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Archive for April, 2006

Cha-Ching! Tax Refund!

April 3rd, 2006 at 06:39 am

Woohoo! $1,622!

I put $622 into my "fun money" account, and divided the rest as follows:

Household Maintenance Account: $100
Emergency Fund: $450
Mortgage Prepayment Fund: $450

Of course, my ex has not yet given me the child support cheque yet, but that should be coming soon too.

And I had budgeted $10 to take the puppy to the vet in a cab, but decided to walk him instead this morning, and so I saved that money. Smile

Also, recently I've become aware of something else that seems normal to me and weird to many others. I get paid once a month and I am always amazed at the number of people who are in awe that I manage to live that way. I didn't realize I had such self-control.

Living Well on Less

April 2nd, 2006 at 11:57 am

Have you seen this before? It may be old hat, but I thought I'd share it just in case you hadn't seen it.

Someone posted this at the weight loss site I post to. I had expressed how much happier I'd felt since I'd abandoned such a fast-paced, rat-raced lifestyle, and one of the other posters shared this. I love it.

Although it speaks to the unhealthy gluttony of "first world countries," really the lesson transcends nationality.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"Then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?" asked the Mexican.

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty or twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" said the Mexican.

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

And the moral is: Know where you're going in life ... you may already be there.

How I Will Save This Week and How it Will Impact Me Little Now and a Lot Later O

April 2nd, 2006 at 11:37 am

1. Milk will be my only grocery purchase.
2. I will not eat out this week.
3. I will "smuggle" some money from my chequing account into my Mortgage Prepayment Account. I will try for at least $50.

I've decided that I can pay my mortgage off in ten years even though I'm working parttime. I will make it into a game.

I plan to do more of my own cooking, and less eating out.

And then, as a 50th birthday present to myself in a little over 12 years, I will buy a cottage on the water. I can do it.