellent. A two year plan is great and with the attitude you hold, you'll make it happen - no doubt!

I've grown up with little money and my parents are comfortable, due to selling a chunk of timber off the farm years back. They wisely invested after they paid off their debts and mortgage. They were also able to pay cash for their current home, as they sold the farm for a decent price. They are very understanding of debt and they also know how you can do your best, then you make a mistake and everything crashes down. They aren't the "I told you so" parents. As kids we were always involved in finances, like I knew what they sold the subdivided acreage in Surrey and that they used the money to pay off the farm (yes back when Surrey still was a farming community). I would hear other adults telling my parents we shouldn't know these things, but my parents insisted that we understand about money and that it doesn't grow on trees.

I don't have a partner. When my boyfriend was alive, we knew each others debt and we were big on doing "free" - as much as possible. Considering we lived 3000 miles apart, free was the best as much money was spent on phone calls and travel. (back when cell phones were new and not many folks owned computers with cameras, heck ICQ was the most popular way of talking to people haha!). When he passed, I knew what bills he had outstanding, who was receiving his life insurance money and that he had money coming in from cashing in (what we call up here RRSP, can't recall what it's called in the USA) money. Heck I even knew how much money was in his wallet, as he had told me on the phone. haha! He wasn't normally open with people but I plowed in headlong and he kept up. haha!

I was doing fine until this year. I know I messed up using my credit cards for rent, hydro and groceries, but I honestly thought I'd be able to pay it all off. I didn't anticipate the 30% interest - which I should have, as I know that cards are always high. What hit me was the hike in taxes, the hike in food, the hike in rent, the hike in hydro, the hike in insurance, in gas etc. It was like a perfect storm, as the waves kept coming and coming. Fortunately my parents - as I shared - don't say "I told you so" - as I should have focused on saving money when I had zero on one card and only a few hundred on the other, but I used it to fix the car, take a trip to Edmonton and buy some clothes. I get tired of having to always use money for survival, once in awhile I like to do more than just survive.

I take comfort - if that's the word - in knowing that I'm not alone. There are too many of us working poor. My dad said it really angers him that people are struggling so hard. We may not have grown up rich, but we own a quarter section of land, we took trips, we lived a decent life and mainly, I had a horse (!). haha! Like my Dad said, now people cannot afford to purchase a home, they can't breathe and it's ridiculous.

I look back when I was in my early twenties and kick myself, but what's done is done. I share my learning with my nephew and he has a TFSA account that he contributes to. He's chunking down his debt and he is getting an apt - a cheap one, at $450. He has to leave to blow his nose, but it'll be his own space. (tiny bachelor suite) Best part, it's cheap. So he's learning from his parents and me, on what not to do...which is good.

I have no idea on when I'll be debt free (again). It really depends on how the next year rolls out with taxes and more hikes. But I do have support and that does make all the difference.



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10/3/16 3:06 P

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Hi!

You know, it's interesting the degree of shame that comes from having Out of control debt... At least for me. I remember how hard it was to share the actual debt I had with my boyfriend before he moved in. But what a relief once it was all out on the table. It was black and white - no downplaying my debt load it how hard it was to make payments that would impact the total amount left owing. I also shared with him that I feel like I'm the one holding us back from persuing our interests /plans to move up north. He's totally supportive as he just got out of debt himself about 6 months ago. I made a plan that's realistic and doable that will leave me debt free by my 40th birthday (2 years from now). Now that I've shared the extent of my debt with him, I was able to share with him my plan, how much I'm paying and when I put extra money on my debt... He's a cheerleader for me and genuinely proud of my progress this far which makes me feel even better! We make it a point to talk about money on a regular basis which helps me. Also makes me accountable to be doing what I say I'm doing and sticking to the plan. My failure to stick to the plan ultimately will after him and out relationship. It's another way to build trust with/in one another.

Do you share your financial state with your partners or family? If so, do you find them supportive of judgemental?

Diana - Bellamagoo
Pacific Time Zone
British Columbia, Canada
Pacific Standard Time
Proud member of the Golden Phoenix BL CHALLENGE

www.fitbit.com/user/2B5B6T


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10/3/16 2:06 P

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Hello Neighbour! :D

I grew up in Surrey, moved to Vanderhoof when I was 11 with my family, left when I graduated and returned back about 15 years later.....for one year. Its been 25 years back, so I think I messed up somewhere. haha!!

I lived in PG for a couple years, back when I was at CNC and later, when I worked at the hospital. It's really grown busy over the past few years. I spent time in Burns Lake as a teen when I played basketball and volleyball, as an adult for training sessions. Done much fishing and camping up in the area too.

Ah credit debt, I know that too. I used my credit cards to pay bills - like hydro and rent, buy groceries and fix my car. I was keeping up on it, then this year it all went to H in a hand basket.......but I'll get it all back on track.

We can also support one another to do that too!! :)



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9/30/16 11:40 P

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saasisprings - sounds like things are tight for you!! I see you live in Vanderhoof!! I know the area!! I used to live in Prince George and then in Burns Lake!! I moved back to Vancouver in 2010 to be closer to my mom and dad who are both retired. my biggest issue is paying off my debt - I could do so much more & save so much more if I wasn't paying off the stupid credit I racked up.

Diana - Bellamagoo
Pacific Time Zone
British Columbia, Canada
Pacific Standard Time
Proud member of the Golden Phoenix BL CHALLENGE

www.fitbit.com/user/2B5B6T


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9/30/16 10:05 P

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Welcome to the team. That's great you found an app that works well for you with budgeting. I don't own a smart phone, just a cheap pay and talk, so I don't have apps on it. I keep track of my money though.

I spend the average tax base of 45%, 30% rent (and am fortunate with that, as many are spending far higher due to low vacancy rates), which leaves 25% for medication (chronic illness), food, hydro, gas, car insurance (no transit), and bills. There is zero wiggle room and I live very basic. I couldn't live any more basic. My home phone is really cheap, and long distance is 1c per minute. I have a pay as you go cell for travelling and texting. My internet is DSL (much cheaper than WiFi) and since I have so many people depending on my computer, I cannot cut that off. My dish for TV is the basic rate, that was forced onto the companies by CRTC (Canada), so it's under $40 and with our long dark winters, I enjoy my programs after work. I don't do much, as I cannot afford it and my clothes are average, 10 years old. Our tax watchdogs are fighting the tax rate, as it's literally choking the life out of us here. I understand it covers health and schools, roads and other infrastructure, but it's too high. It didn't help either that I received a .05% raise on one wage and 1% raise on the other, as it threw me into the next tax bracket. I also have RRSP, pension and TFSA for savings, but I've pulled out my RRSP and my TFSA to survive. In January I receive a pension payment - as I'm old enough to pull on one pension - and I hope that'll get me back on track. It's a yearly pay-out. I also am on my own, so I'm fortunate when issues arise, that my folks are able to help me out, but as I told them, this is stupid as I'm too old to always call my mummy for help! We also lost sick pay, so when we are sick, we are paid only 80% for the day. Still it's better than my friend who went down to 50%. As she said, people are coming to work ill and that's never a good thing.

But I've been here before when I lived on the poverty line and I'll make it all work. It's simply this year was my 'perfect storm' and I hope by next year that I'm out of the storm into calm water. :)

Edited by: SASSISPRING at: 9/30/2016 (22:07)

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9/30/16 4:32 P

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emoticon
I'm new to the team. I'm hoping that there may be some regular chatter here and that we can help support each other with our health AND money goals.

SASSISPRING - I agree that any paid day at home is awesome unless you're home sick... i spent a week of vacation in August at home too as I didn't have money to travel, plus boyfriend was working so would have felt bad leaving him on his own.

emoticon do you have a budget? if so, when was the last time you assessed whether it is realistic? I use an app 'home budget' to create my budget and I try to track ALL money spent. It's a great way to see what I spend my money on and where I can improve...

Diana - Bellamagoo
Pacific Time Zone
British Columbia, Canada
Pacific Standard Time
Proud member of the Golden Phoenix BL CHALLENGE

www.fitbit.com/user/2B5B6T


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8/7/16 12:39 A

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How are folks doing?

I'm finishing up my 2nd week of 4 weeks paid vacation. I'm staying home as I don't have the funds to travel this year. I thought I might whip up north (about 5 or 6 hours) to visit friends, but I simply don't have the cash. I was doing some deep cleaning and came across old tax returns. I realized that I'm making the same wages now, that I did 10 years back. Unfortunately everything has increased (and significantly too), so it answers why I cannot live on what I currently make - as I did 10 years ago. Ah well. One day people will realize my work is as important as someone pushing a broom in a mill but until then, things are tight. It also makes me even more determined to get my bills down to zero.

I am enjoying my break because any day you don't have to work and are paid to stay home, is a GOOD day!!



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7/22/16 2:40 A

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HI.

I'm sorry, I didn't see the message. Welcome to the group!!



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6/18/16 2:25 A

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Hello all my name is Tema and I'm new to the group and can't wait to meet some of you Paula I already know

I'm making it one day at a time
TENACITY is the quality displayed by someone who just won't quit -- who keeps trying until they reach their goal. Anything really worth doing takes persistence, perseverance, and stubborn determination! I AM a Tenacious Jungle Tiger and these are my survival skills!!

The key is to keep company with those who uplift you, whose presence calls forth my best....

Pacific Time Tucson AZ
Tema


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4/18/16 3:11 P

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Good morning.

It was great to read all your news Paula. I really enjoyed reading all your updates. It's been a crazy April here, broke weather records for high temps. It's in our favour, as my friend is in the city, from Ontario, so with the good weather I feel comfortable driving there after work to visit. Usually in April we are hit with wet snow falling quite heavily through the month, so it's really nice to see the sunshine and have the warm temps. It's supposed to go up to 22C today and that's our normal summer (July) temp!!

I purchased groceries yesterday and with the increases in food, it was over twice as much to purchase. I did not buy meat, as I'd need a bank loan! I bought processed food as it was far cheaper and goes as far as meat. I cannot eat beans and have to watch lentils, plus soy is completely off my list, so my main protein is eggs, cheese and meat. I bought some perishables too. It's really depressing. It takes me hours to feel better after I've spent money (that I don't have) on something that is a necessity.

The other frustrating part were the apples, as they were bruised and soft, yet they cost twice as much as they normally do (when off-season). I don't get it at all. Today the cost of fuel jumped significantly too. I guess with the warm weather the companies believe that tourist season is already starting up - as our fuel always increases in the summer. Does that happen in other places too?

I went to National Scrapbooking Day on Saturday. I also attended Friday night, but passed up Sunday. I have to read back in my email, as I thought we paid for both a lunch and supper meal, yet when it came to supper, I was asked to kick in an additional $5. It wasn't that much to attend ($50). I won a door prize and other little prizes along the way - all were sticker packages. We also received a package of paper. I met new people and it was very relaxing, a nice way to spend time.

I'm heading to the city on Tuesday. As I mentioned, my friend Kristie is there sorting out her mother's home, so that it can be sold as her mother is moving down closer to Kristie's sisters. Her father passed away in December. This will be the last time Kristie will be in this area (as she came to visit her folks every couple years) and she figures the last trip for years, to BC. It's quite expensive to fly domestic. I'm coming in early to work tomorrow, skip lunch break and leave at 3 PM. We'll have a nice supper out and visit. I'm looking forward to it. We've known one another since Gr 8.

We have a new union representative and she would like to see us more involved with the union. We are disconnected from the city and often it feels like we are on an island. May 1st is a labour recognition day, and there is a big dinner in the city that involves many unions and labour groups. Our union always has a table but we have never been invited. Our new rep invited us to the table this year, so I'll be going to that. I'm hoping a couple new union members go over with me. The meal is free (to us). I'm the shop steward, here in our workplace, so I felt it was important to attend. It should be fun.

Next weekend is my brother and mum's birthday(s), so we'll be going out for dinner on Sunday. I'm not sure what we'll do on Saturday, I'll have to talk to my niece (8 years old), as I'm sure she'll want cake. haha!!

Hope your new computer works well for you. My computer tried to die last month and I got it back up and running. I told my computer to behave, I cannot afford a new one for another couple years. The tech has repaired it twice and said he cannot get parts, so it just better keep on working until I can afford a new one. haha!

take care!



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4/16/16 2:49 A

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Quiet day at home catching up. Am about to start disconnecting this old computer and sorting out my new one so maybe off for a while or at least till tomorrow sometime till I get it all worked out and set up.

Have a great weekend all. Keep smiling. emoticon



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4/14/16 6:41 P

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Have a busy today.

Have to head out this morning to order some flowers to be delivered to an old friend whose husband passed away.

Going to pick up my bread and a couple of other things from my health food store.

Have grocery shopping to do.

My car license needs renewing.

Tonight we are going out to a winery called "Siroment Winery" for dinner in their restaurant for my mothers Birthday which is on Sunday. We tired to book in for tomorrow night as Saturday nights suits all the family better than Sunday night.

Monday is go back to work day after the weekend so Saturday would've suited most better but they are fully booked for three weeks ahead on Saturday nights and we were lucky enough to get in tonight. There are 11 of us going. It should be very nice. I've been there before for breakfast and it's not a place that has your usual hotel or "Pub" food or "Sizzler" or anything like that. It is much more upmarket and classie than that. Breakfast was "to die for" so to speak really nice!

I've been smart and already checked out their menu online to find the healthiest options so as to try at least not to over do it.

Anyhow that's what is planned for my Friday. Hope you all have a good day or night. Keep smiling and keep tracking your food, drinking your water, watching your budget and saving where you can.

WE CAN DO IT! emoticon


Edited by: POSITIVEPAULA8 at: 4/14/2016 (18:51)

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4/13/16 7:46 P

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Quiet day at home to finish some organisation that is happening around the house for me. Finally get my home how I like all decluttered and organised. Lose the Clutter Lose the weight as the saying goes. Also losing the clutter will help make my finances all the better as I get more organised in all areas of my life.

After looking at a utube on how to use the Spark people Nutrition Tracker I realised in mine I should be tracking cholesterol which I have not been doing and a few other things so I've added them in to be tracked.

Just for fun and curiosity, I checked out with the nutrition report how I went with cholesterol after adding that in for the last 2 days and both days were somewhere between 200 -300 grams over, so that was another wake up call I needed to have lol. Having a few of them lately lol But that's all good.

Anyhow i'm off to do some more organising in my sewing / quilting / ironing room. Keep smiling everyone and keep on sparkling.




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4/13/16 6:51 A

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Have had a busy but successful day. Glad to be sitting down now having a green tea. finshed tracking my food.

About to add today spending into the expense tracker I printed out. It will be a good eye opener for me and much more powerful seeing it written down each day.

Nite all emoticon



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4/12/16 6:59 P

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I did not know that Visa Debit cards were so expensive to have over there. Here I have a visa debit card link to my normal account where my husbands wages go into and we don't pay anything for it. It is just our normal card we can use it to withdraw money from our account at the ATM etc...

With credits cards they do have there place for sure but as long as they are paid off in full at the end of the month no interest should occur and you know you have used them wisely. Always easier said than done lol

Living is not cheap lol

Off to my quilting class today so I had best get off the computer and start packing what I need to take with me. going out to our club for dinner afterwards.

Have a great day at work and take care yourself.



I hope to back on later tonight. Have a great day all



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4/12/16 6:44 P

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Unfortunately there are many situations that require credit cards - at least around here. My brother and his wife run into this when they book a hotel room. It's either a credit card or they have to pay a security deposit between $300 to $400 depending on the place. My workplace recently forced us to purchase our maintenance medications through an online pharmacy that is connected with our health care provider. It means that either we use a credit card or get a VISA Debit card (which has a $75 set-up fee). It's frustrating, but as you said in another post, then it's important to pay it off fully and one day, I'll be back in that place again. Because that's the only way to really hold a card - never purchase what you can't pay off in one month.

I've been fortunate to have family and friends to help me through because without them, things would have been very different. Like a few years back I had to travel to Vancouver, about 1100 kms to the south to see a neurosurgeon. I had been diagnosed with complete rupture of one of the discs in my lower back. It was sudden and I hadn't time to save up for the expenses involved. I was fortunate in that we have a Northern Medical Bus that takes us down to Vancouver at a significantly reduced rate ($80 return vs $500 plane trip), however, it was the hotel fees that was going to kill me. I stayed at a hotel that had a medical expense reduction, but it was still $125 (plus taxes) per night. My folks paid for the hotel, gave me money for food and away I went - which really helped me out. I also had to overnight in Prince George, in order to do connections - and my folks paid for that motel room too. Big help, that's for sure.

I'm with you on needing a car that won't break down right away. I used to be able to do basic work on my car, but with the newer models, they need the computer to read the sensors. With needing it to travel to see my clients and transport clients, I am like you and need one that will stand up to wear and tear, plus is excellent on gas use. Honda is a good solid car, very reliable. That is so awesome that your dad surprised you with it, as a gift.

Well I better focus back on work. Take care!



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4/12/16 7:54 A

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Gosh you sure do have a story there. you been through some hard times. But you've done really well to overcome them. emoticon I've told my adult kids never to have credit cards but to use a debit card. It can work the same sort of way as a credit card works except you are using your own money not the banks.

It works good for when they want to buy something online or top up their phone credit online etc...

I drive a small car myself as does my husband he buys older cheaper cars likes to pay no more than $2,000 for them uses them for quite a few years then just buys another and gets rid of the old one. I prefer a car that is near new that I know should not break down I'm a lady who is not good with cars my husband on the other hand likes playing around with cars and is very handy when it comes to car maintenance. I have had this current car almost 4 years now it's a Honda Jazz Automatic. It was new when I got it. but I was very lucky I did not have to pay a cent for it. My dad decided to surprise us and buy it for us for Christmas in 2012.

Anyhow I'm falling asleep so I'll say nite all sleep welll emoticon



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4/11/16 6:23 P

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Hi, yes it does sound like it's really tough for your brother and his wife. When someone over-spends and hides the spending, it's really tough to cope with, when things that used to pay those debts off, fall down. I hope that they manage to sell that property in Tasmania in short order.

There are times when bankruptcy is the answer as it allows one to breathe and restart. That is one thing I wanted to do when I left my ex in 1989, as he dumped all the debt on me (close to $45,000 in credit cards and loans). He went bankrupt with our business, that thankfully my name was not attached to and went on to be successful. He refused to acknowledge the bills he left me and I chose not to go to court, as we weren't legally married, his daughter wasn't mine and he agreed to keep the lines open for visitation (including trips). I didn't want to push him further, as I knew he'd stop me from taking her out for holidays. I don't regret the decision, I talked it over with my family, close friends and a free session with a lawyer - it's just that looking back, I should filed bankruptcy. I had to leave my community and full-time job, lived on unemployment insurance and struggled to find work in the south due to a major recession.

Fast forward many years later, I found an adviser who worked with me and I finally wiped out my debt. I was getting on my feet, breathing easier, then like a perfect storm, everything happened fairly close together. I have never owned a home, don't have any property and am classified as part of the "working poor" category. I'm taking one more year without doing much for vacation, staying close to home and living really tight to bring back the debt to either zero or manageable levels.

The plan you have on how to account for your finances is a very good plan. I don't do internet banking as I don't trust it, however, I realize that it's stable, it's a smart way to save your money and often (at least over here) it allows you to avoid bank charges. I like how you have everything budgeted out, set up and have back-up funds if needed. The automatic payments I have set up are my loans, RRSP (registered retirement savings account) and TFSA (tax free savings account). I've been reversing the TFSA payments almost every pay day, to provide money for debt but I've managed to stay off my RRSP (which cost taxes if I use it for debt). I have a car payment as I need my car for work (to see clients, transport clients and such) and my 2001 Impala wasn't cutting it anymore. I purchased a 2010 Fusion a couple years back, so I went with what I could afford, rather than what I really wanted.

Emergency funds are definitely hard to create and not use, that's a good area to focus on. Well my coffee break is done, so I better get back to work. Take care!!



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4/11/16 5:59 P

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Thank you very much for the welcome SASSISPRING.

Yes it's not easy to live these days. We are rather fortunate I guess that our situation is not bad and that we don't have any major debt worries.

My brother and his wife on the other hand have had bad luck. His wife is a spend thrift and over the 5 years they have been married she keeps spending to the point that my brother had to sell three property's investment units he had when he meet her to pay off debt. Does not seems to realise I don't think how much she spends on a daily basis somehow she is able to hide it sort of or at least was able to.

They had bad luck with a business venture that went wrong. they brought a property down in Tasmania here and moved from the Northern Territory (Darwin) to start a new life running school camps at this field study centre. It's an old old property on many acres and acres with a river running through it all set up with a main house a guest house and many little huts and dormitory and hall etc... all set up with big kitchen for camps for kids and others. His wife thought it would be a good thing to do and wanted to buy it so they sold there house brought it (paid too much I think for it) and it has turned out bad.

Now they have moved back closer to family in Brisbane and are living and paying a small amount of rent to his wife's mother in a house she has. 3 years on they are still trying to sell the property in Tasmania with no luck.

They have credit card debt as well as car loans also so they are in a bad way. My brother wants to go bankrupt but his wife does not. but I think eventually they will be forced to. Everyone in the family is trying to help them and convince her that bankruptcy is the way to go. I think she may be ever so slightly coming around on that idea.

So no family is perfect. For me sometimes I find it hard sticking to my budget when we have visitors coming around for dinner. I like to make plenty to eat and drink etc... and find to cope with this I tend to take money from another area eg. savings or emergency fund.

This has to stop that's for sure. So I hope by joining this team it will make me more stricter in keeping to my budget.

I tend to use BPAY alot and have money set up in my internet banking set amounts each week to come out to prepay bills like electricity, rates and water, phone and internet, insurances, home loan etc...

Then I also have different savings accounts set up for other things like saving, emergency fund, gas bill, car expenses and money set aside called household expenses for anything that may go wrong in the house. Like water tank pump, appliances or wear and tear on the house etc.. I know the money is there then when the bill comes in.

For me the hard part is sticking to the area's like emergency fund, household expenses and savings and I really need to this I do know. It's having accounts in my internet banking set aside for them but I need to stick to not withdrawing money from them and letting them build up. This is what I am working on at the moment.

Today I'm having a day at home to do some cleaning and catching up. Have my garage to tidy up. Have one of my bathrooms and toilets to clean. Things to finish off on my guest room. It feels really good to be finally getting the house how I like it! Also have to water my garden.

Have a great day or night all and keep smiling, Paula emoticon

Edited by: POSITIVEPAULA8 at: 4/11/2016 (18:01)

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4/11/16 11:21 A

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Welcome to the team Paula and thanks for the links. Doesn't matter where the information comes from, it's always welcome. That's the thing with sites that are international, there will be things we can use everywhere and the stuff that is specific, there will be someone from that country or region who can make use of it. That's great your debt is the mortgage and nothing else. I'm dealing with credit debt and loans- it's been a tough couple years. I used my credit cards to help buy groceries, pay rent, hydro and some other essentials. I know that it's not what it's meant for, but I also know that I prefer a roof over my head, over sleeping in the winter, in my car (as I live in a northern climate). It'll sort itself out. I was hit with unexpected bills, along with massive increases in everything - from food to fuel to electricity and rent. We are finally receiving raises, but it's only .25% to 1.5% periodically through the next 5 years, so it's taking much to adjust the budget. But as I mentioned, I'll get there. :)



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4/11/16 8:01 A

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Hi all, I just joined this team. Thank you for having me. I have introduced myself under INTRODUCTIONS -Stop by and say HI!

If it's alright I thought I would share here a great Australian site for helping people save money in all areas from grocery shopping, menu planning, budgeting, cleaning and house maintenance and lots more. there is so much covered it would take ages to read and look at it all.

Each week they send out an email with money savings tips and loads more. It's really awesome and has some wonderful tips sent in by members as well. I thought you may all like it and get some help from it.

www.cheapskatesclub.net/

Here's another site from the same lady to with the the savings site which is great also:

www.debtfreecashedupandlaughing.com.
au
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we have no debt other than our house loan of $11,000.00 so not much left to go which is awesome. We don't use credit cards only in an emergency and always pay them off that same day.

Once we brought a few years ago a bigger TV and even though I had the money for it in my savings account the bank apparently would not let me use EFTOS for the full amount as I had gone over my daily limit so the credit card came in handy then to pay half of it. when we arrived home I paid the credit card off right away. So they are handy if you use them wisely and for me only in an emergency situation.

My husband's work has slowed right down from this week so he now does not have the overtime he had been having so it's time for me to readjust our budget. I thought joining this team would be a help in keeping me focused and help me stay on track with keeping to my budget.

Thank you once again for having me as part of your team and I hope you don't mind me sharing these links and that I have shared them in the right spot.

Keep smiling, Paula emoticon

Edited by: POSITIVEPAULA8 at: 4/11/2016 (08:15)

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12/7/15 12:35 P

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How are people doing?

Remember.........Christmas season is not for debt. Don't go into debt to buy stuff - remember it's only stuff, it's the love and the magic of the season that counts the most.

What are ways people have given gifts - at any time, for any celebration - that don't break the bank and create debt?

I have made certificates for babysitting. I put them into the envelopes of friends who had small children. I loved spending time with their children and this way, they didn't have to feel guilty for asking me to look after the children. They loved it.





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