Your Life Sparkles

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Choose A Black Out Week

Posted on February 14, 2020 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Choose a Black out Week every month.

That is one week where you do ZERO spending. 

Not one cup of coffee, no impulse buys. Tell your friends 'no' to a lunch. Start with small training so you can manage your money better. I am even filling up with gas on Saturday so I can get through the week with a zero spend. 

For me, its often $9 here and $12 there that adds up. When I am in my blackout week, it keeps my mind on my money. It really makes me think about it. My goal is to sharpen my spending, resist my impulses and realise that the little amounts add up... faster than I realise. 

This training makes it easier for me to start to say 'no' to other times and other things. I realised I had a large entitlement feeling attached to things I bought- I deserved a new bathing suit, I needed new shoes, I could justifiy buying almost anything. Well, it was on sale, I hardly ever treat myself, it was only $16!

So many reasons to just buy it... when I need to shift to, 'what are the reasons to not buy it?' I don't need it, it's still money going out, does it align with my values and future goals. 

Small steps, big impact. Try a blackout week next month and see how it feels.  

Hugs from Kris 

2019- Where did your Money go? Do a review.

Posted on December 30, 2019 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

It's time! To do an annual review.


Take your bank statements, credit cards, what ever you are spending from and find out for sure.... What did you spend in 2019?


There are many ways to budget, track and do this.. but here is my simple system. Here is what I do:


I move all my banking items into one chart on excel. (I honestly just cut/copy from my online banking statements)


Then I put a number (a code I created) beside each item. This is the code I use:


1= grocery


2= car


3= house


4= entertainment


5= medical


6= savings


Then I sort (excel has features to allow this) and find out what I spent. Once I do this, I look to see where I am not aligned...where I am surprised. Then I do budget tweaking and set new goals for this year.


For me, my grocery budget will need to increase as it was higher than I anticipated. Cost of food? Overspending? Hosting too many dinner? Probably a little of each, but now I can make a plan to adjust for 2020.


It's YOUR money. YOU are the captain of the ship. Take charge and set yourself up for success

100 is the new Zero

Posted on December 30, 2019 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I pulled myself out of my overdraft. It was not easy. I had to chip down from -$500.. to -$400... to -$300 until I was OUT. ������


Even if you are NOT an overdraft user... read on to find out how '$100 is the new zero... '


Every time I got above an amount, I called my bank and lowered my overdraft. They definitely pushed back.. 'Oh no.. you need your overdraft! Are you sure? What about the security you need?'... when really.. all it did was COST me fees for use... and me not feeling good living in the NEGATIVE bank roll. (boo, negative)


Once I got to zero...and did not use overdraft for 3 months... I cancelled my overdraft. That was an amazing day and I really will never be in overdraft again. ❤️����


NEXT STEP... NOW I have ALSO made a commitment to myself that my account will never go below $100. That is my new 'ZERO'. If I am at $76... I find a way to put $24 back in! That $100 is my new buffer.. BUT it's on my terms. THAT is my new 'cushion' (instead of overdraft). AND even if you aren't in overdraft... what is your cushion? Create one today!


Over time, I have worked to raise that amount. Now cruising at $500 in my account AT ALL TIMES. (This is still *not* perfect... but when I dip below.. I have trained myself to work hard to refill it.. I have even transferred $2.54 to rebuild. Every penny counts for me!)��


I have a friend who has a $10,000 as 'ZERO' account.... if they use it for car or emergency, their priority is to rebuild to 10K immediately. I admire this so much. And though my personal goal is not 10K yet.. it is higher (working on $600 this steps... continually!).


It takes time... but if you set a goal and work towards it... little chunks at a time.. you can do it. It has worked for me. I hope it helps you too.

Grocery Budgets and Spending

Posted on December 30, 2019 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

What do you spend each month on grocery? Each week?


If you have an answer great. If you don't, I encourage you to back track- go to your debit or credit statements (or both) and add up the last 6 months to get an average. (IF more than one person buys groceries in your house- get their totals too).


Are you surprised by this number?


Is it higher or lower than expected?


From your average spending, do you want to stay the same or spend less? You can do it! Here's what I do (and have done in the past):


Click and Collect. You can fill your cart online AND if you go over your set budget, you can adjust your cart dollar value. I know my sister does this- shops on her phone at 9pm and picks up after school. It's a huge time saver for her too!


The OTHER thing this does (for me) is stops the 'impulse' buys... it really helps me manage buying no silly treats and junk. (I miss you, Silly Treats).


If you aren't into the online thing, my classic way is to shop is by writing a list.... and stick to it. (no extras! no silly treats!) It's hard but it helps.. both the wallet and the waistline!


If you train yourself to use your calculator (I know you have one- it's on your phone!)... you can add your cart up as you go. This takes a bit more time BUT if you are focused on lowering your grocery bill.. it's worth it.


What do you do to stick to grocery budget?

Multiple Accounts is MY system.. and you?

Posted on December 30, 2019 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

This works for me... it's not new and it may not work for you.. BUT I am happy to share. It took very little to set up and once I did... loved it. I have done this for 12 years now.


Multiple an account for your house...and grocery...and more.. read on.


I bank with Simplii Financial and they have NO FEE accounts so it doesn't matter how many I open, there are no fees.


I've attached a screen shot of my accounts (blacked out info so nobody can steal my $108.19 from my allowance account.. YES I give myself an allowance.)


Allowance Account- I give myself $100 per week to spend on entertainment. I have adjusted this down... and then back up ...and am still learning...THIS amount challenges me at the moment... but it also leads to better choices! This includes clothing, meals out, wine and fun stuff. Of course, I'm not perfect at this one.... My goal is to be more aware and just keep trying... (Ben also has his own allowance). THIS is the Chequing Button on my debit card.


Grocery Account- This is attached to our debit cards (joint account as well). This is only for grocery. THIS is one of the hardest one for me... I really like variety in food and we also use this for take away occasionally. THIS account has room for improvement for me. THIS is the Saving Button on my debit card.


Joint & House Account- THIS IS KEY for me. Look up your bills for the last 12 months. Hydro, Gas, City, Internet...add up the last year and then divide by 12. (NOTE I also keep a yearly total of ALL of these in Excel).


Here is my list of expenses that come out of THIS account:








Property Taxes




Fuel for Car


Car Insurance


Payment on Line of Credit (secured by house)




When I am paid I transfer the TOTAL monthly amount for these bills into this account. AND we don't touch it. That safely allocates our bills. This account is online only- everything goes out on auto payment. It is NOT attached to a debit card. (I round up and start to save a bit in this account as well. When a bill is $87.67 I add in $90.00)


Income account- when I get paid it goes into this account automatically. The DAY I am paid, I transfer into my/our accounts. I get paid 2x/month so I transfer HALF of what each account needs.


Savings- my current goal is $400 per week. I actually have a TFSA opened now (its' too far down on the screenshot but it's a TFSA.. the chequing account here is just an extra!


The KEY thing for me is once money goes into an allocated account, I do NOT touch it. The house account is really, really good. The grocery account and allowance... I have some fluctuations.


The day before my next payday I look at my income account- it DOES have extra money 'waiting' to be used... sometimes this is where we will bump up for groceries (BUT now we are REALLY aware of it!) and sometimes I will take more for allowance (a girls' gotta live) BUT I do try to resist.. because on that day before payday.. now it's really exciting.. I get to decide if I dump any remaining onto my Line of Credit or into my TFSA. I feel really proud when it's a nice amount of money! (and honestly sometimes it's less than $10 BUT I STILL pick one and transfer!)


I would love to hear comments on what you are doing that helps you succeed! AND please note.. this may not work for everyone.. but it has really helped me become aware of so many things and manage my stuff!


Money..Why we DON'T talk about it!

Posted on December 30, 2019 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Growing up, money was not discussed in my household. At least not with us as kids! We had many fabulous opportunities (travel, camps, horses, sports) and always got a new dress for occasions, school clothes in September and amazing gifts for birthdays and Christmas. But we did not have ANY meaningful conversations around money. No talk of any planning, spending, budgets, investing, mortgages, nothing at all.


I did not learn how to use or handle money for a long time. I did (unfortunately) learn that I 'deserve' a lot of things and I can buy what I want. (Enter Credit Cards and a 12 year journey of pain!)


The first time I could not pay a telephone bill in college, I remember calling my parents. Crying and feeling shame, I had to ask them for money. It was an awful experience- one I never wanted to go through again. I DID however, go through it again... a few times. AND EACH time berating myself for being stupid and not handling my money. I was very angry with myself. HOW could such a smart girl be in trouble with money?? Frequently!!!?


How did my parents pay bills? How did anybody? And where was this 'magical money' people were 'saving'? These questions flew through my mind with .. again, anger and frustration. The easiest thing for me to do was to resign, get another credit card and 'worry about it later'.


I have so much to say on my money journey. At 30, I realised I needed to make changes and get my finances together- I had to face bad credit, a black mark on my credit, multiple credit cards and loans in TWO countries.


I want to open the conversation to money and finance. I want to talk about what I am doing, where I have succeeded and failed and how I can inspire ANYONE else to get on track.


It's scary... it means I will be sharing what I actually have... and what I actually do... but I have nothing to hide. And I didn't like the Money Silence... so here is where you can read about it.


Feel free to comment, ask questions and share!

Checklist of 100

Posted on December 30, 2019 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I print and use 'Charts of 100' as checklists for MANY things. Right now I have 2 on the wall for Finance Goals.


One is 'paying off my line of credit' and one is 'savings'. In the past I used them for Credit Card Debt (there was once A LOT).


I set a goal for each one and as I slowly climb these, I mark an X to show myself what I am doing.. and to encourage myself, to hold myself accountable, to share with my husband AND to just keep going.


I like the Chart of 100... for the savings, each number is $1000. My lifetime goal is to have $400,000 in savings/investing by the time I am 60.


IF you have not thought about a future goal and an AMOUNT.. do it.


AND it's crazy... I don't believe that is enough for Ben & I to retire then. We spend time looking at other streams on income and how we will continue to generate money in our lifetime. Big stuff! BUT I am 42 and need to think about it now. I WISH I started thinking about it at 22... but I cannot turn back the clock.


My current reality is that I am saving $400 a month.... that will give me $5000 per year. I am not saving enough to reach my goal and I will spend time over the next year asking myself 'What do I need to change? What do I need to do better? How can I reach this goal?' THAT is the work I am doing. AND just because I am not on track for my goal RIGHT now.... doesn't mean I quit. I do my best and keep going.