Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tax/Debt Update.

I lit-er-al-ly just finished filing my 2009 taxes, and I'm going to be getting a return of $926.  It cost about $17 to file them, so I'm netting  return of about $909.  This is AWESOME!!!

I'm pretty sure I've filed it all properly; I kept all of my documentation in a file, so let's hope I don't get audited, but I'm ready if I do.

OOOH....and the debt update:  my credit line charged me only $8.51  Again.  AWESOME.

Therefore, I only have $867.90 left.  WHOA!  I'm going to be debt free as soon as I get this crazy tax return.  It's so close I can taste it.


*Canadian Girl

Friday, February 26, 2010

February Debt Update. ALMOST THERE!!!

I've been so MIA this week - I'm sorry.  I had a midterm this Wednesday and it's consumed every single ounce of free time.

Now that that hard awesome test is over with, I'm back with a debt update.

I paid off $4 over my goal this month. 
This is good considering my little shopping fall off the ship trip for Vday weekend. 

You'll see that my figures have actually increased for my final payoff amount.  This is because I forgot to account for the roughly $16 of interest that will be charged when I did my initial calculations.  This has been amended and gives me a final payoff of $872.33. 

It's so close I can taste it!  This time next month, I will be debt free.  Boy it feels good to say that. 

Also - I've sold some stuff and used my bonus to almost completely pay off Vday's shopping extravaganza.  Therefore, I'm anticipating some extra dollaz to put towards my debt this month, as I don't usually go to my $100/week budget.  I will be putting every last cent towards that sucker.

Here's a summary.  Click to enlarge:


*Canadian Girl

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Bonus. Woot!

So just got news this morning that I'm getting a bonus from work.  It's small, mind you, but it's something.

It's only about $500, which is a small token to show me that they've valued my work in this unit since August.  AND, my boss also informed me that there's the potential for a raise come July.  WOOP WOOP!!

Oh, and preliminary tax calculations = a return of over $1,000.

Now, I'm not freaking so much over the "off the bandwagon" fall, and know that I'll have enough $$$ to pay off my debt AND treat myself.  Cabo here I come.

Please pardon my lack of posts this week.  I have a midterm tonight and I've been studying super hard (makes less work for the final.  I love it!), but should be back in action tomorrow.


*Canadian Girl

Friday, February 19, 2010

*Canadian Girl's Currently Loving: JCrew.

When I said I went off the bandwagon last weekend, I forgot to mention that most of my shopping was at JCrew. It was an outlet/sale time, yes, but it was there. I am in LUUURRRRRVE. I was never one for their clothes before, but I must say, it suits my current style perfectly. However, the prices? Not so much. At least not right now.

 I love this look for summer.  I have a ruffled shirt, and bought a similar cardi from JCrew on the weekend.  I'm pretty sure I have khaki shorts as well, so this is a budget look for me that I can surely do!

I have a shirt just like this, which I think I actually paid more for than the $68 it is at JCrew.  (* yes, I know it's $68 USD, but with the exchange, that's like $70 CAD, so not much difference there) 

I know I have shorts of a similar colour, so I'll def be pairing this together for the summer.

Love these, but I'm pretty sure Old Naves has them for $5, no?  $108 USD.  Eff that.

Great look for work.  I don't have any of these colours for work clothes, so I'm going to have to improvise.

Another look for work.  I bought a cardi this colour on the weekend as well.  I'm certain I have a khaki pencil skirt.  The blouse, however, not so much.  But I can improvise.  That's what a budget fashionista does, right?  *look is minus those shoes.  eeew*

Love this look for a weekend, or for casual Friday.  I have a grey blazer, and for sure have a white shirt.  Perhaps I could pair this with shorts as well for a weekend in the summer. 
I bought a cardi close to this colour on the weekend, but mine is more of a brighter T & Co. blue.  I die.  I love it. 

Mine wasn't the $168, however; it was $22.  Budget fashionista WIN!

This would be great with a skirt for work, or pants, for that matter.  Jeans on the weekend could work too.

This can be monogrammed by JCrew.  LOVE IT!

Love this ruffled blouse.  Great under a blazer or a cardi.  And it's on sale.  Eff my life.

I could go on for days, but I'm going to stop there for the sake of my sanity and my bank account.  This has made me so anxious to be debt free all that much more.  I need want these gorge clothes in my closet NOW!

Click here for a link to all new arrivals, or find some sale merchandise here.  I always check  I know I shouldn't, but I can't help myself.  


*Canadian Girl

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Awesome Lashes in 10 Steps.

I've gotten a few emails from readers asking how I get my lashes to stay curly and look full.  I have to say that 1/2 of it is genetics and the other 1/2 is a lifetime of LOVING makeup.

I've told you all before just how OBSESSED I am with makeup.  Mascara is no exception to the rule.  I don’t even need black eyeliner to make my lashes look full, but alas, I digress.  Everyone who doesn’t have full lashes should invest in a great black eyeliner.  I love the Stila Eye Kajal for a change-up tho and I think that those who don't have naturally full eyelashes should most def invest in this.

In terms of mascaras, you don’t have to go for high end.  More expensive is not always better, and this is especially the case here.  I have tried and tried to love MAC, but I just can’t.  TiffanyD loves MAC Plushlash, but it just doesn’t do it for me {her lashes are nicer, I get it…but whatevs}.  After trying various combos, I think I’ve found the right combination: Covergirl Lashblast Waterproof and L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen.

I had originally intended to do a huge tutorial for this.  However, I don’t know how interested you all would be in that.  So, if you are, drop me a line and I will {hopefully} be able to get one up complete with pictures, and daily wear reviews of about 3 different types of mascara soon.

Anywho, back to it.  I always use a waterproof mascara as my base.  Why?  It’s more waxy and holds a curl better.  I have super straight lashes and no curl whatsoever.  I never have and I never will.  To be honest, the whole eyelash perming thing freaks ma freak.  So, I had to devise a way to hold the curl.

This is what I do for my first set of steps:

1.)    Heat a Shu Uemura eyelash curler for 5 seconds infront of a hairdryer on low heat
2.)    Curl right eye from the base, and clamp three times working my way to the top
3.)    Apply 1 coat of waterproof mascara to my right lashes
4.)    Repeat for the left

I let the waterproof dry completely.  This is very important, otherwise you’re likely to end up all clumpy, and nobody wants that.

Putting the waterproof aside, I can begin to use the regular mascara overtop.

5.)    Put 1 coat of regular mascara overtop of waterproof.  Let dry.

Again, letting it dry is imperative.  I know what you’re all going to say “Canadian Girl, don’t curl your lashes while they’ve got mascara on them”.  Know what?  Eff that.  I’m doing it anyway.  I’ve been doing it since high school and have never had a problem.

6.)    Heat eyelash curler for 5 seconds infront of a hairdryer on low heat
7.)    Curl right lashes, just at the base
8.)    Apply 1 coat of  regular mascara to the under and top of the lashes.  The top will help to elongate the lashes
9.)    Repeat on the left lashes

Once you’ve done this, ensure it’s dry; perhaps go about finishing off the rest of your makeup.

10.)One final full curl of both lashes with a heated curler.  Make sure you clamp 3 times, from the bottom to the top.

This process works for me 100% of the time, with the exception of those rainy days when I just can’t get the lashes to stay straight.  My hair never works, so why should they?

I do this every day, so it’s tried, tested and true.  Besides, this eliminates the need for lash primers which are often a waste of money in my experience.

Do you guys have any tips you’d like to share??

Here’s a link to my post with a “lash porn” pic in it.  I’m so hilarious, it hurts.

*** why is the font wonky?  who knows.  You'll just have to deal


*Canadian Girl

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Off the Band Wagon. Eff.

So.  I went off the Falls.  Lit-er-al-ly.  I spent WAY too much money this weekend.

I don't even know what I'm going to do.  It's like I see a sale and I can't pass it up. 

I think I'm going to have to use my trip savings to pay this off.  Goodbye Mexico, Hello Bargains.

Eff my life.


*Canadian Girl

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy V Day!!!

I know, I know.  It's somewhat of an over the top, consumerist and overall pretty lame holiday. But there is one thing that it's not:  a lame excuse to tell those you love how you really feel.

So, if you have a significant other or not, remember that V day is for EVERYONE you love.  Don't just tell them once a year that you love them; be sure to do it every day.  But make them feel extra special today.

I love you all!!        

Happy V day!!

Hugs (& Love),

*Canadian Girl

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Niagara for V day. On a Budge.

As you all know, I'm heading to Niagara with S for Valentine's Day.  I'm not one to be romantic AT all, but I think it'll be a fun and way over-due little getaway. 

I know what you're all thinking "Canadian Girl, you're trying to pay down your debt, how are you affording this?".  Well, I'm actually taking the money from my company stock plan to pay for this.  I have a little bit deducted each paycheque, and with that amount a small portion of company shares are purchased quarterly.  Since our stock isn't doing so well right now, it's more of a "fun fund" for me than really a way to profit in the stock market.

Here is the breakdown of the Niagara $$$:

$454 from stock sale
- $129 (converts to $ 120 USD)
- $220 (hotel cost divided by 2)

This leaves me $105 to play around with for meals and extras.

I should be able to do it, and will for sure post an update when we get back. 

I think we'll be heading into the States today to shop and I'm absolutely 100% NOT going to buy anything unless it's a staple for work or a huge bargain that I can't find at home when I actually need it later.

Wish me luck, lovers!!


*Canadian Girl

Friday, February 12, 2010

More Dollaz for Debt.

Got paid today.  Woot woot!!! 

I also managed to sell a Cole Haan purse I no longer use for $110.  All that, plus $416.42 from my pay this month went to the credit line for a grand total of $527.42. 

So far so good for debt repayment.  I'm only $473.58 away from my $1000 goal for February.  Hopefully I can come in a little under budge this weekend in Niagara and use that little bit more to boost my debt repayment.


*Canadian Girl

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CONTEST GIVEAWAY FROM KRYSTAL: Win a copy of QuickTax Standard!

Krystal over at Give Me Back My Five Bucks is giving away a copy of Quick Tax Standard {ok, so the title of the post wasn't original.  Sue me.}.  I'm so debating doing my own taxes this year.  However, I worry that I could mess the whole thing up, get audited and end up someone's b**ch in jail.  For serious.

What if I skipped out on some super important part of my filings and totally over claim and get a huge refund and then have to give it back, meanwhile I'm with Big Bertha in a jail cell!  You hear me??  Maybe it's over-kill, but either way, I'm totes reluctant to do my own taxes.

How many of you do your own taxes?  How easy/hard is it, and what have your experiences been?

Here is Krystal's post if you'd like to enter too.  Or not, cause I wanna win....mmmmmk?


*Canadian Girl

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm Alive.

As I was reminded last night by Carla over at My 1/2 Dozen Daily, I didn't post an update from the weekend.

Well, I'll eat my words.  I totally love skiing.  I didn't think I'd be much good at it, but as it turns out, I love it - I've even asked Daddy Canadian Girl to take me next week!

 We're hoping to make this an annual girls' weekend, so I want to graduate from the bunny hills next year and be able to kick it with the serious skiiers.  I don't think the Olympics are going to be calling my name anytime soon, but I surely had fun.

Oh, and we didn't drink too much wine hot cocoa!

What'd you get up to this weekend??


*Canadian Girl

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ski Weekend. Oy!

Yes, you read that title correctly.  I'm going skiing.  It's a girls' weekend and I'm totally stoked to spend some long overdue time with my ladies.

However, I don't know how excited I am about doing it in the snow.  I'm more of a "sit in the chalet and drink wine hot cocoa" kind of girl. 

I can't help but keep telling my self what a bad idea this is!

Wish me luck.  It's my first time doing anything remotely winter-ish and I'm gonna need all the good vibes I can get!!


*Canadian Girl

Friday, February 5, 2010

Are You On Crack?

To quote my over-educated neuropsychologist sister, do you ever just want to ask some people, "are you on crack"?  People just get under my skin.  Ok, not most, just a few select people.

It seems as though people will never let shit go grow up.  Seriously.  Eff you.

I have too much good going on in my life right now to let you wreck it.

Damn it feels good to finally be able to say that.

I made that picture 2 years ago today and used it as my screensaver.  I can finally say that I don't have walls and confidence where the walls used to be.


*Canadian Girl

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

20 Ways I've Climbed My Way {almost} Out of $14,000 Debt.

This could be an inspirational post, or this could be a "wow, that Canadian Girl is one cheap B**tch post".  However you take it, I hope my tips help at least one other person either get out of debt or stay out of debt forever.

1.)  Make a budget and stick to it.  I live on $70 per week.  I write everything down and make myself accountable for everything I spend.  I think the accountability is what counts.  There's something to be said for seeing your money waste away as you write it down.

2.)  Pay off and pair down credit cards.  Your credit card is an aid, not a crutch.  Limit yourself to just the "essential" credit cards (for some, it's just one visa, for some it's a visa, mastercard and amex, or combination thereof).  Having too many will make it too hard to keep track of your spending, even if you write it down.

3.)  Exclude all frivolous spending.  This is relative, yes.  But for me, this included pairing down my entertainment budget, not eating out, and most importantly, separating my needs from my wants.

4.)  Consolidate all of your debt to 1 spot.  For me, this came in the form of a personal line of credit.  PC Financial had the best rate; make sure you shop around.  As opposed to credit card interest rates, this gives you a significant interest rate decrease and allows you to track your payments in one place.  Essentially, it's a "one-stop-shop".

5.)  Have a coin/bill jar.  This is where I put my coins - not only does it make my wallet weigh less, but it serves as a little extra to put towards my debt each month.  I also put my bills in here when I'm under budget each week. I count it up once a month, and apply that lump sum to my debt.

6.)  Clip coupons.  It may be pennies in savings, but those coins get added to the coin jar and help me knock down my debt.

7.)  Have a personal "no spend" challenge.  For me, this is 3 days a week, or 12 a month.  This adds up and allows me to come in under budget more often than not.

8.)  Use up everything you have before you buy new.  So simple, but this is a great way to save money.  You'd be surprised how many people won't look thru their cupboards and containers before they hop out to the store to buy a replacement.  This has been great for me - look at it this way: I haven't bought shampoo for over a year and a half.  Think of the savings there alone.

9.)  Take tips from tv, magazines and perhaps other PF bloggers, and repurpose them to fit your lifestyle.  I can't take credit for any of the above or below tips; they've all come - in one way or another - from a different source than just my plain ol' noggen.  For example, instead of Gail Vaz Oxlade's jars, I use a simple sheet of paper {1 for each "expense" column - transportation, food etc} and staple them all together.  This is a portable way to use the jar system, but works in the same fashion.

10.)  Utilize your credit card for big purchases (or small ones) for the cash back or points value but ONLY when you've saved up or have the money to make the purchase in the first place.  Again, this is simple and a sure way to keep from spending out of your means.

11.)  Don't order alcohol when eating out.  Have you seen the price of a glass of wine?  I can get the bottle for $2 more.  'nuff said.

12.)  Don't eat out or go out to clubs or bars unless there's a special occasion.  We have to do everything in moderation AND have a social life.  You'll go crazy if you don't.  However, you'll go crazy if you're a party animal but saddled with debt.  Find the happy medium and budget for nights out.

13.)  Bring your lunch to work daily.  I estimate that I save roughly $6/day, and allow myself to eat out once a week.  So, I save $24, if you consider a 4 day no-food-spending week.  Say you work 50 weeks a year, this adds up to $2,500 in savings.  I also drink the office water, and avoid expensive pop or bottled water.

14.)  Repurpose wherever possible.  My furniture is all my parents' old stuff, just re-finished and touched up with some modern paint and decor.  Easy as pie, and with a little TLC and about $50, I had a whole condo of furniture.  I reuse bags as garbage liners and go "shopping" in my closet.  I love clothes, but I also love the treasures I find in my closet when I mix and match new with old.  The most prime example here is my iPod Mini.  Yes, I still own one.  When it broke, instead of buying a new one for $200, I bought a new battery for $30.  I popped out the old and replaced it myself.  Voila!

15.)  Pick up change.  Yes, this may be gross, but every little bit helps.  Plus, picking up pennies is supposed to bring you good luck! 

16.)  Borrow books from the library.  I want new books as soon as they come out, but the average cost for a new book is about $20.  I could just as easily put myself on the hold list at my local library and have the book for free.  With a little time and patience, I have $20 more for my debt that I would've foregone.

17.)  Limit magazine purchases.  I LOVE magazines; the shiny pictures, the gossip, the stories.  BUT, this was a huge budget spend item for me.  By skipping and limiting the magazines to only special treats, I am able to save lots of money.  I ask for magazines for gifts, or I do magazine swaps with my friends.  Half the time, I'm able to find the main articles on the internet anyway.  Oh, and when I do buy magazines, I get a bargain: WalMart gives you 10% off the cover price.

18.)  Buy non-perishable items in bulk.  This allows for long term savings over the course of a few months.  For me, I buy gum in bulk packages.  It's not something that goes stale quickly, so I just make sure to label when I purchase the gum.  I chew at least 3 pieces a day, so going thru it is never a problem.

19.)  Save stamps.  How often do you get a letter anymore?  It's rare, I'll admit it.  But when I do, and the stamp isn't cancelled, I always cut it out.  I use it the next time I have to send something in, like my tax bill, for instance.  It may be 57 cents, but it's 57 cents in my pocket.

20.)  Make money wherever you can.  Now now, don't go taking to the pole or investing in a street pharmacy.  That's not what I'm talking about.  Do cash for surveys online, or use Swagbucks as your search engine.  Once you hit 70, you can get $5 USD in your PayPal account just for doing searches you would've done anyway.  It's not much, but you can see my motto here: every little bit helps.

Well, there you have it Lovers.  My relatively simple and easy to do tips for getting and staying out of debt.  If you want a copy of the sheet that I use to track my daily spending {a la Jars o'Gail}, drop me a line and I will send it to you.

What tips do you have to add?


*Canadian Girl


Monday, February 1, 2010

Debt Update.

So, I must say.  I've done pretty well with the debt payoff this month.  I'm under the $2,000 mark...and....AHEAD OF SCHEDULE on payments!!!  Can you believe it??  I'm having a hard time believing it, but the end is finally in sight.

A recap:

$86 - from coins and coming in under budget almost every week in January
$38.78 - from friend favour
$465.32 - paycheque #1
$524.58 - paycheque #2

This makes $1,114.68,  $114.68 over my original $1,000 target.  Amazeballs.

I've re-jigged the numbers as you will see below.  This anticipated payoff, keeping my monthly payments at a $1,000 minimum, will have me COMPLETELY paid off as of March 30th, 2010.  Wow.  My original January estimate was end of May.  I can do this frugal thing for 2 months longer...oh, who am I kidding.  Because of this, I'll always be frugal.  But now that I have a little room for some savings and fun, I can allow myself a little bit of shopping once it's paid off.  I have to make a list of what I want...oh, here I go...getting ahead of myself.

Either way, SUPER PROUD.  Here are the final numbers:


*Canadian Girl