In case you had not already heard, it snowed in Toronto, a lot. I’m located just outside of Toronto and we get a lot more snow than the city does. It started snowing at 9:30AM and didn’t stop until Sunday morning. All totaled about 30 CM of snow fell.
On days like these, the first major snowfall of the season, it’s best to stay indoors. Whenever we have this much snow, the GTA usually turns into an episode of bumper cars. So, I made it an official snow day and stayed indoors. I made a promise to myself that for at least Saturday, I would stay away from the online shopping sites. I’m happy to say that Saturday was a no spend day.
Saturday Snow Day
How did I keep my mind occupied to keep from online shopping for Christmas?
Calculating House and Car Affordability
Remember those goals I set to plan and calculate how much house I could afford/down payment required and how much I would have to save each month to buy a new car in seven years; yep, I tackled them head on! No more procrastinating.
Did you know that it is virtually impossible to find a savings calculation/tracker spreadsheet online? I was looking for one that tracks your progress from start to finish of your goal. I found some wonderful budget spreadsheets, with J. Money’s from Budgets Are Sexy coming up second in Google search findings.
Not willing to give up, I turned to my Quicken program I use for budgeting to calculate how much I will need to save each month for both goals. Boy, did I get a shock! Clearly, I have delusions of grandeur again. How is a single person ever supposed to afford a home? It’s obvious I need to stop eating, go naked (or shop at Old Navy) and never drive anywhere ever again.
The House Affordability Exercise:
To save $30K by December 2015, I would have to set aside $1179 a month. That’s 10% down on a $300K home, which, by the way, is hard to find in the GTA.
An even funnier moment was heading over to CMHC’s Mortgage Affordability calculator. Ready for this? Apparently, I can only afford a $200K house! HA HA HA HA HA! On what planet does that house exist?
CMHC Mortgage Affordability Calculator
Based on my current gross monthly income with the following factors:
- Monthly Debt payments $600
- Monthly Taxes $300
- Monthly Heating $70
- $300,000 House 20% down is $60,000 or 10% down is $30,000
- 4% interest rate amortized for 25 years
- With a $60K down payment the maximum house price was $217K with a max mortgage of $157K. Max monthly mortgage payments were $830 and according to the CMHC I would have to pay $1025 CMHC premium…no idea why?
By this point, I was boiling, boiling mad at myself and at how the housing market in Canada has gotten so out of control.
The Car Savings Goal Exercise:
I had it in my mind that I need a $70K car for my next one and that I’ll need it in seven years. I didn’t think I was a dreamer, now I realize I am. To save for a $70K car by December 2020, I would have to set aside $818.70 per month starting now.
Add both of my goals together $1179.88 + $818.70 and you get $1998.58 that would have to be saved each month.
I had to step away from the numbers for fear of becoming utterly discouraged and disappointed to no end. If my father were here, I would receive some parental guidance (read: nagging) that I need to stop spending.
The Distraction from Finances: Sweet Potato Pie & Christmas Carols
It’s about time that I found some Christmas spirit, I have been sorely lacking in the Christmas joy department, it was time I fixed that.
While I baked the Sweet Potato pie that was one of my goals from November and moved to December, I blasted Christmas carols and danced around the kitchen singing along to Rockin Around the Christmas Tree. The pie turned out quite well and now I know I like sweet potato pie. I used a recipe I found on Food Network from Paula Deen; I was adventurous enough to bake it with the bourbon (Maple Whisky) but not enough to do the meringue topping.
Did I mention it snowed? Yep, midday and it was still snowing.
I finished off Saturday contemplating those darn numbers, watching Mansfield Park, and putting the rest of the decorations on the Christmas tree.
Time to go to bed and forget about those numbers! Maybe I’ll dream a way to figure it out….like a less expensive car in seven years? Duh!
Sunday, the Holiday Gift to Me Day
Sunday started with a whole lot of digging out. Luckily, my father owns a snow blower, which makes things a bit easier. Of course, a 15-year-old machine takes a bit of coaxing into motion. I’ll tell you, if I put as much perseverance into not spending as I did into getting that blasted machine going, I’d be a billionaire.
After lugging the machine out from between my car and the garage wall, pumping up one tire, filling the tank with gas, priming and then yanking the pull cord many times, I finally got the machine going. I did a little whoop whoop and fist pump I was so happy. Neighbours probably thought I was nuts but I’m sure they already think that, so no big deal there. Oh yea, I also danced around the driveway while waiting for the machine to warm up, further evidence it’s fun to be me and I may be slightly loopy.
Driveway done, I went inside to reward myself with a cup of tea and decided to buy my holiday gift and a few items for my vacation.
My holiday gifts to me and from my parents, always fun to shop for your own gift from someone else. They usually send me a cheque and tell me to buy something I’d like. I always tell them I want to pay my debt with it and I forcefully get told NO! Buy Something for Yourself.
No sooner was I done with my last minute shopping but the plow came around and left a three-foot pile at the end of the driveway. Here we go again!
Funny story of the weekend:
I went out to get started on the huge pile at the end of the driveway and no sooner had I done that, but who do I see coming around the corner? The snowplow again! Ack! It was a fun moment though, all I could do was laugh and laugh, which amused the plow driver, he tossed his hands in the air to say sorry. He actually came around again down the other side of the street and shouted sorry out the window; I waved and laughed, how could I get mad? It wasn’t his fault.
Thoroughly exhausted by this point, I came in, made another cup of tea and lounged with Maggie while watching The Bishop’s Wife. I love old movies and the old Christmas movies no less!
That, my friends, was an action packed weekend for me! With quite a few lessons learned…
Financial Lessons learned this weekend:
- Wanting a $70K car in seven years is not the same thing as affording it. I cannot afford it at my current salary and therefore am downsizing to a smaller number. For now, $30K will be the savings goal or $348.11 a month.
- Saving $30K in two years is damn close to impossible with car payments and debt repayments. This is yet another reason why it is so important to get out of debt.
- Letting clothing back into my life may have been a bad idea, I’ve been spending too much again.
- I must find more ways to either decrease my cost of living or earn more money.