March Budget

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It’s already March! Let’s hope that spring comes soon!! I am so ready for warmer weather and spring clothes 🙂

February was a pretty good month, here’s hoping March is too! I have to pay for my membership to the Ontario College of Teachers for the year, but we’ve got it in the budget, so at least it’s expected. We have a larger than normal “Miscellaneous” budget, and we’ve done that because I’ll be in Toronto for 3 days of training for a new program and will have a large number of expenses during that time. We do have a rather large amount set aside for our anniversary. It’s our 5-year anniversary, and The Banker found some tickets to a Leafs game fairly inexpensively (for The Leafs anyway), and surprised me with them! So with those, and whatever else we spend that night and on the night of our actual anniversary, I thought we should set aside a larger piece of our budget than we typically would. Normally I think it’s outrageous to spend that on an anniversary, but it’s an event that I’m really looking forward to. I’m a lifelong Leafs fan (judge me all you want!) and have never been to a game! Plus, it’s a big anniversary, and the last one before we’re married, so I’m more than happy to spend a lot.

Otherwise, everything else is pretty average. Have a look:

Budgeted
HOUSING
Rent $856.00
Hydro $40.00
Phone/Cable/Internet $275.00
Insurance (home) $27.75
TOTAL $1,198.75
   
LIVING  
Groceries/Household Items $350.00
Dry Cleaning $15.00
Personal Care $100.00
TOTAL $465.00
   
TRANSPORTATION  
Insurance (car) $186.60
Gas/Maintenance $350.00
TOTAL $536.60
   
PERSONAL  
Personal Spending $200.00
Date Nights $80.00
Professional Memberships $175.00
Club Memberships $20.86
Gifts $50.00
Anniversary $300.00
Donations $25.00
Miscellaneous $393.79
TOTAL $1,244.65
   
FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS  
Student Loans $505.00
My Parents $250.00
Line of Credit $200.00
TFSAs $500.00
Emergency Savings $100.00
TOTAL $1,505.00
   
GRAND TOTAL $4,950.00

March looks okay, and it should be an okay income month. However, there is March Break, so a full 5 days of potential work that I can’t get. Oh well, that’s what the other jobs are for!
How is March looking for you? Are you as ready for spring as I am?

February Budget

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I know February is more than half over, but I haven’t posted our budget yet. I’m not sure how well we’ll do. It’s been a weird month, lots of little things that seem to be adding up; prescriptions, household items, gifts. We hope that we can cut costs in some other areas, but this might not be the best month for us. But, for now, here’s the budget for February:

Housing
Rent $856.00
Heat/Hydro $40.00
Phone/Cable/Internet $275.00
Insurance $27.75
TOTAL $1,198.75
   
Living  
Groceries/Household Supplies $300.00
Dry Cleaning $15.00
Personal Care $100.00
TOTAL $415.00
   
TRANSPORTATION  
Insurance $186.60
Gas/Repairs/Maintenance $350.00
TOTAL $536.60
   
PERSONAL  
Personal Spending $200.00
Date Nights $80.00
Hobbies $25.00
Club Memberships $20.86
Gifts $50.00
Donations $25.00
Wedding $50.00
Miscellaneous $143.79
TOTAL $594.65
   
FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS  
Student Loans $505.00
My Parents $200.00
Line of Credit $200.00
TFSAs $500.00
Emergency Savings $100.00
TOTAL $1,505.00
   
GRAND TOTAL $4,250.00

We’re hoping that our TFSA could have a larger contribution, and maybe our Emergency Savings Fund as well, but I’m making no promises!

How is February looking for you?

January Budget Recap

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Wow! Where I have been for the past 3 weeks. Busy with work, getting our apartment more organized, cleaning out my closet. Nothing that important, but I’m back!

Here’s how we did for January (not too bad, but not the best either)

 

Housing

BUDGETED ACTUAL +/-
Rent $856.00 $856.00
Heat/Hydro $40.00 $0.00 -$40
Phone/Cable/Internet $275.00 $272.96 -$2.04
Insurance $27.75 $27.75
TOTAL $1,198.75 $1,156.71 -$42.04
       
Living      
Groceries/Household Supplies $300.00 $399.64 +$99.64
Dry Cleaning $15.00 $16.10 +$1.10
Personal Care $110.00 $160.56 +$50.56
TOTAL $425.00 $576.30 +$151.30
       
TRANSPORTATION      
Insurance $186.60 $186.60
Gas/Repairs/Maintenance $350.00 $314.69 -$35.31
TOTAL $536.60 $501.29 -$35.31
       
PERSONAL      
Personal Spending $200.00 $228.66 +$28.66
Date Nights $80.00 $91.96 +$11.96
Hobbies $25.00 $23.05 -$1.95
Club Memberships $20.86 $20.86
Gifts $100.00 $43.89 -$56.11
Donations $25.00 $60.00 +$35.00
Miscellaneous $203.79 $94.06 -$109.73
Wedding $0.00 $42.73 +$42.73
TOTAL $654.65 $605.21 -$49.44
       
FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS  
Student Loans $505.00 $505.00
My Parents $350.00 $350.00
Line of Credit $200.00 $200.00
TFSAs $500.00 $500.00
Emergency Savings $100.00 $100.00
TOTAL $1,655.00 $1,655.00
GRAND TOTAL $4,470.00 $4,494.51 +$24.51

We were able to save in a few areas, and did buy some wedding stuff that we didn’t budget for. I think we stayed within a decent amount of our budget.

However, there are a number of areas we really need to work on! Our grocery bills were out of hand again this month (we’re trying to shop the flyers more, and we have a good stock in our cupboards now which is nice, but I’d like to spend a little less). We also spent too much going out together. There were a few times we went out with friends and spent more than necessary. Oh well, we’ll just try harder this month! 🙂

How was your January? Any special plans for Valentine’s Day? We’re going to have a nice night in and spend some quality time together!

October Budget Breakdown (finally!)

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Sorry that this is posted late, it’s been a busy week and weekend! (Stay tuned to hear some big news on Wedding Wednesday!)
I have finally finished my October budget breakdown, and in general, it’s okay. I didn’t put nearly as much as I wanted into savings (and by that I mean, I put nothing in savings!), and I didn’t pay back as much of my loans as I had planned. It wasn’t a great month in terms of substitute teaching income, nor did I bring in a lot from my other jobs. I did alright, but hopefully I’ll have a better month in November.

Budgeted Actual +/-
Rent $430 $430
Student Loan $350 $350
Parents (Personal Loan) $250 $100 -$150
The Banker (Personal Loan) $250 $100 -$150
TFSA $500 $0 -$500
Emergency Savings Fund $250 $0 -$250
Insurance $75 $75
Groceries $150 $197.72 +$47.72
Cable $50 $50
Gas $150 $85 -$65
Cell Phone Bill $80 $85 +$5
Personal Care $150 $35.49 -$114.51
Wedding Expenses $200 $0 -$200
Food and Entertainment $100 $45.64 -$54.36
Date Night Fund $40 $40
Clothing Fund $40 $40
Home $25 $56.48 +$31.48
Gifts $100 $87.97 -$12.03
Charity $25 $25
Miscellaneous $36 $254.57 +$218.57
TOTAL $3,250 $2,014.87 -$1,235.13

While this looks amazing and like I really scrimped this month, in reality when you take away the loan repayments and savings contributions that I didn’t make this month, I’m only $185.13 under budget. Still great, but it’s upsetting that I couldn’t make those contributions this month.

I had one large unexpected cost this month – renewing my passport. I got a 10-year renewal that cost $160. It was a lot to pay when I didn’t have it anywhere in my budget, but well worth it! Hopefully this travel bug I’ve caught will stay with me!

Wish me a good November, and I hope your October was better than mine 🙂

Combining Finances

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Even though The Banker and I have lived together for over 3 years, we haven’t ever really combined finances. We have a shared account that our rent comes out of, to which we each contribute equally. But our other expenses are split. We take turns buying groceries, he pays for internet and cable (with a contribution from me), and he pays the hydro bill. It may seem unfair, but he does make a significant more than I do at the moment, and I typically buy all of the “home” stuff (things like décor, organization items, other supplies, etc.). We have talked a few times about combining our finances, but never really made a decision.

Now that we’re getting married, we’ve had the discussion again and decided that starting December 1, we’ll be combining all of our finances. The reason for the wait is to switch over direct deposit pay, and automatic withdrawal bill payments. We’ve decided that we will each keep $200 a month for our personal spending. This is a tentative number to see how much we spend and we may adjust that as we see how it all affects our spending and budgeting. We both think it’s a good idea to have some spending money, where we can get stuff that the other might not think is as important as the other (I love my lattes and he loves craft beer), and we are both on the same page for having a little spending money that we don’t need to justify to the other. I’m hoping that putting our money together will keep us even more accountable to our budget, and hopefully we’ll be able to pay down debt more aggressively with combined finances as opposed to tackling it on our own.

It will certainly be an experiment, and I’m sure we won’t get it right straight away, but it’s a learning curve and hopefully we can make it work well.

How do you work combined finances? Any tips or tricks to share?

October Budget

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This month should be better for my income, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be spending more. I’m hoping to stay under budget and sock some extra money into savings. It’s a big total, but the only thing I’ve added is a category for “charity” and I’ve increased the amount I’ll be allotting for wedding expenses. Luckily, our insurance payment has recently decreased 🙂 YAY!

Wish me luck this month!

Rent $430
Student Loan $350
Parents (Personal Loan) $250
The Banker (Personal Loan) $250
TFSA $500
Emergency Savings Fund $250
Insurance $75
Groceries $150
Cable $50
Gas $150
Cell Phone Bill $80
Personal Care $150
Wedding Expenses $200
Food and Entertainment $100
Date Night Fund $40
Clothing Fund $40
Home $25
Gifts $100
Charity $25
Miscellaneous $36
TOTAL $3,250

I love October! I’m really looking forward to this month. I can start burning candles without feeling like I’m in a sauna, I can wear cozy sweaters, and I get to bundle up in comfy blankets! Plus, everything just looks so beautiful with the changing colours. I look forward to wait October has in store for us!

Wedding Wednesday #3 – Some Big Bookings

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It’s time for another Wedding Wednesday, and I’m very excited! We’ve done a lot this past week 🙂

What have we done?

Since the last update we’ve got a lot of the big stuff done, it’s starting to come together! We looked at a couple venues and booked one that we loved. We also booked our photographer, a wonderful friend from high school who went to school for photography and takes amazing photos. I’m super awkward at taking pictures, so it’s nice to know that they’ll at least be taken by someone that I’m comfortable with.

We asked our wedding party as well. We’re only having one attendant each (it’s going to be small, and we think it’s silly to have a majority of our friends who will be there standing up with us). I’m having my sister and The Banker is having his best friend.

We also have talked with a caterer, but haven’t officially booked them yet. We have some ideas for décor and have lists of what we’ll need to rent and take care of ourselves on the day.

 What have we spent?

We bought our invites (we’re going to DIY them – hopefully they work out). We got them so early because Michael’s had a 50% off coupon and we each bought one box, for just $31.06 each. I also spend $14.67 getting the rest of my sister/Maid of Honour’s gift (how I asked her). I’m so happy with how it turned out (look for the photo at the end of the post!).
This added to the $37.20 I had already spent gives a grand total of: $82.93

What are our next steps?

  1. Booking our caterer
  2. Blocking hotel rooms
  3. Say “Yes to the dress!”

Things are really starting to get real now. I’m very excited, but know that after these things are done, it’ll likely be quite slow for the next few months before we pick up planning again.

For anyone interested, here’s how I asked my sister to be my Maid of Honour

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