In Budget Roundups, Money

January 2020: Expenses Budget Roundup

THE EXPENSES = $5920.66

Went way way over $3000…


In Detail:

My original budget is $3000 a month. I almost doubled that this month due to truly unforeseen expenses (some stupid AF).

Home/Utilities/Home Insurance never changes

These generally don’t ever change. I mean they don’t go crazy.

Groceries / Eating Out

My real vice aside from Style is food. My partner is in control of the Groceries section so I am helpless to fix this or lower it because he cooks and runs all the errands and I am okay with him spending on expensive stuff as long as I am happy.

Eating Out this month was HUGE.

My friend visited for a week and we ate out all the time (plus went to a bougie restaurant), and then my son got his French citizenship, so we ended up celebrating at a French restaurant which I paid in full (and suggested), as my partner is currently Lean FIRE (Financial Independence, Retired Early), and going back to school on a student’s budget.

Household / Children

Usually household includes soap, toilet paper and the like.

My partner is ALSO mostly in charge of his section so I have no real say because he always buys stuff that makes the apartment more functional.

For Little Bun, I should just put “Child” really, as I don’t plan on having a second, it includes daycare fees (we send him there 3 days a week, 2 days at home), and it has anything like books, or iPad apps he really likes. If you want to know what he reads/plays with, I wrote a whole post on how I got him to read and do math by the age of 3.


This is its own expense category because I need to know how much I spend here. HAH! Again, this month was my friend, and then I got into the habit of getting a chai more often than once a week.. I need to clamp down on this one.


This is pure yoga because I cut my own hair, I am not really into facials or spa treatments (seems like a scam to me) and would rather save up that money for non-ablative Fraxel to get rid of these acne/sun spots I have on my face for skin perfection.

Anyway, pure yoga expenses here, because I decided to stop being so cheap, and to pay for REAL yoga classes. I now try to go 3X a week, but at least once a week is my true goal. I paid for a 10-class pass, and will keep doing so until it runs out, then I’ll buy another 10 and so on.

I used to do cheap/free yoga classes but the teachers were a hit and miss, the floor of the store is filthy (I hated putting my mat down) and I prefer a REAL yoga studio. The classes come out to about $13.50 per class, which is a decent price for me. I cannot justify a monthly pass because I cannot firmly commit to more than once a week depending on my job.

Medical / Dentist

FML. This month was everything medical.

Eye exam, new contacts, my bottom retainer fell out, and then fell out AGAIN so I had to go back (but the second time was $0), and I also twisted my back and shoulder, so had to do 2 massage sessions to try and fix it. It was so expensive…

Wardrobe / Toiletries / Makeup

Went pretty chill on these categories because my whole thing is 99% secondhand this year. Look at the super cute rainbow LIKE NEW espadrilles I picked up at Goodwill!! I am so excited to wear them for summer.

Also, I am NOT buying any extra makeup until I use everything I have. I had to replace two mascaras because I gave one to my friend when she was up, and replaced my own as well, and bought the stock of Blistex lip medication because I am having eczema on my lips of all places.

Sigh. I even have eczema in my ear. This is getting crazy.

I also replaced my sunscreen – I am in love with this Coola matte tinted physical mineral one, and I wear it just-as is, no makeup and leave the house.

Car / Fees

When it rains it pours, because on top of the medical stuff, I had a flat and ended up having to replace all four winter tires at PEAK SEASON (ouchhhh).

I also got a I-Am-Stupid ticket because I was rushing out of daycare to get to work, and didn’t realize I was gripping my phone in my hand as I was driving, and some cops pulled me over and … yeah. FML x 2.

The ticket was 5 demerit points and $489.

This was not a good month for expenses, BUT… I am grateful my income also went up and pretty much covered most if not all of it.

My side income was pretty fierce this month at $5707.29 and it covered a good chunk of my expenses of $5920.66. I only used my day job for $213.37 overage.

My Savings Rate = 80%

My original goal was to have 90% savings throughout the year. This was SUPER ambitious because it left no room for errors.

Of course, of all the years to debut this savings rate, I crash and burn…. but at least I still landed amongst the stars. 🙂

90% was really a challenge for me. It means now for the rest of the year, I need to jack it up to 92% – 95% savings to actually meet this goal.

I can do this one of two ways — increase my income way more than I expected or decrease my spending more than I expected, so that it all averages out to 90% at the end.

I can still make it, it will just take a bit more time.

My Top 5 Expenses

Car = $2226.52

Winter tires. *sigh* I had to do it and I must admit, it does drive a lot better with brand new winter tires on.

Groceries = $710.98

My partner controls this. Can’t help it.

Medical = $586.48

Really expensive. What can I do? Health is important.

Fees = $489

This is the I AM STUPID FEE. This one really hurt.

Eating Out = $433.29

Happy purchases – I am so happy Little Bun is now a French citizen!! <3 And I got to see my friend for a week so I am thrilled.


If you’re interested, I use the following:

  • Rakuten – Use my referral link – – for $5
  • Swagbucks: Use my referral code { 69930988 } to get 300 Swagbucks once you earn another 300 Swagbucks doing surveys etc within the first month & redeem it for $5 from Paypal. It helps lower my expenses if I can just make extra cash on the side or redeem it for gift cards.
  • Rogers World Elite Mastercard – No annual fee, 1.75% cash back, but you can only redeem it yearly and you have to call each year to ask them to redeem the credit against your next year’s statement. I use it for all my purchases as I buy a lot in USD$, and those purchases are 4% cash back (almost like a no forex fee in essence)
  • Tangerine Mastercard – No annual fee, 2% back on certain categories (up to 3). For their savings accounts, use my Orange key { 32726976S1 } for free money ($50 once you deposit $100; and I get $50 too). I give this card to my partner (he has a joint card) and he uses it constantly
  • I used to have the MBNA World Elite Mastercard but they increased the annual fee. That was disappointing, they used to give 2% back on everything.

Where my Fun Money Went

My original fun money budget is $225 a month. My friend visited, so I obviously busted it.

Fun Budget Breakdown: 

  • Eating Out: $398.80
  • Starbucks: $69.68
  • Shoes: $35.96 – Picked up some beauties at Goodwill!
  • Headbands: $55.19 – Totally unexpected purchase with my friend, but these wired headbands are a game changer for my head shape! They DO NOT slip off
  • Ring: $34.49 – This looked like a crown, and was one of my favourite stones – labradorite

Monthly Expenses

Favourite: $94.61

I did not put this under Fun Budget because I didn’t consider this to be an unnecessary expense that was frivolous and I could do without. I mean of course I can do without MANY expenses, but one was justified.

I finally stopped being cheap and purchased a second yoga mat for the home. I have one in the car to use for when I go to class, and another for at home when I want to stretch and practice but then say “DOH!” .. I left my mat in the car.

Problem solved – have two mats. *shrug*

My absolute, 100% favourite yoga mat is this one from B Mat, and it is the GRIPPIEST MOTHA you have ever purchased. WELL WORTH THE MONEY, trust me.

They have three types:

Unexpected: $2226.56

DID NOT expect to replace my winter tires on my car this year. I was going to do it this autumn, it was planned, but.. FML.

Got a flat tire, ended up having to do them all early.

Hated: $489

I do stupid actions but I am not stupid.

I do stupid actions but I am not stupid.

I do stupid actions but I am not stupid.

*sigh* This cellphone-in-hand driving ticket is really painful to me because I NEVER DO THIS. This literally was the first time in my LIFE I HAVE EVER DONE THIS and I get dinged. What bad luck.

Did I mention I got a flat tire right after? Yeah. Fun times.

Joyful: $166.71

My 10-class yoga pass is truly a good purchase for my health.

WHY WAS I SO CHEAP BEFORE? I completely deserve this.

I will try not to be cheap in the future, just whisper in my ear: “yoga pass”, when I am being too cheap, okay?

Expensive: $2226.56

See above. Winter tires. Womp womp.

Cheapest: $3.99

Strangely enough, I really loved that I bought this amber coloured Ball wide mouth mason jar as my new reusable mug for massive Venti drinks at Starbucks.

I just throw a wide mouth mason jar drinking lid on top, and have to figure out some sort of option for the jar so I can hold it, but am VERY pleased with how cheap and cute it is.

Stay tuned for next week’s net worth and investment posts!

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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. March 2020: Expenses Budget Roundup | | Save. Spend. Splurge.

    […] guess I am making up for my insane January 2020 and February 2020 spend months which hit almost $6000 each time *urkk*… so I am trying to […]

  2. Lynx

    For the mason jar, you can check Mason Jar Lifestyle. I bought a silicone sleeve there to use on my mason jar and it is a game changer now when I am drinking. You may have a similar store in Canada.

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thank you! I ended up getting a silicone sleeve just like theirs. 🙂

  3. Angela

    80% in savings is pretty impressive so kudos to you! As for the extra expenses, well things like that sometimes happen. For me, it was last month when the dishwasher broke and I had to buy a new one… It sucks when it happens but don’t beat up yourself too much on it cause you are on a very good track

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thank you. I am still mad that I did stupid things, but trying to get over it. 🙂

  4. liteadventurer

    Curious about the medical expenses: I thought those were all covered in Canada, unlike the barbaric system we have here in the USA. Or are certain services out of pocket?

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Canada isn’t the land of the free medical expenses LOL..

      What comes out of pocket 100%, is eye care and dental.

      As I am not an employee, I don’t get corporate perks such as a massage or physiotherapy credit to use, or anything towards eye or dental. Everything for me, is out of pocket if it isn’t covered by the government.

      The government will cover eye care and dental up to the age of 18 (?) for children for basic visits, but not things like braces, etc.

      Some dentists here also do free everything up until the age of 6, depends on where you go. The rules vary by province.

      Things like doctor visits, exams of all kinds, even surgeries are all covered by Canada’s healthcare plan if they are deemed necessary. The wait times might be a while though – my mother waited 3 years to get her cataracts removed.

      Other things that are not covered could be perks such as having your own private room when you give birth, or paying for circumcisions (which we did not do as I find it barbaric with zero medical research backing it.)

      The medication is also subsidized. If I can get a doctor’s note for a medicated shampoo, I don’t pay taxes on it when I buy it over the counter. Our drugs are also subsidized, it says on every receipt how much I pay versus how much the government pays.

      I also find that without health insurance (private from an employer I mean), they tend not to overcharge me. I suspect my dental cleanings are cheaper than if I were an employee who could file it and get 100% back, or pay only 10%.

  5. Gata Collins

    The way you budget your income is so professional and logical. I think I need to learn from you.


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