January 26, 2011
January 21, 2011
For some reason I can find everything else warm but not mittens. I asked all my friends on face book and I got a lot of different suggestions. I'm always hesitant to go out and spend a bunch of money but I was getting a lot more sick of having cold and frozen hands all the time... SO I decided that I was going to go out and buy all the different gloves suggested and find something that would finally work. I was tiered of always having cold hands! (Of course I made sure I bought them at places I could do returns..Having 5 pairs of gloves that didn't work wasn't part of this plan!)
So I thought I would share this all with you. It's a relativity boring post but I thought if you're like me and have tiny hands with no fat on them to keep you warm, and sort of bad circulation this might really be helpful!
I first tried these. They were $90 gloves so I thought for sure they would be pretty good. Nope. My fingers (at -20C) got cold within 5 minutes and freezing within 10 minutes. They were by far the nicest gloves but that doesn't matter when you have no fingers!
Next I tried some Hot Paws from Costco. They were $30 but I heard they were like having heaters on your hands. Nope. Again, no good. To be honest they were a little bit better then the North Face gloves, they lasted a couple minutes more but still not good enough.
Next a tried a pair of mittens from The Bay. I can't find an exact picture but they were similar to these but darker purple and they had fur around the cuffs. They were Thinsulate 40 Gram mitts which I was told is a great rating and those should for sure do the job. They were the cheapest of all the gloves I found (on sale too) at $20. I tried them out for a couple of day, same cold testing and same results; no good at all! They lasted about 3 minutes at -20C before my fingers were cold.
The four try was a pair of Dragon Fly Thinsulate mittens from Sports Check. They were 100 Gram gloves so I was sure they had to do better then the other gloves. Nope. About the same: after 5 minutes my fingers were cold and after about 8 minutes they were freezing. Even curling them up in a ball inside the mittens didn't do much at that point. When I brought them back "Is there anything wrong with them?", "They're not warm". The cashier wasn't too sure what to say, but at least I was honest right.
Ok, so my last effort? Go to MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) and try and find something there. I spent about 30 minutes trying on all the different gloves and trying to find something that seemed that it would work better then the rest (it's amazing how little labeling is on these things!). Finally I decided on a pair of Gordini mittens. By this time I had the other four pairs of gloves going through their tests so this pair was last and boy could I tell the difference when I got to these! No, they don't work for more then half an hour out standing in the cold in -30, but at that point, I find that not much does! They work well for the 10-20 minutes I'm standing outside in -20 to -30. My hands start go get cold at the 10 minute mark and at about 20 minutes (if I haven't moved my fingers around or tried anything to keep them warm) they start to really feel frozen. But you know, considering where I live and all the other tries I've had with gloves and how poorly they did I'm taking this as a success. $40 after tax, not too bad for toasty warm fingers.
December 19, 2010
As you know I get this daily financial email and I just loved this one and thought I would share it with you. You know me, I'm all about honestly and really saying it how it is (in the right context of course) and not covering up where you're really at and what you're really about. I think this article does a great job of showing that in the financial side of things.
By Anna Post
Someone recently asked me whether it was rude to use an expensive vodka bottle and fill it with a cheaper brand, to “keep up appearances.”
I think this gets the Oscar for Most Ridiculous Question I've been asked.
First of all, you could pour the drinks in the kitchen with no one the wiser; or better yet, not worry about serving inexpensive vodka—it's your home.
The bigger issue is that it's not always easy to be straightforward about a change in your financial circumstances—especially when it might impact how you socialize. Still, a part of good etiquette is being honest, and I advocate telling good friends the truth. If you fall off the social radar with no explanation, some may think it's a reflection on their company. It's better to say, “Dan and I are going to have to give up our Friday night dinners out, but maybe we could turn it into a movie night instead?”
Or, for the sake of privacy, don't explain: simply suggest cheaper get-togethers—free museum days, babysitting swaps, etc.
In this economy, most people will take the hint, and I bet they'll be grateful for your graciousness (and frugality). If you get the sense from a pal that a swanky restaurant meal—or expensive booze—means more than your friendship, then they're the ones who should examine their manners.
December 17, 2010
It's that year-end tug-of-war: With so many priorities putting pressure on your cashflow—gifts! parties! resisting the temptation to buy stuff for yourself!—how do you set aside money for causes you care about?
We have two answers for you:
Make It Fun. Crowdrise, the brainchild of Hollywood producer Shauna Robertson ("Super Bad") and her partner Ed Norton, is like
a philanthropic Facebook designed to help you get a charitable life.
Join Will Ferrell and others: Set up your own giving page, pick your charities—or find your friends and join their causes—and use social networking to raise cash. (All the charities are 501(c)3 organizations; donations are processed through Network for Good.)
We like Millennium Promise and Invisible Children.
Think Small. There are more children living in poverty now, owing to the recession, new research shows—and the Tory
Burch Foundation aims to be part of the solution by providing microloans to working moms in the United States who want to start their own businesses.
You can donate directly or purchase one of Tory Burch's signature items; all profits benefit the foundation. And check out some of the entrepreneurs TBF has helped (like Cousin & Co., a handbag company in Brooklyn).
September 2, 2010
"And respect is where responsible spending starts."
I read this quote the other day and it really made sense to me. I love when I come across something that is so simple but yet has soo much in it you know? It says a lot but it just puts it in a way that it's like like "Yes, right, of course! As if it's that simple to understand" (but then of course comes the practice part....).
To me you really need to respect your money, respect your responsibilities, respect where you're at in life and work with it. Don't praise your money, don't envy what others have but work with what you have, work with what you can to get done what you need to and accomplish what you dream to.
I think if you don't start with respecting the awesome chance that you have in even having the amount of money you do (remember how little the rest of the world gets a day or year! Even with there lower costs of living it's nothing in comparison to you!) you won't get anywhere, and you for sure won't get to your dreams. Yes, money can't buy happiness but it's a huge tool in getting you going in all things in life! You need to use it, respect it and be responsible with it. You need to keep it in line, know where it is just like you do with a child and keep working with it until you get it to go in the right places, doing the right things. Money is a tricky thing to train (when I say money you know who's really being trained here...) but if you keep at it it learns it's lessons.
Money is either a curse or a blessing and I think it's really all in how you use it.
What do you think? What are your money theories? Struggles? Successes?
August 29, 2010
Want to land that job? Start with the right handshake—it’s one of the first things a job interviewer will notice, and could set you up for success versus a scoot back to square one.
Researchers at University of Manchester in England
studied what makes a great—and not-so-great shake.
Here’s what they uncovered:
- Give a firm—but not too firm—squeeze using your right hand.
- Offer about three shakes using a medium level of vigor.
- Shake no longer than three seconds.
- Make sure your palms are cool and dry.
- Accompany the handshake with these actions: eye contact, a warm smile, and an appropriate verbal statement, such as your full name and, “Nice to meet you.”
“A soft handshake can indicate insecurity, whilst a quick-to-let-go handshake can suggest arrogance," added Dr. Geoffrey Beattie, a researcher on the study.
Don't sweat it
What are the biggest handshake “don’ts”?
- Sweaty palms
- Loose grip or limp wrist
- Gripping too hard
- Not making eye contact
- Shaking too vigorously
August 22, 2010
I've told you all before about the daily financial email that I get (Daily Worth) and I've also told you how great it is so I thought I would share one of the great emails. I know I have trouble falling for some of the industries tricks so these tips for sure helped me! Happy reading!
Have you ever popped into a shop to buy "a few things"—and left with a full bag?
Get hip to stores' spend-more ploys and you can save a bundle, says
Philip Graves, author of Consumer.ology:
- Watch out for labels
Studies show that you're more likely to buy products labeled "sale" or "bargain price", says Dr. Lars Perner, assistant professor of clinical marketing at USC, without considering whether the item is truly a deal, and thus you end up spending more.
- Take your time
Retailers use scarcity language like "one day only" or "for a limited time,” to play on your fear of losing out on something, Graves says. It's a powerful inducement to buy—but don't buy it.
- Beware of bundles
Retailers often “bundle” products: For example, they’ll put buns, ketchup and charcoal by the hot dogs. You end up buying the related product because it's convenient—but not cost-effective.
- Listen closely
Slower music encourages you to linger, which means you're likely to buy more. Higher-end stores often play classical music because it helps you associate a product with excellence, and thus pay more for it, Graves adds, so listen up before you buy.
- Look around
Stores often place their most profitable products at eye-level, where you're more likely to see them—and more likely to buy them, Perner says. Stores also stock the shelves near checkout lines—where consumers are a captive audience—with tempting items. Look before you buy!
July 14, 2010
April 8, 2010
I know for me and my husband we are on a really serious “paying off debt, saving for a house” diet budget (we’re dealing with an investment gone wrong, and paying off our car). We don’t get to go out to dinner as often as we want, or buy just anything we want. There are times (often) that we run out of grocery money and have to be creative. It’s not that we’re starving, don’t get me wrong, we eat well, but we (as people in general) are too much of consumers and just don’t buy right, or healthy, and we end up spending too much on the newest brand or style, even in food!
What I’m getting at is, even though we’re on this really tied budget, concerts come up, trips to the states, and different opportunities and with everything being covered in our budget we’ve been able to plan a weekend trip in spring to see U2 (for our one year, yay!) and get a Macbook Pro. It’s amazing how playing with the numbers a little (while still maintaining your goals) can get you other things you want! Live isn’t too fun if you’re always tight with money and never having any fun. Be smart, but reward yourself too!
If something like this happens to you here are some Steps To Success for you to make it happen:
1) See if you can take a little bit of money from here and there ($5 from groceries, $5 from your personal money, $10 from your date money etc.) over the next while to pay for that new TV or weekend away.
2) Take on extra hours at work. Don’t dig into your savings for something that isn’t an income earning purchase.
April 1, 2010
My sister suggested subscribing to the Daily Worth emails. I don’t usually like daily emails, I find them sort of annoying, but these ones are super helpful, informative, and encouraging as you set up new things for your budget and finances. It’s an American company so there are times when the emails are totally irrelevant because our investments and taxes work different in Canada but other than that it’s a great email to get and I strongly suggest it! (See the example above)
March 25, 2010
When it comes to that I go to someone smart with money or a read a book or go to a course. It’s always good (and wise) to ask others how they do their finances and how they “get ahead”. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, or talking to others to get advice.
Steps To Success:
1) Ask someone out for coffee who you really admire and who is in a financial season you want to be in.
3) Read some good books and do some research. The more knowledge you have financially the better!
Some books I would suggest are: Good Debt, Bad Debt, Financial Peace and anything by Bob Ricci (he is really funny and informative on dvd as well!)
March 18, 2010
For those of you that have masters and conquered the credit card here are some ideas for you.
Using your credit card for all your daily purchases can be a very helpful and benifical choice for your finances:
1) The points you collect from using it can get you free travel, gift cards, or groceries which the monitory equivalent can then be put to something else.
I only suggest you use your credit card all the time if you watch it closely and make sure you can pay your total bill. Otherwise the interest owing may over power the actual benefits you are trying to get.
Me and my husband we get over $20 a month in points, which may not seem like a lot but it for sure adds up if you are smart with it!
March 11, 2010
Times change, the economy changes but often our incomes don’t change as fast to go along.
Steps To Success:
1) Just like your gift fund or emergency fund pick an amount you want your grocery budget to be each month. Don’t just spend and then find the money.
2) When you set your amount stick to it. It might be hard for the first couple months to make the change from spending more then you really need to.
March 4, 2010
I’m a strong believer in having all your money (as a married couple) together, in a joint account, working together on things, no matter how much you each earn. But I also believe that we each need to have some spending money all our own.
Steps To Success:
1) If you agree on it, set up your own accounts to transfer your spending money into for the month (this step also helps if you are trying to surprise your spouse with a gift)
2) Decide how much you can afford to give yourselves each month. Like your date money you
want to be able to go out and have fun, and buy yourself something nice every once and a while.
3) Be realistic. You might have to tighten things up for a while to reach your goals, but you can always change your amount when things are better
4) Have consequences. Like your date money if you over spend then you have less to spend the next month. This is your own money, your own responsibility. If you over spend it’s not your spouses responsibility to bail you out.
Let's be fair!
February 25, 2010
As you’ve started deciding your date money, spending money, gift fund, and emergency fund amounts you’re going to need a budget sheet to enter them into and to keep track.
You can go online and download a spread sheet that works for you, look for ones that give you a good idea and create your own or you can email me and i’ll spend you a template of the one I use (like the one you see below).
Steps To Success:
1) Enter all the “must haves” into your budget:
5) Date Money
6) Emergency Fund
7) Gift Fund
8) His money, Her Money
9) Car Payments
2) Add all the things specific for your family:
1) Kids Clothes
2) Makeup Money
3) Tool Money
4) Credit Card Debt
6) Giving (To your church, Sponsor Child, etc.)
7) Savings for a trip
3) Create formulas to total all your expenses
4) Create a section over to to the right for your incomes that you can change every month if it is different. This will help you adjust your budget accordingly if your earnings are lower or higher.
5) Create another formulas that takes your expenses out of your earnings. What you have left should always be in the positive, if it isn’t you need to adjust your budget until it balances. The goal is to always have some left; that being the amount you put into savings.
6) Create another section over to the right listing your different accounts (gift fund, emergency fund, savings, etc.) that you can update every time you add to them.
7) If you do a lot of your spending on a credit card create another section to the right where you enter each of your purchases and when they will be paid for. This will keep you from over spending, and see what you have already spend from each area in the month
8) To the right of each item in your master budget enter notes to help you know what you have done (e.g. Gift fund: Transferred, Groceries: Spend $44.45, Hydro: Paid with Master Card, etc.)
Being this detailed isn’t for everyone, and I know that. But if you are struggling with your finances and you’re wanting to get a good grip on things, and really figure out where you are going wrong this might be a good step for a while. It will for sure help you get a handle on what you’re really putting where.
Shared at: Penny Pinching Party
February 18, 2010
Often we spoil ourselves a little bit too much and don’t put a limit to our spending and by the end of the month have spent way more then we realized and often don’t even know where it all went.
Steps To Success:
1) Decide how much you want to give yourself each month
2) Pick an amount that lets you go out and have fun but also is realistic with your financial goals
3) If this is for your and your spouse sit down and talk this over before you set anything “in stone”. You don’t want to be at odds on this one.
4) If you over spend don’t take the money from your savings or somewhere else to pay for it. Put yourself in the “minus” for the next month. You have to have consequences for yourself (and rewards) to keep yourself on track.
February 11, 2010
1) No, not what you are going to get but for what; weddings, Mom’s birthday, your best friend, Christmas etc.
2) Give them each a line and then in the next column put how much you plan to spend on each gift.
3) Total up all the gifts, divide it by 12 and that will give you how much you need to save monthly.
4) Start a savings account (again, not accessible through your debit card) just for your gift fund
This is the most accurate way of figuring out how much you need to save for gifts and a great way to see if you can really afford it. Yes, most of us want to be generous and get really great gifts for the people we love but sometimes it’s not about how much we spend but the thought and love put into it. And when you are trying to get your finances in order sometimes you have to be a little more creative with gifts.
Steps To Success:
1) Buy gifts when they are on sale. Even though Christmas isn’t until December it’s ok to buy a gift in August if it’s a better price.
2) Make your gift. We all have talents and skills that we often ignore. Try making something for a change. Believe it or not it might be the most loved gift that person gets that year.
3) Regift. I know, I know, it’s often very frowned upon to regift but really if you do it right you can really bless someone, and why hold onto something that you don’t like that could really make someone else happy? I got some regifted things this year for Christmas and I loved them!
Like the emergency fund this might not sound that important but think of all the times that you went over budget at christmas, on gifts, and spent months paying off that credit card and getting back on track. This simple budget step will be a huge help in the end.
February 4, 2010
Steps To Success:
1) Some people say “Save 10%, give 10% and put 10% into an emergency fund” I say figure out a number that works for you, and put it into your budget. When I was single I put away $60 a month, now that I am married we put away $100 a month into our emergency fund.
2) If you don’t have a car, or house you likely don’t need to put as much away because if an emergency arrises you won’t have as high a cost (after all you don’t have break downs or furnaces going right?)
3) If you can open up a savings account that is just for your emergency fund but is not accessible from your debit card (just another safety guide from stopping you from spending it)
4) Try to build your emergency fund up to at cover 3 months expenses in case you get injured and can’t work or you lose your job.
5) Don’t touch the money unless it is truly an emergency. Start a little budget contribution for car and house repairs and up keep instead of pulling from your emergency fund.
6) If you are in the starting process of your emergency fund (and your budget allows it) put a large amount ($500, $1000 whatever you can do) in that account to get yourself going.
It might not sound like something too important but it’s a great key to keep you out of debt when those unexpected things come up!
Shared at: Penny Pinching Party
January 28, 2010
At 18 I had saved up $10,000 (getting paid just above minimum wage) and went to Australia for a year to do mission work. During that year I also went to New Zealand and The Philippines.
At 20 I did a leadership training school and covered all my cost while working very part time. (Just above minimum wage)
At 21 I did a (non-paying) full time internship. During that year I also took a trip to Mexico.
At 22 I got my own apartment, all new furniture and took a trip to New York, Montreal and two other weekend shopping trip to the states.
At 23 I took a trip to Hawaii, another shopping trip to the states, and bought myself a new big screen TV and surround sound system. Oh and I got engaged and started saving for the wedding!
In my last month of being 23 I got married and took a month long honeymoon in Europe.
And that brings us to today’s date where we recently bought a new Macbook Pro (which I am using right now!) and just booked our hotel and bought our tickets to go down to the states to see U2 for our 1 year. At the same time we are paying off our car and half way to our goal for a big down payment for a house.
I know I said I don’t like bragging, and you’re probably thinking “That sure sounds like bragging to me!” but I wanted to give you an idea of what I have done, and accomplished while not getting into debt because really, are you going to listen to someone about finances when they themselves aren’t doing too well?
So there you have it, my story. I’m going to write a series of posts giving you tips, hints, suggestions and plans to get out and stay out of debt, save, form a budget, and get to do all the things you want to do and more.
I don’t boast that I know everything, or my way is the only way, I’m just going to share what’s worked for me.