Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Spending Recap: February 21-27, 2011

Monday 21st – New Orleans
$22.78 souvenirs
$40 cemetery tour
$40 tarot card/palm reading
$10 Cafe du Monde
$20 Market Cafe

Tuesday 22nd – New Orleans
$50 swamp tour
$30 The Old Coffee Pot Restaurant
$25.57 souvenirs
$30 Coop’s Place

Wednesday 23rd – New Orleans
No Spend Day!

Thursday 24th
+ $419 freelance/side income
$38.76 groceries
$46.82 gas

Friday 25th
No Spend Day!

Saturday 26th
$20.15 sushi
$4.60 bakery

Sunday 27th
No Spend Day!


TOTAL: + $40.32

Someone commented that since I’m bringing in a significant amount of side income now, it’s hard to see how much I’m really spending each week. So from now on, I’ll break down my expenses and income before totaling them up.

This was a good week. I didn’t bring in as much side income as I would have liked, but it was better than nothing. I spent a lot of money in New Orleans, but still managed to stay under budget, which I am really proud of. One of my weaknesses when traveling is not keeping track of my money, so I made sure to get receipts for 95% of my purchases. And for those purchases I didn’t get receipts for, I noted the expense down on my iPhone.

Other than New Orleans, my expenses this week were about normal. BF and I checked out a new sushi restaurant on Saturday, groceries were kept to a minimum, and that’s about it.

* This is all income I bring in that is above and beyond my full-time job. Money is primarily made through my PT job with the Toronto Star, my graphic design business, and this blog.

The final cost of New Orleans

So yesterday, I tallied up my expenses for New Orleans. My flight and 5 of the 7 nights of accommodation were paid for by my company, as well as all meals for the first 5 days of my trip.

Because of this, I had budgeted $600 for my trip. This included $200 for 2 nights of accommodation, and $400 in spending money. What I actually ended up spending was $175.32 on a hotel for 2 nights, and $321.56 in spending money. Meaning I am $103.12 under budget, and that 7-day trip cost me a grand total of $498.88! :)

I definitely could have cut out a bunch of expenses (you’ll see what I mean on Monday when I post my spending recap), but it’s nice to relax and not worry about money when you’re on vacation. Which is the best part about saving up for trips! When you get home, you don’t have to worry about a huge credit card bill, because everything was paid for in cash.

The extra $103.12 I saved will go back into my Travel Fund to help pay for my upcoming trip to Toronto and NYC in May. For that trip, my flight is already paid for. As is my accommodation for 4 nights in Toronto, and a deposit on the apartment in NYC. It’s a relief to have already come up with the money for these things. So all I need to do is save up for spending money, and my share of the apartment cost, less my deposit.


Happy Birthday to GMBMFB!

This blog turns FOUR YEARS OLD today!

The personal finance blogosphere sure has changed since I first started blogging. A few of my favourite blogs have disappeared over time, but in their place have popped up so many personal finance blogs written by new, interesting and eager bloggers. It’s actually kind of exciting knowing that all of a sudden, personal finance has become cool. :)

For long-time readers, you know that things have changed a lot since I started blogging! In the past four years, I’ve gotten out of debtgotten a new jobgot fired from new job, gone through a break-up, started a new relationship with BF, got a new jobmoved to Vancouverquit jobgot another new jobhad LASIK eye surgerycrashed and totaled BF’s car, moved in with BF, planned to go traveling around the worldcanceled world travel plansbought a new car, got fired from my job, found a new amazing job, stopped blogging anonymously, started blogging for Toronto Star/, and am now saving for a house. Whew!

This blog began on February 25, 2007, and since that time this is what has happened …

  • Over 2,200 posts
  • Over 1,500,000 page views
  • Over 880,000 unique visitors
  • Been featured in the Financial Post Magazine, Globe & Mail, MSN Money, The Consumerist, Wall Street Journal, and of course the Toronto Star/Moneyville.
  • Did my first radio interview on 103.5 QM/FM
  • Made some great PF friends along the way – and met some of them for the very first time this year!

Also, to throw in some link love, here are my Top 10 all-time referrals!

  1. Saving 4 Later
  2. An English Major’s Money – Even 2 years after she stopped writing, she’s still #2 on my all-time referrals list!
  3. Budgets Are Sexy
  4. Well-Heeled Blog
  5. Ugly Debty
  6. I’ve Paid For This Twice Already – this blog that has fallen to the wayside. So sad. :(
  7. Jessie’s Money (and Jordan’s Too)
  8. Saving to Pay Down My Home
  9. Budgeting Babe
  10. Fabulously Broke in the City

Thank you to all the GMBMFB readers out there. You guys are fantastic. It’s been a great 4 years, and I’m excited to see where the next year takes this blog!

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