In Budget Roundups

July 2014 Budget Roundup = $232,794.24 or a decrease of 0.20% or $467.80

LOOKING BACK

WRITING OVER AT MONEY PROPELLER

I’ve been writing up a storm over at Money Propeller, Anne’s new PF blog.

Want to read more of my posts and work?

Click here.

SINGLE MA REACHED HALF A MILLY

Back in the day, she blogged about finances, and she’s just reached the $500,000 net worth milestone.

She was one of my original inspirations to get out of debt, and remains a strong role model for me in everything she does.

Just read this blurb and tell me you aren’t impressed:

For those who don’t know, I am a single mom and was on welfare for 7 years. From Section 8 and daycare subsidies to cash assistance and food stamps…you name it, I had it, and used it all as a stepping stone without shame.

After earning my degree(s) and starting my career, I no longer qualified for assistance but still struggled financially.

Once I began paying attention to my finances, it took 3 years to dig myself out of the financial hole (thanks PF blogosphere!) and another 6 years to grow my net worth to over a half million dollars.

Now if only she’d visit Montreal so we can meet up….!!!

<3

MONTREAL, JE T’AIME! 

I love this city.

(Even more so that I’ve moved away from it twice!)

A-La-Folie-Patisseries-Audacieuses-Macarons-Review


I still stand by La Maison du Macaron as having the best macarons in Montreal (not Point G, although I like their unusual flavours like Yuzu from time to time). La Maison du Macaron also moved locations (to a bigger, better, sexier abode) and got a complete makeover including a name change to “A la Folie”

A-La-Folie-Patisseries-Audacieuses-Macarons-Review-Sampler

Their macarons may not stay perfect (they have cracked edges most of the time), but they have a better ratio of sugar to flavour and the PERFECT mix of ganache inside a crispy shelled macaron.

Point G on the other hand, is just.. SWEEEEEET, and I find their macarons cloyingly sweet, although well made, therefore A La Folie has the best macarons in Montreal to date.

A-La-Folie-Patisseries-Audacieuses-Macarons-Review-Sampler-2

NOMS.

The only gripe I have is their new, sexy packaging could use some work. Even carrying it in a box in a bag, some macarons still fell out of their little sleeves.

I also tried macarons at Maison Christian Faure, but they were too sweet. Well-made, perfectly done, but about 20% too sweet, although not as sweet as at Point G.

Christian Faure is a MOF (Meilleur d’Ouvrier de France) which means he went through a grueling test to be able to wear the tri-coloured band around his neck. His work is perfection (just need to lower the sugar content please!), and can be found on Place Royale behind Notre Dame Cathedral.

Just check out this OMG amazing raspberry and pistachio tart I ate (I’m going back for more today):

La-Maison-Christian-Faure-MOF-Raspberry-Pistachio-Tart

SO. SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOD.

Oh and Montreal also has quiche and croissants, although these ones from Les 3 M Patisserie weren’t that great. I still like the Belgian bakery in Complexe Desjardins

3-M-Patisserie-Croissant 3-M-Patisserie-Quiche-Bacon-and-Onion

Last but not least, I tried smoked meat sandwiches from Snowdon Deli and Schwartz’s. While I still say that Schwartz’s has THE BEST smoked meat in Montreal, I like the combination of chopped cooked (slightly sweet and caramelized onion) liver paste with the smoked meat from Snowdon Deli.

Snowdon-Deli-Review-Smoked-Meat-combi-Sandwich-with-Liver

The first sandwich is from Snowdon deli and looks gross but trust me, that liver pate makes it all worth while.

Schwartzs-Smoked-Meat-Sandwich-Deli-Review

This is the sandwich from Schwartz’s and what REALLY makes the sandwich is that little bit of fat on the right-hand side that screams “DELICIOUSSSSSS”.

I don’t understand when people go to get a smoked meat sandwich and then ask for LEAN MEAT.


OMG.

Don’t even bother. Ask for medium or get out before you shame your taste buds.

 

BABY BUN IS FINALLY SLEEPING AGAIN THROUGH THE NIGHT (8 …5 HOURS)

Since 4 months old, he has been (truly) sleeping through the night on and off, anywhere from 10-12 hours at a stretch, waking up anywhere from 5 a.m. – 7 a.m. for milk.

(Actually .. I lied a little. Ever since we moved, he has been sleeping only 3-5-7 hours because of the change. He isn’t used to our new place. Plus I am making him adjust to my new Mommy’s Back Hurts method of sleeping.)

He hasn’t been doing this consistently, because sometimes he wakes up at 3 a.m. to eat, but I think it’s because he hasn’t eaten enough during the day that he feels the need to wake up.

Or I don’t know. Sometimes he sleeps REALLY well for 8 hours and I am so relieved I could cry.

Other days, he wakes up every 3 hours, and I think: He must be growing… because he just drank 8 ounces in ONE GO. O_o

He was just mentally and physically (14 15 pounds!!) ready to sleep at a long stretch, but doesn’t seem to want to consistently, or just keeps growing and GROWING.

The only things left to work on, is:

  1. His constant 15 minutes or more of crying when it is time to sleep (nap or bedtime) – this is a new development as well
  2. His naps — he won’t nap for more than 30 minutes – 1 hour sometimes which I think is OK but then he’s cranky
  3. Sleeping without being rocked to sleep — this is also a new development; he was doing SO WELL before *sigh* SUCCESS!

Otherwise, we’re golden. I am good to go back to work if he keeps this wonderful behaviour up.

Speaking of Baby Bun, he giggles on and off. I’m always trying to get him to giggle but it’s so random what he’ll laugh at. I’ve started tickling him under his chin, his armpits and on his thighs, which is making him giggle.

He laughs for no rhyme or reason. 

Except when he pees on me.

Then he laughs like there’s no tomorrow.

Oh and he’s about to crawl. He’s been shaking his butt at me trying to get his balance on all fours to move forward. Very, VERY cute.

INCOME = $1180.07

But never mind all that money, I pretty much spent it all this month and more.

My expenses are just going to keep going up, I may have to (horror of horrors) dip into my investments to tide me over until I get a contract.

*collapses into a corner sobbing*

EXPENSES = $2579.16

Save-Spend-Splurge-Budget-Roundup-July-2014-Expenses

Save-Spend-Splurge-Budget-Roundup-July-2014-Expenses-Pie-Chart

RENT TRIPLED THIS MONTH

Rent went up this month because I moved!

Yes folks, I am now loving and living permanently in French Canada.

My rent in September will skyrocket again to an estimated $1000 a month (JUST FOR MY HALF), so I’m girding my loins for that budget increase.

*sigh*

TOP 5 CATEGORIES OF SPENDING

But you know, I didn’t spend on frivolous stuff this month aside from eating out a bit. I spent on all the good and RESPONSIBLE adult categories…

Save-Spend-Splurge-Budget-Roundup-July-2014-Expenses-Top-5-Categories

SAVED: NOTHING.. I KID, I KID… TRANSPORTATION

I saved a bit of money on transportation this month by buying an OPUS card (OMG RFID coolness for using the subway, something Toronto is really REALL far behind the times in), and it gives you a discount. A slight one, but a discount nonetheless.

I am also hoping really hard for some big news to come through and make me weep with joy.

More on that later if it happens.

If it doesn’t make me weep for joy, I will be crying out of bitterness and disappointment.

SPENT: ON MACARONS

Those macarons you saw above? Just one of my 5 trips to buy them.

Yeahhhh……..

SPLURGED: ON FIXING MY MACBOOK PRO $623 to fix

I love, love LOVE my Macbook Pro. Particularly since the 17″ model is no longer made, I plan on cherishing this computer until the day it dies.


So when the logic board went (started giving me weird colours on the screen), I did not hesitate to plunk down $623 to fix it. IMMEDIATELY.

WELL WORTH THE COST.

NET WORTH: $232,794.24 or a decrease of 0.20% or $467.80

Save-Spend-Splurge-Budget-Roundup-July-2014-Net-Worth Save-Spend-Splurge-Budget-Roundup-July-2014-Net-Worth-Past-12-Months

Okay, so my net worth went down… but my rent tripled, so I think that isn’t TOO bad.

DIVIDENDS REVIEW:

Save-Spend-Splurge-Budget-Roundup-July-2014-Dividends

All my dividends are on a DRIP (dividend reinvestment plan).

MY 5 FAVOURITE POSTS FROM THIS MONTH:

  1. Why my child will be saving for his own education even before he turns one
  2. What would you pay to change about yourself?
  3. A look into my closet: shoes and boots, oh my!
  4. Would these money microaggressions bother you?
  5. Working in Toronto versus Montreal: The Budget

BEST BLOG FEATURES FROM THIS MONTH:

LOOKING FORWARD

To spending August downtown with Baby Bun. He drives me mad sometimes when he won’t nap, but he is so darn cute, your brain blocks out all the bad stuff when you hear him giggle that golden laugh…

I’m also planning on stuffing my face like crazy. See pictures above for what I will be eating.


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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.

You may also like

http://www.graceciao.com

August 2013: What I bought, watched and read

Posted on September 12, 2013

Previous PostJuly 2014: What I bought, watched and read
Next PostI did it. I GOT A CONTRACT.

20 Comments

  1. PK

    “particularly if I write posts about my family ” – BTW, you owe us another piece on filial piety!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      What more could I write about the subject!? 🙂

      Reply
  2. yijihae

    Thanks for the link love! So inspired by the first story you posted, and best of luck with your new transitions!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      You’re welcome!

      Reply
  3. C
    CorianneM

    The pictures are making me hungry! (And I just had lunch…)

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      They make ME hungry and I ate all of that.

      Reply
  4. A
    Athena

    Yikes on the rent increase but I feel you. I’ll be moving out soon and my rent will almost double. :***( But, I’ll be living on my own for the first time ever!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Well we are moving in a month to some place a BIT cheaper I hope.

      Yay for living on your own!!!!!

      Reply
  5. G
    Gia T.

    Oh my, you need to put a warning before the food part! I had to wipe drool off my screen after the second macaron photo! 😀

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Mmmmm macarons. 🙂

      Reply
  6. anna

    OMG, I’m completely salivating over your macaron pics! I embarrassingly just tried them for the first time at my bridal shower, but have craved them ever since. Love the progress on Baby Bun – hopefully he’ll get his crawl confidence on soon, that wiggle must be so cute to see! 🙂

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Best French biscuits, ever.

      Yes he wiggles his butt and let’s out these growls/squeals of frustration that he can’t stand up and walk like us. Very cute….!!

      Reply
  7. cosmogirl2100

    Those macarons look so yummy! Too bad I can’t really get any where I am. I just moved too (but across the city, not to a new one) so I sympathise 🙂 Just out of curiosity, what was the reason for your move?

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      We just love the city. It is less stressful than Toronto in terms of commuting (slightly smaller) and people are not as stressed out. Also, biking trails are great and food is better!!

      Reply
  8. The Asian Pear

    Darn it. Now I miss Montreal too. 🙁
    Mmm. Macarons…

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’ve been eating up a storm! SMOKED MEAT SANDWICHES!!!

      Reply
  9. Single Ma

    Hey Lady, thanks for the link love! Your comments are so sweet. 🙂 I miss the good ole PF Blogosphere.

    I laughed when I saw that expense line item for Baby Bun because it may never go away. CG is out of the house and I still keep a line item for her. Some months it’s large, some months it’s small, but it’s never zero. LOL!

    By the way, I sent you a DM about my visit to Canada. Hope we can meet too!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I miss having you write about your money.

      No I reckon I will be paying for him until he becomes an adult 🙂 I don’t mind though, it’s part and parcel of being a parent.

      Ooo! YES! Montreal, right?

      Reply
  10. Alicia

    That’s so impressive considering everything that is going on. You moved, have way more expensive rent, etc, and yet you’re only down less than $500.

    On a side note… everyone in the PF community seems to be in love with macarons – you, Asian Pear, and Krystal all seem to talk about them frequently. Can you believe I’ve never have them? The joys of not living in a large city with lots of artisan-style bakeries 🙂

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      The market also crashed at the end of the month. All my investments went down!!!!!

      Mmmmm … macarons…. Well I think I started the macaron craze to be honest. I have loved them for years and they’re the perfect biscuit/cookie to me.

      Reply

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