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Spending Money

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People have a bad habit of losing control of their money and letting it run their lives. I used to be bad for this. My money didn’t have a job. I would work, my pay cheque would get deposited into my bank account, then I’d freely spend until I ran out of money and did it all over again. I didn’t put any thought into what I was spending on and savings? That was for old people! I had all the time in the world to worry about grown-up stuff like buying a house and saving for retirement. Luckily I had parents in my life who asked me some tough questions and guided me into thinking about money a different way. Instead of letting it tell me when I could and couldn’t do things, I was able to take control and give each dollar a job. Need some help putting…

Ok ladies and gents…we’re talking about periods and the tampon tax today. I feel like I need to put a disclaimer on that so if my Dad ever stumbles across my blog, he can stop reading. I consider myself a feminist, but there are specific details about my leak week that I’d rather not share with certain people. Clearly that’s not internet strangers! If you don’t like where this is going then feel free to bow out (but also realize that you might be part of the problem, just saying.) Recently there have been reports about the outlandishly high cost of feminine hygiene products in some of Canada’s largest airports (Calgary and Vancouver). It’s ridiculous to charge $15 for a box of pads or tampons, and the stories have stirred up the debate about women having to pay for their periods. Apparently, only bread gets its own price-fixing scandal. In…

I’m all for saving money, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find me winning any awards for frugality. What’s more important to me than saving a few bucks is keeping myself sane and happy. For me, that means my focus is more on efficiency. I attempt to balance both money saving and time-saving goals to do the best I can. It’s that balance between simple or cheap that is the most important. Sure, I could order take-out every night, hire someone to walk my dogs and clean my house, but if I did that, I’d end up broke and unhappy. Instead, I find ways to cut corners that will still allow me to hit my financial goals. Efficiency over laziness for the win! Time is Finite There are only 24 hours in a day, and at least 7 of those are spent sleeping. At least for me, I am a grumpy…

You know that feeling when you open your mailbox and just know it’s full of bills? Bills that fill you with a sense of dread. Maybe that’s a dated example. How about when you open your inbox on the first of the month to a long list of companies wanting your hard earned cash. It sucks right? Bills are the worst! It doesn’t have to feel that way though. It is possible to stop hating bills and make sure you’re appreciating the things you spend money on. Why do we think like that though? Sure, you might make a few foolish purchases here and there, but not always. Likely not even that often. I bet the majority of things you buy make you happy. If the dread you feel when opening your credit card receipt is outweighing the good, you feel when swiping, you’re doing it wrong. It’s fixable though.…

To buy or not to buy…that is the question of the season. Every time the holidays roll around there is this debate about how much you should spend. There are the naysayers that don’t buy gifts and choose to celebrate in other ways. Then there are those who spend like crazy people and end up battling debt well into the New Year. And, of course, you have those of us who land smack dab in the middle, spending within their budgets, but spending nonetheless. Today I’m talking about how I find value in presents and also passing on a few of my favourite ideas in my Christmas gift guide. The Stats The average Canadian spends over $1,500 each on Christmas 45% of that spending goes towards travel expenses 58% of consumers plan to shop local, but price is still the driving factor in choosing gifts 62% of Canadians still plan…

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have now come and gone, and now that we’ve got that crazy out of our systems we can start to focus on the holiday good stuff. First, though, I want to take one second to humblebrag about how my Christmas shopping is officially done. Anyone else fully embrace Black Friday and Cyber Monday to finish off their Christmas shopping? Some may call that a personal finance fail, but those people are not me. If you need to buy something anyway, why wouldn’t you get it when it’s on sale? The bf and I did make one big-ticket purchase for ourselves…a new TV. Our old TV was dying a slow and painful death, so it was time to replace it. We snagged a great deal on a new 4k TV from Best Buy and can now turn on a show without the ten-minute adventure of getting our…

This post is inspired by one of my favourite fellow finance bloggers, Lily from The Frugal Gene. She writes a recurring series about her frugal wins and frugal fails, and it got me thinking about how my own saving vs spending plays out. You guys know that I’m not going be winning any awards for my frugality; I’m a bit of a spender. I counteract those spendy habits by finding things I’m willing cheap-out on. Balancing the splurges with the scrimps keeps me on track with my savings goals while still having fun in the present. The Scrimps 1. Eating at Home I like food, a lot, and I love going out to eat, but restaurants are a budget killer. I’m lucky to have a partner who is a fantastic cook (I’m terrible), and I take full advantage of that. We have a deal that we can have dinner out once…

As many of you will know, I have a house full of pets. Two dogs and two cats to be exact. But one thing I’ve never done is take them on a trip. Finding a pet sitter can be a challenge but I’m lucky to have my parents nearby and they always take care of the gang when we travel. This year though, the boyfriend and I wanted to give travelling with pets a shot and packed up our easiest to manage pup for a weekend getaway to the mountains. Just one?! (Insert shocked emoji face here)  I know, I know, bad pet parents. Our dogs are wonderful, and honestly, if I had to play favourites, the one we left behind would actually be number one in my heart. Sorry Bree, but you did get to come to Jasper. Our Boxer (Baxter), is very sweet and cuddly, but also a…

There has been a trend going around in the personal finance community recently, and that’s creating your money map. This all stems back to two bloggers (Apathy Ends and Budget on a Stick) who published their money maps and inspired the rest of us to do the same. Today I’m jumping on the bandwagon and sharing mine. So what is a money map? For any of you who haven’t already seen one of these posts somewhere else, you’re likely wondering ‘what the heck is a money map?’ Simply put, it’s a fun little graphic showing where your money comes from and where it all goes. It’s a visual way of looking at your finances and giving you a new perspective on how simple or complicated things are. Many people use apps or spreadsheets to keep track of their money but not as many people have created a money map (that’s…

Maybe you’re sitting there looking through credit card statements and bank transactions wondering how the heck you got yourself into this financial mess. Or maybe you think you’re on the right track but not quite sure what you need to work on next. Today I’m going to break your finances down for you into 10 steps, so you have a coherent plan (and a fun little infographic) to follow. The system is straightforward, but I’m not going to tell you it will be easy. Paying off debt, saving money and applying for insurance require you to do some work and might make you feel a little guilty about how much money you spend on fro-yo (or coffee, or avocados, or speeding tickets). For that, I’m sorry (only a little though), but I promise that once you’ve made it through each of these ten steps (especially the last one), you’ll be…