Being a Mom on Tessa- Marie’s Plan

I am the $27.00 bra girl sharing some money saving tips on the first year of being a mom

After one year of Mommyhood, Tessa-Marie asked me to write my top tips for year 1 of this new adventure I am on!

While the path through pregnancy and parenthood varies greatly, the focus is always the same; we want the best for our babies.

Here’s what I have learned:

Say Yes! Say yes to baby equipment that is being offered to you, either on loan or for keeps. I have a Mom-Friend who had two babies before me and so generously offered me an arsenal of gear; baby bath, swing, chair, jolly jumper, play mat and playpen.  Retail value of my gear was over $1100.  My daughter enjoyed only the playmat and the bath.  Not all babies like the same types of movement or positions and you won’t know until your baby arrives. As much as I wanted that cute ‘baby sleeping in a cute swing’ picture, every time I tried it and she cried.  I was grateful I didn’t spend $200 on it.

Diapers: While I was pregnant, I searched the Internet for cheap but reliable cloth diapers, because I considered the one time investment compared to disposables and it seemed to make sense.  I bought a week’s worth of cloth diapers on a Black Friday sale while I was pregnant. Once my baby arrived, and the reality of new Mommy life set in, the last thing I wanted to do was to stuff liners in cloth diapers.  I discovered store brand disposables.  They retail for half the cost of brand name diapers, and work (for my active baby) just as well.  They rarely go on sale, but their regular cost is significantly cheaper than the sale cost of big brands.

Freebies: Many are shocked when they hear exactly how many free products I received from baby companies. A quick Google search of ‘free baby samples’ will cast you into a pool so deep you could be requesting samples for days! Diapers, formula, coupons, wipes, creams, lotions all arrived in the mail just before my due date.  Receiving mystery packages filled with baby supplies was a great perk at the end of a long pregnancy.  Some products I didn’t end up using, so it’s important to me to pass this point on; local food banks will gladly accept all un-opened baby samples.

Solid Food: This tip is what made Tessa-Marie realize I was well on my way to a ‘Planned Spending Mommy hood’. I did make most of my daughter’s food from whatever fruit and veggies I had on hand, but found it much easy to have pre-prepared food while I was out and about.  In the baby food aisle, below the fancy cute squeeze pouches, is the same food in jars.  The jars are not as cute BUT they are half the price for the same amount of food!

Clothing: I love baby clothes: the matching outfits, the little shoes! I did not know what gender my baby was until she arrived, but I wanted to be prepared.  I set a challenge for my self while pregnant: a $3 limit. Any piece of gender-neutral clothing that I loved, I bought. (Important: you have to love it! There are always amazing deals but if you don’t LOVE it, it’s a waste). Now, $3 makes me sound crazy, but the amount of pieces I picked up during those months was incredible! I kept the tags on everything, so anything my daughter didn’t wear went straight into a box to use as gifts for other babies.

Enjoying my tiny baby was my priority, having to not worry about dollars at the same time because my plan was in place made it all a bit sweeter.

Thanks Kathleen for sharing.

I hope new mothers will benefit from your experience.

If you need any help, please contact me at: tessamarieshillingford46@gmail.com

 

It’s Tax Season

Not sure what documents you need in order to file your taxes? Today I’ll share some tips on what you need, and how to make tax time easier for you.

At this time of the year, all your T4s are arriving in the mail. Be careful, these documents are very flimsy and it may look like there’s nothing in the envelope. What should you do once you receive them? Place all documents together in a large envelope or a folder; keep it in a safe place. When it’s time to prepare your taxes you’ll have all supporting documents you need in one spot.

If you have changed employers and changed your home address in the past year, you should contact your previous employer and have them send your documents to your new address. Come tax time, you cannot omit a T4 from a previous employer because of an address change. That’s not a valid excuse. The government will find out and you will be fined, and forced to pay interest on that fine. Remember it’s your, money keep it.

We are allowed to file electronically and it’s a great idea to take full advantage of doing so. While we are given the privilege of doing just that, the government can pull your name in a random audit. If you are randomly chosen, you will be sent a letter that will require you to forward all supporting documents to the government. Therefore, it is imperative you keep all documents even after filing your taxes.

One of my biggest concerns during this time, is with tax preparation companies. You are promised your refund as soon as they file your taxes. Be careful – in most cases, it is advertised that it’s free to get your refund the same day. What is often left unsaid is that your refund will be significantly smaller (they take a portion of it as payment for the quick turnaround). That means, if your refund totals $500.00, you may only take home $450.00. In some cases even less. I know it’s wonderful to get your refund as soon as possible, but if you have paid the company $65.00 to prepare your taxes, why not just wait a few days and get your full refund? Again, it’s your money, keep it!

Another way to save money on doing your taxes is to share the cost of the tax-filing program. You can split it with family and friends, making that $29.95 plus taxes significantly smaller. In fact, this is what I do. I have my family; a few friends and our taxman come over to my house. I prepare a big pot of spaghetti; we take turns sitting with him, while the others enjoy the spaghetti and conversation.

It’s fun, inexpensive, and get’s our taxes done properly.

As always, let me know if you have any questions. I’m here to help.

Tessa-Marie     tessamarieshillingford46@gmail.com

 

SOWINNG FINANCIAL SEEDS

 

Sowinng Financial Seeds

I would like to dig a little deeper into my last blog SETTING UP THOSE SPECIAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS. There was a flood of questions about setting up multiple saving accounts.

In gardening a seed represents growth, development, and strength. If you don’t tend to that seed and give it attention which it needs, the seed won’t grow. It doesn’t matter how small the seed is, only that you tend to it, water it and encourage it to grow.

When I was setting up my multiple savings accounts, I was planting many tiny seeds and I knew that I needed to invest in them in order to see them grow.

In this blog I will address 2 of the top questions from my previous blog.

  1. Why would I only save between $3.75 & $11.75?
  2. What can that small amount of saving do for me?

In order for me to answer those questions, I have to first give you a background on those five savings accounts.

When I opened those accounts in 1970, we had very little money to spare and our income in those days was not bountiful by any stretch of the imagination. Cost of living was also significantly less expensive than it is now.

After paying our bills, all we had left to save was $18.75 bi-weekly. I had to divide that into the five categories, which I convinced my husband was perfect for our future financial needs. Now my husband was not in favour of five accounts, he too thought that only saving $18.75 was meager and useless. He had no idea how to tame me, so he shrugged his shoulders and left me to my own financial devise.

And so I tended to my financial garden.

Here’s how the funds were divided:

  1. Buying a home   = $3.75
  2. Vacation               = $3.75
  3. Emergency           = $3.75
  4. Starting a family = $3.75
  5. Buying a Car       = $3.75

Total                                         $18.75

The next step was making sure that each raise we received was placed into those accounts. Seven years & several raises and job changes later, we were eventually able to save $82.00 bi-weekly.

At that time, our home buying account had $7,000.00 in it. We purchased our home with $5,000.00 down, paid our legal fees and shopped for used appliances on Queen Street with the rest. We bought a stove with a solid white door but no glass, a fridge, and a washing machine but no dryer. We hung our clothes out to dry in the basement. We bought nails and twine at Honest Ed’s, and used a brick as our hammer to set up our dryer line.

Honest Ed’s was our shop of choice – we were there every two weeks. We also frequently shopped at Knob Hill Farms, Bargain Harold’s and Bi-Way because back then they had the best deals. We kept saving and being cautious with our money.

All that I have financially today comes from that $3.75. Without it I could not be here in my present financial situation.

My small bi-weekly savings didn’t seem like much, but I was sowinng my financial seeds. My small savings were lettuce seeds.

As an avid gardener I can tell you lettuce seeds are tiny, but from that miniscule seed grows this huge head of lettuce.

I’m reaping what I sowed and I am helping thousands of people start their successful financial journey.

We’re all inherently gardeners in some form or another, but ask yourself, are you sowing your financial seeds?

Give it a try: make note of where you are today, date the page in your notebook and write the exact amount of savings you have today. The next step is setting up automatic transfers into a savings account. Calculate whatever amount you’re able to put away bi-weekly for one year. At the end of the year, compare your savings to what you had at the start. I can guarantee a big a-ha moment and a huge smile on your face.

To answer your question “what can a small amount of saving do for me? It can eventually give you financial freedom. Such a simple concept, with monumental results.

Let me know if you are going to take on the challenge. I will be here for you every step of the way.

Send me an email if you want to talk further about growing your financial lettuce.

tessamarieshillingford46@gmail.com

Thanks

Tessa-Marie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Pay Off Your Credit Card

How to Pay Off your Credit Card

With this post, I promise that I will show you how to pay off your debt before January 31,2018.

Last week I showed you how to save money for the Holiday season. Many of you wanted to know why I did not give a tutorial on paying off the debt instead.

My reason for showing you how to save money first is because we are told to pay ourselves first. By saving money you are honoring yourself.

The first step is to get familiar with the amount you owe. Do not guess the amount, look at the bill or bills and total the amounts.

For example, if you owe $2,600.00, the table below shows what you need to pay monthly in order to pay off your debt in 1 year. You can also see how much interest you are paying monthly, as well as your total interest paid for the year.

It’s important to pay your bills as you get paid, either weekly or bi-weekly.

Let’s use that $2,600.00 debt again plus $282.51 interest over one year. If you get paid bi-weekly, divide that amount by 26 [2,882.51/26 = $110.89] every payday.] If you’re paid weekly, divide that amount by 52 [$2882.51/ 52 = 55.43. ] Your credit card payment is monthly but you can choose to pay those amounts every payday. When you pay your bills as you get paid you will notice that your cash flow is more evenly distributed.

The reason why we incur debt is simply because of the lack of cash flow. Remember you have also been saving, so you now have cash on hand to do your holiday shopping next year.

Payment Summary

Event Amount Term Period
Loan $2,600.00 1
Payment $246.11 11 Monthly
Payment $174.23 1
Payment Schedule

Event Loan Payment Interest Principal Balance
Loan 1 $2,600.00 $0.00 $0.00 $2,600.00
Payment 1 $246.11 $39.87 $206.24 $2,393.76
Payment 2 $246.11 $40.64 $205.47 $2,188.29
Payment 3 $246.11 $35.95 $210.16 $1,978.13
Payment 4 $246.11 $33.58 $212.53 $1,765.60
Payment 5 $246.11 $29.01 $217.10 $1,548.50
Payment 6 $246.11 $26.29 $219.82 $1,328.68
Payment 7 $246.11 $22.56 $223.55 $1,105.13
Payment 8 $246.11 $18.16 $227.95 $877.18
Payment 9 $246.11 $14.89 $231.22 $645.96
Payment 10 $246.11 $10.61 $235.50 $410.46
Payment 11 $246.11 $6.97 $239.14 $171.32
Payment 12 $174.23 $2.91 $171.32 $0.00
Grand Total $2,600.00 $2,881.44 $281.44 $2,600.00 $0.0

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me.

Thanks,

Tessa-Marie | tessamarieshillingford46@gmail.com