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Life update: Christmas, condo & the Youngest pondering high school

Life update: Christmas, condo & the Youngest pondering high school

Used wisely, carefully: a bit of a bad thing can be good

• Great tools for Canadians from TriDelta determine the value of your final estate and the donation planner.

Three ways to build wealth with dividend investing (TD Bank video). I follow all three of these speakers online even though they all have different styles of building wealth. In fact, I follow a lot of people – even people I vehemently disagree with – because I feel like it’s important to challenge your own assumptions.

Disengage: Modern life subjects us to all-consuming demands. That’s why we should reflect on what it means to step away from it all.

• Moneysense magazine did a poll about the worst money advice and these are the (fascinating and unsurprising) results.

• A fantastic read. The Snack Cake Economy: how I learned about money in prison.

Retirees tend to be happier even if their finances aren’t great.

A life update
In an effort to rein in our spending we took stock of all the food we have in our pantry and freezers and plan to budget a minimal amount for food this month with no eating out. Our CSA dropped our last basket off two weeks ago and so we do need a few fruits and vegetables as well as a few staples. Otherwise, we are trying to work with what we already have.

The Youngest and Mr. Tucker went to an information night for a specialty high school in the area and they came home eager to do an application! I was pleasantly surprised when they sent it to me via email to edit and give them feedback. The application process opens soon and so I am happy to see that they are taking it seriously. Apparently they took 58 students (plus 20 on the waitlist) into the program last year but had 120 applications total. It’s an almost 50% acceptance rate so if they work hard I am sure they will have a shot. So cross all of your fingers for my kid, please!

I was joking with the Americans* in the group chat that the condo situation feels cursed and that I need to hire someone to sage the place. Every time we get close to the end, another thing blindsides us. On Friday Mr. Tucker went to finish things up only to lose a FOB in the parking brake of the car and then got stuck in a work emergency. So he ended spending most of the time there on a call.

We went to buy appliances only to discover that one elevator was down so that we couldn’t book one to get the appliances upstairs. So now that we are nearing the end I have so much trepidation about what new and exciting derailment is going to happen? We’re trying to stay positive but man it feels like every time we get closer to the end, we get tripped up.

We ended up researching appliances last night and plan to head out and buy them this week and have them delivered on a day that Mr. Tucker books off (see story below!). We will get those in, stage that place and then throw it up on the market as soon as we can. Mr. Tucker – who has absolutely zero faith in the unseen/unknown/spiritual said to me today, “I really hope that whatever the universe is playing at, it’s playing at because it is helping us with the timing of selling the condo.” I honestly hope so as well!

The series of unfortunate events that have delayed the renovations and caused us so much time and given us so much anxiety has done one thing for me: it’s lessoned my nostalgia. I used to hem and haw over selling it vs. renting it out and now I just want it gone. It’s been an anchor on our time, our energy and our finances and it is 100% time to move on from this phase of our lives. So I’m thankful for small miracles, I suppose.

The Holidays are upon us
Last week was used book Advent Calendar day! It’s one of my favourite days of the year and since it is so popular you need to get there early to queue up if you want some good ones. A local bookstore spends a lot of time wrapping up 24 books and packaging them by language, age, genre, media (comic/dvd etc.) I made Mr. Tucker take the afternoon off work this year because last year he did not and of course it was chaos. Last year, I was left scrambling trying to manage the weight of the books while he stood outside in the parking lot on a work call, balancing his laptop in his hands. We vowed never again! It’s actually become a bit of a family joke that when he says the words, “Oh it’s pretty dead at work today, I will just hop out to do X…” all hell breaks loose at work and he’s stuck managing a crisis.

Well not this year!

This year I had him take the afternoon off and the book adventure was smooth sailing. We then hit IKEA because I love their Christmas paper shop and we needed a few extra tubes for this year. I had wanted to hit the cafeteria for lunch but unfortunately we had a delivery arrive of computer components and we didn’t want to leave them sitting out on our porch for too long. Still, it was a productive day.

I know people hate me for it but I generally do all of my Christmas shopping at the start of November. In fact, aside from a few small things for stockings I am pretty much done. I just generally love the fall and early winter between Samhain and the Winter Solstice/Yule that I don’t want to spend it worrying about shopping. I also learned the hard way that a lot of things can sell out very quickly. For example, The Eldest wanted a specific Advent Calendar this year and by the time I got around to ordering it, it was sold out! I managed to find it on another website so crisis averted but had I waited she would have been sorely disappointed. Yes, if you are sensing a theme: we love Advent Calendars more than actual Christmas gifts so we tend to spend more of our money there.

When life was busier and our minds were more chaotic I would wait until Christmas Eve where Mr. Tucker and I would get drunk, throw on the The Vinyl Café Christmas collection and get wrapping! But an older and wiser me has decided to instead do a bit of wrapping during the daytime when the kids are in school. It worked out really well last year and I managed to get it all done by December 1st. That way I managed to enjoy the crafting and friend and family get-togethers during the month without stressing about all of the other drama. December is also my birthday month so I spent a lot of years not celebrating because it was just too much to add yet another task to the list. Now that I have a handle on the season I do plan a nice dinner with the family this year, which will be a lovely break from our normal routine.

*These are my Americans, get your own