A Week of Money: Getting into the Groove
I recorded one week of my spending (when I first started) before and so enjoyed it that I did it again. I’ll probably make this a series, if you’re all cool with that.
Here are all of my Week of Money posts.
Back to the grind of watching Baby Bun again at his 5 a.m. wake-ups… even with the time change, he wakes up at 5 a.m. (which is really 4 a.m.) I am exhausted, but I go and make myself a matcha green tea latte and some sprouted chia seeds (sort of reminds me of bubble tea).
This morning I also end up eating some raw almond butter on some leftover bread, and a few slices of banana to go with it.
Actually, I should shut up and stop whining because Baby Bun is very easy to care for, as far as toddlers go, even in the mornings.
He is pretty calm, and he has started being aware that sometimes Mommy doesn’t feel well and may need to lie down to read books with him instead of sitting up, and may or may not doze off and nap while reading said books.
When that happens, he usually makes very minimal noise if I manage to wrangle an iPad with this flag game he is currently obsessed with on there as a free app that tells him the name of the country so that he chooses the right flag to match to it (Europe, Africa, Australia, Americas or Asia), or if he decides to play with his trains all over my napping body.
What a child.
As mentioned earlier in this post, I also booked an appointment with my doctor and with an ENT (Ear, Nose Throat) specialist today, to ask for a whole host of things, including a brain scan.
They’re not available for another 3 and 5 weeks respectively. They’re all “booked up” apparently, so I just confirm the appointments and will have to wait.
What’s another month or so? I have been suffering through this for weeks now.
When I am not feeling sick, or am cooking, I put on my favourite Bose Headphones (full review here, mini video review here) and work in relative peace, and Baby Bun plays happily by himself until he wants Mommy Attention, and I give it to him.
The telephone bill notification pings in my Inbox and I pay it. $25.82 for a month, split between the two of us, so my half is really $12.91.
I am trying to NOT use it the phone unnecessarily because if I go over my 50 minutes, I have to put another $7 for 100 minutes or $20 for 1000 minutes.
I am trying not to use the phone and the playgroup very kindly lets parents use their phone (which I do, to check my voicemail once a week). So far, the strategy is working and I am able to keep the minutes to a minimum, having already used up 23 of them today to book appointments with my doctor and ENT for next month.
My partner decided to stay home to work (Why? Because of …..STELLLAAAAAA!!!!!!!), and I took the opportunity to
flee go out and buy groceries in-person rather than giving him a list and guessing what might look good there and appeal to me.
I’m a visual shopper, not a methodical one. I just see what I think looks really fresh and beautiful, and I build a dish on the spot around that.
This time, I saw the red peppers calling out to me, and decided to mix that with some beets and some gorgeous jewel-toned eggplants for my vegan burger.
I end up spending $28.60 at the grocery store, and observe two things while in line:
A) How incredibly cheap it is to buy a whole bunch of vegetables enough for a whole week’s meals and more. I mean, $30?
I could feed myself (and I eat a lot) off this for a week, so for a month, it would be $120… although I am not including the other stuff I need to finish these burgers like vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast & Bragg’s soy sauce.
So let’s say $150 per person.
B) That I am the only one who hasn’t put anything in the form of a can, box or package in my cart.
I literally just stick to the outside of the grocery store, and only in the vegetable/produce section. I don’t even go up and down the aisles because … I never buy anything from there.
Isn’t that freaky? It freaked me out to realize that, and it felt even stranger when I saw the couple behind me with their cart full of boxed pastries, foods and cans, eying my purchases of just vegetables & fruit. They must have thought I was some weirdo.
As part of the errand, I return some of those decorative papers I mentioned back in my week of spending, and got back $45.32 out of the $73.11 I spent, which means I spent a net of $27.79 instead.
That sounds a lot better.
Unfortunately, on my way out I was enamoured with this envelope-designed jewellery pouch and handed over $11.49 before I left the store.
Curses! Temptation strikes again!
Gah. I have stupid, sharp, shopping eyes.
I have the receipt, and am contemplating returning it, but I might just skip one of my weekends out which usually cost $4.50 for the metro tickets, and another $5 or so for snacks to make up for the purchase.
Yes, I did ban myself from ALL frivolous spending and snacks, but I need some sort of outlet somewhere. If I can at least trade some time out (and the metro tickets + snacks) for an item, it seems like a fair compromise.
Kind of a wash? 🙂 I netted out in the black at least.
Staying. In. IN IN IN IN.
Every time I step a foot out, I spend money, either in gas, in snacks, or just because I feel the need to because I am “out”. Do you ever get that feeling?
I log in to the web, lose myself for an hour reading and replying to emails, schedule a few posts on the blog including another Outfit Remix, and log off.
I decide to be productive and I go to re-organize my closet with Baby Bun playing around me, pulling things down and making a mess (this is an uphill battle, I tell myself).
Then out of nowhere when I am halfway through, again, I feel just overwhelmed when another major bout of dizziness and fatigue comes over me. I push hard on my eyeballs (it seems to relieve the pain and dizziness, I discovered), and close my eyes with my hands over my eyes and face to simulate darkness, and end up sitting on top of the sweaters I was folding neatly.
Baby Bun looks up and panics when he sees me like this, smacking my cheek with his fat chubby paw in concern, saying with increasing urgency: Mommy? MOMMY? MOMMYYYYY????
…. until I respond with my cue and say Yes, baby?.…to let him know I am okay.
He gets really scared when I close my eyes or put my hands over my eyes, and I think he thinks I’m angry at him or upset when I do this, when it could actually be both — either I am actually upset or angry and trying to calm down without screaming at him or losing it, or I am dizzy. He can’t tell the difference so he panics.
…Also, I have no idea where he learned to do his own version of Mommy Resuscitation.
I feel like any day now he will start checking my pulse and telling me to breathe. 😛
He calms down and sits on my lap, and drums on my thighs with his hands, satisfied I am okay, and starts babbling and reading out letters on the things in my closet.
Once the nausea and spots pass, I shift his toddler bum off me, and just chuck all my half-folded sweaters on top of the closet shelf, crawl over to the futon and lie down with my eyes closed while he climbs on top and slides over me.
I end up reading books to him while lying down, asking him to bring me one at a time, because he was just not having any of that iPad nonsense today.
I wait for Baby Bun to nap before I end up sleeping beside him, and feeling a little better.
My partner finally comes home, with a treat, some bread, ham, tomatoes and green onions and whips up a quick meal.
Cooking Day! I make another version of that vegan burger, trying out different combinations of vegetables to see what I like or don’t like.
Remember those beets I bought?
They turned out pretty well before they went in the oven, the beets gave it a rather realistic meat-y raw burger patty look:
It turns out fine, and I eat a bowl of it with kale, eggplant, brown rice and avocado.
I even took the excess vegetable juice from the red peppers, beets and carrots when I pulsed everything in my blender, and made “red smoothies” with them, mixing it with green apples (3) and a banana.
Baby Bun drank a small cup of it, and then declined the rest. I didn’t add any sugar, I think the beets are a flavour he has to get used to, but at least he tried it.
What he does love, is the vegan burger patty! He sees them cooked and cooling on the shelf, and says in his little toddler boy voice: PATTY? PATTY? PAAAAAHHH–TYYYYYY?????? … and points to them because he wants to have some.
I finish off that Creamy Lemon ice cream I made last week.
Goodness it is good.
The rest of the day is uneventful. I do all the dishes, dry them, put them away, vacuum.
I manage to get through some of the best books I have read in the past year and am excited to review them on the blog.
I wake up again at 5 a.m. (children, nature’s alarm clock)… and make my usual matcha green tea latte. I log in for an hour or two while Baby Bun crawls around pretending to be a snake or a snail, along with deciding his new game is to remove his underwear and kick it in the air and have me chase him to put it back on.
Yep. Time for playgroup.
I bundle him up and out, and on the way out, I mail off my first sale of the Toronto Landscape scarf (you can see all of my handmade Silk-Screened Wanderlust Scarves for sale). It costs me $8.61 which is more than I expected but next time I will know what to budget in terms of costs, at least.
I also drop by the grocery store and buy 2 bananas for breakfast ($0.72) because I want to try and add more potassium into my diet to see if it helps.
I get a break, talking to the other parents while our kids play upstairs. A parent suggests that if Baby Bun is not sleeping well past 5 a.m., I could try making his nap shorter. It would be hell having a shorter nap but at least my night sleep would be better.
I ponder this and decide to try it today.
I corral Baby Bun and get him into the car to go home to eat lunch and nap for one hour instead of 1.5 hours.
I go to wake him up and he is not pleased with this new change in events, and starts whining and being a terrible little monster. I grit my teeth and suck it up because I am hoping it’ll make him sleep longer and give me a chance to “sleep in” until 6 a.m. at least.
He finally comes out of his sleepy stupor and I go to check the tracking of a package I have been waiting for from a friend.
STUCK. IN. CUSTOMS.
I don’t know how long it is going to take.
I log off, rub my eyes and decide to LightStim a little. I am not sure it works yet as I don’t have many wrinkles, but the warmth from the LED lights makes me feel better…
I also count down the minutes until my partner is home, and spend time reading to Baby Bun.
I spend the morning hanging out with Baby Bun but know that either before or after his nap, I’ll get to go out and be free. Walk around downtown and breathe in fresh, toddler-free air, go to the library and work uninterrupted for 5 hours without having nursery rhymes playing in the background (Wheels on the Bus needs to be burned).
I bustle around getting the place cleaned and do all the things I do to make sure I don’t have work when I come back (e.g. clean the dishes), and when Baby Bun goes down for his nap, I bolt out the door with my laptop.
I go to check the mail first so I can answer letters, and stuff it all in my bag.
I spend the next 4 hours at the library scheduling posts, answering emails, reading free magazines there, browsing the internet (NOT SHOPPING because I do not need to be tempted by free shipping & returns these days).
Thus far, I am pretty pleased with my Spend for the month. Going to the library is nice because you can’t eat or drink in there, there is nothing to buy to eat or drink and the wifi is free (I am paying for it in my taxes)…
Finally, once everything is done, I open my mail up to realize I got a cheque for $177.89 back refunding me for customs duties and fees I paid.
I enter it into my budget making sure my budget is up to date, and all my loose ends are tied.
I go home feeling refreshed and organized, and we book our trip to Europe, which had gone up a few hundred since we last checked. I hate leaving things to the last minute and my partner is of the belief that the longer you wait the more desperate they get so the price goes down.
Anyway. I didn’t end the day in the black, but at least I am secure in knowing WE WILL BE GOING TO BACK TO EUROPE THIS YEAR.
Cooking day. I wrangle Baby Bun into a closed bedroom (I hate the smell of food in bedrooms), and try to keep him quiet by making him help me stud a black linen skirt.
He likes to hand me the studs, and I hammer them in:
It turned out quite well if I do say so myself.
I spend the rest of the afternoon watching videos, washing dishes, drying them, and reading my books.
I can’t even put them down, they’re so good — Boys in the Boat, particularly!
If you like Seabiscuit type stories about underdogs, this is the book for you. Riveting.
I am not giving anything away by saying that they make it, but the journey.. my goodness. Gripping, thrilling and heartbreaking all at once. I had to hug Baby Bun tight to me quite a few times and snuggle in his warm toddler neck.
I am starting to reflect and re-evaluate things, which is nice. I never had to when I was flush with cash (and I know I will make more in the future), but a little austerity and re-aligning of your values has never hurt anyone.
I am bringing out old tricks of finding ways to keep busy, avoid going out, etc. All good stuff to stop and quash temptation.
It is now becoming a habit more to NOT spend than to spend money, and it is helping a lot that Baby Bun is becoming slightly more independent and less needy / clingy. I can work on things on my own and he plays by himself. It has given me a break.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Here are all of my Week of Money posts.