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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 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.

December 6th, 2012

7 Dec
PHOTO #93: Weirdo Me

PHOTO #93: Weirdo Me

So yea I was freaking out for a few minutes because I thought I may have forgotten to take a picture on this day. Turns out I took one weird picture. I was at work in the office, and I thought there was something wrong with my parting, so instead of going to the bathroom to check in a mirror, the lazy person that I am, I took a photo. Clearly my angling skills are not so great. But anyways, this is the photo that came of it.

I have nothing else to say about that. Other than look at my super long eyelashes! Or don’t…whatever…

Today was the first shift where it hasn’t been ridiculously busy straight through the day. There were quite a few moments where we all could just hang out and talk in the lobby without one guest around to overhear. Those are the moments I love. No stress, no running around, no responsibilities. The moment disappears quickly, but the fact that they even exist right now is all I need.

December 5th, 2012

7 Dec
PHOTO #92: Serendipity

PHOTO #92: Serendipity

For the second movie I chose Serendipity (Kate Beckinsale, John Kusak). Although it starts out with both characters searching for a present for their partner, it is even less about christmas that the last film. It literally skips over the rest of the holiday season and goes a couple of years into the future. Either way, it’s mostly set in the winter months, and that’s why it was my choice. And this is a film I have loved for a long time. Did I mention all the films I have chosen to watch are Romantic Comedies. Just ’cause.

Other than watching this film I did nothing all day, besides working. But, these days that’s nothing new to add to my day. That’s a part of the boringness now. Though we did just hire a bunch of people, so I am quite excited to train, and have some new fresh faces around.

December 2nd, 2012

3 Dec
PHOTO #89: My New Cool Vest

PHOTO #89: My New Cool Vest

This is the new vest I got today! I’m super excited about it, it’s really awesome. There’s not much else I can say about it. The brand name on it is Vero Moda…

So today we had a big celebrity come into the theatre: Carly Rae Jepsen! I’m not a fan of her recent stuff, yes it is catchy, but also not really my style of music. But I do love her first album, the song Tug of War was my favourite back when it came out. I was pretty excited that she came in, I haven’t seen many big celebrities recently. It was sort of a weird event though. It was held in the VIP and they had about three people that won a contest and then each of them got to bring around ten or so of their friends, and they got to see a movie with her…and the movie they watched was Life of Pi. Now, I’m sure that is a great movie, I have no doubt seeing the crowds that are still piling in to see it. But if I were watching a movie with a celebrity I don’t know if that would be it. Either way, it was a cool gesture. And it would have been a pretty exciting event for those lucky winners…if CRJ had shown up on time. But no, as all celebrities do, as though it’s some rule they have to follow to be in the celebrity crowd, she was half an hour late. And she came in with about four big burly security guards.

 Now I’m no expert when it comes to celebrities, but isn’t that a bit excessive? I mean for one she’s Canadian. For two, she’s a singer with two hit songs…is she really in that much danger at a movie theatre? I mean, Steven Tyler wandered in off the street like it was nobody’s business last week (no, I wasn’t working :(…) and didn’t have any sort of protection. And then after the film wandered down Yonge street to-and I’m only guessing here-attend and perform at his own concert that night at the Air Canada Centre…I suppose that’s one of the things with some celebrities. If you really want to be popular you have to make yourself seem more important.

Either way if they are famous I will usually get all excited just so I can tell my friends that I saw them in person. Even though I would like to think that I am all cool and collected around famous people. I’m totally not. But there’s just a certain atmosphere some celebrities bring around with them that changes the way you react around them.

And I guess that my realization for the day is that there’s a big difference between celebrities, some of them just want to hear their music played on the radio, and others just want to play their music.

That’s just my opinion though.