Monday, November 17, 2008

Spoken Word

On Friday night I went to a spoken word concert with my wife and mother in law. For those who don't know a spoken word concert is basically a poetry reading. I am not a huge poetry fan but this was an all right show. This is only the second poetry reading i have ever been to. The first one i went to was actually on my second date with my wife.

It was a good performance. It was put on by up from the roots. They are a group of back poets operating out of Toronto. It is run by Dwayne Morgan. He is actually someone who i have known of for many years. I actually remember him coming to my high school during black history month. My mother in law was in town for the week and she came to the show with us. I think we paid $35 per person. So while it was not a cheap show the price was fairly reasonable for an entertaining night out.

I guess that's about it for this week.

Next week... Reading part 2.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Budgeting

So now that the wife and I have been married for a little while we have decided it is time to sit down and do some budgeting for our future. It is not the most fun thing to do but it needs to be done i guess. We are finally in the position where the last of our wedding expenses are being paid off. We picked up our wedding album yesterday. It looked good. We got 40 8x10's for us and 18 5x7's for each set of parents. At first they wanted to charge us $350 for an album. We polietly told them no way and so they offered us a display model of the exact same album for $50. We also had to pay them an extra $150 to get cd's containing all of the raw files. I am glad to have this taken care of because i know people who are paying off their wedding years into their marriage.

I already participate in the employee share program at work where the Bank matches half of what i contribute to my RRSP. I also contribute monthly to a RRSP plan at scotia. Overall I put just under 11% of my income into retirement savings. At some point in the future i would like to be able to put in the max value (18%) but for now that is not financially feasible. What we are working on building up now is our emergency fund and our house fund. We have money saved but its not in a liquid state right now. Meaning it would be hard to get at in a moments notice. We going are to be setting up some automatic deposits into some high interest ING accounts for the purposes of building a house fund and an emergency fund. Once we are satisfied with the size of our emergency fund then everything can go into the house fund. We have also examined some of our monthly expenses to see if there is any fat to trim. We are fairly responsible so there was not really anything to remove.

So that's it.

Next week ... Fantasy Sports

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Busy @ Work

So we are entering into the busy time of year at my work. I work for an online brokerage as such from now until late march it is very busy as we enter into RSP season. We get something in the neighborhood of 60%-70% of our new accounts during this period. In addition my company is launching RESP accounts and Tax free savings accounts (TFSA). As such there is a lot of communication that needs to get out the door. The point of all this is that I want to talk about work deadlines. I have found that most are very flexible. If you want to be taken seriously and be seen as someone who is dependable then you will do your best to meet the deadlines. However, there are times when shit just happens and deadlines have to get pushed back.

At my first job we had deadlines for a project we were working on. However, these were not deadlines that got communicated to the customers and as such we had some leeway as to when they were delivered.

At my next job we were an agency. The issue with this is that since we were vendors if we promised to deliver something at a certain time we pretty much had to. Which meant some late nights if things fell behind schedule. Since overtime was unpaid here this was not something i was in favor of. As such I almost never stayed late.

Things are a little different where I work now. Most of the things I am working on are not communicated to the clients until after they are completed. So in my opinion that means all deadlines are soft. If no one is expecting it then no one knows if it is late or on time. The project I am working on now has has very high visibility in the company. I actually had a meeting with the president of our line of business about it last week. It is the first time i have met with her. She seems interested in what we're working on so if we can make this successful it would be a big win. Plus it is yearly bonus time so finishing this up would be a good thing.

All the pieces are finally in place and i hope to be seeing the end of this project soon.

Next week ... Budgeting