My favourite business cards are ones that use letterpress. There’s just something about how timeless and traditional they look, especially when combined with a new and modern design. It creates such an elegant feeling – perfect for stand-out business cards, wedding invitations, or special occasion flyers. :)
Last year I redesigned my personal business cards and once again used my favourite online print shop, Jukeboxprint.com. I think having beautiful, well-designed business cards are a really nice touch when networking or even on a job interview. And I love it when people ask where I got my cards from, and who designed them for me. :) So you can bet that when I create new cards in the next few months, I’ll definitely be trying out Jukeboxprint’s letterpress option.
So in celebration of making a good first impression and having business cards you can be proud of, I have teamed up with my friends over at Jukeboxprint.com to give away ONE (1) set of 250 letterpress business cards (40 pt cotton stock – one of their most expensive and premium stocks) with 2-colour output. This includes free shipping to ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!
There are FOUR ways to enter:
- +1 entry: Tweet about the contest (copy and paste the following: “Jukeboxprint.com is giving away Letterpress Business Cards. Follow @Jukebox and enter now: http://wp.me/pPQjl-3Cp“).
- +2 entry: Follow @jukebox on Twitter.
- +3 entry: Comment on this blog post and tell me what you think of the Letterpress cards from Jukeboxprint.com.
- +1 entry: Like Jukeboxprint.com on Facebook.
- You MUST use Rafflecopter to record all of your entries.
- I am giving away one (1) sets of 250 business cards.
- Shipping is free worldwide.
- Contest closes February 28, 2014.
Good luck! :)
Monday 10th – Victoria, BC
+ $71.18 Ebates.com
$85 BC Ferries
+ $450 freelance income
+ $109.50 Great Canadian Rebates
$132.17 BMO Half Marathon registration
No Spend Day!
No Spend Day!
Freelance Income: + $450 (+ $180.68)
Expenses: – $283.94
TOTAL: + $346.75
This was a pretty good week of spending – despite the cost for the BC Ferries, and my BMO half marathon registration. Of course, I don’t regret going back home for the long weekend, and I know I’ll be glad I signed up for that half marathon once race day comes in May. It just stings a little right now. :)
Other than that, it was a pretty good week. I bought some much needed wine and chocolate over the weekend, and since I’ve been staying at BF’s house a lot, I contributed to groceries this week as well. We’ve been pretty good about cooking dinner at home and keeping expenses down over the last few months, so transitioning over to an unemployed status hasn’t meant much of a change to our lifestyle.
How was your week of spending?
Most personal finance experts will tell you that you need between 3-6 months of living expenses saved in an easily accessible Emergency Fund. Having cash as a cushion is always a good idea – but when you run into hard times, it’s how you choose to spend your emergency savings that can mean the difference between getting through your financial crisis, or having to make some truly difficult decisions.
You might already have a budget created for your monthly expenses, but having a budget in order to deal with a financial emergency is also really important – and creating one before a crisis hits will make it a lot easier for you to make the transition.
Over the past weekend, I took a hard look at my finances and created a bare-bones budget for my current situation. Employment Insurance will just be enough to cover all of my expenses – mortgage, strata, hydro, cell phone, internet, car insurance, and about $100/month for groceries. I’d love to be able to get through this without having to touch my Emergency Fund – but I’m pretty realistic and know it’s likely not possible. But my stress level is significantly lower knowing that I’ve got some money in the bank set aside for exactly this kind of situation.
Here are a few tips on how to create a bare-bones budget:
Fixed vs. discretionary expenses
Typically when creating a budget, you would divide your categories into two separate spending groups – fixed and discretionary. Fixed expenses can also sometimes be reduced, but may require a longer time to see any benefit – such as waiting for a lease to run out in order to move to a cheaper apartment. This means the easiest way to lower your budget is to focus on your discretionary spending.
Here is what my bare-bones budget looks like compared to my current February 2014 budget:
You can see, I was able to eliminate $765 from my monthly budget without too much problem. And I know that if needed, I could cut down my budget even further. For the next few months I will use this budget as a guide for my monthly expenses, but if it gets too tight, I can eliminate internet, lower my cell phone bill, and get rid of my car insurance. That would likely save an additional $180/month.
Dealing with debt
I’m extremely thankful that I don’t have any debt, aside from my mortgage. However if you’re in debt, you generally cannot escape your debt repayments without serious repercussions. You might be able to call each creditor to inquire about lowering your payments until you can get back on your feet. And if you have debts that are tied to a car, boat, motorcycle, etc. – you might need to consider selling and putting the money towards the loan instead. There’s a chance you could end up taking a loss in the process, but eliminating or reducing your monthly payments might leave you ahead in the long run.
Defer if possible
Many expenses cannot be avoided, even when you’re in a financial crisis. If you can, avoid replacing or paying to repair the items until you’re back on your feet. For example, if you microwave or dryer has broken, re-heat your food on the stove and hang-dry your clothing instead. You might not be able to get away without fixing your refrigerator, for example, but make sure to look for alternative solutions too. If a friend or relative owns a small fridge, or has a spare one in the garage, ask to borrow it until you can get yours fixed.
Once you start putting the numbers on paper, you can start to see how much money you will need to spend each month, and how long you can live off of your savings.
While I have been able to do a lot for myself to make sure I’m okay financially while I’m laid off, I can’t put a price tag on how much my friends, family, and BF are keeping me sane. And the positive and thoughtful blog comments, texts, tweets, and e-mails I’ve gotten from so many people have really put a smile on my face. So thank you. It’s really, really appreciated. :)