About a month ago I wrote that I was re-evaluating another habit of mine: my frequent Tim Horton’s stops. While I’ve mostly cut coffee out of my lifeover the past years, initially for cost, then for health reaons, I seemed to have replaced it with a picking up tea habit. Out of… laziness? I usually only get the tea but once a week orso I ended up adding a breakfast sandwich, sometimes a muffin. And yeah they’re good but holy crap I can eat so much more at home for the same nutritional value than one of those calorie bombs.

Good timing for this challenge too, since apparently donuts got more expensive this month. 😉

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I could say convenience but I can buy the exact same tea at work that tastes just as fine, or make some at home. Both save me the slight detour in gas as well as time to go to the drive-through Tim Horton’s, are significantly cheaper and by not going toTim Horton’s it means I’m less likely to order the occasional breakfast sandwich or timbits, which aren’t all that great for my waistline. So Tim’s isn’t even convenient, I don’t go with friends, I’m always on my own through the drive-through and it’s more expensive. Why do I do it? It makes no sense. So I quit for 30 days.

I made it! It wasn’t very hard at at all and I only failed once. On a Tuesday I had to leave in a rush and picked up a Tim’s panini, tea and muffin, since I had to go straight to work afterwards I didn’t have time to stop at home and make anything. It was poor planning and procrastination early in the day actually that ended up in a Tim’s run. I COULD have packed a sandwich earlier or grabbed a granola bar and an apple, but I didn’t.

I didn’t care for the sandwich either, it was just food to keep my body going, and more than twice as costly than making something at home that I really like, that would’ve been better for my waistline anyway with a lot less salt. (Another goal this year: health)

I finished the challenge on April 15th and have been to Tim’s twice since then. In April I’ve now spent $75.17 on eating out, half of which was at the farmer’s market and getting some PEI burger love, the rest was convenience food I could’ve had better versions of at home. And that’s what this is about, to create memories and experiences instead of waste money on things, to put more good stuff into my body and less bad stuff, to be healthier and to become a better version of me, year after year. So that is that. No more Tim’s.

It’s not all that hard, there are tons of people that can’t even afford to buy a coffee….

Which leads me to the next question I’ve been pondering this weekend, what does real hunger feel like?

Hello hello! I arrived back in Canada on Monday and I’m still quite jetlagged but it’s time to get back to work, back to school and back to the blog! How have you all been?

I wanted to write a short blog post right away about my archnemesis; coffee. If you’ve been following along for a while you know I’ve struggled with spending money on picking up coffee at my local coffee shop.

I’m a bit annoyed with myself at having to admit that I’ve gradually started buying  more and more coffees since then and I didn’t fully realize it until I was in Europe for 2 weeks and didn’t want to/couldn’t do buy so many coffees anymore. I noticed it because it would pop up in my head every so often. Since I still don’t drink more than 1 coffee per day I can’t really say I had caffeine withdrawal but I definitely wanted those coffees!

I have an amount in my budget that’s not accounted for, it’s usually a cash amount of about $80 a month that I write off from my budget once every 6 weeks orso. I don’t track that money and have no idea where it goes. I use it to buy the occasional snack at work, a coffee here and there or to go see a movie.  While on my trip I realized I’ve been spending way more on coffee (yet again) than I’ve realized and a good chunk of that cash has been going to my local coffee shop! :facepalm: At $1.49 a pop, (price has gone up since my last post) buying 5 or 6 cups a week is costing me almost $9 a week… that’s $468 over the course of a year! WHAT!?

I’ll be writing quite a bit over the next few weeks some of posts will be about things I’ve realized that I want to achieve and part of that includes really tightening the moneybelt, I want to cut my grocery spending and any other unnecessary spending dramatically for the next four months so coffee has got to go.
In my four days back I’ve so far resisted the urge because it’s such a slippery slope. Before, I allowed myself one coffee a week but that’s obviously not working so I’m going to limit myself to coffees that are offered to me by coworkers, family etc. I’m not going to ask for it and I’m not going to buy any. PERIOD. I’m going to put that cash right in my savings account. I gave away my coffeemaker last year, I realize that’s a cheaper option, to just make it at home but I found that I still end up buying premium coffee, then the filters and the cream which I let go bad half the time since I really don’t use enough of it, so my best option really is just to quit and drink water instead.

I’ll be putting up some posts with pics on how my house renovation has been going and of course a post or two with pics of my trip. I’ve got lots of material lined up and I can’t wait to jump back into the yakezie challenge.


You may have noticed the lack of spending posts around here, worry not my friends I AM still keeping track of every penny in YNAB ! …. but I haven’t kept track of every expense for the blog. For some reason it just takes me a long time to sit down and record that stuff.

So, instead of a spending report I’m going to let you know how I’ve arranged my finances for my holiday. (Accountability yo)

The Plan

It’s less than a week until I leave and I’m so excited but also nervous. I’ll be spending almost two full weeks in my home country The Netherlands and possibly a weekend in Denmark. (still to be finalized) I’m VERY excited to see my friends and I’m looking forward to seeing my family, notably my grandparents, but I’m also a little sad because it may be the last time I see them considering their age. (Because of that I’ve half decided to begin saving right away for another trip back next summer, I think it’s worth it to save up for that)

My ticket cost me $857 for a return ticket from Halifax to Amsterdam, which is a pretty darn good deal! Condor has recently begun offering great deals on these airfares so check them out if you’re interested in hopping across the ocean! Acquaintances got their tix for about $650 return to Frankfurt, not bad! I snagged my ticket back in June but there may still be a few deals to be had for October.

Taking care of business at home

I leave on Monday Sept 12th and I’ve figured out that if I split the pay that I get on the 9th in 2 and put each half in one checking account, it should cover all my direct withdrawal bills from those accounts until September 27th, when I get back – so I won’t have to worry about checking in on those at all!

And the fun part; spending money!

I’ve missed you!

I’ll get two checks WHILE I’m away which I intend to mostly use for my expenses there, it means I’ve CAPPED my expenses to the limit of those two checks and it’s split in two – one check for each week.  Although I haven’t exactly figured out yet how to get them deposited (I don’t get direct deposit) I may have to ask a family member to do that for me. I have figured out where I can use my bankpass to get cash and what it’s going to cost me. (Screw that credit-card markup!)

I snagged a Eurail pass for some unlimited 5 day train-travel in BENELUX, which will get me from the airport to my friend’s place and a few trips up to see my family and I’m expecting to still spend a bit on top of that for trains/buses/trams and the like. My friend has a car so I won’t have to public transit-it all.

Considering that I spent a good portion of my secondary school public-transitting-it-up I’m pretty familiar with the system and it should get me to where I need to go! Aside from transportation I have mostly free lodging so I don’t need to worry about that and the rest of my cash will just be spent on the occasional souvenir, (for the people here in Canada) entry fees or grocery runs and eating out. I have about a $2,400 budget for the whole trip, after you take away my ticket that means I’ve got about $1,543CAD to take along… that’s likely more than I will use so I’m good to go!

Eek! It’s been a while since I’ve been back and I’m curious how things are, I live a very different life here now in Canada. Much more laid back and very rural. The pace of life, the people, the clothing, everything is so different. I miss the culture and the people honestly, I’m curious how I’ll feel halfway through the trip. Will I feel stifled and want to come back? or will my old home feel like home again? Lots of questions. Time will tell and of course, I’ll keep you up to date.

Now, enough about me. How bout you, do you have any cool trips coming up, any dream vacations you’re saving for… family that live in cool places like… hawaii or somewhere tropical? Tell tell!

PS: I am still looking for  a guest-post or two to line up for while I am away from Sept 12 – 26, I can also postswap at a future date, up to you!