Update: February 2013 Budget & Goals

February 28, 2013

February 2013 Actual

Well, let’s get this one over with…

I knew pretty early on in the month that my budget was going to be way, way over this month. After a mini incident at home, I had to find a dentist who could make me a new retainer ASAP. I’m still happy to say I saved what I wanted to save, and paid off the amount of debt I wanted to (plus an extra $25, woo woo!), but pulling from my savings for the new retainer wasn’t fun. Ahh well, guess that’s what it’s there for.

Aside from that, I guess I only went over budget by $172.10 – and almost $50 of that was for an unexpected prescription – so maybe it wasn’t a bad month, after all. I put 23% of my spending towards debt, 23% into savings, and the leftover 54% went towards my daily living expenses. Considering I started 2013 with $6,500 of debt and I’m now sitting at $4,800, I’d say the year is off to a good start!

As for my goals, I passed a couple, failed a couple, and didn’t really pay attention to another. But, you know what? I think I had a pretty good month, overall. So… let’s ignore the fails.

Goals for this month:

  • Attempt a No Spend February (Essentials only!) – PASS!? I think a new retainer and a prescription are essentials… right? Hmm.
  • Explore Toronto (Walk around, eat a couple meals out, finally go to ROM, etc.) – FAIL! I was scared to spend money this month. And it was really freaking cold in Toronto, this month!
  • Track my weekly spending – PASS! I may not have posted them all here but I still tracked my spending.
  • Workout at home 3x per week (Because this is a priority for me, this month!) – HA!
  • Read 3 books – PASS! This month, I read Blog Inc., Money Rules and Quitter.

How did your month finish up?

  • Rob February 28, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Cait, I would agree and say that you got through the past month just fine. Your unexpected health issues don’t count as a concern that needs any fixing. That’s what emergency savings are for, right? And as for a goal to explore and walk around Toronto, well for March, if you want to have that same goal but are worried about our current crappy snowy cold weather, then might I suggest that you explore the Toronto underground. It goes for miles and a Toronto Star reporter did an article on it just recently. So much to see and it’s all nice and warm and all inside.

    As for me, I managed to get through the past month – financially ok and health-wise from surgery ok as well. It gets a tad tricky though trying to shovel all this recent heavy Toronto snow, part of that big storm that the U.S. and eastern Canada have recently been experiencing. But no biggie – one day at a time.

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      I’ll have to look for the post re: Toronto underground! Although the main reason I want to explore is so I can take some cool pics of the city.

      Happy to hear you had an ok month!

  • Amanda L Grossman February 28, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Great job on debt repayment so far in 2013! You are definitely headed in the right direction.

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Thanks, Amanda!

  • Michelle February 28, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I think you did good. When you forget about the one expense, you weren’t over your budget by too much. Good job!

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Thanks, Michelle!

  • Morgaine February 28, 2013 at 10:24 am

    The ROM is free on Friday evenings (and open later). The AGO is free (and open later) on Wednesdays. It is possible to do Toronto on the cheap :)

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Free!? I’ve heard it’s cheap. Will look into that, for sure!

  • Judith Cane February 28, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Hey Cait,
    I think you did a great job this month. Not just because you did or didn’t follow your budget, but because you thought about it. It was top of mind. You did the right thing by using your emergency fund for just that….an emergency (although check your insurance policy because depending on what happened to it, it may be covered. Or check the CRA rulings you may be able to use it as a medical expense on your tax return)
    As well, you went back to your goals and checked to see how you did, rather than just looking at whether you kept to your budget or not.
    I liken the work you’re doing to getting physically healthy. Check your measurements, not your weight. That’s the important change.
    Keep up the good work, I like your style :)

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      I’m happy my savings was there but now I need to replenish it… and it’ll take me a couple months to do that. :(

  • Canadianbudgetbinder February 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Sometimes emergencies pop up and it is what it is. I think you did well this month an although you were scared to spend some money you likely knew why you were scared. It’s better to be mindful to not think about it at all. I have to read the Money Rules book still, it’s the only one of her books I haven’t read. Cheers!

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      You should definitely give it a read!

  • A February 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    It’s definitely great that you’re able to cash flow the retainer and don’t have to worry about putting it on a credit card! We went over our budget this month, too, but overspent on entertainment. We had two out of town visitors this month and that always gets spendy. So it’s our own darn fault. We still managed to save ALL of our tax return and put away 88% of J’s paycheck. Didn’t quite hit our goal of 100% of J’s paycheck though.

    We bumped our e-fund up to $5k and are starting to save for our NYC trip. When we return from the trip in May/June, we’ll finish our e-fund before we start saving for a house.

    March is going to be an expensive month, unfortunately. We have maintenance due on the car at the tune of $700. I’m so thankful we can easily cash flow that out of our budget. Just means $700 less in the NYC fund this month. We are also going to try to curb our personal spending/entertainment this month. I just wish we could figure out how to cut down on groceries. They are such a budget killer! Probably because J still eats like a teenage boy.

    Hope March goes better for you! xoxo

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      You’ve already filed your taxes and gotten your return!? That’s awesome! Good work, A + J.

      I’m happy I had savings to help me out, but now I need to replenish that… unfortunately, it’ll take me a couple months to save $600. :(

  • Marty February 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Hi! I just found your blog through your post on Learnvest and it is exciting and inspiring to read about your debt repayment journey! First of all, awesome job on ALLLL that you have done! I’ve been on the same journey; for me, it’s been since June 2012 starting with about $17K. I’m excited that I will be done in Aug/Sep 2013!! I definitely identify with many of the same thoughts/feelings that I have read from your blog posts so far. I appreciate that you had the courage to ‘put it out there’. Also, I wanted to comment that I am reading Quitter too; good stuff so far! Best of luck in everything!

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Nice work, Marty! Sounds like 2013 will be a good year for you. Thanks for your comments. :)

  • Do or Debt February 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    You did a great job, considering! Things happen and it’s nice to have savings that can help out and not go into further debt for it. It sucks, yes but if you came out without anymore debt you did good! On to another month! Congrats on accomplishing your goals.

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks, lady!

  • Stephanie February 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Hey! I just came across your blog from your Learn Vest article. I think your blog is great and it’s awesome that you keep yourself accountable with your spending!

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks, Stephanie!

  • Tina March 1, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Just finished reading your blog via your LearnVest article. Will forward the article and your blog to a young family member – she’s in the midst of paying down her debt and trying to become financially independent. We’re all rooting for you!

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks, Tina! Appreciate you sharing my post :)