Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Paper trails

Seriously, I have a room mate who complains that the record keeping isn't accurate and keeps insisting on doing business in cash. He keeps refusing to write cheques. I think there's something incredibly odd there. Why avoid an external transaction record if your going to accuse someone of lieing to you about how much you've paid? Wouldn't you to have something to be able to back up your story if you were doing this? This has to end.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I suppose I'll mark one week of being miserably cold. I think of moving some place warmer first. Reducing my exposure to the cold would also help. If I lived closer to work, it would make a big difference. Likewise, if I started driving, that would also keep me warmer. Though maybe the idea of moving is just stuck in my head, which is why I think of that first.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Setting a few goals

As much as the traditional time for setting goals is still yet to come, there isn't really a bad time to think about goals, evaluate old ones or set new ones. My big goal is still to getting back into school and getting my life moving again. I still feel like very little in my life is permanent. It's hard to feel rooted when your big goal is to get away.
With living expenses falling due to new room mates, and having built up investment income to what I have, I'm going to make a goal of spending less than my investment income. I'll exclude my student loan payments for now. I'll see if I can add those in later on we'll see when. On a side note, I still view the alternative uses of money as the most important criteria for consideration when making purchasing decisions.
Another goal that I'm thinking of is either starting a website up. It would be about photography. I'm certainly not great at it, but maybe my closer to a beginner perspective will help. Right now, I'm seeing it as partially about getting out and exploring the community through the lens and technique. I know a lot about using a point and shoot camera to get very nice results and I'm hoping to get a DSLR soon. Eyeing the Pentax K-X right now.
If I don't do that, I'd like to enter a contest of some sort. Something involved, that'll take some work to enter.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On emergency funds

Came across this post http://www.punchdebtintheface.com/2010/11/emergency-fun.html and wrote up a nice long comment, but in the end decided to be a little more modest. Seemed like a shame to throw it away though, so here it is.
I was just browsing around for blogs to read and came across this. I must say, I love that first commenter's style. Similarly:
1) I don't exactly have an emergency fund, but I do have a general consolidated car/house/wedding/emergency/retirement/small-business-startup/baby/education fund. I've been keeping my costs down to a bare minimum and once I position the latest piece that I want, investment income will be larger than living expenses. Then it becomes a toss up between volatility, security, growth and inflation.
2) About four years ago. I was able to save up so much because I was foolish/lucky/brave/stupid enough to be dumping virtually all my earnings into the stock market when it was pretty close to the bottom
3) Haven't had an "emergency" yet. My life depends on very little and I wouldn't have been able to do the above if I didn't feel remarkably comfortable in terms of job security. While looking into insurance options, I realised that my place could burn down and counting lost work time and security deposits on a new place, I could be going again for about $2k. Usually, I have that much money or more sitting around waiting to get into my general fund. Maybe I can cross the word emergency off that list. Though maybe it would be a good idea to cross baby off the list till there is a wedding and now that I think of it perhaps a wedding doesn't make sense without a partner.
4) Where does it start? Where does it end? Money moves fluidly to me. It's just there. I have a central hub that everything passes through, a savings account, a back-up hub, two investment accounts, and two retirement accounts, which I started before I realised that I could retire a few decades before I'll be able to touch that money. None of these are particularly set aside for emergencies. I run my hubs down to the dollar, the savings account just runs up and down. Flow into the investment accounts have been strictly one way. I guess that would be a no.

Things working out?

I'm not sure how long this arrangement will last, but I have some new room mates. There's now two cats in the house and they're getting acquainted rather quickly, but not fast enough to save my couch from being used as a scratching post. This drops my cost of living by quite a bit. Rent is now $300, which is quite sweet. My immediate surroundings, being the basement doesn't change. Though I don't think the tension has really been addressed, so we'll see how long this lasts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vacation worth it?

Usually, vacations are quite enjoyable and gives you time to focus on things that matter in life. I left at a time when there was fighting in the house and I'm told that there's new room mates or something. Not knowing what would be there when I got back was a concern for me given the amount of tension that was there the week prior. I suppose there's still some mystery there.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Room mates

I'm getting sick of my current room mates. We just renewed the lease and they're fighting and threatening to leave. They can't agree on the amount owing and refuse to share numbers or even agree on a receipt format. This is very stressful.