Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Our Financial Life

I love reading blog responses to questions like this so I thought I'd give this one a shot:

1. What is your income?

Our total income varies as Kent does receive commission on top of his base salary as well as his lead salary. Mine is stable and does not change, except for when a raise comes thru. We've lived a very, very frugal existence and for the most part, lived on either one complete salary or one complete salary and a partial salary from my years at home then Kent's years at home so the kids always had a parent at home. Now we are both working full time and find ourselves in a very weird spot with an annual income, together, in the 6 figure range. I won't go beyond that but we cherish it, as it could change at anytime given the tight economy. We still live as if we're frugally tight but have allowed ourselves some expenditures this year that we've never been able to have in the past.

2. What are your (fixed) monthly expenses?
  • mortgage
  • utilities (they vary but are in a range that we budget for)
  • car lease for Kent
  • car payment for me
  • gas for both
  • insurance: car, house, life
  • roof payment on our Home Depot card (interest free - almost done)
3. What would happen if you died tomorrow?

We used to have it all layed out but now that we are double income without little kids, it is time to do a new plan. Kent knows my wishes and I know his but in terms of finances, we both have life insurance and we both have good jobs that would carry the bills on one salary, so we'd be okay in that respect.

4. Where could you get $500 in an emergency?

Our savings account. If that was totally depleted, we could access our line of credit (low interest), then our credit card.

5. What would you do if you got fired from your job?

I'd cry as I was given this job to expand it beyond the original format. I started at 15 hours a week and now work fulltime. It had one program 3 times a year and it now has 6 programs offered year round. And more as we are expanding once again!

However, I am marketable and would likely have no issue finding another job. We do operate a charity as well on the side as volunteers, so my first plan would be to find funds so I could just work there. I would also take some time for me, which is something I miss right now because I am so busy with this position. Love it, love it, love it but my personal time is stretched.

6. How will you live in retirement?

Frugally but not here. We'd move back to the coast and live in a very small community. But come back here to visit often.

7. What could you sell to make extra cash if needed?

Clothes, extra furniture stored in our basement, baby blankets I make, charge for a couple of births, add up all the receipts I need to submit between my work and the charity I volunteer for!

8. Does your spending align with your values?

Yes. We do not believe in "keeping up with the Jones" and prefer to sock away every extra dollar and only buy what we truly need, hopefully on sale or second hand.

9. What are you teaching (or will you teach) your kids about money?

They were raised the same way we live and have all done an incredible job of spending wisely. All still thrift shop and all have chosen lifestyles that are conscious of making good financial choices. I love that they all still get excited about a sale or hunting down a treasure at a thrift store!

10. What steps can you take today to improve your financial situation?

Do a better job of setting an amount each month to put into our various savings accounts. Right now, it's kind of whatever looks ok, but there is no real plan.

We need to relook at our insurance as well and bump it up a bit.

And we definitely have to do a better job of saving for retirement. Our RRSP's are not filling very quickly but that is by choice not because we can't. We only have 15 or so years to retire so that needs to become a priority. Soon, soon!

So how are you doing financially?


  1. You have a great outlook on life! :) I think it's wonderful that you live beneath your means, it's what we all should do!

  2. Thanks Carla. I grew up in a family that spent every cent and Kent grew up in a family that didn't have any extra cents to spend but spend they did. So we've always been conscious of how quickly money can disappear. I also worked in a bank before kids and didn't like how many people handled their money and always seemed to be so stressed. So we've done it in a different way and even though we can afford to spend now, we choose to continue to be careful so we can live without the financial stress.

    Enjoy your weekend. We're building a deck. Yuck!