Give Me Back My Five Bucks

November 2017 Goals: Recap

So I went over a little on my budget this month, but I feel good about all of my purchases. I’m especially proud of the fact that I significantly cut down on buying lunches and coffee this month – I didn’t go to Starbucks during work at all, and only ended up buying my lunch twice during the month (the day before I left for Toronto, and the day after).

All of my Christmas shopping is done. Okay, all of the major shopping is done. I’m only giving myself a small budget for December to pick up some odds and ends, wrapping paper, shipping expenses to get out gifts up to Smithers, etc. It feels good not to have to worry about buying gifts at all in December.

I also think I’m going to have to increase our Household budget because we are spending more on cat food each month than I had anticipated. I can’t bring myself to buy lesser quality food for Zoey, so as a result we’re spending about $80 on her food, and then there’s litter as well as treats. So I imagine we’re coming close to $100/month on her.

Speaking of Zoey, we took her to the vet for a dental consultation today because we were told at our previous check-up that her teeth were horrible. And it turns out they were not exaggerating. One of her canine teeth has broken off at the base (the root needs to be extracted), and another tooth has ground down to next to nothing. Plus, she has severe plaque build-up and her bath teeth are so bad that he thinks a few of them will need to be extracted as well. Poor cat!

They gave us an estimate of about $1,700 (!!!). The vet said she’s likely been in a good amount of pain for a while, so this will drastically improve her life. It’s a lot of money to spend since our pet insurance won’t cover something that’s clearly pre-existing … but it’s worth it, and I’m grateful that we don’t have to worry about the expense and can pay for it all out of our savings.

Also it’s interesting to talk to the vet about how old he actually thinks Zoey is. The SPCA estimated she was 3 years old, but he said that it’s very unlikely that a 3 year old would have that kind of dental damage, so he thinks she’s closer to 6-8 years old. He said that a lot of times the shelters estimate a lower age so that the pets are more adoptable. It’s a bit upsetting that she’s a lot older than we thought she was, but it doesn’t really change anything. Anyway, we are booked for her all-day dental appointment on January 5th, and I’m hoping that she won’t be in too much pain for the next month.

Anyway, here are my numbers for November:

Over Budget

  • Household: We had to take Zoey to the vet for some vaccinations, and then we also bought an Instant Pot during Black Friday sales. It was a bit of an impulse buy, but the slow cooker has been broken since last winter, so I see it more as a replacement. :)
  • Clothing: Getting my shoes re-soled ended up being a bit more expensive than I expected.
  • Travel: It was raining when I was in Toronto for the Canadian Personal Finance Conference so I took Ubers to the conference centre, and also when RD came to pick me up from the airport, my flight was delayed so parking was a lot more than I had anticipated.
  • Personal Care: Ended up getting my hair cut. Normally haircuts at this salon are $50, but if you go in with already washed hair, they drop the price to $30! I’m happy giving a 50% tip if it means my hair cuts stay under $50 total.
  • Gifts: I splurged a bit on my sister’s gift, and also I put down a deposit on accommodation for RD’s birthday getaway in April.

Income & Savings

I saved 38.2% of my income this month and my net worth went up 2.56%.

Also, I earned an extra $1,000 in freelance income and invoiced out for $3,000 which I’m hoping I get next month but realistically it won’t be until January. :)

November 2017 Goals:

  • Set up a joint savings account. FAIL. Because of the way we have our accounts set up, RD has to be the one who initiates opening up the joint savings account. But it’s something we know we want to do, so it’s just about making the time.
  • Consolidate my TFSA accounts. CHECK! I moved my Tangerine TFSA over to Questrade and into ETFs. I feel really good that I was able to move everything over and that I’m working at simplifying my investment accounts.
  • Get my boots re-soled. CHECK! I took them back to the only place I trust with my boots. They’re a bit more expensive than other places, but worth it because they do really good work.
  • Pack a lunch every work day. CHECK! Technically I bought my lunch twice this month, but I’m giving myself a pass because the work days before and after a trip are always difficult. And my flight home was delayed so that I didn’t even have a chance to get to the grocery store to pick up lunch items anyway.

How was your November?

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:

    I think any dog or cat that is not obviously a senior or a puppy is deemed to be 3 years old by shelters :) Cats, at least, can live very long and healthy lives. Good luck to her on surgery!

    Our dog budget has been pretty crazy, but now that we are out of the puppy years, I am hoping it will level off to about $100/mo average.

  2. Congrats on not eating out or buying coffee at Starbucks as often in November. Those expenses can really add up!

    I’m sorry to hear about Zoey’s teeth. That sounds really painful, and the medical bill does seem expensive. I hope she will recover soon and won’t be in pain anymore.

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