My Top 5 Borderline Bizarre Frugal Hacks

I’m borderline bizarre, but who isn’t?

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Canada got rid of the penny, but the penny-pinching philosophy is alive and well with me.

Frugal people everywhere do bizarre things. Some have spreadsheets calculating dollars per calorieĀ others ditch their houses and live in RVs.

The thing is: those things may appear bizarre to us, but it’s not bizarre to them. It’s a conscious choice they’ve made to become their best frugal selves. And for the record: we are all guilty of bizarre habits. Some people are crazy about folding clothing a certain way, or keeping their book collection meticulously alphabetized (in my youth, I also used to organize all my VHS tapes by production company. Suffice to say, no one could ever find anything but me) – and there’s honestly nothing wrong with that.

So really: we’re all a little weird. And that’s okay. I also do weird things, specifically around saving money and I welcome you to judge me because really, our oddities is what makes each of us special.

Continue reading “My Top 5 Borderline Bizarre Frugal Hacks”

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Opportunism is the Product of Asking.

If you never ask, you’ll never get.

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Let’s be real: lots of things are out of reach overnight. In all likelihood, you won’t wake up a millionaire. Your dream home won’t magically appear before your eyes. And that amazing job until retirement will likely elude you for many years. In fact, very few of us get what we want and when it comes too easy, we don’t truly appreciate it.

Things take time. The morning you wake up a millionaire, chances are that moment has been building and building for quite some time through diligence, frugality, and smart investing. And also a little bit of opportunism.

Continue reading “Opportunism is the Product of Asking.”

Tax Lessons for the Canadian Upper Middle Class

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I want to start by saying I don’t feel rich. Yes, I know, a six figure salary technically puts me in the upper middle class, but with its high cost of living in the City of Toronto, it’s hard to feel that way. Just to define that relative to Ontario, upper middle class is any single income earner with an income over $108,000.

I also acknowledge the more I make, the more I’m expected to pay in terms of tax. I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly or be so progressively punishing across all other forms of income.

So let’s talk about that today: tax on the upper middle class. I think tax can be a good thing (after all, I am a public servant myself), but we should all still strive for a level of tax efficiency, just like we would when it comes to any other form of spending. Continue reading “Tax Lessons for the Canadian Upper Middle Class”

Want a Good Job? Try these things.

job-application

I lectured in a university accounting seminar a few months ago for a cohort of graduate students from all academic fields. Some were PhD candidates, others pursuing MFAs, MAs, MScs – the gamut.

Afterwards, I was approached by several of the students in the course asking for my card. Their intentions were clear: they wanted to network and I was happy to oblige. After all, today’s job market seems to be all about who you know, and I exhausted other prospective employers with my desire to network when I was younger. So I had to pay it forward, of course!

Continue reading “Want a Good Job? Try these things.”

Blogging: One Year Later

I made it!

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It’s officially been one year since I started blogging here on Stretching My Money. Did I think I’d make it this far? Definitely not. But here I am, one year later!

In that time, I’ve written about many things, ranging from net worth updates, travel, favourite board games, and even our mortality. Who says personal finance blogs can venture into new territory?

In that time, I have personal favourite posts that resonated with many of you, and others that didn’t. But heck – this is my anniversary so I’m going to list my favourite posts from the past year, regardless of the number of views:

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I’m a Cold-Blooded Bastard.

And why I don’t lend money.

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It was 11:00PM on a Friday and I heard a ping on my phone. Swiping up to see the notifications, a message from an old friend, one I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 4 years.

“Hey man, I’m having some cash flow issues. I’m hoping I can borrow $50 to get to work tomorrow and park. I’ll have a paycheck to pay you back on the 18th.”

Continue reading “I’m a Cold-Blooded Bastard.”

The Math Supporting Living with Roommates

But it’s always just temporary.

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I lied awake one night staring at the ceiling. Here I am, 28 going on 29, lying on an my lowly Ikea futon bed, listening to my early 20-something year old roommate blast music just outside my door and hoping that miraculously the landlord will maybe turn up the heat so the apartment isn’t so cold.

At the time, I muttered to myself: “What is my life? I have a good job, I’m getting older, and here I am in this dingy apartment dealing with this.”

Continue reading “The Math Supporting Living with Roommates”