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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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December 11th, 2012

12 Dec
PHOTO #98: Modern Christmas

PHOTO #98: Modern Christmas

I was heading through the Eaton’s Centre (the main mall in Toronto) and in place of their usual classic 50 foot tall Christmas tree, this was standing there. I kind of love it. It’s weird and different, but if you saw it in person, it’s not tacky or out of place. It’s very cool, and sparkly, not as much as their old one, but I like it. It’s sad to see a tradition disappear, but the old tree was pretty boring. Minus the size of it. It was just a plain Christmas tree, with a ‘shit ton’ of Swarovski diamonds all over it.

A friend of mine came back from Australia the other day (she’s been there for over a year) and I got to catch up with her today. We got to tell each other our travel stories. I was so happy to finally see her again. The moment she left Toronto is when my social life flew out the window. We went shopping, I almost spent a ridiculous amount of money on a jacket at Danier, but managed to stop myself. I have managed to acquire three $25.00 Roots Gift Cards that will hopefully show up before boxing day, and my plan is to buy a leather jacket. So, I had to stop myself in Danier and talk myself out of buying it. Very nice jacket though. We then went to see the film Playing For Keeps (Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel). It was okay…not great, the acting was…meh. I didn’t believe much in the father son relationship, it was very phoney to me. It was an okay idea, I just think some of the characters were more caricatures than believable people.

Afterwards I went out with other friends to have drinks and eat half price wings. Yea, apparently all of a sudden I have a life. All-in-all it was a really good day. I wouldn’t say it was productive, but it was active…if that makes sense.

November 29th, 2012

30 Nov
PHOTO #86: Stolen Cake

PHOTO #86: Stolen Cake

The cake has just been sitting there since Sunday. I didn’t want it to go to waste. Plus, my mom and sister had already tried it, so I figured I deserved a taste. The ice cream (though not so appetizing looking in the photo) was delicious. Peanut butter cup flavour. Yum.

This morning I told my mom that I was going to try and start going to bed earlier…that didn’t work so well. I just can’t do it. I don’t see the point, plus I’m never tired when I get home. So, even if I did go to bed earlier, I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep. Eating birthday cake, and ice cream I’m sure doesn’t help…but I can’t stop myself. If I’m hungry, I’m going to eat what’s around. This is one of those habits that’s going to be hard to kick…

Otherwise all around boring day. More work. More stress. More spots on my hands…I am really thinking of calling for a doctors appointment. They are starting to evolve. Larger more random shapes, itchy ones…that sorta thing.

I don’t know. I feel like I’m overreacting. I just wish I knew for sure whether it was just stress related or not.

November 22nd, 2012

23 Nov

PHOTO #79: Blurry Cupcakes

Yay! More cupcakes from my sister! She hasn’t brought any in a while but the other day she came home with a bunch! I forgot about them for a couple of days. And then tonight when I got home from work I was starving, and was looking around for what was available to eat and came across the cupcakes! This one is a chocolate cupcake with strawberry icing.

Not much to say for today, oddly crazy for a thursday at work. Of course I had no help for the two jobs they expect me to do at the same time. And so at the end of the day I’m dealing with tons of shit and getting frustrated. But I’m getting better at it…if that’s a good thing…

None of my shows are on this week I guess they were taken off for the American Thanksgiving. Which is cool. I guess. I just have nothing to do at nights but to browse Facebook, and Imgur.com, and here too. Oh well, next week will come quickly I bet.

November 20th, 2012

22 Nov

PHOTO #77: Locker Clean Out

This is the cleanest my locker has been in five and a half years. The managers asked everyone to clear out their lockers so that they could clean everything. There apparently was an odd smell coming from behind them. Though I didn’t notice it. That may be because I had gotten so used to it. Working 5/6 days every week. So I was slowly taking everything home to make it easier on myself. And this picture is me in the process of putting stuff back in. It’s kind of sad to see it like that though. All the memories I had, all wiped away. But they’ll be back up soon. Can’t keep my personalization down for long.

Otherwise this was a boring day. Besides the fact that I was super-duper sick…I was 45 minutes late for work because I could barely get out of bed. Yes, I could have been hung-over…but I think it was more than that. I’ve had a lot more to drink with out feeling like that. So, I think it was the mixture of drinks, and food that made me sick. Either way, when I got to work I couldn’t focus on anything. I didn’t get much done in the 1.75 hours that I was there. So, my manager told me I could go home. She understood that I was overworked and that I needed to rest and feel better. I was very thankful for that. And really needed it. That would be the first time in five years and eight months that I’ve ever gone home sick. I went home after an hour of being at work once almost two years ago but that was a different reason, and the explanation would be too long to explain here. Otherwise, I have never gone home sick or not shown up for work due to sickness, ever, not once. Yes, I am proud of that.

So, I went home and slept the day away. Which really helped.

But that brings me to a question:

What do you guys do for hang-over remedies?

I’ve never really needed one, so I’ve never researched them very intensely. So any input would be helpful…

November 5th, 2012

6 Nov

PHOTO #62: Being Sick Sucks

I can’t say for sure what got me sick but:

I woke up this morning at around 6:15 am with food poisoning…yay. NOT. It was horrible. I’ve never had it before, and for some reason, in my mind I was immune to it. All the stories I had heard of people having it, and I thought I’ve eaten worse things than that. But, alas! I was wrong. So every 15 minutes I was running to the bathroom. Afterwards I would feel great, refreshed even. But, another 15 minutes later and I was off the the bathroom again. The only thing I figured I could ingest was water, but even that came back up. Every time. I didn’t get any real sleep, I had one super weird dream all day that I can’t even explain, just that it was very repetitive and dark. Then around 5 pm I had a bath. Didn’t help. I was slowly felling better, and the length in between each ‘bathroom run’ was getting longer. So, I went downstairs, and my sister offered to go buy me some ginger ale. Though I figured it wouldn’t work, I thought what the heck. What did I have to lose? I will tell you now: Ginger Ale is amazing. It made me feel so much better. And it never came back up! Though I still wasn’t sleeping properly, and I definitely felt dehydrated and weak, my stomach was at least in a better place than before. Finally around 1 am I got to sleep, and had normal dreams, and woke up at 2pm.

All-in-all bad day. But, atleast I’m good to go back to work. Funny thing I got food poisoning on my day off.

October 27th, 2012

28 Oct

PHOTO #53: Halloween Awesome Fun Times

Today I threw an awesome Halloween Party at work. Even though I was working at the same time, I think it all came together pretty well. We had Pumpkin carving, a Pot-luck, a costume contest, and a movie. I got prizes for the winners of the pumpkin carving and costume contest. As you can see from this picture we are a bunch of slobs. We had chips , chocolate, candy, pop, cupcakes, someone made pudding, and rice cakes, some one even made chow mein.

After all the festivities I wanted to show a few movies in the theatres, but it turned out almost everyone wanted to see Shaun of the Dead, people who had voted for other films (there were about 15 other movies to choose from) agreed to go see that one. Though only a few of us actually stayed to watch the whole thing.

I have never really been the planner when it comes to parties, I tend to take the back-seat approach, so this was a new experience for me. It was hard. But I liked it. Thinking of prizes to give people, what tools we would need, finding things to serve food on. It wasn’t too hard to get supplies, we work in a place that deals with a lot of food. So it was easy to find plates, knives, forks, cups, those sorts of things. I wish I could plan more of them. It’s hard to find places to hold them, sometimes impossible.

Here’s to trying new things. Let’s hope I get more chances.