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Spending Recap: June 2-8, 2014

Monday 2nd
+ $25 Tangerine referral
$5.25 Subway

Tuesday 3rd
No Spend Day!

Wednesday 4th
$21.34 Craft Beer Market

Thursday 5th
No Spend Day!

Friday 6th
$14.75 Thierry Cafe (macarons)

Saturday 7th
$50 gas
$5.25 Subway
$10.30 groceries

Sunday 8th
$23.69 groceries

Freelance Income: $0 ( + $25 )
Expenses- $130.58

TOTAL: - $105.58

This was a bit of a stressful week for me. Work was hectic and busy as our little two-person department will become a one-person department (me) for 2.5 weeks as my co-worker goes off on holidays. But, I’m actually kind of excited to see how it goes, and it also means I’ll have lots of opportunity to work OT – which means extra $$$ or time off in lieu.

On Wednesday, Nic and I went to do the Grouse Grind. The week before, we also did the Grind – my first attempt (ever) was clocked in at 54:14. I thought I was hustling up that mountain! But, as it turns out, I wasn’t. :) My second attempt I shattered my time, finishing in 46:47! I was pleased, but pretty shocked. Although, Nic’s time was under 40 minutes, so I’ve got a lot of work to do if I want to beat him. :) The Grind is by no means fun, but it’s a pretty good cross-training workout for my half marathon training. I hope to do this at least a couple times a month throughout the summer.

Saturday, I went hiking with Cait out in Port Moody. It was nice to get outside for a couple of hours and gossip about pretty much everything. And then Saturday evening, I played floorball in the Vancouver Corporate Challenge with people from work. The event is kind of like Corporate Olympics, with a bunch of different events over the course of a couple of weeks. It was actually pretty fun, and I’m looking forward to playing again next year!

Sunday I met up with BF and his sister for a charity walk and brunch. It was inspiring to be among people who were supporting such a great cause, and I hope they put on more of these events in the future.

How was your week of spending?

Setting priorities and putting travel on hold

photoThis year has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Everything in my life seems to have been up in the air at some point over the last six months – whether it’s my career, friendships/relationships, health, and travel. I want (and am trying to work towards) a lot of goals, but sometimes plans don’t work out the way you want them to.

That being said, our travel plans to Europe for September have been officially axed. I’m disappointed, because ever since I got back from Germany, I had envisioned going on one international trip each year. Last year was France/Morocco. This year, well I didn’t know where we were going to go, but I was excited that it was going to be somewhere that involved crossing an ocean. :)

But it’s really for the best. Among other reasons, I lost about 6 weeks worth of pay when I was laid off earlier this year. And while I didn’t have to use my Emergency Fund to get by, I still hurt my savings rate and my RRSP contributions for the year. Plus, I have some upcoming medical expenses (not covered under my extended health) that could end up costing me thousands. That alone scares me when I think about planning a trip that will also likely set me back thousands. Straining my budget like that would be too much, and I’m not comfortable with it. Making sure I’m saving enough for retirement is, and likely always will be, my number one financial goal.

Even though I’m disappointed, there’s still a lot to look forward to this year. In the past few months, I’ve been to Portland and Las Vegas. And BF and I just planned a road trip to the Oregon Coast for the Canada Day long weekend. There’s Seattle in August, and as a consolation trip for not going to Europe, we are tossing around the idea of going somewhere else for a week in the fall. New Orleans, perhaps.

You can have anything you want, just not everything. I think about that statement a lot. I can’t just buy whatever I want – nobody can. Even millionaires can’t afford everything on their wish list. :) But my personal health (and the medical expenses that come with it) as well as my financial health are more important than a trip, so that’s what I’m choosing. For me, getting to make decisions about where my money goes remains the most empowering thing about being out of debt. Not owing money to anyone opens up so many doors. It gives you choices, and freedom. It’s something I never want to give up, or take for granted.

As for next year… well, I’m going to have a ton of vacation time available. So that will give us even more time off (and time to save) for a bigger, better trip. :)

Spending Recap: May 26-June 1, 2014

It’s been a bit of a tough week for me, so I apologize for posting this spending recap late, and mostly being away from the blog and social media. :)

Monday 26th
$17 dinner at Pearl Hot Pot

Tuesday 27th
No Spend Day!

Wednesday 28th
$2.21 water

Thursday 29th
$50.21 gas

Friday 30th
$1.67 groceries

Saturday 31st
$18 Eat! Vancouver
$16.85 dinner

Sunday 1st
$35.08 groceries
$20 Starbucks card
$109.32 MBP charger

Freelance Income: $0
Expenses- $270.35

TOTAL: - $270.35

This week my MacBook Pro charger died on me. I’ve had my MBP for about 5 years now, but when Nic and I were living in Germany, our chargers got switched. He ended up with my newer one, and I got his old beat-up one (which I think is 6 years old). Anyway, long story short, I’m out $100. It’s a little bit annoying, but I’m grateful my computer has lasted this long. Hopefully I can squeeze a couple more years out of it before I have to replace it.

BF and I went to Eat! Vancouver on Saturday. I’ve never been before, but have heard really good things. The entrance fee was $18, which I thought was a little expensive considering you also have to buy tickets in order to sample the food and drink (20 tickets for $10). There were a lot of booths giving out free samples, but not anything you could consider meal-worthy. We spent a few hours eating and drinking, so the $28 each we spent wasn’t too bad. I was disappointed that many of the booths weren’t selling food (for example, one was selling kitchen cabinets, and another jewelry?). It lessened the value of the show for me. I can’t eat a necklace or cabinets.

It was a busy weekend because I also went hiking with Jamie Stein and Cait to Whyte Lake in West Vancouver. We had a great time chatting, and the hike was easy but scenic. Out of the hike, we decided we needed to do a lot more outdoorsy things with each other over the summer, so I’m really looking forward to that.

Anyway, that was my week of spending! :)

June 2014 Goals

Can you believe it’s already June? This year is just flying by. :) Speaking of flying, previously I thought that I wasn’t going to go to Edmonton in June because of the cost of the flight. When we had looked into it, the prices for tickets were around $350. Now? They’re upwards of $450-500. :| So with a bit of a change of heart, we’re going to keep looking and if prices come back down to what they were before, we’ll definitely consider going. You’ll notice I didn’t budget that into my month – if we do go, I’ll take the money out of my Travel Fund. :)

Other than that, it looks like a pretty standard month of spending. I budgeted for a new bathing suit because the one I have is pretty much falling apart. And now that summer is here, I think we’ll be at the outdoor pool a lot more.

06-June-Budget

June 2014 Goals:

  • Work out 6x/week. This will be a mix of running, hiking, tennis, and long walks. I’ll likely also throw in a few workout DVDs into the mix just to change it up. :)
  • Cut back on sugar. I want to really considering how much sugar is in everything else we consume. Which probably means cutting back a lot on processed foods. After BF and I watched Fed Up a few weeks ago, cutting back on sugar is a huge goal of mine. I don’t want to say that I’m going to completely eliminate it from my diet, but it’s something I need to monitor closely.
  • Earn $1,200 in freelance income. Whatever I earn will go straight into savings.
  • Automate my property tax. Whether it’s through my bank or the city, it’s just easier this way.
  • Get rid of my old TV. I bought a new TV a few months ago, which has been working out great. Except for the fact that my old TV is sitting in my dining room because I have no idea what to do with it. It doesn’t work anymore, but perhaps if I list it for free on Craigslist, someone would want it for the parts, or as a prop in home staging or something like that.
  • Fix my sink. I have a double sink, and a few weeks ago, BF noticed that the drain on one side was leaking underneath. He thinks we could probably fix it ourselves, but if not, then a professional will have to be called.

Those are my goals for June! I think they’re challenging, but realistic. Any questions or comments?

May 2014 Goals: Recap

Well, I’m under budget this month so that’s the good news. :) The bad news is I had earmarked $350 for a potential flight to Edmonton for next month (which likely isn’t going to happen anymore), so if you take that into consideration, I’d be a little bit over budget.

I was well under my already low projected monthly food budget, but that’s because of a few factors: at the end of April we went on a huge Costco run (where my share was $130!) so we had all the essentials ready to go. All I needed to buy were fresh fruits and veggies for the month, which doesn’t cost a lot at all. We mostly shop at No Frills, where I can get away with spending $25-30 week if I’m cooking simple meals. And the other factor? We ate in restaurants a lot this month. It was fun to see so many people, but after the trip to Victoria, all I wanted to do was detox and get back to a regular routine of eating healthy.

Gas was also really low this month because I commuted to work mostly from BF’s house. Likely that will change throughout the summer as life gets busier with sports, friends, and outdoor activities. Plus, I really do miss staying at my house. I spend a lot each month to have it, so I want to be there a bit more often.

05-May-Recap

Over Budget

  • Entertainment – there were a few meals out with friends that I hadn’t planned for, but I’m actually surprised that this number is so low.
  • Fitness – I didn’t expect to buy a tennis racket and sign up for lessons this month. I’m glad that I did, because it seems like a really fun sport and a good way to stay in shape during the field hockey off-season. But yeah, it was somewhat impulsive.

Net Worth Change: - $2,955 ( – 2.98%)

Okay, wait. This drop isn’t as drastic as it seems. Or maybe it is. :) I updated the value of my car to reflect what Kelley Blue Book says it’s worth based on its current condition, sold privately. It’s not exactly the most accurate way of measuring a depreciating asset, but it’s what I’ve always done, so to be consistent, that’s how I’ll keep doing it.

Without the drop in net worth due to my car value, I would have actually been up + $1,336.

May 2014 Goals:

  • Contribute $800 into my Retirement Portfolio. CHECK! My normal contribution amount is $750. The extra $50 went towards my TFSA.
  • Earn $1,200 in freelance income. FAIL. I only brought in $460, but I have $1,100 worth of invoices that are owed to me. Some of them are severely overdue, so I’ve been following up.
  • Pay attention to my health. CHECK! I cut back on my intake of refined sugars and salty snacks (didn’t eat a single chip this month, which has to be a record for me). I also took a multivitamin most days, drank more water, and have been exercising a lot more. As a result, I dropped 4 pounds this month. :)
  • Walk 100,000 steps per week. CHECK! My original FitBit goal was to walk an average of 10,000 steps per day, but after realizing the goal wasn’t challenging enough, I upped it to 100,000 steps per week. And I’m really happy to say that I surpassed that amount and walked 460,805 steps during May – and that doesn’t even include today or tomorrow’s step totals. :) This is due to being more active at work, walking a lot in the evenings, and starting to get back into running.

may-fitbit-challenge

  • Bring my lunch to work every day. PASS. I did bring my lunch a couple of times this month, but I’m giving myself a pass because the few days I did that, it was because we were coming back from a trip the night before, or something unexpected came up and it couldn’t really be helped.
  • Stay on budget. PASS. Technically, I was $338.81 under budget for the month. But if I had bought that plane ticket to Edmonton, I would have been over budget by $10-15.

There you have it – my budget recap for May. Any comments or questions? :)