Monday, June 2, 2008

Pay Day Once a Month

All our lives we've been programmed to pay day being at least twice a month. As kids, allowance day was once a week! We'd get our twenty-five cents and go to the movies and have popcorn and a drink. Getting out into the working world, sometimes pay day was on the 15th and the 30th. We didn't like that. The best one was getting paid every 2 weeks (you get 2 extra pay cheques that way).

Now that we're both retired, pay day is the 3rd to last working day of the month (except in December - then it's 3 days before Christmas).

We're currently just learning to live on our new budget. Last month we did pretty good! We stayed in budget... except for buying the computer, the new microwave (as the old one died) and a new toaster (since we were buying the microwave; the toaster had died the month before). We also took the boat up on the ways and that cost us $4,000 more than we expected and Shelley had 2 Tim Horton Ice Caps and got her hair cut. Neither of those were in the budget either.

Pretty good huh!

We're hoping to do better this month.

All the kids have been warned extravagant birthday presents are now a thing of the past. "It'll be all we can manage to get birthday presents for the grandkids," we explained. What with the kids getting married and acquiring partners, the load has pretty much doubled anyways. "Everybody'll get a card" we told them. "The grand kids are the ones that really need presents".

Apparently the grand kids are NOT the only ones who really need presents.

Over the years we've already cut out most extravagances. Eating out costs us $2.95 at the little Chinese breakfast place down the block. Two eggs, toast and hashbrowns for $2.95. How can they afford that? Taking the bus home after an extremely long walk is a treat! Shelley hasn't bought new clothes except for underwear and shoes for years. The Sally Ann on 4th Avenue is a regular haunt.

Our new Mac computer has provided us with a lovely budget program, so now we can tell in advance that we're spending more than we're taking in. It's a year and a half wait and then Shelley's other pension kicks in. All we have to do is manage on our savings and basically within our budget and then we'll be rich. (The extra pension will provide a couple hundred dollars more a month.)

Come the 3rd to last working day of the month, the pay day delight is really quit high. We're taking our spending money out in cash. "That way it's more real," Shelley explains to Brian. "We can actually see the money disappear". Brian reluctantly agrees, but generally prefers the spend-all-your-money-until-it's-gone theory of budgeting. Pay day takes us to the bank where we get $50 for the laundry and spending money for groceries and Nicorettes. (We quit smoking, not for our health, but because we can't afford it any more. They say the reason doesn't matter, the result does.) We've down-graded ourselves from 4 mg Nicorettes to 2 mg Nicorettes and buy 2 boxes of 195 on or near payday (still almost a $100 hit).

"When do you think we can stop buying Nicorettes?" Shelley inquires of Brian.

Brian generally looks off into the distance and finds a bird to point out or some other subtle way to change the topic. "Hey have you gained weight?"

While staying in Canada and living within our means is possible, moving to Ecuador will bump up our standard of living considerably. Ecuador considers $800 per month, plus $100 for every extra dependant, to be more than adequate. When we move there we may even re-instigate birthday presents to the children...if they haven't all disowned us by then.

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