Category Archives: Uncategorized

Italy Recap & Tax Refund Allocation & What’s Next

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I last posted and a lot has been happening in my offline life.

I’ve returned from Italy, started a new job, and found a new apartment (downtown!).  My finances and bedroom are in a bit of disarray right now, and I am in quite a struggle to find a balance in my life.  Even though I thought that staying offline might buy a few precious moments, I also missed blogging a lot.  I still gravitate back to writing to organize my thoughts.

My trip to Italy was a lot of fun and I have some gazillion pictures to sort through (of course!), but I managed to put together my expenses for the trip.  I spent 20 days in Italy and a total of $3,220 for the entire trip.  In addition to the breakdown below, I’ve added $137 for travel related purchases in Canada, such as a new backpack, watch, sport towel, make-up removing towelettes, and ear plugs. 


The chart is a bit funny, I originally broke down the expenses according to the cities, and then rolled them up for this summary, but I still wanted to show the duration of each city.

I put away $250 every month into my “Travel Fund” account with ING, and it wasn’t quite topped up when I left for this trip (oops!).  Right now I have about $2,150 sitting in my account.  However, I wanted to spend a portion of my Tax Refund on this trip, and I came up with this allocation for my tax refund:


So, I am still short $570. 

Did I mention that I also want to book flights to Boston so that I can visit BF while he is working away at his MBA?  Porter and Air Canada are holding some pretty awesome deals right now, and I am suspecting that once September rolls around, there will be more awesome deals again.  I’m pretty sure I can snag a round trip flight from Toronto to Boston for less than $250.

Anyway, I am going to book my flight anyway and write myself an IOU.  My plan is to keep transferring the money from my “Travel Fund” to my Savings/Investment fund until I am completely paid off to myself.

What’s Next:

Amalgamate my RRSPs into one location – at TD Canada Trust.  I know that I’ve cursed TD before, but I their e-series mutual funds are just so hard to beat.  AND I will have well over $50,000 invested, so I will only be charged $10 a trades, as opposed to the $30 I am paying now.  I need to call ING and Manulife and figure out what I need to do to move my money as soon as possible.

After I have everything in one location, I will need to re-balance my portfolio.  This should be fun.

That’s all I have for now!  I hope everyone else’s summer is going well!

PS 1.  Errrm.. I don’t like the WordPress dashboard.  What happened to all my options of making headings and other formatting tools???

PS 2.  Missing Cassie!  Hope you’re having a great time, girl!


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The Best Part of a Trip…

… is coming home.

Even though I had a wonderful time traveling through Italy with my sisters and BF, I was a little homesick, and missed home.

I missed my apartment, my bed, my washroom, my kitchen, my food, my city, my laptop, and yes, I missed my stuff.  (Very un-minimalistic, I know ;))

Seeing new places and experiencing a different culture is nice, but it also reminded me, (1) how wonderful it is to share the experience with the people who are important in my life, and (2) how great my life is at home.

I have a gazillion pictures to sort through, so those will be coming up in the next few weeks, as I adjust back to normal life, and I will also be doing a travel expense recap, as well.  I’ve missed you guys and can’t wait to get back into blogging.

Talk soon!


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Link Love: Powered by Some Changes


(Image via)

Hello, everyone. 

I haven’t blogged in a while and has changed their dashboard!  Does anyone know how do I copy an existing post?  I loved that feature!!!

There have been a few changes in my life, and I am really excited to share with you the great news!

  • I’m going to be spending my next three weeks in Europe
  • I will be starting a new job when I get back from my trip
  • I will starting my housing search and moving into the city (finally!)

As you know, I’ve been feeling very uncertain about my future lately.  And I haven’t got it all figured out.  Far from it, in fact.  But I think I needed a bit of a change, and I think this is a great start.  I’m really excited.

I hope to only take a carry on with my on this trip, and hope to post something up before I leave showing you guys what I plan to bring.   I’m not the lightest packer in the world, but I like to travel and focus on enjoying my destination. 

There have a been so many great blog posts out there, I’m not really sure where to begin!

A new blog I discovered is Elle and Ish written by Janelle!  Check her out, she is a 20-something who owns her own condominium, has an adorable puppy, and does really amazing nail art!

How is everyone doing?  Are there any changes in your life you’d like to share?




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Taking a Short Break…

Hello readers, sorry I’ve just dropped off and gone MIA for the past 2 weeks.

Things have been really busy in my offline life.   I have a few things I need to focus on, and my blog will need to take a backseat for likely, most of this month.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to come back soon.



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Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Winter Solstice, andHappy New Year

I wish everyone a safe and merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy winter solstice and a Happy New Year! 🙂


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Confession: I’m Kinda a Scrooge…

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I’ve been seeing so many great holiday gifts guides around the blogosphere, but I can’t help but cringe at the thought of stepping foot in a mall (or even a strip plaza, or any store, really).   As you know from my post here, I don’t exchange/give gifts to even the closest of my friends.  And we’re all okay with that!

Why I don’t like Gift Exchanges

I really dread the thought of pushing through crowds and fighting for the remnants of a sale to get a gift.  And also, I am not organized enough to shop ahead of the holiday season. So, I really don’t want to burden my friends with having to fight crowds and sift through stuff, just to get me a gift.

How much should I spend?  What if they spent so much on me and I only spent $20 for them?  Would they really like this? Really?

If I see something I think one of my dear friends will love, I will just gift it to them.  No reason to wait for Christmas.

We are all (mostly) Adults

I really think that Christmas gifts are for kids.  As a kid, I really looked forward to getting gifts at Christmas since I couldn’t really buy my own gifts (we got gifts from my relatives – my parents didn’t really get my sisters and I gifts).  But as an adult, I can buy my own gifts and exactly what I want, and my friends can buy their own gifts and get exactly what they want.

And even though gift cards are nice, sometimes, it’s just nicer to just to the restaurant together, or to just go shopping together and buy what we want to buy for ourselves!

Crazy Consumerism

I think our society has taken the consumerism part of Christmas and made it into something that will solve all our problems.  The message of “give the perfect gift and you will be the best friend/spouse/daughter/mother/employer/etc. ever!” is pretty much the message of every commercial I’ve seen or heard.

Don’t get me wrong, I like shopping, sometimes.

But Christmas isn’t about sales, it’s about something much, much more than that.

Non-religious Short Rant

I’m not a religious person, but when I was little, I really looked forward to singing Christmas carols in the gymnasium every year.  You know, there a teacher plays the piano and the lyrics are on a projector screen?  I loved those and I wasn’t Christian.

I know that a lot of public school don’t allow that any more, and I find it very sad.  It’s like it’s not okay to sing about Christmas, but it’s OK to use the word Christmas/Holiday and smear it all over sales. le sigh. /rant

I am Already so Rich 🙂

I have a wonderful and supportive family, whom I recently had a chance to spend 2 weeks away with.  It really was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I have a really awesome boyfriend who is caring, loving, honest, so incredibly supportive and he makes really great salad dressing! 🙂

I have great girlfriends who keep me grounded and keep me sane.  We have been through so much together.  They never judge me and always have my best interests at heart.

I have a safe and clean place to call home with great land lords who take care of me like I was their grand daughter.  And the rent is also ah-mazing! 🙂


So, even though I’m kinda a Scrooge, I still can’t help but get exciting about the holidays.  I love the crisp air, the fluffy snow, the beautiful decor and lights, the coziness of a fireplace, and a cup of hot chocolate after a morning shoveling the snow.  It just feels like home 🙂

Are you a scrooge?  What are your thoughts on the holiday?  What are some of your traditions?


PS.  Enter my Grown-up Christmas wish Giveaway for a chance to win Gail’s book and support a charity!!


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Financial Bucket List

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I’m a bit late to the game, but I wanted to share some items in my Financial Bucket List for a chance to win $500 from Krystal’s giveaway!

On My Financial Bucket List

  1. Have $100,000 in long term savings (includes both RRSP, TFSA and other investments) by the time I turn 30.
  2. Continue to contribute to my travel fund and keep it topped up at $3,000 to $5,000.
  3. Go in for a Laser Eye Surgery consultation and then save the cash to pay for it ~$5,000 (estimate).
  4. Look into having a side hustle to supplement my full-time gig.
  5. Early retirement Attain financial freedom by the time I am 45 – 55.  I used to think I wanted to retire early, but now, I think that I just want to have the freedom to do what I want – whether it be traveling, working or gardening.

What’s on your financial bucket list?

Psst!  Enter my Grown-up Christmas Wish Giveaway !  Bonus: I will also match your donations to charity 🙂


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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

For some reason, Happy Holidays just seems a tad impersonal and less festive.

I am not Christian, but I have grown up with greetings of Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

For those of my readers who celebrate hanukkha, Happy Hanukkha.

Best wishes for safe and happy times, for my readers and their families.

It’s been so much fun blogging, and I love hearing your feedback.

Here’s to an awesome 2011 to all!






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