Monday, 30 May 2016

Frugal shower cleaner

I used to have Tilex. Yes, the big bottle of Tilex came with two spray bottles. It was not giving me the results I was expecting. One spray bottle broken when it was only half way through. Yes, it was the good old days, I was willing to try every new product to have a sparkling home. Not any more.

Since the time is very limited, and me being sloppy at housekeeping, the shower stall door was getting a lot of soap scum. The tiles were getting ugly. Once in a while, I tried to scrub it out with a brush and soap.

Then I subscribed several blogs to reduce spending and to save up money. One of them is DIY Natural. com. When I saw the homemade shower cleaner, I really wanted to try.

Ingredients were just simple: White vinegar, Dish soap and essential oils.

I have my Orange Vinegar. I have Palmolive dish detergent. One cup white vinegar, one tablespoon of Dish detergent, and 3 drops of citrous essential oil( that is what I have). Put in a spray bottle. Shook well. Used it today itself.

I sprayed it on the shower walls and the glass door. Left it for about 10 minutes. Then wiped down with some old cloth. My glass doors were (I really think, they are plexi glass) so covered and you could see the deposit on them before. Now it is looking clear again. There was this little bit of vinegar smell combined with citrous. It was not bothering me.
I saw some black spots on the tiles while spraying. But it came off when I wiped it.
It is one good cleaner and I am happy the way it worked.
I love to keep the spray bottle with the vinegar mix in my bathroom, under the sink. There is a box of rags I made from old cotton T-shirts too. So, for the time being, there is no more excuses, but to keep the shower nice and sparkly.

Do you have any other DIY product you use at home and happy about?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Finacial Independence, One Dollar at A Time

Everybody want to be rich. We all need to get richer faster. How to do that is the question.

So many experts have showed us how not buying Starbucks  every morning can be added up and to make us rich.
The funny part is I don't even buy a Tim Hortons coffee everyday. People like me are making coffee at home or keep some instant coffee powder at workplace to make a coffee in the microwave.
So we are not getting richer....

We all heard the saying Rome Was not built in a day. I am thinking that will be true with finances too.

By not eating out often I can see a few dollars still in my purse at the end of the week. By walking to work, I can save about $2.80, that is the cost of a token. It usually take about 30 to 40 minutes of walking. By doing so for 3 times a week, I can save  $8.40. Oh, and 1.5 hours of exercise too.

That is a good amount of money now and I feel good about taking care of my health too.
So, I am going to put that money in my TFSA. It is getting me a bit closer to my goal of maximizing the TFSA account.

Some people tell us the a dollar here and a dollar there is not getting us anywhere.   Minding big amount of savings is the only thing matter. To me it is like one step at a time to reach the destination.

So what is your strategy  to gain financial independence?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Persistence and financial freedom

Some times it is good to have TV. Otherwise I was not going to learn about Maria Toorpakai. I saw her on CBC , giving an interview. That made me wanted to read the book "A Different Kind of Daughter".

She was born in the tribal areas of Pakistan ,where girls were kept behind veils and inside house. Without any freedom to learn or do sports life of being a female was very hard. The book tells us how she overcame all those restrictions and became world famous squash player living in Toronto.

 She is not as famous as Malala, yet another girl who fought against Taliban to make her way to freedom.

The book made me cry several times. The amazing journey she took to get freedom to just play sport.... It is the story of being persistent. It is the story of keep going without surrendering to fear.

If Maria Toorpakai can found her freedom I can find my own financial independence. In Canada, I have the freedom to learn. I have the freedom to work. I have the freedom to save money. I have the freedom to get sun and wind on my skin. I have the freedom to cover myself from head to toe. I also do have the freedom to bare my chest and walk in public. 

The lesson we all have to take from Maria is to have persistence and never stop working towards our goals. 

In a country like Canada, with a lot of freedom and riches, why we have to be slaves to our debts?

Friday, 20 May 2016

Walking is still frugal

TTC has increased the bus fare to $3.25.  I am trying hard to keep my travel expenses the same as last year. 

Since the gas price is still low, I can be picked up from my work by my spouse. That is very convenient.

I am trying to walk at least two times a week to work. When the weather is higher than 10 degrees, it is fine to walk. All I have to do is get out of home early. 

Walking is a low impact exercise. It will not be hard on my knees. I can try walking faster to give a boost to my heart. Since I can be mindful or can indulge in the passing scenes, walking is more enjoyable. 

That way I don't have to devote another time for exercise. You know, I am very good in making excuses to stay indoor. Since needing to be in time for work makes me get out of house. By trying to walk more, I am increasing my stamina. 
After long walks, I can see myself sleeping better. 

Better yet, the tokens are lasting longer than they used to. Not an extra penny spent on for tokens this month yet. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Colouring hair Frugally

You know, at one point in time, we all start seeing those grey hairs. Then all of a sudden you have a new expense: cover the grey.
So, what can be done? Going to saloon can cost about $50. Then depending on the length of hair it can vary. While at the saloon, we will be tempted to get those sexy highlights of lowlights. That will be more expensive as you all know.

I usually don't go to saloon. I tend to cut my own hair and pluck my own eyebrows. Sometimes I treat myself to a homemade face mask too.

To cover my greys, I buy the DIY hair colour from drug store. I usually buy when my colour is on sale. You know, I don't stick to one brand. Whichever is on sale and is my colour, I buy. It will be matching to my natural hair hair. It usually costs less than $10. 

You have to be very careful when mixing the colour and applying it. You don't want splash of colour on your vanity and bathroom floor.

I keep the weekly flyers and free newspapers to cover the surfaces of the bathroom. Place a few on the vanity top too. Oh, and make sure you have a specific old gown or dress to wear on hair colouring session alone. I also keep a separate towel for my hair.

Put the colour on as per the instructions. Wait for the colour to set according to the instructions too. Now hair is ready for washing. I wash my hair in the kitchen sink, which is steel. So the hair colour don't stick to that. Once the water is running clear, you can use the conditioner came with the box. Yes, that is all people! My colour will last for about a month. 

 I don't wash my coloured hair every day. Usually 2 or 3 times a week is good for me. That time I use my shampoo and conditioner. 

Do you have any other frugal method to colour hair?

Friday, 13 May 2016

Frugal projects update

The week is over. Waiting for the weekend... 
The week went just fine. 
I learned that celery can be grown from scraps. Many websites are there to tell you celery can be grown from the scraps. So, I really want to see.
Placed the bottom of the stack in a bowl of water. After 4 days, I can see there is a tiny growth in the middle. 

I also heard from Summerscares blog is an epic failure. 
So, I am not having high hope on this one.

My Orange peel vinegar is looking good. I got about half bottle of orange  smelling vinegar . Tried it on the mirrors. It is great. I am very careful with granite counter top. No vinegar on granite or marble. 

My Castile soap from from Amazon is still waiting for a project. Yesterday I grated the whole bar. Thinking of making liquid soap from that one. 

But, my body wash project is not giving me great results. After I added more water to it, it is very runny. I can't wait to finish it off. 

I just found out I have two more packs of Elezabeth Arden perfume. Those were gifts. I will use it up before buying new ones. 

I was thinking of using my Bread machine. It was kept away for some time. Bad for me, when I tried to use it the paddle is missing.
Any way, I used up the flour using Jamie Oliver's basic bread recipe.  the bread was fine. Now, I am on the look out for making bread with about 250 grams of flour.  May be I can use half amount next time. 

Monday, 9 May 2016

How Prevent spending when you are tired

It was a long day. I was walking a lot in the down town. 
By the time everything is done, as I supposed to, it was getting dark. I didn't even have enough water during the day. 

A seat in the bus made me realize how tired and hungry I am....
Too bad, I didn't have my water bottle with me. There was not even an energy bar in the hand bag. 

All that made me more hungry. The sight of  a coffee shop at the bus stop near the subway was very appealing.

A warm coffee was divine! They had this beautiful menu on display with a lot of mouthwatering items.

So, a combo, then the cream filled dough nut along with a medium coffee.

I didn't even look to see how much it cost. Just tapped the credit card and was in a hurry to get the food.

The total spending for a tired evening was $15, along with many extra un wanted calories.

It might happened to you too, right? Or am I alone in this kind of buying?

When entering those spending on the spread sheet, I didn't feel the same divine blessing of that coffee. I felt like I was a fool. 
I was thinking hard on how to avoid those kind of traps. There are chances that we can get really tired and the brain will be cloudy with the thought of food. 

I decided to make an effort to have a small container with seeds, nuts and dry fruits to carry with me. It can be in the bag all the time. If I cannot carry water, I will buy coffee or juice. Most of the time, I can have a bottle of water with me, I found out. 

The next time, if I am going to have a long day, I will have some fresh fruits like an apple or something. 

Once the killing hunger is taken care off, I can buy things with my clear mind. 

What is your strategy to prevent the unnecessary spendings like this?

Friday, 6 May 2016

Alberta Fires And Lessons

Canadians are feeling the pain of Fort McMurray. The roaring fire made people run for their lives. 

How they are going to survive....

The images on TV are hard to watch. Can anybody be prepared for this sort of disaster?

The houses are gone...The belongings are gone...

Can we survive that kind of tragedy?

We can have an emergency fund. Should we keep it as cash or in the bank?

I am not sure. When the real emergency comes, we need some cash. I would prefer to have a $20 minimum in the purse all the time.

We all keep our cell phone with us all the time. I would like to keep my debit card along with the phone.

The Canadian government is matching the amount of donation made to Red Cross Canada. The donation has tax advantage too. I did made a donation to Red Cross.

Many people are giving free gas, water and food for the evacuees. The generosity of people is amazing!

The Canadian Government is matching the individual charitable donations made to Red cross Canada.  i made a donation to Red Cross. It is amazing to know that Tangerine is also matching up to $50,000 donations made to Red Cross.

What you will do to help people of Fort McMurray?

April Dividends or Passive income

I am very curious to see how much my investments are doing. But, many investment gurus are telling us not to look very frequently.
The market can go up and down. We have to prevent ourselves from making mistakes by selling everything at the wrong time.

Remember I was not able to do any DRIP last month? This month I was able to get one share with my dividend. Yay!!!! Happy me....

The RRSP received $18.75 and the TFSA received $61.26. 
That is really good. 

Yes, it is not much money. But, to make this one, I didn't do any work. That is the magic of passive income. 

What is your methods for creating passive income? 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Orange peel and vinegar story

There are oranges in the fridge. They are sour. So, I searched on the net to find some recipes. 
I peeled oranges and placed in a glass bowl with some sugar. Microwaved for about 15 minutes, turning off in between. The oranges were bubbling and was going to spill in the microwave. So I had to switch off in between. 
Think, I cooked for long: the resulting product was hard candy like, when cooled. Any way, it didn't last long in the kitchen. All was eaten up some how. (It was yummy though).
While looking for those orange recipes, I stumbled on this cool idea of making orange infused vinegar. So, I am going to try that.

Here it is! I placed peels of 3 oranges in a glass bottle. Then covered it with white vinegar. Let us see how it is going to turn out. Think, it will take a couple of weeks to be ready. 

I will let you know how it turns out. 
Since my counter tops are granite, I cannot use vinegar to clean it. But mirrors and bathtub will be fine.