Give Me Back My Five Bucks

September 2011 Goals: Recap

Well, I thought September was going to be a better month for me in terms of spending, but instead it was like I extended my summer spending into the fall. And I don’t expect October to be much better either, with another two weekend trips planned.

I also  messed up my September budget because I didn’t account for having 3 pay cheques in the month. I also didn’t budget in a lot of obvious stuff – like my business cards or my website redesign. Oh well.


  • Mortgage – I messed up when I created my original monthly budget. I also didn’t get off my butt to call into the bank to switch my mortgage payments to the 20% prepay. So my payments for the month looked like this: $600, $600, $660. Better late than never, right? And now with my 20% prepayment, the portion to my principal is almost as much as the portion towards interest.
  • Cell Phone – 100 text messaging package while I was in San Francisco in August.
  • Household – desk lamp and a big light fixture for my bedroom – both from IKEA.
  • Entertainment – forgot to budget for my friend coming to stay with me for 3 days. 
  • Personal Care – ended up buying toner and face wash, on top of replenishing my face cream supply. And you know what’s even worse? The $220 budgeted was for face cream & a hair cut, and I didn’t even get my hair cut. Whoops. 
  • Miscellaneous – Well, that would be my $500 website redesign, and my business cards which were $209. 

NETWORTH CHANGE:  + $2,474 (4.05%)
Like last month, the stock market really hurt my investments. They fell again. By a lot. Still, it was a solid month all around, and I’m pleased.

September 2011 Goals:

  • Make an additional $3,000 above and beyond my FT job. CHECK! I destroyed September, by making $4,362.20, and this month officially became the first month ever where I made more from freelancing than I did from my FT job. I don’t expect to make this kind of money going forward – I feel like it was a bit of a timing fluke, but I’ll take it anyway.
  • Sell or give away at least 3 things. FAIL. Okay, well at least I put in some sort of effort. I listed my Blackberry on Craigslist, and got a couple of bites … but I kind of fell through in the follow-up. The good thing is that I think I found someone who wants my Blackberry, and in exchange he’s going to help me a bit with my website.
  • Buy a lamp for my work station. CHECK! I fixed the lighting problem in my bedroom, but still have to find a light dimmer.
  • Go on at least 1 day hike. FAIL. Seriously, where do I get off thinking I have time to go for hikes? Especially when I have field hockey on Saturdays and Sundays, AND I was out of town for two weekends during the month? I sure have some nerve.
  • Hire a WordPress designer to help me overhaul this blog. CHECK! I think I embarrassed myself enough by professing my love for my blog designer earlier this month. He’s amazing. I love him. There, I said it again.
  • Create the skeleton of my online portfolio. FAIL. I might hire the same blog designer to help me design my portfolio in the future, but in the meantime, I think that my blog and LinkedIn profile is sufficient in summarizing my skillset. In fact, the only reason why I wanted to bring back my online portfolio was to showcase my design skills … but since I’m not really designing these days, I don’t see the point.

Ongoing 2011 Annual Goals:

  • No buying lunch, snacks or coffee during the work week. CHECK!
  • No buying clothing, shoes or accessories until December 31, 2011. CHECK!
  • Work out at least 3x/week. FAIL. I worked out 8 times, or 2x/week.

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. laura @nms says:

    I messed up my September budget too..I forgot stuff and bought stuff! Oh well! :)

    Congrats on your freelance income Krystal – I love to see your hard work paying off!

  2. Michelle says:

    Even though your budget was messed up, you still did much better than me overall!

  3. Leigh says:

    Congrats on your awesome freelance income for September!

    When you go over your budget, where does that extra money come from?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Thanks! :) When I go over budget, the extra money comes from what I could have been saving that month. So, essentially, I could have put an extra $1,391 into different savings accounts this month.

  4. Shiaa says:

    You still a great job for the month(specially clothing) even though the budget got disturbed. Good one on the mortgage. And i must say, it looks a highly organized freelance network. Great one.

  5. Amy says:

    I did the same with my September budget. I like the work sheet you ise for your budget and schedule. Can you post one that I cane use? I have tried to copy and paste and it does not work. Thank you!!!

  6. Amanda says:

    What kind of face wash/ cream do you use? Do you stock up for the whole year? Seems mighty expensive but you have great skin so maybe it’s worth it.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yep, my supply lasts me almost a year. Maybe like 10 or 11 months, which I think is pretty good. It has taken me 10 years to figure out my skin and what products work best, so I’m ok with the high price. I use Skyn day, night, and eye cream. And I use Clarins products for face wash and toner.

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