In Budget Roundups

March 2013 Budget Roundup = Decrease of -($5820.49) or -2.78%



Don’t be frightened… but…


After discovering China as pretty much the worst country to buy from, and putting all the pieces together (duh, we’re idiots), we set to work replacing all the dishes, pots, pans and glasses in our house, and for ourselves.

2 households x 2 sets of everything = 2X as much money spent.

Oh well. It’s only money.

At least I know my family is not eating from suspicious, possibly poisonous Dollarama plates.

Read: Can you trust anything made in China?

I will note that not all of it was necessary 🙂

I probably didn’t need to buy new makeup brushes or lots of jewellery, but…. when in Rome… do as the shopaholic Romans do..


Just in case you were wondering what I was doing with all of this free time, I present to you my scheduled posts until the end of October 2013 (to date).

All the green spots are upcoming posts.

Any blanks are because they’re my monthly budget roundups or spending (what I bought) posts, or the investing series or fun posts I like to run on Sundays.


I have about 80 more in drafts as half-finished posts, and another 50 as post ideas.

I am also working on a series that takes a LOT of time to prepare and set up so that won’t be out until next year.

I think I need a contract.

Like.. stat. I’m obviously bored out of my skull and eating my way through my net worth like some bored and very hungry caterpillar.


In the meantime I’m working on a book.

Not sure how I’ll sell or print this thing, but that’s a fun project for me to take on for next month to stay away from shopping.


I also think that scheduled posts up until October 2013 posting almost daily, is a pretty good buffer, wouldn’t you say?

INCOME = $1203.01

My mini goal was to casually make $500 a month on the side, and I made more than double that this month.

EXPENSES = $4979.95

Ick. “Necessary”, but still. Ick.

Even though I was WELL AWARE OF WHAT I WAS SPENDING EACH MONTH, it still doesn’t make the number any smaller.

This is why I budget.

You also want to know why the start of each fresh month makes me happy?

Because it means my budgeting tool resets itself and I can try doing better this month all over again.

Click to biggify


Gifts and Wardrobe. That just about sums up my month of spending.

Click to biggify



Click to biggify


SAVE: What I saved the most on this month


Just kidding.


Saved on car costs.

We didn’t drive much or park anywhere. We went out with the car about 3 times this month.

SPEND: What I spent the most on this month (per item)

About $1000 on pots and pans as a gift to my parents.

That was in a single purchase.

SPLURGE: What I splurged on this month


$600 to replace my underwear and boy did that sting, even putting it on a credit card.

Bought 7 pairs of Cosabellas and a single bra in a single transaction.

In second place, comes jewellery at a whopping $800, to replace all my favourites into handcasted sterling silver, so that I know it isn’t from Forever 21 or H&M, no matter how cute they look.

The rest was just.. well Etsy cute stuff. *digs toe into sand* You’ll see it all next week!

NET WORTH = $203,889.37 a decrease of -($5820.49) or -2.78%

Click to biggify


Took a diiiiiiiive! *shrug*

I’m unconcerned.

Well, no scratch that.

I’m mildly concerned but also unconcerned at the same time because I know where the money went — paying for household equipment and replacing things from China.

To be honest with you, I could lose half my net worth and still be a happy person.

I’m young, healthy, and not in debt and 2 of those things can’t be bought with any amount of money.


Click to biggify


Talk about a roller coaster. Most of it is related to taxes (the dips), the stock markets rallying (the rises), and the spending (the shallow dips..)


I put up about $50,000 this year in March for fun to invest in stocks and dividends, and I’ve been researching and purchasing stocks anywhere in between January to March.

After the huge rally in January in the markets, I cashed out my index funds with the intention of moving all of my accounts over to Questrade, so I actually managed to go out at the peak which means I’ll pay taxes, but I want to try and consolidate my investing into one account rather than spread out all over.

I purchased the bulk of my stocks in March which is when I decided it would be fun to track it, so the numbers are just for March, not for the quarter (January – March).




Note: The average capital gains return % is taken from the current returns I calculated of each stock, not by taking the Capital Gains divided by Total Capital Invested.

Note 2: The dividend payout is really a re-investment. I didn’t take it as cash, although I might.

This is a bit messy for me because I bought some stocks (under $5000) in November, December and January.

Then I bought the bulk ($40,000) in March, so the numbers are all wonky.

I think the numbers are slightly inflated, if I am being honest.

I am trying my best to keep it as accurate as possible for March based on best guesses, but it won’t be super accurate until later months (where I will track month-by-month) because I didn’t track anything officially for January or February to see the differences.


I still think index fund investing is the way to go for lazy people such as myself, so most of my money sits there; this investing is more of something to challenge myself to see how I fare over the year.


There were more I liked (I posted SO MUCH!) but these are my best 5 I think:

  1. How much should you have saved for retirement by age?
  2. Women are losing over $500,000 over the course of their career
  3. Top 5 Career Regrets
  4. How much did women spend on clothing in the past?
  5. How much space do you really need?


Had to be this tweet from Vanessa.

“I dreamt that @saverspender lectured me about riding my bike on the highway.”

Seriously!? HAH.

Made me laugh because then I imagined this:


She later clarified that I was lecturing HER with her mother about bike safety with Powerpoint slides, no less. O_o

Except I really hate Powerpoint… and I probably wouldn’t create a presentation on bike safety (boring, really.)



FortuneThe Rise and Fall of Andy Zaky – The whole article had my heart beating!!

MUST READ. Here’s an excerpt:

But things got out of hand in October, when Zaky became convinced that Apple was set to rally. “

At some point he lost it.

When he said hold on to our spreads, I was losing $25,000 a day.

I froze.

I couldn’t sleep.”

“I can distinctly remember his urging members to deploy ‘any spare cash’ they had into the $655-$705 call spread,” recalls another former Bullish Cross member.

[snip to get to the Apple haiku someone wrote]

Technicals failed
Fundamentals also
No one did better”


  • (Follow-up must read post: The Monevator – Know your own risk tolerance)
  • A Gai Shan LifeWhen there’s a will, there’s a way – Just a plain good ol’ read with family history
  • Jane SaversMy grandparents’ money history – Another good read with family history
  • Jane Savers, AGAIN!: My parents’ money history — I really love her simple, frank writing
  • Are ya gonna eat that?: Growing up with powdered milk — I did too.


Paris Plage 😉 Paris’ version of a beach…. on a sidewalk by the river!! 


#404 Carnival of Personal Finance with my piece on Anchor Pricing Cues.


I have 2 words for you:


I think I pretty much killed my Wardrobe budget for the entire year, and satiated the spending beast.

(I still need basic fabric non-leather shoes.)

I would really… REALLY like to aim for spending $0 on Wardrobe and Gifts this month, which is doable, as I will be receiving all the things I bought in the mail and it’ll feel like Christmas.

I’ll probably end up spending about $60 to get some plain, fabric sneakers.

All I have are rainboots, leather boots, and leather flats. NO FABRIC SHOES.

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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. Anne @ Unique Gifter

    Holy sweet Jesus, how did you put that many words to paper?! I am currently down to zero scheduled posts. You are amazing!

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I’m bored, not amazing 🙂

  2. Barb

    You say you “earn like a princess but living like a ‘pauper’ and “live moderately, and I try hard to avoid lifestyle inflation” but you spent 263 on MAKE UP BRUSHES?

    I mean, if you can afford it, go for it, but that doesn’t seem very pauper! (And $600 on underwear? Is it made of GOLD?)

    1. saverspender

      To put things into perspective, I make about $20K a month when I work.

      $263 / $20,000 = 1.315% of what I make in a month.

      I don’t buy makeup brushes each month, and if you read my post on “Can we trust anything in China“, I replaced all my cheap Wal-mart and Target makeup brushes with ones made in Japan and France from MAC.

      Good quality costs money. I’m willing to pay for it, and I don’t buy makeup brushes daily or even yearly.

      $600 on underwear, is the cost of underwear not made in Third World sweatshops where they use harsh chemicals that seep into your skin and absorb into your private parts and cause health problems. (Victoria’s Secret is what I owned before, and I threw it all in the garbage).

      The underwear I bought is from Cosabella, it’s made with European cotton in the U.S. That’s what it costs.

      $39 for a single pair of underwear, and I needed 7 for the week.

      Can you really put a price on your health? Can you put a price on cheap labour?

      You think underwear at $600 is expensive and it should be “made out of gold” to quote your words, but you just actually don’t understand what it costs to pay a worker real, respectable living wages because you’re too used to paying for cheap labour items from Victoria’s Secret, even J. Crew and Dollarama.

      You think it’s not a frugal act, and it’s not a “pauper” act, but I am not putting a price on my health just to save a penny.

      If I got sick and contracted a disease or a cancer (as my mother did), you are willing to pay any price to save your life, even give up your entire fortune.

      Why wouldn’t I pay the price now and prevent any possible problems?

  3. Michelle

    I love how detailed this post is. And that is AWESOME that you have so many posts waiting to be published, I need to do that as well.

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Yeah it is like my admin and spending post in one

  4. Tim

    Wow, that was a lot to absorb in one post. You are SO MUCH BETTER THAN ME with future posts. I don’t have any started for next week. *sigh*

    I’m excited about the book project. Good luck. I recall writing mine and the end was painful. In the beginning it is fun, at the end you just want to get it done so it and you can have a life again. If you need any help on publishing options send me an email as I would be happy to help.

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Yeah my budget roundups are everything Admin I want to get done in one post. It’s sometimes overwhelming but I hate doing mini posts for each little thing.

      I’ll email you once I get closer to finish it 🙂 I am considering self-publishing, but then I think of the work involved and I feel like it’s easier to pay someone 😀

  5. Liquid_Independence

    Anything over $200K is a pretty good number in my books, and it’s more than the median net worth for sure. You’re making quite a lot of side income too, so you’re on the right rack. Thanks for the mention, and I want a signed copy of your book once you’re done 😉

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Still, I’m well aware that I could be doing better. My side income is fine, but it isn’t sustainable. It’s selling off stuff. 🙂

      HAH! Signed copy of the book. We’ll see if I ever get to finishing it. The momentum died once I realized the magnitude of what I was writing.

  6. Pauline

    Wow I am impressed by your editorial calendar. 130 drafts and ideas you are quite the writing machine! Congrats on all the new stuff, I hope it lasts you ages. thank you for the double mention!

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      You’re welcome for the mentions.

      I am full of rambles. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes not so much. I try to catch the duds.

  7. anna

    Wow, you have posts lined up until October 2013?!? Very impressive… and that’s so kind of you to buy your family new kitchenware. Thanks for the mention – always inspiring to hear when people come from modest means and build themselves up successfully like you have!

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Well powdered milk does hold a certain sentimental taste for me 🙂

      Fresh milk tasted so weird when I was 19, but now I love drinking the milk in Europe (not so much in Canada or the U.S.).

      It’s only money. What’s the point of having all that money if my family get sick?

  8. Mrs PoP @ PlantingOurPennies

    “(I still need basic fabric non-leather shoes.)”

    I have some rocket dog silk flats that have been awesome go-to shoes for a couple years now. But not sure, they could be made in china and banned from your home. =)

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I’m fairly sure I checked Rocket Dog and it is def. made in China, but comfortable, I am sure!

      I am going to just hold off until I am satisfied, and deal with leather shoes or wear rainboots if I think it’ll rain.

  9. jane savers @ the money puzzle

    Wow, a double mention. Thank you. My family and their money struggles do make for fun reading and unfortunately my oldest son, the business major who is on the Dean’s honour roll every semester, seems to have scratched MY credit record and become the star of at least one post.
    I do love the beginning of the month when everyone posts their financial numbers. I suppose I am a bit of a money voyeur.

    1. Mochi & Macarons

      *sigh* family isn’t perfect but we have to make do :). He’ll learn.

      As for the double mention, you are welcome! You are an excellent writer, I hope you know that. Your posts make me want to comment each time.
      (Cheque, not check!)

      I live for people’s budgets and numbers.

      You say ‘voyeur’ for financial spending updates and I say ‘nosy’ 🙂


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