At the end of last summer, we realized, to our horror, that we had both spent a lot more on shopping, seeing movies and going out than we’d ever intended. This affected the school year in a big way– we were forced to bow out of some fun but expensive evenings with friends and had to forego the little luxuries that usually get us through the stressful months of exams and papers.

This summer, we have vowed to change. We’re determined to save as much as possible so that we can relax come September, knowing that we’re in a good place financially.

So we’re going to start a series of posts with suggestions for successful budgeting. We’re not quite experts, but we have some great ideas and resources that we’re looking forward to sharing.


Budget Suggestion #1

Why don’t you…

Track your spending?

It’s all too easy to justify every purchase when you feel like you’re making a good amount of money. But this illusion of affluence can often lead to overspending. The best way to avoid spending money you don’t have or need for something else is to write your purchases and earnings down and refer to this document often.

Here’s your first task, before you even decide on a firm budget (that’s our next post!)– create an Excel spreadsheet or a find a notebook where you’ll track your spending and non-essential earning. Here’s Coco’s example:



Her computer-savvy boy set it up to automatically calculate the total amounts spent and earned (and it’s even colour-coded!). You can include your regular salary in this as well, but since Coco has several babysitting, dogsitting, housesitting and overtime hours every month, she’s chosen to put those earnings towards her more frivolous spending and save the vast majority of her day job’s salary for the school year.

Ideally, you would aim not to spend any money you hadn’t already earned. However, we’re being realistic here, and we can’t expect any of us not to slip once in awhile. In this case, Coco will be out $34.24 until she takes on another babysitting job and she keeps this in mind when she goes shopping.



Our challenge to you today is to set up a way to track your spending and earning. You can make an Excel document like Coco’s, jot things down in a little portable notebook, or even make a huge poster to put on your wall– whatever works best for you. When you get home from a shopping trip, pop to your computer/notebook/poster, quickly enter the information from your receipts, and then proceed with your busy day.

Share your purchase-tracking experiences, tips, and woes in the comments– we’ll all need a little moral support with these financial challenges. Good luck!



April 5, 2009


We’ve been resume-writing, cover letter-composing meninas since January, and Nuxa has an interview coming up this week. Since we’ve both been doing this since we were 16, we aren’t clueless– but it’s still pretty stressful filling everything out and hoping it’ll all be enough to land us a well-paying, challenging, and preferably not soul-killing job.

secretaryphotos from Life Archives

But every system can do with some revamping, especially one that determines financial status. That is why we were thrilled to see Penny Plastic’s post on job-hunting, resume-building and interviewing tips. She really knows what she’s talking about, and she suggests quite a few things that we never would have thought of.

So, fabulous recessionista meninas, go read Penny’s fantastic post and prepare for those job offers to come pouring in!


March 31, 2009

We try to be frugal meninas… but…


(Cartoon from Coco’s parents. They went to the trouble of scanning it because it reminded them so much of her.)

We’re both lucky enough not to be severely affected by the current economic climate, but being a student is pretty much the same situation as many people are dealing with now (albeit more temporary)– by April, all your summer money is gone and you’re trying to rely on the dregs of your freezer/cupboards.

To make matters worse, we both work on campus and our job ends next week. This is good, since it gives us the chance to study for exams, but bad, because the paycheques stop coming in.

Now, we’re certainly not the type of meninas from whom one would take financial advice– the sheer volume of shoes we have purchased in the last year certainly speaks to that.

But we are the kind of meninas who read blogs voraciously– the sheer volume of time spent procrastinating certainly speaks to that.

Thus, we present:

Nuxa and Coco’s Top 5 Blogs for the Recessionista in You

5. Charade:A Fabulous Lifestyle on a Student Budget

4. DIY from Design*Sponge

3. Well-Heeled, With A Mission

2. How To Be A Feminazi Lady Bonerkiller On A Budget

1. Give Me Back My 5 Bucks!