Sunday, November 28, 2010


How many of you have been reading the new site posted by the Toronto Star?  I know Krystal over @ Give Me Back My Five Bucks posts on the blog there frequently, however I tend to think she’s one of the few there with the experience and know-how to post insightful blogs that people can utilize and learn from.

I’m not trying to negate the fact that moms who post don’t know how to save a buck or stretch a family budget, I’m just simply noting that their tips and experience doesn’t really relate to the younger, internet and blog saavy readership that attempts to capture.

Let’s dissect this post here from Adam Goodman.  Have a read thru, and I’ll bet you’re hard pressed to find any innovation whatsoever, or anything of true merit in his post.  It’s the same old dribble that we’re used to hearing.

The post starts with the title ‘How I Saved $7,000 Painlessly’.  Intriguing, no?  Who wouldn’t like a list of ways to save $7,000 without cramping their style too much?  WRONG.  The premise of his whole post for ‘painlessly’ saving $7,000 is this: you should pay yourself first before paying your debts. 

Hrm? Come again now?  He says in one of the last bits of his post that his savings account is $7,000.  However, he had student debt when he first graduated which he struggled to pay off.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather maintain a small emergency fund and use any excess ‘reserves’ to pay down that debt.  Unless my savings account has 12% interest, it’s not worth the trade-off.  That’s a few thousand {or even hundred…} dollars that could have been much better utilized.

He says it was painless to save the $7,000, but I think that when you muse over debt and are up at night thinking about money issues, it entirely negates the pain.

{Disclaimer: I’m all for an emergency fund, however I sure wasn’t socking away $100 per month when I was in major debt and wanted to get out.  I did it in small increments and stopped at $1,000.}

Let’s look at an example:

Using what Mr. Goodman professes, we’d be saving $100 per month for a year.  With a simple calculation of compound interest, that means we’d be making roughly $188 per year and growing our deposit to a mere $288.  I’m out of debt now, so $188 is great, but when I had big debts to pay, that $188 would’ve gone a long way! It’s not much when you consider a debt of $5,000 or more, where the monthly interest amounts to about half that total yearly savings.

For example, let’s take a calculation of someone who’d be in roughly $7,000 debt and it will take almost a year to pay off:

Without the $288 the debt payoff would look somewhat as follows, using a roughly 7.5% interest rate on the debt and it would be paid off at the beginning of June:  

With the $288 {applied to the last payment, considering it would take roughly a year to compound the interest – I know, I know, it’s JUST an illustration of a point, not what would be really earned in the time frame}, the debt is cleared almost an entire month earlier.  And this is without consideration of any snowballed funds towards the debt.  To me being clear of that debt a month earlier means far more than the $288 opportunity cost:

Moral of the story:  Adam Goodman, your ideas idea sucks.  Congratulations for being out of student debt.  But if you want to expand your horizons a little, think outside the box and create real savings tips.  Most normal people who are struggling on limited incomes and wanting to payoff debt can think of way better things to do with $100 per month. – perhaps you should reconsider who you allow to blog on your site {not you, Krystal – you’re great} and ensure the blog is a real PF blog and not just some site where anyone with a savings account and a computer can post.

Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below.  But note, please, that any hateful comments will not be approved :)


*Canadian Girl

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monthly Spending Category Challenge: Update #2.

In this post here, I provided an update on Categorize November.  I said I’d have money for my trip fund.  FAIL! I got $50 from grandma.  That’s it!  I guess I can’t complain; that’s $50 more than I had before, and my parents aren’t obligated to purchase me a gift, since paying for the majority of my wedding is gift enough.

However, I had really hoped to have more to put in the trip fund!  Oh well, just looks like it’s going to involve me scrimping more to save enough for one last trip before we’re a married couple.  Sounds so weird.  Oh emmm geee!


*Canadian Girl

Christmas Gifts. Oy!

I think I’m organized for Christmas Christmukah.  I’ve got my Dad and Fiancée’s Dad completely done, and am halfway done the Future Mother in Law.  All that’s left are my Mom, Sister and Fiancée. The fiancée will be splitting the cost of some gifts with me, so that alleviates the dolla pressure a little for me!

The budget?  It’s under $400 so far, and I’m going to give myself that limit.  This includes stockings for Mom and fiancée – but Dad will split the cost of some of Mom’s gifts with me as he always does {that’s the trade-off…I do all the shopping!}. 

I think this budget is realistic, though it may seem a little high, it essentially allows me to spend almost $60 each {and that’s with sharing of the cost, so it’ll actually be more in monetary value}.  Be that as it may, the cost isn’t always what should be considered first in the gift.  I think this year I’ve managed to create {read = make} gifts and purchase gifts that people will truly like, all the while saving some pennies.

I will update more on the Christmukah sitch as it develops.


*Canadian Girl

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dying to be Thin Again.

I’ve been reading Carla’s blog over @ My ½ Dozen Daily.  She’s a little shorter than me, and 117 lbs.  That’s where I’d like to be.  I’m currently 135, and weight has been a struggle my ENTIRE life.  I look back at pics of me when I was in uni, just over 2.5 years ago, and I was crazy thin and willowy.  What the eff has happened to me? 

My brain tells me I’m not fat – I’m 5’9” {5’10” on a good day} and 135 lbs.  That’s on the cusp of underweight.  But I’m dying to be thinner.  I’ve battled eating disorders in the past, and it seems like they’re about to show their ugly heads again. 

I need some tips to lose weight.  I exercise, I eat right, but don’t want to sacrifice my social life or mental health in the process. 



*Canadian Girl

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm Old.

Well, it's official.  I'm 25 today.  I feel so old.  Krystal over @ Give Me Back My Five Bucks did a post on feeling older than your age.  You can link to it here.

I totally agree with everything she says.  I'm often tired by 10pm, I feel like I'm no longer a kid, and I sometimes wish I had my care-free high school days back.  Not only am I engaged, but I'm gainfully employed full time, own my own home, and pay all of my own bills without help from the parentals {you'd be surprised JUST how many of my friends get help from their parents...still...despite owning a home....}.   I guess it's good to be grown up and totally self-sufficient at my {relatively} young age.  I live my life on a budget, pay down bills as soon as they arrive, and try to be frugal without sacrificing the good things in my life.  I guess that's all part of growing up, eh?!  {yeah, it's my birthday and I'm Canadian.  I'll say 'eh' if I want to!}

{srsly...this dog's face pretty much sums up how I feel turning 25}


*Canadian Girl

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


To all of my dear readers,

You are all the reason I keep posting. Thank you.

As I look back and go thru the posts from a year ago today, I see such a juxtaposition in my own personality and sense of self from what lies here in front of me right now.  I didn't know who I was, where I was going, or where I wanted to be, for that matter.  I was lost - for lack of a better term.  A lot has happened in the past year and has made me who I am today.  I can stand here and say that I am finally happy.  I've waited 25  24.89 years for this and it's finally here.  I couldn't have done it without the support of my dear readers.

Here's to many more blog posts and to coming leaps and bounds from where I was one year ago today.

I love you all.


*Canadian Girl

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Category Challenge: Update.

Epic fail! Or win...depends on how you look at it.  I've not been spending much at all.  I've only bought things I need so far, like groceries, toiletries, leotards, and medications!  I guess it's a win...but so much for my tracking!

My birthday is coming up, so I hope to have some dolla billz to put towards my 'trip' fund.  The bf fiancee and I are planning a sort of a last minute trip {to save $$$$} with another couple and are hoping to go in the New Year and save what's left of our sanity after a long, Canadian winter.  The total budge there should be roughly $600 and we're hoping to get a 4 star or better hotel about 2 weeks before we leave.  Suggestions are welcome!!

Let's hope I start spending a little cash to track it...or not.


*Canadian Girl

Tomorrow is my blogiversary!  Can you believe it?  A year of blogging.  Whoda thunk it?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monthly Spending Category Challenge.

This month, I am going to challenge myself to categorize each expenditure I make and to identify discernable, concrete ways to cut down on my cash out flows.

It's going to take determination and really nit-picky notes on my budget tracker, but I think it'll be a cool exercise to really identify my indulgences.  It'll be sort of a wants vs. needs exercise.  I've obtained my inspiration from Jesse's post {click the link to the right to go to it}, whose blog is fantastic and entitled Jessie's Money and Jordan's Too .

Hers is more of a monthly budget, and mine will be too.  However, she's far more diligent than I and keeps very accurate track every month like that!  Let's hope this helps me get back on the wagon.


*Canadian Girl