March 2013 Budget & Goals

March 1, 2013

March 2013 Budget

Ahhh… a new month, a new budget and some very new numbers!

On the debt repayment side of things, I’m going to toss $800 at it, to bring it down to an even $4,000. But I’m also expecting my tax return to come in this month, which means the grand total should go all the way down to $2,350 before the month is up. (Yes, I’m ready to cry at the thought of that.)

As for my savings goals, since I’m not paying Roomie rent in April, I get to put that money into my Future Apartment account! My goal is to top that up to $3,500. Why so much? you might be wondering. Well, I’ll need to pay first month’s rent + a security deposit, whenever I find a place in Van. I will also need to move all of my things over, which will probably take two trips on the ferry. I also need some furniture, since I sold so much when I moved out here. Finally, I’d like to pay for an entire year’s worth of car insurance, so that I don’t need to worry about making monthly payments.

As far as expenses go, I decided to be realistic by increasing both my Restaurant and Entertainment budgets. I only have 25-and-a-half days left in Toronto, people – it’s time to have a little fun! I already have a brunch scheduled every weekend and, if the cold weather could go away for even a day, I’d like to explore and take some pics of the city. Once I get back to BC, I’ll be heading over to Vancouver right away to start looking for an apartment, etc., so I budgeted in a trip for Easter weekend. Yay!

Goals for this month:

  • Explore Toronto
  • Read 3 books
  • Track my weekly spending
  • Change my phone # (eek!)
  • Trust that everything will come together

What do you have planned for this month?

  • Elizabeth March 1, 2013 at 7:16 am

    My plan for the month:
    1. Get my tax return together (oh joy)
    2. Get my pension transferred from my old employer (shoot me now)
    3. Get some sewing done on my brother’s wedding gift (I don’t suppose they’ll move back the date for me)
    4. Get my foster parent application submitted

    It’s going to be a great month!

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Wow! Sounds busy but awesome :)

  • Michelle March 1, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I hope March is great for you! We have so many goals for the next couple of months, and a lot of them relate to our house.

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Nice! What’s your #1 goal?

  • A March 1, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Looks good! I feel really dumb though. You said you aren’t being charged rent in April – but this is March and you didn’t list rent. Did you mean you aren’t being charged rent in March?

    Also, what category is your cell phone bill in? I guess I’ve never really LOOKED at your budget. Haha. Just skimmed it. But now I’m all thrown off by the rent!

    In any case, your March budget looks way better than ours. Heavy expenses and lower savings on our end. Booooooooo.


    • Sara March 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      I can’t speak for her, but I have to pay rent on the 1st of the month, so I include saving for it in the previous month’s budget.

      • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm

        YES! I was giving Roomie rent on the last day of the month, so my last payment was February 28th and now I don’t need to save for it again.

  • Sara March 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Don’t tease me with your brunch plans. That’s one thing I miss about living in a bigger city- brunch just isn’t a “thing” here.

    Spring break is this month, and it will be the first one (that I’ve been a student for) that I won’t be traveling anywhere since…high school? I want to get some cooking and reading done instead! What’s on your list?

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      Oh no! I’ll never speak of brunch again. (No wait, I can’t promise that.)

      This month, I’m reading How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, and I want to reread Blog Inc. What are you reading?

  • Elese March 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    My goal is to read your blog more regularly – and whenever I think about shopping, to do something else. And put that money towards my student loan. :)

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      Great goals! :D

  • Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle March 3, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Being so close to the end of your debt must feel wonderful. I am expecting a tax return as well but I have to spend a lot of it on an urgent home repair. I could put the rest on my debt ($19,200) but it won’t make much of a difference so I will put it in my RRSP to ensure that I get a tax return next year too.

    My goal for March is to get my debt under $18,000 but that will require an extreme month of restrictions because coming up with $1,200 will take almost half of my March income.

    I have $65.00 in Shopper’s Optimum points so I am going to load up on their food.

    I want to lose ten pounds in March too and their is no money in the budget for junk food and take out so that should help make the weight loss easier.

    • Cait March 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      Sounds like you have some big goals, Jane! Good luck with them all :)

  • Carrie Smith March 4, 2013 at 7:43 am

    When I first saw the “Weddings” category I started to freak out and thought “Cait’s getting married?!” but then I realized it’s for all the weddings you’re going to this year. Lol…don’t scare me like that! :)

    Also, I can’t wait till your back in Van and can talk about and post pics of your new place!

    • Cait March 4, 2013 at 9:08 am

      Bahaha… don’t you worry, friend. I won’t be planning a wedding anytime soon! And yes, I can’t wait for that too! And then for you to come visit :)

  • snarkfinance March 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    My goals:

    1) Bring certain household expenses in under my business… pre-tax dollars will not pay for them (about a 30% discount on everything)
    2) Gain a competent CPA for use in my business, file taxes with him
    3) Kick off the search for the next apartment building to buy
    4) Determine the “side gig” I will have for the warmer season
    5) Send out “Save the Date” wedding invites… begin pushing this with lazy fiance

    Busy, busy, busy!

    • Cait March 10, 2013 at 8:51 am

      Very busy!

  • Sharon J. Gilman March 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    So I recently found your blog via LearnVest, and I’m loving it! Budgeting has always been so elusive to me, but it’s always because I’ve had expenses outweighing my income! Hopefully I can learn a few things from you here. I’ve had two jobs over the last several years that were commission based, which was tough, but when the economy took a nose dive, I was basically out of work. I’m hoping that going back to school for a couple years will create a different outcome!

  • Lindsay H March 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    How how HOW do you spend $200 a month on groceries? Can you post some sample/example grocery lists? I cook/prepare 3 meals a day and I’ve been trying to stick to a $200/mo budget but most months I fail… It’s just for me, too! I know one problem is that I waste a lot of the food because I don’t eat it in time, but perhaps you have tips, tricks, or suggestions? :)

    Best wishes for your upcoming changes/goals!

    • Cait March 13, 2013 at 6:41 am

      Hi Lindsay,

      I wrote this post that might be able to help you out!

      I’d say the two things that help me the most are that a) I’m a vegetarian and b) I meal plan like crazy (and avoid the bad food aisles when shopping).

      Hope that helps a little! I’m sure going veg isn’t something you want to do but even cutting back on meat can help your budget.