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Spending Money

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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…

Through my 30 years of living, I’ve had moments where I’ve been great with money and moments where I’ve been down right bad. I don’t have any big ticket purchase regrets, but I’ve bought loads of small items that were a complete waste. And you know why? I didn’t realize the consequences of irresponsible spending until I was much older (and I even had good financial role models in my parents). I was lucky to not get myself into more trouble because of my lack of knowledge. When you’re a teenager you don’t necessarily concern yourself with the future but poor spending habits can be established at that age, and you can get yourself in a debt hole real quick. If you follow the blog regularly, you already know that I have pretty strong feelings about financial literacy (see here and here), and that’s because learning about money earlier is…

Pets…they are my most treasured possession and the bane of my existence. Ok, maybe that’s a little overdramatic, but they have their moments. The bf and I are the proud parents of two dogs and two cats and, while I love them all to bits, they cost a lot of money and require a lot of time. Today I’m going to break down our expenses and show you the cost of owning a dog or a cat. Understanding how much money is involved is one of the first things you should research before adding a critter to your household. Introducing My Crew If you follow me on Instagram, you’re likely familiar with the crew but what better excuse to share pictures and give them a proper introduction… Baxter the Boxer: The First Addition We got Bax as a puppy, and he’s been part of the fam for almost 7 years.…

If you’ve been on the internet at all in the last week you’ve likely heard the debate over millennials, home-ownership and avocado toast. Small sidenote, you know it’s a thing when you can so easily find a free stock photo 😉 Australian millionaire, Tim Gurner, did an interview with 60 minutes and spewed some advice and threw avocados under the bus as the reason millennials can’t afford houses. (Ahem, millennial homeowner over here) He was quoted as saying: “I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more. I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle aged and have raised my family. But how can young people afford to eat like this? Shouldn’t they be economising by eating at home? How often are they eating out? Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards…

I get so frustrated talking to people who don’t know basic things about handling their finances. Now don’t get all defensive if you feel like you are in this situation because I’m not mad at you! What I hate is that we don’t give people the tools to handle money when they are young. Really, what could be more important than ensuring children and young adults know that going into debt is bad and that starting to save early is essential? Apparently learning advanced algebra and who fought who in WWII are higher priorities. Just last week Ontario was making headlines because they are (finally) launching a pilot project to incorporate financial education into their schools. Their hope is to create a new course that will be implemented in the Fall of 2018. Obviously, it’s still a work in progress, and we don’t know what the actual curriculum will be, but…

Have you ever felt pressured into spending money? I’m sure 99.99% of us answered yes. And I’m also going to guess that the most common reason behind that pressure is because your friends are planning or buying something you want in on. The fear of missing out is real. And it’s powerful. Here’s an example… Garth Brooks did a nine-concert stand here in Edmonton and it was all everyone could talk about for a while. Am I a Garth Brooks fan, nope? Did I almost convince myself I should buy tickets to the show just because EVERYONE else was going? Absolutely! But I was talked off the Ticketmaster ledge by my more rational minded (aka. more country music hating) friend. And when the concert dates arrived was everyone raving about how amazing he was and flooding my social media accounts with pictures. You know it. Am I sad I didn’t…

Christmas is fast approaching, and I don’t know about you guys, but I’m thinking ahead and getting started on my planning. We are hosting this year which means there are more things to prep for so I’m hoping to get most of my shopping done early so I can worry about other things at the last minute. How about all of you? Do you know what you’re doing for Christmas and has anyone started their shopping? As much fun as Christmas is, it can also be a real drain on your savings so today I’ve got a few tips to help you stretch your holiday budget. 1. Start Early…Like NOW We’re already creeping up on the beginning of November, and the sooner you start your Christmas shopping, the better. Starting early means, you’ll have more time to set money aside, more time to seek out the very best deals and…

If you’ve ever had to shop for glasses, you’ll know how expensive they can be. Factor in regular eye exams and contact lenses and you can be spending a fortune for the ability to see properly. I got my first pair of glasses when I went to university. I probably could have used them earlier, but I was able to make it through high school by avoiding the back row. The trigger was actually my mom, who realized my eyes were less than stellar when we were driving, and I couldn’t read a road sign. Whoops. She dragged me into the optometrist and, sure enough, I walked out with a new pair of glasses. Glasses vs Contacts I like glasses. I like how I look wearing them, and I really like the fact that you don’t need to touch your eyeball to wear them. I’m weird about eyeballs. The bf wears contacts…