Sunday, 28 September 2014

Be Confident Managing Your Money With These Three Simple Rules

Trying to pay off debt, save for big purchases, and plan for your future all at once can be overwhelming.  With so many different strategies out there, It can be tough to even figure out where to start.  It's easy to get discouraged.

It's not hard because you're not smart enough to understand the ideas.  No, there is just too much confusing information out there.  In an area as personal as personal finance, everyone has an opinion.  Usually, that opinion will be completely backwards from the last one you learned.  I want you to know that managing your money only has to be as complicated as you make it.

So, I've come up with three simple rules that will keep anyone out of trouble and feeling confident making money decisions.  Even you.

Monday, 22 September 2014

52 Mini Date Ideas that Won't Break the Bank

The Mini Date Monday Jar
Sometimes the cost and hassle of a traditional night out on the town makes the idea of another night relaxing in front of the tube look pretty appealing.

Last Christmas we decided the perfect gift for a spouse who has everything was quality time together.  We each came up with 26 mini date ideas: enough to fill a year of Mini Date Mondays.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Searching for Canada's Cheapest Cell Phone Plan

Canada has some of the highest cell phone prices in the world.  Over the years I've been through a lot of the options.  Currently we use Wind in our house.  Their network has some quirks, but we knew that going in and I have no complaints at all with the service so far.

Well, I guess I do have a bit of an issue with the price.  Our house currently pays more for two cell phones than we do for internet.  We really like the internet, but I think phones are kinda meh.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Surprise Energy Hogs: How We're Lowering our Electrity Usage

When I opened my last electric bill, I did an inside happy dance.  We had the lowest usage yet in the new house.  Our current month's bill showed 20.22 kwh/day usage in the hottest month of the year down from 38.84 kwh/day in February.  I think I even bragged to my better half.  Our decision to see how long we could go without turning on the air conditioning was literally paying off.  I was radiating pride at our conservation skills.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Get Paid to Buy Groceries: Checkout 51 App

I'll probably still take my coupons...
So I was sitting at the park yesterday talking with the other grownups and the conversations turned to frugal stuff.  This is kinda my roundhouse, but I didn't really know this particular person and so I didn't want to get too excited.  Then she mentioned something I had never heard of before: Checkout 51.  Later that night I downloaded the free app to my phone and took a look.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

How I Calculate Ingredient Costs for Recipes

The flavours in question.
A friend of mine sent me a quick note about how she thought it was funny that I put $0.35 for olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for my Spinach and Tomato Pasta Recipe.  "How did you get $0.35" she asked.

Well, I'm going to give her, and you, much more of an answer than she expected.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Cheap Places to Take Your Kids: IKEA $1 Breakfast

If you're fortunate to live around an IKEA and have small kids, you've got a great opportunity for a cheap outing.  It's not the healthiest meal option out there, but I'll  be honest with you: I don't always eat healthy food.  Surprise!

Today the Little Miss and I met with our friends at the local IKEA for its $1 breakfast.  It's an outing we've taken up on the regular after the family swim slot was changed to nap time at the most convenient pool.  It's nice to have a family friendly place to go to meet friends that don't bust the budget.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Fast, Cheap and Easy Meal Ideas: Spinach and Tomato Pasta

A quick pasta dish full of flavour.
At one point in time, our family had fresh organic product delivered once a week.  We didn't get to decide what went into our box and  sometimes we'd end up with something we'd never seen before.  One week there was some leafy green thing, I can't remember its name, but it was pretty close to spinach.  There was a little flyer in the box with a recipe for a pasta dish that used the greens and the sweet little cherry tomatoes.  We'd only really done pasta with red or white sauces before, so this was a big change and a really good one!  It was like something that we'd get at a restaurant!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Fast, Cheap and Easy Meal Ideas: Oatmeal Banana Cookies

The only cookie left by nap time.

Basically these cookies turn into a meal at our house because we eat the whole batch.  So, I felt like they'd be a great first entry in my collection of Fast, Cheap and Easy Meal Ideas.  These cookies really satisfy my coffee and pastry breakfast cravings but don't get sickening quick like a coffee and cinnamon roll every day does (I was actually shocked to find this out because I love cinnamon rolls).