:::: MENU ::::

Browsing posts in: Personal Finance

A week of (mostly) not spending money


As I mentioned last week, I had some financial slip ups towards the end of October. So, I took corrective action in the form of financial purgatory. What did I do?

Lived out of my pantry

I have a veeeeeery well-stocked fridge and pantry for a childless, unmarried millennial. I love cooking and entertaining, and I always have stocks of staples. Dried beans, rice, pasta. Canned veggies, soups, seafood. Frozen meat, veg, seafood. I tend to buy a few of something good when it’s on sale, and most of my grocery shopping (as you know) is pretty frivolous. I’ve certainly cut way back on my bad habit of stopping for fancy impulse groceries on the way home from work, but haven’t entirely eliminated it.

I was in a good place when I realized I had spent all my spending money last week. I’m all set dog and cat food, as well as their supplies. My bills are all paid. I don’t drive much and I have gas in my car. My transit card was loaded. Phew!

I ended up making a huge batch of soup from freezer stuff. There was a turkey carcass in my chest freezer from (Canadian) Thanksgiving and I always save veggie trimmings and scraps for making stock. I made a very hearty chicken soup that I ate for many days, which was probably a good idea with the raging bronchitis.

I had flour and yeast, so I made a double batch of pizza dough. One ball of dough is in my freezer, and with the other one, I made a delicious veggie skillet pizza.

I was proud of this meal.  There was frozen broccoli, some tomatoes and peppers that were getting a bit soft, and cheese I had laying around in the fridge. Win! Skillet pizza is super easy and cheap. I served this with a simple arugula salad (the last of my fresh veg, alas).

That’s pretty much all I ate last week. I don’t mind leftovers one bit.

Hijacked my grandparents’ pantry

I helped my grandparents pack up this weekend, and I took three full car loads of things back to my house. The overwhelming majority of the stuff was food! They go to Costco and stock up like it’s Armageddon, and I ended up with flats of barbecue sauce, jam, and juice. I don’t really eat any of that sweet stuff, so I’ll be donating it to the food bank. In addition, I received steaks, a giant beef roast, lots of frozen fruit and veg, and a wide assortment of cheese. They can’t bring perishables on the truck (mind you, it’d be fine – we have ten inches of snow outside…), so I hit the jackpot.

Didn’t go to work

I’m very lucky that my work allows for me to work from home when necessary. I was sick, so I didn’t go to work last week and worked from home instead. That meant I didn’t have to pay parking at the subway ($4 per day) or transit to work ($6.20 per day). I also usually buy a coffee and a bagel once a week, which is only a few bucks, but adds up.

All in all, I spent $11 in seven days. If I continue not spending this week, I’ll be back on track with discretionary spending. And that’s a good thing, because I need to rent a ballgown for an awards evening for work next week. The evening won’t cost me anything more than the gown rental, luckily. I’ll be sure to get a picture to share with you from the event!


Monthly Net Worth Update and Financial Progress



Debt Reduction

July 2019:

September 2019: (-$731.37)


October 2019: (-$395.14)

October Debt Reduction


Not so great for debt reduction at all this month. I did end up buying winter boots, a pair of black dress shoes for work, and a therapy session that won’t be covered by my benefits. This is eye opening for me, though. I plan on paying an absolute minimum of $600 a month to the line of credit now that I have some savings and my credit cards are consolidated.


Savings account: $2350 (+$350)

I want to keep saving but I need to put a pause on this now and focus on debt reduction. I feel so conflicted about this, because I have been watching my financial stress dissipate as savings have grown.

Investment account: $506.91 (+$127.91)

This is a fun little investment account I have set up with Weathsimple.com. I’m using it because it’s easy to withdraw from and I’m planning on using this money if I owe for my taxes next year. I throw odd job money in here.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan: $13649.70 (+$382.87)


Total savings: $16 506.61(+$860.78). Frankly, this isn’t enough. I need to be saving way more for retirement.

Net worth (based on total savings – total debt):

$-17 573.62 (increase of $1255.42)

The line of credit payment comes out on the 15th and I’m planning on making a large lump sum payment each month. I want to pay a minimum of $600 a month to that, and increase my payroll deductions to my RRSP.

Yep. I need to spend less money.

Little Victories: 

  • applied for a no-fee credit card and no-fee checking account through Simplii (goal to close my expensive accounts by end of November)
  • My credit score became Excellent, but I don’t think that will last
  • I have a Rover gig in two weeks!