Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Spending

Time seems to speed up when you have a kid, and even more so during the summer. I am already solidifying plans for the first week of September when the students arrive back at the university.

We took our holidays right away, leaving for New York state two days after grade two ended for Bean. I had paid for the retreat with my income tax refund back in March, so we needed U.S. cash only for gas and meals along the way. We decided to leave a day early and break the trip up into two parts, with the first night spent in a pretty cheap motel across the border. I think that was Bean's favourite part of the trip, because he loves hotel swimming pools! I was quite impressed with the scenery along the way south: what a beautiful part of the country!

Once we arrived at our retreat, we parked the car for the entire week. Meals were covered, and were deliciously vegan. We have decided to go vegetarian since our return, which coincides with the need to bring our grocery bill down to $75 a week, making some funds available for the newest member of our family: Kitten! We had friends come over to play with Kitten while we were away, so we did spend some money in the gift shop on a few small things for our friends, to show our appreciation.

Since our return the schedules have been full with work and day camps. I have finally increased my income a bit by accepting a position that gives me a few more hours at work. Day camps were paid for months ago, in order to secure the spots for Bean. He spent three weeks at camps at the university, and for August is attending the day camp at his school (thank you city subsidy, for the assistance).

I was worried that the camp at his school would be "rough" because of the mixed area that we live in, and to be honest, there are quite a few kids there with some behaviour issues. However, there are a lot of skilled staff there, and each day they break into small groups and explore the wonderful free things to do in our city. Sometimes they go to the library, or the park with the wading pool, and once Bean went on a bike ride up to one of our beautiful parks, and caught some crayfish. I appreciate the free play aspect of this camp, not to mention that the snacks and lunches are also provided and paid for.

Partner and I took one other small vacation on the August long weekend to my favourite city, Montreal. Since I paid for the July retreat, he paid for the B and B, which we found on airbnb. I gave myself a budget of $300 for spending and came home with $100 in my wallet! I was so tempted to shop, but instead of walking down to the trendy stores, we walked the opposite direction and hiked up Mont Royal instead. Nowhere to spend on the mountain! Over the three days, I spent about $150 on meals (one dinner with friends was a bit out of budget but we enjoyed the company), and about $50 on vinyl records. We also went to an MLS soccer match, for which Partner bought the tickets months ago. It was a lovely weekend and I hope to return to Montreal soon. Maybe for my big 4-0 in the Fall!