Get Smart About Money

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“Money, money, money, must be funny, in the rich man’s world.” -ABBA, 1976

We all know the importance of saving and having a budget. You should always be spending within your means and you should save for your future. Actually committing to this can be hard for some, and I’ve decided 2017 is definitely the year for me to get my finances in check. I kept a diary of all my expenditures last week to take a cold, hard look at where I should cut back.

Monday
$29.00 – 10 TTC tokens: I don’t buy the monthly TTC pass as I enjoy walking most of the time. This may change when the colder weather is upon us.
$2.50 – Lindt chocolates: Mondays are hard. I treated myself to some chocolate in the afternoon.
$22.37 – Groceries from Metro: Picked up some sausages and veggies for dinner and lunch the next day.
$16.43 – Squarespace fee: I have another blog (link here) that I pay a monthly fee for – I’m hoping to start posting more regularly in 2017 but it has been pretty dormant for the last two years.

Tuesday
$109.61 – Gym membership: I know, I know. Expensive. But as I mentioned in my last post, totally worth it to me.
$6.19 – Afternoon snacks: I brought my lunch yesterday and today but was still feeling hungry. Went and got some gummy bears and an iced tea.
$16.14 – Dinner: Cooking dinner with my boyfriend, picked up some bibimbap ingredients from PAT Mart.

Wednesday
$10 – Volunteer Toronto event ticket: Found an interesting event to attend next week on “How to Become a Board Member”.
$10 – Reload Starbucks gift card: Kicking coffee is also something I’m going to attempt in 2017. Until then…
$18.82 – Cookies: Was suddenly inspired to bake gluten-free cookies. Discovered I did not have any honey in the house and that stuff is expensive.

Thursday
$224.60 – Justin Bieber: Technically I’ve already spent this money? I bought tickets to Kanye West’s concert but it was cancelled so I used the refund money to buy tickets to Justin Bieber next year.

Saturday
$10.98 – Drugstore: Tampons and rice crackers. You know, the necessities.
$6.09 – McDonalds: Didn’t have any lunch at home and was craving Chicken McNuggets.

Sunday
$21.19 – Brunch: A friend from high school was in town, so we met up for a girls’ brunch.
$2.62 – Bloomers: We couldn’t resist getting a sweet treat after brunch. Even though we had a vegan donut at brunch. Shh.
$15.47 – Groceries: Picked up a few staples for the week – I like to shop for groceries as I go as I am bad at planning my food ahead of time.
$12.43 – Cup O House: Met up with my old college roommate for dinner. She paid for dinner, I paid for dessert afterwards (shaved ice treat).

Week total: $534.44

After going through my weekly expenditures I realized most of my income is going towards food. Like, too much food. Since I clearly seem to get peckish during the afternoon, I’m going to make a more conscious effort to buy snacks when I grocery shop and bring those to work so I’m not tempted to go out and buy a (usually unhealthy) treat. I would ideally also limit myself to 1 takeout lunch and 1 dinner out per week, which I think is reasonable.

This year I also opened a TFSA and starting contributing to a RRSP. I know I’m probably late to the game at 25, but better now than never. I plan on using the program You Need a Budget in the new year (link here) to really keep track of my day-to-day finances and be able to spot inefficiencies in my spending. Here’s a great short video with financial tips for millennials.

Do you have any tricks on spending/saving? Any lessons you’ve learned too late? Leave a comment below!

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2 thoughts on “Get Smart About Money

  1. I realized the same thing a few months ago! I realized almost all of my money was going towards food and too much on lunch – meals I didn’t even enjoy but forced to purchase because I was either lazy or didn’t have time to pack/make a lunch!

    Like

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