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January 30, 2015


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Looks like you might need to buy a ladder too! That's quite a drop. We don't bring a wad of US cash with us and survive of credit cards. It's proving to be the wrong method this year, and our entertainment budget might be chopped a bit.

The sinking Cdn $ certainly makes Snowbirding a bit more costly and it looks like it may be with us for a while. We put most of our US $ away last spring so it will be next year that we truly will feel it. Low fuel prices help (we use Diesel so not as cheap as gas) and offsets the pain I feel when I look at my investments.
This is our first year so we are still learning what we like and don't.

R&S - At this point in the winter most of our USA cash is gone, so we're starting to put more and more on our Canuck credit card. When I see what the charge is in CAD $$$ I get a bit nauseous. Were you and your bride snowbirding when the loonie was at 65 cents? What did you do?

BruceW - I feel your pain regarding the investments. We own a ton of oil&gas names and the portfolio is down a LOT. We own good companies and haven't sold any shares, knowing they'll eventually recover... but yikes!
Good lesson in diversification. I hope I've learned it this time :)
Outside of the dumping loonie, are you enjoying your first snowbirding adventure?

Our expensive holiday was in Maui. We'd booked it months earlier, but paid just before we travelled which was unfortunate. We're in the same position this year as we're heading to France in Sept and have put down a deposit only. The Cruise we've booked has to be paid in US$. We have poor timing...

Regarding Credit Cards, we picked up a Sears Canada Mastercard. It's run by JP Morgan Chase and our transaction fees are substantially less than when we used our Scotia Visa. We only use it in the US or at Sears and it works great for us.

We are having a great time. So much to do and see. Next year plan to head west from Mb to BC (have a son in Lethbridge) and then down the coast to Calif. May do shorter stays at each location. Been at Gold Canyon, Az for 2 months and getting hitch itch.
Rod & Sylvia. Is the Sears MC in US$.
Note to people using their Cdn $ Cr Cards. The banks take an extra 1-2% fee to convert US purchases to Cdn. We got a US $ Visa from a Cdn Bank and a US $ bank acct at the same bank. Load the bank acct up before we leave, take some cash, and use the US Visa for most purchases and make payments from the US Bank acct. Saves a bit on bank surcharges.

It's in Cdn$ but has no transaction fees, just exchange rates. Even if we get a cash advance it's cheaper than Scotia.

Also Bruce. Which park are you at in Gold Canyon. We're at Canyon Vistas.

Ugg, I haven't sold any stocks yet but unfortunately the dividend cuts have affected a few quite drastically. At least they are still paying though!

My US trips have pretty much come to a standstill for now because of the exchange.

I think we are going to see the dollar get even lower. However we will still travel to Mexico, overall the cost of living is much cheaper and with a 14 mile beach end to end we can keep entertained. When we bought this RV back in 2001 and imported it into Canada from the US, the exchange rate was 1.48. We still saved $80,000.00 doing it that way and at that rate rather than buying it in BC.

Rosholt - the dividend cuts hit us too. But I take full responsibility for that; we should have been more diversified. One day I'll learn that lesson! Hopefully :)
In the meantime, energy will rebound. Not if, but when.
Are you already a snowbird, or are you still building your div portfolio?

quepasa C - Fully agree about the loonie falling further. 70¢ doesn't seem that far off.
My Fella and I are still discussing things, but it looks like this winter (2015/16) we'll be traveling to Mex for 3 or 4 months. Probably San Carlos.
Not only is it cheaper than the USA, but we don't spend money 'shopping' when we're in Mexico. It's so easy to spend cash in the states since there are so many places to shop: outlet malls, ROSS, Burlington, Marshalls, etc. etc. etc.

Still building divys but living vicariously through all of you. It's so awesome to read your blog and the others you link to. Thanks.

Rod Williams, yes we are att Gold Canyon RV Resort, next door to you. I also follow your blog

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