Give Me Back My Five Bucks

October 2011 Goals: Recap

This was an interesting month for me. It was super expensive, but I also made a ton of freelance/side income. And at the end of the month, I came out cash-positive by over $2,700. So can’t really complain about that. Check out the recap below. As always, if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them! :)


NET WORTH CHANGE:  + $2,731 (4.66%)
Considering the following 4 expenses, I think I did fantastic this month in terms of growing my net worth:

  1. (- $850) I updated my car value. KBB says I lost $850 since the last time I checked, which was probably earlier this year in the spring when I paid off my car loan.
  2. (- $1,450) I bought an iPhone and a plane ticket to Montreal. Worth it.
  3. (- $861) I paid for my annual ICBC basic insurance. That does not include collision or comprehensive insurance. That is billed separately through Canadian Direct Insurance, because it’s cheaper than ICBC.
  4. (- $725) I made payment 2 of 8 on my braces. This is charged at 0% interest, and paid quarterly. Which means I’ve only had my braces on for 6 months. Another year to go. At least.

October 2011 Goals:

  • Make an additional $2,500 above and beyond my FT job. CHECK! This was a very good month, because I made $4,840 in freelance/side income. To me, that’s insane. Especially considering I thought last month’s $4,300 was a crazy amount of money.
  • Contribute $800 towards my Retirement Portfolio. CHECK! This was a combination of RRSP and TFSA.
  • Contribute $500 towards my Travel Fund. PASS. Well, I took out $600 to buy my plane ticket to Montreal. So while I did technically contribute $500 this month, instead of having $1,100 in my Travel Fund, I only have $500.
  • Go on a 10km run. FAIL. Why do I even bother trying to schedule crap like this? It’s never going to get done. Aside from playing field hockey 2-3x/week, I can’t fit much more exercise in.
  • Go on a hike. CHECK! Nic and I did the short hike up  Mt. Finlayson over the Thanksgiving long weekend in my hometown. It was raining like crazy, but it was a lot of fun. I also realized that my boyfriend is a mountain goat.
  • Buy and create a scrapbook. CHECK! Okay, well I bought the scrapbook, and I filled in about 3 pages. That counts, right?
  • Read 10 articles about investing. FAIL. I didn’t read a single article. Mostly because I had to finish The Wealthy Barber Returns for my book review and giveaway.
  • Don’t mope on my birthday. PASS. My goals for my birthday were to not work at all that day, do something I’ve always wanted to do, and have fun. Well, 1) I wrote for the majority of the day, 2) had a league field hockey game get canceled about 30 seconds before the scheduled game time, and 3) I guess the day was still kind of fun. I barely moped. And then the next day, Nic took me on a day trip to Whistler where we went zip lining and had $5 stolen from us by a waitress.

Ongoing 2011 Annual Goals:

  • No buying lunch, snacks or coffee during the work week. FAIL. I went out for lunch once during this month to celebrate 4 birthdays (one being mine). This means I’ve gone out for lunch this year two different times. Both for pretty legitimate reasons.
  • No buying clothing, shoes or accessories until December 31, 2011. CHECK!
  • Work out at least 3x/week. FAIL. I worked out 9x this month.

Guest Post: Could you ever marry for money?

NOTE: Today’s guest post is from Harri Pierce. She is a personal finance blogger, and the Online Community Manager at TotallyMoney Blogs.

Remember that infamous ‘gold digger’ Craigslist ad? Let me jog your memory. A twenty-five year old self-described ‘spectacularly beautiful’ woman posted an ad for ‘a guy who makes at least half a million a year’ on the classified listings site. Not fussy about her potential partner’s intelligence, sense of humour, interests, or values, the ‘sassy’ woman requested advice about where these eligible bachelors socialized, ‘tips’ from wealthy men’s wives, the correct ‘age range’ and career choice she should be ‘targeting’, and bemoaned the ‘plain Janes’ she saw on the arms of bankers and corporate lawyers.

To cap it all off, she spelt out in no uncertain terms that this wasn’t going to be a short fling. She was ‘looking for MARRIAGE ONLY’.

The ad and a banker’s witty response bounded around the blogosphere and we all had a good laugh about it. How could this woman be so shallow? Marrying for money? Pah! We’re enlightened now, right? We’re career-driven. We ladies make our own money, and we marry for love.

So imagine my disappointment when a well-respected British newspaper quipped that most women secretly want to pack it in, cop off with a fat cat and spend our days doing pilates. This wasn’t the wistful dream of a haggard journalist eying up her shoulder pads with regret. According to research from the London School of Economics, for most women in 2011, shacking up with a wealthy man is a bigger deal than having a successful career. Modern women see marriage ‘as an alternative or supplement to their employment careers.’

That’s exactly how Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake, authors of the book ‘Smart Girls Marry Money’ see it too. They believe ladies have been duped into romantic idealism. If they had it their way, young women should be shacking up with wealthy men before anything starts to even think about sagging. They term this the ‘Gold Digging Imperative’. Instead of looking for love, we should be looking for financial security. If your wealthy hubby ups and leaves you, which the authors glibly seem to think is inevitable, then at least you’ll walk away with a healthy bank balance.

So much for Girl Power and Ally McBeal. Those cultural influences on our earlier selves were cultivating a myth. Apparently we should forget love, throw our careers to the wind, slap on the lipstick and hurl ourselves at passing investment bankers.

I think not.

In my view, successful relationships are built on shared values, interests and mutual respect; three elements which a money-driven marriage lacks. Marrying for money makes you a commodity; a product, or worse a service, at the owner’s disposal. Ford and Drake think we should see marriage as a ‘deal’ where a man pays for his lady’s looks. And it is a deal. As the Craiglist banker puts it, a ‘crappy business deal’. The woman is a depreciating asset, less valuable to her owner over time, as her attributes fade. What a dismal prospect!

So excuse me while I don’t loiter provocatively in Wall Street bars or pull the plug on my career.  When it comes to marriage, I’d rather not sell myself short.

Be honest – could you ever see yourself marrying for money? 

Contest: Win 1000 business cards from Jukeboxprint

Well, I am happy to announce that the next giveaway on GMBMFB is courtesy of!

I am giving away TWO (2) sets of 1,000 semi-gloss spot UV business cards (14 pt. double sided printing). This includes FREE delivery within Canada and the USA. :)

You may recall that I ordered my business cards from last month:


Their customer service team was top notch. I was also very impressed with the quality of the printing, and of the card stock. That’s what sets them apart from other print shops – beautiful heavy-duty paper stock makes your cards stand out. And don’t worry, if you don’t have the software (or the time to design your own cards from scratch), offers a free online business card creator, and the ability to download free card templates for you to custom modify. :)

There are THREE ways to enter (for a total of 3 possible entries):

  1. +1 entry: Tweet about the contest (copy and paste the following: “I just entered to win 1000 business cards from @jukeboxprint and @krystalatwork! Enter now!“).
  2. +1 entry: Follow @jukeboxprint on Twitter
  3. +1 entry: Comment on this blog post and tell me what you would use the business cards for.


  • I am giving away two (2) sets of 1,000 business cards. Each person who enters is only eligible to win one (1) prize.
  • Shipping is free within Canada and USA.
  • Contest closes November 2, 2011 at 5pm PST.
  • The winner will be picked using
  • If you are an anonymous commenter, please remember to leave your e-mail address in your comment, otherwise your entry will be disqualified.
This prize is not transferable and may not be used as credit. The prize is for printing of the cards only and does not include design. Prize must be claimed and order placed (including artwork submission) within 30 days of the winner being announced.

Good luck! :)

P.S. The winners of The Wealthy Barber Returns book giveaway are… Tom Hanger, Morgan, Zoey, and Putri! CONGRATS! :) I’ve contacted all of you already, so check your e-mail!

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