Give Me Back My Five Bucks

A rough budget for Vegas

We have a change jar at our house that we put toonies, loonies and quarters in. We use it for getting a little treat when we’re out for walks (usually Starbucks), but the main purpose was to save up a little bit to have a nice anniversary dinner together.

Well, we counted the change a few days ago, and we’re up to about $90. Sweet! I’m going to bring the change to the bank and take it out in US funds so that we can use it for a nice meal out in Vegas.

Speaking of money for Vegas, BF and I were talking yesterday and we think we should bring about $300 each in spending money. That should be more than enough considering we aren’t going to any shows, and the entertainment that we are going to see has already been paid for. I’d like to do the NY, NY roller coaster again, and do touristy stuff like that, but there’s always 2-for-1 coupons for those things. That $300 doesn’t include the $90 from the change jar. Plus I think we have about $60 in US cash sitting in our US money tin (we put all left-over US cash in an old chocolate tin every time we come back from a trip).

Last year when I went to Vegas, I had about $380 in spending money for 3 nights, and that was plenty. This time, we’re only going for 2 nights, and I know from last time that I won’t be buying any souvenirs. So $300+ each will definitely be enough for every expense, including parking at the airport, cabs, food, drinks, entertainment, tips, etc.

December 2009 Goals

Well, here is my budget for December. It’s not much more than what a usual monthly budget for me would look like (just $100 more than last month). The only difference is in the Travel and Car & Transportation category. That’s because we’re planning on going back to the island twice in December (once to see BF’s parents in a couple of weeks, and the other for Christmas). Plus, we’re more than likely leaving the city for the New Year’s long weekend.

December Goals:

  • Get away for the New Year’s long weekend. I think we’re set on going north up the coast. But there’s always the possibility of going to the gulf islands, or even south into the USA.
  • Figure out my personal and financial goals for 2010. I haven’t even thought about any of that stuff yet.
  • Go for a hike or go snow shoeing. It will be difficult since we’re busy every weekend in December.
  • Work out on my Wii 2-3x/week. Seriously, I need to get more motivated.
  • Send in payment for LASIK eye surgery. My 0% interest loan is due come January.
  • $450 into Retirement Portfolio. I might start to divide this up differently in terms of RRSP and TFSA contributions.
  • $100 into Car Fund. I’d like to save $50/bi-weekly. That will leave me with $1,300 in 1 year’s time – which should almost be enough to buy one year’s worth of car insurance.
  • $50 into Emergency Fund.
  • $150 into Savings Fund. This is going to become my main priority now, since it will be emptied by the end of December to pay off my LASIK.

November 2009 Goals: My Review

Well it’s the end of another month. I didn’t do too poorly in November, actually. Ended up almost on budget, which is more than I can say for a lot of other months this year.

Financial Highlights of the month: I was able to save myself quite a bit of money (over $200) by dropping ICBC extended car insurance and going private with CDI, I bought a GPS for free, and I should have enough Swagbucks left over to buy most of my sister’s Christmas present.


  • Clothing – I ended up buying a nice sweater from Aritzia, as well as long johns from MEC for the upcoming ski season.
  • Personal Care – I couldn’t stand it anymore and ended up getting a hair cut, and I also bought waterproof make-up remover from Sephora (works like a charm!)

November Goals:

  • Work out at least 3x/week on my Wii. FAIL! I worked out on my Wii probably once or twice all month. I know, I suck.
  • Go for a hike. CHECK! We actually ended up going on 2 very short hikes this month, as well as a long 20km walk yesterday. I wanted to go for a day hike, or even overnight, but we just couldn’t fit it into our schedule.
  • Go rock climbing 2-3 times. FAIL! We only went once. Sigh.
  • Plan Whistler ski weekend. CHECK! I bought our passes, set up a Facebook event & invited people, and we’re all set to go! Right now we have 2 other couples coming, and possibly another couple flying in from Alberta.
  • Try something new. FAIL! I wanted to, but in the end I couldn’t fit it into my budget. I will try again in December.
  • $450 into Retirement Portfolio. CHECK!
  • $100 into Emergency Fund. CHECK!
  • $200 into Savings Fund. FAIL! I wasn’t able to save anything into my Savings.
  • $50 into Travel Fund. FAIL! I didn’t end up saving anything because the $ I had earmarked to go into the Travel Fund, is actually coming with me to Vegas. So, technically I guess I did accomplish this goal, but not really.
  • $50 into Car Fund. CHECK! I ended up being able to save $100.
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