How to save for retirement when you have no savings?

Are you self-employed living pay check to pay check? Do you have any money saved for retirement? Maybe you have a part-time business like me because you won’t have enough even with a government pension.

Are you assuming the government will take care of you? Or maybe you don’t plan to retire, but what if, just what if, something happens to you and you get injured? Do you have disability insurance?

I met a nice man a little while back and he told me sheepishly that he’s 55 and doesn’t have anything saved:(. I feel so bad for him because he will have to work until he’s 70 to at least get something to live on because CPP and Old Age Security doesn’t’ kick in until then, and I’m not sure he will qualify for it because he doesn’t contribute to it.

I gave him a suggestion that I learned to do 20 years ago and that was to start saving a small amount every month to help put towards retirement. I suggested 3 – 5% for the first 6 months, and then increase it to 6 – 10% for the next 6 month, up until he’s got at least 20% put away. For example, if you were making $2,000 a month, 3% of that would be $60 a month. I’m sure you can manage that. Heck, I’ve bought dinner out for my man and I and spent that. However, if you times that over 10 year, that will only be $7,200. But if he gradually gets to 20% and saves that for 10 years, he will have $48,000 and that’s without interest being accumulated.

Now, if you want to get free money from a bank, I would suggest you open a Tangerine account for retirement savings and they will give you $25 or $50, depends which promotion their doing, just for opening and account.

I just made $50 from Tangerine bank which is affiliated to Scotia Bank. Do you want to make $50 easily from a BANK??? My friend emailed me telling me that Tangerine was offering new clients $50 just for opening an account.  The only catch to getting the $50 is that you have to deposit $100 and that’s it. My friend also said you can even take your money back later, but I was actually looking for a way to save more for my vacation. So, I plan to leave it there and let it grow. It’s VERY legit. Here’s what happened. I opened the account and got an email to say congrats and asked me to verify if there was a deposit in my regular bank account, which there was. I think it was 24 cents. I thought that was funny. Hey, it’s still free money again. Then, I got another email telling me that in order for myself and my friend to each get $50 I would simply need to deposit $100 into my new savings account. Once Tangerine verified, I would get an email confirming it was deposited and that’s it. So, I deposited the money and within a few days got $50 in my Tangerine account. Woohoo! The bank is finally paying me for doing business with them.

tangerine deposit

If you want to get the same deal, just go to www.tangerine.ca  and when it asks you to enter Referred by a friend, please enter my Tangerine account #46012150S1 and that way, we will both get money from the bank.

Now, if you want to get even more money from them, they are also offering $25 I think for simply doing an automatic deposit monthly. I believe the amount is $100 each month, which again I am doing because I want the extra FREE money and, I am saving for my trip in December down south.

Now, if you want to help our your friends too after you open up your account, tell your friends the same thing and get them to open an account and they and you too will get FREE money deposited.

Here’s to vacations and retirement savings.

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All you have to do is…Just Ask

consignment pink top

Last week I told my man that I would get rid of the clothes, shoes and stuff I haven’t worn or doesn’t fit. Reason is because they are just sitting in a box, but I really liked them and didn’t want to give them up. I thought to myself that someone will buy them, but I wasn’t doing anything to get them sold. Actually, that’s not true. I posted them on Facebook, but maybe the images weren’t the best, but only one of my friends acknowledged. That’s not what I was hoping for.  In any case, I went for a walk today during my lunch hour and saw a cute little consignment store (Second Glance). I remembered my coach Christine telling me about it and that they had reasonable prices and good stuff. So stopped in and sure enough, they had really cute items and very reasonably priced, but as I looked at the labels, they said Jones New York, Zara or Jacob. So, my negative ego said “don’t ask, she’s going to say no”, but my other side, the intuition or what my coach calls “the whisper”. She was telling me “just ask….just ask…you have nothing to lose”. So I did. I asked Paula Norton, the owner for her business card, and asked if she only sold brand labels and..she said “no, we sell everything.” I told her about my situation about having bought clothing online but the sizes were not correct.

I pointed at my top I was wearing and she said to bring them in as they will likely sell fast. Sorry for the bad photo. I was trying to do this with a Nokia and well, the phone doesn’t take the best images, and…I need a selfie stick to be able to take photos of myself while doing things like selling items.  I then asked Paula and her team if there was a trick to getting creases out without having to iron because the clothing has been in bags that were shipped and also in the boxes. Her employee replied “you don’t have to, I’m the ironer.” Say Whaaat??? Turns out they iron and…they use their own hangers. So, I don’t have to do anything. Talk about amazing service and everything I wanted. Oh and she said “we don’t do bookings. Just come in when you can, except on Thursday and Saturday because those are our busiest days.” Not a problem because most of the times that other places accepted drop offs, I wasn’t able. Talk about a win-win.

I am SUPER happy because

1) I am doing what I promised my man I would do i.e. get rid of stuff,

2) not just getting rid of stuff, but selling it to someone who will appreciate them as much as I do, and

3) making some of my money back which will go directly into my savings for retirement. It’s not going to be much, but hey, it would have been $0.00 if I didn’t start.

Moral or purpose of the story is, if you are trying to grow your business or make room for other things in your life, you have to be willing to let go of the past so that your future can move in. Let go of the clothes that no longer fit. Give them to someone else who will wear them with pride. Sign up for that coaching program, knowing that full-well you will make that money back that you paid for it.

Stay tuned to June 30th to see how much I made.

Tina

P.S. I’m trying to track to see how long it takes to write a blog and this one took 30 minutes. So, if you’re looking to create a business and will need to write blogs/stories for it, take note that the average time it takes a newbie is about 25 – 35 minutes.

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BBQ’d Greek cilantro meatballs in 15 minutes!

I wanted something different this week other than cooked meat like breast chicken, steak, pork or fish and found a great idea for meatballs on eatwell101, but I changed up the recipe to meat my needs…get it “meat”…ha ha. In any case, here’s the recipe I made. Lets hope it tastes good.

BBQ’d Greek cilantro meatballs

baked-beef-ball-recipe
I borrowed the image from http://www.eatwell101.com/baked-cilantro-meatballs-recipe, but will put my own up after I cook them.

For the meatballs:

  • lean ground chicken (cheaper and healthier)
  • ½ small onions, finely chopped
  • Left over cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup (30g) bread crumbs

 

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 small cup size plain yogurt
  • ½ lebanese cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon dill

Directions

  1. 1. Preheat your BBQ to high
  2. Combine with ground meat
  3. Scoop up the mixture to make bite size balls
  4. put in a tray on the bbq so they don’t fall through the cracks for 10-15 minutes, until cooked.
  5. Mix yogourt, cuccumbers and dill spice together.

Serve with dipping sauce, rice if you want, and tomatoes on the side.

Here’s the original recipe http://www.eatwell101.com/baked-cilantro-meatballs-recipe. I told you I don’t do the exact same thing.

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Before and after of a cluttered office and mind

2 weeks ago I set out to make some changes, one in particular was to change my office set up because it was getting crowded and ugly. This is what it looked liked:

office before

 

And this is what it looks like now. I feel like I can work alllll night. Actually, that’s not true. I’m tired today, but will be sure to keep it clean.

office after

So, what did I do to get it looking organized? I did 1 thing at a time and I didn’t try to do it all in one day. It took me a few weeks and it was ugly in my office. Gotta love a patient hubby. Thanks honey:)

  1. move the bookshelf
  2. take the books off the bookshelf before moving it…he he
  3. put books in a box if i’m not going to read them for the next 6 months.
  4. go through the files on my desk and look at 10 papers or 1 folder ONLY
  5. organize the tasks in folders for each month and do only those things. So, right now May is fun things and reading about marketing and website design, which you might notice I keep changing, but that’s what this website is all about…having fun and trying things.

Here’s to hoping your projects turn out.

Tina

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What do you make for lunches when you’re too tired and only have 15 minutes?

It’s 7:00pm and you know when you get comfortable on the couch. You sink in and get ready to watch a movie and then BAM! You realize you haven’t made the lunches. You look in the fridge only to see meats that will take more than 20 minutes. So, what do I do? I make TACO SALAD without the taco’s.

I always have a packet of the spices on hand. Now, not sure if it’s good for you, but I can easily make the seasoning as well, but again…didn’t want to think to much and wanted easy.

What I had on hand to make it:

  • Ground beef
  • Seasoning
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes

And BAM! Lunch for tomorrow with NO BAD CARBS. Talk about pretty good chef:)

taco salad without tacos

Lesson hear for me is always have something easy to make or else, it’s buying a very expensive sandwich from Subway and I’d rather eat my own food.

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I want a new wardrobe, but how do I get one without spending money?

Are you like me and you have clothes that don’t fit, but you just don’t want to just give them up. After all, you did buy them. What about your office or home? Does it need a good cleaning too.  Well, I am in the process of clearing my clutter in my mind and house and while it’s suppose to make me feel better, it’s not. I have pardon the word “SHIT” all over the place and it’s driving me crazy.I read in Jack Canfields Success Principles book to go through every room in your house, identify what needs action and do one of these 4 things:

1-Do it…if it will only take you 10 minutes

2-Delegate it…if you don’t have time or don’t want to do it. (That’s most of my office stuff right now)

3-Delay it…if you need to do it, but don’t have time right now, create a folder for each month and put the action in each. Well, that doesn’t work for boxes..which are now sitting in my storage and my man is going to say something because my boxes are becoming more and more.

and finally…4-Dump it…if you are not going to do, read it, or it’s taking up space, give it away to a charity, a friend or business colleague.

So, that’s what I’m doing #3 and 4.  I have these lovely new clothes that I bought for my birthday in January but they don’t fit as too small. Lesson learned here, China’s population is likely shorter than 5’7, so don’t buy clothes from them, even if they are really cute, you will end up being disappointed and…spending money, NOT saving it.

I don’t want to just give them away, so my friend suggested I do consignment and I was going to, but she beat me to the thought. So, on my TO DO list this week was to take some photos and post them online, but also to contact 3 consignment stores and see what they are looking for.  I am scheduled to call them Wednesday night when my man leaves for a week. This will give me LOTS of time to organize, or so I hope:)

However, I also wanted to try to do something different. So, here’s an offer for you. If you or someone you know is in looking for some stylish fun spring clothes to create a positive vibe, I have all these lovely items that I am letting go to leave room for my new wardrobe. The only catch is you need to make me an offer. Whatever amount you feel is fare, I will likely accept because I believe it’s what you feel is fare and who am I to argue that. The items below are not all the items. I have at least 20 things. I have new shoes that are size 9, purses, dresses and tops. Email me at lafemmeottawa@gmail.com.

 

office white short top      same as off white tops

blue spring dress pink jacket Fergies shoes

The other way I am also playing with getting clothes for free is to ask the universe to help me receive a new wardrobe that is just my size whenever he feels I need them. This would be so cool if all of a sudden I got things like these outfits…woohoo!

bus dress  off white suit

All I can say is thank you universe for allowing me the opportunity to pay it forward to someone who will appreciate the items as much as I did.

Yours truly.

Tina

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Pho soup for 2 for under $9

I LOVE Pho Soup. It’s my happy food. So, if ever you want to show how much you love me, just bring me to a pho restaurant and we will become besties.

However, eating out can get very expensive, even for pho soup. My 2 favorite places are Pho Bac Oriental Cuisine (aka Pho bac a la as the owner says on the phone) 873 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6R6, and New Mee Fung Restaurant at 350 Booth St, Ottawa, ON K1R 7K1.

I like these 2 because they have spicy soups and not like the ones that just add chilly sauce. There is something different in them. One has tomatoes, and the other one is a satay thick sauce…mmmmm. I’m drooling just thinking about it. The spring rolls at Pho Bac for me a way better than anywhere else because they stuff them with both pork and whol shrimp and they are HUGE.

pho soup

However, if you’re looking to save money but still enjoy pho soup, here’s what to do. Go to Produce Depot and look for a pho soup package $4. The one I go to off Bank and Hunt Club has them hanging beside the butcher station

Next you’ll need to buy beef or chicken fondu meat or what ever meat you have in the freezer, but it needs to be thin. It’s $6 for chicken at this store. I already had some from a thai beef dish that I made a month before, so $0.00 for the meat.

Basil $2

Bean sprouts $1 for big bag, but I always waste it

Vietnamese noodles $2, but instead I used spaghetti noodles I had at home and they taste just as good ($0.00)

Cilantro….mmmm, I love this stuff and I know I will be able to use it in salads and rice rolls. $2

All of this cost me $9.00 and….the man wanted seconds. So, it must have been good. I know I was happy with it, but now I need to figure out what to do with basil before it goes bad. I don’t want to use it for spaghetti, so if you have any ideas, I would love to read them in the comments below.

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Snack idea #1 – High Protein snacks to eat when you’re trying to be good

I got a new email along with my other 120 this week, but this one caught my attention because it was about what I was looking for i.e. snacks, actually healthy snacks. I have been trying to find satisfying snacks for lunch and after dinner that are not too time consuming and costly.However, I need something else instead of trying to get enough protein without having to eat meat or drink protein shakes

Buzzfeed sent me this newsletter talking about 21 High-Protein Snacks To Eat When You’re Trying To Be Healthy

The one that caught my attention is #8 Apple Sandwiches With Almond Butter and Granola sandwitches. I tried it with both peanut butter because I like it and no granola because…I also tried it with almond butter..not a big fan of that one.  I didn’t take a picture of it because I ate them already, but here’s a great one from  Jenny at http://www.creativelyblooming.com.

Photo credit goes to Creatively Blooming. It just looked so amazing. She calls them nachos..Hell, I would eat those nachos any day:)

I am going to try a few more from the article, but if you have any you want to share, please do so in the comments or email them to me at lafemmeottawa@gmail.com and I will gladly add them to my website.

Have a great evening. I’m off to bed now. It’s 10:00pm EST.

Tina

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