Monthly Money Monday

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Welcome to Monthly Money Mondays, were once a month I talk about our journey out of debt and the expenses of our daily lives. If would you like to join in please do, I am looking at making this a collaboration and monthly link up! Connect with me here.

Christmas Finances

Mailing Presents... is expensive Not thinking far enough in advance to have them ordered online and shipped... sucks This means... the only thing I am doing this year is Christmas Cards. (and Skype dates) Mailing 20 Christmas cards = $44.92

Plan

Next year's planning starts January, shopping starts October!

Car Lease

If you saw this post you know were purchased a car! Technically we leased it. Buying wasn't optional, due to three-year visa. Leasing was actually what I wanted for the following reasons,

  1. By the time the lease is up, we should have a better hold of what things will look like - financial and stability wise.
  2. It was cheaper and easier to get approval having no credit within the USA (I find it silly that a dealership in Canada and the States can't exchange credit information, if the customer signs off on it).
  3. We don't have to pay for oil changes, tires, or repairs to the car, just our insurance.
  4. If we aren't staying in Wisconsin when the lease comes up, we can give the car up and move without having to travel with the car or sell it.

Canadian Debt

Our plan is to send money monthly for our Canadian debt. With the  car we were unable to send the money. December was a good month for this to happen. Some pending things in Canada were resolved and resulted in cheques being deposited into our account totally the amount we needed! I absolutely loving seeing this progress bar going up, even if it's only a percent at a time.

Banks

I am struggling with our banking situation.

Issues with the American Bank

  1. Bill payments are not automatic, but sit as pending in your account and you can over spend causing the payment to bounce.
  2. Transactions that should take less than 24 hours take 48 or longer.
  3. Doesn't have Canadian Account Options.
  4. Has a messed up way of building credit. Options consist of a. prepaid credit card b. 2 year credit loan (give the bank $42/mth for them to put in a non interest savings account for two years and then used that amount to give us a credit card)
  5. Any transaction shows has pending for 4 business days before clearing.

To get money to Canada

I deal with 3 banks, 4 accounts. Bank 1, is the one I am having the above issues with. I have to POP money to our other bank, then to our Canadian Account and then to our Loan Account. It's frustrating and takes forever to get this completed (two weeks)

The Plan

We have an appointment with another bank, that will hopefully fix all the issues mentioned as well as bring has for 3 banks to 2 and only two accounts! Fingers crossed!

Bills/Finances

Another reason we are looking to switch banks, is because the one we are with changed the bill I wanted to pay to a different one. I have screen shoots to prove I selected the right one and confirmed it, but my money still went to a different company. Thankfully it was still a bill needing to be paid. But it only needed $42 not $115. This caused huge issues for budgeting the rest of the month. It meant that certain things I wanted to do, could not be done :(

The next thing that threw me off was the Chiropractor. We got a car and as such it is time to finish our treatment from the car accident. Not sure what I was thinking, but my body is so messed up going once a month is not an option. But that's all I budgeted for. Interestingly enough she'll let me pay for the appointments next month (American's and money are weird... but that's another post). I don't like doing it but I need the treatment.

Questions

How do you deal with Christmas Finances? Do you have a special way of doing Present Exchanges with your family? Thoughts on this post? I'd love to hear from you!