Happy New Year everyone! 2014 was the year G and I finally opened our eyes and paid attention to our money. This is the first year I tracked every single penny and it's habit to do so now. With the proper tools and a hubby that knows his way around an Excel spreadsheet it's was so easy for me to do. I'm for sure keeping up the habit next year.
G & I also have regular money discussions now, which has cut down on the stress levels I was feeling at beginning of the year. We each know what the other is thinking and feeling regarding our finances and it's nice just to be on the same page. Now on to the numbers:
The biggest expense this year for us hands down was a new roof on our house. All I have to say is thank goodness for the emergency fund. We weren’t really thinking we would need the roof so soon and weren’t completely prepared when the leaks started happening. It was definitely a stressful time but would have been even more stressful if we didn’t have that money set aside. It was extremely difficult to hand over that cheque though, lol.
The only thing I would see us having to purchase soon-ish is a new furnace and we need to have our ducts cleaned sometime in the fall. However, the misfortune with the roof definitely opened our eyes to the importance of saving up for this stuff, because shit will happen and we don’t want to drain our EF if we don’t have too. We opened a ‘Home’ savings account this year (see Savings category) to help with any future major replacements or reno’s.
I never know what to say about this category. It’ll just be interesting to see the break down year to year as a beginning to track everything.
This category I’m hoping to increase next year! Gas consumption will be down though as I started a job in town about half way thru the year and I now walk to work instead of driving 1 hour 5 days a week. But we are hoping to pay off our car loan in 2015. We were also very lucky that we had no real issues with the car that were not covered by warranty.
Debt Repayment (26%)
Sigh… I’m not sure if I should to be proud or annoyed with this category. Extremely proud because we paid off our LOC this year or extremely annoyed because we racked it up again by going on our honeymoon and getting side tracked in September. We have plans in place so we don’t commit the same stupid mistakes again (and again) such has a home savings fund as well as a vacation fund. We should have the rest of our consumer debt paid off by February of next year. It’s just too bad we couldn’t get it together and pay it off by the New Year so we could start 2015 fresh. We only have ourselves to blame though. Looking forward to having this paid off in early 2015 and then be done with this category!
Long Term Savings (15%)
This year G & I took steps in the right direction, both opened TFSA’s and I opened a RRSP. We started out with $100 bi-weekly contributions in each investment but I ramped up my TFSA contributions mid way thru the year to $200 bi-weekly. I passed the $5000 threshold for my own personal retirement account just a few weeks ago. I'm very excited for this category next year as it'll be our first full year of contributions!
We spent just nearly 10k just for two people. Ugh. This is one area I really hope to improve on in the New Year. I didn’t really watch groceries as closely as I should have at the beginning of the year and often went for convenient foods (i.e. costing us a lot more). Starting a new job in my town and getting home a lot sooner has allowed me time to plan out proper meals and execute them. I’m getting more comfortable with cooking and enjoying it a lot more. Also I plan on breaking down my receipts, putting cleaning supplies and paper goods in the home category and dog food in the pet line on our budget spreadsheet. This will give us a better break down on how much food we are actually going thru because I know that 10k isn’t a realistic number. I really hope to improve on this category in 2015.
We spent nearly $1500 in cash this year. This would mostly be G taking money out here and there. A few months ago I got frustrated in not having this being tracked and we compromised with a monthly withdrawal of $125 for him to spend on snack/food at work. He’s happy because he has money available if he wants to purchase something in the lunchroom and I’m happy because I know where it goes in our budget.
This technically should be called Planned Spending. This is where the money put into our spending accounts, home and vacation fund is found. We only added this category half way thru the year so I expect an increase next year as we plan for our vacations: one back home to Ontario and another to the Yukon. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing our vacation fund grow as well as get used up for awesome experiences J
This category includes gifts, vet bills, medical, entertainment & personal care. Gifts and vet bills are the highest expenses. For some reason we have purchase gifts every single month this year and I can’t really explain why. I’m hoping next year to have a better-organized system for gifts. Our dog will need a surgery in the New Year costing us around $1000 so this category might not change much.
Overall, a pretty solid first year for us. I really have nothing to compare it too but we are pretty proud of ourselves. Yeah, we made some mistakes and old habits die hard, but we are improving because we are aware.
I am really looking forward to next year. Thank you all who read this silly little blog of mine, I really appreciate the support! J