Tag Archives: Travel

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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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 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.

October 25th, 2012

26 Oct

PHOTO #51: Work Work Work

Today was pretty boring. I thought I was meeting up with my sister to go fabric shopping for our costumes and I think she wants me to make her a dress or something. But, apparently I am still very tired and was getting my days mixed up. I really thought it was friday…Luckily my manager had already asked me if I could come in early. So, I didn’t go all the way downtown for nothing. While I was downtown I bought this QUO French Tip Nail Pen thing. I am getting lazier and lazier when it comes to doing my nails. And lately they look so bad, because my hair dye has also dyed my nails. So they are this dirty greenish tint. It’s gross. I figured I should try this. It’s supposed to make it easier. But, I have this feeling it’s not going to. Details on that tomorrow I guess.

My celebrity sighting of the day is Salman Rushdie and Deepa Metha. I read a Rushdie book in my grade nine english class, and I loved it. It was called Haroun and the Sea of Stories. I know that there is this whole thing with him and the Middle East, but I’m not really sure of the details. I just know he has written some pretty controversial stuff. Now, I didn’t necessarily see him…but he was in the vicinity of the theatre. He and Deepa Metha did a Q & A before her film Midnight’s Children. So, that was the excitement for the day.

Other than that…I accidentally went into overtime again…not by much this time…maybe an hour and a half. Oops…It’s hard to keep track of my hours…plus, it’s not my fault they ask me to come in all the time. I just never refuse.

P.S. I suppose I should explain the photo…This is what I wore at work for the day. The sheer blouse with the Lace collar is from a store called Penney’s. You can find it in the UK. Specifically, I got mine from Ireland. The sweater is an old thing from Reitman’s or something.

September 27th, 2012

28 Sep

PHOTO #23: Presents!

Update: Only watched 25 minutes of Bridget Jones, I wasn’t feeling it so I had to turn it off. Too awkward for my taste.

Next bit of exciting news: The actor who plays Nathan (Robert Sheehan) in the awesome show Misfits came into the theatre to watch The Master. So awesome! If you have never seen that show, you need to go watch it. Like, now.

Otherwise today was pretty eventless. All I did was work. I visited my sister at her work and she gave me two more cupcakes. And also my super belated BDay present, which is the map in the picture. I have done a lot of travelling in the past couple of years and really wanted to do one of those wall maps with the pins stuck in the countries I’ve been to. I just haven’t gotten around to starting it. So, a while ago I told my sister and my mom that a map was what I wanted for my birthday. Neither of them could find one anywhere. I assumed I would end up having to find one for myself. But I guess she finally found one. Now all I need is cork board and some map pins. Tomorrow will bring me those things. I know this, because I’m going to the dollar store!

Speaking of travelling. My friend asked me to go to Thailand with her in November. I really want to, but am also hesitant. I am still terrified of flying, and it must be a long flight. Also, I have heard not so great things about parts of Thailand. I know that parts of it are beautiful, and they have a fashion industry worth looking at, but I just don’t know. Plus I would have to fly there alone, because she’s travelling from Australia. I am about to go research, and see whether that can swing my vote.

September 10th 2012

11 Sep

PHOTO #6: My Travel Buddy

So, all day I had been wondering what I was going to post today. Absolutely nothing happened. But, during work I was chatting with a friend about travelling. I was telling her stories of the places I went, and where I stayed. Seriously, that conversation was the highlight of the day. So the conversation reminded me of the great time I had in the UK a few months ago, but more importantly, it reminded me of this bag. It was my companion (besides the people I went with) along the way. All over the UK, and afterwards in Washington. Every new Country we stopped in I picked up a pin that reflected the place we were in, mostly that meant the country flag, or crest.

It also gives me excitement for my future because I will get to add and add to the pins, everywhere I go. Canada is obviously the largest on the bag because 1. It’s where I’m from and 2. It was advertisement while I was there to show where I am from. Clockwise from the top left are 1. USA (This signifies the trips I have made to NYC, and Washington, and future trips I plan to make to the US) 2. The Lake District (Not a country, it is in England though, and I loved the place so much I had to get a pin for it) 3. Ireland 4. Also Ireland (I bought the Shamrock first thinking I may not find a flag, and I liked both pins so they stayed on together) 5. The Union Jack for Great Britain (Signifying my entire trip, seeing as it covered the whole of Great Britain) 6. France (Yes this is not in Britain, but how can you pass off a detour to Paris, France? You can’t thats how) 7. England (Tiniest flag, even though we spent the most time here) 8. Whales (We were barely here, but it still counted to me) 9. Scotland Flag 10. Scotland Crest. Thats all…For now.

P.S. The little pink pig is from my best friend of 18 years. She gave it to me at least 8 years ago. She’s also the one I went on all these trips with.

P.P.S. Yes I snuck in another shot of my cat. She’s in the background cleaning herself. 😛