Dear 2017,

SLOW DOWN!  You’re going by waaaaaay too fast!  In fact, it seems like just yesterday you were sprinkling snowflakes on my doorstep!  Oh wait, that might have been yesterday… after all, I do live in Canada!

I digress.

HAPPY HALF YEAR

*confetti toss*

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Since the year is officially half oh-ver (gulp), it dawned on me that exactly 6 months ago I was mentally mincing my ambitious, albeit naively average New Year’s resolutions.  Lose weight, drink more water, save money, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Aside from the list of lofty goals, I often pick a word or phrase to motivate my year ahead, and in January, I declared 2017 to be the year of “Tightening My Belt”.

I always tout myself as being unapologetically frugal (which is true), but at the same time, I’ve never done a great job of tracking my monthly expenses.  Sure, I’m a great bargain hunter but I can honestly say that I have no clue how much I actually spend in a month, and exactly where the money goes!

Aside from buying everyday essentials, I have two growing boys which means a constant stream of dollars flowing towards field trips, camps, sports leagues, endless groceries, eating out on the run to get to the sports leagues (and throwing out the groceries that we spent money on but didn’t use because we ate out while dashing to the sports leagues) Ugh, it’s a viciously busy and EXPENSIVE cycle.

So, I planned to start 2017 by “Tightening My Belt”!  But other than having my catchy little catch phrase, I didn’t actually have a plan.  I did make some progress, though.

In January, my hubby and I decided to streamline our credit cards, bringing us from three credit cards down to one.  We ditched our travel rewards credit card, because after YEARS of collecting points, I think the farthest we could have traveled was to Paris… Ontario… one way.  We had another credit card for “emergencies”, but we hadn’t used it in years (although we were still stupidly paying an annual fee for it). With the credit card load lightened and only one left in hand, we upgraded our existing PC Financial® Mastercard® that we’ve had for YEARS to the PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard®… oh, and there’s no annual fee (SCORE)!

For years, I’ve collected PC® points, but with the PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard®, I now maximize my spending by getting WAY MORE i.e. up to 30 PC® points at select stores for every dollar I spend!  And let me tell you, nothing floats my boat more than getting free groceries, clothing, cosmetics, and home goods every year thanks to reward points.  I know that I’m earning points throughout the year, but I have no idea just how many!

And as for my fitness goals, well, I definitely need to be more health conscious and make my wellness a bigger priority.

I’ve decided to hit the reset button on my New Year’s resolution and declare today the beginning of my half year resolution.  The difference this time is that I have a plan!

Tightening my FITNESS belt…

As some of you may know, I had amazing success following the Cityline Weight Loss Challenge two years ago.  In 12 short weeks, I was able to easily drop more than 35 lbs and I never felt better!

2015 BEFORE & AFTER

before and after wlc

Fast forward a year, and I hit pause on my fitness routine to have elective surgery, but found it near impossible to muster the motivation and momentum afterwards that once propelled me to my health goals.

Sadly, my current “after” is looking more like my original “before”…ugh!

I feel gross, uncomfortable, embarrassed, and disappointed in myself.  But I’m far past the self-pity phase!  I’m now officially back in the saddle and ready to ride back into my skinny jeans (without needing an elastic band to do them up).

THE PLAN…

  • drink more water everyday
  • meal plan and food prep every weekend for the week ahead
  • go to the gym more regularly and accomplish 3-5 workouts per week
  • lose 5 lbs by August 1st

Tightening my FINANCIAL belt…

This plan is a little more simplistic, but I’m expecting equally positive results…

THE PLAN…

I’m working with PC Financial® to track ALL of my expenses for the next 30 days to see where I’m spending, where I can “tighten my belt”, how I can further maximize my PC® points, and how much those points are actually saving me in a year.

Math has never been my strong suit, but PC Financial® has an amazing PC® points Calculator, and the points definitely add up.  For example, I can redeem $20 towards groceries and everyday essentials at participating grocery stores for every 20,000 PC® points I collect – that definitely adds up to BIG savings throughout the year!  I know it’s big, but I can’t wait to see just how BIG!

And if you aren’t already collecting points towards free groceries and goodies, make it your first “half year resolution” to sign up HERE!  Let’s save together!!

I’ll be posting some progress updates on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts over the next month, and I PROMISE to also share a final recap of my 30-day fitness and finance challenge right here on the blog… so be sure to check back at the beginning of August.

If you have any tips or want to share your favourite ways to use your PC® points, share in the comments section below.

Wishing everyone a very happy Canada Day, and wish me luck… I’m off to begin tightening my belt that first notch!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post on behalf of President’s Choice Financial®. The opinions on this blog are my own.

XO

L-A

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