Monthly Archives: July 2012

Please don’t make this mistake…

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This post is not related to personal finance in any way, but more of rant. Feel free to ignore my ramblings if that is what you’re after.

A few weeks ago, I was at my sister’s convocation, when something terrible happened.

I playing photographer for my sister and her friends, when one of her friends exclaimed, “Frugirl Sis, your mom looks like she could be your sister!”

Me, “That’s because I am her sister.”

…. (awkward moment)… Sister’s friend, “Well, I really thought you looked like her sister…”

Now, my mom is wonderful and beautiful woman,  but she has had 3 kids who are all in their mid to late twenties.   I couldn’t help but feel offended that my sister’s friend thought that I looked like someone who has a 24 year old kid.

Lesson:  If there is ever a doubt, err on the side of caution.

Fast forward to last weekend, I was having brunch with my girlfriend, J.  The waitress comes to take our order and takes J’s order first, then she turns to me and says, “And for mom?”

Gah!  Again, J’s mom is a wonderful and beautiful woman, but my friend is my age – 28 (though she does look young for her age), but still!  Her mom?!!  I was fuming the entire day! 😦

Am I being too sensitive in both instances?  I really don’t think I look that old (don’t we all?)…  Hmmph.

Readers, have you been mistaken for age to the point of it being offensive to you?  Do you have any tips for dealing with the situation?  Unfortunately, I don’t think I handled either situations with much grace.

Cheers,

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My Facial Evening…

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I’ve been pretty quiet lately but my off-line life has been pretty interesting.  I just moved into my new apartment this weekend, and I really like it (aside from no air conditioning…).   I haven’t had much time to unwind or the quiet time, so this evening , I thought that I’d have some kimchi raman noodles with veggies and a facial.

One of my favourite ways to unwind is give myself an at-home facial.  I’ve picked up some tips from my previous facials, and I try to mimic at home what works best. I’ve been using a lot of products from Pure and Simple for the last year and I love them.   This might not work for everyone, but I’ve had really great results.

Cleanse with Oil Cleansing Method

I use a mixture of 25% jojoba oil with 75% castor oil (~$20) and massage the oil onto my dry face with clean, dry hands.   I leave the oil on my face for about 10 – 15 minutes and then, I add a little more oil mixture to my fingers and massage further.  The oil mixture not only removes all my make-up, but it also helps remove my blackheads.  I can feel little blackheads pop out (with no squeezing!).  Then, I run a towel under hot water and place it on my face (kind of like a steamer) and wipe away the oil mixture.

Physical Exfoliant

Sometimes, I use a physical exfoliant and others, I use a chemical exfoliant.  I really like the LeNeige strawberry yogurt exfoliant mask, but that has been discontinued and replaced with something not so great.  Now, I use the Pure + Simple Sensitive Skin Exfoliant and Face Mask ($21.95).

I dab my cheeks and my forehead, wet my fingers and then work the exfoliant all over my face and neck.  I really like this physical exfoliant, as I find the particles are not too harsh on my skin, but exfoliate well.

Chemical Exfoliant

When I have a bit more time, I usually prefer the chemical exfoliant over the physical one – but it’s a lot messier.  My face always looks so radiant after this lactic acid mask made of equal parts sour cream and honey.  You can also use yogurt, but I find it too runny for my liking.  I like to use a blank paper mask to keep the stuff on my face – I’m not sure where to find them in Canada, but I bought a bunch when I was in Hong Kong.

Clay Mask

I really like the Pure + Simple Purifying French Clay Mask ($19.95) to help with keeping my skin clear and help control the oil on my face.  (I have very oily skin).  I spread the clay mask around my eye area and all ove rmy face.  Since the clay mask is more drying, I like to balance it out by layering with a…

Cucumber Mask

I like to use the Pure + Simple Calming Cucumber Mask ($22.95) over the clay mask and in the more delicate area around my eye.   I also like to use this mask on its own when my skin is feeling dry (but that doesn’t happen very often).  One jar usually lasts me at least 6 months.

Nightly Regime

After I wash off my mask, I follow with my nightly regime.

I apply my Pure + Simple Algea Serum all over my face and neck, then I apply Differin Gel all over my face and neck, and then follow with the Black Mud Lotion.

Right before bed, I apply Vaseline  to my lashes and eyelids, and a thin layer across my lips.  I know you’re probably thinking – Petroleum Jelly?!  But, I find my skin is always plump the next morning, with no break outs.

Do you like facials?  What are you favourite products or mixtures to use at home?

Cheers,

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Filed under Health, Personal

Moving Downtown & Apartment Budgets

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Background

I briefly mentioned in previous posts that I will be moving out of my basement apartment soon.  I am really excited!  I have been living in my current basement apartment for almost 4 years, and I have really enjoyed my time here.  My landlord and landlady are really kind and caring people who have treated me like a grand daughter, and I am very grateful.

In the 4 years living in my apartment, I have been able to save a lot of money and have been able to build up my networth, while also allowing myself to indulge in some travel and the occasional shopping.  I have a lot of space which I share with a roommate and it’s a nice, quiet and safe neighborhood.

Why I’m Making the Move

The main reason I am moving downtown is purely for fun – I’ve always wanted to live downtown downtown.  Where I can walk everywhere and just soak in the city.  I know it doesn’t really make financial sense – in terms of saving money on housing/rent – but it’s something I want to do when I am still young.

To be able to make this move a little more wallet friendly, my sister and I will be sharing a 2 bedroom apartment.  This way, we can both live in a great location and share the burden of rent.  I’ve given up my car (again!), and I’m going to walk or bike to as many places as possible to save on transit costs.  My sister is an awesome cook and I foresee lots of cooking together and spending time together 🙂

Another reason I wanted to move downtown was to have a bit of change in my life.  With BF moving to Boston for his MBA, I wanted to do something a little exciting for myself, as well, and this is a little treat for me.

Let’s talk Numbers

The PF blogger in be is both excited and nervous about this part.  So, I put together a preliminary budget comparing my budgets for my current basement apartment and my new downtown apartment.

I took my average annual spending from 2010 and 2011 (that’s why I love tracking my expenses – real raw data!!), and broke them down to monthly averages.  Then, I took my best guess at what my anticipated expenses would be when I moved downtown.

Much of my savings will be in giving up my car.  The bold red font are discretionary items that may need to be tweaked as needed.  All in all  – it’s not too bad, although I’d love to have my annual expenses be around $20,000 total, and I still want to be saving at 50% of my take-home pay.

Readers, have you lived downtown before?  What are some frugal tips you’d like to share about living fabulously and frugally downtown?

Cheers,

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Filed under Budget, Finance

PF Confession: I did something really dumb

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I’m not going to lie, I love it when my networth goes up a month.  I feel a great sense of pride whenever I see that happen and I like sharing it (even though sometimes, it can seem a bit “boastful”).  But you know what?  It’s just as important to share times where I messed up.   Sometimes, I mess up really bad.

2 Delinquency Reports on my Credit Report

I finally got my credit report in February of this year, and I was pretty happy that I got a cool 767 credit rating.  However, even though I got my rating,  I didn’t really read everything – because if I did, I would have seen that on one credit card which I closed there were 2 reports of delinquency.

Yikes.

How did this happen?

I closed a credit card that I wasn’t using very much since I was having trouble keeping track of my cards.  What I didn’t realize was that even after a credit card is closed, pre-authorized payment will still go through.

I have my credit card statements sent to my parent’s home and I rely on my online banking to keep me up to date.  Usually I don’t open the paper statements since I can see it all online.  Or so I thought. It turns out that when I closed my account, they closed my online account so I couldn’t see what was going on in my account.  I assumed that nothing was going on.

Fast forward several months, and I randomly open a statement – I was in shock that my measly cellphone bill had been racking up interest – and was UNPAID.  I called TD to figure out why a payment still went through even after the card was closed and learned my important lesson.  I paid off the balance, and kinda hoped it would go away.

Really dumb, right?

Trying to Fix it

I called TD and tried to explain what happened.  I also pleaded my case that I have always paid my bills on time, and this was a one-time occurrence with a payment that went through after I closed my card.  Their argument was that it wasn’t their fault since they had sent me my statements even though my online account was never updated.  They refused to do anything.

Lessons Learned

This happened in 2010, and will be on my record until 2016 (6 years).  Live and learn, I guess.  Now I am super careful to make sure to update to check the balance is paid off on all my cards, even after a few months of having them closed.

Readers, have you ever done something this stupid?  Did you know that pre-authorized payments still go through a credit card even after you close it?

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Italy Recap & Tax Refund Allocation & What’s Next

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I last posted and a lot has been happening in my offline life.

I’ve returned from Italy, started a new job, and found a new apartment (downtown!).  My finances and bedroom are in a bit of disarray right now, and I am in quite a struggle to find a balance in my life.  Even though I thought that staying offline might buy a few precious moments, I also missed blogging a lot.  I still gravitate back to writing to organize my thoughts.

My trip to Italy was a lot of fun and I have some gazillion pictures to sort through (of course!), but I managed to put together my expenses for the trip.  I spent 20 days in Italy and a total of $3,220 for the entire trip.  In addition to the breakdown below, I’ve added $137 for travel related purchases in Canada, such as a new backpack, watch, sport towel, make-up removing towelettes, and ear plugs. 

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The chart is a bit funny, I originally broke down the expenses according to the cities, and then rolled them up for this summary, but I still wanted to show the duration of each city.

I put away $250 every month into my “Travel Fund” account with ING, and it wasn’t quite topped up when I left for this trip (oops!).  Right now I have about $2,150 sitting in my account.  However, I wanted to spend a portion of my Tax Refund on this trip, and I came up with this allocation for my tax refund:

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So, I am still short $570. 

Did I mention that I also want to book flights to Boston so that I can visit BF while he is working away at his MBA?  Porter and Air Canada are holding some pretty awesome deals right now, and I am suspecting that once September rolls around, there will be more awesome deals again.  I’m pretty sure I can snag a round trip flight from Toronto to Boston for less than $250.

Anyway, I am going to book my flight anyway and write myself an IOU.  My plan is to keep transferring the money from my “Travel Fund” to my Savings/Investment fund until I am completely paid off to myself.

What’s Next:

Amalgamate my RRSPs into one location – at TD Canada Trust.  I know that I’ve cursed TD before, but I their e-series mutual funds are just so hard to beat.  AND I will have well over $50,000 invested, so I will only be charged $10 a trades, as opposed to the $30 I am paying now.  I need to call ING and Manulife and figure out what I need to do to move my money as soon as possible.

After I have everything in one location, I will need to re-balance my portfolio.  This should be fun.

That’s all I have for now!  I hope everyone else’s summer is going well!

PS 1.  Errrm.. I don’t like the WordPress dashboard.  What happened to all my options of making headings and other formatting tools???

PS 2.  Missing Cassie!  Hope you’re having a great time, girl!

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