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Opinion Pieces

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This past weekend I did something I’ve never done before. I hopped on a plane to Denver for the specific purpose of meeting a whole bunch of internet friends in real life. To some of you that might sound weird, crazy even, but for me, it was a way to build a stronger connection with a community I’ve grown to love. The excuse for making the trip? The very first Cents Positive retreat. An event with the purpose of bringing together women who are on a path towards financial independence. Before I go any further, I want to send a gigantic thank you to Tanja for organizing and hosting us all. It was clear the effort that went into the retreat, and I’m incredibly appreciative of it all! What I’m Taking Away The retreat was exactly that. Not a conference, but a place to have an open discussion about what…

Do you ever have those days, weeks, months when you just can’t seem to get ahead? That’s me right now. October has been a bit of a doozy. Moving has thrown me for a loop, and I’m struggling to keep up with everything I wanted to get accomplished this month. It’s also been a busy month with a few Oilers games, concerts, house projects, and an upcoming trip to Denver. It’s a lot of fun stuff, but when the calendar is that full (even with fun stuff), it can all feel a little overwhelming. The problem with too much of the good stuff is the less good stuff gets pushed to the sidelines. Why worry about a blog post when I’ve got a new house to paint? Or why answer emails when I could go see a show? Stress levels, that’s why. Even though I consider blogging more of a…

Are you a middle-income earner?  Do you consider yourself middle class?  What the heck even classifies as middle class anymore?  As humans, we tend to define ourselves and create niches where we feel we belong. And how much money we earn is absolutely one of the factors we look to when trying to figure out where we fit in. The problem? The definitions of lower, middle and upper class vary…a lot. It depends on where you live, who your parents are, and the work you do. How do I define middle-income? The median household income in Canada was $70,336 in 2015. Median means middle so $70k is the qualifying standard for being middle class, right? Not so fast. Instead of income, let’s think of what characteristics we think of when we describe a middle-class lifestyle. For me, that would include a decent home in a decent neighbourhood, at least one…

I climbed on a bike just over two years ago for the first time since I was a kid. And you know what? It’s just like riding a bike 😉 Bad joke. But really, biking is super fun. I bought a cheap bike on sale at Canadian Tire and the bf, and I (he had an old bike) went on lots of leisurely bike rides. That was it though. We didn’t use our bikes as a form of transportation. They were strictly for fun. Why? Well, we live close to downtown, and my confidence level was basically zero when it came to biking in traffic. Bike Lanes Make a Difference The following year Edmonton made a big effort to improve the biking infrastructure in the city. Separated bike lanes were installed around much of downtown, and our neighbourhood was now connected. We could make it almost from our front door…

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me post lately about how my poor pup is going through some health issues right now. It sucks. Watching them suffer is by far the worst part of being a pet parent. It’s also one of the biggest challenges as a pet owner because medical issues are expensive. Everyday pet expenses can add up, but they’re consistent and easier to plan for. Medical problems can pop up out of nowhere and throw your budget for a loop. I’m all for being a responsible and educated pet owner, so I wanted to share what’s going on both healthwise and moneywise with Baxter. Baxter’s Diagnosis Getting to the bottom of Baxter’s issues has been a challenge. About a month ago he started having accidents in the house which is not at all normal for him. Initially, he was put on antibiotics…

As you read this, I will be exploring all that Yellowstone National Park has to offer. The bf and I headed out on a road trip this past weekend and headed South into the states to check out a few points in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho for the first time. If you’d like to follow along on the adventure, then hit up my Instagram where I’ll be sharing a few pictures and stories. While I’m away, I wanted to point you in the direction of a few of my favourite personal finance bloggers so you can still get your PF fix while I’m gone. This is become an annual tradition now (two years counts as tradition right?), so if you want even more, you can check out last years round-up. The Luxe Strategist Any personal finance blogger list I write has to start with Luxe; she is killing this blogging…

There’s no quick win when it comes to getting rich. And don’t even come at me with that ‘but you could win the lottery’ BS! It takes time to pay off debt, create good budgeting habits, and build your investment portfolio. That’s just life, but it doesn’t exactly encourage good behaviour. Spending money gives you instant gratification. You see people around you doing things you want to be doing (hello imposter syndrome!), and it’s hard to feel like you’re missing out. Saving money doesn’t give you that same instant boost. Sure, it will be great when you’re retired, but that’s SO FAR AWAY. The hardest part of your journey towards financial independence will always be the beginning. You’re motivated and ready to jump in with both feet, but you probably don’t have the high income or the pre-existing investment base to fuel instant returns. It’s slow, and that motivation can…

Frugal living is a trendy topic, especially if you linger around the personal finance community for any length of time. It’s promoted, judged, and debated on almost a daily basis. In the Rockstar Finance Directory alone there are almost 100 personal finance bloggers who categorize themselves primarily as ‘frugality’ bloggers. This list includes blogs like Frugalwoods, How to Save Money and Keep Thrifty. That list does not include me. As many of you who follow the blog will know, I’m a spender. I like doing things, buying things, eating things, and drinking things. And that’s ok. There’s this misconception that being good with money and living frugally go hand in hand. They can, but they don’t have to. It depends on what your goals are. What Does Frugal Mean? You could ask one hundred people to define frugal, and you’d likely get one hundred different definitions. If you ask Google,…

Last month I celebrated my 32nd birthday. I’m not a big birthday person. My usual celebration is dinner at an upscale restaurant with the boyfriend and my folks and then a girls night with a few glasses of bubbly. Birthdays do get me thinking about where I’m at and if I’m happy. Reflecting on the good and the bad from the past year helps make sure I’m on the right track with my finances, my career and my personal life and set goals for the upcoming year. And because I’m a blogger, I figured hey, why not write a list of goals for your 30s for myself and you guys. All of these are things I’m working on, so join me and let’s nail this whole 30s thing. 1. Pay Off Debt It’s time; debt was so last decade. Whether you have high-interest consumer debt or are plugging away at your…

Today is International Women’s Day, and to celebrate I’m joining the #WomenRockMoney movement. The mission? Get more women involved in money and work towards equality. My contribution? I want to let all you ladies off the hook and motivate you to close the investing gap. For more inspiring posts head over to the WomenRockMoney headquarters, and get involved by sharing your money wins using the #WomenRockMoney hashtag. There’s this mentality that women need to be kind, nurturing, and accommodating, while also running the world from the backseat. This piles on the pressure and makes us feel like we need to do it all. But guess what? You don’t! There is nothing wrong with being a master at some things, mediocre at others, and even downright bad at something else. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses (that makes you human), and there is no shame in asking for help. Offloading the tasks you…