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August 2016 archive

If Money Were No Object…

Have you ever had those magical thoughts about what you would buy if you had all kinds of moolah? Well, the other day Gwen and I were talking about what we would spend our unlimited supply of money on (fingers crossed that day eventually comes). Other than paying back all debts (my own and my family’s) I thought that I would want to spend my money on things that I found fun.

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I discovered that I would still pretty much live the life I have now, I would just enhance it. I would possibly invest in the things that bring me the most joy, like my job and Krav Maga. I realized that sure, having oodles of money would be a blast, but it wouldn’t alter my current path.

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Usually when I talk to people about that possible “winning the lottery” moment they usually want to blow their money on big purchases. After having this chat with my sister it helped me really register with the fact that I’m heading in the right direction. I’m kind of proud of the fact that if I was faced with unlimited funds I wouldn’t really want to change my life.

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I definitely feel very #financiallyfab right now!

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Okay, but if I was to splurge on some goodies, this is what I would defs snag!

The Batmobile

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Chocolate

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ALL THE MOVIE TICKETS!

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Wolverine’s adamantium claws

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Judge Dredd’s uniform/gear

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Time machine (so I can go back in time and watch movies when they first come out)

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And of course, the Bat suit (not the George Clooney one… shudder).

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What would you do if money was no object? Let us know in the comments below!

-Karyn

 

New Money

Right now I’m reading ‘The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo’ by comedian, actress, and all-around-badass Amy Schumer.

There’s a really fun chapter in the book called ‘On Being New Money’ where Amy talks about the joy of having cash to spend on things you truly enjoy.

I couldn’t help but LOL when she talked about her experience of being ‘new money’ and having cash to spend on anything she likes.

Amy shares that she was born wealthy, then her family lost it all, and she has personally worked her way back up to having cash to burrrrn.

This chapter deeply inspired me. More than just the fact that she can spend whatever she likes, she shares about how much she has enjoyed the journey to earning money and how deeply she enjoys using it as a tool for joy and happiness.

This chapter has inspired me to start asking the people around me what they would do if they became new money and the conversation is always so rich. I’ve of course also been reflecting on this question and am excited to share what I’d get up to!

Firstly, if I had limitless cash in the bank, I realize that I would not drastically alter my current lifestyle. As a solopreneur, I absolutely LOVE working with fellow entrepreneurs, helping them amplify their gifts and skills in the mainstream. I love helping people feel that ecstatic and joyful feeling.

Also, before sharing a few things on my list, it’s important to note that the only reason we want money is for the feeling it will give us. For me, financial freedom feels: effortless, fun, secure, free, ambrosial, joyful, and so so so exciting.

Here are a few funs things I’d get up to:

  • Go to Hawaii and chase rainbows.
  • Throw a dart at a map and go to that place and simply explore.
  • Buy all the fabulous soft clothes (my new style) my heart desired.
  • Get a place with a view (it may be simply renting Airbnb’s in different places for a bit).
  • Follow the fun… everywhere.
  • Eat all the delicious things. It would be so awesome to get prepared food for the week and all the coffee and green juice my heart desired.
  • Random acts of helping others with cash.
  • Pay off all debt + family debt if they are interested in help.
  • Turn my current apartment into a broadcast studio and have a blast interviewing majestic humans (or buy time on an established radio station and save myself the work 😉
  • Make music.
  • Go to out-of-the-box, fun classes like learning how to make sushi, pottery classes, mindfulness meditation retreats or classes that teach you how to make truffles!
  • Give my website a proper update.
  • Give our Mo’ Money website a proper update and really start focusing on growing our blog!
  • Private jet time.
  • Go to all the comedy shows errrrywhere.
  • Randomly fly to concerts in different cities. (I’ll find you Drake)
  • Buy new pots and pans and furniture.
  • Lots of spa/pedicure/manicure dates. Gotta feel fabbbbulous!
  • Go wild in Sephora and randomly give a gal in there a $1,000 gift card.

Heehee. What a fun list to make. I encourage you to create one! It’s honestly exciting when you’re in the right frame of mind. I will continue to add to this list as I know that no matter how much we have in life, there’s always that curiosity and hunger for more!

<3 Gwen

 

5 Ways to Make Mo’ Progress (Without Working Harder)

What are you going to do next?

Do you find yourself asking that question, or perhaps worse, everyone around you asking what’s next for you?

When you’re not 100% sure of the answer, it can be a hard and perhaps even painful question to think about and attempt to answer.

I’m going through this right now.

This year has been a whirlwind of awesome. I’ve let go of my workaholic ways, abandoned my hardcore blazer collection, paused my relationship with drinking alcohol, and have been truly committed to feeling better.

I’ve been working as an entrepreneur full-time since January helping people amplify their message in the media. I’ve travelled all over the world. I’ve started writing a book.

Though the question that keeps coming up is: Now what? Or What’s next?

I’m itching for that next big opportunity and to start building momentum on a project or with a team that is eager to make some waves and enjoy the process.

Though I’m not sure what it’s going to be or what’s going to happen.

I know that freedom with time is a pure luxury. I so appreciate having the opportunity to decide how to live each day how I design it. From the people I meet, to the food I eat, I make the choice (hint: so do you ;).

What an incredible time to be alive.

So when that nagging voice pops up and says, ‘How are you going to make mo’ money and mo’ progress?’ I now have a collection of ways that I help myself feel better (which leads to greater clarity, allowing opportunities to flow in).

5 Ways to Make Mo’ Progress

1. Follow the Fun – Fun will never let you down. If you’re feeling stuck, take a moment and ask yourself, what feels like the most fun thing I can do in this moment? Then do it. Here’s the thing with fun: there’s no guilt associated with it. If you feel guilty for thinking about something that you perceive as fun, but you feel guilty… it’s not fun. It’s mischief. Fun has no downside.

2. Raise the Vibes through Pausing to Breathe – Aka… meditation. I resisted meditating for so long as I thought it was for ‘other people’ or I wondered who the heck has that kind of time to just SIT THERE!? Though I’ve realized that meditation is the easiest way to feel better. And the good thing is it doesn’t have to take an hour. I literally sit for 10 minutes in the morning and at night and just breathe. And hey, sometimes I miss a session and that’s totally okay. I start again the next day.

3. Change the Subject – The more you dwell on a subject that you don’t like, the more painful it gets. Change the subject to feel the relief. A couple of ways to do this is to take a walk, watch a movie or have a power nap. Explore different ways you enjoy changing the subject. Sometimes it’s okay to ignore your problems 🙂

4. Enjoy a Coffee – I love coffee. And I now love to make Bulletproof Coffee (yes… coffee with butter) so it adds an extra layer of DELISH. For me, it’s coffee, for you it could be donuts or a cup of tea. What’s something small and inexpensive that you love that you could get right now and that feels good to eat or drink. It’s great to treat yourself! If you’re curious about Bulletproof Coffee take a look at this video:

5. Release Your ‘Stuff’– How much junk do you have lying around your room or your house? It’s time to release it. It’s time to clear space for your future to show up. Personally I think way better when I have a clean house. I love professional organizer Marie Kondo’s method of only keeping things in your house that ‘spark joy.’ Here’s a fun video where Marie teaches Ellen how to only keep things that spark this joy:

So these are the ways that I am focusing on making progress and enjoying the ride! I hope this helps you 🙂

  • Gwen

Finding Your Financial Limit

In the last couple months I have undergone a couple of career changes. This also means that I went through financial changes as well. I pride myself on being able to maintain a steady bank account balance while I went through varying salaries or no income at all. I felt that if I was able to maintain my balance at a certain number everything was okay.

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The other day I looked at my account and I was shocked at how low it had become. Now I’m not saying that it was drained, but in my mind it may as well have been a giant goose egg. I had a mini panic attack and thought that I was in all kinds of trouble. I kept asking myself: how did I end up here? What the heck was I spending my money on? WHERE DID IT ALL GO?!!!

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Then I started looking at what I was spending money on and it was pretty much the usual things that I put my money towards: rent, groceries, metropass, the occasional movie, the random mini-splurge, OSAP payments, gym payments, and Krav Maga membership.

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All of this shouldn’t have been that big of a deal, but when you combine it to the constant fluctuations in my salary, well, it made sense that my checking account would start looking sadder and sadder.

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I knew I had to start making serious changes. Starting with saying goodbye to my gym membership, no more Timmies runs after Krav, and making sure that my roomies are paying me rent BEFORE my landlord takes it out of my account.

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These little changes were just a start to something bigger. While I get serious about budgeting again I realize what this experience really meant to me. That incredible shock of seeing how depleted my account was made me realize my financial limit. Looking at account totals I haven’t seen since university was seriously scary. I thought that as a 24-year-old adult, my bank account would only grow.

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This learning experience has helped me realize that I need to be more on top of my finances and be aware that when I don’t have my usual income I need to cut back on things that aren’t really necessities.

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So what’s your take on the financial limit? Have you reached yours? What was your reaction? Let me know in the comments below!

-Karyn

Gabby’s July Challenge: Starting From Scratch

It’s funny how things work. Last month I thought I would be living with my boyfriend by now. But I had a funny feeling it wouldn’t be happening just yet. And it’s kind of nice because I didn’t feel totally prepared anyway.

Turns out my roommate couldn’t find a place in time that was suitable to live in (and I don’t blame her—renting in Toronto is expensive, even for a place that’s not that great).

My boyfriend and I now have just over half a month to buy anything we need to get settled in. The other day we made a list, and I was surprised at how few things we need to buy! I estimated we’d probably have to spend around $5,000, but it’s looking more like $2,000. Split that in half and we’re only paying a grand each. AWESOME.

Of course, $2,000 is just a ballpark price. I’d say with all the loose ends we’re not remembering, we’re probably going to have to spend around $3,000, just to be safe.

Here’s our list and guess at what each item is going to cost:

Couch
$1,000+

Microwave
$200-$300

Cooking Utensils (Knives, etc.)
$200-$300

Dish Rack
$30

Pots + Pans
$500+

Plates + Bowls
$100+

All in all, it’s not that bad. And I can’t wait to start making a home of my own with him! This is going to be such an exciting time for us. Talk about making mo’ progress!

For my August challenge, I’m going to start purchasing what I can, and trying to find the best deals possible! By September, I think we’ll have most, or all, of what we wanted to buy. And then I’ll have more than just a toaster and a kettle to my name.

-Gabby

Karyn’s July Challenge: Clothing Swap Part 2

Since I was unable to complete my original challenge in June I decided to tweak it a little and give it a second go in July. To my surprise I was actually able to accomplish my goal of trading my unwanted clothes with someone via the Bunz Trading Zone!

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I was able to swap two dresses and a shirt for some magical perfume and some serious hair care products! Yes, I know my goal was to get some money for my stuff, but I kinda liked trading them for things that I actually wanted!

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Though I still have some clothes left from my post, I have decided that if no one shows any interest in them by the end of August, I will be donating them to the Kind Exchange.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 11.17.43 PM
My post on Bunz!

For those of you who are interested in trading some of your unwanted goodies I highly recommend Bunz! The people I traded with are just wonderful and it was seriously simple to do. The only downside is if no one show any interest in your stuff you feel somewhat discouraged. Though when people do start PM’ing you there is definitely a rush.

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Are you interested in swapping/trading your stuff? How would you go about trading your old goodies?

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Let me know in the comments.

Karyn

Monique’s July Challenge: Three reasons why ice cream can make or break your money goals

It’s been an interesting month.

And stepping out to pick up a pint of double chocolate chip ice cream was just the beginning.

If you’ve been following #TheSisterpack for a while, you know that each month, we challenge ourselves to take on a money-related goal that pushes us to address an area where we think we can improve in our collective quest to make mo’ money and mo’ progress.

The challenges range from simple actions that, once accomplished, help us in hacking through a mental block, shuffle outside of a comfort zone, or nudge us on the path to improved habits… or they could be more complex undertakings involving leaps of faith, lots of planning, and tons of research.

July was a weird mix of both for me.

When I started planning my July challenge, my goal was to go three (non-consecutive) days of absolutely no spending.

Nothing coming out of my account or my wallet, and no “pay-later” spending.

Whether it was automatic direct debit transactions, monthly bank fees, charging something to my credit card, or paying in cash with money I had withdrawn the previous day. Those were my rules, and OMGawd… in retrospect that was kind of insane.

I learned that it takes a solid understanding of not only your finances but also your habits and your schedule, which is not so easy when, like me, you typically work from home and your schedule varies wildly.

I’d had “no spend” days in the past but I realized that I’d become a complete hermit on those days. I wouldn’t really leave my house because I knew I would be tempted to compromise my mission and buy a coffee or something to top up my half-empty fridge while on a walk. This time around, I didn’t want to bend to what, on the surface, seemed like frail willpower.

So I doubled-down and got my husband on board with me. I didn’t count any day a victory unless we both didn’t spend and only if we went out.

And I blew it the first day I set my goal at 3:52 p.m. when I made an impromptu trip to the grocery store to buy a pint of ice cream that cost £1.99.

Yup.

Not the best start but it did get me thinking about how the small things, like that delicious pint of double chocolate chip ice cream, can make or break your money goals.

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We do ice cream right in Liverpool! [photo by Kartikay Singh]

1. Why teaming up can be one of the smartest things you do

 

It may be awkward to explain your goal to someone who, at first, doesn’t quite understand the logic. I had to break down what the return on investment would be for us if we both didn’t spend anything. Including on groceries… and ice cream. So that meant extra planning. Really, it didn’t take too much effort to get him on board. Though the ice cream was his idea, so…

In the end, if the goal/chore/thing you don’t always feel like doing can be transformed into fun in any way, you win. Laugh together at the ludicrous or seemingly extreme things you do to accomplish your goal and take turns being the coach, star player or benchwarmer. It makes it feel easier and more fun, so you’re more likely to succeed.

2. Understand what makes you happy

It’s amazing to think that the lightbulb came on for this big-picture concept while I was mid-scoop in the lobby of our building, sitting in the sun and sharing the pint with my husband (no one has time dish it into bowls). It is definitely important to watch where your money goes when it comes to the little things.

Finance expert David Bach even coined the term the “Latte Factor,” which is genius. It teaches us to be mindful of where our money is going because the little things add up. And I consciously decided to break my goal that first day because of the happiness it would spark.

3. Stop ignoring the small slip-ups

I’m not saying you should never cut yourself some slack and create a militant money regime. Far from it! What I am saying, is that those small slip-ups are going to happen, so plan for them. Life is fluid and unpredictable, which is why emergency funds are a (necessary) thing and why we become creatures of habit – to keep some semblance of stability in our lives.

Notice what habits you have that make you happy and those that are bad for your wallet. Seriously: make two columns on a sheet of paper and cross-reference which ones do both. Cut back on the ones that entice you to consistently (over) spend and then put more time and attention on the ones that are free! Paying attention to the small things (and then acting on them) can make you mo’ money and mo’ progress.

In total, we racked up eight days where we spent less than £5, and while of course there were days where large amounts were leaving our accounts, we managed three days of total spending blackout… we did it!

Now excuse me while I treat myself to a well-deserved scoop of double chocolate chip ice cream.

– Monique

Gwen’s July Challenge: Pay in Cash (Byeee Ghost Money)

Hey y’all!

Ahhhhh what a month! I truly leaned into relaxing in July and simplifying my life. I started simply by unsubscribing to emails, cancelling memberships and software that I no longer used on the regular, and started a meditation practice that’s been helping me feel even better. I’m using an app called ‘Breathe’ (it’s free!) and so far it’s logged 9 hours and 36 minutes of meditation. Woohoo!

My July challenge was to pay in cash or debit. This has been a profoundly liberating challenge that I believe has made a HUGE difference for me.

I started the month by cutting a credit card in half. This was such a joyful experience. I now choose to use credit cards for travelling, products/services I truly love (that require a credit card) or emergencies. I had been sucked into the idea of credit cards being a great way to ‘earn points’ that I could use for travel. I realized that every time I wanted to use the points I either didn’t have enough or it didn’t seem worth it. I finally see the light and am not motivated by points. I’m now excited to focus on spending money I actually have versus ghost money (ha).

Taking on the practice of paying in cash or debit has helped me be more creative with having fun for free. And this month I chose to stay in Toronto (and not travel around) so it has been really renewing and helpful to feel more grounded and comfortable by enjoying the simple things in life.

I’ll be honest though… there were a couple of times that I slipped into the habit of charging something on my credit card this month. Though when I realized it, I would transfer the money I spent on credit from my chequing account to immediately pay off the purchase on my credit card. Easy! I honestly think this will be my new practice.

This August, I would love to build on the momentum of paying in cash and debit. So I am going to take on the same challenge this month! I encourage you to join me if you are looking for a fun way to focus on being aware of your money!

-Gwen

 

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself (3 Tips to Feel Better)

Is there a greater relief than letting yourself off the hook for making a ‘mistake’?

Especially a money mistake.

If you’re reading this blog, I have a feeling you’re committed (or at least vaguely interested) in figuring out this whole ‘money’ thing. We (#TheSisterpack) are, which is why we’ve continued to share our stories and take on monthly challenges.

It has hit me recently that the money knowledge I have today is much more advanced than it was 10 years ago, and it will only continue to improve if I focus on what’s working (and keep it simple).

So my practice lately has been to be kinder to myself in moments of frustration, fear or ‘failure’ from choices I’ve made in the past.

One thing I love doing is listening to this song. It feels kind of liberating… and clearly, singer Jess Glynne has been in the place of being waaaaay too hard on herself (and it turned into an epic song):

 

Here are the three other ways I currently feel better if I’ve been focusing on what’s not working:

1. Go for a walk. This is easy and FREE! I honestly just walk around the block to change my perspective and focus on different things I appreciate.

2. Change the subject. I now choose to focus on something different if I’m getting too focused on heaviness. It can be as simple as watching a YouTube video or taking a power nap. The key is not to dwell in uncomfortable pressure.

3. Eat donuts.
I mean, I think #TheSisterpack are kind of obsessed with donuts. And I think it’s because THEY’RE AWESOME. For you, it may not be donuts, though we encourage you to have one of life’s simple pleasures that makes you feel a bit better.

Here’s some fun listening of comedian Jim Gaffigan talking about his love of donuts:

https://open.spotify.com/track/14rnuwhsCcNt2CGt5dilkh

How do you focus on feeling better?

-Gwen

Tough Times Means Tough Decisions

I’ve been going through an interesting career change as of late. I have switched more jobs in 2016 than I have probably in my entire life. It’s been a challenge trying to make sure I have an income so I can support myself and my future aspirations. Now that I’m finally getting settled in my new job it’s time to make some tough decisions.

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If you’ve read some of my past posts you may have noticed that I mentioned that I’m a huge gym rat. My goal was to go twice a day, five days a week and I had been accomplishing that goal when my schedule was a typical 9-5. Now that I’ve switched to a career that’s shift work, my schedule is usually up in the air. Also, my pay has changed and having a gym membership no longer seems like a feasible thing.

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I’ve been making a list of things that I can cut out to save some moolah, but when it came to my gym membership I just felt like I couldn’t let it go. I should also mention that I have started Krav Maga at Elite Martial Arts. I’m now technically paying for two gym memberships, but only going to one of them.

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The gym rat in me was holding on to the gym membership for dear life and the rest of me (specifically my wallet) was ready to let go.

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So after much deliberation (and working out) I will be leaving one gym for another (instead of paying for two). I think the reason for my initial deterrence to the idea was that this gym really kicked my butt into gear and jump-started my love for healthy, active living again.

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Now all I have to do is go and cancel it. From what I’ve heard this isn’t an easy feat. I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes so you (and your bank account) will know what to expect.

Wish me luck!

Karyn