Sarah Deveau: Money Matters

Jul
19
2012

Pursuit of Happiness

Working towards a dream

Two years ago my husband and I bought property in Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia after a decade long search. It’s a sprawling 40 acres, with seven acres of cleared land surrounded by mature trees and the rest of the space completely wooded. It features a nearly 200 year old house on the ridge of a gentle slope down to 700 feet of sandy beach on a quiet lake. There are two cabins, a barn, and a humongous workshop.

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Jul
12
2012

I spent the weekend before last in Montreal (J’adore la belle province!), and am heading out for a long weekend in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. I’m determined to pack properly for this trip, and then remember to bring everything home. I estimate I’ve spent more than $125 just buying Apple product chargers alone because I’ve either forgotten to take them with me when I’ve travelled, or because I’ve left them plugged in at the hotel room and had to buy a new one for home.

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Jul
05
2012

Debit Card and Credit Card in One

Are these cards right for you?

Last month, TD Canada Trust launched a new TD debit card that provides consumers with both debit and credit card functionality, which has been rare in the Canadian banking marketplace.

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Jun
29
2012

Four Easy Ways to Save on Your Next Vacation

Don’t spend your vacation worrying about the credit card

Your idea of what a great vacations costs likely has a lot to do with how you vacationed as a child. There were no trips to Disney World or Disney Land in my childhood (though I now know it can be done on a tight budget!). Instead, summers were spent in a rundown cabin where the menu was limited to hot dogs and generic-brand potato chips. Of course, I thought it was heaven.

It was only after becoming an adult that I realized that many families assume their annual vacation will cost as much as a used car.

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Jun
21
2012

Make Your Own Baby Food

Is it worth the effort?

Last December, there was a recall floating around in social media that Gerber baby food was recalled, as there was glass found in their jars of banana. The recall was a hoax based on a tiny truth. In July 2011, Nestlé recalled one batch of baby food made and sold only in France because a consumer reported finding glass in a jar of Nestlé P’tit Pot Recette Banana.

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Jun
14
2012

Take Your Kids to Las Vegas

Taking your kids on your Vegas vacation isn’t as crazy as it sounds

The first time I visited Las Vegas I remember staring at small children in strollers on the Strip awake at 10pm and thinking, “Who in their right mind would take their kids to Vegas?”

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Jun
06
2012

Remember the fable about the grasshopper that spent the warm months singing while the ant worked to store food for winter? When the winter arrives, the grasshopper is left with nothing on which to survive, while the ant enjoys his hard-earned comforts.

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May
31
2012

How to Hold a Successful Garage Sale

Tips for holding a money making garage sale

You’ve likely seen them popping up in your neighbourhood on Friday evenings. Whether they’re bright red and white, florescent yellow arrows, or difficult-to-decipher handwriting on cardboard, the garage sale signs are a sure sign of good weather and spring cleaning. For buyers, they’re a great opportunity to score deals on the things you need (or just want), and to discover things you didn’t know you wanted or needed.

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May
25
2012

Babysitting Co-op

Free Childcare And Fun Playdates

In my book, Money Smart Mom: Financially Fit Parenting, I wrote about how babysitting co-ops are a great alternative to paying for a babysitter (if you can even find a good sitter). I had looked into one in my city, but two things stopped me from signing up: 1) I didn’t seem to ever be home enough when I ran my own retail store, and 2) the idea of watching other people’s kids freaked me out.

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May
14
2012

Six Ways to Cut Costs in Your Small Biz

Keep your profit in your pocket with these tips

If you run your own small business, you know that every dollar saved in your business is a dollar in your pocket. Here are six ways you can cut costs that will increase your profit margin.

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May
11
2012

HGTV Show Looking for You!

Have you moved something weird, unusual or unique?

Are you moving and have something large, small, fragile, cool or and/or just plain strange to take with you? We’re talking collections, heirlooms, statues - even stuff you don’t want to talk about. Or have you done this kind of move in the past?
 

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May
09
2012

Credit Cards Cause Debt Regret

Survey finds 60.1% of Canadians are not comfortable with their current level of debt

A staggering 60.1% of Canadians are not comfortable with their current level of debt, according to an independent survey from RateSupermarket.ca, Canada’s largest impartial rate comparison service. Among the 2,929 respondents from across the country, the leading cause of debt concern by far (38.8%) is credit card debt.

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Apr
27
2012

Are You Making Money Working From Home?

Find out if you’re making, or losing, money in your at home biz

I owned a children's consignment store in Alberta for four years, and before that, worked part-time as a freelance writer around my full-time career. When I freelanced, balancing my books was as simple as having a few columns in a spreadsheet—I’d enter in my expenses and income. A simple calculation gave me a running total of how much profit I had made at any given time.

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Apr
26
2012

We’re Going to Disney World!

How I surprised my daughter with a Disney trip

On Tuesday morning I surprised my 6-year-old with a trip to Disney World. Keeping that a secret for two months has nearly killed me, but it was totally worth it. Because we captured this with our video camera:

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Apr
16
2012

An Awesome (and Frugal) Mother’s Day Gift

The perfect gift costs an investment of time, not money

The best Mother’s Day gift I ever received was a few weeks belated. It was given to me a few weeks after Mother’s Day by my mother when I had my first child in May of 2005. It wasn’t an expensive gift, but it was an incredible one.

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Apr
05
2012

Go Easy on the Easter Gifts

Don’t smother your kids with stuff this Easter

Today’s Parent blogger Tracy Chappell recently posted about how gift giving at Easter is on the rise, referring to a Globe & Mail article about that quotes a Toys “R” Us spokeswoman as saying Easter is the second biggest holiday of the year for gift-giving, next to Christmas.

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Did you grow up poor? In a must-read blog post from Cracked, writer John Cheese outlines his list of five stupid financial habits you develop as a result of growing up poor.

I related to a lot of them. In fact, they all hit pretty close to home for me.

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Do you give back to your community?

Even before I had kids, I was a crazy busy person. I worked full time while going to university full time, and carved out time to volunteer in my community. After graduation, I worked full time, freelanced part time, and still found time to give back through volunteering. Once I had kids though, my charity work dropped off significantly.

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