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Finally on Vacation!

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This post is written from day one of my vacation and I have some quick updates for you!

Vacation Pushed

I was in tears Friday when I learned I wouldn’t be able to go on vacation Monday. The world of software and the nature of my role means that at certain times, my time is not my own. Most of the year, I can make my own schedule, and I’m grateful for that. However, when we have a big software release, everything is suspended until all the code passes the tests. I am not a programmer, but I led a project starting in May that had to do with migrating old code to a new standard, and every week or two, I’d push that code to the client’s instance of our platform. These are some of the biggest banks and industry-leading companies in the world, and the stakes were really high.

The new software release couldn’t go out until all the clients were migrated to this new standard, and we had last minute issues. I finished Wednesday night and declared myself on vacation! I’m off until the 24th. I worked 41 hours Monday to Wednesday and I can’t wait to get out of the city and relax!

Surgery Booked

My hand surgery is next Friday the 20th. As I mentioned, my surgeon this time around is the head of the hand clinic at a prestigious hospital, and he’s also the head professor of the hand surgery program at the best university around here. I’m pretty nervous, as this is the second surgery on my index finger nerve tumor. The pain is unbearable for about an hour a day, and I’m over the moon to think this is almost over. I’m looking in to accessibility options for my Macs – anyone have cool tips for dictation apps or tricks for configuring my Mac to be more accessible while my hand is healing?

Surgery 2017

A collage of the last time I had this procedure done in 2017. They didn’t get the whole tumor then.

Quick Note on the Cost of Medical Care

My time off doesn’t count towards vacation or sick time, thankfully (my company is generous), and I won’t have a cent to pay towards any appointments or medication. I want to take a moment to address that, because it’s the biggest difference between being in Canada and being in the US. Did I tell you that I worked in North Carolina in 2012? I worked in Winston-Salem and lived in Greensboro, and I loved it so much. Southern hospitality is a beautiful thing! The mountains and scenery were stunning, the weather was downright nice all year, and the cost of living BLEW MY MIND.

I was paid my Canadian salary at the time and I lived like a king on $48k USD. The one thing that was difficult was understanding which doctors were in my network, and learning that I had to specify brands or generic meds with the doctor, lest I be faced with a huge bill at the pharmacy. Even when I saw in-network doctors, I still had co-pays and complicated bills to verify.

The Politics

I have respect for Hope bringing up the minimum wage discussion in July. It’s tricky to talk about money without sometimes stumbling into something political. Here are the facts: I feel lucky, because I will make about 90k this year, and I will be taxed 20.5% on that. Here’s an article that compares taxes across some western nations. That isn’t a lot of tax in my mind (mind you, I spent some formative years in Norway, so I’m bit biased towards effective social programs). To never have to worry about paying for my healthcare, I’d happily pay more in taxes. The federal election is coming up and some parties are discussing national pharmacare and dental programs. I’m all for that (currently, most people are covered for pharmaceuticals and dental through their work health insurance or through a social program if they don’t work).

I’ve had four surgeries and never waited more than a few weeks for the surgery, except in this case in which I elected to wait for the best surgeon. I could have had this surgery done a few months ago at the hospital down the road. It irks me when I see US politicians saying Canadians pay such high taxes and wait years for surgeries. It just isn’t true unless you’re in the middle of nowhere without access to big hospitals (in many cases, our healthcare programs will pay to fly you to a major city).

I have a lot of respect for Americans and I understand your healthcare issues are complicated and difficult to solve. I’m not judging anyone for feeling one way or another.

What’s next?

Today is the first day of vacation, and I had three appointments. I’m about to head to a concert (my best friend won tickets to see Of Monsters and Men on the radio). Tomorrow I have a ton of chores to do before I head out of the city. I’m planning on making a post schedule for the rest of the month and taking another crack at a long-term budget tracking system.

Quick updates: 

  • I’ll share my budget for Sept 13 pay period on Monday. Thanks to readers for recommending pen and paper. I’m overwhelmed at the moment and need to get back to basics
  • I applied for the TD line of credit. Fingers crossed – this will pay off my credit cards!
  • The boarder is moving out this weekend. The $450 he paid me will go to credit card debt.
  • I’ve been going to the gym and I feel a bit stronger. I’m sleeping better, too.

I am still not great with spending. I had three restaurant meals in the past two weeks, cheap but unplanned. Could I be doing better? Of course.


7 Reasons Why You Might Want to Apply for a Business Loan

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There’s no crystal ball that tell us when to apply for a business loan. All we know is our cash is depleting faster than we expected. This forces us to look for other alternatives when financing our company.

1. Personal expenses

You might be struggling to pay personal bills for you and your family. You’re withdrawing more from your savings account than you’d like. It’s creating less personal cash for emergencies that can happen in moment’s notice. Consider a business loan so you can stop draining your life savings.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has an open database for business owners to try their luck at getting a loan. It’s worth a try since you can’t continue milking your savings for business expenses that can easily be taken care of by a loan. Make a chart to see where all your money is going.

This is a big eye opener when you realize you’re spending more personal money to keep the company operating. Budget out the business loan so you never have to go back to using personal money again.

Most businesses start with our personal incomes, but that can get tiresome real quick. Soon you can’t make rent, but you’ve kept the customer’s coming in through the door.

2. No restrictions

One great thing about a business loan is that there’s no restrictions. Yet, this doesn’t mean you should head on a wild spending spree either. Try to be disciplined with your business loan and immediately set up a budget. Don’t make the mistake of burning through this kind of financing and it puts you in a deeper financial whole.

The business loan is to help not add to the problem. Don’t let the lack of restrictions take you down a path you hadn’t intended. Research does show that 20 percent of owners have successfully landed a loan. This tells you there is still hope of getting the loan to pay for resources that’ll help your business grow.

With more funding you could open a new branch. Be your own guide on how you plan on spending your business loan. Bring in management to help decide on the best places in your business the loan would be most effective.

3. No begging

It’s tough to get investors to see the magnificent business you’ve created out of your basement that’s now pulling in a decent revenue. Getting a business loans takes all the energy out of finding and begging for money from unknown investors who can take months to make a decision.

Waiting for their final approval can almost make you go broke as you need the money now. Business loans give you confidence that you can stop the financial bleeding of other cash you need. It keeps you in charge of the business and is one of the best alternatives to consider.

4. More working capital

Every business can use additional working capital when you think about it. A business loan helps you stay afloat for the next six months to a year. Working capital allows owners to make hard decisions such as hiring more staff or purchasing needed equipment.

This extra capital can go a long ways if you manage it correctly. You can also learn what you need to do before seeking out this extra capital.

5. Keeping up with Technology

Technology has taken the business world by storm and it’s best your company hop on for the ride. Get a financial boost from a business loan. Your application approval could come at the right time were you can now supply all employees with the working materials and resources they need to do efficient work.

You’ll be able to buy the expensive software that’s been keeping your competition above your company. The loan will give you the edge you need. Most business owners head to conferences to look at some of the latest technology gadgets on the market. Unfortunately, these do not come with a cheap price tag.

Further, it’s might be one of the hottest pieces of equipment or tech device to have in your field. Let a business loan move you up to the front of the line and get you the technology that’s flooding the market and will allow your business to up it’s game.

All things are possible when getting a business loan, especially when you know the funds will buy the right devices where you can see changes over night.

6. Emergencies

Looking back, you can possibly count on two hands how many unexpected emergencies your business dealt with in the past year. Bad weather can tear off roofs in a matter of minutes.

Tragedies can happen in the blink of an eye and we need to be prepared. Business loans give us a running chance to stop the hemorrhaging of needed cash during any emergency. According to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™, small business applications are on a growing approval rate to 27.6 percent. This is good news when you’ve been staying awake at night horrified that a hurricane might hit your business and destroy it to the ground. You could be forced to borrowing a personal loan.

Extra funds tucked away for emergencies allow you to act fast and show customers you are responsible. Consider your next or first business loan to be a good part of your emergency savings.

7. Pay taxes

Taxes are apart of every business and owners know they must pay them. This doesn’t mean they will pay on time nor does it mean they will pay at all. A business loan gives you the money to write the check to the accountant and never look back.

Most businesses intend to pay their taxes on time, but things happen. Money put aside for next year’s taxes suddenly went to close up the hole from a stranger driving through your lobby. The IRS likes to see a business pay their taxes when due. Take the time to create an impressive business plan that guarantees you approval for a business loan.

It reflects poorly on your company if you are trying to get other types of funding. It send a message to potential investors that you are not being responsible with your cash flow. A business loan can keep you out of the cross-hairs of the IRS when they have to collect back taxes.

Make it a point to use some of your business loan to cover any late or existing taxes that need payment now.

Is a Business Loan Right for You?

These are seven reasons why you should apply for a business loan. Use this information and apply it to your current business situation. You are now armed with detailed reasons of what makes a business loan a necessity.

Use it to prevent yourself from drying up your personal cash from a savings account. Take advantages of not worrying about any restrictions on the loan and use the money at your discretion. Forget chasing after investors for additional cash and let a business loan satisfy your cash needs.

Though there are a lot of reasons to consider, find the one or two that speak directly to your situation. Take these reasons to heart and consider your next financing to be a business loan you can count on. Apply for a loan today so you can change your business forever. You have to make the first step.


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