Honeymoon; Bali Days 5-12

After our long flight over to Asia and our short stint in Hong Kong it was time to head to Bali, which wass the main part of our honeymoon. I’ve been wanting to go to Bali for a while now, one of the biggest draws being the elephants! It was a quick 4 hour flight from Hong Kong before we landed in Bali. We were to stay in 2 different hotels while we were in Bali, our splurge hotel, The Banyan Tree and our far more affordable hotel, The Mulia, which was definitely influenced by the World of Wanderlust Blog.

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Honeymoon; Hong Kong Days 1-4

I must say I planned on being a far better blogger on this trip, I was hoping to keep up with updates on our travels and I’ve been doing a pretty good job with photos in Instagram, but I don’t think I deserve a very good grade on the blogging front.

Champagne, Glow Juice & The Okanagan

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We’re married!

My goodness, these past few weeks have escaped me entirely! I cannot believe how quickly they have gone, we have been married for a week! The days leading up to the wedding were incredibly busy, I had lots to do at work, things to get off my desk and courses to attend. I also needed to pack for the wedding, the honeymoon and one of our closest friends weddings which is directly after our flight home! It took incredible organization and I must say I was exhausted. One of my besties/bridesmaids flew to Calgary and drove with me to Vernon (thank god) and we ended up not turning on music until hour 6 because we just ahd too much to catch up on. I must say having friends like these is incredible, I always feel loved and cared for and together we always are able to have a marvelous time and travel with our partners as a quad to amazing locations having the best times. I don’t know what I would do without friends like these. Once we arrived to Vernon, specifically Sparkling Hill we settled into our room and had a glass or six of wine… the fiance was to fly out the next morning so Aislin and I had time to enjoy ourselves. We went for dinner with my family, it was my grandpa’s birthday and enjoyed the wonderful company. We were even able to set up the reception hall early which would make the rest of the weekend far easier. [Read more…]

Pay off your student loans with Aeroplan Points

Now that I’ve been graduated for almost a year and started tackling my student loans, less aggressively than I probably should have, I’ve started to see some interesting ways to pay off you student loans. The most recent being with Aeroplan points. I’m a huge advocate of utilizing your credit cards so that you can basically travel for free – last year I paid around $500 for a round trip to Europe and this year our flights for our honeymoon Vancouver > Hong Kong > Bali will cost $441 ($220 each) for the both of us. I love to travel, and utilizing travel points has been really the only way I’ve been able to travel as much and as far as I do. I’ve tried a lot of programs, and it has taken me a while to find out the program I prefer most. Airmiles is a shit show to put it lightly, we had such a headache with them a few years ago and since them I’ve basically sworn off them, except for the odd gift card here and there. Aeroplan got the fiance and I to New York for cheap but after that I found that the taxes they wanted to charge were a bit ridiculous. I used AMEX Gold for a while but grew increasingly frustrated when I couldn’t use AMEX at a lot of the places I shopped frequently. The fiancé and I have settled on the TD First Class Infinite for a myriad of reasons. Many of those being that you get double the points for booking travel (fiance traveled for work for 5 months this past year) and three times the points for booking through Expedia. Our finances are combined, and we share a credit card which means we are able to rack up points faster than ever.

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There are more men named John, Robert, William or James on corporate boards than total women

This just yards at my heart strings. I’d like to believe we are moving in a direction towards gender equality but when I read articles like this I can honestly say I feel a little crushed. I’m a feminist, in a face paced work environment that is male dominated…. and I love it. Sure, I wish there were more women, some of the gals I work with are seriously my best friends, but I think it’s sad that there aren’t more women in executive positions. At my workplace, for example, there is one female partner, and she doesn’t have children. When I see instances like this I really do wonder if it’s possible to “have it all”. I’m getting married this year, I’m changing my name and one day I would like to have children… but I would also like to have a career that is fulfilling and one that drives me to wake up every morning and feel refreshed.

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Falling off the blogging bandwagon: I had no idea where we stood financially

Some of you may have noticed that since October I’ve been blogging pretty sporadically. Life has been busy, oh so crazy busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since October I’ve been travelling like crazy I think I’ve already been on 15 flights in 2015 which to me seems insane. I’ve successfully completed two modules of my designation, with the third one starting at the end of July. I’ve been wedding planning, or at least trying to, it’s more work than I thought and the most exhausting part is everyone giving me their opinion on items I’m not actually interested in. *sigh*. With less than two months to go it’s a lot of little things that need to get done, unfortunately these little things take time. All this plus the Her Success expansion, demanding hours at work and attempting to have a social life means there is little time left for anything else. I really miss writing and I’m hoping to do more of it. But, the truth is on top of all this extra stuff going on in my life the hardest part in these past 6 months has been not knowing where we stood financially. I know you are probably thinking how can a personal finance blogger not know where they stand financially, and to be honest with you it has been something that I’ve ben struggling with, and it’s something I really don’t like.

At the end of the day there really wasn’t much I could do. I track our money as much as the next person personal finance blogger but with the fiance travelling as much as he was and incurring the expenses as fast as he was it was so incredibly hard to keep track. This paired with the fact that we had to wait to get reimbursed for meant on more than one occasion he and I were the ones fronting the money in hopes that we would be reimbursed days later. The worst of it was around Christmas time when the processing centers were closed and we were waiting for $13,000 in expenses to be deposited into our account. I was in a panic trying to scrape together the cash without selling any of our investments. I felt like I could never put much money into savings because I would just have front money for the next expense cycle. We would owe money on our credit card that would be reimbursed in a billing cycle or two so I never felt like it was a liability taking a toll on our net worth but I also never felt like the money we were making was being used to grow our wealth. All in all a very frustrating experience. But now the dust has settled and the expenses have been reimbursed so I can see where we stand. It’s not as bad as I thought but it definitely isn’t as positive as it could have been. Calgary is expensive, going out is fun, and our wedding isn’t cheap. 2015 is expensive and I’m trying not to obsess over every penny but I’m definitely going to do a better job of tracking our wealth for the rest of the year.

So that’s it, there’s the story, I put blogging on the back burner because I was embarrassed by not being able to track our expenses and wealth like I normally do.