Monthly Archives

July 2013

Update: July 2013 Budget & Goals

July 31, 2013

July 2013 Actual Budget

Hello, friends. Sorry about the disappearing act there… As you can probably imagine, there’s a lot of stuff happening in my life right now. For starters, it’s been a week since my car accident. I would love to say that I’m feeling better but… well, let’s just say you should avoid me when my painkillers are wearing off!

I’ve spent the majority of the last week holed up on my couch. Any attempts I make at going out (even just to an appointment) only seem to further agitate whatever is happening in my lower back right now, so the couch has become my best friend. (We nap together daily.)

I’ll probably chat a little more about the accident in the future but, for now, I just wanted to say thank you for all of your comments, tweets, emails and texts. And if you haven’t stopped following me on Twitter, thank you for putting up with my constant string of complaints. (I’ll try to stop.)

Now, let’s talk about money, shall we? :)

This month, I finally put some money into savings again. In fact, 9% of this budget is cash I put into my Emergency Fund. Another 9% was put into my Weddings account, which should be the last of what I’ll need before the two big days next month (so exciting!).

My trip to Victoria mid-month was a little more expensive than I expected it to be. And – my bad – I think I blew through $40 or $60 in cash without tracking it (hence the estimate). But then I came just sliiightly under budget for my trip to San Francisco, which is awesome.

As for my expenses… I need to ask you all for a favour. The next time I say I’m going to do something like “avoid Starbucks like the plague” can you tell me that I’m lying to myself? Please, just tell me! Clearly, I didn’t spend that entire Restaurant budget on takeout coffee, but I’m ashamed to admit how much of it is…

What kills me though is how much my Groceries + Restaurant budgets add up to. To be fair, I did start buying a lot of gluten-free products. But then I also indulged. Oh gosh, have I indulged – especially since my accident. I can barely stand for more than a few minutes, right now. Cooking just doesn’t feel like an option.

Where I went under budget is both obvious and confusing. The obvious one is Gas; I haven’t driven much, since the accident. But I’m genuinely confused about why my Internet bill was so low. Not that I’m complaining! I just don’t know why it wasn’t the usual $56-something.

Goals for this month:

  • Brown bag all lunches – FAIL! Although, I actually did a pretty good job of this before my trip to SF.
  • No takeout coffee – MAJOR FAIL! So major I’m now considering investing in an espresso machine.
  • Read 2 books – PASS! I read Adulting and MoneySense’s Beginner’s Guide to Personal Finance.
  • Track my spending – PASS! Oh, other than that $40-60 I lost track of in Victoria…
  • Workout at least 10x – PASS! I managed to squeeze in 5 workouts before my trip to SF, and I consider everyday of that trip a workout (easily walked 5-10K up and down those hills everyday).

How did your month finish up?


July 25, 2013

Hi friends,

I just wanted to post a quick update and let you know that I was involved in a car accident yesterday (not my fault), and am pretty sore/stiff, so I’m going to step away for a bit and just rest up, see doctors, get my car into a shop, etc.

I don’t think I’ll go into details on here, as there is obviously an open claim to deal with, but I’m ok (and am so freaking grateful Cassie is staying with me right now).

Hope to be back soon!


San Francisco: Days 2 and 3

July 23, 2013
Good Morning, San Francisco

Unfortunately, the only picture I managed to take on Day 2 in San Francisco was of the view I woke up to. Vince’s apartment is one of the nicest homes I’ve ever stayed in. Not only was it beautiful and spacious, it was home to a handful of the most welcoming housemates I could have imagined. (And yes, I did sprawl out on that carpet and do nothing but write, a couple times.)

On Thursday, I worked from Vince’s home for the morning, then bussed into the city for lunch. Before leaving for my trip, the one plan I did make was to have lunch with ReadyForZero‘s content team: Ben, Shannon and Claire. What I didn’t plan for was to enjoying hanging out with them so much that I would work from their office for the rest of Thursday and Friday. But, after being treated to lunch at Osha Thai and picking up a mocha from Coffee Bar, I ended up doing just that.

(Did I not mention I was working from San Francisco Thursday and Friday? Yea, this was kind of a working vacation, haha.)

I ended up working until close to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, then asked Shannon if she’d join me for dinner. After taking down a list of restaurant recommendations from one of ReadyForZero’s co-founders (thank you, Nacho!), we left the office, jumped on the J train and ended up at Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack. Over $10 bowls of pasta, Shannon and I talked about everything from work and blogs to boys and cross-country moves. I like to think that dinner is when we became friends IRL. : )

The Creamery San Francisco

On Friday, I worked from Vince’s again, then bussed down to The Creamery where I finally met long-time Twitter friend Jeena Cho. My coffee with Jeena was just another reminder of the incredible conversations that two strangers can have.¬†Jeena is a bankruptcy lawyer, which sounds about as tough as it is. But she’s also a published author and is in the middle of writing a new book. Our conversation topics included everything from debt and bankruptcy to blogging and travelling. There were no empty pauses and I left feeling like I’d made yet another friend IRL. (Oh, and my latte and breakfast sandwich were both great – as was the sun-filled patio and speedy Wi-Fi!)

From there, I divided my afternoon between working from both Planwise and ReadyForZero. I do have to admit that, while a working vacation might not sound fun for everyone, working around other startup people is so incredibly inspiring. I first experienced this at the Meetup I attended Wednesday night, and feel fortunate that I can look back and say I spent my entire trip with people who work at startups – and those that are focused on helping users with their personal finances in some way, no less. Around 7:00 p.m., I packed it in and decided to go home for the night. It felt lame to admit but all I wanted to do was eat some takeout and watch something on Netflix… and that’s exactly what I did.