The Best Board Games for the Frugal

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Last month I casually tweeted about my Friday night:

To my surprise, this casual offhand tweet received 24 likes – now I know, that’s not necessarily Lady Gaga numbers, but clearly the concept of board games is one that resonates with many of us since they’ve been a staple of everyone life at some point another. Some side conversations started about which ones people played so I thought: “Hey! I know a lot about board games games, why don’t I post about it?”

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Get your MBA for Free.

How I completed a 20-month MBA without a significant change in my net worth.

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Back in 2012, I made a decision that accelerated my career and income potential. I did an MBA. Three letters that mean: smart, employable, qualified.

The source of this big leap back into academia originated during my job as a project coordinator. I would sit in meetings with project managers and it was very obvious that they all made way more than me. After some LinkedIn stalking, I found that they all had business degrees.

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Don’t buy a $1 million home in the city. Buy a good bed instead.

Why home ownership is costly and overrated.

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Being prospective home buyer in the city is disheartening. Despite numerous efforts by the Ontario government to try and cool prices, the average home in the Toronto region still sits at just under $750,000. So sure, while home prices dropped 19% from April to August, prices still rose a total of over 33% in the first quarter alone. Real estate is still a rip-off in this town, even the condo market.

Yet every day, a common discussion amongst some of my millennial friends is the lingering sadness that they’ll “never be able to afford a house.” My question to them is “why the desperation?”

Continue reading “Don’t buy a $1 million home in the city. Buy a good bed instead.”

My Life Below Minimum Wage.

An origin story on the year that changed my life.

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It was September 2011 and I was greeted by an elderly cowgirl.

“Welcome to Calgary!” she said with a big smile. I smiled back nervously.

I had just gotten off a plane from Toronto, leaving behind my admission to law school, my family, and my friends. Instead, I was heading off to work at an arts and culture centre in a small mountain town in one of the most beautiful regions in all of Canada.

My parents communicated to me before I left what I was leaving behind: the promise of a stable job, predictable income, and social prestige (I know – parents, right?). They told me my life was my life, but if I ever regretted my decision, I was not to call them. I guess that’s one way of making sure your kid leaves the nest.

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July 2017: Financial Update

Four birthdays, a wedding, and a funeral.

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For the second year in a row, July comes in at my worst performing month spending-wise. The birthday celebrations and weddings always seem to hit this month hard, not to add the very sad passing of my girlfriend’s father.

My savings rate, excluding investment income, for July was  41.9% 47.8%. This number has been revised to be inclusive of my pension deductions, based on reader feedback.

For the month, I spent $2459.87, which is quite high by my standards. Ouch! Granted, if I excluded the outlier items such as gifts and charitable contributions, I’d be in the typical range of my spending of below $2000.

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