Monthly Archives: December 2016

How to save money at the movies

Spending time with friends

Go to the movies on Tuesdays

Frugality is about getting the most out of your money, not being wasteful, being a prudent consumer.

Last Tuesday I organized a movie outing with my friends. Many of us watched the movie Arrival and we had an amazing time.

We met at a close by restaurant where I had the chicken wing special $0.50 per wing, and then we went into the theater where we bought the tickets at a reduced price $7.25, instead of the regular $13.50

I don’t know why movies are less expensive on Tuesdays, they just are, and I don’t have to know the reason, I just have to adjust my behavior to spend my money more efficiently.

Watch a movie at home.

A few days later, I watched the movie Snowden, with my friend Mala in her living room. The movie was only $6 through Apple movies, plus we had snacks and wine. It felt more like a luxury that frugality.

When you are frugal, you don’t have to give up anything, you just have to be more efficient spending your money.

How are you frugal? Do you go to the movies on Tuesdays?

Coaching services

I am a money coach, don’t hesitate to write me if you want to talk about money or anything else that is going on in your life.


How to save money at your new year celebration

Celebrating Halloween with friends.

New year parties are too expensive

One of the things that bother me about new year’s celebration is how much it cost.

A quick glance over the internet showed me that a regular ticket to get into most clubs is about $50, plus drinks. So, assume that you pay $50 to get in and you have 2 drinks, you are already in the hole for $70. And if you decide to dance and or drink for a couple of hours, you will be spending over $100. I don’t know about you, but for me, that is a lot of money.

Last year I went to my friend’s house

Last year I went to a friend’s house party and I had a great time. At about 12:30 am, I drank a big cup of coffee and I went to work for Uber. That night I made about $200. I had a great time with my friends and I made some money.

Potluck at my place

This year, a friend suggested that I should make a new year party at my place. I accepted his suggestion and we are having a party at my place. I am sure I will have a great time with my friends and it will cost us almost nothing.

Ways to celebrate New Year without spending a lot of money
  1. Don’t go to the bar, don’t go to the restaurant. Most entrance fees will be over inflated and almost everywhere will be overcrowded. In short, you will get lousy service and pay premium prices.
  2. Go to a friend’s new year party or create your own. In my case, I am doing a potluck. So I will buy some beer ( a six pack will cost less than $10) and some food ($10). I will get to eat and drink with your friends, talk to them and save lots of money.
  3. Save money in transportation. If you live in a big city, most metro and train services will be open all night long. It is almost certain that you will not be able to find a taxi, if you use your own car, you will not be able to drink and most likely you will have a hard finding a parking spot, and if you use Uber, for sure you will pay a high price for it.
  4. If you live in Montreal, there will be a big firework at midnight, but most major cities will also have fireworks. This will cost you nothing.
  5. If you live in Montreal, there will be a free outdoor concert at the Pier Jacques-Cartier. Most major cities will also have some music to celebrate.
Frugality is a life style that can take you to financial independence much faster

Being frugal is a lifestyle. You can have lots of fun, you don’t have to deprive yourself of anything, you can have a richer life and you will be financially independent much faster than the people who spend blindly.

Happy New Year.

The case against Christmas consumerism.

Christmas is about spending time with friends and family, not about buying stuff

What I like the most about Christmas is that people make an effort to spend time with each other. Families get together, coworkers create office Christmas parties, and many social clubs, such as my McGill Toastmasters club, create amazing parties full of dance and artistic performances.

However, there are two things I don’t like about Christmas

  1. I usually gain between two to five pounds. We will talk about this in another article..
  2. The one thing that I truly dislike is the commercialization of the holidays. It’s not about buying stuff people, it’s about enjoying time with each other.

Why I don’t like Christmas?

  1. You are buying things for the sake of buying.
  2. You are encouraging over consumption
  3. For those who are in debt, they are getting into deeper debt
  4. You are destroying the environment by buying all that useless plastic
  5. You are wasting your time by thinking about gifts, going shopping, and wrapping gifts.

Why is Christmas focused around buying thing as opposed to just hugging each other and having joyful conversations? Because our brain has been programmed by the advertising companies to buy, buy, buy… And we submit to it. Buying is part of our subconscious.

No one really cares about the gift. How many people get the same socks, the same ties, the same scarf, the same plastic stuff year after year? They act presently surprised, they fake a polite “thank yous” and put it aside.

We are killing the environment. Think about all the plastic, paper, bags, cardboard, batteries, advertising flyers, fuel, wrapping paper, that is wasted every Christmas. Shortly after unwrapping the gift, we put all the packaging in the recycling bin because we want to save the planet. If you want to save the planet, don’t buy all that stuff. It is ironic that we go around criticizing Donald Trump because he does not believe in global warming and here we are creating more pollution to honor the birth of Christ.

Most people can not afford it. I know people who are in a lot of debt or who struggle to pay their bills, but they do their annual pilgrimage to the shopping center… If their friends and family really cared about them, they would ask them not to bother spending their money, to save it to get out of debt. But not, we don’t want to kill the Christmas spirit. Go shop even if you cannot afford it.

Wasted time and mental energy. Whether you do it online or you go to the mall, it takes time to think about what you are going to buy, look for the best deals, buy it, wrap it, store it, and transport it. Really, is that how you want to spend your time and energy?

The clutter: after receiving all those unwanted gifts, we just put it in the closet, in the garage, in the cabinets, and we keep it there occupying space, cluttering our lives. We have so much already, things we forgot we have, yet we continue piling it up.

What are we teaching our kids? We are teaching them to become consumers, to appreciate objects, things. When I was a kid, my father gave me many Christmas gifts, but he was never there, he was always too busy working. He never had time to give me the love I craved. I would have preferred a thousand times his presence than his plastic toys.

What do I tell my family? I am sure there are many more serious thing you have told your family and they still love you and accept you for who you are. How about simply telling them, in advance, not to buy you any gift and warn them that you will not be buying gifts either. You will only have to do it once and then it will become part of the tradition. Hopefully they will follow your lead.

Coaching services

I am a money coach, don’t hesitate to write me if you want to talk about money or anything else that is going on in your life.