Giving back to the personal finance community

Throughout my years of writing about personal finance and pursuing a business degree I have amassed a fair bit of personal finance knowledge. I remember always wanting a career where I could give back and when I started my business degree I was unsure of how I would do that. Leave it to the universe to figure it out. Earlier this year I was approached by a pretty rad group of ladies to speak at an event on personal finance. Unfortunately, I was in Europe at the time and had to decline. Throughout the summer I have had the opportunity to join the board of this fantastic organization and I will be speaking at the next Her Success in Finance Event on September 28th! To me it’s really important to give back the knowledge I’ve gained. This isn’t a paid position, myself along with all the other gals involved are just really passionate about sharing financial literacy with our peers! [Read more...]

August 2014 Spending Recap (best guess)

I would like to preface this month by saying financially my life is a disaster. Not in the “I’m not going to be able to pay my bills” sort of a way, but as in a I actually am not sure where all my money is/went because there are some big changes going on financially for us over these past few months. Regardless, I will elaborate on that later this month… here is my best guess! Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.02.52 PMBills: Finally getting to a point where they are consistent for us [Read more...]

New Beginnings this September + 3% from Tangerine

I know I’ve been pretty absent as of late and for a good reason, I’ve been working hard to get some of the leg work done on our wedding planning before I start my master’s level designation and work full-time later this month!

It’s been a busy few weeks in our household with the fiancé’s designation exam coming up next week! After that we are off for a week long vacation in the Okanagan and then back to work at our new jobs! Some of you may have started a new job or headed back to school and I’m wishing each and everyone of you the best of luck!

I love September, it’s full of new beginnings.

September is a better version of January. [Read more...]

Frugal wedding tips

Recently, Janine and I have both became engaged to our best friends! So, be prepared for plenty of wedding posts in the near future! For me it was a fantastic day that I will never forget and it fit our personalities perfectly. In the last few weeks we have taken time to just enjoy the fact that we are engaged, and now it’s time to get the planning started!

I’ve been in a few weddings over the years and I have heard lots of advice that has been both good and bad. Let me share with you a few of the things I have learned that will help to have a frugal and budget friendly wedding.

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 8.47.24 PM [Read more...]

Are you prepared for a fire?

If you’ve been following the news in Edmonton you know that there was a condo building that burnt down late last month, and we had a close friend own a condo in that complex. While his unit was unharmed by the blaze, he had to leave all of his belongings until the engineers deemed that it would be okay to go back and collect his belongings. The blaze was started by a cigarette bud in a potted plant and it’s estimated that there is 11 million in damage. It’s extremely unfortunate and hundreds of people lots all of their possessions. While I’d like to think I’m not that attached to many of my things it would be a pain financially and other wise to have to replace all of the things I once owned. This begs the question?

Do you have proper renter’s insurance?

Whether the answer is yes or no, there are things people need to realize about renter’s insurance… some policies cover the depreciable value (market value) not the cost you acquired the item for. Meaning you could get substantially less than what you paid if this were to ever become an issues.

So what’s the solution?

The answer is something I have been putting off SINCE  I STARTED THIS BLOG. Shame on me!

I don’t know why I never made this a priority, but all I can say is I’m grateful it wasn’t my unit  that burnt down.

Open an account with: Know Your Stuff 

This allows you to categorize, itemize and inventory your belongs. You will then assign value and pictures to everything you own. If you have an expensive closet, perhaps you own some nice suits or a designer gown, then you’ll want to assign a value to these things for sure. So my August will consist of purging the house and valuing everything we own. Just in case.

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It’s a pretty simple web interface that allows you to organize your home by room and add items as you see fit. For example the first thing I added was our bed. We own this black Ikea Malm bed frame:

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I took a screen shot of the item and uploaded it and filled out the rest of the information that I knew.

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After you add an item you can go back to the main screen and see how the value of the contents of your home. You will also be able to add information about your insurance policy.

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It’s important to have this information online and not just in an excel document stored on your computer. If your home burns down in a blaze you will loose all of your electronic documentation unless it is stored somewhere else. This is a pretty tedious exercise, I’m not going to lie, but I would rather spend the time and know that if something ever did happen I would be prepared.

Other useful insurance information: 

How you can decrease your premiums 

A physical copy of your home inventory that you can store in a safety deposit box

Making use of trash

One thing I’ve learned on my journey to minimalism is how to make something of things that a normal person considers trash. Now before you shake your head, hear me out! My partner (fiance, Keenyn is engaged!) and I have slowly been trying to find ways to save the environment as well as save money. There are a lot of little things hanging around your house and in your garbage that I bet you didn’t think you could use.

1)   Vegetable and fruit scraps – Maybe I’m the only one that didn’t realize this before, but you definitely shouldn’t be throwing these out when you are cooking. I definitely used to throw out blueberries when I thought they were on the verge of going bad, or I’d throw away the scraps from veggies that I would be cutting for dinner. But now, those pepper and carrot tops, cucumber ends, celery leaves and broccoli bottoms are now put into containers and thrown into the fridge. These become an excellent base for soups! You wouldn’t believe the amazing soup I have made from throwing all these veggie scraps into a pot and making a broth. Same thing with the fruit, if you don’t want it anymore or you think it’s starting to go bad, just throw that in the freezer too. They are great for going in breakfast smoothies; they aren’t really as bad as you think.

2)   Yogurt containers – Whether they are the big or small ones, they are great to use for seedlings when you are trying to grow a plant. They are the perfect size and that way you don’t have to buy a pot that you will only use for a few months. Plus, who doesn’t like having a garden? [Read more...]