Tuesday, January 18, 2022

14 Hacks To Reduce Debt and Avoid New Debt

Debt. It's a four-letter word that we all want to avoid, for the most part. 

I say for the most part because there is both good debt and bad debt. Your home mortgage, for example, would be considered good debt as it will generate income and build your net worth as it increases in value.

Unfortunately, debt becomes a reality for many of us at some point in our lives. A recent report showed that nearly 80% of Americans are in debt. And, it's not really a surprise considering the cost of living these days. However,  there are many ways to reduce existing debt and also avoid incurring new debt. Let's explore some of the tips and kick debt to the curb!

7 Tips to Reduce Debt:

To begin, make a list of all of your debts, income, and expenses. Now you are ready to take charge and tackle your debt.

1. Consolidate debt- speak to a financial advisor and create a plan together to pay off your existing debt. One of my favourite tips is to use or open a low-interest credit line or low-interest credit card that can be used to pay off higher interest credit cards and loans. They will be consolidated into one low-interest account so you'll only need to make that one monthly payment. Talk about simplified.

2. Pay off higher interest credit cards and loans first. And, always make sure you're paying more than just the interest every month, otherwise, you won't be paying off the debt (principal), just the interest.

3. Make weekly or bi-weekly payments vs. monthly.  You'll be surprised at how much more quickly you'll pay off those debts. I did this with my mortgage and my home will be paid off much earlier than if I made monthly payments.

4. Increase income: ask for that long-overdue raise, or get a second job or side hustle. Even something as small as a weekly paper route can help. 

5. Declutter: this trend has become hugely popular for quite some time and is still going strong. Declutter your home by getting rid of things that you no longer need, use, or love. Then sell them on apps like Facebook marketplace, Kijiji, Poshmark, eBay and more! I've had great success at reducing my debt this way!

6. Only purchase necessities. Keep a list of what you need and know what you have. Tip #5 will help you know exactly what you have and avoid unnecessary spending.

7. Set up a separate savings account, and have a specified portion of your paycheck go automatically into this account on payday. This way you won't even feel it and you can use these funds to pay down your debt.

Learn more about getting out of debt here.

7 Tips to Avoid New Debt:

1. Cancel credit cards and lines of credit once they are paid off. Keep one for emergencies only. Or use one low-interest credit card for all purchases which can actually help some people keep track of their spending. If having a credit card makes you spend more than you normally would, just steer clear.

2. Use cash. I find that when I use cash, I feel what I'm spending much more than when I'm just tapping or handing over my credit card.

3. Make a budget and stick with it. Live within your means. Check out free online budget planners to help with this task.

4. Walk away from impulse purchases. This works for online shopping as well. Walk away from the item or computer, phone, etc. Go do something else. If you're still thinking about it in a day or two, decide if you really need it or not. Another simple trick that I use if I really want something but know I don't really need it, is to read all the bad (1 star) reviews on the items, which usually works for me. 😄

5. Reevaluate your bills, lower and eliminate what you can. With just a phone call, you can often receive reductions to many of your bills, including your cell phone bill, home and /or car insurance, cable bill etc. How many streaming services do you have? Are you using them? Cancel what you don't use or need. 

6. Emergency fund /savings- Put 10% of your income aside, this way, you’ll be prepared for any unexpected expenses.

7. Payoff bills in full at the end of the month- Once you've paid off your debt and now have a realistic budget in place, you should be able to avoid going into debt again by paying off your monthly bills in full each month.

Remember that "A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned"- this old expression couldn't be more true! Think about other ways you can save, like trading in that gas-guzzling vehicle for one that's cheaper on gas, joining free reward memberships like Airmiles, using coupons, shopping at dollar stores, going thrifting, finding deals at online marketplaces like Facebook (I recently purchased a name brand GPS in like-new condition for $20 and there was no tax because it was a private sale), shop garage and estate sales, entertain and exercise at home, have fun and experiment making your specialty coffees at home. Get creative and have fun while finding new ways to save your hard-earned money.

Debt not only affects your credit score, but can also affect your relationships, self-esteem, and can cause enormous stress. Once you are debt-free, you will feel so liberated and free and have less stress.

I hope you found my list of tips helpful. I know that they've helped me so much over the years and I hope they will help you too.

Learn more about how to stay out of debt.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Holiday Gift Guide + Stocking Stuffer Ideas

The holiday season is upon us, within no time, Christmas will be here! Many of us are doing our shopping online this year for obvious reasons (thanks, Covid). If you are a last minute shopper like me, hopefully you'll find these gift ideas helpful. From stocking stuffers, to gifts under the tree, Secret Santa Swaps, host/hostess gifts, there is something here for everyone!

Heat Holders® hat and socks featured here are incredibly soft, warm and cozy!  Literally, the softest thing I've ever felt.

Heat Holders are internationally recognized as the world’s warmest socks! They're over 7x warmer than regular cotton socks and 3x warmer than ordinary thermal socks. Heat Holders® are specially developed with cashmere-like acrylic yarn which provides high performance insulation against the cold with superior moisture breathing abilities.

This hat is super soft and warm... you have to feel it to believe it! There are hats for the whole family at Heat Holders.

Heat Holders also carry gloves, blankets, and other products for the whole family that are designed to keep them cozy and toasty warm all winter long! 🔥

Heat Holders is known for their ultra warm socks. There are many different socks to choose from for him and her.

Heat Holder Socks for Her $12.99 (sale price)

For more information, and to browse the entire Heat Holders® collection visit www.heatholders.com

As seen on Shark Tank! The Comfy takes cozy to a whole other level! It's the blanket you can wear. With all the time we're spending at home these days, why not stay super warm and snuggly! The Comfy has a sherpa lining and a cozy hood too, so you can stay warm and even save on your energy bills by getting one for every family member. It's a #1 best seller for a reason!

Available for both adults and kids.

The Comfy is Available on Amazon for Kids and Adults (prices vary).

Have a fragrance lover in your life? So.. Fragrance body mists has a scent for everyone! Ever since I discovered this brand, I choose them over perfumes as these aren't overpowering, and therefore don't cause headaches for me that traditional perfumes often can. I find a lot of other body mists just smell like alcohol after a few minutes, not with these beauties! You get the beautiful notes of each fragrance without the alcohol smell.

Available at ShopHali.com and select local drugstores.

For the blonde or silver haired beauty in your life, Provoke Touch of Silver makes THE best purple shampoo and conditioner to take care of blonde and silver hair. Not only do these tone the hair to keep unwanted brassy tones at bay, they also help to repair the hair! This brand quickly became my favourite purple shampoo and conditioner after trying them out years ago, and I have tried a ton of different ones, I find these the best.

Available on Amazon and select local drug stores.

Lashes and brows have been all the rage for years now, and even more so now that we are wearing masks so our eyes become the focal point. BeautyLash Tinting Kit for Eyebrows and Eyelashes is the perfect gift for the lash and brow lover in your life. It's quick and easy to use. Tints lashes and brows in only 3 minutes. A complete kit ready to use with 8 applications. Covers grey, gentle natural ingredients, developed specially for eye area. Lasts up to 6 weeks. Smudge and waterproof, too!

Available online and at select drug stores.

Flexitol Heel Magic REALLY is magic! It's the simplest, easiest way to soft, beautiful feet, it's the perfect lazy person's pedicure. I've gone through several of these. My man actually took my "backup" and I took it back. lol. So, yes, I have to get him one, too!

To use, simply twist the product up, swipe across dry, cracked heels, apply socks, go to bed, and wake up to softer feet. Use as needed for a quick and easy pedicure. 

Available online and at select drugstores.

Splat Naturals Semi-Permanent Hair Dye is perfect gift for the guy or gal who loves to play with different hair colours without the commitment. Splat Natural's hair products are natural, vegan, eco-friendly, and easy to use. Their Semi-Permanent Hair Dye comes in several colours and lasts for up to 30 washes.

Available online and at select drug stores.

Invisibobble makes the best hair accessories! Their latest products include The Sprunchie, as well as their original hair bobbles designed for thick and thin hair.

"Spiral Hair Ring Meets Scrunchie: Hidden underneath the luxurious fabric, the invisibobble True Black / Purrfection SPRUNCHIES contain a classic, spiral ORIGINAL, providing all the benefits that come with our classic hair ring."

Invisibobble's new Sprunchie Original shown in black and leopard. Other variations are also available.

The new Sprunchie Original shown here have a soft velvet outside with the original invisibobble inside. They hold hair so well, without tugging or pulling, which means no headaches, plus they look great on the wrist when not in use. ;)

2 pack Sprunchies available online and at select drug stores
3 Invisibobble Traceless Hair Rings, available online and at select drug stores

BS-Mall is an affordable and wonderful makeup brush line that I discovered on Amazon. the quality is fabulous and the price is right. They are made with synthetic hair, are cruelty-free and make such a great gift for the makeup lover!

This 14pc Rose Gold set comes with a case and is currently on sale for only $13.99 (Reg. $18.99).

Available on Amazon.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Eyeshadow Palette would be such a treat for the makeup enthusiast in your life! The shades would suit most skin tones and they are suitable for aging eyes, too! Since they are neutrals with both mattes and shimmers, you really can't go wrong with this palette. I own this palette as well as the matching Pillow Talk blush, which I received for my birthday one year. Her matching lipstick is a cult favourite, too. They are pricey but worth it as her products are pretty magical. ⭐

Last but not least, is the perfect gift for him. The Ekster Parliament Smart Wallet with Tracker Card is a great choice for the man in your life. We featured this wallet before - check out this post for full deets on this beauty. The quality is impeccable and he will never lose his wallet again with the tracker card. I'm sure he will appreciate the peace of mind this gift will bring him and so will everyone else since you'll no longer have to hear "have you seen my wallet!?" lol

I hope you got some ideas from what we've shared here. 

Happy Shopping! 📦

Post contains affiliate links 

#prsample #pr

Saturday, November 13, 2021

New! Youth to the People Superberry Dream Cleansing Balm

Loving @youthtothepeople 's brand new Superberry Dream Cleansing Balm 🍃 It breaks up and takes off my makeup with such ease, and adds much needed hydration to my dehydrated skin 💦 

Retail $45 CAD at Sephora.com 100ML

This oil-to-milk balm dissolves face, eye, and lip makeup while softening, conditioning, and hydrating with oil-soluble hyaluronic acid and omegas. The PEG-free formula fully rinses without residue, leaving skin super clean and free to dream—never greasy.

Some of the fabulous ingredients include: Maqui, Prickly Pear, Goji, Acai, Sunflower, Moringa, Jojoba seed oils, and 3x Hyaluronic acid. 💧

It feels amazing on my skin, leaves it super soft, and preps it for my 2nd cleanse.

A little goes a long way so this huge jar will last forever! Oh, and it doesn't break me out! 🙌


Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Water, Polyhydroxystearic Acid,Moringa Oleifera (Moringa) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Stem Extract, Aristotelia Chilensis (Maqui Berry) Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Moringa Oleifera (Moringa) Leaf Extract, Opuntia Tuna (Prickly Pear) Flower/Stem Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower (Neem) Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Holy Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract, Corallina Officinalis (Red Algae) Extract, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopherol, Sodium Laurylglucosides, Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Fragrance/Parfum.

🍃 Youth to the People combines superfoods + science. 
🍃 100% Vegan 
🍃 Cruelty-free 🐰 
🍃 Made in California 

This product is great for all skin types and doesn't clog pores. Hydrated skin = more youthful skin! Superberry Dream Cleansing Balm is a great addition to any anti aging skincare regime.

Have you tried this beauty yet?!

#pr #prsample #yttp #youthtothepeople #Ifoundmyselfinadream

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Marshall's and Winner's Holiday Gift Ideas and a Haul!

I was in need of some serious retail therapy, so I hit up my local Marshall's and Winner's stores. Luckily I have both stores 5 minutes from my house. 

I needed to restock my hair clips (shown near end of this post) that I use for sectioning my hair when styling and for when I do my highlights as all of my previous ones had broken. Luckily, I found a set of them at Winner's. As you'll see, I found many other great deals and fabulous finds that I'll share with you here. They are already getting some great gift sets in stores for the holidays!

Note: Everything I purchased will be shown at the end of this post.

Let's see what I spotted in my local Marshall's and Winner's stores...

These gorgeous boots are by Aldo. I definitely would have snatched them up when I was younger. I very rarely wear heels anymore, so I left them for another lucky person.

I spotted this adorable mug in the checkout aisle. It was only $4.99. Marshall's and Winner's always have the cutest mugs.

I thought these 7 For All Mankind camo ankle rainboots were adorable. They were on sale for only $24. But since I already own a pair of rainboots, I also left these behind.

I spotted these Union Bay combat boots at the first store that I went to. They seemed like great quality and I have wanted a pair of boots just like these for a few years now, so I went to another store, found my size and scooped them up. I wear between 8.5 - 9 depending on the cut. The 8.5 fit me perfectly in these, so if you are between sizes, I would probably go with the smaller size.

I'm not really sure how I ended up in the sock aisle as I didn't think that I needed any socks. 😄 Turns out that I did. When I saw these socks with the padded heel, I realized they might be just what I needed for my shoes that cut up my heels. I ended up finding the same type of socks by Skechers and went with those ones because I felt that the Puma's were too sporty for the shoes I wanted to wear them with. But, I would def. go with the Puma's for a more sporty shoe. Price $12.99 for 6 pairs. Skechers were $9.99 for 6 pairs.

This ring light (similar) was unexpected but a great find. $29.99

There were quite a few of these cute Snuggle Buddy plush toys (similar) that you can microwave and use to warm yourself up. This would definitely make a great gift for the chilly person in your life.  I believe they were $19.99.

This set of Oasis 7 foot masks (similar) would be a great gift for anyone who could use a little pampering. This set includes 4 masks (2 peeling, 2 moisturizing) for $12.99.

This Estee Lauder Travel in Color gift set is a great deal at $29.99 and would make a great gift for the beauty lover in your life.

Gift sets shown here by Tocca and Laneige. Laneige is super popular right now and would be a great gift for the skincare enthusiast. Tocca $16.99/ Laneige $34.99.

This Clinique gift set is another item that would make a fabulous gift. Can't recall the price on this one but I'm pretty certain it was under $30.

What a great find this Mac set was! Any die hard Mac fan would love it. I believe it was $19.99.

Here we have a Clinique Acne clearing gift set as well as Glam Glow's Hydration Love Fest Set.

This Shiseido gift set would make a great stocking stuffer. I've never tried this brand but I definitely should. My Mother always used Shiseido back in the day.

I'm always interested in trying new hair products, especially anything geared towards "anti-breakage." This would also make a great gift for someone you know who struggles with damaged or brittle hair.

Rude Cosmetics Bite Me Eyeshadow Palette includes an eyeliner as well. Rude Cosmetics is very affordable and good quality. I've been seeing them a lot lately at Marshall's and Winner's. Great stocking stuffer for the makeup lover in your life.

All of these hair tools looked so enticing from Conair to Chi, I want to try them all! The makeup mirror (similarlooks fabulous too.

I love Marshall's and Winner's for their Haircare products. They have a lot of high end products at greatly reduced prices. I didn't even know that Dr. PawPaw had a hair treatment and I'm curious about it! I used to use the BioSilk Silk Therapy back in the day, I should probably try it again.

Another great gift idea with this heating pad. I personally can't live without mine. If I didn't have one, I would def. have scooped this one up.

Marshall's and Winner's is also a great place to find all-natural products like the Giovanni hair products shown above. It's also a great place to find a large selection of all-natural deodorants and other bath products.

Here are some more high-end skincare gift sets, including Eve Lom which I've heard so much about. 

And, more hair tools that look pretty amazing! I'm very curious about the Hot Tools hair styling brushas I have the Revlon one, but rarely use it as I find it quite hot and thus damaging.

This Cortex Beauty Beyond Styler hair styling set is VERY intriguing! It retails for $250 CAD!  It is giving me Dyson vibes but much cheaper. It was around $50 or $60.

Here's a glimpse of one endcap full of beauty storage ideas, gift sets, and quite a bit of Marc Jacobs Beauty including their blush, bronzer, and highlight trios for only $24.99!

Below is what I ended up purchasing. Yes, I went a little ham on refreshing my nail polish collection and sports bras. And to think, I only went in for the hair clips 😅 

KMS Moist Repair Hair Conditioner on clearance for $10 / Retail $47CAD!
Foxy Bae Leave in Hair Mask on clearance for $8 (My current favourite leave in conditioner- full review linked here)
OPI nail polish in Barefoot in Barcelona $6.99
China Glaze Nail Polish in Kill the Lights $4.99
Orly nail Polish in Coming up Roses $4.99

I found so many amazing deals on sports bras! I wear sports bras as my daily bras and to sleep in so I couldn't pass these up for $5-$7 per bra!

Pictured above is a 2 pack of Reebok (RBX) sports bras on clearance for $10. The retail tag says $58 and that is probably in USD. I sized up for a comfy fit.

Pictured above are 2 Puma sports bras. (similar) Both were on clearance for $7 each! Similar I sized up in both for a comfy fit.

This Rae Dunn sports bra was on clearance for only $6! (Unable to find online).

I'm definitely stocked up on sports bras for a while. I saw many others name brand sports bras on clearance for the same prices that I paid. It was very tempting to purchase them all at such great prices!

Last but not least, here are the Union Bay Hayden boots that I purchased for $49.99 (retail $60 USD) and the Skechers socks (similarfor $9.99

I hope you enjoyed this "shop with me" so to speak. Next time, I really have to get some clothing pics as well as some photos from other departments. There was just so much in store. I am definitely going back. There are some candles that I need to pick up and I wouldn't  mind checking out some of the bedding. But the clearance racks will always be my favourite spot to check out! 

Happy Shopping! 🛒

#lovemarshalls #winnersfabfinds

*Some links are affiliate

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