How Do You Spend Your Money?

August 24, 2017

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As part of our ongoing How Do You Spend Your Money? series, we’re chatting with people of different ages and lifestyles from across Atlantic Canada to find out what their weekly spending looks like. This week, we’re featuring Jane, a 25 year old marketing and communications coordinator, living in Saint John, New Brunswick. Take it away, Jane!

I was a little nervous to track my spending this week. Not only was my rent payment due, but I’m in the middle of planning a bachelorette party for my best friend, which I knew could get expensive. I like to think I’m pretty good with budgeting, but I don’t always think about the little day-to-day expenses.

Day 1: Monday

Daily Total: $5.12

Not a bad start to my budget tracking! I had a pretty standard day in the office and remembered to pack a lunch. After work I met with a couple of girlfriends at Starbucks to do some bachelorette planning, and splurged on a latté ($5.12).

Day 2: Tuesday

Daily Total: $0

There are many days that are usually quite busy. I go to work, come home, eat dinner with groceries that I already have, go to a yoga class, and then go to bed. I try to have at least one day in the week that I do not spend money. If I’m lucky, I can sometimes have two.

Day 3: Wednesday

Daily Total: $441

My cousin was in town and I wanted to find time to catch up with her after leaving my office for the day. We grabbed drinks at Lemongrass ($16)—a local Thai restaurant located on the boardwalk in Uptown Saint John, just a quick walk from where I work. My rent, which I split with my boyfriend, was also due, so I made sure to pay that on time ($425). 


Day 4: Thursday

Daily Total: $90

We were getting low on groceries, so after work I dropped by Sobey’s to pick up a couple of essentials two zucchinis, almond milk, 2% milk and ground turkey to make turkey meatballs ($34). After that, my boyfriend and I stopped by Area 506a New Brunswick festival that he helped organize all about local culture, music and food.  We had dinner plans that night (an early birthday treat for me!), so after quickly checking out the festivities, we walked over to Hopscotcha new-ish whisky bar and restaurant for dinner and a cocktail ($56). Delicious!

Day 5: Friday

Daily Total: $45

Friday finally arrived and I wanted to go back to Area 506 to visit a food truck owned by a good friend’s fiancé called Cheese Please. I bought a tasty grilled cheese and donair sandwich that was a little expensive ($15), but I couldn’t turn down the chance to support a friend and local business. We stopped for gas on the way home ($30).  

Day 6: Saturday

Daily Total: $8.57

My boyfriend’s parents were in town from Ottawa, specifically for the Area 506 festival, as my boyfriend was emceeing some of the events. During the day we showed them around Saint John. First we stopped by the Kingston Farmers Market, where we didn’t purchase anything, but my boyfriend’s parents bought some local items to take home with them (soap and a rug). We also went to the Saint John City Market where they purchased some candied salmon. I stopped by Second Cup on the way home where I purchased a coffee and a snack ($8.57).

Day 7: Sunday

Daily Total: $22.95

I was planning a trip to Toronto for my friend’s upcoming bachelorette party, and wanted to pick up a few things at Shoppers Drug Mart. I bought mini shampoo and conditioner as I am flying and only plan on bringing a carry-on, as well as a mini tube of tooth paste, a greeting card to put in her present and a new pair of earrings that I grabbed on the fly ($22.95).

Weekly Total: $612.64

Final Thoughts

My key learnings for this week are that you don’t realize how quickly the little things add up. I don’t mind spending a bit extra on a drink when catching up with someone, or getting a food truck meal to support a good friend, but always getting coffee when you can make it yourself is unnecessary! My goal is to plan ahead, keep track of the little purchases, and work on not spending any money one, or two times a week.