A FEW PICTURES FROM THIS MONTH
Macarons at Nadege on Queen Street, Toronto
They have stepped up their game, and are not AS inconsistent as before.
Aren’t they pretty?
Chiyogami Japanese silkscreened paper at The Paper Place on Queen Street, Toronto
I have no idea what I’d do with all this beautiful paper, BUT I WANT ALL OF IT.
It is just.. SO. PRETTY.
If I ever settle down, I may buy a few pieces (OR ALL!! BWA HAHAHAHA) and frame them just as they are.
Wouldn’t it look cool as a set of 9 x 9’s on a wall?
SURPRISE! I AM LEAVING FOR EUROPE FOR THE SUMMER!
Time = Luxury = I have a lot of it right now!
I’m going to Europe for a couple of months, so a few things are going to happen:
- A packing post for what I brought for 2 months (obviously)
- A travel budgeting post (will be done after I come back)
- A list of things I am looking for in Europe (I’ll post this as part of the packing post)
- ..and the worst? Lack of replying to comments & being present on the blog (sorry!)
- I also won’t be doing a July or an August Budget Roundup / What I bought post until I get back
I’m going to France and Spain this year, spending about a month in each.
So far the flights, hotels and transportation from city to city has been booked at about $2200 a person, or $1100 a month.
If you compare what I spend on rent and transportation here, it’s about $450 a month, so that budget has essentially been doubled for my cost of living.
Other Costs: ~$3450
- Food is still up in the air*; perhaps will cost about $1500 in total, or $25/day
- Shopping is “budgeted” at $1400 USD (quotes intended, could spend it..or not at all.)
- Public Transportation within the cities still have to be paid (bus fare, metro tickets, etc), at $300 or $5/day on average
- Sight-Seeing – I am not sure we will be actually paying to sight-see anything, but I’ve budgeted in $250 just in case (may want to go back to the Louvre)
(*Although we will not be strictly vegan for 2 months being surrounded by cheese and seafood)
I am going really just to relax.
I know it’s unbelievable that I haven’t worked a single day at all this year, but I am leaving for Europe for 2 months to “relax”, but with everything that has happened with my family, and other stresses, this will be a good time to see the other side of the family.
(And to eat. I am going to take this eating bit to the maximum.)
I’D LIKE TO KNOW WHERE MY TAX MONEY IS GOING…
I’d like to:
- Fire most if not all Canadian senators (they’re rather useless, don’t work much but get paid $$)
- Set it up so that when people pay taxes, their statements SHOW where their tax dollars actually went (parks, social programs, roads, street lights, etc)
- Chop the bloated Canadian government workforce in half; from my working experience there are way too many people in the wrong departments and/or doing jack squat but are getting paid anyway. It aggravates me to see how useless and lazy most of the departments I work in are, when others are completely overtaxed and worked to the bone. It’s SO UNFAIR.
With that extra cash, we could upgrade things like the TTC system to bring it into the new age of RFID cards, top-ups online with credit cards, and getting rid of those turnstiles — e.g. you now have to tap in and tap out, you only pay for the amount you travel.
No more stupid tokens, paper transfers, and paper tickets. If you “forget” to tap in or out, you get slammed with the full day fee of $20.
(I liked those traveling features in Singapore and Hong Kong)
What an antiquated way of traveling. Sheesh.
INCOME = $812.21
EXPENSES = $5812.96
3 words: Wardrobe and Traveling make up the bulk of this spending. About $5000 worth.
TOP 5 CATEGORIES OF SPENDING
SAVED: ARE YOU KIDDING? SAVED?
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO?
Oh you aren’t joking.
PF Blog and all.
I saved the most on my sunglasses this month if you don’t count my special purchase logged under Splurged.
See, I bought Persol sunglasses in last month for $350, but I returned them this month, and got them for $200 by buying them online instead.
SPENT: $2200 ON GOING TO EUROPE FOR THE SUMMER
I feel like a rich person.
Vanderbilt: “Where do you summer?”
Me: Oh Europe this year. Planning on spending it in Paris, and around Spain this year.
SPLURGED: ON A SINGLE, VERY SPECIAL ITEM…!
(Also saved $400 on it too.)
I think this should give you a hint:
(In my pre-emptive defense, it was on sale….!!!)
I also really really love it.
NET WORTH = $217,236.73 or a decrease of $2426.68 or -1.10%
No surprise to anyone, the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) has been taking a dive recently. Basically any returns you’ve gotten from the past years of investing in the Canadian index, has been wiped out.
The good news is that as I am not an emotional investor, I am holding onto all my stocks, and index funds. Nothing has changed for me.
I have a big emergency fund at $40,000 because I am a freelancer, and right now, cash is king.
I’m holding on to cash earning 2.6% promotional interest at PC Financial until July 15th, until I see a good time to invest a chunk of it (up to $25,000).
(Don’t try and talk yourself blue in the face to tell me I should invest it now in the stock market.
I would have lost a good chunk of it just in this past month alone, if I followed your advice.)
NET WORTH FROM THE PAST 12 MONTHS
Note: I haven’t worked at all in the past year or so, so this makes me feel a little bit better when I see my rollercoaster net worth go up and drop.
MY 5 FAVOURITE POSTS THIS MONTH
- Minimalism is not for you
- How to organize your travel photographs
- Would you ever refuse to date someone because of money?
- When should you go back for your MBA?
- Want to make more money as a woman? Don’t get married.
BEST VIDEO OF THE MONTH
Russell Brand mocking the news anchors and media. Says what he thinks, intelligent, articulate, and extremely funny.
10 BEST ARTICLES I READ THIS MONTH
I am limiting this list to 10 articles per month.
Think of it as a personal Mochimac Carnival of Great Articles.
1. Women’s earning power since 1965: We now make up 40% of breadwinners in the U.S. which is not surprising, but I wonder what it will do to the change the stereotypical dynamic. I’d be interested in knowing how men change their roles at home as well, because really, who you pick in life as a partner determines your financial future.
2. Thinking about money. Seth Godin is a fantastic writer. Having him talk about one of my favourite money subjects is sublime reading.
3. How I stopped a $10 million dollar bank robbery. See? Even smart people with fancy degrees can get conned by (smarter) crooks. Another lesson? Listen to your gut.
4. Early retirement extreme – you only live once. What is the point of saving all this money if you can’t spend it because your principal will go down, and your income from that principal will decrease as well? Living on the edge of poverty and calling it “freedom” is anything but to me. What I really want, is a retirement that is well-funded so that I can spend that money eating what I want, going where I want, and doing what I want. Heck, I want all those things NOW.
5. F— you, I’m short your house. Definitely a departure from Nelson’s style of posting (no immature joking here), and a very well-written piece on him basically shorting the housing market using banks. (Yeah I skipped to the end to get the juicy bit, then I went back to the beginning.)
There is also a fabulous follow-up article by PK on how we Canadians are pretty much screwed and at higher levels of inflation and debt than the Americans were before everything crashed.
And if NEITHER of those guys have convinced you, give Dr. Stanley’s post on how true millionaires don’t live in fancy homes, but have solid investments instead.
6. Personal wealth hierarchies. I always thought of myself in the: Doing Good category, like AdinaJ. Although I guess if you want to look at my past 3 years of not really working more than 10 weeks (I know, get a contract, right?), I may be in a higher category except for me, it is not a sustainable lifestyle to not work and keep spending.
7. Is local the new luxury? As always, an interesting post from Bridget about how buying local, handmade goods seems to be the new luxury rather than a designer item. For me, it depends on the item in question. A well-made pair of sunglasses does not come “local”, but a great leather jacket or purse (m0851, Matt & Nat vegan leather), does. Personally, I’m on AdinaJ’s side, I’m getting more and more into consignment shopping for higher quality but at far more reasonable prices.
8. Woman gets arms, legs and butts amputated. You just have to read it to feel the shock and horror of what she went through. YES she was in hindsight, silly and vain (we all are at one point in our lives), but you can’t help but feel empathy, compassion and anger at what happened to her. I am not a fan of plastic surgery in the slightest. I even have qualms against dying my hair for goodness sake!!!
9. How I became a blogging / freelancer. From blogging for about 6 years prior to starting this blog (going onto 8 years now), I can tell you that the first 5 years will be slow because you have no PageRank, and will not make more than maybe $50/month on average in Google Adsense for the whole 5 years (unless you accept a ton of sponsored posts for cheap, which I don’t do). After the 5 year mark, more advertisers come on board to want links on your site and then it gets easier and easier. Of course, every blog varies but that’s been my experience. 5 years. Good thing this is just a hobby.
10. Equilibrium. Money habits aren’t permanent, and it’s okay to indulge once in a while, as long as you are on the whole, heading up towards the bright, big, blue sky. It’s all about making choices. I don’t have a car or a house because I don’t need them, but instead of having those payments, I spend my money on what I want (semi-within-reason) like travel and shopping. Saving the maximum I have for myself is key when I work, so that when I don’t work, I can spend it without fear of running out. This is really what drives me to save a lot of money when the money is good.
BEST BLOG FEATURES FROM THIS MONTH
- Maria from Money Principle enjoyed my post on women not being asked to do it all and choose between a family or a career and my take on why people enjoy earning $75,000
- Ati Aziz over at 2 Ringgit’s Worth liked my investing series posts on investing in index funds.
- In addition to choosing me as a contender for an internet girlfriend, Nelson liked my post on why people enjoy making $75,000 or more as a threshold for happiness.
- Pauline brought up again the idea of spending on daily items and the criticism I received from spending $600 on underwear, and mentioned about how I turned vegan, which is why I lost a lot of weight.
- Nelson enjoyed my post on how people prefer being paid hourly than yearly
CARNIVALS I WAS IN THIS MONTH
- Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Athena featured my post on women making more money if they aren’t married which made it to an Editor’s Pick!
- Carnival of Financial Independence 15th Edition featured my post on whether you’d refuse to date someone because of money.
- Finance Carnival for Young Adults featured my post on when someone should go back for their MBA
- Miss Thrifty for the Carnival of Personal Finance featured my post on not desiring what you have never had.
This should give you a hint of what I am expecting (although the sausage will not be on my plate, as I really hate dried sausages because they’re disgusting and full of oily fat):