Monday, 27 October 2014

I've moved

My blog has moved over to

Its been quite a journey (what other bloggers say should take 15 minutes to do, took me three days, and its still a work in progress.)  Bear with me as I figure out how to transfer my files over.:)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Love and money...should they mix

So the story goes, that someone related to me had a boyfriend.  Said boyfriend really likes investing in the stockmarket...(perhaps obsessed is a better term).  Relationships not going so well, so girl decides maybe if she gets excited about something that he is excited about, things will go better.  So she invests money in the stockmarket.  Not a lot...but for her...a lot.  She invests $800 in PHM....half at .32 and half at .37 cents.  Relationship ends.  Girl heartbroken.   Wants to remove everything that reminds her of boy from her life.  However, the stock currently sits at .43 cents. Should she sell?

It will cost her $25 to get rid of the stock and she has made $70.

Her lesson?  She decided I was right and never to buy stock because of a guy.  However, now that she is making money...(althougth it's not much) I think maybe I was wrong.:)   I’m glad that she is at least learning about the stock market.  Maybe she needs to get rid of this particular stock at some point because it reminds her of her ex ....but she is getting a good introduction to the financial world.  She does not have a lot of money and hasn't put away for her future , so maybe this is a good start at helping her educate herself.

  For today she is going to keep it in.  She has decided that if she makes any money off of it, she is going to do something really good with the money, and donate it to a worthy cause.  I will work on her, and remind her that maybe she should save half to save for her retirement...but I still have some time for that.:)  Mixing money and love isn't always bad.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Job hunting status....

Well, the job hunt progression is going slowly.  Today my husband met with another recruiter.    He confirmed what we already know.... that there is a lot of competition out there for what my husband is looking for.  In fact he mentioned that the most recent posting he filled ( in an area that my husband would be qualified for and interested in), they interviewed five candidates and 4 of the 5 were all equally qualified for the job.   He said any one of them would have been a good fit, but the employer obviously just chose the one which he thought would fit into their environment the best.  

Knowing this makes it apparent that charisma and communication skills are obviously what are going to get you the job.   Especially in a saturated market.  How’s that for pressure.

We had a little bit of good news though, and that is that my husband’s job is extended officially til the end of November.  This is the portion I can share:

  “This email is to provide you with written notice that your employment will be extended to November 30, 2014.”

  It is sure painful waiting for that letter to come through each month (supposedly supposed to come on the 15th..but didn’t come until the 21st) confirming that we will be employed one extra month, but once it comes it is nice to have a sigh of relief!  Even more relieving will be when we get the phone call offering my husband full time employment.:)  My hope is that 'they' have some empathy and don't end it all before Christmas...but business is business.

So current status job status:

One job he interviewed for a month ago, but the company hasn’t moved forward. One job applied for yesterday that he found on, and one visit with a recruiter.

Friday, 17 October 2014

How big is your world?

Image result for free world clipart
My eleven year old daughter recently completed an assignment at school where students were to write an essay on which they would rather be, rich or famous.  They wrote their essays and then were assigned to draw a picture to capture which ever they chose.  I remember looking at alarm at my daughters drawing to see closets full of clothing, jewels, mansions, bedrooms, banks full of money and all of the lovely colourful and glittery things that one could purchase with money.   I discreetly asked her if she was going to include a drawing of her helping anyone in need if she had all that money, and she may have corrected her drawing on my behalf.  In her defense, she did say that it was hard to draw a picture of doing something nice for others.:) 

 It was a good lesson to me that even though I am trying to teach my kids to think of others, sometimes we really need to help make the world a little larger than they see it.   Living in comfortable suburbian areas affords little opportunity for my kids to see people that do without.  The once a year drive we do into the city where they see a homeless person or three on the street must not sink in quite as deeply as I think it does.  I know it was just  a casual assignment, but it has furthered my for resolve that I can do my part to better teach my kids how they can play a part in helping those in need. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

This is just a friendly reminder that Christmas is coming soon.  Yes...I know it’s only October 16, but whether you are facing potential unemployment (like we are), or just want to really enjoy the season, starting to prepare now is a great idea.

I love Christmas, and I love the reason for the season.  However, Christmas brings with it a whole lot of conflicting feelings as well.  For instance, the whole money thing.  According to the Bank of Montreal, holiday spending was forecasted at $1810 for last year (2013).  Wow.

I like everyone else want to provide my family with wonderful gifts, to show my love for them, and to plain and simply see looks of surprise and feelings of happiness on Christmas morning.   But should it really cost that much for an average family to buy those feelings.
I can remember growing up and having some very simple Christmas.  They were beautiful and I have fond memories of them , however, we didn’t have the resources for many gifts.    Sometimes my mom would just wrap up random things from in the house so that we had more to unwrap at Christmas.  It sure was exciting to see all those packages sparkling under the Christmas tree from all the colourful lights and tinsel.  Sometimes my large gift for the year was a book of Bible stories, or a stuffed brown bear with a bow on it (I still have that bear).:)  One year we even received a hamper.  As a kid, I thought that was one of the most exciting things ever.

I can also recall one year that a friend called on Christmas day and asked what I got.  I remember feeling slightly inadequate and unsure of what to say as she listed off the stereo, clothing, music, and jewellery that she received,   and just skirted around the answer. 
 However, I think that the experience of receiving little, and less than others can be truly character building.  In fact, its what helps me to remember those who are less fortunate each year and all the time.   I want my children to know what it is to really want something, and I also want them to know what it means to go without something....just because.  That sounds a little scroogey....but honestly in a world where the average 6 and 7 year old are asking for ipads and iphones, you want them to know the joy that comes from waiting and dreaming and hoping.  You also want them to be willing to sacrifice something that they have to help someone who has less feel the joy that they will have because they have nothing. 

The battle of wanting to give to my children, and also wanting them to give of what they have is one that I still struggle with.  But one thing that helps is getting my shopping done early in the year.  That way, when the Season starts (in NovemberJ), I can focus my attentions onto relationships, people, memories and creating opportunities for our family to serve others.  The battle always rages in my mind, but at least I don’t have to fight the war in the Mall.:)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Job Hunting in Alberta 2014 version...

We started off 2014, with the knowledge that my husband’s job was going to end within the year.   As a result, we have been diligently searching online, networking, contacting recruiters, buying a new suit and praying.  Unfortunately for us, he has yet to secure a job....(pickings have been few and far between)...however, lucky for us, his job has been extended until this current point.... although his job is currently contract in nature, it looks like it will hold out until the end of November.   We have felt extreme gratitude that it has lasted this long, and that we still have benefits for our family.   

However, the knowledge that we likely could be unemployed during the holiday season is hardly something to look forward to.  (Okay...maybe having my husband home full time for a while is a kind of appealing, but the no income is less than desirable.) 

The situation has been fairly stressful, but we are lucky in that we do have an emergency fund, as well as the fact that our monthly mortgage is a lot less than it would be to rent an apartment.
Because my husbands job is ending due to the company going into bankruptcy, we are in a position that my husband would be able to get unemployment insurance until he is able to secure a job.   I also could and would find employment during that time, although, then we need to make sure we have childcare available each time he has a job interview, meets with recruiters etc.  Either way...we have options, which is a blessing. 

I remember years ago moving to Southern Alberta  (almost 18 years ago) with no employment and desperately trying to find a job. It took a little bit of time, however, during that time I took a month long course from the Government, on job finding and resume building.  I remember learning there that looking for a job is a full time job.  We were taught that you needed to put in eight hour days, networking, finding, hunting, honing your interview skills (we did videos) and cold calling companies.  A lot has changed since then, but the desired end result is the same.
I thought it would be interesting to see the difference in job finding in 2014 in Alberta today, and starting from now will record to see how long it takes my husband to find a job.  Obviously, he has a full time job and can’t put in an eight hour day job hunting....but he does have a wife....who although I’m busy, am fully vested in him getting employment as soon as possible.

I will record the process we take.  Starting with LINKED IN.  I am still pretty unsure what purpose Linked in really has and how beneficial it actually is.  My husband is currently on there with his current resume....however...the profile picture he uses is one taken by a staff member when linked in first came out.  To say it hardly looks professional is an understatement.... in fact he may be a little warped looking.  Our goal for this week will be change his picture to something a little more professional looking to see if that makes any difference.

A job hunting we will go.......

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Making mistakes with RESP's in Canada - unsweet lullabies

I came across this article today...and her story could be  my story.  Same company and same experience.

Just after having my second child I was contacted by a neighbor involved with the Welome Wagon.  It seemed harmless enough, however, not long after I started getting multiple phone calls a day from people wanting me to meet with them about RESP's.   For the longest time, I told them I wasn't interested, but to contact me later.  However, it seemed like I was still getting a lot of phone calls.  Sleep deprived and wanting to be the best mom that I could be,  I finally decided to meet with one of the men that continually followed up...on my "maybe laters".  My husband and I signed up thinking we were doing a great thing for our children, and although we didn't have a lot to invest, we put what we could.  Now almost 7 years later, it makes me want to cry to see how much they are charging.  I'm also a little fearful that once my kids are old enough to go to school they will find themselves in a predicament where they are not able to pull their money out because their program or school that they choose doesn't fall into one of their fine print selections. 

Obviously we signed the papers and are locked into the contract, and unfortunately for us  they take all of their fee's up front.  It makes me sad to know that money we worked so hard to save for our kids is lost to us. 

Would love to know if anyone else has similar experiences.  My advice to new parents who are going to start an RESP is to do it...but whatever you do....RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH.   Find out start up fee's.  Don't just go in blindly....or sleep deprived.  Waking up just might shock you.