Sacrifice Early, Reap Rewards Later

sacrifice-early

Sacrifice Early, Reap Rewards Later with the Power of Compound Interest The best thing you can do for yourself, financially speaking is to sacrifice early. Compound interest is a powerful thing! Make it work for you. Even investing as little as 10% from every single job you have in a broad market ETF will likely make you a millionaire by the time you retire. The key is starting early-even when you’re a teenager with a part-time…

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Buying a Website: It’s Done!

buying-a-website

Buying a Website: I (Finally) did it! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you will know this. But for those who haven’t and are just finding their way here now, I’ll give you the brief update. I taught English in South Korean universities for 10 years. A couple of months ago, I returned to Canada. I wavered back and forth about what to do upon my return, but eventually decided to go…

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Money Diet November: All Tallied Up

Money-Diet

Money Diet = Frugal Living Awesome I’m a huge fan of having periodic money diets in order to kick my savings into high-gear. This particular one was motivated by my upcoming move to Canada, which certainly ain’t gonna be cheap. Nothing says “frugal living” than posting all your spending online in a Facebook group with other people, and then also doing a post about it on here. Money Diet March: Some Previous Results Here are…

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Teaching Abroad and Going Home: I Got my Money Pool Ready

Teaching abroad-Get a pool of money

It’s Really Time to Go Home I’ve decided to move back home to Canada after teaching abroad for 10 years in South Korea. It’s not without some trepidation, as I do certainly know that things in Canada are ridiculously expensive and that employment is not that easy to come by. However, it really, really is time to go and the thought of signing another 2-year contract at my university was making me feel sick to…

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The English Teaching Empire Grows: A New Book is Out

  Maybe I’ll Live in a Station-Wagon? Maybe you’ve seen some of my posts from a while back about how I’m moving to Canada, after living for 10 years in Korea, in a few months from now (March 2016)? The plan for how I’m going to avoid living out of the back of a station-wagon and going surfing in Tofino every day is kind of up in the air for now. Wait, that plans doesn’t…

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Hobbies: Do you need to go all-in?

touring bicycle

My Wise Friend The other day I was talking to a friend of mine whose husband wanted to learn to play the guitar. Wisely, instead of just buying him the guitar, she instead got him a rental one and some lessons so he could decide if he actually liked it. He did and then he bought his own. My Unwise Friend Or, I had a friend a few years ago who was buying a bike.…

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Am I Crazy? What actually makes me feel happy

old t-shirt

What Makes Most People Happy Retail therapy. It’s called this for a reason-most people get a little bit of a rush or endorphin surge when they buy something that they want. Then, every time they put on that new shirt or drive that new car, they have this kind of happy feeling about it. While the effect does wear down over time, there is always more and more stuff to buy so you can live…

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March Money Diet Final Update

money diet challenge

Money Diet March is now complete, so here are all the details about my spending for the month. I wanted to spend a total of $400 in discretionary spending, but it ended up being $516. It was kind of an eye opener seeing how much money I spent when I was watching all my pennies and I now realize that I generally spend a lot more than I think I do when I’m not paying…

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Money Diet Week 4 Update

money diet

In case you missed the previous money diet posts, check out: Money Diet Week 1 ($117), Week 2 ($76), Week 3 ($163). Week 4 Money Diet Challenge Update: $141 Groceries: $22 Eating out, coffee, drinking: $14 Transportation (including a tank of gas): $54 Vet bill: $51 Overall, I’m pretty happy with week 4 since I would have been under $100 if I didn’t have to go to the vet. I also could have waited on…

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Money Diet Challenge

money diet challenge

I’ve been doing a money diet challenge for March in order to try to save lots of money in preparation for my return to the extremely expensive motherland that is Canada. Here is how I did in previous weeks: Week 1 Money Diet Update: $117 Week 2 Money Diet Update: $76 Week 3 came it at $163, with $57 of that being spent in a single night out with the girls and then I also…

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Giving Stuff Away for Free Makes Me Happy

giving stuff away

Over the decade of so I’ve been living in Korea, I’ve collected a lot of stuff and ever since I moved into a large apartment (about 700 square feet for just me!), it’s been extremely easy to keep getting more since storage really isn’t an issue. Except now that I’ve decided to move to Canada in a year, it’s time to unload. My Unloading Stuff Strategy 1. Sell the stuff that had some value. I…

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Frugal Living: Buy in Bulk

bulk buy

Some of my friends like to make fun of me because when they come over to my house, they go into my bathroom and see 20 rolls of toilet paper, a 10-pack of bar soap, a huge jug of bleach, or a giant tub of laundry soap. In my kitchen, the same kind of thing can sometimes be found and I’ll have 5 or 6 bottles of wine in my cupboard, a vat of dish…

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Money Diet Challenge: Week 2 Update

money diet challenge

I’m doing a March Money Diet Challenge to kick-start my return to Canada savings. My goal is to spend less than $400 for the month on discretionary things. Week 1 was not fabulous at $117, but week 2 came in at a solid $76 with no unexpected expenses (last week I had a $40 bicycle repair). Here’s the week 2 money diet spending breakdown: Transportation: $9 Groceries: $4 Entertainment (coffee, eating out, drinking, karaoke): $63…

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“Investing” with No Research

Research Would Show: Mutual Funds are Terrible I was just talking to my Canadian friend this morning and she was telling me about her mom who has hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in mutual funds. With even a minimal amount of reading about investment options, you would know that mutual funds are basically a total rip-off, particularly if you’re from Canada since the fees there are the highest in the world and you’d be…

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Money Diet Challenge, Week 1 Update

The Total: $117 In order to save up for my return to Canada in one year from now, I’ve undertaken a Money Diet Challenge for March. For the first seven days of March, I spent a total of $117 and had three “zero days” during that time where I spent nothing. Week 1 Breakdown Entertainment/Eating Out/Drinking: $42 Transportation: $9 Groceries: $12 Miscellaneous: $54 (Bike repair-$40, Dentist-$14) Not Terrible, but Not Great I can’t exactly say…

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Money Means Choices

Money Diet March has been in full force this past week and I’ve discovered that I am not actually the queen of frugal that I thought I was. Perhaps that ship has sailed and since I’ve paid off all my debt, have a fat stack of cash in various bank accounts around the world and significant investments, I’ve gotten out of the hard-core frugal lifestyle that I lived while I still had student loans. I’m…

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Frugal Living: Dental Care

A Confession I have a confession to make, but I feel pretty okay putting it out there into the blogosphere because i think it’s something that a lot of people also neglect. I loathe going to the dentist and at previous points in my life, sometimes years would slip by between appointments. Except that once I hit my thirties and started getting cavities and root canals, I knew that this strategy was clearly a bad…

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Frugal Living: Eat Vegan

I’m all about frugal living, which I’m sure you know if you’ve been reading this blog for the past year. And, now that I’ve decided to move back to the ridiculously expensive mother-land (Canada) in a year from now, I’ve jumped back on that bandwagon with even more motivation. One of the ways that I live frugally is by eating vegan, a lot-probably 80% of my meals contain no animal products whatsoever. I will eat…

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Money Diet Challenge: Top 5 Tips

And so it Begins The money diet is starting tomorrow and although it’s been a few years since I’ve gone on a diet, I’m super excited for this challenge. In years gone by, I’ve totally kicked butt at money diet challenges and don’t think I’ve ever lost one. Here are my secrets and even though they’re secrets I’m going to share with you because I want to help my readers be as awesome as they…

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Money Diet Challenge

One of my Biggest Fears I’ll be leaving my home for the last 10 years, Korea and going to Canada in about a year from now. In preparation for this move, I’ve been officially on money-spending lock-down and am all about the frugal living, even more than I was previously. There is truly nothing scarier to me than arriving in Canada with basically nothing more than what I can fit in 2 suitcases, nowhere to…

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Respect the $10- It’s how you become rich

Thanks Mr. Money Mustache I was just over at Mr Money Mustache and was reading this article, “A Millionaire is Made 10 Bucks at a Time” and felt inspired to post. The Quick Summary Basically, the article talked about how we seem to have lost respect for the $10 bill and that we don’t actually think of it as that much money. We just spend it without even thinking about it, but it can actually…

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5 Truths for Wealth-Builders

I was just cruising around on Yahoo Finance and I ran across this article which sums up pretty nicely what I think about personal finance. 5 Power Truths for Wealth Builders by David Ning. I particularly liked the ones about considering the downside and a little effort can lower your expenses. With regards to considering the downside, he mentions stocks and how many people don’t consider that that hot stock which seems to be going…

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Wal-Mart….what has happened to me?

After living in South Korea, land of way overpriced consumer products and no big “everything under 1 roof” stores for almost 10 years, Wal-Mart in Canada seems like it would be a dream. Cheap, huge selection and everything you could possibly want. Except I went yesterday to pick up a few hard-to-find things in South Korea and came away with very little and I spent considerably less than I had budgeted for my “Wal-Mart in…

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