Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Spending Recap: March 19-25, 2012

Monday 19th
$2.51 (€1,90) Starbucks
$26.94 (€20,42) groceries

Tuesday 20th
No Spend Day!

Wednesday 21st
$2.51 (€1,90) Starbucks

Thursday 22nd
+ $442.43 freelance income
$4.62 (€3,50) Starbucks
$176.12 (€133,50) train ticket (roundtrip to Vienna)

Friday 23rd
No Spend Day! 

Saturday 24th
$50.69 (€38,42) groceries
$65.83 (€49,90) H&M
$32.92 (€24,95)
S. Oliver

Sunday 25th
$4.09 (€3,10) Starbucks
$274.52 flight (2x roundtrip to Rome in July)


TOTAL: – $198.32

Well this was an expensive week, but absolutely worth it. We booked our train tickets to Vienna for this coming weekend, and I also bought us flights to Rome in July for Nic’s birthday! :) I snagged a RyanAir sale, so our flights were only $137.26 each.

As for my 4 trips to Starbucks this week (!), there’s not much I can say. Even though it costs money because I have to buy a tea or coffee, I’ve been going there more often to work, instead of the library. Starbucks is much more convenient to get to, the internet is much faster, it’s open later, and most importantly, I work better there for some reason. Maybe I’m just used to it because I always worked in coffee shops in Vancouver.

On Saturday we went shopping for summer clothes. The prices were a little hard to believe. For example, the Levis jeans that I always wear were $160 (€120), and in Canada they’re half the price. H&M was about 30% more expensive, as were any other stores we went to. I ended up buying a dress, skirt, shorts, and a blouse. Now I just need a couple of tank tops, and I’ll be set for the summer.

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. Frugal Fries says:

    I am actually shocked that H&M was more expensive! Were the clothes more or less the same?

    I also think it’s kind of sad that Starbucks had better internet access than the library. That really says a lot about the state of publicly funded institutions!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yep, the clothes at H&M were the same. The prices were basically the same on the tags, except that they were in euros, not dollars. :|

      As for the internet, I feel like it’s because so many students use the internet at the library that it just gets bogged down and slow. Starbucks at least only has a limited amount of seating, so it’s usually a lot faster.

  2. DebtnTaxes says:

    I’m a guy so its easier for me to do this (I don’t really ever try pants on, just hold them up to my waist) but could you save money by shopping Ebay or Amazon and having them shipped to you? I can see why not though because if the clothes didn’t fit like you want then you would have to ship them back, negating the savings.

  3. Leigh says:

    I found the same as you when I was in Europe, so I refused to buy jeans and I also avoided the international brands. I found that clothes were a bit more reasonably priced or at least I could justify them better if it wasn’t a brand that I could buy “at home”.

  4. Modest Money says:

    I was going to say something about all that Starbucks, but it’s a lot more reasonable when you are doing work there. I wonder if that could somehow be considered a tax deduction.

    By the way, did you reach your ‘no spend day’ goal for the month already? It looks like you had a lot of them this month anyway.

  5. Krystal,

    How do the prices at Starbucks in Germany compare to Vancouver?

    I know when we were in Barcelona they were on par (drink quality was not though!)

    I like Modest Money’s idea of a tax deduction.

    For clothes, have you gone to Zara yet (my wife’s favorite store when we were on honeymoon)?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      The prices are the same, except that they are in euros instead of dollars! :) So I’m essentially paying 35% more for my drinks than in Vancouver. AND they don’t have the loyalty card here (I use the iPhone app), so I don’t get soy and syrups for free.

      Also good call on Zara. Another person mentioned that to me on Twitter too. I’ll be sure to check it out, as I do like their store in Metrotown back home!

  6. Anastasia says:

    Just two letters were what I relied on when I lived in Germany.

    C & A

    Usually reasonably priced, fairly fashion forward stuff. Always look at the clearance stuff. There are always a few gems.

  7. Yen says:

    Check Zara in Spain. It’s a Spanish brand so it’s much cheaper in Spain. I always buy stuff from Mango in Spain. Up to €20,- cheaper than the rest of Europe. Spanish women are petite, best country to buy unexpensive clothing for small women like me.:)

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