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No early possession date for the acreage.  January 30th it is.  That’s good.  Extra time to pack and organize the move.

We have a new mortgage with a new bank.  Went for a meet and greet last week, which really turned out to be a 45 minute sales pitch.  Will had warned me that it was going to be a sales pitch, but I thought it would be good to know someone at the bank, like a real live person, just in case we ever needed to talk to a human being.  We currently bank with PC Financial, which is all online.  Maybe knowing a person in a brick and mortar bank would be a good thing.  We also needed to get a bank draft from our other lender for the down payment on the new property, so we split up.  Will got the draft; I attended the sales pitch.

My head was spinning at the end of it – I’ve never been on the receiving end of such a hard sell before.  The meet and greet was all a ruse – she basically wanted my cell number and email address to add to the contact information.  Almost immediately, the selling started.  She started by pitching me a “cash back” chequing account.  This chequing account costs $14.95 a month (approximately $180 per year).  I currently have a no-fee, unlimited chequing account with PC Financial, so why would I switch to pay for something I’m already getting for free?  “Well,” she said, “most people earn up to $300 per year with this cash-back account, so really you’re getting the account for free plus an additional $120.” Sounds good – cash for something I’m doing anyway.  So we punched in my weekly spending on food, gas, and entertainment.  Turns out, we don’t spend enough.  We wouldn’t earn enough “cash back” to cover the cost of the account like most people-we’d have to pay $20 a year for the account.

“Okay, so no chequing account.  Well, how about mortgage protection?” she says.  (Protection?  Is my mortgage going to be having sex with other mortgages?)  “I don’t think we have mortgage protection . . . ” I reply, unsure of what the heck that means.  “Insurance.” she clarifies.  Oh, gotcha.  Yup, got that covered.  Doesn’t seem to matter.  She spends another twenty minutes explaining five different types of insurance I absolutely must have.  I take the pamphlets and promise to consider them all, hoping that’s the end.

“What about financial planning?  Here’s a printout that shows you how to save five thousand dollars in five years.”

At this point, I want to stop and tell her that if we didn’t know how to save five thousand dollars in five years, we wouldn’t currently own two properties.  To her credit, she capitulated on this one, acknowledging that with our limited income, we must certainly be very good at saving.  (It was also getting pretty insulting that she kept expressing her extreme disappointment that William was unable to be there, like I wasn’t capable of understanding the importance of the concept/products she was trying to sell me).

Just when I thought we were nearing the end, the pitch continued and kicked up into high gear.  We looked at five or six different credit cards, travel rewards, more cash back, movie rewards, multiple savings accounts, retirement planning (in case your pension won’t be enough – Ha!  Pension!  Good one).

As she left the room to collect a print out, I put my jacket on to leave, clearly signalling that it was time to wrap it up.  We are not wealthy people.  We do okay with what we have, but we aren’t wealthy.  Why is this very large, national bank pushing so hard to get our business?  She came back, saw me with my coat on, and attempted to close the deal; I told her I’d have to talk to my husband first before making any decisions.

Do people really buy this?  That having all this credit to earn points and spending more money to earn cash back will put you in a healthier financial position?  It seems like a whole lot of nonsense to me.  Or perhaps it’s just my desire to simplify that portion of my life.  I don’t want to be bothered with juggling three different credit cards, and two different chequing accounts, making payments here and transferring money there, just to earn a few measly travel rewards.  Considering the amount of interest a savings or chequing account actually earns, I’m starting to think my great Baba and Gido had the right idea when they stashed their cash in coffee tins, mattresses and under floor boards.  No one charged them $14.95 a month for an account.

Rant over.

In other news, we bought two bags of groceries, and it cost $100.  We don’t even buy meat.

I will never, ever tell Will ever again that he’s planting too many carrots.  Thank goodness for the carrots and beets.  We still have a couple of tubs of carrots and beets stored in the garage, and they’re doing fine.  Now that cauliflower is expected to near $8 a head, I’m thankful for the veggies we were able to grow and store for the winter.

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Carrots in January.  After ten years, we finally perfected the storage system.

We also still have five or six pumpkins and three spaghetti squash in the basement.  I used all the butternut squash to make soup this week.  I decided to NOT follow a recipe.  It’s soup – how hard can it be?  Well, it didn’t turn out very well.  I added too much cinnamon.  I’m going to amend it today with some more bone broth and puree.  I’m all out of butternut squash though.  I think I’ll have to add a pumpkin.

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Before roasting.

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After roasting.

I did make bone broth without a recipe, and it did turn out well.  (But really, how hard is it to make bone broth – bones, water, slow cook for 24 hours, done – really shouldn’t be congratulating myself on that accomplishment).

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Gelatinous.

It’s been terribly cold the past few days, with extreme windchills, but things are looking up for this week.  Stay warm!

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