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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Frugal Approaches to Foreign Currency Exchange

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Frugality and efficiency go hand in hand. Us frugal folk – we’re weird, you see. We overbuy discounted things in bulk to save money and time in the future. We frequently talk the shortest route walking anywhere because any additional step would be inefficient. We are minimalists with little clutter (or at least we aspire to to be).

But one area where efficiency is simply difficult to achieve is when we shop elsewhere – specifically in other currencies. Left and right, the ability to transact in a currency other than the Canadian dollar is provided at sometimes ridiculous premiums of up to 10%.

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We Will All Feel the Financial Pinch

Money will inevitably get tighter. Always.

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My sister confided in me how difficult her life is to keep financially afloat. A kid in daycare. Car payments. A mortgage. Flat income growth. This was a woman who was living the life not less than 5 years ago, living rent-free at home, making almost six-figures and saving close to 95% of her take home pay. Now? Not so much.

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Why I despise tax refunds

A refund? No thank you.

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Sometime in April 2015, I logged into my bank account and saw the CRA had deposited over $7,200 into my checking account. My tax refund had come through. I did a little jig and then slapped myself across the face for putting myself in that position.

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Hollywood Taught Me Something About What it Means to be Wealthy.

A sort of review of “The Company Men”

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The Company Men: flawed, but insightful.

I watched a flawed, but nonetheless captivating movie last night called The Company Men. It had Ben Affleck (meh), Kevin Coster (meh), Tommy Lee Jones (yay) and Chris Cooper (yay) star as men navigating the crippling recession of 2008, experiencing everything from job loss to family pressures to renewed optimism, Hollywood style.

Continue reading “Hollywood Taught Me Something About What it Means to be Wealthy.”

From Theatre to Finance: What I learned giving up my passion.

I thought my calling was theatre. It wasn’t.

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10 years ago, I entered theatre school, all doe-eyed. I was planning to be Gregory Peck. I was the drama class rock star in high school, so success was guaranteed, right?

Wrong. While I certainly had some talent, I realized that being a professional thespian wasn’t quite for me. Instead, I shifted my academic focus from onstage to backstage, finishing my four year degree as the top production student in my graduating year. Again, I was a “rock star”. Professors and peers alike would reinforce an unhealthy cocky attitude: “You’ll be fine!”, “You’re going to do great things in theatre!” I believed them.

I naturally once again thought success was guaranteed. But the world doesn’t work that way.

Continue reading “From Theatre to Finance: What I learned giving up my passion.”

Boxing Day: The Day I Didn’t Shop.

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July. November. December. Three dates marked on many a shoppers’ calendar. And why not? There is honestly so much bold and CAPS happening. On mailed flyers. In emails. On websites. In storefronts. It’s like retailers collectively decide to work together to tell you: “GO SHOPPING. PLEASE.

Continue reading “Boxing Day: The Day I Didn’t Shop.”