Give Me Back My Five Bucks

March 2013 Goals

These goals are a little bit late, but the weekend was kind of a gong show dealing with some online drama. But, I’m excited for this month. The weather is getting nicer, and I’m feeing a lot more comfortable with my new budget. Although, I have to say, it’s really weird being back in an office. It’s been almost two months now since I started this job – and while I really do love everything about it – I still find it a bit of a struggle to have a set schedule. I’m just used to coming and going as I please. Work for 2 hours then go home? No problem. But I’m getting used to it, and it’s been so great having people around to talk with. I really missed that social interaction when I was freelancing.

03 - March Budget

March 2013 Goals:

  • Make an additional $1,000 in freelance income. :)
  • Look into getting a part-time job. I’ll admit, I’m getting a little bit restless. I have too much time on my hands, and I don’t know what to do with it. I want to be working, but I don’t think I want it to be online. I want more of a balance, because I think I was burning out writing so many personal finance articles. So even though I’d make a ton more money as a writer, I wouldn’t mind picking up a PT job somewhere like a grocery store or something. It’s just an idea. Maybe it won’t really be worth it, but I’ll do some research anyway.
  • Clean out my car. My car is pretty filthy – inside and outside. It got so bad that my boyfriend sent me “how to” articles on how to clean my car. :| I need to organize it and dump a bunch of stuff that I just have sitting in the backseat and trunk.
  • Set up a We Seed account. I’ve done some research into stocks, and I’d like to start investing. Not a large sum of money, just the minimum $1,000 needed to get started with Questrade. But before I do that, I want to play around with a virtual account first. I like the super simple interface of WeSeed, but if anyone knows of a better site, please let me know.
  • Adopt a pescetarian diet. I don’t eat a lot of red meat anyway, but I’ve noticed that when I do, I don’t feel very good. So this diet will mean I’m only eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and fish/shellfish. I’m also limiting my dairy intake, but won’t be super rigid about it. For example, if there’s dairy in a sauce or something, I’ll still eat it. I just want to stay away from milk (in lattes, tea, etc.), cheese, and ice cream. I’m only committing to this for a month, but I feel like it’s something I’d probably like to do going forward.
  • Start running. I’m running a half marathon this year (October), and now that the field hockey season is ending, I actually have 3 days freed up during the week for running. Coincidentally, it’s also getting nicer out, so that will make the transition a lot more pleasant. There’s a park across the street with a nice trail, and one about 10 minutes away (by car) around a lake. I’ll likely start running in the mornings again – it was something I did 4-5x/week before we moved to Germany.

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. If you are bored, want to help me plan my Paris trip? ;-) Seriously, rereading your travels through Europe has ignited such wanderlust.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I think we ended up in Paris three times last year. :) My one tip has to do with food (obviously). Go have dessert and tea at Ladurée (there’s usually a line-up – I think we waited 30 min – but it’s worth it), and the best macarons ever are found at Pierre Hermé. Seriously. I nearly died on the spot when I tried them.

  2. Never heard of We Seed but sounds like a great site. I’ve been using Google Finance and just inputting mock stock purchase amounts (quantities and prices). I have recently purchased a few stocks and have been testing out the waters, my current purchases are definitely long term though.

  3. good balanced goals! I should be eating more fish as well.. But it`s difficult! And running,, I can`t wait for spring to get here.. there are still icy roads all over the place!

  4. An article on how to clean your car? Did he write it himself or get it off the internet? I know my bank allows you to open an account from which you can pick and invest in stocks. Maybe yours has something similar?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Haha he found it on the internet. :) He even offered to clean my car himself, which tells me that I really, really need to get this done.

      My banks don’t offer anything like that because they don’t offer the option to purchase individual stocks. Too bad!

  5. Michelle says:

    Pescetarian diet? Who knew the diet I was on had a name! Thanks for the info! You’ll like it and you’ll feel great. I got rid of most dairy, switched to soy milk and its amazing. I still have yogurt occasionally, organic. I eat a lot of grains, fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I fall off the wagon and have cheese. I love cheese which makes eliminating all dairy difficult, LOL! :) Good luck with the change!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      That’s my biggest challenge too – I don’t eat much dairy anyway, but cheese is what always kills me. I don’t think I can eliminate it completely, but staying away from it most of the time will definitely be good for me. Thx for the encouragement! :)

  6. Jackie says:

    Why not look at getting a job at Banana Republic or another store you like to shop at? That way you can get a discount :)

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Hahaha good call! :P Except that I’d really, really like to stay away from getting a job at the mall. Even though I’d get a sweet discount, I’d be too tempted to spend all of my (likely small) pay cheques on clothes.

  7. MA says:

    If you have 25k in your RRSP account (preferably over 50k across all investment accounts for cheap commissions) it’s no problem to convert your TD eFund account into a self directed TD Waterhouse RSP account that allows both eFund class mutual funds and individual stock trading (plus you can have similar tfsa & nonregistered accounts…)

    That’s the setup I’ve been using for several years.

  8. SP says:

    I am kind of shocked you have time for a PT job when you work full time and freelance! And you have hobbies! i must be doing something wrong, i never feel like I have time on my hands!

    I am not motivated enough for pescatarian, but i’ve been having stomach issues lately, and it is either correlated with cheese/meat (which like you, i don’t eat all that often anyway) or maybe just a reduction in my standard intake of veggies. Those things seem to happen simultaneously quite often, so I can never tell for sure.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      You know, I thought I’d be pretty busy too once I got back to Vancouver. But once I quit my main freelancing gig, that automatically freed up 10 hours from my week. I spend more time on my blog now, but over the last 2 months, I’ve managed to watch 7 entire seasons of HIMYM. How is that even possible? Clearly I have way too much time on my hands, and I should be doing something more productive.

  9. Sue says:

    FYI: rigid, not ridged.

  10. Jeff says:

    Ever considered ultimate frisbee? I think it would help with your fitness goals (running around) and work with field hockey (mobility)

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I have some friends that play ultimate, and I can definitely see the fitness benefits, but it’s not something I’m into for a variety of different reasons. I’ll likely stick with running because it’s free, and I kind of have to if I want to run that half marathon this year! :)

  11. Kbaby says:

    Parttime not worth it. But for better paying ones try costco or something.. Ermm or work for an airport/airline maybe get travel discounts. But really you are hoing to get taxed nearly 50% on the income so maybe better off spending more time improving your fitness or volunteering maybe you can get tax write offs for the volunteer work? I’d say your earnings are now going to be near 80-90k this year which is veryvery accomplished so why not utilize the extra time to have recreation? That is important to a balanced lifestyle .

  12. Louise says:

    Hi! I’m new to your blog. I’m just curious about where you live. I see your mortage (I am currently renting) and always though that they were higher than what you pay. I hope this is not too personnal or stalkish-y. Are you in a city?

  13. LPC says:

    If you want to start investing in stock, get yourself the book “The Lazy Investor” by Derek Foster. It teaches you how to take advantage of share saving plans and dividend reinvestent plans directly with a company and save lots of $$$ by by-passing brokerage houses and pay no fees. Once enrolled, you have the ability to buy shares as often as you want as long as you respect the minimum required, which can be as low as $50/month. (It’s not automatic. You send a cheque whenever you have the minimum, at your discretion.) It’s really worth investigating. Also have a look at this site:

  14. F. says:

    I haven’t used We Seed but I used to play around with stocks on UpDown. It’s a simple, fun way to learn about investing without risk. :)

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