(That title makes it sounds like we run some sort of business lol).
Wow, first quarter of the year gone already. This year has been pretty awesome for us: emergency fund fully funded, consumer/vacation debt paid off, started focusing on our car loan, and I got a new job with a pay increase. All this motivation really comes down to us keeping a spending analysis every month. I enjoy being able to see, visually, where all our money is going and it keeps us aware of how we are doing as the month goes along.
Last year I posted this pie chart every month, but this year I have decided to only post four times. Our spending doesn’t differ much month to month and if anything did come up, I would normally write a post about it.
We adjusted some of the categories slightly; getting rid of the ‘Savings’ category and adding a ‘Travel’ slice. The old Savings category had all our planned spending account (i.e. Travel Fund, Personal spending money), so we decided to just have the travel fund be it’s own category and lump our personal spending money into the Personal category – which makes a lot more sense!
Most of this is just mortgage and insurance payments. The weather has been getting nicer here and we have started some of the project we have been waiting to work on all winter. Last weekend we painted the living room and G purchased the lumber for a desk and photo shelf he will be making for the house. We invested in beautiful quality lumber that I don’t mind spending the money on, as it will be a handcrafted piece that G & I both designed. Very excited for the end result!
We are on equalized payments for our gas and energy so this category should stay consistent. We did get a notice with our water bill that the town has increased some of the costs (effective in June) but they aren’t significant enough and I don’t mind investing into the community.
We are averaging around $75 a month in gas, this is mainly because of me walking to work everyday and G taking the cruiser home during a stretch of days he’s working. The reason this is such a large percentage is because of all the extra payments we have been making to our car loan. This is one category I’m hoping will increase as the year goes on as paying off our car loan is the main priority. We have exactly $15,000 left and are currently on track to have it paid off for the end of the year.
Debt Repayment (15%)
We officially paid off the last of our vacation spending in February thanks to our Income Tax refund. The plan for the rest of the year is not to carry any consumer debt at all so this slice should slowly disappear as the year goes on and the other categories (like transportation) take it's place in our cash flow. We do use our credit cards for pretty much all our purchases but we use them responsibly: something I was never able to do before.
Long Term Savings (22%)
I love that this is our biggest category! A nice chunk of this is (again) thanks to our tax refund that allowed me to add $2000 to my TFSA. Also we doubled the current contributions to my RRSP by purchasing some funds at Tangerine.
You want to know know something else that’s pretty neat? I have officially crossed the $10,000 milestone in my own personal retirement accounts!!! :D It was only 4 months ago (December 7th) that I was so excited to post about hitting $5000 in the accounts. Although, there won’t be any super sized snowflakes for a while I want to increase my goal and have at least $20,000 in my accounts by the end of the year (up from $15,000).
We should be getting G’s pension report soon-ish so I’ll be nice to have a complete dollar figure of how much we have actually saved between the both of us. We do not include his pension contributions into our budget as it just comes off automatically but it’s nice to know he is paying into an awesome plan that we are extremely lucky to have. I think once we get that report I will do a NetWorth statement, my first ever!
This is still an area I struggle with. I’m averaging out at around $565 each month but that’s off from my goal of $500 each month. We did have one huge Costco run in February that bumped up our costs but I’m okay with that because we still haven’t really made a dent in the meat we were able to stock up on. I’ve been on track and motivate in the kitchen, trying about two new recipes a week. Most of them have been simple but delicious. My friends laugh at me because I prep all the ingredients before I start cooking and have everything lined up and ready to go like I’m on a cooking show but with each awesome meal I make my confidence is growing! J
January was a spending month for us. We were able to snag a lot of good deals after the holidays until a rifle my husband had been eyeing for nearly an entire year. Also I made an order from IKEA to help finish off the living room now that it’s painted. We have still yet to receive it but it was ordered and paid for in March. I got a rug, wire holders to install under the new desk, some photo frames and a few more decorative pieces. We don’t have an IKEA in Saskatchewan at all so I was very excited to learn that I had the option of ordering online!
No, we didn’t go anywhere to escape the cold winter… This is just our Travel fund. The first two months of the year we were only able to put about $200 each month but March we put $600. Budgeted from now on we will be contributing at least $500 each month. We do have one small anniversary trip coming up in May but this fund will not be touched for that.