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Friday ramblings

Last night I went with a friend to the PNE. It was VanCity night, and as a member, we both got in for just $5! :) Our goal was to watch the free Boys II Men concert, but apparently that seemed to be the goal of every other 30-something person in Vancouver. The venue was filled up by the time we got there, so we had to watch the show from the beer garden. It was really fun watching the crowd lose their minds when they sang their hit songs. :)

Tomorrow I’ll be headed home for the long weekend. It’s been a couple months since I’ve seen my friends and family, so am looking forward to watching ball games with my dad, brunching with my friends, and going on a hike or two.

Recently with my thoughts on renting vs. owning (and selling my home), I’ve made a few noticable changes. Mostly I’ve been getting on board with the minimalist and shopping ban movement. I’ve recently gotten rid of a lot of things I no longer use in my house (decluttering, but also in preparation of moving – whenever that might be), and have cut down on shopping for clothes, books, and household items. Now, I’m not in a position to go on a shopping ban right now like some of my other PF friends, but perhaps in the future. This exercise has definitely been helping to become more aware of the things that I need versus what I actually want.

This has freed up some room in my budget to save a little more, as well as attend a bunch of great events over the next few weeks:

  • Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver – ($10) they’ll be chatting about sustainability and the green future of the City of Vancouver.
  • Vancouver Art Gallery: Art Makes Us – ($12.50) the event where they will finally unveil the concept design of the new Vancouver Art Gallery. This interests me because I love the art gallery and all things design/architecture, but also because the company I work for is in this industry.
  • Vancouver International Film Festival – (?) one of my favourite events of the year. :) I took a quick look at the schedule, and there are already 4 or 5 documentaries that have caught my eye.

It also looks like aside from my little vacation to Vegas in October (and a couple of visits to Toronto for work), I won’t be going on any other trips this year. This means I can carry my vacation time and savings over to next year. I want to plan a really fun trip for next year. Tops on my list would be China (to see where my dad grew up), explore the UK, or head over to Turkey again.

There’s also lots of work to be done on the Canadian Personal Finance Conference – we are just over one month away – can you believe it!? I’ll be booking my flights soon, and cannot wait to meet those of you that will be attending. :)

Would you tip your Starbucks barista?

FullSizeRenderAfter working late last night, I went to Starbucks this morning for a pick-me-up latte. I ordered my regular drink, paid with my Starbucks app, and waited patiently for my drink to be made. It was then I looked down at my app and saw that a little window had popped up on my screen, asking if I wanted to leave a tip. Whaaaat? This is new.

Now, I don’t mind if Starbucks asks if I want to leave a tip. But I also wish they were clear on what the tip is for. Is this tip going to the actual person who made my latte? Is it going to the store (and then spread out among employees)? Or is it going to Starbucks in general? Because that answer will make a huge difference in determining whether I tip or not.

Related: Should tipping in restaurants be banned?

And, I actually find it a bit offensive that the only options for tipping allowed are $0.50, $1.00, or $2.00. What if I want to tip less than $0.50? And who is going to tip $2 on a $4 drink!? Come on, Starbucks.

You’re also able to add a tip amount into the app up to 2 hours after the transaction took place. I find this interesting, because is anyone really going to remember the latte they drank 2 hours ago, and think “I’d better get on my phone and send them a tip.” I think, no. But maybe I’m wrong!

Related: How much do you tip?

 What do you think of the new Starbucks tipping feature? 

A case of FOMO

Have you ever been on a diet and had a planned cheat meal? And then that cheat meal turned into a cheat day? And that cheat day turned into a cheat week? And all of a sudden, you’ve gained 5 pounds? Yeah. It can be super easy to fall off the dieting wagon. And it can be just as easy to fall off the budgeting wagon too. It’s happened to me many times before, and it has happened to me again. Thankfully I caught it in time before it could do any real serious damage, but …

… I’ve been hit with a case of FOMO.

fomo

It all started off innocently with a tweet about the upcoming Vancouver Interational Film Festival (VIFF). Last year I went to 4 shows, and loved every one of them. So I went onto the website, and found two films I really wanted to see. After briefly discussing the best times with BF and finding a coupon code online for $3 off per ticket, I booked the shows.

Related: Why I dislike the term #YOLO

A few days later, we decided to have a date night on Granville Island – beer at the brewery, and a comedy show at TheatreSports. When buying our tickets to TheatreSports (with a 2-for-1 Entertainment Book coupon), I saw that Colin Mochrie was set to perform in the beginning of October. We both got a little bit excited, and decided that we had to go to that show. $86 (!) later, we had tickets.

It was only then that I realized we have tickets to the BC Lions game this weekend (although those were free), a Ryan Adams concert (already paid for) in the beginning of October, and my sister is taking us to a Canucks game AND a Giants game for my birthday. There’s also a a concert I really want to see at the end of October. I’ve missed the last 2 or 3 times he’s come to Vancouver, and I’d hate to miss out again. Plus, I kind of want to get away over the November extended long weekend. And also maybe over New Years. But my bank account has been shouting at me, and thankfully I’ve decided to listen. No more in 2014! No more concerts, expensive events, and definitely no iPhone 6 (even though I really, really want it). :)

This little breakdown in spending has cost me $110 in the past two days.

A few years ago, I would have gotten pretty upset with myself for this kind of spending. And sure, I’ve already blown this month’s Entertainment budget. But there are so many areas in my life that I’ve cut back on, in order to spend money on experiences instead of stuff. And if I’m continuing to save for retirement, and my spending doesn’t get completely out of control, I’m okay with it. As long as it doesn’t happen too often. But I think this little break in spending will be a good one for me. :)

When’s the last time you experienced FOMO?

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