It certainly hasn't been a cheap year when it comes to the business of Port Moody city council.
With just a few weeks left in the calendar, the group of seven politicians has blown through its annual expense budget, doing so for the first time this century.
According to budget numbers, city council has so far spent $47,085 in 2012 on expenses.
Included in that total is $30,650 for travel to various conferences and events throughout the year.
Last year, local politicians spent $37,214 on expenses with a maximum $45,000 budget.
The second highest total of dollars spent on expenses in the last 12 years came back in 2008, when council of the day spent $43,505 with a budget of $73,704.
Unlike many municipalities where each councillor is allotted a set amount for travel expenses, the current Port Moody practice is to share the total pot.
But it doesn't look like a change in formula is coming any time soon.
Mayor Mike Clay brought forward a motion at Tuesday's council meeting to change the formula and give each councillor a set amount, which they could spend at their own discretion, but it was ultimately defeated.
Clay said the intent was to bring equity and fairness and allow councillors the flexibility to choose which conferences and workshops they wish to attend through the year.
Right now, he noted, the system is set up for councillors to essentially only attend Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Lower Mainland Local Government Association meetings (LMLGA), unless given permission to go to others.
"If somebody brings something else forward, council can say no," Clay said.
"If we're saying no on the premise of being fiscally responsible, then why don't we just set the budget per person at an amount and let them make responsible choices of their own where they can bring value back to the city?"
In fact, council voted down a request by Couns. Rick Glumac and Zoe Royer to attend an FCM sustainability conference next year in Ontario.
As for the current travel budget, Glumac tops the list, spending $6,033 so far this year and having attended all three UBCM, FCM and LMLGA events and another conference.
Royer is second in travel expenses, spending $5,333 to attend all three government conferences, while Coun. Diana Dilworth is third on the list, spending $4,870.
Couns. Rosemary Small, Bob Elliott and Gerry Nuttall spent $4,838, $4,523 and $3,312 respectively for travel expenses.
The most frugal proved to be the mayor, who spent $1,739 to attend UBCM and the Mayors' Conference.