Give Me Back My Five Bucks

February Goals: My Review

Okay, well as you can see I went over on my budget by a lot. By about $900. BUT, $771 of that amount is for ski equipment and a pass for the mountain (for the rest of this season and all of next season) – all of which is coming out of my Travel Fund. So, when you look at it that way, I really only went over budget by $135.02 … and that’s not too bad. Not good. But not bad.

February Goals (end of month review):

  • $300 into Retirement Portfolio. CHECK!
  • $600 into Travel Fund. CHECK! I was able to deposit $700!
  • Go rock climbing at least 5 times. CHECK! We’ve gone 5 times, and plan to go again tomorrow. So possibly 6 times.
  • Run once per week. FAIL! I wasn’t able to get sweat in my eyes for the first 2 weeks of the month (b/c of LASIK surgery), so I only got 2 runs in.
  • Lift weights (at home), work on my abs, and stretch 3 times per week. FAIL! I started doing this regularly during the last 2 weeks of the month.
  • Stay within my $200 food budget for the month. FAIL! This was an epic fail on my part. I ended up spending $224.34! I’m really disappointed in myself, but I’m getting better, so I’m going to keep trying to hit this goal.
  • Do something social with friends once per week. CHECK! And I did everything rather frugally too, I might add. :)
  • List at least 3 items on eBay or Craigslist. FAIL! I only listed one thing – my scooter. I’m happy that it’s going to sell next month, but still disappointed that I didn’t get my act together to list more things.

March Monthly Goals

Here is my monthly budget for March. A few things are different from the February budget – namely I dropped my Entertainment category down to $50 since I purchased ski equipment and a ski pass. I also don’t have to pay MSP or Hydro for the next 3 months (both are billed in 3-month blocks).

Also my Personal Care category is up to $90 b/c I will probably run out of face cream and eye cream. Plus I want to buy a new face cleanser and I need some feminine products as well. Fingers crossed that I don’t actually spend the entire $90!

March Goals:

  • Work out 5-6 days per week. Can be rock climbing, running, gym, skiing, or a combination of those things. BF is all about going skiing and then going climbing right afterwards. That’s something I would like to do on a regular basis. But that would just count as one work out.
  • $300 into Retirement Portfolio.
  • $600 into Travel Fund. An extra $50 above and beyond what I would normally contribute.
  • Do something social with friends once per week. This might be hard to do, but I’ll be home twice in March, so I should be able to accomplish this.
  • Stay within $100 travel budget. 1 of the 2 weekends BF will definitely be able to drive me, since he’ll be coming over as well. But the other weekend I will probably have to figure out how to get to and from the ferry terminal myself, since he plans on climbing Mt. Baker or something.
  • List at least 3 things for sale on Craigslist or eBay.
  • Organize all my tax paperwork. It takes forever to get all of my statements.

Financial Post Magazine: interview

Not too long ago I was interviewed by Sarah Efron of Financial Post Magazine. You can read the article here, but I’ll also copy-and-paste it below.

Congrats to the other Canadian PF bloggers who also got mentioned: Million Dollar Journey, Apples and Telephones, Fabulously Broke in the City, Saving4Later, and Northern Living Allowance!

Trend Spotting
Sarah Efron, FP Magazine

Published: Friday, February 27, 2009

Krystal is a 26-year-old marketing coordinator in Vancouver. She’s trying to declutter her house, she likes to go rock climbing in her spare time and, if you go to her blog, “Give Me Back My Five Bucks,” you’ll quickly learn every imaginable detail about her finances. Krystal is a member of a growing online community of personal-finance bloggers now baring their hopes and dreams – and their financial statements – online. Collectively, they’re breaking one of the last taboos: talking about money. In a recent post, Krystal laid out her goals for the month: sticking to her $200 food budget, putting $300 in her retirement portfolio and going climbing at least five times. She regularly updates graphs that show how much money is in her travel, emergency and retirement funds. Other bloggers itemize everything from their investment returns to the cost of vegetable soup on their grocery bill.

Their motivation is self-improvement, not exhibitionism. When these bloggers aren’t updating their own data, they’re reading each other’s entries for ideas and strategies. Many are young women, and most, like Krystal, choose not to reveal their real identities. Nevertheless, Krystal credits her blog with keeping her accountable and helping her get a handle on her saving and spending. “When I first decided I wanted to change my life and get out of debt, my friends made fun of me and called me a penny-pincher,” she says. “So I turned to the Internet. There, I found such a wonderful, welcoming community of personal-finance bloggers. This blog has been the best decision of my life.”

Not only has the blog helped provide emotional support for Krystal, it’s also provided some cold, hard cash. In the past two years, she earned $2,239.44 from advertising and by writing sponsored posts – reviews of books, blogs or services – providing money that has helped her reach her goals. In fact, since she started the blog in 2007, her net worth has increased more than $33,000, going from about $5,000 in the red to $28,220 in the black.

Some of Canada’s most interesting – and revealing – personal finance blogs

Give Me Back My Five Bucks

A mid 20s Vancouverite chronicles her rise out of debt and into the black.

Million Dollar Journey

A 27-year-old Eastern Canadian doles out investment advice as he builds towards his goal of having a networth of $1 million by the age of 35.

Apples and Telephones

A 23-year-old Canadian photographer living in England struggles to stretch the value of her Canadian dollars.

Fabulously Broke in the City

A confessed shopaholic travels down the path of financial prudence.


A woman in her 30s details her life and her spending habits.

Northern Living Allowance

A 40ish single blogger fights debt and angst.

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