In Budgeting, Canada, Discussions, Money, Week of Money Diary

A Week of Money: Where I start experimenting with faux meat

DAY ONE

3:00 a.m. — I wake up super early because I am overcome with a sneezing fit of epic proportions. My nose starts running, I can’t breathe, I am all stuffed it is like it just hit me all at once. I get up, blow my nose at least 8 times, and take a Daytime Advil to try and stop the pain. I check the time. Okay. More sleep needed.

3:18 a.m. — Now I’m awake because of a Little BUM squealing: You’re cold! You’re cold! (he means “I’m cold”), and I wrap him up like a burrito again.

5:08 a.m. — I hear him get up again and gently pad over to my side of the bed, lean into my face and stares at me. I reach out and try to grab him to hug him towards me and he pulls away. I ask: “Pee?” and he says: “Yess….” and runs to the bathroom. Then I grab his bottle of milk and I try to pass out beside him. It’s 5 a.m.

5:19 a.m. — I try to pat him back to sleep, I half doze there but can’t really fall back asleep because he is wiggling, and then I get up and ask him if he wants to get up. He wakes up with me and says loudly: “Daddy is sleeping!

5:21 a.m. — I shush him, I make some tea for myself and he plays quietly stacking boxes into a huge tower… it is very sweet and calm, but I know it won’t last. Sure enough, he starts squealing for me to play with him. He is missing about a good hour of sleep so this is not helping his mood.

5:33 a.m. — I am feeling sick AGAIN. Coughing, tired, sneezing.. I thought this was over. What happened? Am I allergic to something?

6:04 a.m. — I get ready for work and he quietly undresses himself of all of his layers and says softly: “Mommy. Don’t want to go to school today..??” I explain that we both have to work and who would stay at home with Little Bun? I mention the fun things he did – legos, making a paper bag princess, getting stickers at school, and he perks up at “stickers??” and wants to go now.

6:21 a.m. — I get him ready slowly, as I am moving like sick molasses today, and then at work, I drop him off and hug him. I want a break, honestly. I would like to just stay at home with him for a week and relax. Sigh.

7:01 a.m. — Drop off goes great. I love them at the preschool, they’re awesome.

7:14 a.m. — At work, the environment is tense. People are not saying hello back to me, which I am not taking personally but I feel like my getting chewed out by the Director last week, has coloured the entire experience here. Ever wish you could take something back? Yeah. This is one of those times. I am sure we will get over it but now I am paranoid, I’m a little stressed and it wasn’t even that big of a deal in the end because MY FRIEND was not even offended or angry, and they ended up fixing an inefficient procedure as a result of my email. I could have worded it better for sure, but…. *sigh*…


7:54 a.m. — I am trying not to take it personally — perhaps this is nothing, and it is just Monday Work Stress and Company Stress and people are not happy about something else, and frankly, I am probably not important enough for them to even get upset over. I try to soothe myself into thinking it is something else completely, but it eats at me.

8:08 a.m. — I start working but get distracted from people chatting. As usual. Honestly, people need their own spaces. This open office concept may save money in terms of desk space and cost, but it wastes a heck of a lot more in lost productivity and concentration due to all the CHATTING.

9:15 a.m. — I show a colleague when I take a break, all the vegan vegetarian goodies I bought. Let’s see if it works out. It’s all tofu for the next 3 weeks. I try out the tofu and mushroom patty from Soyarie and it isn’t too bad. It tastes like sausage patty in terms of its similarity, but OBVIOUSLY you can taste the tofu bits in place of the oily meat bits… tofu tastes a bit more like the texture of overcooked egg whites all scrambled. I suppose if I were 100% vegetarian I’d get used to the texture over time, and would then find an actual sausage patty too salty and greasy.

10:31 a.m. — Surprisingly, people at work (some) are just as interested as I am in going more vegetarian… I’m trying out a whole bunch of things, but at least I now have a little network to share ideas and recipes with, and we can try and push our diet to include less meat in general, but not to cut it out completely for now. This is so great!

12:08 p.m. —  Off to yoga late.

12:15 p.m. — I get there and class has already started. I go through the flow but I am really.. really.. tired… the good news is that yoga helped perk me back up a bit, and cleared my sinuses from all the movement. I feel much better.

1:34 p.m. — Back at the office, I finish out the vegetarian tofu and mushroom patty from lunch and like it better a bit overcooked because it gave it a meatier colour (brown) and tasted a bit better.

2:45 p.m. — I eat a pannacotta dessert (love these things), and then chat with a colleague about microwaving food… I show her the rice cooker I bought for the microwave and she wants one too.

3:00 p.m. — We go through a meeting where they basically outline the NEW process that was created from the email exchanges from last week where I was super frustrated and should have stopped before hitting “SEND” on the email button that led to me getting chewed out last week.

4:19 p.m. — I leave and pick up Little Bun. My ears keep getting blocked and I keep trying to pop them… I hate this feeling.

4:21 p.m. — Little Bun turns down his nose at the apple slices for a snack, and eats his cut up clementine instead from home on the bench with me. Then we head home.

6:55 p.m. — My partner gets home late (he was buying a new cutting board), and I did two puzzles with Little Bun and two loads of laundry and zero dishes because I’m sick and lazy.

7:57 p.m. — We end up trying to get to sleep “early” (8 p.m.) but it doesn’t work because he wanted 5 books.

8:00 p.m. — I pop a Night Advil to sleep and pass out.

Spent: $0

DAY TWO

5:29 a.m. — I wake up super early (5:30) with Little Bun asking for milk but I feel well rested from the Tylenol night pill that helped keep my nose at bay.

5:34 a.m. — I pop the Day pill to make it through the morning and feel better, and grab my lunch, put on my clothes and decide to switch my blazer to a blue one because I keep wearing black and ivory and it is getting depressing for winter. I miss my dresses and skirts! I would wear them but then I’d have to wear knee-high boots and they would get ruined in the winter slush and snow.

5:41 a.m. — I make some tea, Little Bun runs out squealing: IT IS TOO BRIGHT. and then we cuddle as he sets up my look in StyleBook. He wants to do it all by himself but all of my items look so similar he gets confused sometimes but he did about 80% of it alone.

5:47 a.m. — He spends the early morning playing with my locket necklace (SEE I TOTALLY BOUGHT IT FOR HIM), and he loves opening and asking me (?) “What’s inside!?!?” .. I need to get photos of him put in there with my partner.

6:10 a.m. — I get ready for work and Little Bun runs around, excited about life, making noise, jumping around and singing.

6:23 a.m. — I start on the dishes. I have plenty of time. I wash all of them and wipe the bottoms and leave them on the counter to dry.

6:34 a.m. — I get Little Bun ready for school. He chooses his outfit and I get him excited to go play with the friends he is finally making at preschool. One friend. A girl. She seems very sweet. I tell Little Bun today is a SPECIAL day because it is TUESDAY in JANUARY and it is also a SCHOOL day (yes, with those inflections and excitement drummed up in my voice). Little Bun smiles and starts getting excited for school, knowing there are stickers and “treats” there (stuff he doesn’t get at home).

6:40 a.m. — We get ready leisurely, I grab his stuff, I check my partner is staying home tomorrow so I have to remember to bring Little Bun’s winter gear home JUST IN CASE (you never know), and I grab my stuff.

6:45 a.m. — On the way down to the car, Little Bun asks for “Sanskrit” music, he is still obsessed with that soundtrack, but I am trying to work in other languages now because I cannot listen to that on repeat. I add a few more “other language” songs: Gangam Style (Psy), Despacito (Luis Fonsi), and Americano (Renato Carosone), and I am trying to find other fun upbeat songs in different languages. He loves those 3 right now and I am hoping for more suggestions.

7:12 a.m. — I drop Little Bun off and snag a lot of Craisins for him to snack on, and he sits down willingly like a good role model for the other baby who doesn’t want to leave his mommy. The other baby starts eating like Little Bun, and the mother looks relieved, and is about to leave. Honestly, in these situations, you just leave. Even if they are crying. They’ll get used to it. But parents find it hard to leave (not me), but it is for their own good. It has taken close to 10 months for Little Bun to STOP CRYING when I leave in the mornings, and I have tried my best to ask him if he likes playing with friends (there is one little girl he is apparently obsessed with, and loves playing with her, so I use her name often in our conversations to get him happy about going to preschool.)

7:20 a.m. — I get to work, and start. I make a list of my hours until the end of my contract and try to get my life at work organized so I am not scrambling. I need to pre-fill in all my timesheets and just be done with it so I don’t stress about billing (and getting PAID!)

7:25 a.m. — I start unsubscribing to email alerts. I am only going to keep certain alerts on for clothing pieces I have been looking for, for a long time to show up. I need to start curbing the temptation to shop and it starts by not seeing anything to buy. Plus, focusing my energies on trying to turn my diet to be more vegetarian which will help keep me busy.10:40 a.m. — I have meetings that cut into my yoga time but I forgot my laptop (DOH). Maybe I should start keeping a spare laptop at the office for these occasions and days. *Sigh* I could have used today to work on my company taxes but didn’t look ahead in my schedule to see that I wouldn’t be able to go to yoga today.

10:52 a.m. — I head off to my meeting.

12:28 p.m. — After my meeting, I eat my lunch quickly and give a BIG thumbs DOWN to these disgusting Soyarie BBQ Tofu Bites. The BBQ flavour is good but the texture is garbage. It is dry, like over cooked egg and it just crumbles terribly in my mouth, yuck. Definite no. I’ll choke it down but their Mushroom Tofu Patty was better.

12:46 p.m. — I head out to the lounge and make a call while eating my pannacotta.
12:51 p.m. — I cancel my accidental Poshmark order (the seller didn’t know how to do it on her end so I waited exactly 7 days (down to be hour!), and canceled the order due to “Order Delay”.

12:57 p.m. — I see my two cashmere turtlenecks shipped and I’m excited. I’m normally not a turtleneck person but they look cosy and the neck is thick and ribbed. We shall see. I’d like to also buy a super thin turtleneck but won’t spend $$$$ on that and will get one from Banana Republic or something. There is something about the look of a turtleneck that is so appealing for me.

1:15 p.m. — I AM stopping the shopping train though as I have a feeling I may not be extended due to budget cuts so I need conserve my money like crazy and to start on my new net worth goal to personally hit $1M now that it seems far more doable…. That should be enough to scare AND motivate me at the same time.

5:00 p.m. — I stayed way late talking to my manager which is fine because I have to leave early tomorrow for a quick appointment for 3 p.m. so this works out well.

5:20 p.m. — Little Bun and I sit on the bench eating his orange slices (it was apple sliced snacks again.. he turned his nose up, he doesn’t seem to like apples..)

6:26 p.m. — At home, I wash my hair, remove my makeup, wash my face (DRY AGAIN), put away all the dried dishes, organize my notes, go through my emails, put things I need for tomorrow in my bag, unpack all of our bags and things, and go through the mail. DONE.

6:27 p.m. — I feed Little Bun his vegan stew.

7:30 p.m. — We get ready for bed, play, and then sleep.

Spent: $0

DAY THREE

1:00 a.m. — Nosebleed.

3:00 a.m. — Squealing.

4:00 a.m. — Squealing again. Now potty.

5:03 a.m. — Wakes up and doesn’t want to sleep any more.

5:30 a.m. —  Commence Meltdown. On both sides. Major meltdown because we are both tired, both sick, and I have so much to get done for the company (need to close my books) and not enough time between work and life. A child who has NOT SLEPT is NOT A HAPPY CHILD. EFF ME. And neither is a sleep deprived Mommy!


6:16 a.m. — My partner wakes up, eyes Little Bun and decides to go to work instead of staying home. I have to re-pack all his winter gear I brought home and bring it all back to preschool. Yay.

6:42 a.m. — We head off to work and preschool.

7:08 a.m. — At the office, I’m in before anyone but the VP (this guy sleeps here I swear), and I just start working. I want to leave early today so I will skip yoga and work through lunch.

8:18 p.m. — Meetings. More kerfuffling. I’m staying out of all of this crap and discussion. I AM NOT GETTING INVOLVED IN ISH ANY MORE.

12:28 p.m. — Lunch.

2:56 p.m. — I duck out early as another issue arises. I’ve already solved 5 problems today and I am sure I can solve this one but they don’t seem to want to ask for my help or opinion so I am going to leave it at that and just mosey on out.

3:11 p.m. — I bring my car in to have its oil changed, and work as I wait. I hate that I am skipping yoga so much but this month is just.. ridiculous. Meeting after meeting and then all this stress of Little Bun… I have to go this Friday to yoga, but not tomorrow because a co-worker is leaving and I want to have a good-bye lunch with him (he’s into vegan food too. I’ll be sad to see him go.)

5:27 p.m. — I get caught up in work at the mechanic, and end up staying later than I expected.

6:45 p.m. — At home, we have a light salad, and we talk about our day together while Little Bun plays with puzzles.

8:30 p.m. — Bedtime.

Spent: $0

DAY FOUR

??:?? — I wake up twice during the night but surprisingly, feel sort of like I slept..

??:?? — Little Bun says: “Cuddle with Mommy? Sleep on Mommy?“.. and I pull him tight. That doesn’t last long because he wiggles out.

5:01 a.m. — He gets up and asks me to get up nicely, we head to the bathroom, he gets his milk and I start getting ready.

5:39 a.m. — I also spend time washing all his bloodied clothes from last night (nosebleed) and start a load of laundry.

5:48 a.m. — My partner asks me what time it is and he stays in bed while I make some tea and log in to make notes about what I have to get done today. I’m selling a purse I don’t use tomorrow, and have to get organized.

6:10 a.m. — Little Bun refuses to go to school, until I mention “STICKERS”, and he perks up. Then I get him dressed, we do a Look in my StyleBook app (he loves organizing and matching what I wear), and then we all head off together (all 3 of us).

7:10 a.m. — I get to preschool, drop him off, and then I head into work and make a cup of tea. I’m having a goodbye lunch today for a new friend I made here at work (so sad he’s leaving!) and we’re heading uptown for some vegan burgers.

7:20 a.m. —  I get to work.

11:15 a.m. — Head down, I am working until an annoying door alarm sounds and I head off to get the guys to leave.

11:27 a.m. — The guys and I head up to a vegan place (which they all pronounce as “vay-guhn”, which in French is actually végétalien but here they say végane… anyway, I induct another one into the fold, and he loves his mushroom burger. My friend takes the wings and is blown away. I pay for the meal, and he reimburses me his half ($20) later. $20

12:48 p.m. — On the way back, I forget to buy more tissue paper (shoot!), but then we stop by and grab some pastries. I take a cannoli (my addiction) and he takes a zeppoli (the other guy is way too full). We decide to split the desserts to try a bit of each. $3

12:58 p.m. — At my desk, I cut half of each pastry, and I decide the cannoli is far tastier than the zeppoli with custard. Good thing we shared, I am sticking with my cannoli next time.

12:59 p.m. — I continue working and am DYING for the end of the work day. I cannot wait for the weekend to relax. Something about this month has been really insane.

4:00 p.m. — I bolt at 4. I AM OUT OF THERE LIKE A BAT OUT OF HELL.

4:11 p.m. — Little Bun’s new friend left him a sweet little gift and now I have to reciprocate (and so it begins…), and I make a note to buy a gift tomorrow (nothing fancy), as well as to plan his birthday coming in up a few weeks. I am sure my neighbour will buy something for Little Bun’s birthday so now I also need to think of something for her son in a few months too. I need to start pre-wrapping spare gifts with notes.

4:34 p.m. — We head home after eating a snack on the bench together. I eat his “garbage”, his leftover orange slices. Little Bun recounts his day to me.

5:30 p.m. — My partner comes home, we chat, he tells me about his day but I am way too occupied logging into my accounts and paying all these bills – municipal tax bill (went up $100 this year, THANKS A LOT), the credit card bills, and so on. What I do is I transfer the money the day before, and pay it the next day automatically (all scheduled). I leave about 3 business days before the actual statement is due, and I make sure I have a float of about $20,000 in my account to cover cash flow so I don’t have to transfer from other accounts and get stressed over checking it.

5:46 p.m. — I start a load of laundry (Little Bun accident again), and then dry it, and put it away immediately. I leave the dishes for tomorrow morning, I have no energy for that ish tonight.

6:01 p.m. — I feel like this year, because I am leaving mid-year, I have a bit of a panic to make sure I conserve money, and don’t overspend. Last year was nasty. I went nuts. I think the stress, relief of working again, all of that culminated in super shopping overdrive. No more. I have a new focused goal now that $1M is really quite close and within reasonable reach as a personal net worth and I LOVE a good challenge. Budget game ON.

6:12 p.m. — I finally manage to finish my bills, and I pay attention to my partner and really chat. I need more times like this with him, just him and me, talking as adults. Little Bun is behaving well with his stickers form his new friend, and is QUIET.

7:15 p.m. — I am not hungry, and neither is Little Bun so we skip dinner.

7:35 p.m. — I get into bed, Little Bun grabs one, two, then THREE Books, and we read all of them before we go to sleep.

Spent: $23 – Already 1/5 of my “Eating Out” budget gone in one meal. Gack.

DAY FIVE

??:?? — I wake up from Little Bun wiggling, squealing, all cold because he kicked his blankets off. We wrap him back up and he kicks them off again. UGH.

5:23 a.m. — He finally gets up and asks me to get up (politely), and I grab his milk, take him for a potty run and then start getting ready.

5:30 a.m. — I put on an apron and start doing the dishes. For some reason I find it more satisfying (if I have time like this) to do dishes in the morning for about 20 minutes, clear the sink, dry everything (or leave it to dry and come back at night to put everything away), than to come home tired to a sink of dirty dishes. I’d rather put away clean ones when I come home, than to have to wash AND dry them when I am so DONE with my day. This is my new change and it is helping me a lot because I come home without that extra task on my mind, seeing as I am pretty much doing laundry daily now (Little Bun is now having accidents from not wanting to go to the potty because he is having too much fun playing nicely with his new friend, a sweet little girl, and he has had a nose bleed or two lately).

5:48 a.m. — I finish all the dishes, and as I am drying them Little Bun comes out squinting, holding the empty bottle, waving it and saying: Want to give to me??? (Translated: I want to give this to you, Mommy). I correct his English and explain why we say that, and he repeats it back like the cutest little parrot ever. He blinks and says: It is not bright!, and I explain that his eyes have to adjust to the brightness, and make a mental note to explain how eyes work. I also plan on teaching him more about planets and space this weekend (printed some colour photos) because he has expressed an interest, and will print some activity sheets for the clock because now he really wants to understand how time works.

6:01 a.m. — All the dishes dried and only the Tupperware with their lids drying (they take forever to wipe down, those lids), I make a big bowl of matcha green tea and then get ready for work.

6:09 a.m. — My partner gets up, Little Bun is in the midst of choosing my accessories for me (he picks out a gold skeleton bangle), and says: Mommy wear this today! This is an accessory. I tell him it’s a bangle or a bracelet, and he repeats the word, makes me spell it, and then says he wants to add it to the LookBook app with Mommy afterwards because Little Bun likes picking out what Mommy wears. SO CUTE. This baby of mine. Adorable.

6:21 a.m. — After I’m dressed, we do the LookBook today (he likes to pick AND arrange the pictures), and then as I am grabbing my bags to go, he turns to me and says very sweetly: Want to kiss Mommy bye bye..? … and I promise him I will before I go, but I am just gathering my things and I have not forgotten. I hug him tight, he turns and kisses me.. then kisses me again, and I give him a polar bear kiss (nose rub). He looks conflicted as I open the door to leave, but puts on a brave face, I tell him to have a GREAT DAY with Daddy, and as the door closes, he runs to his father in a half excited, half sad squeal. He is really improving lately with the drop offs when I leave him with his father two days a week and on Saturdays (AND WHEN HE HAS SLEPT WELL), so it is nice to finally get a break from the screaming and crying in the morning. It really ruins your morning.

7:00 a.m. — I get to work, make a note of all the boys and girls in his preschool so I can plan his birthday “party” where I plan on buying a large tart for the kids and the teachers, and Little Bun gets his own mini birthday tart and little party favours for each child, as I won’t be there for his birthday, but want to do something nice. Maybe I can leave work a bit early and surprise him with a mini party.

9:15 a.m. — I check in on an eBay listing for this new Sony RX100 V camera I want (mine is starting to go, I can hear the camera motor coughing and hacking a little from time to time and it has maybe 5 years left, so I’d rather sell it now in good shape and use the money to buy a new one). I see the price has gone up to $900 CAD on eBay but on Best Buy, the open box of the exact same camera (brand new), is only $970 on sale this week.

9:17 a.m. — I decide to sell my old camera for about $250, buy this new one for about $1115, which nets out to $865 out of pocket for me but gives me the benefit of a new camera, all the great accessories because my old model is the SAME size as my new one and I can just keep the same extras for it as I had for my old one which is worth about $300, and then resell this one in the future for another upgrade once it reaches its end of life. I bite the bullet and pay for it online (it was on my list to buy this year secondhand, but I want to resell it in good faith and in good condition). Ouch. It is going to put me over my budget of $3750 this month for sure. Unless I scale back drastically to bare bones, and start selling more stuff to make up for it. *resolved to stay under $3750 this month* $1115.53

9:20 a.m. — I do some quick math. I can definitely stay under $3750 this month if I do not buy anything. Like NOTHING. And I sell, sell sell. I plan on raiding my closet again and making hard decisions.

10:30 a.m. — At work I try to finish off everything I need to get done for the week. I want this month to go better and to be less stressful. I am going to be #LIKEABOSS Still need to get taxes done though. And prep for 2018.

11:01 a.m. — I am working and then I just discover through flipping quickly through my RSS reader that perhaps Bragg’s Amino Acids has MSG in it. I read a bit more and realize it is naturally occurring MSG in amino acid-rich foods that give that umami flavour like mushrooms and sigh in relief. It is not that I am actively trying to get rid of MSG In my life, but I don’t want to add it unnecessarily either.

11:23 a.m. —  My godfather emails me a huge thank you email for this custom calendar I sent to my family and he loves all the photos in there of everyone, of Little Bun, and is completely touched that we bothered to even send something with a handwritten card (oops, next year I need to write properly, I remember hastily writing them in a fog of fatigue and my penmanship was crap). He is getting older, and these little things brighten his life ever since my godmother died 10 years ago. He still talks to her. Their love was everlasting and it was really sad that they never had children because they would have been amazing parents. C’est la vie.

11:27 a.m. — I re-read the email and take some time to pause before responding back to him.

11:56 a.m. — I head out to quickly run errands (yes, I am skipping yoga again, but it is because I have to stay in the office for emergencies today), and drop by the grocery store first.

12:20 p.m. — I pick up some organic eggs for next weeks’ round of breakfasts, and start to load up the panna cotta into my basket until I do the math and realize that 125g x 2 = 250 grams and they’re charging me $5.19 for it. I could just as easily buy some thick strawberry yoghurt instead (similar happiness eating it), at 500 grams for $4.19. I decide to go the frugal route, and buy the yoghurt instead of a dessert (less calories too, probably), and to save some money. $11.48

12:39 p.m. — I drop by another store JUST TO USE THEIR WASHROOM (Winners), and try to avoid their clothing and sale racks. I succeed, but then see a liquidation rack for children’s items and start getting an idea that I can return that $12 activity kit I bought and buy some items on liquidation to cobble together a better gift. I pick up a Barbie sticker activity book for $3, and this plastic blue pony keychain where you decorate it with stickers and it’s only $2. I pick up one for Little Bun’s new friend and another one to add to the Barbie sticker book. There. $5 gift that will probably be a lot more fun than the $11 activity kit that just looked cute but only had 50 stickers. That means I saved $5 on the gift. YES!!

12:58 p.m. — On my way out of the store, I spy some MORE sticker books on liquidation ($3 each, 350 stickers? YES.)  I also spy some books on the shelf and am SORELY TEMPTED to buy the Margaret Wise Brown mini library with mini Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny and My World, but resist the urge. OMG. I also resist the urge for this Truck Food book of different cuisines. I know it’s only $7, but $7 here, $7 there, before you know it you’re out $3000… 😛 I leave before I do any more damage and ONLY pick up a sticker book with 500 stickers on sale for $3 and another reusable sticker book from Melissa & Doug (great kid’s brand), for $3 that I plan on saving for our summer vacation to keep him occupied. I am ORGANIZED and I like planning ahead. I leave before I buy any more in my excitement. $14.05

1:05 p.m. — I drop by a last stop to pick up some party favours for Little Bun’s upcoming birthday. I decide on stickers. They are all mad for stickers at this age, and you can get them to behave with a WHISPER of a “sticker”… and these ones are pretty. I pick up 19 of them (5 for Little Bun, to be stashed in case of emergencies at home), and decide I will get Little Bun to write: “FROM LITTLE BUN” on all the labels to stick on the sticker packages so that it looks customized… we can hand them out at the party. Maybe I’ll make him write their names. Uhhh… Maybe I won’t go that far. $21.85

1:10 p.m. — I head back to the office and everyone is gone. OH RIGHT. It is Prickly Consultant’s last day here, so they must have all gone out to lunch. Oh well. I was already at her first Farewell Lunch and I ate $50 worth, so I am glad I am saving that money by not going.

1:16 p.m. — I check my pockets and find $20. OH YEA. My friend paid me yesterday, I forgot to put the money away. I love it when this happens.

1:25 p.m. — I also make plans to sell that old camera on the weekend, so that’s another $250 coming in, plus $35 from today. $385 for things I don’t even really want to keep any more feels good. I just need to let go of any emotional attachment.

3:07 p.m. — I check my emails as a break from working and see I am refunded almost $5000 (incorrectly charged). SWEET. This is turning out to be a killer month. I won’t record it in my budget this month as it’s a refund and would throw off my actual spending and maybe cause me to spend more money. +$4525.43

3:43 p.m. — I have a real fear of being late so I leave extra early from work to go and meet the buyer. I meet up with a colleague on the way there and we chat. She tells me she spent a ton of money on books for her kid and I see it going my way like that for Little Bun. I just want him to read everything. I hold back however because now we are going to use the library more often especially during the warmer months when we can go get books and drop off easily.

3:50 p.m. — She also warns me not to spend a ton on a cake and to go just buy a cheap Duncan Hines cake and throw M&Ms on it. Secretly I kind of feel strange doing that because it really is crap food that even I wouldn’t eat, so I decide I’ll stick to buying an expensive blueberry tart instead, which is something I’d eat and enjoy. I want to treat Little Bun and his friends like respected little persons even if they don’t know the difference yet between good or bad cake. I have to also buy a birthday candle and I’m considering just one with a number on it.

4:02 p.m. — I arrive super early. Like half an hour too early. Oops.

4:23 p.m. — I hang out and watch people flow past me, running like mad for the trains they’re about to miss. I see a former colleague and was about to say “Hi” but he didn’t recognize me and ran for his train. Hmmm… I am definitely wearing more makeup than I ever did on other projects so I can understand that I look super different.

4:30 p.m. — I sell the purse and head back to the office. $30

4:47 p.m. — Everyone has left, but I log in quickly to check my emails and reply to a few. Time to leave. I’m tired..

5:08 p.m. — I head home after connecting with a colleague on a project he has to help me on.

6:18 p.m. — At home, I feel a bit tired, like a cold is coming on. My chest is heavy.. We eat a salad and then I leave the dishes for tomorrow.

7:15 p.m. — We hang out, putter around the house, play, and Little Bun mixes up ALL of his puzzle pieces together to “cook” for his stuffed toys. “This is pasta! This is soup!

Refunded: $4525.43

Earned: $30

Spent: $1141.06 – Going to sell my old camera to fund this new one

DAY SIX

??:?? — Squealy.

??:?? — More squeals.

5:00 a.m. — Little Bun is up. I make some tea, and then he wants to do basic math and learn more about the clock and planets… so I spend the next hour and a half teaching him about planets, drawing clock faces and asking him what time it is (he only knows the full hours, the minutes and the idea of divisions and quarters is a bit much for him right now..)

6:20 a.m. — I spy my mom on Skype and try to call her.. but she isn’t answering. So I call the house. Twice. I end up waking her up by accident. OOOPS… she’s awake anyway, and Little Bun is so excited, he wants to talk to her. He keeps Skyping her, and leaving video messages of him making noises and faces.. LOL..

6:48 a.m. — Little Bun helps create my January 2018 image for Instagram:

7:15 a.m. — We discuss my buying a piano. I have to go visit a piano store and see what’s there, find out how much it costs, the budget, how much it would cost to put in a practicing with headphones system, the finishes, the size, delivery, and then plan on buying one maybe if I get extended next year. I am looking to spend about 5-figures on this piano.. we’re not talking about cheap stuff here, I am looking at handmade German pianos (am totally open to secondhand!!!!), because I do love playing the piano and would like to teach Little Bun if he is interested. It’s really a piece I have been waiting to buy since I bought my condo, and I just haven’t had time / money and the inclination to buy it until this year now that I’m back in the black income-wise.

8:01 a.m. — Off the phone with her, I look around, get Little Bun set up with some language nursery rhymes and plan on doing dishes.

8:05 a.m. — I quickly check my emails and tear up… that reader? With that incredible success story of KILLING IT? She picked out a gift for me on Nordstrom as a thank you. I did not expect this at all and was SUPER touched. My goodness. This was my So Money Podcast she heard by the way.

https://www.savespendsplurge.com/success-story-nailing-a-new-6-figure-job-leaving-a-toxic-work-environment/

Unfortunately, the cute shirt she picked out for me was sold out in my size (small) (Pardon my French.. how great would that be here!??!), so I picked up these two necklaces and paid the difference instead.

  1. This horn necklace from Soko is sold out, but I would have picked this stunning Pia Pendant necklace in its place.

2)  I have wanted to own a Nakamol piece for a while now, and with this one on sale (yeah I’m on a frugal BUDGET, y’all)… I jumped on it right away as it is totally ME. I love their natural stone pieces… (and this is also sold out too, I bought the last one apparently)….

9:02 a.m. — I do all the dishes and dry them while watching Top Chef. I LOVE THIS SEASON. I love all the chefs, they’re all killer. I want them all to win. This is terrible.

9:59 a.m. — She writes back and totally fills my heart with joy:

You are very welcome!!! It’s not everyday you hear a women with such conviction, and be willing to share the knowledge with others! I value that a lot. Then to follow your blog and constantly get inspired, not to mention you continuing a dialogue about my current state of affairs, is APPRECIATED Sherry! Your style is impeccable and I totally dig it! 

This is why I blog. THIS IS IT FOLKS. My goodness. <3

10:01 a.m. — I check an eBay listing on a camera I had wanted and can’t believe that used, it sold for almost the same price as the Open Box. I bought mine for $970 CAD and this one sold for $942.86, plus I’d have to pay import charges, shipping…. I’m really pleased with my choice in the end to buy an Open Box instead. They’re LIKE NEW.

10:15 a.m. — I go through and start wrapping up and removing stickers on presents for a birthday party next week.

11:02 a.m. — I finish taking off the price tags off EVERYTHING, and then get Little Bun to write his name, label everything, wrap the gift, grab cards out and prep for the birthday next week. Little Bun eagerly helps and doesn’t even squeal for the stickers. This is what being a parent is — organizing your kid’s social life, LOL

11:04 a.m. — My partner comes home and I start packing up and wrapping things up. I plan on going to check out pianos today, and then doing my taxes at home in the lounge while listening to TV in the background. I need to get it started, get it done, and this is the only time I have before they’re due.

11:08 a.m. — Little Bun asks to share a banana wif Mommy?? and I hold him off until we are done lunch, the banana can be a dessert.

12:15 p.m. — After lunch (bread and cheese) and a banana for dessert, I leave for my Mommy break. I go to look at pianos downtown to get an idea of what I want and what the budget would be.

1:48 p.m. — WHOA I have expensive taste… I am looking at about $25,000 CAD with taxes in. Gulp. I need to revisit this piano business. I wish I could just take my childhood piano but my mother has started taking lessons and wants to learn how to play so I can’t take the piano now…

2:55 p.m. — I drop by the lounge in the building and get to work on my company taxes but I forgot to download the files beforehand to my laptop. DAMN IT. GRRR. Next week. I must get it done next week. I end up puttering around doing jack squat.

3:08 p.m. — I find a vegetarian burger recipe I want to try:

4:38 p.m. — I head back home but on the way back I can’t resist and drop by the grocery store to buy Ricola but end up with a sushi bento box. I was trying so hard to resist eating out but I’m hungry. I pick up what I thought was a $9 boat on special but they SNEAKILY put the tag where the other bento box is, which throws me and I end up paying more than I wanted. $12.41

4:59 p.m. — I eat it (so satisfying), and head home.

5:15 p.m. — Little Bun is super excited to see me and runs out when he hears the door. He hops from one foot to the next, grinning and laughing.

5:30 p.m. — I go through my closet and quickly pick out a few more things to list (selling stuff is addictive…) and make a note to take pictures of them tomorrow.

6:23 p.m. — We have dinner (salad again) and my partner says he picked up a CRATE of avocados for $5. Now I know why we have so many…

6:45 p.m. — Little Bun and I read books, do more math and then we get ready for sleep.


6:53 p.m. — Then it hits. Little Bun throws the paper of printed planets on the floor and won’t put it back on the table after being repeatedly asked. My partner loses his ish and throws it in the garbage in a fit of fury.

7:57 p.m. — An hour of screaming, silent crying (mouth open in a silent scream, eyes scrunched up, in pure pain) and I can’t calm him down. He wants his planet paper back. They’re ruined and he needs to learn his lesson so I hold firm and won’t fish it out of the garbage. I will print another one later on, but for now this is a hard lesson to learn although I’m the one suffering through this meltdown as my partner is lying in bed in his mental cave, fuming as he normally does… *sigh* So I suffer through the HOUR LONG tantrum and manage to hold my calm cool knowing he is sick and also being too tired and unable to let it affect me.

8:02 p.m. — I finally get him calmed down (I almost cracked near the end, I was softly swearing like a sailor) and then we read together.

8:03 p.m. — With another book on planets, Little Bun makes me teach him all the planets again and to learn the sizes of the planets IN ORDER. Apparently Pluto is a dwarf planet and no longer a “planet”. I am conflicted. I decide to leave it in, even though it was kicked out of the planet party. I explain the outside, we cuddle and go to sleep. I’m dead tired. I’m glad I ate that sushi bento box. It really hit the spot.

Spent: $12.41

DAY SEVEN

??:?? — Little Bun is seriously sick. He keeps waking up and wanting to pee, drinks the milk and has a fever over 40C.

??:?? — I try my best to force medicine down his throat to bring his fever down but he hates the taste and doesn’t understand why I’m doing it, so he softly cries (that’s the worst it is so heart wrenching), and keeps repeating: no more medicine, no more medicine… I manage to get some of it down his throat but I realize it is his baby medicine for a year old and he needs one for an older child.

7:00 a.m. — We finally fall asleep together and wake up at 7. We are all exhausted.

7:10 a.m. — My partner starts cooking and I skip tea. I’ll go to Starbucks today.

7:23 a.m. — I get prepped to sell my camera and organize all the things to return as well as to buy.

Return:
Egg poacher – don’t need it for the microwave
Frozen Activity Set – got another present
Rice cooker – I’m going to make it at home properly and pack it each week instead
White Rice – I’ll eat brown rice instead at home instead of white, it’s better for me

Buy:
Medicine for an older child for fever and pain
Ricola
Mechanical pencil for the car – I’m sick of this retractable pen not writing because of the cold and plus it can leak in the summer as it is ink
Tissue paper with lotion for the office
Tissue paper boxes shaped for the cup holders for the car

7:37 a.m. — As I’m making notes, Little Bun is leaning against my chest, completely feverish and limp. I kiss and hold him. I hate it when my baby is sick like this. He is so listless and has zero energy. I miss my little energy ball.

7:42 a.m. — I get ready and get Little Bun ready because I feel like it would be worse to leave him at home with my partner cooking but my partner gets mad and kiboshes Little Bun’s outing saying he is sick and has to rest at home. He even lights into me to try and get me to stay home too because I’m sick. I am torn but I need to get stuff done so I pull out a spare fire truck present I had hidden and ask if he will stay at home nicely with his father even though I promised an outing.

7:50 a.m. — My baby is so sick, he doesn’t even protest. He nods listlessly and grabs the fire truck and plays with it, happy and eager. I’m heartbroken and don’t want to leave him.

7:55 a.m. — Before I leave we do my outfit in the Look Book and as I pull on my boots and grab my purse he says: Want to kiss Mommy?? Want Mommy kiss? I give him a huge hug and kiss before I leave. I really don’t want to go. He is all hot and feverish. I want to be at home with him, cuddling.

8:37 a.m. — I head out, and it is snowing like mad. The car is sliding all over the place and I can barely come to a stop in some areas.

9:09 a.m. — I sell the camera. +$250

9:29 a.m. — I head off and return items and pick up everything on my list. Net the returns and what I buy, I end up paying a little more. As I head to the checkout I am SO TEMPTED by all the chocolate but keep having my Budget flash in my head to stay UNDER this month. I need to seriously exercise my restraint and practice saying “No” to myself. I proudly walk out without anything extra, but those Mini Eggs looked damn good. Maybe if there is a Valentines/Easter clearance sale on chocolate I’ll indulge. $7.20

10:31 a.m. — I drop by the Starbucks for my last free Star Reward. Sigh. Now I need to start paying again. $0

10:47 a.m. — I head home and forget to drop by the bank to deposit the money.

11:01 a.m. — At home my partner says Little Bun spent all morning sleeping and playing with his new truck. He basically slept the whole time.. my poor baby.

11:21 a.m. — I get home and he runs out to see me the minute he hears the door. He lets me get undressed and take off my sunscreen and says in a pleading, soft voice: You’re grumpy…. (translation: I’m grumpy which is his phrase for being sleepy or tired because I keep saying that when he is grumpy he needs to nap). He is basically asking to go down for his nap, and I ask him softly if he wants lunch first. He says yes at first but then shakes his head and says “No? You’re too grumpy….” I pat his bum to sleep and he looks up at me as I’m doing it, slowly closing his eyelashes. I whisper to him to nap and Mommy is right outside. He nods gently and closes his eyes. Poor baby.

11:59 a.m. — I eat lunch with my partner (honestly I can’t recall the last time he made anything with meat or seafood), and then I log in to work on my budget. I re-jig the numbers to properly account for my house taxes so that I see the year end amount equals to $0 without a deficit or leftover amount. It’s fixed so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

12:10 p.m. — He wakes up again an hour later calling out to me and saying: Want to eat lunch?? Mommy…. Mommy…

12:12 p.m. — And I go to him, and unwrap his lunch and hand feed him. He seems to be better. He tells me: You’re grumpy. And I take him back in my arms to the bed to nap again.

1:01 p.m. — After he falls back asleep, I organize more things, make notes, research on the piano I may want to buy.

3:08 p.m. — I hear a soft wail and I run to the bedroom and try to pat him back to sleep. He is burning up terribly. His temperature is 40C and after his febrile seizure as a baby I’m scared AF. I do not want another seizure, I already went through it and I thought he was dying.

3:11 p.m. — As much as I want his body to learn how to fight off the infection, I make a decision and crack open the new medicine I bought and mix it into a cup of milk. I tell him it is sweet milk and he refuses to drink it halfway through but I coax him to drink it to feel better. He hates the taste and I give him a medicine-free bottle of milk afterwards to wash it down.

3:25 p.m. — I take him back to the bedroom and try to pat him back to sleep, and he doesn’t want to sleep any more: You’re not grumpy!!! He tells me, and we go out to play with his new truck. I show him pictures and videos and then we cuddle. His fever finally breaks.

3:34 p.m. — I feel him cool down (finally) and his energy comes back somewhat. He runs around a bit and we lie down to read books together as my partner heads out for errands.

3:55 p.m. — I log in and let him watch some Masha and The Bear and then we cuddle together and read more books. He is more docile when sick but at least he isn’t feverish and listless. I am so scared when he is and when he isn’t eating like his normal self.

4:12 p.m. — He very sweetly backs his bum up and places it on my lap, and leans into my chest to cuddle. Then he says: Turn around cuddle? and he turns around, and I hug him against my chest, rubbing his back and kissing his head. I love him more than I could have ever imagined. This child has his fist around my heart.

4:32 p.m. — I give him the rest of his bottle of milk (he didn’t want to finish it) and hope the milk gives him more energy and calories to get well. I tell him if he gets too warm again then we need another cup of “sweet milk” to feel better to which he says “Yes…” but I’m sure he will resist when the time comes. I lie in bed with him and we read book after book after book as he just lies there, blanket up to his chin, looking so sad and small.

6:32 p.m. — He spends the rest of the night just quietly sitting on my lap with the blankets around us, looking at things in the room and making observations… He refuses to eat, even his avocado which he loves. I’m so worried. I have never had him this sick before.

6:45 p.m. — He asks to sleep again. “You’re grumpy? Nap? Want to nap?” … I try to change him into his night clothes but he only thinks it’s a nap, so I leave him but then he runs out and wants to eat. I try to give him some avocado and bread and he refuses to eat.

6:51 p.m. — He is burning up terribly again. I take his temperature to check and it is at 40.5C.. I quickly pour out more medicine and he panics and cries, refusing to come near me with the cup in my head. I try to explain, cajole, and end up having to offer stickers (5 of them) for the medicine and a quarter cup of fresh milk to wash it down. He very badly wants the stickers, and it takes 5 offers and rescinded offers (No stickers then!), before he bravely gulps down the medicine in three gulps, swallowing it all.

7:22 p.m. — I give him the fresh milk to wash it down, and he is much happier. What a brave child to take his medicine neat like that. I give him a choice of 5 stickers, let him paste it in his “sticker book” (an old notepad), and then I make a scene out of the stickers with my pen, creating roads and the moon.

7:37 p.m. — I get him dressed for bed, and then I go to bed too. We’re both tired. I pat and cuddle him, and the medicine kicks in as his fever drops and he falls asleep.

Spent: $7.20

Earned: $250

———-

Want more? Read all of my previous Week of Money Diaries.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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Week of Money: Holiday Week!

Posted on January 23, 2020

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6 Comments

  1. CorianneM

    Oh the open offices… I do not like them either. I would so love an office! Sound carries so much, and people walking by, phones ringing, early morning chatter… Sigh…

    If you’d like, I can find some upbeat songs in Dutch for your list 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I would very much love that!

      Reply
  2. anonymous

    You ought to avoid most soy products, particularly unfermented soy. Some good soy products are natto, miso, tempeh, and soy sauce. Unfermented soy can wreak havoc on your health. Here is more information on this subject:

    https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/soy-milk-harmless-or-harmful/

    https://empoweredsustenance.com/avoid-soy-milk/

    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/10/07/the-evidence-against-soy.aspx

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thank you, I shall give them a good read.

      Reply
  3. Clara

    I used to be vegan (am now vegetarian, but eat mostly eggs when it comes to non-vegan food). I’m also obsessed with food, so you’re in for a treat 🙂

    You need to try this Veganomicon recipe, it’s seriously amazing and leftovers taste great: http://www.isachandra.com/2010/11/doublebatch-chickpea-cutlets/

    This is (IMO) one of the best vegan burger patty recipes:
    http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/09/vegetable-burgers-in-bulk-frozen.html

    but use 2Tbsp of apple cider vinegar instead of 2tsp. Otherwise this is super flexible when it comes to seasoning. I recommend adding some cumin, thyme and/or some tomato paste.

    Enjoy!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh my!!! I can’t wait to try them.

      Reply

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