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Archive of ‘Monthly Money Challenges’ category

KARYN’S MARCH CHALLENGE: TRANSIT TROUBLE

For those of us who don’t own a car, we rely on transit to get us places. Recently in Toronto they hiked up the transit fare prices. As someone who was unemployed when this was announced, it really burned my muffins.

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I had to buy a metropass if I wanted to get anywhere, but with prices going up would it be worth it? My March Challenge was to see if buying the new and more expensive metropass made any difference and if I would save any money.

I started keeping tabs on every where I went and what type of transit I used, whether it was the bus, streetcar or subway. I also noted on whether I would be able to get a transfer or if I would have to pay an extra fare. To my surprise I actually travelled quite a bit (this may be due to me snagging a job… FINALLY!). Mostly it was back and forth from work, but if I had just been paying the cash fare, it’d be $6.00 everyday.

I assumed that I’d be losing money on the weekends when I had nowhere to really be, but that wasn’t the case. I sometimes spent more money on the weekends than at any other time. Running errands and chillin’ with my famjam really added up. Even though I didn’t travel every day I still would’ve spent oodles of cash, metropass or not.

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So my grand travel total for March was $174.00. I was able to save $32.50 when buying a metropass. Now while I was doing some lovely math I wanted to see if I could’ve saved money using other offered passes.

If I have purchased the Weekly Pass for $40.75, I wouldn’t have saved anything, but actually spent an extra $5.95. This is the same for the $11.50 Day Pass, which would have only saved me .50 on 2 days, but ultimately costing me $5.89 at the end of the month.

So I guess that the transit fare increase didn’t really affect me too much. I still saved over 30 bucks and it got me to work on time. Thanks TTC.

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Let me know about your transit money-saving stories or if you have any gripes about increases in your area.

Keep it real!

Karyn Elliot: Micromanager + Chief GIF Maker

KARYN’S FEBRUARY CHALLENGE: ASK FOR TASK

The Challenge: To make 100.00 by completing tasks on Ask For Task

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As a person who was unemployed for the entire month of February, the thought of making some side money without the need for pesky interviews and making resumes really peaked my interest.

Signing up for Ask For Task was a breeze, but I really suggest that if you want to really use it on the go to download their app. It’s wicked awesome and supa dupa easy to use.

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So for the first 1 week all I did was apply for tasks every day. Many of these were for cleaning apartments or running errands for people. At first I didn’t get much of a response, but soon I had my first task.

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On February 10th I was to meet a guy named Tom to pick up Hockey Hall of Fame tickets. Seems simple right? Well, for someone like me who isn’t the greatest at directions I got easily turned around and slightly lost.

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Luckily I found my way and met my Tasker. What made my first task so special was that it was actually the people from Ask For Task! They were giving away free tickets and I was lucky enough to win them (plus earn the promised 20.00 for the task)! I also got to meet the magical staff who work at Ask For Task and I’ve gotta say that they are some wonderfully epic people.

4 - barney highes of fives

So with my first “task” completed I was ready to kick my challenge into high gear. Every morning I went onto their app and applied for as many tasks as I could. I found that leaving messages for the people posting the tasks got me a quicker response because it showed that I really wanted it opposed to people that just applied.

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In the end, the majority of the tasks I completed were for cleaning apartments. I’ve had experience in cleaning homes before. So for those who have never done it before, you need to make sure you set boundaries with the people you clean for, what they want you to clean, a set wage and a set time for cleaning. Sometimes it can get weird and the stuff you clean can be a little strange, but remember that you are making some side hustle money and it’ll be all worth it.

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I was able to make 105.00 just by using Ask For Task which was incredibly ballin’, but it may not be for everyone. You need to be good at directions (which I am still working on), have the ability to travel using transit or your own vehicle (all about dat metropass), and be comfortable dealing with strangers. Plus when dealing with strangers you always want to make sure you’re safe. Always make sure you’re cautious in the sense that someone knows where you are going and when you’ll be done (just for safety’s sake). Better safe than sorry, if ya know what I mean.

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Let me know if you’ve used the site before and how you felt about it, or if you are a first time user tell us how it goes!

Good luck and have fun makin’ dat cash money!

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March Challenge:With a new job and a new commute, I wanted to see if buying a Metropass was actually worth it. Especially now that in Toronto the price of a monthly pass went up 10 bucks.

I’ll be logging everyday to see how often I use it, or if I even use it at all, to find out if shelling out oodles of cash is worth your commute.
Stay tuned!

Karyn Elliot – Micromanager + Chief GIF Maker

GWEN’S FEBRUARY CHALLENGE: FOOD!

My February challenge was to cut down on buying food on the go.

In January, I apparently spent $713.43 on groceries, eating out and coffee. Dear God.

My goal for February was to cut that number in half, ideally spending $356.72.

Here’s the grand total:
I spent $450.99 on food in February.

I did not reach my goal by $100.00.

Am I sad?

Hell no.

I shaved nearly $300 off of how much I spent in January.

A few things happened in February that took me off course (of reaching the goal) that I want to mention:

  • I broke up with my boyfriend.
  • Work life got cray.

I wanted to mention the above points as each of them seriously affected me.

After I broke up with my boyfriend I went off the rails a bit spending-wise. Somehow buying a latte instead of a regular coffee felt justified. And I’d buy one-off things like an expensive chocolate bar or a green smoothie and not really give it extra thought.

It’s also shocking to note that I didn’t do a huge grocery shopping trip in February. I mostly survived on eating out. This stresses me out though, as I know that the food I was eating was not incredibly healthy as most of it was filled with sodium. Ugh.

So in conclusion, I realized that it is SOOOO easy to fall off the wagon when a big life event happens. And what I would do differently next time is to not try to ‘numb’ my emotions or ignore finances entirely when dealing with a life challenge.

My March Challenge:
I spent $118.44 on Ubers in February alone. OMG. Some of them were for work purposes, but most were frivolous and I was just damn cold and took the ride.

I would like to half the amount I’m spending on Uber’s in March. This would equal $59.22.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on my money adventures!

<3 Gwen

Marketing + Chief Podcaster

MONIQUE’S FEBRUARY CHALLENGE: FREELANCING

At the end of January, when everyone was still flying high off the idea of New Year’s resolutions, the Sisterpack decided that each sister would take on a financial challenge – big or small – each month in 2015. (Errr, well… starting in February!) These goals could be anything to do with financial self-awareness, saving or spending habits, or developing creative side-hustle ideas! The possibilities are endless! (And so are the $$$)

My February challenge was to make – and save! – $500 from my freelancing work. Basically, I had to save $500 in one month from only one half of my income streams (I also work a steady part-time job that keeps the income flowin’ while I build my business).

I didn’t quite make the cut this month. I saved $100. Whoops.

Freelancing has been my “side hustle” since I graduated and I’ve been working Rise&GrindBitchesto make it my main income stream since I started.

Granted, I knew from the beginning that saving $500 would be a stretch since most of my freelancing work depends on the availability of work from clients, and how much time I dedicated to pitching and networking. But hey, #startsmallfinishBIG am I right?!

I set the $500 challenge after looking over what SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. It could be argued that I glossed over Achievable and Realistic, but sometimes you’ve just gotta aim really high!

While I didn’t achieve my goal (since, y’know, bills are a thing), I got assigned an article for a local newspaper I write for, edited content for a website redesign and, through networking, I gained an ebook editing and formatting project that will be worth more than $600 in the end. That’s almost $1,000 manifested in February after a slooow January. Woo hooooooo!!

2 Broke Girls - Max - Woot Woot

My real challenge, it seemed, was to simply make more money freelancing so that I could justify socking away a huge chunk of change. I learned so much about the value of negotiation and networking in February. (But that’s another post for another day 😉 )

My March challenge:

To get a job interview set up in a foreign country. I’m going to Liverpool, England for two weeks at the end of the month (it’s also where I plan to move next year!), so I’m laying the groundwork. Wish me luck!

High fives and good vibes!

<3 Monique

Resident Reporter + Chief Editor