My total expense for the 3rd month (1st to 31st December) is around CAD1,720, broken down as follow.
Amount (CAD) : Category
* 35 : English textbooks from Singapore
* 167 : Nintendo DSi XL and Art Academy game
* 120 : Christmas donations and charity lottery
* 103 : Christmas gifts
* 500 : December room rental
* 40 : Mobile phone bill
* 61 : Medical Services Plan for Jan-2011 coverage
* 110 : Transport - Monthly 2-Zone Farecard
* 1 : Transport - Others
* 225 : Food/groceries
* 179 : Clothings
* 56 : Household Items (including tioletries)
* 30 : Recreation/Entertainment/Restaurant
* 44 : Meals/Drinks
* 26 : Personal Grooming & Make-up
* 9 : Stationery/Postage
* 16 : Others (Lottery, Souvenirs, etc)
A few big ticket items burst my budget.
One of them was a CAD100 charity lottery ticket for a hospital. I was thinking, "Oh well, might as well do some good since I am going to buy a lottery to celebrate the year-end."
The Nintendo DSi XL was bought to put me back on the rails for drawing for fun. Plus, it teaches me some painting tricks with the "Art Academy" game.
I overshot my Grocery budget by about CAD55 because there were so many year-end food promotions that I stockpiled on food supplies. In addition, instead of buying meals at work, I often bought some frozen or pre-cooked meals on sale near the supermarket's closing time and packed it to work for meal breaks.
I overshot my Clothing budget by CAD150 from Boxing Week shopping. The most expensive items being impulse purchases of a CAD84 Espirit velvet jacket and a CAD37 Ellen Tracy long cotton vest. Surprisingly I bought these items while shopping with a friend [2 different friends on separate occasions], because I am rarely successful in my shopping trip when out with friends.
Lastly, a visiting friend helped me to buy some English textbooks from Singapore as I was helping a young friend from China who was preparing to sit for the IELTS so that she could become a student at a B.C. university. She was studying at one of the many English language schools in B.C. We meet up weekly to review her English language homework and any questions that she might have about the language and/or adapting to life in B.C. [Note: Although I landed later than her, I had to take personal responsibilities for all integration/settlement activities whereas she relied mainly on her aunt. Thus I knew more about settling-in than she did at that point.] [Addendum on 17-Dec-2011: In the end, I gave most of the English textbooks to an Iranian migrant couple (short-term housemates of mine) whose wife was revising her English in an attempt to get a job here].
In short, I had a great time this Christmas and year-end although my wallet did suffered a bit from it.
1 month ago