Week 2 Recap

Hi there,

Hope the first week back to the routine went well and you’re still resolved to change your relationship with money. Here’s a recap of week two.

Act 08

Bundle Up!
A reminder to keep an eye on your heating bill. And it wouldn’t kill ya to keep a blanket or extra sweater handy around the house. Home heating is a big expense. Especially this winter. You can stay warm and not burn your budget while you’re at it. Turn the heat down when you’re away from home or overnight when you’re cozy in your blankets.

Act 09

Take a nap
This is more about staying rested. If a nap work for you, then go for it They say napping can reduce stress levels and improve decision making. I’m a fan.

Act 10

Don’t panic.
I get those moments too. It’s perfectly normal. But get over it because it certainly doesn’t help. Breathe. You can get through this.

Act 11

Say no.
This is a tough one. But it gets easier to say no. And sometimes, the truth is, no just needs saying.

Act 12

Share well with others.
We don’t all need a lawnmower and a snow blower. As neighbours and communities we can share and we should.

Act 13

Shop small.
This is as much about where you shop as how much you shop for. I’m a fan of the quick shop. A few things only. And nothing that wasn’t on the list. I have cut my grocery budget in half. Really, I have.

Act 14

Put it in writing.
If you’re dealing with formal “stuff” make sure you put it in writing either as a written note in a file or a follow up e-mail or a formal letter. The written word still matters.

Act 360

Take precautions if you’re away for a few days

We will be heading off for a few days to spend time with family in the next town over. Before we leave, I’ll be sure to take a few precautions. Turn down the heat. Check that the water isn’t dripping. That the stove is off, that the Christmas lights are turned off, that the dishwasher has drained. I’ll make sure our neighbours knew we’ll be away too.

It’s such a busy time of year, you might feel rushed to get away in time. But it’s worth the extra 10 to 15 minutes to do a proper tour around the house. The last thing you need is an insurance claim to deal with when you get home.

Safe and happy travels!

Act 182

When it’s this hot, stay cool using what you’ve got

It’s hot. Like really hot. Like 35 degrees and muggy hot. It’s so hot in my front yard, there should be yellow danger, do not cross tape. My back yard is shady – it’s 10 degrees cooler there. Nature has lessons for us.

When it’s this hot, I’m tempted to blast my window air conditioner to freeze. But that’s not sensible. So I’m trying a few new things.

Here goes

Cool the house at night. Keep what you can open. Then, early in the am, close everything and try to trap the cool night air. Especially draw the curtains and blinds.

Make lots of ice. Feed your kids fruit smoothies with frozen fruit, ice cubes and water. Mango is especially delicious.

Try and eat fridge food rather than stove food: fruit, salad, cheese, yogurt, nuts.

If you use an air conditioner, try it on fan instead of cool. Then put a bucket of ice water nearby (not too nearby, we needed electrocute ourselves). I’m surprised but it works – it’s not Mr Freeze cold, but it’s good.

And as for one more crazy out there idea, I’ve put a 1/2 dozen clean pillow cases in a shopping bag in the freezer. We’ll see if that makes bed time any more bearable.

And finally, think about winter. This too shall pass and soon we’ll be complaining about shoveling snow. It’s all in how you look at things.

And speaking of how we look at things, thanks to the Globe and Mail for their story on our debt defying blog. Happy to see the conversations (and criticisms) about debt continue. We need to keep talking.