|Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2012-08-11 11:03:21 | Lachine, Quebec, Canada|
Keywords: finances, money, preparation, recycling
|The Olympics are almost over and so is my settling down in my new apartment. July was very busy in terms of moving. Iím glad I was without a job... since I spent all my days on sorting, packing, moving, etc. My strategy was first to empty all closets to I could have everything on sight of what was left to do. I went through everything, section by section... placing them into 4 piles: keep/move, sell, donate, throw away.|
There was of course stuff I wanted to keep, either because Iíll need it for my trip or for my life until then. I realized there was lots of stuff in that category. I know I will have to scale it down... but I have about a year to do so.
For the rest of the items: if it had any value and could bring in some money it was put in the sale pile. There were lots of small kitchen appliances and computer stuff in that category. I also sold a few pictures... but I couldnít let go of my favorite ones... so I kept them for now. I held a moving sale in my old apartment to get rid of furniture. Although I had goal prices for each item, my priority was to get rid of as much items as I could. The sale started slow and I was a bit worried. But I got a few clients buying multiple items and got the income I had targeted, even if most items went away for cheaper than I would have wished.
The moving sale was a special experience for me. The shock wasnít so much to see my items go away, but to have so many people (although the official count was about 10) come in and browse through ďmyĒ things. Iím a private person and it was a difficult experience. But thatís also part of the preparation to get ready for my new life.
I also sold a few items through online classifieds. Overall, the sale of all my household items got me a bit over $1 200, slightly more than the original goal and I still have a few items to get rid of through classifieds. I also have at least 8 boxes of items (stamps, records, books, clothes) I want to sell through eBay.
For everything that was still in good condition but couldnít sell (or was too much trouble to sell to obtain less than $10) was put aside to be donated. Thereís a charity store near my new place. Unfortunately, they were closed for vacation when I emptied my old apartment so I had to move everything I could into my new place until they opened again a few days ago. Due to space limitations, I had to mix up donation items with the ones I wanted to keep. My locker is packed to the roof, my apartment is also full all over. Now that the store has reopened, I began doing daily trips to unload stuff. When itís all done, Iíll have donated stuff for a volume of about 50-60 cubic feet.
Then there was the trash pile, including the recycling. I had a huge pile of old computer junk (old desktop, computer parts, etc). I filled up my shopping cart to the rim (and more) and went to dump it at a special recycling spot for computer material to ensure safe recycling. Iíve also shred tons of confidential documents... filling up 7 large garbage bags of paper shreds. I also filled up at least 2 large bins of old magazines and papers... and one large bin of plastic/metal recycling. On morning, I even visited the neighboursí bins to fill them up since the ones in my building were full. Finally, I filled up over 30 garbage bags I put to the curb. I canít believe how much junk I had.
Financially, with the first payments from unemployment benefits, the profits of my moving sale, the sale of a few items through classifieds and eBay got me enough revenues to cover the expenses I had... including the purchase of my Macbook. Amongst the extra expenses was the outside eating... since I had to eat restaurant food almost all month couldnít be cooking in either apartment during the month and I wanted to sample the local cuisine in my new area. Overall, Iím about the same as last month. Stalling a bit on my savings progress, but that was expected.
Since I was fired, I contacted a government agency to complain about my unfair dismissal. I was fired without any form of warning (I had a perfect disciplinary record in over 8 years, never even a verbal notice) being blamed for an error that wasnít mine in a project I wasnít the prime. I met with the mediator of my case mid-July. Sheís currently on vacation and will return next week, I hope to get news by end the month. Iím of course asking for compensation for this unfair treatment. My chances are good and Iím curious to see what the response of the company will be. If it concludes the way Iím hoping for Iíll get extra cash for my new life.
I enjoyed watching the Olympics... watching athletes compete and seeing sports we donít usually see on TV. It was also nice to see images of London... helping me to relive my visit there last year. Although Iím living in an Olympic city and my country held the Olympics 3 times I was either too young or unavailable to experience them on site. Iíd like to be part of that experience. In 2016, Iíll be in Southern South America... so Iíll probably explore the possibility to become a volunteer for the Rio games. I already registered for the newsletter from the Rio organization. Once Iím down there, Iíll also offer my services to the Canadian Olympic Committee and see if I could help.
Health wise, Iím in very good health even if nutrition was a bit messy in the last month due to the move and all the outside eating. Iím reducing the medication Iím taking... getting closer to my goal of being almost medication free. Iím done with my anti-depressant I got on a few years ago after my blood pressure issue. Iíll soon be off the cholesterol medication Iím taking to increase my good one. Iíll have a full-range blood test in a few weeks then will meet with my nephrologist and my family doctor to ensure everything is good. After that, I should have only one prescription medication left... the one for the acidity of my stomach.
As announced last month, I did get a Macbook. I bought a used one found through classifieds. That allowed me to have a more powerful computer for the price. I paid $1 150 for a computer that would have cost close to $3 000 if I had bought it new. For the techies out there, here are the specs of my Macbook: Built in mid 2010, 15Ē with Hi-Res display, 2.66 GHz Intel CPU, 4 GB of RAM, 250 GB of SSD hard drive, optical drive. I like the SSD idea to reduce risks of breaks during travelling and for faster processing of course. The space is a bit limited (for my needs with my songs library and photos) so I will install a second hard drive (a regular one, probably 750 GB) instead of the optical drive. I will see if Iíll carry the optical drive as peripheral or if Iíll sell it.
I didnít use the Mac a lot yet... but I did get to use it a bit and get comfy. I hadnít used a Mac since university (for an assembly programming class), more than 15 years ago, and I wasnít sure what to expect. As a user, I like it, even if I still need to get used to some differences with Windows. My biggest confusion at the moment is the inverted scrolling. When you scroll the mouse on Windows, itís the window that goes down the length of the document... on Mac, itís the document that scrolls down... moving in opposite direction. As a programmer, I began learning about iOS programming... built a small app and deployed it to my iPod touch. I still have lots to learn then I will build my favorite app (more to come).
Now that the Olympics are over, I will begin working on my Web sites and applications programming. The first priority is to develop the blog site (this site). My plan is to work a few hours a day on Web sites and a few hours a day on mobile apps.
Itinerary and finances
First year of savings
Spent more, produced less
Becoming more productive towards my goal
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