Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Spending Recap

This month was a fail! A big fat fail. I did fairly well in Jan and with Feb being a shorter month I thought I was set. Well things didn't go as planned to say the least. Here is a quick recap of how things went.
  • Clothes & Beauty: Budgeted: $30, Actual Spend: $96. This was a fail on two levels because I blew my budget and I also failed my lotion & potion challenge. I do however like the Purity cleanser I purchased & it is something I know I will finish up. I just wished I waited till I finished my current one before purchasing it.
  • Eating out: Budgeted: $130, Actual Spend: $160. On family day, I actually went out for lunch w/ the family & paid for the lunch. It was expensive paying for 4 people but I don't regret it one bit. It's nice being able to pay for my parents but not so nice for my budget.
  • Entertainment: Budgeted: $50, Actual Spend: $10. Went glow in the dark mini golfing w/ the bf & it was fun. They always give you a 2 for 1 coupon every time you play so we never actually pay for 2 tickets anymore.
  • Gas: Budgeted: $150, Actual Spend: $117. Hurray for cheap gas prices!
  • Groceries: Budgeted: $100, Actual Spend: $130. Went a little overboard here but bought things like cereal, oatmeal and other things that will last me a few months.
  • Misc: Budgeted: $20, Actual Spend: $42. Doh! So last month this category was $50 & I didn't spend anything that fell in here. I figured it would be the same for this month. Wrong! I purchased my toilet flapper, a candle holder & scissors that fell in here. A random assortment of items I didn't forsee myself purchasing but it happened. I absolutely needed the flapper & scissors. The candle holder though only $5, I didn't need. It was just so pretty & a steal that I had to get it.
  • Total Budgeted: $480, Actual Spend: 552.
Grr, over by about $70. I am disappointed at myself for going over.

So next month, I am abosolutely going to come in under budget. I am determined! Plus the bf is travelling so a I think the eating out category will come in light. For March, I am going to take away $20 from my eating out category and move it to my clothing & beauty section. I am just itching to buy some eyeshadow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I have successfully survived the cold. I decided that if I didn't start feeling better by Sunday morning, I would go ahead & purchase ColdFX. Those guys aren't cheap! So I took what I had on hand: some vitamin c, some fishermans friends & lots of soup. I am not sure if those actually helped & the cold just ran it's normal course or if it shortened the length of my wonkiness. Either way, I feel fine & dandy now.

As a result of being sick, I didn't get around to cooking too much for this week. I've been taking frozen dinners in for lunch. Not a big fan of those because 1) they don't fill me up and 2) it's hit or miss in the taste dept. After trying many brands, my current favorite is SmartChoice which I normally only buy on sale. Anything over $2.50 is too much for a frozen dinner IMO. You hear that Amys Kitchen?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Citi Mastercard Rebate 2008

I recieved a $166 cash back rebate from my lovely Amex card earlier this year for my 2008 spending. For all the places that refused to take my amex, I used my citi enrich mastercard which gives users a 1% cash back on all purchases made. Well I just got my rebate for 2008 and it's $23 which means I put about $2300 on the card. Not much but not bad for not doing anything additional.

Adding up my Amex purchases & Citi purchases brings me to a total of about $14,000 put just on credit card for 2008! Wow, if you asked me how much I spent in a year on my credit card, I would have never guessed $14,000. I would've certainly quoted a lower number. I guess that's why people encourage tracking & budgeting. It helps you realize just how much you spend.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I fixed my toilet for $6!

My toilets been doing this weird leaky thing for the last few weeks. Loud enough that I could hear it when I was sleeping but not really doing any sort of damage that I tended to it right away. I am a lazy bastard. After some investigating online & looking @ my septic tank, it looked like the flapper wasn't closing properly. I didn't even know what a flapper (see image on left) was until a few weeks ago but thanks to google I am now educated in the ways of the toilet. Did you know that there are forums dedicated to toilets & helping you fix them?

So off to home hardware; $6 later, I had a new flapper. I thought I would need to call in some recruits to help me replace it but it was dead easy and took less than a minute. I feel so accomplished and am glad I only had to spend $6 to fix it.

Friday, February 20, 2009


So I avoid logging into my questrade account if at all possible because I get depressed about how bad some of my investments are doing. I invested towards the end of last year @ what I thought was a good point to enter the market. Was I ever wrong! But I like to think that I still did better than a lot of folks that rode the curve all the way down. I rode the curve at the tail end & like to think I am well poised for when the markets pick up. It's what I tell myself so I can sleep....*shh*

Anyhoos, I had some extra money that I had moved in there months ago because I thought I would pick up another stock @ a bargain price. However, I think it's best to wait a few more months before investing. It seems like the market isn't picking up any time soon so might as well earn some interest by putting it back in my PC account.

Boy was it a pain in the ass figuring out how to withdraw from Questrade! I love the low fees but I've struggled so much with their user interface and customer service.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Blah, not feeling the greatest. I feel like I am coming down with something. So I am basically loading up on anything I can think of that may help i.e. Vitamin C, neocitran, soup, lots of water, lots of rest, ect. I really don't want to take tomorrow off. I have so much to do! I hope I am feeling better tomorrow morning because the last thing I want to do is be that person who comes into the office when they are sick infecting their coworkers.

I also decided that I want to look into naturopathy. It is included in my health coverage (up to $200/year) so I have nothing to lose.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I am excited for yoga this week

Why? Because my mom got me an actual pair of yoga pants. I normally just wear my sweats to do yoga in & never thought twice about it. I told myself the next time I had some time at the mall, I would go & try on some lululemons to see if they were worth the hype. Well my mom bought me a pair of TuffAthletics yoga pants via Costco. Not quite lululemons including the price but I did a little google review search & they've been getting great reviews.

My hold up was that I always felt like you should wear something loose fitting. Wearing something tight while working out seems like it would be restrictive & make you more sweaty. I tried the pants on & I am in love. Love I tell you! So much better than using sweats to be honest. I can even see myself using them when I go running.

I am really not with whats hip in the workout world.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


So I am thinking of joining my family on a trip to Asia & blowing about $2000 on the whole trip (including flight which is the most expensive part). I've been going back & forth on the topic & I think I am going to go ahead & commit. It's a lot of money but when else will I have the opportunity to travel & have room & board covered.

Going to scrounge the internet for prices now.

*edit: I realized I should have pointed out that it'd actually just be room but I am factoring in food into my $2000. & it would only be to one or two countries somewhere in Asia. But still not having to pay for a place to stay is still a sweet deal.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Long Weekends are Awesome

So far the weekend has been low key with lots of relaxing and it went a little something like this:
  • Pamper myself --> @home manicure, bath soak, silly face masks & grooming eyebrows
  • Spend time w/ the bf --> Random errands and lots of eating
  • Catch up with friends --> Saw friends I hadn't seen in months
  • Clean up --> Put clothes away & pulled out clothes I don't ever wear to donate. My closets are overflowing & I don't even wear half of the things I have in there. The items I do like get lost somewhere in heaps of other clothes
  • Work out --> Sticking to my goal of working out for an hour a week not including yoga
  • Watched lots of tv --> I am a tv junkie and spent most of Saturday watching t.v.
  • Watched Slumdog Millionaire --> Now I understand the hype around the movie

Still to do:
  • Make hummus --> healthy snacking for the week & I get to incorporate it in my work lunches.
  • Do a little bit of work --> I don't like working from home but getting a little ahead will prevent me from pulling my hair out during the week
  • Family meal --> Think I'll go out for lunch w/ the family today. It is after all Family Day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I am excited

that I can watch Project Runway Canada online at Last season you could watch it at but not this season for some reason. Hey I rhymed! I like catching up on my shows on the weekend so discovering globaltv has episodes to view online is exciting! So I am getting ready for 3 hours of Project Runway.

Learning to sew is on my long list of things I'd like to do and hearing some of the stories of self thought designers is inspiring.

Friday, February 13, 2009

heart day dinner

Going out for a nice dinner w/ the bf and planning on using a gift card I got from MyPoints. Great news since I feel a little bad about my sephora purchase yesterday.

This is also going to be our valenites day dinner. We're not big on valentines day so we just hang out & maybe go out somewhere semi nice for dinner either before or after the big day. We like to avoid couple city at all the restaurants.

I love flowers as much as the next girl but I'd rather use the money on something that I can use or eat. Don't get me wrong, the times the bf has gotten me flowers, I did not complain & walked around with a cheesy grin on my face for hours but thinking logically, I'd rather the money go elsewhere. Now if only feelings & relationships were logical.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


A few days after posting about how I was doing well in my challenge of not buying anything new till I was down to the last bottle of something, I just blew it.

I was @ Sephora to pick up a new brush head for my clarisonic. I currently use the sensitive one & feel like it's too much for my skin so I wanted to give the delicate head a try. I feel like the clarisonic has potential to work with my skin but figuring out the right routine with it is the hard part.

Two displays over, Philosophys Purity Made Simple cleanser. I've wanted to try this cleanser even before Sephora came to town from the reviews I had read online. I've even walked by & picked up the bottle many a time before but I've always put it back down. Today was different & I walked out of the store with the cleanser, the brush head & $60 charged on my credit card.

I do feel a little guilty and am contemplating returning it but I think I'll keep it. Normally when I want something, I check in a week later & chances are I've totally forgotten about it or decided I don't want it after all. Considering I've wanted this for a while, it was probably only a matter of time before I bought it. I actually did decide that this would be my next cleanser after my current GOW cleanser was finished before the purchase so it wasn't totally random. I just bought it before my current cleanser had finished.

Like anybody with acne, finding that perfect routine that will get me clear skin is like the holy grail for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Washing makeup brushes

I normally wash my makeup brushes once a week using my old facial cleanser (spectro gel) that wasn't working for me. I figure if it's good enough for my face, it's good enough for the brushes that go on my face.

Well yesterday I am not sure why but I decided to use my shampoo on the brushes. I read about it online & it seems like one of the preferred methods for washing makeup brushes is actually using baby shampoo. So on a whim, I used my regular shampoo to wash the brushes & wow! It was gross. My spectro gel was not washing these guys well at all! So much gunk came out of my foundation brush. Maybe that's why the spectro gel wasn't working on my face either.

Once I am through the spectro gel (which I think may take another month or two), I may actually buy something specifically for cleaning my brushes or maybe a bottle of baby shampoo.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lotion & Potion Challenge Before Pictures

At the start of this year I made a resolution and that was to dwindle down my collection of lotions and potions down to a number I can count with my hands and not a spreadsheet. My goal was not to buy another bottle of an item till I was down to the last one.

Well here are the pictures I took at the starting of the year demonstrating that I do in fact have a problem. From left to right you will find hair products, face stuff, lotions, body wash and the worst area, conditioners! I do go through conditioner rather fast though. You have to squint your eyes or click through and look at the bigger picture but there are actually 2 more pink bottles and one white bottle in the upper right hand corner right behind the ones that are there. I thought it'd be good to put similar sized items with each other but now realize they get lost in the picture.

The good news is I've been good and have finished one bottle of body wash and conditioner from what has been pictured and am already on to other bottles in the collection.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thrifting & Freebie Fridays

Yesterday was another day of dealing with that incompetent client I had mentioned previously. I felt me having to deal with yet another day of her warranted leaving work a few hours early. I had nothing to do and nowhere to go. Was supposed to meet the bf @ night but there were lots of hours in between.

I decided to take a little detour on my way home and drop off some clothes at my favorite salvation army. While there I took a look at what was on the racks and picked up a few things. I've always liked this particular location because of the quality of their stuff. It's mostly the older granny variety *no offense* that shop there so I almost always find things I like in stock unlike other places where anything fashionable is picked dry.

My booty for the day is as follows for a total of $22

1. Brown sleeveless cowlish neck sweater. Almost identical to the one below. Can't wait to wear it in the summer.

2. Slouchy black boots that look very similar to the one below.

3. Lacoste white sweater that I think I'll actually return if I get the chance.

When I arrived home I had a StayFit Waistpack pictured below waiting for me. I had ordered it from the now defunct lean cuisine rewards program and will definately use it in the summer when I run outside. Beats carrying around a waterbottle in your hand and keys tucked into your socks.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Work frustrations

Do you work with complete dumb asses? People that have some how gotten in high positions but are dumb as a frying pan. I am not a genius but I know enough to do my job well.....most of the time ;)

A client of our companies who by some misfortune I help manage has a complete moron that does not have the basic skills to perform her job. What's worse is that she was even recently promoted and has people that report to her. Since they're our client that means we actually have to treat them well. So basically when they ask stupid questions that I've answered a gazillion times, I have to answer yet again with a smile on my face. And answer politely! bah! Seriously this lady asks the most retarded questions & lots of them that it makes me almost want to leave the company. Well it'd be one of several reasons I guess.

I feel like I am almost doing her job half the time. Even worse is that she presents things I do to to her counterparts at her company and claims all the credit. Not a big deal since her counterparts have no effect on my work review & raise & whatnot but it sucks knowing that she probably makes more than me when she is hardly qualified to do her job.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


So I love me some hummus. Lots and lots of it. Also in lots of different ways. I've made it several times at home not completely happy with the outcome. Tasty? Yes! But not quite the same as my favorite hummus I've ever tasted. So like the trooper I am, I tried out a new recipe yesterday from The outcome? Delicious. It's kicked my old recipe out of top spot.

The cost to make it on your own is cheap, cheap and did I mention cheap? The main ingredient is the garbonzo beans which cost about $1 and everything else are things people normally have lying around their kitchen. I did!

So now I have enough hummus to last me a week. I am getting ready for hummus wraps, hummus pasta and just eating spoonfuls of hummus throughout the week :D

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cell phone drama pt 2

So I wasted my time again thinking rogers would be able to help. Nope, it's going to cost me $400 dollars to cancel. That's about 9 more months of paying at my current rate which isn't worth it despite their horrible customer service. So I have to wait patiently for 3 more years & give them the cancel call. The hard thing I have to do is make no changes to my plan so I don't unknowingly get another 3 years added on. This will be very hard to do.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stupid Rogers

I hate rogers! What I hate even more is their customer service. They basically called me a liar because some moron documented something that he had not told me on my account & basically said that well it's documented so they have no obligations.

Well there's an easy solution and that is that I go back to my old plan. That would make logical sense but apparently the plan I was on no longer exists so once again there's nothing they can do.

Why in the world would I switch to a plan where I pay more than I do right now? Why?

To make things worse, when I said I wanted to cancel they basically said well you renewed your contract when you moved to the new plan and somehow have to pay $400 as an early cancellation fee! I can't wait for more low cost alternatives like Koodo to start entering the space. I have no loyalty to rogers whatsoever & will jump ship as soon as I see something cheaper.

Rogers if you read this....bite me!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jan Spending Recap

My budget, spending & sad explanations of why things went the way they did.

  • Clothes & Beauty: Budgeted $30, Net Spend: $2. I actually spent around $22 but returned a top I bought on boxing day for about $20 canceling out most of the purchases made here.
  • Eating out: Budgeted $100, Spent $111. I knew this would be hard to maintain & sure enough, I spent $111 for Jan. I didn't have anything out of the ordinary, it was a normal month of eating out w/ friends.
  • Entertainment: Budgeted $50, Spent: $16. I originally had more here but the bf paid for a show I went to earlier & so I removed that. Even though it cost $35 for my ticket, I didn't pay for it. How do you & your significant other pay? We have a laissez-faire approach where I pay once & he pays the next kinda hoping that it evens out at the end of the day.
  • Gas: Budgeted $150, Spent $109. Wohoo!
  • Groceries: Budgeted $100, Spent $104. Pretty close to what I had budgeted so no complaints despite going slightly over.
  • Misc: Budgeted: $50, Spent: $10. I originally put in a gift I had purchased, in this category for $56. After lots of thinking I decided that gifts should be something separate and not part of the monthly budget. My reasoning is that gifts are something I don't expect to buy every month. Also I have my brothers wedding to attend to and I plan on spending a few hundred on that. I don't want to limit myself or try to stick w/ a budget for that one. It's my brother and I want to get him something thoughtful with butterflies & rainbows & don't want oh, you're blowing your budget thoughts in the back of my mind.
  • Total Budgeted: $480, Total Spent: $352
Overall under budget but over budget in the food area. I guess I am a girl that loves her food as the two areas I went over in was eating out and groceries.

For February, the budgets the same but I am going to up my Eating Out bucket to $130 and bring my Misc down to $20.