Give Me Back My Five Bucks

March 2012 Goals: Recap

Over Budget:

  • Food – Because I only pay 1/3 of the rent, I’m trying to contribute more by paying for more groceries and household expenses that we would otherwise split.
  • Household – Lightbulbs, utensils, etc.
  • Clothing – I picked a few items for summer, but I still need to buy a few tank tops.
  • Travel – I went totally over budget on this, because we keep planning for more travel. :) The $939.51 I spent this month includes a 3-day trip to Geneva/Chamonix, a 2-day trip to Vienna, a roundtrip train ticket to Berlin (trip in May), and 2 flights to Rome (trip in July) as my birthday present to Nic.
  • Personal Care – flat iron, make-up, and some other small purchases.
  • Miscellaneous – I pretty  much blew this entire category on buying a bicycle at the flea market. But it turned out to be a really smart purchase because we’ve gone bike riding in the evenings and weekends, and it also doesn’t take me 30-45 min. to walk everywhere anymore.

Net Worth Change+ $2,575 (3.61%)

This might *seem* like a lot of money, but keep in mind that since I’m a freelancer, I have to save for my own taxes. Plus, in April my net worth will definitely go down, because I still have to pay my 2011 taxes of around $3,500.

March 2012 Goals:

  • Meet new people. FAIL. We had good intentions and had a long conversation about trying to meet new people, but then… well, we just got busy and forgot about it. :| I’ve been in contact with a few people I’ve met off of a local message board, plus I have a friend and family coming to visit in April. So things are looking a bit better.
  • Write most of April’s blog posts & articles. PASS. I generated ideas and bullet points for most blog posts, which I think is pretty good. I’ll still have to bring my laptop with me while traveling, but I won’t have to work full-time at least.
  • Get my taxes organized for this year. CHECK! Well, my taxes are all organized, aside from a few missing pieces of paper that I’ll need before I file. Still, I know approximately how much I owe, which is what I wanted to figure out.
  • Have 10 No Spend Days. CHECK! I just squeaked in by having 10 No Spend Days. This was really hard, but I really do think it helped me understand where I bleed money, and what I need to do to get organized so that I can keep my money in my wallet. :)

Ongoing 2012 Goals:

  • Only post my own photos on GMBMFB. CHECK!
  • Write one guest post for another blog or website. FAIL. I thought I’d have time to do this, but I’m so busy these days. Now that I’m 2 months into being a full-time freelancer, I keep wondering how I was able to work a full-time job AND do my freelance work for so long? I imagine I’ll go back to a 60+ hour/week once I get back to Vancouver, but trying to keep my work hours here in Europe to 40-50 hours/week is really hard. There’s always so much to do. And I know I should start saying no to more opportunities, but some of them are just too good to pass up.

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:

    Maybe when the weather gets nicer, it will be easier to meet new people :)

    Good job on your other goals though. Looks like you’ve got things under control!

  2. Michelle says:

    Good job on the net worth!

  3. Modest Money says:

    Congrats on picking up a bicycle. I’m sure that will be very handy over there. It should allow you to explore even more of the city. It’s not surprising that you’re not able work as much you feel the need for. It’s easy to stay very busy with so much new stuff to see and do.

  4. It is incredible the amount of taxes paid being a freelancer.

    Does it make a difference that you are based in Germany for your 2012 taxes?

    Can you believe how much it costs to travel from Vancouver Island to Vancouver in comparison (based on how far you can travel in Europe)?

  5. MommaStar says:

    I’ve been thinking about getting a bike for so long now. I think I just might do that, only because you do have a valid point in riding in the evenings and getting to places in a shorter period of time ;P

  6. Vicky says:

    Nice work! Even with your expenses higher than expected, you still put up a 3.61% increase in your net worth. Impressive!

  7. Renee says:

    Awesome! I think you are doing a great job with the balancing act.

  8. It looks like you are doing good meeting your goals!

    I know what you mean about freelance work; it is hard to say no, but then that can lead to overwork.

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