Give Me Back My Five Bucks

October 2012 Goals: Recap

Over Budget:

  • Food – I paid for more groceries this month than normal. We usually try to split it 50/50, but it’s been more convenient for me to go to the store. Also, this category includes my daily Starbucks coffee. :)
  • Travel – Yeah, both Paris and Munich ended up being a lot more expensive than I thought it would be. But Oktoberfest was an amazing experience, and the money we spent on food in Paris was worth it.
  • Car & Transportation – We took public transit a few times to see some touristy things in Stuttgart.

Net Worth Change: + $1,160 (+ 1.58%)

It wasn’t as big of a jump as I was expecting, but I’m still waiting on payments from some major clients.

October 2012 Goals:

  • Run 10km. FAIL. I don’t really have a good excuse, but I can make up a bunch of crappy ones: I worked late often, and it started snowing and the temperatures are in the negatives now (and I don’t have anything to run in besides a t-shirt and shorts).
  • Read The Book of Business Awesome. CHECK! It was a really fun read, and I’m looking forward to reading it again over the Christmas break.
  • Write at least 1x/week on Frugal Wanderer. FAIL. I started off the month well, but once I committed to redesigning GMBMFB, I had to dedicate all of my time to that project instead.
  • Start looking into redesigning GMBMFB. CHECK! Well, I finished the redesign. Even though there are still a few things to work on, the theme is up and running, and I’m really happy with how everything looks.
  • Increase my net worth by $1,000. CHECK!

Ongoing 2012 Goals:

  • Post a new photo every day on my Tumblr account, My Life In Pixels. This goal is dead. As much as it pains me to give up, I just don’t have time to maintain my Tumblr account on a daily basis, and work on Frugal Wanderer at the same time. :|
  • Only post my own photos on GMBMFB. CHECK! I also joined Instagram this month, so if you’re on there, you can find me at krystalatwork.
  • Write one post for another blog or website. PASS. I’ve actually started to get more writing assignments from my current clients, so I’ve been working hard on that. I also did a short blog interview this week, and a media interview.

Spending Recap: October 22-28, 2012

Monday 22nd
$1.93 (€1,50) Starbucks
$19.88 (€15,43) groceries

Tuesday 23rd
$1.93 (€1,50) Starbucks

Wednesday 24th
$1.93 (€1,50) Starbucks

Thursday 25th
$1.93 (€1,50) Starbucks

Friday 26th
$1.93 (€1,50) Starbucks
$5.80 (€4,50) doner kebab
$10.31 (€8) bowling & beer

Saturday 27th
$5.93 (€4,60) transit
$5.15 (€4) Museum Ritter
$13.75 (€10,67) groceries
$5.93 (€4,60) transit

Sunday 28th
$3.80 (€2,95) Starbucks
$4.90 (€3,80) transit
$3.87 (€3) Stuttgart Tower

Total: – $88.97

I was able to keep my spending down during the work week, but over the weekend, we splurged a bit and did a lot of touristy things around the city. We realized that with only 6-weeks left in Europe, there was a lot we wanted to see and do in Stuttgart. Time is running out! :)

Friday we went bowling with another couple. Then on Saturday we headed to the Ritter Sport Museum – which was also the location of their chocolate factory, store, and chocolate exhibition. It was a delicious trip. Sunday, we went out to Schloss Solitude, a castle in the suburbs of Stuttgart. We also went to the TV Tower for amazing views of the city.

I took a few pictures over the weekend. From L-R:

  • Part of a special exhibition of work by artist Esther Stocker at Museum Ritter.
  • This statue is of a guy with his pants down, pooping gold. We saw it in front of a bank. Seriously. In German, it’s called Geldscheißer and literally translates to “money shitter.” Germans have a weird sense of humour. :)
  • The beautiful view from Schloß Solitude, about 10km outside of the city of Stuttgart.
  • After it snowed all Saturday, we took a nice Sunday afternoon walk through the woods in Stuttgart.

Would you pay to read the news online?

A few days ago, the Globe and Mail started charging its readers for full access to their online content – joining other Canadian newspapers like the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province, Ottawa Citizen, and National Post (only for international readers) – who have already implemented paywalls on their sites.

With the Globe, you will be allowed to read 10 free articles online each month. An initial subscription will run you just $0.99 for the first month, and $19.99 for every month afterwards for an annual cost of $239.88. This gives you unlimited access to the Globe and Mail website across multiple platforms (computer, smartphone, tablet).

Now, I love getting my news online for free, but I get why paywalls exist. And the Globe and Mail just so happens to have some amazing staff writers that I just love. But that being said, I’m not a regular reader so paying $20/month for a subscription just isn’t going to happen. I get my news from the Toronto Star because I work for them, and I read CBC every day because I like the way their website is set up, and the comments amuse me.

When I tweeted about what the paywall meant to casual readers like me, Claire Neary (Online Editor with the Globe’s business sites) was quick to respond:

She went onto tweet that the Globe would be socially porous. And of course, she’s right. All I was focused on was the 10 free articles I would be allowed to read online each month. I remember reading somewhere in a Globe article about the paywall introduction. Readers who find stories through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as search engines and blogs won’t have those stories counted against their monthly cap. And since I click through to articles from Twitter and do a lot of internet searching, I should be fine in the long run.

I went to Twitter to test out whether I could read articles that have been tweeted, and with the links I tried, they all worked. However, when I used Google to search for that Globe article about introducing the paywall (so I could link to it), two articles came up. One link let me read an article. The other link gave me a subscription pop-up. And, when I clicked on a link to a Globe article from another blog, I got the subscription pop-up again. So maybe there are still a few bugs that need to be worked out.

I also found that I couldn’t go back to read an article that was already part of my 10 freebies per month, and that was a little disappointing because sometimes my browser will crash, and I’ve been known to accidentally close an article, or save a really long article to read later.

That all being said, I think that if my favourite news sites were to one day put up a paywall, I would fork over my money. After all, I pay for books, music, and movies – so I don’t see why it should be any different when it comes to newspapers.

If your favourite newspaper started charging an online subscription, would you pay?

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