Updated Koodo Plan

Made some changes to my cellphone plan with Koodo. I went from a $57 plan with 2 GB and unlimited text and call to a $60 plan with 4 GB with unlimited text but limited minutes (1000). The minutes aren’t a big deal, because I am nowhere even close to using 16 hours of talk time a month!

It’s the data that I have to fret about, because sometimes I need to use a website at work and end up tethering. Earlier this week, I actually ended up tethering and downloading 400 MB of video because I was trying to work on an assignment. That pitched me over the 2 GB mark easily, before month end, so I’ll be paying another $5 extra.

As it’s happened a couple of times in the past year, paying $3 more a month to ensure that doesn’t happen seems like a much better approach!

Siggghhh, thank goodness my online course will be over soon.

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Things I Don’t Like to Think About: Auto Expenses

Soooo I know I have a bad habit of ignoring some aspects of my finances that I don’t want to address. And I need to get back into addressing them and thinking about them.

Sighhhh.

Just things that have to be done.

For one, I love my car. I love driving and I love being able to drive. Having lived in South Korea* and also a fly-in remote community**, I know now that being able to move around is just part of my identity. I like to be mobile and have the option to be mobile. I decided that I was going to be a car owner a few years ago and am happy that I have been leasing my 2009 Honda CRV.

Now cars cost money. And we don’t like to think about paying a lot of money, so I tend not to look at my receipt when I get it after the servicing. But I don’t want to be silly about my finances, so the best way to address it is to write about (after I’ve stashed the receipts somewhere for a couple of months where they gathered dust). Some recent expenses on the car:

  • April 2015: $1758 – Replaced my water pump ($580), rear brakes ($460) and pads ($95), brake fluid servicing ($128) and labour ($918)
  • June 2015: $145 – Storing my winter tires at Honda Val D’Or

Yeah, I was pretty pissed about how much I paid in April. But I don’t intend on putting myself in danger or starting a trend of braking like Fred Flintstone; pretty much wore down the pads on the brakes so much that everyone in my mom’s neighbourhood could hear when I was coming home (it was pretty atrocious). And I’m not a mechanic and these were non-negotiables. Sooo, it had to be done.

I’m whining a bit, but I’m thankful I can afford a car. I’m thankful that I can pay for these expenses and not have to worry about each paycheck.

So life is good and that is that.

I love my car.

*I felt like a happy dog going for a car ride on the rare occasion we knew someone with a car. Even taxis felt like a treat!

**I have so many bad stories and experiences in this community I now have a better understanding of how mental health issues develop in remote regions.

An Unexpected Expense

My Moto G cellphone started acting funny a few weeks ago; when I make a call, the screen goes completely blank and even tapping the area where you’d expect each key to be, it is not functional. Therefore, I can no longer access my voicemail.

I called Koodo this morning; my phone, still less than a year old, is still under warranty but I’d have to bring it into a shop myself … not really a choice considering I’m so isolated. I could have also held off until Goose Break, two months from now, but by the time I’d get back to Toronto, the 1-year warranty would have been over … by a mere week. And since I had applied for a job recently, I am a bit concerned if I miss an important call.

The customer service rep gave me a decent offer though; she said that they could wipe my existing Koodo Tab of $55 if I purchased a new phone. I didn’t have much of a choice; and while I have held myself to a shopping ban, I can’t function without a working phone. I ordered a Samsung Galaxy SIII ($150). When it arrives, I’ll mail the other one back down to get it fixed.

More Backbends and Handstand Training

Cellphone plan: I downgraded my current 1 GB plan ($60) to the 500 MB ($45). Since I don’t need data very often – Internet at school is faster than it is at home – I thought I’d save some money.

Handstand practice: Did some tick-tocks (video) for the first time, as well as shoulder taps. The tick-tocks were scary at first, but after a little while, I got used to them. Shoulder taps also took a little while to get used to; when I initially started, I noticed that I balanced very well on my left hand but would fall over when I had to balance on my right. I had to consciously make an effort to be more balanced on each side and was fine after that.

Yoga toys: Oh, I would love a Liforme yoga mat. I did the calculations, converting it from US dollars, but even after a 10% discount, a single mat would cost about $190 CAD including shipping. My eyes just went wide when I saw the order and clicked ‘canceled’. Instead, I decided to treat myself to a Dharma Wheel instead. Still pretty pricey at $136 CAD for a PVC ring … *blush*. It’s a little birthday present to myself so that I can continue working on my backbends in a safe manner.

Wheel pose: This is a tough pose; it requires your entire body to be working together. I have been practicing this the past week. It is getting much better, although I should be careful about crunching my lower back. Having my forearms in a yoga strap helped guide my arms to better support my body; I believe my arms were previously in bad form, making the pose itself much more difficult. I also started trying to balance on one leg, no easy feat!

Here’s the best wheel the whole week, with a slight leg variation:

Big Fat Surprise

I’m a bit miffed at myself.

Earlier this week, I joined a conference call with the charity I worked for last year. They were hosting a focus group with alumni to see how they could build better teams when traveling in the north.

I neglected to use a calling card for the call and dialed American number for the e-conference room. Then this morning, saw that I was charged $65.70 for it.

Ouch.

Ughhhh, totally my fault. I’ll have to pay this one.

Phone Bills

I’m a moron.

I woke up in Poipu, Hawaii yesterday morning, to find a phone bill of $123.75, rather than my usual $25 a month.

After going through the bill, I realized that I’d been carelessly calling before 7 p.m., eating up my 100 minutes and building up a big, fat bill.

Paid it off this morning. Sigh.

#firstworldproblems