Category: finances

Groupon + Coupons = Fantastic Savings!

Save Time and Money With Groupon Goods #ad

Everyone that knows me, knows that I love saving money. I like to keep us on budget but still enjoy the fun things in life, the movies, eating out, the spa and the list can go on. Just because we are on a budget doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy life too. A budget isn’t meant to be so restrictive that you can’t enjoy life and time with your family. Using Groupon Coupons helps us enjoy life all while living within our budget limits.

So what is Groupon Coupons?

Groupon Coupons is an online database with a huge variety of online coupons for pretty much anything that you can think of. All of the coupons are verified and free to print and use. You just head over to Groupon Coupons, choose the coupon you need and print. No worries about waiting for flyer deliveries or mail out coupons. Some of the coupons you can even use online, this is my personal favourite way to spend and save money – I do most of my shopping online.

Are you looking for Christmas gifts? I am sure like so many of us, you are either starting your shopping or just creating a list. Groupon Coupons has many excellent ideas for Christmas gifts but my personal two favourites gift ideas to give are spa days and canvas prints.

Last year I sent my Mom and sister to the spa. I couldn’t think of two people who deserved that any more than them. Right now you can get a promo code and coupon for money off at SpaFinder Wellness. A day at the spa is the most relaxing experience you will ever have and honestly one that every person should experience at least once in their life.

SpaFinder: Groupon CouponsCanvas prints are another fantastic gift idea. Last year I gave my Dad a print of my boys and he loved it – it is something that is personal and that they can treasure for a long time. Right now you can get a specific percentage off and free shipping over at Groupon Coupons.

Happy holiday shopping my friends! Make sure you check out Groupon on Facebook and Twitter to get up to date news, deals and more.

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Save Money and Time With Groupon Goods #spon

Save Time and Money With Groupon Goods #ad

This post has been sponsored by Groupon Goods. All opinions expressed are my own.

While I love saving money on not only every day grocery items but big ticket items for our home, what I love the most is saving time. If I can make things easier by managing my time and ordering online that means I can spend more time where I really want to – with my boys! For us this means more time visiting local attractions like the museum.

Save Time and Money with Groupon Goods #spon

For years I had avoided shopping online. I used every excuse possible; I love the feel of shopping in person, trying on items, choosing the item I want myself of the shelf and I will get a better deal in store than online. Boy was I wrong! I first started shopping online two years ago at Christmas time because let’s face it from now until Christmas, stores are crazy. I do not like having people pushing into me, the long line ups to pay and not being able to find what I am looking for. My first experience had me hooked! Not only is shopping online easy, there is a greater selection of goods, prices and the items are delivered to your home or place of business within a couple of days. To me this is best part!

One of the most convenient places to shop online is Groupon Goods, where you can purchase a wide array of products. Everything from health and beauty to toys to electronics to even mattresses! They take one stop shopping to heart, which is perfect for this busy family.

As a side note, because it can be easy to go over board with the shopping online (trust me it can be addictive!), I like to keep a spreadsheet and record what I am ordering online, the price and when it is delivered. It really helps to keep me on track with my shopping and spending habits.

What is your favourite item to order online?

Make sure to check out Groupon on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest information and deals. Happy Shopping!

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Life Is Too Precious To Not Prepare #InsuranceThatFits

Life Is Too Precious To Not Prepare #InsuranceThatFits

The birth of our second son brought a variety of changes to our family. Not only did we have to learn to share our time and attention between two children, we had to adjust to a whole new set of needs, demands and time schedules (after six years I had become so used to a straight six hours of sleep at night). It became apparent really quickly that we had outgrown our townhouse as we were walking over baby toys. Isn’t it incredible how one small child can overrun the house with all of their toys, accessories and equipment?

Life is Too Precious To Not Prepare #InsuranceThatFits

It took us six months to find our forever home, we had been looking occasionally prior to this but never with any real true interest. We wanted our home to be close to our boy’s school, near a park, and away from heavy car traffic (our townhouse at the time was on a busy street and we hated it with a passion). We couldn’t believe our luck when a home came up that matched all of our wants and in our price range! In what felt like warp speed, we had purchased our first home. In all of our excitement, I had this nagging concern eating away at me that we had not protected our children enough.

Life Is Too Precious To Not Prepare #InsuranceThatFits

Life insurance was always something we had both wanted to purchase, but kept putting it off. It was always on our must-purchase list, but found it hard to discuss with each other (your own mortality is seriously one of the hardest topics ever to talk about with your spouse). But with the purchase of a new home (and mortgage), as well as two children to provide for, we needed to act quickly.

For my husband and I, our biggest concern was that if one of us passed away, we wanted to ensure that the boys would still be able to stay in their home with the surviving spouse. We didn’t want to get caught with too little money and force the boys to have to go through a move on top of all the other emotional currents they would be dealing with.

Sorting through life insurance types, companies that provide policies, and deciding how much we needed was overwhelming. We even needed to take a step back from it all at one point as it became far too much for us. Taking that step back helped us realize we needed to go to a company that we trusted and had a connection with already, for us that was TD. Both of us have always banked with TD and our investments are with TD, so it made sense for us to trust them with our life insurance. My husband and I sat down and applied online for term life insurance. We had already decided that we each needed an amount that was equal to our mortgage, so that the surviving spouse could pay off the mortgage and our children would not have to move. I loved the online option as we were able to change the amounts of coverage to get a couple of quotes for a variety of coverage options.

With the TD Insurance online application and quotes, we discovered that we could actually increase our term life insurance policy coverage to not only cover our mortgage, but to also give enough for either of us to pay off any additional debts that we might have. Completing our application was easy; TD Insurance set up a time to come visit with us and fill out the health questionnaire (medication list, height, weight and some minor blood work). Their life insurance needs analysis helps you to determine how much coverage you need and at what cost it will be to you. As a bonus, if you call TD Insurance at 1-888-756-5666 for a free life insurance needs analysis (insert link) by November 13, you can be entered to win one of 300 FitBitTMFlex activity trackers!

For my husband and I, this small action has caused a great amount of emotional and financial relief. We now know that as a family we are protected from any uncontrollable accidents or events that could change our lives both emotionally and financially. We now know our boys will be protected and that we can focus on their emotional needs if that time comes. This is what term life insurance provides you with: security in the event that the uncontrollable and inevitable happens.

Do you have term life insurance? If so, what prompted you to purchase term life insurance?

This post is brought to you by TD Insurance but the images and opinions are my own. For more information, please visit

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Declutter Your Home and Earn Money with VarageSale

Have you made purchases that you almost immediately regret? Like the twentieth sleeper for your child that they will never wear? Maybe that deep fryer that seemed like a good purchase at the time but you never actually deep fry anything (I still don’t know why we bought it!)?

I know as a family we have done this too many times. These purchases always seem like a must have in the moment but then they sit in a closet, garage or basement for months and years. Garage sales and classified ads make me nervous (nor do I have the time to commit myself to this), and I am too uncomfortable to post or sell in the Mom groups on Facebook.

Declutter and Earn Money with VarageSale

VarageSale is an online community where you can safely buy or sell items and connect with locals in your community. VarageSale was founded in 2012 and currently has communities in 42 states in the US, Canada and world-wide. They are continuing to expand in Canada and have just recently included a community in Hamilton. VarageSale is completely free to use (win-win!) as well as having a mobile app for iOS, Android and Kindle. This is perfect for so many of us who do the majority of our work on our smart phones – I live and work on my phone so for me, an app like this saves time and increases efficiency. How to Declutter Your Home with VarageSale VarageSale offers:

  • local community groups, with a new group in Hamilton
  • easy labelling that lets users know if an item is for sale, pending or sold
  • recommend sellers and follow their feeds to see what they are currently selling
  • easy search options with multiple categories to explore
  • a safe environment to sell items within your own community

How to Declutter Your Home and Earn Money with VarageSale

Setting up an account is simple and free, you can set up your account on VarageSale. Once you have a live account, you can start uploading photos and items to sell, search other users and browse through your notifications.

This is the perfect way for busy families to safely sell unused items in their community while earning extra money that can go back into their family budget or for extra curricular activities (for us – soccer!). Which I know so many of us would appreciate the extra boost in their bank account.

Still on the fence? Watch this quick video:

How do you declutter your home? Have you set up a VarageSale account?

Make sure you follow VarageSale online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Building A Family Budget with Your Children

Heritage Eduation Funds

How many of you have developed a family budget? This should be a budget that is reflective of your current accounts, debts, payments, as well as your future needs (RRSPs, RESPs and emergency funds). Now here’s the tough question: how many of you have shared this with your children?

The reason I ask this question stems from a conversation I had with my tween this weekend. A conversation that made me feel as though I had failed in including him enough in our income and budget preparation, as well as what kind of income is needed to survive in our current economy. A group of kids in his grade could not wait until they graduated high school so they could live on their own (to be young again!). When I asked about the amount of income they thought they would be bringing in, I was shocked by their response: $800 a month! I asked them if they felt they could survive on $800 a month. The reply: but of course we can! I know some people have no options and do work with similar budgets to this number but I feel as though we are failing them, as this is not an income that allows an individual to move forward and support themselves comfortably (and yes, I’ve been there too!).

While we have always been open with our children about our family budget, we clearly weren’t doing a good enough job at teaching them about our income, where the money was going to and how we were putting it away for the future. We were not exposing them enough to payments such as rent, mortgages, taxes and how quickly money tends to fly out of our accounts.

I kept asking myself: how can we get our son more involved? How can I make it easy for him to understand that living on a budget is necessary, but at the same time needs to be realistic and most importantly, how can I make this into something he can understand?

Step One: Lay It All Out There: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I took out all our current bills, city taxes, mortgage payments, our bill book, spreadsheets and laid them all out on the table for him. I also included my debt repayment schedule because I want him to know how easy it can be to rely on credit while at school and how this affects you as an adult once you graduate. We work through each bill and each payment, explaining the total amounts owing, basic interest principles and where our money is going to each month.

Step Two: Create a Brand New Budget

Using this new information, we drew up a brand new budget (not because we needed one but because I wanted him to learn about budgets and where our money was going to). Together, we listed all the required monthly payments we had to make (credit card, car loans, mortgage, day care, RRSPs, RESPs, etc.) as well as things such as entertainment and pizza fund money. These items are important too! Plug in those numbers and total them up. I bet your child will be quite surprised with that final number (I know I always am and maybe a tad nauseated too!).

Creating a Family Budget With Your Kids

Step Three: Incoming Money

Talking about your income with your child might be hard (I know it is for me), but it’s also important. They need to know that our funds are not endless, as much as they may wish it was so. We never had this conversation with our parents; I still would not be comfortable asking them how much money they make, as it just feels far too personal and invasive. Now you can total up all of your incoming income and payments.

Step Four: The Bottom Line Number

This part is simple: just subtract! Subtract your outgoing from your incoming to get your total remaining amount. I like to leave some in our accounts just in case something happens (the roof leaking, extra soccer payments and fundraising have been some of our last-minute emergencies). You can also chose something to do each month with your child with this amount, maybe a date night?

Your child may have plenty of questions after you finish creating this budget and this is healthy and normal. You want them to question finances with an open mind. This will be an important skill for them later on in life. You also want them to realistic; there’s nothing worse than the shock of financial reality once you move out on your own, especially when combining this with post-secondary education. Yes, they may be able to live on $800 a month, but how hard will it be? Letting our children become a part of the process of the family finances gives them confidence and allows them to understand their opinions matter. You may be surprised as to where they would like to see some of the money allocated to – more play time at our local gym was one that surprised me.

How do you let your child play a role in the family budget?

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