The Day of the Good Money Luck

The money buddah must have been smiling on us last week, because a few pretty awesome things have happened in the course of 24 hours.

I was joking to J after this all happened that we needed to go buy a lottery ticket, since that day was clearly our lucky money day. I was half serious when I said that, but we actually didn’t end up buying a lottery ticket simply because we forgot.

good money luckMost of this extra cash is going into our TFSAs to be invested in ETFs, but with $150 of it, we took a dear friend out for a few drinks and went to a comedy show for her birthday, and we’ll be buying hiking boots for our awesome honeymoon.

Otherwise, we want to make the cash work for us. Adding $4,450 into our TFSAs will be an nice little boost, and with the power of compound interest, will help us reach our goal more quickly.

Cashing Out

We got married last Saturday (July 19) and noticed, when opening our gifts, that the gift tides seem to be turning on wedding gifts. We registered for gifts, because we still think it’s super important to do so to alleviate your guest’s gift stress, but much of what we were opening was cash and gift cards.

We have a really hard time accepting cash from people, gift or otherwise, but after we swallowed our apprehension and got around to counting all that had come our way, we walked away with a cool $1,850 worth of cash.

The day that I went to the bank to deposit all of the cash into our accounts was a very lucky money day, because we also got a few letters in the mail that put a smile on our faces.

The Case of the $2,600 Cheque

J used to be self employed. When I say “used to be”, I mean over two years ago. He paid HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) quarterly so that he didn’t have to pay a lump sum at the end of the year. Having to hand over a big chunk of change to the government is the worst, even if it was always rightfully theirs.

The last year that he was self employed was 2012, but he became employed and gave up his self employed gig in the latter half of the year.

About a month ago, we got a letter from the Canadian Revenue Agency stating that we owed over $240 in HST from the third quarter of 2012.

J got to work adding up the amount that he owed vs. the amount that he paid, and it turned out that the bank didn’t remit the documents that they were supposed to remit when he made his last HST payment. J sent the documents and let the CRA representative know that he had put his business temporarily on hold to take a job opportunity.

We thought that settled the $240 bill, but it did more than that.

I don’t know about you, but when we get mail from the CRA, it makes me nervous. I always assume it’s a bill or a reassessment, at which point we have to do a ton of work to sift through documents to submit.

On Wednesday, we got home and started opening the mail. I cringed when I saw a letter from the CRA addressed to J in the stack. This went the other way, however, because we opened it only to find a $2,600 cheque from the CRA.

Because J only worked for less than half the year as a self employed contractor, he actually didn’t have to pay any HST. As a result, the $2,600 (plus some change) that he had handed over to the government is coming back to us.

The Property Tax Win

The next envelope I picked up in the stack was from our mortgage company. I personally hate getting mail from the mortgage company, just as I usually hate getting mail from the CRA, since it usually means we owe.

It was a pleasant surprise this time, though. We have our mortgage company take money out of our bank account each month to pay the property taxes so we don’t have to think about it when the tax man cometh. In the envelope was a notice that our mortgage would decrease by $40/month because they had overestimated our property taxes.

$40/month isn’t a ton of money, but it will be a nice little amount to put back into the mortgage to accelerate our mortgage payoff.

 

What would you do with $4,450 and and extra $40/month? Have you ever had a great day financially?

The Low Down on the New Job

I briefly mentioned, on both this blog and Suburban Finance that I managed to score a new job.

The timing wasn’t great; after all, I am returning from my marriage leave and starting a new job, so interviewing for a new job and winding down a role that you’ve been in for years, all on top of gearing up and planning for a wedding is not ideal. However, it will be nice to start a new position as I start my new life as a married person.

 

leaving regular job for temporary position

In May, a posting popped up for an exciting opportunity with a company that I’ve worked with before (internship #2). I loved the company and felt that I was able to do my best work there, as the environment is supportive and challenging.

There was one hitch: the position was temporary. I have a mortgage to pay, and a lifestyle to maintain, and I didn’t think temporary was ideal for me at the time. Still, I applied for the role knowing that applying doesn’t hurt.

The interview process was just as I remembered it from the first time around, and it piqued my interest in the role further. It is a fairly large jump in both responsibility and pay, so while I did very well in the interview, I wasn’t sure if they would still entertain me for the position.

As I mulled over the issue of the position being temporary, it became clear to me that my resistance to temporary work is fear-based. I fear that I won’t be able to find a position directly after the temporary one ends. I fear that something will happen whereby I will need my benefits from a regular job. Most of all, though, I fear the unknown.

Fear holds me back in other ways, but this is the first time it’s become so apparent to me, so I decided to completely change the course of my thinking. I began to see opportunities in taking a temporary job offer. If I didn’t feel that the job was the right fit, I could just end my term on a happy note. If it wasn’t extended, it would give me the opportunity to take some time off, grow my businesses, see how it works out. Or, travel! I have wanted to travel my entire life but have been working full-time since I was 15. A break in employment is the perfect time for that.

J and I have been dreaming and working toward a specific goal, and the huge boost in salary and potential end of term would fit nicely into our timeline for reaching it.

The temporary position would give me a huge boost up and enable me to find another position – temporary or not – after this role ends in a much higher pay grade.

When I received the call from the Director offering me the position in late June, my stomach clenched as I verbally accepted the offer. There is something so scary about leaving the comfort blanket of a pension, lucrative benefits, paid life insurance and guaranteed income for the next several years for a risk like this.

Even so, I did it.

I did it, and as a result, I promoted myself into a $12.77/hr raise.

To be clear, that is an extra $1,787.80 (before taxes and deductions) per month (based on 140 hours per month – 8 hour days less one hour of unpaid break).

As you can imagine, the work that I’ll be doing will be much more rewarding; I will have more control over my work. Self autonomy is important to me.

Come the end of the term? Who knows. They have said they anticipate the need to either extend the position or make it permanent, but to be honest, the uncertainty is a bit exciting.

I started the position today, as I am writing this, and I know that I made the right move. I wasn’t being fair to myself. My abilities far surpass what I was doing at my old job and I know I am both deserving of and capable of a promotion.

Chronic Scatterbrain – Signs, Symptoms, and Remedies

I am finding it incredibly and increasingly difficult these days to organize my thoughts into enough coherent and jointed sentences to make up a post.

I don’t know if my lack of focus is a direct result of the amount of work wedding planning is, or because my mind is on my new job, but I do know that it’s seeping into all aspects of my life, and manifesting itself in my words, thoughts, movements, and even my decision making.

Case in point: I had dinner with Cait last, and I stopped to get some cheesecake. At the bakery, I was faced with a difficult decision: chocolate or strawberry cheesecake.

scatterI didn’t know whether Cait preferred chocolate or fruit flavoured cheesecake (and I definitely don’t discriminate), so my initial thought was that I would get one piece of strawberry and one piece of chocolate and have her choose.

Unfortunately, they only had single slices of the chocolate, and were out of single strawberry slices. This put me back to dilemma. Without even batting an eye, in response, I got an entire strawberry cheesecake.

I only realized how ridiculous that sequence of brain events was when we were digging into the cheesecake.

My brain is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but instead of staying on the adventure that I chose, it throws in paragraphs of the alternative adventure as well as bits and pieces of the screenplay for the Curious Case of Benjamin Button just to keep me on my toes.

Here’s the cherry on the (strawberry cheese)cake: to prove just how scatter-brained I really am, before starting this sentence you are currently reading, I got up to get myself a glass of water and open a window. I first poured myself the water, then I set it down to open the window. After opening the window, I’d forgotten where I had set the water and had to search all over for it, only to find it in another room that I don’t even remember entering. 

Shit is going down.

What does this have to do with anything, you ask? Well, I’m afraid that it has affected not only the posting frequency on this little old blog, but also the…

SQUIRREL!

..just kidding. My scatterbrain has also had an effect on the type of posts I’ve been able to mash together. If you reach back into the Add Vodka archives from the last couple of months, you’ll notice mostly goal updates and disjointed posts about tire purchases and wanting to live abroad.

While those are things I may have written about previously on my blog, pre-scatterbrain, they would have made a lot more sense.

Or maybe I’ve always been a mess and I’m just figuring this out now.

Regardless, I’m hoping to find a focus and a bit more zen after the wedding is all over next week. I’m starting my new job the week after, so that will be a difficult transition, but this shit show CANNOT continue when I start. How would that be for a first impression?

After reading some articles on chronic scatterbrain, I’m led to believe that much of the issue roots from “multitasking”. There are a billion things going on in my brain right now, from wedding planning, to new job excitement, to seeing family and friends and remembering birthdays and anniversaries and other important dates, that my mind just can’t cope.

Instead of wandering away to text my maid of honour onelastthing half a paragraph through a post, finishing the post (or at least the framework) might be the best way to go.

Many of the articles I’ve read on the matter also recommend minimizing distractions, but unfortunately my brain itself is the distraction 90% of the time and I don’t think I could minimize that any farther.

Scatterbrain (or difficulty focusing as fancy people like to call it) is also highly attributed to stress, of which I have plenty. The stressors in my life are good, exciting stressors, but stressors nonetheless and signs of this are definitely prevalent in my body and apparently mind.

Sometimes, getting things out onto paper a computer screen helps me sort through some things and think clearer, so it would do me some good to start blogging more (especially if we’re talking real, actual, logical blog posts).

To those readers who aren’t completely sick of my shit yet: thank you for sticking around and I hope that I’m able to refocus myself as soon as humanly possible.