Tag Archives: the numbers

November success: we planned ALL the meals.

We did it!

Clean ALL the things!

November’s major goal was a major success. We planned our meals for the whole month. Naturally, we went out for dinner last night to celebrate. We did go out once in November, but it was on a weekend and it was a late brunch, so we didn’t count it as a strike against our goal (also it was at the restaurant of my people, De Dutch Pannekoek House, which opened recently and I really really wanted to go. So we went).

November's food spending. Yowza.

November’s food spending. Yowza.

Overall, we spent 93% on groceries and 7% on eating out. We spent more than I thought for groceries for the month ($570.49), but that’s because the numbers a) aren’t separated out into groceries vs. toiletries & personal care, and b) we had a lot of dishes with meat, which really drives up the cost of a meal. We’ll be working to get that cost down in the future by shopping more of the flyers.

I found that planning meals also yielded a lot more leftovers to bring to work for lunches (Mr. Dollars doesn’t always have access to a fridge, but I do, so if I can I bring something). I only bought lunch twice, and both times it was a soup that is utterly irresistible to me and is served only on Fridays (it’s called Wicked Thai by Campbell’s – you can’t buy it in store but if you see it in a kiosk BUY IT your stomach will thank you). Nutritionally speaking, I think our meals were WAY better than what we had been eating before, ie: crap. Just by virtue of eating at home we increased our nutritional intake immensely. Something to work on in the future is buying more fruits and veggies to snack on and making sure to incorporate them into our daily diet.

For now, we’re going to keep meal planning. We’re on a roll (we actually planned two weeks of October too, to prepare)! I’m also heading out to the coast for Christmas, so December will be a little choppy, but we’ll get back to it in January I’m sure.


Filed under Personal Finance

Why it would cost me $10K to get a dog.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I want a dog like some women want children. My major barriers for getting one right now are cost (obviously) and the fact that I’d have to take it down eight floors in -40C weather for pee breaks at six in the morning. I’ve had pets my entire life. Mostly dogs, since my parents used to show dogs and when I was about a year old, our Akita, Kisa, had puppies (which I referred to as “daddies”. I got it straight eventually).

image credit: movielistmania.blogspot.com

No, these were not my parents.

When I was ten, my parents told me we’d be getting a puppy and it would be “mostly” mine. I read all the puppy books I could find, and prepared for months for our new family member’s arrival. We even went and visited the litter at the breeder’s and met our new little guy, and I could not. Wait. Until we brought him home. Little did we know that even though his brothers were completely ok, we had unwittingly taken home the medical marvel of the litter of shiba inu puppies. His name eventually became Dave.

my personal photo.

Dave at 13 years old.

Within the first three days of owning him, he prolapsed his rectum (don’t google that) and had to have not only emergency surgery, but emergency surgery in the middle of the night. Talk about an insane cost. The breeder gave us a 50% refund on him because by that point, he was my best friend and therefore NOT going back (or getting the “happy needle” as my dad referred to it). A few months later, we found out he had allergies. And not just to one or two things, many, many things. My mom spent hours in the kitchen making him special meals, complete with barley because his tum couldn’t handle rice. He was on lifelong Prednisone, which is why he was such a beefcake and doesn’t look like a typical shiba. The Prednisone was supposed to shorten his life span to six or seven years – he lived until he was 14. He had a slight heart murmur which got worse later in life, and eventually required hundreds of dollars’ worth of medication every month. Dogs aren’t cheap, and because they’re a family member, there’s nothing you won’t do for them.

Dave was an anomaly. But, his case just shows that you have to be prepared when taking on the responsibility of pet ownership. Besides the initial cost of the adoption/purchase fees, leash, collar, food, pet insurance, obedience training, and pet deposit to the landlord (let’s say about $1500), I would require a vehicle. Although there is an emergency vet up the block (we can see it from the balcony), I need a reliable way to get my pet to the doctor. Let’s be conservative and estimate about $6-8,000 for a used car (Honda Civic, a few years old), plus the original $1500, and there’s a grand total of $9500 to bring my furry friend home. And, if I get a lemon of a dog, I could be looking at thousands of dollars more for unexpected expenses (I’d also want to have a pet emergency fund set up for a worst case scenario). And actually, I would buy the DC43 Dyson model since Mr. Dollars grew up in a pet-free household and cannot stand dog hair, so tack on another $600. Ten. Thousand. Dollars.

This may eventually happen, since I’m planning on getting a car in the next couple of years. But for now, I’ll just have to wait a little longer, and my only pet will be my solar powered Corgi.


So those of you who have pets, do you have any horror stories? How awesome are they to have though, amirite?


Filed under Uncategorized

Better late than never: October goals.

I know, I know. What’s the point of a goal post halfway through October? To remind myself to set some damn goals already!

September was a busy month for me and I didn’t actually set any goals for that month. I mentioned in my EF completion post that I wanted to take it easy a little bit on the savings front, to just have some fun with my money, and relax. Believe me, I’ve definitely done that. I finally purchased my computer (which I’m using right now to write this post! It’s bee-yoo-ti-ful), and I hit up Holt Renfrew for some retail therapy (also saved up for) a few weeks ago. I took a week off work and visited friends and family on the West Coast last week, and it was wonderful.

And! I got a raise.

Which means I will now be adjusting my biweekly savings deductions to reflect my difference in pay. If I don’t set them up now, then I’m never going to set them up and I’ll just find other ways to spend the money (hello lifestyle inflation!). And, automatic savings is what kept me saving for my Emergency Fund for the past couple of years. Learn to live without the money now, and you’ll be much better off in the future.

My new automatic savings deductions are as follows:

  • TFSA (formerly EF! Sniffle): $192.30
  • Travel: $82.70
  • RRSP: $25 (this is in addition to my RRSP contribution from my paycheque)

Which means I’m saving a grand total of $300/paycheque (I had to make it an even number).  And anything leftover goes into my AppleSavings account (for an iPhone 5 my contract is up in 5 months!), and a Christmas account. I guess technically this could be framed as a goal for November, since it’s not starting right away, but at least I’ve set it up! I don’t know if I can do this, but I’m going to try. Really hard. And if I fall flat on my face, well… I’ll write about it. Just for you.

What are your October goals? Since it’s halfway through October already (!!), how are you doing with them?


Filed under Personal Finance


This is how excited about saving money I get – I make a reference to a sport I don’t even watch. It’s crazy that this time last year I didn’t really have any financial goals other than to save my emergency fund, and I certainly wasn’t saving for more than one thing at a time. Here’s my update on my goals and their progress so far. A few of these goals will be complete with my next pay, which coincidentally enough is the day after my one year blogiversary!

Emergency Fund

Goal: $9,000 Saved: $8,885.23, 98% (!!!) – I’m the most excited for this to be completely funded. I’ve had this goal for almost two years.

Travel Fund

Goal: $2,500 Saved: $982.25, 39% – my mom and I are planning a trip to NYC next fall and I’m hoping to have this goal completed by about June 2013 in order to buy flights or put down cash deposits.


Goal: $1,783.95 Saved: $1,486.72, 83%
I’m so close to finishing off these goals I can feel it. However, I know it’s going to be a huge step to actually spend the money on its intended use. Are you close to finishing any goals?


Filed under Personal Finance

June Goals and Spending Plan.

So after May’s disaster, I’m ready to turn over a new spending leaf for June (yet again). I’ve taken out and adjusted a few goals, just so I can really focus and keep in mind exactly what I’m saving for.

Financial goals

  • Contribute $192.30 biweekly to my Emergency Fund
  • Put all “found money” toward the moving fund
  • No impulse purchases during the month
  • Record all spending in weekly reports

Personal goals

  • Prepare for the move as best I can without a firm move-in date
  • Post 2x/week on the blog
  • Keep my nails in decent shape (no biting!)

My spending plan is as follows:

  • $400 groceries
  • $200 dining out (it’s patio season!)
  • $200 hair (I’m breaking my own rule and getting my hair done here)
  • $50 wedding gift
  • $150 savings for the move

Total: $1000

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Filed under Personal Finance