Thursday, 26 February 2015

It was a Good Day (Plus "Pasta Primavera" Recipe)


I had a pretty interesting day this week. It was a day that I was a little nervous about. I was pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and I really wasn't sure how things would go. As it turns out, it was a good day. It was a very good day.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Early Retirement Extreme isn't Our Goal


I wanted to share a story I read this week on Dividend Mantra that stuck in my head.

Dividend Mantra was given the opportunity to speak at 2015 Chautauqua.  It's a personal finance getaway down in Equator with speakers like Mr. Money Mustache and James Collins. This is an amazing offer.

What's even more amazing is that he turned it down.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

When You're Too Cheap for Original Art... (help me!)

The right artwork can really show off your personality and make your house feel like home.  

Sometimes Simple Cheap Dad and I stroll through galleries to look at all the pretty paintings.  Original art is pretty pricey though, and we've never been moved enough to pony up that amount of cash for art.  

Please don't get me wrong.  I think artists should be properly compensated for their work.  I understand that each piece takes time to create and that it takes years for an artist to develop their skills.  

But, our budget is tight.  So it's hard for us to justify the cost.  Especially since we've never really fallen in love with a painting.

Monday, 16 February 2015

7 Free Indoor Places to Take your Toddler

Keeping kids entertained can be tough when the weather keeps you inside.  

Today is Family Day in Ontario, so we're enjoying Daddy having the day off.  The temperature is going up to a high of -23C with wind chill, so even though I'd like to go sledding, I know I won't be playing outside!  (Fun fact: last night the forecast was calling for Ottawa to go down to -39C with wind chill. For all my American readers, -40C=-40F)

Because it's Family Day, there's a free public swim and skate at a local sports complex.  So, that's our big plan for the day.  It could be the first time we (literally) strap a pair of skates on the Little Miss! 

But if you're a stay at home parent, you can't bank on special free days to happen everyday.  So, here's 7 places we've gone for some free fun when the weather has kept us inside!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Financially Savvy Saturdays #77

Welcome to Financially Savvy Saturdays, the savviest personal finance blog hop on the planet, created specifically for personal finance writers! We welcome all things money here. Whether you've written anything from cool money saving apps to wallet savvy DIY, you're invited to link-up.

If it ties into personal finance, we want to read it!

Simple Cheap Mom

I am super excited to co-host this week with Emily from Simple Cheap Mom where she writes on topics near and dear to every frugal person's heart - whether or not you happen to be a mom.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Simple Cheap Mom Gets the Liebster Award

Last week Chonce from My Debt Epiphany nominated me for the Liebster Award.  It's Simple Cheap Mom's first award and I'm so honoured to have received the nod from such a great blog!

The Liebster Award is very popular in the blogging community and while I’ve heard of it before, I never really had a clear understanding of what it really was.

So to my understanding, the Liebster Award is basically an award that is created by bloggers and intended for bloggers. It’s passed from person to person through a nomination type of process in order to encourage connections and discover not only new blogs but new and interesting people to relate to. In other words, it’s a great way to get to know the person behind the blog.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Can We Stick to a Budget? Our January Spending Update


So I've been telling you all about how you should set a budget and track every penny. But, do WE actually do it?

Well, ya, we do.

That's not to say that we're always under budget.  How much of a challenge would that be?  But we do live with our budget and track our spending regularly.

I'm looking forward to using GNUCash this year to track our spending.  Setting up our file and entering transactions has been a blast (budgeting enjoyment varies from person to person).  Plus, I've been able to spot and correct a few errors that had slipped by when we were just tracking with a spreadsheet. (I think a properly setup spreadsheet can be an awesome tracking tool.  Ours was a strange compromise and I'm happy we've moved on.)

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Financially Savvy Saturdays #76

Welcome to Financially Savvy Saturdays, the savviest personal finance blog hop on the planet, created specifically for personal finance writers! We welcome all things money here. Whether you've written anything from frugal shopping tips to net worth updates, you're invited to link-up.

If it ties into personal finance, we want to read it!
Simple Cheap Mom

Thursday, 5 February 2015

It Feels Good to be back on Tracking

Back in December, we decided to use GNUCash to track our finances. It's a free open source program and you can see how we decided to use GNUCash here.

As part of the MoneyStepper Savings Challenge, we've committed to calculating our monthly net worth increases and savings rates using a special worksheet. The results for each month will be shared on the 10th day of the next month.

Having the February 10th deadline has forced me to get our finances sorted. So, I've been busy setting up our GNUCash file and entering transactions for 2014-today.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Update: January No Eating Out Challenge


At the beginning of January, I shared our annual no eating out challenge here on Simple Cheap Mom.  In the fall we tend to slip into bad habits and eat out or get take out much more than we'd like.

So, in January we stop getting take out, going to restaurants, picking up expensive lattes, and paying for any food outside a grocery store. We use the month to reboot our systems and replace bad habits with good ones.