Monthly Archives: February 2011

Happy Chinese New Year

Today is Chinese new year according to the lunar-solar calender.  It is the year of the rabbit.  People who are born in the year of the rabbit are talented, ambitious and articulate according to the Chinese calender in my parents’ kitchen.  Which does describe my father and sister.  🙂

For those of you not familiar with the celebrations of Chinese New Year, it’s usually a 15 day celebration of food, family and visiting friends.  There are usually parades and the dancing lions along the streets of Chinatown or Chinese malls.  The dancing lions visits the storefronts (with a parade of drums and people), and owners usually give the lion lettuce and money for good luck and prosperity in the new year.

When my sisters and I were little, we watched VHS karaoke of Chinese new year songs and sang along.  We also got to wear new clothes and collect red pockets from our elders.  Red pockets are little red envelope with money inside.  When I was little, we usually get $5 from each red pocket, but now (due to inflation?), we get $10 per red pocket.  As long as one is unmarried, one can keep collecting red pockets from all their elders.  After one is married, they need to start giving red pockets.

My family always gets together every year to eat, drink, be merry and of course, gift red pockets.  My mom and aunts usually make special dishes, and my favourite part is to see all my cousins and catch up.

My parents’ taught me two phrases to say to my elders, depending on how old they are.

For grandparents and more elderly relatives, say, “Happy new year,  and wishing you good health.”

For aunts and uncles who are young and still working, say, “Happy new year, wishing you prosperity and luck.”

So, to all my readers, Happy Chinese New Year.  May this year bring you good health and prosperity.  And if you have a Chinatown near you, check it out!


Photo source:


Filed under Personal

January Recap

This January, I embarked on a Shopping Ban and allowed myself 3 exceptions.  To read more about my shopping ban, please refer to this post, and this post.  I will write a separate post on my first month of shopping ban, but for now, let’s move on to my spending re-cap.

Income: $3,351.94

Spending: $1,339.89

This month was a quasi expensive month.  It was BF’s birthday, I bought some gifts and some misc. items came up.

Here’s where the money went:

Clothes: I committed the first mistake of being on a shopping ban: venturing into a mall.  I went to the mall to exchange the long down jacket for a size to fit my mom, since I decided not to keep it for myself.  While doing so, I also found a pair of flat leather boots for myself, a nice bra, and a belt (for only $8!).  I know, I slapped my own wrists when I got home, but a pair of flat boots was something I allowed myself.  And I have really wanted a nice bra since… forever. 🙂 In February, there should be$0 under this category!

Gifts: Mostly a mish mash of birthday and Valentine’s gift, and cards for BF.  I also send a bouquet of Edible Arrangements to the nice lady who found my cell phone in a random parking lot, and let me know.  Aren’t nice people awesome?

Toiletries/Grooming: I found out if I pay cash at my stylist, they don’t charge me tax!  My haircuts are usually $60 before tax.

Here is my net worth:


Overall, I am very pleased with this month’s outcome.  I came pretty close to my January budget (though not my $1,000 budget), if I only I hadn’t gone over my clothing!

My goal for February is to have my taxes completed.  I hope to be getting a tax return, and want to send my return in before the rush so that I get my money in my bank account as soon as possible.

How was your spending in January?  Did you meet your budget and goals?



Filed under Budget, Finance