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Bills

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, 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!

I have been coveting a Banana Republic bag for quite some time. This one;

Capture

I even made it a part of my goals for 2015 in my 30 goals for 2015 post, look:
2Every so often I get a new purse because an old one has worn out, or the functions that I need it for change. The current purse I use for a bit dressier occasions when I still need to carry a few things around is starting to show signs of wear, so I’ve been looking to replace it.

There are a few purses I have considered, between MK, Kate Spade and BR. In hindsight this was complete idiocy…. I have a line of credit/mortgage to pay off, I have retirement to save for, I need a newer car in a couple of years. A new pricy as hell purse? Even after a discount any of them run me over $200. Who am I kidding?

In 2012 I used up 75% of the emergency fund I had saved at that time to cover living expenses as my income plummeted in early 2013, it started increasing again when I picked up seasonal employment last year. Ive only been contributing a measly $25 a month October 2013 and onward.

I bought a nice Ck bag in August of 2013 and while I haven’t regretted buying it at all, until now, the mid $200’s price tag set me back about a months worth of groceries and in reality…. even though I saved for it; could I really afford it? No. The purse cost me about 1% of my income that year. 

Capture3

Was it worth it? No. I like fashion, I do enjoy looking nice, dressing nice. Banana Republic, Ck, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren… I am a sucker for the preppy new England look. I don’t quite dress like it, but I do own a khaki coloured trench coat, and I wear my jeans with a leather belt, and flats, and yes I like fancy purses and preppy dressshirts and a-line skirts. I find it appealing. But am I really wearing these items for me, or am I also wearing these items to present an image to the world? Most likely the latter.

While I liked that purse, it’s highly unlikely anyone other than my friends and family really noticed me using it. I didn’t end up liking the quality and the handle has had to be sewn on once already. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with finetuning your image for yourself and the world. After all, it’s important for your work and social life, but was this expense warranted for me personally? Did I need more stuff in my closet while I am looking to have less stuff? Was it really worth it? Not at all. I don’t want to be poor, this is not the way to not be poor.

My 2015 income should end up being about $30,000 after tax (which reminds me that I’m currently four days late filing my tax return, crap). I projected my income at $27,500 in January so I’ve been able to increase that which is awesome! 🙂 My income is earned in a variety of ways, I’ve had more than one job on the go since I graduated college;

– My normal part-time cleaning gig which consists of two different contracts (I am the main contractor)
– My seasonal luxury cottage scrubbing (self-employed)
– Commission based property rentals
– becoming an accidental landlord on my own house
– occasional random side jobs

The $2,500 increase is not much but it’s something. $30,000 is not terribly low. I can and do, do a lot with my $30,000. 

But I have $4,725.64 saved for retirement right now. Under five thousand dollars. That is just… I mean that will get me what, a quarter of a year of living in the future? Maybe after compounding the interest I’ll get a year worth of living out of it in a good 30 years orso. Maybe more, maybe less, I have no idea because it’s not worth it to do the math because the point is: that is ridiculous. 

I have house debt to pay off asap and if I ever want to retire, a retirement to save for. I don’t want to be poor.

I had no business buying a $240 purse in 2013, and I still don’t in 2015.

What ridiculous purchases have you made that were really kind of stupid??