Archive | October, 2012

RIP MBNA Smart Cash Mastercard

29 Oct

I’m a current MBNA Smart Cash Mastercard who enjoys getting 3% cash back on gas and groceries and 1% for all other net purchases.  But all that is about to come to an end by December 31, 2012:

  • GAS/GROCERY:  3% cash back on your for first $600 in monthly spend will be reduced to 2% cash back for the first $400 in monthly spend 
  • You will continue to earn 1% on all net purchases, with no cash back earned limit (Ohh, how generous of them… bastards!)  <– Allan pointed out that there is now $1250 monthly spending limit on 1% cashback for Platinum Plus cardholders 😦

Earlier in the year, TD Bank bought out the Canadian division of MBNA.  With this new ownership, the awesome reward system that was currently being offered is now being slashed by greedy TD Bank.  I dislike banks with a vengeance for changing the rates.  Why can’t they just honor the terms that was first agreed in the first place?

Now, I am worried about Scotia Bank who has bought out my free online banking at ING Direct.  Will they also implement a fee to squeeze out more profit from their customers?

On a positive note:  I earned $2.33 so far from my Redflagdeal Cash Back account.  I can’t wait to get cash back for a recent purchase of a Macbook Pro for a coworker, too bad I forgot to use Redflagdeal Cash Back account for an Iphone 5 purchase through the Apple site.  Let me clarify, I’ve been put in charge using company’s credit card for buying Christmas gifts online for a set monetary bonus limit for other coworkers.  I just use it to my advantage ^_^  Might as well right?

Check it out if you like to do a lot of online shopping:   http://www.redflagdeals.com/cashback/

EcoSphere

24 Oct

Do you want a pet that you never have to feed or clean up after?!

This is the perfect pet for those lazy people like me!  They thrive best at temperatures between 60 and 80 F.  Average life span is 2-3 years and they make decorative pieces in your home.

Here is a little video that I put together:  Ecosphere

Video Price Error.  Note: I only paid $55 total that’s including shipping.

My mind is wondering…

19 Oct

Towards my stock portfolio again.  Just a couple of days ago, my Google and other stocks were making a stride into the greener pastures.  I was giddy and giggles.  Suddenly, Google announced a 15% decrease in earnings just ruined EVERYTHING.  My 20% plus gain in Google shrunk in a span of a few hours in the morning.  I wasn’t even paying attention till a fellow blogger, Freedom Thirty Five, pointed out Google’s sudden 10% drop.

Tonight, I’ve been just staring at my portfolio.  Mulling…Where have I gone wrong for 2012?  My greediness and impatience have led me to my own demise.  Undisciplined in my own core values. Giving up and selling good stocks when I should have kept them.  Holding over appreciated stocks and not capitalizing on the gains.  Listening to bad advice about a couple of penny stocks that have cost me $8,000 in capital losses.  Not participating when the markets were down after May 2012.  Perking up only recently to get my arse whoop again by unforgiving markets.

My impatience is screaming at me to sell whatever gain you have left of Google which is about $1700.  Should I sell or just keep it?  I really don’t want to hold this when it comes down below my buy in price.  Ok, I think I will only sell if my gains will dip below $1500.  That’s my tolerance.

I held many good stocks and sold out.  Could this be just one of the many that I let go?

Cheap Meal Idea

17 Oct

 

A quick cheap solution to leftover rice is to make fried rice!  Using leftover veggies, an egg, two slices of bacon will satisfy one’s hunger for the time being.  First step, fry your bacon till crisp.  Drain excess oil from bacon and cut bacon into bite size.  Use bacon grease to fry up bite sized veggies, add in egg & rice and stir fry.  Add soy sauce for flavoring.  Voila , your done!  Easy does it.

 

 

Break Down of Costs:
Rice- $0.05
Bacon- $0.41
Egg- $0.28
Sliced half tomato- $0.14
Celery- $0.14
Onion- $0.03
Fried Rice meal for one is $1.05

Fajita Chicken & Veggie Wrap

15 Oct

Dinner for one!  Tonight, I decided to whip up a simple and a relatively healthy meal for myself!  It was an easy and to top things off, it was quite tasty.  I marinated the chicken with soy sauce and seasoning salt before putting it into the pan.  Add a little oil, and then stir fry the chicken with the mixed vegetables.  For additional flavor, I add some fish sauce for taste.

Here is the breakdown of my meal in monetary terms:
2 pieces of Tortillas – 0.21
Small pieces of Chicken Breast- 0.40
Pepperjack Cheese- 0.22
Small portion of Broccoli- 0.20
1 chopped pickle- 0.10
Half a celery stalk- 0.07
Onion/Garlic- 0.05
Total cost of Fajitas- $1.25 estimated

I really need the cleansing after a state run from Sunday.  For breakfast, BF and I ended up having breakfast at McDonald’s costing us $11.05.  We had a late lunch at Jack in the Box… I never been there and wanted to try it out.  Two combo burger meals ended being $14.53.  The sourdough burger with tomato, bacon, cheese was tasty.  However, it was on the greasy side.  It was junk food galore day!  After we got home, we weren’t too hungry so we decided to go green.  Opened up half a bag of romaine salad: $0.94 / three tomatoes: $0.79 / boiled three eggs: $0.83 for protein / leftover cucumbers: free / leftover yams: free.  Total cost for making salad at home: $2.56.

I ended up buy two pair of dress pants for work from Banana Republic outlets for $38.xx each.  Regular price was at $79 less 30% discount plus additional 25% from BF’s work discount card!  So that was a good deal!  I was happy with my purchase.  BF bought a pair of Nikes for recreational play and a Banana Republic sweater for cheap.  We didn’t buy a whole lot.  Just buying what we needed really.

For groceries, I didn’t buy too much.  Reason being was we still have lots of meat in our freezer.  Spent $54.89 in total.  This included a pepper grinder ($7.57) and a 2 gallon glass jar ($10.83) to store our rice.  Milk in states was only $2.58 vs our CAD price of $4.65… almost 55% cheaper!

I also filled up a full tank of gas at $4.39 per gallon.  The gas station near the border is higher than the ones further south.  But I was low on gas when we crossed so I ended up forking over $47.18.  Still a little cheaper than my usually fill ups at $55-58.

It nice to cross the border with the idea of spending money down there!  Lots of people are crossing the border to fill up on gas, buy good quality apparel for discounted price, stock up on cheaper groceries since our Canadian is almost at par with the American dollar.  I’d go down there more often, but the gas and the long line ups at the border does discourage me from doing so.  Unless I pick up a Nexus pass to blow by everyone!

Cheap Dining

11 Oct

Tonight, I decided to make The Poorman’s Meal courtesy of Clara.  Poorman’s Meal consists of affordable items like onion, potatoes and wieners.  I decided to add celery to make it a greener dish instead of just meat and potatoes.  Seasoning:  3 spoonfuls of salsa and salt, please add some water to soften the potatoes.

Breakdown of Costs:

0.20 for 1 onion
0.41 for 2 potatoes
0.00 for 3 wieners (handout)
0.42 for 3 pcs of celery
1.97 for 1 can of Chunky Clam Chowder as side dish (Estimated)
$3.00 for a hearty meal to satisfy two adults plus some leftovers for next day’s lunch!

Everyone can make this.  It’s a simple recipe and tastes just fine.  There are lots of items out there that are affordable and tasty versus going the easy way out like eating out at a restaurant.  Just have to find the right combination to make them work.  I love surfing on YouTube for recipes and ideas.  Sharing really does give others the opportunity to learn and accept for what’s being put out there.  The net is a vast highway for information.  Use it wisely.

Last week, I went out with some friends to a Thai restaurant.  We had papaya salad, stuffed chicken wings, tom yum soup, penang curry, pad thai.  The portions were small.  So between the four of us, we ordered double for everything except for the papaya salad and a couple of pop drinks.  At Thai restaurants, they charge extra for a bowl of rice.  When the bill came, it was $105.00 after taxes!  We split it four ways and decided on a round number of $30 per person giving the restaurant a very nice $15 tip!  Normally, I tip out 10% before tax.  Since it’s a group outing, I didn’t want to cheap out as they agreed on $30 per person.  That was a very expensive meal for me!  And it’s not even fine dining!  Yes, the food was good, but was it really worth it?

So the next day, I went out for Cantonese Cafe restaurant for my mom’s early birthday dinner.  It was just my parents, bf and moi.  We showed up at 5pm after work to get in on their daily special menu.  So between the four of us, we ordered fish maw soup, salty fish fried rice, beef vermicelli noodles, and house special fried chow mien.  Three of the dishes came with a hot drink or add $1 for cold drink… I just had tea!  Our bellies were full and our taste buds were satisfied.  When the bill came, I was happy to see that it wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg.  I ended up treating everyone for a grand total of $38.25 and that includes 10% tip!

Moral of the story:  Don’t order too much, you’ll end up spending more than you like.  Don’t eat too much, you’ll get fat. 

Even though, I found a higher paying job a couple months ago.  I didn’t automatically spend a whole bunch of money on new work clothes.  Scavenging in my closet to make due for my new work attire requirement which is business casual.  It’s hard after years of wearing casual tops and jeans to work for my previous work.  Most of my old work pants don’t fit anymore.  So far, I only added one new dress pant to my collection and a few tops.  I try to minimize my spending as much as possible.  Living below my means is a way of life for me and I am proud to say it out loud.

Ever since I moved out from my parents, I have been eating out less and less for lunch (new job) and dinner.  Over the ten months, I’ve lost a good ten pounds.  You can say I lost a pound a month!  Still a little extra fat on certain areas of my body that I would love to get rid of, especially my tummy!  It’s a work in progress.

Planning on a Sleepy Portfolio

4 Oct

What would happen if I just didn’t do any trades for the year 2013?  At the end of the year, I’d have to withdraw from my Scotia and Questrade brokerage accounts for my upcoming down payment.  Just by keeping my stocks, I’d have a monthly flow of dividends and distributions coming my way.  Not to mention the potential of price appreciation or depreciation within the year.  Most likely, I see the prices of my stocks going up with a big question mark for CLF though. Here’s a break down of my current holdings:

Ticker Dis/Div Comments
BPF.UN       235.20 This is my superstar!
IPL.UN       450.48 Very strong contender!
CHE.UN    2,172.00 Invested lots, hope it appreciates.
KEG.UN        96.00 Classy dining unit trust.
BMO    1,152.00 Lagging behind other Canadian Banks.
CLF       250.00 This is my loser stock!
REI.UN       552.00 Newly aquired, it better go up!
WYN        92.00 Aquired for price appreciation mostly.
Total  $4,999.68 If I kept all my stocks for the year!

I ended up buying WYN!

4 Oct