Edel Grace

Programmer, Developer, Enthusiast

Uber Frugal Month January 2018 Day 3 & 4

Jan 10, 2018 | Comments

Day 3

Today’s mantra: I have the willpower to wait!

Today’s action: Enact the 72 hour waiting period starting today and continuing for the rest of the month.

Today’s recommended reading: My Foolproof Method To Stop Impulse Spending

I definitely struggle with impulse spending. Any physical item that I have bought, I have usually bought it on impulse. Food is the same way. It isn’t until I see something in the food court or on display that I think, “I would like that.”

I do have a wishlist that I keep. It isn’t very long and I don’t always remember to add to it but it definitely curbs my spending. There are some items that have been there for months and I still can’t justify buying them. I think that’s a good sign.

Day 4

Today’s mantra: Managing your money—and growing your wealth—isn’t about complex day trading or bizarre get rich quick schemes, it’s about following the simple premise of “spend less than you earn—invest the surplus—avoid debt.”

Today’s action: Use this calculator to determine how much money you’d have in the future if you eliminated a few recurring expenses and instead invested them.

Today’s recommended reading: Want to learn how to start investing? Here you go: For the Love of Frugal Hound, Manage Your Money Yourself! (by following The Simple Path to Wealth)


I used the calculator. Every month I pay the following:

  • Netflix

  • Amazon Prime (saved)

  • Gym membership

This costs me $40 each month. If I saved that and assumed 7% annual return, I would end up with $14,420.90 after 30 years. That’s quite a lot but not as much I first thought. I think this exercise would be worth doing again once I move out.

I did take a look at the reading. I’m the type of person who would not do well managing my own portfolio. Instead I use a robo-advisor, Wealthsimple (referral link) to do it for me. It’s 0.5% fee however it’s worth paying it for the convenience. I would mess up anyway.

Yarn Winding

Jan 8, 2018 | Comments

My brother got me a yarn winder for my birthday last week and yesterday I spent the afternoon winding some yarn while watching Medici: Masters of Florence on Netflix.

Yarn that has been winded

I just finished a block week course (a week long course ) on history of early modern Europe and I was bit by the Rrenaissance bug. Historial fiction is one of my favourite genres across multiple media. Over the winter break, I even watched The Crown and Downton Abbey on Netflix.

Thank goodness for Netflix. I find Netflix a great way to multitask on crochet projects. I started on this Lost in Time shawl. The crochet Discord server I’m a part of has this for our January crochet along. It’s a lot of fun so far! I’m not sure how closely I’m following it though. I had to redo the popcorn bits a couple of times.

Beginnings of my lost in time shawl

On Saturday, I went to a nice Korean BBQ place with my SO. It was my first time trying bi-bim-bap and it was sooo delicious.

Overall my week was pretty low key. Spent most of it on school related matters and yarn matters.

This week my goals are:

  1. Continue not buying food on campus. Last week I was successful so hopefully I can replicate my results.

  2. Draft up two blog posts. This is one of them so I’m already halfway through!

  3. Finish my first draft of my “essay” that I have to do for my history course. It’s such a slow grind.

Until next time!

Uber Frugal Month January 2018 Day 2

Jan 4, 2018 | Comments

Today’s mantra: When you’re working towards a goal, frugality isn’t about what you’re giving up, it’s about what you’re going to gain.

Today’s action: Write your long-term goal on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet.

Today’s reading: How I Figured Out What I Want To Do With My Life (And How You Can Too!)

The Homework

The Dream Bio

My Actual Bio

I was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to two Filipino immigrant parents. All my life I have always been a person who created things. I loved to write, draw, and do little crafts. One of my elementary school teachers remarked that I was “always making something.” And I find that to still be true today.

I’ve always been a good student even though sometimes I got frequent boughts of procrastination episodes. I loved being on the computer and my love for creating extended into technology. My hobbies soon included making websites and publishing fanfiction on the Internet. Naturally this led me to getting a degree in Computer Science.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing however. I originally was accepted into engineering for university. But my procrastinating ways and lack of passion for the subjects didn’t result in the greatest grades. Unsure if I was going to be able to return to school, I took up a job over the summer and saved around $2k.

Thankfully I was able to transfer into Computer Science the following fall. Ever since then I’ve beem focused on my studies. I managed to get an internship at a great company who leads in telecommunications in my country. It was a great learning experience and I got to save a good chunk of money.

The Dream Bio

I am a successful software developer at a company that does not reside in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I’m able to work remotely and this enables me to go on short travelling trips. I make decent enough money that I am FIRE’d. I alternate between work and travelling to different countries. I’ve spent a couple of weeks in Japan, South Korea, England, France, Italy, Spain, the U.S., Denmark, etc.

I have a small house or apartment that I can return to in my hometown, wherever that is. I’ll have a cat or two or ten. At nights I sit by the window with coffee and my laptop and work on my blogging. Or I might corchet or read a good book.


I’m not there yet! I need to accomplish a few things first before any of this happens. The step sI need to take are:

  • Graduate

  • Land a good paying job

  • Save a more than 50% of my paycheck

  • Spend less to compliment my saving

Reflect back on your life at 95

I lived my life to the fullest. I got to experience many cultures, food, and ideas. I learned many things. I got to create many things. I fostered relationships with many people from many places. I managed to find the love of my life. I loved almost every second of it. I want people to know me as someone who is loving and caring but also adventurous and ambitious.

Perform a Time Audit

I will make an effort to track my time! I currently use Google Docs to plan my day but not to track what actually happens. Will take a stab at this.

Block Week

Jan 2, 2018 | Comments

I went back to school today. It’s a little weird to be back at school but also familiar. This semester is going to be a light one. I’m only taking two courses. One course is only five days long. So essentially I just have one course throughout the semester!

The block week course I’m taking right now is just a history course but it’s really interesting. I’ve always found history fascinating but I was never great at being tested on or writing about history. I just like listening to a story, basically. The assignments are a little grueling, we have to write 1000 words each day. 1000 words is a lot to me. At least so I thought and then I realized I went over the word limit for today. I’ll cut it down later.

My professor is pretty awesome. He has a wealth of information that just comes out so easily and eloquently. He’s funny to boot. He made a Downton Abbey reference which I appreciated. Over the Christmas break I took the opportunity to finish all of Downton Abbey. Today’s lecture really put into perspective all of the crazy titles some of the characters have. It’s kinda crazy to think that the titles were still relevant all the way into the 1930’s!

Hopefully I survive the rest of the week. 6 hour days will never cease to be brutal for me…

Uber Frugal Month January 2018: Day 1

Jan 2, 2018 | Comments

This is a month-long challenge held over at Frugalwoods. Feel free to join whenever you can!

Today’s Mantra: Anything in life that’s worth doing takes effort.

Today’s Action: Write down why you’re participating in the Uber and answers to

The Homework

Step 1: Establish your goals

Why are you participating in this challenge?

I want to build good spending habits for when I move out. I currently still live with my parents and admittedly am still quite spoiled. I’ve had most things paid for me and have a “safety net” if my spending ever gets out of hand.

What do you hope to achieve?

I hope I can nip frivolous spending in the bud. I really want to cut out expenses that I really don’t need.

What are your longterm life goals?

Oof this is a big question. I’d love to be FIRE (financially independent and retire early). There are many hobbies and pursuits I’d love to devote myself to. I want to learn languages, read a lot of books, learn hpw to play guitar, keep on crocheting and knitting, blog about life, travel… The list goes on.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Graduated. Moved out. In a city that isn’t Calgary. Workimg a job I don’t despise. Be close to RE and already FI.

What about your current lifestyle might prevent those goals from coming to fruition and what can you do about it?

I am spending too much and saving too little. I need to build those habits and learn to live without.

Step 2: Review last month’s spending

I use You Need a Budget to track my spending. It’s a great app and I’ve been using it for a whie now. I’m a little hesitant to look at my December spending but let’s jump in anyway…

December spending pie chart

$733.12 CAD doesn’t sound like a lot but it is when you take into the fact that I have no income and all that money is coming from my savings.

It’s no surprise that most of my spending is “Just for Fun.” This is the category I use for eating out and my hobbies.

I spent about what I expected for gifts. I budget $200 for 4 people. Then I had to add 2 more people for Secret Santas. So all in all, $179.28 for 6 people isn’t bad!

My bills include my phone, tuition, therapy, and any account fees. I don’t see myself reducing this any further.

Optional bills are gym and Netflix. I share a Netflix account with my SO and we split the bill but it does come from my card. We both use it a lot so it justifies the spend. I didn’t go to the gym more than once last month but I share the membership with my brother. I need to downgrade my membership as I still intend on going to the gym.

Expenses are clothes. I did have one unnecessary clothes purchase. I don’t regret it at all and my SO was pleased but it was still unncessary.

Since Sears was closing down they put everything on clearance. I managed to buy four cute orange plates for my future apartment just for $6.22.

Step 3: CategorIze your expenses

Done and done. Anything not bills are discretionary.

Step 4: What can I eliminate entirely?

This is tough. I would love to no longer eat out but that is a good chunk of my expenses.

  • Clothes: I got tons of clothes for Chrisrmas. I don’t need anymore.
  • Coffee: I don’t even like coffee and I always feel gross and groggy.
  • Eating out on campus: I can’t avoid eating out entirely because date nights but I really do not need to eat out on campus. I’ll bring my own food.
  • Yarn: While I didn’t get any yarn last month I do not need any more yarn and I always impulse buy yarn.
  • Future moving out items: That can wait for when I have cash flow.
  • Books: Who needs to buy books when you have free library memberships??
  • Video games: I have a ton that need playing still. No steam sales for me!
  • Gym membership: This is a hard maybe. I prefer the gym equipment. I might just downgrade it.

Step 5: Embrace the art of substitution

  • Coffee = homemade tea. We have a bunch of peppermint tea bags. I should use them.
  • Expensive gym = less expensive gym. I currently pay $22 per month for my gym. I can downgrade to $12.

Step 6: Reduce spending on discretionary expenses

The main thing here is food. My SO and I eat out a lot. Time to load up on coupons amd cashback deals and get the cheapest options or smaller portions.

Step 7: Empower yourself to insource

I could have insourced a lot of my gifts from last month since I know how to crochet and knit. Time to load up on mitts, hats, gloves, scarves, and headbands.

Step 8: Examine your habits

Main places where I buy things: on campus, in the mall, at Walmart, Steam, Amazon, at my SO’s house. I could avoid the campus food court entirely and refuse to come with my friends. I could not go to Walmart when I don’t need to. I could start bringing food to my SO’s house.

Step 9: Plan ahead

I think the main theme here is to pack my own food!! That’s my main flaw. I’m too lazy and my own cooked food doesn’t taste as good. Time to hone my cooking skills.

Step 10: If you do buy stuff, get it used/cheap

Steps 8 and 9 pretty much covered this. I’m pretty sure I can get away with avoiding some of my spending completely.

Step 11: Banish excuses

I’m trying! We’ll see how this goes. I have no excuses for most of the things that I can eliminate.


A photo of me

My name is Edel Grace Altares. My programming interests include full stack development and back end development. My languages of choice are Python and Java. Outside of programming I enjoy crocheting, video games, cats, historical fiction, and reading.