Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I'll get to see my month end for Sept tomorrow. I'm hoping I'll have squeaked by another month with some bonus extra money.

There has been another wave of job loss in my area and that can affect my business. I wonder if I will have to re-jig my spread sheet's expectations? I hope not.

I have a mild anxiety episode yesterday when I questioned myself on the sanity of moving the working account money out of a low paying savings account into something that isn't necessarily guarantee gain.

D was really funny about it. He laughed at my reaction and said that only I can get stressed out about having money...

I didn't find it very funny but I did later.

So onwards and upwards (hopefully!). I'm sticking with the latest change in plans. I have no real (only imagined) reason to panic. I'm not doing anything overtly risky.

In other news, I got the OK for adding an additional service to my business. The person who offered a similar service has left so now there isn't a conflict of interest. I am working on promotional material now.

Some days I think that my life would be easier if I could just convince myself to be happy doing the same thing over and over again.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Organization Needed

D came home with a jar of Tahini last night. We've been talking about making hummus forever and haven't moved on it and keep on buying it.

No excuses now. We don't have a food processor and will attempt it using a hand mixer (stand type). I am very excited about this!

Yesterday I realized that I don't have as much music in my life compared to 3 years ago. What happened? We moved and our current music setup is not as accessible. We also made the switch from CD to mp3 via the iPod.

I remember the day we were at Best Buy to buy our iPod. I joked with the gal that helped us (I think she was 18 yrs old) that we were probably the oldest people she has seen buy an iPod.

She was very kind about it and told us she didn't even have one yet as she was saving to pay for university!

We went big (for the time) and bought the 80 gig one. (I was peeved that they put out the 120 gig a month later...) Anyways, I digress.

Fast forward 3 years and it is almost half full and D hasn't put all of his CD's on it yet.

Now the issue is accessibility. I haven't done any play lists yet so it gets on my nerves a bit when I have to search for stuff. There is starting to be too much to sift through.

So I am now committed to making my own A - Z play list. As usual, I'm way behind D. He already has a dozen of them. Some of them near 12 hrs long and really good.

Monday, September 28, 2009


So D convinced me not to go ahead with the flight purchases for the New Year. I've already put in for my holidays so we'll just have to see what end up happening. He is positive that we will get the flight and price we want closer to the end of the year.

Now that we've decided on moving some cash out and investing it, I know I'm going to feel a bit weird not seeing cash. I was getting used to it and it made me feel safe. It's still there, just under a different guise.

Reminding myself that the savings accounts are paying something like 1% helps. We are keeping $5000+ around still so it won't completely be emptied plus we need an everyday working account for odds and sods.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Increase Returns

The application is in. We've decided to move some of our working account money into an ING non registered mutual fund account in hopes of investment growth.

Currently it is in 2 savings accounts labeled Home and Cottage with enough in each to pay for a new roof.

There is a waiting period for the administrative account work to be done before I will see it live online. I do not expect any issues with it.

We had a casual dinner with another couple last night. They are both in their early to mid 30's and by far, one of the most responsible couples we know financially.

Hard working and frugal even though they got a head start in life in the form of an inheritance. They are within 3 years to being mortgage free and are considering starting a family and trading up to another house within reason.

It is great to see.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Now that I have been cutting back on my meat consumption, I've noticed something a bit strange. When I do eat meat, I tend to crave it for a day or so after.

When I haven't had it for a while (4 days or so), I don't even think about it. I've not consider meat as having an addictive quality to it before. Maybe it is just me.

For now, I can definitely consider myself a part time vegetarian.

I am concentrating on curbing my tea drinking. I like English breakfast tea, with sugar and cream. That must come from my British upbringing. I drink it about 3 times a week.

Why am I making it an issue even? It is because I am fairly sensitive to caffeine. I don't like the crashing afterwards or the shakes if I have too much in me. It's too bad I love the taste of it. Same with the occasional coffee I have.

I rarely drink pop, coffee or tea and over that last 1 1/2 yrs, I've started adding it to my life. Before I used to pride myself on not needing caffeine to get through the day.

Even though I am not going overboard, I feel that I am "needing" it. Don't like that feeling. Makes me feel out of control. Plus it hides how tired I really am and allows me to keep going when I probably ought to just rest.

Add to it the green tea I am drinking for health, that is way more caffeine my system has ever seen in its life.

On the other hand, I rarely drink alcohol anymore. I went from maybe 6 drinks a year to a couple a month (for the last 6 yrs or so) and now am back down again. I feel good about that. Luckily I do not crave alcohol at all so this is an easy one for me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Error

Another error found today, luckily before I paid a prepayment.

I realized that I had been lazy in my estimations. I have been using a yearly lump sum prepayment as default setting in my amortization tables. When I used the quarterly amount, even with our interest rates quite low, it still makes a good amount of difference. I found out I was over paying again!

So I made some corrections to my spreadsheet and freed up some more cash flow. In reality, we are paying prepayments bi-monthly so the final effect will still be an overpayment but the calculator I am using doesn't have anything less than quarterly.

I have been feeling nervousness about cutting things too close so I am grateful my last few errors have meant less financial tension.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


My hair is pretty much shoulder length now. When I took a foot off in April to donate to the cancer society, it was jaw length. I figure by next April, I will have enough length again to repeat.

The timing is great. I prefer longer hair in the winter as it feels warmer to tie my scarf over my hair around my neck while it is nice having it shorter for the summer but long enough to tie back. I couldn't have picked a better cycle. This way, I can also enjoy all hair lengths yearly.

There is a seat sale for Jan/'10 going on right now that we are debating about. We have only bought one ways out west for Christmas, awaiting the post Christmas sale. Well, here we are but the lowest fare entails us coming home 2 days later, and 1 day before I go back to work.

Having experienced winter plane travel as one of its worst last Christmas (16 hrs for something that usually takes 5) I am hesitant to play it so close. On the way there is no issue but I am risking that there will be no big snowstorm in the first week of Jan.

The worst case? I miss my first day of work in 2010. Can I live with that? Probably. D isn't really affected because he can work remote if we are delayed. So do we keep waiting? Today is the last day for the sale...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Caught the Error

I've made a rather large error regarding mortgage prepayments.

It turns out that I have incorrectly lumped both mortgages together as having the same due dates. They do not. There is a 8 month difference even though in my mind, a mortgage is a mortgage.

My goal is not to renew either one when their term expires meaning they will be paid for in a total of 5 yrs vs. 12 yrs respectively. I didn't mean for one to end sooner than the term.

What that means is that the prepayments I've calculated for the ski condo are too high. After adjusting them, I see that there is potential for savings after all and our cash flow increases significantly.

It is really nice to have some breathing room.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coming Together

The decision has been made. I'm postponing my driving lessons for now in order to create another $1000 cushion in our savings.

I had been mentally struggling with this one (more of a timing issue) and once the decision was made, I felt relief so I'm interpreting it as a good thing. We go to the cottage for the 5 days instead.

D is still waiting to sign his papers for his part time/contract job (15 - 20 hrs/month). He has been searching for a while now for "remote" work -- to get his feet wet in this area so that one day he will be able to work from anywhere where there is a computer. Part of our long term plan.

My job is location dependent and I am looking to add skills that are portable for the same reasons.

I'm knocking on wood as I am typing this...

The cottage this year hasn't needed much money in terms of maintenance. Am I grateful for that! Last year, we had to replace the water pump ($$). I guess we did buy a new bed but that isn't maintenance in my mind.

This year we've been focused on making it look nicer. D replaced the kitchen cabinet knobs and handles. There has been plenty of painting inside and out. It is finally coming together.

In the "love to have" category, I would love to have a new shower enclosure and a full spectrum water purifier as well as a laundry room. All of which are fairly big ticket items.

Since this year is the inaugural year for the working accounts, I am not in a hurry to use it all up for this. I'm enjoying seeing a positive balance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wanting What You Have

I have fine tuned the end dates for the mortgages -- June & Sept 2012. Barring any quadrupling of interest rates, we ought to get there OK.

D and I discussed the concept of value in our real estate holdings this weekend at the cottage.

Our recent foray to some open houses has helped me appreciate the amount of value we have in our properties.

For example, the one house I liked in one of my "dream" places to live was asking $410000, down from $439000 as the owner had bought elsewhere and needed to sell.

For an older brick house (80 yrs old), it was very nice. Compared to ours, it doesn't compare too well. It didn't have a garage or a main floor bathroom and the bedrooms were smaller. The walls were also still in plaster, which mean fairly high heating bills to me. It didn't give the "solid" feel that ours give off as it is triple brick thick. Though the multi-level deck, porch, kitchen and garden were gorgeous.

We have gotten used to having the original wide plank floors, having the walls redone in drywall and insulated and the architectural features re-integrated afterwards. Also, we have been spoiled with an attached 1 1/2 car garage, 2 fireplaces, main floor laundry and shower.

Those aren't features you see in a house built in 1854. Add to that 2 staircases going upstairs and one from the garage to the basement, it is hard to beat. We feel it is a great mix of old and new. And it cost $125000 less.

D found a listing last week of a possible cottage closer than our current location by 2 hrs. After dropping off our stuff home yesterday, we took off to check it out the location before getting in contact with any Realtors.

For those familiar with Ontario, the body of water it is off of is Lake Huron. Our cottage is off of Georgian Bay (part of Lake Huron but farther north).

The drive took no time at all and was really easy. The price of it is $100000 more than we paid for our cottage 5 years ago. So was there enough value to justify the increase expense?


The beach was smaller and that part of Lake Huron required break walls along the length of the beach due to erosion issues. It takes away from the feeling of space and expanse that I like to see. Also, you are looking at horizon. There isn't anything interesting geographically.

Where we are, you are looking at hills, rock and the sand is clean without pebbles. It gives off a rougher, harsher feel of open water. It suits me more.

So we started our day yesterday at a beach and ended our day at one. Fun stuff.

The house itself was great. It was straight out of a fairy tale. An English cottage with a detached garage. It is more of a house than a cottage and as tempting as it is to want more luxurious accommodations and lifestyle options it will not work for us.

I wanted a cottage for its environment. The living standards were not going to match our main house but it wasn't supposed to. I bought it for the sand, rock and water and for Ontario, it doesn't come much better than there. Those of you who are fans of Tom Thompson (Group of Seven) will know what I mean. So for $100000 less, we have great value.

When the hunt for our ski condo came about, I was overwhelmed at first with the number of options out there.

My initial choices were something in Colorado as I had great memories of Beaver Creek and Vail or Montana because I love it there. The logistics of getting there (plane and car) made these options not as appealing. Plus, in order to afford there, we would be looking at a timeshare instead of out right ownership.

Eventually we wanted to spend the entire season skiing so that would mean a number of timeshares. That didn't appeal at all. Europe would have been awesome but again the flight and transfers would not make it easy. It isn't easy to find something much less than a 2 1/2 - 3 hr from an airport. Driving in the middle of the winter in unfamiliar mountain terrain isn't my idea of fun. So the next step was to look in my own country.

Fractional ownership is pretty popular here. I means you "own" it for say 5 weeks plus a year depending on what plan you buy. The issue I have is that the 5 weeks are spread out and changes every year. I don't like being told when I get to go. Plus you cannot really take advantage of seat sales.

The place we found is truly a diamond. It is under 1 hr from the airport with well run shuttles so we wouldn't have to drive. It is non commercial even though it is the 2nd largest in BC. And we can own outright for the price of a fractional. It is an older solid building and cost the most per square foot ($300) of anything we own so luckily we don't need a lot of space.

We are 8000 ft up and some mornings, we wake up with views above the cloud line. I love it there. It doesn't matter that we don't have in unit laundry or a full size fridge or stove. We do fine with our bar fridge (we go to the market daily), cook top, toaster oven (we are thinking of upgrading to a convection one), indoor grill, microwave and shared building laundry.

I have a nasty habit of thinking that I haven't done enough and I didn't make the best purchase decisions. As much as I hate to admit it, D dragging me off to see these places has made me see that that is not the case. We have done well for us and I can now just enjoy it without questioning myself over and over again. It has been a well needed lesson for me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Won't Do

There are certain things I've owned/currently own and/or have experienced that I cannot see myself spending so much to do/own again.
  • a house > 2500 sq ft
  • expensive hotels > $250/night
  • fancy restaurant meals > $250
  • expensive watch > $800
  • jewellery > $15000
  • expensive purses > $800
  • expensive sunglasses > $350
  • expensive coats > $550
  • expensive hobby equipment > $800

Some may not flinch at the numbers (or consider anything above as "expensive") as I didn't either back in the day but I do now.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fuel Mileage

I am eager to start seeing the monthly differences in our car fuel bills. We took D's car to the cottage a couple of weekends ago and I was pretty amazed to realize the mileage difference.

My vehicle has a 55 L gas tank. I can get 550 km per tank.

D's Civic has a 50 L gas tank. When we pulled into the gas station, the gas light was on and we had run 768 km already. Turns out there were still 6 litres left in the tank.

That would mean potentially we could have gone a good amount over 800 km. Pretty cool.

When I looked at the Honda Fit, it was even better. It has a 40 L gas tank and the gas mileage is the same as a current Civic (which is better than D's 2005 one). Unbelievable.

A couple of years ago, I test drove a Prius and the Camry Hybrid. I like the feel of the Prius much better and the new 2010 model even better.

I had no idea the the gap between regular gasoline vehicles and hybrids are closing so fast.

Not needing to be car shopping the last 12 years has seriously left me out of the loop.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Burnout Recovery Plans

I am forgoing the purchase of my season's pass (ski) this year. D bought his yesterday (to take advantage of the early buying rate). I am giving myself one year to feel better, stronger and well again from my chronic burnout.

This move will postpone the scaring myself to death part in becoming a better skier for a year. My recovering nervous system is already thanking me for it!

I am looking forward to lounging out at the condo for 3 weeks and doing some of the other stuff available (snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, skating, tubing! etc.) if and when I feel like it, using the money for my season's pass that will be deposited into my "dream" account. I don't want to be forced into a learning schedule this winter.

I have a growing pile of catch up stuff waiting for attention -- Bookkeeping, mail, email, phone messages, professional course considerations. Not sure if I'll be getting to all of it today but I will do my best without ruining my day off.

On a side note, there are some artistic/architectural learning opportunities coming up courtesy of my local university and museum. I'm going to look into them some more. It may be just what I need right now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Whoops. In my haste and desire to not wait for the library, I ended up paying more for the books than I could have. I forgot to look for them used and when I did, I found out I could have bought all 4 for $50 in hard cover.... Oh well. Live and learn.

Because we pay our mortgage bi-weekly, the schedule shifts off my pay cycle (bi-monthly) over the course of the year as we have 2 months where there 3 mortgage payments. October will be it for us.

I don't miss having to have an extra payment ready ahead of time back when I was a single home owner. Because D's pay cycle matches the mortgage cycle, I don't have to worry myself about it anymore. It's great relief!

My previous investment plans have been put on hold because of our mortgage payments. What I had been on track to doing was to have my non registered investment amount match my registered.

A quick calculation this morning showed that I am about half way there. I wasn't as far off as I thought. I'm tempted to cancel my driving school plans/trip and use the money to boost the investment side of things.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I have been late getting started in this year's book club selections. One day, I'd like to make it to an actually meeting/discussion but for now, I get the list and read on my own. Lots that I would not have ever picked up. Some really great stuff.

This weekend, in between all the other stuff we had going one, I started reading the Twilight Series (non book club) for some light reading after finishing A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I've been hearing about it and decided to give it a go and not wait so long as I had for Harry Potter.

I don't like gore and horror stuff -- bad experience watching the Exorcist too young... but I couldn't put the book down (not really like that at all). The library had the 1st and 3rd books of the series and I was so taken by it (I swear, I thought I was going to have an ulcer/permanent gut wrench throughout the books) I ended up buying the 2nd and 4th books because I just couldn't wait. I was 11th on the wait list for the 2nd and 37th for the 4th.

I even went to get the movie out on DVD. Luckily I never saw it before I started reading because I probably wouldn't have. Hope the next movie is a vast improvement.

I'm going to donate my books to the library so the wait won't have to be so long for the others.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


D and I went driving this morning, in his car so that I could show him what I think I know. It went well. Didn't stall -- to his surprise... and managed to shift up and down relatively smoothly while turning with no jack rabbiting. The second reading of my driving book will take place this week.

Yesterday was a bit uncomfortable because we went house hunting in one of my favorite cities. It was D's idea and I wasn't keen on going because I somehow knew I would end up disappointed. I've loved this particular place since I was 11 yrs old -- not thinking that it could ever happen as it is quite expensive there.

My bubble did burst yesterday. It can happen but it would require that we sell the house and the cottage in order for it to be a lateral move in price but a downsize in space and quality of house. Not something I would consider right now.

The original idea was to see if we could find something to take the place of the cottage. I would be willing to trade it for something there. The answer is no. A decent place, in a not so great neighbourhood would be less than 50% of the size of our house but the property taxes would match. Not good value.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On Being Worn Out

We will be caught up filling the hole that D's car purchase made by the end of the month. In order for that to have happened, I moved numbers around so that our massive mortgage prepayments will start in a couple of weeks. I'm excited about it starting and seeing bigger chunk changes on screen.

On an entirely different note, I recently finish a distance course on burnout, professional quality of life etc. and have been gauging my responses to life and work.

It turns out that by the end of my work day, I'm at a 9/10 stress/revved up level. That is too high. The funny thing is that now that I'm aware of that, I can isolate what parts of my day causes it to go up and down.

This past work week, I did not feel myself get above 7. I actually went through my day yesterday at a 5. Incredible.

I have been a Type A for as long as I can remember. For me to be at a 5, at first, felt like I was stoned out. I didn't believe I could even do my job in that state. D says that on his busiest day, he gets to a 4! You should have seen my face when he told me that.

I surprised myself. I was calm (even though I thought I came across like comatose...) and didn't feel rushed. My "normal" speed at work is likened to working the ER. I don't need to work that way anymore. (I interned at a hospital during the last 1 1/2 yrs of my program, that had a predominant HIV/AIDs speciality) and my speed never changed in the last 12 years.

No wonder I feel worn out. My state didn't match where I was now. What a relief to find that out and make changes to it. I'm going to be healthier for it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Month End, Month Starts

August billings were above estimate so my extra pay for the month is $1509.08 -- already absorbed into something... making up for monies spent on D's car as well as for the upcoming road trip to driving school.

I am finding using NetWorth IQ very useful for me mentally. Sometimes the spreadsheets just do not excite me at all and feel like chores.

I am very thankful for my blogging community for all the advice and support over this last year. The biggest changes I've made this year has been courtesy of all the great advice and motivation out there. Thank You All!

Now that school has started, even though I haven't been in school for years, I still find myself with a burst of energy that the "year" has started. Goes to show you how strong that programming can be!

I'm ready to sell more stuff. Need to organize what and how.

There is an opportunity to provide an additional service for my business. An associate of mine who does the same service (we have a non competition clause) is thinking of leaving. If she does, then I may be able to step in and expand my business.

I'm going to think more about it this weekend -- pricing, timing etc. It may be just the opportunity I have been waiting for to gain a bit more market share and presence.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Our Bank of Canada rate announcement was this morning and nothing is changing --Yeah!!! Our variable mortgage stays as is.

I just got off the phone with the automotive place my car went to yesterday to get some fluids changed because I had some questions about the bill.

When D came home with the receipt, I was in shock. It was $80 more than I had imagined it to be. It turned out that the quote they gave us did not include labour! Had I taken my car to directly to Honda (same quote, but included labour), they would have be been cheaper.

So needless to say, I was fuming. No one was open at that time last night and I was on my way out to meet a girlfriend for dinner.

Anyways, they didn't realize that they were that much more than Honda and will be investigating it further and get back to me about it.

D didn't want me to call. He wanted me not to go there for that anymore. I didn't agree with that. I thought that they ought to know why I will not be bringing my car back for those services and maybe review their business practices with respect to it.

As a business owner, I appreciate it when people take the effort to let me know.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tough News

A couple of clients of mine have recently passed away.

One of them one her 50's, having been cleared of cancer for 3 years and it suddenly came back too strong to handle. She was just getting her life back -- back to work, back to gardening, back to vacationing...

The other one is a lady in her 90's whose family had refused to take her to the hospital claiming it was a case of "cry wolf". When I saw her last a month ago, I sent her to the hospital because she was in major trouble and she never did come back out. I feel terrible that we were too late. I've never had contact with her family but it smells like some elder abuse may have been going on.

So work yesterday started a bit rough with the news. This is one part of what I do that is the toughest. Because I get fairly involved with people, the emotional load becomes part of my work. Over time it takes a toll.

I've read that health care workers ideally ought to spend only 3 days a week in direct people contact and the rest doing something entirely different. I didn't know about this recommendation before I had gradually shaved down my work week. And vacations are recommended to be ideally 2 weeks duration at any one time.

Burn out and secondary traumatic stress (stress/trauma that is felt from hearing and handling heavy stories and cases all the time) is very high in the helping fields as well as high rates of career change. I see examples of this in and around me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Car Stuff

My car in going in for some routine maintenance work tomorrow -- oil change, rear differential fluid change, transmission fluid change and brake fluid change. It will likely cost $200 or so by the time the dust settles.

I used to go to different places for different things and it got so that I lost track of when and where I did what. So this year I'm getting 95% done at a local mechanic and when I need the really big stuff ie. timing belt and water pump, I take it directly to Honda as they do thousands of them.

Continuing on the automobile line of thought, I've pretty much secured myself some lessons on Standard driving with a good instructor.

It has been a bit of a feat finding suitable teachers. No schools seem to teach it anymore as there isn't the demand and they don't even have the proper teaching vehicles because their insurance makes it prohibitive.

Luckily, there are 2 schools in my province that specializes in stick shift driving/performance driving and I am excited to be in contact with one of them, bought the book and have read it through once already. It is a bit technical -- I have a lot to learn! (I tried the other school but have not gotten a reply yet...)

It scares me how most of the people I know who drive stick learned it through friends and not via proper instruction. Having read the book too, D has since corrected some of his driving ways and admitted that he needs practice on some things. He first learned to drive standard taking his boss (who was drunk) home and was taught by the drunk boss en route... OMG!

My experience with it was 21 years ago with an aunt who decided to buy herself a 5 Series BMW about the same time, who ended up hating it (she was not the best driver) and paying a truckload of money to get it converted to an automatic! What a shame -- it was a great car and after the change, looked terrible!

I figure that learning how to drive properly can only help should I decide to make Rally Car Driver my next career and we magically end up with a Subaru WRS STI... : )

Monday, September 7, 2009

Long Weekend

It's a holiday day today in Canada and the US. We have opted to stay home and enjoy the relative silence as most people are away to make the most of the last long weekend before school starts and fall arrives.

This is the 2nd year we have changed things around that way. After 3 years of battling traffic and chaos en route to the cottage during holiday weekends, we have settled into a nice routine of taking holidays the week before or the week after.

We had a chance to try out 3 recipes this weekend -- homemade onion rings, chocolate cake and a very spicy beans and rice. I like to follow the recipes exactly the first time around and then make notes to our taste.

To this end, we are going to add more salt to the onion rings, more cacao to the cake and decrease the cayenne pepper with the rice dish.

All in all a really good long weekend!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Our harvest this year leaves something to be desired.

We tried some heirloom tomato plants (read expensive!) and they have not netted very much produce despite being relatively giant looking plants to start with.

One of them is a variety from Germany that is supposed to give tomatoes the size of melons. I'm not seeing any of the blooms turning into anything remotely looking like melon size tomatoes yet.

Meanwhile our best producers seem to be the pepper plants. We have 4 different types and they have been very tasty.

The beans did not do great this year. So we've continued to buy most of our veggies while trying to be patient with our garden!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dream Away

I sometimes think I need a carrot dangling in front of me for motivation. Sometimes I'm fine without it. Guess it depends on my motivation.

Some people's "carrots" are really big, like an expensive car or a expansive house. They claim that if they didn't have it (the debt...) they wouldn't work as hard. True?

I am certainly guilty of it. Real estate is my ultimate carrot. I love to dream of living in faraway places like France and Nfld. Perhaps debt has been a motivator for me too -- a reason to work and make money.

Lately though, especially in the last year, debt has been a deterrent. So a personal corner has been turned. I am more content with what I have. Previously, contentment was akin to stagnation in my mine, a bad word...

So my thoughts have turned to smaller "carrots" I would like someday -- like a netbook, finding the next car, various classes I'd like to take. I figure there in no harm in dreaming!

Friday, September 4, 2009


I got a call yesterday from my investment advisor. We discussed selling 50% of a share I hold in my non reg (taxable) account when the stock rises to a certain point and investing it in something else.

There wasn't anything unusual about the call. It just reminded me of how D and I as a couple have chosen to diversify our investments.

I use an advisor. He doesn't. I invest in riskier things. He is a value investor. I like that we have taken different approaches because like most things, there are more than one answer and as a couple we get the best of both worlds.

The current economical changes have prompted us to look into no fee investing choices. We wouldn't have considered it nor thought of increasing our cash position otherwise. All in all we feel safer now financially than we did a couple of years ago.

At the risk of sounding terrible, I am happy that interest rates are low right now as I have debt to pay off, even though it mean my investments are not as high.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Everyday Living

The air is changing and starting to smell like fall around here. We actually saw some leaves turning colour already up north.

The Met (Metropolitan Opera NY) just announced its HD line up this year and I am tempted. They are featuring some real classic ones this year. I have been a bit of a snob about it since its launch a few years ago.

Since being stranded at La Guardia a couple of years ago and missing out on Turandot (my ticket cost $240!), I haven't been motivated to go back yet. If I can get my head around not being there live, I will give it a go.

Another vehicle has been added to the line up of possibilities as a future replacement car -- The Honda Fit. I had an opportunity to see and drive one (2009) and I was really impressed with how smartly designed it was. If it only came with all wheel drive, I'd be even more enthusiastic.

D got a set of Michelin X-Ice tires for his new car. He found it used (1 season), with rims for $400 to which I encouraged him to offer $300 and he got it. They are in fantastic shape. I've only ever used Blizzaks but the X-Ices are also rated really well. Otherwise new Blizzaks and rims would have come to over $800 plus tax.