Thursday, 10 August 2017

Vermillion It is

I can't believe August is almost half way through.
I am frantically working to make each of our DIY RRSP accounts to have $25,000 each. I made that happen this week by adding more money . 
Now, RRSP 1 has some money to be invested. So, I bought Vermillion energy, VET on TSX. 
It will give a monthly dividend of $ 0.21 per share each month. With 56 shares,I can earn $11 per month. With the ex dividend date on July 28, I am not going to get any dividend this month though. 
But, from September onwards, I will start receiving more dividends. 
I was checking the dividend history. From 2004 onwards, the company was giving dividends. Actually they are giving out the same dividend from 2014 onwards. That is not a bad news. 
From the company website, I can see that it is a global company and is getting traded in NYSE also. 
With the limited number of shares, I will not be able to DRIP any of those dividends. 
Now, with $25,000 in the RRSP account, I will not be paying annual fee to the brokerage. That is a big savings of $100 per year.
Glad to reach that milestone before September this year. 
How you feel when you really achieved one goal ? How will you celebrate it? 


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

I bought a Dyson!

Dear Reader,
I am a frugal person. My family reduced the use of paper towels. My Swiffer sweeper is armed with reusable cloths. 
Then, the title of this blog post is true too. I bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner for myself!!!!
At first I was reluctant to spend that much money on a vacuum cleaner. That is why we bought the Kenmore one five years before. It was doing a good job. But the problem is I have to drag myself to make it work. The cord has to be re-plugged two three times to finish cleaning  my two bedroom condo. It has a disposable bag. so, we need to buy the bags. It was not easy to just get it and do the job. As a result, I procrastinate the cleaning very often. I needed a vacuum cleaner easy to take out and it should do the job without having to adjust the plug. 
The answer came as an advertisement of Dyson!

The light weight vacuum cleaner is hanging on the wall for easy access. I have my carpet and hard floor vacuum heads are on the wall now. Only problem is I can't find a way to put the head that can be used on the couch on the wall. 

My Dyson has no bags. Cleaning the canister is very easy. Just hold it on top of the garbage bin and open it, the dirt is gone! Hubs agreed to do detailed cleaning of the vacuum cleaner once a month.
I can see myself vacuuming the floors more often. As a result, the home is more cleaner now. 

Usually after spending money on something, I will feel the remorse. With this purchase, I am happy. Each time I reach out the Dyson, I congratulate myself on buying it. 

Have you ever bought something that makes you feel happy forever? 


Thursday, 3 August 2017

PassiveIncome of July2017

Dear reader,
July was great . summer is always fun. There were fireworks. There was great fun walking the trails. 

Then I added a $1000 to the RRSP. 
Now, it is time to check the dividends. 
Together we made total of $250.88 in dividends. 

I bought 64 shares of Pizza Pizza Royalty corp. The dividends not started yet. Hope to start receiving them in August though.
The big achievement is this: I got enough dividend to do DRIP on TD. So, an extra share with no trading cost. 
woohoo!!! 

I also started another blog, where I can talk about dentistry. Guess, you already know that I work as an assistant to dentists and it is my main source of income. 
I am searching for another passive income ideas. Recently found Lending Loop, which is a Canadian peer to peer lending platform.
Do you have any other passive income ideas? 


Thursday, 20 July 2017

Pizza for passive income


Who doesn't love pizza?
Here I am talking about Pizza Pizza royalty corp., which is PZA at TSE.
It is Canadian franchised fast food restaurant.

The interesting thing is it pays monthly dividend. If you are thinking of making passive monthly income, it is a good option to try. According to Google, the dividend yield is 5.02%. It seems good.
It has over 750 locations all over Canada. Most of the Pizza Pizza restaurants are in Ontario..

But, do the same store sales are increasing? I am not sure how to find that out. But, Motley Fool Canada article dated in March 2017 mentions the same store sale of Pizza Pizza has gone up.
With just 64 shares, and an expected dividend of $0.06 per share per month, I hope to increase my dividends from next month onwards.
I am expecting an increase of $46 in my annual dividends with this one stock. That can free about 3 hours of my time!
Wouldn't it be cool to get passive income from Pizza?




Monday, 10 July 2017

Frugal Weekend

The weekend was really bright in Toronto.
As usual, Saturday was just for the errands. Sunday was really for relaxing. Sunday morning started with an extra long walk. It was a cloudy day. That made the walk even more interesting.

I saw berries on plants:
There was a rabbit going to sneak in to a backyard garden:
Can you see the rabbit in the picture? 

I am not sure, why I saw 3-4 abandoned Walmart shopping carts on the road sides. May be it is just a Scarborough thing: People should leave the cart at the shop, right? Now, the carts are making a mess on the street. 
This one is almost 1km away from the Walmart. It can roll on the road and create an accident to oncoming traffic.

At first, I had the cravings to eat out. Then changed mind and made food at home. To go out, thee was "Taste of Lawrence".  Instead, I had a salad with whole wheat crusty bread. Afternoon was just cuddling with a book. I am happy that I didn't spent unnecessarily and ate healthy. 
All the prep work for the coming work week is done. Happy and relaxed for the next week!
How was your weekend? Was it frugal or expensive? Either way, I hope, you had fun.




Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Passive Income of June 2017

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
Canada day long weekend is over. Since the dentists are taking off to relax, my work hours are reduced too. More time to read and work on the blog, right? 
First of all, I need to calculate my total dividend income of June 2017. 
June is a good month for dividends. I made a total of $259.01.  I never totalled the portfolio value. This time of the year, I found that I my holdings have a total market value of $84,000. It can go up if I can transfer the IG account to the the DIY account.(Of course,I will be adding more to my investments, little by little).  We are still working on it. 

I also started learning to work with Google docs. It is going to be more fun. Then the public library is offering few online courses. I am going to look on that too. 
So how you spend a few hours of unexpected free time?



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Canada Day, the Rubber duck etc.

Dear visitor,
thanks for dropping by.
It was supposed to be a 3 day weekend. But, I was doing my paid work on Monday.(not complaining though)
That didn't mean I was not having fun.  
Yes, we went to see the world's largest rubber Duck . Then stayed late to see the fireworks too. 
I was thinking of packing some food to eat.(I am frugal, right?)
But, my family was suggesting to have fun by eating from the food stalls there. 
The subway was crowded. It was packed with people. The rain didn't dampened the spirit. We walked from Union station to the Harbour. The food stalls there was very crowded. People were standing in lines to place their order. We ended up walking on the street and bought food from stall in the grocery shop. It was a sandwich on Pita bread. They had only large ones. The small ones were all sold out. Then there was no place to sit and eat. We just stood in a corner and ate. 
 Every one was happy and having a great time.Even the washrooms were having long waiting list.  First time I saw people ignoring the traffic lights and walking through the streets. Some divers got annoyed and horned. The polite Canadians didn't show any road rage. They just smiled, waved and passed. 
People have different opinions about the duck though. some thought it was a waste of money, some thought it was attractive. 
I heard a lot of languages being spoken. Saw all sorts of people. If it was in a South East Asian country, the girls in our group would have been groped by men of all ages. The women here are  carefree and less worried about being in a crowd.  
I got a few pictures of the fireworks @CN Tower.



While going back, the subway was much more crowded. We had TTC Day pass with us. I was thinking many people won't bother to put the tokens: but, I was wrong. Canadians did take the time to pay the fair to get in the subway. Oh, lord! the train was so crowded. Every one was trying to squeeze in to help the next one to get in the train. The love and kindness people show to one another is amazing. 
Yes, I am really proud to be a Canadian. I am sure you can understand and relate to it. How was your weekend?


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Great to know

Dear visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
If you are a regular reader, then you know that my day job is dental assisting. In my job, I work very close to the boss, dentist. You can say we are working to nose to nose. 
We work like a co-ordinated manner. The instruments and materials pass from assistant to dentist without a word. My suction tip will go into patient's mouth without the patient even realizing it. When a crown is being cemented, my finger will be pressing it down for the dentist to do flossing. I take great pride in not making the dentist to mention what is to be done.
No dentist ever told me I am doing a good work for them ever. It is also the magic of the dental assisting. It may be the backgrounds of the dentists I work with, or it may be just another crazy habit of the dentists... I don't know. 
So, think of it, you really received a complement from your boss: "You are doing a good job" 
Yes, it happened! 
You can imagine how it feels to me: Yes, I am over the moon!
A word of appreciation can really make us feel great. It really is a catalyst to provide better service.

Have you ever experience such uplifting experiences?




Monday, 19 June 2017

Sunday Fun

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
The weekend was another frugal one. The weather is getting nicer. It is time to go out and be in the sun.
The gardening attempt is going on. So far two eggplants are growing out. The potato i put in the soil for fun is having a lot of leaves. Now I think, the container should have been a bit more big.
Since this is a learning process, i am not going to change the container now.
Watering plants in the balcony has to be done carefully. The water flowing out should be carefully managed. If I am not careful, the people living below will be bothered.

Sunday was father's day. Hubs got a gift. Not a very expensive one, yet it is nice and useful. It is a bag, which he really wanted.

When we are going for day trips, I make sure to carry some water. Then, most of the time, the food will also be prepared from home.

That is going to reduce the extra spending and the calorie intake.
On the investment side, I bought few shares of the CIBC last week. I just want to hold them, because we do a lot of banking with them.

How was your weekend?

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Is there a Science in getting rich?

Dear reader,
thanks for dropping by.

Recently I saw this book at the library: "The science of Money,How to increase your income and become wealthy" by Brian Tracy. 

This book is very interesting to read. Money started as a convenient tool to get things and services from other people. So, money has a value. 

Mr. Tracy argues that whoever gives more valuable item or service is paid more. 

Some might argue it is not true. Think of the school teachers: you can be the best teacher, or a mediocre one. But, you both will get paid according to the seniority. 

 But, in most of the private sector jobs, the performance is rewarded. I can see it myself. In most of my career, I was not given a performance report. But, still I feel whenever I got an increase in payments, it was based on my hard work. An assistant who can really be one step ahead of the dentist is always appreciated. But, you will see that the receptionists are paid more than the assistants all the time. I cannot find a reason for that yet. May be they know how much money dentists are getting for each treatment. (you know, most dentists complain about the "Healthy smile program" and ODSP patients.)

When I look around, I see people who are rich are making some sort of unethical things. For example, look at Donald Trump: he did the hate speeches. He called other people names. But, he is enjoying the money and power. 

So, do the real acceptable values of honesty and  hard work are making you really rich?

What are your thoughts about accumulating wealth and hard work?


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

May 2017, Passive income

Dear Visitor,
thanks for dropping by.
We are almost finished half of the year. Since Just has started, time is up for me to look on how much dividend is made this month. 
Between me and my spouse, we made an awesome total of $215.57 in May. 
Recently, i bought some shares of TD bank. It is one of the major banks in Canada. I was thinking of buying TD for some time. The money got ready only in May. 
There were some thoughts about buying a bigger home. After many many discussions, we dropped out that idea. Main reason is the higher housing prices. The second reason is the stress of borrowing money. So, the final decision is to pay off the mortgage on the small condo we live in and to save for retirement. 
Will you live in a small place to be financially independent? 



Monday, 5 June 2017

What am I reading

Dear Blogger, 
Thanks for dropping by. 
I haven't been to the blog for some time. I was reading books, and trying my hands on container gardening and of course, working outside the home too.
The recent book I checked out from library is "suddenly Frugal" by Lea Ingram.
Yes, you guessed it, it is about frugal living. Lea became suddenly frugal when life demanded to find ways to save money when there was no chance to make more income.
I am always looking for finding tips to save money. Yes, my family is living frugally for some time. I was thinking, I know almost all things to be frugal. But, this book gives a few more points. 
The author is giving a lot of tips on how to save on everything from cooking to driving. 
For example, we all try to line dry clothes. But, this author says she puts clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes before putting them to line dry. She let the clothes soak in the washer to save on energy and to make clothes clean. 
There are great tips to run the fridge efficiently. There are driving habits you can adopt to save on gas. 
She goes from basement to attic in the home and tells how to live better with using less power and money. 
Interesting thing is the book gives "suddenly frugal seal of approval" on so many things. 
I am pretty sure, you will find the book interesting as well as informative. 
Will you try reading this book? Which  is your favourite frugal book?
PS. You can check out her website: http://www.leahingram.com

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sunday fun

Dear blogger,
Thanks for dropping by.
It is the Victoria day long weekend in Toronto.
Sunday turned out to be another rain day. So, I just did relaxing with a lot of sleep. 
There was nothing planned for the whole day. 
I have all purpose flour. So, after some search on the internet, settled to make a bread in the bread machine. 
I have some gardening going on. The plants are still inside. I am not trusting the weather yet. 
I have tried growing spring onions . First we bought a bunch from the grocery shop. After cutting the tops, leaving lot of stem with the roots, I placed them in soil. 
So, far I was able to cut the leaves for two times. Watering them regularly and placing in sunny spot is very important for growing them.
The planter is actually a distilled water bottle. I just cut the top off . Since the onion plant love water, I didn't put any holes in the bottom. They are still growing. 
All my dental offices use distilled water for sterilizing. So, they are freely available. I am going to recycle more of them for my gardening projects. 
What you are up to?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Happy Mother's Day: Frugal way

Dear visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
I spent some time with hubby: doing grocery shopping, exactly.
we went to the Foody World in Scarborough. He shops there mostly every week and I skip the trip. Saturday, I decided to tag along. It was really fun.

Since we were there early, it was not busy yet. Most workers are Asians. Some  veggies are bit cheaper than Walmart and other shops. Bananas were more expensive than Walmart though.
They have a garden section too. I bought 4 chilly plants and 4 eggplants for $3.40 including tax.

They are still not replanted to the pots. We bought two plastic container from Walmart, especially for those plants. 
The dinner on Saturday was made at home: baked potatoes, cucumber - tomato salad with pickled peppers and olives, and beef burgers (got on sale). There was some Ontario red wine to go with it.  Having home cooked good meal with family: what is more satisfying than that?
So, me the mother is happy with the good food, and plans for container gardening. 
How you celebrate mother's day? The frugal way or the expensive way? Did you bought flowers/spa treatments etc? 
Hope, you will share your stories with me. 
Have fun with your mom or with your kids.



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Adjusted cost Base :an explanation

Dear visitor, 
Thanks for dropping by.
Last week, I was browsing through the Canadian Mustachians on Facebook and came across the term"Adjusted cost Base".
What the heck is it? I never heard of it before, and since I haven't sold any of the shares I invested, never had to use it too.
Being a DIY investor, you learn all the time. That is a lifestyle thing, I guess. 

So, what is Adjusted Cost Base, or in short ACB?

In short it is the average cost of the shares you earned. 

Ok, I will tell you what I know now.

Think that I bought 10 shares of the Royal bank, with $50 each. Now the total price of the 10 shares is $500. simple math, right?
I gave $7 for the bank to do the trade. So, my total cost of purchase is $507, right? 
So what the actual cost per share? 507/10 =$50.7, so far good, right?
aslo assume that it happened in June 2016.  
Then I decided to buy another 10 shares of Royal bank in July 2016 for the price of $55 a share. Now the total cost for that purchase is $550 plus the trading fee $7 , ie.$557. Now I have 20 shares. So what is the average cost or Adjusted cost of these shares? (Adding $507 and $557 will be $1064 and divide that by 20, (the total number of shares now I have.) It will be $53.20
Now if I am selling 5 shares for the price of $65, so what will be the adjusted cost base of this sale?
(65*5)-7 = $318/5 =$63.60. 
When I am reporting capital gains, I will be using this information.
What was  the cost of purchase of those 5 shares? I will be calculating that using my ACB. 
ie, 5shares time $53.20 =$266
My sales income = 5*$63.60= $318
Capital gain to be reported = $318-$266=$52. 
I will end up in paying capital gain tax on $52. 
Now, I am working on to make a spreadsheet to calculate ACB for all my investments. 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

April 2017 Passive Income

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
It is supposed to be spring and the weather this year is playing not to be same like previous years. May be nature is tired of being predictable. 
It is May already. time to check that passive income, right?
comparing to March , it is less. I am still happy that it is over $100. 
I was able to put money into the accounts and bought some ETF. The plan is to follow the CCP strategy(Canadian Couch Potato) for one of the retirement accounts. 

 CIBC investors edge charges $100 for RRSP accounts with less than $25,000 an annual fees of $100. So, I have to have make that a priority for both of our accounts. 

We made an awesome total of $125.09 in April 2017. Total passive income this year is $751.99. That is great compared to the income we make. So, I am pretty sure, we will be able to be financially independent one day.  
What is your reason for saving money? What is your idea of being financially independent?

Sunday, 30 April 2017

More money?

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
You can see that my posts are not many in April. I feel it too. Sometimes, it is due to lack of subjects.Other times, it is lack of time. 

My reason now is lack of time: I got a side hustle once a week for 2 hours. Then I got  my dental assisting jobs. Yes, jobs, with different employers. so, whenever, they need extra help, I am the one got asked to help them. Good for my personal finance. More money to invest, right?

Recently, one of my co worker got a new job with better pay and benefits. So, while the employer is on the search for a new assistant, I am asked to help. Remember, my motto is to "work when work is available". So, I was working last week. Of course, that will bring some money. But it is all the time less than $20 for an hour. I can write more blog posts and be happy. But, there will not be any money to be seen. So, comparing the options, I can work for some one, and get paid few bucks, and give few bucks to the government too. 

So, by working everyday, I am helping my employer to deliver treatments and to make money. I am also contributing more to the Canadian society by paying more tax. 

Working more also means that I have to plan ahead to avoid un necessary spending. We have to have food in the fridge so that we don't depend on take outs. The lunches and snacks should be packed so that there will be no temptations to buy from outside. The house must be reasonably clean so that it will let us rest and be happy for the next day. 

What do you think of working more hours than usual? Will you do it? Will you refuse to do that? 
Incase you have more paid work, what will you do to avoid extra spending?

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ideas to pay off the mortgage faster

Dear Visitor, 
thanks for dropping by.
My mortgage is less than $100,000 from last year onwards. I was thinking of ways to pay it off faster. 
Turns out, there are few methods to think about.

First of all I asked my lender to make it bi-weekly. That was done couple of years before. Now, this month I asked them to increase my bi-weekly payments by 10%. (I believe you can make it up to 15% . Just ask your lender.)
I have an option to pay a lump sum of up to 15%  of the original mortgage amount. This payment will go directly towards the principal. The minimum amount of this annual lump sum is $100.

The next one is the option to double up your regular payment of principal and interest once a year. 

I used the lump sum payment  option  in 2015. Since 2016 was hard on us, we didn't do that.  This year I am going to do at least $100 towards the principal. 

Do you have any other ideas to pay off mortgage faster? Please share your mortgage stories with me.




Thursday, 13 April 2017

Upcycling An Old Sweatpant

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.

The winter is finally over. Time to put away some winter clothes, right? 
the 100% polyester sweatpants was in my daughters pile to discard. I was thinking of using it for something. Finally, got an idea.
Actually there are two sudden ideas.


The pants was about to be thrown out. But, I was going to clean the flours first. There is my swiffer sweeper, with disposable dry wipes. I read it before about using fleece instead of the disposable dry wipes. 
I cut the end of the pants to make like a sock for the Swiffer sweeper. Not really working. 
So I opened it up to a rectangle. Now see the new re-usable swiffer wipe
There is this leg cuff part, I cut from the pants.
Lovely, right? I was thinking of making a cuff of sorts. Then cut the edge out. It was a doubled piece!!!
Opened it up to see how long it is. 
Suddenly, I got the idea to make a cozy for my oil bottle in the kitchen. The round glass bottle is always having oil on the outside. 
Now there is something to cover it. I want to see how long it will stay. The bottom is just tucked under the bottle. I didn't bother to sew. But, it is not wobbling the bottle.
Rest of the pants are going get cut into rectangles to be used as flour mops on Swiffer sweeper. I tried it already. It collects all the dust and hair. 
Want to make wet mops? don't worry, spray some soap water on the cloth, and it is good to go.

Have you ever up-cycled clothes? Recycled sweatpants especially? 

Friday, 7 April 2017

A DIY pedicure

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
Toronto seems to be under never ending winter.
What to do to tame the winter inertia? I thought a pedicure to myself will be great.

I didn't want to ruin my unexpected off day by going out to the saloon and spending money. After all, it is still cold and windy.
With a little thinking, and searching, I found the necessary things at home for pedicure.

A plastic basin, some sea salt, and a scrubber for foot: all I had at home.
Pour some hot water to the basin. Added a handful of sea salt. I put a bit of my shampoo also. 
Then soak the feet for about 30 minutes and was watching TV. Used the scrubber to scrub the feet to remove the hardened skin. Then used a towel to wipe off. Applied some lotion to the feet. I cut the nails, filed them. Then put some nail polish.
This will do for the cold weather. For today I have my happy feet and no extra spending.
Have you tried DIY pedicure? Do you have any other tips to share with me?


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Minimalism for Financial Independence

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
I mentioned that I like the idea of minimalism.
Some people can stick to the minimalistic way of life. Minimalism is living with what you really need and not having more stuff. In that way I like it.

But, think of the stuff we accumulate: like yoghurt containers, empty jam and mayonnaise bottles... sure, they make clutter. But, I have to have a few. Collected so many similar bottles over the years to arrange my pantry. I have 2-3 empty yoghurt containers to keep food in the freezer or fridge. I don't accumulate more than that now a days. Same goes with the empty bottles. There will be few of them, as they are useful to keep bulk non perishable food items such as rice, lentils and flours.

How you reach financial independence with minimalism is your question, right?

I don't buy stuff when I see them in the store now. For example, a nice handbag on sale was big temptation before. Now, I think, do I really need it? What am I going to do with the bags I love and already at home after buying a new one? Now, see, the impulse starting to fade. Money stays in my purse.

I used to accumulate magazines. I put the old magazines in the recycle bin and don't buy new ones. Library has a lot of magazines, and they are available online too. No need to waste the valuable real estate at home to store them. I had many boxes to keep the old magazines. Now most of them are gone. The boxes are free to keep the winter gears. Some of the boxes are going to be donated too.

I still have to go through my processions. I am pretty sure, there are many items to be repurposed and donated. 

When you reduce buying more stuff, of course, you will be spending less money. That is the money you can save for  creating an emergency fund. 

When there is more free space, it is easy to clean. One may not need a bigger house if there is less stuff to keep. That means less use of electricity and less property tax. That is the money you  can save and invest. 

Do you think of filling up the space in your home or you want to have empty space? What you think of having less stuff at home?






Sunday, 2 April 2017

March 2017 passive income

Dear visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
Welcome to April and better weather, Time to check on March passive income too.
Checked family RRSPs and TFSAs. It has passed the limit of $100.  The goal is to have $200. Now, we made almost there. $199.36 total. 
That is looking good. Because, March 2016 was only $18. It is a great achievement on my part. Don't you agree?  
That kind of achievement makes me to save more and to reduce spending on unnecessary things. The life is more happy. Less things around the house makes me feel more relaxed. 
I hope, one day, my passive income will be enough to make me have a happy life.
So, tell me how buying whatever you really needs make you feel? Happy or deprived?

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Home made laundry detergent powder


This was posted one year before.

It seems like I am getting views for this blog. That is a pleasant surprise!
Since I don't receive any comments, I was not looking on the statistics.  Thank you to my anonymous  readers. 
I was trying to make laundry detergent powder  and was talking about it here.
Since the ingredients were hard to get, I almost gave up the laundry detergent project.

It is funny, when you keep on looking, things come to you. I was at Cedarbrae mall No Frills, just checking the laundry isle. To my delight, they have the Borax and So Easy super washing soda.
I had 3 bars of ivory soap from Dollarama for $1.50. The recipe called for grated soap. I was concerned to use my box grater for this project. Make Your Zone has the solution to microwave soap. It really worked. My advice is to microwave it on a big platter and to may be put more than a minute. We have to experiment to find the correct timing. Make sure you don't touch the puffy ballooned soap until it is really cool. It may take a couple of seconds. Then I used my hands to crumble it. You can put it in an old zip-lock bag and crush it too. 

I used one bar of soap, 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of Borax. Mixed everything together and keep in an old  plastic container. It smells like ivory soap. So a bit worried about the dried laundry going to smell like that...

Yes, I used it to wash my bed sheets today. My soap was not really powdered. So, got a few crumbs when the load is washed. So, I had to put it back and run the rinse cycle again. After that it was fine. There was no smell of ivory soap.

With the added confidence I did second load of regular clothes. This time the powder was added first, let the washer filled(mine is top loader), then added the laundry. I just let it soak for about 15 minutes and then run. Not much problems this time. I used the measuring cup from my previous laundry detergent. Probably about two spoons for a medium load. There is still a lot of the small batch  left. I didn't see any soap bubbles when doing laundry. 

One problem with washing soda is it is like a ball in the box.  The ball was not that hard, but just annoying when trying to get the powder from the box. I had to cut open the top. I am going to try keeping a small pack of rice in the box to see how it works.


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Bills Paid

Dear Visitor,
thanks for dropping by.
March is ending and the cold weather too. It will be nice to have longer days with more sun. It will be more pleasant than the layering up.

End of the month means time to pay bills. got the credit card bill, which also include the phone bills. They will get automatically get paid from the credit card. That way, I can reduce the number of transactions on my checking account. So, making the full payment at end of the month on credit card is all I have to do. If that can be done in time, I can save the interest charges (a whopping 20%) on the total expenses. 

I made a commitment to myself to do that each month.

When it is all paid off, that is a great relief. 
So, have you paid up all your bills for the month of March?




Sunday, 26 March 2017

Avoiding extra spending

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
During the March break I was offered more hours of work. People with school going kids wanted to take off to spend time with kids. Since I don't have a kid at home right at that moment, I was ready to work and help. The end result was long days for me. After getting the bitter taste of  job loss in the family, my motto is to "work when there is work available". 

Long hours can trigger you to spend un necessarily. To avoid that, I was having some strategies.

 Main thing was to cook more food to keep in the fridge for the whole week. That way, there was enough things to pack for lunch. You know, hungry, tired and no packed lunch is a reason to shop for crappy fast food. There were more in the fridge to heat up as dinner. After working, who will have the energy to work in the kitchen?

So, we packed lunch and made breakfast in the morning. Then went our ways to work. 

There were enough clean pressed clothes for the entire work week. Happy to tell you all that the extra work didn't made me spending extra. Actually, now I can start saving to buy a new laptop for my daughter. The one she uses now is falling apart. Hope to have saved enough by the coming September.

How you avoid the extra spendings?




Saturday Evening to relax

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. This week was not that much hectic. Most dental offices are open on Saturdays. At least in Toronto, I believe.
It was busy as usual. That is the fun of it too.

After work there was a bit of grocery shopping. Then for the fun of it, we bought Apple pie from the McDonalds. When it is slightly cooled the pie is nice. Better than eating it right away at the store.

There was this series on CBC, called Anne. I was watching for some time. It is really making me emotional. The girl who comes as Anne is acting very good. She makes me teary eyed.

I read the book several years before. What a captivating story!

I didn't watch the full episode. But, it is a really nice one.

Hope you all having a great weekend.
Enjoy!






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