Create a Reverse Bucket List and be Thankful and Happy now.

Ever had a week or month where you really have the fear of missing out? Life can be unpredictable. With my recent job loss, I have had this intense fear that everything on my bucket list is dreams that can’t happen. I found myself getting discouraged. My bucket is list is long after all. So how did I combat some serious FOMO?

I wrote a reverse bucket list yesterday.  I found it brought me into the present and I became thankful and happy with the now.  It’s easy especially at this time of year to let the fear of missing out rule the day but a reverse bucket list can help deal with today and the now.


There are real benefits to the reverse bucket list

Did you know being more thankful actually increases your overall well-being?

Think of a reverse bucket list as what you are most grateful for. As our neighbours in America celebrate Thanksgiving it is a perfect time to do this exercise.

Grab a notebook. I love starting fresh with a new journal. Think back. What are you most proud of? What have you achieved? Think of it as travelling back in time. Write down everything you are proud of in your life. What are those major happy memories? What were the best days?

Having issues remembering? Sometimes glancing at old photos, older social media posts will remind us of those events.

Here are a few of my reverse bucket list items

  • Was the first family member to attend University
  • Helped feed 5000 on Venice Beach for Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Met Bob Hope
  • Traveled on Via Rail from the East Coast of Canada to the West.
  • Traveled from Nova Scotia to California on an Epic Road Trip
  • Created Common Cents Mom
  • Created the first personal finance chat in Canada on Twitter.
  • Solo parented an amazing daughter who graduated as an Ontario Scholar
  • Helped the homeless in LA
  • I have been featured in a national magazine.
  • I have been featured in a national newspaper.

After you have written your list

The list can go on and on. Some have short lists others have lists with hundreds of items. The reverse bucket list is an exercise in gratitude.  When you step back you should feel a sense of joy, a sense of gratitude and pride for all that you have been blessed to do. It is not a brag list. It is a list of all that has been, all that has been celebrated.

Place your list somewhere you can be reminded of it. Mine is on my night table. In this season of gratitude, I am trying to add to it daily.Sometimes we need to be reminded of our success, the good we have done.

Create your own reverse bucket list and let me know what you were reminded of. Mine reminded me of how even when we have little we can find ways to do much.


Month of Gratitude- Day 2: Awards and Board Games

Today  was a busy eventful day for me and for my teen daughter as well, there is definitely much to be thankful for today.

Business wise, I redefined my role with one of my clients. I was also busy getting ready for Blissdom Canada. Did you know I am one of the mentors doing a micro session? If you have thought about community management as a career possiblity, I am there to answer your questions and give you a hand. I am also bringing my favourite brand, Flipp with me. Yes, Flipp is one of the sponsors again this year. Make sure you look for me if you are there and love Flipp, I might have a surprise for you. I also did some project management work and plotted a new course for the #cdnmoney chat. Look for a cool announcement next week.


Now, today was also a busy day for the teen as it was Awards day at her school. I am very grateful that I am raising a daughter who loves science and math. She brought home the highest grades in both subjects last year. We had to celebrate her success so what a better way then time together.

Star Wars Monopoly

We cooked dinner and cleared the dining table for a night of Monopoly. We played both the Dr Who version and the Star Wars version. It was a fun epic battle of mom vs daughter. She ended up winning. It was a fun time of conversation and game play. Really, I am thankful for moments like this because as she gets older I know soon other things will occupy her Friday nights.

Today was a blessed day and I am forever grateful for the blessings that came our way. What has you blessed this weekend?




31 days of Gratitude

It’s October 1st and here in Toronto, I woke up to a crisp fall morning. For the past few days I have been thinking about a series I could do here on Common Cents Mom that would encourage me to write  every single day. Since October, brings so much to be thankful for I have decided to write about gratitude. Each evening, before I retire for the next 31 days I will share what I am thankful for that day.

2015-10-01 10.55.20


Today, I am thankful for a day of fun, work and play. I attended a taping of The Marilyn Denis show this morning and after that found a new restaurant on Queen west to try out. I used to live in Halifax and since moving back to Toronto I have missed donairs. If you don’t know what a donair is you are missing out! I entered the doors of The Battered Fish expecting fish and chips and then I saw it right there on their menu, donair poutine. They put two of my favorite cheat day foods together. Well, lets just say this I am very thankful for this find as I had a great lunch downtown after the show.

2015-10-01 12.06.24

I am grateful I work from home and have great clients and brands that want to work with me. This afternoon was a mix of client work.

By the time my daughter got home from her college class, I had dinner waiting and we had a great discussion about school, gun control and what we wanted to get done this October.

Then it was time to log on to Twitter. Are you on Twitter? You can always find me there as @commoncentsmom. The #Prep4Bliss hashtag was full force and it was great to tweet with others who will be attending Blissdom Canada next week. Hard to believe it but two weeks from now I will be one of the mentors at the conference. I am looking forward to sharing my love for community management.

What am I most grateful for today? The chance to connect in little ways. It is the little moments that allow us to connect, to get real, that challenge us. I am also grateful that my teen and I can talk about anything.

All month long may my readers get to know me a bit better as I share what I am grateful for. Its a month of gratitude. You can always join me by sharing in the comments what you are thankful for.

#CommonCents Ways to Save: Day 3-A New Money Attitude


Ever heard the saying ” Your thoughts control you”, the same goes for how you look at money. Sometimes an attitude adjustment is needed before you can really begin to save money. Sometimes you need a new money attitude.

Ask yourself how do you look at money? I know for me I have had to adjust my attitude a few times.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you spend when you have money in your wallet? Do have the attitude, it’s there I can go and shop?

Do you think you will never have enough money?

I can’t help my child get to college?

If I want something I always have my credit card. I can pay it off?

I am not out of money till I am out of credit?

When I am bored I head to the mall?

All I get are bills in the mail?

So ever have those thoughts? I know I have had a few of them over the years. So how do we shift our attitudes about money? I know two things that have worked for me over the years.

1. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful. Cultivate an attitude of having pleasure in all that you do have in your life. There are always others who are hurting more, have loss more, who need it more. Always. Be thankful in the moment and that that gratitude seep into every inch of you.

2. Be content. Enjoy what you have. Don’t always be looking for that next buy, planning that next car, that next tech toy when the one you have works just fine. Make do, be content in what you have already. So often we get caught in the race to be like our peers, and some times we go into debt to get there. Stop it. Be content in what you have.

By cultivating contentment and gratitude first I find I have been able to make a shift in my thinking. I no longer have to run to the mall to get that newest thing, I also know that God does provide for my needs, and he will continue to do so. After surviving a divorce, cancer scare, and a fire I am grateful for all that life brings. It helps me to know that even on a small budget I can be a money saver.

What about you? Have you had to shift your attitudes? What mindset keeps you on track?

The Thank You List

It is the season for much hustle and bustle, but also a season where many of us try and give in ways that matter. People tend to be more charitable, more kind this time of the year. For me as a year closes, and I draw closer to turning that half century, I am feeling very blessed and grateful. Over the years others gave me a hand up, never a hand out. Kindness truly does matter. Its the simply acts of charity and the simple acts of thankfulness that can make a world of difference. I keep this running list in my mind and in my heart–its my thankful list.

Today I say there is always something to be grateful for..


Today I am thankful that over the years I have been blessed to have wonderful people come into my life in amazing ways that have made a difference to who I am today.

There were 2 high school teachers Mr Schofel and Mr Parks who showed me that I could be more, I could do better, and I did because of their faith in me in high school, taking this D student to where she won a scholarship to university.

There was the Hiltz family who taught me what selflessness is as I got to volunteer in the office working with the homeless in Venice CA. For the Hiltz family this ministry is and was their lifes work since the 1950’s. It continues today with their son now leading the ministry. They have feed, housed, and clothed thousands of people over the years.

There are my friends from New Mexico who helped me bring an amazing daughter into the world. Without Gaylyn and Lynette I don’t think I would be the mom I am today.

There were perfect strangers who provided Christmas twice when it really made a difference. The first was right after the fire which took a lot of what we had including Rachel’s toys. One of her ccounselors who happens to be Jewish by the way, showed up just before Christmas with this HUGE box of toys and comforts for both of us..we have never had such a spoiled Christmas.

Another year I couldn’t find a small Christmas tree to fit my budget, I put an ad out on a forum asking if anyone had seen a small 4 ft tree under a certain figure someone answered and we emailed back and forth and she not only dropped a tree off but some very sweet gifts for my daughter and me..I have gladly payed forward these acts of kindness every Christmas.

Then there are amazing online friends who became real life friends like my friend Anne Marie who’s family thought me about love, and kindness even taking us into their home for a year after the fire.

Really my list is long. Too long to fit into a blog post. It could fill a book. Do you have a thankful list? Today if you could reach out and say thank you for blessing my life who would you say thanks too?


31 Days and 31 Ways to Save: Attitude is Everything

Do you want to start saving money today? I mean really save money. It is quite simply really all you have to do is 2 things that is it 2 simple little things, well they may not be that simple if you do not have the right mindset.

What are the 2 little things that have to change for you to really save? for you to know wealth.

1. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful. Cultivate an attitude of having pleasure in all that you do have in your life. There are always others who are hurting more, have loss more, who need it more. Always. Be thankful in the moment and that that gratitude seep into every inch of you.

2. Be content. Enjoy what you have. Don’t always be looking for that next buy, planning that next car, that next tech toy when the one you have works just fine. Make do, be content in what you have already. So often we get caught in the race to be like our peers, and some times we go into debt to get there. Stop it. Be content in what you have.

If you will implement this attitude change you will see the savings will come, and all it took was an attitude adjustment.

Attitude is Everything

Attitude is absolutely everything especially when you live on a tight budget.

What is yours when it comes to what is in your life?

For me and my daughter we have always tried to have an attitude of gratitude. I think it is one of the best attitudes you can have no matter if things are hard, difficult or worse there are always things you can find to be thankful for.

On Thursday me daughter and I stopped again and counted our blessings. We listed off things we were thankful for each and every day. I think an attitude of gratitude helps with contentment and helps to curb the I wants and out of control spending.

Roo listed off her list and I listed off mine before we dined on turkey:

My list of what I was thankful for:

  1. I am thankful for my belief in God(Allah). It keeps it all real for me.
  2. I am thankful that this fat mom is healthy.
  3. I am thankful for work that does help others.
  4. I am thankful for my daughter who amazes me every day.
  5. I am thankful we have a warm home and food.
  6. I am thankful for my friends who bring joy and laughter into my life on a regular basis.
  7. I am thankful I can read and learn and grow.
  8. I am thankful I can dream.
  9. I am thankful that I have common sense.
  10. I am thankful for each of you my readers.

What are you thankful for each day?

Save Money on Your Holiday Grocery Shops

Okay did anyone else notice that right after Halloween, not only the malls pulled out their Christmas finery but so did the grocery store!

Since when is the local grocery store the place to buy presents?

Here are some suggestions to save money in this season that seems to grab for your wallet…

 1. Plan your Dec meals NOW! Menu planning and then shopping with a grocery list of needed items only has helped me so very much. It hinders that impulse buy of that box of chocolate that is so conveniently located at the end of an aisle.

2. Bake and freeze now for your holidays needs it will stop you from the mad dash to pick up something to take or have on hand when guests stop by and we all know this is the month for visiting right..

3. Continue your flyer shopping for those loss leaders( hopefully this is something we all do), but only buy what you normally would and can and will use.

4. Shop during the week and day if you can, if you cant shop early in the am after a good breakfast. This stops the tiredness of the holiday line ups.

5. Only shop once or twice for your Dec groceries..I for some reason find December a hard month on my grocery budget so this helps me keep things in check.

6. If you can shop without kids…

7. Use what you have on hand: empty out that freezer because we all know that January brings better food prices right..

8. If you live in an urban area like I do here in Toronto I love to use certain food/treat warehouses. This too helps me to save. First I always hit the Peek Freans warehouse outlet on OConner, and did you know there is a Lindt/Lindor one now on Markham Road as well. Both of these will keep my chocolate spending in check!

With all this said and done hopefully we can keep some of our loonies and toonies in our wallets where they belong! Consider this my Christmas tip of the day!

Today I am thankful for a sister who I love to call my friend who is turning the big 40 this week!

World’s Largest Stocking and Tom Brown

World RecordPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketToday at the Sony Center on Front street, we took part in the making of the world’s largest Stocking! Roo and I went out and bought a couple of large unwrapped toys this morning(thanks alot GC’s). Then it was time to head down to the Sony Center. We got there at 11 and already there was a line! I think this speaks volumes to the generous hearts of Torontians. All the toys are headed to the Salvation Army to help families here in To have a better Christmas. When we got there, cookies and hot chocolate was offered up to all of us waiting our turn…Then it was a quick dash inside where Roo struck up a conversation with Tom Brown, yes the CTV weatherman. She ended up doing the lunch time weather with Tom and then they both had there picture taken. Then they both made a mad dash up the stairs to where they could both put toys in the 9o ft  stocking. Soon I had my daughter back and we stood in line for a quick pic gifted to us by the fine folks of Sony and then we headed up the stairs where Roo put our second gift in the stocking. She was so excited that she was on tv. It was funny because when we got home there was a message from my aunt saying she saw her on the news. It was great fun to be part of the action today and all for a very good cause and at 4 pm it was annouced that we had the record!

Christmas Tip#7- Before in with the New, think recycle and get rid of the old. I have Roo clean out her toys boxes and we give her toys that she no long plays with to the local shelter here. As well I use this time of year to get rid of things that no longer fit. You have to have room for the new stuff right!

Today I am thankful for a fun day out with Roo that taught all the right stuff!

Works For Me Wednesday- Backwards Day

  Over at Rocks in my Dryer, she is hosting another great Backwards Day. What is a Backwards works for me Day you ask? It is when I get to ask you a question that I really want to know the answer to… so we all know I am cheaper than cheap right? We also if you are a reader of mine know that I am in the Christmas spirit early. What is you favorite cheap or frugal Christmas tip? I may feature your comments as Christmas comes closer and I feature a tip a day. I of course would give you the credit.

Christmas Tip#6..Start your Christmas Card List now. Getting it done know helps with mail time. Check your country for mailing deadlines. Some of these are fast approaching if you are mailing overseas. Also think outside the box when it comes to your list. Do you really have to mail 100 cards out? Can you maybe do a Christmas Email or Blog?? Think about it…

Today I am thankful the ability to move and feel. This morning I woke up sore and stiff and had to think at least I can feel my limbs and move them all on my own esteem.