Give Me Back My Five Bucks
Richmond night market

The perfect summer weekend

This year was the year I told myself I’d finally get out and explore Vancouver.

Ever since I moved here six years ago, all I’ve done is work. I worked, worked worked through every summer. Weekends were spent working. Evenings were spent working. I said no to a lot of things. However, I don’t regret any of it, because it has given me so much: a down payment on a beautiful townhouse, a freelance career that helped me live and travel in Europe for 10 months, and the ability to create a secondary income stream for myself.

Related: Time management for the freelancer

But when I made the decision to scale back my freelancing this year, it was to seek a bit more balance. I often say I’ll do something, and then just forget about it because it’s too much work. But this year? No. If I was going to make a conscious choice to lose out on money by losing freelance clients, then I’d better make the most of the free time I’ve created for myself! :)

This weekend was a perfect example of how I want to make the most of my time – but in a frugal way.


A friend and I decided to venture to the Richmond Night Market for some tasty treats. For those that aren’t familiar with the Night Market (there are actually three of them in Vancouver), it’s open only on weekends, and showcases  hundreds of merchandise booths and Asian food vendors. The atmosphere is fun – lots of games, entertainment, and people watching. The food is delicious, and I was actually surprised to see a few non-Asian vendors: one was selling German pork knuckles, and I saw another one selling Hungarian chimney cakes – yum!

There was a $2 entrance fee, but it was definitely worth it. As soon as I got in, I headed straight for the food. :)

It was a really fun time, and altogether – including transportation and a gift for someone – I spent just $20.


I heard via Twitter that there was going to be an Upcycled Urbanism event downtown on Saturday, and since it was designed in part by the UBC Architecture program, Nic and I decided to go and check it out.  It was a fun hands-on project on Granville Street where anyone could go and build structures out of huge recycled polystyrene blocks.

This is the first structure we built: a single wall, supported by beams at the base. It was not sturdy, and pretty much fell on top of me after this photo was taken. :)

Next we created an interesting structure that we built as high as we could before we realized it was useless. So we tore it down.

Finally, we got to building our sturdiest structure, using the popsicle-stick method.

I love free events like this, and all I had to pay for was my SkyTrain fare – which was $2.75 each way.


I was feeling pretty good, so decided to go on a short hike in Lynn Valley. It was my first form of exercise in about two weeks. I was a little nervous to see how I would feel, and even though I walked less than two hours all day, my body was not happy with me afterwards. :| Hopefully I didn’t delay any healing, but I really thought I’d be better by now. Or at least able to walk more than a few hours at a time.

Anyway, I couldn’t believe how packed Lynn Valley was. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been there in years (and when I was there, there was nobody else around). But it was still a lot of fun, and a nice way to spend a few hours on a beautiful day.

The cost was free, except for the gas… which P.S. is up to $1.51/litre here!

That was my wonderful summer weekend… what did you get up to?

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. Stavros Poulopolis says:

    What injury are you recovering from? How long is it supposed to take to heal? Wishing you the best!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Without going into too much detail, I tested positive for pre-cancerous cells. So I had to get them removed – and the doctor said I need to take 3 weeks off from strenuous exercise (or anything that involves core movement). So that’s pretty much everything I do, haha. :) Fingers crossed I’ll be better by this time next week, b/c I don’t know how much longer I can take without running!

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds suspiciously like the HPV virus, precursor to cervical cancer. Glad to hear your doctor detected it early!

  2. Hey Krystal,
    I’ve never been to Vancouver but those markets sound like something that I would love to check out. I love eating food from around the world tasting a little bit of everything. What are the must-see places if one would visit?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I thought you and your boyfriend broke up?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Okay well in any case I wish you the best!

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