In Budget Roundups

March 2014 Budget Roundup = $229257.89 or an increase of $6576.29 of 2.95%



In that case, I have both right now — success and happiness.


I welcomed a new life into the world and have been preoccupied with learning how to be a mother.

Thanks for the congratulations! mother-otter-baby-animal-cute

To celebrate, I’m giving away a FREE one year’s magazine subscription!

Win a FREE 1-year subscription to any of the magazines above from Save. Spend. Splurge.
Win a FREE 1-year subscription to any of the magazines above from Save. Spend. Splurge.


Sleep? I laugh in the face of it! …. *whimpers*… saverspender-tweet-striking-fear-in-mothers-heart Also, I think our future “Mommy + Me” time will consist of me catnapping beside him while he naps. 😐

I hope I can stop pumping milk so often after the first month and continue having a good amount of breast milk come in.

This is getting exhausting, pumping every 1 – 2 hours to make enough to feed him. I wish I could pump every 3 hours or 4 hours instead, but if I go too long in between pumps it is extremely uncomfortable, especially at night.

Baby Bun kind of looks like this at feeding time: Via

On more than one night, I have totally broke down in stress and tears because I had no more milk left to pump and give, and he was crying because he was still hungry.

I was SO adamant to not supplement but I have made peace with it and am a happier mother now that I am not under stress to produce milk.

He’s also developing a little personality.

He doesn’t cry or fuss very much and is pretty agreeable unless he’s wet, or needs to eat.

He’s a bit of a little piglet and when he’s starving he makes noises like an aggressive one too.

He’s just as cute as this one:

He also has an unnerving stare that bores deep into your eyes and your soul, judging you and your milk production levels… (what!? this is how I see it).

Anyway, I miss wearing pants. I have to start getting serious about losing these 10 pounds off me which means I have to stop my newly developed habit of eating a whole cake a week, along with snacking on homemade cookies during the day.


INCOME = $2677.09

Didn’t work at all this month — I have a newborn!

  • Currency Exchange (USD to CAD): $2067
  • Consignment: $276.12
  • Re-sold vitamins: $258.46 — Estrosmart, which I believe got me pregnant in the first place
  • Advertising: $72.67
  • Credit Card rewards: $2.84

I made a little bit of money (couple thousand) exchanging about $20,000 of USD into CAD at an estimated rate of about 1.10.

I could have held out for it to be lower at 1.20 or whatever, but I am doing the exchange now because I need the money in CAD to FINALLY be able to max out my TFSA contributions for 2014.

(It’s currently held in a non-registered account and being TAXED.. ick.)

Anyway, mentioned a while back I had a SNAFU with my TFSA contributions (ING forgot to send information to the CRA that I had withdrawn money), so I’m basically re-contributing what I had originally contributed.

EXPENSES = $489.44

NO, that is not a typo!!!

Turns out, if I can truly motivate and scare myself into not spending money, I can make anything happen.


So the lesson to me of March is that I can easily spend under $1000 a month on living expenses if I live like a hermit, chained to my breast pump, with a newborn exhausting the heck out of me so that I have absolutely no will or desire to leave the house.

I’d rather nap than go out and this is doing wonders for my wallet. Save-Spend-Splurge-Budget-Roundup-March-2014-Expenses-Pie The pie is a little screwy because Transportation is actually in the negatives.. but Microsoft Excel is dumb and can’t recognize that.




I haven’t been going out.

Like literally have not left the house except for 3 doctor’s appointments. I am kind of scared to go out in the first month because he’s so fragile and it is SO COLD outside.. but also because I need to be chained to my breast pump to be able to feed him.

How awkward would that be to have to pump every 2 hours in some public bathroom to feed your screaming newborn?


I am going to get cabin fever soon if this weather doesn’t warm up so I can take short little walks around the neighbourhood with Baby Bun, without having to bundle him up like an Eskimo.

SPENT: ON FOOD.. Mostly.

Food.. food.. food. It’s what I’m burning through right now.

It’s deceptively low, my groceries budget, but I am eating like a sow feeding a little piglet.


In my sleep-deprived state, I sat on my glasses and broke the frame.


Instead of buying a cheap pair of $30 glasses I decided to repurchase the high quality, super light frames instead.

Just had to convince myself to do it and not be cheap.

NET WORTH: $229,257.89 or an increase of +$6576.29 or 2.95%

The increase is due partly to the Canadian dollar doing poorly against the U.S. dollar (I have about 40% of my portfolio in USD), and also because I had invested most notably in Orange (formerly France Telecom) stock (ORAN), which went up.

The rest of my stocks went up a bit too, the only one that is still in the red is Rogers Sugar (RSI.TO).

*shakes fist*



This not-working-but-also-not-spending-gobs-of-money schtick is working out for me. I hit my highest net worth to date, and ironically it’s not from any active income from my day job, per se. Save-Spend-Splurge-Budget-Roundup-March-2014-Net-Worth-Past-12-Months Let’s hope the trend continues..

I need to continue to put pressure on myself to NOT SPEND MONEY and to stop breaking important things like eyeglasses so that my emergency fund of $13,000 will last me all the way until I am able to go back to work.


Just for kicks, here’s what my net worth looks like in different currencies:

I’m a millionaire in Hong Kong Dollars, Chinese Yuan, Mexican Pesos or Swedish krona!!

The British pound of course, is the most dismal number of all at 124,710.25 pounds..

DIVIDENDS REVIEW: Made $11.46 in March

Save-Spend-Splurge-Budget-Roundup-March-2014-Dividends-To-Date So I was under the impression that my dividends were on a DRIP (dividend reinvestment plan) with Questrade but it turns out you need to mail in a HARD COPY of the form requesting that your stocks be put on a DRIP.

You can’t fill it in and upload it, or just check a box on a form (which I distinctly remember doing when I first started the accounts).

You can find it under My Accounts > Find Forms > Funding Forms

The form is called: Dividend purchase plan authorization

You need to fill it out for each Questrade account, and each time you buy a NEW stock that pays dividends you need to inform them to put it on the DRIP; but you only need to submit this per Live and learn.

It’s a good thing I made barely any money last year, I didn’t even hit the basic minimum ~$11,000 personal tax amount so I am still paying $0 in taxes.


  1. How much should you have saved for retirement by age 30-35?
  2. Where do the richest people in the world live?
  3. How to get a Parisian wardrobe: Part One: Principles, Part Two: CapsulesPart Three: Essentials
  4. Practical Minimalist Shoe Wardrobe
  5. North American versus European views on debt and savings



  • Featured Economag this month with these two posts: Why I won’t be paying for my childrens’ college education and No one should be more interested in your money than you!
  • Ree very kindly included my post on the minimalist packing I did in her Women’s Power Wednesday roundup, as did That Life!
  • Kendal over at Hassle-Free Savings liked my minimalist wardrobe post and was much too kind with her praise, and so was iou and Suburban Finance!!
  • Stephanie over at Graduated Learning featured my Baby Cost Tracker, where I list out all my expenses related to Baby Bun thus far.
  • Jane Savers is right on target by saying that having Baby Bun will cost me money and my net worth will drop. *sigh*.. and she also enjoyed my post on where all the rich people live
  • Stacking Pennies says her PF score will be around 5-10 at the end of the year; what will your PF Score be??
  • PK very kindly celebrated Baby Bun’s arrival with a mention!
  • Cashville Skyline liked my post on how much you need to have saved by the time you’re 30
  • More than Mommies featured me talking about how much you need to save for retirement
  • Better late than never, apparently I am inspiring!!!
  • Fit is the new poor liked my post on secrets for first time mothers.
  • Adina from one of my favourite blogs (Blue Collar Red Lipstick) enjoyed my post on a Parisian Capsule Wardrobe but can’t see herself dressing like that every day.
  • FU (yes, I am calling him FU now), liked my post on how American cities compare to GDPs of world nations



…to not spending any money in April either.   This is what I am chanting to myself:




In May I have a wedding to go to, so I will allow myself to get a pedicure (my feet are disgustingly dry and cracked right now..).

It will also be nice to go out with BF and spend time with adults.

I think I am not going stir-crazy and about to snap (beyond the normal levels of snapping), because I am so actively involved online with the blog and talking to others, plus getting great support from other mothers who are readers and bloggers.

Thank you <3

You’re all keeping me sane!!!

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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. MelD

    LOL – so here’s a disadvantage to Switzerland (it just *sounds* like paradise ;o)… if I broke my glasses it would set me back more than ten times the cost of yours i.e. CHF 1800. And my hubbie’s recent dentist visits are costing CHF 1385. That stuff isn’t covered by health insurance. See, a cheering thought for you!!
    On Monday, our heating system is being replaced (it’s 25 yrs old, so has done well) and that is costing CHF 8000 – not a cheap spring for us :O Ah well.
    Enjoy the babe – sorry it’s a struggle just now, it will improve with the weather, I’m sure!

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Oh I just bought the frames, not the lenses. The lenses are another $250 – $300 depending on how fancy you get. The frame itself was only $165… which is very expensive. I could have purchased a frame for $13 but decided against it.

      I am trying to enjoy the baby, to be sure. It’s frustrating at times but overall very pleasant especially when he sleeps on me 🙂

  2. LAL

    I am very interested in my DH getting on board with living on less and living like you do. You make it seem possible to live without a million in the bank and not worry. I want my DH to think that way.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I think it might be harder for a guy to not worry because he’s the one that everyone is depending on, you know?

      I’m luckier in the sense that I just have myself and joint expenses to cover, and BF covers his own expenses and pays half of everything jointly.

      Still, either you are comfortable with not having a lot of money in the bank before relaxing, or you’re not. I’m a bit laissez-faire in that regard..

  3. Anne @ Unique Gifter

    Damn, that is some LOW spending! Good for you…. here’s hoping the weather turns a bit so you can get out there and do some walking soon. That will help overcome the cake consumption, too.
    That net worth in multiple countries thingie is fun, though I don’t have the heart so see what mine looks like in pounds sterling, that’s for sure!

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      GOD YES. I want to walk to get rid of this cookie and cake fat…!!!

  4. Suburban Finance

    Congratulations for everything! Seems it like it was a great month for you 🙂 Also… Ugh I really hope Spring comes soon! I’m so fed up with this cold weather.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Thank you 🙂 April will be just as good I hope. Maybe better.

  5. cosmogirl2100

    Wow, that is a low spend month. March was such an expensive month for me, darned car rentals not liking under 25s!!

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I hated that rule when I was under 25!!!

  6. A Money Goddess

    Baby bun is growing up so fast! No wonder he drinks so much milk. That’s awesome that you hit such a low spend month (I hope I don’t need to start having kids to save like that!).

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Ironically I had a child to save money. A lot of people told me a child would cost me money. Turns out I am my own worst enemy for spending!

  7. Michelle

    Thanks for the congratulations! I can’t wait to write a similar post sometime in the future 🙂 Wish me luck.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Haha good luck 😀

  8. iou

    WOW! Your savings were incredible.

    As a super klutz I’ve sat on multiple pairs of glasses, and one pair that was not even my own.

    Thanks for the mention, I’m still in the process of purging my wardrobe in hopes that I can make a “minimalistic” wardrobe out of what I already have.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      “Savings” 🙂

      Considering I spent and overspent on my budget for the past 2 years this is a drop in the bucket!

  9. Janine

    Hope you are enjoying life as a new mommy!

    I had the same issue with Questrade, I’m surprised they don’t inform you of this when you’re investing. I feel like there should be an opt in button.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I thought there was…! I saw it on the form.

  10. jane savers @ solving the money puzzle

    The fact that you have a classic wardrobe that doesn’t change with the seasonal styles will help you to avoid spending because you will never be out of style.

    My net worth and my PF number are both still a zero but I am getting closer to positive. I appealed to Google AdSense for reinstatement one last time and even proposed a probation period but I was denied again so I will just accept that my site will never make money.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Yes this is what I tell myself too.. but sometimes I get swept up in wanting more and more variety in the basics I have!

      Your site could have a chance to make money if you were more active on social media sites, and then you could appeal to private advertisers. Otherwise you can try this ad network — Lijit.

      1. jane savers @ solving the money puzzle

        @save. spend. splurge.: I can’t possibly imagine being more active on social media. This is taking a lot of my time.

        I have Yahoo ads but it pays less than $1 per month. We will see how it all ends up.

        1. save. spend. splurge.

          @jane savers @ solving the money puzzle: True. Blogging is not a hobby for those who don’t have spare time!

          Ah, at least you get SOMETHING for your blog so you can claim it as a business!!

          I still suggest trying out Lijit.

  11. Tania

    I don’t think I’ve had less than $500 spending in a month since I was in college 20+ years ago 🙂 Bravo! Do hope you get some zzzzz soon.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I haven’t had $500 in spending in a very long time either.. years, and years! This might actually be the first time in my life since I was 19 😛

      I try to sleep when I can, even while feeding him I sometimes doze off..

  12. GirlinaTrenchCoat

    Aww Baby Bun! I can just imagine him thinking “come on big milk thing, baby wants dinner naaaaow!”

    And bravo on NOT spending money while cooped up in the house. Hang in there, spring’s a-coming soon, hopefully. 🙂

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Tell me about it.. you can just imagine the level of grunting that goes on when he’s hungry..!

      It’s just so easy to spend online that I have to remind myself not to do it.

  13. Morgaine

    Nice increase to the NW this month! This winter has kept me inside a lot which was helping to curb my spending. I did buy some clothes for our upcoming trip (but all functional, I can wear other times items) but it was really hard not to buy other cute items for spring. Yesterday was a nice day, the hubby, MIL, and I went for a 2 hour long walk in the sunshine 🙂 I’m gonna check out that ESTROsmart, we are trying right now to get pregnant and its not happening yet, really trying to eat healthy and be active to boost the chances so anything that might help, I’m willing to try (the added bonus of regulating hormones and the period sounds awesome too). Thanks for the tips!

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I have been tempted about 8 times to just fill up a cart and have it all delivered to me 😛

      Yes, try Estrosmart and Estrosmart Plus. I took 4 Estrosmart Plus a day plus Estrosmart (2) to clear my skin but I ended up getting pregnant.

      I’d also suggest going on prenatals ASAP so that you build up the folic acid in your body for when you do get pregnant.

  14. Bridget


    I can’t even take this anymore.

    Nice net worth chart! Mine looks exactly the same but the opposite =p

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I can’t either. I want spring to come so I can GO OUTSIDE GODDAMNIT.

      Hah! The rollercoaster that goes down can only go back up!

  15. Alicia @ Financial Diffraction

    Hmm, so what you’re saying is the way to keep my spending way under budget is to HAVE A BABY? That sounds like one of those backwards posts that lots of people like writing 🙂 Congrats again on the little one, and the increase in your net worth.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Yeah, PRETTY MUCH. 🙂

      I have been too exhausted to care about spending money or going out. I dread leaving the house for appointments…

  16. AdinaJ

    Aww, right back at ya! Thanks for my morning read every day 🙂

    You have survived the first month, so it’s all going to be a cake walk (heh!) from now on. Ok, ok, not quite, but it does get better. Or at least funnier. Sometimes, all you can do is laugh.

    Congrats on the net worth increase! This month, ours took a bit of a dive for the first time in years – we bought a new car. Like, new-new. It’s our first new car and we’re pumped, but seeing the money go out of our account sucked.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      It’s a secret dream of mine to be able to buy a brand new car.. but I can’t help but think of the depreciation!!!!!


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