#DollarWise : How to Handle Your Debt

Friday, February 15, 2019


Couple of week's back we kicked off this series in hopes that by having open and honest conversations about finances, all of us will be able to get to that better financial space. Having a budget is create and is the first set, so if you did that, we move onto debt and credit. A reality for most us is that we have some kind of debt obligation. Whether it's our mortgages, car payments or balances on credit cards chances are many of us have debt, and in reality we need it.

I couldn’t afford my house if it wasn’t for a mortgage – so debt is a necessary evil – but not all credit is good debt. Credit cards and lines of credits are mean to be used for emergency and paid off ASAP because interest over time can cost you a pretty penny.
I might be off base but reducing debt and using credit wisely and sparingly is what we are all hoping to achieve and for this we need a plan. There are TON of different opinions of what order you should pay your debt off in – some research states that you should aim to repay the debt with the highest interest rates first because it will save you the most money in interest. Others suggest that you should be starting from the smallest to largest outstanding balances, and start repaying the smallest balances first and working your way up. That way, you will see progress sooner because small "wins" empower and motivate us to keep going.
One of the main reason we started this segment with a budget is so you know how much money you can commit to debt repayment. It's great that you want to get rid of your debt but you need to know what exactly you can afford to put towards debt without getting into further debt to do it.
If you are able to go to your credit union or financial institution to get a consolidation loan to pay off al debt by rolling into one payment, that will be your best play. This way you save money on interest, and there is an end date when your debt will fully be paid off. If you are consolidating all your debt (especially revolving items like credit cards and lines of credit), make sure to close those so you are not using them. There is no point of consolidating if you are just going to go back and rack up debt.
If debt consolidation loan is not an option consider lowering your interest rate on your outstanding balances by transferring balances from high interest credit cards to lower interest rate or promotional rate credit cards or line of credit.  Most credit cards have intro balance transfer rates where for 10 month or a year you get to pay very low interest rate allowing you to pay off your debt faster.
If nether above are option, or you want to do multiple solutions to maximize your debt repayment strategy, I have included a debt stacking calculator – this spreadsheet is a tool for you to prioritize and come up with a plan in what order you need to pay off your debt.
I cannot even remember where I got this but I have been using at work for years – its super simple to use and the second tab gives you a payment schedule.
You fill you the top portion with today's date, and then list all the debt you have, outstanding amount, rate and payment/minimum payment required. (I personally don't include my mortgage in this, but if that's one of your goals, power to you. )Than in the monthly payment you add the amount you are comfortable making towards your debt re-payment (from your budget).
In the strategy drop down box you have bunch of options, and the side of the spreadsheet has descriptions, I would recommend selecting a strategy that saves you the most money by choosing the option with the lowest total interest paid amount. Page two covers what you payment schedule will look like. (you do have to print it because  I don’t know how to get rid of that "bubble" without printing it)



No matter which approach you use or trying combination of all above mentioned and committing to a debt reduction plan will improve your financial health and how you feel. Finances can be a heavy burden but I'm hoping that these tips and resources are helping.

How I Was Left Standing Alone on Top of The Empire State Building....

Thursday, February 14, 2019

cue, Marianas Trench - "I knew you when"

I am not a risk taker, I prefer calculated risks, well thought out endeavours and most of all outcomes I can control. This might be why I am in business and why that comes naturally to me. A friend of mine, reminds me of this every once in a while, but also challenges me to break out of that. A couple of years ago, she somehow convinced me to take a biggest leap of faith and do something where I have zero control of an event or an outcome. 

Let me explain, I don't have any regrets about the things I have done, just some that I didn't do; so this Valentines day I m sharing a story of the one that got away. 
Lets call him A. A and I met while in junior high, we were in the same class, I was a complete nerd and he was a well liked popular kid, (lets say we  were bordering on he didn't know I existed) but I had a crush and then he moved away right after high school. We completely lost touch, then fast forward a few years, there it was; a new notification on Facebook... saying A has added you as a friend. 
A few months or so later, I was in the most magical city in the world living a dream with a guy I was falling for. However, after a two week whirlwind of a romance I was back home and that was it. From there it turned into a series of many (& I mean many) wrong place, wrong time for us.

I was over it, I moved on, it wasn't meant to be. But as luck would have it after not seeing him for years, we happened to be at the same football game. It took all of 17 second of him walking up the stadium stairs towards me, for me to feel every feeling I ever had, for him. 

and then nothing. radio silence.

Time flew by and just when I thought I forgot A existed, there he was sliding into my DMs - and the kid only got better with age, which was annoying AF.

Fast forward to 2017 Valentines day and biggest leap of faith... after much needed encouragement and a lot of wine one night, I set out to New York to get some clarity, once and for all. On todays date, two years ago, on Valentines day I landed at the airport, sent a message saying "Hey what are you doing now?" and a follow up text "meet me at ESB at 5pm". 

So I stood at top of  the Empire State building, waiting to get my "what if" question answered. 

I stood, waiting, for what seems like an eternity, he never showed up.  Needless to say, story book endings and romances will remain in books and movies; but I got my answer. 

If you played the "I knew you when" you are now listening to the 
"I  thought time was supposed to heal it
Don't do shit but keep you feeling..."


Moral of the story, trying to recreate a Gossip Girl scene might prove that your love life might is definitely not meant to be a fairly tale, but its awesome (and worth doing) either way. Time might not heal all, but definitely makes it easier to talk about it. And, maybe sometimes it's riskier not to take a risk because you're guaranteeing that things will stay the same.

Happy Love day my loves.

Happy Galentine's Day + #Giveaway

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


I love love day. Yes, I single and loving Valentine's day is prob weird BUT the candy, romance and cheesy Hallmark movies are my jam.  Day before love day is also known as Galentines day - It’s the perfect chance to get your best gals together: your friends, your mum, your coworkers, that lady who works in your favorite coffee shop with the amazing hair — get all those women together and CELEBRATE. It's also a perfect day to enter to win a 3 month Glossy Box subscription – one for your and for your BFF.

Good luck!

OOTD-Touch of green

Last two weeks in Edmonton have been beyond freezing and making it SUPER hard to get out and take any photos - this is when you cue the camera and shoot in your room. Casual days at work are my favourite; don't get me wrong I love dressing up but wearing business clothes everyday get little bit overrated. 

 
Even tho my extent of casual at work is putting jeans on; its till one of my favourite things I get to wear at work. Add a little colour, some pretty jewellery and you are good to go.

Jacket: Simons || Shirt: La Chetaue || Jeans: Zara|| Necklace: Forever XII || Shoes: Guess


Adding sparkle to anything makes life a little more exciting. Even a work outfits.

#Review: Bottle Bright

Tuesday, February 12, 2019




My sister told me about an article she read that said the Yeti mug gets moldy and people have been getting sick. So I thought okay, I need to get something to clean my husbands mug ASAP. I was on Amazon.ca and found Bottle Bright natural cleaning tablets. They worked really well. My husbands mug was really dirty, I had no idea how bad it was. You can see from the pictures below how bad it was. The instructions say to use warm water and let it stand for 15-30 minutes. For tougher stains you are to use hot water and let it stand overnight. We went the tougher stains route, you'll see why below. 


Before


After

Try it out and let us know what you think.


My Top Workout Playlists

Friday, February 8, 2019

If you follow me on Instragm you have heard numerous times about how lazy I am and that gym and I dislike each other like A LOT. While my battle of get back in shape and being fit is still a long road ahead but music helps me a lot. Its funny how one simple thing like a good mix of pump-up songs can give me motivation and energy to actually make it through my work outs.

So instead of sharing a mess that my work out play list is now with 200+ songs here is the best playlist I found for working out. Let me know what you think:

Beast Mode

Power Workout

Hype

What do you listen to?

#BeautyFavourites : February - The Masks Edition

Thursday, February 7, 2019

I am not sure if it’s the winter or the stress at work but so far in 2019, my skin has hit an all-time new low. Like low as a teenager with raging hormones type of skin issues. I tried everything from changing my diet, switching from my go-to brand of makeup, even brushes…everything I could think of! You know that meme that says "I'll put a mask on, that will fix everything"...so as a last resort, I did.  I decided to try all the masks I could get my hands on!
I think you should have an arsenal of face masks - all that serve a different purpose.
This Cleansing Clay Mask is one of the best ones I tried. I never run out of it. I use it once a week and it leaves my skin super soft and actually feels clean. Since my skin is generally a mess in winter, this helps me re-set my skin and prevent breakouts.

A good sheet mask goes a long way and this "girl you are golden" mask takes the cake. This mask is from a store called LUX here in #YEG but I couldn't find to link it for you. Whitely there is 1544125645 options and some are better than other - you want to use sheet masks compliment your skin. I use sheet masks to help get glowing and soft looking skin, and generally after I use a cleaning mask first.

You need a good polishing mask - something with beads in it to really get that deep clean when you are washing it off. Masks that are meant to polish you skin leave your skin feeling soft and even skin tone. Freeman has few options but you can try this one.


This Purity mask is another clay mask and meant to exfoliate but unlike the first mask in this post is white clay. Its great for fighting blemishes and skin imperfections. I use it as a spot treatment on breakouts or as a re-set if I have been wearing lots of make up or products.

Peel off masks have been a hit and miss for me over the last few years, that is until I stumbled upon this COPPER+CRANE Radiance mask (might have been in a Glossy Box) and my opinion on peel of mask was changed forever. This mask is like magic. It leaves my skin super soft and hydrated.



These are some of my favourites. What masks should we try next?

DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS