Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Budget Review and March Goals

So, I thought I did well in February. I didn't spend on my credit cards, I paid off my student loan, I only spent half of my clothing budget (which for me, is HUGE). But now looking at the numbers, I didn't do as well as I thought.

Here's the breakdown:
Budgeted Actual Difference
Food $100.00 $140.96 $(40.96)
PC&Home $100.00 $97.25 $2.75
Clothes $100.00 $52.18 $47.82
Gifts $50.00 $83.31 $(33.31)
Entert. $200.00 $228.71 $(28.71)
Other $165.00 $183.49 $(18.49)
Total $715.00 $785.90 $(70.90)

So, for March I have upped the food budget to $150 which I may not hit. The week that we went to North Bay (VD weekend) we didn't go grocery shopping so I ate out quite a bit that week. And last week after getting over the flu couldn't stomach the turkey sandwiches for the week. So, with eating out at an absolute minimum, it should be less than that, but I rejigged the budget just in case and will re-evaluate it at the end of the month.

I overspent on gifts because I had 3 birthdays that I had to buy for and now I have two of them covered (with card, wrap, etc) and one done (i.e. given). Another wasn't until April but I found the perfect gift in a place we don't go often at all - its so far! that it just made sense to get it now. Entertainment - I spent money on jewelry supplies and some meals out. For "Other", I didn't propery calculate my medical costs (BC pill) so that should be ok this month.

All in all, not good, but much better than of recent times (last year was horrible for overspending). I gotta do better in March!

March Goals:
-No money spent on clothes
-No money spent on jewelry supplies
-No money spent on credit!!! BIG ONE
-Stay on budget in every category

I think I will be looking every week this month to see how I'm doing (something I didn't do in February) to make sure I keep on track.

And, hopefully pay off the Visa!!! Wish me luck!

TTFN, Morgaine.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finished Filing Taxes

I got my second T4 today so I had everything I needed to file my taxes today - and since I knew I was getting a refund (small, but nonetheless) I decided I might as well do it now and not procrastinate to the last minute like I usually do. Besides, I need the money! So I'm getting back $317.77 not too shabby (see Feb 18th post). Once I had put in my actual income from my 2nd job, the refund had dipped lower than I had anticipated, but then as I was filling out the questionnaire in the tax software I remembered that I made a charitable donation (breast cancer) and I took a course that was eligible for tuition credit. So, with those deductions I'm getting back $317.77 plus the GST that I missed because I forgot to change my banking information = $374.05

So, of course, this is going to debt repayment. The Visa, in fact.


March: $1000(balance)-100(regular payment)-250(bonus)-100(student loan snowball)-374.05(tax refund)=$175.95

April: $175.95+interest=PAID OFF and I'll be able to snowball some money into the consolidation loan in April instead of waiting until May! Awesome!!!

I will post again to update the monthly budget and bars.

TTFN, Morgaine.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No Spending Days

For March, instead of having x many days without spending as a goal, I think I'm going to keep track of how many days I do spend and what day of the week it is and approx what time. Maybe even how I felt when I spent. And then make goals accordingly. To me, it doesn't really make sense to make goals until I reasonably know what I do in a normal month - ok, I will still try to limit my spending. I have made a conscious effort to watch my spending so far this year.

I was going to say that I didn't spend money today - but that would be a lie. Its surprising some times how you can forget that you spent money if you didn't actually give someone physical money. I spent $26.75 USD on etsy buying a "gift pack" of handmade soap, body scrub, and lip balm. Things I don't really need, so I may give it away as a present. I do have 3 birthdays that I was going to buy presents for anyways. Hopefully, it will get here before the 12th so I can give it to one of them. Luckily, though I had some $ sitting in my paypal acct so $16.53 CDN is what will be coming out of my account, not horrible, I think.

But, it is purchases like this that I DEFINITELY need to stop myself from. When am I going to learn?

TTFN, Morgaine.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So, today the student loan is paid off. This is the first loan that I paid off 100% on my own without any help and it took me 6 years to do it. But, its gone and still about 3 years prior to when they thought I would have it paid off. I feel pretty good about it and I think this is the motivation I require to get everything paid off. To know that it is possible to pay off debt is a great feeling and I got to keep going.

However, I broke the no clothing in February goal again. Partly because I had a $50 Reitmans gift card from Christmas, partly because I need more heavy (ie winter) work pants, and partly because I felt I deserved it for paying off my student loan. The third part I'm not proud of but its done. At least the no spending on credit goal is still intact. I'm not sure about having $50 left over from my paycheque. After the regular "bills" and student loan was paid, it left me with $247 (not including the $27 spent on clothes and $30 spent on "household" needs and the $20 I took out of the ATM) so, it will still be a tight two weeks. But, if I can go 3 days without spending a cent, I'm going to try for 4 days next week. I usually buy my lunch once a week, so I think 4 days for 2 weeks is a good goal for now.

Also, I got one of my T4s (I worked at two different places of employment in 2009) so I imputed the info I had (and estimated the current jobs info) and it looks like I will get about $300 refund. Its about what I got last year. Actually, I'm quite happy about it because (a) I was worried I would have to pay this year; and (b) it means that I didn't loan the government any more of my money than necessary. What does (b) mean, you ask? Well, an income tax refund is basically getting back from the government your own money that you paid in taxes over the year. To be receiving a large refund means that you overpaid the government taxes and they are paying you back YOUR OWN MONEY!!! WITHOUT INTEREST!!! So, I'm happy with this. Also, the credit I got for getting monthly transit passes quite surprised me. I spent $100/mth on passes = $1200 per year, I get 15% back of this = $180! Money back for something I had to get anyway - gotta love it :)

I will post again at the end of the month to update the goals.

TTFN, Morgaine.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


$12.89 is my current bank balance. I way overspent this weekend! I get paid on Thursday so I have only 2 more days to make it with this little bit of money. But I think I can do it since I didn't spend any money today and the bf got groceries today so I will be bringing my breakfast and lunch for the rest of the week. I had entertained the thought of transferring $20 from my emergency fund to my regular account, but I won't get the money until Thursday anyway (different bank), I already owe the bf $50 so I don't want to borrow any more.

I still can't wait until payday - I can't wait until the student loan is gone! Its gonna be so sweet. :)

Goals: I spent $11 plus tax on clothes - I forgot to pack pajama pants! We were staying at a friend's house so I couldn't walk around with no pants on if I had to go to the bathroom or something. I haven't spent money on my credit card, could have something to do with the fact that they are both pretty well maxed out anyway. We'll see how well I do on this goal in future months after I pay off the student loan and start paying down the Visa.

I will post again on Thursday - let's see if I make it on $12.89! Student Loan GONE!!!

TTFN, Morgaine

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Student Loan - Gone?

I'm looking at the possibility of my student loan being paid off - this month! It's currently sitting at $546.44 then I paid $150 from my first paycheque. I will put the full amount of my bonus cheque plus approx another $150 and it will be gone!!!

Now, I know all about paying off your higher interest debts first, BUT with this loan so close to the finish line, how can I not just reach out and pay it off? It will also free up the $100 I was paying to it every month. Which I'm thinking to add to my Visa payment once the student loan is gone.

This is how I see it:
March $943.29 - 100 - 250 - 100 = 493.29
April $493.29 - 100 -250 - 100 = 43.29 *I'd probably just pay it off here

So starting in May I can add the $100 Visa payment + $100 student loan payment + $250 bonus + $250 regular payment = $700 a month to the consolidation loan! That should help get it gone a lot faster!!!

I think this is my best plan of action for this year. I also have to make sure I'm not adding to my credit cards - I HAVE to leave them alone!!!

Let's see how I do! TTFN, Morgaine.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January 2010: How I did . . .

So, we're now into February.

I've assessed how I did in January.

I was over budget by $366
$93 cell phone bill (bought a new blackberry)
$98 household - I think I'm going to rejig this budget amount
$225 I owed to BF (now paid off!)
So, technically $141 over the actual budgeted amounts *minus the money owed BF

I stayed within the $100 budget for clothes, which for me is pretty impressive. I didn't spend any money on jewelry supplies, also surprising. However, I did put items on my credit cards and had to go into overdraft twice.

February Goals:
NO money on clothes $0 zip zilch nothing nadda
NO money on credit cards - no excuses!!!
Have at least $50 left in the bank account at the end of the month - no more paycheque to paycheque and overdraft!

Ok, that's a lot, but there's not a lot going on this month. Valentine's day: the BF and I decided not to buy each other gifts. I think Valentine's day should be about spending time together, not spending money. We are going up to North Bay (where the BF is from) so we had to rent a hotel room anyways and we're going to have a nice dinner. Since this is more his trip than mine (only his family/friends) I'm putting in $100 for this trip. That's it. No other planned spending this month. I will post again and update the bars on payday.

Wish me luck! TTFN Morgaine.