In Budget Roundups

February 2013 Budget Roundup = – ($395.20) or -0.19%


I (surprisingly or not), worked a lot this month and made a lot more than I expected to, going into February.

I suppose that’s rather easy to do, when your goals are set very low at $500 of income a month.

None of my income will turn into a full-time job even on the side, because this seemed to be the month that everyone needed help, and I was happy to pitch in my time for some money.

I also spent a lot this month (the bulk of it happening on the first day of February), which may or may not have motivated me to hustle a bit harder than usual this month.

INCOME = $1371.96

I actually made more than part-time minimum wage this month!

Yes. You should be just as surprised as I am.

Of course a lot of it was selling my stuff because I’m cleaning out my life but…still!

Canada’s minimum wage is $820 for 20 hours a week at $10.25 per hour, and I was only about $250 away from a “full-time minimum wage” job.

Maybe I should really aim for full-time minimum wage….


Sounds like too much pressure for no reason.

Anyway, this extra cash would also compensate last month’s barely-$500 income as well.


I also got a whiff of a contract that sounded pretty steady and would give me about $100K for a few months of work, but the client changed their minds (ARGH!!!) and won’t be ready to start the project for a few more months.


So I’m back in waiting mode to see if something better comes along in the meantime. I hate people who put me through the ringer of interviews and grilling. Don’t put me through that stress unless you’re serious.

That’s the thing about freelancing — it’s a waiting game.

Anyway, I need to give my brain a workout so you’ll see more posts from me because my brain is getting flabbier than a beer belly.

EXPENSES = $1794.98

Note: Without those pots and pans, I’d have only spent $1078.35.

Just putting it out there that I’d have been totally under my Income of $1346.96 this month.


Note: I am posting this on the last day of February, but I’ve taken into account in my expenses what I will spend today.

The biggest expense was in the household equipment section.

New pots and pans (story on why we had to buy them coming up in my What I Bought spending post), along with repairing what I own, and some new wardrobe things*.

(*Look, you just can’t say “NO” to perfect red ballet flats on sale, in your elusive size 7, that’s just crazy talk.)




I didn’t mark this as “income” (it’d be silly.. right?), but I won the Zinio e-magazine giveaway on Geek in Heels (Jenny is a fabulous blogger, I’ve been a fan since back in the day).

Woo hoo! $25 CAD saved for a magazine renewal. 🙂

As you may or may not know, I read e-books, e-manga and e-magazines on my iPad, so this is fantastic.

Thanks again, Jenny!



Yeah. I knew all of this.

My Repairs budget will be big for next month too, I’m bringing in more pairs of old shoes and heels to be fixed and grippy-soled.

(An enduring motto for me is: Take care of what you own, rather than to toss it and buy it new!)

NET WORTH = $209,709.86 or a decrease of – $395.20 or – 0.19%

Small decrease. Not significant enough to make me weep in the corner like in previous months, but I definitely need to keep up my resolve.


I think a lot of it had to do with my rather decent income this month to cover a good chunk of my bills,

Without those pots and pans, I would have been $268.61 UNDER budget.

I spent $448.02 over my income for this month mostly for those pots/pans, but my net worth only dropped $395.20 because the markets slightly made up for that.



From February 2012, I was just under the $200,000 mark by about $20,000.

A nice fat jump happened in March (I wish I could tell you it was because of my brilliance but alas, it was not), but it sure helped cushion all the taxes I had to pay in April.

Had a nice growth over the rest of the months that peaked around July and then had a slow decline up until where I am today.

Not too shabby for not having worked much, but I am basically only about $30,000 above where I was a year ago.

*puts game face on*

My goal will be to try and keep my net worth line steady, rather than go through another spike and drop, although March / April will be where I’ll need to pay my taxes (about a $3500 difference to Canada, versus U.S. taxes).


This is one of the nicest compliments I’ve received in a long time, with Jacq me an low-profile eccentric, and I couldn’t be more pleased that it came from one of my all-time favourite PF bloggers..

I’ve been reading Jacq since… gosh, since I found her blog which must have been a few years ago.

Then I proceeded to devour every blog post in all the archives.

She doesn’t write much (I like that, because each post she does write is eagerly anticipated by yours truly), and keeps a rather low-profile herself, but if you just take a look through her blog Single Mom, Rich Mom, you’ll soon understand that she is a pretty incredible person.

She doesn’t toot her own horn, keeps to herself for the most part, but her writing has always been of top-notch quality.

(For the record, I’m not just saying all of that just because she paid me a compliment.)


THE best story I’ve read so far this year; it’s riveting, and Curtis (a former gang member) is now a writer at the American Debt Project:


That’s life and life’s not easy

It’s so interesting to read about how other people on the fringe of society life, and the struggles that he had with budgeting as well, after getting out of prison.

(I say fringe not to be dismissive or rude, but to highlight that it truly is another world.)

I’d gush about it some more but you’d be better off just reading it for yourself to get the full effect.


Photograph I took of a Fendi Box


Best sentence of the entire story about that Pippa handbag craze:

“God forbid the woman [Pippa Middleton] should buy her own stuff, having been paid a mere £400,000 for a book revealing that the secret of turning raw sausages into cooked ones is to switch the oven on.”



  • The Monevator: Can I afford to live like a millionaire? — In-depth, technical article on savings
  • DQYDJ: When will you become a millionaire [Calculator]? — My requested calculator from PK!
  • Harvard Business Review: The best investment you can make — On what matters to humans
  • 2 Ringgits: Setting my priorities right — A wonderful, introspective post that made me nod along
  • Thomas Stanley: Not gifted? Represent those who are — Become the agent, not the author.
  • CBB: Making the best of what’s available — Guatemalan grocery shopping guest posted by one of my favourite bloggers Pauline of Reach Financial Independence (her nomadic life is great!)

As an atheist, I tend to stay away from getting into petty “my religion is better than you not even having a heaven to look forward to, you heathen” arguments but I feel like this has to be a joke.

They’re trolling us, right?

Few things:

  1. The banana is held the wrong way to be eaten in the video. Even monkeys know this. They hold the handle of the banana and peel the other end, so that it’s easier to hold and to eat.
  2. Modern bananas as we know them today, were cultivated and bred from a cousin of the plantain (Source)
  3. What about all the other fruits? I’d like them to explain the durian, a seriously spiky, smelly, and dangerous fruit banned on Singaporean subways, among others (coconut, pineapple).

Explain this as part of natural design, please!


Literally, forbidden fruit in Singapore. Photograph on the left is my own photo from being in Singapore, and Via

Honestly, I really don’t care to get into a he-said, she-said, religious debate, because you can believe what you want to believe in as long as you don’t try and change my beliefs.

I’m just mildly amused by the whole act of bringing up the modern, yellow, cultivated banana as proof.


I am not expecting to repeat the income of February, but if I can, I’d like to.

(Listen to that hesitation in my voice… 😛 )

I can expect $500 a month in side income (I am not taking on any minimum-wage part-time jobs soon), so that’s my goal for March, to try and keep up the average for the year.

Will do better. Will do better. Will do better.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using 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 with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. CanadianBudgetBinder

    Well done for February, I wouldn’t complain I think you put in a lot of hard work and writing is not an easy task. Too bad about that project, fingers crossed it gets the green light soon. Thanks for sharing Paulines post, she truly is inspiring. Cheers mate!

  2. The Asian Pear

    Thanks for the link love… And HOLY! O_O;
    That’s a lot of “household equipment” girl… Didn’t you guys go crazy at Sonoma in December already?

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      You’re welcome.

      Yeah, we returned it all.

      And then spent 4X that amount to purchase other goods this month for my parents.

      I have a post in the works that is turning into an essay… but the heart of the matter is I am getting rid of everything ‘Made in China’, and re-buying everything of quality.

      This will be expensive, but it’s only money versus my health / life. *shrug*

  3. Sarah Li Cain

    Yay! You’re reading James Altucher now! One of my favorite all time bloggers 🙂

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Yes, thank you for the recommendation!!! He is fantastic.

      1. Sarah Li Cain

        If you get a chance grab one of his free ebooks. ‘I Was Blind But Now I See’ is a good and quick read.

        1. Mochi & Macarons

          Not free any more but I will consider buying it!

          1. Sarah Li Cain

            I think you have to sign up for his list. If not I grabbed one of the free copies I can send to you.

  4. Jane Savers

    We found twenty bucks on the floor at my work and it seems to be owned by the group. Half want to treat ourselves to Tim Hortons and the other half want to buy lottery tickets. Until we decide it is stuck to the wall with a piece of scotch tape waiting for a dozen people to come to a decision.

    I have not found any money on the ground in a long time.

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I found $20 on the sidewalk once. Just floating around. No one even noticed it.

      I find money ALL the time. I’m always instinctively checking the ground and looking at things. Have a money antenna I guess.

  5. Christiane

    Oh wow, thank you for linking my article 🙂

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      You’re welcome!

      One small point: They say that the ducks are actually raised outside of France in Romania and then brought into France to then be finished before getting the liver.

      Technically it’s “raised in France”, but it really isn’t.

      (I heard it on Les Grosses Tetes..)

  6. Nurhidayati Abd Aziz

    I haven’t watched the video, but when I saw the picture of durian (a favorite fruit to the people of my country) on the mainpage I was like, “now what’s that doing there?” 🙂

    Thank you for linking to my post!

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I really.. really… hate durian. It makes me want to throw up, to be honest. But I know it’s an acquired taste..

      You’re welcome! It was a good read.

  7. Pauline

    thank you for including my post on CBB. So you are still under your parents roof? I hope things have calmed down. I once lived with people I didn’t speak to (after they almost set fire to the house and killed me in my sleep with toxic smoke that is) and it was really hard.

    1. mochiandmacarons

      Oh things have calmed down now. He’s seen the light that I am not going to foot the bill for a crazy lifestyle. 🙂

      (You’re welcome)

  8. Girl Meets Debt

    I LOVE that you add in the coins you randomly find on the ground lol. $1.60 in one month is rather good! I picked up a dime the other day and felt so rich 😉 Too bad about the (possible) upcoming contract. I’m sure you will get it in the end though.

    1. mochiandmacarons

      I am the queen of finding money. Well, not the queen yet. Maybe a princess.

      I regularly find dimes.. and pennies (when they still existed).

  9. Michelle

    Love how detailed your February budget is. That stinks that the contract was pushed back another couple of months 🙁

    1. mochiandmacarons

      Stinks but that’s life. *shrug* At least this means I can safely fritter away my time until the summer…

  10. Sheryl

    Yes! Thank you for showing what you consider income. It is too easy to only think of income as a paid job, which can be very limiting when trying to find new/more ways to bring money into the home.
    I know I will always leave your blog more informed than when I arrived at the page. Thanks for keeping it real.

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      You’re welcome!

      I’m a freelancer, so it’s hard to have a “paid” income as a cheque from a job listed in there.

  11. Leslie Beslie

    Great breakdown! Thanks for showing your various income streams as well, makes it easier to compare progress and make new goals!

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      You’re welcome. I always just lumped it as a single income in the past, but as I’ve decided individual streams are more transparent and interesting for readers.


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