Better Money Habits in 3 Easy Steps

bettermoneyhabitsin3easysteps.jpgWhy do we do the things we do?

As creatures of habit - how exactly were our habits formed?

According to Charles Duhigg author of The Power of Habit, our brains have a 3-step process for forming a habit:

  1. Cue - a trigger that activates an action or routine
  2. Routine - an action or response we’ve learned to do that gives us access to a predictable reward
  3. Reward - something our brain craves.

The key to forming a habit is through repetition. Then after enough repetition, actions and routines become automatic. There’s no more thinking required from our part...we just DO.

We’ve picked up many habits we’ve observed and learned over the years...

But how many of these habits were intentional?

How many were accidental - those habits we had no control over and were the result of the situation we were in at that time?

Can we create new habits that we want?

And can we break old habits we no longer want?

Let’s explore...

Create Habits You Want

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Quebec City Vacation and 5 Simple Budget Travel Tips

quebeccityvacationand5simplebudgettraveltips.jpgWhat is your favourite vacation memory?

I was 17 when I traveled on my own the very first time.

From Atlantic Canada, I flew to Vienna, Austria to visit one of my aunties, at her invitation, for one month. How could I refuse?

My auntie showed me around Vienna, a place she has called home for more than 30 years now…

We strolled around the heart of Vienna, Stephansplatz...Before she took me up the tower of the great St. Stephen's Cathedral.

She brought me inside the stunning Schonbrun Palace. And then, if Vienna wasn't enough…

She even took me to Salzburg, where I thought I died and went to heaven. It was that breathtaking.

Now my auntie works as a registered nurse in a palliative unit for as long as she’s lived in Vienna. She probably had enough vacation days to take a month off if she wanted to. But there was no need for her to do that. I didn't need any hand-holding for a month...

After about a week, I was ready to explore Vienna on my own. Their public transportation wasn't tough to crack.

In Vienna, at 17, my love for travelling was borne.

Vacation Budget Travels

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Money Lessons from 7 Books


Have you thought about joining a book club?

Perhaps you’re already part of one?

I joined a book club earlier this year - and then dropped out shortly after.

It turns out I wasn’t willing to spend my free time reading fiction books when I have a stack of nonfiction books I’m too impatient to get started reading.

Funny thing is my love of reading started with fiction.

In my early teens the Sweet Valley High series was my obsession. Remember those? I’d curl up with those books for hours and hours.

In fact, I never picked up a nonfiction book willingly - and read it from cover to cover (like those fiction books I enjoyed so much) until I was in my late-twenties.

I got one of my very first nonfictions, Getting More, a couple of weeks before my annual performance meeting with my old boss. Based on my performance, I wanted to negotiate better compensation. I read the book in record time because I was hungry to learn about negotiation. After picking up a few pointers, I set what I learned in motion.

Since then, I’ve been hooked on books that explain the nuts and bolts of things… money, for example.

7 Money Books

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How To Get A Credit Card Annual Fee Refund

howtogetacreditcardannualfeerefund.jpgHave you ever considered signing up for a credit card but decided against it because of the annual fee?

I use two main cards right now for almost all spending and they both have annual fees - Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite ($99) and the Capital One Aspire Travel World Mastercard ($120). When I got these cards I considered the annual fees and still decided having them would pay off.

The Scotiabank card pays 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases, and you’d need to spend over $200 per month on gas and groceries alone for the card to be worth it. I easily meet this threshold and last year I earned about $500 with this one card.

The Capital One card has an annual fee of $120 but when I applied for it also came with an annual bonus (no longer available) of 10,000 reward miles worth $100 - that means the annual fee is essentially $20. Not bad for a card that pays 2% back on all spending with no category restrictions.

Annual fees need to be taken into account when determining which card is right for you, but there is also the possibility of having your annual fee waived or refunded.

How To Get Your Annual Fee Refunded

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