Friday, June 1, 2012

May is over already!


Where does the time go?!

I've actually managed to complete several things from my lengthy work-in-progress to do list that I posted several weeks ago.

Car:
Change tires over: CHECK! $157.50. Apparently this has gone up $50, so I'm going to have to look for somewhere cheaper to do this in the fall. Most likely this will be Wally World. I also have a $300 estimate for replace a ball bearing in the right front wheel, which is causing the wheel to "shudder" and is a safety concern. This will have to be done before the winter change over. *Le sigh*

Oil change: CHECK! $75.06 Again, a little more expensive than anticipated, but only by about $10.

Tenant Insurance:
Still need to do this!

Bank:
RRSP #1: Still on auto-deposit. I'll change this at the end of August.
RRSP #2: Need to phone and inquire about this.
EFund: I've moved around a little bit of money to bump this up a bit (shaved $$ off the gift fund, and put it into my EFund instead. People won't expect big gifts - or possibly any - as long as I can say I'm a poor student). Will have my $1K well before the end of summer.

School:
Financial aid: Dropped off my form for training allowance today.
Payment/registration: MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've decided I will use my new M/C (no-fee, 5.99%) to pay for this and then just transfer the funds from my ING savings. This will also save me $6 or more for a bank draft fee.

I called the bank today to check up on my Student LOC and it turns out they don't fund certificate programs! I wasn't aware of that, so instead I'm looking into upping the limit on my regular LOC. I've spoken with a couple of people and so far it looks like there aren't any problems - I make enough, my credit is good enough, my account activity is good - so I'm hoping I'll be approved. The rate is 6.99%, which is still reasonable. So I guess that's a CHECK.


*Update: it's all a go, so it's a definite check. The best thing for me to do at this point is to pay off my VISA card, then transfer the excess from my ING account to pay most of this off. As this is my "wage" through school - for the most part - I will be paying interest only, which is easier to work with than larger sums of money.

Bills:
Cell phone: CHECK! I've cancelled this and just made the final payment. Will save me $30 p/mo.
Internet/landline: Still need to call and chat, but I can do this a little later in the summer.
Groceries: I'm watching carefully where I spend my money. My friend who was here last week is excellent at shaving $$ off her budget (she spends $30 a WEEK on food for herself...I'm pretty confident I can't do that up here, but I definitely have a lot of room for improvement) and she helped me by giving me some ideas and tips to try.
Heat: This is still too high for my liking (last bill was $90) and although I'm in a decent credit situation, I'd still like to work to keep the cost lower.

Gift Fund:
Reduced this to $300. Put $125 into my EFund. The other $75 will go towards groceries this week.

LOC:
Down to just over $3500. Payments are now $66 bi-weekly, which will help lower the interest over the summer. I'm considering using this to pay off my VISA card, then concentrating on just the one debt over the summer. The interest rate is less than half of the CC, so it would make sense to do it that way.

Job:
I'm going to talk to my boss at my p/t job and see if there's any way I can stay on during my schooling. My hours at school are 8:30 - 3 every day, so there's lots of time for p/t work outside of that, depending on what's going on. They're only open until 5pm every day, so I might have to pick up something else, but we'll see.

Will:
Still have the cash sitting in my account and still need to finish off the paperwork...

Other:
I've stocked up on soap (currently have 18 bars); toothpaste (great deal at the grocery store of all places: $1.37 for the 130ml tubes, so I picked up 6. I now have 9 tubes of toothpaste!); and laundry detergent (I got a new bottle for $15 - 210 loads according to the label). The old one is still not finished and it's going on two years. That works out to about 0.72 cents a MONTH for detergent, which is pretty fantastic (if I assume 18 months. I got the original bottle on sale for $12.99).

I've got a list of a few items still to stock up on, but there's no rush and I'm keeping my eyes peeled on the flyers that show up at the house. Nothing pressing just yet.

I'm feeling pretty good with my progress despite the news that I don't qualify for a Student LOC. I had a moment of panic, but Plan B was to (hopefully!) raise the limit on my regular LOC, so I'm good.

Having my friend here was terrific. It was wonderful to see her and she had a great time. We managed to squeeze in quite a bit: the Wildlife Preserve, The Stairs (225 steep stairs up the cliff face to a path that runs around the airport), eagle spotting, a couple of walks and lots of relaxing. She also helped me get rid of a few things that I've been keeping around for far too long. They were all donated to the free store at the recycling centre: a set of plastic bowls, a big mug and saucer set, a couple of frying pans, a spice rack, two votive candle holders, an iron and several other items. It was a good drop off! The rest of the things I still have hanging around I'm going to try and sell. I'd like to make some cash from my DVDs in particular.

It was also a very spendy two weeks. I'm not sure of the exact numbers yet, but I'll figure it out and post it on the weekend. Part of it had to do with the fact that I set my kettle on fire (!) and had to replace it, a stove element and the metal thingy that goes under the element on the stove. *Sigh*

5 comments:

Karen E said...

Sucks about the student LOC. As if finishing school more quickly is a bad thing? sheesh

Food. Yeah, I'm not so careful in that area. I just dropped $100 at Trader Joe's earlier today. lol Granted, this is the first grocery shopping I've done in nearly 3 weeks. I have had periods of time when I was living on very little and got really good at eating cheaply (even while living in AK). Really though, my food bills go down when I quit buying processed stuff... which I really should do anyway. =)

Northern Living Allowance said...

I was surprised about the certificate, but I got what I needed (wanted!) in the end anyway, so it's all good. School is school, so not sure why a cert program would be different, but perhaps they reason it's not as "professional" as a degree? I dunno.

But yes, I think I shall have to start utilizing my crock pot a lot more once school starts. A 5Q should be big enough for me to make almost a week's worth of food. And that's a great tip about the processed food, too, not to mention I'll likely feel a whole lot better, too. Easier said than done, though...*ahem*

Dannie said...

Great to see you so on on top of the finances. Sounds like your cracking away with the to do list and getting your car sorted.:-)

Jane said...

I love that picture - where was it taken? Love the idea of people not expecting big gifts while you're a student. You should play the "student card" as much as you can while you can - it will give you a very good excuse to not be able to afford LOTS of things:)

Northern Living Allowance said...

@Dannie - yes, one thing at a time! I've got a fair bit to do with the car, never mind another insurance payment at the end of July...There's always something. Still, one less thing is one less thing and means I have that much less stress when September rolls around.

@Jane - thank you! That's Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon. A "high end" seaside town that my friend and I stopped at on our way home from the horse sanctuary. And you're right - I'll have a student card, so discounts here I come! :)