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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

Don’t Say Quitters Never Prosper

11 Apr

So it’s been over a year since I gave up on this blog. The plan was to do a blog post everyday for 365 days. I made it to 99. Which, to be honest with you all, is longer than I expected to last. In the end I was in a rough time of my life. All I did was work. And I obsessed about people knowing how much I was working and I focused on it to an almost breaking point. I cried a lot that year. I had virtually no friends, and nothing to look forward to. I was so lonely. I wouldn’t say I was clinically depressed, I would never assume to know what true depression feels like. But I would say that I was in a version of my own definition of depression. I was sad and lonely and afraid of life. I wanted things to happen to me but I didn’t want to do them. There was a war going on within me everyday. I would tell my self to buck up and then run into a corner and cry my eyes out for hours because I hated myself. I wanted to change. But I was terrified of change. You see how that can tear a person apart from the inside? Each post on here was a grasp at the idea of happiness, that my life had some weight to it. I was hopeful, but not mentally ready for any of it.

Since I quit this blog so much has happened. Surprisingly if i had kept this blog up you and I would have seen me transform into a different person. It didn’t happen right away I stayed in my black hole for many more months after the last post of this blog. So here’s a recap of what happened to me after this blog.

Work. Cry. Black hole. Work. Cry. Black hole.

I went to Europe for 2 months. 14 Countries, a Cruise. Great food. Pseudo-great company. Great memories.

I was highly liked by many friends we made there, boosting my self-confidence to slightly above self-loathing.

I came to the realization that I love to travel.

I became really good friends (I believe the term is BFFs) with a girl I work with.

we got tattoos together. It would be my first. I don’t have any more. Yet.

I got dangerously close to being in a relationship with someone I’ve had a crush on for years.

My friend forced me to join Tinder. I met a really great guy. He became my boyfriend.

I’m in love.

I got an iPhone 5s!

That’s about it. I’m still contemplating the future of this blog. But as I type these words I feel myself releasing something. I don’t know what it is about typing this post but it feels so comfortable to me. And I feel myself wanting to continue. So something will come of this. Just not sure what yet. I’d love to do a travel blog, but I don’t have the time off or the resources to travel often enough. But we’ll see, something will come of it. I have hopes, and optimism for once.

In the end 22 was a good year. And the day I turned 23 I asked the world (via Facebook) to give me an even better year at 23. Within the month I started talking to my boyfriend. 23 has already been a great year, and I have so much more in store.

I leave you with something I just created out of boredom, I took the photo in the background, its of The Amalfi Coast. I thought it was vaguely related to the subject of this post.

LM

A Rule I Need to Live By

A Rule I Need to Live By

P.S. This is officially my 100th Blog Post. Yay me. Took me long enough…

December 12th, 2012

14 Dec
PHOTO #99: More Socializing

PHOTO #99: More Socializing

I went out with friends two days in a row? Yep. I know sounds crazy to me too. We went out to support my work friend who owns a Karaoke company. I had attempted to go a couple of times before but had failed, miserably. So, this photo was taken the second successful time going. Now mind you, I do not sing. Unless it’s in the comfort of my own home, or somewhere no one else can hear me. I just go to hear all my other friends make fools of themselves, or to surprise me with a pretty good voice. Either way I had a really good time.

I’ve always wondered what turns people onto Karaoke bars though. What makes you want to go up on a stage and sing a song in front of a bunch of strangers that are judging not only your song choice but also your voice. I could never do it. Then again it does look fun. I just wish I wasn’t so scared. Maybe when I get around to making a bucket list it’ll end up on there. Or I might make it a resolution for the new year to quit being so shy and just try something! It will take a lot of coaxing.

In other news, I may already be trading in my iPhone 3GS for an iPhone 4GS!! My manager has a friend who is trying to sell his, and he’s going to give it to me for $50! Which is the same as what I paid for the 3. So, I am super-duper excited. But won’t be getting it until monday.

I.

Can’t.

Wait.

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.

December 10th, 2012

12 Dec
PHOTO #97: Holiday Nails

PHOTO #97: Holiday Nails

Surprisingly slow day for a sunday. We didn’t get any new movies though, I was super excited when I found that out. It meant that I could focus on other parts of my job, instead of just fixing peoples mistakes and dealing with guests.

I finally watched You’ve Got Mail. Wasn’t really what I was expecting. I’m not a huge fan of films where the two characters have no chemistry until the last five minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I love the tension between two characters that passionately hate each other and then realize later on that they passionately love each other. But, I like to see that passion grow throughout. There wasn’t much of that in this film. They literally hate each other, and then suddenly are in love…the end.

This is my attempt at holiday style nails/a rare Instagram photo. Mind you, I did this at like 5:30am, so it’s quite messy. I didn’t hate the way they turned out but ended up taking it off the next day for two reasons. One: it was messy, and looked sloppier in the morning after. Two: I couldn’t leave it on for work. I’ll probably attempt it again closer to Christmas.

P.S. Though you can’t tell, but if you wanted to know. The red sparkly nail polish is from Forever 21.

December 9th, 2012

10 Dec
PHOTO #96: Comfy Socks

PHOTO #96: Comfy Socks

The weather was shitty today. Raining, hailing, being all cold and shit…so I bundled up, which is not something I usually do. As I’ve mentioned I don’t get cold that easily, so I usually sacrifice comfort for fashion. But sometimes even I want to be comfy. And these are my comfy socks. I don’t know where they came from…I found them in my house and asked everyone whose they were, and no one knew…so now they are mine (obviously after an intense washing…).

Today I finally got to see Michael Keaton. He came into the theatre again, and this time I didn’t just catch a glimpse of him, he literally walked right past me, bought something at the concession bar that I was standing next to, for no particular reason 😛 and then walked back into his theatre. He watched Lincoln. I wonder what he thought about it…no I didn’t stalk him into the theatre. I just happened to notice him wander back into theatre #1, which happens to be Lincoln.

And yes, I’m back to my old ways of sneaking my cat into the picture. Though she’s doing her best this time to hide herself behind her favourite blanket, I still got her in the shot. Get used to it.

My sister bought a super awesome camera the other day. A Canon Rebel T3, so hopefully some pictures from that camera will somehow end up on here someday…maybe…that would be pretty awesome.

December 8th, 2012

9 Dec
PHOTO #95: New Pants

PHOTO #95: New Pants

I haven’t been shopping in a while, so when I was in the mall yesterday to pierce my ear I couldn’t resist doing a bit. I had planned on limiting myself to buying work pants, and shoes. But I couldn’t find anything that was right. And, I couldn’t stop myself from buying these. They are grey acid-wash jeans from H&M, $24.95. The acid-wash is not too extreme which is good, because I can wear them more freely. What I mean is if the design on the pants was more noticeable it limits what you can wear it with. And I have also wanted jeans like this for a seriously long time. Plus, I have this problem when I go shopping, where I only buy tops and no bottoms. So, this I will happily add to my pants collection.

I didn’t end up watching You’ve Got Mail yesterday. I fell asleep at 8pm. I know crazy…but I woke up at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep. 😦 I finally did around 7:30am after watching numerous videos of The X Factor performances…So anyways, I am loading the movie now and am finally going to watch it. I saw it years ago, when I was quite young, and I don’t remember much about it at all. Which I am sort of happy about. It means I can enjoy it more that I would, if I remembered what happens in it.

Celebrity Sighting: Bruce Croxon. He’s one of the Dragons, on Drangons’ Den. Though it was a little tough to tell it was him. He seemed to be incognito. His hair was all messy and disheveled. And he looked like just a plain regular guy. Instead of a multi-millionaire, or whatever amount of money he has…either way I thought I’d share that sighting. At least I think it was him. They all sort of look the same…it really could have been one of the other ones.