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Spending Recap: Aug 26-Sept 1, 2013

Monday 26th
$40.70 gas
$36.78 groceries
$9 dinner

Tuesday 27th
No Spend Day!

Wednesday 28th
+$25 ING Direct referral
$5.65 dinner

Thursday 29th
$8.34 lunch

Friday 30th
$161.98 running shoes

Saturday 31st
$39.45 groceries
$17.67 groceries

Sunday 1st
$44.53 gas
$7 dinner

Freelance Income: $0 ( + $25)
Expenses- $371.10

TOTAL: - $346.10

A typical summer week of spending for me. Super busy during the work week, and as a result, ended up buying meals out three times. :| I tried to correct that by stocking up on groceries for next week. I also ended up getting new running shoes – an unplanned (but necessary) purchase. Running distances over 15+ have really put stress on my feet and legs, and that’s something my current running shoes can’t handle. It makes me really consider going back to barefoot runners, but in the meantime, I can’t really switch while in “race season.”

How was your week of spending?


September 2013 Goals

I’ve been looking forward to the end of summer for a few weeks now. This budget is still padded, but stripped down of a lot of things. I’ve decreased my Food budget, as well as Entertainment. My Travel line is also a lot slimmer than it has been, but I’ve also added in Personal Care, since I need to replace some skincare items.

My plan is to strip this budget down even further for October … but October has a lot up in the air right now. Chances are, I’ll be headed to France for work, but I’m still unsure as to whether I’ll take holidays while I’m there. And if I do take holidays, where should I go, and how much should I spend? I haven’t really even thought about it.


September 2013 Goals:

  • Run 120 km. Last month I ran 114 km, and I feel like I will be able improve a little bit this month, considering I took about a week off last month from running because of travel and a wedding I was attending. 
  • Earn $2,000 in extra income. Time to refocus on making side income, and save, save, save.
  • Bring my lunch to work Monday-Thursday. We generally go out for lunch as a team on Fridays, and I don’t want to miss out on that. But for the rest of the week? I need to plan better and make sure to bring my lunch.
  • Stay on budget while in Toronto. I’ll be headed to Toronto for the 3rd Annual Canadian Personal Finance Conference, and have given myself a pretty generous amount of money to spend while there. That being said, I’m going to be seeing a lot of friends, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to stay on budget.
  • Get my business cards printed in time for CPFC13. I have brand new business cards that I have been meaning to get printed. Having them for the conference will obviously be ideal!

August 2013 Goals: Review

Even though I went over a little on my budget, it was still a decent month. During the summer, it’s hard to say no to social events, and with the weather being so gorgeous for much of the month, I tried to make the most of it by hiking as much as possible… and doing social things, which included driving into Vancouver most of the time. That being said, for the sake of my savings rate, I’m glad that August (and the summer?) is over, and am looking forward to tackling my September budget! :)


Over Budget:

Cell Phone – Usage while in Seattle

Household – Miscellaneous stuff from Target

Entertainment – One too many meals out. :P

Clothing – bought new running shoes to correct my overpronation. The shoes that I currently wear are fine for runs under 15km… but anything more than that, and they’re horrible. My feet are completely torn up, and I’m really just hoping to solve this issue. Part of me thinks I should just go back to running in VFFs, since I never experienced any problems when I wore them for running.

Travel – Well, I budgeted for the wedding I was in, but completely forgot to take into account the cost of hair/make-up ($126.79). Which is almost exactly how much I went over in this category.

Car & Transportation – I drove a lot this month – two hikes up in the Whistler area, two trips south into Washington, and one trip home to Victoria. :|

Personal Care – unplanned dentist appointment to get a cavity filled.

Net Worth Change+ $1,420 (+ 1.67%)

August 2013 Goals:

  • Run 100 km. CHECK! I ran 114km this month – something I’m actually really proud of because I was able to increase my distances without going overboard. I had two 20km runs, and a few 15+km runs… this makes me feel good for the two half marathons I have scheduled for this fall. I’m also really happy to have people to run with! It’s really helping me pace properly during my long runs, since I always tend to go fast if I’m by myself.
  • Earn $1,500 in freelance income. FAIL. I only earned $933.92, but am waiting on about $1,800 worth of invoices to be paid out from July.
  • Utilize my Questrade account. FAIL. The simulator (WeSeed) I was using, well it closed. So I got all paranoid about actually buying something if I couldn’t see my (simulated) trade history over the last year. :| I’m going to add a bit more money into this account, and then regroup next month.
  • Buy a bed frame. FAIL. Why do I even bother trying to set goals like this? We all know I’m never going to buy a bed frame, and will sleep on a mattress on the floor for the rest of my life.

Where did you live during university?

Where did you live while you were going to school, and if you had to do it over again, would you do it any differently?

This post was inspired by the Globe’s recent article: Want to save $45,000 in university costs? Live with Mom and Dad

When I was 17, I received a scholarship to study (and play field hockey) at a university in Michigan. The total value of that scholarship was approximately $20,600 per academic year ($11,000 tuition, $8,600 on-campus housing, $1,000 books). And that was when $1 CAN was the equivalent of $0.67 US.

Had I not gotten a full scholarship, there was no way I could have gone. Even if just my tuition was covered, coming up with $8,600 per year for housing (that’s $34,400 for a 4-year program)? Not possible unless I took out massive student loans.

When I was 22, I decided to go back to school in my hometown. I was living in a downtown apartment at the time, paying $625/month rent. As soon as I knew I was going back to school, I moved home and into my parents’ basement. In the two years I was in college, that saved me $15,000.

Sure, I missed out on some things. Bonding with my classmates (who were also roommates), and having the independence of living on my own. I really liked living on-campus when I was in Michigan. I didn’t have a commute (which meant I could roll out of bed at 10:45 for my 11am class), and all my meals were made for me at the cafeteria. But it just didn’t make financial sense to keep my apartment – or even live closer to campus. Even if I really wanted to. Living in the same town as my parents, they were happy (but maybe a little reluctant) to let me live with them again. I had moved out twice before, after all. :)

The $15,000 I saved while living with my parents likely would have been a lot more if I had lived somewhere else. It’s pretty easy to get tempted with dinners out, drinks, parties, etc. when you’re surrounded by friends … or living on campus, where there are always temptations to help you spend your money. And since I graduated over $20,000 in debt, it’s obvious I already had problems keeping my spending in check.

So, where did you live while you were going to school? Did you live with your parents, and regret not having the freedom? Or did you move out on your own (or to a different city), only to have accumulated more student loans than you thought you would?

Spending Recap: August 19-25, 2013

Monday 19th
$24 dentist
$46.93 gas

Tuesday 20th
$12.35 dinner

Wednesday 21st
No Spend Day!

Thursday 22nd
$20.78 groceries

Friday 23rd
$12.02 lunch
$58.18 BC Liquor Store

Saturday 24th
$20 PNE/Playland

Sunday 25th
$23.25 dinner

Freelance Income: $0
Expenses- $217.51

TOTAL: - $217.51

Here’s a short personal update: I apologize for the lack of posting over the last month. It’s been a fun, yet challenging summer for me. I haven’t had the motivation to do much of anything except run, hike, and be with friends. Maybe I could blame it on wanting to enjoy the great weather, but it could also be trying navigate the single life, or that after 6.5 years of writing about personal finance, I got a little bit burnt out. That being said, writing a few articles for the Star over the past month has gotten me inspired to write about money again. And now that I’m just finishing up my current article, I can find the time to write here again. :)

It’s really hard to get motivated to cook for just myself – which is why I find myself going out with friends for meals more often. That is a budget killer, and something I’m going to need to control. It also doesn’t help that after work I’m running a lot, so when I get home, I’m so exhausted that I don’t want to cook anything. But I’ve already made more of an effort to control this by meal planning. Look for these dining out expenses to go down significantly as we move into September.

The only ridiculous expense this week was spending $58.18 on two bottles of wine. Granted, the wine was very good, and I rarely ever buy alcohol. I bought one bottle to bring over to a friend’s house for dinner, and the other one I’m keeping at home for when I have company. In case you’re wondering, I purchased Miraval – which I found out is the winery owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. :) The packaging is absolutely beautiful, and the wine is a gorgeous colour.

How was your week of spending?