This week, I am hosting the 102nd edition of the Lifestyle Carnival! Submit your blog article to the next edition using our carnival submission form at Blogger Carnivals, and check out the fantastic posts below!




Mario @ Adventures in Frugal writes Try The World sends your taste buds on a trip around the world at a fraction of the cost – Men are pretty tough to shop for — millennial guys perhaps more so; this guide offers a strategy for a few inexpensive gifts and gives a few examples

Anne @ Travel Blue Book writes Going to the Sun Road at Glacier National Park – Going to the Sun Road is a beautiful, winding drive stretching across Glacier National Park. You’ll be blown away – if you’ve got the stomach for it.



Vanessa @ The Chic Street writes The Chic Street – Hi all! Please visit my personal style/fashion website for info and inspiration!



Lauren C @ Just for the Health of it writes Society: A Grisly Monstrosity – How society as a whole can cause eating disorders

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes 5 Tips for Improving Your Child’s Eating Habits – If you want your child to eat healthier, it requires a little effort. Here are 5 tips that can help you improve your child’s eating habits:

Jennie @ Healthy Living For Ladies writes The Best Treatments for Emotional Overeating – Here are some vitamins and minerals that, according to research, are implicated in the management of emotional overeating.

Jennie @ Healthy Living For Ladies writes Healthy Avocado Smoothie – Creamy and healthy. Avocados are named as one of the healthiest foods in the planet because they contain in excess of 25 essential nutrients.

Sam @ The New Business Blog writes Creating a Stylish, Practical and Attractive Catering Establishment – Any catering business understands the Health and Safety requirements to keep all their fresh products properly refrigerated.

Jennie @ Healthy Living For Ladies writes Losing Weight Is All About Mindset – Having the proper mindset is critical to giving yourself the best chance of losing the weight you want to lose. You have to know that it’s going to take a while to lose the weight you want to lose.

Jon Rhodes @ Free Hypnosis Downloads writes How To Do Self Hypnosis – Here’s some exact instructions on how to do self hypnosis. There are also details of how to perform specific therapies, such as weight loss, quit smoking, and confidence.

David Leonhardt @ The Happy Guy writes Skip to the loo – Evidence over the past two decades has weighed in heavily on the pivotal role that a modern, sedentary lifestyle plays in obesity. My solution is to skip to the loo.



Natalie @ Debt and the Girl writes Victims of Circumstance or Something More? – I have always been a big fan of doc type shows like True Life (the only good show left on MTV) that let you peer into the life of someone else.

Steve DiGioia @ Customer Service Stories writes Don’t Let Your Employees Use Facebook, It Will Kill Your Business – How employees, by posting business-related information on social media sites, can hurt your business



Debt Guru @ Debt Free Blog writes Smart Phoning: How to Save Money On Your Next Cell Phone – Looking for a new cell phone, but afraid of the costs? Read for tips on shopping smartly for your next cell phone.

Crystal @ Married (with Debt) writes 6 Reasons I’m Spending $6,000 on a Vacation – I feel like I’m out of touch with money. It is through that lens I ponder whether it’s totally normal to spend $6,000 on a vacation.

Cat @ Budget Blonde writes Saving on Baby Expenses During the First Year – As a mother of four kids, I have learned a lot about what needs to be spent, and what does not need to be spent, as you are raising your kids.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Why You Need to Get Out of Debt – The main reasons why getting out of debt is a priority.

Larry @ KrantCents writes How I live on 50% or less income! – I used to think it was crazy to live on 50% or less income!

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Who Earns More: Commercial Landlords or Property Investors? – Commercial landlords vs. property investors: the battle is on.

Alexa @ Defeat Our Debt writes How to Get Rid of Debt on Your Own – There is no easy way to get rid of debt. You have several options, each come with their own set of pros and cons. Here is how to get rid of debt on your own.

SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes How to Avoid the Budget Blues – Got a case of the budget blues? Here’s how to stop yourself from halting the way you budget.

SavingMentor @ How To Save Money writes A Complete Guide To Price Matching In Canada – When my first child was born, my wife and I agreed that a digital camera with video recording capabilities was in order; we wanted to be those parents who post embarrassing home videos of their kid on Youtube. I did some research and settled on a Canon model which could take videos in high definition.

Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes How to Legally & Ethically Sell Your Body for Extra Cash – Did you know that there are a ton of legal & ethical ways to use your body to make some serious extra cash? We’ve got a run down of all the specifics…

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes What Candy Crush Teaches Investors – Product Diversity and Innovation, Track Record and Valuation are a few things you should think about when investing in tech.

Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Budget Friendly Movie Night! – Have you considered a budget friendly movie night, if not, read on.

Bob @ Dwindling Debt writes Are you the Victim of Identity Theft? Check the Signs – Nearly 17 million people were victimized by identity thieves in 2012 according to the US Justice Department, including 40% who were victimized through their credit cards and 37% through their bank accounts.

Michelle @ The Shop My Closet Project writes I spent $100 on a Party-Why I feel Good About It! – You’re judging me aren’t you? I feel your judgey eyes piercing me. You have debt Michelle, you’re supposed to be saving Michelle, what in the heck are you thinking Michelle? Well let me tell you some more information.

Mike @ Personal Finance Journey writes The Real Financial Cost of your Own Car Versus Public Transport – Have you ever really looked at the whether you can save money via public transport over owning your own car or just assumed that’s the case?

CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes The Aggression Route: A Financial Strategy – If a person does not mind doing some work, they need to switch to an aggression investment strategy.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes Win a Free Toshiba Chromebook from Money Q&A and CouponPal!! – Money Q&A is teaming up with the guys at CouponPal and a couple of other bloggers to giveaway a free Toshiba Chromebook to one lucky reader!

Hadley @ Epic Finances writes What’s the secret behind top-performing mutual funds? Just ask Joe Huber – When it comes to owning mutual funds, nearly half of the households in the United States own them today, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes 4 Ways Technology Costs Us Money – Technology is a great thing. But it can also be a bad thing. The worst thing about technology are the ways technology costs us money.

IMB @ Investing Money writes Markets React to Crimea Vote – The conflict in Ukraine has caused Putin to mobilize troops and obtain Crimea for Russia. How the world markets are reacting is significant.

Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes The Health Benefits of Running – Are you aware of the health benefits of running? If not, check this article and learn about the paybacks.

Lauren @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes I’m Now Obsessed With My Quarterly Financial Goals (Q1 2014) – For, I know I need to break down my yearly goals into bite-sized, more manageable chunks, thus my quarterly financial goals.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes The Biggest Financial Mistake People Make During Divorce – Divorce can often bring about tumultuous times for a family. Sometimes they can go very smooth and others can literally be the ‘War Of The Roses’.

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes 5 Ways You Should Invest Your Tax Return – With tax season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with the cash you’ll soon be receiving on your tax return. While buying a new car or indulging in an exotic vacation may be tempting, spending your tax return money today won’t help secure your financial future tomorrow.

Mrs. Accountability @ Out of Debt Again writes What One Thing Do All MLM’s Promise? – Multi-level marketing companies all make promises. This is one they seem to be fond of making. Whether the promise is kept will depend on the person joining.

Daniel @ Make Money Make Cents writes Retirement Fund Sustainability | Will My Retirement Monies Run Out On Me? – Retirees are savvy individuals who have already put in the time and effort to develop their nest-eggs.

Oscar @ Money is the Root writes Thousands of Americans Ripped off by Tax Fakes – Since last August, when fraudsters began a phone scam targeted at Americans nationwide, thousands of individuals have been ripped off according to the US Internal Revenue Service’s watchdog, the TIGTA.

Jay @ Daily Fuel Economy Tip writes Fuel Economy Tips for Hybrids Cars – We have written plenty of blogs about fuel economy tips for regular cars but this is our first for Hybrid cars.

Danielle @ Saving Without a Budget writes Tips for Buying in Bulk – No matter who you are, a trip to the grocery store almost always ends the same way; you end up spending way too much.

Matt @ Budget Snob writes Who needs an Emergency Fund? If these things happen, you do. – If you have been an adult for any length of time you know that life is full of surprises, some good and some, well, not so good.

Amy @ Money Mishaps writes Organization is the Key to a Less Stressful Divorce – Frankly, getting divorced usually means a lot of difficulty and emotion. We can’t really help you with the emotional side of divorce, but when it comes to reducing your stress financially, we can tell you that being prepared and organized is one of the best ways to do it.

Lenny @ Best Money Saving Blog writes Obama’s New Budget Proposal Bad News for Consumers Unprepared for Retirement – Experts are saying that the budget for 2015 proposed by President Obama will be an absolute disaster for millions of Americans who are not fully prepared for retirement.

Andrea @ So Over This writes How to Get the Best Deal on a New Car – Last fall I helped a friend buy a new car. Here are some of the things we did to ensure that she didn’t get the runaround or wind up with a lemon.

Lily @ Paying Debt Down writes Tax Fraud due to Identity Theft on the Rise – How to Protect Yourself – It was recently reported that billions of dollars are being stolen every year by identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns.

Marissa @ Finance Triggers writes Quirky tips for conserving cash – Here are a few quirky tips for saving some cash. Read on to find out how you do not have to turn your life inside out to gain control of your finances.

Marissa @ Thirty Six Months writes Tips to Make Your First Real Estate Investment a Success – Most of us do not really think of accumulating investment properties. It is just not something that we are programmed to do, but it is an area that more GEN Y should start taking seriously.

Justin @ Edward Antrobus writes Why the Wealthy are Suddenly Fond of Using Pawnshops – While banks everywhere have started frowning on assets that are not quite liquid, there is a boom underway in high-end pawnshops.

Aaron @ Aaron Hung writes Why an IRA May be Better than a 401(k) – With a 401(k) plan you are limited to the mutual fund choices that your employer offers but with an IRA you suddenly have access to exchange traded funds (ETFs) and stocks.

Monica @ Monica On Money writes Life Happens (Have a Plan!) – This month I have focused on writing about being prepared for the unexpected. We all know that Life Happens, and usually when we are already busy and stressed.

Alexa @ Single Moms Income writes 3 Ways to Earn Extra Cash This Spring – Instead of blowing my budget once again I figured it was much better to look for ways to earn some extra cash.

Sustainable PF @ Sustainable Personal Finance writes Is the New Freelance Economy Such a Bad Thing for You? – One of the trends becoming apparent following the recent global financial crisis and worldwide recession is that the new economy is likely to be a freelance economy.

Charles @ Getting A Rich Life writes How To Travel For Free: Game Changer – Earlier this year when a family emergency came up I only had enough miles for a free plane ticket from Hawaii to the mainland.

Gretchen @ Retired by 40! writes My 7 Best Financial Moves – I’ve done many things wrong. What have I done right?

Jack @ Money Saving Ethics writes Accelerating My Retirement | How Can I Retire Faster? – There are definite methods to accelerate retirement. There are tips, tricks, plans and procedures to engage that can shave loads of time off your retirement age, but you have to understand some rather bleak facts first.

Bryan @ writes Top MBA Programs in the United States – MBA programs are back in style again as the economy heats up. If you are considering a top business school program, which one offers you the highest chances of being accepted? Check out our guide on finding the best MBA schools and their stats.

Bryan @ DebtRoundUp writes What Factors Affect Life Insurance Rates? – If you’re thinking about buying life insurance in 2014 or beyond, it is important to know what factors may affect your rates in the future so you can minimize any negative effects in advance. Check out this guide to learn about the factors that affect life insurance rates and how you can get the lowest premiums from the best companies.

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Best Cities to Live on an Average Income – As a median income earner, I’d definitely like to get more for my money. Though I’m not quite ready to pack up my things and head on over to Denver or Charlotte, these are definitely cities I’ll continue to keep my eye on as I think about possible relocation.

Erastus @ Sprout Wealth writes How to Start Investing in the Stock Market – Investing in the Stock market is vital to building wealth though can be overwhelming for those just begging. Following these few simple tips, you can start investing confidently.

Katie @ IRA Basics writes The Secret of Saving for Your First Deposit – Are you ready to become a homeowner and do not fancy a no-deposit home loan? Then the biggest obstacle standing in your way is the first deposit or down payment.

Mario @ Debt BLAG writes Financial literacy gave me hope! – Facing a daunting debt paydown, I thought I didn’t have a chance; financial literacy gave me the hope I needed to power through.



Glennalicious @ writes How To Start A Blog – A Guide To Setting Up Your Blog – Entrepreneurship is the backbone of America, but many Americans don’t have the capital to start a business. Fortunately, the advent of the internet has significantly lowered the costs of becoming self-employed by allowing just about anyone to start a blog and make money online. Check out this step by step guide on setting up your blog and give yourself the chance to become self-employed.

Nell Casey @ The Million Dollar Diva writes How Much Should You Spend On Your Hobby? – Spending and investing for the future is important. But it’s also important to send aside money for things that make you happy today. If you have a hobby, costs can quickly spiral out of control so it’s important to be smart with your budget to make sure you maintain a balance between your current and future happiness.

Lisa Bohach @ Motivate Dreamers writes Build Your Own Dream Board – 4 easy steps to building your own dream board.

Thomas @ i need money ASAP! writes Busking For Money – Busking for money is easy if you have a talent to share. Do you know how to play an instrument? Make people laugh? Do you have any unique skills like juggling, magic, sleight of hand? Are you artistically gifted? Then busking could be the solution if you need money asap.

Mollie @ Success Manual writes How To Unleash Your Creative Energy by Discovering Invisible Dimensions in Art – art piece, invisible dimension of art



Mr.CBB @ Canadian Budget Binder writes Creamy Rice Pudding – How to make rice pudding? It’s so easy you will wonder why you never tried it sooner. Don’t worry though because we all have to start somewhere when it comes to creating new dishes for our families.

Stephanie @ Six Figures Under writes No-Spend Month Menu – Even though we’re having a no-spend month challenge which include not buying any groceries, we’re still eating good food. Here’s a peek into our no-spend month menu!


Thanks for reading the latest edition of the Lifestyle Carnival! Don’t forget to submit your blog article to the next edition using our carnival submission form at Blogger Carnivals.

happy-birthday-blogA year ago today My Life, I Guess… opened its proverbial doors. Little did I know that stumbling into the personal finance and lifestyle blogging community would have such a major impact and positive influence on my life.

A year ago today, my work/life balance was so unbalanced that it desperately needed to change. So, I made some hard decisions and changed it.

A year ago today, I knew I had a lot of debt, I didn’t really know how bad it was. So, I began taking my debt repayment more seriously.


A year ago today, I wasn’t writing more than random rants or 101 Things project updates once or twice a month for a very small audience – but writing has always been a passion of mine. So, I started writing.

And guess what happened?

People actually read what I had to say.

And to you, all I can really say is




I am truly appreciative of everyone that’s taken the time to read a post, leave a comment, share a link, tweet a tweet, pin a pin, inspire an idea, answer one of my many money questions, or offer even the tiniest bit of support in whatever way they can. If I could, I would crawl into this computer and give each and every one of you a great big hug! (Or a high five if you prefer I not invade your personal space.)




My Birthday Gift To You: Free Ad Space Giveaway

I was really hoping to offer a million dollar giveaway, but I couldn’t even find room in my budget to offer $10 in cash or gift cards! (I am being laid off next week, remember?) So I had to come up with a frugal way to show my appreciation.




Now I know that blog ads aren’t super common in the certain blogging communities (I’m looking at you, PF bloggers!) and that although my stats are good, I’m far from blogging rock star status. So in addition to promoting your blog through my sidebar, I’ll also shower you with retweets, link loves, and whatever else I can do to say thanks.

How To Enter:

If you have a blog that you are just dying to advertise here on my sidebar, enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Please be sure to review the Terms and Conditions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


365 days. 117 posts. 5000+ pageviews. 940 comments. All thanks to you. I truly cannot express how grateful I am for all the support, encouragement, and kindness I’ve received through this blog. I have a lot of hopes and ideas for where the next year will take me, and I’m excited to share it all!

Thank you, once again.


Help boost my ego satisfy my curiosity:

How long have you been reading “My Life, I Guess…”? Did you follow me here from my old blog (“Miss Amanda 101″) or discover me somewhere over the last year?

Do you have a favourite post? Please let me in know in the comments below.



Tales from a Tenant is a new series featured here on My Life, I Guess… that chronicles the ups and downs of being a tenant. If you are interested in contributing your tenant (or landlord) tales, please contact me. I’d love to share!

Today’s post is by yours truly.
I recently moved into a (so-called) professionally managed townhouse with my boyfriend “R” and 2 cats.


I’ve mentioned before that the rental market where I live is garbage and that the landlords are even worse. (I’m still fighting with my last one even though I moved out 2 months ago!) So I was looking forward to renting with a property management company with our new place. I had assumed that dealing with a professional business would make being a tenant a lot easier – but of course, that hasn’t been the case.

A big selling feature of the townhouse R and I chose was the fact that they were offering a year of free cable and internet as a promotion to get tenants in the off-season. (Who wants to move in the middle of winter?) Since hydro and gas are not included in our rent, we were excited to have at least one less bill to worry about. It’s also been years since either of us have had cable, so we were looking forward to the novelty of it.

Back in January, about a week and a half before our scheduled move-in date, I called up our rental agent to book an appointment to sign the lease* and get the keys.

(*Let me side track here a little. Yup – up until this point we had not signed a lease. We filled out an application and handed over a $1000 deposit equal to last month’s rent. Once we got the call saying that we were approved, we set up our gas and hydro accounts, booked a uHaul, and started changing our address without signing a damn thing. I don’t know how I didn’t realize how dumb this was until it was pointed out to me. Thankfully, everything worked out in that regard and this isn’t a tale in “how to get your deposit back when you didn’t sign a lease”.)

Any who, we set up the appointment and everything was on track – until I got a call the next morning telling me that they couldn’t offer the free year of cable and internet after all. Apparently there was a “misunderstanding” and management couldn’t reach a deal with the service provider. Instead, they were offering us 30% ($300) off first months rent or the 13th month rent free ($1000).

I was bummed, but thought “Hey, a free month of rent!” (There was no way in hell I was taking the $300 option! What a joke!) But R pointed out that taking this offer would mean it’d be more than a year before we reaped any benefit and that we’d be committing to living there an additional month. What if we hate it? What if we want to move? What if we break up?! (Not happening.) And I wasn’t impressed that they were trying to short-change us when I figured out that a year of basic cable and internet costs upwards of $1150. (Yikes.)

So I called them back and told them that this wasn’t going to fly. And then we spent another week waiting for them to return my calls, freaking out, and seriously considering moving elsewhere.

They finally got back to us – once we started throwing around the phrases “bait and switch” and “false advertising” – and let us know that they would be honouring the original promotion after all, but with a different cable company.

A whole 36 hours before we moved in. Ugh.

But the battle didn’t end there, my friends. No, no.

It took another 2 weeks before our cable and internet were finally connected. This included more unreturned phone calls, a bit of Facebook-shaming, them blaming the cable company (who had no idea we had already moved in), another “misunderstanding” regarding our internet options, and then a whole kerfuffle with the installation itself (which, as it turns out, takes about 4 hours not just 1).

The lesson? Speak up and fight for what was promised to you. Don’t settle for less because of someone’s mistake. And you probably shouldn’t hand over wads of cash to anyone without signing some sort of contract. If I had been doing this on my own, I would have backed down and settled for one of their lesser offers – and then bitched and complained about it for the whole year. Instead, thanks largely to R, I pretended to be an assertive person and we now spend our evenings slowly turning into television zombies. And we enjoy every free second of it.

What would you have done if you were in this situation?

Have you ever had to fight to get a company to honour a promotion?


Like what you see here? Why not read other tenant tales? Or better yet,submit your own! If you have an interesting tale or important tenant lesson, I’d love to feature it in an upcoming post. Please contact me for more information, and let’s make this happen!