Friday, April 29, 2011

Projected Bi-Weekly Budget: Apr 28 - May 11

Some bad news ... I completely forgot that I don't get paid for stat holidays! Instead of getting paid for those days I get an extra 4% per paycheque. But it also means that for this last pay period I missed out being paid for 2 days! This equaled about $200!!!

Unfortunately, this is a month that I know is going to have "extra" spending in it - Mother's Day and fiance's 30th birthday. So, I am going to try and spend less than my allotted budget amounts (especially in the first pay period since fiance's bday is taking place in the 2nd pay period) but I've re-jigged the debt repayment and savings amounts so that I don't end up putting variable spending money on a credit card because I've left myself short in the spending dept. Of course, any extra money will go to debt repayment and I am hoping that this will be the case.

This is the projected bi-weekly budget for April 28 - May 12:

I know I keep saying that I have to spend less money eating out, but I swear the Universe is conspiring against me! My friend (whose birthday it is today) sent me a text this morning to see if I wanted to come out for dinner. And, I didn't bring my lunch today because I was late getting home from my course yesterday and I just didn't feel like lugging my lunch bag around with me today (yeah, I know, flimsy excuse!) So, this food category will probably get maxed out or over the top fairly quickly this month :( So, we'll see how well I do in cutting out snacks and other forms of money "suckage".

I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

TTFN, Morgaine

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bi-Weekly Budget Update: Apr 14-27

Here are my budget numbers for this pay period:

So, I did spend under my allotted bi-weekly budget by $88.42 BUT it still wasn't enough to make up for the overspending done in the first half of the month :( Right now I'm sitting at $41.76 over budget. Considering the whopping amounts I was over budget in the first 3 months of the year, this is not too bad. Again, I am extremely reassured that I will be able to stick to a $700/mth budget.

I am liking my class so far, and I am doing today what I hope to be doing for the rest of the course: bringing a large course or left over meal for lunch (because I have access to a microwave) and bringing a sandwich for dinner. Also bringing extra snacks from home. So, this should ease my spending on nights when I have a class. I got my Indigo gift card from CardSwap so I'm purchasing my Vapur bottle today and I can fill this up and take it with me too :)

I definitely want to keep the eating out/snacks budget low (except taking out my Mom for Mother's Day and the fiance for his birthday) since its gotten quite out of hand! I worked out some averages numbers that I will be posting soon. The food budget is scary! :(

Ok, off to Indigo!

TTFN, Morgaine

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Course starts tonight

My bookkeeping course starts tonight. I feel like I've been needing to learn something new for a while, when I'm not learning something new I get bored and spend money. So, I'm greatly looking forward to learning a new skill, particularly one that will help with my career.

The only downside is that its two nights a week. It means less time spent with the fiance and less time at home making dinner. The potential for eating out is high. Not even just dinner but snacks too as I tend to get a bit sleepy around that time if I don't have something to eat. So, this may become an issue with spending.

I'm hoping to keep this in check by: packing a big lunch that I can heat up at work and a sandwich that I can take and eat at my course (I have no idea if there is microwaves available on campus and if they are available in the evenings). I will also bring extra snack for the course break. I'm also planning on purchasing a Vapur bottle which is a reusable plastic water bottle (see image below) that would be a heck of a lot lighter than my current aluminum water bottle and is a lot more portable. The plan is to drink LOTS of water this summer and stay away from pop and iced coffee whenever possible. BTW, I'm waiting on my Indigo gift card from CardSwap before I make the purchase :D

So, that's my strategy, hopefully it will keep me from spending too much money on eating out while on this course. I will keep you guys updated here :)

Hope everyone has a nice day/evening!
TTFN, Morgaine

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekly Spending Report: Apr 18-24

18: No Spend!
19: No Spend!
20: $380.44 (credit - being repaid from Planned Spending - Bookkeeping Course) + $99.46 (credit - being repaid from Planned Spending - textbook) + $10.98 (debit - lunch) + $1 (cash - pop) + $38.53 (debit - Shoppers: $3.94 - mini eggs + $34.59 including $25 movie gift card, present for cousin) + +$30.00 (cheque - Card Swap) + $45 (credit - to be repaid out of my monthly budget: chapters/indigo gift card from Card Swap) = $544.41 -479.90 = $65.51 (taking Planned Spending purchases out of the equation)
21: No Spend! + (+$50) (cash - for doing family taxes) = +$50

22: $30 (cash - lunch for 2) + $6.49 (cash - snacks) = $36.49
23: $21.31 (debit - PC items)
24: No Spend!
Total: $123.31

Emotional Tracker: I wouldn't say any of my purchases were emotional. The purchases above were planned for.

Notes: I'm not counting the amounts spent that I am repaying out of my Planned Spending account as these are not coming out of my monthly budget numbers. However, I would feel that if I made these purchases on a day where I didn't spend any other money that it wouldn't count as a No Spend day. So, I'm trying to anticipate these days where I know I'm going to spend money anyways and put other purchases together with it :) Next week: dentist on Wednesday. Next month: Mother's Day and finance's birthday. It also helps me to anticipate how I have to "juggle" my budget allocations. Its a work in progress ...

So, I think I am going to fail on my Stick to the Budget Challenge this month. I now have left $4.18 and still have a week left in April. :( But, I did get quite a bit of "extra" money this month: GST $48.30, 2 online survey cheques $100, and $50 for doing family member's taxes. So, I didn't spend more money than I made this month but I didn't save extra or put more money on my debt which is where the extra money I get should go. The only good thing is that it definitely made me see that $700 a month is completely doable so I should be able to stay on budget for the rest of the year :)

Oh, and 4 No Spends are still pretty good :)

How did your week go? Did you have a nice Easter?

TTFN, Morgaine

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Card Swap!

I got a gift card for my birthday in November. It's now April and I still hadn't used it. I don't want to say what kind just in case someone reads this and gets offended. Anyways, it didn't seem likely that I was going to use it as it was for something I don't really buy.

So, I was on the internet and came across Card Swap. I was able to trade in my $40 gift card for $30! That's not too shabby, I was expecting $20-25! So I accepted the offer on April 8, mailed my card in on the 9th and received my refund cheque yesterday (20th)! That's pretty good :)

So, I would recommend it for selling unwanted gift cards. Buying, umm, it depends. It seems the more expensive the card the bigger the discount so it certainly could be worth looking into if you are expecting to purchase a large item for yourself or a gift card for someone else.

There are no fees for buying or selling gift cards, which I found out because I bought a $50 chapters/indigo gift card for $45. This should come in handy as there are quite a few books I've been wanting to read ... So basically I went from owning a $40 gift card that I wasn't likely to use to a $50 gift card that I definitely will use and I only spent $15.

Has anyone else used Card Swap?

TTFN and Happy Easter!

BTW, this was not a sponsored post, just thought I'd pass the info along :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Giving Myself Some Breathing Room

While I don't want to give up on my current monthly challenge to stay within my original $645/mth discretionary budget, I think this is still too tight for me. I know I lack self-discipline on the idea of staying within budget and impulse purchasing. However, when I look at Gail Vaz-Oxlade's Life Pie, at $645/mth that equals 23% of my budget where she allows for 25%. 25% for me would be $699.46 which I'm going to round to $700 just to make it easier for me ;P

This is going to start in May. I still have $127.49 left for spending until the end of the month in order to meet my challenge. I think I can do it. The only things planned are movies and dinner on Friday. Saturday will be a movie night at home with bff and Sunday is Easter dinner at Mom's. I may not make my 4 No Spends this week :( That means 5 No Spends next week. Let's see how that goes ...

Oh, and I ate out for lunch today at work. I think I will go crazy if I eat turkey sandwiches 5 days a week for the whole month! Variety is the spice of life, after all :) Today was going to be a spend day as I purchased a birthday gift for my cousin. I can't believe she's 15, I was 15 when she was born! Where did the time go??? :(

TTFN, Morgaine

What percentage of your income do you spend on Life?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Becoming a Part-Time Student

OK, so I had mentioned in last Friday's post that I was considering taking some courses next year. Well, I changed my mind (surprise, surprise) and I've decided to take the course I've been considering this year. It is a bookkeeping course being held by a local community college. Its 2 nights per week until June 30th. $380 plus textbook $101.39 (ouch). I haven't purchased the text book yet, I'm currently scouring the internet (and I'll hit the college announcement boards next week) for a used copy. I've found one but its 5th edition and the course wants me to buy the 6th edition. With financial services being the way that they are I'm weary of buying the wrong edition and getting wrong information. So, I'm still searching. The library also only has the 5th edition.

I've paid for the course using my planned spending account, basically wiping it out of everything except the $75 deposit I made last payday. But, its still better than what I used to do: put it on the credit card and then pay it off ... eventually ... actually I think at least some of my balance is from a previous course. So, I still haven't paid it off, sigh

Ok, so why did I decide to take the course this year as opposed to waiting until next year? First, and foremost, the job I am currently working is a maternity leave contract until the end of this year. There is absolutely no guarantee that I will have a job here on Jan 1st 2012. Second, the job I'm currently working is not in my field. In fact, I never even considered working in this field until the recruiter told me about it. I have no formal education or training so it would be hard for me to transition to another organization within the same industry. In fact, I applied for some last December and again in January and February (before I got my current role) and I didn't even receive a response. Granted I will have 1 year of experience in the field once I'm done this contract, but the roles that I applied for (and are most likely to be the roles required in the future) are not the roles that I am currently working. Third, my industry has been stagnated since 2009. Being in the financial industry has been extremely hard over the last few years and I've been finding it harder each time I look for a job to find a new one, even though I've obviously gained experience over the years.

So, I'm looking into bookkeeping and eventually accounting as my next career move. Every company needs someone to take care of their books and everyone needs to do taxes, so this a career that I see a good potential for, even in down economies. I'm hoping that once I'm done with this course (and a Quickbooks course) that I will be able to take on some part-time bookkeeping work and as well translate this into a full-time career come next year. When I was looking for a job before I got this one I saw tonnes of bookkeeping jobs (full-time and part-time) online, so I think this is viable.

This was not an easy decision and one that I've been considering for about 3 years now. With the concern of being unemployed again come January I've decided that now is a good time, even if it wasn't the best time financially. I'm looking forward to the next chapter ...

Oh, and I'm thinking about what to do for dinner for the 2 days I'm not at home, don't want to ruin my No Spend Days by eating out 2 nights a week. This is something I need to consider as well. I'll fill you guys in when I make my decision.

TTYL, Morgaine

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Spending Report: April 11 - 17

11: No Spend!
12: +$50 (Angus Reid) - $14.50 (debit - 2 movie tickets) - $13.98 (debit - snacks at movies) = +$21.52
13: No Spend!
14: +$50 (Global Test Market) + No Spend! = +$50.00
15: $15.00 (cash - dinner) = $15.00
16: $11.00 (cash - Tim Burton exhibit my portion from Groupon T bought) + $9.00 (cash - lunch) = $20
17: No Spend!
Total: +$36.52!!!

Emotional Tracker: Don't really have one for this week, I didn't spend much money :) It was hard not buying my breakfast on Friday but I pushed through.

I made my goal of 4 no spends this week (7 in total for April so far). If I want to make my goal of 15 No Spend Days for April I need to have 8 more in the next two weeks - so 4 more each week, which from looking at this week, I think its possible.

I got 2 survey cheques this week, why on the same week as a pay week??? Oh well. First positive week since I've started tracking my money so I had to underline and put in 3 exclamation marks, just for the fun of it :)

How was your week?

TTFN, Morgaine

Friday, April 15, 2011

Job Update

I don't really have too much to write about today so I thought I'd write a little update about my new job. I've had this job since Feb 28/11 and I have to say that it feels like a good fit for me. Its one where you are left to pretty much your own devices but are expected to work efficiently to get your work done on time for a monthly "cut-off". I don't want to get into too many details, but basically I make changes to people's accounts that would have an impact on money they receive on a monthly basis. So, if those changes aren't made on time then they may not get their payment that month.

Its also a job that has enough to do so that you don't feel bored but not so much to do that you feel constantly stressed either. The only possible issue that I foresee is that its not very challenging. I don't use a lot of my brain for most of the tasks assigned to me. However, this job is for a one year contract, I'm not here for the long haul - even if I was offered permanent, I think I could do this job for another year max before getting too bored. I would take another contract or permanent role, however, because the pay is really good and it would allow me to pay off all my debt and save for the wedding and other goals.

I like my co-workers, but we each do our own jobs and leave each other to their work. My boss has done a few check-ins with me to see how I'm doing, but I don't see her regularly.

So, all in all, a good job for me ... for now. I am thinking about taking some courses and making a career change, but that may have to wait for next year as I really am focusing on debt repayment for the time being. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Going to see the Tim Burton exhibit here in T.O.! :)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Projected Budget: Apr 14-27

Here's the Projected Budget for April 14-27:

As per my post yesterday, I only want to spend $192.32 out of the $322.50 I normally give myself in a bi-weekly period so that I don't go over my monthly budget of $645.00 If I am able to do this it will be the FIRST time since I've made a budget that I've actually STUCK to it! As silly as it sounds, I have never spent on budget or less. As I've discussed with "Makky's Mom" on a few of my comment boards from previous posts that it is certainly a lack of discipline and willpower on my part. While I've been very proud of myself for paying off a lot of debt the last 2 years and saving more than I HAVE EVER saved in my entire life, I still feel that I have A LOT more work to do to improve my finances. Especially since I NEVER want to go into consumer debt EVER AGAIN!!!

Keep your fingers crossed for me, please :)


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April bi-weekly update

Tomorrow is payday :) So, here's the numbers for April so far:

As you can see (click on pic to make it bigger and easier to read) I over spent my first bi-weekly budget by $130.18, I had some money come in this month ($48.30 GST and $50 Angus Reid survey cheque) so I went over my actual money by $31.88. This happened because I put the Blue Jays tickets on my credit card and didn't pay it back from my account and the cash that people gave me for said tickets (oops!)

So, my plan is really buckle down for the rest of the month as I would REALLY like to try and stay on this budget even to just to prove to myself that I can! So, the second chart shows the monthly numbers and how much is left $192.32 so even though I will have more money left over after my fixed expenses from my paycheque, this is the amount that I want to "give" myself to work with for the rest of the month.

I'm going to try and accomplish this by doing the following: No clothes, No PC items (except a haircut, but I'm going back to my cheap place, even though is farther away), No books/movies/magazines, No breakfasts/lunches/snacks out (during the week)! Considering how much I've spent so far this month, I can't see how I should come up with excuses to spend more than $192.32 but this is about challenging myself, and I've never been really good at following through :( I'm hoping that I've changed enough since becoming more conscious of my money that I will be able to accomplish this goal.

What will I do with the "extra" money? Basically since I will have $130.18 that would have went to my variable spending ($322.50 - $192.32) I want to make this a "snowflake" towards my debt. Which debt it will be going to is up in the air right now. I haven't actually gotten my credit card from Scotia (my Mom gave me the $3K but its on hold in my account) so my Citi loan is still sitting there, but once I do get the Visa I will need to start making payments on it, and of course, there is still the MasterCard looming over me. Probably the MasterCard will get the snowflake since it will have the highest interest rate once the Citi is paid off - at a whopping 11.4%! :)

OK, this post is now officially long enough ;) Tomorrow I will post what is happening with this next paycheque :)

TTFN, Morgaine

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly Spending Report: April 4 - 10

4: No Spend!
5: No Spend!
6: $10.61 (cash - dinner) + $33.85 (debit - $30.49 PC + $3.36 snack) = $44.46
7: $3.78 (cash - breakfast) + $4.98 (cash - snack before dentist) + $129.20 (credit, to be paid out of planned spending acct - dentist) + $9.03 (credit, paid back by account - ebook) = $146.99
8: $1.98 (cash - breakfast) + $7.76 (debit - $5.60 tea as a gift to a co-worker that's leaving + $2.16 for tea latte for myself) = $9.74
9: $30.00 (cash - dinner)
10: No Spend!
Total: $231.19 (without dentist: $101.99)

Emotional Tracker: 6 - I knew I was going out for dinner on Wednesday before my concert, I needed to kill some time and there was some PC items I needed to get. 7: so tired in the morning of the 7th, I had to get a coffee and I had no more milk for my cereal so I got a bagel too. Ugh, dentist! Put this on my credit card but the money is coming out of my Planned Spending acct. 8: met up with friends before we went to 2 separate shows. I went to see House of Pain! I'm showing my age a bit, but I grew up with "Jump Around" it was fun to see them live :)

Taking out the dentist appointment (which I did plan for and its coming out of my Planned Spending account, not my monthly budget) I spent $101.99 which isn't too bad but considering how much I spent last week, this was still more than I should have spent.

I also didn't meet my goal of 4 no spends this week, but 3 isn't bad, gotta make the 4 this week though!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Balance Transfer

So, its looking that the Citifinancial loan might actually disappear a lot faster than I had originally planned. I know that I really shouldn't be applying for more credit, but, I got a letter in the mail from Scotiabank telling me about 1.99% interest on their credit cards for 6 months for balance transfers. Well, 1.99% is a HECK of a lot less than 29.9% which I am currently paying on my Citi loan. Of course, I don't see how I can pay this off in 6 months even at 1.99% so I looked a bit more into this. They have a low rate option on their Value Visa of 11.99% for $29 annual fee. So, I applied. I was approved for $5000. But, my balance on the Citi loan is $8000. So, I spoke with my Mom (who by the way was very disappointed in me for taking out this loan in the first place, but knows that I am now working very hard to get rid of this mess I've created) and she is going to give me the rest of the money to pay off this loan. Now, the kicker is that I don't have to pay her back, HOWEVER, this was to be money for my wedding (she was paying for the open bar, since I didn't want to pay for one). So, I have to pay myself back more or less. Its a lot easier to pay yourself and receive interest than pay someone else and pay interest! So, this is the plan. By the end of April the Citi loan should be gone with Bank of Nova Scotia Visa and a "Pay Back the Wedding Fund" debts to replace it. But at least those debts are not at 29.9%!


So, what do you think? Did I make the right choice?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

No Spend Days

So I've been tracking my daily spending for 2 months now. In February I had 11 no spends and in March 12. Both months that averages out to 39% of days in the month or about 3 days per week. That sounds right to me. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I bring my lunch and snacks. Wednesdays I tend to eat out for lunch to break up the week. Friday I usually end up buying a snack and/or dinner out. Saturdays and Sundays I usually end up buying something or going out to a movie or to eat (or both). So, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays (or Wednesdays if I know I'll need to buy something on Thursday which is payday) are typically my No Spend days.

In April I want to do better. I want to have 50% or 15 days, preferably more. My ultimate goal is 4 days per week instead of 3. This week is looking good so far. Monday and Tuesday were No Spend Days, today I'm buying dinner out before going to a concert, Thursday no plans, Friday no plans (just gotta make sure I stay away from my "Its Friday, I made it through anther week" treat, see last week's spending report for more info), Saturday I will be eating out, Sunday no plans. So if I can avoid temptation for a treat on Friday that will be my 4 days. I'd like to make Sunday a no spend day too as last weekend I went a bit nuts, so we shall see.

I'm hoping that having an actual number of No Spend Days as a goal will help me spend less money on the whole and help me meet my budget numbers. Let's see if I make it :)


Do you have No Spend Day goals?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Making my budget work for me

For some reason I was thinking that my budget had to stay the same every month. I think this is why I've tried budgeting in the past and have failed. Every month is not the same, so why would my spending be the same?
I'm not going to be as concerned with the categories of spending as I will be my "bottom line". I shouldn't spend more than the $645/mth for variables I have set forth, in total. But I am going to try and look at my budget in a more flexible light. March was a food and gift heavy month. With birthdays and anniversary in this month. April seems to be more food and entertainment heavy. We have concert tickets already purchased and are planning on going out for dinner before the events. However, only 1 birthday in April that I should be able to spend maybe around $20 on and no dinner out. I typically have a fairly small amount budgeting in the "Everything Else" category, however, we have the last dentist appointment and another one on Thursday to pay for. So, I've re-jigged the budget based on what I think April will be like. I've also decided not to spend any more money on clothing for this month at all. So the money left in PC/Clothes/Household is for PC/H uses only.

So, this is the "re-jigged" April budget with the amounts of what I've already spent in April (yes, 2 weeks worth of spending in 1 weekend!). I'm going to try REALLY hard to keep to this budget for the rest of the month:

I will try the same exercise in May. It will be heavy in food, entertainment, and gifts as it will be T's birthday and Mother's Day is also in there. I think this is where budgeting becomes "fun" making it work within your lifestyle.

TTFN, Morgaine.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekly Spending Report: March 28 - April 3

28: No Spend!
29: $7.25 (debit - movie - yeah for cheap night!)
30: $1.21 (cash - Timmie's breakfast w/free coffee) + $8.53 (debit - lunch) + $15 (cash - dinner) = $24.74
31: $43.25 (credit, paid back - concert ticket)
1: $1.21 (cash - Timmie's breakfast w/free coffee) + $5.96 (cash - snack) + $44.06 (debit - CD and 2 movies) + $128 (credit - 4 tickets to Blue Jays game on Sunday, 3 people owe me money for this, so my cost is $32) + $16.77 (cash - 3 USED books, included one for my fiance as a surprise.) = $196.00 (ouch!)
2: $10.58 (debit - pet food) + $17.52 (cash - tea) + $69.27 (debit - clothes) + $10 (cash - arcade games) + $27.00 (cash - dinner) + (+ $32.00 cash - cousin paid me back for baseball ticket) = $102.37 (ouch!)
3: (+$32.00 - cash, reimbursement of baseball ticket) + $30 (cash - lunch and snacks at baseball game)
= -$2.00
Total: $371.61

I had an "epiphany" while reading Cassie's blog the other day:  Fritter Fritter. If you read my comment, her post made me think about why I've had lots of little spend days. I think it may be tied to my emotional state at the time. So, I'm going to indulge in an exercise for the sake of my own budget and sanity!

Emotional tracker:
30th - breakfast - free coffee so I bought a bagel too. I've decided to go back to buying my lunch once a week for sanity sake. Dinner, celebrating the fact that the fiance is now debt free! 1st: its Friday so I thought I'd treat myself to a coke and chocolate bar *I HAVE to STOP doing that, just because I "made" it through another week doesn't mean I deserve to eat junk. This is bad for my wallet and my waistline! Oh, there was also gum in this purchase - when did gum become so expensive??? I haven't bought any cd's, books, or movies in a long time (at least boxing day) so I was downtown and ... yeah, don't really need to explain this one!

2: I bought a Groupon for glow-in-the-dark mini-golf way back in January. Well, it expires on Apr 4th so we had to use it this weekend. That was a lot of fun for $20 for 4 people! I also spent another $10 on arcade games because my cousin loves them and she hardly ever gets to go to a place where she can play but we all had turns trying out different games. We also ended up getting 165 tickets so my cousin was able to get some fun stuff too. Then we ended up at a mall (dun dun dun!) the only purchase I actually regret was the tea. I didn't realize that you had to pay for the tin too! At the very least I should have gotten a smaller quantity (or none at all!) but once she told me the price I didn't say "umm, can I get less, actually" I need to get better at stuff like that! The clothes were 2 cardigans and 2 t-shirts which are staples of my wardrobe, were nice spring colours and they were on sale. I know I'm justifying my purchase, but as long as I don't spend any more money on clothes this month, I should be ok. Dinner was at a Chili's, there is only the 1 in Ontario and none of us had ever been, so of course we had to try a drink, and apps, and desert! So, a very spendy day but very fun. I almost felt like I was on vacation for a day, now back to reality :(

3rd: at the baseball game. I should have ate before we went, its way too expensive to eat there. Lesson learned.

So, I basically spent my 2 weeks budget in one week. Obviously I still have a long way to go in the self-discipline department when it comes to money. The next two weeks will be a spending lock-down. The only costs I am anticipating: 4-10: dinner out on Wednesday (going to a concert), dinner out on Saturday (going to a concert), 11-17: nothing so far.

Thanks to Makky's Mom for giving me a kick in the butt! If Gail is not around to do it, I'm glad someone is :) I will try to do better. Thank you for your support.

TTFN, Morgaine.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Quarterly Goals Review - Q1 2011

On Jan 1, 2011 I posted these goals:

1) Have at least $2000 in my Emergency Fund

2) Have at least $5000 in the Wedding Fund *joint savings with fiancee

3) Have at least $7000 in RRSPs

4) Pay off Visa (for good, dammit!)

5) Have MasterCard down to at least $8000

6) Pay down Citi (no goal, because the interest is so high, but make regular monthly payments)

7) Not go over my budget more than $100 in any month

1) Right now its a FAIL. If I was 25% done towards this goal my EF would be sitting at $500, its currently sitting at $411.52 (I had to take some money out to cover my glasses). However, I have increased my contribution to $200/mth. 9 months X $200/mth = $1800 plus $411.52 = $2211.52 So, barring any major emergencies coming up between now and end of the year, I will still achieve this goal :)

2) ON TRACK. Actually, we will probably be closer to $6000. Right now this account is sitting at $1980 with me contributing $150/mth and fiance will start contributing $300/mth starting in April (was contribution $100/mth but now that he's debt free! he is upping his contributions). So, $150 X 9 =$1350 plus $300 X 9 = $2700 = $6030 plus interest :)

3) ON TRACK. Currently sitting at $5470.66 I am making $250/mth contributions X 9 = $2250 = $7720.66 I'm leaving the goal at $7000 because of market fluctuations. My RSPs are invested in mutual funds.

4) DONE!!! Paid off Visa on March 17th and CLOSED IT on March 18th :)

5) EXCEEDING When I wrote my goals I didn't know I was going to have this new job with the significant pay increase so I didn't know if I would be able to put big chunks on my debt. Well, my MasterCard is currently sitting at $8500 and I'm making $500/mth payments. $500 X 9 = $4500 = $4000 So I am now making this goal $5000 to account for interest and maybe a month where I can't make the extra payment. Of course, I will still try my hardest to exceed this goal :)

6) ON TRACK Well, since there was no goal per se on this one, I'm going to say I'm on track. Also, I made a $1098 extra payment in March and I am planning on throwing any extra money I make this year on this sucker (overtime, GST, surveys). I think I will now make the goal for this loan to be $5000 too.

7) COMPLETE and UDDER FAIL!!! I don't know why I put that as a goal, I should've known that there would be no way I could keep that. January I was over by $546.89, February $256.59; March $339.24!!! So, I don't know what I should do as a replacement goal. Or maybe I should just try harder? Now that I'm making more money and I've given myself more room for variable spending, maybe this is a possibility? Let's see at mid-year review :(

So, not too bad, 2 fails out of 7 but the first should actually not be a fail by the end of the year. I'm fairly content with this. I'm thinking next year I should add in no spend day goals and personal goals too. I may add them in starting mid-year. We'll see.

TTFN, Morgaine.

BTW, how are your yearly goals going so far? Are you on track?