What’s been going on?

I am now able to answer the above question.

I am writing this note to let you know I have been away from my blog site due to the illness of my husband.  The journey started in September 2013 and ended with his death in June of 2014.

My husband was the wind beneath my wings. He was a great supporter of all my activities, from gardening insatiably, reading and forgetting to prepare dinner. He was always there when I dropped the ball. He kept me sane, when I took on too much. Like helping me with my canning of fruits and vegetables for an entire weekend.

He listened, while I spoke incessantly and never interrupted me. Through those years, not at any one time did he ask me to change my thoughts or behavior. He most certainly gave me room to grow and I always knew he was the perfect husband for me.

We shared lots of wonderful time with family and friends. We both enjoyed travelling and travelled all over Canada and the world.

He was very supportive and nurturing father.

I miss him very much.

I miss his sense of humor. I miss him. When I come home from a long walk and he is not there to greet me. I miss him when I am backing into the garage and there is no one to bang on the car to prevent me from hitting the recycling bin.   I miss him when I suddenly begin dancing in the kitchen with no music. No one is there smiling at me.  I miss him. He knew when I was tired, before I felt it. His cure for everything that ails you is snoozing for a few minutes; he would constantly send me off to snooze. That too I miss.

There are so many occasions to miss him, but he told me all I need to do is to put one foot before the other and keep going.

So here I am, I am ready to begin this new journey without the love and support of this amazing person.

I will start by sharing my blog site with some of the people I have helped manage their finances. Several have expressed a wish to share with others what they had to do to reach their goal of financial freedom.

They are not professional bloggers. They are going to speak from their hearts. I hope you will be able to get the message and forgive the grammar.



Creating a SPENDING PLAN may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world to do, but it is vital in keeping your financial house in order.

Before you begin to create your SPENDING PLAN it is important to realize that in order to be successful you have to include all your financial details, no spending is too small to be listed.  It is imperative all spending is listed.

Ultimately, the end result will show where your money is coming from, how much it is where it is all going.

  1.  First, at the top of the page write down the date and amount you bring home each week, bi-weekly or monthly.    By that I mean the amount you receive in your account which is your net pay,  this is the amount you have to live on.
  2. Write down EVERYTHING you spend each day.   Most people remember their mortgage or rent payment,  but often forget the impulsive things they buy,   like a chocolate bar, the lottery tickets they buy on their way to work each morning.    I recommend that you carry a small notepad with you and write down everything you spend money on,  including lunch, magazines, and your morning coffee.    By keeping track of everything you spend money on, you will have a complete list of all your expenses, which will make it easier to create your Spending Plan.
  3. Savings:  Your savings must be included in your list of expenses?  Remember to pay yourself first;  consider it a debt you owe to you.    Have your bank do your savings automatically for you.
  4.  Your weekly,  bi-weekly or monthly income should equal the same as your expenses.   If your expenses are greater than your income, you will need to revamp your spending plan.
  5. Once you have created your spending plan your job is to make it work for you.   What are you willing to give up, to make your spending plan work?    I do not recommend stopping or modifying your savings,  if you do you are again putting yourself last. Look at the amount you spend on groceries,  cable TV, eating out.    Groceries are usually the bigger culprit; make a list of what you already have and shop accordingly, not because it is on sale.
  6. If you choose not to decrease your spending, are you prepared to take on a part-time job?    To spend more than you are making is to dig a hole while standing in the same spot,  eventually you will not be able to toss the dirt over your head and out.   You will need to go over your spending plan several times, before you get it right. Keep at it,  it is worth the effort
  7.  If you have a spouse you will have to work together to produce a spending plan that will benefit both you and your partner.
  8. Even if one person manages the day-to-day of the spending plan the partner should be aware of what is going on in that plan.
  9. After you have your spending plan as you want it,  your next step is to implement the plan.   
  10.  Set up weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meeting where you and your partner go over the plan,  you will need to visit the plan often in e beginning.    Then you can go over it at least once a month to make sure you are on tract.

Tessa- Marie Shillingford is the author of Controlling the Debt Monster. She is Personal Financial Planner, with a designation from the Institute of Canadian Bankers, and a Financial Counselor certified by the institute of Canadian Banker. She is presently a Program Facilitator of Financial Literacy at JVS Toronto. Tessa- Marie was employed by TD Canada Trust for twenty years in the retail section of the bank. During her tenure at TD Canada Trust she held various positions interacting with customers of the bank. As a Financial Advisor and Manager of Financial Services she led a group of Financial Advisors in helping customers of TD Canada Trust successfully manage their finances. Details of her book… Controlling the Debt Monster, can be found at http://www.controldebtmonster.com

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 24 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 17 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was August 6th with 76 views. The most popular post that day was Calm Down Take Your Time.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were mail.live.com, mail.yahoo.com, en.search.wordpress.com, facebook.com, and fortheloveofmoney.ca.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for controllingthedebtmonster.wordpress.com, tessamarieshillingford, tessa marie shillingford word press, tessa marie shillingford, and debt spiral.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Calm Down Take Your Time August 2010


How the Journey Started March 2010


Pay Yourself First April 2010


On The Bus June 2010


The Emergency Account August 2010