Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Wealthy Barber

I think everyone should read "The Wealthy Barber" by David Chilton.  It's a book that discusses personal financial planning topics but through an easy-to-read fictional story.  Here are the lessons that I have learned:
  1. Save 10% of your income with a monthly contribution into a mutual fund or some other investment vehicle.  Dollar cost averaging is your friend.
  2. Everyone needs a will.  Get one done with a lawyer.  Keep a complete, up-to-date net worth statement and keep it with your will.
  3. Get the right amount of life insurance to cover your mortgage, car loan, other consumer debts, funeral expenses, dependent's living expenses, childcare expenses, and children's future education costs.  Buy term life insurance and invest the difference.  If you don't have dependents, you don't need life insurance.  
  4. Max out your RRSPs each year to save on income tax.  If you invest in equity, start converting them 5-7 years before retirement into guaranteed investment vehicles.
  5. Home ownership is a good investment for most people.  Take a 5-year term, a 15 year amortization, and pay weekly if you can in order to pay down your mortgage as fast as possible.
  6. A dollar saved is 2 dollars earned.  Thrift is a virtue.
  7. Take advantage of income splitting by opening savings accounts in the name of the lower income earning spouse and contributing to a Spousal RRSP.
  8. Get disability insurance.  If you are covered under a group plan, check to see if it's portable if you change jobs.
  9. Invest in your child's education via an RESP to take advantage of the 20% government grant.  Start converting them to guaranteed vehicles about 3-5 years before your child needs the money.
  10. Have an emergency fund of no more than $5000 and a line of credit that you can draw from if you really need it.
  11. You don't have to worry about your day-to-day spending habits as much if your financial house is in order.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad

Why would Apple name their new product iPad???  Maybe their marketing department or branding agency is all comprised of men?  How could they not have anticipated all the feminine protection jokes that are now all over the web?  The iPad is ultra thin - does it come with wings?  Here's a great iPad Spoof.  How about the next generation that you can swim with, the iTampon?  Mac's iPad = Max-I-Pad.  No, not subtle at all.

Anyway, the iPad is just a giant iTouch - not a revolutionary product.  What a disappointment.  The best is this: I have an iPad mini.  It even has a phone and a camera.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Excuse me

The other day, my 2 year old son said "Excuse me" for the first time.  Daycare must have taught him that.  It's funny to think that we were refered to a speech therapist just 9 months ago because he didn't meet his 18 month speech milestones.  He may still be a bit delayed in his speech but he is quickly catching up.  For now, I'm enjoying his babbles and baby talk before he outgrows it.  He's growing up too fast.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A confession

I haven't told very many people this but when I was 2 months pregnant with my son, I went tobogganing.  At the time, I didn't think much of the risks.  We got pregnant so easily, I took my pregnancy for granted.  I went tobagganing because I was selfish.  I wasn't thinking of my unborn baby, I was just thinking about myself.  However, I now officially declare that pregnant women should not go tobogganing or do any other high risk activity.  Tons of people either can't get pregnant or their pregnancies end up in miscarriage.  Pregnancy is a precious gift.  Handle with care.

Why I blog

Some people are really good at keeping a diary or journal.  I'm not one of them.  That's why I blog.  Blogging is easier than keeping a journal because 1) I can blog anywhere as long as I'm online, 2) I can edit my writing with cut/copy/paste functions of modern technology that pen and paper lack, and 3) I can pretend that I am writing for an audience of more than just myself.

Babysitting

I'm babysitting my friend's 2 yr old today because she is going to have a baby.  I got a call from the husband at 4:40am and before I knew it, I had taken a shower, gotten dressed, and was at my friend's house by 5am.  A new life is going to come into this world today and in a small but important way, I am enabling that to happen.  Life is good.  God is even better.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gift

Allowing our son to sleep with us is a treat... for me.   I love listening to his sleep sounds, seeing his little body inhale and exhale, and feeling his warmth beside me.  I love opening my eyes and marvelling at this wonderful gift that God has entrusted to us: this cluster of cells that grew inside of me for 37 weeks, fed from me exclusively for 6 months, and now has the capacity to walk, talk, sing, dance, create, love, laugh, learn, and much much more.  What a miracle.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

TTC

DH and I are in our 2nd month of TTC.  We were hoping for a BFP next week but AF came yesterday.  I'm a bit sad but better luck next month.  I'm going to eat some sushi and maybe even drink some wine this week before we have to do the BD again.

Birthday Party Photography


It's official. I'm a Children's Birthday Party photographer.
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Flattered

I was flattered to be asked this past week by a friend of ours to photograph her daughter's bday party today.  I've been the self-appointed official photographer for many-a-events but never before have I been the official 'organizer-appointed' photographer.  I was the self-apoointed photographer for her daughter's bday party last year and I guess the pictures turned out pretty good.  It even got me to dream of becoming a professional photographer specializing in children's birthday parties.  If only the financials will work out...

There's an app for that

Every year in January, I get all gung ho about setting up new routines revolving reading the Bible, losing weight, and saving money.  They are not really new year's resolutions but just merely actions that I would like to develop into habits.  I have renewed optimism this year that I will be able to keep my new found routines... at least until the end of January.  "How?", you may ask.  "Apps", I respond.

You see, since I inherited my husband's iTouch (he got an iPhone for Christmas), I've gone 'app crazy'. As I browse through the 'app store', I discover there is an app for just about anything.  To help me stick to my new routines of reading the Bible, there is a Bible app that is taking me through the Bible in one year.  To help me with losing weight, there's an app (Lose It) where I can track my calorie intake and output.  To help me to save money and eat better, I have an app for meal planning with grocery lists (Epicurious).

How did we manage to survive pre-iDevices?

Blessings

I met a women today who has a 7 year old with a disability and a failed marriage. As I listened to her story, I was overwhelmed with sadness. I couldn't even begin to imagine what she has gone through over the past 7 years. She has such strength, courage, and grace despite her circumstance. I felt so unworthy and blessed for having a healthy son and a happy marriage and I was reminded once again not to take anything for granted. Each day, I thank God for keeping our family safe and healthy. We are so blessed.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Random Rants

Sometimes I just need to rant. I would be like, "I wish I could tell someone this." But inevitably, I would have no one that I could immediately spill my guts to or the moment will pass and the matter in question would seem too trivial so it just gets buried or lost in Neverland - never to surface again. I'm hoping that this blog will serve as a forum for these moments.

Thank you, whoever you are, for reading.