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Surgery Day

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Howdy from the bus, on which I am journeying to the hospital for my surgery. It’s a quick bus ride for me and I have to Uber home (Mike is meeting me at the hospital), so I thought I’d save money one way. I’m a bit nervous, and this is a welcome distraction. Like Hope’s post earlier, this is a bit of a personal update from me. This is composed on the WordPress mobile app, so I’ll take a look later to see that the formatting is ok!

City Blues

Anxiety has plagued me since the moment I pulled out of the driveway at the cottage. I’m not a city person. I had to deal with a work “emergency” yesterday, which annoyed me. Why bother even taking vacation time? I dread checking email, dread going to the office, dread new requests piling on to my crazy workload. I. Am. Done. My job is generous and I knew what I was signing up for, but family and spending time outside are just so much more important to me. I am now working on a concrete plan to be out of Toronto in the next two to three years. It’s going to be tough, because my salary is almost certainly going to drop, potentially significantly.

At a bare minimum, I need to do the following before I go:

  • Eliminate consumer debt and student loan (I’m not worried about my car loan for now, but if I can pay it off early, I will)
  • Figure out if I’m going to try and stay in tech. There are hardly any jobs in my field outside of Toronto. I would struggle in Vancouver or Montreal, let alone in the country where I’d like to be. Software is done in Toronto and Waterloo, Ontario, for the most part.
  • Save for a down payment for a house

That’s a tall order but I am happy that I’m beginning to figure this all out. I’m not used to having a plan. It’s funny, as soon as I started making a list, my anxiety started to wane.

Speaking of Plans…

Hope has me thinking about the holidays. I don’t buy anyone fancy gifts, but I do like to show up with wine and homemade goods for people as I’m visiting or hosting friends from near and far. There is no savings allocation for this in my budget, and I don’t know what I’m going to do yet.

Another worrisome upcoming expense is pet-related. My 15 year old cat has pretty bad breath, and I think he’s due for some extractions. The vet noted the bad teeth about four years ago and said we can leave it until it affects his ability to eat. We aren’t there yet, but I don’t want my little old man cat to be in pain. His teeth are brown and gnarly, but otherwise he’s playful as ever. He fetches, pounces on bugs, and bullies the dog all day. Euthanasia doesn’t seem like a great option when extracting all his teeth would be about $700, and could prolong his life for a few years. He hasn’t been to the vet since 2015. He’s an easygoing kitty.

For many readers, both of the above items are discretionary and could be avoided. To me, they greatly impact my well-being. Something has to give in my budget, because I can’t see myself having any boarders or rover gigs for the next couple months. Well, maybe a boarder but definitely not a rover gig while I’m healing from hand surgery.

I understand the need for a proper, specific, 100% allocated budget to account for these items. I can’t move forward with debt reduction and savings goals unless I commit to doing the work of figuring out exactly where my money goes. Money is such a mental hurdle for me.

Time for Surgery!

Thanks for the distraction, readers. It’s time for me to head in. I’ll post an update Monday to let you all know how it went, but I’ll check comments here over the weekend as well.

 

Update on the September Challenge

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This is more of a personal rambling then a financial post. So if you are not interested in that, please skip reading this one.

How are your holiday plans going? I am failing miserably.

Or rather just not making any headway. I’ve got Halloween and Thanksgiving lined out. No sweat.

I do want Christmas to be special with only 3 of us here.

But I feel like it’s just going to be sad.

And I’m not saying I need to spend a bunch of money. I just need an idea to make it special.

To help us not miss those that are not here.

Is it bad that I get the holiday doldrums just thinking about it?

I’ve been thinking of things we could DO on Christmas day. There are movies…and if the weather is not terrible a hike.

I just don’t know.

I have taken a BAD reader’s suggestion and been looking at dates (before the summer) when I can fly Gymnast here for a visit. I think a lot of my melancholy is missing him and this important part of his life. Phone calls just don’t make up for seeing his face and being present for what’s going on.

So…any ideas from empty nesters or those with shared custody who have had to go through holidays without some of their kids? Ways to bring joy back.

(We are quickly coming up on the year anniversary of Gymnast moving to his dad’s. I’m feeling it every day.)