Give Me Back My Five Bucks

July 2017 Goals

Happy Belated Canada Day and 4th of July! :)

This past long weekend was our first weekend in the new condo. We spent our time building new IKEA furniture and planting flowers and herbs on the patio. I also started really organizing our pantry by putting most of our bulk dry goods into labeled jars. I also finally got our spice cupboard in order. These are all things we just didn’t have room for in our old place. It’s funny how much difference there is when you have a bit of outdoor space and an extra 150 sq.ft. inside. Although RD kept wandering around the condo the other day, muttering that the place was too big because he kept misplacing things. :)

We also got approval from strata for our renovation project to remove our electric fireplace, so I got a quote for the job (about $750) and fingers crossed we can book someone to do it in the next few weeks.

As for July, it’s shaping up to be a pretty busy month. My sister will be visiting us for a few days later this month , we are hosting a couple of dinners in the next few weeks, plus we have a trip planned back to Victoria, and we’re still chipping away at those home projects. I’ll try to keep our costs low by cooking as much as possible at home, and finding fun (free) local activities to keep us occupied.

Here’s my budget for the month:

July 2017 Goals:

  • Work out 12 times this month. I’m feeling pretty sluggish from about 3 weeks of very inconsistent physical activity and so much take-out and restaurant food. Ugh. Can’t wait to go running along the water, work-out in our building’s free gym, get up into the mountains, and join the (amazing) climbing gym near our place.
  • Try 3 new recipes. We have our favourite 5 or 6 recipes on rotation, but I’d like to try out some new ones from the cookbooks that we have. Plus I really, really want to try cooking with jackfruit but it is impossible to find! Might have to venture out to a T&T or another Asian market to try to find some.
  • Unpack all boxes. We’ve done pretty good so far, but the last 3 or 4 boxes are mine to unpack. Once we get our pantry delivered, I’ll be able to organize everything and finally feel moved in.
  • Grow herbs. I already have rosemary growing on the patio, but I decided to buy some some seeds, soil, and pots so that I can grow the other herbs I use the most (basil, cilantro, parsley, and chives) on our windowsill in the kitchen. I’m really excited to stop buying huge bags of herbs from the grocery store and having more than half of it go bad before I can finish using it all. Seriously, tell me who actually uses a whole bunch of cilantro before it starts rotting? :)

What are you up to for July?

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. Jess says:

    I’m wondering how you balance your desire for frugality with your love of Ikea furniture. I love going to Ikea and some of their furniture as well, but I find its not super good quality and probably won’t last long. Do you think it’s more “frugal” to spend more upfront, or buy cheaper Ikea furniture?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      IKEA quality is getting a lot better (lots of my IKEA stuff has survived years and multiple moves), but I definitely hear what you’re saying. Personally I like a mix of IKEA vs. better quality items. I don’t mind spending more on something I know I’m going to love forever, but at the same time I don’t want to start saying that for everything I buy. :) We spent about $600 on a beautiful antique pantry and $100 on a custom made reclaimed wood spice rack, but then turned around and only spent $150 on an IKEA kitchen hutch and $100 on a table. I don’t know what the answer is, but I think it’s hard to strike the right balance.

      • Jess says:

        What happened to the furniture from your townhouse?

        • Krystal Yee says:

          Nothing, I still have 95% of it! But we have less built-in storage space here than what I had in my townhouse or the laneway house, which is why we got the pantry and the kitchen hutch … and the table was for the patio. The only thing I ended up giving up when I moved from the townhouse was my dining table/chairs (RD had some that fit better in the space), and my couch (wanted to keep it, but it literally did not fit in the laneway when we moved lol).

  2. Emily says:

    Would love to see a tour of your new place!

  3. Victoria says:

    You can freeze herbs. They have a tendency to be a bit soggy if defrosted, but are fine to put into a sauce or smoothie. My OH makes a chicken curry with cilantro and spinach that he uses frozen for and it works great. Alternatively, make a big batch of a sauce, maybe a couple of tomato-based sauces using different herbs, portion and freeze, then defrost them to form the base of a variety of meals.

  4. Congratulations on finishing the move! I know unboxing everything can be daunting, but it will get done!

    I’m glad you guys are liking the new place. The condo fees are not bad at all. Best of luck with your goals for July!

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