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The Art of Making Money

17 Apr

Here’s what I’m struggling with, and I’m sure just about everyone else is too:

$ Making money $

The problems with having a part-time minimum wage job are pretty much endless. But here’s my experience with it:

In earlier years, as I’ve mentioned, I would consider myself a workaholic. And I don’t use that word loosely. I worked as much and as often as I possibly could. Constantly running the risk of either going into overtime (a slight “no-no” at my job) or fainting from pure exhaustion. Most days I would just find myself in a delirious state of multitasking confusion. In these days I had no problem making tons of money. 

Where the problem came in was how I was spending it. Food, clothes, more food. It was a vicious cycle. And food venues in the area that I work are either ridiculously expensive, or junk.

It became so bad that I wasn’t really making any money. Barely. I had saved up a good chunk until then, but it never seemed to go anywhere.

These days, now that I couldn’t be called a workaholic in the lightest of terms, making money has become more difficult. I’ve cut back tons on food and clothes, thankfully. But with all this travel on my mind, I need to save, and I need to save a lot. And I have a few ideas. Whether they will work or fail is for me to find out.

Food can be cheap. If you are willing to make some sacrifice.

Right now a lot of what I eat comes from home. And lucky as I am I still live with my mom. She takes out about $100.00 from my bank account each month to help with food purchases. But I know there are a lot of people out there who live on their own and are required to purchase their own food. Here’s what I did to lessen the cost for myself on food everyday:

1. Stop eating out. 

Now that’s not to say I’m never eating out these days, because I am. I do it a lot less though. Especially at work. I bought a tub of spinach and I make myself a salad if I’m hungry at work. If you find salad boring you’re kinda screwed on this one. But I have found one mix of ingredients that I tend to find delicious every day. So if you’re interested I put in Spinach, onion, celery, and grated cheese, and for a topping instead of going the unhealthy route and buying salad dressings, I bought a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. I find that more tasty than any other dressing I’ve ever had. Really. And it’s healthy!

2. Checkout 51, SnapSaves etc…

So this second one is a bit of a new concept for me and for other people as well but they’re fairly new ideas and I think they can help if you use them right, and use restraint. You also need to have a smart phone for this type of stuff.

I found a few apps that give you money back on grocery purchases. I don’t know how many are really out there but the two I use are called Checkout 51 and SnapSaves. Each does the same thing. They offer money back on specific products and all you have do do is upload your receipt from your purchase and they process it to see if you qualify to get the money back. 

The problem I’ve run into is how to save money with this because essentially I am spending $5.00 to save $0.50 which in the end isn’t saving me money, but costing me. So this is where the restraint comes in. I only use these apps when there is something I need. If my boyfriend and I go grocery shopping, I will check after, and ONLY after, we shop to see if we bought any of the qualifying products. 

It works pretty well for me. So far with both apps I’ve saved $13.50 and I’ve only been using them for a month or so. It seems like only a little. But 1. It’s more than zero and 2. I mentioned I don’t do all the shopping in my household. So I don’t use a lot of the deals they have. 

So, those are some ways to save money on food, I have a few other plans to save or make money:

3. Sell 

I have items in my house that I no longer use and are in fairly good condition, and my hope is I can make some money off of them. Mostly electronics that I bought and either rarely or never used. They’ve been sitting on the shelf collecting dust, when I could sell them and be collecting money. Things like Kijiji are out there for me in Toronto to set meet-ups with people who are interested in products I might be seeling. There are people out there looking for anything, really. I could sell things like clothes, jewelry, nail polish, my unused Kobo, my unused Nintendo DSi. Hopefully I can make a substantial amount doing this, but it’s hard to tell. Just gotta try.

4. Make

With this one it helps if you’re a bit artistic. Which luckily I am. But only a bit. Hopefully if I practise I can get better and sell stuff that I make on sites like Etsy, or even just to my friends, and maybe my friends’ friends.So far anything that I’ve made I’ve loved so much I couldn’t imagine parting with. But I feel like I have it in me. Today I just figured out how to do a round braid (I’ve been attempting to figure this thing out forever!). So I could get into the bracelet making business. Or something.

Image

5. Transportation

Recently I have realised I’m wasting a lot of money on transportation. I take the subway to and from work five days a week. And I take a Go bus to my boyfriends house when it isn’t ideal for him to drive me. In all I would be spending about $170.00 a month. Now that I work less the metropass that I usually buy every month is not being put to full use. So I started buying tokens instead. I spend about $30.00 less on the TTC. But $100.00 is still a lot. So I bought a bike. I’m pretty excited to ride it. I can’t wait. But I still need a helmet. I’m not going to head out and be unsafe on this thing. No matter how silly I look. getting a fine for not having lights on my bike or not having a helmet would just ruin the whole purpose of buying the bike to save money. My hope is that when it’s warmer (which I wish would show up faster!!) that I will ride to and from work. And wherever else life may take me.

I’m still thinking about other ways to save money and I hope to post more about it at some point. But for now I hope this post has enlightened you in some way about little easy ways to save money. Or atleast shed a light on how I am trying to do it. We’ll see if it actually works.

LM

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November 26th, 2012

27 Nov

PHOTO #83: Crafties of the Day

Today was a fairly lazy day, somewhat less lazy than my usual days off, but still quite lazy. I started it by visiting my brother in the hospital. To wish him a happy birthday and to see how he was doing. Luckily he should be released tomorrow morning. But, they hadn’t had an update in a while.

Once I got home it was that point of the day where you could still go out, and do something, but you’re too lazy and tired. And it’s already starting to get dark. I hate starting the day when it’s dark. It feels wrong. So, I stayed home and crafted. Which is always a decent excuse for sitting at home. I figured since I bought all that clay last week that I should at least experiment with some of it. So here’s what I came up with. The plain jade rose on the bottle is the piece I am most happy with. The colour of it is so perfect, I want to make everything that colour. Like…everything. Most of the rest were me experimenting with mixtures of colours, which was a lot of fun. And might turn into my first DIY on here, but we’ll see. It was a pretty easy straight forward thing. Not much requirement for a lesson. Oh well, you gotta start somewhere right? I also made a bead, that sort of, or at least I hope it does, looks like the earth. I tried adding little beads pushed into the clay, but they just ended up making it look dirty. Either way I think it’s cute, but it might just be a first draft for something better. I will definitely be making a necklace soon, out of some little knick-knacks that I’ve been collecting over a long while. It needs some more planning and fine tuning. But, it’s something to look forward to.

In the mean time it’s back to work for me tomorrow. Did I even have a day off? Where did it go?…

November 24th, 2012

26 Nov

PHOTO #81: More DIY

You get a glimpse of my super unphotogenic-ness in this photo. Yea, my creepy hand in there. Whatever. I know it’s weird. I can’t stop it from happening so get used to it. I did…sort of…

This is the outfit I wore. You may or may not recognize this skirt from one of my older posts. It’s the Mendocino skirt that was $10.00. But, last time it appeared on this blog it was a shin-length skirt. I decided that was not the length for me. I had only worn it twice in around five months. And so I cut it. I’ve already worn it twice now that it’s shorter. I love the length now. And I cut it so that the Tulle is longer than the underskirt so you can see the different lengths of it. If I could have taken a better angle of it I would have…

That’s all I really have to say for today. I should do this with more of my clothing. There’s so much of it that I don’t wear for some reason or another. And the problem might be fixed with just a little DIY.

November 19th, 2012

22 Nov

PHOTO #76: Best Friends

So, I finally went out on Monday! Woohoo, my first time in over a month. I had a great time. We drank a lot…we talked a lot….and we cried a little. Yea. It’s hard not to bring up what you are most emotional about at the time when you’re most drunk.

I have known these two ladies since I was four years old. It’s going on nineteen years now! We’ve had our ups and downs. Treated each other not so greatly. But, in the end, we gravitate back together. It’s hard not to when there’s so much history there. We’ve been through life changing events together. Life, death, and everything in between. We went to the same elementary school (JK to 8) and the same highschool. I think we’ve stayed pretty close through all of it. I mean that’s a bond that really can’t be broken. There’s no way to forget 19 years of your life, really. We’ve helped each other through hard times, and supported one another’s decisions, no matter how wrong we may have thought they were.

I kind of want to do a before and after photo collage of us. Because I know there’s a picture of just the three of us when we’re around five or six, and I just spent a long time looking for it, with no luck. But I know it’s around somewhere. I think that would be a fun thing to see. How we’ve changed, and how we’ve stayed the same. So that’s one of my next craft ideas…we’ll see if I actually finish this one…

Accomplishment of the day: Going outside on my day off and having a social life!

November 18th, 2012

19 Nov

PHOTO #75: Craft Store Haul

Just as I said we would do, my sister and I went to Michaels, an awesome although slightly pricey craft store. And here’s what I bought (Items are in order of how excited I am to use them):

-FIMO oven hardening modelling clay in red and jade. I’m super excited to make more of my flowers with this clay.

-Adjustable rings in silver and gold, to display the clay flowers that I’m going to make.

-Earring mounts, also for flowers…yea I’m kind of obsessed with making them. Although these didn’t come with backings so I’ll have to find some that fit them somewhere.

-Sculpey Bake and Bond. Glue to hold all the clay and rings and earrings together.

-and an adorable Buddha head pendant that I saw and couldn’t leave behind.

I’m super excited to start making things again. And I think I will start tomorrow. Though amazingly I actually have plans! My friends and I are going to hang out. I can’t spend another one of my days off sitting in a house doing absolutely nothing. Regardless of how exhausted I am, and how much I really just want to sleep all day, I can’t do it. I know how it feels at the end of a completely unproductive day. I always wish I had done something, rather than sat around on my couch watching TV shows. Yay for having a social life!

Celebrity sighting of the day: Aaron Stanford. He plays my favourite character Seymour Birkhoff in the show Nikita. A show that I love and have been watching for years now. I ripped his ticket stub, and he passed by so fast I didn’t really even have time to react. But either way. I was excited.

Also I should add:

I got Foursquare a long time ago because my friend thought it would be my type of thing. But, I never really got its purpose. I started using it in August for one reason, and one reason only: This guy came into the theatre once expecting some sort of special treatment, simply because he was the mayor of our theatre on Foursquare. We don’t affiliate with the site so there are no perks to being mayor other than being able to tell people you are. And the manager this guy talked to didn’t even know what it was. So, I started checking in at the theatre every time I had a shift. And I work a lot, as you know. So it didn’t take long before I stole the mayorship from him. I don’t know how he reacted to that, but I was laughing my ass off. I had stopped checking in after that, but still had the mayorship…until yesterday. When lo and behold, guess who stole the mayorship? THE SAME DAMN GUY. So, now I bet he’s all proud of himself for getting it back. Little does he know when I check in on tuesday, he’ll be losing it again. I know, I’m evil. But, I think it’s funny, because it means absolutely nothing, but he thinks it’s some special thing. I’m just trying to teach him a lesson. It’s all just fun and games, right? Is that such a bad thing to do?

November 17th, 2012

18 Nov

PHOTO #74: Black is the New Black

Just a quick one for today, mostly because I’m in a bad mood, because of work. But also because I’m tired, and have to get up early tomorrow.

So, my outfit mirrors what today was like. Boring, and dark, and monotonous. Same thing as the past couple of days. Money machine issues. Employee issues. What got me the most today was dishonesty, and double standards. Both of these things make me quite angry. And make my job harder to do. I don’t have a huge issue with smokers. I have never smoked myself, but that is just a personal choice. I have many friends who smoke and do not try to convince them to do otherwise. But, when employees are asking for special treatment because they need to take smoke-breaks, that’s where I draw the line. The guidelines for breaks where I work is one half-hour break mid shift. But, I have one employee who thinks they should be the only one that gets to take two breaks because of their habits. Why is this okay? If he gets to have special rules broken just for him why shouldn’t I allow the rest of the staff to do the same? They should just be able to disappear for ten minutes for absolutely no reason as well. Why should he be the only one allowed to do this? Anyways, I’m not going to get any further into it. I just don’t think it’s fair.

The reason I have to get up early tomorrow is that Amy, my sister, wants to go to Michael’s. It’s an awesome although expensive craft store. And since I have to work at five, and the store is far away, we have to leave the house quite early. I am so excited to go though. I think it will be just what I need to get a creative kick back into DIY-ing things. I have gotten out of the crafts again and really need to get back in. Hopefully tomorrow will fuel some inspiration.

November 15th, 2012

16 Nov

PHOTO #72: I Made A Sweater

Unfortunately due to how late I had to stay at work I was unable to get this post out on the right day :(. Thus breaking my streak. Oh well. I probably won’t be able to make it again until monday-ish anyway, as I’m closing all weekend.

I am having a hard time typing right now because my hands are frozen. You know when that happens? You feel like your motor skills are slow and your hands don’t work properly? That’s happening to me right now. I was standing outside waiting for a streetcar for about a half an hour in the cold. Yea, night time TTC not so good.

Anyways, this is the sweater I made for the day! I was bored after midnight but didn’t feel like going to bed, so I made it. It’s not the best angle to see the whole thing, but you can see the most important parts. I did it two-toned, so the back panel is this sheer stretchy fabric with a tie-dyed pattern on it. The front is just a grey stretchy fabric. It was quick and easy because I wasn’t bothering myself to be perfect on it. I barely used a pattern either. It’s funny because my sister asked me to make her one, but I won’t be able to make it look exactly the same because I just sort of guessed on where to cut it, and winged it the whole way through. But, I could always do that again. It makes it more of a one-of-a-kind. Either way, it turned out way better than I was expecting, so that makes me happy.