Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spreading Love Around This Holiday Season: Donating time, goods, and love

My mother left my life when I was thirteen.  She was still alive but I got taken away from her and eventually put in US orphanages, she has since died.  I lived 4 hours away from her by car and that basically severed our relationship.  In a way, I am happy it worked out that way.  As much as I needed to be loved, I think I needed someone else's love at that point in my life.   I have had a lot of mothers in my life.....thanks to all my moves.  One thing that has been great about that is that I got to see how everyone was both wonderful and flawed.  I get to handpick from slew of 20 wonderful moms their best qualities and aspire to be like them on their good days.  Of course it's unrealistic to be the best qualities of wonderful women without their flaws, but its good to have a goal. Its also good to realise how different everyone is and how much we can all learn from each other.

My life is wonderful thanks to all my mothers, all my staff, all my teachers, and the volunteers who took in a little abused girl and helped me to believe in myself. Its amazing the impact they had on my life.  If I had never left home I would have turned out very differently.  If I had never met my first honerary mom, Ami, I may not have met the others because Ami was a turning point in my life.  Ami was an incredibly powerful force who helped me see who I could be, Ami was amazing, Ami is my hero.

There are countless ways to volunteer for others.  You can baby sit for a neighbor who is stressed and has last minute christmas shopping. You can go through your clothes and donate what you don't wear to a local childrens group home (which is in fact an orphanage), you can sign up for big brothers & big sisters and be a mentor next year, you can give stuff away without strings on craigslist, you can cook a casserole for someone who recently lost a friend or pet, you can show up at someone's door with a 50 dollar gift certificate to a local grocery store, you can adopt a family and buy them gifts, you can ask me if any of my foster siblings need help this year because well some of them still need some help, you can donate to any non-profit whose down and out this year. 

Its amazing how small acts of kindness at the right time can make someone life more manageable.  I challenge everyone who reads my blog to make one act of kindess without strings, they would not otherwise do this holiday season.  It might just change a life.  It might make you feel good.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cheap Girl bought a condo

I must apologize.  I have neglecting this blog.  I have been trying to continue my first blog.  My travels were not as tech friendly as I expected.  I went back to work as soon as I got back and started my baby in daycare.  My daughter got sick for over a week this past week. I have also been house shopping and great news! Today I, cheap girl, bought a condo.  Its not really the cheap thing to do but I did it and I am very proud of it. So obvously, I have been occupied and rather that post crap, I decided to hold off on regularly posting to this blog.

I got the magazine bargains of the century in the mean time. I ordered two year long magazines for 10.30 cents both O magazine and Smart Money.  Personally I like magazines.  I pretty much always have but I never really read this genere. I think that for 10.30 cents I got a good deal. I bought them both from during specials on seperate days.  I sent them to my sister's American address first and then said I moved to canada and it was the canadian steal of the century. 

I have been too busy for much shopping or extravagant stuff for myself thus I have nothing to report on specifically about being cheap.  However, I do promise to start posting as the condo shopping gets underway.

For the condos. I have been trying to get deals on  Its not been going very well.  Those of you unfamilar with Swoopo it is a disaster of a website, slightly addictive, offering incredible technology bargains if you can stare at your computer screen all day long. Its a bit like crooked ebay, you have to buy bids and everytime someone bids the length of bidding increases.  So the timer keeps going back up.  You cannot simply bid at .01 seconds and win.  You have to bid when no one else is watching that product, some people get bargains but it a little unpredictable and for me it is a real time trap.

Cheap girl who will be outfitting her new office soon has this idea in her head that if she just buys the right office materials, the writing will come, she'll want to work, and suddenly she will be very productive and very wealthy.  So I would really like a new mac computer.  My current one is a little broke and four years old.  I am addicted to my ipod so I would really like a good interface...and feel a MAC would offer that plus allow me to produce movies and music if I have the free time.

Do any of you have an idea how I can get a new apple computer at a fabulous price, other than on Swoopo?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Subscribing to Smart Money

Today I subscribed to Smart Money.  Amazon is offering a super special on this magazine today. Its 5 dollars for the year. When they offer 5 dollar magazine subscriptions it does not last long.

I am Canadian so I had planned to subscribe to another financial based magazine targeting the canadian market in Janurary for RRSP season.  I will probably still do so, but I am waiting for another ridiculously good price. I had to use a US address to start the subscription and then I will eventually do a change of address to my canadian address.  Any one out there looking to subscribe to magazines today is probably the day.  They also have red book, cosmo, seventeen and a whole lot of other magazines on sale.  Its a great christmas present for magazine fans. 

Happy Shopping

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Niagara Falls

Cheap girl went to Niagara Falls a week before American Thanksgiving.  I had hoped to post during that trip but I did not have particularly fast internet connection.  We drove in approximately 8 hours and stayed in the Mariott fallsview hotel and spa.  I had a special package with a massage, 70 dollar dinner voucher and hotel room for 155 with tax included.  The massage was great but only a half hour.  The dinner ran over budget about 50 dollars and that was without drinks.  It was a really good dinner though.  If you count that, we spent approximately 260 dollars to travel to niagara falls, eat at a fabulous expensive restaurant, swim, use the sauna, rest up, have a full breakfast, and leave to continue on our travels through the US.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Hi, I am cheap girl you can also call me Mandolin.

I will be guiding you on my journey of fruguality or money well spent.  I plan to invest and buy my first home.  I plan to take spa days on the cheap.  I plan to travel.  My life is going to be exciting. 

I am going to be unusually honest about my expenses.  Its going to be fun and refreshing follow me on my journey to financial independence and living the good life.