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Saving Money

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It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas! Anyone else there yet? The calendar clicking over to December is always a trigger, but we also got a huge dump of snow this past weekend, so it’s even looking festive outside. Edmonton winters are not always my favourite, but I do love a white Christmas and come on, how pretty goes this look! Another thing that puts me in the spirit is Christmas baking. I may hate cooking, but I sure do love me some Christmas baking. There’s measuring and shit, it’s way more methodical than ‘whipping together something for dinner.’ I am not someone who can whip up a meal. I need directions. And measurements. I also love giving baking away as gifts. It’s economical, customizable, and the perfect small gesture to pass on to co-workers, friends, and neighbours. This year I’ve got my eye on the following recipes to…

Have you ever felt like you’re running in circles when it comes to your finances? Whether you are paying off debt or building up your savings, you often hit a point when you wonder what the heck it’s all for. At the beginning of your journey, you’re inspired. You want to kick that debt or grow your net worth and are willing to do just about anything to get there. Then…the dreaded middle. Motivation starts to wane and the temptation of spending kicks into high gear. How come your friends get to have fun, and you’re stuck at home ‘saving money.’ Screw responsibility, I want a $16 craft cocktail…or four! How do you get past that? I want to share a few tricks I’ve used to keep on plugging away even when the money struggle is real. Remember The Plan Something triggered you to get on this path, don’t forget…

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when it comes to money? It’s ok to admit it, we all do. There’s so much information out there on what you should do, how you should do it, what you should have done a decade ago, and exactly how much money you should have in the bank. But at the end of the day, none of that matters if you don’t know where to start. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just stop. Stop looking for all the answers, stop being afraid to take the first step, stop feeling like you need to know everything when you already know enough. Today I want to motivate you to do one good thing for your finances. Whether your knowledge is beginner, intermediate or advanced, I’ve got your back. Let’s figure out that one improvement you can tackle right now, and then maybe another 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…

Before we get started, can we just talk about how perfect this stock photo is. Nothing says no regrets more than a woman double fisting rose. Thanks Unsplash for coming through big time on this one!  Last week I shared with you five money mistakes I’ve made in the past, and am trying not to repeat. This week I’m continuing the trend. This round, I’m highlighting five things I continue to spend on that other people may consider faux-pas. One of the best parts of personal finance is the fact that it’s personal. At the end of the day, it’s entirely your choice how you manage your finances. Sure, us bloggers like to drill down on what we consider best practices, but you’re the one that has to live your life. In that spirit, I’m going to share a few things I do that some of you might think are…

Money regret is something we all deal with. We’ve all made money mistakes that look pretty foolish in hindsight but it’s all part of the personal finance experience. I’ve made my fair share of bad decisions and I wanted to talk about a few of them today. I think talking about our mistakes brings more openness (and less awkwardness) to the money conversation, and can be a learning experience for those starting out. The thing with money mistakes is they are personal. Everyone has different opinions on what’s important and worthy of their hard earned dollars. Some people might think spending hundreds of dollars on a pair of shoes is frivolous, while someone else might wear those shoes to death and get more than their money’s worth. Narrowing down those things that are important to you is a learning process though. And often you’ll only realize it was a bad call…

There’s a distinct chill in the mornings when I go to work now, and that means fall is just around the corner. I always like September. It feels like a reset month, even more than January. I find myself ditching the spur of the moment activities that the summer brings and settle into a more regular schedule. More than anything this means getting back on track with meal planning and eating at home. Not things I have much motivation to follow strictly during the summer. Meal planning is such a difference maker when it comes to saving money and sticking to a budget. Eating out is expensive; we all know that. But it’s easy and feels indulgent! Cooking at home doesn’t need to be so terrible though. There are tons of quick meal ideas out there that will have dinner on the table fast. My secret weapon for ensuring that…

This week I’m turning over the writing reins to a guest publisher. Angela from Zumper has an excellent post for you that is packed with fun projects you can tackle to update your home and make it a little more you. This topic is near and dear to me right now as we’re moving to a slightly bigger place and we’ll have plenty of wall space to fill up on the cheap!  PS. I also have a guest post over on Zumper on how to reduce pet expenses, so head over there and check that one out too.  When money is tight, it’s a good idea to ditch the designer stores and turn to some cheap home decor projects. These 8 DIY decorations will not only freshen up your space; they’ll save you cash at the same time! Here are some great ideas that you can dive into this weekend…

It’s no secret that we’re not saving money at the same rate we used to. In fact, in the 80s (not that long ago!), Canadians used to save twice as much as Americans. Today, however, household savings rates in our country have fallen to only 4.2% of disposable income, compared to 5.5% among U.S. households. Let’s be honest, neither of those numbers are great, but that’s a significant drop in the past few decades. Competition with our southern neighbours aside, this is cause for concern because a lack of savings can mean having to work longer and never be able to retire comfortably. You might not be aiming to retire at 35, but I’ll bet you don’t still want to be working at 70. If things continue as they are, we’d have to work for the rest of our lives! What’s the deal? Why have household savings rate been on…

You’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to contact your service providers every year or so and negotiate your rates. It’s good advice, but how many of us actually do it? I try to stay on top of it, but it’s a chore that I often procrastinate about. A couple of months ago the rates for my TV and internet jumped up because an existing promo rate expired. I know, I know…I should have called months ago. Bad personal finance blogger! I also still pay for TV so you might as well take away my PF card right now. The bf and I have talked about cutting cable, but it’s not right for us. We watch a lot of sports. And as of right now, there isn’t a good replacement option for that. Good streaming services are expensive, and the cheaper ones I’ve found have been poor quality. If…