Well it has been just over a week in our new home on Vancouver Island. It was both exciting and a little sad as we said our goodbyes to friends and family in Saskatchewan as we left Estevan for the west coast. We had been in Saskatchewan for almost 12 years and definitely had rooted ourself well into the community, the tug to free them stung a bit and hope the hole we left behind fills in beautifully and peacefully for those still there.
Our travel to the Island was thankfully uneventful but we did cross some snowy icy sections in the Rockies. The ride across the Ferry was beautiful and we said goodbye to the mainland rolling off 2 hours later onto the Island we now call home. We made our way to Cheemainus to show my wife and kids the place they would call home. My wife is amazing and allowed me to search the town earlier without here and purchase our new home without here ever seeing it. Luckily they fell in love with it immediately just like I did.
Now that we have settled in somewhat is where my new personal journey has kicked in, trying to be a minimalist and maintain some sort of frugal life style. First thing I noticed when the moving truck showed up was the sheer volume of stuff we had collected over the 12 years in Estevan. We sold so much stuff coming up to our move, garage sales, donations, facebook, and family…..barely a dent in it! I intentionally chose a smaller home so we would accumulate less furniture and belongings here, it showed as we had nowhere to hide the extra boxes and storage totes. We still have boxes left sitting around with no home for the items. I have donated 10 boxes of stuff to the thrift store which happens to be 2 blocks away luckily as there will be more to come.
We have had to purchase a few items once we arrived that I sold back home, we found new beds and a great couch, all at amazing discounts which made me very happy as the spending spree was a stark contrast to the frugal ways I have been striving. The upside to the move financially was that we sold our old home for a nice gain and bought in a smaller older home in a slower market. Those points allowed us to net a nice financial cushion that I plan on investing into index funds for our year end RRSP contributions. The property tax here is a bit more but includes all city services (water,sewer, garbage,recycling) , there also appears to be a provincial homeowner tax rebate I get to apply for. This after doing the comparison should be much lower of a monthly cost and the power bill information I have shows signs of saving there also.
The move is complete, we are settling in, the moving costs paid out, initial home spending done and the last hurdle will be seeing what our vehicle insurance and registration looks like. I am now ready to focus on slowly creating habits in myself and the family to be mindful of collecting stuff in the house, wasting money without consideration and to save as much as possible. I have a few large cost hobbies that we will decide on over the next few months on how they affect our monthly expenses and possible look towards low or zero cost activities instead (the island is a huge playground in nature).
Have a Merry Christmas everyone and look to making positive changes for yourself in 2014