Category Archives: Lifestyle

Money Challenge for 2013 – Week #3 – Have you started??

Total Saved to date: $6
Balance in ING Savings Account: $6

Last week I talked about saving money and using a system where you save one more dollar each week for an entire year. An interesting idea that requires you to save no more than $52 in one week. That seems manageable, doesn’t it?? That post started a discussion about the merits of the system and what method would be best to use to be successful.

Can you save $1 more each week for a year?

Can you save $1 more each week for a year? (souce: unknown)

Did you get started this week? It’s not too late. If you use the conventional method that is outlined in the challenge, you are still less than $10 to catch up. Remember that ING offers a great savings account that is easy to use to save for something like this.  It integrates with your existing bank account seamlessly.  If you open a new account with them (it will take $100 to get it open, but that could be Week #52 & #51 almost taken care of ) and use the “refer a friend” option, we can goth get a $25 bonus.  That’s one more week taken care of (Week #25), for both of us!!  Just use my Orange Key – 15735432S1.

Let me know how your efforts are going and please follow along on Twitter using the hashtag – #Saver13.  Tell me about what you’re saving for.  Tell how easy or difficult you’ve found this so far.

Next week, I am going to talk about the different methods people are using for this inititative and how they may or may not work.  I have had a lot of interesting feedback since this conversation started!!  Maybe we should all plan a group trip to celebrate our success at the end of the year!?!  What a great way to start 2014??  What do you think??

Money Challenge for 2013 – Can you save over $1,300??

Have you ever wondered how to save for that vacation each year? Done the calculations and tried to figure out what to do so that you have the funds for Christmas shopping in December? I have.  I now have a few things I do to make sure that I have some extra funds at Christmas time and for other events through the year.

This year, I came across a chart that showed how you can save over $1,300 in one year.  The premise is that you start saving one dollar in the first week of the year.  You then increase your savings by one dollar each week, so that by the last week of the year you are saving $52.  Seems relatively easy and certainly following the holidays, starting at a dollar isn’t difficult.

I have opened a new @SuperStarSaver account with ING and I am going to give this a try.  I certainly would welcome almost $1,400 (when interest is added) at the start of January 2014.  Worst case scenario is that I end up with somewhere between zero and $1,400 saved, even if the savings get, “too heavy” to keep up as November and December creep up.

This chart (which I found on the internet – I am not sure of the source as none was given), shows the math and was what sold me on the idea.  It is easy to follow and seems like it is a manageable program.  I am sure that it will get tough when it gets up to $30-50 per week going to savings, but really that is only one dinner or one night out in those weeks.  That vacation at the end of it all would be worth it, I think.MoneyChallenge

If you would like to join me on this journey, I encourage you to jump on board.  I will be talking about it as the year progresses on social media (using the hashtag #Saver13 – which covers the total saved and the year 2013).  If you don’t already have an ING account, check them out.  If you want to open an account, feel free to use my “Orange Key” which helps both you and I get a bonus.  You can connect with ING here and my Orange Key is – 15735432S1.  What an excellent addition to our savings for the year.

I welcome your comments and thoughts on this idea and I look forward to sharing my progress with you as 2013 progresses!!

Win a $100 Gift Card from Sport Chek for Christmas!!

Lately I have been inspired.  I recently read two articles that encouraged me and motivated me to get started at the gym again.  Both these stories started with small steps on a bigger journey to better health.  The key is that you can make a difference with some effort each day.  If you are looking for a story or two to motivate you and help you find your way back to the gym, check out this article from, The Hamilton Spectator, that featured my friend Shannon and her journey to better health that started in January 2009.

I was also inspired by someone I heard about through social media channels.  His name is Andy and his journey to better health started in December 2011.  He recently wrote on his blog about losing over 100 pounds and what a positive change it has made for his health and his life.  I invite you to read the post he wrote on the one year anniversary of his journey to better health.

It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it.  Hopefully we all have stories like these two, to share as 2013 draws to a close!!

With the help of my friends at Sport Chek, I would like to offer you the opportunity to win a $100 gift card for Sport Chek!!

Use this card to get yourself motivated or perhaps inspire someone you know (since it is the time of year for gifts)!! The contest will be open from December 15, 2012 to December 19, 2012 at 8pm (Eastern Time).  In order to be entered, you need to do the following:

1 – Follow @SportChek on Twitter

2 – Follow @Canadian88 on Twitter

3 – Tweet me the following:

@Canadian88 I am inspired & want to win a Gift Card from @SportChek to help me be #MyBetterMVPWin

Don’t forget the hashtag & be sure to tweet each day, to help improve your chances.  The winner will be selected randomly via Twitter Twitter Chicken Dinner on December 20, 2012.

Please feel free to share your stories in the comments here and good luck!!

Couch to 5K – Week #8 – Almost Race Day!!

It has been a while since I wrote a post about my efforts to run a 5K.  It’s hard to believe that so much could happen in 9 or 10 weeks, but it did.  I trained for a 5K.  I found out my Mom was sick; Really sick. My entire world changed.  It felt that anything that could happen did and all at once!!

My Mom, Beverley Anna Vollick, lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on March 29 at the age of 70 years old.  The period between March 11 when she went into the hospital and March 29 seemed to pass in the blink of an eye and I sort of lost my focus on training.  I plan to write more about my Mom in another post, so keep your eyes open for that.

When I started week #8, (the final week) of the Couch to 5K program, I figured I was in good shape, even though I had had a two week break between runs.  I ran day #1 and day #2 on the treadmill and actually felt pretty strong.  I was pumped and ready to face the challenge of getting to 5K and getting outdoors mid-April for the final few weeks of my training.  For day #3 of that week I decided to go for an outdoor run and see how that went.  It was tough.  Really tough.  It seemed that all the cardio training I had done to build up to that point was lost and I wondered what had happened.  I found out the next day when I woke up with a cold!! So much for a few weeks of outdoor running.  My cold stuck around for just over a week and that meant no real training outdoors.  Not the way I drew up the plans for my 1st race!!

I still stayed committed to my goal of running in the GoodLife Toronto Marathon 5K, on May 6 and to her credit, a friend of mine, Amanda committed to running the race with me.  This was probably a good thing, because with the cold and everything that happened, I likely would have said forget it and skipped the race.

My gut told me that I could do it and I believed I could to, even if it meant I had to walk part of the 5K due to the obstacles that I encountered in March and April.  I wasn’t going to let them stop me and I was going to get to race day and the finish line on my own two feet!!  Stay tuned later this week for my thoughts on my 1st 5K race and the race day experience!!

Couch to 5K – Week #8 – Stalled – Cancer Sucks…

This week has not been a good week. I ended up with a week off, which was not planned.

Six weeks ago, we found out that my Mom has cancer and two weeks ago she was admitted to the hospital. My mind is still comprehending how things deteriorated so quickly in the past six weeks. I can’t believe that it is my Mom lying there in a hospital bed. I don’t want it to be anyone’s Mom, especially not mine.

My Mom is a kind, gentle and caring person and this thing has knocked her on her ass…fast.  That’s the part that surprises me the most.  Six weeks ago she went to Curves and was shopping.  Today she is struggling with a minimal amount of activity.  I have had no up-close experience with this disease until now and this has been a real eye-opener.  For those of you that have lived through this in your own lives, my heart goes out to you.  I never realized how tough it was for you.

This week was filled with hospital visits and truthfully I just didn’t have the energy to head for the gym when I left the hospital. Family comes first and that won’t change. I had planned on at least getting a run in when I was out of town for work, staying in a hotel. That fell through too, since I my day ended up being quite long.

Sorry to be ranting here this week, but I really have nothing else that I can write about. Cancer sucks. The good news for this week, is I did register for my first 5K and like I mentioned in my last post, I am going to run that race on May 6.  I feel like I want to kick someones ass, so it may as well be my own, across the finish line!!

I have set up a page with the Canadian Cancer Society to help them raise funds for the fight against cancer.  I hope that I can raise my goal of $500 for the run and help do some good with this effort.  At least that has made me feel better.

I am going to get back to my training this week.  My work schedule is a little lighter this week and I will definitely find the time to get to the gym for a few runs.  Once the next three workouts are done, it will be time to head outside.  Sadly, the weather is turning more seasonal and it won’t be quite so comfortable to run.  I am sure I will get by, once I get rolling and warmed up.

I know that the workouts are helping me with the stress of everything happening and that is motivating me to get back to them too.  It will help with keeping me sane when everything around me seems to be going crazy.

I hope to have good news about my Mom and my running when I next update my blog.  Fingers crossed for that, for sure!!