Category: Accountability (page 1 of 16)

A spending… ban…-ish for the rest of 2017

Those of you that have known me for a while may recall that I’m not a huge fan of entire spending bans, the logic being for me that when I restrict myself completely I tend to go overboard and binge after a while because I guess… discipline is not my forte in all areas of life!

But it’s a new year. New me. No wait, that’s one of those health slogans. 😉

New year, new financial plan!

There are a few items in my budget that I’ve wanted to address for a long time and I’ve always had a hard time with.

I didn’t tell him to pose haha, he just did!

 

Clothing

Last year I spent about $916 on new clothing, or about $76 a month. This includes bras – I’m not one of those fortunate enough to buy 4 for $100 at la senza… most of my bras are 40-50$ a piece :(- yogapants, shoes, new winter jacket and just various clothing related things.

I am so spoiled, I have always earned enough to be able to afford what to others are luxuries. I have good quality clothing and outer wear and it’s something I definitely don’t skimp on. BUT I have so much, I have five pairs of jeans I do not wear because they’re too tight, I have various other pieces I do not wear because they’re too tight! And simply, I just have enough clothes for years and there really is no good reason for me to buy ANY, any clothing at all this year. I already started this on February 15th, aside from a $90 Lululemon gift certificate I still have sitting around, there will be NO buying of clothes for the remainder of 2017.

Food/Groceries

The second category is food. I have since meeting my boyfriend gotten been ating out a lot less to the point where I mostly much prefer to eat at home. Eating out is expensive, I used to have coffee habit and after I kinda kicked that to the curb I did still eat out every once in a while, or picked up a tea. Enough for my “eating out” category to keep inching over $100 a month which is really too high. The end of the year in my YNAB budget also gave me this neat graph detailing more about my food and misc spending;

In 2016 I spent roughly $325 on groceries per month. That is a lot for a single person. I did eat A LOT of fresh fruit, I preserved a lot, I eat very healthy, i eat no processed things, I eat meat 1-2x a week, I don’t buy chips… fruits and veg cost quite a bit though. A lot of my eating out/ restaurant spending ended up in the blow money category since it no longer had its own category because I had erroneously hoped to largely eliminate restaurant spending. The blow money category cost roughly  $210 per month after removing the purchase of a new cyclocross bike and the cost of spa day for my birthday in October.

The blow money category really encompasses a lot of different stuff (not… blow, its just a term, I dont smoke weed etc) and sometimes I throw things in there that have no other home, it includes eating out though which after glancing through the expenses made up at least half of that $210 a month. Ouch?

I thought I was doing better with my spending in this category last year but clearly I have not. Because of that this month I embarked on a mission to only spend $130 on groceries during February.

Today is February 22 and I have spent $128.20 on groceries and $48.31 on eating out (1x tim hortons, 2x eating at work during snowstorms, one eclair and one snowstorm gas station run of chips/pop and one dinner out with my cousin, which was fun) and it wasn’t all that bad! I’ve been scrounging the cupboards and have been creative with meals.

It has been different, but not overly difficult. This is what self control feels like. I need to practice this a little more.  Curbing my food and clothing expenses will help add $2,400 to my savings this year. That’s two months of living expenses, or two trips, or a quarter of a new-to-me-vehicle. It’s money I badly need to save.

Spending-ban Goals for March:
$0 in the restaurant category
$145 groceries
$0 clothing etc

 

Goals and budget for 2017

Goals, shmoals. Didn’t set any this year because life was just chaos. I moved three times this year! I sold my house! I didn’t write about it because it felt so surreal for a while. It was about 6 weeks to close the deal, I moved. Yadda yadda, I’m alive, hey! Lets start with income;

My main job’s contract was renewed until December 2017, there will not be a pay increase which kinda sucks but I expect my net income to reliable be $24,352.44 for the year, which breaks down to $2,029.37/month (26 pays divided by 12).

Life has become a lot easier now that I am renting a one-bedroom apartment and no longer have to worry about paying the mortgage, electric expenses, renovation expenses and all the other “hassle” that comes with owning a house are all over with for now. No snowremoval to worry about… I just pay rent and that’s it! My rent includes internet and heat/electric so it’s just one nice round-ish number. It’s a nice change after 8 years of going at it alone trying to fix up an old house. I would NOT buy a house again by myself so for now I’m just saving for the future. 🙂 *o*

I’m setting goals right now for 2017. I started with doing a new monthly budget, things always vary but it helps to plan ahead and I’ll set up my monthly savings contributions accordingly.

My monthly anticipated expenses:

Rent: 450.00
Groceries: $175.00
Life insurance: $11.61
Clothing/misc: $40.00
gifts: $20.00
Blow money: $100.00
Health/Medical: $40.00
Car ins: $37.84
Copper (food/toys): $50.00

Total: $924.45 pre-savings (under 1,000, ha!)
Most of my other car expenses are deductible so I don’t count them in my personal budget. I have NO extra health insurance besides the basic provincial healthcare. I have NO disability insurance etc.

Left for savings transfers $1,104.92 = 54% of my net income! 🙂
I have completely ignored any travel expenses as all my travel is financed by a cottage cleaning job I have been taking on every summer for the past few years. It pays for every penny I spend on travel and that’s essentially why I do it! Out of my normal pay I’ll be budgeting my goals. I do have another third stream of income through renting out tourism properties for owners, which earns me another couple of thousand per year. I usually allocate this money to wherever it’s needed. This year I’ll plan to throw it completely at my vehicle savings, though I won’t count it here.

Total amount of regular income to be distributed: $13,259.04

RSP/TFSA: $448.14/month. $5,377.68 for the year.

House: $156.78/month
I set the goal for the year at $1881.28. I have some savings set aside for a future house and would like to round off the number by the end of the year!

Vehicle: $500/month will set me at $7,209.16 at December 2017 excluding any interest bits. This is only 60% of the $12,000 minimum I want/need to purchase a new vehicle. Assuming I’ll earn $2,000 with my seasonal job I’ll be at $9,209. I hope to make up the shortfall here by finding part-time employment, $2,800 in extra work shouldn’t be that hard to find… right? Categories where I may be able to scrimp are groceries, blow money and clothing. This will vary month to month.

As you can see, continuing to save for a future home and replacing my vehicle is still quite difficult on my income. I’m not really sure how I should handle this. Ideally I’ll be able to find supplemental income, which, since I won’t need it to live off, can be used entirely to siphon into my RSP’s/investments.

I set up the new goals in the widget bar on the side, let’s see how it goes!

A very late summary of my 2015, financially speaking.

Well, hey!

It’s been a while.

I want to go over the goals I set for 2015:

1. Stop using overdraft, live on last periods pay. Reach by end of February. Success!
2. Save and splurge on a nice new purse in the spring.  Cancelled this goal
3. Sell my house. Fail.
4. Max emergency fund to $10,000. Fail. .
5. Retirement TFSA/RSP combined* goal +$1,266.38; $4,500. Success!
6. Vehicle fund goal 2015 $208. Cancelled this goal
7. Future House 2015 $500. Cancelled this goal
8. Travel expense 2015 $1,500 jan – oct, after that is work depending. Success! (on target)
9. Last but not least a networth of $72,000. Cancelled this goal
10. Visit Cape Breton  Cancelled this goal, for this year
12. Go to East to West music festival in Moncton, NB Festival got cancelled! 🙁
13. Go camping in the Magdalen Island for a week Cancelled in lieu of other travel plans!
14. Get up at 08:00/08:30 five days per week. Success!
15. Lose 30 for 30. Success!
16. Track food and  journal exercise daily. Success!
17. Go swimming once a week (incl. in gym membership) Fail.
18. Complete c25k a second time by April 30, 2015 Success!
19. Start weighing in weekly by June 30, 2015. Success!
20. Average steps per day 8,500 Success!
21. Read more: read 30 books this year. Fail
22. Wear out shoes, don’t buy more, reduce total amount of shoes owed. Success!
23. Complete the #100happydays challenge. Success!
24. Finish two bible studies. Success!
25. Keep track of these goals weekly here. Fail.

About half are green, that’s great! As the year went on I changed priorities and some goals got cancelled to focus on other better things. There were four goals I didn’t make that I had wanted to but in the end that’s okay. I made progress in 2015. Nothing huge but… well some huge! I finally tackled the big $21,000 line of credit I had (house debt) and paid off every single cent over the year.

It’s June now and I’ve almost already forgotten until yesterday I sat down and looked at statements. I paid off $21,000 in a year. That’s pretty awesome!

The most notable improvements last year was in my health and routine. I feel like I keep writing about this since 2014 but there truly is still month-month improvement, every so small. Every time I think I can’t possibly go further, there is an even better day.  I wake up at a normal time, work at a normal time, and am asleep around midnight. I no longer struggle with not getting enough daylight! It has now been  been 3 years since I stopped night and overnight work (which I did for a few years) and this took the longest time to adjust. It is the combination of many factors, I bought a wake up light, forced myself into better sleeping habits, stopped taking the allergy medication that contributed to my night terrors, (mostly kicked depressions arse) lost weight, picked up my love for biking once more and ended the year at 148 pounds and with a healthy bmi, much fitter and stronger and mentally healthier than thew past few years!

2016-06-02 17.39.36

Riding the trails by myself.

According to my vivofit 2015 was my most active year to date, averaging 10,300 steps per day. Yeah!

I also ended up getting glasses for astigmatism in November and have been reading so much more since then. I have always been somebody who loves to read, throughout elementary and highschool books were my friends. Gradually the past five years orso the amount of reading I did decreased more and more. I also stopped blogging and stopped reading many blogs. I am convinced that my needing glasses was a contributing factor to all of this. I went for an eye test, havign not gone for at least five years and the doctor gave me some glasses to try, she said, you may benefit from them but it’s up to you. I wasn’t fully convinced, I saw a small difference but decided to give it a shot anyway and spent $50 ordering two pairs of glasses from Zenni.

I wear them every waking moment now. Life is blurry and less pleasant without my glasses!

Here’s a picture of that haha;

IMG_20160430_204427

 

So, that was my 2015. 2016 has been not so exciting until now and the only financial decision I did make was to start prepaying the rest of my mortgage to become 100% debt-free. (for as long as  I still have this house I am still stuck with this mortgage) I need to set some goals and workout some plans that I had been working on, business and personal.

What’s new in your world?

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