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July 2015 archive


Our favourite Certified Financial Planner (and huge inspiration for #MoMoneyMoProgress), Shannon Lee Simmons shares some incredible tips on how to talk about money with your partner.

We talk about this often on Mo’ Money. Why? Because it can be such an awkward and challenging discussion to have!

Whether you’re in a long-term relationship right now or you plan to be in one in the future, we highly recommend you learn Shannon’s top 5 tips:

Top 5 Tips to Talk Money With Your Partner

#1. Choose your time to talk!
#2. Use ‘we’ language! (You’re a financial team)
#3. Focus on the common shared goals.
#4. Don’t be bossy.
#5. Don’t judge your partner.

Do you have tips that have worked for you?

We’ll definitely be covering this topic again and again (and again).

Sending you positive vibes for that conversation!!

 <3 Gwen

p.s. If you’re Canadian, you’re going to love The New School of Finance that Shannon is launching in the fall! Follow her on Instagram for all the updates!


RITUAL. Beware the Gloriousness that is the Pre-Paid App.

The other day I was waiting for my coffee at Jimmy’s in King West. A girl walked in, and the barista handed her a coffee without her standing in line or paying. Interesting, I thought. Either she works here or is tight with the employees.

Later that day, I heard about an app called Ritual. Ritual lets you order food from your phone so you never have to wait in line to pay again, which is probably what that girl used to grab her coffee fuss-free. My first thought: GENIUS! My second thought: I am so going to spend way more money than I actually need to.

Convenience is a debt-sentence. All these apps like Uber and Ritual that allow you to pay with your credit card through your phone can actually make you spend more than you should out of sheer ease. All you have to do is download the app (not to be confused with the other app “Ritual” that helps you break bad habits. Ironic though, isn’t it?) and enter your email. Then you’re asked to enter your work email to see if you qualify to be on the invite list.


Currently, Ritual is invite-only for corporate employees in certain areas in Toronto. So far, the only participating areas are King West, the Entertainment District, Liberty Village, and St. Lawrence Market. Right now they have a promotion going on where if you sign up you get $5 off your first order, and then $10 off the next. Pretty sweet, right? The app even starts to remember your habits and will start sending you reminders that it’s time for that 2pm coffee you need so badly but couldn’t remember to get unless reminded (LOL).

I’m not totally against apps that use your credit card information to make payment easier; I just think they should be exercised with caution.

What are your thoughts?

What do you like/dislike about the app?

Do you find you spend more when you don’t have to think about how you’re going to pay?





If you’ve ever lent a friend or family member money, you may have found yourself in a tricky situation. Lending money can be an awkward thing. Friendships can even be ruined if handled poorly.

I’ve definitely been burned before, but it was a combination of things that went awry. So to help you avoid all that tension and passive aggressive digs, here are 5 tips to help you when it comes to lending people money.

counting money

When it comes to helping out a friend with money problems we want to do whatever we can. Unfortunately if that friend needs money and you know you can’t give them the full amount they need, DON’T DO IT! First of all if you can’t give them money without putting yourself in the hole, you shouldn’t be lending it in the first place.

Now if you do have some cash you can spare without putting yourself financial danger, make sure you only give what you can afford. A small sum can help a friend who is in need, or even lending a hand with errands, buying them some groceries etc can make an impact.

Now when I say keep a record of it I mean the basics. You’ll need the person’s name, date you lent them the money, how much you lent them and a payment plan you’ve decided upon. This way you’ll be able to hold them and yourself accountable for your actions. By keeping a record of the transaction you’ll be less likely to forget how much you lent them and not have to search back in your bank account to make sure the full amount was paid.

I have been in horrible situations where I have lent someone money and long periods of time had passed without them paying me back. When I approached them about returning the moolah I was met with frustration since I never said WHEN I needed it back. To avoid this awfulness, before you lend them the money set a date down the line when you expect to have the full amount paid in full.

Depending on how much you lent, the length of time can vary for your final repayment date. Take time and talk to the person you are lending money to pick a day that you both agree on. This will help you avoid conflict in the future.

This tip goes hand-in-hand with #3. When you do decide what day you want the full payment to be returned, set up Google Reminders on the Google Calendar. Sit down with the person who you’re lending your money to and pick days for them (and yourself) to receive a quick reminder. This way it frees you up from that awkward convo you’ll have from time to time to remind them to pay you. If they’re with you when you set these reminders it won’t seem so passive aggressive. Plus, setting up these reminders will do exactly that, remind the person that their end date is approaching and that they should be getting their money ready to pay you back.

If you have the means to lend out larger sums of money (for rent, tuition etc) and you already know that the person you are lending it to can’t pay it all back as a lump sum, I would suggest creating a payment plan. With the person that you’re lending the money to figure out how much they can afford to pay you back at a time until the debt is paid in full. This could be 100.00 (or more) per month or smaller increments spread out in the month. You need to communicate with each other and figure out what is best for you both. Utilize the tips above to help solidify your payment plan.

You don’t want Rihanna situation and get all mafia on them.

Keep your lines of communication open, be prepared for unforeseen situations (be boy scout ready) and think really hard if you are actually okay with lending your money.

Do you have any tips when it comes to lending money? How about some of your own stories on the matter? Share your thoughts in the comments!



If you’ve moved home with your parents, or are thinking about it to save some money, you’re about to meet your new inspiration. LC Johnson is a 27 year old blogger, entrepreneur and business coach.

After living independently for years, she has just moved back home with her husband’s parents in Columbus, Ohio. They’re working on saving to purchase a house.

LC has launched a web series called ‘Black, Married and Hustling’ to document her experience moving home with the in-laws ‘rents while running her business.

Let it be known that this is the realest series to hit the interwebs in 2015. You’ll see in episode one, that it’s not a cake walk. Her new office for the first few days is a lower bunk.


What is truly inspiring about the series is how much LC owns where she is.

So many online entrepreneurs are ‘faking it to make it,’ but LC is sharing what it really takes to go from starting again to earning that six figure pay-check (it’s going to happen).

What we can expect from season one:

  • How to navigate huge life transitions (like marriage and moving)
  • Income streams and how to develop a signature process or product
  • Funding options for ideas that are bigger than your bank account

Also, you’ve GOTTA check out LC’s site []. She offers so many helpful resources and tools that she personally uses to run her business.

We’ll be tuning in and are excited to support LC along the way.

If you love the series spread the word!!
<3 Gwen




To get you in the right mindset for what you’re about to read, I highly suggest you play this song. It’ll defs getcha in the mood.

Alrighty, now let’s get to the good stuff!

For those of us who like to globe trot when the season is hot, but don’t have the bank to get very far, I have 10 ways for you to save some money for your world-wide adventuring.

This means you have to take a hard look at your finances. You need o make a smart decision about how much you want to pay for this trip. Sure you can decide $3000.00, but if your finances only allow for half of that you might end up will oodles of debt. You may not have your dream vaycay in Aruba, but you can still have tons of fun in Hawaii without having to mortgage your life to afford going.

Now that you have the idea of how much it’ll cost this is when you start to save your pennies. Grab an empty jar and everyday throw in your loose change. As we saw in Gabby’s June Challenge: Loose Change you can start racking up some major cash. I’d also suggest to take advantage of tax-free savings accounts. When I took my first vacation to Italy, I made the decision to put $10.00 every Friday into my savings. It surprisingly added up really fast. But for those whose vacation has a closer deadline, I’d suggest putting $100.00 in your account each month.

*Remember: You aren’t just saving for your plane and hotel ticket. You have to have cash to spend for transportation, food, and goodies you plan to bring back with you. Keep this in mind when you are building your budget.*

When researching primo tickets and times for flights, keep an eye out for package deals. Instead of booking your flight and hotel separately you could save money by buying them together. Make sure you do your research and not get sucked into something that looks like a deal. Look at different sites and different airlines, but don’t dismiss the package deals. Sometimes you can get some touristy things thrown in on the cheap as well.

Sure, you just want to get to your vacation as fast as possible without any delays or stops, but sometimes a little layover is a good thing. Jumping from one plane to the next instead of a straight shot to your destination can cut down airfare costs. Plus a little plane hopping can be fun. Take advantage of your layover and explore until your next flight (this depends on how long it is until your connecting flight). If you have a couple of hours to kill wander about, meet some new people, even do some duty-free shopping! Just don’t miss your flight out.

Once you’ve figured out where and when you want to go, you’ve planned out a budget and got the moolah saved up, book your tickets as early as you can. Booking flights early will actually save you some cash (which can then be used to supplement your budget). Waiting until the last-minute can cause you to buy tickets with their prices jacked sky-high (it’s like they know you need it and will pay whatever to get it). Planning ahead is key to cutting costs for a trip.

I know it’s tempting to go somewhere hot when it’s cold or take a cruise in the middle of the summer, but this is when prices will be at their highest. Taking a trip during the off-seasons will save you money from disgustingly high tickets and overpriced hotels, but will allow you to avoid the throngs of tourists. Now you’ll get to enjoy your time off without being surround by hoards of people #chillaxin’.

I know that you’ll want to be prepared for any situation that may arise on your trip, but a heavy suitcase can mean an added cost. You don’t want to pay a luggage fee while you’re at the airport because you packed too many sweaters or a stack of books that you won’t get to reading. Bring the necessities and leave some space since you’ll be coming back with some souvenirs as well. When I travel I would bring a single suitcase, but it would be a bit larger. This way on my travel back I would have room for anything I bought on my travels without having to worry that my suitcase was too heavy.

Save yourself a lot of grief and watch the exchange rate on the currency that you need for your trip. Sure you can go to a bank and get the cash you need, but you may be paying more than if you had gone the week before. Checking to see if the dollar has dropped or has gone up can be the difference between paying $100.00 and only getting $70.00 back or actually getting your money’s worth.

Before you start makin’ it rain while you are on your trip, plan out how much you think you’d be spending each day. if you are planning specific activities while you are there, put that money aside. You won’t want to be short on cash and have to take some out at a local ATM. You will be hit hard with high fees if that happens.
Creating yourself a daily allowance will also keep you smart when it comes to your spending. We all get a little bit of vacation brain and buy stuff we don’t need. Making a budget will keep your #mindonyourmoney and your wallet happy.

When you go on vaycay you aren’t really thinking about what you’re going to be eating each day. Once your tummy is a’ grumblin’ you head over to the nearest restaurant. As delish as it may be, eating out will burn through your daily allowance. Food is all part of the vacation experience so make sure you’ve allotted a certain amount for eating out. To save yourself even more money is to go grocery shopping. I know it sounds ridiculous running errands on your time to relax, but making your own food and picking up ready-made snacks will keep your wallet full and your bank account happy. Plus it’s always interesting to see what they have in their aisle and try something new.

Being in a strange place, especially one where you don’t speak the native language can be stressful when you are trying to get around. Usually our go-to would to hop in a cab. The only thing is that cabs are super expensive. Plus some cabbies (not all, there are tons that are all kinds of rad) will try to take advantage of you since you are a tourist. They might take longer routes so you pay more. I’ve seen instances where cabbies will jack up the price after the ride is over because they know you’ll pay instead of haggling them down.

This is why using public transit is amazing. Take advantage of the subway, buses and streetcars. It’ll give you a real opportunity to have an adventure, learn your way around and meet new people. Plus public transit won’t change their prices because you are a tourist. It’s the same fare everyone pays. Also you can save even more if you get a day pass/weekly pass (depending how long your stay is) if you plan on doing a lot of travelling about.

Let us know if you have any sweet vacation tips that we missed below in the comments!


Happy travels!


Ladies, is the scarcity mindset bringing you down? I mean, truly gnawing at you, as you feel like there is ‘never enough’ and you’re never going to figure this whole money and abundance thing out?

We hear you.

We’re on the search for simple tools and techniques to #StartSmall to help you get on track. Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress Magnate, Marie Forleo lays it down in this super fun and easy to learn from video. She shares six ways to turn the money frown upside down:

We especially love Tip #4: Start a Fun Fund!

What do you do when you’re suffering from the scarcity mentality? Share your tips and advice in the comment section below!

<3 Gwen



A few weeks ago I hired my sister to help with the research aspect of a media project I took on. We’d worked together in the past so we knew each other’s working style and quality of work. At the time we were both uber busy, so we had a couple of phone calls about the project, then shared details on payment and timeline via email.

We thought we had this on lock.

Flash forward a month or so later, both of us had forgotten the details of our deal (including payment details).

UGH! Rookie mistake!

We both went back through our emails, but it wasn’t clear on how much I was to pay her (as the project got more complex than initially anticipated).

So at the end of the day, I think I either sent her too much money, or she did not receive the full value of the work she did.

This is what I like to call a ‘side hustle fail.’ Luckily, we’re sisters and we’re not going to stop being sisters over this incident, but if we were friends or peers, the situation may not have ended favourably.

This wake-up call is what inspired these three very important tips for hiring friends and family!

Top 3 Tips:

1. After the negotiations, immediately create the contract.
Don’t wait. When the conversation is fresh in both of your minds write it down and both sign it. The contract doesn’t have to be an eighteen page behemoth that looks like your phone contract. Just be sure to have all the details down and have both parties sign.

2. Don’t accept family and friend discounts for important projects.
I’ve made this mistake in the past. Never again. It can be tempting to take the discount that a friend or family may offer you. Don’t do it. Pay them their proper wage if you expect their best work. If the person you’re working with is a busy entrepreneur they may start to resent the fact that you are paying them a fraction of what a regular client would pay.

3. Start with a temporary contract.
When working with friends and family, I suggest you test the waters before diving in on a huge project. You may love hanging out with that particular friend or family member, but it may not mean you love working with them. When I work with someone for the first time, I give them a smaller project as I want to ‘date’ before I ‘marry’ 😉

We would love to hear your stories and tips on how to work with friends and family members! As side hustling and entrepreneurship becomes much more popular, it’s so much more important to arm yourself with information before diving into a new business relationship.

– Gwen


loose bright


So my challenge for June was to collect all my loose change and roll it up at the end of the month to see how much I banked. At the end of the day, the change in my purse, in my clothes, on the ground, and around my apartment all went into a jar. I was pretty surprised to see how quickly it added up! My jar even started to overflow!

jar books

Grab a jar and start collecting!

When the end of the month rolled around it was time to get counting!
GRAND TOTAL: $57!!!!

loose coins

That’s a lot for just a month. But I’m not complaining 😉

Hmmm…what to do with it? Maybe since I’ve been throwin’ hunnids (not really) with all these birthdays lately, I think the best decision is to just put it back in my bank account.

Next time you’re at the bank, ask the Tellers for some rolls, otherwise you’ll look like me and show up with several plastic bags full of coins…haha.


Drinks on me!! NOT.

…Then they made me roll them myself off to the side. So, yeah. Just grab some rolls whenever it’s most convenient for you, or you may get told that your rolling technique is terrible, like I did…


Just look at that form! #flawless

Happy savings!

-Gabby <3


I always thought that I hand a handle on curbing any impulses that I had when it came to my purchases. I don’t buy coffee, I don’t buy alcohol, I don’t buy cigarettes, I like to save up my money for things I really want and things I really need. I occasionally splurge, but it’s always within my budget.

This past month was incredibly busy for me and surprisingly took a toll on my wallet. Going into this challenge I assumed I would impulse buy maybe one or two things and would only rack up about $50.00 of unnecessary spending.

Boy was I WAAAAAAY off. I ending up spending $150.00 on things I did not really need.

genie mouth drop

And what did I blow my money on you ask?


Food is my weakness, my kryptonite, so to speak.

patrick eating food

Now I’m not grouping in purchasing stuff from the grocery store as an impulse buy. I’m talking about ordering food online, grabbing a burger instead of packing a lunch, and giving into my sweet-tooth and buying bags of chocolate covered almonds to gorge myself at work.


Looking at my bank account, it didn’t really make that big of a dent, but it did make me realize that I have to be more aware on what I spend my money on. I’m not going to give up on food (cuz you kinda need it to live), but I’m going to be more conscious on what I buy. I’m going to be strong and say no to Hero Burger and yes to a sandwich I made the night before. I shall say nay to buying lunch at Shoppers Drug Mart (yeah poor decision making there), and yay to going grocery shopping on my breaks.


In order to hold myself accountable for my random munchies impulse buying, I’ve tasked myself with learning new cheap and easy recipes and making them for lunch and dinner. I have a giant chalkboard in my house, so each day I write down what I’m going to eat during the week and how much I should be spending. This giant visual keeps me on track and less inclined to break the bank every time my stomach growls.


This was definitely a wake up call for me and hopefully it’ll get you thinking about what you impulse buy.

– Karyn


Holy moly it’s the end of Season 1 for the MO’ MONEY, MO’ PROGRESS podcast! To finish Season 1 with a bang we were able to interview the wonderful and incredibly successful Lesley-Anne Scorgie.

Lesley-Ann Scorgie is a best-selling author of personal finance, creator of a software and coaching platform to help you reach your full financial potential. Lesley-Anne has also been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show, she’s a columnist for Metro News and has been featured on MTV, Marilyn Denis, the CBC and more. She’s also been on the Top 40 Under 40 and Top 100 Most Powerful Women list! Learn more at:


Have a listen and tell us what you think in the comments below!

Download the podcast here:

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