Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Oh dear Quebec!!

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for coming!
I woke up yesterday to know about the terrible shooting in Quebec. Never thought of such a terror going to happen in Canada. 

Canadians are known for being polite and accepting all kind of people. Then what went wrong???

Turning on the TV makes my heart go heavy with sadness. The dull dark day is not making it any better. 

How a human being can pull the trigger to end the life of another human being??? What may be in his mind? May be he was not in his right mind at all. What made him so angry? 

More questions unanswered. France, Belgium and now Quebec... leaving a lot of unanswered questions. 

We will never know the actual reasons. We will never know what made them actually do it. 

To get out of the sorrow, I switched off the TV. Turning my attention to do something productive, something useful. Let us see what the day will make me do.
How you are coping with all the sadness?

Easy Meal: Plantains

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
 we saw the plantain bananas at No Frills. The price always almost same. It is one thing blow $1/lb.
I used to buy the green plantain to add to soups. It is yummy.

Usually when we buy the ripe plantains, we used to eat them raw. It is really filling. Now, being cold in toronto, i wanted to have something warm and good for me to eat.

The method is easy: wash and cut the plantain in half. No need to remove the skin. Place in a microwavable vessel. Cover with plastic wrap. Then microwave on high for 10 minutes. Check if the skin is cracked. Then it is done. Allow to cool off a bit. Now, remove the skin, just eat. You can add brush some butter if you like.
It is very filling. Really easy and cheap.

What kind of easy meals you like to have in the winter?

Monday, 30 January 2017

My Frugal Weekend

Dear Visitor,

Glad to see you here.

With Trump's new executive orders, the world news was littered with his pictures over the weekend, and still continues.
It did not made any changes to my frugal lifestyle yet. We travelled to London. It was just a one day trip. 

I was thinking, it might make us buy coffee from outside along with some snacks.

 But, in reality, it didn't happen. I made a flask of green tea and took it with us. So, we were not tempted to buy hot beverages on the road. Since we had oats porridge for breakfast, we were not hungry during the trip to London. We visited our dearest people there. Had lunch with them. Had fun of getting together. 

On our way back, I had my flask filled with warm water. We didn't have to stop anywhere. It was a really fun weekend. 

The stock market experts are predicting a downturn because of the unstable United States.
On a fun note, we should call the united States of America the Divided States of America. 
What you think?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Afford anything you want: Just budget the savings

Dear Visitor,

Thanks for dropping by.

Really appreciate you are visiting my blog.
 I was reading the blog "Afford Anything". It is an interesting blog. I am subscribed to this one so when a new post comes, I get an email.

We all try to budget our spending and spend accordingly. In reality, I found that I don't like to budget and don't like to stick to budget. My hubby do most of the grocery shopping and usually forget to give me the receipts. So, I don't really know how much money is pent on groceries. 

Here, is an easy solution! Just budget how much you want to save. Then voila, you don't have to worry about the spending. 

So, to begin with you decide how much percentage of the take home money you want to save. May be it is 1%. Then save that on the first month.
Then gradually increase that amount with 1% at a time. 

Paula explains that in her blog post about Anti Budget. I think it is a neat idea. 
I usually decide to save an amount each month and put it away from the checking account. Then I do invest that money when I get a chance. If you put it on something that gives a monthly return or dividend or interest, that is again great. Invest that dividend again so that your saving amount goes up.
What do you think of this strategy? Is it some thing workable for you?

Love to know your points on this strategy of budgeting the savings. 

Till next post 
With love

Monday, 23 January 2017

My Frugal Weekend

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 

The weekend was kind of a lazy one, I would say. 
I finished doing laundry and line dried all clothes as usual. 
Better yet, I ironed all the work clothes on Sunday evening. that was a great achievement. But, still I need to colour my grey hair. Thought about letting it go. But hubby insisted on colouring it. One act of love for him...I am going to do it.

We went to Costco and there was oats on sale. The Quick oats is our breakfast staple. Bought two more boxes. 

We found out the eggs and milk at Costco is not worth the price. We can buy from No Frills and no need to buy over two dozen eggs one time. Their plane yoghurt is great though. 

We managed to cook some items too. Made a pot of rice. a beef stew in the slow cooker. Made some potatoes too. We also bought a Costco rotisserie chicken. 
I bought a pants for myself from Costco. It is a relaxed fit one for less than $20. I am not going to buy the overly priced scrub pants for work. You know, I saw the scrub pants are over $20 at Walmart. Anyway, all are going to get ruined by the bleach spills while working. 

I did manage to make some vegetable stock in the slow-cooker with the cut ends of vegetables. I keep the ends of carrots, outer leaves of cabbage, the onion pieces etc in the freezer. When it is enough, I make stock. This stock is good for making stews or soups. 

So, how was your weekend? What frugal things you did over the weekend? any thoughts about Costco?
Love to see you comment here. 

Till next post,
With Love

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Worries about Toronto housing market

Dear visitor,

Thanks for dropping by.
As you know, I am living in Toronto, a big city in Canada.
We bought our little condo apartment in 2010. The initial thought was live in this place, and it will be our starter home.
What happened next is, the housing costs went sky high. May be we can say it is now outer-space high.

With every old house in the region is costing about a million bucks, I am lucky to own my little place here.

You can see that houses are getting sold like money is coming from trees. I am wondering where are all these rich people coming from.

The gossip on the street is that money is coming from China. Then how the Chinese can take the money out of their country under the the strict rule of Communism? My oriental friends also have no clue. 

Call me dump... But, who is paying and how they can afford the mortgage payments?(If they are getting mortgage)

If the foreigners are buying all the available places in Toronto, then where people who come to work and live here are going to stay?

If the foreign tax on Vancouver made the housing prices affordable, then why Toronto is not doing anything?

Mayor Tory is very popular here. But he is not talking about it. Ontario Premier is also not  going to do anything about it. 

Shouldn't we have a big rally to make the housing affordable to the common people who work every day and vote for these people to be in power?

What do you think? Any ideas to make housing more affordable?
Till next post
With love

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Boycotting Trump

Dear Visitor,

Hope, you are doing good. 

The other day I heard, a bunch of women are going to Washington to participate in a protest against Mr. Trump. 
I am not going with them. No intention of showing off my disagreement with the American election in a public way.  
At workplace, we were talking about it. Really, we got time to talk about American politics in the private Dental practice. That itself is odd, because, usually we don't have time to talk, since I work in a busy practice.

So, actually, I mentioned that I am boycotting the inauguration ceremony on TV. Everybody laughed and agreed, that it is a great way of protest against Trump. He cares more about his ratings than anybody on earth. So, I am refusing to watch any news item that is going to show the inauguration ceremony, including the news. 

When Trump do something great for humanity I will praise him. Till then, I am flipping away from him.

What are you going to do tomorrow?

Till next post
With Love

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Any idea to motivate me?

Dear visitor,
today is a very rainy day in Toronto. The big plan is to go to work in the afternoon, even though I feel like staying home.

No, I really don't hate the work. Once I am there, it will be fun to work. The "going to work" part is the hard one. I do take public transport to work. On days like today, I really feel jealous to people who drive to work. 
Other days, I mean, when the weather is not that harsh, I am glad to help the environment and my purse by taking the bus or walking. 
Then, I have a co-worker, who walks to work everyday, whatever the weather is. I really admire her courage.
Do you have any ideas to motivate me to get up and get out on days like these?

Till next post
With Love

Monday, 16 January 2017

Frugal weekend

Dear Visitor,

The weekend was very nice. Saturday evening we went out for dinner. It was very nice for a change. Then we watched "Hidden Numbers", a movie.

"Hidden Numbers" is very nice movie. I was stunned that the coloured people were even kicked out of the public library. The movie is very relevant to this modern time when hate is ruling everything. With all the hurdles on their way, those women achieved so much. You should watch it too. Hope, the movie will inspire us all to achieve our full potential.

Other than all that outing, the weekend was eventless.

We cooked at home . This week is going to be fully vegetarian. I happened to have a bitter melon in the freezer. This time, I made a stir-fry bitter melon and sweet potato. I added a lot of chopped onion along with it. The end result was very good. 
the sweet, bitter and onion flavours blended to stimulate the taste buds.

Wish I took the pictures! 

I made dough for Indian roti. since the dough is easy to make,  added some spinach and onions to make it more interesting. 
the dough will keep in the fridge for few days. So, will make some nice roti during the week. 
As usual, my clothes got line dried, inside of course. 

I saw Frugal Queen posted some vegetarian recipes, and I want to try them. If you like cheap and healthy recipes, that is the blog you should visit. 

In my bloggy world, Living Rich On Cheap is enjoying a raise and didn't posted anything new over the weekend. They are running a training/consulting business while having a meaningful life by living frugally.  Crabapple Landing is having a problem with eyes and staying on the couch. I hope she will feel better soon. 

So, how was your weekend? What is happening in your world? What frugal thing you did for the weekend?

Till next post,
With love

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Victory lap Retirement: Book review

Dear Visitor,

I was reading a book called "Victory lap Retirement". It is written y Mike Drak and Jonathan Chevreau. I have seen Mark from My Own Advisor was holding a give away of the above said book.
Then I saw Mr. Chevreau on CBC talking about the book.

In this book authors talks about what to do after gaining financial independence. They are saying putting a full stop on your career is not good for our health (which is actually wealth).

People are living longer than ever. We need to have a purpose and some meaningful thins to do even after retirement. That is why no one wants to have an idle life.

This book is for people who have attained the financial freedom. This is for people who didn't follow through their passion when they were young.

When you no longer need that work to cover the day to day expenses, work in fun, right?

When I read the blogs by Meanqueen, Crabapplelanding and Frugalqueen, I think they are all having the victory lap in their own way. 

When I decide to retire, I am sure, I will not get a pension from my employer. So, it is all what I saved and invested. Since Canadians can get the CPP, I am sure I will get that. 

It is victory lap or not, we need to have a reason to get up in the morning and enjoy the day. 
By the way, if you are in Toronto, you don't have to buy the book. It is available in the Toronto Public Library.

Till next time,

With love.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

December Passive Income

Dear Visitor,
January is almost half way through.
I haven't checked the December passive income yet. So, just did it today. 

Me and hubby together made only $86.73 in dividends. That is not great.
Yet, that is the income we made without a lot of hard working.

 We really need to add more money to RRSPs in January. The goal is to have $25,000 in RRSPs. That way we don't have to pay $100 yearly fees to CIBC for having the DIY option. I don't think that is going to happen in January. Since there is some money in those accounts, it can happen within an year, I hope.

I have to tell you my blog made 5 cents in this new year. It is not yet $100. So it stays with Google.

How your blogs are doing? Are you making any money blogging?

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Upcycle or Recycle?

It is snowing and it is cold in Toronto. I have to go out only in the afternoon. What I really need is a long sleeve T-shirt to layer in the cold. A cotton shirt is good, but while working, I love some fleece on my arms to keep me comfortable. 
Getting a new one is the immediate solution. But, who want to go out in the cold?
Here is my solution. I got a short sleeve shirt. There is a hoodie my daughter don't want , and not going to fit me. But, the sleeves are perfect for a new project.

Just cut the long sleeve from her hoodie and used some fusible web to attach it on the short sleeve t-shirt. Now I have cotton on the body and fleece on the sleeve. How long it is going to last? I have no idea.

I am not sure it is up-cycling or re-cycling. What do you think? Glad that I didn't do shopping for that .

Monday, 9 January 2017

Should I pay the bank fees?

The weekend was really nice.
Remember, I mentioned in previous post, I will work whenever work shows up?

That is what actually happened. Work showed up, and there I went. So, little more work last week and the funny thing is I really enjoyed the free time because of that.
This week is going to be regular week, I think. May be I will make more posts this week.

Financially speaking, I went to the bank to put back some money I took out in December. Since I was putting cash in the account, I opted to use the teller. The nice lady told me, I can escape the monthly fees of $4 by adding an investment account with the bank. May be $25/month to a TFSA will help me to escape from $4 monthly fee. Sounds good! But, I have to think about it.

OK: thinking out loud right now.

$4 per month is $48 in an year, right? That is an EXPENSE.

Now $25 in TFSA/month is $300 in an year. That is SAVING.

Now, look at the $48 expense: it is almost worth of two months savings, if I am going to take the $25/month TFSA option.

That is one school of thought.

The other thing is the bank told me to put $100 in RRSP to save on some kind of some fee before. It was may be a couple of years ago before I even thought about retirement. So, I cannot remember why I did that. I am afraid this will happen again... Now, you see my problem? RBC says they want more of my business and they will reduce my fee for using the bank.

Should I trust them? I haven't figured out the costs of closing off the account if my relationship with the bank gets sour in the future.

Don't think, my CIBC is doing better with the fees. My savings account has a monthly fee if I don't have a fixed balance in it. Then, most of my investments like RRSP and TFSA are with them. But, it don't give me a break from the monthly fee. They charge $3.99 /month on my account if I don't have a minimum balance. That is kind of fine, because, I have to keep some money as emergency fund anyway. This has to be my forced emergency fund.

so, what do you think of the bank fees? Do you think I should start a TFSA with RBC to get rid of the fees?

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Hello January!

It is January again, with her cold dull days. The holidays are over and we are all back to work.

This year my policy is to maintain my level 2 certificate and to make more money. The more money/hour is already working for me. A little bit of increase in wages is already accomplished. The next thing is to work whenever work shows up on my way. since dental assisting job depends on the work of the employer, it is not easy to get fixed hours of work. Helping a co-worker when they wanted to take an off day is not difficult. I won't say it is easy either. What if you were planning to do an elaborate cleaning of the house on that day? That has to be adjusted, right?

I am thinking of investing a bit more money in my TFSA comparing to last year. For that I am going to think about some strategies. Should I wait for having a good amount of money to buy an investment or just buy investments whenever I have money? How the trading fees going to affect my investments? What kind of items I should invest in this year? 

Since I am one more year older, I have to think about my retirement life style. What kind of place will I be living? What type of things I should do to have a happy outlook?

See, January can bring more challenges along with the cold. What are the challenges you are facing in this January?