Saturday, October 27, 2018

By the Numbers

I have been bogged down lately due to my habit of taking literally thousands of photos when I travel. My recent trip to Scotland was no exception! I snapped crazily away at every waterfall, every mountain, every castle, every sheep, every island...well, you get the picture heeheehee. So far I have "sent to trash" around 1,000 photos due to being blurry, uninteresting, bad light etc. I hope to delete at least another 1,000 over the next few weeks, hopefully more.

So I thought I would do a "by the numbers" post as October has provided a number of numbers...groan...significant ones from my point of view. As the month is rapidly coming to a close this post could also serve as a budget update. Killing a few birds with a couple of big numbers, sort goes.

  • 290 + 145 = 435 pounds Sterling still in my money belt after the trip! That's never happened before, usually I spend all of my cash and then turn to credit cards. The 290 is what I had leftover, the 145 was what my brother had leftover and which he gifted to me towards my next trip. He's planning a trip for next year to Ireland where he'll be spending Euros instead. The 290 that I brought back is almost 1/3 of what I took with me (900 pounds) - my brother taught me a thing or two about how to be frugal while travelling :) 
  • $411 Canadian dollars each - the total for 3 weeks of renting a car plus gas came to $411 each. I tried to put the 145 pounds he gave me towards the rental car but my brother wouldn't let me - he was quite adamant that it go towards my next trip. What a guy...but really, that was quite economical I thought thanks to my daughter who was working at Enterprise at the time and gave us a hefty discount. Thanks Kazi!!
  • $1,000 - sent to savings this month.
  • $55.97 - electricity which is quite high for this time of year but I was informed that the hot and humid weather lasted all through September requiring the continued use of A/C. Next bill should be lower. I've allotted $45 for November's budget.
  • $45 - I've also allotted $45 for natural gas for November which is higher than October's bill as the furnace has started to kick in. My last bill was $33.08.
  • $82.98 - my cell phone bill was a whopping $4.00 higher - I turned my phone on a couple times to use the GPS; my fingers are crossed that my next cell bill is back to its usual amount of $79.00. Yes, cell phones are expensive to operate in Canada.
  • $280 - my food budget. I know I overspent on food as I stocked up my pantry for soup making, Scottish oat scone baking, crockpot recipes etc. I could find out how much I overspent but I don't really want to was BAD!
  • ZERO!! Gas for the car budget line. Yup. I had about a quarter tank when I returned and I had a $25.00 Esso card. Now at the end of October I have about half a tank still. I've been driving a little but still walking and biking a fair bit.
  • $86.27 misc spending budget line was quite low this month though I did make a few small purchases: about $20 for a hockey stick, yes for me, I'm now playing ball hockey! Also bought new knee pads for volleyball for $25. I purchased 3 books from Amazon. While away we went to a number of bookstores, used and new, and I took photos of the covers of books I would like to buy as I can get them cheaper from Amazon. That amounted to $33.27. The other thing was $8.00 for a good pair of goggles hoping to stretch out the biking season a little. Cold air makes my eyes water, especially when biking so I'll see if the goggles cut the breeze a bit. Worth a shot. I had allotted $500 to my misc budget so the leftover amount went to paying down my mastercard. 
  • $100 - The outstanding amount still on my credit card. $111.00 is what I have left in my chequing account. I am going to pay off my credit card and will have $11 left to spend until Oct. 31 when I get "paid".  That's a bit of a stretch but I've starting putting money in my snowflake tin once again. I was able to stash $200 this month. So if I have any sort of emergency like running out of Miss Vickie's salt and vinegar chips then I'll have to use a snowflake or two!
  • 73,000-68,698 = 4,302!!!!!!!!! This is my most significant number as of yesterday. I saw my odometer turn over to 73,000kms. When I purchased my used Honda Civic it had 68,698kms on it. I purchased it in September 2017. So in 13 months I have driven only 4,302kms (which equals 2673.14 miles) The average is 20,000kms per year. I am thrilled with that number! You will remember I wanted to go car free but then decided it would be too difficult. I have achieved a compromise that I can live with....for now.
  • 15 - doing all that walking and biking over the past year has helped me achieve one other goal - to lose 15 lbs! Yay me! Those extra lbs have been really hard to shift thanks to menopause, my age and my metabolism slowing way down. 
So that's it for now. I will share more photos after another round of editing..but will leave you this one til then...

Traffic jam on the Isle of Skye!


  1. Congrats on your physical fitness! (Although I always thought you were almost the most fit person I know, only second to my best friend who runs marathons lol like 30-50k). 15 pounds is amazing - I get to 5 lbs lost and just stay there. You came back with money! We get killed on the exchange so buying books at home makes way more sense. As for your vehicle - well done. You decided you wanted one for freedom and it has certainly given you that, plus winters are pretty hard to bike around when there's snow so comfort thrown in. You can afford it so why not! We put about 7-8000 km per vehicle per year but that includes going to Nanaimo about once every 5 weeks with Buddy for his haircuts. Love that you're playing ball hockey, I think that would be fun

  2. That's an interesting way to summarize where you are with your funds and goals for a month. Way to find a good compromise n no car. I really should challenge myself to drive less. I can't help the commute to work, but could combine more errands and walk more.

  3. Crikey you came back with money! Well done, and really well done on the weight loss. I'm a Brit and have never been to Scotland (can you believe that but in my defence I left at age 21 so probably know France better than I know Britain) but I have a standing invite to my ex boss' beautiful place in Edinburgh. Next year, when I retire! Oh the plans I have - I can't wait.

  4. Well done and so kind of your brother to contribute to your next holiday. I am envious on the km on your car. I live 45 miles one way from my mailbox and all provisions so walking is not an option.


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