Earn Cash Shopping Online

Photo by Mitch Chubey

Companies want YOU on their websites to shop. The incentives encourage more shopping —-so it’s important to take precautions 
to prevent compulsive shopping.


  • Don’t store your credit card info online. The process of having to type in the info will allow time to consider the question “Do I really need this?”
  • Wait 2-3 days, preferably a week before ordering
  • Check prices Flipp is a great app that allows easy searching between stores

Personally, I ask my partner before making purchases (most of the time!)

Sometimes, I am too frugal. For example I ordered cookie trays from Amazon and only wanted to order one. My partner encouraged me to order two because it will improve my baking experience and simplify life.   

Now, that the responsibility part is covered… it’s time to shop.


#1 Ebates

  • My preferred cash back website because I often order via Amazon & cash back is usually higher
  • Big Fat Pay cheque every 3 months
  • Easy to navigate and quick to load

#2 Swagbucks

  • Offers cash back through Swagbucks can redeem for cash, gift cards and donations to charitable causes
  • Can earn extra SB by watching videos and answering surveys
  • Need to earn 2500 SB for $25 cash via PayPal
  • Cons: website takes time to load  

Shop Healthy Online


  • Cash back is offered for well.ca (free samples provided with order) when using Ebates or Swagbucks
  • Caddle app offers a $10 cash back for first time purchases ordered through the app.
  • Can earn $10 per referral of friend (if you place an order entering my referral code: 0c838599c3  would be awesome)
  • Delivery and service: TBA placed first order last week


  • Great prices, huge selection on products 
  • Delivery is so fast
  • Amazing service
  • Generally cheaper than Amazon or Well.Ca (depends on product)
  • Does not offer cash back (yet!)  

Use the cash back websites for products that you already purchase. The marketing is well designed to encourage spending. Shop savvy. 

Plan a Minimalist Closet

Photo by Mitch Chubey

Clothing plays a major role in identity. Even minimalists who wear the same outfit everyday are saying something about what they believe.

Trends come and go and it’s fun to try new things. But….

  • Do you ever feel like you have nothing to wear despite owning lots of stuff?
  • Do find yourself in a vicious cycle of organizing, sorting and donating?
Photo by Mitch Chubey

 The Magic Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo created a cult-like following that made readers question WHY they own what they own. 

The success of The Magic Art of Tidying Up can be explained by:

Simon Sinek’s concept of Start with Why.

Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering works because it starts with why, rather than what and how.

The concept of a minimalist wardrobe sounds perfect and easy. The trouble is it’s more than finding a capsule wardrobe that suits your style and purchasing new garments. To define personal style try Simon Sinek’s recipe for success and Start with Why!

Why you’re buying the clothing you’re buying?

Pinterest is a useful tool that extends beyond the realm of retired crafters. It can save YOU time and money in the future.

Planning a minimalist wardrobe is NOT an easy process. It takes time and effort. Remember you’re in the planning phase NOT the purchasing phase!

  • Start with a general definition of personal values. Spend the day using a values card set or find a YOUtuber that sparks connection who has tips for working on this growth skill. 
  • Use Pinterest. Start to think about planning a personal style. Why are you attracted to certain pinned items?
  • Think about a color palate!!! It makes a huge difference. 
  • Don’t know what a color palate is? No problem. Search YOUtube. This will save so much money and time in the longterm.
  • Read the clothing section of the Magic Art of Tidying up 

After Decluttering… 

  • Pay attention to WHY you keep what you keep.
  • DON’T go out and buy new things right away.
  • When in doubt search YOUtube.

Stay tuned for more tips to guide the planning process. #MoneybagsMinimalistCloset

Bye Bye Debt



2017 Goal Complete 

Last week my fears and financial insecurities multiplied as uncertainty about health and the future loomed.

Despite all of this. I paid off ALL of my student debt on Friday. Life is more important than money. Money can never buy time and quality relationships.  

Paying off my debt was at the top of my goals list in 2017. Today, it feels trivial compared to other things happening in life. I can’t help reflecting on all my unnecessary overthinking and worrying about debt repayment. The most important thing is to learn from experiences to keep growing and changing.

I am grateful that I took action and learned more about finances in 2017. This year, MMB embarks on a new adventure! 2018 is about redefining my relationship with money and success.

My Top 3 Values to Guide 2018

  1. Health to be physically well and healthy
  2. Acceptance to be accepted as I am
  3. Faithfulness to be loyal and true in relationships

Learning about my values has changed my goal setting process. I used the card system linked on Youtube channel muchelleb, the values cards can be found in the link below the video.

I will be writing more on my 2018 goals soon. I apologize for less frequent posting on this blog lately. Thank you for continuing to read.

How to get stuff for FREE

Photo by Mitch Chubey

When something is free, it can have a hidden cost

First, let’s start with defining the word.

Free without cost or payment

In business, cost is usually a monetary valuation of (1) effort, (2) material, (3) resources, (4) time and utilities consumed, (5) risks incurred, and (6) opportunity forgone in production and delivery of a good or service.

Business Dictionary

Digitalization provides more opportunities to get free stuff. Marketing tools are designed to encourage consumption of unnecessary items.

Rewards apps are created by marketing experts to get consumers to spend more. 

Getting things for ‘free’ is based on defining cost based on a business model using the categories: effort, resources, time, risks and opportunity cost. This article provides three examples of rewards programs that can be beneficial when used effectively.   

Daily Rewards


  • Considerable effort is required for payout actual work is simple


  • A computer


  • Can lose time may be required to respond to questions and not qualify for surveys


  • No risk to lose money
  • Encouraged to sign up for services that cost money, be wise and don’t take the bait.  
  • Giving out personal information

Opportunity Loss

  • Surveys provide small amount of income not meant to be a job
  • May distract from other activities requiring attention  


  • Worth the effort can be completed with music, Youtube or Netflix in the background
  • I was skeptical, until I actually received payment
  • Better than other rewards apps because you don’t need to buy anything and payout is cash!
  • Must reach $30 for payout
$30.18 PayPal Pending Dec 21, 2017 Jan 03, 2018

Carrot App


  • Minimal can get rewards by meeting daily step goals


  • Smart phone


  • Very Minimal


  • None

Opportunity Loss

  • Very short surveys for points, health related encourages positive change


  • Great app to get rewards
  • Can link to Scene card to get free movies
  • Use my user code when joining! ledaf1760

Social Nature

Recent products


  • Visit site monthly to receive free products to review


  • Computer or smartphone


  • Required review are short and easy to complete


  • None

Opportunity Loss

  • Can sometimes be hard to find the product in the store


  • Really great way to try new natural products
  • Pay attention to how you answer the questions when bidding on product to ensure success
  • Worth the time to write a brief review   

Modified Morning Pages

Photo by Mitch Chubey

Small habits become the building blocks of success 

My morning writing routine is a work in progress. I’m using Julia’s Cameron’s concept of morning pages found in the book The Artist’s Way as part of my routine. The concept is simple, when you wake up write the first thing that comes into your mind without editing. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous it seems just write until three pages are done. Nobody is going to read it. I think there’s a part in the book which suggests not going back and reading it.

I adapted the concept of morning pages to suit my specific needs.

I type the pages, even though this is not recommended in the book. I have a specific learning difference that makes writing challenging without a computer. The idea of writing it on paper is supposed to spur more creatively, unfortunately my brain needs to type.

In Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, many of the successful people interviewed for this book have a morning routine that involves a variation of morning pages. One of the Titans explained that he keeps a record on a google document with dates to record the daily events before going to bed. I labelled my morning pages in the google document by date to make it easily searchable to see what I was doing on that day in the years to come. The man interviewed in the book, told an inspiring story about how when his kids ask him about their birthdays he can easily look it up and remember the good experiences with his children.   

My Working To DO List

There are many apps and ways to manage productivity, sometimes it can feel like the management of the to do lists is hindering the process. I like to keep it simple. My working to do list is at the bottom of my morning pages. This way, if I have a ‘productive’ thought while I am completing my morning pages I can jot it down at the bottom of the page. If I want to write about it fine or I can let it go and try to be present writing rather than thinking about the future. The app that I use for to do lists is Google Keep, I find it to be simple and easy to use. The process of ticking things off keeps me motivated. I mainly use this app for grocery shopping and random ideas. It’s useful for grocery shopping because you can untick the item to return it to the list if you need to purchase it again.

Photo by Mitch Chubey



  • NO checking EMAIL before writing
  • NO checking PHONE before writing
  • WRITE 3 pages UNEDITED the first things that come into your mind
  • READ something inspirational after writing 
  • WRITE some more or work on a CREATIVE project

Have a morning routine or writing strategy that works? Please share in the comments below.

Do you know your credit score?

Photo by Mitch Chubey

We hear about credit scores all the time. The higher the points the better the score. I encourage all of my readers to check their credit score. There are many services that charge a small fee for a more ‘detailed’ report, however getting a basic credit score is free. Don’t get lured in by the fees for quick online reports. Simply submit the form and wait for the report to arrive in 2-3 weeks. Check out Equifax Canada or Transunion, scroll past the online options, print and mail the forms. Checking your credit score does not impact the rating. 

Photo by Mitch Chubey

The credit report is based on the past six years. Factors impacting the score include: timely payment history, low debt ratio, credit history, and credit inquires. This month, M$B got offered a $4000 credit card increase. Seeing as I only use my credit card for purchases I can actually afford, I declined the offer. Accepting increases in credit may lower credit scores. It’s also beneficial to keep credit cards you’ve had for a long time, rather than cancelling.

According to the credit bureau websites, there errors can occur with credit scores. When you receive the report you can review to ensure that all of the data is accurate. M$B loves excellence when it comes to credit ratings. 






Dream of Cohabitation


Word Origins via Late Latin, from Latin co- together + habitāre to live

-Collins English Dictionary

We stopped by Costco for a frugal lunch. The place was packed; we stood against the wall eating hot dogs. An elderly man seated with his wife waved us over. The couple, married for 54 years told us the story about how they met.  “It was when I was in the Navy. I remember exactly what she was wearing.” he said.

His wife explained that her girlfriend tried to get her to meet him for over a year. She wasn’t interested in dating a “drunken sailor”, surprised when he looked better than expected. I joked that they would have been married for 55 years if she’d listened to her friend’s advice.

He asked us, simply when we’re planning to spend money on a wedding. We explained that the plan was for cohabitation this month. I asked: “Do you think it’s a bad idea to live together before marriage?”  

“It’s an individual decision” the wife explained.

Her husband said that the only person he knew that was still married that cohabited prior to marriage was his brother. “It’s hard to say, things were different in our generation.” Then the conversation shifted towards an interesting discussion about finances— they both agreed that a successful relationship depended on talking about how to spend money wisely.

Lessons in Frugality: $25 rule

“I’ve never made a purchase over $25 without consulting my wife. We have friends who will probably never be out of debt” he explained.  There is a tendency to need something new to make life exciting. “As soon as things start to get manageable for some of our friends financially, they go out and purchase a new car or home. It’s embarrassing for them to have to use a different credit when the first one is declined. And it’s embarrassing for us too.” 

When it comes to successful relationships talking about money is important. Living together is about learning to communicate more effectively, to grow and change in love and action. Money determines how time is spent. Conversations about simple changes in spending can lead to massive savings and more time later in life.

I learned a few things from the strangers who generously let us sit at their table. Insights about frugality can happen anywhere. I thought about renaming this frugal rant the $25 rule, my partner asked “Can we change it to the $50 rule? $25 was a lot of money 54 years ago. $25 in 1963 had the same buying power as $198.55 in 2017” Cohabitation and communication, 2018 is going to be a big year.  Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication has been playing in my head for some reason as I write this. Hence, why I decided to call this piece dream of cohabitation. The song is relevant for those interested in lyrical interpretation. 

Purpose Driven Life

Rethinking Debt Repayment

I started this blog in April 2017, with a goal of paying off all of my student debt in a year. Reflecting, I realize that thinking about debt can be counterproductive. I am rethinking the whole concept of ‘debt repayment’.

A common theme of positive motivation is paying attention to thoughts and where we focus our attention.

Purpose Driven

Abundance in all areas of my life is the desired outcome— the question is how to manifest this desire. Not knowing is part of the solution. It means being open to new ideas and possibilities. It doesn’t mean sit back, relax and wait for everything to happen.

When it comes to goal setting the literature support the notion of creating specific plans to achieve desired outcomes.

As someone who is genuinely interested in everything this takes determination and focus.

To execute this plan I started with defining my values. For this process I used a set of values cards.

My top values 

  • Purpose to have meaning and direction in my life
  • Passion  to have deep feelings about ideas, activities, or people
  • Health to be physically and mentally well
  • Acceptance the act of taking or receiving something offered

When making a decision it is easier to act with confidence if you can determine how the choice aligns with your values.

Abundance as an outcome will be easier to achieve if I am doing things for the right reason. Action based out of fear of financial insecurity does not align with my values. The opposite of fear is acceptance. Acceptance is an action. The tricky part is knowing when to drive forward with passion and when to sit back and analyze the situation. In the book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers Tim Ferriss quotes author and entrepreneur… 

If you think hard about one’s life, most people spend most of their time on defence, in reactive mode, in playing with the cards they got instead of moving to a different table with different cards.

Seth Godin

I am currently reading all of the inspiring information in Tools of Titans

What stands out is how successful people learn from others who are doing more in life. Successful people do not sit around and discuss all of the problems of the world that cannot be changed. It’s easier to sit at the same table and complain about the world. Positive change occurs when you accept what can be changed. You can sit at a different table with purpose driven individuals.

Healthy Habits

How hard is it to change a habit?

I am fascinated by habits. Our ability to change the repetitive nature of behaviours by simple actions is astonishing. One habits that I was reluctant to change was my news consumption. I loved waking up and learning about what was happening in the world. I really didn’t think that I truly wanted to change this habit.

Reluctantly, I spoke up about it in my Think and Grow Rich Study group. I planted the seed for change in my mind. Speaking about the change lead to a plan for action.

I started listening to positive motivation in the morning instead of the news. A total shift in my thinking occurred with the change of one simple habit.

I also want to exercise more. I thought about incorporating the stairs into my routine at work. I work on the 11th floor with two sets of stairs between floors. The key to changing a habit is to do the action as soon as the thought comes into your mind. Mel Robbins describes this as The 5 Second Rule explaining that motivation is never going to appear later. To change take action right away, the monkey brain likes to stay comfortable and resists doing anything different.   

If I gave myself more than 5 seconds to think about taking the stairs—my inner dialogue would go something like this: “I’m already walking around for 12 hours at work—I will be too tired”.

At first it was difficult, particularly when the elevator arrived in the lobby. I did it anyways. Now walking up the stairs is a fun part of my routine. I feel better and have more energy at work. Simple small things lead to big changes over time.

WorkAway: FREE Education

Workaway is a unique way to live and learn. I discovered the organization in America where high living costs and tuition fees encourage excessive consumer debt. Workaway is an international organization that connects volunteers with hosts in over 155 countries available for an annual fee of $32 US per year. While volunteering, accommodation and often food is included.

Volunteers are required to work for a few hours a day and often find paying jobs in host cities. The skills and experiences learned in placements are comparable to co-op placements found in costly universities.

Madame Isabelle’s House in New Orleans is one of many hostels in Southern America staffed entirely by Workaway volunteers. “Each day we get to connect with new people from all over the world, it’s amazing” explains Jake, dressed in business attire. He just returned home from his other job at a local art gallery. 

There was something different about the volunteers, a genuine satisfaction with life. “Why would I go into debt for university when I can gain valuable work and life experience?” stated another Workaway volunteer who also traded stocks and wrote music in his spare time. He explained that Workaway taught him many skills not found in traditional education. “Like the other day, I learned how to repair a door. ” It doesn’t make sense to be chained to debt for decades, with no guarantee of a job they explained.

Technology is changing how we live and work. Workaway is an example of how technology can be used to connect people for mutual benefit.

The day before I left the hostel, the owner was preparing for vacation and briefing the young workawayer to ensure that operations continued smoothly. There was a sense of shared trust between staff and the owner. The goal: to ensure guests enjoyed their experience. Flexibility and the ability to learn new skills is more valuable than formal education. When it comes to preparing for the future Workaway is providing more than labour and free accommodation; it’s contributing to practical education.