weekly budget check

I have not posted these checks for a while.

Now that I am making a serious attempt back to my frugal life-style, here comes this week’s account:

Weekly allowance expenses: $119, including grocery, cab fare, treats at the office, and junk food. My weekly allowance this year is 100 bucks/week, so I over-spent this week.

Fun funds: The fun funds so far are at the negative side: -$596.

Fun funds are those that are left from my weekly allowance starting each new year. Last year I had used the fun funds for things that my heart wished for and a pre-payment. This year I am looking forward to bringing this to a positive balance, but I am not sure how fast this can happen 🙂 

Other savings: $7

Health related expenses and donations: $23.5

I am hopeful that next week will be a much better one, if I can continue with my frugal and simple life saga.

I have done something nice and made a pre-payment order today. I likely will need to tap into my chequing account really deep for this payment…. Normally, I like to have a healthy level of funds at the chequing account, but this payment will drop it significantly. I thought unless I challenge myself like this, I would not have enough motivation to save more and limit extra expenses. So, the weeks ahead will be somehow challenging and  interesting.

I am up for it!

I hope there will be no additional expenses in the next few weeks 🙂

weekly allowance

I mentioned in an earlier post that I studied for a very long time, and as a result I had very modest income and thus life style until ~10 years ago. So being a frugal person is a second nature to me. However, in no time in my life I have been as frugal as this year, or a two years period a decade ago.

A decade ago, work was really competitive, things were going really problematic with my boss, I was fired twice (even though I was re-offered a better position in the same place and never had a day without being on payroll), and thus I realized if I want to keep my chin up during financially turbulent times, I had to be extremely frugal.

So what did I do?

I moved into a smaller and cheaper studio apartment, leaving my gorgeous one bedroom apartment on the 20th floor of a downtown complex. It was located 3 minutes away from my work-place; had swimming pool, exercise room, and other amenities; and the apartment had a wonderful downtown view that was always a delight to look at. It was a also secure building. It hurt to move out but it was the right decision.

The studio apartment was 20 min away from my work-place and the apartment complex was nothing like the previous one, but both the apartment and the building were okay. It was a slightly less secure street but nevertheless I was comfortable there. I spent two years in that apartment. I remember very clearly counting on pennies in my purse and making calculations. My very ambitious weekly budget was $50 at that time…..

I do not know how I ended up with this amount, but honestly I made extraordinary effort to keep my weekly expenses (including grocery, personal care and cleaning products, and other miscellaneous expenses) under $50. This budget was extremely restricting at that time – I remember this feeling pretty clearly. I believe I could never manage to do so; my weekly expenses were always more than $50.. I think there was no movie or concert ticket in that allowance. My maximum book budget was $5/week (and I bought books every week). Eating out, hosting, or meeting with friends were a rare occasion, even though I lovingly had my favorite weekend breakfast consisting of two bagels and a cup of coffee. I could never think about a weekend without this breakfast 🙂

While I struggled with keeping my expenses under $50, I also saved quite a bit of my income. I put the money I saved into my RRSP account. I know I was locking it this way, but this gave me an enormous peace of mind at that time. I felt really good and proud of this investment for my future. Unfortunately at around the same time the markets had a bad time (remember 2008 turn-down?), so I think I mostly lost money at that time, but that is not the point 🙂

This year I have a similar budget, only that it is designed in a different way. My weekly allowance is 120 bucks for grocery; not including the personal care and cleaning products, hosting and eating out with friends and colleagues, and house-related or other expenses. If I average all expenses I made, I believe it could be ~$130 per week this year.

Not bad, eh?

It also does not feel restrictive. 

I kind of think that this might be because I budget a reasonable amount (that is $120/week + additional expenses) and I have the flexibility. It may also be because I am a seasoned frugal now?? 🙂

Have a great Friday night everyone 🙂

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weekly budget check

I continue to take the cab in the mornings this week – one gets used to comfort quite easily 🙂

I had forgotten what a blessing it was to get up whenever I want and not worrying about losing time by waiting for and taking the bus. Taking the cab in the morning sure does give me a warm feeling of being pampered.

Sadly, it also means that I am spending more than I would like to 🙂 

I know this is just temporary so I am not worried, but I wished I had started walking or taking the bus, rather than taking the cab, starting tomorrow. Let’s see how it will go.

Anyways, this week the spending is higher than before because of the extra cab expenses, but other than that I continue to spend consciously and keep saving.

Here is the week’s account:


Weekly allowance: $120

Expenses related to the weekly allowance (grocery, breakfast, and a cab fares): $104

Fun funds saved this week: $120 – $104= $16

Fun funds expenses: $0

Total fun funds accumulated so far in 2017: $788.5 (🙂)

Other expenses: $84 (health-related and social expenses, in addition to personal care and cleaning product purchases)

Savings from would-be-expenses: $60.75 (these are the savings from expenses that I would normally make, but decided not to; such as having breakfast at home rather than at the local cafe, not picking up the bill for others at socials).


Pantry/freezer treasures enjoyed: soup (x2) and bean meal from the freezer;  quinoa from the pantry 🙂 Thank goodness, I am done with quinoa…..


Happy saving! 🙂

weekly budget check

I have done well this week and stayed within my weekly allowance:

total expenses (within the allowance): $98

fun funds savings this week: $120 – $98: $22

total fun funds accumulated today: – $50 (sadly I spent more than I saved in this fund. Gotta be better soon….)

Savings from would-be-expenses (expenses that I was tempted to, but did not do, savings from discounts etc.): $145 (always feel good…)

Other expenses: $146; mostly a dinner with a friend of mine (well deserved) and cleaning products


Starting this month, I am increasing my mortgage payments a little bit. I am feeling great about this 🙂 This is mostly because I have got a little salary increase and decided to use it to pay off my mortgage earlier 🙂 Welcome September 🙂

Money risen for the animal shelter by selling stuff on kijiji: $40 so far. Even a little bit helps these innocent and beautiful animals.

Honestly, there has not been any day that I have not thought about re-adopting Jamie the cat…My little boy.. if only I had a little bit more courage and relaxed…

joy journal – Sept 27, 2015

There is so much to be grateful about 🙂

I have been feeling the need to acknowledge them, which always make me feel great. So here they are:

1. I am grateful for being safe, alive, and healthy.

2. I am grateful for my family and friends, without whom this life would have been quite dry, unlovely, and unexciting.

3. I am grateful for sleeping late today; every once a while it is a good break for my body. No activity, no digestion, no unnecessary thoughts. It felt good.

4. I am grateful for having my coffee at the favorite cafe, browsing internet, and just relaxing this morning.

5. I am grateful for catching the bus and going to shop. I found a chance to chat with a lovely lady while waiting for the bus and the ride was pleasant.

6. I am grateful for buying the last bit of the stain to finish staining my deck. The person at the store said it was normal for the stain to lift off in our climate. So I have not done anything wrong with the stain last year; it was supposed to happen 🙂

7. I am grateful for walking around and checking a dollar store. It is one of my favorites as they have very nice stationary items (which I LOVE) and great gift bags. I bought a couple, just to make myself feel happy. That store also reminded me; when I was a student and when I was not making as much money as I am now, I had assigned myself $10/week just to spend in the dollar stores. There has been a great feeling coming out of forgetting myself in these stores while checking the items and then buying the things that will give me joy.

8. I am grateful for not buying myself a lunch while I was away from home while shopping.

9. I am grateful for the toilet papers I had needed and bought with a huge discount/coupon savings today. I am so excited about this, as I have been meaning to do this for sometime. I checked for months the stores, but was not able to identify such sales till today. Today was the day and it felt good. I do not have to think about it for a year or so.

10. I am grateful for the honey and rolled oats I have purchased today. I have not bought honey for years (I used to add it to my tea for its nourishing and relaxing effect). And this is possibly the second or the third time that I bought the oats. I bought these to make myself granola bars as snacks. I tried it this evening and I should say it is a very filling snack. Plus, it is sweet, which is nice. I am planning to try other types, such as with raisin and seeds/nuts, to have different snacks for myself.

11. I am grateful for the plant I have bought today. It was on sale and it is so beautiful. I need a nice pot and new soil for it, which I will buy in the coming weeks. I also am thinking about buying a plant fertilizer; I guess all of my plants would like some extra nutrient time to time.

12. I am grateful for finding my mascara in the store today; it is price is 50% of what it used to be in the past. I am not sure what the real reason for this is. Maybe new products showed up and it is not that popular anymore. I do not know, but I know that I am happy to have it 🙂

13. I am grateful for buying and drinking skim milk. I am not a milk person; but after realizing the nutrients in it, I cannot not have this nutritious drink anymore. I will make it a regular beverage for my daily life.

14. I am grateful for my clothes and shoes; I have more than enough for a couple of years and that feels good. I am abundant.

15. I am grateful for everything I have at my home and my home itself. When I look around, I can see that I lack nothing and I have everything. I am very thankful for this.

16. I am grateful for thinking about new budget categories, starting with the new year. I think I need a separate category for clothes+shoes as well as for cleaning products. Currently I am confused about whether to include them in my weekly allowance or not. If I do include them into the weekly allowance, then I end up over-spending time to time. I do not like this. I do not like over-spending 🙂

17. I am grateful for the salad I have had this evening; it was fresh, healthy, and tasty. I love salad! 🙂

18. I am grateful for my house, my jacket, and my blanket that keep me warm in this chilly night.

19. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

weekly budget check – Sept 10, 2015

As usual, my budget week is ending today. Here is the account of the last week’s spending and savings:

I have spent $180 for grocery, eating out (much less now as I do not eat bagels at the weekends), and other expenses. This is a $20 savings from my weekly allowance 🙂 I am very happy with that, as last week I had over-spent.

Of note, these expenses do not include the expenses done for maintaining my home at good shape; I have a separate category and designated budget for such expenses.

I also saved $264.5 from “would-be-expenses” this week – these are the expenses I was tempted to do but did not (e.g taking the bus rather than the cab); this is the biggest savings I have had so far; It is inflated this week because I had planned a social at my place, but then my friends decided to rather take me out. The expenses now are not incurred and as such contribute towards my savings.

I continue to shop grocery as required; this means I usually shop twice a week. This practice has been decreasing my waste as well as the grocery costs.

Overall, I am very satisfied for keeping down my expenses this week 🙂

Hope next weeks will also be similar 🙂

random thoughts

The summer is slipping out of our hands; I have been wearing jackets in the last few days. I sure will miss the sunshine 🙂 Well…. till next time.

I left the office early but continued to work at home. Sometimes it is a lot efficient this way, though I feel bad about not being in the office.. Anyways, looks like my “take-it-easy” days are over and I really need to kick if I want to finish things in a timely manner. And I do. Working will thus continue throughout the weekend. Cannot complain 🙂

I did grocery shopping this afternoon, which really made me feel good. I like shopping :); I gotta tell you though buying less items and as required made a huge difference in my “waste” levels. I am glad that this is working for me.

Today was also the first day of my new financial week (i.e. feeling rich as I have a weekly allowance at my disposal)- I treated myself with a cup of take-out coffee in the morning, right before a 9am meeting; could not be happier 🙂 And I am really proud of myself that I now have no problem catching the bus or waiting for it should I get up a little bit earlier or late. When I remember the internal fights I have had for several months till the last couple of weeks, I am sincerely surprised. It tells me that change does not come easy but it comes eventually….

By this inspiration and by noting the fact that I was only gaining weight in the last few weeks by not cooking meals at home, I am now moving up with my next challenge in the list: eating healthy food and losing weight. Just like taking the bus rather than the cab, I expect this effort to be a little bit inconsistent at the beginning, but later becoming standard.

And did I mention I loved shopping? 🙂 Yes.. Yes, I have. I will treat myself to a thrifty store visit this weekend. Hey, I may as well bring the bags of clothes that I had sorted while decluttering my wardrobe a couple of weeks ago. I meant to check them again to make sure that I was not giving away anything that I could use, but the fact that I have not done this since then tells me that I already gave up on these items. Time to find a new home for them.

have a great friday evening/night everyone 🙂

weekly budget check

This is my first weekly budget check.

I had lately prepared a detailed budget document where I set myself a maximum weekly allowance and started to note the expenses in specific categories (grocery, transportation, dining out, etc.).

Today is the end of the 1st week. I enthusiastically kept the records and continued to respect and protect my funds. I did not forget to treat myself along the way, either (got breakfast at the weekend, bought myself a meal twice etc.). And the result?

I managed to save $17.5 from my weekly allowance! When I added up the amounts that I was tempted to do but decided not to (for example, taking the bus rather than the cab, not drinking the second cup of coffee during the breakfast), then this amount increases to $143 this week.

I am excited about this. I know it has been only one week and there is no guarantee that I will continue to save that much, but I know I did it once and I can do it again. Plus, the mental transformation is really helpful; now I am really thinking twice before making an expense and I am motivated to not over-spend. I did not know I was that competitive and determined to achieve!. These are all great news for me 🙂

Honestly, I am also a little bit disappointed in myself that I have not started this earlier – years for now I could have been more conscious about my spending and as a result could have saved a good amount of money……Should I beat myself? No, rather let me use this feeling to keep going like this.

Perhaps I should thank the repairs needed for my house for bringing me back to the conscious spending mind-set; they are the real motivators that I did start to think and take actions seriously to save money.

I talked to a second lawyer today; he thinks that it would be very difficult to go after the previous owner of the house for the possible foundation problem I have at my house – he says I need to establish that the previous owner was aware of the problem and hid it prior to selling it to me. I am free to pursue this and spend money on a legal battle, but the chances of winning is slim.

How am I feeling? It is kind of weird but it is relieving that I will not go into a legal battle – I have tried my best to know the situation and my legal rights. And I have. From now on it is all about my house and I fixing the issues. It will cost me a lot of money (I was told tens of thousands), but at least I have no more questions in my mind about “what to do”.

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