Sometimes money runs through my fingers like sand in a sieve … you know how it goes – it’s like all your shoes wear out in the same month. You need new (or new to you) clothing and everything (perceptions, glasses, shirts, bras – life stuff) all at the same impossible time. It is incredible frustrating. I read all sorts of how to handle your money but sometimes I think those articles are meant for people that maintain a certain level of affluence. I think it is called the latte something something …
It has been awhile since we talked about money. The reality for me is that money sucks. Actually gracefully accepting my place in the financial scale makes it easier for me to figure out what I need to do to move forward. As you might know I took a few weeks off of Starbucks in April because I needed a break. I needed to push pause for a minute and catch my breath; align my expectations of myself and figure out what I want to do next.
Taking time off means less money – my budget has gone to shit. I stopped tracking my money. It is the same concept as weight watchers – you gotta track your bites or you don’t lose the weight. I need to track my spending or shit goes crazy. And, Friends, shit has gone crazy. I need to plan my spending or things get out of control right quick. Some days I wonder if I will ever see the end to my student loan nightmare. The truth is I got tired of it and got distracted because it’s hard to build a life on no dollars.
So in financial news aka pending expenses: I got hit with an amount owing on my income tax. A couple of traffic violations and I need to update my address on my license and insurance. My wisdom teeth will be costing anything my insurance doesn’t cover. I need new glasses, contacts and an eye exam and last but not least I am getting another laser treatment this week on my tattoo. I am mega excited for getting a new tattoo for my birthday this coming December that will cover the spot I am lasering. So I will not make any of my targets for paying off my Alberta student loan any time soon. Gah. I step forward – 3 steps back. I have been good with my no buy with the exceptions of things I really needed.
My 3 big lessons are:
- Budget like a motherfucker.
- Track your Gawddamn Spending.
- Take Control.
In other news that affects my finances. I am trying to brush up on my English grammar because I am thinking about taking my CELTA so I can teach English in Canada. And then replace Starbucks with teaching. This will cost money but likely make me more money in the long run (also allow me to consider a bit of a Bali teaching situation that has been on the bucket list for years). I am looking for higher paying full time jobs – albeit not that hard. August is my two year work-aversary … so perfect timing. Change is in the air but sadly this time not in my hair.
Anyway – the reason I write this out is in the hopes that you will take a step back from your financial situation and realize that we all struggle with finances. It’s expensive as fuck to live in the Western world. People have debt and the truth is – none of it is good and the only way out is to plan it out, pay it off and show yourself some love. I have thought about selling everything and moving abroad again but I’m not there yet.
So with that friends, happy saving, happy spending and thankfully it is almost nice enough for picnics and strolls in the parks.
Guys, Gals, Friends ….
I have a confession to make. I am one of those people that get secretly excited about doing my taxes. I don’t know what it is. It is like it is the massive math puzzle that I must put together and the better I get at it the more money I get back. I am not even joking.
THE SEASON IS AMONG US!!!
The t-4’s are rolling in, the tax credits for student loans, this year I might be able to claim some things I did for a tiny house conference I was trying to build. But it is here, the joyous time when the day comes I spend plugging numbers and making magic happen. I already updated my tax software. I am ready to go. I am excited to get into my tax folders and find all the things I can write off, all the receipts I can use to claim. It’s like Christmas for the mathematically inclined.
I must say – I am a bit of a math wiz. I mean, I do do a lot of stuff with numbers (building plans and all) during the day, my mental math ability is pretty strong. And if any of you know anything about the Multiple Intelligence Theory – I am totally a logic type. Even my Meyers Briggs test puts me in the high percentile for mathematics and logic.
Anyway – this years taxes are going to be exciting and challenging because there is a new category for me with my growing attempts at small business. I am pretty excited. You never know what you are going to get.
Are you a tax type person? or do you run over to H&R block or wherever to get someone to do them for you? Are they so complicated with all your side projects that it is not worth the personal trouble?
Do you hate tax season?
Comment below – tell me your feels about tax season.
Lets talk about it,
I spend money every day. I tap my debit card or my credit card so many times a day it’s crazy. Recently at work some one said to me they can only use 12 debits a month on their debit card. I was literally in shock. I think sometimes I use 12 debits a day. One might think out of control. I have been working hard at not spending money and following my no-buy rules … really, everyday, I am learning new tricks to get out of my house, do free things or get those projects done – but not spending is a fucking challenge for me.
Last week I caught a post on Mixed Up Money’s twitter of a recent blog post & YouTube video about a 72 hour No-Buy – fucking crazy right?! ….
And then you can see what happen:
If you guys are into some sassy ass, money saving awesomeness – you should read her stuff. I literally promise she has nothing to do with this, I am not getting paid or being sponsored. I am not that internet famous yet. That will be next month. jk’s. Just dreaming big. I digress.
So while I strive for minimalism, organization, and a weekend I SOOOOOOOOOOO needed to relax after all the work I have been doing. I successfully completed a full day -no-buy and I vlogged the shit out of it.
How d’you like them apples?!
ps; You can follow me on Twitter here <3!!!
I picked up an extra shift today and while I normally don’t work Saturdays I am working tonight and this song is in my head:
Everyday I’m hustling. Because every day I do – expect Saturdays, when I sleep.
It is no secret that I have 2 jobs. 1 full time job working as a CAD monkey making floorplans for trade show company here in Edmonton and one part time side hustle with the siren at Starbucks. I work anywhere from 53-60 hours a week. This depends on the week, my level of exhaustion and my ability to work with the public (cuz let’s be real yo, lots of bitches be drinking skinny vanilla lattes!). Sometimes I find the more busy I am the more shit I accomplish. And, there is a lot of truth to the simple reality that if you are always at work its hard to spend your money. I am lucky that there are some super duper cool people at both my jobs and that the jobs work well for scheduling my life.
The secret to surviving while working this much & to staying human: I take the same one day off, every week and do not work! That is my Carol day. It is needed and earned and Jesus fuck a girl needs her sleep, and to get shit done, be social and just be.
Pros & Cons of the Starbucks Side hustle:
- if I want extra hours I can usually get them at my store or from any other Starbucks in the Edmonton area
- Usually it is easy to get rid of a shift or book off time if I am feeling like I need a normal weekend (by that I mean 2 days) or I need a break
- My income from that job varies but is anywhere from $400 – $1000/month working anywhere from 12-20 hrs a week!
- I have worked on and off for Starbucks from a long time, it’s routine, it’s easy and – hell moonlighting as a Barista gives you lots of opportunity to meet pretty interesting people
- Sometimes I get super exhausted and Friday night is literally me, tea and documentaries if I can actually stay awake long enough to get through it
- The perk of 1lb of free coffee or one box of tea every friggin’ week!
- Pretty decent employee discount when I want new go cups for my ever growing collection AND partner shopping days
- Working with young people keeps me young
- Two jobs can be soul sucking because you are working or you are sleeping
- It eats up social time, gym time, life time, dating time, finding a husband time etc
- It eats up my writing time
- People sometimes talk to you like you are a sack of shit and uneducated and stupid and it makes me want to scream in their face because lets be real – you aren’t drinking Starbucks on the daily if you are on any kind of debt repayment plan – that shit is expensive!
I think there are tonnes of things you can do for a side hustle. It is my opinion that a second income stream is likely your best bet. I was reading on Budgets are Sexy yesterday an entire post about all the different things you can do as a side hustle. I have some research to do to get to the next level.
With that friends, it is Saturday early afternoon, I am drinking my coffee while I write this, I have eaten, tindered, I washed and cleaned my kitchen is preparation for meal prepping tonight, I powered through writing this blog post, I just need to get dressed, get my myself funky and get myself to work.
That’s how we do it in my world – thank Zeus for free caffeine!
It is getting real, Friends. I made a budget. It still has some generous vague spending areas but we all need to start somewhere. It is a work in progress.
Note ** I foolishly thought I could discuss financial stuff with people. I have realized that some people are judgmental fucks and fail to appreciate others peoples success. I appreciate all of my friends and family and am incredibly excited for those that have seen heaps of financial success in their lives – I am even more proud of the people that started with less and ended up with more. Your success has blood, sweat and tears and is well deserved. Go you! **
I am super excited that I am following through on one of the many many many steps to personal financial success. In the spirit of trimming my expenses I have decided to make a NO-BUY official with rules and all. Mostly this serves as … accountability!
Well the fact is there is really only one rule and it is don’t buy shit you don’t need but I feel like I need to write out all the pesky details so I have a point of reference.
- Shower Gels and Soap. I currently have 5 body washes open in my shower & 3 massive bars of soap under my sink. I think that should suffice for the better part of this year.
- Body Lotion. If you saw my post in Instagram on Sunday you know I got a stack of lotions to get through 8 or 9 if you count my purse and work desk.
- Makeup – unless I run out of a certain item then it can be replaced (ie; mascara & foundation or powder) ***just because I want to tighten up my budget does not mean I want to look like a haggard piece of shit all the time with gross skin and dirty hair. I will buy makeup when I run out.
- Tea or Coffee (since my part time job allows me a free lb of coffee or box of tea/week I am more than sorted here)
- Clothing. Unless by the grace of gawd I figure out this weight loss thing & need smaller clothes 🙂 Also unless it is something that I actually need. Also shopping second hand for things that can be purchased second hand (Not related but have you watched “True Cost” – you should)
- Nail Polish. I love me some painted toe nails, all seasons, all the time.
- BOOKS (& magazines) – a) I should probably get a library card seeing as there is a EPL right across the street from my apartment & b) I have an entire library of books to read this year that are sitting on a shelf looking pretty in my home.
- eBooks from YouTubers – and I can also stop calling it research for my own eBook just stop buying things from YouTubers.
So there you have it, the first draft of the no-buy. This will likely change – if you have suggestions for this or things that you don’t buy anymore that I should consider for my list – leave me a note below!
Okay since my initial (but actually I bitch about this all the time) post I have realized I want to be one of those crazy fools that power through paying of my loans. It might happen, it might not – but right now I am feeling hopefully as fuck.
This is an update of things that I am doing to propel myself forward:
- Bitch about it social media hoping a Sugar Daddy will pay for my student loans – JK’s but actually I just wanted to see if anybody had any suggestions for things they did in order to pay off their own personal loans. Some suggestions were obvious, some were not, some just not even a thing – but I appreciated some input. (comment below with more ideas!)
- Call student Loan and get real with some numbers. How much do I actually fucking owe? What are the hard numbers? What do I think could be a realistic paying off goal for 2017? Can I get any sort of interest relief or paying off of loans in 2017? You guys will be happy to know – I thought I owed 1000’s more than I do, I guess this is a good thing.
- Start logging everything I spend my money on. GUYS – THIS HAS ACTUALLY BEEN TERRIFYING BUT SO SO SO SO SO SO USEFUL. I successfully tracked everything I spent last week and kept all my receipts. I used one of my pretty lavender notebooks and started a weekly logging system. I broke it down into categories so I could see where I am spending. I need to do this for a few more weeks before I can start making some serious changes in my spending. But it was a scary eye opener, a reality check, and something I plan on continuing because when you can’t account for a couple G’s a month – that is a problem.
- I fucking crunched some numbers. I looked at what my over-all coming in from both jobs, the mandatory going out and then realized I needed a vacation to India.
- Realized that I likely was not being successful at weight loss because of a Diet Coke addiction – it’s my last vice – but its got a death grip – this isn’t a thing but it is … because of a weekly spending habit of the drink it is costing in $100’s/month. Overall picture, People!
- Made a no-buy and a to-buy list – I think I have enough shower gels and soaps to last me until Christmas. Unreal, right?! A no-buy is needed to curb my spending and make use of that money in other areas – budgeting perhaps …
- Started listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts and instead of watching TV watching YouTube ’til debt do us part – to get some ideas on how budgeting, finances and over all how can I get better with my money
- Start reading other financial blogs on how people conquered their Canada Student Loans.
- Downloaded a spread sheet to track debt repayment progress – still need to fill it out. But working on it. Cuz car loan also people
- Last but not least I have decided that it is okay to discuss numbers with people and instead of hiding behind my crippling student loan debt see what actually works for people.
With that guys – I am unsure if I want to publish actual numbers on this blog for privacy reasons, that might change later on. But I will share that I currently have 3 student loans: Canada Loan (which is the largest), Nova Scotia Student Loans (Resolve) and Alberta Student Loan (the smallest and the loan I want to pay off first).
My very first debt repayment challenge is simple: Every time I spend money on Diet Coke for the month of February, I must then pay an equivalent payment onto my Alberta Student!
For example – I bought a medium diet coke from McDonald this AM – when I got back to the office I made a $2.40 payment to AB Student Loans. If I bought a diet coke everyday at an average of 30/month, that is $72.00/month and $864.00/year ( Just doing the math now has made me realize the 1000’s a spend a year on soda) – So February challenge launched. Which me luck!
And with that people – I will get an update to you next week with the progress of this journey. Till then I will be trying really hard to curb a Diet Coke habit and maybe start spending my free time in the gym.
So many 2017 goals!
All my Love,