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.

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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.

Those Early Weekday Mornings

I’d be the first one to admit to sleeping in late as a result of being a night owl and horrendous sleeping patterns. But recently I’ve had the pleasure of getting up at 6:30am to commute work at 8:00am. Strangely enough, this was not the most shocking change that crept up upon me due to my schedule change.

The idea of summer’s humidity combined with the sun rising earlier and earlier everyday sounds far from pleasant on weekends. I like to think the summer sun takes pleasure in breaking our perfected winter sleep cycles:

5:00am – The daylight starts creeping in your room.

5:25am – You open your eyes slightly to peek at the alarm.

5:35am – You realize it’s too late. 

5:45am – It’s over.

5:55am – You’re already awake.

6:07am – You debate getting up to make breakfast.

6:23am – You’re too lazy and decide to stay in bed.

6:30am – Time to get out of bed. You curse at the daylight despite buckets of downpour.

On another note, I enjoy being up early quite a bit… just not the process of waking up. I now read the early morning news updates and listen to the radio while consuming my oatmeal. Ha. Did I also mention that I never appreciated quick oats before? I sure do now.

In addition to all the exciting news updates, I’ve found myself catching some oddball morning exercise programs on TV (I suppose they’re aiming for their target audience to be more of the elderly providing the age of the hosts) but nonetheless something I was not aware of before last week. Might I say that it makes me wonder if I had the motivation of a snail? These elderly people inspire me.

6:53am – Nah, probably not inspired enough to actually start working out daily.

So in the end I resort to watching more cat videos. Admittedly, Sad Cat Diary has been a favourite recently and I quote “This may be my last entry” –watch for reference.

But hey, doing this for 5 mornings in a row can be pretty tough wouldn’t you say? Those early mornings create such opposing emotions. From rolling off the wrong side of the bed, to not being able to find the better half of favourite socks, witnessing the magic of quick oats, feeling motivated –and not. The best part about those early weekday mornings compared to those early weekend mornings is not having to aimlessly frolick around the house until lunch time.

Let us embrace those early weekday mornings and the summer light that never lets us sleep.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

10 Problems With Staying Up Late (For All You Night Owls)

  1. One of the most challenging tasks is to sneak your way to the kitchen without making noise while everyone is already sleeping. Suddenly that little board that creaks makes the most monstrous sound when you step on it and the packaging of your junk food is louder than you had ever imagined.
  2. You end up sleeping in later than planned and end up not being able to do what you had in mind yesterday. Doesn’t it suck to wake up after noon and feel like you’ve wasted away half your day already? For whatever reason, the day feels miraculously longer when you get up early in the morning.
  3. While surfing the internet late into the night, you often come across hilarious/inspiring articles but can’t share them on your social networks. This is because there is not one up at that time to see it. Better off saving it for when everyone else will be up to read it eh?
  4. Overusing the excuse of consuming too much coffee/tea to the point that no one really believes you anymore. We all know you just don’t sleep. Can’t sleep. Won’t sleep.
  5. On the one night you’re exhausted and head to bed before midnight, the people you live with question if something is the matter with you. It seems that your habit of not sleeping has become a norm in the household and when you do sleep something must be wrong.
  6. People talk about getting up early to watch the sunrise and listen to the birds sing. Been there done that (almost every night).
  7. When you pull yourself to work/school in the morning you look like a zombie and complain to everyone around you about being tired –only to annoy them.
  8. You have no difficulty keeping in touch with people in different time zones across the globe because you don’t sleep anyway.
  9. The only thing really stopping you from taking up a graveyard shift at some part-time job is the fact that you’ll want to sleep once you get to it.
  10. You’re reading this really late into the night.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

5 Common Thoughts Of Those Experiencing Quarter Life Crisis

  1. “What am I going  to do with my life?” I bet you would like to know (because I certainly do). I’ve recently learned that perhaps we have been misguided to think that we must know where we’re going with out lives. In high school we decided which courses to take for college/university admission, in post-secondary we decided on our majors… what does it really mean? Perhaps it is most important for us to realize that we can be in our 20s without knowing where we’re going with our lives. Things are going to be okay.
  2. “So this is what it’s like to have grown up.” This thought is often accompanied by an unpleasant feeling of stress or anxiety as a result of assumed expectations of where you should be or what you should be doing in your life. When we were young and fearless you always looked forward to your birthday, why is it now that you’re dreading your next birthday and family gathering? Just remember that those expectations are made up by other people –not you. You’re still young.
  3. “Sometimes it feels like everyone is doing better than me in life.” How well do you really know these people you’re referring to? The fact of the matter is you don’t know. Don’t forget that while you may see all the positive progress of they’ve made in their lives you haven’t been around to witness all the failures. As cliche as it sounds, to someone else you might be making amazing progress. Don’t be undermining yourself now.
  4. “I need a job.” Not going to lie, I’m often pestered by this thought. In the case that you do have a job and you don’t enjoy it… we all understand that financial stress can be overwhelming.
  5. “I really need to make changes.” It doesn’t matter what change, you just want to do something different to enter this new stage in your life in hopes of moving forward. Do what makes you happy. Cut your hair. There doesn’t have to be a purpose behind everything you do now that you feel older. You can still enjoy a lot of the same things you loved as a child.

– itsfruitcakeweather.