Tuesday, April 05, 2011

6th month's expenses

My total expense for the 6th month (1st to 31th March) is around CAD1,247, broken down as follow.

Amount (CAD) : Category

Once-off expenses

* 104 : Emergency Response Bag contents1

Yearly expenses


Monthly expenses

* 500 : March room rental
*  39 : Mobile phone bill
*  61 : Medical Services Plan
* 110 : Transport - Monthly 2-Zone Farecard
* NIL : Transport - Others
* 155 : Food/groceries
* NIL : Clothings
*  31 : Household Items (including toiletries)
*  87 : Recreation/Entertainment/Restaurant2
*  17 : Meals/Drinks
* NIL : Personal Grooming & Make-up
*  16 : Stationery/Postage3
*  36 : Others (Lottery, Souvenirs, etc)4

I tried to rein-in my expenses this month, given that I have yet to achieve a balanced Canadian cash flow. However, I still bust my budget on some expenses.

Note 1: In preparation for a potential volunteer assignment, I purchased items for an "Emergency Response Bag". These purchases were not in my original budget. In addition, I am still short of a few more requisite items, which may add another CAD 50 to my future expenses.

Note 2: I am happy to be selected for a community theatre project. Each community participant (like myself) would receive CAD 1,000 in total honorarium over the duration of the project. My sub-group of 3 held our first 4 meetings over restaurant meals. As a result, my Entertainment expense has busted its budget. Fortunately, going forward all 3 of us has agreed to cut down on such expenses by meeting over tea/coffee instead.

Note 3: Tax returns for 2010 are due by 30-April 2011. Luckily for me, a friend who is a community tax filing volunteer did my taxes for free. [Addendum 10-Apr-2011: The B.C. tax forms contains policy/terms that I am not familiar with as I am new to B.C. Thus, to me, it seems much more complicated than the Singapore tax forms.] For an immigrant filing Canadian federal taxes for the first time, only paper filing is accepted. Thus, I sent mine using the Canadian Post registered mail service, at CAD 10.

Note 4: Within 3 weeks of the arrival of the new store director manager at my workplace, there was a spike in the staff turnover (i.e. resignations and/or transfers to other outlets). Based on one colleague's count, I reckoned that the spike represents around 10-15% of the store's staff. Informal gossips cited dislike of the new store director manager or his policies, visa expiry and personal plans as reasons for the departures. Although it was not my duty, I felt compelled to buy farewell cards for those whose departures I learned of before they were gone. I just felt that it was only decent that every staff should leave with something to remember the good times we have had -- no matter that it is just a simple card with parting words from fellow colleagues.

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