Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Weekly Spending Recap: August 24-30, 2015

Monday 24th
$18 hot pot
$34.27 groceries

Tuesday 25th
$3 parking

Wednesday 26th
$4.78 groceries

Thursday 27th
No Spend Day!

Friday 28th
$12 lunch

Saturday 29th
$2.75 SkyTrain
$28.98 lunch (for 2)
$2.75 SkyTrain

Sunday 30th
$10 Starbucks (reload card)

TOTAL: $116.53

This was a fun but busy week. :) In the past two weeks I’ve worked more overtime than I have all year. But, it’s been great, because I’m bringing in more money from my full-time job, and have secured almost $6,000 in freelance income for the next couple months.

I had a hot pot date on Monday with good friends from my very first job here in Vancouver. It’s a monthly date we all try hard to keep. :) Tuesday I met up with a friend for dinner, Wednesday I hung out with a few field hockey teammates, and Saturday I spent some time in Chinatown, then finally was able to check out the Herzog & de Meuron exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. If you haven’t already checked it out, I’d definitely recommend it. The new Art Gallery is going to be pretty amazing for Vancouver, so it’s was interesting to learn about the architects who are designing it.

Field hockey practices have also started up (with games starting next week!), so my weeks are going to get even busier, but in a good way. I’ve missed the team, and I’m excited to shake the rust out of my stick and get the season started.

On renting or buying in Vancouver

Vancouver is expensive.

Okay, yes, stating the obvious. I’ve known this for years,  yet I never really understood it until I started looking for a place to live close to downtown Vancouver. I’ve always lived in the suburbs – whether it was Burnaby, New Westminster, or Port Coquitlam. Rent and housing is cheaper out here – not by much – but definitely manageable.

Now that I’m about three weeks into my search for a new place to live, I finally understand what people are talking about when they describe how horrible the rental and real estate market is in Vancouver. For $1,300 to $1,400 in rent, I could get a small outdated apartment – that is if I can snap it up fast enough off of Craigslist. It seems like as soon as they are posted, they’re taken down. So after a while, I started increasing the amount I was willing to pay in rent. Because, the lifestyle is worth not having the commute, right? For $1,500 to $1,600 I’ll get a more modern (but definitely smaller) apartment.

And it was at that moment – when I briefly considered spending $1,500+ on rent – that I decided to look at potentially buying a home in Vancouver. With a budget of around what my current home is worth, I got to work with my Realtor to look at my options. I realized right away I wouldn’t get everything on my checklist. Every place I looked at had something wrong with it – no in-suite laundry, too far away from my preferred neighbourhood, sky high condo fees, or needed a ton of work I just wasn’t willing to take on. There are some things I’m willing to overlook (like no parking – I can park on the street, and I’d be willing to do some renovations), but location and monthly condo fees are deal breakers for me.

So now I feel a bit stuck. I don’t want to live in the suburbs. I don’t want a roommate. I don’t want to pay $1,500/month in rent. And I don’t want to buy another condo if I can’t find what I’m looking for.

The good thing is that I have time. I’m in no rush to sell my place. The bad news is that the thought of trying to find a new place to live is making me a bit stressed out at the moment. :)

P.S. I am sorry for coming back to the blog and then disappearing again. Things got crazy for a while with work (summer holidays means a way bigger workload for me) as well as in my personal life, but it has all settled down now.

Seattle & Las Vegas

524406_10151544240740248_311230672_nTomorrow after work I’ll be driving down to Seattle to meet up with my family for our annual Blue Jays trip. I’m really excited to watch my first Mariners game of the year, dust off my Hentgen jersey, and eat a vegetarian chili hot dog. :) I had originally budgeted $200 for this weekend trip, but as it turns out I forgot that in exchange for buying the baseball tickets ($107 each), my parents had offered to pay for our hotel rooms. So, since the baseball tickets were bought months ago, the only expense I need to worry about is gas and food – probably about $100 in total.

In other travel news, I’ve booked a trip to Vegas for October. Actually I booked it last month, but don’t think I told you about it. I know, I always say I’m never going to go back again. And every year I book another trip. :) However, this time I’m meeting up with my one of my oldest blogger friends, Amber, and two of her best friends. The flight down cost me $390, and we are splurging on the suite at the Cosmopolitan for 2 nights at a cost of $385 each after exchange rate. Yes, this will be an expensive trip as far as Vegas goes. But since two trips this year have been cancelled (RV trip up north, and Mexico in November), I had a little wiggle room in my travel budget. :)

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