Let’s Make a Bet

I like sports. I’m from Canada, hockey is our national pastime. My idea of a good baby-free night would probably be dinner with the hubs then heading out to watch a game of our local junior team where we hold part-time season tickets. I’ve already mentioned that for my husband, hockey is a religion and that he’s a blogger for a large sports network. I’m not that into it.

While I’m not into scrutinizing over every single detail and statistic, I know a lot of people who are. Both my brother and brother-in-law are huge into sports betting. Truthfully my brother will drop a dollar to bet on anything but sports is defiantly his weakness.

While gambling in general is not my thing, especially since we’re currently living on such a tight budget, if anyone is doing it right it’s those two. They have appropriately budgeted it and make a hobby out of it. Between weekly ProLine tickets, fantasy leagues and the odd at-work wager they have allocated each dollar. They seem to know what they’re doing too since both have had huge success with sports betting.

Last Christmas while my brother-in-law was getting ready to fly home to the UK, funds were a little tight for he and my sister-in-law (flying across the Atlantic isn’t cheap!). He had actually decided to not buy his weekly ProLine for a few weeks to help off-set the additional costs. Knowing his past successes, a co-worker of his asked him to do his picks on a lotto ticket if he promised to split any winnings. He was sorry he made that promise.

The next morning they checked their ticket. They had won almost $1600, not bad for a ticket my brother-in-law didn’t even pay for. His co-worker was true to his word and split the winnings in half.

I don’t know how he does it, but my brother seems to win every fantasy league he enters. I’m convinced you could create a sport he’s never heard of and he would draft a winning team. I honestly think some people just have it. That thing that is required to make the smart calculated decisions when it comes to betting of all kinds.

Though my husband is a self confessed sports addict he isn’t a huge gambler. He’s had some successes with fantasy leagues but not much in terms of online lottery like ProLine.  He did have a big win a few years ago with a playoff football game that concluded with a down-to-the-wire play. His winnings were nothing like the $1600 ticket my brother-in-law won, maybe $200.

 

We all have interests and things that excite us, for them it’s sports betting and the way I see it, as long as it doesn’t become a problem all the power to them! Maybe I should fund some tickets and convince my brother or brother-in-law to pick some teams for me? This could be the answer to help me pay off my debt!

Do you play the lotto or bet on sports? Any huge successes?

How Much I Would Make As a Stay-At-Home Momma

I’ve made it no secret that I would love to be able to (mostly) stay at home to raise our daughter. I say mostly because I do enjoy my job, using my brain for something other than diagnosing random rashes and crave adult interaction, but at the end of the day being able to be the only care provider for your child is huge.  In a perfect (read: debt free) life, I work outside of home when I want so I can raise our daughter (and any other future children). Ideally I’d quit my full-time hygiene job and move to fill-in only or commit to no more than twice a week, but with our debt-load it ain’t happening.

In my day-dreaming process I decided to calculate how much I would make if being a stay-at-home mom was a paying job. I base these numbers based on my daily average spent on each task and an average of what each occupation would make per hour.

  • Housekeeper: 4.0 hours at $15.00/hr= $60.00/day. Between general tidying, putting toys away, laundry, after-meal clean-up I spend at least 4 hours a day ‘cleaning’. Some days is 1-2 hours, some days (weekends when hubby is home to help) we will spend an afternoon really cleaning the house.
  • Personal Chef: 3.0 hours at $12.00/hr= $36.00/day. I’m not looking to make executive chef wages here, I’ll take near minimum wage (which is just over $10/hr here). I prepare all meals for my family, breakfast and lunch is usually pretty quick, maybe an hour total but supper prep and cooking takes an average of 1.5 hours.
  • Personal Care Worker/Nurse: 10.0 hours at $25.00/hr= $250/day. Between diaper changes, spoon feeding, odd medication dosage, breastfeeding, rocking to sleep and bathing I spend at least ten hours a day doing this stuff.

Total gross income: $346.00/day x seven days a week (because momma’s don’t get days off!)= $2422.00/week with an average of 4.3 weeks in a month, my monthly gross income would be $10414.00. Even in the higher income tax bracket, I’d be netting over $4500.00/month. With this income from me, hubby’s regular income and our current bills as they are, I would not only be home with kiddo but we would be debt free (non-mortgage) in less than two years!

Since this is an entirely hypothetical situation and know it will never happen, it sure would be nice to be financially rewarded for everything we do! Having said all this, even though Parenthood is not financially rewarding, it is the BEST job in the world, just wish it paid, even a little ;)

Money That Would Have Changed My Life.

My great-grandfather was many things, pilot in World War II, immigrant from England, devout member of Canada’s Anglican church but he was also key player in Canada’s education system as it stands today.

Education was so important in my family and my great-grandfather was a huge force behind this. My grandmother followed in his teaching footsteps, not common for a woman born in the ’30’s to teach while raising a family with a husband who also works full-time. After she gave birth to her third child she eventually stayed home since her husband, a civil engineer, loved to be on the job site and so they were constantly moving around (my mom moved 13 times before her 18th birthday) making it difficult for my grandmother to maintain a teaching position.

When my great-grandfather passed he left some money to my sister and I for our future education. My mom being a single mother didn’t want to have to think about it so she gave it to her parents to hold onto until we needed it. It wasn’t much, maybe $2,000 but it was something. When my grandparents died (within three years of eachother) that money then became a part of their estate since it was in their savings accounts.

My grandparents, unknowingly to my mother, had also set aside enough money for all the current-born grandchildren to pursue post secondary education. I was to receive about $25,000 when they died. Enough for most of my undergraduate degree.

Without getting into too many messy family affairs here, I’ve never seen the money. My grandmother died in 1998.

In the turmoil of death of a parent, my mom was convinced to sign over being the executor of the will to her brother who lived in the province where they died. He convinced her that it would be easier for someone in province to deal with the legal stuff rather than her having to travel until it was settled. Long story short he took the entire contents of the estate and spent every. last. penny. {Just so I don’t have to answer what I can predict may be a million questions, yes, there were legal repercussion for this but regardless, my family never saw any of the money}

I know life is too short to hold grudges, but I fully believe that this money would have changed my life and I can’t help but think about it from time-to-time.

If I had that money I could have saved enough money during my undergrad to pay for my post-degree diploma, potentially graduating debt free….

If I had that money I wouldn’t have been in a position to charge thousands of dollars worth of tuition on credit cards….

If I had that money I may now be in a situation where our only debts would be hubby’s small student loan, car and mortgage…

If I had that money I may be able to afford to stay at home longer, if not permanently with kiddo….

If I had that money my life would undoubtedly be so different.

I know there’s no way of knowing which paths life may have created for me should I have received that money, but I sure would like to think that I’d be in a much better situation then I am now. It doesn’t help that I see my uncle and his family ”living the dream life” through photos almost everyday. They live in a beautiful gated community in the US, travelling home to Canada as often as they want. Their three kids will never have to worry about financial struggles yet we suffer because of his actions.

I’m human, I’ve thought about pursing legal action myself as an adult, I’ve even looked into getting answers through sites like LegalZoom, but I’ve decided to let bygones be bygones and just let it go.

Have you ever been in a (monetary) situation that could have potentially changed your life’s path?

Please note that ‘m not trying to make excuses for the financial path I went down. There is SO much more to my life story as the reasoning behind each decision that will probably take years to unfold on this blog, if ever. Let’s just say that unfortunately the money I made wasn’t given the opportunity to be used for school as much as I would have liked.

My Friend Won The Lottery

If you saw my tweet last night you’d already know that one of my classmates (not one of these girls) won the lottery last week. Like, 25-million-dollars-won-the-lottery.

Do you think if she remembers today is my birthday she’ll send a paper present?

She happens to be one of the sweetest, most giving people I know and am sure that she and her husband-to-be (they’re getting married in 2 weeks, together for 14 years) will spend/invest/give the money wisely but this hits so close to home. I can’t help but dream about what I would do with that kind of money and how my life would change. Remember…we don’t pay taxes on lottery winnings in Canada so she gets all 25 million.  I could buy Greece! I kid. Oh man the things I could do though…

I’m finding it hard to not let it get the best of me but I can’t stop thinking about it. Hubby and I don’t even ‘play’ the lottery, outside of a scratch ticket in a stocking or odd pro-line, so it’s not like it could happen to us, but I still find myself daydreaming.

I’m literally sitting here looking for creative ways to come up with enough money for our power bill while she is financially set for the rest of her life and many generations behind her, should she chose.

I don’t like the way I feel when I let these thoughts consume me so I’m trying not to think about it too hard but when things like Facebook exist it’s rather difficult. I guess I’m thankful for a baby who consumes most all of my time to act as a distraction!

Have you ever known someone that close to win the lottery? What did they do with the money?

PS- All you Americans, VOTE today!

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Does Being Frugal Alienate Relationships?

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I’ve always been frugal, cheap, call it what you want but I hate wasting money. This isn’t to say I don’t spend money in what I would consider a wasteful manner from time-to-time, but I don’t like doing it. Sometimes though, it’s necessary to maintain relationships.

When I went back to university for dental hygiene, a few of us quickly became friends. I was one of the older ones in the group and in a much different spot in my life. I was, on average 3 years older (than some) and engaged to be married. More so though, I was much more mature than pretty much all of them so needless to say, our ideas of ”fun” were a little different. I would not be downtown every weekend blowing money on bars and a new outfit every weekend. I did this occasionally but usually if it was a fundraising pub-crawl or something alike. I chose my battles.

They realized pretty quickly on that they didn’t need to ask every weekend if I wanted to go out with them or spend oodles of money on a shopping spree. My frugality never interfered in our friendships. As you all know, I graduated with a boatload of debt- 4 of the 7 of these girls have zero debt, 1 had daddy pay most of it off and the last girl had a little to pay off but had no other responsibility. Needless to say we view money very differently.

After graduation we all spread out and started our lives. They all attended my wedding the same year we graduated and we would make an effort to see each other occasionally but I quickly started feeling like the odd man out. Not only could I not afford their restaurant choices I had no desire to go to said places. The occasional restaurant meet up quickly turned into everyone meeting at someone’s house for the weekend eating, shopping and usually going out to drink…not my idea of fun, ever. Not to mention after a week of working I want to spend time with my husband and family. I went once though so I could see everyone, when I realized what the weekend was actually going to entail I went home before the partying started. I don’t drink (other than the occasional cheap bottle glass of red wine), don’t shop, and really don’t want to get hammered drunk and sleep on my friends floor like I did when I was 19. Some of the girls still continue on like this…well into their late 20’s early 30’s.

One of the girls recently got married and I wasn’t invited. I’d like to think it’s because I have a baby now but I don’t think it was. This weekend they’re all getting together to party it up and I wasn’t invited. This doesn’t bother me, since I probably wouldn’t go but I wish they’d consider everyone in the group and maybe extend and invitation for a normal dinner out when they’re in town (and by normal I mean somewhere I don’t have to spend $40.00-$50.00 just for myself). I genuinely like these girls and would like to keep them in my life to some regard but I don’t see how it’s possible.

I don’t know if it’s me being cheap or us not being on the same ”life page” but I can’t help but think if money wasn’t an issue I might see them more often. Or maybe my frugality is a way to streamline and filter the relationships I actually value in life, only the ones who really care about me are in it?

Has your own frugality every changed one of your relationships?

Taking Over Someone Else’s Finances?

My sister sucks at money management.  Like really terrible.

I don’t understand how one girl can spend $600 at a grocery store in one month, justify having $300 set aside for a CAMPING trip with friends (who needs $300 to camp?!), literally buy a new purse at least once a month (justify this because she ”only spends $50  a month on clothes at a local thrift store”). ALL while being $1000 in overdraft, a maxed out credit card, line of credit and student lines of credit to pay for. Oh, and while she loves her career she doesn’t make a whole lot of money. This is a situation where her career makes her truly happy, shes amazing at it and it’s rewarding so lack of money is worth it, if she can manage.

We all have our money issues and reasons why we ended up in the financial situations we have, I’m no saint. I try to explain to her that she won’t need $300 to go camping for two nights and suggest she, throw $200 on debt but no, she might need that money for camping??? She had enough smarts to take my advice a few years ago and suggest, when she got a raise, to increase her provincial loan payment and pay it off in two years; yet while in a time of financial hardship during a relationship fallout, instead of calling to temporarily lower her loan payments down to the minimum (a $100/month difference), she lived off credit to make up for temporary lost income…this made sense to her.

She does not understand that paying off a credit card with a line of credit isn’t actually paying anything off. She’s an educated person but continues to money, she justifies the weirdest things. I also encouraged her to pay closer attention to her credit score but she couldn’t be bothered.

I have budgeted her many times and she’s not upheld it. She’s at the point now of needing serious hand-slapping-help before she really ends up over her head, she’s very close. I love my sister and don’t want to see her suffer financially. She has proven to me that she has no financial maturity and I feel like, as the big sister, I need to step in and take over her finances for a while to get her back on track.

I’m going to talk to her this next week, but I’m thinking about taking control and putting her on a cash budget. I’m going to play a Gail Vaz-Oxlade role and take away all her debt and credit cards (and maybe even cure them in a jelly mold). We live close enough that, God forbid, there was an emergency and she needed to get to a bank, I could give them back (with discretion, of course).

I think once she learns that she can live on cash without dying from starvation she’ll be able to takeover her finances again but for the in-term she needs a good sisterly kick in the ass.

Has anyone ever done anything like this for friends/family? What was the outcome? Any advice?

Charging Your Kids Rent?

Source: http://mamikikeyu.wordpress.com/

Source: http://mamikikeyu.wordpress.com/

A high school friend of mine still lives at home, she’s 28 years old. She works full-time, has a car and only had a small amount of debt from one year of college which she paid off in a few months.

It was no secret that when we graduated high school, if she, same with her brothers, chose not to pursue post secondary education they would have 6 months before they had to start paying rent to live at home.They were expected to work full-time and couldn’t just sit on the butts at home.  I don’t think this is a totally unrealistic request of parents.

Forcing your child to start contributing to the family’s finances is a smart way to teach great money management skills while in the safety of the family home and much less risk than being on their own. Since she started paying rent she was now allowed to have a say in the running of the house. She wanted her own land line in the house (she didn’t have a cell phone at the time) so she sat down with her mom and went over the family budget with her new rent contribution and budgeted in adding a second line to the phone budget. Her mom was a sweet, organized lady who taught her daughter a lot about ‘life skills’ so why is her 28-year-old daughter still at home then?

Never increasing the menial rent and allowing her daughter to stay too close to the security of home has allowed my friend to get much too comfortable.  In her moms eyes, as long as she was paying rent, what my friend did with her money was ‘up to her’ as she had already taught her the skills, it wasn’t moms responsibility to implement them. The end result is my friend being 28 and still living at home. She blows through her money on food, clothes and crap for her ‘bedroom’ that she doesn’t need. I can only imagine what I could accomplish if I lived at home for 10 years after high school only paying $150.00/month.

I have no problem, and actually think it could be a smart move to charge kids rent who are not in post secondary and live at home after high school. Never charging any amount that could interfere with potential goals (if they’re taking time off school to save for travel or save for education etc) but I think by charging rent it teaches responsibility as an adult. Having said this there has to be some guidelines. My friend is still at home because she still pays the same $150.00/month in rent that she did when she was 18.

I understand that mom is now compliant with their living situation but at what point do you force her to gain a life of her own? Something I would have done a long time ago. Mom needs to jack the rent up to a more respectable amount if she’s going to continue to allow her to live there, then maybe my friend will realize she could have a place of her own where she can start a life (of her own!) for the same amount of money. Once she gets this realization in her head, maybe, just maybe, she will start saving for said abode. Who knows? All I know is that I may have a crap load of debt but I wouldn’t trade my life, home, family and independence for anything, especially living with my mom at 28 years old.

Who has, or plans to potentially, charge their children rent after high school? OR Who has paid their parents rent? Opinions please!

{Note: I am not saying all situations are the same. I realize some people stay home for many different reasons, I know people in these sorts of situations. There is no ‘situation’ around said story, my friend is just a financial lazy ass with Momma encouraging it}

Children and Post Secondary: Why We Might Not Pay For All Of It

Knowing the financial mess one can end up in from not having a savings plan for post secondary education first hand, hubby and I opened a RESP for our daughter when she was five weeks old. I remember the representative going through the projected education costs for when she’s ready to graduate and was blown away. How can universities justify such an insane inflation?

This week a local news story came out about the rising costs of tuition in Canada. Tuition has increased 5% this year alone. Holy Cow.

At this rate, when baby girl is ready for post secondary, in 18 or so years (should she chose university/undergraduate degree), we’re looking at over $12,000/year. That’s assuming she lives at home and hasn’t factored in books or any other added expenses.

Hubby and I have every intention of continuing regular monthly contributions, plus additional savings when she receives money as gifts and such, but we have no intention of stretching ourselves thin financially for her educational savings. When the time comes and have have more money for saving (vs debt payoff) investing as much money as possible into our own retirement savings is more important than throwing additional money into her RESP.

In a perfect world she gets a part time job when she turns 16 and learns the importance of saving for things that she wants, education included, but despite the finical mess I’m in, I have no problems with student loans and (student) lines of credit. Very rarely in life does the opportunity to borrow at such low interest rates come up, and with proper money management and budgeting skills could be a smart move. I truly believe that if there is some financial responsibility in your education it encourages you to work harder. For this reason if our savings isn’t enough to cover her I’m not going to worry about it. By the time she goes off for school she’s guaranteed to have learned good money management skills-a promise I make for her-and can properly manage a little credit in her name. She will also have a clear understanding of the benefits of financial aid such as grants and scholarships. There is no shortage of award programs for upcoming college students, and she will eventually learn that they are all worth applying for. Take Benedictine University’s Student Success Award for example, it has the potential to award a student with up to $10,000. I’m not going to worry about her college funding once she understands that this is one of many incredible programs designed to reduce the financial burden associated with college as much as possible.

I have friends who insist on having enough savings for any and all education their child may pursue, even if they chose something like medicine or dentistry.

Just an FYI this year’s tuition costs for these programs:

Dentistry students paid the highest average undergraduate fees at $16,910. Medical students paid an average of $11,891 and pharmacy students paid $10,297.

Read it on Global News: Global Maritimes | Undergrad tuition up five per cent this year, more than triple inflation

At the 5% inflation we’re looking at almost $41,000/year for dentistry in 18 years…Just sayin’.

Maybe I’m a mean mom, or totally alone on this, but if we’re fortunate enough that our child can get through Medical or Dental school, I’m pretty sure they won’t have much problem paying off the degree, that’s for sure.

For those with children, who are saving for their post secondary education? Who is prepared to pay for 100% of it, regardless of academic pursuits?