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February 2015 archive


Has this happened to you? One minute you’re out to buy ‘one thing,’ but somehow the pull of Starbs is too strong and you buy that latte. Then you pass by the drug store, and realize you’re low on shampoo, only to leave the store with $60.00 worth of necessities. And now you’re hungry, where’s the food??!….and wait, you have a job interview coming up…NEW BLAZER TIME! Ahhhggg.

It happens.
The spending bender. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Spending bender (def’n): Making a sh*t ton of irrational purchases. Symptoms include: anger, disappointment, frustration, feeling out of control, and a full on buying hangover.

Much like planning to have ‘one drink’ at the bar with friends, somehow one of those nights, that one drink turns into a couple pitchers and tequila shots. The next day you feel like complete sh*t and have major regrets. The same feelings (minus the puking hopefully) happens when you go on a spending bender.
All that unexpected buying can leave you feeling gutted and all of your work to save is destroyed. I’m a fairly savvy spender, but I have these spending benders every once in awhile that I need to curb. Unfortunately, I can’t quit shopping cold turkey, so I’ve come up with a few strategies to avoid the buying hangover.

1. Get out of the line of fire.
The moment you realize you’ve gone off the deep end, get the hell outta dodge. Start walking home (or somewhere, where your credit card is useless immediately).

2. Breathe and forgive yourself.
Once out of the line of fire, drop you purchases, sit down and breathe. Feel the feelings of disappointment or anger and let them pass through you. Once you let the negative emotions arise and pass, forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, and you need to be compassionate towards yourself.

3. Take a look at the damage.
I suggest doing this the following day, when the disappointment and anger isn’t as strong. You need to realize there are consequences to your spending benders, so you’ve gotta take a look at the damage. Remember that the hangover is temporary, and if you face it head-on, you’ll recover quicker.

How do you deal with a spending bender and the buying hangover?


Oh, Richard Branson, is there anything you don’t know?
The other day I read an article. It spoke to me, and I realized there is no better time to start a business than right now.

Here’s the thing. If you want to enter the entrepreneurial world, being under 25 is the perfect moment to start. I know, you’re probably thinking, “But Gaaaab, I have no money, no time, no connections…”

YES! Yes you do. You’re richer than you think in all of those aspects of your life–you’re just too obsessed with Keeping Up With the Kardashians to realize it!

Think about it:

You have the least amount of consistently large bills or regular financial outgoings like mortgage, insurance, etc. Not to mention, KIDS. According to, the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is $243,660…PARDON. And that’s before you send them off to university, or what have you.

2. We are so time-rich and don’t even realize it.
Majority of under 25’s are in post-secondary, or a working student in a low-level role. What we choose to do with our spare time is critical. Yes, studying and nine-to- fives take up a substantial chunk of time, but outside of that all you have to do is plant the seed and work away on it bit by bit! Starting small is key.

3. You talk to literally so many people.
found ma peeps
You surround yourself every day with people in all different career paths. Branch out from your typical friend group and develop relationships with people who have complimentary skills to you! Network, network, network. Of course, I realize these not all of these aspects will apply to everyone, but they will apply to the majority of under 25’s.

Let me hit you with some knowledge, Richard Branson style:
When you’re older than 25, your life doesn’t get any less complicated. Make the time to start something you’ll eventually be smart enough to do anyways, then you won’t have to look back and think, “If only I started sooner, I could have succeeded sooner.” BRUH. You got this.

Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries,

Gabby Elliot: Branding Boss + Chief Copywriter

Link to original article:


Gabby Elliot: Branding Boss + Chief Copywriter


Age: 21 and FABULOUS

What are you currently working on?
Currently working on entering in some advertising competitions; working at a killer ad agency trying to get my foot in the door as a copywriter!

What was your first job out of uni/college?
I’m currently a student in the Humber Advertising Program.  Here, I worked as a referee at the gym, then advanced to gym supervisor (which I’m currently still doing to make some $$$ on the side). I was briefly a barista at a local cafe, and recently I landed an amazing gig at one of Toronto’s most talked-about advertising agencies!

My Guilty Pleasure I splurge on:
Probably garlic-stuffed olives. Don’t even judge, they make me feel fancy haha.

My Money Worry:
Worrying too much about money in general. WHEN WILL IT STOP?!

My Money Goal:
I want to be able to buy the fancy Ramen noodles without crying in the grocery store.

Weird fact:
I can wiggle my nose and ears at the same time.

Favourite Drink:
I’ll never say no to a gin and tonic 😉

Fave quote:
“It could be worse.”

Fave musicians:
Lana Del Rey, Sam Smith, Adele (Into that soul music, apparently)

Least Favourite Musicians:
Mariana’s Trench (shudder).

Weirdest Job:
I was in a Grey Cup commercial for TSN. They paid me $500 to twirl around screaming “WOOO!” with a laptop in my hands. It’s about who you know, people.

Fave Emoji:


The best thing money has bought me:
The responsible side of me wants to say my education. The cool kid inside of me wants to say knee-high boots.

Fun fact:
I’ve played dodgeball for the past 4 years on the Lakeshore Hawks team! This year we’re going to Detroit to play in a tournament! Wish me luck!

Twitter: @Gabs_Elliot
Insta: @strawbrryblonde


Karyn Elliot: Micromanager + Chief GIF Maker


Age: 23
At heart: 12

What are you currently working on?
FINDING A JOBBBB *sad face*. I’ve never been unemployed before so it’s a very weird feeling for me to have a lot of downtime. So while I look for a job in my field I’m also working on being okay with not constantly being busy.

What was your first job out of uni/college?
Working at the Ryerson University front desk for the Student Residences

My Guilty Pleasure I splurge on:
Movies, comics, movies, books, TV shows, movies, comic book memorabilia, manga… Did I say movies?

My Money Worry:
I won’t be able to pay back my OSAP and gain so much debt that I will be paying it back… FOREVER!

My Money Goal:
To keep paying off my OSAP with ease, while saving up enough money to go on a trip to Scotland!

The best thing money has bought me:
My university education. Going to the big city (I’m from the middle of NOWHERE) and finally getting to experience everything while going to school for something I really enjoy was totally worth it.

Weird fact(s):
I can’t leave my house until I make my bed. I’ve only ever done it once when I was uber sick in university (that’s when I knew I was REALLY sick).
I have an inventory of all of my movies, comic books and novels. I continuously update them all the time.
I also keep all of my old receipts in my TARDIS.

Fave boy band:
N’sync, NKOTB, Super Junior

Fave quote:
“I wear a mask. And that mask, it’s not to hide who I am, but to create what I am.” – Batman

Fave musicians:
Ghost BC, Kansas, HURTS, Asia, Kenny Loggins, Nirvana, Sex Pistols, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Allie X, Survivor, Queen, the list goes on

Weirdest Freelance Job:
My freelancing days haven’t been that weird, but I did create my own house cleaning business and I gotta tell you… I’ve cleaned up some weird/nasty things that made me glad I was wearing gloves (guhhhh *shudder*)

Fave Songza Playlist:
Trans Am Rock/Classic Rock

Fave Emoji:
(Reminds me of the Punisher).
There really should be a Batman one (I would use it for EVERYTHING!!!)

Fun fact:
I’ve kept every ticket stub from every film that I’ve watched since first year in a box and I plan on scrapbooking them when I’m older (to show people how much of a nerd I was).

Twitter: @KFilmFanatic
Insta: @karynelliot


Monique Elliot: Resident Reporter + Chief Editor


Age: 24

What are you currently working on?
I’m working on building relationships with fantastic clients as a freelance reporter, writer, and editor so that we can still work together productively when I move to the UK for a few months later this year.

What was your first job out of uni/college?
My unpaid radio internship in Ghana aside, I moved to Thunder Bay as soon as I got back and got hired as a freelance journalist by The Chronicle-Journal, a daily newspaper, and DAVIDsTEA at the same time.

My Guilty Pleasure I splurge on:
It’s probably cabbing. I take public transit (super fiscally responsible, eh?) and when I cab somewhere, it feels like a double shot of luxury since it’s usually because I got to fit in a little extra sleep.

My Money Worry:
My income fluctuates as a freelancer, and I’m usually worried to some degree that I’ll have a devastating “feast or famine” situation where if I leave my part-time job, I’ll eventually experience a time where I have no work/income and not enough in savings to support myself if/when that does happen.

My Money Goal:
To save up/earn enough to freelance from wherever I want, while living comfortably and having fun!

The best thing money has bought me:
Experiences. I never would have almost fallen down a mountain, made amazing friends, or made so many crucial life choices without the ability to choose which direction I wanted to go.

Weird fact:
I wear flowers in my hair in the dead of winter.

Fave boy band:
N*SYNC will always have a special place in my heart.

Fave quote:
“Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.”

Fave musicians:
Emancipator, Obedear, Disturbed, Depeche Mode, Ed Sheeran

Weirdest Freelance Job:
I’d say my jobs have been pretty standard – I’ve just had many interviews with unusual or colourful characters. It’s never boring!

Fave Songza Playlist:
Ambient Bass

Fave Emoji:


Fun fact:
I practised Okinawan-style karate and also attended a samurai school for several years growing up. I later became one of the junior instructors, teaching katas and weapons training to students, including wooden bokken swords, and bo staffs. I’ve also trained with metal sais (think Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

 Twitter: @monique_elliot


Gwen Elliot: Marketing + Chief PodcasterGwen

Age: 26 (I’m the old and wise one…BAHA)

What are you currently working on?
Marketing + Community for a Toronto startup, producing a TV show called The Naked Entrepreneur that will air on OWN Canada in 2015, and media strategy at

What was your first job out of uni/college?

Working part time as a hostess at a steakhouse (I was a vegetarian at the time). I was commuting (by bus) three hours there and back for this job. Let’s just say I couldn’t have afforded a steak even if I wanted one.

My Guilty Pleasure I splurge on:

Blazers. If I see one in a different colour I NEED to have it. Also food. I always justify buying food thinking, “I NEED to eat.” Also beer. K, I’m done here.

My Money Worry:

Not being able to experience all that life has to offer because I can’t afford it. I don’t want to look back at my life when I’m 80 and say, “Man, I wish I got the money together to go to Hawaii.” (*real desire*)

My Money Goal:
Pay off my student loan + afford my random impulse purchases. Also, to feel as awesome about money as I do when I watch Super Soul Sunday. ZEN + INSPIRED.

The best thing money has bought m
Coffee. Well specifically almond mistos. Lots of them. On the bigger side  I would say a trip to Bali for Awesomenessfest. It was such a beautiful experience and I made so many awesome international pals!

Weird fact:

I really love ‘Spice World’

Fave boy band:

One Direction. Or Hanson. Or ‘Nsync. Or Backstreet Boys. Dammit. They’re all good. HI HARRY!

Fave q
“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn.

Fave musicians:

Right now, Biggie Smalls (inspiration behind our site name). Also peeps like Miguel, Drake, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, the Pop Remixes on Songza, the odd country song. I realize by writing this that I need to expand my horizons past Top 40.

Weirdest Freelance Job:
I got paid $100.00 to be a Wii guard for a TV shoot. I was literally paid $100.00 to STAND THERE and make sure no one stole the Wii controllers.

Fave Songza Playlist:

Cardio Hip Hop or Code Your Face Off (I don’t code – but I love the intensity of the music).

Fave Emoji:


The best thing money has bought me:

Love. And education.

Fun fac
I once interned at a music promotion company and had the opportunity to go on Pitbull’s tour bus to meet him. I turned it down due to genuine fear of not knowing what to say or do. I regret that moment and have been living life to the fullest ever since.

Twitter: @gwenelliot
Insta: @gwenelliot


Your bank account lookin’ a little empty? The pressures of debt weighing you down?
Well, let’s shake off our money woes together with these 10 songs about money that will get your rear in gear!

1. Independent Woman – Destiny’s Child

2. Gold Digger – Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx

3. Money Ain’t A Thang – Jermaine Dupri ft Jay-Z

4. Rich Girl – Gwen Stefani ft. Eve

5. It’s All About The Benjamins – Puff Daddy ft. Notorious B.I.G, The LOX & Lil’ Kim

6. Glamourous – Fergie ft. Ludacris

7. Whatever You Like – T.I

8. Ride Wit Me – Nelly ft. St. Lunatics

9. I Get Money – 50 Cent

10. Money (That’s What I Want) – Flying Lizzards




My first survival job was working as a hostess at a steakhouse (I was a vegetarian at the time). As a recent graduate of a Radio and Television Program, I couldn’t find a paid TV gig, so it was the #restaurantlyfe for me.
I quickly realized part-time hostessing would simply not pay the bills, and I was becoming increasingly defeated.
With no TV opportunities in sight, and my optimism for my future hanging by a thread, I knew I had to make a change.
The catalyst for me was the ‘breakdown before the breakthrough’ – I simply couldn’t take struggling anymore and knew I had to make a change.
This change lead me to these three tips I’m thrilled to share about picking the right ‘survival job.’

1. Begin with the End in Mind.

looking for a job
I knew I would be leaving the restaurant world. I knew I needed a job with a fresh start every day, so when I left I wouldn’t leave my employers high and dry.  Working as a barista or bartender is a great gig if you know you’re going to be peacing out down the line.

2. Shift Your Mindset. You’re now ‘Funding The Dream’

dream jar
The term ‘survival jobbing’ sounds stressful. Shift the language around it to believe you’re now  ‘funding your dream’ – AWESOME! I stumbled across this term on the interwebs and it helped me realize that I could use this to help me find a positive aspect of working towards something great.

3. Find a Survival Job that Mirrors Your Dream Job.

find my dream job
I chose working in a restaurant because I knew it would have a lot of similar aspects to my dream job at the time: hosting a TV show. I was representing a brand, I was ‘the face’ of the organization, I had to be cool, calm and collected, and have the ability to instantly connect with people. So look for a ‘survival job’ (or volunteer experience) that has similar qualifications to your dream job so when you go into the interview for your ideal gig, you can intelligently explain why you’re currently working at a restaurant.

4. Be Strategic with the Restaurant or Coffee Shop.

pie chart
When I was working at the steakhouse, I quickly realized I didn’t like my surroundings. I was surrounded by extremely rich businessmen who saw right through me, and my colleagues tended to complain about their situation a lot. Since I didn’t have any TV opportunities, I figured I go to where the TV people are and find a job there. On a whim, I applied to one of the fanciest restaurants in the city. It was for an upscale clientele (celebrities and professional athletes were frequently there), and it was right across the street from one of the biggest TV networks in the country. Through a lil’ bit of luck, I got the job. And guess what – a few months into the gig, a TV producer I used to work with came in for lunch, we caught up, and she ended up giving me my foot in the door for my first TV job!

These are the tips I’d suggest looking back on my survival jobbing days! You got this!

– Gwen Elliot: Marketing + Chief Podcaster

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