• Payday! And a Quick Update

    Today is payday, I’ve updated my sidebars with how my savings are going. I’m fully funded for NYC ($500 – this doesn’t include flights/hotel which was already paid for) and I’ve started saving for Christmas as well.

    In order to have a bit more balance to my savings, I decided to stop contributing to my EF (for now) at $1,000.00 so I can start contributing more to other goals. I will start this one back up in January next year – possibly sooner, if I don’t spend all $500 in NYC then the leftover gets moved to Christmas, if I save $500-600 for Christmas before December then I will start re-contributing to my EF.

    My RSP is chugging along, its in the Tangerine Balanced fund and sometimes it gains a few cents sometimes it loses a few. I will definitely be looking to invest my RSP in something a bit more likely to make more money next year.

    I’ve decided to throw the bulk of my savings into “Future Fund” – this is everything from things needed for the house (like a new fridge next year!) to baby, when that time comes. We’ve been thrown for a loop with some home expenses this year from a leaking fridge to non-working a/c so we definitely need to start bulking up savings in that regard as opposed to sending a monthly budget out of whack.

    I also wanted to say sorry about not posting much lately, I’ve been finding I haven’t had as much time as I would like to spend thinking about and writing posts, its a combo of writer’s block, not sure if I have anything interesting to say, everything kinda just ticking along.

    I also haven’t been paying as much attention to my budgeting as I should. Yes, I’ve been tracking my spending, but not putting the expenses into my budget regularly so its (almost) a complete surprise when I look at what I spent in total and how much overage there is. I think this is a summer thing, hopefully will get rectified soon :)

    Anyways, I hope everyone’s summer (what’s left!) is going well and if anyone has tips of places to see – and especially places to eat! – in NYC, please let me know! :)

    Until next time,

  • Weekly Spending: Aug 18-24

    spending new 2


    8/18 - $3.50 (debit – milk)

    8/19 – $2.50 (debit – drink, juice)

    8/20 – No Spend!

    8/21 – No Spend!

    8/22 – No Spend!

    8/23 – $10.00 (cash – parking at zoo) + $10.00 (cash – lunch for me and T) + $5.40 (cash – ice cream) = $25.40

    8/24 – No Spend!

    Total: $31.40

    Last week, we stayed in for the most part, made meals at home, watched TV and/or went for a walk. We went to the zoo on Saturday with some friends from T’s hometown and their kids. They had a blast and we saw the pandas and polar bear cub along with lots of other animals. We had prepaid tickets (from June!) so all we paid for was lunch and I gave myself permission to have a treat – after walking 6 hours, I deserved it! ;)

    gorillas panda penguins polar bear

    We hope to keep to keep the momentum going this week :)

    How was your week of spending?

    Until next time,

  • Weekly Spending: Aug 11-17

    spending new 2


    8/11 – No Spend!

    8/12 - No Spend!

    8/13 – $9.96 (debit – Wendy’s – dinner) + $2.54 (debit – dollar store) = $12.50

    8/14 – $21.95 (debit – Panera – dinner for me and T)

    8/15 – $13.79 (debit – Mucho Burrito – lunch) + $10.16 (debit – shopping bag) + $22.60 (debit – Body Shop – body butter) = $46.55

    8/16 – $8.22 (debit – NY Fries – lunch) + $27.25 (debit – Target – toiletries and misc) = $35.47

    8/17 - No Spend!

    Total: $116.47

    Damn, just over $100! This was a waaaaaaay too busy week, on Wednesday and Thursday we didn’t get home from work until almost 9pm! This is entirely T’s fault, he had a deadline last week. I could have went home by myself, but I stayed and went to the gym and then we ate out before heading home together.

    Other than that, we picked up some odds and ends this week, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

    How was your week of spending?

    Until next time,

  • Weekly Spending: Aug 4-10

    spending new 2


    8/4 – No Spend!

    8/5 – No Spend!

    8/6 – $10.65 (debit – dinner)

    8/7 – No Spend!

    8/8 -$8.80 (debit – lunch)

    8/9 – No Spend!

    8/10 – $46.76 (debit – pet supplies) + $63.29 (debit – Target – gift for friend’s daughter’s birthday plus odds and ends) = $110.05

    Total: $129.50

    Another week of decent spending (not under $100, but still decent). 4 No Spend days are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. We’ve been eating at home a lot thanks to our barbeque and its helping save us a lot of $$$ which is great.

    We had a family BBQ on Saturday that my Mom couldn’t unfortunately attend but we brought her over a burger, corn, salad and dessert. Thank you very much to all those who wished her well :)

    On Sunday we went to a friend’s birthday party for her daughter and it was a fun time, catching up with all my friends that have kids (and getting a taste of what it will be like). But it meant by Sunday evening we were exhausted! Early to bed and starting a new week.

    How was your week of spending?

    Until next time,

  • Weekly Spending: July 28 – Aug 3

    spending new 2


    7/28 – No Spend!

    7/29 – $15.33 (debit – snacks at movie theatre)

    7/30 - No Spend!

    7/31 – $13.58 (debit – Rexall) + $19.96 (debit – dinner for me and T) = $33.54

    8/1 – No Spend!

    8/2 – $38.00 (debit – Walmart)

    8/3 – $8.44 (debit – Loblaw’s) + $20.00 (cash – parking) + $20.00 (cash – my portion of dinner) = $48.44

    Total: $135.31

    Well, last week was not a great week. Not in spending, that was ok. My Mom had a really bad fall and has a fractured tibia on her left leg. She has a cast and crutches – 6 weeks of bed rest (at least). We had to get groceries for her over the weekend and had to make sure what we bought it was easy to make because my brother (who lives with our Mom) can cook it. So, I apologize for my lack of responding to comments.

    Otherwise, it was an ok week for spending. We saw “Hercules” on Tuesday (thank god it was cheap Tuesday!) because if we had to pay full price for that movie, I would have felt ripped off (even though T paid!) I do not recommend it.

    I bought some “needed” items that I probably should have thought about and got ahead of a shopping ban, but oh well. Tylenol, Tums, razors, hair dye, and deodorant were all purchased at Rexall/Walmart this week.

    On Sunday, we felt a break was needed. We went to the Toronto Islands. It was so much cooler and breezy by the lake. It was nice to just walk around and not really have an agenda. We went out for dinner which was a nice cap to the weekend (well, we had Monday off but it was spent cleaning – all day! Not really a vacation).

    How was your week of spending?

    Until next time,

  • Monthly Budget Update: July 2014

    monthly new



    Here are the numbers for July:

    July 2014 final

    Hooray for 3 pay months! :)

    Under Budget

    Hmm, not much!

    Entertainment – went to a few movies and bought some booze for a BBQ we had. Oh, and Netflix is included in here, not anything to write home about.

    Other Household – we were expecting to pay for a repair to our a/c that turned out to be covered by our maintenance plan.

    Over Budget

    EVERYTHING! Ok, but I did give myself way less (and in some cases zeros) to play with during the Shopping Ban I had put myself under for this month. I was doing really well up to the end of the 3rd week of July and then it all fell apart … literally! My work shoes fell apart! I went to buy a new pair which lead to buying sweaters and new shoes. Oy!

    Food – We did not so great on meal planning this month, particularily breakfast. There were a few weeks where I think we went out every … single … day. Dinner, which is usually our bad meal, we did better on, thanks BBQ! :)

    Personal Care – I gave myself $0 to spend in this category this month. If it had been the regular $50 I gave myself, I wouldn’t feel too horrible but to be completely honest I don’t even know 100% what I spent all that money on. I know almost $20 was on a new shampoo I tried (for psoriasis – still didn’t work! Argh!) and $10 for tea tree oil as per Asian Pear’s suggestion (which also didn’t work on my scalp, but its great on my skin!)

    Clothes – I gave myself $0 to spend in this category. Again, if I had given myself my regular budget ($150) it would have been ok, in fact, I would have been on budget. I’ve told this story enough times now. Lessoned learned: when going into a store to buy a specific item, ONLY buy that specific item!

    Overall, even though I went over budget in almost every category, I still spent less this month than I have since March this year! And, I’m hoping to spend even less in August when I leave my credit card at home. I also spent less than I brought in, even after my savings top-ups.


    No debt to speak of, I paid off my credit card that had overages from the previous month (hence the $291.20 in the budget) but have paid it off again. Currently sitting at $0


    I hit my savings target and then some! I saved $1,442.30 this month!!!

    If you look at my savings side bars on the right side of the blog, you will see that my Planned Savings is 100% funded at $500 (NYC trip) and My EF has hit its first target of $1K. I’m also 72% of the way on my RSP goal for this year.

    I will be changing up my savings goals (yes, again!) due to a change in circumstances. More info on this soon.

    So, that was July. As predicted, my 3 pay month helped A LOT in meeting (and exceeding) my savings goals. I’m disappointed in my inability to finish even 1 month of this shopping ban. In August, my credit card has a new home … my sock drawer! Wish me luck!

    How was your spending in July?

    Until next time,

  • Goals Review: July 2014

    new goals



    My only goal for July was the Summer Spending Shutdown.

    No Spending on:

    • Clothes
    • Personal Care (unless 100% required)
    • Home decor
    • Cut down even further on eating out (can’t guarantee 100%)

    I was not allowing myself to put any non-reimbursable purchases on my credit card.

    Well, this is a FAIL.

    I was doing really well up to last week – spending under $100 per week! Last week I needed new sandals for work (last pair broke beyond repair), so I went to Mark’s because they had a clearance sale. Well, I didn’t find any sandals I liked/fit but I did find sweaters! 3 sweaters and $60 later and I fail my shopping ban/goal for July! Then I still had to buy sandals! Oh, and I put both of these purchases on my credit card … FAIL :(

    So, I have the same goal for next month and to accomplish this I’m leaving my credit card at home. Therefore, no temptation to spend more than what is in my bank account. Also, gotta stay out of stores! I did really well until I needed shoes.

    I know so many PF bloggers out there are so good at shopping with lists, going into a store with a sole purpose in mind, and only buying what they came in for. I wish I was like this. Temptation gets to me more than I would like. Also, sale and clearance are still triggers for me. If I want to save more and get out of this vicious credit card cycle, I have to say no to myself, I have to stop spending!

    How did you do on your July goals?

    Until next time,

  • Weekly Spending: July 21-27

    spending new 2


    7/21 – $13.98 (debit – David’s Tea) + $26.96 (debit – Bulk Barn) = $40.94

    7/22 – No Spend!

    7/23 - $8.80 (debit – lunch) + $1.80 (debit – Timmies) = $10.60

    7/24 – $7.35 (debit – dinner)

    7/25 – $8.42 (debit – breakfast for me and T) + $2.26 (debit – drink) + $47.45 (credit – Shoe Company) + $61.73 (credit – Mark’s) = $72.41

    7/26 – $20.33 (debit – pet food) + $7.20 (debit – coffees for me, T, and his Mom) + $44.03 (credit – Rexall) = $71.56

    7/27 – $19.90 (credit – book)

    Total: $222.76

    Well, this certainly was a spectacular end to my under $100 streak! Not only did I spend over $200 but I blew my spending ban out of the water. I needed new shoes for work (sandals) as the ones I had been wearing for 3 years (I was hoping for 1 more year) broke and there was no way to fix them :(

    This lead to going shopping. Mark’s was having a clearance sale so I figured I could find a good deal on work sandals, I didn’t find any I liked/fit well, but I did find 3 sweaters :( 2 of them were 70% off and will be good for all seasons and the other one more for summer/fall.

    I also used my credit card as I had moved a lot of money into savings, leaving me a bit short to go shopping – probably should have been the signal to stop spending right?

    Next month, the credit card is staying at home at all times, I promise!

    Anyways, things are looking better for this week, we have a better meal plan in place and no plans to go shopping.

    How was your week of spending?

    Until next time,

  • Does Pinterest Make You Spend More?



    Like most females these days, I have a Pinterest account. Hubby hates Pinterest, he says that it causes people to spend more because they see what everyone else has and then they want to buy it.

    I am a very visual person, it helps me to see things not just told or explained. When I was getting married in 2012, Pinterest was my best friend, it was like I had a 5th bridesmaid ;)

    But does having Pinterest really cause people to spend more?

    Yes, I’ve gotten lots of home decor ideas from Pinterest but we’ve been quite modest in our upgrades to the house (in my opinion anyways). Its more about future ideas, but I’m also sold on the idea of saving up for things before spending the money.

    For example, here’s pretty much my ideal laundry room:

    Credit: http://www.homewithbaxter.com/2013/05/house-tour-week-5-half-bathlaundry-room.html

    Our actual laundry room doesn’t look like this at all! Well, we have the new laundry pair but I’m seriously jonesing for a folding table. I hate wrinkly clothes!

    I also pin a lot of DIY ideas and I’ve only made a few things from this category. Home-made body scrubs? Yes, please!

    Credit: http://www.theidearoom.net/2009/03/make-your-own-brown-sugar-scrub.html

    One category I think Pinterest has really helped us save money in is food. I’ve pinned over 300 recipes! And yes, I’ve actually made some of them! (It seems this almost never happens to most people who use Pinterest).

    Here’s one I tried last week: Iced Chai Tea Latte like Starbucks!

    iced latte

    Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Lattes cost almost $5 for a large/grande!!! When I realized it was just concentrated chai tea, sugar, and milk it really made me feel like a sucker that I had paid so much for them in the past! These turned out pretty good :)

    These are really good and healthy too (and great for the summer when you don’t want hot oatmeal): Easy Refridgerator Oatmeal


    I made this for lunches this week, and I’ll admit that it tasted really good: Milestone’s Grilled Chicken Salad

    salad 2_2

    We short-cuted a bit by using Asian Sesame dressing then adding the peanut butter, soy sauce, and chili sauce (instead of buying rice vinegar and honey). Still really good. T and I love this salad and get it (almost) everytime we eat at Milestones. At $16 a pop though, its much cheaper to eat it at home! Oh, and much healthier: while I haven’t done the exact calculations for our at home recipe, I recently discovered that the Milestone’s version has over 1000 calories and 82 grams of fat!!! Crazy!

    I’m actually eating this for lunch right now (as I write this post!): Greek Tortellini Salad


    We’ve made this anytime we feel like tacos/burritos, and not only does it save money since we can use bulk seasonings, its way less in sodium: DIY Taco Seasoning

    Ever since I found this recipe, its a staple in our lunches. Store-bought granolas bars are so expensive! And not always all that good for you. Again, with all ingredients bought at the bulk store, this recipe is way more cost-effective: No Bake Energy Bites


    Recipes can also be a great gift! I made this for a friend once: Make Your Own Flavored Butters


    I’ve also made dozens of cookies for family/friends/co-workers. Way too many recipes to list here! But this one is a big hit over Christmas: Peppermint Sugar Kiss Cookies (I never made the hats though, that looks like a lot of work!)


    I’ve also made this one for a joke party: Unicorn Poop Cookies

    unicorn poop








    So, while I think that maybe I’ve spent a bit more money on things I never would have thought of before pinterest existed I feel that overall, Pinterest has helped me save money.

    How about you? Do you have Pinterest? Do you think it causes you to spend more or to save money?

    Until next time,

  • Weekly Spending: July 14-20

    spending new 2


    7/14 – $5.35 (cash – breakfast)

    7/15 – $2.30 (cash – breakfast) + $4.61 (debit – cough lozenges) = $6.91

    7/16 – $13.28 (debit – lunch) + $11.30 (debit – tea tree oil) + $22.44 (debit – cough syrup and sinus pills) = $47.02

    7/17 – $5.60 (debit – lunch) + $2.26 (cash – dollarstore) = $7.86

    7/18 – $10.72 (debit – lunch) + $20.00 (cash – drinks and snacks for me and T at baseball game) = $30.72

    7/19 – No Spend!

    7/20 – No Spend!

    Total: $97.86

    Wow, another under $100 week! I have to admit that I’m surprised because it felt like I was bleeding money last week.

    T was sick over the weekend so we didn’t do a good job of meal planning/grocery shopping and it shows. Also, when I’m sick (mid-week) I only feel like eating soup so it derailed some of the meals we did plan (and the leftovers they generate). We also ran out of everything we need for a cold right when we both got hit by one (typical) and that stuff ain’t cheap.

    I also bought some tea tree oil as per The Asian Pear’s recommendation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be affective on the seborrheic dermatitis that I have :( But its still a good antiseptic and pimple eraser so its not money wasted but maybe didn’t need to be spent right now. Oh well.

    How was your week of spending? Don’t summer colds suck?!?!

    Until next time,