Day 42~Splurging is Sometimes Necessary

Staying within the guidelines of my “No Spending Money for a Year” Game Rules, I am only allowed to ‘spend’ money that I receive that is unexpected.  For example, I had a parent drop off an extra child last week, who I don’t usually babysit.

The money from this is unexpected.  It gets split up into 2 parts.  20% goes into my savings, and the rest is my ‘spending money’.  Since most of my income is not from ‘unexpected sources’, I rarely have any spending money.

So today before school, I took my daughter to McDonalds.  I wanted Tim Hortons; she wanted McDonalds.  But, since the trip out was more for her than for me, I let her decide.

We ordered 2 hot chocolates, and sipped them together while finishing her homework.  Today is her last day at her school before being transferred to a new one.  And I wanted to make it special.  It also had to fit into the cost restraints of my ‘No Spending Money for a Year’ Game.

All in all, it cost me less than $5.  My daughter and I had a wonderful experience.  I feel like I splurged.  It feels great!  The feeling of splurging is psychologically necessary at times.  Treating yourself and your family to things every so often is important.  It encourages a feeling of worth and abundance, instead of one of scarcity and jealousy.  And if you can do it without breaking the bank, you’re well ahead of the game!

So, go out and have a little treat!  Just don’t dip into your savings, or money that is needed for other things in order to do so.

Remember; a treat is something that you get or do infrequently.  If you get or do it regularly, it’s a habit; and is less likely to fulfill your psychological needs.

I’ve often say that ‘Money is a Mental Game’ and this is another example.  =D

Have a terrific day!!

Princess PW

Day 37~Save on Gas

Ten tips to save you money on gas:

  1. Plan your errands and shopping trips.  Try to get everything done in one or two days.  Keeping an active list of what needs to be done will help make this easier.
  2. Invite people over instead of always going out to see them.
  3. Spend more time at home.  Take up a new hobby, learn some new things, play games.  Be creative!  You’ll find more and more things you’ll like to do both inside and outside of your home.
  4. Try different methods of transportation.  Walk, bike, rollerblade, skateboard, moped, scooter, bus, subway, train, etc.  Alternative modes of travel can save lots of money at the pumps.
  5. Get a more fuel efficient vehicle.
  6. If you have to travel to ‘meetings’ for work or other business; see about having phone or video conferencing instead.
  7. Stock up on food (especially when there’s a sale).  Even milk and cheese can be frozen, so you don’t have to go to the grocery store as much.
  8. Carpool.  Get together with other people and share the driving.  It saves a lot of money.
  9. Share errands with friends, family, or neighbours.  If you need some things done and they need other things done.  Maybe you can each help each other out so you don’t have to drive as far or as many places.
  10. Have your children (if you have any) picked up and dropped off for their activities, by other trustworthy parents.  You can also contribute to drive their kids some days too.

Princess PW

Day 36~Save on Groceries

There are many ways to save on groceries that don’t include the time consuming task of clipping coupons.  However; if coupon clipping is your thing, go right ahead.

In addition to coupon books and flyers, there are several online sites that offer printable grocery coupons or customer codes for discounts.  These can add up to savings fast.  I just discovered http://www.flyerland.ca : ).

What I generally do to save time and money is just a fast glance at each of the grocery flyers when they are delivered each week.  I limit my time with the flyers to only 10 minutes.  I see who has the sale that will provide me with the biggest financial impact and then shop there.  For example, if there’s an item that I regularly purchase several of, and I can get it now for >50% off, I’ll stock up.

I set a limit of only 2 stores, so I don’t run all over town.  Time is valuable.  As for my 10 minute limit with the flyers; it took practice to be able to speed-read through all of the flyers.  Now that I can, I can put them into the recycling box almost right away.  I no longer have stacks of papers around the house.

Some weeks many stores will have great specials.  And other weeks, the specials will barely be worth it.  I’ve learned that everything goes on sale at some point.  So I don’t get upset when I miss a good one.  There will be more.

This philosophy saves a lot of headaches because I don’t often overspend.  I just wait for another sale.  If there are no good sales at the time, I purchase only perishable items.  I pay attention to the price, packaging, and location the food comes from.

I have a chest freezer so I can freeze prepared meals.  Each time I make a decent dish and have leftovers, I package it up and put it in the freezer for another night.  It saves on food, time and money.  It’s also so convenient to have a home cooked meal when I’m short on time.

Sometimes when I purchase items in bulk, I split the items and cost with a friend or family member.  This only works when the item is easily split and everyone involved wants to share the item and cost.

Also when I shop, I’m aware of clever marketing techniques.  I stay on guard and vow not to fall prey to marketing tricks.  The reason grocery stores put important items like milk, bread, and eggs in the back of the store is because people run out of them often.  The stores then strategically place items where customers will purchase more than they came for.  This technique keeps customers in the store longer and sells more products.  It’s great for the stores, but not so great for the people who want to save money.

Marketing is a fine art.  I respect it, but will not fall victim to it.

Last but not least, I plan my grocery trips.  I prefer to shop on my own.  I love to spend time with my family, but shopping with them makes grocery trips much more expensive.  They throw things into the cart and I keep saying, ‘No’, ‘no’, no.  I don’t like it.  We get along better when I just bring the food home.

Money Saving Grocery Tips in a Nutshell:

  1. Clip coupons; either online or from flyers (only what you would usually buy anyway).
  2. Speed  read flyers.  Choose best specials.  Stock up on non-perishables during specials.  Buy perishables as needed.
  3. Set limits for your time: eg. Shop at 2 stores only, 10 minutes of flyer reading.
  4. Delegate some shopping to someone else instead of going to too many stores.
  5. Shop in bulk (if it’s a good price and reasonable to purchase large quantity).  Split items with friends or family (both item and cost of item).
  6. Plan your trips.  Know what you’re getting ahead of time.  Make a List!
  7. Shop alone.  Avoid people throwing things into the buggy; adding to your purchase.
  8. Shop on a full stomach.  You’re less likely to buy extra items.
  9. Don’t fall for clever marketing tricks.  You’re smarter than that.
  10. Freeze leftover meals.  It saves money, food, and time.  =D

I LOVE saving money on groceries!

Princess PW

Day 28~I Feel Like I’m Cheating!!

I’ve been working at the new place for the past few days; fixing it up and getting it ready to move into.  It’s starting to look nice, but my money is running low.  I don’t like that.  I’ve put forth some money for materials and labour to fix up the house, but will be getting fully reimbursed over the weekend.

In the meantime, it feels like I’m going against my ‘No Spending For a Year’ rules.  Technically, I’m still following the rules because I am getting a return on my investment that is more than 10%.  It’s more than 10% because I am getting my money back plus I will be able to rent part of the house easier because it will be nice and clean.

But, since I enjoyed ‘shopping’ for materials, and my bank account has less in it than before, I feel like I’m cheating.  I’m sure it will all be back to normal when I get my money back on Saturday.  And I will feel better about it then too.

My landlord gave me a seriously small budget to have the entire house painted and the carpets cleaned.  He also spent some time getting quotes.  But, everyone who gave him quotes gave him much higher estimates than they gave me (by a few hundred dollars).  I don’t know if it’s because my negotiating skills are better; if it’s because I’m from the area; or because they know that I am the tenant, and not the owner.  But, for whatever reason, I feel good about getting professional work for such good prices.

And since I’m very interested in renovation project management, I’m sure I’ll be able to pass on some referrals to these companies when I hear of anyone needing their services.  They help me out; I help them out.  It works for everyone.

I can’t believe it’s almost midnight, though.  Since it is and I have to get to work just after 5am, I am going to keep this short and fill you in on the house and money details again tomorrow!  Have a good sleep!

Princess PW

Day 27~Trust: Things Will Work Out

The law of Attraction

Sometimes I get overwhelmed and overloaded.  Whenever I have too much on my plate, and my anxiety starts to kick in; I stop and remind myself of what I really want.  Even if it’s just for 30 seconds.  I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?  If what I am doing is a step toward my goals, I continue.  If it’s not, I find a way to either complete the duty or pass it off to someone who will competently do a good job instead.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to find a suitable replacement, but I always find one.  And the more I know about myself, and understand what makes me tick, the better I get at finding creative ways to fulfill my dreams.

Sometimes, many opportunities come at once.  And it’s tough to choose between them.  I base my decisions on the ‘big picture’.  Is it Love?  Is it Money?  Is it Family?  Is it Friends?  Health?  Fitness?  Creative Self-Expression?  What is it that I really want?  There’s always something required at any given time to complete or maintain ‘the big picture’.

The ‘big picture’ I have for my life is to have all of my finances taken care of; by means of passive income (monthly cash flow) from businesses and properties I own or invest in.  This is kind of funny because money isn’t a big motivator for me.  It’s the freedom from a job, the healthcare (and longer lifespan), and time with family that appeals to me.  But money is interrelated, so it is a big part of the picture.

Also in this picture, my family is very close.  In fact, my partner lives with us again and my kids have their dad around all of the time.  I work 30 hours a week (or less), instead of spending most of my waking hours working.

I spend a lot of time with my family and friends.  We travel, have people over a lot, and spend a lot of time and/or money volunteering and supporting non-profit organizations and charities.  We have a home and a cottage and we go camping, hiking and fishing a lot.  I have an entire room devoted to art.  And, I’ve learned to play lacrosse.  I’ve even joined a league!  My boyfriend and I play competitive tennis.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I own a few apartment buildings too.

You get the picture.  Now, most of these things haven’t happened yet.  I don’t own a single property.  I rent.  But, I am repairing my credit so I can own a house.  In the meantime, I’m enjoying many benefits of a homeowner, even though I’m renting.  I rent rooms for extra cash flow and still get to enjoy the tax advantages.  : )

Every decision is based on whether it will give me more time with my family or less time.  Better health or worse.  Better living conditions, or worse, etc.

Sometimes I have to be happy with less in the beginning to have more later.  As long as I don’t miss my kids too much, I will make the sacrifice.  But, spending time with my whole family is my top priority.  That’s why I always find ways to make money from home.  (Like the home daycare).

And, since my goals are quite lofty, I often find I want to do more than I physically can.  I take on opportunities that will provide the most benefits (if they are in line with my personal values and beliefs).  And sometimes I take on too much at once.

That’s when I tell myself that everything will work out the way I want.  And since I turn off the voice of negativity that is in the back of my thoughts, things usually do work out the way I want.

It’s learning to give up the little negative person inside and put forth blind faith; without a doubt in my mind, that has made all the difference.  And I think this is key to successfully using the law of attraction.

Have a Great Night.

Princess PW

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