Give Me Back My Five Bucks

September 2017 Goals: Recap

September was expensive, but I’m happy to report that I came in under budget. I went over in a few categories, but thankfully coming in well below my budgeted Travel amount helped me out this month.

Overall for our Portugal trip, I had budgeted $5,400 for the two of us, but we actually ended up spending $4,576:

  • Flights (Vancouver-Azores, Azores-Lisbon, Lisbon-Vancouver) – $2,450 budgeted / $2,424 paid
  • Accommodation (14 nights) – $1,200 budgeted / $1,113 paid
  • Food – $1,000 budgeted / $787.41 paid
  • Car rental (7 days + gas) – $450 budgeted / FREE
  • Transportation – $100 budgeted / $81.59 paid
  • Miscellaneous – $200 budgeted / $170.22 paid

Ending up $824 under budget was due in large part because we ended up using $655 in credit card rewards, but even without those credits, we would have still come in under budget so I’m pretty pleased about that.

Other than that, it was a pretty normal month!

Over Budget:

  • Cell Phone – I ended up buying an international package for my phone while we were away, because I knew we’d need it for navigation, calling our AirBnB hosts, checking into flights, and just keeping in contact with friends and family. The package was $90 and obviously much more expensive than if I had gotten a local SIM card, but having my phone number available in case of a work or personal emergency was enough of a reason to just go with what Rogers had available.
  • Household – As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we spent much more than we thought we would on our adopted cat. But it’s all been worth it so far.
  • Car & Transportation – I ended up renewing my driver’s license a month earlier because I had a day off and couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than waiting in an ICBC line-up. :) Just kidding, it wasn’t that bad.
  • Gifts – I bought a few small things on Etsy for part of a Christmas gift.
  • Miscellaneous – I had to buy a new MacBook Pro cord because I lost mine during our trip. :(

Income & Savings:

I only saved 20% of my income this month because of our Portugal trip as well as having to pay for our Christmas flight up north.

My overall net worth increased 1.70%.

September 2017 Goals:

  • Post once a week to GMBMFB. FAIL. I really had good intentions, but not having access to my computer for half the month made it difficult. Also, I spent the last week of September playing with the cat. :)
  • 15,000 steps per day. CHECK! On average I walked 16,432 steps per day.
  • Focus on healthy eating. CHECK! I did my fair share of pastries, but I also really cut back on chocolate and chips, and only had a little bit of alcohol while we were on vacation. I also cut out dessert most evenings – not that I eat dessert often, but when you’re out at restaurants or on vacation it’s easy to indulge on stuff like that.
  • Say yes when traveling. CHECK. Maybe I should have asked RD his opinion before I give myself a check mark on this one. :) But I think I was more easy going, looser on our itinerary, and willing to adapt more than I usually am. I got flustered a few times, but did pretty well for myself. I think.

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. Congrats on staying under budget! I hope you had a great trip to Portugal.

    Zoey is just so cute! It’s totally understandable that you spent a lot of time in September playing with her. ^.^

  2. David Loughnan says:

    Love ❤️ it. Thank you very much for sharing. I’m relatively new to your blog however I have learned quit a lot in a short period of time. Cheers 🍻.

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