Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- Mark Twain

Friday, December 10, 2010

A good read!

I just finished reading "The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom" by Suze Orman. It's a very good and eye opening read. Although the information is based on American finances, there is alot of good information in here for Canadian's too. It covers everything from being honest with yourself about money, planning your estate,ways to get out of debt and investing. I'm starting to look at money differently now, and have started making some changes of how I spend and how I invest.

It's an easy read book, and I really recommend it!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stocking Up When the Price is Right Keeps Me From Going Over the Edge! :)

I don't know about anyone else, but there are a few select household items that I just HATE buying at full price. Toilet paper being my number one, paper towel, cleaners and laundry detergent. I know that these items go on sale cheap, and usually have coupons floating around. However, there are times when I run out before the next sale begins or coupons are available. I almost cringe when I go through the check out and pay $7.99 for a bottle of laundry detergent.

To my surprise and pleasure, this week my local Sobeys grocery store is selling Sunlight Liquid Laundry Detergent for $3.99. Being the couponer that I am, I have in my possession five $2.00 off Sunlight Green Clean Laundry Detergent coupons. This means, I can purchase five bottles of 32 use Sunlight Laundry Detergent at $1.99 each (total $9.95). For less than $10.00 I will get 160 loads of laundry (roughly $0.06 per load). This will be an entire years worth of washing, since I usually do a few loads per week. My laundry cupboard will be stuffed to capacity, and there will be a smile on my face.

Couponing can be so exciting sometimes!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update on my Cell Phone Switch!

So, I had mentioned in my last post that I would update you and let you know how my cell phone plan was holding out now that I put a $100 car on my pre-paid cell phone. I updated it on July 5th, and as of today August 31 (almost 2 months later), I have a balance of $116.00. Again, the only extra feature I have on my cell is the 250 text message package, and I have definably been using them.

So, I must say I am impressed with this! This seems to work out very well for me. It seemed I was always adding money to it before so I didn't lose my balance I had remaining. Since this doesn't expire for a year, then I don't have to worry about that.

I'm pretty sure this will be how I will keep paying for my cell phone. I'm very happy with how little it is costing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Another Cell Phone Trick To Save $$ !

I have a previous post on my experience with cell phones and contracts. I have previously switched to the prepaid, pay as you go plan. I had been putting $25.00 on at a time, and the balance was valid for 60 days. So for $12.50 per month I had a cell phone.

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me about how she added $100.00 to her pre-paid phone, and the amount is valid for 365 days. She uses hers about as much as I do, and said she had been using the same transaction since November and still has a decent balance left.

Today I decided to top up my account, since I had $35.00 sitting there that was about to expire the day after tomorrow. I added the $100.00, and now have a balance of $135.00 for one year. I also added the $5.00 a month plan for 250 text messages per month, as really that's main thing I do on the phone. I don't think I'll ever send more than 100 text messages a month let alone 250, so this covers me well. This is a feature I can add or take off at any time, so I'm going to try it out for now.

I'll let you know how this works out for me. I have a good feeling about this, since i rarely talk on the phone at all. I sit by a phone all day at work, and also have a home phone, so there really isn't any need. If this lasts, I would be having a cell phone for $8.33 per month! $12.50 per month is good, but $8.33 per month is much better! This will save me just over $50.00 per year.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Auto Insurance - Paying Annually Rather than Monthly.

I have a 2008 two door burgundy Mitsubishi Eclipse. It was the biggest purchase I've made, to date. This is a car that I drooled over since I was sixteen. Finally, when Mitsubishi came to Canada, I began my six month long debate/research of possibly buying one.

After going on their website almost every day, and using the virtual "build it" tool, to make and price out my dream car, I decided to take the next step and go to the dealership. I had been driving a car I had for almost seven years, and they offered (after much back and forth mind you) what I thought was a very reasonable offer for my seven year old car.

The deal was made, and two and a half years ago, I drove away with the car I had wanted for over ten years. The payments are very reasonable over a five year term, and I am still happy with my purchase.

The only problem with buying a two door car is insurance. Being a 28 year old female in NS, with no previous accidents or fines on my record (*knocks on wood*), I didn't expect my insurance to be so high. However, it is a few cents away from $1000.00 per year for full coverage. This is about $200 more per year than DH's insurance on his truck of the same year and he doesn't have a squeaky clean driving record.

For the past almost ten years since I've had my own vehicle, I've always chosen to pay my car insurance monthly. Coming up with a lump sum of cash every year wasn't something I could easily do, so thought it was much easier to just pay monthly. This year, since I'm really to start coming around to savings. RRSP's, Tax Free Savings Accounts, etc, I thought I would look into what the price difference would be to just pay my insurance in a lump some, for the first time...well, ever.

I've been paying $91.15 per month for insurance. $91.15x12 is $1093.80. Therefore I'm paying my insurance company an additional $93.80 per year to pay monthly rather than annually. Truthfully, I would really like to have the $93.80 in my hands rather than theirs.

Off to my insurance company I went. I have my bill for my upcoming insurance which is due in another two months, and will be saving money from my next few paychecks to cover this amount. Yes, things may be a bit tight for the next few weeks, but it's worth it in the long run. Not only do I have $93.80 to add to my piggy bank savings, I also have one less monthly bill to think about for an entire year. I hope to pay my car insurance this way from here on out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Canning the Coffee Chain for Canned Coffee!

"Can I have a large coffee, two cream & one sugar please?" This used to be my typical morning order at our beloved Tim Horton's drive through. I never really thought about the $1.62 that I spent at least 6 times a week. But now, I am reevaluating everything that I spend money on. This is a monthy cost of $38.88, just for me. DH probably gets Timmy's 3-4 times a week which is $19.44 or more per month. So in total, this is costing us $58.32 or more per month ($699.84 per year). $700 a year on coffee? Are you kidding me? This needs fixing!

After trying different types of home made coffee, we've discovered one that we really like. I wasn't a fan of Tim Horton's brew at home coffee, Maxwell House & Folgers seemed so watery to me, even when I made it stronge, and Starbuck's brew at home coffee is pretty expensive. We tried Nabob, and we both LOVED it. This is about a middle-of-the-road coffee as far as price is concerned in the grocery store. It has a nice full flavor, and to be truthful I think I like this better than my Timmy's.

Regular priced, a large can of this is $12.50, (and I had a $0.50 coupon), but this should last us at least 3 months. Obviously we still have to buy our own cream, which is $3.25 for 1 liter. This normally lasts 1.5-2 weeks. I was fortunate enough on Saturday to find Nabob coffee on sale at the Super Store for 50% off. It was the small cans, but with my coupon I got each can for $2.50. Each can will last almost a month.

We still keep Timmy's as our "treat" that we get say on Friday's after work, or whenever the splurge feeling hits. So as of now, I am buying Timmy's once a week, or a monthly total of $6.48 or $12.96 for the both of us. This is more like it! I do beleive that we should be able to treat ourselves here and there, so for $13.00 per month, I don't mind doing this at all.

Right now with buying our own coffee & cream, (we always have sugar in the house), it is costing us approx $10.50 per month. We still have our once a week treat from Timmy's, which is approx $12.96, for a total of $23.62 per month. This is a savings of approx. $34.86 per month! (or $418.32 per year!) Not to mention the calories & fat we save ourselves from not getting the Timmy's coffee & cream (it's unreal, but that's another subject).

Now, we both agree that we are going to slowly cut back our coffee intake, just because we do drink alot of it, not really for the money savings this time. We're hoping by this time next month to only make a pot of coffee once every other day. Even though this isn't going to be for the money savings, it will still cut our $10.50/month back to $5.25 per month or there about. (Total approx $219.00 per year for coffee, rather than our $700.00 per year coffee intake, for a total of $481.00 savings per year!!)

Happy brewing!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sometimes it pays to replace old things!

Our fridge was old. Old, old old. It was a fridge that came with the house when we moved in. An apartment sized fridge that had had parts replaced to make it last longer, different doors put on etc. I'm sure she was a great fridge in her prime, but the poor ol' gal never stopped when we began using her. For months we noticed how it never shut off, and even had condensation forming on the inside. Since really replacing the fridge falls under our landlord's responsibilities, we were hesitant to do anything drastic. We made hints about how she wasn't sounding good. Nothing. More subtle hints about how we thought it was breaking. Nothing. Then we out right said that it wasn't working properly, and our landlords sent a technician in to look at her, who replaced something or other (which made no difference).

Not wanting to get in an argument over this with our landlords (since they are giving us a great deal on rent) we decided to look around and see about replacing her. We looked at fridges in Sears, and different small local stores, but really couldn't justify spending $500 or more on a new fridge at the moment. We decided to have a look on kijiji, and we found exactly what we were looking for.

For $100.00, we replaced our poor old small breaking down fridge, with a full sized 3 year old fridge that works like a charm. It was being sold due to the previous owner moving to a house that already had a fridge. Perfect! Not only do we get a ton more fridge space, hopefully it may cut down the power that our other fridge was using.

Well, the first power bill came the other day, and low and behold we saved $45.00! Just to make sure this wasn't just due to the time of year (less lights on), I checked it against last years power bill for the same months, and it was infact approx $40.00 cheaper!

The way this is going, the fridge will have paid for itself in about 2 more power bills! Hopefully this continues to be a money saving investment! Sometimes it pays to spend a little out replacing old things! :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Making My Own Wine - Yummy, Fun & Money Saving!

I'm a wine drinker. Not too much, but I did tend buy a bottle of wine on Friday's after work, and tend to drink it either Friday or Saturday evening. I decided a few months ago, that since I'm trying to save money in all other areas in my life, this also needed evaluation.

Say I bought one bottle a week, four times a month, at $14.00 per bottle (I never said I bought the fancy stuff, lol). This is $56.00 per month I am paying for alcohol. $14.00 doesn't sound bad, but $56.00 does.

My other half has tried his luck at making his own beer for a few years now (usually his luck doesn't win, LOL). Anyways, since we had all of the equipment, I decided I would try making my own wine. I dug all of my wine bottles that I had out of recycling, and hit up some friends for theirs, to make my bottle count 30.

When I was in the city, I went to the Noble Grape wine store (which is amazing by the way), and picked out a Valpolicella red wine, which is my favorite to buy in the NSLC. The kit was on sale (yippee!) for $54.00. I took it home, and got started right away.

The instructions were detailed, and the work was minimal. About once a week the wine had to be transferred to a clean carboy, and sometimes have a packet stirred in. Sterilizing the equipment and bottling the wine at the end of the four weeks was about the hardest part, and that really only took about an hour and a half. I had bought the labels and the shrink wrap, so we made them look very authentic.

We let the wine "age" for a few weeks, and decided we couldn't wait any longer. I was skeptical I admit, because I had tasted some very bad homemade wine from different friends making it over the years. We uncorked the wine, and poured a glass. To my amazement, the wine was DELICIOUS!! It is very VERY similar to the
Valpolicella wine I buy in the liquor store. I couldn't believe it! From this point on, I have been an avid wine maker. It's a fun hobby, and I am saving myself money in the long run by doing it. It's also a great present for friends, which costs you next to nothing.

My wine kit cost me $54.00, corks were $4.00, labels & shrink wrap were $5.00, and other misc equipment was approx $10.00, but lasts multiple kits (sterilizing agent, sweetener, etc). Total $73.00, or $82.50 with taxes. Each kit says it will make 30 bottles, but ours made 28. Not too bad. $82.50 divided by 28 bottles is $2.94 per bottle!

I make sure to only go through no more than 4 bottles of wine per month (unless some are gifts here and there). My total spending on wine per month now is $11.76, versus $56.00 previously. This saves me $44.24 per month, or $530.88 per year! (Which I of course put in my piggy bank).

If you don't mind not having a selection, Costco sells wine kits, either Chardonnay or Merlot, in a 2-kit box for $60.00. Sometimes these go on sale for $45.00. This is a great deal, because you are getting two kits for what you pay for one, in a wine making store. This takes the price of $2.94 per bottle, way down.

I'm not sure I'll ever go back to buying the majority of my wine in the liquor store ever again! This is amazing!

Monday, April 26, 2010

My First Piggy Bank Purchase!

No, I didn't buy countries in Asia, as it may look in the picture! LOL, but I do plan to visit them. Like I've mentioned, I've booked my first piggy bank vacation! I've traveled before, but this will be the first time I've traveled with money I've saved (and am saving) off of my everyday bills and my side job. This is half paid for now, and I'm hoping to have the rest paid by the end of July.

The trip is in Sept. 2010 and is starting in Hong Kong, with stops in Taiwan, Shanghai, Japan, South Korea, and ending in Beijing!

We got such a great deal on this trip! (of course, I wouldn't have it any other way!). It is a 13 night cruise, which we booked through Royal Caribbean. We took advantage of their Best Price Guarantee and got the inside room for $1,000.00 CAD per person. We also booked our flights through a seat sale on Continental, and also got these for $1,000.00 per person. $2,000.00 for two weeks in Asia from Eastern Canada is amazing! We normally pay about $1200 each for one week in Cuba, so this is a great deal. We'll be staying a few extra nights in Beijing, for a total of 17 nights vacation. The hotel rooms were booked during an sale for $60.00 CAD per night at a well known hotel chain! All meals are included on the ship, the only extras will be liquor, day trips & transfers and of course spending money! :) I cannot wait for this trip!

Thrift Store Shopping - VERA WANG included!

Okay, so just because I am trying to save money, doesn't mean a girl can't shop! I was in shopping mode the other day, and decided to check out our local second hand clothing store. It's called Guy's Frenchies and it is a pretty big store. I admit that I've been a second hand shopper for years, on and off whenever the urge strikes me. This time I went on a mission looking for some summery clothes.

The store is broken up into sections and the clothes are in bins. It's a very clean and spacious store. There is anything from bedding to books, handbags to baby clothes. Pretty much every main category is covered.

Like I mentioned earlier I am going on vacation in Sept, and I do need at least two dresses to take on this vacation, and would like some nice outfits to wear to dinner. I have some dresses at home, but not a large selection. None that really feels right for the event. I was really looking for a simple black dress, or something easy. To my amazement, I stumbled a crossed a beautiful Vera Wang dress. It is the right fit, and drops just below the knee. It's strapless, burgundy satin, and is in PERFECT shape! I bought it for the low low price of $7.00!

On this same shopping trip, I picked up two books that I've been wanting to read (softcover, $1.50 each), a lovely Nine West black pencil skirt ($3.00), a black shrug sweater ($2.50) and a silver clutch wallet ($1.75). I also found a pair of shorts for DH ($3.50).

My total shopping trip came to $20.75 before taxes! I would have spent that on DH's shorts alone! Not only do I have a large part of my vacation wear, but I picked up some other extras too, all for a small percentage of what I would have paid in a retail store.

I may have to go back again next week to see if I can finish up my summer shopping there!

*I haven't had the dress dry-cleaned yet, so please forgive the wrinkles, LOL

Monday, April 12, 2010

Having a Side Job

Trying to explore all areas of growing my piggy bank, I decided to take on a side job. It's actually an opportunity that fell in my lap, and only takes 2 hours every other weekend. Since I already work 40 hours a week, I wasn't looking for anything that would take a chunk of my precious free time away. So this seemed to be great.

I have started cleaning house for an elderly lady in my community. Every other Saturday morning, I work for two hours vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting and scrubbing a house that hardly ever gets dirty anyways. She is a sweet elderly lady, that is probably looking for company just as much as she's looking for a maid. We talk while I clean, and she tells me stories from long ago. I actually look forward to going there every two weeks, and sometimes will pop in for a visit in between shifts.

Although one days work doesn't seem to be that big of a payout, combining it together does. In one month I have made $100.00. Not too shabby for four hours of work. Doing this for six months will give me $600.00 that I normally wouldn't have had. My piggy bank is really loving this new opportunity.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Discount Vacations - Go on two for the price of one!

I'm a travel junkie. I love traveling, love lying on the beach, and love seeing new places. If I could travel every month, I would be the happiest person ever. Being on a tight budget makes you get creative when you've been bitten by the travel bug.

First, it all depends on what you are looking for in traveling. If you have your heart set on a specific resort, location, date, room or large number of people going with you then it will be harder to find a bargain. Luckily there are usually only 2 of us traveling, but sometimes 4.

We've had great success with booking "last minute" deals. Usually I know if I am going to go down south that year, so can have some money set aside. We usually have a time frame we'd like to travel, such as mid February, and plan for that. A month or two before, we start looking for deals. There are so many options! A number of times I've taken vacations for $1000.00 per person (all inclusive ,including taxes) that have cost someone who didn't book last minute $1700.00. We were there for the same days, the same type of room, etc. The only difference was, I booked the end of Jan, and they booked in October. They knew they would get that resort, and I found a resort with an opening.

I've just discovered discount cruising. I have been on a cruise before, years ago with my parents for Christmas. So this time I decided to research into the cruise companies to see who offers what. I've found that Royal Caribbean has a policy that if you book at one rate, and find the price for your cruise has gone down (unless it says for new bookings only), you can get the cruise at the lowered rate!

We've recently booked our first ever "large vacation", We booked a cruise about 10 months before sailing. I check the rate everyday. A few weeks after we booked, our cruise price was dropped by $500.00 per person! That saved us $1000.00 in one simple phone call. Now they tell us that it most likely will be lowered again, since we are still 6 months out from our sailing date. I find this new policy to be incredible. I've seen some cruise last minute deals, and they are a phenomenal rate. As long as this cruise doesn't sell out, we can get it for the lowest rate advertised, up to a few days before sailing. I'm loving this policy. I'm told Celebrity Cruise has the same policy, but I don't know that for certain as I've never looked.

This move on Royal Caribbean's part most likely just increased our cruising trips! I love when large companies give a break to their customers!

There are some really great travel companies out there that sell off last minute vacations. If you do a quick Google search for some in your area, I'm sure you can find some good deals!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Finding Deals Online - One of the best tools!

There are some REALLY great websites out there for finding great deals on pretty much anything. I know I have learned so much about saving money from various internet sites. It was also surprising that there were so many people out there looking for the exact same thing I was - to save money!

I personally started my online deals chatting on a website called Smart Canucks. It's a Canadian based website that has blogs, deals postings by members, great coupon links, and even contests. There is a wealth of knowledge on there. I've been able to save quite the chunk of change on items I would have bought regardless. They also quite often have a list of coupons to use with flyer deals, which can save you some time from sitting down and figuring this each week.

There is a new website that was just recently started called Flyers Coupons Canada. In my opinion this is going to be even better than what Smart Canucks is now (if that is possible), because everything seems so organized. Rather than looking for a deal under "Deals Section", there is a category for pretty much every chain store you can think of in Canada. It does make it a lot easier to find deals for my grocery store this way. There is also a blog page, and a reviews page, where customers can review products and stores they've tried. I'm very excited for this website!

Both websites have a community of like-minded friendly people. There is a chat forum for misc. conversation where you can even make online friends. or discuss whatever you feel like. I encourage anyone who is looking to start trying to stuff their piggy bank to check out both of these websites. I'm sure you'll find them very useful!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Staying Out of the Red

Being on a tight income, I can completely understand how some people can get their selves in trouble with credit cards and lines of credit. The one thing that has been a life saver to me is that I've never "gone to town" with credit, which then results in debt.

Now of course when I bought my new car, it was purchased on a bank loan. I am currently only 2 years into my 5 year loan. I do in the near future hope to have a mortgage for our own home. This isn't the type of debt I'm talking about.

Purchasing shoes, clothes or even TVs on the ol' Visa IS what I am talking about. I've found if I need these items, I can budget them in. Paying in cash is oh so much better than throwing down the credit card, signing and forgetting until 30 days later when the rude reminder comes in the mail.

I found if I budget $100.00 per month for "Extra Shopping", I can still buy what I want, without feeling deprived. If I want a new pair of cute shoes for $50, I buy them. I'll still have $50.00 left that I can spend on something else, or save for next time. I REALLY wanted a LCD TV. I saved 7 months of my "Extra Shopping" money, and bought exactly what I wanted at a boxing day sale. Not something I could have done before my budgeting days had started.

Easier said than done I realize, as I too once in awhile would purchase things on credit and forget about them until the bill came. However, once I started budgeting for them, and even saving my budgeted money for bigger items I may want, I was able to get things easier than I thought and there was no bill in the mail as a reminder.

One less bill is one less stress! :)


Selling or Buying on Kijiji or Yardsale Group = $$

I'm not talking about a yard sale here. Well maybe I am, as those generate some income for unused items as well, but I'm talking about selling larger things on Kijiji or even Yard sale groups on popular networking sites (Face Book for instance).

I decided I would try to sell some items around my house that were in good shape, but just sitting around collecting dust. I found an old MP3 player that I had before I discovered the Ipod world, a bookcase, a TV stand, some jackets, some boots, a car cover that I've never taken out of the box, etc. I listed all of these items, and within one week they were all sold. Like I've mentioned before, I live in a small town, so there are less people close by to buy my stuff, but still everything sold. The least amount I sold an item for was $10 for a pair of boots.

Not only did I get to have some much valued closet space back, I made some extra cash too!

Now on the other hand, I have purchased some really good things here. When it came time to buy a new living room furniture set, we found a beautiful beige leather sofa & love seat on Kijiji for $350.00, without a scratch on it. Before we had found this, we had planned on purchasing a similar set new for $1200.00 (plus tax). For us, this was a savings of $850.00.

Also, my antique claw foot dining room table set cost us $200.00, and just needed a bit of paint on the legs. There are some amazing deals from people who just want to update their furniture, so sell what they have for VERY good prices. It's well worth checking out in your area if you are in the market for any large or even smaller house hold items.

I find online yard sale shopping can be very addictive, so I only allow myself to go online and look if there is a specific item that I need (I.E. Living room furniture). Otherwise, by buying items I do not need, just because of the great price defeats the savings.


Using Coupons WITH Flyers. Lightbulb on!

Coupons. Little pieces of paper I had walked past in aisles of stores, and flipped past in magazine's for as long as I can remember. My mother, (who as I mentioned earlier is an avid coupon clipper), came to mind when I was trying to figure out how to crop my grocery budget.

I decided it was worth a try and gathered some coupons here and there. I began using them on items I bought regularly on the grocery list. $0.50 off of bathroom tissue here, $1.00 off of paper towel there. A few cents off crackers or cleaning products. It was a help no doubt, but it didn't really add up to that much of a difference on the weekly grocery bill. I decided to go directly to the pro, my mom, for advise.

Apparently, unbeknown to me, the secret to coupons is using them on products that are already on sale! Ahh, that makes sense! When the flyers came that week I sat down and did some math with my coupons in hand. So many items! Our local grocery store quite often has a Buy 1, Get 1 Free sale. So, you can actually use two coupons. Paper towel goes on sale for $3.99 Buy One, Get One Free. You have two $1.00 coupons, so you now get two 6 packs of paper towel for $1.99, or $0.99 a pack! To add to my excitement, there really are some high value coupons out there if you know where to find them. My latest coupon excitement was finding a pile of shampoo in a discount cart for $1.00 each, and I had a coupon that said Buy 2 save $2.50. Not only did I get the shampoo free (except for taxes), but I also got an extra $0.50. At this moment I understood why coupons are such a great thing!

Now, finding good coupons can be hard. Most grocery stores, drug stores or even some department stores will have coupons on the shelves or by the entrance. This is where I get probably 25% of the coupons I have. Newspapers, magazines and weekly flyers often have coupons in them as well. Signing up for email newsletters directly from company's can sometimes score some good coupons through email. However, the best coupons I've been able to find come from online. There are a few great websites that you can sign up with. They allow you to choose which coupons you would like, and they mail (snail-mail) them directly to you. One of my favorites websites is

I do live in a small town, so the choice of stores here is limited. However, I average a savings of about $20.00-$30.00 per month on coupons. Some months are better than others depending on the current sales in the flyers. Living in an area where there are more stores to choose from, would defiantly increase the savings. Sometimes when I'm going out of town, I'll do some shopping at a differnt grocery store and score even bigger savings.

The hardest part for me is to only buy what I need. It's very tempting find out that I could buy baby lotion for next to nothing with a coupon. But unless I am going to a baby shower, I have no use for baby lotion. Sticking with what we need and/or will use can be challenging.

Say my monthly coupon savings is $25.00 per month. This will give me $300.00 per year to stuff into my piggy bank. This number is most likley going to increase for anyone who has a larger family to buy for, as more of the coupons could be used. My coupon savings is based on a household of two adults.

Happy clipping!


Cell Phones

I had originally started to discuss this in my last post, but the more I wrote the more I realized this should have it's very own spot.

When I had my original sit down to go over my budget, I really thought about my cell phone. For years, I had paid a monthly contract cell phone bill. My bill had been around $60.00 each month. I did have two extras on my cell package, Caller ID and the smallest text messaging package. I'd never used internet, bought games, or anything else extra on my cell.

I know to some people, their cell phone is like an extended body part that they can't live without. I am not one of those people. I sit beside a telephone all day at work, and then have a lovely well working home phone. The main reason I have a cell phone is because I do live in Canada, and it does snow here. I have a 20 minute commute to work, and if I happen to find myself in a snowbank I'd like to be able to call someone to get me out. Other than that, I may only use my cell phone once a week, and it's usually a 15 second conversation that is similar to "Do we need anything at the grocery store before I come home?".

I just could not justify spending $60.00 a month on this. Again, something I'd paid for for years, and I just started to question this when writing out my budget. From my experience, I have yet to find a cell phone provider who treats it's customers well, so why was I forking over all of this extra cash?

I went to my cell phone provider, and switched my monthly contract to a pre-paid package. I admit it took quite awhile for this to actually happen, and many not so polite phone calls. But after a few months, it was switched. I didn't get any extras at all on my new package. I can now make a $25.00 pre-paid card last two months, if not more. This is over $90.00 every two months, or $540.00 per year, stuffed into my piggy bank!

PS: I LOVE this Zack Morris cell phone picture! Too funny!

First Thing's First - Discover Your Budget & Shave Off Extras!

Although this seems like it would be a given, writing out your exact monthly budget can really be an eye opener and a great starting point to stuffing your piggy bank. I thought I knew my budget before I started my money saving journey, but truthfully I didn't know it as well as I thought I did until I seen it written out in front of me.

I started by writing out my monthly after deductions income. I get paid every two weeks, the same amount (salary). Next, I listed my re-occurring monthly bills. Car payment, rent, telephone bill, power bill, cell phone, gas, groceries, etc. This was really an eye opener as to how much I have left over. To be fair, I do live with my boyfriend, and we split living expenses right down the middle.

My next step was to shave off what I could from my monthly bills. Do I really need the long distance plan on my home phone? I rarely ever call anyone out of my calling area. Answer, no. One less monthly charge. Do I really need super-ultra-amazingly-jet-like wireless high speed internet? No, not really, regular high speed internet is just fine for me, considering between my boyfriend and I, we might use it one hour a day. Many monthly bills have little extras that can be shaved off, if you sit down and look at them. Any savings off of these bills will result in more money in your piggy bank rather than in the piggy bank of a huge company.

By downsizing just these two bills, I've saved $10.00 per month on my home phone bill and $20.00 per month off of my internet bill. Total savings of $30.00 per month, or $360.00 per year!

I then tallied up all of my bills, many now lower than they had been since I'd gotten rid of the extras I didn't need. I realized that I can pay all of my monthly living expenses in one (whole) pay cheque. This leaves the second monthly pay cheque all mine. Funny how I'd never noticed this before. It seemed like I was always strapped for cash, but come to find out I just wasn't spending wisely. The first thing that popped into my mind was Scotia Bank's slogan "You're Richer Than You Think". LOL!

By doing this simple step, it brought me back to reality of my spending budget. Now that there is a good starting point, working on other areas of the budget can take priority.


Welcome to Stuff the Piggy Bank!

I've decided to start a blog on simple everyday tips on how to grow the piggy bank. I'm a late twenties female, and I live in NS, Canada. I works full time as a Sales Assistant in a manufacturing company. My income is not something to brag about believe me, but my income pays my bills fine. I did really have to struggle and save for any extras I wanted, so one day I decided to sit down and do something about it.

I come from a back ground of "Penny Pincher's". For as long as I can remember, my mother has clipped coupons and shopped for on-sale items, like a vulture. It wasn't until I moved out onto my own that I really learned to appreciate the skill that I once considered silly as a teenager.

I've discovered many valuable tips on how to save money. Mind you, I've only started my money saving journey a few years ago, but I am now starting to reap the benefits.

I am by no means a professional in the finance industry, but merely sharing easy money saving tips that have worked for me, to make my tight budget a little easier. I look forward to sharing some tips I've learned, as well as more I hope to discover in the future! :)