Give Me Back My Five Bucks

August 2011 Goals: Recap

August was an expensive month. I went to Oregon, San Francisco, Seattle, and I booked my flight to the Financial Blogger Conference in Chicago. However, the only trip that made it into my monthly budget is the Seattle trip – all of the spending in Oregon and San Francisco, and the flight to Chicago, came out of my Travel Fund. Which is now pretty much depleted. But, that’s what it’s there for! :)

My Moneyville/Toronto Star editor is also heading out to Chicago for the conference, and I am ridiculously excited about it. It will be nice to see him again (it’s been a few months), and I think that he has a lot of valuable information and insight that many bloggers will be able to benefit from. Also, there is a very slim chance that a friend from Michigan will be driving out to Chicago to come visit me. He was my best friend when I lived in Michigan, so it will be nice to see him again.

Anyway, onto my monthly recap…

Cell Phone – I sent some text messages while traveling.
Household – This was my computer desk, 2 shelving units, and an unexpected trip to Target for some decorative things.
Travel – I underestimated how much it was going to cost for my weekend in Seattle. 

NETWORTH CHANGE+ 0.55% ($336) 
I blame the stock market for the fact that my net worth barely moved this month, because I ended up taking a huge hit to my RRSP portfolio. Oh, and also I took massive amounts of money out of my Travel Fund. We’re talking well over $1,000!

August 2011 Goals (link):

  • Make an additional $2,100 above and beyond my FT job. FAIL. Seriously, I was only off by $2.36, earning $2,097.64 this month. Can we please just consider it a pass? Maybe? No? Okay.
  • Call bank to max out my bi-weekly payments at 20%. FAIL. I had every intention of calling in, and then I went away to San Francisco, and promptly forgot about it.
  • Contribute $650 to Retirement Portfolio. CHECK! I contributed exactly $650.
  • Sell or give away at least 3 things. FAIL. I am literally the worst.
  • Unpack the rest of my boxes. CHECK! No more ugly boxes anywhere. I’m completely unpacked. :)
  • Run or hike at least 100km total. FAIL. I don’t want to talk about it.
  • Go on at least 1 day hike. CHECK! A friend and I hiked up The Chief in Squamish. It was nice to get out for a short little hike, but it only made me want to go out more often. Too bad the hiking season is over, and all of my weekends will be filled with field hockey and traveling from now until next summer.
  • Start to think about my next trip. CHECK! I’m seriously considering Montreal in January, and Miami/Florida Keys in February. :) My only hesitation with Montreal is that my French is bad. And I mean, really bad. Which is kind of embarrassing since my boyfriend is super French. Now, I know I can get away with speaking English and my broken French while in Montreal, but maybe I need to think about language lessons. Seriously. And I mean, not just for this trip, but for life in general. Living in a bilingual country, it kind of just makes sense.
  • Get my business cards printed (finally). CHECK! I finally sent those cards off to the print shop a few days ago. I’ve approved the proof, and now I’m just waiting for print confirmation and delivery.
  • Create the skeleton of my online portfolio. FAIL. I’m in the middle of hiring a WordPress designer, so we’ll see what happens. I just don’t have the time or patience to do it myself.

Ongoing 2011 Annual Goals:

  • No buying lunch, snacks or coffee during the work weekCHECK!
  • No buying clothing, shoes or accessories until December 31, 2011CHECK!
  • Work out at least 3x/weekFAIL. This was such an epic fail that I don’t wanna even talk about it.

Goodbye, American Express

Hey, remember when I received my first fraudulent American Express charge back in February? And then I received my second fraud charge earlier this month, followed by my third and fourth fraud charges (both to Netflix) two weeks ago? Well GUESS WHAT!? I received my fifth fraud charge to my CANCELED American Express card a couple of days ago.

I asked again, how are things being charged to my credit card if it was canceled back in February? I got another roundabout answer. She said that if I had recurring charges from before, then they can still be billed to my account. Which totally doesn’t make sense, because 1) I’ve never had recurring charges to my account, and 2) how can it still go through if that credit card number has been canceled? What does “canceling” a card actually do?

I. HATE. American Express.

Which is funny, because I’ve always loved my Amex card. Up until this year, I’ve never had a problem with it. It’s been my #1 card for as long as I’ve had it. But, after I get the refund back, I’m going to cancel my account. I’ve had enough. This is ridiculous. No travel rewards points are worth this much hassle. Epic fail, American Express.

Spending Recap: August 22-28, 2011

Monday 22nd – San Francisco
$46.61 Joanie’s Happy Days Diner (breakfast x3)
$112.57 Fry’s Electronics (iPhone wall charger & noise canceling ear buds)

Tuesday 23rd – San Francisco
$79.25 Alcatraz tour (tickets x3)

Wednesday 24th – San Francisco
+ $804.35 freelance/side income
$7.37 Starbucks
$54 parking (5 days in Bellingham)
$75 Ryan Adams tickets (x2)

Thursday 25th
No Spend Day!

Friday 26th
$39.93 groceries

Saturday 27th
$40.11 gas
$52 Kingyo (dinner x2)

Sunday 28th
No Spend Day! 


TOTAL: + $297.51

This could very well be one of the most expensive weekends I’ve had this year. Although half the week I spent in San Francisco, and those expenses won’t actually reflect in my monthly budget recap because that money will come out of my Travel Fund instead. So I don’t feel too bad about it.

I also bought 2 tickets to go see Ryan Adams in Seattle with Nic (October). But, I do anticipate selling the tickets that I bought, and upgrading to better seats once some good ones come up on StubHub. So, that $75 expense should end up being a lot more once it’s all said and done. Call me crazy, but it’s worth it. Ryan Adams is just that good.

Over the weekend, a friend from Toronto was in town to visit. We drove to Squamish and hiked the Chief, then we went downtown for dinner at Kingyo. It’s a popular restaurant (apparently you can really only get in with reservations), and while I wasn’t completely blown away, it was still pretty good. And reasonably priced, so I’d probably go back again.

This is all income I bring in that is above and beyond my full-time job. Money is primarily made through my two blogs and my graphic design business.

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