Tag Archives: Registered Retirement Savings Plan

Budget Attempt May18 to May 31

This may lose me some followers, but we’ll see how it goes.

I’m not doing my biweekly budget updates anymore.

*waits to see who is still left*

I’ll be honest, I did go over budget last pay period. I didn’t take on any debt, and everything I said I was going to put into savings went into my savings account, I just dipped into the wiggle room. That’s not why I’m stopping though. If I was embarassed about putting my budget overages out there for the world to see, I would have stopped doing them a looooooooong time ago.

I’ve been leaning on you guys too much.

When putting spending reports on our blogs, we’re at the internet’s mercy. Our spending is free to be critiqued. We think more about our purchases, because we know at the end of the day we have to post the information on our blogs, and all of our internet friends will see it.

So what happens when there’s no one watching? While I have no intentions of shutting this blog down anytime soon, I know I probably won’t be maintaining it for the rest of my life. At some point, I’ll stop posting.

I know that having all of you reading my updates has kept me accountable when my resolve was low. That being said, when it’s all said and done, I need to learn how to be completely accountable to myself. I need to be able to keep my spending in check and a reasonable semblance of a budget in place regardless of whether or not anyone is watching. In order to see if I can do this, I need to stop letting you guys watch.

Basically, I’m taking my training wheels off.

I’ll still be writing up my biweekly budget regardless of whether or not I’m posting updates online. I need to. I’m paid biweekly, but most of my bills come out at the same time every month. That means every few pay periods the bills that are covered during that timeframe shift a little. Three pay check months are bliss. I’ll still post my budget outline on here every two weeks for posterity sake (and because it’s really easy to reference my blog for my budget when I’m doing my banking online), but at the end of the two weeks I won’t be writing how I did compared to what I estimated. I’ll only be accountable to me.

I’ll still be posting my month end updates though, so if you see me backsliding with no explaination as for why, feel free to call me on it.

Recommended Reading: Grow Up

Budget Attempt May 4 to May 17

*Hmmm, WordPress deleted a whole chunk of my post when it published it. I’ll try to fix this shortly*

 

It fits my cards and the occasional couple bills that I fold up in there. It also conveniently prevents me from ever leaving home without both my wallet and my keys.

I hated carrying a wallet when I was younger, let alone a purse. I had a jacket with a sleeve pocket that perfectly held my apartment swipe card, ID and bank card in the pocket. I decided to wear a different jacket one day, so I threw everything in a ziploc bag and put it in my pocket. I was mocked for it. This little coin purse style wallet was purchased shortly thereafter.

My cards fill this “skinny” wallet to the point of plump as it is. I went to the bank on my last pay day, took out my spending money, folded it up and put it in my wallet. When I tried to zip it closed the wallet was so full that the zipper separated. I had too much money in there.

I need to get myself a bigger wallet. Feel free to mock me for this.

  Budgeted Actual Difference
Mortgage w/ Taxes $610.00 $609.40 $0.60
RPP $80.00 $80.19 -$0.19
Savings $550.00 $550.00 $0.00
House Insurance $40.00 $35.50 $4.50
Car Insurance $35.00 $0.00 $35.00
Utilities $80.00 $61.19 $18.81
Internet $65.00 $65.10 -$0.10
Phone $100.00 $98.55 $1.45
Fuel $50.00 $61.68 -$11.68
Food In $70.00 $84.48 -$14.48
Bank Fee $5.00 $0.00 $5.00
Me Money $280.00 $280.00 $0.00

I put another $20 worth of fuel in my sister’s car before she left, so that put my over for my fuel costs. As fun as it was driving a nicer looking car than mine, my car kicks her car’s ass in terms of fuel consumption. Seriously, her car goes through about twice what mine does over the same distance, and I wasn’t speeding. Actually, as a result of a miscommunication, I spent most of the time I had it driving 10km/hr below the speed limit. I thought she had oversized tires on the car. Turns out it was just the rims that were oversized. Meh.

I did take a list to the grocery store when I went shopping, and I did follow the list, but I still went over. My big problems here were not comparing prices, not keeping a running tally, and not being specific. I bought the organic eggs and yogurt without really paying attention to the prices. On the list I wrote “veggies”, which basically meant a free for all in the produce section. I’ll smarten up a bit this pay period.

I went a little over on my Me Money, but I didn’t keep the receipts/write it down, so I don’t know the exact overage. *blush* I’d put it at about $35 over, split between some music on iTunes and a little extra eating out. I ended up having an upset stomach from the eating out, so serves me right.

I figure I did alright for the first round of spending money though. I bought a bottle of rum for The Boy, a Christmas present for my niece (could technically come out of gift savings, but meh), got my hair cut, got some moisturizer with SPF, two CDs worth of iTunes music, and lots of lunch/Starbucks socializing with friends. It was definitely a departure from the last year and a half!

This pay period’s budget is so short I feel like something is missing :s

  Budgeted Actual Difference
Mortgage w/ Taxes $610.00 $0.00 $610.00
RPP $80.00 $0.00 $80.00
Savings $650.00 $0.00 $650.00
Utilities $200.00 $0.00 $200.00
Fuel $50.00 $0.00 $50.00
Food In $60.00 $0.00 $60.00
Me Money $280.00 $0.00 $280.00

I just realized I’ve budgeted more to savings than I have to my mortgage :)

My original plan for the me money this weekend was to go out and get myself a Clarisonic Mia that everyone keeps raving about. We’re coming up to summer, which is the time of year my skin gives me the most grief. The small basic model, with taxes, will set me back about $146. If the thing works, it will be well worth the week’s worth of spending money.

That however, was before I talked to my sister today. She gave birth to her daughter 7 months ago, and decided 2 months ago that she wanted to compete in a body building figures competition. Normal girl fit, not scary girl fit. If my mom is spry, my sister is spry on speed. She was back on the ice playing hockey 9 days after giving birth. We’ve been laughing at the bathing suit she has to wear on the stage next month, and she got it in the mail today. She sent me a couple pictures of herself in it.

She looks #%@*&! better in that barely #%@*&! there bikini 7 months after having a baby than I’ve ever looked in my #%@*&! life!!! That includes when I was figure skating 7 days a week as a teenager! ARGH!!! She sent me the picture as I was chowing down on the aforementioned takeout. I’m suddenly wondering if the upset stomach was the fault of the takeout or not…

Anyway, little miss Mia is waiting on hold for a bit, and I’m replacing my worn out running shoes this weekend. I’m in decent shape, but my sister makes me look like I’m letting myself go :s She’s in the process of doing up a workout routine for me to do. You might see me popping up on the #PFWorkout circuit soon.

Who all is doing the #PFWorkout on Twitter? This may actually get me out there and more social in the Twitterverse.

Recommended Reading: The Race to the Alter.

Budget Attempt April 6 to April 19

I think I’m going to file that last budget under “Ugh.”

Aspirational spending at its finest.

First I get a raise with back pay, then I submit my taxes and find out that I should be getting a return at some point this month. My wallet wanted to open and enjoy itself, and so it did…

Budgeted Actual Difference
Mortgage w/ Taxes $610.00 $609.40 $0.60
RPP $70.00 $70.00 $0.00
House Insurance $40.00 $35.50 $4.50
Car Insurance $35.00 $31.52 $3.48
LOC $1,800.00 $1,800.00 $0.00
Utilities $100.00 $89.29 $10.71
Internet $65.00 $65.10 -$0.10
Phone $100.00 $98.55 $1.45
Fuel $50.00 $77.69 -$27.69
Food In $60.00 $127.02 -$67.02
Food Out $10.00 $46.19 -$36.19
Car Repair $50.00 $10.49 $39.51
Bank Fee $5.00 $4.00 $1.00
Other $20.00 $267.44 -$247.44

Like I said. “Ugh”

Fortunately it does look worse than it was. I picked up a few things for The Boy for his mom’s birthday, and I picked up groceries for him when he was busy. About $170 of the spending in there wasn’t mine.

Some of the spending definitely was though. I bought macarons while meeting a friend for tea. I crumbled to the siren song of the pop up clearance sale (conveniently located right beside the bakery with the macarons) and purchased a sweater. I reloaded my grandpa’s Tim Card again. I bought a thank you card for my manager. I picked up some windshield washer fluid. You get the idea…

The fuel overage though, completely intentional. I read in the news on Tuesday that fuel was expected to jump 4.5 cents the next day. Given that it was the Tuesday before payday (usual spike time), it’s a holiday weekend this weekend (again, usual spike time), and it was “forecasted”, I figured I should top up my tank to full from just over half. Sure enough, Wednesday morning the price had jumped 8 cents a litre.

It would have been prudent if I had allowed myself a little breathing room knowing that I had come into some money, unfortunately I didn’t have that much foresight. Instead I put it all on the line of credit, and I’m putting money onto my credit card this pay period. The only reason I did it this way rather than taking the money off the line of credit is because the line of credit charges me interest immediately, and the credit card gives me a 21 day grace period. Seeing as I’ve already put the money on the credit card today, there won’t be any interest charges.

Budgeted Actual Difference
Mortgage w/ Taxes $610.00 $0.00 $610.00
RPP $80.00 $0.00 $80.00
LOC $600.00 $0.00 $600.00
LOC Interest $20.00 $0.00 $20.00
Credit Card $200.00 $0.00 $200.00
Utilities $200.00 $0.00 $200.00
Fuel $50.00 $0.00 $50.00
Food In $60.00 $0.00 $60.00
Food Out $20.00 $0.00 $20.00
Budgets Are Sexy T $20.00 $0.00 $20.00
Gifts $100.00 $0.00 $100.00
Other $30.00 $0.00 $30.00

There are a couple small additions to the budget this pay period. Gifts and a T-shirt. My sister’s birthday is coming up. She’ll be in town shortly before her birthday, so I’m going to get a present a little early and give it to her personally rather than pay to mail it.

I’d also really like to get one of the I’m Bringing Budgets Back  t-shirts that Brad at Enemy of Debt is making for J. Money. PayPal is being a royal pain in the ass right now. Every time I try to use it I find out my account is yet again limited and they want more information from me. We’ll see how long it takes to get it active again this time. I’m bloody pissed.

It won’t keep me pissed for too long though. I’m down to 3 digits now. Almost there ;)

Recommended Reading: Five Personal Finance Topics I’m Over.

Budget Attempt March 23 to April 5

I’m still coming down off the cloud nine of yesterday’s news. It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and for once I feel like I might actually be able to get ahead rather than just treading water all the time.

But, before I get ahead of myself, here’s last week’s budget:

  Budgeted Actual Difference
Mortgage w/ Taxes $610.00 $609.40 $0.60
RPP $65.00 $68.96 -$3.96
LOC $375.00 $375.00 $0.00
LOC Interest $40.00 $24.41 $15.59
Utilities $200.00 $188.96 $11.04
Fuel $50.00 $48.17 $1.83
Food In $100.00 $62.93 $37.07
Food Out $10.00 $21.12 -$11.12
Flight $430.00 $430.00 $0.00
Medical $50.00 $73.58 -$23.58
Other $30.00 $232.13 -$202.13

I had larger overages in Food Out, Medical, and Other. Food out pretty much came down to lunch out with colleagues at work. Every once in a while someone will suggest going for lunch, which then balloons into 15-20 people descending on a restaurant at once. This time we got reservations at an Indian buffet. It’s good for socializing and getting to know people at work that you may not otherwise talk to, and we don’t do it too often, so I really didn’t think twice about the expense. It’s not a weekly thing.

Medical was thrown for a loop by my allergy medication. I had originally only planned on picking up my acne medication, but I realized afterwards that I was also in need of antihistamines. The box of 50 was cheaper per pill than the box of 30, and I’m guaranteed to go through them all, so I bit the bullet and bought the big pack.

Other was split between iTunes and my car. Not evenly obviously. $215 was put towards parts for my brakes, about $100 of which I can hopefully *fingers crossed* return this weekend. As for the iTunes… I really wanted some new music badly. I currently have Satellite and Broken Mirrors by Rise Against alternating in my head. Love it.

  Budgeted Actual Difference
Mortgage w/ Taxes $610.00 $0.00 $610.00
RPP $70.00 $0.00 $70.00
House Insurance $40.00 $0.00 $40.00
Car Insurance $35.00 $0.00 $35.00
LOC $1,800.00 $0.00 $1,800.00
Utilities $100.00 $0.00 $100.00
Internet $65.00 $0.00 $65.00
Phone $100.00 $0.00 $100.00
Fuel $50.00 $0.00 $50.00
Food In $60.00 $0.00 $60.00
Food Out $10.00 $0.00 $10.00
Car Repair $50.00 $0.00 $50.00
Bank Fee $5.00 $0.00 $5.00
Other $20.00 $0.00 $20.00

That LOC line isn’t a typo. I really am putting $1800 onto my balance this pay period.

Remember a little while back when I was frustrated by my pay, and I said my manager was working on it? He succeeded. I was quite underpaid compared to my colleagues; he got it brought it up to where it should be including months worth of back pay. Between the smaller raise I got earlier in the month, and the current pay scale adjustment, my income has increased by around 20% this month. It took the better part of my shift last night to get over the shock. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me.

Come hell or high water, I will be paying off my debt in April. I will give myself another February style no-spending challenge if I need to, but I WILL pay it off.

Anyway, needless to say, the back pay on this cheque kind of muddled what was new raise money vs. lump sum, so I haven’t broken out the raise money yet. That’ll have to happen next pay period when the dust settles a little.

How are your budgets going right now?

Recommended Reading: 5 Common Financial Mistakes Young Adults Make.

Budget Attempt March 9 to March 22

The budget numbers are in. The general consensus is that I fell off the bandwagon this week due to being emotional about work. *sigh*

Category Budgeted Actual Difference
Mortgage w/ Taxes $610.00 $609.40 $0.60
RRSP $100.00 $100.00 $0.00
RPP $65.00 $66.63 -$1.63
House Insurance $40.00 $35.50 $4.50
Car Insurance $35.00 $31.52 $3.48
LOC $700.00 $700.00 $0.00
Utilities $100.00 $84.84 $15.16
Internet $65.00 $65.10 -$0.10
Phone $100.00 $98.02 $1.98
Fuel $50.00 $40.00 $10.00
Food In $60.00 $90.93 -$30.93
Food Out $10.00 $25.19 -$15.19
Bank Fee $5.00 $1.69 $3.31
Other $20.00 $27.34 -$7.34

Between having my veggie order freeze outside, and deciding I wanted to spend an evening eating 7 layer dip rather than making dinner, I ended up going about $30 over budget. Fortunately some of that money was spent on salad fixings so I would have some good lunches for work. I was becoming rather uninspired by food, and usually when that happens I reach for take out/salty/greasy/sweet food. Having some easy whip up lunches on hand has helped stem that a bit.

Unfortunately, it didn’t stem it entirely. I ordered a personal pizza on Wednesday and devoured it before it was even cool. $2 was spent on pop at work. $5 went on my Starbucks card. $6.95 went to “just because” donuts for The Boy, which I can’t eat, but they fit in this category anyway.

My grandfather’s Tim Card reloaded this past week, so $20 went to that. I don’t actually know when it’s going to happen next, it just know that periodically it will. The rest of it went to a magazine which I devoured from cover to cover.

It’s amazing to look back on the last two years. Take out, Starbucks and magazines used to be a fact of life, while I treated myself to new clothes whenever I wanted them. Now takeout, Starbucks and magazines have become my treat.

As per yesterday’s post, a good chunk of money was moved out of debt repayment this pay period:

Category Budgeted Actual Difference
Mortgage w/ Taxes $610.00 $0.00 $610.00
RPP $65.00 $0.00 $65.00
LOC $375.00 $0.00 $375.00
LOC Interest $40.00 $0.00 $40.00
Utilities $200.00 $0.00 $200.00
Fuel $50.00 $0.00 $50.00
Food In $100.00 $0.00 $100.00
Food Out $10.00 $0.00 $10.00
Flight $430.00 $0.00 $430.00
Medical $50.00 $0.00 $50.00
Other $30.00 $0.00 $30.00

If we hadn’t gotten our plane tickets this month, I would have been able to put $800 on my debt in one fell swoop. That would have been nice eh? Instead it’s sitting at $375 this go around. The only reason it isn’t over $400 is because I’m hosting a brunch for 12 this pay period, so I needed more money in the grocery budget. I have a couple prescriptions that need refilling, and allergy season is just around the corner, so I’ve included at budget line for medical expenses this go around.

How are your budgets going? Did you manage to keep your spending in check after the low spend February was over?

Recommended Reading: International Share Your Budgeting Secrets Day.