In Budget Roundups, Money

January 2021: Expenses Budget Roundup

All of the images below have been created with The Wealth Tracking & Budgeting Tool available for sale on Etsy, or at where all proceeds go to charity

This is a sheet you buy ONCE and you can re-use for future years, plus it lets you store all of your historical data from previous years (super handy).


$2675.50 or 9.58% of income

I spent (again) on shopping this month, and on January 1st no less. Hah! But I did keep to under 10%.

My Side Income covered my expenses with $3418.37 to spare

So to be clear:

  • I earned $6093.87 in side income
  • Technically, I had $3418.37 leftover to “spare” after covering my expenses…
  • ….but I really was short $1355.82 in actual cash into my bank account!
  • The rest was completely reinvested.

I am doing a new thing where I am checking how much actual cash comes into my hands versus how much gets reinvested back.

Seems like a majority of my side incomes are reinvested back/untouchable (for me), and I only had $1319.68 come in this month in $CAD to cover bills, but I spent $2675.50!

If I am able to keep to spending about $1000-ish a month (this is roughly the cost of my bare bones expenses), I don’t need to ever dip into my emergency fund to pay for any bills which is a nice little side goal for this year.

Of course, as I have actual cash from my main job coming in, if it ever dips down to below $2000, I simply just replenish it the next month from that.

Expenses In Detail:

Home includes condo fees, insurance and utilities: $515.63

My home expenses are 30% more (change started in December 2020), and we are still looking to buy land & build a home, but right now we are staying in until we can do so.

I include in my home expenses everything from:

  • condo fees
  • home insurance
  • electricity
  • water (though it’s free here… but I thought I should mention that)
  • heating (comes via electricity)
  • internet bills
  • cellphone bills

…basically anything that runs a basic home.

Groceries: $487.52

Spending is still pretty low. Pandemic = we aren’t eating many things we used to as the imports have either stopped completely (a lot of cheeses for instance have not come in from France), and we are not buying as many items as before.

Household includes household supplies that are used (e.g. soap, toilet paper) or anything like pots, pans and so on: $0

Nil. We stock up a few times a year and then the bill shoots up, but otherwise, we have mostly everything we need, and we do family cloth which cuts down significantly on toilet paper usage.

Little Bun (includes daycare and schooling): $23.16

I picked up a book for him on pre-order called When Sharks Attack with Kindness. It ships in March, and these comics are really fun / cute.

Office (includes postage, paper, ink, electronics): $0


Medical (anything like dental, pills, surgeries..): $312.13

I bought my cache of vitamin pills, picked up more retinoid (I may need a stronger dose), and that’s about it.

I noticed a significant uptick in headaches/migraines when my magnesium pills ran out. Is this real or a placebo? Either way, I don’t care if it’s a placebo if I get relief, so I will make magnesium a permanent part of my vitamin pill rotation if it helps my headaches.

I have really been feeling sick lately, and can’t wait for them to arrive.

Wardrobe (anything shopping like accessories and clothing): $1164.42

All of it will be posted in my What I bought Roundup posts and a little of it gets highlighted below as well under my specific expenses.

Eating Out: $0


Toiletries: $0


Entertainment (books, music, and upcycling projects): $172.62

I have decided to move all of my upcycling project supplies here (you can see the pieces I have created here).

I picked up a few more stones for upcycling, but I think I will stop for now so they last for longer over the months, otherwise this is becoming very expensive!

Also, Little Bun thinks we’ve made a serious amount of pieces and wants me to sell some. I promised him we would go through the collections and pick out things to sell in the future. I still need to finish them with resin and so on.

Gifts: $0



Favourite: $24.36 – Retinoid 0.025%

I know it sounds weird but I am very happy I finally made a switch to retinoids. I have been using retinol in my skincare routine (Skincare regimen 2020), but I didn’t realize it wasn’t the same as retinoid.

Once I switched, I can see that my skin is slowly purging (so much acne), and getting ‘better’, although I have experienced zero of the dryness, flaking or whatever else that people are reporting.

I am going to use up the tube I have, as it will take 6 months for any value to be shown in my skin, but I suspect I will need a stronger dose as I am still getting a lot of acne.

Unexpected: $13.21 – Metal scraper

I need it for upcycling to cut the clay cleanly or to divide it without thinking I will snap it, so I bought a very rigid metal paint scraper to use. I was going to either buy this paint scraper or a dough scraper for food, either or would have worked.

Hated: $45.07 – Amazon Sweater

I bought a sweater from Amazon and should not have. Now I am trying to get my money back including the shipping because they literally sent something that was not at all what was pictured, although I think it’s a bait and switch.

At the start, they send the proper sweater, all nicely done, etc, for the price and once they get a bunch of great reviews, they switch to a crappy shirt.

Expensive: $736.88 – Dolce & Gabbana Vegetable Print Dress (Secondhand)

I have been looking for this dress for TWO YEARS on the secondhand market. I have never found this dress and the print is just.. fantastic. It’s the perfect union of fashion + food for me.

So… the bad news is that it is an IT 36 which is not at all a size 6 in U.S. standards but a SIZE ZERO. The dress very barely zips up with some forceful tugging. I have decided to keep it anyway, and just make a skirt out of it (the bottom fits well), and a cool top.

That is how much I love this print.

Joyful: $8.51 – Stones for upcycling

I used up my eBay bucks for this, so I am very happy to score $30 worth of stones for only $8.51 for upcycling.

Cheapest: $3.44 – Cotton Swabs

I was going to buy reusable cotton swabs but I caved and bought a pack of the regular ones with paper handles because I would need to ‘invest’ in about 20 reusable ones for what I do with them, anything from upcycling work, etc.

I feel like a terrible person, environmentally. It’s just that I need them in a cotton fabric not in silicone.


Okay January was a wash. Hah. February WILL be better, I have no choice:

My credit card got hacked….

Someone stole my number in India and put in an order for 2700 rupees. The card company called me and tried to verify they were real amounts, and as they were not, my card is now cut off and waiting for a replacement.

This is a blessing in disguise because it was my main credit card with 1.5% cash back, and I am LOATHE to spend money on ANY OTHER CARD as I only get 0.5% cash back at best.

So next month in February, expect very little to no spending outside of basic bills. I’ve already mentally deleted the $500 I wanted to spend on sweatpants, leggings and sweaters for lounging in the home.

I guess all that I needed to stop spending was to have my card taken away *LAUGH*


February will be a low-spend month. I lost my main credit card and no am not as incentivized to spend.

I still think I did quite well, under 10% spending is decent considering the amount I earn, and if you can imagine a chunk of that going to taxes and the rest to investing, this will shape up to be a solid year.


If you’re interested, I use the following:

  • Rakuten: Use my referral link for $5 in cash to get started – I use them to shop on sites ALL THE TIME.
  • Swagbucks: Use my referral link for 300 Swagbucks to get started; you need 750 to redeem for $10 CAD
  • Rogers World Elite Mastercard – No annual fee, 1.5% cash back, but you can only redeem it yearly and you have to call each year to ask them to redeem the credit against your next year’s statement. I use it for all my purchases as I buy a lot in USD$, and those purchases are 3% 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

Stay tuned for the net worth & investments post!

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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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