What’s the last thing you bought? Did it delight you – or give you a prickle of buyer’s remorse? Can you even remember without checking your banking app? We asked 20 women to open up about their most recent $50 score to see how to see how we’re spending our cash.


Kori Marin, real estate broker

“I ordered a sulphate-free shampoo alternative named New Wash Rich by Hairstory. The social-media ads promising clean, manageable hair without detergents bewitched me! Fifty dollars gone with one click. I have always been an easy target for hair products that promise less maintenance yet better results.”


Christina Sicoli, actress/comedienne/ writer/visual artist

“The last $50 I spent was on a few tubes of paint. Since COVID hit, I have really upped my commissioned pieces. It’s nice to see that art really matters to people in times of uncertainty. Working with specific colour palettes and diving into my imagination is freedom. Time passes, incense burns, music plays. It’s therapeutic on all levels. I’d say that’s a good deal.”


Dr. Renée Beach, dermatologist

“I was MOH in my best friend’s wedding and treated myself to a set of lashes. I love the look of lashes done by Angela Cordi at Lust for Lashes. Although it’s more than $50, I feel (and hope!) that it’s justifiable – it’s my version of a Zen experience: relaxed and literally having to have my eyes closed for a couple of hours. It’s also the only time I can nap yet actually get something accomplished! It’s a way for me to feel ‘done up’ without the impracticality of wearing makeup under a mask.”


Samra Habib, artist/writer/activist

“The last purchase I made was a flower delivery. In the absence of connecting with people in my life, specifically, strong, brilliant women who make my life richer and more interesting, I’ve been splurging on beautifully curated flower deliveries for women I admire. It makes me feel just as great as the receiver hopefully does. There doesn’t have to be an occasion.”


Hania Kuzbari, founder and designer of Hania Kuzbari Jewelry

“I recently purchased a pack of Nomz energy bites in my favourite flavour: pistachio. These natural and healthy treats satisfy my sweet tooth and keep me energized when I am busy designing. I love to support Nomz because it is an independent business that’s rooted in ethical practices and owned by women who are passionate about creating happiness.”


Chantal Carter, founder of Love & Nudes

“The last $50 I spent was at a wonderful local scent shop called the Scented L’air. I bought some essential oils: ylang-ylang, tea tree, bergamot and tangerine. I love creating blends for my diffuser to help relax me along with using them topically as part of my skin and hair care routine.”


Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto city councillor

“I recently purchased 200 pairs of wool socks to hand out to individuals sleeping in encampments and other outdoor spaces. Homelessness is a public-health crisis, and with winter fast approaching, I am worried about those who’ll be exposed to the wet and cold weather. This purchase was much more than $50, but I consider it money well spent and will be doing it again soon.”


Nicole Campbell, Grape Witches co-founder

“The last $50 I spent was on a luxurious late-afternoon snack at one of my very favourite Toronto gems, Mother’s Dumplings on Spadina. It’s my go-to for amazing dumplings, perfect pancakes and spicy smashed cucumbers. Restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic, and I try to support my fave spots whenever I can.”



Sage Paul, designer

“My last $50 went to an Uber and a snack with my pals at Aloette.”


Daianara Grullon Amalfitano, senior vice-president, Aldo

“I bought a print to hang in my home office. Now that I’m working from home, I’m realizing how important it is for me to feel inspired by my workspace. We’re so spoiled at the ALDO head office by how much incredible art surrounds us every day, so I wanted to bring a little piece of that energy home with me.”


Jen Agg, restaurateur

“Of the many frivolous things I’ve given up during pandemic times, my weekly blowout is probably the thing I miss the most – there is simply nothing more relaxing than a hair wash followed by the protective white-noise thrum of the hairdryer. Last week, while scrolling Instagram, the personal head massager that kept popping up felt particularly targeted. It hasn’t arrived yet, but apparently it can be used in the shower to wash your hair, which is huge news for me. I truly can’t wait.”


Arianna Lauren, founder, quw’utsun’ made

“A few days ago, I spent $50 on beading supplies to finish up some earrings I’ve been making for friends. I stumbled upon a small bead shop in Vancouver and decided to pick up some ‘fancy’ beads for my orders. It doesn’t sound like much, but if you could see the beads I chose, you’d understand.”


Charlotte Langley, chef/culinary director

“I purchased ingredients to make lasagna. I have come back to my home kitchen in a very real sense, making things that bring me comfort, joy and nourishment. After I type these words to you, I will be building a huge lasagna with tomato sauce I jarred from 100km Foods tomatoes, fresh spinach and chillies from the market and all the bits of cheese I’ve stashed in my freezer over the past couple of months. This brings me joy and is worth every penny.”


Eliza Faulkner, designer

“My last $50-ish purchase was a pair of jeans on sale. I’m a couple of months postpartum, postpartum, and I’m still a long way from fitting into my ‘before’ jeans. There’s something really liberating about putting on a pair of jeans after having a baby, and I didn’t want to wait until my old ones fit. Obviously, I make and wear most of my own clothes, but jeans are always worth the investment!”


Dr. Courtney Howard, emergency physician/clinical associate professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

“I bought a couple of T-shirts with attached masks that had been following me around the internet. Masks have become the new mittens at my house – it seems we’re always scurrying around two minutes before the school bus arrives looking for one of the very adequate numbers of masks that we’ve bought for the kids. I’m using it as a backup when I’m in the midst of eating, etc., and using masks with multiple layers when I’m walking around.”


 Alia Youssef, photographer

“As with most people, the pandemic gave me a greater appreciation for spending time outdoors, so I started hiking almost every weekend. One particular hike on Whistler’s alpine trails showed me how beneficial hiking poles would be. (My knees were killing me!) Long story short, I bought hiking poles that represent a commitment to a healthier and more active lifestyle and my mental health and creativity – which are both bettered tremendously by spending time outside.”


Annabel Lyon, author

“The last thing I spent $50 on – not including groceries – was fabric and a big roll of brown paper. I like to sew garments and am learning to design my own patterns. I love the precision this calls for, how it takes me out of the fast-fashion loop and also how the iterative nature of it – refining designs draft by draft – is reminiscent of writing.”


Corey Moranis, jewellery designer

“I bought $50 worth of Japanese and Korean snacks at PAT supermarket in Toronto. My good friend and I love to meet up there or at Sanko, choose some new treats and some favourites and then have a picnic nearby. I love the packaging, trying new treats and sharing with family and friends.”


Anne T. Donahue, author

“I ordered delivery for my parents and I. It was lacklustre at best and I’m pretty sure it made me sick. So let’s scrap that and cut to the fun stuff: I picked up three books that I’m really excited to read! Missing From the Village by Justin Ling, Boom Town by Sam Anderson and Twenty-Six Seconds by Alexandra Zapruder, which is about her grandfather’s tape of the JFK assassination.”


Lauren Toyota, creator of Hot for Food, bestselling author

“I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the recipes for my new cookbook, so, truthfully, every last $50 I’ve spent has been on groceries. My most recent spend included dried soy curls, buffalo-style hot sauce, dill, celery, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, elbow macaroni, vegan butter and countless kinds of vegan cheese – all to give my buffalo chicken mac ’n’ cheese one last test. I can’t wait to share it with friends!”


What’s the Best Way to Spend at a Restaurant Right Now?

6 Truly Good Buys Under $100

Have More Time Than Money?