What I’ve been up to and where the money stands

A lot has happened since I’ve been MIA. Our once $10K debt is now at $18K. My husband had to get his car fixed, got an unexpected $3K vet bill, had to pay for his schooling and our East coast trip. That increase in debt took a toll on my mental health. It was overwhelming me and I secretly blamed him for it. I tried my best not to let it show and drag him down too but eventually, it happened.

I got him to do his 2015-2018 taxes and he’s getting at $9K refund in total for all those years so we’ll be applying that to the debt.

It’s unfair to blame him for the debt but I think it’s good that we are tackling this as a team. I have a friend who has newly acquired student debt and her husband refuses to help her pay it down. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I just think doing a tag team on the debt will benefit both parties in the end.

Until the debt is paid off, I need to remind myself that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Progress will be made as the months pass and as the paycheques come in. Now I need to decide whether to cut my RRSP contributions until the debt is paid off.

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I can relate so much to this Financial Post article

https://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/taxes/your-personal-business-better-be-real-if-you-are-using-it-to-claim-expenses-for-tax-purposes

I mentioned that I owed money to the CRA at one time to the tune of $21K. I didn’t really mention why. It was stupid on my part but you must keep in mind that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. The Ex was controlling. I see that now in hindsight.

He had a book that mentioned how you can reduce your taxes with your business write-offs. I argued that you can’t just write things off as business expenses if you didn’t actually have a legitimate business. He made me open up a trade name and proceed to write-off our day to day expenses as “business expenses”. It made me uncomfortable and I knew better but I still did it anyway. Why didn’t he open up a trade name? Oh yeah, he was unemployed and it would be more plausible coming from me since I had a J.O.B.

I did this for two years. We took the large tax refunds and spent it on vacations to Hawaii and to fix up the house his mother owned but he still said was his. Of course, I would get audited by the CRA because of my large tax refunds. He concocted a plan where I was paying him a consulting fee through my trade name. It was all bull shit. Absolute bull shit. My tax returns were re-assessed and I had to pay back the $21K.

You know what the real kicker was? He pressured his mom into doing it too. He was so manipulative and it pains me to realize that now instead of earlier. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. I’ve learned my lesson and have vowed that nobody else would control my money and decisions. My husband doesn’t care what I do with my money because he knows I’m very headstrong about it now.

 

 

 

2019 Goals

New Year’s Day has come and gone and I’ve procrastinated on this post. I don’t really have any personal resolutions for this year except to continue to eat healthy, exercise 5-6 times a week, be tidy a la KonMari and don’t be an asshole.

However, I do have some financial goals.

  1. Clear off our $10,937 debt by May
  2. Contribute $1000/month into my RRSP
  3. Plan a trip to Eastern Canada
  4. Complete Dry January (so far, so good)
  5. Keep our Grocery budget below $500/month

Blog goals:

  1. I’ve been sitting on a few draft posts that are very personal to me. I need to complete and publish them.

May is a pivotal month for us. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be debt free by May and then can FINALLY start hoarding money.

This new debt has really played with my emotions. After achieving personal debt free status last June, my husband dropped a bomb on me. His debt was now my debt but we’re working together on clearing this off ASAP. It’s a little more difficult now that his current job is running out of projects and he predicts he’ll be laid off by next month. His courses for his diploma also start this month. He’ll be on EI and as much part time as EI allows during this time. So yeah, that’s my next year. Do you have any goals for this year?

December 2018 Goals Review

  • Pay $2000 towards debt PASS! Yes, we did!
  • 20 No Spend Days PASS! I had to reset my phone but I’m pretty sure I got over 20 days
  • Put potential bonus towards RRSP so as not to be in the 36% tax bracket PASS! I got a $1000 bonus and put that my RRSP so I’d remain in the 30.5% tax bracket.

I’m actually quite surprised I got a bonus. It’s been a broken promise for so long but it’s better than nothing and kind of makes up for my paycut. I’m never forgetting about that.

The cost of adult braces

Yes, those are my actual teeth in the header. I know they were gnarly and my self-esteem suffered because of it.

My teeth have been extremely crooked since my adult teeth came in. This was exacerbated by the fact I grind my teeth leading to a cross-bite. My dad did have dental benefits through his employer but never wanted to spend so much money on my teeth.

Fast forward to when I was aged 29, I decided that it was finally time to get braces.  I hadn’t been to the dentist in 15 years and felt so vulnerable confiding in my orthodontist. I’m so grateful that she was understanding and caring. I had been so embarrassed with my teeth for years. I never smiled with teeth. I never laughed wholeheartedly because that would mean losing control and opening my mouth.

This was also the time when I accumulated debt with The Ex. I don’t feel guilty about getting my braces. In fact, I credit the braces with getting my confidence and self-esteem back so I could end that toxic relationship and move forward with my life goals and live the way I wanted. Who knew I could achieve that with 16 months in braces?

5th adj

 

Cost breakdown:
$8490 quote from orthodontist minus 50% coverage from my benefits = $4245
I used $1250/year of my health spending account towards braces. I did this for 2 years.
$4245 minus 2 x $1250 = $1745
I also won a $250 credit from my orthodontist through a contest.
$1745 minus $250 = $1495 Actual cost out of my pocket

I was very grateful to have good orthodontic coverage that allowed me to have $8490 braces and only pay $1495 for them. I know not everyone has work benefits but having them was absolutely key in being able to afford braces. I just wish I had done it sooner! $1495 may still seem like it’s a lot of money and it is. But the confidence that I got from that is priceless.

 

 

December 2018 Goals

  • Pay $2000 towards debt
  • 20 No Spend Days
  • Put potential bonus towards RRSP so as not to be in the 36% tax bracket

I can’t believe it’s December already. I admit I have the winter blues. I’m using my SAD lamp and taking vitamin D but on some days, I’m just not feeling it. I get angry when I have to drive into work when traffic is bad due to snow and think about the money The Ex owed me which I have written off ($30K). I don’t want him in my life and he was taking forever to make payments but it would help in sending my husband back to school or we could take a honeymoon. Oh well. I know good ole karma is taking care of him right now.

November 2018 Goals Review

  • No unnecessary spending. I’m in austerity mode now. I’m so tempted to put my credit cards in the freezer. I’m aiming for 30 no spend days. Fail! But I had 20 no spend days which might be the highest I’ve ever had.
  • It’s a 3 paycheque month so that means I can put up to $4500 towards debt. That’s just my pay alone. PASS!

No Spend November was a semi-success if I’m to stretch the truth. I succumbed to several Black Friday sales unfortunately. I picked a bad month to try this and am going to try again for December.