Give Me Back My Five Bucks

October 2017 Goals

October is probably my favourite month of the year – I just love the colder weather, breaking out my sweaters, cooking curries and stews, and spending cozy evenings indoors (except when I have field hockey practice in the evenings – brrr!).

One change to our Fixed Expenses it that our condo fees have gone up about $40/month – which is a pretty significant jump, but still cheaper than most condo buildings in our area. I like the fact that we have 24/7 security, full-time caretakers, and regular cleaning to all floors and common area spaces.

This month my spending looks pretty normal, with the exception of a few things:

  • We are installing a screen door to our patio – so we can enjoy some fresh air and kitty can stay safely inside.
  • We will be going away for the November long weekend, and about 12 days over Christmas, so we’ve hired a pet sitter to watch Zoey twice a day while we’re gone. Maybe two visits a day is a bit much, but I want to keep her feeding times on a regular schedule, and she hates (HATES) a dirty litter box.
  • I’m starting my Christmas shopping by giving myself a $300 budget for the month. My budget will likely be a lot more, but for now this will be fine as I have something in mind. :)
  • The car needs an oil change and a couple of small things fixed.

October 2017 Goals:

  • Work out 3-4 times each week (average). Gym, rock climbing, field hockey.
  • Check credit score. Once a year treat, for my birthday!
  • List at least 5 things for sale online. There’s a lot we can get rid of.
  • Research pet camera systems. We left Zoey at home overnight so that we could go to my parents for Thanksgiving, and I was surprised at my anxiety level. I think some sort of camera system will help me with that, especially since we’re gone during the days, and have a couple of vacations coming up. Initial research shows me they’re about $150-300 in price. I know that she’s fine by herself all day, but just being able to see her somehow makes me feel better. Maybe I’ve already turned into a crazy cat lady. :)
  • Work on freelance business. I need to follow up with some clients, and finalize a contract or two for the fall.

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. SP says:

    For a pet camera – if you happen to have an iPad or iPhone that you no longer use or that you leave at home during the day (or perhaps other models work), there are a few free apps that work for this purpose. We have an old iPad that we use with an app called Maything, and it works really well as a pet camera. But, obviously not worth buying a new device just for this purpose!

    We used this heavily when our dog was a puppy, and still turn it on pretty much every day (although I rarely check in on him anymore). I kind of want a real camera, but hard to justify when we have a solution that worked with equipment we already owned!

    Good luck with October!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      That’s a great idea to look into using an old iPad or iPhone. I don’t have one lying around, but if I end up upgrading my phone in the next while, I could use my old one. Something to think about for sure. Thanks!

  2. Kels says:

    Where did you hire the cat sitter? That’s something I’d like to do for my dog rather than taking her to a kennel.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I used the to find a sitter. I really liked the user interface of the system, plus they’re insured which was a big factor. Each sitter can set their own prices (generally ranged from $15-20 per visit). It was easy to read through reviews of different sitters, and find one that was local and seemed like they would do a good job. Opening up communication was easy, and the website even suggests meeting in person before making a booking. We met with a lovely retired woman who came over a few days later to meet Zoey, and I trust that she’ll do a great job.

  3. I’m excited for the holiday season too! I love the festivity and some days off from work.

    My husband and I just spent $50 on some Halloween props and a costume for our baby. Looking forward to Christmas!

  4. Call it crazy pet-person ;) I feel the same way whenever we leave our pup alone, even with a sitter, and require at least a few pictures of him daily to know he’s ok.

    With any luck, you won’t have any further increases in your HOA. We only had one increase in 7 years, so that was pretty decent, and it’s really nice to have all the external maintenance handled by someone else.

  5. Jess says:

    For me a camera system would only make me more anxious, especially if I couldn’t see the cat on the camera.

  6. Anne Bak says:

    Great update!
    We are a bit under our estimated spend as we have started doing meal plans which have helped us cut down on our food cost.

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