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January 2013

Update: January 2013 Budget & Goals

January 31, 2013

January 2013 Actual Budget

Can you believe we’re already at the end of the very first month of the new year? Guess that means it’s time to see how my first budget and set of monthly goals went. As always, let’s talk money first!

I started 2013 with $6,500 of debt. This month, I paid off $850 and am now in the $5,000’s! As for my budget, I put 27% of my spending towards debt, 33% into savings, and the leftover 40% went towards my daily living expenses. I went over in some areas but, all in all, I’m pretty happy with how January’s final budget looks.

As for my goals, even though I feel good about it all, I want to take some time this weekend to make sure I’m on track with my annual goals. I dreamt up some pretty big dreams for this year, and I know I’m actively working towards making a few of them happen, but I want to keep the others in the back of my mind too.

Goals for this month:

  • Attempt a No Spend January (Essentials only!) – Hmm… PASS/FAIL!? I did pretty good, minus buying myself one book and two gifts for other people.
  • Track my weekly spending – PASS! No problems here.
  • Workout 2x per week – FAIL! This is just not a priority for me, right now. I knew it, even before I made this goal…
  • Start a new freelance project – PASS! I started freelancing for LearnVest this month. My first post gave me an opportunity to interview a few other personal finance bloggers and I got to send out an invoice for it. How fun is that?
  • Read 2 books – PASS! This month, I read 3 books: Blogging to Drive Business, She Takes on the World, and Bossypants. I also started reading Blog Inc. and Drinking: A Love Story.

How did your month finish up?

Weekly Spending: January 21-27, 2013

January 27, 2013
Money Jars

The beginning of this week shows, once again, how easy it is to spend too much by simply not meal planning. But I’m removing any chance of that happening again this week. So far this weekend, I’ve made a dozen muffins, a quiche and a crockpot full of vegetarian chili. The apartment smells amazing and I have enough food to last me at least four days!

Aside from the food, I spent a little money on something that was not budgeted for this month: gifts. There are a couple birthdays, etc. that I forgot I had to send things back home for, by early to mid-February. Everything should be in the mail tomorrow morning and now I think I’m safe in the gift department until Wedding #1 in April!

That was my week! How was yours?

Monday
No spend day!

Tuesday
-$15.49 groceries

Wednesday
-$4.95 Sobeys
-$20 gift

Thursday
-$16.25 groceries
-$8.67 Kobo bookstore

Friday
-$26.50 TTC tokens
-$8.97 Starbucks
-$5.90 Sobeys

Saturday
-$80.60 gift

Sunday
-$32.07 groceries
-$13.48 toiletries
-$7.98 cards

Total Out: -$240.86

TGIF: Thoughts for the Weekend

January 25, 2013

Guess what I did last weekend / all this week? Got some sleep! (Hooray!) I have still had a few restless nights of tossing and turning but, for the most part, I’m back to getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night and waking up feeling more like a human than a zombie. It’s incredible what a little extra shut-eye can do for a person; I’m smiling more, eating better, and overall just feeling good.

Unfortunately, what still hasn’t changed is how much is on my mind. The one downside of no longer writing this blog anonymously is the fact that I don’t feel like I can share anything and everything that is happening in my life. I’m dreaming up big dreams, having second thoughts, and doing things I would love to share… but I can’t. At least not yet. Hopefully that will change soon.

So, why am I telling you all this? Because I feel like I have been seriously neglecting this blog. I know I’m still writing once/week, tracking my spending, etc. but I hate that I can’t share all of the big ideas that are rolling around in my brain. Or the reasons I can’t sleep. And it’s all stopping me from being able to write the posts I normally do. Heck, I can barely finish a draft about how my Kobo is saving my budget…

Anyway, this week’s been busy but good: I was interviewed by Bryan Borzykowski for a story he’s writing for the Toronto Star, I had a follow-up chat about an interview I did for the Star back in the fall, and I spent a couple hours with two lovely ladies from The Globe and Mail, shooting a video about my blog and some of the ways I save money. And then they followed me as I grocery shopped! Fun stuff.

And now… well, I actually don’t have any plans this weekend, other than to get a ton of writing done. I’ve promised a few posts to someone that I would like to deliver by the end of this month, and I’d love to get past this case of writer’s block I’m dealing with.

Other goals for this weekend:

  • Finish reading Bossypants
  • Finish the second season of Sons of Anarchy
  • Meal plan / grocery shop for next week

What do you have planned for this weekend?