30 Day Money Challenge… tracking cash, day 3

money, oh money… why do you evade me so?

Day 3 is almost done in my tracking of cash challenge and so far so good… but I’ve had a few realizations.

This Saturday is an awesome live show I would LOVE to go to but realistically I can’t. If I do I will have no money for groceries and I need to buy groceries. My fridge is a that uncomfortably empty state. Back in my 20’s I might have opted for the night out and eating bread and peanut butter for a week but back then I didn’t have my most precious gift ever to feed.

* wheeze. shallow breath. panic*

The other realization hit me hard: I will have no extra money for Mother’s Day. This is brutal. Because I lack that other “special someone” who cares about making my Mother’s Day good (and three year old Davis isn’t so good at shopping on her own) I decided instead of getting depressed about it I would always treat myself. With no extra cash this isn’t going to be possible this year, and it breaks my heart a little. But I’ve made the vow, accepted the challenge and I will succeed. * crosses heart *

After posting my original post dedicating myself to this challenge, I got an incredible reply from Ted, who asked me a number of questions regarding spending habits. They are awesome questions that are probably important to address when asses you’re financial situation so I’m answering them below. Transparency, right? Anyone else in a similar financial plateau might find it useful to answer the same questions on your quest to financial fitness.

1) Do you drink or smoke? … No, I don’t smoke and I totally admit this would be a wicked way to save some money. Yes, I do enjoy wine or beer and usually spend between $11 – $30 on this a week, depending on if I’m having a friend over. My socializing primarily happens at home.

2) Do you grab a coffee each morning on your way to work? One medium coffee from Tim’s each day adds up to about $50.00/month…. Excellent point but no, I don’t buy coffee out. Make it at home and rarely buy a coffee out.

3) Do you pay monthly bills for such things as cable or satellite TV, Internet, cell phone and land line, Netflix or any other social media gadgets? … The only thing I have is Netflix, the most economical for us. We used to rent movies but that was roughly $20 a month and Netflix is $8. And I have a cell phone as my only phone line, again a necessity and the cheapest option at $63 / month. I also use it for work.

4) Do you pack a lunch for work or grab a burger or a slice of pizza at a take out? … Always pack my lunch.

5) Do you go out for supper or go to the bar on a weekly basis? … Sadly no, I don’t. *weeps*  Although I would love to be at a point where I could afford to go out for supper once a week or to the movies (imagine that.) I’ve been out to a bar type event once in the past five months * sob * Yeah, my social life is very low key right now, but I’m good with that… sort of.
6) Can you carpool? … Not really possible. Being a morning radio means I work different hours than other people. Although, I’m going to try to dedicate one day a week I don’t use my car… most likely on the weekend.
7) Do you use energy efficient lightbulbs? … In some outlets.
8) Does your water heater have a thermal blanket around it? … No, but I will totally look into this.

9) Do you make sure lights and appliances not in use are turned off?… Yes, definitely AND I try to unplug everything that I can when they’re not in use.

10) Does your employer know about your financial stress? … ummmm, Not sure but I don’t want them to know anyway. Not their problem. (unless they read my blog then they know, but really, there’s many people in the same boat. Just the way of life for so many people raising a family/ building a life.)

11) When was the last time you’ve had a raise? … the company gives a small one every year… I work on freelance stuff to try and increase my income. I have an awesome job, love it and am very grateful for it. It’s an incredible place to work and the pay is good for the industry.

12) Do you work full time? …Yes, I work full-time + freelance on the side.

13) Would you consider a career change, if it led to a better paying job?…  Maybe. Everything is worth considering. But I have no intention of looking at the moment. Again, I love my job. One of the best places I’ve ever worked. Creatively fulfilling, amazing people to work for and with.

14) Have you spoken with your bank? … Not recently, but about a year ago I received a courtesy call to discuss how they could better serve me and we went over my interest rate on my line of credit. Turns out it, I already have the lowest possible rate available right now, which is awesome. Same with my mortgage and insurance on my mortgage, I shopped around and got the best rates possible. The bank was impressed I didn’t just go with their mortgage insurance – you can save tons here and get an insurance that isn’t depreciating.

15) Does your little girl’s father contribute anything? (maybe it’s not worth the effort)…. You’re right, not worth the effort. To be honest, I don’t want money from Baby Daddy. What I want (and what I’ve always wanted) is for him to make an effort to meet his daughter and have a relationship with her. That is what’s most important. My financial situation will get better because I can do anything I put my mind to. I will get the better of this. He will never get another chance to get to know this amazingly beautiful little girl.

16) Do you have an extra room you could rent? … Kind of. It’s my office right now and I’m not sure I want to. When I was house shopping, I was looking for a place where I could rent a room to someone without us always being in each other’s face. But our lovely house is a one level bungalow so we’d be living almost on top of each other. I’m not really keen on that. However, this is an option if absolutely needed.

* head spins *

Now it is time for a glass of wine to relax after staring the dismal state of my finances and lack of social life in the face. * sigh * At least I’m taking matters into my own hands.


2 thoughts on “30 Day Money Challenge… tracking cash, day 3

  1. Ok Nikki, looks like you’ve got those bases covered so let’s move on. 

    If you shop at the Dollar Store you can get brand name items such as toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry soap, shampoo, etc. at a fraction of the price you would pay at Sobeys, Shoppers Drug Mart or Superstore. 

    Speaking of Superstore, they stock their shelves with fresh fruit, veggies and meat on Sundays and by Wednesday they mark a lot of it down to get rid of it by the weekend so that they can start the process all over again on Sunday, these items are still perfectly good and fresh and you can save a bundle. (SHOP ON WEDNESDAY’S)

    You will soon see farmer’s markets popping up where you can find reasonably priced, home grown produce and other goods (I am a regular at these events).

    Consider a small garden, even if you just grow a few tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, or whatever. Make it something you and Davis do together, the bonding and sense of accomplishment you both feel will make it worth the while and you will be rewarded with fresh fruit or veggies, you’ll be amazed with how much better they will taste and how easy it will be to get her to eat the homegrown veggies she grew herself.

    Check your weekly flyers and look for lost liter items which many stores advertise just to get you into their store. 

    Speaking of flyers…I gotta go…the Flyers and Devils are goin’ into overtime, take care.

    • whooo hooo:) love the ideas. the wednesday shopping thing is a tip i never knew before. and i’m a total farmer’s market shopper. in fact, i try to get all my food as locally as possible. like supporting local businesses with my hard earned money.

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