Archive for the ‘money’ Category

Allowances

We have been talking for months about starting to give E an allowance. He’s 5 now. We were thinking $1-2/week, and not attaching it to any chores. We want to instil the idea that we ALL have to do chores – things responsible people just DO.

We’re not 100% sure on the idea, on how much to give, or if we should attach it to chores, etc..

So, what have you done with allowances? When did you start? How much did you give? What were the ground rules?

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This morning, I was talking to Evan about just the two of us going to the store so he could pick a gift for DH for Christmas.

He immediately knew what he wanted to get! A leaf blower, of course! (DH wanted one in the late stages of fall when he was totally over raking the leaves).

Evan and I then had the discussion about lack of money this year due to DH being the only one who is working and therefore making money. He’s actually pretty good about it and often reminds DH and I of the fact when we talk about wanting to buy things that we might not necessarily need (I might often talk about getting a Corvette, for example).

Then, he turned to me and said, “I can make money!”

Intrigued, I asked him how. He began to explain something — to be honest, I wasn’t listening all that closely because Carter was throwing his breakfast all over the floor and squealing in delight.

When I tuned back into Evan, he was talking about how they glue it together then colour it. Huh? I had to ask him to repeat the story because I had forgotten what we had been talking about.

So, he went over the process how they “make money” at school by cutting pictures out, gluing them together, and colour them.

It finally dawned on me that after all this time of telling him that DH goes to work to make money, he thought that was completely LITERAL and that DH sits there and MAKES money! LOL!

Nothing like a 4-year-old brain to show why the English language is so confusing for others to learn!

Answered My Own Question

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post about second guessing my decision to go to teacher’s college! In responding to the comments, I think I answered my own question about whether it’ll be worth it.

In summary:
– I often second guess myself for any big decision, so this is a normal reaction for me.
– I know all the stats about how hard it is to become/be a teacher in Ontario
– I’m familiar with how Ontario classrooms work, and know it’s not an easy job at all.
– …that being said, I’m prepared to “do my time” in order to succeed as a teacher
– …and also, my additional qualifications, experience, and connections in the school board(s), will help me a lot.
– I’m excited to actually LIKE and ENJOY my course work and projects (maybe even for the first time in my post-secondary schooling career)
– Though I enjoyed doing outreach over the past few years, I found it was never “enough”. I crave the continuity with a class that teaching gives (not just dropping in and walking out).
– When I think about applying to other jobs, I find myself thinking “but it’s not teaching, and not what I want to spend my time doing”
– I know I can’t be a stay-at-home-mom to be happy and to therefore be the best mom for my kids (I’ve known this since Evan was a baby, so I don’t even know why I put it in the post as an option — it’s not)
– Regardless of if I go back to work or go to school, the kids will be okay…and THRIVE really, and they can see me thrive too (very important!)
– The timing is right in terms of the program (last year it’ll be offered as a 1-year program)
– …and I don’t have the obligation of a job to go back to after maternity leave.
– …and Evan will be starting school and Carter can be in daycare (yay for only 1 kid in daycare at a time!).
– ..and we have the financial ability for me to do this now.
– Yes, it’s a good amount of $$ upfront, but losing savings is much better than going in debt (which we were prepared to do for me to do this).
– It’ll be so worth it if teaching works out, and I finally get to achieve that dream/goal –  how awesome would that be??
– The worst that can happen if I go is we fork out the $$  and I end up finding work doing something else. That’s a pretty good “bad” side.

So, to summarize the summary: I need to stop second guessing myself and finally go with my gut on this decision. I know it won’t be all puppy dogs and roses, but I also know it will be the start of a new and exciting chapter in my career (regardless of where it takes me). Everything seems to be telling me to GO FOR IT…so I’d be pretty stupid to not grab this opportunity while I can!

Awesome Foundation

One of my goals this year is to do more planned charitable giving, and one of the ways I’ll be achieving this goal is by taking part in the local chapter of the Awesome Foundation.
If you’ve never heard of this, the basic premiss is a group of people get together, put their own money into a pot, and give it away to someone who has a really cool idea…no strings attached. 
Our group first heard about it at a cross-sector community workshop a few months ago. A woman in the Awesome Toronto group spoke about what they did and the really cool projects they funded – like making a giant connect the dots using Toronto landmarks and Google satellite maps. 
A bunch of us immediately loved the idea, and now we have 40 trustees in our local group, split into 4 groups of 10. This means each trustee takes part in 3 rounds a year, so it’s not an insane amount of money to invest. Each month there will be a call for proposals. Then, one of the groups of 10 trustees will choose their top three, hear those pitches live, and make their top choice. That person will walk away with $1000 that night to do something awesome!
Our first “call for proposals” was at the beginning of this month, and we received 41! There are a lot of really cool/amazing/touching ideas. The first award night is on Jan. 28th, and all 40 trustees are invited to attend (though only the 10 for the month can vote).
I fell in love with this idea because I think it’s “awesome” for someone to get $1000, no strings, to do something really cool and interesting – things that probably would have a difficult time getting more formal funding. I also like that I’ll be able to meet and work with the other trustees, who I probably would never meet otherwise.
Check out if there is an Awesome Foundation chapter in your area – if not, consider starting one up! It’s a low cost way to do something truly awesome for your community.

Check Those Receipts

A few weeks ago, DH and I caught a mistake on our grocery bill. We were to get two containers of Parmesan cheese for a certain amount, but were charged the regular price for both.

Since then we’ve been checking our bills before we leave the store, and we’ve caught two other major mistakes: one for a $25 cheesecake (we didn’t even buy a cheesecake), and instead of being charged for one package of yogurt we were charged for three (at $7.50 each, that’s a big difference).

So, over a month, that’s three weeks with major mistakes on our bill with a total of about $45. We’ve caught things in the past, but are kicking ourselves for not going every grocery bill with a fine-tooth comb. We wonder how much have we been overcharged over the years?

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