September 2013 Budget & Goals

September 4, 2013

September 2013 Budget

New month, new apartment, new goals… new budget!

I am so excited about the new layout of my budget, because it should give me a much better picture of what I’m spending on the different areas of my life. With that being said, it’s not 100% perfect yet, as this is my first month of living in a new apartment with a roommate, etc. so it will be a bit of a test. But let’s talk about what I think my budget will look like…

Starting from the top, I mentioned my new savings goals a couple weeks ago, so that’s what you’re seeing here. I’m planning on putting $250/month into both a Regular Savings account and a Travel account from now until the end of the year, so that I can finish 2013 with at least $1,000 in both. I also want to put 10% of my take home pay into my RRSPs.

Living with a roommate again means that my housing expenses are going down significantly. My rent is now only $740/month, in comparison to the $1,000 I was spending before. The new building has a pool, sauna and gym (added bonuses for me), but I’m losing my in-suite laundry (tear) so I added a little bit of a budget for that. And we’ll obviously be splitting our TELUS bill.

Food looks the same, as does Life, but it’s nice to see those expenses chunked together. The one category I am adding to this budget is my car insurance. I need to renew my insurance this month and, when I do, I’m going to switch to monthly payments. If $150/month looks scary to you, it does to me too. Living in Vancouver = paying double what I was paying in Victoria. (More tears.)

Finally, some of you regulars will probably notice that I’m budgeting for $500 less than usual. Don’t worry, nothing crazy is happening with my money. My car accident just changed some things, put some plans up in the air, etc. and requires me to have more cash on-hand to pay for treatments upfront before getting reimbursed. I’m trying not to talk about all that on here, but know that what isn’t spent will be saved.

Goals for the month:

  • Track my spending
  • Save at least 25% of my take home pay in various accounts
  • Keep eating healthy
  • Read at least 2 books
  • Enroll in CSC for Investors!

What do you have planned for this month?

  • Budget and the Beach September 4, 2013 at 6:43 am

    I’m sure the drop in rent is going to be great! Good luck with your goals! I would totally miss the in unit w/d too! I’m really over going to the laundromat. :(

    • Cait September 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

      I have laundry in the building, so I don’t need to leave to get it done… but I will definitely miss the convenience of having it in my apartment!

  • Erica September 4, 2013 at 7:29 am

    I absolutely love your budget- it’s pretty clear, concise and realistic or rather I should say it’s realistic in my eyes. It’s the type of budget I would have except I have debt repayment still :(
    Keep up the great work!

    • Cait September 4, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Just add a row for debt repayment at the top, lower the amount you save and spend, and do what you can. :)

  • Rob September 4, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Great new budget layout, Cait.

    One small suggestion, if I may: Your Misc./Cash is quite low to cover the entire month. You may wish to consider reducing your regular savings just a tad (say by $50) and instead assign the amount to a new tracking budget category called “Clothing”. I do assume that you spend $$$ from time to time on clothes and shoes and this expense is well worth budgeting for, in my opinion. Other than that, everything that you have set up looks very good and achievable on a go-forward basis.

    My plans for September:
    FINALLY, finish the last of my outside house improvement projects. Of course now you should know that a lot of the old farts in my neighbourhood are a tad ticked off at me since their wives are now on their case to get off their collective butts and do some stuff around their house! :-)

    • Cait September 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

      I usually put Clothing under Personal Care, but I do see your point. I don’t imagine I’ll shop at all this month, though – no time and no extra money to spare! But I’ll definitely consider your suggestions in the months ahead.

      And yikes! Way to make some enemies. ;)

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life September 4, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I think that budget looks totally reasonable – good job hitting all of your savings goals. I’ve had ensuite w/d for the past two years, and I never want to go back (although I know I probably will have to eventually)

    My goal this month is to pay as much debt off as possible, and figure out a way to work in some Christmas money savings as well.

    • Cait September 4, 2013 at 10:31 am

      Yes! Christmas is definitely going to be added in October. I don’t think we’ll be spending much on each other this year, but I will need a few hundred dollars at least.

  • Steve September 4, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Looks like a very reasonable budget for September.

    Congrats for the new apartment! Saving that difference in rent will be very nice!!

    And I don’t know what I’d do without in suite laundry!

    • Cait September 4, 2013 at 10:32 am

      Haha, it’s only been a few days and I miss it already, Steve!

  • Andie September 4, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Hi Cait, heard about you because I follow Gail’s blog and other voices.

    You may be crying over your car insurance, but I am jealous! Try living in the GTA…insurance quotes for me average around $220 (for a new compact car), and for someone with a good driving record that’s considered reasonable. Maybe I should move out west!

    • Cait September 4, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Hey Andie,

      I hear ya! I used to live in TO and can honestly say I’d probably never own a car out there for that reason. Is it possible to get by with something like a Zipcar membership instead?

  • Girl Meets Debt September 4, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Your fancy new budget looks so fun! Almost makes me want to make a budget too – almost ;) Let’s get together soon! xo

    • Cait September 4, 2013 at 10:33 am

      This weekend!

  • Sarah September 4, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Hi Cait – where do you put phone bills in here? Or tv? Or clothing?

    • Cait September 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

      My cell phone is paid for by work. I don’t have cable (and put Netflix under Entertainment). And I usually put clothing under Personal Care. It’s been suggested before that I create a separate budget for it, but I so very rarely shop that it doesn’t seem worth it to do so. Maybe in October, when I’m thinking of buying some new rain boots!

  • Alicia @ Financial Diffraction September 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Looks like a solid budget. I am envious on how simple and clean it is. My budget is like 25 lines long and it gets depressing, haha.

    When I moved four-months ago I was willing to give up laundry to stay within the budget (and to find a decent place tha allowed cats) but thankfully there is a closet in the bathroom with a BRAND NEW front loading w/d set. Even better than when I lived in a townhouse and had to drag the hamper down two flights of stairs.

    • Cait September 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Well, it’s good to be detailed! Sometimes, I don’t think I’m detailed enough and could easily add in a couple extra categories.

      And that sounds awesome! I’m ok with losing laundry – temporarily, anyway. ;)

  • Sara Hamil @ They Call it Gumption September 5, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I may have said this before but I’m always so impressed by your budget spreadsheets. Mine aren’t nearly that detailed even though I know they probably should be. Maybe it’s time…

    • Cait September 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      It’s time, Sara! Do it!

  • Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies September 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I love your new budget layout! It helps that it’s my favourite colour – blue! :P

    Good luck with your goals for September, I’m sure you’ll achieve all of them! xo

    • Cait September 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      I actually chose blue for September, because it makes me think of back-to-school photos. Is that weird? Probably. :P

      I’ll change it up for fall, Christmas, the new year… yep. I’m weird like that!

      • Deena Dollars September 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm

        I’ve always noticed and been tickled that you do that. Makes me happy every time!

        • Cait September 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

          Gotta make budgeting fun somehow! hehe

  • Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans September 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    A drop in rent is always a good thing! Good luck with your September goals!

    • Cait September 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Thanks, Lisa!

  • Gillian September 6, 2013 at 7:50 am

    The new budget looks great! That’s awesome you’re rent is going down, having roommates is so good for the budget!

    • Cait September 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm


  • Katy September 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    The budget looks great! Pretty darn close to the budget I use.

    This month, I’ll be focusing on guiding gas amounts (have changed now with me at a different job and the man back in school), and working towards pre-approval and saving for a house.

    • Cait September 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Sounds awesome, Katy!

  • Sarah September 11, 2013 at 1:29 am

    How do you manage to only spend $200 per month on groceries? I’m a single girl living in Vancouver and I consider it a good month if I only spend $450 monthly on groceries. Admittedly, that’s for all meals, as I never eat out, but it’s still a LOT more than you spend. What’s your secret?

  • LC September 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Great blog!
    I recently paid off OSAP (5.5% interest rate) with 2 LOCs
    $30000 at 3.0% interest rate and $10000 at 3.5% interest rate.
    Is the best method to pay off my $10000 LOC first due to the higher interest rate, or do I slowly pay off the $30000 due to its higher amount ( because more interest is being compiled).

    Also, is the best strategy to get out of debt is to pay off my LOCs whenever or as soon as I get any money in my bank account, even though that means i have $0 in my account? I won’t have a real job until 6 months and my parents are supporting me in terms of daily living expenses till then.

    Also, where can i find a good excel sheet for budgeting?

    Thanks for your help.

  • Darlene September 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I just found your site. VERY INTERESTING! I’ve read some, but don’t see what I’m looking for…what do you use to track your budget?

    I’ve sent a friend to your blog, too!