• We’re Back!

    Wow! That was a whirlwind trip! My feet are ready to fall off any time and I’ve already had a day to recover! We walked so much even though we did take the subway, buses, and taxis.

    We saw everything but 2 of the items on our list (and saw some more not planned) in 3 and a half days. It was crazy!

    We saw/went to … Washington Square, High Line, Madison Square Garden, Central Park (2x), Museum of Natural History, Delacorte Theatre, Belvedere Castle, Times Square, NYSE, Washington Federal Memorial, Raging Bull Statue, Port Authority Bus Terminal, Cake Boss Shop, Grand Central Station, NY Public Library, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Sak’s Fifth Ave, 34th st Macy’s, Rockefeller Plaza, Top of the Rock, Radio City Music Hall, Gershwin Theatre, Bryant Park, The Dakota (where John Lennon was shot), Tavern on the Green, the Bow Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Irish Famine Memorial, 9/11 Memorial, Freedom Tower, Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO.

    I really do hope to have some photos soon. Also, I’m pretty sure I went over my budget, but I still have to tally up my credit card purchases. I may have to raid that Xmas fund after all :(

    Oh well, it was an amazing trip and I’d go back anytime (I’ve heard right around Christmas is a great time, but definitely not this year!)

    Until next time,

    Morgaine



  • NYC BABY!

    NYC

     

    Tomorrow we leave for NYC! We are super excited. Thank you soooooo much to all those who offered suggestions on where to eat, we’ve got so many great suggestions, its gonna be hard to hit all of them but we will surely try at least a few and report back.

    I’m going to track my expenses but probably not down to the penny. Any money spent in NYC is part of a separate budget, so unless I go over, I won’t be subtracting what I spent from my regular budget.

    I will report back with (approx) how much I spent, what we did, and what we ate! Hopefully with pictures sooner rather than later.

    Ok, gotta wrap up some work stuff and then home to finish packing!

    Until next time,

    Morgaine



  • Weekly Spending: Sep 1-7

    spending new 2

     

    9/1 – $32.00 (debit – dinner for me and T)

    9/2 – $3.24 (cash – David’s Tea)

    9/3 – $1.00 (cash – milk)

    9/4 – $4.48 (debit – drink and snack)

    9/5 – No Spend!

    9/6 – $54.52 (debit – Walmart) + $22.00 (cash – dinner for me and T) = $76.52

    9/7 – $20.33 (debit – pet food) + $23.00 (debit – hair cut) + $2.25 (cash – dollar store) = $45.58

    Total: $162.82

    Not a great start to September spending, the little things like a drink and snack can’t be an everyday occurance. So, I bought a portable drink cup that I can fill up at home in the mornings and at work in the afternoon. It folds when empty so it doesn’t take up much room in the lunch bag nor is it really heavy like some of the aluminum bottles. We also bought crackers to have as a snack on the train to avoid grabbing something on the way home.

    Picked up some odds and ends in Walmart, some stuff for the trip (4 more days!) and hair dye that was badly, badly needed. Bought pet food so they don’t starve while we’re gone  – don’t worry, T’s Mom lives with us and she’ll be giving the bunnies food and water, treats and attention while we’re away :) I also got my hair cut, something that I needed badly over the summer but waited until my “shopping ban” (ha!) for the summer was over.

    We went to a food truck festival on Saturday, so much food! Too many choices! In the end, we weren’t too adventurous and had gourmet grilled cheese – mine was The Sarducci – Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Red Onions (took these off, I hate onions!), Fresh Basil, Balsamic Glaze on Multigrain and T had The Lumberjack – Cheddar, Bacon, sliced Granny Smith Apples, real Maple Syrup on White. Soooo good! They also had hip hop karaoke going on a stage which was cool.

    So, that was my week of spending, how did yours go?

    Until next time,
    Morgaine



  • Monthly Budget Update: August 2014

    monthly new

     

     

    Here are the (surprisingly good) numbers for August:

    Aug 2014 end

     

     

    Under Budget

    Wow, ah everything! I know I said I would continue the shopping ban even after failing spectacularly in July, but I just don’t think I’m cut out for those. I’m still learning how to not spend more than I make and stay within a reasonable budget. Once I get those things down, maybe I can try a shopping ban again.

    One thing that really, really helped was that I left my credit card at home, it did not leave my sock drawer all month and I really do think this had a lot to do with me staying on point this month. So, other than when we are in NYC, its staying in the sock drawer!

    We were also lucky to not have anything go wrong with the house last month (*knocks on wood*) and not have any out of the ordinary expenditures.

    Over Budget

    Nothing, absolutely nothing! And, I cut my regular budget by $50 this month :)

    Savings

    Made all my savings targets this month, $400 into Future Fund, $200 into Christmas, $128.20 into RSP (remember this is only RSP payback for my HBP, I have a company/government pension as well).

    Debt

    Absolutely no debt to speak of. Only items that went on my c/c were auto payments which were promptly repaid from my chequing account :)

    Net Worth

    +$8,260.52 – This includes my company/government pension and all personal savings.

    That was my August, did you stay on budget last month?

    Until next time,
    Morgaine



  • Weekly Spending: Aug 25-31

    spending new 2

     

    8/25 – $27.29 (debit – dinner for me and T)

    8/26 – No Spend!

    8/27 – $8.23 (debit – lunch)

    8/28 – $3.24 (debit – David’s Tea)

    8/29 – $6.67 (debit – breakfast for me and T) + $11.51 (debit – lunch) = $18.18

    8/30 – $12.00 (cash – gift) + $30.00 (cash – food @ CNE) = $42.00

    8/31 – No Spend!

    Total $98.94

    Well, this is a pleasant surprise! Under $100 again. Considering we ate out too much last week (it was a crazy, busy week!) and went to the Canadian National Exhibition (like a town fair) on Saturday, I really didn’t expect this.

    It definitely helped that I only brought a set amount ($40 cash plus whatever change happened to be lurking in my wallet) to the CNE and didn’t bring my credit card. I was tempted a couple of times (I probably still wouldn’t have spent more money than what I brought, but the temptation would have been a bit harder to set aside with access to more money) but in the end, stuck to the amount I brought and no more.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Labour Day weekend!

    Until next time,
    Morgaine



  • 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,
    Morgaine



  • 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,
    Morgaine



  • 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,
    Morgaine



  • 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,
    Morgaine



  • 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,
    Morgaine