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Thread: When Times Get Tough...What Do You Do?

  1. #31
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    Congrats on your pregnancy. All of the tips above are great. Sorry to hear about the support situation.
    Here is a list of what I did recently to save money:
    - got rid of cable completely and use a digital antenna which cost $25 and I pick up about 22 channels.
    - I have no cellphone bills as I use pay as you go with Telus - I buy a prepaid $100 card that is good for a year and use it for emergencies only and occasional texting. I have data blocked on this account.
    - I keep a basic phone line in my house for $20 a month.
    - I switched banks and pay no service charges.
    - I use a Tangerine MasterCard which pays cash back into my savings account - 4% for first 3 months than 2% on three categories - I have it set for groceries, drugstore and gasoline.
    - I eliminated junk food like pop, chips, etc and drink more filtered tap water.
    - I replaced all of my light bulbs with energy saving ones.
    - I turned the furnace down by a few degrees and got a free energy thermostat from my local hydro company.
    - I go to the library regularly.
    - I have a reusable Keurig k-cup and purchase coffee in bulk at Costco.
    - I always bring water and/or coffee with me when I am out running errands so that I am not tempted to stop into Tim's.
    - I stay out of stores as much as possible.
    - I found keeping a log of what I spend everyday really helps and gives an insight into what my weaknesses are (for me it is cosmetics and the clearance section at Shoppers)

    Another idea is to start living as if you were on maternity leave now and save that portion of money for future costs.

    Good luck and let us know how successful you are as I am sure you have some great tips as well to share.
    Last edited by barbis9; Mon, Feb 20th, 2017 at 11:07 AM.
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  2. #32
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    Along with start living like you are on mat leave now, before I went on adoption leave several years ago I doubled up my mortgage payments prior to going on leave and then did not pay while I was on leave. This works if you have extra income prior which may not be the case. I know you were working hard to reduce debt which is always a good thing but it may have to take a back seat when your income is reduced-good luck with whatever you decide to do with your budgeting challenges.
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  3. #33
    Contradiction in progress sweet sparrow's Avatar
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    I think it depends on how serious the situation is. My mother, who was born just after the Depression, and lived through WWII, with nine other siblings, has a good laugh at my attempts to save money. In her day, nothing was disposable. Right now, I'm cloth diapering or second child, but they used rags tied together. Wipes were smaller, reusable rags. Food was grown, meat was butchered at home. My sister washed my brother's cloth diapers by hand and she said there were no luxuries like rubber gloves in those days! She would pluck live chickens by hand and sew on buttons, darn socks, and all the things it wasn't necessary for me to learn in the era of disposable diapers and grocery stores.

    Jamie Oliver said that out of the poorest regions come the best recipes. Visit the local library and find one new recipe to try. Give cloth diapering a try or make your own wipes. No matter the coupons or rewards, we're paying for those flip top lids with the pop up wipe. Limit processed foods, don't eat out, don't buy make-up. I have a 3 year old who's favourite toys in the bath are an assortment of soap bottles she can squeeze and spray at other bottles. Children's imaginations come alive with simple uncomplicated toys like Lego, cardboard boxes, paper and crayons. In 2015, all my daughter's Christmas gifts were found at the side of the road or outgrown by other children.

    Don't eat out. Bring your own coffee, water or whatever. Even buying packaged Starbucks coffee is less than it costs in store. Eat more veggies and less meat. Eat lots of protein from beans instead during your pregnancy.

    Any little saving is good so if you buy your Starbucks at the grocery instead of from a barista, it's still a win. Congratulations on your pregnancy and don't worry. Everything will be just fine. And if you need more tips, my mom can talk your ear off. After her, I feel like royalty just having baby wipes in the house.

    Oh, I should also mention try toilet training your.child over a long weekend. I didn't know what my child was capable was until we tried it. DH's family kept saying she'll be in diapers for years, but my mom said get off the disposables for goodness sakes! We tried and she was done at 26 months. We would have tried at 22 months if she wasn't in the middle of switching daycares. It is super hard and there are a LOT of accidents the first week though. I won't pretend it was anything close to easy. Good luck!

  4. #34
    Canadian Guru jasperandchar's Avatar
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    Also if you don't bake, learn it's easy. A large bag of flour goes on sale for $7.97 or name brand and makes a lot of baked goods.

    SDM often has sugar, flour (small bag), choc. chips etc on sale for cheaper than the grocery store plus you get points.

    Pre-made muffins, granola bars, cookies are expensive to purchase. Perhaps get your little one involved and you'll be making memories as you're making goodies.

    My guys have a sweet tooth, so I divide everything I bake in 1/2 and freeze the rest for another day. I have accumulated a good variety in the freezer for later.

    I used to challenge myself to bake something every time I used the oven (saves on hydro with the pre-heating etc). It worked really well, I'm starting to do this again because although the granola bars are handy they are still $1.99 a box on sale and only have 5 per box, I have 3 lunches everyday so that's 5 boxes of just 1 type that's $10 and I can buy a lot of baking ingredients especially since I buy more than 2 types of granola bars for their daily lunches.

    Every little thing helps in the long run
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    You guys are awesome. I have been doing more baking. Making muffins and cookies to freeze for lunches and snacks. We've talked about starting to make our own bread as well, if we can just find the time.

    Sweet Sparrow, I love your story about your mom going through the depression. It is so true, we do have it a whole lot easier. I remember DH talking about his grandmother who would not throw anything away, there was a use for everything and she used every scrap.
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    I'm interested in your digital antenna idea. CAn I ask what kind of channels you're able to pick up? Do you pay monthly for that, or just buy the antenna and then its yours?



    Quote Originally Posted by barbis9 View Post
    Congrats on your pregnancy. All of the tips above are great. Sorry to hear about the support situation.
    Here is a list of what I did recently to save money:
    - got rid of cable completely and use a digital antenna which cost $25 and I pick up about 22 channels.
    - I have no cellphone bills as I use pay as you go with Telus - I buy a prepaid $100 card that is good for a year and use it for emergencies only and occasional texting. I have data blocked on this account.
    - I keep a basic phone line in my house for $20 a month.
    - I switched banks and pay no service charges.
    - I use a Tangerine MasterCard which pays cash back into my savings account - 4% for first 3 months than 2% on three categories - I have it set for groceries, drugstore and gasoline.
    - I eliminated junk food like pop, chips, etc and drink more filtered tap water.
    - I replaced all of my light bulbs with energy saving ones.
    - I turned the furnace down by a few degrees and got a free energy thermostat from my local hydro company.
    - I go to the library regularly.
    - I have a reusable Keurig k-cup and purchase coffee in bulk at Costco.
    - I always bring water and/or coffee with me when I am out running errands so that I am not tempted to stop into Tim's.
    - I stay out of stores as much as possible.
    - I found keeping a log of what I spend everyday really helps and gives an insight into what my weaknesses are (for me it is cosmetics and the clearance section at Shoppers)

    Another idea is to start living as if you were on maternity leave now and save that portion of money for future costs.

    Good luck and let us know how successful you are as I am sure you have some great tips as well to share.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wimbly11 View Post
    You guys are awesome. I have been doing more baking. Making muffins and cookies to freeze for lunches and snacks. We've talked about starting to make our own bread as well, if we can just find the time.

    Sweet Sparrow, I love your story about your mom going through the depression. It is so true, we do have it a whole lot easier. I remember DH talking about his grandmother who would not throw anything away, there was a use for everything and she used every scrap.
    Yes no matter what crap hits us we have to remember how good we have it compared to our grandparents etc. Many days I think about how fortunate I am. My kids are so lucky to have the life they have. My youngest is reminded all the time that he is lucky to participate in hockey etc. that it is not like that for every kid.

  8. #38
    Smart Canuck JadeAngel's Avatar
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    There is a website on your question about the digital antenna.

    http://otacanada.weebly.com/

    On the OTA Info section, there is a lot of valuable information, especially on How To Point Your Antenna. Depending on your location, the antenna can pick up Canadian and Buffalo, New York channels. I don't know what channels or shows you watch now, but in my family, we never had cable, satellite or any streaming services. Absolutely NO to streaming video - picture quality and sound is terrible!

    There are other websites out there on digital antennas. You just need all the patience and interest to do it.

    Sorry to @barbis9 for jumping in to answer her question. I always get excited when people ask about OTA antennas because it is so much better.

    Good Luck and Keep us posted with any results!


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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by wimbly11 View Post
    I'm interested in your digital antenna idea. CAn I ask what kind of channels you're able to pick up? Do you pay monthly for that, or just buy the antenna and then its yours?
    I don't pay any monthly fee - I own the antenna and the digital signals are free. I get ABC, CBS, Global, CTV, CHCH, etc. The reception is crystal clear except on really windy days I might lose one or two of the American channels.

    Before I disconnected cable I bought the antenna to see what channels I would pick up (as it depends on your location) and than cancelled cable and have never regretted it.

    I also watch TV shows on my laptop with www.slice.ca being my fav. as they post recent shows online and you don't need to download anything - just watch it through their website.
    Last edited by barbis9; Sat, Feb 25th, 2017 at 10:44 AM.

  10. #40
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    Thanks for the info on the digital antenna, I will be looking in to it for sure

    Lawyer called, meeting on Friday regarding child support. Something about signing papers for the hearing. Does this mean this is going to go to court??
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    Canadian Guru jasperandchar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wimbly11 View Post
    Thanks for the info on the digital antenna, I will be looking in to it for sure

    Lawyer called, meeting on Friday regarding child support. Something about signing papers for the hearing. Does this mean this is going to go to court??
    I'm sorry to say it sounds like it, call you lawyer as I thought the whole point was to avoid court, if you are going to court then I would force the RESP if it were me, I don't see how a judge would not agree it's to the child's benefit. Don't sign the papers until you are absolutely 100% happy with the terms.

    Keep us posted & good luck
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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasperandchar View Post
    I'm sorry to say it sounds like it, call you lawyer as I thought the whole point was to avoid court, if you are going to court then I would force the RESP if it were me, I don't see how a judge would not agree it's to the child's benefit. Don't sign the papers until you are absolutely 100% happy with the terms.

    Keep us posted & good luck
    I can see why a judge wouldn't agree to it. I am sure she needs the money to live today. To support the child. The RESP is not a must. Kids can get loans to go to school.

  13. #43
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    Arg. The whole point was to keep us out of court and he told us that there was no way this would go to court. I'm freaking out. We see him on Friday so I guess we'll get the information then. I'm pretty upset. Court is going to cost us so much money, money that we don't have.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasperandchar View Post
    I'm sorry to say it sounds like it, call you lawyer as I thought the whole point was to avoid court, if you are going to court then I would force the RESP if it were me, I don't see how a judge would not agree it's to the child's benefit. Don't sign the papers until you are absolutely 100% happy with the terms.

    Keep us posted & good luck
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    sorry to just jump in...but as a mom who collects child support from an ex, am I the only one boggled by the fact that a lot of women expect their ex to pay for every whim of extracurricular activity they decide to put their child in? I would never ever sign our son up for something without asking my ex and agreeing on responsibility of cost. Its actually in my terms of my child support for my ex to pay for sports and extras but I have never asked nor collected a dime from him for it lol I also have to wonder when it became about collecting money instead of doing whats best for the child. If your only income is $4000 a year, I'd have to question how they themselves are supporting their portion of the raising of that child... Sorry rant over haha
    Last edited by ex0ticb3lla; Tue, Feb 28th, 2017 at 02:35 PM.
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    Oh I'll jump on that rant!

    We have never been consulted. Stepdaughter is enrolled/signed up for whatever her mother feels like, and we are expected to pay half and do I would say close to 90% of the driving. It's frustrating. Not that we don't want step-daughter participating in things, its the fact that there is no discussion. It's really difficult on our end.

    Quote Originally Posted by ex0ticb3lla View Post
    sorry to just jump in...but as a mom who collects child support from an ex, am I the only one boggled by the fact that a lot of women expect their ex to pay for every whim of extracurricular activity they decide to put their child in? I would never ever sign our son up for something without asking my ex and agreeing on responsibility of cost. Its actually in my terms of my child support for my ex to pay for sports and extras but I have never asked nor collected a dime from him for it lol I also have to wonder when it became about collecting money instead of doing whats best for the child. If your only income is $4000 a year, I'd have to question how they themselves are supporting their portion of the raising of that child... Sorry rant over haha
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