On The Cost of Canning

A tip for Canadian readers: you can get a whole canning starter kit (huge pot, jar tongs, rack, pectin, funnel, magnetic stick thingie, instruction/recipe booklet and a couple of jars) for $50 at Canadian Tire. Best deal I've found anywhere. (http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/8/KitchenBath/Canning/CanningPots/PRDOVR~1420098P/Canning+Starter+Kit.jsp?locale=en)

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 5:39 pm 0

On My Sick Secret: Elderberries

Oregano oil! Every time I start getting sick (especially sore throats) or I worry that I'll catch a cold, I use this stuff and it seems to clear up any throat or chest trouble right away. For everything else, I boil up a bunch of ginger root and wear scarves and sweaters. Cold medicine just makes my heart race way too much, so I prefer relying on hippie stuff like oregano oil & ginger, + fluids + sleep.

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm 0

On Let’s All Throw Some Money at Our Problems: December Check-In

Hurray, Logan! You really inspire me, seriously. When you finally pay it all down, we should all meet up for a big online party! Here's my update: Visa Classic Low-rate APR 11.99% November 2012: $757.27 December 2012: $23.96 Credit Line APR 7.49% November 2012: $13,948.22 December 2012: $13,779.48 Money has been tight this past month because my research contracts end, I have holiday travel costs, and I don't know when I'll be renewed again for more work (my boss is waiting on her own funding renewal right now). So that just leaves me with a relatively small stipend until next September. I worry a lot about trying to pay down previous student debt while I'm still in school, but my undergraduate loans are in the form of a regular bank line of credit with more than 7% interest and so once tuition & rent is paid, I dedicate a portion of any scholarships (if they're big enough) and almost all of my research assistant income to making a dent in my debt. (I live in a really cheap, shared apartment, which helps make this possible.) So far I've been able to keep up with bi-weekly payments, but unless I receive another generous round of funding next September, I don't think I can really continue to put anything more than minimum payments toward my debt (and after my credit line is paid off, I still have another 6800 in provincial loans - currenly 0% - to pay down, too). I want to do the snowball method, but my income just isn't predictable/regular enough. :( At least I've made progress, though? Are there any other current students on here trying to pay down their debt while they're still in school?

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 10:25 am 0

On Motivational Games

My first reaction is to be creeped out and think, no way, I don't want anyone tracking my financial information. When I think about it, though, I don't think I really understand what the risks behind that really are - I just know that it's "bad". So, here's my serious/naïve question to you guys and Mike: what can really happen if a company is selling/sharing your info like this? Can they share info that would lead to identity fraud? Or is it more of an inconvenience, resulting in a lot of spam?

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 9:15 am 0

On Let’s All Throw Some Money at Our Problems: November Check-In

I still haven't been reimbursed travel expenses for a graduate student conference last month, which means my plane ticket is still sitting on my visa (very frustrating, because I won't be reimbursed for any interest, and the repayment was supposed to happen over three weeks ago). My current work contract is going to run out next month, so I'll likely slow down my payments after this until I know for sure what my 2013 income will be. It'll be the holidays, too, so I want to leave a little extra buffer room for unexpected expenses. By this time next year, I'd be really happy if I could have my debt down to well under 10K (fingers crossed). I'm still really proud of paying down so much of my debt in the past few months, though - thanks so much for setting this space up, Mike! It's been really motivating. Visa Classic Low-rate APR 11.99% 24/10/12: 1,337.76 27/11/12: 757.27 Credit Line APR 7.49% 24/10/12: 14,210.34 27/11/12: 13,948.22

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm 0

On Convenient Gadgets at the Convenience Store for Your Convenience

In the States, if you go to buy something and the price at the register is higher than the sticker price (like Matt's binoculars), can you request to pay the sticker price instead? I'm pretty sure in Canada there are consumer laws that stipulate that customers must be allowed to pay the advertised (sticker) price. In Quebec where I live, you can actually get your purchase for free if they charge you more than the advertised price (either the sticker or the barcode price on the shelf).

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 11:01 am 0

On A Storm Is Coming, Did You Know? Better Buy ... Baked Beans

@Kerry@twitter It's Anne Hathaway & James McAvoy from the film Becoming Jane. So yes, there's an Austen inspiration!

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm 0

On A Storm Is Coming, Did You Know? Better Buy ... Baked Beans

I can't tell whether or not I should be worried here in Montreal. On the one hand, the forecast doesn't seem so bad (light rain and gusting winds between 30-45 km/hr). On the other, it's Montreal and our crumbling infrastructure is just waiting for a good wind gust to knock out the power.

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm 0

On Let’s All Throw Some Money at Our Problems: October Check-In

It's a bit of a weird month. I had to travel for a conference (far away and in an expensive city), but because I was a presenter, the conference will be reimbursing a lot of my travel costs, including the airfare and accommodation. I'm temporarily carrying the balance on my visa (boo!), but I should get reimbursed next week. The good news is that I've been able to keep paying down $175 every other week onto my line of credit. Here's the breakdown since last month: Visa Classic Low-rate APR 11.99% 13/08/12: 00.0 24/10/12: 1,337.76 Credit Line APR 7.49% 20/09/12: 14,455.18 24/10/12: 14,210.34

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm 0

On The Ideal Solar Powered Gadgets for Your Ideal Day

Oh god, the idea of someone having an automated lawnmower terrifies me! Maximum Overdrive, anyone?

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm 0