Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday update (...long post...)

I'm a little late to the March challenges game, but to be fair my Internet was down for three days this week, so I was unable to get up to date with blogs and whatnot. Fortunately, it's Reading Week from school this week, so there was nothing pressing that needed doing. The tech was here for about 3 hours on Wednesday afternoon and did manage to fix it, but not without some real frustration and convincing me to switch to cable from ADSL. Same price, more megabytes and now more reliable. It shouldn't cost me anything, either, so I will set up an appointment to do that. This was the first time I've ever had an issue with the ADSL, so was quite surprised it was as complicated as it turned out to be. I still have no idea what the actual problem was, but as I say, it's fixed and working fine now.

The Arctic Winter Games (U18 yrs) and Dene Games are in town this week. Thousands of visitors from all over the world are here: Greenland, Yamal (Russia), Sami (Finland), Northern Alberta and Nunavik Quebec, and Alaska. There was a big cultural festival on Wednesday night with food, songs, dancing, etc. The First Nations are from Nunavut, NWT and Yukon and competing in all kinds of traditional games. It's quite exciting really. I'm not attending any of the activities, but did see part of the snowshoe races from the windows at work. Those kids were working hard! They're winding up today and tomorrow and will likely be heading home Sunday after a week of competitions. Yukon is in 2nd place behind Alaska.

I am SO excited about school that I've already started pricing textbooks (via Amazon) and thinking of ways to get them at a cheaper cost - used is likely the most cost effective. Today I took my list of school supplies and went to Wal-Mart and Staples, initially just to compare costs, but I ended up buying some little things like paperclips, paper, pencils, pens and a couple of rulers, scotch tape, etc. The prices were excellent and I'm keen to stay proactive and continue to focus like everything has already fallen into place. I already have several of the items on the list, so that saves me a few $$ (calculator, USB stick & stapler).

I bought (so far):
2 x paperclips (regular and bulldog clips in one container): $1 each. I'm considering returning these as I don't need the bulldog clips, just the regular ones, but because they were on clearance, I'm not sure that I can. Will check.
25 letter size file folders: $7.42
1 box black fine ball point pens: $2.34
1 12" acrylic ruler: $1.32
1 clear metric ruler: 0.48 (it says 'clear ruler' on my list, and wasn't sure exactly what that meant, so bought two, just to overkill things)
2 binders: $7.82 ($3.91 ea; will look into cheaper/free ways of collecting these instead)
3x5 index cards (100/pk): $1.97
Scotch tape (3/pk): $4.83
Pencils (20/pk): $1.67
400 sheets paper: $4.40
Total: $36.23

Likely a lot of this stuff will have to be refilled at least once over the course of the program, but some will not. The cost estimate I received for supplies was $400, but I honestly think that's way too high. I guess we'll see. All this went onto my MC, but because I have the money set aside for that, I'll be making a transfer to cover the card expenditure.

Then I went to the bookstore to look for a book that I needed for school, the only one I can buy outside the college. I had a gift card for Coles, so that was the perfect opportunity to buy something I needed and not spend anything to do it.

I'm a sucker.

Buy 4 books (ANY BOOKS!) for the price of 3??! Wow. Great deal, right? Let's see:

Collins Gage Canadian Paperback Dictionary (my intended purchase): $14.95
It's Your Money (Gail V-O): $21.99 w/20% off
Wealthy Barber Returns: $19.95 w/20% off
Oprah's Best Advice Ever (I know...): $32.95
Total: $44.83

I suppose that's a pretty good "savings." I intentionally got two books that were 20% off (the irony that they are both financial books does not escape me, btw), so that helped bring the cost down a bit, too. Original price $89.84, so I "saved" $45.01.

Then it was on to grocery shopping.

2 cans cream of mushroom soup (for tuna casseroles): $3.98
2 pkgs egg noodles: $3.76
Butter chicken sauce: $3.69
Korma sauce: $3.69
Brick extra-old cheddar: $7.19 (this reminds me why I'm trying not to buy this anymore)
3 pkgs Jasmine rice: $11.97 ($3.99 ea)
2 L organic 1% milk: $5.69
2 containers garlic hummous: $11.18 ($5.59 ea)
Filet of salmon: $15.50
Ground turkey: $5.50
Mild Italian sausages: $3.98
Gala apples: $5.94 (1.360 kg @$4.37/kg)
Berry bowl: $5.87
Green grapes: $3.42 (.520 kg @$6.57/kg)
Total: $91.76

I'm set for at least another couple of weeks with this haul. Yum!

I got my annual bonus on Wednesday plus my annual increment, so I had a nice big paycheque to play with! I've updated my side bars as a lot of it went into my school and my travel accounts ($425 each). I put $75 into other savings, plus 10% of the bonus amount into my RRSP and my EFund. This makes me very happy.

I actually also did a return today, which I'm quite proud of. I've walked to work several times this week (approx 40 mins each way) and yesterday I dropped into the bookstore downtown and walked away after spending over $45! I was halfway home when the guilt got to me, so I returned half the items today, getting back $28.32. I'm feeling better about that.

My March challenges list:

Personal
1) Review/redo my resume and look for p/t jobs, preferably ones that don't have a heavy customer service oriented focus(<-- a challenge!)
2) Start looking into book prices and collecting items on supplies list
3) Walk to work at least three times a week; walk 35 - 45 mins on days off

Financial
1) Make appointment at the bank to discuss options for attending school (loan, RRSP, etc)
2) Set up savings account; aim for $3K by September
3) Look into bursaries, loans, grants, etc for funds for school

Declutter
1) Take books to used book store and "stuff" to the free store
2) Pantry (tidy and discard out of date items)
3) Tidy away school supplies

Phew! So there we are. I'm off to make chocolate cupcakes for a dinner tonight. Hope you all have a great weekend. I'll be spending some time tomorrow catching up on your blogs.

1 comment:

Jolie said...

ahhhh there is something so intoxicating about the smell of new school supplies :-)