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Saving Money

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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…

There is hardly a moment in the day when my phone isn’t within a few feet of me, and that’s hardly mind-blowing. I’m sure 90% of you are the same. Our phones have become the way we stay connected, keep our schedule, get our news, play games, track fitness milestones, pay bills and so much more. Today I want to put that little device to use for the good of your finances with a round-up of the best money apps for Canadians. Sometimes us Canadians get the short straw when it comes to tech and online services. We’ve all found something amazing online only to be disappointed with outrageous shipping fees or tried to download a service that isn’t available in Canada. That can happen with money apps too, but all is not lost. There are plenty of finance apps that we can use, and that will help us save money…

Did I just say Christmas? Yes, yes I did. You’re probably saying ‘TOO SOON SARAH’, and I get it, trust me. Summer has hardly even started, and I already want you to start thinking ahead to winter…gross! But that doesn’t mean I’m not right. Christmas can be hella expensive, but planning ahead can save you time, money and stress. So yes, we’re talking Christmas planning today folks. I have been the person frantically running around the mall the week (the day) before Christmas attempting to grab some not terrible gifts. Usually, this happens because I was unprepared and didn’t have the money to spend. I love Christmas, like love it, but this is not the way to set yourself up for an enjoyable holiday season. FRANTIC LAST MINUTE SHOPPING + CREDIT CARDS = JANUARY BLUES The last couple of years I have been way better about getting a jump on Christmas…

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…