Give Me Back My Five Bucks

November 2012 Goals: Recap

Well, expenses this month were well under what I had originally predicted. That was due to the fact that we canceled our trip to Zurich. I think that was the right thing to do because we’ve already been to Switzerland, and we got to explore more of Stuttgart before we leave.

Over Budget:

  • Food – Starbucks Germany finished their €1,50 latte promotion, so I was back to paying normal prices every day.
  • Car & Transportation – We took public transit a few times to see some touristy things in the suburbs of Stuttgart.

Net Worth Change: + $475 (0.64%)

I was really looking forward to a potential $1,000+ increase this month, but with the timing of my invoices, it just didn’t work out. Oh well!

November 2012 Goals:

  • Mail off two boxes. CHECK! Well, sort of. I mailed one box off, and the other box is packed and ready to go – I just haven’t gotten it to the post office yet.
  • Book Iceland tours. CHECK! For less than $150, I booked a round trip shuttle bus from the airport, a Northern Lights tour, Golden Circle half day tour, as well as a trip to the Blue Lagoon. Maybe I could have saved money by renting a car, but 1) my driver’s license has expired, 2) I’d be scared of driving in Iceland by myself, and 3) I think having a guide will be beneficial for me. I want to learn while I’m there too. Plus, I will likely never go back to Iceland.
  • Increase my net worth by $1,000. FAIL. Well, I technically have $2,000 just floating out there – but there was a misprint on one of the cheques, and one client has postponed paying me due to budget issues. I’m not happy about it, but that’s the life of a freelancer I guess.

Ongoing 2012 Goals:

  • Only post my own photos on GMBMFB. CHECK!
  • Write one post for another blog or website. CHECK! Well, technically I wrote the posts for the Toronto Star. I submitted 2 additional articles that went straight to print (one of which ended up as the lead article in the business section that day!). Maybe not a huge deal to other freelancers, but I was pretty thrilled.

The jobs before my career

Ages ago, I saw a cool post at Budgets are Sexy, where he listed every single job he’s ever had. I’ve had some pretty fun/weird jobs over my lifetime, so I thought it would be fun to list out all the jobs I’ve had before starting my career – and I encourage you to do the same on your blogs or in the comments! :)

Jobs Before College

Babysitter ($7/hour) -I babysat for a couple across the street who had 3 boys. They behaved themselves most of the time, but boys will be boys! I was lucky that the couple paid me minimum wage at the time, since most sitters were only getting $5-6. But then again, I was looking after 3 boys, so maybe the joke was on me! :)

Referee ($15-20/game) – When I was growing up, I spent most of my time at the field hockey field. From age 14-18, I was at practice or playing games at least twice per day, so I figured if I practically made my home at the field, I might as well make some money too. I took a 2-day referee clinic, and officiated everything from kids to adults to high school tournaments. I didn’t work as often as I would have liked because it often interfered with my own training… but I made some extra cash that helped me get through high school.

Department store salesperson ($8.90/hour) – I took a class in high school that was aimed at prepping students for their careers. It also included a 200 hour work experience placement. At that point, I wanted to work in the professional sports industry, so where did I get placed? In the shoes and luggage section of a major department store. :| But I worked there with a very good friend, and at the end of our (unpaid) work experience, we were hired on as part-time staff. My boss was great because she let me schedule work around my field hockey practices/games. Oh, and school work too.


Jobs During College

Sports store salesperson ($8/hour) – In between my 1st and 2nd year of university, I worked for a local sports store. It was the worst 6 weeks of my life because I was still a pretty shy kid, and we all worked on commission. I remember they all clapped when I finally made my first commission – when I sold a pair of roller blades 2 weeks into the job.

Newspaper bundler ($8.50/hour) – Normally, you’d make $8/hour at this job, but I chose to work the graveyard shift for an extra 50 cents/hour. It was horrible and extremely lonely work. From 11pm-7am, I worked next to women who didn’t speak English, as we inserted flyers into newspapers, and bundled them in stacks of 25. I lasted 6 weeks before I quit because my fingers started to bleed.

Promotional Rep ($12/hour) – You know those people who do “special announcements” in movie theatres before the show is about to start? Well, that was me. I saw the ad in the newspaper, and decided to go in for the interview. There were about 20 of us in a room, where we had our photos taken, and filled out a questionnaire. From that group, two people were chosen to be the promo reps for Altoids mints – and I was one of them. Back when the minimum wage was $8, I felt so rich making $12/hour. Plus, I got all the free Altoids I could eat, so bonus?

Field hockey coach ($200/season) – I coached my old junior high team (age 13-15) for one season (1 practice, 1 game per week). It was a lot of fun, even though some of the girls were huge brats.

Cashier ($8-10/hour) – I was hired to work at a very popular local electronics store. It was the kind of place where people lined up the night before for the Boxing Day sales. I have nothing bad to say about the job. My boss was great, I made some amazing friends there, and the job was flexible over the years. I worked there off-and-on for about 4 years.

Call Centre Agent ($9-12/hour) – I know another fellow PF blogger who worked here too while I was there. :) It was a great job for a while. I was able to make a lot of extra money because I could take OT hours if they were available, and it was my first real full-time job. Every other job up until this point was shift work. This job made me feel like a real grown-up. I had great stats, got promoted, and felt like I could actually be worth something one day. But then they started dissolving departments (including the one I was in), and I left pretty quickly after that.

Admin Assistant ($17/hour) – This was my first taste of working for the government, and my first taste at a “real world” salary. I got a 4-month temporary assignment one summer. It was a fantastic opportunity, and when my assignment was over and they offered me another job, it was very hard to go back to school. That being said, I didn’t know what to do with all of the extra income I was making, so I blew a lot of it on clothing, concerts, and anything I could think of.

Promotions Coordinator ($10/hour) – I traveled to Northern Alberta for this 4-month summer co-op job with a non-profit. It was my opportunity to lead a team of other summer employees and see my projects through from concept to completion.

Beauty Advisor ($9/hour) – Well, this was a weird job! For a gal who wears minimal make-up, and is arguably never in style, for some reason I was offered the job of Beauty Advisor at a local drug store. I went to beauty school on the weekends, got tons of free product, and had a good time. But the time commitment got to be too much during school, and a few weeks after graduating from college, I landed a job back in government.

Event Coordinator ($10/hour) – This was with the professional sports team in the city I lived in, and I am extremely proud of the 5 years I spent at this job. I was hired during the first season of the club’s existence, and I led a team of 3-7 other people. It was part-time during the evenings and weekends, which meant it was perfect for school. And when I graduated, I could still work and have a full-time job at the same time. I loved this job so much that once I moved to Vancouver, I still went home on the weekends so that I could work at the games.


So there it is. All the jobs I had before my career started. After I graduated from college, I started working in marketing, communications, and graphic design jobs – all while blogging in my spare time. Now, the roles are reversed and I’m a full-time blogger/writer. But working so many diverse jobs when I was younger really helped me communicate more effectively, and learn quickly. :) Plus it was super fun to learn about such random careers like promoting Altoids mints, and going to beauty school!

AND, I think with each job, I got more satisfied with what I was doing and where I eventually wanted to take my career. So that’s always a bonus. :)

What were some of the best (and worst) jobs you’ve ever had?

Spending Recap: November 19-25, 2012

Monday 19th
$3.08 (€2,40) Starbucks
$14.36 (€11,19) groceries

Tuesday 20th
$3.08 (€2,40) Starbucks

Wednesday 21st
$3.08 (€2,40) Starbucks

Thursday 22nd
$3.08 (€2,40) Starbucks
$20.75 (€16,17) groceries

Friday 23rd
$3.08 (€2,40) Starbucks

Saturday 24th – Ulm, Germany
$16.04 (€12,50) train ticket to Ulm
$2.18 (€1,70) breakfast
$12.83 (€10) lunch
$5.13 (€4) entrance fee for Ulm Münster
$2.49 (€1,94) iced tea

Sunday 25th
$4.36 (€3,40) transit to Ostfildern
$4.36 (€3,40) transit

Total: – $97.90

Well this was our last weekend in Stuttgart (since next weekend we’ll be in Cologne, and the weekend after that I’ll be in Iceland)… so we decided to hop on a train and explore the city of Ulm – the home of the tallest church in the world, most crooked hotel (so says the Guinness Book), and the birthplace of Albert Einstein. It’s a beautiful city – they were just setting up for their Christmas Market – so all the lights were up, and the city was looking very festive. :)

On Sunday, we went to a small town just outside of Stuttgart where I rode a giant rabbit through the countryside. Kind of.

I also bought some Christmas gifts, but since some friends and family read this blog, I will not disclose what I bought, or where I bought from. After Christmas, I’ll do a full breakdown of how much I spent on presents.

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