October Goals

October is busy and exciting for me! It’s my birthday month and I’m planning going to a cool non-medical conference and a cool medical skills weekend as well. Plus it’s the last month of my first course so I have big tests to finish. Lots of things to get done!

Financial Goals

1. Continue to track my spending

2. Don’t go overboard on rewarding myself for my birthday or finishing my first exam!


Personal Goals

1. Keep up running 4-5 x/week with yoga at least 1x/week

2. Pass my first two major exams!

3. Shadow at least 2 different specialties this month.

4. Get at least one event off the ground for one of my school extra-curriculars.


What are your plans for October! Any other med students out there reading this? I’d love to hear from you!


October Budget

October! My favourite month- birthdays, thanksgiving and for this year lots of exciting weekend conferences!

Here is my planned spending for the month:

I paid a bit more for house expenses last month so I get a big break on rent this month which is great, but I do have my birthday, Thanksgiving and cool conference to go to out of town, so I put a little extra in for entertainment.

Maybe this month I’ll actually stick to my budget !

  Oct predicted Oct Actual Difference
Rent 70    
Utilities 140    
transportation 100    
phone 40    
groceries/personal care 300    
restaurant 50    
clothes 80    
gifts 0    
alcohol 50    
entertainment 200    
bank fees 0    
savings 0    
debt repayment 0    
retirement 0    
education 0    
Income 0    
Spent 1030    
Difference -1030    
  personal savings rate:    

September Goals Check In

How did I do for my September goals?


1. Continue to not buy anything at the school cafeteria.

Again, I didn’t quite make this. I didn’t buy any food at all, but I did buy 6 small coffees, most of which I didn’t even finish. I need to remember that I don’t need the extra caffeine and I certainly don’t need to throw my money away. I’m still proud that I’ve never bought a lunch or snack though. My body and bank account appreciate it.

2. (Hopefully) Win 1-2 scholarships this month

Half way! I did win one scholarship, which was great. I think this counts because I can’t exactly control whether or not I win these.



1. Aim to join one student club or association.

Totally done! I’ve been selected to be the president of two organizations at school! I’m involved with Med Students for Choice and an organization that works with involving youth in healthy physical activity and also works in the field of prison health, so I’m very excited about these new ventures.

2. Continue to run 4-5x a week with yoga at least once a week

Totally done! I’ve very proud and lucky to say that I’ve been making this a priority for my life in school. I haven’t missed a fitness day during the week yet!

3. Pass my first two mid-terms in med school!

While I don’t have my official mark, and one mid-term was worth 0%, I did pass them both so big yay for me!

So that’s a solid 4/5!

I’ve very lucky that I have this venue to make goals and stick to them for the month, it’s really helping me seek balance during school. I know too many classmates of mine who are struggling to fit it all in, and I’m lucky that I have this built-in accountability to help keep me on track!

September Spending


The leaves are changing, it only snowed there for a few days . . . . we are off to a good start.

  Sept predicted Sept Actual Difference
Rent 480 667  
Utilities 140 200 First utilities in this house
transportation 100 206.2  
phone 40 40  
groceries/personal care 300 455 Insurance, hair cut
restaurant 50 3.8  
clothes 80 67.73  
gifts 0 11.01  
alcohol 50 14.76  
entertainment 50 649 Vancouver trip, car,food
bank fees 0 41.54  
savings 0    
debt repayment 0    
retirement 0    
education 0 1011.5 family planning conference, flight to atlanta
Income 0    
Spent 1290 3367.54  
Line   41.54  
Difference -1290 3326  

September was certainly over budget but I’m excited about a lot of the upcoming things so I can’t be to mad.

Over Budget

Rent: I paid less last month, so more this month. 

Utilities: First utilities at this house since June, so I can’t really complain. 

Transportation: I know I’m using car2go more and more, and I wrote about it here. I know I need to be a bit more aware of if I really ‘need’ to use it all these times or not. 

Groceries/Personal care: Groceries alone wasn’t this much, this also includes a hair cut that I probably spent too much on ($81) and medical/dental insurance I paid for my partner to be added onto my student plan ($193) for the year. That means I really only spent $181 on food, which is not too bad at all. 

Entertainment: I stole away to Vancouver for Labour Day weekend which was amazing and random and so worth it. 

School: I was given the opportunity to attend a really exciting conference on family planning, so I jumped at the chance. Sadly it’s super far away and plane tickets aren’t cheap. YOLO for reproductive rights, right?

Current Net Worth: -34 800.17

I hate doing this now, but I am a bit glad to constantly be aware of what my situation is instead of having a big surprise when I graduate (re: what I did during my last two degrees).

Goal Progress:

Financial Goals

1. Stay on budget for life expenses.

Certainly didn’t do this, and I will stop making excuses.

2. Continue to track my spending.

I’m on it! I’m glad that even if I’m not on budget at least I’m aware of what’s on the go.

How was your month?

Exciting News Pt 2

More exciting news! I’m very fortunate to say that I have some more great things on the go in short term.

I’ve become very involved in Med Students for Choice at my school and I will be attending a Family Planning Conference in Atlanta in November! If on the very off chance that you are reading this and attending please let me know! I’m very, very excited to learn more and network with med students and physicians across North America dedicated to reproductive health access. Basically I’m geeking out, so I’m sure this is not the last time you will hear about it.

I’ve also been selected as a co-President for a student club on campus related to prison health! Very new territory for me and I’m very honoured to develop my knowledge and skill around providing services, medical care, and creating equitable research to better serve our incarcerated populations, who are dis-proportionally people of colour, Aboriginal, living in poverty and/or living with mental illness.

So I’ve certainly met my goal this month of getting involved- in a much bigger way than I ever expected! I’m flattered and excited and just so lucky to have these great opportunities come my way in the short time I’ve been at school.

Get involved in your school kids! You never know where it can lead!

Exciting News

Little educational update, I won a scholarship!

Woo! I’m $2100 up, or rather, off, my tuition thanks to a very generous memorial fund!

I’m still waiting back to hear from other one I applied so, but so far I’m half way to one of my big goals of the month!

Always fill out any bursary, award or scholarship information folks- I hadn’t even heard of this scholarship before and it was an automatic entry when I filled out my student aid information. If you are working hard enough to get into school- ensure you put a little more work into getting some extra help to put towards tuition or living expenses.

It’s getting harder for me to conceptualize money now that I have this ridiculous credit line, but this extra $2100 now saves me not only that money, but saves me from taking it off my credit line and accruing 3% interest every year.

Go student awards!

Law School Costs in Canada

Check out this very interesting development that a good friend of mine started, Access to Justice, which de-constructs the accessibility of law school in Canada, particularly in Ontario.

Get more information here: Access to Justice.

I think it is especially relevant for this blog as non-profit work is not limited to front-line workers. There is a huge need for accessible lawyers for all of us to be able to be fairly and equitably represented, not to mention the huge social justice work that is needed on a policy (read: law-based) level.

Law has some serious class and privilege inherent in not only entry, but admissions, tuition and future career choices. I totally echo these sentiments for medicine, and hopefully sometime soon I’ll have more time to get into my personal views on medicine and class. In the mean time, check out this great work, and if you are in law school or a lawyer yourself please get involved!