Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Spending Recap: February 27-March 4, 2012

Monday 27th
+ $360 freelance income
$19.68 (€14,70) groceries
$16.33 (€12,20) personal care items
$33.40 (€24,95) clothing

Tuesday 28th
$10.70 (€8) laundry
$8.03 (€6)

Wednesday 29th
No Spend Day!

Thursday 1st
+ $350 freelance income
$132.42 (€99) train (roundtrip to Berlin – trip in May)
$11.51 (€8,80) groceries
$5.87 (€4,49) wine

Friday 2nd
No Spend Day!

Saturday 3rd
$6.54 (€5) train ticket to Bad Urach
$2.34 (€1,79) hardware store
$16.33 (€12,49) groceries

Sunday 4th
$7.85 (€6) Linden Museum (2 tickets)
$2.49 (€1,90) groceries


TOTAL: + $436.51

This week I made a lot of little purchases which definitely added up. That’s why one of my March goals is to have 10 No Spend Days. Impulse purchases due to poor planning and laziness resulted in over €10 worth of unnecessary expenses this week. And while that might not seem like a lot of money, it’s another one of those challenges that I need to do in order to prove to myself that I can plan my spending properly and make sure my purchases are actually needed, and not just because I’m lazy. But as you can see, I went an entire week without buying soft pretzels, so at least that’s a start. :)

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. Savvy Scot says:

    Pleased to see you are still earning some decent freelance income :)

  2. Renee says:

    Haha…you can survive without pretzels :)

  3. Dave says:

    1 no spend day down, 9 to go! Good luck with your goal in March!

  4. Marianne says:

    mmm. Isn’t European pizza so much better than pizza here?

  5. Modest Money says:

    Looks like pretty good progress to me. Living in a new area is probably even tougher to avoid spending. You probably want to try all of the different local amenities. The freelance income must make things a lot easier though.

  6. You’re definitely right about those impulse purchases adding up. Good luck with the rest of your March goal of 10 No Spend Days.

  7. Sri says:

    Good luck with your challenge, but also remember that you don’t get those pretzels back home! If I were you I would enjoy the pretzels while I can, and just up the no-spending days back home :) Or I would include it with “Groceries” and substitute it for bread at a meal, rather than just using it for pointless snacking. Hey, you’re half way across the world, and it’s $2 a week for a little happiness. I am a HUGE foodie though, so my rationale may be jaded haha.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I do love food, but when I think that $2 will buy me a transit ticket instead of a couple pretzels, my thought process changes a bit. Plus, it seems like all anyone eats here is meat and bread – my waistline can do without the excess carbs. At least for a few weeks. :)

  8. Miiockm says:

    For the freelance income that you are showing does that already include tax deductions from the employer?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      No it doesn’t. As a freelancer, no employer deducts tax from my pay cheques. It’s up to me to do it myself. I have a separate savings account set up for taxes.

  9. Joe says:

    I don’t mean this to be a jerk like that one guy, but do you find that your freelance income is stagnating while abroad? Do you have other sources in the pipeline that you’re just not yet talking about or has it been a few weeks of lull?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I wouldn’t consider a steady stream of income to be a lull. :) I’m working hard and I’ve got enough income coming in that I’m able to turn down many short-term jobs in favour of projects that will give me long-term growth. But that being said, the income I’m bringing in right now are only from the clients that are able to pay me via direct deposit or through PayPal. I’m still getting many payments by cheque, and since I’m abroad, it’s been a process trying to get my money into a Canadian bank account. Also, As I mentioned before, I get paid per transaction with my new job as Marketing Manager for a Realtor – but as real estate goes, it will take me a few months to get into a steady cycle fo receiving money.

      • Joe says:

        Fair enough! Sounds like you’ll have a decent stack of cheques to cash when you’re back :) I wouldn’t depend too much on the real estate gig though, based on the latest numbers. Looks like things are starting to waiver, and interest rates are still at all-time lows.

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