Save. Spend. Splurge.

Week of Money: Where I try to relax but find it difficult to be idle

DAY ONE

??:?? — I wake up tired. I feel like I need a tiny bit more sleep but 7-ish seems to be my sweet spot.

7:20 a.m. — I work on the blog, then make a cup of tea after I am done.

8:08 a.m. Look Mommy I am using the Marge Simpson trick for my hair! “… his hair sticks up, and he giggles because the trick is the hair adds inches to his height but he immediately tells me right after that is not true because hair is not part of height and it is not accurate. What is funny is he doesn’t even know the show The Simpsons, let alone who Marge is. Memes and pop culture videos even referencing things he doesn’t understand, are so prevalent in his generation today.

8:47 a.m. — Done blog work, I go through my list of things to do today.

9:00 a.m. — I start on a new recipe for a smaller amount of focaccia bread with only 1 1/2 cups of flour instead of the 3 1/2 cups of my original recipe (it is way too much to eat, and it only tastes good fresh out of the oven, not even 2 hours later!!), and it turns out okay. More like an in-between focaccia meets pita bread. I eat it dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and forget to make some garlic mash in the microwave to spread on top. Next time. I have to tweak this recipe. I make notes.

11:59 a.m. — Little Bun gets a small piece of it because it is mostly my entire lunch, AND he already had pasta twice, plus lots of other food. He just really likes balsamic vinegar and bread soaks it up the best, hence why he loves focaccia. Plus he is French-influenced so he loves bread, period.

He almost starts to burst into tears because he wanted MORE bread and I tell him to shush because he is going to ruin his body with all this white flour. After lunch, I take him into the bedroom and explain it is either he gets a little focaccia bread, or none at all because we will not make it any more. He nods. He just really likes balsamic vinegar, he could lick it off his fingers as it is so sweet to him.

12:25 p.m. — Time for a new game of Monopoly. We only set it up.

1:06 p.m. — Down for his nap.

2:56 p.m. — Up from his nap, we continue.

5:06 p.m. — Break for dinner!

9:26 p.m. — Time for bed. We finish the game, Little Bun almost in tears because he lost again. I tell him we will take another break until he can learn how to be okay with losing. I tell him I know how hard it is to feel like you worked hard but you lost anyway. I tell him that Monopoly is just a game, not something important.

He interjects: But Monopoly is a LITTLE important right? It’s like life..

Me: Yes *and I seize the teaching moment* to tell him that it is very similar to life.

This is what Monopoly does teach you about life, at least, along with managing money, rents, assets, debts, etc. At least, at a very superficial level.

For me, I am a bit worried – he always wins at everything in Home Schooling for his pages so I hope this is teaching him to lose gracefully as well and to think – never mind, I can do better!

Spent: $0

DAY TWO

??:?? — I wake up to Little Bun snuggling me. Best wakeup ever.

6:54 a.m. — I get up, log in and start blogging. Doing a morning blog routine is the best way for me to not procrastinate and end up with a big pile of work and anxiety at the end of the month.

7:44 a.m. — Blog stuff done!

8:09 a.m. — I start logging into all my bank accounts, checking balances and transferring money for bills.

9:25 a.m. — I make plans to talk to my friend today. She has been busy cleaning her closet and I have been just tired with winding down, meltdowns, etc.

11:30 p.m. — We finally stop talking (we have long chats). Little Bun is giving me the eye which is giving me total stress to wind it up and is completely unfair to me, as he can leave his father alone for hours but if I am taken away from him for a few hours while physically being in the same apartment, he starts to act like he is dying or something.

11:35 a.m. — Lunch

1:02 p.m. — Down for his nap.

1:15 p.m. — I take a break and practice on the piano instead. I have been feeling a bit off lately, and I wonder if it is because I am devoting too much time to one activity when I should take a break and try another.

3:00 p.m. — Up from his nap. He begins playing a Monopoly game by himself, assigning tokens to the Stuffies and rolling for them, plus managing their money.

5:27 p.m. — I do two loads of laundry and when I ask him to do the towels, he goes and grabs them, folds them and puts them away without a single peep. I am lying down in bed, reading a book while he is doing it. We have come a LONG WAY in this household chore regard.

6:30 p.m. — Dinner time. This time I take the roasted cauliflower and instead of just eating it with rice or pasta, I puree it into a velvety, creamy no-dairy soup (it is amazing how creamy it is), add spices like oregano, rosemary and smoked paprika, drizzle olive oil on top, and Little Bun takes a small little sample of it while I finish the bowl.

6:48 p.m. — I do all the dishes again, wipe down the counter, and then think about what I am going to do next week. At the end of the year, I have a lot of admin stuff to do and clean up. A lot of people also set goals or plans for the next year like personal or career ones, but I am deciding on none of this. The only goals I will set are money ones as the rest are just fine as it is.

6:55 p.m. — Little Bun watches Shaun the Sheep (he loves him), while I mindlessly re-watch the very old detective series Psych.

8:15 p.m. — I go and take a warm shower, which makes me feel a bit better as I have been a bit off. A warm shower never fails to cheer me up.

9:10 p.m. — Time for bedtime routine. He is playing that Monopoly game on his own while I am reading in bed.

9:57 p.m. — Actual bed time – he comes to me and whispers that it is getting late. I was so absorbed into my book, I lost track of time!

Spent: $0

DAY THREE

??:?? — I wake up to a snuggly Little Bun.

6:49 a.m. — I log in and start working on the blog until I get at least a few things done.

10:59 a.m. — I absolutely love these messages.

The video was a time lapse of a young mother who just give birth to a baby, working with 3 monitors, pumping milk, feeding her child, changing, etc. I put there in the caption: “Stop posting this sh#$& and calling it inspirational because it isn’t. It’s sad and something that should not ever even happen. She needs help. Something is wrong with our society that this is normalized as “Super Mom behaviour.”

I said this as a working parent, who did not have to do this while on maternity leave. I know in the U.S. they don’t have more than even a month in some cases for maternity leave, and babies are far too young to be left at 1 month old. I mean, at least give 3 months, if you cannot give 1 year (ideal).

I personally went back to work at 7 months because Little Bun was fine at that age, and my partner stayed at home to care for him until he was about a year and a half. So I did 7 months maternity leave, he did 7-ish months paternity leave, and then he went into daycare as he went back to work.

But never mind all of that, I am also wondering if her partner steps up in this because 100%, in so many of the DMs I get are women frustrated, angry and annoyed that they are doing everything. They’re working from home, wrangling the children, cooking, cleaning, and their husbands who are also working from home, simply shut the door and do not emerge until the end of the day.

How fair is that, I ask you? Of course, not all families are like this AND I am not saying this particular woman has this kind of set up in her household, but the odds are, she probably does a lot more than her fair share.

Anyway.

It amazes me how much you can help or benefit someone by talking about these topics so that their lives improve. Just by talking about it, it brings awareness and hopefully, change, so that we don’t have to feel like we SHOULD do everything.

12:08 p.m. — My partner makes pizza to start the celebration into the new year early. He gets Little Bun to pick extra basil we have been growing, adds the oregano he bought lately, and it brings the pizza to a whole other level. I also squeeze on siracha on my pieces, so I am super happy.

1:15 p.m. — Down for his nap, I take a break and watch shows while I try to use up my credit at this store (about $80) without spending too much over. I end up finding three items, and only spending about $30 over the $80 credit to get free shipping. I did this because I would have had to pay for $20 shipping anyway, so that $20 in shipping went into “free” shipping when I spent over the $100 mark, and got me a basic black tank top. $109.25 – but $80 ish of it is a store credit

2:56 p.m. — Up from his nap, he plays his Monopoly game by himself. At least he can’t get mad if he wins or loses against Stuffies.

5:56 p.m. — We do dishes, laundry, then have dinner. The night passes with him watching Shaun the Sheep, running off and playing on his own, reading magazines, etc. And I am just organizing my thoughts and To Do for the new year.

9:25 p.m. — Time for bed.

Spent: $109.25 – but $80-ish of it is a store credit

DAY FOUR

??:?? — I wake up to a Snuggly Bun.

6:40 a.m. — I log in and start working on the blog as usual. I think this routine helps because he can be occupied with his own activities early morning, we have to be quiet as Daddy is still in bed, and I can get this stuff done and think without anyone or anything around me.

7:59 a.m. — I am happy to see lots of snow outside because it means we will have a lot to go sledding this week!

8:28 a.m. — I try to clean up my desk. Toss papers, move things off because I need the space, get rid of unused cables, dust…

9:45 a.m. — Little Bun and I vacuum the house. He likes doing detail “roo roo” vacuuming with the extended hose attached instead of the stick roller. So I do the major cleaning on the floor with the stick, and then he does the extended hose in the corners.

12:18 p.m. — Lunch!

1:05 p.m. — Down for his nap, I go and read a book this time. I have been getting back into super trashy Jackie Collins novels, and I am seeing a theme in all of her stories. I can basically pick out the various characters she enjoys renaming and recreating over and over again. The aging husband who is a great lover but a bit of a screwup who picks the wrong women all the time so he ends up being a compulsive cheater, the very strong, young female antagonist who doesn’t take crap, the manipulative older wife who wants to work her way to the top of the social ladder by using her connections. None of these characters are ‘real’ per se, but they certainly exist. I can imagine them being real because they are, albeit extreme versions.

2:58 p.m. — After his nap, we hang out together and watch a movie.

5:00 p.m. — Dinner time. Dishes, he wipes down cutlery and all of the pots and lids, then he bounces off the chair (it is adorable having this cute 7-year old around who just wants to help do everything), and runs to the bedroom to play with his Stuffies and Squishy Mountain (my down duvet).

9:58 p.m. — Time for bed.

Spent: $0

DAY FIVE

??:?? — I wake up to Little Bun kissing me and smiling.

6:30 a.m. — I log in for blog work.

7:59 a.m. — I now go through my budget for this year, next year, and make sure that I align all of my transactions.

8:40 a.m. — Time for laundry and cleaning up. I arrange out my shoes onto a big cloth and plan on cleaning everything and conditioning it. This is the time to do it!

12:45 p.m. — Wow, that took the whole morning. I had to carefully clean, then wipe down, then condition and set it aside to dry nicely so that I can store them back into dust bags for next spring / summer.

12:55 p.m. — Lunch, while he goes down for his nap.

2:55 p.m. — Up from his nap with a polite knock this time (I told him that the big banging scares the heck out of me and I get this jump in my heart each time), he runs out and asks: WHAT CAN WE DO TOGETHER MOMMY? Damned if I know. I look around and suggest we play in the closet?

2:59 p.m. — He runs into the closet and we start upcycling together.

5:40 p.m. — Wow, time passes very quickly when you’re having a lot of fun and concentrating. I tell him to stop as it is time for dinner. We put everything away, he goes and washes his hands (he is fastidiously tidy and clean, something I could not have predicted when I had him). And then we go and eat.

6:39 p.m. — After dinner, dishes, and cleaning up. I wipe down and scrub the entire oven, and sink as well that gets gunky after you do dishes.

7:20 p.m. — We watch videos beside each other, and talk. I am working on cleaning out my email inboxes and following up on refunds, returns, etc.

8:55 p.m. — Time for bed.

Spent: $

DAY SIX

??:?? — I wake up to Little Bun snuggling me.

6:20 a.m. — Blog work.

8:23 a.m. — I finally stop and have a tea then do my personal emails. My mother emails me a list of things to buy, and I start going through the list, making sure I find the right item, etc. There have been porch pirates since the pandemic, and now she is thinking about buying a lock box for the front for people to drop parcels into. The problem is the couriers do not know how to use it, and sometimes it isn’t big enough for the boxes. Long story short, unless you have a P.O. box, this is not a good idea and a waste of money.

I try to tell her this but she is fixated on not having her packages stolen even though I tell her repeatedly they will refund the items and it is not that big of an issue because I can also report lost items to my credit card company and THEY will also do a refund on the items if the shipper does not.

9:35 a.m. — I now condition my leather belts to clean them and keep them in good shape. I should also clean my car with a deep cleaning service but with Covid I am not taking chances to bring it into a shop to have it done.

12:05 p.m. — Lunch.

1:03 p.m. — Down for his nap, I am watching mindless TV while I bead.

2:56 p.m. — Up from his nap.

3:10 p.m. — He runs to the bedroom to play this game that he can create levels for called ThinkRolls. This is actually a pretty smart game that lets kids learn how to make things difficult, or think steps ahead of how to solve the solution but not to make it too easy.

5:25 p.m. — He wanders by as his father is preparing dinner – cauliflower soup – and ends up having dinner, plus a taste of the soup. He shudders as he eats the first bite (just like when he was a baby!!) but then gets used to the flavour. It’s funny, he really enjoys eating cauliflower plain by itself like a little tree, but when it is in a soup he doesn’t like it? How odd.

6:48 p.m. — I do laundry, he puts it away after folding it.

7:13 p.m. — We read beside each other companionably until it is time for bed.

9:50 p.m. — WHOA it is late. We both got caught up. We quickly rush to bed then talk about our day.

Spent: $0

DAY SEVEN

??:?? — Little Bun says: HELLO DADDY… and I am already half-awake, so I say: “Little Bun? Are you awake?”… He tells me he is awake but he wants to try and sleep in a bit. He is doing this because he is conscious that I do not get enough sleep sometimes and he is trying to “sleep in” to give me a break. Unfortunately, he wiggles and moves around so much that I end up waking up, going over, and hugging him. We both get up.

7:29 a.m. — Working on the blog.

7:59 a.m. — I have a lot of year-end stuff to get done, so I sort of try to concentrate on doing one thing at a time – closing out my budget for 2021, prepping my budget for 2022 and trying to think about what goals I want to set for the year. I like looking back at the stats on my year, running scenario calculations and slicing and dicing net worth / asset allocation.

8:47 a.m. — Blog stuff done, I am having tea and doing my budget.

9:30 a.m. — I set up the bedroom again and continue with the next batch of leather cleaning, conditioning and care for my items. I always feel a bit uncomfortable with being so idle. Just beading, or reading, or watching videos, this is not my vibe. It actually makes me a bit sad to be lazy even though I do “deserve it” and I should take a break, I like being industrious and working hard, or making sure I get something productive done every day. It gives me pleasure to keep my life going and well-oiled, so to speak.

12:10 p.m. — Time for lunch!

12:28 p.m. — I go back to working on the budget, logging in dividends, etc.

1:06 p.m. — Down for his nap.

3:30 p.m. — Up from his nap, he runs off to play Escape Room puzzles. They have so many and they’re pretty difficult. He likes puzzle games the way I did as a child, I loved figuring out puzzles, mysteries and so on. He has the same tendencies in games and books that he reads.

5:50 p.m. — Dinner. It’s cauliflower soup which I drizzle a little oil over and add some salt to. My partner is basically salt-free at this point for health reasons but I am not and it is very monotonous and bland to eat things without ANY salt added to it.

7:25 p.m. — Little Bun continues the Monopoly game he started a day ago.

9:40 p.m. — Time for bed!

Spent: $0

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Want more? Read all of my previous Week of Money Diaries.

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