Save. Spend. Splurge.

A Week of Money: Where I score a $75,000 contract


??:?? — THIS STUPID DOG OF MY NEIGHBOUR KEEPS YAPPING AND WON’T SHUT UP. The ONE TIME Baby Bun sleeps and I am finally able to sleep, and this DOG GOES AND YAPS!?!?!?

??:?? — Through my exhausted brain fog and stress, I mentally make a note to Google how to safely drug dogs through a closed door. I get up and try to plug the doorway of our apartment to stop the noise but it doesn’t help. It has been months this has been going on and I’ve reached my breaking point.

6:08 a.m. — I breathe, and drink tea. I scrap the drugging dog idea and instead, am resigned to complaining to the management that they need to do something. It has been months and now it’s affecting my sleep.

8:19 a.m. — My partner heads off to do grocery shopping. Before he leaves, he tells me he would go in my place instead as he is very worried about my safety there, and Baby Bun’s mental health if I were to just up and leave for a week.

9:08 a.m. — I call my mother and we come up with a final plan. We finally have a state and city nailed down, and I’m going to book all the tickets today.

10:18 a.m. — I get off the phone and I start buying tickets for myself and my brother. I need a flight to where my brother lives, then we both need flights out. This is going to take a full day of traveling with all the stops as there aren’t any direct flights. My partner offered, but I think this is something only I can do. I still need to book our return trips but that won’t be until we get things settled. $1511.36

10:28 a.m. — I buy travel insurance for the both of us, and book the car rental as well. $990.47

10:31 a.m. — I then buy all the hotel tickets until it gets us to our new city. $1247.32

11:02 a.m. — I book the car shipping service to get her car there instead of having to drive there. $1317.63

11:18 a.m. — I book the flights out of the city the day for all three of us after the shipping service. $1028.42

11:38 a.m. — I call and pay for my aunt’s car insurance for the year. $940.80

12:36 p.m. — I get ready and head out. I struggle between wanting to leave now and come back earlier so we can take Baby Bun to the park together but decide I need go do the dishes before I leave so they have time to dry. I can’t leave knowing the sink is full of dirty dishes. I strap an apron on over my silk blouse and start scrubbing.

12:56 p.m. — I need to take a break. $2.25

1:12 p.m. — I wander around downtown, just walking. I browse a few places, and touch pretty things, but feel no pull at all to buy anything because I’m really strictly ironclad on my “stick to the essentials and do not buy any more clothes” sort of mentality these days.

1:15 p.m. — I wonder if I should get a cake. Probably not.

1:20 p.m. — I go to try the new noodle place someone was raving about only to see it packed. I look at my watch and decide if I want a free ride back to save $2.25 I better go somewhere else. I choose my local favourite pho shop but take a small soup instead. It comes to $9.50

1:44 p.m. — I feel listless. I try to look for socks for Baby Bun but 100% cotton socks are so hard to find. This is futile. I’m too stressed to do any of this right now.

1:56 p.m. — I successfully resist buying my kryptonite — map-printed scarves, like this gorgeous one by L&T, it is under $25 right now but it is 100% polyester and I can hand-make my own huge silk scarves for $55…

2:18 p.m. — I get back on the bus and realize I missed the cutoff of the 2 hours just by a hair because it charges me again. $2.25

2:22 p.m. As I am walking home, I decide it’s a nice day I and I want to take Baby Bun to the park to enjoy the good weather. Who knows how long he will want to spend all this time with Mommy.

2:48 p.m. — I get in the door and Baby Bun rushes into my arms. We don’t say a word, and just sit there quietly and hug each other. I love moments like this. It makes all the sleepless nights worthwhile and I make a mental note not to forget this moment.

3:45 p.m. — We finally get out to the park. YAY! It’s a little chillier than I expected but my partner and I bundled up warmly and we stand together in silence watching other parents and kids play. It’s nice to have so much young energy about.

4:15 p.m. — Baby Bun wants to go for a walk, so we take a long alternate route home instead.

4:45 p.m. — Back inside, my partner starts getting dinner ready, and I read to Baby Bun. I almost don’t want to tot up those numbers of what I spent this morning but I know I will have to pay the bill. It’s going to be a real hit to my wallet. I still have yet to book our flights back, pay for her new apartment and other incidentals.

5.35 p.m. — We have a quiet dinner of some cheese and bread. Nothing special, really.

6:37 p.m. — I putter around the apartment after doing all the dishes and leaving them to dry on the counter, and make a note to divest some money on the stock market to cover the upcoming credit card bill.

6:48 p.m. — My phone rings and I inform the credit cards that yes, those are all real expenses. They politely thank me and we hang up.

8:37 p.m. — Bedtime.

Saved: $0

Spent: $7050.00


??:?? — Baby Bun jumps on me and says: “SLEEP MOMMY!” (meaning: Sleep ON Mommy), and when I refuse, he wants to go to the bathroom. I sleepily take him.

5:08 a.m. — How is this child awake? I’m exhausted.

8:19 a.m. — I decide to take Baby Bun out to get him out of the way again while my partner cooks and we go out on a single metro ticket for a round trip. I like this because my brain gets a break too and Baby Bun goes super quiet when he’s on a train. $2.25

8:29 a.m. — We sit around watching the trains. I point out all the different lines, he makes me read all the metro stations and tell him the directions, and he repeats back to me his favourite station names — “Peel“, being the easiest to spell and say, and he says “Peel orange!” to which I have to acknowledge it is the same word but clarify that Peel station is named after Sir Robert Peel, not the orange peel.

10:08 a.m. — I tell him to wave bye to the trains and we hop back on the bus just in time. $0

10:48 a.m. — We get back inside, disrobe, wash our hands (you never know what you touch, and it’s partly why we stay quite healthy I think), and settle down for lunch. Baby Bun races into the kitchen asking for food.

11:02 a.m. — We sit down at the kitchen counter for lunch.

12:36 p.m. — My partner is out the door for his errands as Baby Bun goes down for his nap.

1:12 p.m. — I log in to re-check my list and schedule to make sure I haven’t missed anything. I’ll be leaving in 2 weeks so I have some time to pack and get things situated.

1:17 p.m. — I’m trying to watch some old episodes in the background but I can’t concentrate. I decide to blog instead, and end up getting sucked into learning how to defer javascript loading on the blog to make it faster. I pray I don’t crash the site, it’s the last thing I need.

1:27 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up and I bookmark the page on deferring javascript and combining CSS files, and give him after-nap kisses. We go to play trains and read while I try to work through the books I have ignored for so long. I’m currently reading Why Men Like Straight Lines & Women Like Polka Dots. It is SUCH A GOOD BOOK.

4:16 p.m. — We stop reading and I decide I better clean the washroom. I get to work scrubbing.

5:26 p.m. — I vacuum the entire apartment. It was getting too fuzzy with dust balls to the point where Baby Bun started saying: “FUZZIESS!! MOMMY FUZZIEESS!

6:12 p.m. — Done. Now what? I wonder if I should tackle the front closet and re-arrange my purses. I have so many of them it’s sick.

6:42 p.m. — I scrap that idea after seeing the mess that it’s in. I need more time and daylight. My partner preps the dinner.

6:45 p.m. — Nomz. Dinner time! We’re eating a bit late today because he was fixing things in the apartment so he lost track of time.

7:24 p.m. — I do all the dishes and leave them to dry.

8:12 p.m. — Bedtime.

Saved: $0

Spent: $2.25


??:?? — Why won’t this child sleep? WHY? WHY AM I BEING PUNISHED?

6:24 a.m. — I’m tired. I really am. I slept but not really. This is “sleeping in” for me.

7:00 a.m. — Daddy leaves. I’m left to my own devices. I field an early morning call from my family who want to change the plans AGAIN.

7:24 a.m. — I am still arguing on the phone but now we’ve changed the flights from one city to another because they’ve convinced me. ARGH. I need to now call everyone up, change the flights, change the hotels… this is a nightmare. Why!??

8:24 a.m. — I get on the phone and start dialling everyone and everywhere to change the plans.

9:35 a.m. — Finally done. I had to pay some change fees for the flights but the rest of them were super accommodating. $1040

10:55 a.m. — I finish re-mapping and re-planning the entire trip. I do not leave anything to chance, I am super organized and it’s all in PDFs on my iPad just in case, and I am bringing my laptop just in case.

12:04 p.m. — Baby Bun goes down for a nap. I feel bad. I have had to yell at him today a few times to be quiet while I am on the phone but this is just so stressful. I actually want to cry.

1:23 p.m. — I have spent the last hour just aimlessly watching videos to numb my brain. I should have been blogging but.. I can’t. I’m exhausted. Baby Bun wakes up and we cuddle.

2:23 p.m. — I finish cleaning the apartment, putting things away, making sure nothing is left out and a mess, and I do all the dishes in the sink so I don’t have a huge pile to face when I come home. Sometimes I don’t do it before I go out with Baby Bun and I do a massive cleanup at night. Either way, I wash at least once, if not twice a day.

2:55 p.m. — Baby Bun and I finally get to the faraway park we had to walk to, but it is a nice day and I’m happier.

3:45 p.m. — I drop my favourite Ray-Ban Polarized sunglasses and thankfully they don’t crack this time, like my old pair did and I had to buy these ones for over $200. This is the second time I have done this. WHY HAVE I NOT LEARNED to put them in their case instead of hanging them on my shirt or on my head? Idiot. I’m an idiot.

4:15 p.m. — My phone rings insistently. I wonder what it is. I pick up and it’s a call for a contract to start for June. I internally squee but keep it together on the phone. I spend the next 10 minutes negotiating. They knock me down a bit in the price but I am still charging a decent amount of money, and it is a much nicer sounding deal than my last, stressful project.

5:05 p.m. — I finally hang up on the phone. Glad I added minutes to the phone, I sure am going to use it this week. We need to get those contracts signed and ready before I even start looking at daycares. This came at such a good.. but also a bad time. It’s very stressful for me and now I need to switch my brain off to do this? Egads.

6:05 p.m. — I get Baby Bun in the door, we have a super light dinner and he plays. I make a note to add more minutes to my long distance card because I’ve already burned through $15.

7:15 p.m. — I start making a list of what to do and my partner starts planning all the things he has to get done before I start work again. For me, it is more that I need to prep for the interview that is happening next week, as I need to get all of that out of the day before I leave for the States.

8:25 p.m. — Bedtime. I’m exhausted but too happy to sleep, I end up falling asleep a lot later.

Saved: $0

Spent: $1040


5:11 a.m. — Baby Bun wakes up. I guess that super long park walk and all the jumping like a kangaroo I made him do, did nothing. He’s still full of energy. I feel like he might need more mental stimulation but right now I just have nothing to give. I’m braindead.

7:11 a.m. — Daddy leaves. I’m left to my own devices. I know I need to start prepping stuff. I drink my tea and put away the dishes leisurely. I decide on leaving him at playgroup so I can think and get myself organized.

8:01 a.m. — I try on my interview suit, thinking I’ll have to iron it and so on. It BARELY ZIPS. OMG. I put on about 5 pounds or so, so since everything has been tailored to an inch of my life, it’s clear that I will either need new clothes or lose the weight. I opt for the latter. No more cakes.

10:11 a.m. — Baby Bun is left at playgroup today. I sit in a corner with headphones on and start prepping my resume, reviewing what I’ve done and reading the project request. I go through a stack of papers I have been neglecting all week and make sure I haven’t missed any bills to pay.

12:11 p.m. — I add more to my long distance card, knowing I may use it quite often in the U.S. as well, as it’s open for North America. I have some reservations, but I add it to auto-reload when it drops below $5. I hate doing that because I hate things automatically charging my card but I’d rather not worry about it and have to call to get it renewed. $34.49

12:45 p.m. — Baby Bun is home and I decide I’ll feed him his lunch afterwards. They usually fill up on snacks at the playgroup so he comes home not really all that hungry to eat anyway.

1:31 p.m. — I do a little quick blogging and updating here and there. I don’t want to neglect this blog completely but there are things I have to get done beforehand.

2:11 p.m. — Baby Bun is up and raring to go. I ponder taking him to the park but decide against it. He’s going to have to stay in so I can work. I type furiously away, blogging and scheduling like a mofo.

5:37 p.m. — DADDY! When I hear the door lock turn, I stop working completely and shut down, relieved for the break. I still have a ton to do but that’ll have to come later.

6:38 p.m. — Nomz. We eat a light dinner.

7:01 p.m. — I do the dishes because I hate that I left an entire sink full of them today.

7:51 p.m. — Baby Bun gets ready for bed, and I am so excited for this possible project that my partner and I talk long after Baby Bun sleeps.

9:31 p.m. — We finally drift to sleep.

Saved: $0

Spent: $34.49


6:01 a.m. — I’m up, I’m ready. Interview is happening tomorrow, they want to move fast which is nice. I made it for late in the afternoon so that it would be after his nap (he will be a better toddler) and I get confirmation from a friend that she’ll watch him for a few hours while I am there. PHEW. What a relief. It is nice to have a support network of people to call on, and I do not take it for granted.

8:01 a.m. — I finish wrapping the candy bar for her as a gift to thank her, and prepping Baby Bun’s playdate-without-Mommy bag. I also prep my bag to bring with copies of my resume, some breath mints, etc. I also wiggle into my suit and decide it is not that obscene, I just need to eat super light to fit into it and then eat afterwards. I have started cutting back on meals already, but now that I am off the cakes & pastries (stress eating is a real thing), I should drop the weight in a week or two.

11:07 a.m. — I feed Baby Bun while thinking that I feel like there is so much to do and yet nothing important to do. I decide I am overwhelmed and use my technique to prioritize on a huge list to get my thoughts down. #1 on that list is: NEW PANTS. Preferably high-waisted. *gulp* I finish the list.

12:31 p.m. — Baby Bun goes down for his nap.

1:01 p.m. — I spend the last half hour searching for high-waisted pants. I don’t find any and in desperation, order a few options in multiple sizes that are high-waisted from Old Navy, but with a dreadful feeling that they’ll all end up getting shipped back. Oddly enough, they’re almost sold out of every size. Guess I am not the only freak. It is so easy to find high-waisted JEANS but not TROUSERS. $165.49

2:01 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up.

2:11 p.m. — I decide I need to go on a shopping expedition next week so I don’t get screwed. I make a list of all the stores and boutiques I know. At this point I just want ONE pair of pants to see me through for work when I start, so I don’t have to squeeze into stuff that feels too sausage-tight.

2:37 p.m. — I decide to take Baby Bun out to the park to play.

3:21 p.m. — We come back early, I am too tired. I really just want to lie down and read a book.

3:57 p.m. — I start laundry, realizing he has already gone through 10 pairs of underwear. ARG.

4:17 p.m. — I eat a banana, too hungry to wait for my partner.

5:07 p.m. — My partner comes in the door empty-handed. I internally groan. I was counting on a dinner.

5:13 p.m. — I cook up some fast noodles and shovel them in my mouth, giving Baby Bun 25% of them; I call it the Baby Bun Food Tax. Anything you eat, prepare to give up at least 25% of it to him if not more.

7:30 p.m. — We get him ready for bed, and I desperately try to read more of my book.

8:07 p.m. — Bedtime.

Saved: $

Spent: $165.49 – Will most likely get completely returned


??:?? — Oh of all the days to wake up and ruin my beauty sleep. I HAVE AN INTERVIEW TODAY GADDAMNIT.

6:01 a.m. — I am up, I am drinking tea, re-checking and worrying about Baby Bun being alone for this playdate.

7:11 a.m. — As a fun thing to do, I take him out on the bus for a short jaunt around town. $2.25

8:03 a.m. — We’re staring at trains going and leaving now, rush hour is great, there is a train almost every minute to ogle for Baby Bun.

9:01 a.m. — Back on the bus (didn’t pay, just transferred) just in time, with a Starbucks in my hand. I shouldn’t have, but I sort of wanted the boost. I know it’s fattening and sugary but… I NEED IT TODAY. $5 

9:41 a.m. — We’re back home and Baby Bun had a swell time.

11:01 a.m. — Baby Bun and I get fed. I repeat to him that Mommy will have to go to the interview but then she’ll be back. He seems to understand and repeats it back to me. “Mommy work. Baby Bun behave. Baby Bun stay alone.

12:01 p.m. — Baby Bun naps.

3:01 p.m. — I go to leave him at my friend’s place, and I leave about 20 minutes waiting to see if he’ll be okay or not. He takes to them right away, having played there many times but never without me there, hence my worry.

3:29 p.m. — I head off to my interview. $2.25

4:00 p.m. — I take a deep breath and head in. I did my makeup perfectly, and my heels are killer, which always helps my confidence. I always do these things to feel pretty, but this is how I feel when I am confident. I am relaxed, I already pre-rehearsed how AWESOME the interview will go, smiling and positive, and some really good music has never hurt to brighten a mood.

4:09 p.m. — I can already tell this is going to be a slam dunk. They’re smiling and so happy by the time I leave. I also like the project and the people because it won’t be as stressful as the last one, I suspect. A little more laid-back.

4:49 p.m. — Well that was quick. I hustle back to the bus stop to run back to Baby Bun. $2.25

5:11 p.m. — As I am getting to my car from the bus stop, the broker calls and asks me how it went. I tell him in 15 minutes or less that things went really really well. He sounds pleased. I am too.

5:29 p.m. — Baby Bun runs into my arms but my friend says he was PERFECT. No tears, no crying, and they played together for the first time ever. It was so gratifying to hear how well it went. We chat about the situation and life, and I tell her I could feel as though I nailed that interview.

7:22 p.m. — I get a call from the broker who says they basically loved me. They were impressed, they loved my personality, and couldn’t wait for me to start in June.

8:03 p.m. — I tell my partner I nailed it, and he’s so happy for me. We are going to celebrate all week with treats and delicious things. Baby Bun goes to sleep.

Saved: $0

Spent: $11.75

Potential Earning: $75,000 for 2 months


??:?? — I get slapped in the face with a chubby, clammy paw. He isn’t awake but I am now.

6:11 a.m. — Ugh. Life. I still have to fit into pants and find new ones, I have to go shopping this week which both excites me and fills me with dread because I am still a shopaholic at heart and I don’t want to ruin all the progress I have made on NOT BUYING ANYTHING useless. I wonder how I’ll do.

7:11 a.m. — I start prepping for the job. I have so much to get done. Fix all my coats I have been waiting on, get my watches repaired with new batteries, get my thrifted heels soled (at $40 a pop!), buy a bus pass, and to figure out the logistics of everything including signing and setting up daycare. I start making a list and planning my errands.

9:00 a.m. — I am calling daycares, I am calling stores to see if they have what I want before I go and visit (high-waisted, pocketed TROUSERS not jeans), and I curse that my favourite cobbler is not open on weekends. WHY?!

11:01 a.m. — Baby Bun and I get fed. I just created a mountain of work to do. I AM SO HAPPY.. and now even more stressed. I really have to make this trip happen before I start. Plus. Blog. Oh yeah. BLOG. I have vacation coming up too, my family is coming to visit right after… this is just … a huge organizational mess if I don’t get on top of this.

12:17 p.m. — Baby Bun naps. I spend the time searching for high-rise pants, I call more places, I map everything out.

1:31 p.m. — Baby Bun is up. I tell him we have to clean up first before going to the park. He gets excited.

3:41 p.m. — I take Baby Bun to the park, and we wander around, playing and jumping. I’m in a lighter mood but I know I have a lot ahead of me this week.

6:04 p.m. — We make it home, and have a nice dinner.

8:44 p.m. — Bedtime.

Saved: $0

Spent: $0


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