Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ideas to pay off the mortgage faster

Dear Visitor, 
thanks for dropping by.
My mortgage is less than $100,000 from last year onwards. I was thinking of ways to pay it off faster. 
Turns out, there are few methods to think about.

First of all I asked my lender to make it bi-weekly. That was done couple of years before. Now, this month I asked them to increase my bi-weekly payments by 10%. (I believe you can make it up to 15% . Just ask your lender.)
I have an option to pay a lump sum of up to 15%  of the original mortgage amount. This payment will go directly towards the principal. The minimum amount of this annual lump sum is $100.

The next one is the option to double up your regular payment of principal and interest once a year. 

I used the lump sum payment  option  in 2015. Since 2016 was hard on us, we didn't do that.  This year I am going to do at least $100 towards the principal. 

Do you have any other ideas to pay off mortgage faster? Please share your mortgage stories with me.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Upcycling An Old Sweatpant

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.

The winter is finally over. Time to put away some winter clothes, right? 
the 100% polyester sweatpants was in my daughters pile to discard. I was thinking of using it for something. Finally, got an idea.
Actually there are two sudden ideas.

The pants was about to be thrown out. But, I was going to clean the flours first. There is my swiffer sweeper, with disposable dry wipes. I read it before about using fleece instead of the disposable dry wipes. 
I cut the end of the pants to make like a sock for the Swiffer sweeper. Not really working. 
So I opened it up to a rectangle. Now see the new re-usable swiffer wipe
There is this leg cuff part, I cut from the pants.
Lovely, right? I was thinking of making a cuff of sorts. Then cut the edge out. It was a doubled piece!!!
Opened it up to see how long it is. 
Suddenly, I got the idea to make a cozy for my oil bottle in the kitchen. The round glass bottle is always having oil on the outside. 
Now there is something to cover it. I want to see how long it will stay. The bottom is just tucked under the bottle. I didn't bother to sew. But, it is not wobbling the bottle.
Rest of the pants are going get cut into rectangles to be used as flour mops on Swiffer sweeper. I tried it already. It collects all the dust and hair. 
Want to make wet mops? don't worry, spray some soap water on the cloth, and it is good to go.

Have you ever up-cycled clothes? Recycled sweatpants especially? 

Friday, 7 April 2017

A DIY pedicure

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
Toronto seems to be under never ending winter.
What to do to tame the winter inertia? I thought a pedicure to myself will be great.

I didn't want to ruin my unexpected off day by going out to the saloon and spending money. After all, it is still cold and windy.
With a little thinking, and searching, I found the necessary things at home for pedicure.

A plastic basin, some sea salt, and a scrubber for foot: all I had at home.
Pour some hot water to the basin. Added a handful of sea salt. I put a bit of my shampoo also. 
Then soak the feet for about 30 minutes and was watching TV. Used the scrubber to scrub the feet to remove the hardened skin. Then used a towel to wipe off. Applied some lotion to the feet. I cut the nails, filed them. Then put some nail polish.
This will do for the cold weather. For today I have my happy feet and no extra spending.
Have you tried DIY pedicure? Do you have any other tips to share with me?

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Minimalism for Financial Independence

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
I mentioned that I like the idea of minimalism.
Some people can stick to the minimalistic way of life. Minimalism is living with what you really need and not having more stuff. In that way I like it.

But, think of the stuff we accumulate: like yoghurt containers, empty jam and mayonnaise bottles... sure, they make clutter. But, I have to have a few. Collected so many similar bottles over the years to arrange my pantry. I have 2-3 empty yoghurt containers to keep food in the freezer or fridge. I don't accumulate more than that now a days. Same goes with the empty bottles. There will be few of them, as they are useful to keep bulk non perishable food items such as rice, lentils and flours.

How you reach financial independence with minimalism is your question, right?

I don't buy stuff when I see them in the store now. For example, a nice handbag on sale was big temptation before. Now, I think, do I really need it? What am I going to do with the bags I love and already at home after buying a new one? Now, see, the impulse starting to fade. Money stays in my purse.

I used to accumulate magazines. I put the old magazines in the recycle bin and don't buy new ones. Library has a lot of magazines, and they are available online too. No need to waste the valuable real estate at home to store them. I had many boxes to keep the old magazines. Now most of them are gone. The boxes are free to keep the winter gears. Some of the boxes are going to be donated too.

I still have to go through my processions. I am pretty sure, there are many items to be repurposed and donated. 

When you reduce buying more stuff, of course, you will be spending less money. That is the money you can save for  creating an emergency fund. 

When there is more free space, it is easy to clean. One may not need a bigger house if there is less stuff to keep. That means less use of electricity and less property tax. That is the money you  can save and invest. 

Do you think of filling up the space in your home or you want to have empty space? What you think of having less stuff at home?

Sunday, 2 April 2017

March 2017 passive income

Dear visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
Welcome to April and better weather, Time to check on March passive income too.
Checked family RRSPs and TFSAs. It has passed the limit of $100.  The goal is to have $200. Now, we made almost there. $199.36 total. 
That is looking good. Because, March 2016 was only $18. It is a great achievement on my part. Don't you agree?  
That kind of achievement makes me to save more and to reduce spending on unnecessary things. The life is more happy. Less things around the house makes me feel more relaxed. 
I hope, one day, my passive income will be enough to make me have a happy life.
So, tell me how buying whatever you really needs make you feel? Happy or deprived?

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Home made laundry detergent powder

This was posted one year before.

It seems like I am getting views for this blog. That is a pleasant surprise!
Since I don't receive any comments, I was not looking on the statistics.  Thank you to my anonymous  readers. 
I was trying to make laundry detergent powder  and was talking about it here.
Since the ingredients were hard to get, I almost gave up the laundry detergent project.

It is funny, when you keep on looking, things come to you. I was at Cedarbrae mall No Frills, just checking the laundry isle. To my delight, they have the Borax and So Easy super washing soda.
I had 3 bars of ivory soap from Dollarama for $1.50. The recipe called for grated soap. I was concerned to use my box grater for this project. Make Your Zone has the solution to microwave soap. It really worked. My advice is to microwave it on a big platter and to may be put more than a minute. We have to experiment to find the correct timing. Make sure you don't touch the puffy ballooned soap until it is really cool. It may take a couple of seconds. Then I used my hands to crumble it. You can put it in an old zip-lock bag and crush it too. 

I used one bar of soap, 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of Borax. Mixed everything together and keep in an old  plastic container. It smells like ivory soap. So a bit worried about the dried laundry going to smell like that...

Yes, I used it to wash my bed sheets today. My soap was not really powdered. So, got a few crumbs when the load is washed. So, I had to put it back and run the rinse cycle again. After that it was fine. There was no smell of ivory soap.

With the added confidence I did second load of regular clothes. This time the powder was added first, let the washer filled(mine is top loader), then added the laundry. I just let it soak for about 15 minutes and then run. Not much problems this time. I used the measuring cup from my previous laundry detergent. Probably about two spoons for a medium load. There is still a lot of the small batch  left. I didn't see any soap bubbles when doing laundry. 

One problem with washing soda is it is like a ball in the box.  The ball was not that hard, but just annoying when trying to get the powder from the box. I had to cut open the top. I am going to try keeping a small pack of rice in the box to see how it works.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Bills Paid

Dear Visitor,
thanks for dropping by.
March is ending and the cold weather too. It will be nice to have longer days with more sun. It will be more pleasant than the layering up.

End of the month means time to pay bills. got the credit card bill, which also include the phone bills. They will get automatically get paid from the credit card. That way, I can reduce the number of transactions on my checking account. So, making the full payment at end of the month on credit card is all I have to do. If that can be done in time, I can save the interest charges (a whopping 20%) on the total expenses. 

I made a commitment to myself to do that each month.

When it is all paid off, that is a great relief. 
So, have you paid up all your bills for the month of March?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Avoiding extra spending

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
During the March break I was offered more hours of work. People with school going kids wanted to take off to spend time with kids. Since I don't have a kid at home right at that moment, I was ready to work and help. The end result was long days for me. After getting the bitter taste of  job loss in the family, my motto is to "work when there is work available". 

Long hours can trigger you to spend un necessarily. To avoid that, I was having some strategies.

 Main thing was to cook more food to keep in the fridge for the whole week. That way, there was enough things to pack for lunch. You know, hungry, tired and no packed lunch is a reason to shop for crappy fast food. There were more in the fridge to heat up as dinner. After working, who will have the energy to work in the kitchen?

So, we packed lunch and made breakfast in the morning. Then went our ways to work. 

There were enough clean pressed clothes for the entire work week. Happy to tell you all that the extra work didn't made me spending extra. Actually, now I can start saving to buy a new laptop for my daughter. The one she uses now is falling apart. Hope to have saved enough by the coming September.

How you avoid the extra spendings?

Saturday Evening to relax

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. This week was not that much hectic. Most dental offices are open on Saturdays. At least in Toronto, I believe.
It was busy as usual. That is the fun of it too.

After work there was a bit of grocery shopping. Then for the fun of it, we bought Apple pie from the McDonalds. When it is slightly cooled the pie is nice. Better than eating it right away at the store.

There was this series on CBC, called Anne. I was watching for some time. It is really making me emotional. The girl who comes as Anne is acting very good. She makes me teary eyed.

I read the book several years before. What a captivating story!

I didn't watch the full episode. But, it is a really nice one.

Hope you all having a great weekend.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Composting Dilemmas

Dear visitor, 
Thanks for dropping by.
I am thinking about having a container garden on my balcony this season. I love to plant some veggies, especially some peppers.
I want to use compost for the plants.  So, where to get compost? May be Walmart? The website don't show any. some other sources are very expensive.

It will be great, if I can make compost, right?
I did a search to see how city dwellers do composting. Turned out there are are some composting bins designed for apartments alone. 
Further research showed that it can bring in fruit flies. 

Amazon has many ideas: 
That one is really cute, isn't it? But the reviews were not great. So, I was reluctant to buy.
Finally, I am glad to tell you there is a very simple solution for my compost problem.
City is giving away free compost and I can get it from one of several locations from April to September, on Saturdays. 

So, I am not going to do composting. I am going to get the compost free. 

Are you planning to do gardening this year? What would you be planting? Have you tried composting? 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Book Review: The Automatic Millionnaire

Dear visitor,

Recently, I got a chance to read The Automatic Millionaire written by David Bach. I had the Canadian edition from the library. So, it says about RRSP. Since it was actually written in 2003, there is no mention of the TFSA.

The key point is to pay yourself first. That is, moving a percentage of your paycheque immediately to the  RRSP account.

He explains with many stories how to get out of debt and how to save for retirement. The book is a good read.

Bach says to automate your savings and your debt paying. I think, by now most people knows about they can pay off the mortgage faster by choosing biweekly payments.

With the sky-high real estate prices, Canadians may not be able to have a primary residence and a rental property in the present time.

The main idea of the book is to automate your savings and spendings. Then of course, frugal living.

He also mentions about the Latte Factor. Most people interested in personal finance already knows that one. Funny thing is it is not actually about having a latte. It is about the small and regular un necessary purchases. It may be hard to tame that kind of habits. If you once check the calculations Mr.Bach explains in the book, I am sure, you want to try to avoid it.

Altogether, if you are interested in saving money and live within your means, you might already be on your way to riches.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I recommend you to read it. If you can get it from library, it is much better. You read it, you get the ideas. No need to own a copy. ( I think so)

What is your "Latte factor" if you have one? 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Frugal Weekend

Dear visitor, 
Thanks for dropping by. It is already Tuesday. Still, I want to tell you about my frugal weekend. 

We did a bit of Costco shopping. Bought a set of glass containers, as hubby insisted on having it. I am not sure we really needed it. But, to him, it is not a waste. Our old set started having broken lids. So, it is justifiable. I need to remove some from home, before opening the new ones though. 

I think, I told you i have long hair. I didn't cut it for some time. So, got a haircut. That doesn't mean I went to the saloon to get done.  To cut the hair straight, you tube has many videos. 
Mine is not this much short. It is bit more longer. But the idea is same. 

Have you ever cut your own hair?

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Why you don't need a budget

Dear visitor,
Thanks for visiting.
Many people really like to budget the spending and stay within the budget. Many people cannot stand a budget. I am one of them.
I hate budgets.Tried many times and failed miserably.
Many personal finance bloggers stress about the use of budget to cut the spending. To me, it is time wasted on something you can't really do.
You may want to know, how I have some left over money in my savings.

My family automated some of the expenses though. Like the mortgage: it will be taken from the checking account biweekly. The phone bills are automatically paid by credit cards. The cable is also paid automatically.Then the energy bill, which is taken out at the beginning of the month. the condo fee is also automated. That way, I can avoid any late fees and interest on unpaid bills. 

I won't buy small stuff regularly. You might have heard of the Latte Factor: I don't have any spending like that. Guess, I already mentioned about my dislike to wait in line at coffee shop. My family always pack lunch to work. So, on a typical work day, we don't spend anything. There is no impulse shopping during the regular work week. Most of the time we eat home-cooked meals. Sometimes there will be store bought snacks. But they are not from the fast food restaurants, which are more expensive compared to grocery store variety. 

My savings are usually moved to RRSP in the beginning of the month, when I get paid, which is once a month. I save 20% of after tax money. Once it is moved to RRSP, you cannot take it out. Unlike TFSA, this money is difficult to take out, unless you are over 65. 

 Then the remaining has to be used to pay the bills and other fun spending. Fun for us is really watching a movie or two on the TV. Then reading books and watching YouTube.  Since there is not much space in the small condo, we cannot own many books. If a new book is going to come, then an old one has to go out. So, library is a great choice. Our library has a great selection on e-books and audio books too. 

After starting the blog, and liking the minimalism ideas, our life become more simpler. There is not much stress about money as well. As a result, i can see my savings is growing little by little.

Basically, if you have decided on how much is going to the savings, and take care of it when you get paid, there is no need for budgeting. To live within the balance of the available fund, we need to choose some strategies on spending. The less you spend on unnecessary things, the better. Then you will find enough money to spend on the things that make you happy. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

A semolina recipe

Dear visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
Got this idea of savoury item from a co-worker. It is made of semolina. Wikipedia says semolina is made from durum wheat.
I tried few times before and it was liked very much at home. So, I tried adding things to it to make better.
Here is my version of semolina savoury recipe.

2 cups of semolina
4 cups of water
1 onion
some frozen spinach
Some cooked chicpea
1 green chilly
1 small piece of onion
1 tsp black mustard seeds
Curry leaves if you have them
1tsp oil

Heat the oil. Put the mustard seeds. cover the pan, to prevent mustards splattering on you. Once the splattering stops, add chopped onion, de-seeded chopped green chillies and chopped ginger . Stir fry till onion starting to turn brownish.  Add the thawed spinach. You can add cooked left over spinach too. Once the spinach is heated through, add the chick peas. Stir for 3-4 minutes and remove from the pan.

Put the semolina in the pan. Place it on heat and stir it for about 5 minutes. When it all heated through. remove from heat. Boil the water. Add enough salt. Put the spinach mix in the boiling water. Mix well. Now reduce the heat and add the semolina. Careful: it can bubble. Mix everything nicely and cover it. Turn the heat off. My stove has glass ceramic top. So it will continue giving heat. So, I like to leave it on the stove top for about 10 minutes while the lid is closed.
I like to eat it as it is.

Till next post
With love

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Frugal weekend

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for visiting.

The week fly fast. The weekend is also over. We had a lovely trip to visit our daughter at the university. We had a good couple of hours and had lunch with her in the mall. I always carry some warm water/green tea in a flask while travelling in winter. That way we can avoid the coffee shops. It is a good way not to add calories unnecessary. If we buy coffee, we love to have the double double. With water or green tea, there is no calories. There are no paper cups. Frugal and green at the same time. The eating out was a treat for her. So, that was actually planned.

I did one load of laundry and used the drier to dry it. But, the load had bed sheets in it. So, it is justified. 
The visitors got home made coffee and store bought pie. We had great conversation and lot of laughs. That is the real thing matters. The love of friendship and fun. 

I managed to finish reading the book "unshakable" by Tony Robins this week. It is a nice read. Mr. Robins tells how to invest wisely so that you will not be affected by the ups and downs of the market. Yes, he talks about index investing. He talks about buying and holding and not to panic when market goes down. He also tells to count your blessings and to stay happy, instead of worrying. He gives one meditation technique in the book, which I would love to try often. It is a really interesting book. I got it from the Toronto public library in ebook format. (You know, I am frugal, right?)

Since this week is going to be March break, and I have no school going kids, I agreed to do work for some friends. Let us see how the week is going to be. 
How you doing? What is up for March break?

Till next post,
With love

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Nothing to write

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
When I was staring on the blank page, I felt like there is nothing to write. Started typing anyway.
to solve the dish soap problem, we did a run to Walmart after work.  I bought the Dawn brand. I never tried that brand. It says #X grease fighting. We are trying to use less oil in cooking. There is no deep frying now a days. Just trying to be healthy, you know?
So there is actually no need to buy that soap. But, you know, I love to stretch my things.
Remember the Dawn ads? Little goes a long way.

I am going to water down the dish soap and use my spray bottle too. Right now, it is about 25% soap and 75% water. It still smells like dawn original and soapy too. Dishes are getting clean. So I am happy with the solution.

Let us see how long it will last.
Some frugal blogs suggest using Dawn brand dish soap for the laundry. I am happy to try it on shirt collar to remove dark stains.

Hahaha1 That is it for a day for the feeling of nothing to write.
As it is Thursday, cleaning chores to be done.

Till next post
With love

There is no dish soap

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
I have to confess again: I thought I have one full bottle of dish washing liquid at home. That why we didn't get a bottle (on sale) at Costco last last time.
Big Mistake!!!
When I was looking to refill the dish sopa in my spray bottle, I sw the one with a few drops left in it. There was no full bottle I was thinking I have it.
Checked all over the places, but there is no other dish soap. I spent a lot of time looking for it, because I misplace lot of things.
Emptied the jar and used that up. Since there is still dishwasher tablets, I did made my dishwasher run more times this week. Yes, we managed to have clean dishes. But, now, I can't trust my memory. That is a big problem: Am I getting too old to remember things?

Did you ever run out of things like dish soap for couple of days? How you managed? Do you worried about your memory?
Till next post
With love

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Mistakes on Money

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
This is just another day, when there is nothing much to write about.  
There are some frugal mistakes I did though. 
The rate for electricity is lower before 7 am in morning. But, I woke up late and did all the cooking after 7am. Not just one day, two days in a row. 
I was supposed to iron clothes on Sunday evening. Even though there was nothing much to do on last Sunday, i really was lazy and end up ironing on Tuesday morning. Yes, right after 7 am. 

Guess, occasional mistakes are making up human beings.  So I am forgiving myself. 
As a side note, going to put an alarm on cell phone for 6am for tomorrow.

Hopefully, things will be on track for the rest of the week. 

Till next post
With love

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Little things I Do to save money

Dear visitor
Thanks for dropping by.

I decided to live below the means and to save money about  a year before. That doesn't mean life was drowning in debt.  But, now, it is like a very mindful way of simple living/frugal living and investing more for the future retirement.I love to include the minimalism principles in life and not buying more stuff to fill the home.Here are some of the little unconventional things I do to keep the spending lower.

Most of the time, I do hang my clothes to dry. We have a cloth stand from Costco. It is a foldable one , so that it won't take much space when not in use. I do place the cloth stand inside the condo while drying clothes. The law of condo corporation do not allow hanging clothes on balcony.

Most of the meals are cooked at home. I am lazy to go out to eat. Breakfast and dinner are cooked at home. The lunches are made and packed while working all day. Since I don't like to line up at coffee shop, I  make my coffee at home or at work. Like instant coffee without sugar. Even for the free coffee at McDonalds, I am reluctant to go.

At the rare occasions of eating out, we buy water or just one large drink and share with hubs. 

Alcohol is very limited. Once in a blue moon, love to have some wine. But, make sure it is local brand or less than $10 for a bottle. It really is a treat. 
I do use frozen veggies. sometimes, we freeze produce bought from the shop. I buy frozen fruits too. Make jam from frozen fruits. 

I make my own fermented carrots and cabbage

There is a bread machine and I use white flour to bake bread. 
Paper towels are not used very often. I make wipes from old clothes and re-use them.

This small family don't buy softdrinks and juices, unless we are expecting company. Same goes for chocolates. 

I keep long hair and cut it by myself. Keeping long hair is really very frugal. You can make a hair bun or put a ponytail. The hair bands are very inexpensive. Cutting long hair is easier than shorter styles, I think.I also dye my hair using store bought hair dye. 

We have only one car. I take bus most of the time or just walk. (Walking in the winter is not fun though.)

I do pay the credit card bill in full when the bill comes every month. We have only 2 credit cards. 

I use the public library a lot. Love to read ebooks on Overdrive. Toronto public library has a lot of ebook, audio books and even music. They have digital magazines as well. So, I don't buy books or magazines usually. 

What about you? Are you passionate about simple living ? What is frugal living means to you?

Till next post,
With love

February passive income

Dear visitor

Thanks for dropping by.
February is over. March has started. Here we are just looking for the spring. Time to have a look back on February, right?
Yes, time to look for the passive income too. Together me and hubs made $197.93 in passive income. That is the money we got from dividends. 
I am also glad to tell you I made a wopping 83 cents on the blog. That is just the Adsense money. It is really interesting. That is going to stay with google since the minimum amount to take out must be $100. I have a long road ahead to reach there. 

Do any of you make any real income from blogger blogs? 
that will be interesting to know. I read about blogs making big amounts from Google Adsense. In my experience, it is just one or two cents a time. 

If you look on the Blog List on the side bar, you can see two new blogs are added: Sam, coffee, Money and Thyme and Tales From Tanya. Those are the two new blogs I am reading regulary along with the other ones on the list. 

How was your February? What new interesting stuff you found?
Till next post
With love

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Simple Weekend

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
The weekend was frugally awesome. Dear daughter was home for last one week. It was her reading week. Usually during the reading week, she does everything other than reading. This was different: with a lot of assignments and unfinished academic stuff, she was bound to her room. 

The good thing about it was the TV was not working most of the time and I was escaped from the American political news. Then, there was a lot of home cooking. We made tofu, biriyani, baked rutabagas and chickpeas.

After the Carrot Experiment, I tried my hand on sauerkraut again. this time with regular cabbage and pickling salt. Half a cabbage is used. I found a big mouthed glass jar with lid for fermenting. Now it is in a jam bottle and in the fridge. Hubs love the taste. I didn't bother to add ginger or garlic this time. But, it still taste good. 

Crabapple Landing and Life after Money authors are walking out everyday. I am blaming the cold for not walking. So thinking of taking a walk at least one block before getting on the bus to work. Let us see how that will work! 

Till next post
With Love

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Investing with $100

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 

You all know that to have more money in the future, you have to live below your means and invest. It is a no brainer, right? 

So, you tried hard and saved $100. Now what to do? 
There are few choice. 
You can start a tax free advantage savings account with CIBC, before March 1st. They will give you 2.25% interest. Since it is a tax free one, you don't need to pay tax on the interest. 
You can start putting that money in a mutual fund. I am not talking about mutual fund now. 
The third option is you can invest in stock market. 
You can open a DIY account with Questrade. You can find some ETFs and invest in them for free. They have a minimum commission of $4.99/trade to maximum of $9.99, depending on the number of stocks you buy. 
You can register with one of the big banks too. CIBC has the lowest rate of $6.99 flat fee per trade. 
Now, let us talk about dividend paying stocks to invest. Since it is only $100, let us think of low cost shares paying dividends. 

I found the following 4 companies . all shares are less than $10/share as of February 23rd. All are paying dividends too. 

1. ACD
Accord financial Corp is a financial solutions provider for small and medium businesses. Dividend yield is 4%.

It is a real estate investment trust. They are interested in acquiring and owning multi residential properties. Dividend yield is 3.08%

Plaza Retail REIT is a real estate investment trust. dividend yield is 5.22%. Dividend distributions are monthly.

Aimia Inc is a Canada based data driven loyalty analytics company.
Dividend yield is 8.55%. Dividends are paid quarterly.

Buy one of these companies. when you get the dividend, keep them. Add more shares of the same company, till you can make enough dividends to buy at least one unit. Then ask your bank/institution about DRIP program. It is the short form for dividend re-investment. Once you are in the DRIP program, you bank will not charge a commission to reinvest the dividend to buy the stocks of the same company. 
Do you think it is a good strategy? 

Disclaimer: I am not a financial expert. I won't take responsibility of your investment decisions. Do it at your own risk.The ideas are just to make you think. 

Cleaning the blender

Dear visitor,
I like making milk smoothies.
It is really easy peacy.  Place all kinds of fruits, frozen or fresh, the add some milk. Pulse it first, and when it feels all fruits got mixed up, blend for a minute or two.

It is very very easy and refreshing. Some people make veggie smoothie. But Milk and fruit is my favourite. I bought my blender from Loblaws about 11 years back. It still works fine.
Now cleaning the blender after making the smoothie is little tricky. I used to take all parts apart first. If I was careless, got injured by the blades. Not anymore.
Easy way is to fill the jar half way with some warm water a few drops of dish washing liquid.
Then pulse it few times.  Empty the soapy water. Then take apart the blade and rinse off all the parts.
I do the same thing with my Magic Bullet too.  That way we can protect the rubber seal on the Magic Bullet for long.

Do you clean the blender like I do?
Till next post,
With Love

Monday, 20 February 2017

Frugal tip: Cleaning the cleaner

Dear visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
We all have the cleaning tools: vacuum cleaner, mops, dusters, dishwasher, washing machine etc. 
I just have a vacuum cleaner. Nothing fancy like a Dyson. When I was buying it 5 years before, I was not thinking much about environment or frugal living. It was all about convenience. So, I bought a vacuum cleaner with disposable bag.
 It was working fine. Last week i noticed it is not sucking that much like before. Under the brush, thee was a lot of hair tangled and making the machine struggle. 
Tried to remove the hair with my hands. But it was very hard. The website called one good thing by jillie has a simple solution. Use a seam ripper . It worked so fast and effectively. 
a little bit of caring can make the machine work for more years. It is a wise investment of your time, I think.
Do you ever clean the cleaner?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

A Carrot Experiment: Fermenting

Dear Visitor,

Glad to see you here.
Since my sauerkraut experiment well I am ready to try my hands on fermented carrots. 

I peeled 4 medium sized carrots. Since i thought it will be easy to put carrot in the blender instead of grating, I did that. I don't have a food processor. The blender method was a disaster. 
So, the carrots got grated using a box grater. Then I added about a teaspoon of pickling salt, along with some grated ginger and garlic. 
That is my carrots mixed with ginger garlic and salt. After mixing it with hand, I transferred it to a glass bottle. The bottle is not full. I am searching for a small bottle. Meanwhile it is in this mason jar.
As you can see the juice is not covering it yet. Going to wait for a fe hours. Then if it is not getting more liquid, I will add more brine solution. 
Will give an update in about a week. Right now, keeping my fingers crossed to see how it goes. 
Have you ever tried fermenting veggies?  Any interesting tips or incidents to share with me?

Till next post,
With love

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

It is about Teabag and frugal

Dear visitor,
Thanks for coming back. 
As i said on the title, it is about the tea bag. 

Not really about one tea bag. About making more cups of tea from one bag. This green tea is from Costco. In a box, there are 100 bags. Each is individually packed. You might have got it from the picture of the packet itself, right? 

 Hubby likes to take green tea in a flask to work. That is about two cups of tea in the flask. He doesn't like it seeped for long. Just change the colour and little flavour is enough. 

After making his tea, i dip the bag in a cup of boiled water for myself. Then, the bag got dropped in an empty glass. I make about 4 cups of tea in the morning for myself with the same tea bag. 

It all started to tame my coffee drinking habit. Coffee was giving me acid reflux. This green tea is fine for me. In the winter, I have to force myself to drink water. The tebag gives a little colour and slight flavour to the water. Drinking something warm gives a good feeling too. I am extending the use of one bag and saving some pennies too.

How many cups of green tea you usually make from one tea bag? Or loose tea is your favourite?
Till next post,
With love

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

DIY Sauerkraut experiment

Dear Visitor,

Thanks for dropping by. 

Two weeks before hubby bought a red cabbage. It was on sale: he said. Half of the cabbage I used to cook. 
I was itching to try my hands on making sauerkraut. So, I chopped the half cabbage roughly. Chopped a small piece of ginger from the freezer. Chopped a few cloves of garlic too. 
Put about 2 spoons of regular table salt on it. (Most of the recipes asking to use non-iodized salt) Mixed everything together and placed in a glass bottle. I had a jar of distilled water. So added that to top of the chopped cabbage. Then just left it on the kitchen counter for 2 weeks. 
I took some and tasted today.
My sauerkraut is tangy enough for me. Wow!! Look at the colour!
It is really easy. Fermented foods are good source of probiotics, they say. 
Going to try some carrots next time. I am going to keep the sauerkraut in the fridge. 

Hubby bought me some pickling salt this week. Will post about the next experiment soon.Umm... may be in about 3 weeks. 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Frugal Weekend

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
After a day of continuous snowing, today feels like nice. Because of the light reflecting on the snow, it is very white outside. 
When you are inside the comforting warmth of your home, it is very pleasant to view the snow falling down. When you are outside, walking or driving, it a different story. 

Since the last week was a no-shopping one, we did some grocery shopping this week. Actually there was no way we can survive another week without a grocery shopping. 

We bought a piece of meat, that costs a little less than $8. It got cooked and it is going to be stretched for the whole week. I am going to have more veggies cooked during the week. 

Did I told you that we pack our lunch and almost never buy lunch outside? 
The laundry is all done and getting line dried. I bought some tomatoes extra this week. They have to go to the freezer. 
The Valentines day is going to be on Tuesday. We will not be celebrating that. 

I did a DIY hair colouring to cover my greys. It costs $6.99 for the colour. 

I am really tempted to get a manicure after seeing my coworker's hand. She gets a manicure and pedicure for $30 every month.

 After thinking about it I finally decided not to do it. The important thing for me is to get financially independent. $360 invested will be good for that. Being a dental assistant gives me enough reasons not to colour my nails and having short nails.

Do you get manicure and pedicure every month? If you DIY your nails, what are the things you buy?

Hope, you had a relaxing weekend too.
Till next post,
With love
(The image is copied from a pinterest pin. If you want it taken down, please email me. I will remove it )

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Cleaning day!

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for visiting.

I got a few hours to myself. No work and no pressing issues to solve. So, I decided to just clean up the place. I have my re usable wipes to use.  Took one out. The smell of Lysol was powerful. Instructions on the bottle clearly says to add water to dilute it before use. Silly me, didn't read it while making the wipes.

So, I put one wipe in a bowl of water and rinsed out before using it. It still had the Lysol smell. With one wipe, I managed to wipe all the kitchen counters and backsplash.
Dusted the whole place and vacuumed too. Wow! There was still time to clean the bathtubs and bathroom flour.  My vinegar soap solution was good to clean the tub.
So, I am thinking, may be once a week, I can do this cleaning ritual.
Paper filing is another chore I have to pay attention. Tax season is coming up. I need to get everything organized. Hopefully, we will manage to do the tax by ourselves. All the necessary papers are in one place already.
Do you guys started thinking about tax filing? How you organize things? Do you have a fixed timetable for cleaning the home?

Till next post
With love