Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Have you ever bought an expensive piece of art?

The most expensive painting I own cost me $50, and then I spent $150 getting it professionally framed. So I guess my answer would be no, I’ve never owned an expensive piece of art. :)

I’ve always been interested in art, and find wandering through art galleries a great way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. I’m a competent graphic designer (although I’m way better at layout than design), and love taking on crafty projects. But I don’t really know much about the art world. Still, we have managed to fill our walls with our combined collection. There’s just something about how hanging art on walls really makes a room feel homey and complete; like you’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Plus I love the contrast between a colourful piece of art and our white walls. :)

RD and I have very different tastes when it comes to art. He has broader, more eclectic tastes than me, but thankfully some of what he likes also overlaps into what I like too. We are both really into a Canadian artist named Meghan Hildebrand. The past few months we’ve been randomly going online to look at her pieces, and this year she came out with a couple of amazing ocean themed watercolour paintings.

So one of the big purchases we eventually wanted to make this year was one of her larger paintings (they’re selling for $2,500 to $3,000), so we decided to start saving so that we could buy something as a Christmas present to ourselves. I had never seen any of her work in person before, so a great opportunity came up when we were in Victoria a few weeks ago visiting my family – there was an art gallery which had a lot of her pieces on display!

Obviously you know where this is going. :) I saw that my favourite watercolour from her new collection was still available for $1,000 (framed). It was way cheaper than our anticipated budget, so after debating for a few minutes, I knew we were going to buy it. Yes, it was an impulse purchase. A big impulse purchase. But we are both thrilled to have gotten exactly what we wanted. The money came out of our House Fund, as closing costs/moving/furniture/renos came in well under what we had budgeted.

I feel really weird admitting that we bought a piece of art, and have been sitting on this blog post for a few weeks now. I never thought I’d ever be in a position to spend that kind of money on something that is just so clearly not a necessity, and I’m not comfortable with the realization that these are things we can afford. For some reason I really feel like buying (expensive-to-me) art is not relatable, but at the same time I’d never think twice about it if a friend had bought the painting. I think this might turn into a bigger post in the future as I’m struggling with my financial identity at the moment. But, I’m happy and grateful and really love looking at this beautiful painting every single day.


Have you ever bought an expensive piece of art?

August 2017 Goals

I’ve been looking forward to August for a long time because 1) it is full swing hiking season, 2) we have an awesome 3 night camping trip planned on Mayne Island for our anniversary, and 3) there are just 5 weeks left until we head to Portugal! :)

August will be less hectic than July, as we both agreed to curb our household spending (the only thing I want to buy is a plant for the dining table, as the one we have there currently did not survive in our laneway house). I’m also looking forward to being less social this month. I love my friends and family, but it’s been a busy summer, and I can’t wait to just do nothing. There are a few dinners planned so far, but nothing as crazy as last month.

August is also the month that my boss gets back from her amazing 3-month vacation, which means (I think) things will slow down for me. I’m happy to have her back, but also happy that I was able to accumulate ┬ásome banked hours over the past few months. :)

This month we are also hoping to get back into climbing – we haven’t gone since RD left for his work trip back in April. It’ll be slow going, but hopefully it won’t be too much of a struggle to get back to where we were. I had just cracked into the 5.11b routes back in April, and was pretty proud of myself because that’s the farthest I’ve ever gotten.

Anyway, enough with the talk, here is my budget for the month!

August 2017 Goals:

  • 450,000 steps – that’s just slightly under 15,000 steps per day on average, which I think is attainable now that I’m running 3x/week and we’re also hiking every weekend!
  • Bring lunch 4x/week – even if it’s just toast and avocado, it’s significantly cheaper than buying my lunch. Obviously this doesn’t count if it’s a work lunch.
  • Schedule blog posts for September – I’ve been trying to be more consistent with my blog posts, so I want to get out at least one post per week while we are on vacation.
  • Budget for a new cat – We are starting with no pet supplies, so I’m going to have to source out everything. I’m assuming I can get some stuff used on Craigslist, but I also have a feeling that the initial set-up to get our cat will be more expensive than I think. That’s why I want to start researching now so that we can pick everything up easily at the end of September. Any tips on initial costs would be much appreciated! :)

July 2017 Goals: Recap

July was more expensive, social, and busy than I thought it would be. You’ll see that I went over on my budget by a lot – but perhaps I should have expected that as we spent the month settling into our new place. We also made an unscheduled trip to the Sunshine Coast to visit with RD’s brother who was vacationing from Alberta, and we ┬áhad guests stay with us (RD’s mom and my sister) just a few days after we moved in.

We made some larger-ish home purchases that were needed (like a mattress for the spare bedroom), and a few that were clearly wants and not needs – but our closing/moving costs were less than what we had budgeted, so we were happy to use some of that money towards making our home more cozy. The biggest change was removing the fireplace, and I’m so excited to take photos and show you how much it made a difference! Hopefully I’ll have a blog tour of our home posted in the next couple of weeks.

I already have a list of home improvements I want to do in the future (like new blinds, painting the kitchen, getting new doors and baseboards, deck flooring, and installing shower doors for our bathtubs), but we’re happy for now and will start to look at costs for the more important improvements next year, once we’ve saved up enough in our joint account.

Anyway, here’s how I did this month:

Over Budget:

  • Mortgage – we decided to increase our accelerated payments by about 12% to get to a round number. This may change in the future as we get more comfortable with the amount.
  • Groceries – I went for lunch a few times with co-workers/friends, and also if there’s only leftovers for one person to take a lunch, I usually give it to RD because he works in the middle of nowhere with no access to restaurants. I work downtown and it’s much easier for me to grab something.
  • Household – LOL. These expenses include the renovation, an antique hutch, a custom made spice rack, multiple trips to Canadian Tire, and buying plants. Oh, and one more large expense that I’ll talk about next week. :)
  • Restaurants & Entertainment – Nothing out of the ordinary, we just went out once or twice more than we normally would during the summer.
  • Personal Care – I got my hair cut.
  • Gifts – Bought a couple of cute cards for occasions coming up.

Income & Savings:

I made just over $2,600 in freelance income this month, but was only able to save 25.25% of my net income because of how much we spent on getting our condo in order. I still have $4,900 pending in freelance work billed out though, so I’m excited to throw most of that towards my saving next month to make up for July. :)

July 2017 Goals:

  • Work out 12 times this month. CHECK! I actually only worked out 11 times, but I’m giving myself this one because I slippedon one of our hikes and deeply bruised my upper thigh. :( I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious, and only had to take 5 or 6 days off to fully recover from it.
  • Try 3 new recipes. CHECK! I made cauliflower cake, jackfruit burritos, and made a zucchini lemon loaf.
  • Unpack all boxes. CHECK! We are officially unpacked!
  • Grow herbs. CHECK! I planted basil, parsley, and chives on our windowsill and am happy to see they’re growing strong. I still want to grow cilantro but when I was at the store, they had sold out of seeds. Will get to it in August.
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