Saturday, 31 December 2016

Goodby 2016

Dear Visitor,
I started this blog in February 2016, with the goal of savings for retirement. The other goal is to pay off my mortgage. Now it is time to look back to see how good or bad the year was, right?

This year, My spouse lost his job. Luckily he got hired faster in another company. 
You know, when the main income is lost, it is a lot of trouble.  That taught us the importance of having an emergency  fund .

Since the beginning of 2016, I have amassed a total of 29K in investments. We also started an RRSP and TFSA for my spouse. 
While reading many financial blogs, I bumped in to the idea of minimalism. My family is not fully agreed to the idea of minimalism. But, I am trying to practice that. 
There are no impulse buying for me. The clothes are going to be used as much as possible. When I buy a new one, an old one must go. You know, having only enough things makes me feel more relaxed. Less things to be taken care off and more time to read or to do things I love. 

This year, most meals were cooked at home. The dryer machine used lesser than other years. I walked more than previous years. 
I discovered MMM blog, and ERE blog this year. Those were real life changers. Then the Canadian Couch Potato really helped me to learn about investments.
I am a regular reader of Life After Retirement, Frugal Queen, Living Rich On The cheap etc along with MMM and ERE. I love She Picks Up Pennies and Half Banked also. All these bloggers are helping me to have a meaningful life.
So, altogether, 2016 was great for me. 

Now, tell me how was your year? You feel happy about 2016 or you feel bad about it? Share your thoughts with me.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Friday, 30 December 2016

After the break

Dear Visitor,
I was taking a short break from blogging.
Didn't change much in the life though. Christmas came and gone. There was no much spending for Christmas this year.
It was fantastic that we cooked lamb in slow cooker. Made bread and sweet potato wedges to go with it. Then there was champaign. 
A dinner for this small family. 
It is cold, but there is not much snow. I am completely ignoring my investments this month. No, I cannot say completely ignoring, because I checked the iTrade account and saw there was $115. It was the dividend income. so i bought some FIE shares with that. 
The funny thing is when I first started buying them, the price was just a bit higher than $6/unit. Now it is over $7. Is it the Trump effect? 
Then year is coming to an end in couple of days. Time to reflect on the gone year, right? 
Hope you all had a great holidays. 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Walking to Work: Last walk in Novemeber

Dear Visitor,
Glad that you are here
It is getting colder. We Canadians use Celsius to mention temperature. So when I say below zero, it is below zero degree celsius.

When that happens, we add more layers under the jacket. sometimes, we change the jacket according to the temperature.
I was thinking of not buying new sweater this year. But, the zipper of a hooded sweater fall apart. That forced me to buy a new hoodie.  This time little more careful in choosing a better zipper. No, I am not throwing my other sweater yet. Thinking of adding a velcro to it. It can be worn at home with a faulty zipper. It can be worn open in the spring and fall... Not giving upon it yet.

Anyway, the new hoodie is comfy. So I decided to walk to work even though there was slight rain.
While my boots were warm on feet, the wind was cold on face. The walk was really satisfying. I saw a dead dove under the bridge.  Then with ear piercing siren, the fire engine passed me. The creek had more water than yesterday. Still some trees are having leaves.

If I chose to ride on the bus, I would have missed all those things. While crossing the busy road at the walk sign, a stressed out driver almost hit me. You can say that I got a bit annoyed by it. But, still luck was on my side, he didn't hit me.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

How to save on Grocery shopping?

Dar Visitor,

Thanks for coming. Let us think about how to avoid over spending at grocery stores.

At least once a week we need to go shopping for fruits, veggies and other staples.

Since food is essential for life, we have to spend some money on it on a regular basis. If we are not careful, the spending can be out of hand. The grocery shops are designed to make us walk through the isles and spend on things.

They could place the milk, and eggs near to the fresh produce isle. But, it usually on the opposite ends. That is to make the customer walk and to see the items on display and to make them spend mindlessly.

  • So, know the layout of your regular grocery store. Don't get caught in the beautiful display of processed food.
Since you know your store, you can make the list according to your regular path within the store. My usual stores have the fresh produce near the entrance. So, my list starts with fresh items like fruits and veggies.

  • Have a list. While making list have the store layout in mind to reduce distracted shopping.
Most frugal people cook food at home. They buy more when things are on sale. Keep the items you bought appropriately to reducing wasting food.

  • Know how to store food. Can it be in the freezer? Should it be in a container but outside fridge?
Most stores like to do a price match. So, keep the flyers and have them handy while shopping.

  • Know your stores price matching policy. Have flyers handy for price matching.
Like to have snacks? Try to have healthy snacks like nuts and fruits. But, sometimes, we all need chips and candies.

  • Buy those chips in bulk and portion them using ziplock bags. Bulk is less expensive than smaller packs.
Can you cook? Cooking meals at home is always better than buying/eating out. Cooking meals at home is a good way to save money.

  • Cook food at home and pack them in re-usable container to work and school. 
Freezer is a very useful equipment. You can store many seasonal fruits and veggies in the freezer. The frozen fruits can be used to make homemade jams. You can even freeze the corn. When the fresh produce is in season, by more and freeze them.

  • Use your freezer. 
What other things you do to save money on grocery shopping? Which habit is blowing your budget?
Till next post....

Sharing is Caring

Monday, 21 November 2016

Frugal weekend

One more weekend is over. It is getting colder and fluffy snow started coming.
It is time to start adding layers of clothing. It is time to start buying gifts for Christmas too. That means a lot of spending coming on the way.
When the year is ending, we really have to think of putting money in RRSP to save on taxes.

Then there is a change coming at workplace which means I am going to have less hours to work(which also means less money). There are some worries for the upcoming new year. But i am hopeful to make it work.

With friends coming over for weekend, we were thinking of a lot of expenses on grocery. Since the weather was so cold and windy, I cooked at home and we all had a great time.

I should do that more. It is much fun to cook in the open kitchen when people are talking and we all having a good time.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Dilemmas of Spending

Dear Visitor,
Glad to see you back.  
Hope, you are getting ready for the holidays. I can see the malls are getting decorated. Shops are arranging things and displaying more boxed items, which can be bought as gifts. 

The problem is not finding gifts. The prices at the shops are gone much higher this year. I used to buy the face cream from Walmart for less than $10. But now, the same bottle is over $12. So, I settled down with a body lotion of the same brand. I can use body lotion on the face too. Substitute baby.

I want the ActiFry electric fryer, oh, I really want the Roomba, I must have that Dyson vacuum cleaner... Yes, I am drooling over all those things on display and all those things on flyers. 
Then I look on the countertop,  look on my little condominium. No, I don't need all those things. Now I remember Extreme Jacob and think of my age and my retirement. 

After started the savings, I can see  little changes in how the money is handled. 
How you are doing with money? Are you reluctant to spend too? How you doing with gift purchases?
Am I the only one doing without face moisturizer?

Monday, 14 November 2016

We are waiting for us

Dear Visitor,
Glad to see you back. 
We usually go visit and read other blogs. It it is interesting we will share on social media . Sometimes, we will add a comment to the post to let them know our thoughts. 

Today, the first one I stumbled over is the post, We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For, by the popular site, Enlightenment For Schmucks. If you haven't visited, it will be interesting to have a look on it. They are telling us there is still hope and we, common people can do something to change the government. It is really worth to have a look on the suggestions they posted. 
I am really inspired by the Schmucks today. 

We the frugal people are taking care of our situations. We are doing a lot for the environment. We are working to be out of the consumerism. 

What are you waiting for? Waiting for some one, or waiting for us to take care of our world?

Which other blogger is inspiring you this week?
Till next time, 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Frugal Friday

Dear Visitor,
I bake more than one bread this week. That is a good thing because hubs was suggesting to eat out. Since my second bread is getting baked right now, he changed plans. It is good to keep money in the vallet, isn't it?  Anything more tasty than a freshly baked bread?
Then even the weather is getting colder, managed to walk to work one day. 

The heating is not turned on in the apartment yet, even though I tempted to do it...

Cooked everything at home this week and took lunch to work too. 

There was some temptation to buy new sweaters. So, did some organizing to see what do I have. Turned out, it will be enough for this winter anyway.

The clothes got line dried this week too. I found out the gentle cycle on the washing machine  is enough to keep our clothes clean. Have you ever tried that for regular clothes? I am not sure it will save energy, but it can save the life of the clothes.

Now what you guys were doing this week frugally?

Until next time....

Afterthoughts of an Election

Dear Visitor,
Glad to see you back. Think, you already know that I am Canadian. Yes, I am first generation immigrant. 
I always thought of America as a prosperous country. The America we see in the movies and news is a very rich country.
So, naturally every other nationalities wanted to live in there. So, the world was watching closely how their election going to be too.
As the results are out, Trump is the President elect, and the news is filled with people protesting about the result. 

Didn't we saw the same fear in Brexit? Many young people were confessing after the Brexit vote that they didn't went to  vote. Same goes in the American election too. Many young adults were too busy to use their vote. Now, the results are out. So many people are angry: They do run protests, ruin public property, getting arrested... I feel sad for them. 
In this free country, doesn't the President Elect deserve a chance? Even tough he is not a career politician, and he said "you are fired" many times, being a fellow citizen, doesn't he has the same rights like the rest of you? The people who voted for him also deserve to be treated nicely, don't you think? May be your neighbour, your next of kin might have voted for Trump. Otherwise how he won?

What do you think? Are you scared right in this moment that your life is going to change?

Until next time...

Monday, 7 November 2016

Frugal living is Green living

Dear visitor,
I love to save my money, and you know that. 
Does the word frugal makes you cringe?

I can see many people around are just not interested in being frugal. I can see the attitude of "it is not going to make much difference" attitude everywhere. I might say like" I finish the cooking before 7 am to take advantage of the off peak hydro rates". Then the listener will say "That won't make much difference. You cannot save a big amount of money by doing so". But they all agree that I am saving the energy by using energy efficient equipments and it is good for the environment. Yes, I am saving my money and I am GREEN too.

Think of it: It will add up, right? If you don't save it will not make any difference in your life anyway. So why not save at least a little whenever you can?

Now, being green is hip. We frugal people are doing that by not really giving it a thought. The frugal people take lunch in reusable containers. By doing so they are saving money and not putting a lot in the trash and there by saving the environment. 
Most frugal people like Mr. MMM are biking and walking instead of driving. That is a lot help to the environment. Isn't it green living too? (Most frugal people don't spend more money to buy a hybrid car, they may have cars that are not gas guzzlers)

Many frugal people like me are using the green cleaning products like vinegar and baking soda. We make our own soaps and there by reducing the many packages sent to landfills. That is green living, right? 
Frugal people try to avoid using paper towels and disposable cleaning products. They try to have reusable wipes and napkins to save money. In the end, less items going to the landfills, and it is good for the world. They take the maximum life out of each item comes to their life before putting them in the waste bin or recycle bin. For example i use my yoghurt containers to keep food in the fridge and in freezer. My storage containers for oats, coffee, nuts etc are all recycled plastic ones. 

They buy in bulk and cook from scratch. They try to use less meat and use plant based proteins more. In the end result is more money saved and less weight on the world. 
The frugal people tend to grow their own veggie garden to reduce the spending. Their gardens thrive with the use of homemade compost. Isn't it green living too?
So what you think? Aren't frugal people are living a green life?

Hope, you will share your thoughts with me
Until next time,

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

October Passive Income

Dear visitor,

The October has ended two days before. It is time to check out the passive income earned for that month. 

Luckily, the checking account have enough to cover the fixed expenses of November.  A huge sigh here! But, I still paid $1 fee for an extra transaction for October. Have to be careful this month. 

October was a slow month considering work. Bosses took vacations and I got time off. Many days passed without being really productive. I could say, I really was enjoying down time. 

Now let us talk about the passive income:
This month all together I made $140.56 in dividend income.  As I explained in September update, it is the combined income. Then the blog has earned 6cents too. It is still going to stay with Google.  No new money was added to the accounts. I am thinking of the expenses in December. So, going to keep in the account without investing. 
Things can change though. 

Thinking of re-investing the dividend earned though. Since my CIBC account will charge me $6.95 for each transaction, I wanted to buy more units when I do a buy.  It must be better if each ETF will have enough units so that it can buy at least one complete unit with the dividend. What was I thinking when I started, right? Better to learn from the mistakes, I guess.  I can think of some strategies to get more for my buck. 

Do you have any suggestions for me?

Monday, 31 October 2016

Predicaments of Monday

Dear visitor,

One more weekend is over. To be precise, last weekend of October 2016 is over. Today is Halloween.

With no school aged kids at home, I don't plan anything for Halloween. No costumes, no decorations and no trick or treating. Is it good or bad??? I don't know. 

Mondays can be little bit miserable too. All working people will understand that right? After a full day of staying home, there is always an inertia to get out and go to work. 

Mondays really motivates me to be financially independent. It does not mean the work is horrible though. 

Most of the Mondays, it is just a matter of getting out and reaching to the work place. Once that is done, I am fine for the rest of the week. The running keeps you running, don't you agree?
Always the final weekend of the month is more stressful than other weekends. I really have to make sure there is enough money in the bank to pay the pre authorized  payments. sometimes my employer do not pay the cheque on the first day of the new month. Those times i might have to pay the fines imposed by bank.... Yeah sometimes life really sucks. 
Thanks for listening to my complaints.  Pretty sure this Monday will also be over. My frugal ways of living and saving will let me free from future money dilemmas, I hope.

I comfort myself: We always have to get out of the comfort zone to achieve something. 

So, how you handle your Mondays? Are they happy starting of the week? Are they struggle to overcome the inertia of staying home?

Till next time

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Frugal Mistake

Dear visitor,
Hope you are doing frugally well and on your way to financial independence.
I am a fan of Mustache. After discovering that blog in 2016, I followed many of his ideas. 

The main tip from his blog is to line dry clothes and use the car less. I do not drive. So, using public transportation is my way. Usually hubs pick me up from work. But, I either walk or bus to work. 
Last week, life got way too busy. I found myself drying clothes in the dryer. I used the dishwasher more times than ever last week. 
While thinking about the last week, I really feel guilty. 

If only I was doing a bit of planning, I could have line dry the clothes.  The dishwasher need not to be turned on for few dishes. 

But, sometimes we need to give ourselves a break too, right? We have to be freed from our regular chores sometimes.

So, what is your recent  frugal mistake? 

Till next time

Fabulous weekend

Dear visitor,

The weekend was over. It was really a frugal fabulous weekend.
We had company. Since we cooked at home, it was really fun.

The leftovers are in the fridge to finish off during the week.

I believe, if one big cooking is done over the weekend, the eek will go smoothly. I don't have to think about each meal of the day.
Just open the fridge and pop something to microwave and happy with that.

I made bread again. Homemade oatmeal cookies were a hit. The beef stew and baked potato wedges were really yummy. The guests loved it.

So all together the weekend was just fun. The good thing is it was all done on a low budget.

I am just being frugal this month. No investment is done for this month.
Think, it has to wait till the end of the year.

How was your weekend?

Till next time

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

One Milestone reached

Dear visitor,

Nice to see you back. Today I would like to share one happy achievement with you. 

I started this blog in February, 2016. When the blog started, I wasn't sure how long I will be able to do it. But, like my motto, (saving $1 at a time and investing to financially independent), I just did one post at a time. 

Woohooo... this is the 101st post. How did that happened??? 

So, it is achievable. Just one step at a time and you will be somewhere.

That is really something!!!

After starting my blog, my small family started to take care of our financials. We check the accounts, started investing in RRSP and TFSA. They are not maxed out. I am not sure they will be maxed out before we reach the retirement age. 

So, I am happy with my little achievement. As you can see, my blog is  not getting many comments. But, I can see that you are visiting, because the   report says how many visits I get each day. Since this one is hosted on free blogger site, and my writing is not that great, I am really happy to see that people just wander here. 

What is your newest milestone? Let us talk about that.

Till next post

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Recycling used tea bags

Dear Visitor,

Thanks for visiting.

I was heard so many uses for coffee ground. Are there any uses for tea bags? Any way to recycle the tea bags?

Seems like there are some ways. Of course you can compost them after brewing tea. I use my green tea to make more than one cup of tea. Sometimes, i will use one bag to brew 4 cups of tea. Then the tea will be in  vacuum flask.  Sometimes, I brew one cup and then keep the tea bag in the fridge and brew it again in the same day. It will not be as good as the first brew. Some people leave the bag in the water (about 1/2 litre) for some time. Then reheat the tea in the microwave.

While looking for ideas, i came to know that the the tea bag can be used to mend a broken nail. Just cut the bag and use nail polish to cover the broken nail and paint over it again.

Another idea is to place used and cooled tea bag over the eyes to remove puffiness and under eye circles.

You can use green tea or black tea to sooth the sunburn and other minor burns. 

One recipe for homemade shampoo for coloured hair uses black tea instead of water. Didn't you heard that black tea is good for hair?

Tea is good to absorb smells. So, dry tea bags can be used in the fridge instead of baking soda. Some websites suggest to sprinkle used tea (dry them first) on the carpet and to vacuum after 10 minutes to clean. 

You can spray some essential oil on the tea bag to use as air freshener. Since it comes with a thread, easy to hang. 
 You can use a bit of black tea to shine your dark hard wood floor. It can also be used to clean wooden furniture.

Since it absorbs smell, you can soak your feet in brewed tea to help smelly feet. 
What are other ideas for used tea bags?
How you recycle tea bags?

Getting out of Comfort zone

Dear Visitor,
How you are doing?

 It was very foggy here in Toronto, yesterday.
It was raining most of the time. The day was very dull and sleepy.
I was supposed to go to work. My inertia was keep telling me to call in sick and sleep in.

Then, I remembered: Getting out of your comfort zone is the way to riches.
So, I dressed up and walked out of the door, into the slow rain.

I can assure you it was good. The visibility was poor. I saw an accident happened on the way. Glad that no one was hurt.

Even the work place was unusually quiet. A very slow moving day. It was not cold either.

So, without working that hard, I managed to finish the work day.
Yes, get out of your comfort zone .
There is more fun waiting for you outside.
So how you tame a dull day? Any ideas to share?

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Making some pasta sauce

Hi Visitor,

Nice to see you again.
So, what is happening in the frugal, saving and investing world of yours?
The weather is cold. The central heating of the condo is not turned on yet. So to keep myself warm, decided to cook something.

This time it is Pasta sauce. There are fresh tomatoes in the pantry. Then of course, I have onions and garlic. 

It was easy to make. Just a small batch. Enough for two days, I think.

Here is the recipe:

2-3 onions chopped.
3 meaty tomatoes chopped
2-3 garlic chopped
Oil of your choice (I used canola oil)

Heat the oil. Stir fry the onions to make them really translucent. Then add the garlic and stir for 2 more minutes. It will give a nice fragrant. Now add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat and simmer. If you have any herbs like basil or thyme add to the pan. Add salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Cook to the desired thickness. 

I think, I can experiment more with this sauce by adding grated carrots or zucchini. May be I can try meatballs in it? 

Thinking, if I get time to cook, I can stop buying the pasta sauce from store. Less cans to the recycle bin : that will be nice!

Share your ideas on being frugal and saving money. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Stocking Freezer: Beetroots

Hi visitor,
How things are with you? 
We are on a mission to buy the veggies when they are cheap and to stock up the freezer. (Guess all frugal people do that)

No, I don't have a chest freezer. The veggies are going to be in the freezer that comes with the fridge. 

Now couple of weeks ago, beetroots were on sale in 10 pound bags. I got one bag. I should have picked 2 bags, because, the week after, there was nothing to see. 
Beetroots are easy to prepare for the freezer.
I just washed them up and boiled them on stove top. Once they are cooked, wait for them to cool down. The skin will come of easily . You can do it with your hands. Then just slice the way you wanted them for your future dishes. I love them roasted. So, mine were cubes and wedges. I popped them in ziplock bags and kept in the freezer. 
I have seen picked beets on the store. May be next time when they are on sale I should try that. 
Oh and the water I boiled them: can be used to dye your white fabrics. I tried once, and it gave a pale pink. 

What do you do with a big bag of beetroots?

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Stocking freezer : Onions

Hello visitor,
I am glad you come here. There is one more frugal story this week.
October is the month to stock up fridge. Like all other frugal people, i also love the veggies on sale.

Last weekend, hubs got a big bag of onions on sale. Yes, of all the things, he bought 10 lb bag of onions. Now, I am on to taming that one. For the thanksgiving dinner, we used up lot of onions for the stew. But, still there are more onions left over.

I will tell you one more secret: October is the less working month for dental assistants. My bosses love to take the dental off season to take vacations. That makes less income for me, (No work, no money.)
So, I have tons of time in my hand right now. So, I am chopping the onions (yes, crying too). Then the chopped onions are going to be on the stove top, getting caramelized. Once they are done, I am going to keep them in the freezer. (I am doing this batch by batch. )
They will add flavour to mostly anything I make. Don't you love caramelized onions in your stir-fry?

What do you do with such big quantity of onions? 
Until next post,
Loving you

Pumpkins on Sale

Hello visitor, 

It is October.Getting cooler. 
What is in plenty? I see a lot of pumpkins. 
I love the pumpkins. And, they are on sale now.
Buy them when they are available, right? But, what to do with them other than making pies and soups???

If I buy more than we needed for a week how can it be kept in the fridge? 

First of all, I don't want to make pie. The pie pumpkin we got on sale is very tempting. 
So, as an experiment, I cut it in small manageable size. Then removed the skin using my knife. It is hard skin. Then cubed and microwaved in a bowl wrapped in plastic wrap. It was in microwave on high for 12 minutes. 
When it cooled a bit, mashed it with some salt and curry powder. (it is very sweet, so spiciness of curry powder seems good).
 It was so yummy! I ate it with bread. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

No Spending week

 Hi Visitor,
If you check my Blog List, you can see the first one as Frugal Queen.  That is the newest blog got added to the list.

I read the latest post and commented thinking, buy nothing means you cannot go even grocery shopping. The Frugal Queen corrected me: I can buy groceries and fuel. But there is no other shopping.
Doesn't that sound so cool!!!

Think of it! I was having a buy nothing month in October. There were only grocery purchases!!! Nope: I bought a bread machine this month. Hum... Too bad.

May be I can do a buy nothing week now. There was some shopping for groceries during the weekend. It was thanksgiving weekend. Yesterday, i found out that I needed yoghurt. Since I don't want to go to grocery for yoghurt alone and to get tempted, made yoghurt at home. Thankfully, there was a bit of yoghurt left in the container to use as culture. It is getting really good.

Have you ever done a buy nothing week?

Ever thought about not spending for at least one day?
I would love to know. Do you like any other blogs to be added to my list? Please please tell me.


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Simple Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. There are so many things to be thankful in this year.
The colourful October is not yet bone chilling cold. The autumn colors are amazing. Time for pumpkin flavoured everything!

I am thankful that we are living in a free country. The luxuries in life are amazing! Did I ever dreamed of having a laptop and smart phone when I was a kid?

We are thankful that we both have jobs now.

The thanksgiving dinner was delicious and fun. Hubby made delicious beef and veggie stew. The homemade bread was delicious. Then we had the pumpkin pie from Costco. Can you believe, it was just $6.99 this year? I believe, it was $9.99 last year. 
We love the pumpkin pie from Costco. I tried smaller pies before, but this one is amazing!
Then there was wine too. since dear daughter is an adult now, she also enjoyed some wine with us. 
So,there was no turkey. The simple dinner didn't break the bank. 

Friday, 7 October 2016

Making bread

Fresh baked bread are so divine, don't you agree with me?
But, making bread at home? I tried it with some recipes on internet. It needed a lot of kneading, and time to rise .
So, to bake bread, I need to plan. Most of the time, I don't like to plan for cooking. I don't want to stay at home for hours to make a loaf of bread.
So, bread machine is a good choice. Yes, they are just very easy to use and comes with recipe book usually.
The one recently bought can be used to make jams and cakes too. The dough option is there, in case I wanted to make pizza...

The problem I found is the bread machine recipes in the book all asked for bread machine flour. I have a 10 lb bag of all purpose bag sitting in the pantry, un-opened. I don't want to go and buy the bread machine flour  now.
Yes, Mr.Google has solutions for me. Add wheat gluton. Brilliant idea, right? But, I still have to go to the store and buy it.
 So, I decided to just substitute all-purpose flour to bread flour, cup for cup. After all, I might be losing some flour right?
Wait a minute... check for a recipe for white bread and voila! I got one from internet. Since my booklet of recipes says Canadian flour has more protein, I added 1 table spoon of water extra for each cup of flour.
I used the basic cycle, and finished in 3 hours. The bread turned out really well. It was soft and tasty.
I am going to try substituting all purpose flour to bread flour cup for cup in some of the recipes in the booklet. Will update about the bread machine soon.

Previously on Pellrides: September Passive income

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

September passive income

Since October started, time to update on September passive income. All personal finance bloggers do give an update on it, right?

I was thinking of working all possible hours and it really sucks...I realized slowing down is actually better. When you get tired, i tend to follow un-mustachian ways of drying clothes in the machine, and eating out.

The passive income for this month is below $100 if I consider only my TFSA and RRSP. But, we have another account, started with $10,000 and totally ignored for some weird reasons. I started taking care of that one too. That is with Scotia iTrade. Scotia has great site, but, if you don't have minimum of $25,000 there, the fees can really kill you. So, my new strategy is to buy their commission free ETFs.

All those 3 accounts combined, I made a total of $130.  For me, it is a good amount of money for a month in passive income. Most of the money is reinvested along with some new money.

The one ETF on iTrade commission free list is ZWB/ BMO covered call Canadian bank ETF. I bought at  $16.70/share. The price a bit high now.  In another post I will try to explain what is a covered call.

Around the time I started saving and investing, hubby stopped saving in RRSP and TFSA. Now, we are going to start that again for him: this time DIY investments. So, let us see where it goes.
Oh, by the way, the blog receive $0.02 during the last month as well. Since it is less than what I can take out, it is going to stay with Google.

Previously on Pellrides

Create Emergency fund without having cash

Personal finance gurus advised us all to have an emergency fund with at least 6 months expenses.
So, the emergency fund depends on the way you live your life. Some say, you might need at least $5000 kept away easily accessible.
Do we really need to keep that much liquid cash?

If I keep that money in my checking account, it is not going to give me any interest. may be we can put that money in a high interest saving account or flexible GIC. Another option is to put in a high interest TFSA.

In this modern world, we all have credit cards. We all have bank accounts.Money is available easily, if you have a credit card. Even bank will let you have some money without having that much in your account. There are line of credits, and over draft facilities.

So, think of having a real emergency, like the car broke down, or the furnace stopped working in the middle of winter. Then, you can really put it on your credit card. There is a grace period for paying that bill. You can use your credit card to pay that bill. Get some points on that expense too. Then before the end of the grace period, un-park your money from the GIC or high interest savings account or the money market fund.

If you are using the line of credit from bank, you will have to pay for the insurance on that money. I can't remember what they call it: but, CIBC charged me about $7  for using line of credit, even though I paid back within 20 days.

If you are sure you can pay the money back to your credit card within the grace period, you really don't need to keep the liquid cash in checking account.

So, there you have the emergency fund, without having liquid cash sitting around doing nothing.
Previous Post: save time and money

Friday, 30 September 2016

Saving time and money while sleeping

Can we really do that? Save money and get works done when sleeping? Turns out, there is a way, when that comes to household chores.

Living in Ontario means paying higher rate for electricity usage. while looking on the off peak time, I came to know that in summer and winter, 7pm to 7am is the off peak hours.

Now, I have to find a way to do most of my heavy works like doing laundry during that time.

So I figured out, I can load my washing machine at night and make it work when I am sleeping. Same goes with the dishwasher.

Being a new mustachian, I like to air dry my clothes. In the morning, I hang the clothes on the clothes line. 

Sometimes, because of the morning rush, I forget to hang the clothes. To help me, my smart phone has a calendar. all i have to do is put a note on the calendar, morning 7 I need to hang clothes. That is scheduled and the phone will remind me.

Cooking is mostly done before 7 am on weekdays. Then Sunday, we cook a lot to keep in the fridge. That way, we always have something to eat and prevent the urge to eat out.

What other things can be done to reduce spending?

Previously on Pellrides

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

What Millionaire thinks

Anybody who wants to be rich really want to know, how a millionaire became one. We are all curious to know what is the secret of being rich.

Is there a secret?
So, I read books like "Think and Grow Rich", "Millionaire Next Door", "The Secret" and so many other books. Recently, I wrote about the book "Instant millionaire". It is a fictional type of book. I loved Mark Fisher's writing style. So, I found another book by him "How to Think Like a Millionaire".

The book is really small. The book reveals that there is no secret or shortcuts to be rich. By putting a captivating heading, he was able to sell many copies of this book.

There is nothing new in the book comparing to "Think and Grow Rich" . The auto suggestion s are renamed as affirmations. That is all.
How Obama became the first black president of America? He decided to run for president and just followed through. There were other people, like Mitt Romney, who also followed through the decision, and failed. I don't know what type of thinking made the difference.
Do the affirmations make a difference? Saying "Every day in every way I am getting better and better" can make us happy and help to forget the failures. I can see that I am doing my work more efficiently than five years before. That came with the conscious effort to get things done faster and efficiently. 

Since I made the decision to start investing, and started to really do save and invest, I can see that there is slight increase in my income. There is a conscious effort to save money. I can see more money related blogs coming in my way. I can see that i know bit more about money than last year. 

So, I guess, the secret is to having that desire to get what we really want, and take one step at a time to get there. If we aim to reach the Sun, we may be able to reach the moon at least. 

Do any of you think there is a secret way millionaires think?

Monday, 26 September 2016

What is wrong with the fall?

Fall is the season of colors. It is the season preparing us for the winter...
It is preparing us to be ready for the cold of winter.
But still I have troubles with this season.

I don't like to feel cold. Then, you cannot wear the sweater yet: because it is not cold enough to have a sweater.

Most buildings will still the air-conditioning switched on. It makes me feel so cold inside. So I need to pack a sweater all the time.

Then the days are getting shorter. It gets darker early, and the nights are longer. The cool mornings makes me feel to curl in the bed more. That creates the mornings miserable. The cooking, cleaning, running out of the home to work... You know the drill.

The cooler weather and the cloudy days makes me feel hungry for the sugary crunchy snacks.Not great for my body and purse. The fruits and veggies are available plenty at cheaper price. I have to force myself to make and eat a salad.

Oh, this fall is not good for my finance at all...

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Fashion and Finance

Keeping up with the newest fashion may not be great for your finance. May be you can keep up the new trends and keep your money too.

How can that be possible?

The trendy pieces are not priced low. A little creativity and time can help up to do that. We can carefully search the thrift stores to find those right pieces. Cosmetics can be found cheaper too. Adjust the jewelries to suit with the outfit and can have your own style.

With the help of internet DIY tricks, you might be able to make hoes in your jeans to get that look.

Those are all personal choices.

But the real fashion in finance is still money in the bank. Do you agree with me?

Monday, 19 September 2016

Charity t-shirts are good for Financial independence

I don't go to fund raising events. I never participated in any of such events. So, how the charity t-shirts are helping me to be financially independent? I will tell you.

Now, my dear kid (now an adult in university), brings home a number of T shirts, with different logos on them. You know the university students and their devotion for some of the causes. Most of them given to her free to wear and volunteer. 
So, the problem is some of the shirts she got are too big for her. There is this white one for green living, printed with green slogan. 

Me being frugal, I love to have them to be used. So, some are forced on to hubby to be used at home. 

I like to wear long sleeve shirts under the scrub top while working. Almost all of the charity shirts are short sleeve and cheap material. 

So, I wear them while going for summer walks or at home. Why should I buy short sleeves just for the summer, right?

Those shirts are great for layering up in Canadian winters, aren't they? 
Some can be used for the painting and other messy work for kids. Then, I like to paint on my shirts too. So, with some fabric paint, I can mask the slogans I don't like to show off.( You can use the acrylic paints from dollar store too)

Sometimes we get the summer hats free from companies as promotional items. I usually use my craft skills to cover the logo and make the hats funky. Same goes with the nice colour free t-shirts too. 

If there is a choice, I don't want to buy the charity shirts, bracelets etc. I would just to donate the money to my causes.  But, if they made their way to home, I will use them all the way and finally they will become washable rags. 

In our home, we like to reduce the spending to be financially independent while saving the environment.

Friday, 16 September 2016

What the Instant Millionaire taught me

The book Instant Millionaire is written by Mark Fisher. 
It is available as audio book in Toronto public library. 
The book tells us a very nice story. It is very interesting to listen to. 
a young man who is not getting anywhere with his work and finances is getting advice from a mentor suggested by his uncle.
In the story the mentor teaches the young man about power of affirmations. Yes, we learned about the power of sub-conscious mind from Napoleon Hill: remember "Think and Grow Rich"?

the book teaches the young man about having bigger goals. The mentor teaches him to ask for help. The universe is ready to give and all we need is to ask.

The other point is to have a positive attitude. The instant millionaire strongly suggests your goal should not affect other people negatively. 

What I really like to use from this book is to use affirmations. 

The simplest one mentioned in the book is "Everyday in every way i am getting better and better"

Will you use the written goal to be wealthy as suggested by the book?

I really have to experiment with that one. Because, the book says you need not to have a clear cut idea to have wealth, but should have a definite amount in mind.

Anybody going to try this?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Slowing down is good for peronal finance

The days are slowing down,
Night comes early and the leaves are changing color. 
I really tried to work all possible hours... I thought it might bring me closer to my financial independence. 

What it really did was making me more cranky, less rested and stressed out bitch.

Then I could see myself spending more and more... 

>No time to hang the clothes to dry, so why not use the dryer?

>No time to cook the food, so buy lunch today?

> It is easier if i have more work clothes, right?

> I am tired, why not take bus to work?

The spending was getting out of control. So, I am slowing down with work. 

More to reading, frugality and mindful living. 

Friday, 9 September 2016

August passive income

It is already September. School started and the weather is changing. Days are getting shorter too. 
time to check the passive income received in August:
It was lesser comparing to July
RRSP got $39 and TFSA got $26.
So the total passive income for August is $65. The blog income is not changed. It is still $22.55. Yes, the AdSense sucks!