A Special Announcement

This blog will officially be moving to www.maychau.com!

Please continue to support me in the New Year.

Happy Holidays everyone! 🙂

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10 Signs You’re Under Significant Financial Pressure

  1. You’ve never once considered purchasing warranty. The nice salespeople always suggest that you buy some sort of expensive warranty for your expensive electronic (which you probably shouldn’t be getting in your financial situation anyway) and you can only politely decline. Not that you take amazing care of your iPod/Smartphone/laptop, but you just can’t bring yourself to fork out money that otherwise don’t have leave your ever-so-flat wallet.
  2. Learning that an amount like $30 can be stretched throughout a 2 week period between paychecks. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. Is it ever relaxing living from one payday to the next? I didn’t think so. During these times you learn to channel your inner frugality and avoid activities that require spending of any kind, including but not limited to eating.
  3. Regretting the purchase of lottery tickets. Yes, those lottery and scratch-and-win tickets provide you with a tiny little glimmer of hope but you soon realize, after week after week of disappointment, that you might as well have just thrown your money away. Now wouldn’t it have been great if you had thought that one through and purchased a meal instead of starving yourself?!?!!! It just goes to show the power of having hope –so keep that going (just lay off the lottery tickets).
  4. When something you need goes on sale, you buy it. In fact, you buy it EXTREME COUPONING style. Sales feel like a once in a lifetime experience when you’re broke. If you miss it you won’t be using that product for awhile. This is sort of like when you’re so hungry you can’t help but gorge yourself at the end of the day despite knowing you don’t need all of the food.
  5. Reconsidering your scheduled days off at work because you need the money from extra shifts. At times you’re actually super relieved to have a day off once every so often to take a break and just breathe… but as soon as you hear your boss mention an extra shift you instantly feel the obligation to comply. Pressure from your boss? Nope. Pressure from being broke? Totally.
  6. Always going for the personalized hairstyle. By this, I mean you probably cut your own hair at times to dodge a visit to the hairstylist. Long story short –the haircut isn’t worth the price and you sure as heck can’t afford it. Not to say you won’t regret the fact that you chopped all your hair off by accident and gave yourself a bad perm. Forgive yourself already, it’ll grow back.
  7. Sometimes thinking that even student pricing is too much. Aside from the usual children/seniors admission to events you probably have the most affordable admission to events at one point but the price still kept you from going. At some point you may have pre-planned the excuse of not having your cash or your bank card readily available to pay for access. What a bummer.
  8. Hording napkins from fast food restaurants. What more can I say?
  9. Who needs a hotel for roadtrips anyway? Just sleep in the car. They say to collect all the nice soaps and shampoos when you’re staying at a hotel and save but… can you really afford to stay at a hotel in this sort of financial situation? You take a look at your bank account balance and wonder why you ever thought the entire trip would make a good idea.
  10. Daily meals of instant noodles. Funny how you thought you would be leaving this kind of lifestyle behind after you graduate from post-secondary and land your dream job, huh? Little did you know that you were neglecting the debt from student loans and had miscalculated the chances of you actually landing a job, let alone the big dream.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

Your Back-To-School To Do List

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The cash registers at school supplies stores around the country are singing “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!” as school is due to start in just about 2 weeks. Whether you are heading back to school or helping someone prepare, here are some of my suggestions:

  1. Get excited for the season of rain and pumpkin spice!
  2. Realize that ‘Freshman 15’ is a myth. If you make an effort to not consume cafeteria food everyday and keep your consumption patterns relatively the same you’re probably going to only gain 5 pounds! Doesn’t sound very reassuring? Take advantage of the gym facilities around campus –after all, you’ve already paid for those services in your student fees.
  3. Wear your lightweight summer clothes as often as possible. This is all part of enjoying what is left of summer to the fullest. Perhaps where you are living the sun doesn’t seem like it will be going away anytime soon but you’ll miss it once its gone.
  4. Hustle for your textbooks. Talk to people that have taken the same classes before and make sure you need the books first and be cautious of the market prices. The last thing you want to do is buy all your textbooks from the campus bookstore when you’re living off student loans. Which brings me to my next point…
  5. Make sure you have all your funds lined up in time to pay tuition. Visit the financial aid office in case you missed a potential scholarship/bursary you can apply for as well. The worst feeling is the idea of a missed opportunity.
  6. Spend one afternoon going through your boxes to dig out the old school supplies that can still be used and go frolicking in the school supply aisles of colourful binders, boring lined paper and crayons you no longer use but still want to buy.
  7. Draft your budget for the year. Seriously. You overspent last year.
  8. Every summer you make plans to go places, meet people and discover different hobbies. Well, what have you accomplished this summer? Make an effort to get out of your room as much as you can in attempt to rid the evidence that you spent most of the summer aimlessly browsing Facebook, scrolling through Tumblr and sending out snapchats.
  9. Don’t sign-up for any new credit cards on campus. It might be tempting to do so with all the free swag they give out along with signing up but you’ll be thankful at the end of each month when you have one less bill to pay.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

What I Learned From My First Starbucks Visit

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I’ve never been a fan of coffee or the purchasing of overpriced drinks I cannot afford but…. this was a day I had a gift card. Since the ‘Happy Hour’ at Starbucks attracts more attention and lengthy line-ups than I can personally comprehend, I decided to wait until it was over.

You’d be surprised that in ONE single visit, I experienced what I feel every loyal Starbucks customer has learned:

  • The spelling of your name is not as common as you think. While this was for my first personal purchase, I have been to Starbucks quite a few times so I can personally say I was not aware there were so many variations to my name.
  • Ordering is confusing because you don’t know the sizes. Well, I’m sure every loyal customer would know what a ‘venti’ is but I personally did not. I’m curious to find out if my barista judged me for asking for ‘large’.
  • You will never get work done. First of all, being as popular as it is, Starbucks is ALWAYS packed. Even when you’re lucky enough to get a seat you might not be anywhere close to an electrical outlet and your laptop could die on you just has you reach your epiphany. (Also, I didn’t feel that great after not being able to distinguish between the drink sizes to be honest.)
  • It is highly possible you will get internet famous from a Starbucks visit. Take a second to look back upon your last Starbucks visit. How many people around you were taking Instagram photos of their drinks? I think it is more than likely you’ve been featured as the background in multiple Instagram photos. Instagram makes the world look beautiful.
  • Not being a loyal customer makes it a more interesting experience. At this point, no one that works there knows my name and I can still come up a different identity. This way, I will continue to discover more variations in spellings for names other than my own! Kidding. I just enjoy the unfamiliarity sometimes.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

5 Wonderful Things You Should Do This Summer (Other Than Sunbathe And Eating Copious Amounts Of Ice Cream)

<3 Learn to cook/bake something new (or just learn to cook for yourself). If all fails make yourself a smoothie!

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<3 Shop for the freshest summer produce at your local farm market. They often have the best deals!!

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<3 Take 1 panorama of your surroundings everyday OR alternatively a 1 minute video to look back upon. It will act as a motivator for you to try more new and interesting activities.

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<3 Bring a bucket of chalk with you to a summer BBQ, picnic or any other gathering and go crazy!

<3 Go somewhere festive! If there is something worth celebrating it ought to be worth your time to take a stroll around this summer. You might learn… and pick up a couple balloon animals along the way.

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— itsfruitcakeweather.

More On Making Today A Little Better For Yourself

Here is the initial: On Making Today A Little Better For Yourself

  • Take the long route home today. Make a stop by the park to people watch in the evening. Sometimes we all need a few minutes to slow down and clear out negative thoughts. Maybe you’ll even develop a new habit of taking walks.
  • Purchase something that smells good. Perhaps this sounds weird at first, but air freshener and the occasional scented candle may really help on your sad days. Not to mention help you fall asleep if you happen to be a night owl!
  • Break a social norm. Why is it that we feel obligated to tell people we’re doing well when they ask how we are? Tell the truth when they ask today. You may be amused to find that you’ve caught them off guard as a result of not replying with: “I’m doing great! How are you?”
  • … I realize that the above can be somewhat out of your comfort zone. But fear not! Just have a friend break a social norm as a you observe. (I guarantee to you’ll get a kick out of it!)
  • Watch the TV show that everyone has been raving over for the last couple of months. I know you might want to refuse to believe it’s as good as they all make it seem… or that you’d be disappointed after you watch! But come on, you’re kind of not getting any of the jokes these days.
  • Clear out your closet. If you compulsively hoard items such as clothing (much like myself) I highly suggest trying one! You pretty much know you’re never going to wear those items again so chuck them out with your negative thoughts.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

How To Avoid Being Awkward

  • Don’t initiate hugs. I’ve been told I give terrible hugs. I believe part of the reason has to do with mismatched heights given that I’m on the short side. However, the main reason has to do with my habit of giving awkward one-armed hugs while patting the other person on the back. All of this is just bad timing. So if you’re more or less an awkward person don’t be putting yourself in that kind of situation. But seriously does anyone else do the awkward one-armed hug?!
  • Hold yourself back from pointing out the awkward silences. Been there, done that. I’ve done this in the past and… as if the situation wasn’t awkward enough to begin with (I definitely made it worse by pointing it out). Sometimes it seems like saying, “This is awkward” will ease the pain of awkward silence but chances are the joke wasn’t really funny. Better to let the person who was responsible for the awkward silence to switch up the mood wouldn’t you say?
  • Be sure to have your phone with you at all times. For all you awkward people you know why this is essential! From avoiding awkward eye contact in elevators to the extended family gathering. Your phone will prove to be a loyal companion: Entertaining you with apps and best of all giving you an excuse to avoid awkward socialization!
  • If you have nothing to say, there is no need to comment on the weather. Usually we’re not sure where to go with the conversation after we make a comment about the weather anyway. “Such nice weather outside today!”  Doesn’t really cut it when you run out of things to say to that random acquaintance you forgot the name of over the weekend… I think it really is better for us to politely excuse ourselves —chances are they’re out of things to tell you about as well!
  • Get off Facebook and interact with people in real-life instead. At the end of the day, avoiding social interaction in-person will only prove to make you more awkward and uncomfortable when confronted with the matter. Summer is just around the corner, so challenge yourself to go out of your way to the next BBQ or community event and speak to people face-to-face! (Admittedly, I do prefer hiding behind my keyboard sometimes as well.)

— itsfruitcakeweather.