Shopping with a minimalism power shield

Shopping with a minimalism power shield

We’ve flattened the curve in my neck of the woods, and the malls have re-opened. No longer are we told to limit our shopping excursions to essential goods — now we are to consume goods and services in great gulps to help the economy rebound. Honestly, I find it a little nauseating. I had to go to the mall today to mail a package and deposit some cash I earned from selling my crap. I very rarely go to the mall, even pre-pandemic, but every time the sheer volume and intensity of the consumerism takes my breath away. I’m bombarded…

The cost of a vice: A&W Root Beer

The cost of a vice: A&W Root Beer

We all have our vices. Some of us smoke. Some of us drink. Some of us have an insatiable urge to collect chicken figurines. And some of us love root beer. I was fizz-free for years. Hadn’t had a root beer since I was a kid. Then last summer I wanted to try the new Beyond Meat burger at A&W. At the time you couldn’t get them in stores, and we hadn’t gone to a dine-in fast food place since before we had kids — more than a decade ago. I have a soft spot in my heart for diners.…

May 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

May 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: 56.3% For details on savings rate calculations and budget category breakdowns, see my Guide to Net Worth Updates. Income (+64.37%) Why heeeellllooo full-time employment! It feels SO GOOD to get back to receiving a paycheque after subsisting on side hustle income for the past two years. I’m tracking my gross income, including all employer benefits, because I want a good feel for what I’m getting out of being a wage slave. When you look at net pay it feels like so little; honestly looking at my full compensation before tax has been a little humbling. Yeah, I…

April 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

April 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: 38.7% For details on savings rate calculations and budget category breakdowns, see my Guide to Net Worth Updates. Unexpectedly, we had a very nice savings rate this month, but the cause is nothing to celebrate about: it’s due to the CERB government bail-out. My spreadsheet only removes taxes deducted at source, but we’ll have to pay approximately $1400 in taxes on the bail-out, so the true after-tax savings rate is around 22.6%. Income (+55.62%) This is not the type of income graph I thought I would be posting on this blog. While I am a big proponent…

March 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

March 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: n/a For details on savings rate calculations and budget category breakdowns, see my Guide to Net Worth Updates. Note: My January through April 2020 updates will be odd because my new job doesn’t start until the end of April 2020, so I’m typically drawing down on savings. Half way through this month we got absolutely clobbered from COVID-19, which brought our side hustle income to $0 as everyone cancelled their orders. So this month can hardly be described as a normal month. It’s a bastard child that’s half normal and half pandemic. Next month we’ll be in…

The day I bought a butt-squirter (aka, a bidet)

The day I bought a butt-squirter (aka, a bidet)

Today is a very special day in my house. Our butts will never be the same. Yes, that’s right: we’ve bought a bidet attachment. With COVID-19 making toilet paper the next hottest item, soaring beyond even hatchimal and tickle-me-Elmo fame in its demand, I started imagining a house full of boys running out of toilet paper. It wasn’t pretty. So instead of hoarding more, I wanted to think long-term, and cut our dependence on those white rolls of tree-pulp drastically. Enter the PureSpa Bidet Attachment. Yes, with a capital B and a capital A. Honestly, I was surprised any were…

COVID-19: Sheltering in place; how I spent my entire monthly grocery budget in 1 day

COVID-19: Sheltering in place; how I spent my entire monthly grocery budget in 1 day

Not a very FIRE-like post title, I know. But COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, the markets are taking a nose-dive, and Canadians have cancelled hockey. Shit’s gotten real folks. While my community hasn’t had any COVID-19 cases yet, when you look at the data from Hubei, China, the virus was spreading weeks before there were any confirmed cases (see Chart 7: Timeline of Events in Hubei). Thankfully, my area is taking this VERY seriously, with lots of cancelled events and services, to help flatten the curve to prevent healthcare system collapse. That said, panic is setting in, people have…

How to use RRSP contributions to maximize the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and other government benefits

How to use RRSP contributions to maximize the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and other government benefits

What benefits can I increase by making RRSP contributions? RRSP deductions are a beautiful thing. First there’s the normal reasons: You get a tax refund for the amount at your highest marginal tax rate, and when you withdraw the amount later in life you’ll likely be in a lower tax bracket, so you save tax overall. But they’re not that simple. These additional points make RRSPs an important weapon in your financial planning arsenal: RRSP deductions lower your net income for the year, potentially boosting the amount of means-tested government benefits you may be eligible for. If you don’t use…

February 2020 Spending and Net Worth Update

Pre-tax Savings Rate: n/a For details on savings rate calculations and budget category breakdowns, see my Guide to Net Worth Updates. Note: My January through April 2020 updates will be odd because my new job doesn’t start until the end of April 2020, so I’m typically drawing down on savings. This is the first month I can compare two months of tracking, and it’s a bit sad to see my money drain away, but taking 2 years off was what we saved it for in the first place. Plus this month had a lot of high bills, which isn’t typical.…

How I saved money by switching cell phone providers

How I saved money by switching cell phone providers

I’ve always been envious of people in the States with their cheap cell phone plans. But lately I saw an ad on Facebook for Public Mobile and I finally switched out my decade-old cell phone plan. I’ve been grandfathering our current cell phone plan for years. My husband and I paid $25/month for unlimited talk between us, and unlimited text messaging, and we had 200 minutes to use for other things. We used to pay for 100MB of data on my phone for $10/month, but I got rid of that about a year ago to save cash, since I didn’t…