Friday, 24 March 2017

Composting Dilemmas

Dear visitor, 
Thanks for dropping by.
I am thinking about having a container garden on my balcony this season. I love to plant some veggies, especially some peppers.
I want to use compost for the plants.  So, where to get compost? May be Walmart? The website don't show any. some other sources are very expensive.

It will be great, if I can make compost, right?
I did a search to see how city dwellers do composting. Turned out there are are some composting bins designed for apartments alone. 
Further research showed that it can bring in fruit flies. 

Amazon has many ideas: 
That one is really cute, isn't it? But the reviews were not great. So, I was reluctant to buy.
Finally, I am glad to tell you there is a very simple solution for my compost problem.
City is giving away free compost and I can get it from one of several locations from April to September, on Saturdays. 

So, I am not going to do composting. I am going to get the compost free. 

Are you planning to do gardening this year? What would you be planting? Have you tried composting? 




Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Book Review: The Automatic Millionnaire

Dear visitor,

Recently, I got a chance to read The Automatic Millionaire written by David Bach. I had the Canadian edition from the library. So, it says about RRSP. Since it was actually written in 2003, there is no mention of the TFSA.

The key point is to pay yourself first. That is, moving a percentage of your paycheque immediately to the  RRSP account.

He explains with many stories how to get out of debt and how to save for retirement. The book is a good read.

Bach says to automate your savings and your debt paying. I think, by now most people knows about they can pay off the mortgage faster by choosing biweekly payments.

With the sky-high real estate prices, Canadians may not be able to have a primary residence and a rental property in the present time.

The main idea of the book is to automate your savings and spendings. Then of course, frugal living.

He also mentions about the Latte Factor. Most people interested in personal finance already knows that one. Funny thing is it is not actually about having a latte. It is about the small and regular un necessary purchases. It may be hard to tame that kind of habits. If you once check the calculations Mr.Bach explains in the book, I am sure, you want to try to avoid it.

Altogether, if you are interested in saving money and live within your means, you might already be on your way to riches.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I recommend you to read it. If you can get it from library, it is much better. You read it, you get the ideas. No need to own a copy. ( I think so)

What is your "Latte factor" if you have one? 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Frugal Weekend

Dear visitor, 
Thanks for dropping by. It is already Tuesday. Still, I want to tell you about my frugal weekend. 

We did a bit of Costco shopping. Bought a set of glass containers, as hubby insisted on having it. I am not sure we really needed it. But, to him, it is not a waste. Our old set started having broken lids. So, it is justifiable. I need to remove some from home, before opening the new ones though. 

I think, I told you i have long hair. I didn't cut it for some time. So, got a haircut. That doesn't mean I went to the saloon to get done.  To cut the hair straight, you tube has many videos. 
Mine is not this much short. It is bit more longer. But the idea is same. 

Have you ever cut your own hair?

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Why you don't need a budget




Dear visitor,
Thanks for visiting.
Many people really like to budget the spending and stay within the budget. Many people cannot stand a budget. I am one of them.
I hate budgets.Tried many times and failed miserably.
Many personal finance bloggers stress about the use of budget to cut the spending. To me, it is time wasted on something you can't really do.
You may want to know, how I have some left over money in my savings.

My family automated some of the expenses though. Like the mortgage: it will be taken from the checking account biweekly. The phone bills are automatically paid by credit cards. The cable is also paid automatically.Then the energy bill, which is taken out at the beginning of the month. the condo fee is also automated. That way, I can avoid any late fees and interest on unpaid bills. 

I won't buy small stuff regularly. You might have heard of the Latte Factor: I don't have any spending like that. Guess, I already mentioned about my dislike to wait in line at coffee shop. My family always pack lunch to work. So, on a typical work day, we don't spend anything. There is no impulse shopping during the regular work week. Most of the time we eat home-cooked meals. Sometimes there will be store bought snacks. But they are not from the fast food restaurants, which are more expensive compared to grocery store variety. 

My savings are usually moved to RRSP in the beginning of the month, when I get paid, which is once a month. I save 20% of after tax money. Once it is moved to RRSP, you cannot take it out. Unlike TFSA, this money is difficult to take out, unless you are over 65. 

 Then the remaining has to be used to pay the bills and other fun spending. Fun for us is really watching a movie or two on the TV. Then reading books and watching YouTube.  Since there is not much space in the small condo, we cannot own many books. If a new book is going to come, then an old one has to go out. So, library is a great choice. Our library has a great selection on e-books and audio books too. 

After starting the blog, and liking the minimalism ideas, our life become more simpler. There is not much stress about money as well. As a result, i can see my savings is growing little by little.


Basically, if you have decided on how much is going to the savings, and take care of it when you get paid, there is no need for budgeting. To live within the balance of the available fund, we need to choose some strategies on spending. The less you spend on unnecessary things, the better. Then you will find enough money to spend on the things that make you happy. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

A semolina recipe

Dear visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
Got this idea of savoury item from a co-worker. It is made of semolina. Wikipedia says semolina is made from durum wheat.
I tried few times before and it was liked very much at home. So, I tried adding things to it to make better.
Here is my version of semolina savoury recipe.

2 cups of semolina
4 cups of water
1 onion
some frozen spinach
Some cooked chicpea
1 green chilly
1 small piece of onion
1 tsp black mustard seeds
Curry leaves if you have them
1tsp oil

Heat the oil. Put the mustard seeds. cover the pan, to prevent mustards splattering on you. Once the splattering stops, add chopped onion, de-seeded chopped green chillies and chopped ginger . Stir fry till onion starting to turn brownish.  Add the thawed spinach. You can add cooked left over spinach too. Once the spinach is heated through, add the chick peas. Stir for 3-4 minutes and remove from the pan.



Put the semolina in the pan. Place it on heat and stir it for about 5 minutes. When it all heated through. remove from heat. Boil the water. Add enough salt. Put the spinach mix in the boiling water. Mix well. Now reduce the heat and add the semolina. Careful: it can bubble. Mix everything nicely and cover it. Turn the heat off. My stove has glass ceramic top. So it will continue giving heat. So, I like to leave it on the stove top for about 10 minutes while the lid is closed.
I like to eat it as it is.

Till next post
With love


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Frugal weekend

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for visiting.

The week fly fast. The weekend is also over. We had a lovely trip to visit our daughter at the university. We had a good couple of hours and had lunch with her in the mall. I always carry some warm water/green tea in a flask while travelling in winter. That way we can avoid the coffee shops. It is a good way not to add calories unnecessary. If we buy coffee, we love to have the double double. With water or green tea, there is no calories. There are no paper cups. Frugal and green at the same time. The eating out was a treat for her. So, that was actually planned.

I did one load of laundry and used the drier to dry it. But, the load had bed sheets in it. So, it is justified. 
The visitors got home made coffee and store bought pie. We had great conversation and lot of laughs. That is the real thing matters. The love of friendship and fun. 

I managed to finish reading the book "unshakable" by Tony Robins this week. It is a nice read. Mr. Robins tells how to invest wisely so that you will not be affected by the ups and downs of the market. Yes, he talks about index investing. He talks about buying and holding and not to panic when market goes down. He also tells to count your blessings and to stay happy, instead of worrying. He gives one meditation technique in the book, which I would love to try often. It is a really interesting book. I got it from the Toronto public library in ebook format. (You know, I am frugal, right?)

Since this week is going to be March break, and I have no school going kids, I agreed to do work for some friends. Let us see how the week is going to be. 
How you doing? What is up for March break?

Till next post,
With love








Thursday, 9 March 2017

Nothing to write

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
When I was staring on the blank page, I felt like there is nothing to write. Started typing anyway.
to solve the dish soap problem, we did a run to Walmart after work.  I bought the Dawn brand. I never tried that brand. It says #X grease fighting. We are trying to use less oil in cooking. There is no deep frying now a days. Just trying to be healthy, you know?
So there is actually no need to buy that soap. But, you know, I love to stretch my things.
Remember the Dawn ads? Little goes a long way.

I am going to water down the dish soap and use my spray bottle too. Right now, it is about 25% soap and 75% water. It still smells like dawn original and soapy too. Dishes are getting clean. So I am happy with the solution.

Let us see how long it will last.
Some frugal blogs suggest using Dawn brand dish soap for the laundry. I am happy to try it on shirt collar to remove dark stains.

Hahaha1 That is it for a day for the feeling of nothing to write.
As it is Thursday, cleaning chores to be done.

Till next post
With love