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September 10th, 2019 at 04:41 pm

Total = $2,382.27

This is really late because I hurt my arm and I’m trying to rest it. I initially hurt it almost a month ago now, it was just a little sore but I kept doing gardening and other stuff that it just kept getting sore again. And then last week when I was working out I think I really made it worst. I didn’t feel it though until that night when I was trying to sleep and it was really throbbing.

Grocery = $343.62 – It seems a lot harder for us these days to stay under $300 per month. I think the main reasons are:
1. Prices have gone up especially with the staple items.
2. We are eating a lot less these days and cooking a lot more at home.
3. We have been trying out few new recipes lately and some require ingredients that we don’t normally buy.
4. We have also been introducing more variety into our diet. I’ve been trying to eat at least 5 cups of vegetables a day. At least the garden is starting to help reduce in this category.
I’m okay with these but at the same time I’ve started to really look at ways to cut costs. On the weekend I found milk that was 60% off because it was due in 2 days’ time, instead of $3 for the 1.5 litre milk it was only $1.20. This milk was with extra cream so I bought 2 bottles and made yogurt (500g) and cheese (about 300g) and the rest DH made kefir for our breakfast for half a week’s worth. Just for the yogurt and cheese it would have cost $10 or so and I only spent not even half an hour making both of them the rest of the time was just leaving it do its thing. And then last night I made fresh tortellini with some of the cheese, with just butter and sage from the garden as sauce. Few months ago we went and got some Chinese dumplings the price has gone up from $10 for 10 to $13, so last month when I got the craving for some dumplings I decided to buy the ingredients, I think it cost me around $8, including making the chilli oil and made 3 dozens of it. So, I got to freeze some of them. Right now I have been enjoying making stuff so I will continue until I get sick of it.


*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $40K).
I’m hoping this will be done in 2 months’ time.

*Save $3K for Holiday money.

*Save $5K for "The Challenge"
Had 11 NSD so $33
DH made some money trading but I haven’t asked him if it was enough to put some money into this, I don’t think he really calculated how much he made. Maybe I’ll add it next month.

Other –

*Read 200 books.
98 An Imaginary Life - David Malouf (8 Aug)
99 The Girl on the Page - John Purcell (10 Aug) - Audio
100 The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton (13 Aug)
101 The Informant - Susan Wilkins (17 Aug) - Audio
102 The Mourner - Susan Wilkins (20 Aug) - Audio
103 Steppenwolf - Hermann Hesse (21 Aug)
104 The Killer - Susan Wilkins (23 Aug) - Audio
105 Don't Let her Go - Harlan Coben (25 Aug) - Audio
106 Home - Harlan Coben (27 Aug) - Audio
107 Fool me Once - Harlan Coben (28 Aug) - Audio
108 Hunting Shadows - Sheila Bugler (31 Aug) - Audio

*Continue Learning Spanish.
Doing a little bit, losing my groove.

* Wake-up early workout and or meditate 5 times a week.
I was doing good and then I hurt my arm.

*Blogging once per week.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
I actually did a bit at the front yard but now I really need to rest my arm for a while

*Continue Decluttering.
I’m looking forward to doing some spring cleaning later this month

*Learn to Draw
This has been forgotten.

Week 34

August 28th, 2019 at 12:46 am

Grocery = $78.30

Garden = Bought some fruit trees and other plants = $117.02

Gifts = Bought gifts for my little niece 2nd birthday, $47.90

Fixing the Fridge – part 2 = I think it was couple of months ago that we had problem with the fridge. DH cleaned it and it work fine for a month but after a while it accumulated some ice again. DH did some research and found what could be the cause of the problem. He replaced the part for only $8. It was fairly easy task replacing it. Hopefully, that has fixed the problem. He had at least eliminated one potential cause of the problem, there are 2 others that might be the issue but apparently this is the number one issue people experienced. Time will tell.

Week 32

August 14th, 2019 at 08:55 pm

Grocery = $81.84, a bit over than what I wanted it to be. Everything is going up in prices.

Birthday Present = I finally bought myself a birthday gift – 4 months later ($145).

Shopping = ($111.00) I had to throw away my old stock pot and had been looking to get a small frying pan. I also had to get rid of my old pasta marker, it broke late last year.

Gardening and Cooking = I did a little bit of gardening but the weather has been not that great but I’ve been doing a little bit every day. We made a big batch of dumplings (almost 100).

Til debt do us part = I been watching this old Canadian show online. It's amazing how people end up in debt. Interestingly it seems that majority of the people that participated in that show are mainly middle class. Most of them have a very decent income, which made it easier for them to get loans and credit cards and ultimately into consumer debts.

July 2019

August 5th, 2019 at 12:10 am

Total = $1,298.89

Grocery = $296.17, this is right on our monthly budget but we were meant to spend a lot less because we have gone over in the last few months.


*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $40K).
Low spend month means more money into savings 
*Save $3K for Holiday money. N/A
*Save $5K for "The Challenge"

Entertainment = this is under budget so I’m putting $10 into the challenge.
NSD = in July we had 14 NSDs, so another $42 into the challenge.
Also DH made some money trading so $200 into this challenge.

Other –

*Read 200 books.
87. The Secret Runners of New York - Matthew Reilly (2 Jul) - Audio
88. Digital Minimalism - Cal Newport (3 Jul)
89. Nine Perfect Strangers - Liane Moriarty (7 Jul) - Audio
90. Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty (15 Jul) - Audio
91. Lab Rats - Dan Lyons (19 Jul)
92. The Last Summer of Ada Bloom - Martine Murray (21 Jul) - Audio
93. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind - T. Harv Eker (23 Jul)
94. A Year with Less - Cait Flanders (25 Jul)
95. Hearthbreak Hotel - Deborah Moggach (27 Jul) - Audio
96. The Sun and Her Flowers - Rupi Kaur (29 Jul)
97. Bridge of Clay - Markus Zusak (31 Jul) - Audio

*Continue Learning Spanish.
I’ve lost motivation 

* Wake-up early workout and or meditate 5 times a week.
Waking up early, no problem but working out and meditating big problem.

*Blogging once per week.
Still going

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Have been doing some little projects outside

*Continue Decluttering.
We took a bag to the charity place.

*Learn to Draw
Not really into this at the moment.

Week 30 – Broken Dishwasher

July 30th, 2019 at 06:53 pm

Grocery = ($91.78) our grocery was higher than what I wanted it to be, it was because we bought things that was on sale, eg chicken that was 75% off. Just couldn’t say no to it. DH also decided to get a big bag of coffee beans even though we have a lot of instant coffee, to be fair it is so much nicer. Luckily, we are still just under our monthly budget but I still need to claw back those high grocery bills last month and the month before. Maybe we will do better in August. The pantry and freezer are fairly full now.

Dishwasher = so now the dishwasher is not working. So we are currently doing dishes by hand. We looked at couple of stores on the weekend and also saw that Aldi have them on sale at the moment. So far we are leaning towards the Aldi brand, the price is unbeatable. Currently the so called brand-named appliances have been pretty disappointing. The Aldi is $300 with 3-years warranty. It might be worth taking a “risk” on it.

Garden = DH and I made 2 benches for our potted orchids and also half-way to making a bench for sitting. We already had materials (mainly cut-offs) at hand so no new cost so far.

June 2019

July 4th, 2019 at 12:26 am

Total = $2,314.13
A quarter of it went to groceries = $580.98, but I’m okay with it. I’m anticipating that this lower in July.
Entertainment was low = $50.70


*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $40K).
50% done
*Save $3K for Holiday money.
*Save $5K for "The Challenge"
$33 for NSDs

Other –

*Read 200 books.
67 Bored and Brilliant - Manoush Zomorodi (1 Jun)
68 The Dark Place - Sam Millar (3 Jun) - Audio
69 Six Months Later - Natalie D. Richards (4 Jun)
70 Remote - Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (5 Jun)
71 Dead of Winter - Sam Millar (6 Jun) - Audio
72 The Joyful Frugalista - Serina Bird (6 Jun)
73 Past Darkness - Sam Millar (8 Jun) - Audio
74 The House Across the Street - Lesley Pearse (10 Jun)
75 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (12 Jun)
76 Long Road to Mercy - David Baldacci (13 Jun) - Audio
77 The Mother-in-Law - Sally Hepworth (14 Jun)
78 Cari Mora - Thomas Harris (15 Jun) - Audio
79 Under the Midnight Sky - Anna Romer (16 Jun) - Audio
80 The Inquiry - Will Caine (18 Jun)
81 Stumbling on Happiness - Daniel Gilbert (20 Jun)
82 Thornwood House - Anna Romer (21 Jun) - Audio
83 The Family Next Door - Sally Hepworth (24 Jun) - Audio
84 A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking (26 Jun)
85 The Secrets of Midwives - Sally Hepworth (27 Jun) - Audio
86 The Self-Employment Survival Guide - Jeanne Yocum (30 Jun) – Audio

*Continue Learning Spanish.
I failed at this.

* Wake-up early workout and or meditate 5 times a week.
Only mainly doing meditation and walking at the moment.

*Blogging once per week.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Been doing a lot of work on the vegetable garden

*Continue Decluttering.
Cleaned the freezer/fridge and the pantry

*Learn to Draw
This has been forgotten.

Week 23

June 17th, 2019 at 09:19 pm

We spent most of our weekend in the garden again; the weather was fairly warm for winter. We trimmed a tree and built another small raised bed. I think I will plant strawberries in it, so right now I’m trying to grow strawberries from seeds. I planted some late last month (I had a packet of seeds, I think I bought them last year) and they are finally showing some life, a couple of leaves so far. Yesterday I planted some more strawberry seeds, these seeds I collected from strawberries we bought from a farmers market during summer. They were the best strawberries I’ve ever tasted so I made sure to collect some of its seeds. I’m hopeful they will grow

Grocery = $127.10

Greenhouse = $30 – bought a greenhouse from Aldi, it was on sale $10 off.

Electric = received a cheque for $80.69

Update on rubbish bin = Compost bin cost $164.50 and the saving for downsizing our rubbish bin is $88 per year.


June 11th, 2019 at 09:53 pm

Grocery =$128.83, we stocked up on coffee and meat, there were some good sales. I have a feeling that inflation is going up further so I'm buy thing on sale while prices are good.

Water Bill – for the quarter it is $205.67

Electric Bill – we have now accumulated $80.69 credit, I believe they will be sending us a cheque before the end of the month (which is end of our financial year) they seemed to do this at end of financial year.

Gardening – We had a 3- day weekend here (for Queen’s birthday holiday), the weather was fairly nice so DH and I spent a bit of time gardening. We built two more raised bed. We have been experimenting on making compost at home. We did one that we started few months ago, it is now ready and have used it for the new raised beds. There were so many worms in it, they were loving it in there.
Also, last week DH bought a new compost bin, it is supposed to be really good that it is actually recommended by our council and they are actually giving us (I think) $50-$60 if we register it and buy it online through this specific company. I have to ask DH for actual numbers but I think he mentioned that they sell them at our local hardware store for $220 but I think we only paid $165 for it. While he ordered this new compost bin he also asked our council to swap our general bin to a smaller size, which cost cheaper (again I don’t remember the amount – I’ll update, when I get actual amounts). Since we have been composting everything that is compostable we hardly have anything to throw out in the general rubbish bin. The new bin is so small it looks like a kid’s toy.

May 2019

June 5th, 2019 at 12:07 am

Total = $2084.81

Grocery = $451.07 – after a very low spend month on groceries in April month we had to buy a lot in May.

Entertainment = $154.53 – just a bit over than the monthly budget.


*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $40K).
We are almost half way there.

*Save $3K for Holiday money.
N/A really but we did get the tollway charged for our holiday trip in this month and that was $26.64

*Save $5K for "The Challenge"
We had another 10 NSD, so I put in $30 into this Challenge. Also put in $100 from stock trading profit for the month.

Other –

*Read 200 books.
46. The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood (1 May) - Audio
47. A Zero Waste Life - Anita Vandyke (2 May) - Audio
48. Here and Gone - Haylen Beck (5 May)
49. How to Fail - Elizabeth Day (7 May)
50. Without Fail - Lee Child (8 May) - Audio
51. The Suspect - Fiona Barton (11 May)
52. Persuader - Lee Child (13 May) - Audio
53. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde (15 May)
54. The Enemy - Lee Child (16 May) - Audio
55. The Minimalist Home (16 May)
56. The Adulterer's Wife - Leigh Russell (17 May) - Audio
57. Meet the Frugalwoods - Elizabeth Willard Thames (18 May)
58. Hunter - Jack Heath (19 May) - Audio
59. The Giver - Lois Lowry (21 May)
60. The Sun is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon (21 May) - Audio
61. Catching Teller Crow - Ambelin Kwaymullina & Ezekiel Kwaymullina (22 May) - Audio
62. Bookends - Jane Green (23 May)
63. Anything is Possible - Elizabeth Strout (23 May) - Audio
64. The First Lady - Brendan DuBois & James Patterson (25 May)
65. The Pearl Thief - Elizabeth Wein (27 May) - Audio
66. Bloodstorm - Sam Millar (29 May) - Audio

*Continue Learning Spanish.
Still doing a little bit every day need to do a bit more.

* Wake-up early workout and or meditate 5 times a week.
Failed miserably at this.

*Blogging once per week.
Okay, I guess.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Been doing some but it has been raining a lot in the last 2 weeks.

*Continue Decluttering.
Doing a little bit

*Learn to Draw
This has been neglected.