Give Me Back My Five Bucks

January 2017 Goals

I hate having to start a new year with an expensive monthly budget, but sometimes it just can’t be avoided. Luckily I have over $4,000 in freelance work invoiced out for January payment, so that will help. :)

The biggest expense by far is investing in a waterproof winter coat. Yes you can certainly buy coats for much less than $500, but I am a firm believer in buying quality items that are going to last me for a long time. The last time I bought a winter jacket was 9 years ago for skiing. I still wear it all the time in the city and in the mountains. But I wanted something more versatile. I wanted it to be wearable for both the wet Pacific Northwest client of Vancouver, as well as for the chilly Northern BC winters (mine currently does not) – plus it had to look nice enough to wear to work. After tons of research I narrowed it down to a Patagonia 3-in-1 parka (pictured). Waterproof outer for rain, puffy removable liner for winter, and looks gorgeous. Perfect! Expensive for sure, but I’m hoping it’ll last me 8-10 years. :)

I also wanted to get ahead of the rush by booking RD’s birthday present. Last year, we went to Squamish for 2 nights, and this year I booked us 3-nights over the Easter long weekend in April. I’d tell you where we’re going, but RD wants it to be a surprise. :) His birthday is very close to when he leaves for his annual 4-6 weeks of field work, so this might become an annual weekend getaway, as it’s nice to get a mini vacation together in before he goes.

We will also be traveling back to the island for Chinese New Year (likely just two nights, and might not bring a car over). We also needed to replace my car windshield since it got damaged on our Yukon trip – we’ll split the cost on that. I’ll also have to renew my membership to the climbing gym.

January 2017 Goals:

  • Look into making my budgeting spreadsheet available to blog readers. I’ve never offered my spreadsheet before, but a few people have been requesting it. Is this something you’d be interested in?
  • Try 3 new recipes. We got two new cookbooks for Christmas (Oh She Glows Every Day and Plenty More), and I’m dying to try out some of the recipes. The Plenty More book is a lot more complicated than the recipes I’m used to, but I’m up for the challenge. I love spending a bit more time on the weekends preparing meals. :)
  • Bring my lunch to work every day. If I’m going to be spending all this time cooking, I’d better be making enough food to take for leftovers the next day!
  • Try to lower my internet bill. We currently pay about $75 for internet, and I’m constantly complaining about it. I don’t think it should cost this much, especially since the plan is so bare-bones we really both can’t be using the internet at the same time. :|
  • Get into the mountains. Time to break out those snowshoes and get into the mountains!

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. Carrie says:

    Yes please share your spreadsheet!! :) Also, great coat. I too bought a new winter coat this year (hadn’t in 4 years) I got a great deal (half price) on a London Fog and I’m constantly surprised that I never really had a warm winter coat before now!

  2. Sarah G says:

    Yes to the spreadsheet! Funny enough, I had just clicked and saved the picture of your summary so I could try to mimic in, then scrolled down and saw that you were thinking about sharing the spreadsheet itself :)

  3. Kait says:

    I would LOVE to use your spreadsheet!!

  4. Chris says:

    Krystal – in the US we almost always have free windshield replacement as part of our comprehensive car insurance. Have you asked your insurance company/agent?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yes, I did ask my insurance company and the deductible was more expensive than the cost of the windshield replacement. :|

  5. Sarah says:

    I just started reading your blog last week, and I love it. Super relateable. I live in the Vancouver area as well…how the heck is your insurance only $95 a month? I have a inner hate for ICBC and their price hikes that are continually happening. Also who did you get your tenant insurance with?

  6. Kent says:

    Hey Krystal, great article and I love the blog. I have a few questions for you and would be willing to offer you a trade. I work for a big Vancouver based outdoor coat company and could help you with a stellar deal on a jacket that will last forever. Just looking for some of your financial wisdom in return. Shoot me a note if you have some time.

  7. Lisa says:

    Hey Krystal! awesome article, I really love how you keep it real! I’m from Vancouver too and I agree, it’s definitely worth it to invest more in a good winter jacket that will last you for a long time. PLUS, this year has been strangely coldddd!

    Im trying to lower my internet bills too, please share if you manage to find a cheaper alternatives or ways to lower the expense!

  8. Emily says:

    Hi Krystal. I’d love to be able to use your monthly spreadsheet!

  9. Trevor McCullum says:

    Please make a video showing us how to create the spreadsheet! ☺

Leave a Reply

Buy the Book!

A beginner's guide for Canadians looking to get their financial life in order. Get great info on budgeting and saving, RRSP's and pensions, investing types, insurance, and where to go for additional resources.

Recent Tweets


  • Foggy day down by the river NewWest
  • Yep 2017 was a pretty good year! 1 Hiked thehellip
  • Dreaming about warmer days and incredible hikes like this onehellip
  • OMG a million times yes! xoxo
  • Current mood
  • Gorgeous day for snowshoeing!
  • Games and pizza just might be the perfect way tohellip
  • Not a bad place to spend the last 5 days!hellip

© 2018. Give Me Back My Five Bucks. All rights reserved. Powered by WordPress & Designed by Mike Smith