Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Spending Recap: April 22-28, 2013

Monday 22nd
No Spend Day!

Tuesday 23rd
$35 running socks (x3)
$66.07 Well.ca
$26.35 Freshico (groceries)

Wednesday 24th
No Spend Day!

Thursday 25th
+ $650 freelance income
$204.75 concert tickets (x3)

Friday 26th
$9.08 lunch

Saturday 27th
$32.67 lunch

Sunday 28th
$6.07 coffee
$20.52 groceries

Freelance Income: + $650
Expenses– $400.51

TOTAL: + $249.49

So this week I made my first purchase on Well.ca. It’s a pretty awesome site with some seriously rock bottom prices for some of their stuff. I bought some much needed hair care items (shampoo, conditioner, moroccan oil), protein bars, and a tub of Amazing Grass Green SuperFood. I’ve never tried SuperFood before, but so many of my friends rave about it, so I’m going to try it out myself. Now that I’m running so often, I’m finding my energy levels are super high right after my run, and then drastically decrease as the day progresses. :) I’m hoping this will give me a boost of energy.

As for my running, training for the half marathon is actually going surprisingly well. I’m increasing my kilometers each week, and I’m actually finding that I don’t feel tired when I run less than 5km. I also finally hit the 10km mark this past weekend with a run of 54:17. I’m proud of that time, given the fact that I’ve only really been training for 6 weeks. But I know I have a lot of work to do still. I anticipate my runs to be a lot harder once I start getting at distances over 10km.

Here are some pics from the last week:

Protecting your money

2013-04-20 12.33.38I don’t know how many times I hear my friends tell me that they never check their credit card statements, have no idea what is included in their cell phone plans, or have no idea what their money is invested in.

In just the past few years, I’ve caught countless fraudulent charges on THREE different credit cards, incorrect billing on my cell phone account, and was almost caught in an international apartment rental scam. :| It can happen to anyone.

Related: How to avoid online apartment rental scams

That’s why I’m in favour of mobile banking apps because I can check my balances and recent activity wherever I am. I also like any sort of program that will help me keep track of my spending. I personally like Quicken (because it’s super in depth), but lots of people are into Mint.

But what about investing? When it comes to giving somebody else large sums of your hard-earned money to invest, it can be pretty scary. That’s why I’ve always managed my own portfolio – I can keep track of where my money is going. However as I get older, and earn more money, I definitely want to diversify my portfolio. And although I’d love to keep doing it myself (and I likely will), I’m keeping an open mind when it comes to finding somebody else that would be better suited to helping me achieve my financial goals.

Anyway I recently came across the Be Fraud Aware website – a program by the B.C. Securities Commission, and I thought it was kinda cool. I immediately downloaded their free app. (This might only be relevant to British Columbians, but maybe your province or state has a site or app like this too.)

Basically this app lets anybody identify, spot, and report investment fraud – wherever they might be. I think this will be a really helpful app for people to get information, and report something immediately. Plus, it’s a way to stay up-to-date on the current fraud trends.

My favourite part of the app was reading through the disciplined persons list. It’s pretty detailed, and lists each person’s violations, sanctions, and payment ordered. For a nosy personal finance blogger like me, that’s really interesting. :) Plus, I actually do feel more secure having this app with me. I don’t know how often I’ll use it, but it’s nice to know that it’s there if I need to reference something.

Have you ever gotten scammed financially before?

April 2013 Goals: Recap

I really, really wanted to stay on budget this month. However, a couple of expenses threw me off – namely forgetting to budget for my sister’s birthday present (concert tickets to see Postal Service), and buying a cocktail dress for business functions. I also went way over budget on food.

But even though I spent more this month than I had planned to, I’m still relatively pleased. I was able to bring in some additional income, and I had a really great time at the field hockey tournament. Like, the most fun I’ve had playing field hockey in years. Plus it makes me want to do even better with my budget next month.

04 - April Recap

Over Budget:

  • Food – I bought some protein bars and green food powder in an effort to boost my energy levels during the day. Getting up at 5am to run means I’m dead tired in the afternoon, and I don’t want to turn to coffee or chocolates or anything unhealthy if I can help it.
  • Clothing – This was my new field hockey skirt, as well as a cocktail dress (J.Crew, bought off eBay).
  • Travel – Spent more money on food than anticipated. I also had hoped Nic could take my car while I was gone, so I wouldn’t have to pay for parking. But my trip landed on the weekend before his thesis presentation. Oh well.
  • Miscellaneous – Concert tickets for my sister’s birthday, and another round of spin classes (which I am going to drop after these sessions are over).

Net Worth Change: + $1,805 (2.28%)

I paid off my braces (!), which will free up more cash going forward.

April 2013 Goals:

  • Earn $1,500 in freelance income. CHECK! This month I earned just over $1,600.
  • Rebalance my RRSP portfolio. CHECK! My distribution wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, so I only ended up shuffling around a few thousand dollars.
  • Continue running. PASS. Well, my goal was to run 4x/week and build up a distance of 10km. I got to 10km, but definitely did not run 4x/week. I started off the month well by running 3-4x/week, but then I gave myself a few days off for recovery after my field hockey tournament, and then was sick for 4-5 days.
  • Create a general itinerary for my trip to France & Morocco (October). CHECK! I’ve decided to go on a tour since I’ll be traveling alone. An 8 or 9 day tour will cost me around $1000-1200. It’s definitely not cheap, but I think it’ll be worth it. And I’m putting out feelers to see if I can find a travel sponsor for this trip. I have a really great idea for a series of posts, so I think it’d be appealing to the right company.
  • 12 No Spend Days. FAIL. I only had 8.
  • Continue eating a pescetarian diet. CHECK! I still don’t know what I’m going to do with this going forward. But I do think it’s going to be extremely difficult to stay away from the temptation of eating meat in Vegas. I can either give in and go back to eating meat/poultry some of the times, or keep going. At this point, I’m just not sure.
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