Update: April 2013 Budget & Goals

April 29, 2013

April 2013 Actual Budget

I know April isn’t quite over yet, but there’s no point in waiting to share the fact that I sucked at tracking my spending this month. I was doing really good up until about the 20th. After that, I lost track of what I had spent a bunch of cash on, and I got so frustrated trying to remember that I just decided to give up.

The good news (no, the best news!) is that I stayed on track with my debt repayment goal. I’m posting rough estimates of the rest of my spending, simply because I love being able to see how much money I put towards debt this month. As I said in my last post, I’ll be making my last debt repayment next month. (WOO HOO!) But I shouldn’t start the party just yet… let’s see what I think my spending looked like this month.

In April, 36% of my spending went towards debt repayment. Another 20% went into savings (although my apartment and upcoming weddings are more like planned spending than savings). The leftover 44% was divided up between all of my expenses – and there were some big ones!

First off, I barely ate at home this month. I spent almost half of April in Vancouver, which is where a huge chunk of my Restaurant total came from. Speaking of being in Vancouver, I only expected to jump on the ferry home once this month, but I ended up going over for a quick trip mid-month as well, and taking the ferry is now $66.75 each way for a car + 1 person. Yikes. Oh, and you see my Personal Care budget? Yea, I may or may not have done some shopping in April.

Now, obviously my biggest overage is in my Misc./Cash category. Off that $850, $500 covered the security deposit at my new apartment, $60 or $70 is parking fees, and I also purchased a few gifts this month. And then there’s the cash that I lost track of… ugh.

Even though my total spending looks intense, nearly $700 of that was taken out of my Future Apartment savings account. Oh, and I also got a random cheque in the mail from my last job (retro pay) for $243. So, in the end, I only went over budget by $100 or so. I think, anyway…

Goals for this month:

  • Find an apartment for May 1st and coordinate my move – PASS! I’m moving in on Sunday!
  • Spend quality time with family and friends – PASS! And some new friends too.
  • Track my weekly spending – FAIL! Obvious.
  • Read 2 books – FAIL! I read most of Wild by Cheryl Strayed, but I’m not quite done yet.
  • Start my half marathon training – PASS! Errr, kinda anyway. Slowly but surely.

How did your month finish up?

  • Rob April 29, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Congratulations on finding your new apartment, Cait. Your April numbers look pretty good, considering your recent move out west back from TO and all the resulting expenses that this entails. Your eating expenses (groceries + restaurant) actually adds up to being $25 under combined budget so that is good too. And like you say, your debt repayment is moving along well so, all in all, things look good.

    We’re doing well here as well, living on our retirement income. In fact, our daughter just finished working on our income taxes and, combined, my wife and I will be getting a nice chunk of Ottawa money back as a tax refund. Yippy! :-)

    • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Woo hoo! That’s great about your tax refund, Rob.

      And yes, this budget scares me, but it could have been worse. Maybe. I guess, haha. Now I’m trying to come up with a realistic budget for May…

  • Leslie April 29, 2013 at 6:18 am

    ohmygoodness this makes me feel so much better! I started typing up my monthly recap then wanted to so bad to delete it and hide under a rock because I am extremely embarrassed about my spending this month! Looks like it was a crazy-month all around for everyone.

    Congrats on the apartment and good luck with the move!

    • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Don’t hide from your bad budget… look at it and learn from it. (I hate posting mine sometimes, but it’s real! And that’s just life.)

  • Brittany April 29, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Oh, I’m glad you’re reading “Wild!” Such a good book! If you are enjoying it and haven’t read any other of Strayed’s books, I highly recommend them.

    • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      It’s a great book! I will look into her others. Thanks, Brittany!

  • Jessie April 29, 2013 at 7:00 am

    I hate having cash – simply because it’s so hard to keep track of. It’s one of the reasons Jordan and and I decided to use a joint chequing account for all of our gas/grocery/clothing/entertainment (pretty much everything) – that way, I just dump the info into a spreadsheet and then tally everything up.

    • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      It is SO hard to keep track of cash. I happily swipe my debit card for everything, but then I happened to have $40 here, $60 there, etc. and I just have no idea where it all went. UGH!

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life April 29, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Congrats on moving soon! Having a new apartment and a place to finally settle down should help you get your spending under control, although furnishing the new place probably will be a little expensive!

    My April was pretty hum drum for debt repayment, a little over $1k paid off. I spent a lot of money on furniture this month, which I’m really excited about, and I don’t mind not spending that money on debt since I’m so close to being debt free.

    Hopefully your (and my) May will be better than April!

    • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      The good news about my moving costs, needing to buy some new things, etc. is that I have a good chunk of cash still saved up for it all! I think I’m going to create a moving budget, based on how much I have saved and what I think I might spend it on this month.

      I think your April was pretty good, Jordann. What furniture did you buy!?

  • Morgaine April 29, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Congrats on being debt free next month, very exciting!

    My April was crazy too, but for no good reason :( Hoping to tighten the belt in May.

    • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Let’s both work on having a better May, shall we? :)

  • Girl Meets Debt April 29, 2013 at 11:55 am

    April wasn’t the best month for me financially either, but congrats on still sticking with your debt repayment plan! Maybe its’ a quarter year slump? ;) May will be awesome for all of us for sure!

    • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      I sure hope so!

  • Johnny @ Our Freaking Budget April 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    One more month! One more month!

    So exciting, Cait! I’ll wait to officially congratulate you next month, but what an awesome thing to celebrate. I remember when we got to the final two or three months, we also threw as much money as possible against our debt to just get it done. And man did it feel good to hit that final “Submit payment” button. Look forward to reading that post.

    • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      One more month! I like that cheer. :)

  • Cassie April 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I would definitely chalk this one up to being a transition month. It’s hard to budget specific numbers when you really don’t know what’s going to be going on. Not to be a party pooper, but I have a feeling next month will be a humdinger as well when you’re setting up your new place. Don’t feel bad, I’ll be keeping you company in the over spending category next month ;)

    Good luck with your move on Sunday!

    • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Oh, I’m terrified of May’s budget – not because I think I’ll go over by too much, but because it’s going to be extremely busy and I’m sure a million little expenses will pop up that I’ll forget to include in my budget. Ugh! I’m trying to work on a realistic budget right now… it’s not going so well… :P

      • Deena Dollars April 30, 2013 at 8:24 am

        I love that Cassie used the word “humdinger.” I need to put that in regular rotation.

  • Cait April 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    You’re the best, Cat!

  • Deena Dollars April 30, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I love seeing the debt left in your sidebar as $995. SO EXCITING! :) I am sorry you feel disappointed by your budget this month, I totally know how that goes. You’re doing great overall though, the general trend is upward, so don’t let a little dip obscure your view of how much great progress you’ve made.

    • Cait April 30, 2013 at 6:38 am

      You and me both, friend! Triple digits, down from 5? Yep, I’m ok with where I’m at, right now. :)