Monthly Archives

November 2011

Update: November 2011 Budget & Goals

November 30, 2011

November 2011 Actual Budget

Well, I did it. Kinda. Sorta. I wrote a budget and kept track of all my spending. But I didn’t always stay within it.

Where did I go over?
I saved more for Christmas, with the intention that I would finish my shopping this month. (Almost, but not quite.) My cell phone had some long distance to the US for a call I forgot about. And my girlfriend’s man was visiting from New Zealand, so I joined them for two nights of dancing!

Where did I spend less?
I spent way less on gas than I thought… but I also didn’t go out for any long drives or mini road trips. And I put less than I planned on my credit card debt. I don’t really have an answer as to why except that it may have gone towards one of my nights out instead. Hmm.

What surprised me?
See Misc./Cash? $63.07 of that is from Starbucks/Tim Horton’s. That might sound like a lot but I was seriously expecting that to be at least $100.

Now, let’s see how I did on this month’s goals.

November 2011 Goals:

  • Call and request a lower interest rate on my credit cardFAIL! I decided I didn’t want to try this until I had less than -$4,000 on my credit card. Why? I guess to prove that I’m really paying it off? I dunno.
  • Find a way to lower my cell phone billDONE! It wasn’t by much but I’ll be saving about $10/month.
  • Hit my “I’ve paid off $10,000 of debt!” mark (-$18,115)FAIL! I am close though. Next pay day, I’ll be able to scream this from the rooftops!
  • Lower credit card debt to -$4,000FAIL! It’s at about -$4,200.
  • Make an appt. to increase RRSP contributions from monthly to bi-weeklyDONE! My appointment is on December 9th.
  • Finish reading Debt-Free Forever by Gail Vaz-OxladeDONE!
  • Read Never Too Late by Gail Vaz-OxladeSTARTED!
  • Start looking for a new apartment (to move in January 1, 2012)DONE! I haven’t found a place to call home yet but I have an appointment to see a condo on Friday.
  • Get a haircut (I haven’t had one since February!)DONE! By 8pm tonight, my hair will finally be cut.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this month turned out. And I’m actually looking forward to creating my December budget… weird!? :)

What did you accomplish this month?

Weekly Spending Report

November 27, 2011

This week included my final “big” payment on my credit card debt. *Tear* I don’t want to save up for my first month of rent next month! :P Oh well, I knew life would have to go back to “normal” sometime.

My grocery bill was a bit higher this weekend too, because I bought my parents a small cake for their 17th wedding anniversary… which is today!

Monday
No spend day!

Tuesday
No spend day!

Wednesday
-$87.89 car insurance

Thursday
-$2.50 bus
-$18 Canoe Brewpub
-$10 Clubhouse
-$8 cab

Friday
+$1,362.22
-$650 credit card
-$149 Car Loan
-$100 in savings for Christmas
-$2.50 bus
-$3.79 Tim Horton’s
-$12 Noodle Box

Saturday
-$14.95 groceries

Sunday
-$38.14 groceries
-$23.19 gas

Total In: +$1,362.22
Total Out: -$1,119.96 (59% on debt, 7% in savings)

Simple Indulgences: Hurting My Budget and My Butt

November 22, 2011

Yesterday, I decided I needed a week of no Starbucks and no chocolate. Reduced fat chai egg nog lattes have become my necessary evil, and an afternoon pick-me-up is fairly common for anyone who sits at a desk all day, but both of these things are killing my budget and my butt!

Over the summer, I knocked off -14 lbs. Unfortunately, I have since gained +5 back. I’m not mad or sad about it, because I haven’t been working at keeping it off (or losing more), but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to change what is causing this new gain. Fortunately, the culprit is easy to locate. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to squash.

The same way I forced myself to acknowledge my emotional spending, it’s time for me to be honest and say that I am also an emotional eater. You all know how stressed I’ve been the last few weeks and you may also know that I spent most of last weekend eating take-out. See how the two go hand-in-hand!?

I’m sad – I want chocolate. I’m happy – I want Starbucks. I’m stressed – I want pizza. I’m angry – I want wine. And don’t even talk to me when I’m PMS’ing because apparently that’s when I am capable of eating enough food for 3 people.

It doesn’t surprise me that so many personal finance bloggers also discuss their weight loss goals and workout schedules! Many of us are in debt because of splurges on indulgences that we probably could have done without; that includes all take-out coffees and meals. And if you’re like me, you sit around and enjoy it rather than work it off, and you’re left with a few extra debt repayments to make as well as 500 more sit-ups to do.

Well, I can’t afford anymore debt repayments. My money is working hard enough, these days! So, what then? I’ve never been one for dieting nor do I think it’s possible to kiss Starbucks goodbye forever… but despite my busy schedule, I can make time to workout. No, not “I can.” I have to. Even if it’s just twice/week, that’ll be better than going on a single run every few weeks. And I need to get back into meal planning. This used to be easy for me but has become a chore since my schedule got so crazy…

Sorry, Starbucks. You are cut for a week. Chocolate, we’re breaking up too. I know we’re going to see a lot of each other in December, but I need to break our ties until then…

What’s one small indulgence you could do without for a while?