‘Stupid Tax’

Remember those property taxes I’ve talked about before? … those were due in March and then again in August, oh and they’re due again in November!

Did I get that right?

Reminder notice

I received a reminder notice in the mail (with my address crossed out) that my property taxes were overdue and now accruing interest (18%, of course) Yikes! I used to pay my property taxes with the mortgage, after about a year and a half of that I realized that I would be better off saving the money myself and getting interest on it, then paying the taxes as they come due. I think that somewhere between me and the bank wires got crossed and I came to the assumption that the tax was paid yearly. Oh how wrong was I!

My property taxes are paid in three yearly instalments. Since I stopped the bank in February I have missed two payments. I am not a person to pay my bills late so how could this be?

Well… the taxation office was addressing the letters to my name @ rural region @ city. If you have half a brain you realize that the mail is never going to get anywhere because the postoffice will have no idea where in this rural region I actually live… like… what road and what number. Since the taxation office does know what property they are taxing me for this is a REALLY stupid mistake on their behalf. It is also really stupid of me to not look into this and get a concrete due date after switching from paying it through the bank!

I must now send off $435.94 in property taxes that I don’t have (yet).  Now it would be really awesome if my emergency fund was fully funded, but alas it only contains $405.00… close enough, I can come up with the other $50 bucks but it’s still sour that I’m now going into winter with a depleted emergency fund.

But hey…. at least the bills are paid.


I hope I am not the only person who’s done stupid stuff like this… do you ever read Dave Ramsey’s page where people post stories of their ‘stupid tax’? This is a pretty classic example of stupid tax, literally and figuratively! Tell me yours!

Oops! No new stuff this week

Hey everyone,

Just a quick post to let you all know that there will be no new post to my blog this Monday (Sept 27th) as I drove to the hospital last Thursday and was thrown into the operating room to have an appendectomy! I asked the anaesthesiologist (from Michigan) about the American vs. the Canadian health system. He had some interesting opinions and I learned a few things! I am very happy that my finances come away from this surgery relatively unscathed, something I might not be able to say if I lived elsewhere. Thankfully all is well, I was walking around the morning after and I’m recovering lightning speed but as you may understand writing some new stuff is not my number 1 priority this weekend!

Hope to see you next week! 🙂

I asked the anaesthesiologist (from Michigan) about the American vs. the Canadian health system. He had some interesting opinions and I learned a few things!

Emergency and general preparedness – 7 ways I prepare

I wanted to write about emergency preparedness because it’s an important topic, if left in an emergency situation could you survive? Could you take care of your family for days without outside help?

As hurricane Earl is tracking its way along the East Coast I’m preparing my house and property and bracing for the high winds and rain. I’m not generally a person that is left completely unprepared in emergency situations because I’m a planner and a worrier, nonetheless I did make some extra preparations for this storm.

I cleaned up outside and secured anything that could be blown away, planters were put in the shed and the garbage bins were put out of the wind behind the shed so there’s no nasty blown around garbage to clean up tomorrow! I also made sure that the hose for my sump pump was unrolled and extended from the house… and last but not least I asked my father to cut down a dead tree that was very close to the house… just in case!

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I’m writing this (Saturday) as the winds are wreaking havoc on the trees outside and the rain is pouring down. I’m very happy that I did insist on the tree being cut down because another very large chestnut tree next to my property just lost 1/5th of its size as a large chunk of it just broke off. It’s a tree that I estimate is about a hundred years old so you can imagine the size. My insurance would cover the damage (wind) but it’s something I’d rather avoid! (Because it’s only September the trees still carry their leaves which makes them even more susceptible to wind damage.)

BUT, back to emergency preparedness. It is generally suggested to have an emergency kit ready to go to cover the span of about 72 hours while you wait for help, [Outdated link removed] is a site that has some great information on how and what to prepare so you are ready for an emergency situation. Are you prepared? is the Canadian version and has great tips on how to put together an emergency kit and be prepared.

Personally I don’t just get ready when bad weather is predicted, I am always ready. While some people find this a bit depressing and may call it a doom-and-gloom mentality. It gives me a sense of peace knowing that if something happens, I will be ready, this is how;

1. I carry an emergency kit with me in my car. It contains; a flare, a flashlight, supplies to fix a broken down tire, a blanket, glow sticks, jumper cables, extra batteries, band-aids, scissors and some other small items. I never drive on an empty tank of gas and my cellphone also functions as a radio. These small things help me feel safe when weather gets bad and may help me if I get stuck somewhere.

2. I rotate canned goods through my pantry. I buy things in bulk when they are on sale to save money, label them with dates and restock as necessary. I always ensure I have enough variety canned food to survive for a few days. Generally I have enough for weeks-months.I don’t use electric kitchen gadgets so manual can openers are standard in my kitchen.

3. I have a wood stove and several days of wood stocked in the sun room. I also have flashlights planted throughout the house as well as candles, several lighters and boxes of matches. (You may want to reconsider locations for these if you have kids) I have a flashlight in the kitchen, the basement, the sun room and two in the bedroom. They come in very handy when the power goes out unexpectedly!

4. For general safety I have a fire extinguisher at the bottom of the stairs in the living room and a kitchen extinguisher on the wall next tot the fridge. I have a carbon monoxide alarm in the living room and four other other smoke detectors spread through the house (stairs, sun room, living room, basement)

5. I have a first aid kit in the bathroom that can be easily grabbed if needed. Rubbing alcohol, tweezers, several sizes of band-aids, scissors and bandaging can come in very handy.

6. I carry appropriate home, car and life insurance to cover things that I can’t. I am also aware of the limits of what the policies will and will not cover. While it is almost impossible to remember every clause in your policy, you should be aware of some of the limits of your policy. Does your policy cover sewer back up? If not, can you add it? What about a tree falling into your house, is that covered?

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7. The emergency kit itself. (While I do not have this put together in one bag yet I do have all the supplies.) I intend to put these items into a bag that is easy to carry – perhaps an old kitbag and to put this upstairs in the closet immediately next to the stairs or in a cupboard by our front door so it can be easily grabbed if we have to go. I’m planning to use Are you prepared? as a reference guide to putting my kit together. This pdf list will be of great help while I do this. For those people that don’t want to gather all this stuff  themselves, Red Cross has a great solution;  you can buy a kit already put together online here. [dead link removed]

Those are seven ways that I prepare myself and my house for emergency situations, this is especially important to me in the winter. We don’t get really bad weather in general but there are those few storms where roads are bad and I may not be able to leave the house for a day or two. It feels good to be ready and certainly adds to my peace of mind! This also ties in financially for me. Being prepared means that I don’t suffer foreseeable damages (- don’t park your car under a hanging tree when a hurricane is forecast) and having my emergency fund ready is certainly helpful in these situations – I don’t want to be left standing with empty hands.

How do you prepare for emergencies? Is it something that’s on your mind or are you completely unprepared? I’d love to hear your comments below!