How do you spend your money? Part 2

< Back to all articles

It can be helpful to know how people living different lifestyles actually spend their money on a weekly basis. The first edition of our How Do You Spend Your Money? feature was a great success, so our latest installment features Phyllis—a retired project manager in her early 60s living in Halifax. Take it away, Phyllis!

My first opportunity to spend money was at a very early age. My father distributed our allowances, which had to last a whole month (Dad was paid monthly so I learned quickly how to make that $5 last the entire 30 days).

Budgeting and spending was a very valuable subject to be taught as a child, and this knowledge has remained with me all of my life and enabled me to raise and educate my son without financial difficulty.

My budget today is a monthly one, and it includes rent, utilities, insurance, gas, groceries, eating out, entertainment, and personal purchases. My spending varies from week to week, as I take advantage and shop for grocery specials and sales when purchasing clothes and household purchases.

Having an everyday wallet and a second for membership cards can help keep everything organized and streamlined.
Having an everyday wallet and a second for membership cards can help keep everything organized and streamlined.

Day 1: Monday

Daily Total: $76.91

My day started with an appointment at the local health centre (parking $1). Then it was off to Costco for a quick look around and I happened upon healthy green pea snacks and spinach. ($16.20) From there, I went to Winners—always a great place to find deals—and picked up new sandals that I can dance in and wool socks for when the snow comes ($40.23). I also picked up a can opener and a furniture repair kit—both for a great price ($11.48) I rounded out my day by attending a line dance class ($8). 

Day 2: Tuesday

Daily Total: $0


Today began with another visit to the health centre (free parking this time!). I had such luck shopping yesterday I decided to go again, this time I was looking for boat shoes. I looked in several shoe stores but was unsuccessful in finding what I was looking for. No money spent today! Just gas in the car.

Day 3: Wednesday

Daily Total: $81.99

Today began with a trip downtown to run an errand. I managed to find a metered space on Morris St. ($1.25). After running my errand, I decided to walk along the waterfront to check out what’s new. It was lunch time and so Subway was my choice ($11.90). Then, it was time to head out of downtown, so I thought I would check out another Winners on Mumford. Yes, success again! This time in the lingerie dept. ($36.78). I finished my shopping day with a stop at Giant Tiger to buy grapefruit, pears, and avocados and then I stopped at Sobeys for fish and milk ($32.06). 

Day 4: Thursday

Daily Total: $19.10

Today was more uneventful in the spending department. I co-hosted a ladies’ travel meeting in the afternoon, after which a few of us decided to eat out for dinner at the Butcher Block ($19.10).

Day 5: Friday

Daily Total: $101.65

It was time to get out of Dodge for a change of scenery. I decided to drive to Truro to play tourist in my own province by checking out the local mall and popping in and out of the little shops downtown. I picked up a t-shirt ($8.05) and found a lovely little tea room where I had lunch ($24.68). Then, it was on to the local Walmart to look around. After leaving Walmart with a wok and a baking dish ($42.32) I drove back to the city, stopped at the NSLC for wine ($26.60), and then called it a day. 

Day 6: Saturday

Daily Total: $46.89

After a long morning walk and brunch on my neighbour’s patio, I decided to go out to shop for a large houseplant which had been on my to-do list. I was successful in finding it at Walmart ($30.41). Then, I purchases some steak from Superstore ($16.48) before I went home.

Day 7: Sunday

Daily Total: $77.85

I had a last-minute purchase of strawberries and BBQ sauce at Sobeys ($13.51) to go with the steak I picked up to BBQ yesterday. I also needed potting soil ($1.44) for my new plant and gas for the car ($44.41). The afternoon was a movie for two, Spiderman was the choice ($18.49). 


Weekly Total: $404.39

Final Thoughts

The only surprises in my week's spending were the household expenditures, but I consider these a one-time expense and something which is not a constant in my budget.  I am content with all my week’s expenditures.

Creating and following a budget, is definitely advisable for anyone, from the little child with the $5 allowance to the adult who has a household and family to financially manage.