Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekly Wrap

News Beat is the Heart Beat:
Usually I do my weekly wrap on Friday but yesterday was waaaaay too busy and I didn't slow down til I reached Saffron, a restaurant on Fanshawe College campus that doubles as a classroom for second year Tourism and Hospitality students. A friend of mine teaches in this program and she invited a group of friends to sample the cuisine. After some fancy figuring I thought I had $96 left in misc. spending til payday on Tuesday but then found a $50 error (NOT IN MY FAVOUR BOO HISS) so in reality I only had $46 left :(

Intending to stay on budget no matter what I thought I would skip the appetizer or dessert or wine but then, miracle of miracles, one of my friends had just got a new amazing corporate client (he's a computer technician) and he paid for dinner (alcohol excluded)!! And if that wasn't celebration enough another friend in a burst of generosity paid for all of the bottles of wine we drank throughout dinner so all I had to pay for was my glass of house red that I enjoyed sitting near the fire while waiting for the others to arrive! I also helped with the tip so spent a grand total of $15.37!!

And I realized for the umpteenth time that I have really great friends. Not just because a couple of the men gallantly paid for almost everything but because of everyone's generosity of spirit. One of my friends is fighting breast cancer and had her second last chemo treatment yesterday. The effects don't really hit her for about 48 hours so she had a fantastic night - she was in top form regaling us with her special brand of honest, self-deprecating humour.  Most of the people at the table had supported her by walking, running or donating to her Run for the Cure effort.

Also at the table was another special lady who is working on finishing her Gr. 12 after raising a daughter as a single parent. She is working towards being a personal support worker and was finishing up a position wherein she had been helping a special needs couple learn how to care for their newborn. Another special friend is a local artist and supply teacher. She lives pretty close to the financial edge at the best of times and we love her so much for living by her artistic principles no matter the personal cost.

All in all it was a wonderful night and during the evening we planned our next event - a Mexican-themed potluck dinner in two weeks time.

My fretting about the cost of my dinner out made me realize that something is missing from my budget - an allowance for entertainment. I've managed to fund movies, wine and the occasional dinner out just fine over the last 3 months of zero budgeting but the Christmas season is a different kettle of fish altogether. I can't just avoid going to seasonal events in order not to spend any money so will need to increase my Christmas budget next year to include a reasonable amount for entertainment. My misc. budget is close to $300 a month which for ordinary months is more than adequate - I usually have something leftover. But I'm a little worried about this Christmas season - I had one dinner out already and have plans to eat out next Saturday night and have the potluck the following Saturday. More events will follow and I hate being "frugal" at this time of year.

Could this be termed an "entertainment emergency" so I can justify dipping into my emergency funds "in case"?

No, I didn't think so either...just a case of budget oversight. Well...December hasn't started yet so I may need to do some jigging of accounts - decrease my savings a little bit perhaps to provide a few $$ for some festive fun?? Maybe if I put my mind to it I can come up with some really economical ways of enjoying the season at a reduced cost...

I've spent a good portion of my Christmas budget already. I did end up saving a bit more than I had projected which will be helpful. But still not enough. I paid out $368 to cover my DD and my trip to Toronto the weekend of Dec. 18 and $308 for her classic iPod leaving me with a mere $174 to cover DD's stocking gifts, a gift for Michael, my godson and my neighbour.  I think I have a problem!!

Some serious number-crunching is in order. Hoo boy!


  1. Sounds like you had an amazing night with a group of awesome friends, they say that like attracts like so I am not in the least surprised, that you belong to an amazing crowd.

    I am going to be doing it tough this Christmas, but fortunately so is everyone else, so we will make up for it next year.

    One thing you can be sure of my beloved Grandchildren will not be left out no matter how broke I am.

  2. Hey, it's so nice to be able to finally SEE you Maureen!! Are you sure you're a grandmother - you look so young!!
    The nice thing about grandchildren is they are happy with so little! No matter what you give them they will squeal with delight and build a fort with the boxes:) You are very blessed!

  3. The photo is 2 years old so strictly speaking I only had two Grandchildren and a bump, but yes it is me, and I am definitely a Granny and proud of it.

  4. I love clicking on your blog and seeing the new pictures you post in your header! Beautiful Jane!

    Like you, I am going to have to "budget" in Christmas for next year. How could I forget to budget for Christmas?? Well... I did.

    Have a great week!

  5. Awesome!!! yOU did a great job staying on track at dinner & you are right, you should have a little bit of cash in your pocket for when things like that come into play... good luck :)

  6. Budgets are not set in stone and can change from month to month if needed. December you save a little less and have an entertainment budget then in January if you want you can go back to the budget you have had for the past 3 months if it's working for you.
    I try hard not to let myself fret to hard over the money I tend to get panicky when I do. Hopefully you can jig the numbers alright

  7. what Johanna said! I'm having to tweak mine and not keep it set in stone yet not get so wishy-washy that it may as well be non-existent. Some months I wont' be spending as much on entertainment- in other words I'm not telling myself - 'hey use up this $50 in the entertainment budget - just find something!' but if a month comes up where I have Olive Garden with the quilt group, a couple of 1.50 movies I want to see, a couple of plays come up then I need to be able to figure out how to do those things when they're available. Also with eating out. I wish I never had the urge to eat out. When my parents visit they pay but sometimes I want to eat out on my own..last night was schlotsky's was good but was it really worth $9?! I asked myself this a week or 2 ago when I ate there and didn't remember I don't guess! And sometimes a friend comes into town unexpectedly and I need to be flexible enough for that. I need to tally up for the month ending today I guess since payday is in the morning and I start the new month on the last paycheck of the previous month. I'm already over in some areas but it's the first month I actually tracked. The easiest alternative I guess is to ovebudget for the 'good stuff' and underbudget for saving but I don't want to get in the habit of doing that. I'm thinking of doing a savings account for putting the extras from groceries and the fun stuff to use when the misc/entertainment funds run low for low-guilt 'entertainment emergencies or I forgot the exterminator was due funding...


  8. Lisa thanks! I forgot to mention that this week's photo was taken this past summer at Cape Egmont, PEI. I really enjoy browsing through my photos and picking a new one each week. Photography is one of my favorite hobbies:)

  9. jpkittie, Johanna & Susanna: re the BUDGET and CHRISTMAS - do those two words actually belong in the same sentence lol!!
    Did some rejigging today and I think things will work out fine. It's really hard for me to reduce the savings amount but I took a bit from here and a bit from there so it wouldn't hurt just one area.


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