Hello from Canada! (Intro)

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lilacorchid
Posts: 476
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid »

Hello ERE world!
I am a long time reader of the ERE blog and forums and finally decided to take the plunge and log in. I'm pretty excited and since I don't really have anyone to share this journey with IRL, it seemed like the time to do it.
About me: I'm a married 31 year old Canadian with a six month old son and I'm currently on mat leave. I'm treating this as my mock retirement run, and so far it's going great. I've finally got the time to learn how to take my finance hobby from budgeting and debt reduction to the next level... investing!
Yesterday we walked into the bank with a big fat cheque and paid off the entire balance of our mortgage. In 30 days, we will have paid off our line of credit and will be completely debt free!
Walking home from the bank and entering into OUR house yesterday was a great feeling. It only took me (and then the Mr.) eight years to pay for it. I bought it near the beginning of the Canadian housing boom (not nearly as explosive as the American one), but didn't overspend or buy too much house. I'm really feeling like my choice is paying off!
I figured it was time to get onto the forums because I'm running out of people in my life that I can talk to about this stuff. Most people either think I'm nuts or put our lifestyle down. Really, the only difference from the outside looking in is we didn't buy a giant house when our son was born, we walk way more than we drive, and we use up our vehicle before we get a new one. We also don't shop for fun.
We are planning to make our escape by 40 which gives us nine years to do it. Not a five year ERE, but we're okay with that. I know we could do it sooner, but we share our finances so we both have to agree on what we spend. It works for us.
So not to toot my own horn, but *toot toot*!!! I just have to or I'll explode and I felt like this would be best place to do it. ;)
I look forward to joining in the discussions!


DutchGirl
Posts: 1227
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by DutchGirl »

Welcome, sounds great. It must be a great feeling to truly own your home - instead of having a mortgage. Good luck :-)


ExpatERE
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:49 pm

Post by ExpatERE »

Toot away lilaorchid, toot away!!! That is a serious accomplishment to get the mortgage paid off and be debt free within the next month!! WOW! I'm envious!!! You guys need to pat each other on the back for a job well done. Be sure to post again and let us know how you guys feel being debt free. I for one will be anxiously awaiting that post.


Chris L
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:28 pm

Post by Chris L »

Whereabouts in Canada? We're in Guelph and have a similar story. Hard to find other people to relate to.


lilacorchid
Posts: 476
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid »

Thanks for the welcome! It's the first time since I moved out thirteen years ago that I won't be paying a monthly or biweekly fee for where I live! I don't think it will really sink in until I don't see the mortgage payment leave my account next Thursday.
I look after the finances in our house and it's going to be a total change for us. I used make sure I logged in on payday to move money around from chequing to our line of credit, and pretty soon I won't have to anymore! I'll be thinking about where to put our savings instead!!!
Chris L, we are located in Manitoba. I don't know a soul IRL like us.


Chris L
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:28 pm

Post by Chris L »

It doesn't take long to adjust to not having that extra bill! Well, I can't really speak since I've been doing that crunch for two properties. Killed one off 3 years ago and have 1-2 years left on the second. Rolling it up! Enjoy the piece of mind first. Not owing someone is like reclaiming your body.


pooablo
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:32 am

Post by pooablo »

Congrats Lilaorchid! You're on your way to ERE. :) I am out in Edmonton. It's nice to see more and more Canadians on this forum.


Koogie
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:43 pm

Post by Koogie »

Nothing much to add except I echo the last poster.. nice to see more and more Canadians on these types of forums...
I would say maybe we are all waking up to the reality behind the socialist dream scam of our political classes but then... this isn't the place for politics.
Congrats on the mortgage !


Bingeworker
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:41 pm

Post by Bingeworker »

Congrats on paying off the mortgage... that's when financial independence really starts, your cost of living just plummets when you don't have mortgage or rent to pay every month, and the money really starts to accumulate if you're not a spender.


lilacorchid
Posts: 476
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid »

Well, hello again!
It's been about nine months and I'm about to go back to work. I have been off work for 17 months now. Here are some things I learned about myself while off:
1. I love being a stay at home mom and homemaker, but there is no way I can do it full time. I don't want to work full time, but I'm 99% sure that once I'm ready to pull the trigger, I'm going to do some sort of part time work. This was probably my biggest surprise as I thought I would never want to return to the working world once I left it. Instead, it took about six months to come down from being at work and then a few more months after that to miss the social interaction.
2. We still suck at keeping some of our expenses down. Sure, we don't have a mortgage, but we are going through so much money for food that I sometimes wonder if it would just be cheaper to eat five dollar bills instead of exchanging them for groceries. I looked at the average expense on food for my province for the year, and we are way, way over. I can't change my husband, but I can change myself and my contribution to this problem.
I've been hanging out at MMM's for the past few months, but I think I'm coming back "home", if you will.
Goals:
1. Reduce food costs by 50%
2. If I'm going to miss out on my son's early years due to working, I'm going to make it count. I want to be saving at least 50% of our take home income. If I can cut the food bill, we should be very close.
It's good to be back!


pooablo
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:32 am

Post by pooablo »

Welcome back. I'm interested to see how your 50% reduction in food costs journey pans out. If you are really adventurous, you could always dumpster dive. :)


lilacorchid
Posts: 476
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid »

Lol, I can't see my husband eating dumpster food or letting me feed my son that! ;)
I anticipate a challenge to reduce food expenses by 50%, but it's not impossible given how much prepared food we buy.
I started a journal on here too.


Meliora
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:50 pm

Post by Meliora »

Dumpster diving is really quite safe, once you know what to look for ;)

But having said that; growing your own food (or even just the herbs) and making (more) things from scratch helps a lot. Even more so, I found that when I prepared the food with the kids I used to look after (baby-sitting), they suddenly got enthusiastic about eating vegetables - simply because they made it and got to sample and such. Imagines that! ;)
Either way, lots of look on your ERE-journey and I will be keeping an eye on your journal!


lilacorchid
Posts: 476
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by lilacorchid »

I used to have a garden, but then I had my son and got out of the habit. This year, we cleared off all the good topsoil and put a shed over the old garden. Next year I'd like to make some raised beds. I hate weeding.
This year I've concentrated on not wasting what I buy and trying to find a bean recipe I could stomach. We bought a freezer so I can cook and store meals. And I did find one good, healthy bean recipe, so I feel like I'm operating at a net positive right now. Gardening will come.


Marlene
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:01 pm

Post by Marlene »

Regarding weeding: you could read up on permaculture and espcecially on mulching - alternatively: find out which of the weeds are edible and treat them as a bonus crop.


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