Update: September 2013 Budget & Goals

September 30, 2013

september budget

This budget absolutely blows my mind. I haven’t been this close to staying on track in a long time!

For starters, I managed to accomplish every one of my savings goals for this month. In the end, 33% of this budget was money put into one of three savings accounts. I’m sad to say that my original goals of saving $1,000 in each of my Regular Savings and Travel accounts will not be achieved in 2013, however, now that I’m moving again. But more on that in my October budget post…

My Internet and laundry expenses were lower than I expected them to be. It turns out TELUS put me on a promotional plan for 6 months when I moved in August, so my bill will only be around $30 until March.

Food… well, what can I say: my vice is dining out. This month may have been more expensive than usual, however, because of the number of coffees I had with old friends (and a few new ones too!).

I knew at the beginning of the month that I needed to renew my car insurance and start paying it monthly. I estimated it would be about $150/month and that guess was pretty accurate. What I didn’t anticipate is that I would only spend $60 on gas. Seriously, did I drive at all!?

The final 10% of this budget was spent on “life”. There was a small gift to a friend to say thanks, a donation to another friend, a few candles were purchased and a couple of books too.

All in all, I have to say that September was a pretty good month. A little stressful, of course, but good overall. On top of staying on budget, it was also my first month writing a weekly post for Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Other Voices blog. You can find all of my posts here or just read my latest on how it’s been possible for me to move so quickly and how I calculate my moving budget every time I move!

Goals for the month:

  • Track my spending – PASS!
  • Save at least 25% of my take home pay in various accounts – PASS!
  • Keep eating healthy – PASS! It took a couple weeks but I’m meal planning more, always eating breakfast, prepping snacks, etc.
  • Read at least 2 books – PASS! This month, I read Easy Money by Gail Vaz-Oxlade (short and sweet) and Hidden by Catherine McKenzie (meh).
  • Enroll in CSC for Investors! – FAIL! Next month, for sure.

How did your month finish up?

  • kelly @stayingonbudget September 30, 2013 at 4:22 am

    The budget this month was not that great…there were a few CostCo incidents and life in general. Things should be much better the rest of the year.
    Great job with your budget!

    • Cait September 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Nice that you’re expecting things to ease up for the rest of the year. It’s all too common for life to get in the way!

  • canadianbudgetbinder September 30, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Well done Cait!
    It’s always a great month when we can come in under budget but just this past month we spent about $4000 on computers as they needed to get updated. (that and we had a liquid incident on one of them). We just keep pushing forward through all the obstacles however knowing that the budget is there to keep us on track takes lots of stress off our shoulders.
    Cheers mate

    • Cait September 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Oh no! Sounds like a terrible accident. Love your attitude though!

  • Michelle September 30, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Definitely sounds like you are doing great :) That is awesome about your weekly post for Gail as well! :)

    • Cait September 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm


  • Sky September 30, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Awesome job! I did okay with my personal budget – need to amp up my savings next month, though!

    • Cait September 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Do it, do it!

  • A September 30, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Good work C! We did pretty good…considering we had two weddings and J’s entire family was in town for more than a week. That always adds up quickly – going out to eat, buying wine, etc. We saved about 15% of our take home pay. Better than nothing I suppose! In October, J gets an extra paycheck (he gets paid every 2 weeks, so twice a year we see 3 paychecks in a budget month). But that’s going toward our Vancouver trip! Wahoo! We are hoping to finish our e-fund in October as well, and then start saving for a house in November.

    • Cait September 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      15% is definitely better than nothing! That’s great.

      Hooray for 3 paycheque months! And hooray for your trip! So soon :D

  • Alicia @ Financial Diffraction September 30, 2013 at 11:38 am

    It looks so good it almost looks fake, :) haha! That was a really awesome budget to make work because this was a lower overall amount as well (I am assuming you held some back because you weren’t quite sure about the move?). Great job!

    • Cait September 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      I did, yes! I budgeted $2,500 for regular expenses, etc. but kept some money back for “other” things, including my move.

  • Jaime September 30, 2013 at 11:53 am

    $200 on groceries. I’m so impressed! I budget $300 per month and almost always end up going over budget! And I’m a thrifty shopper!

    • Cait September 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Well, look at what I spend on takeout though, haha…

      $200 is fairly average, though. A lot of that stems from the fact that I still don’t really buy any meat.

  • Girl Meets Debt September 30, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I know how much you look up to Gail so that’s awesome that you are writing a weekly post on her blog. I know that September was crazy for ya but October is already looking so much better! Yayyyy for pretty condo :)

    • Cait September 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      And today I found out she recommended that I be a guest on a CBC Radio show next month! So October is looking EVEN better now… :D

  • Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies September 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Great job on your goals, Cait! It’s a shame you have to move again, but I am sure October will be a great month for you too! :P

    • Cait September 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Here’s hoping!

  • SammieK October 1, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Our month was good apart from having to pay for the gas bill after winter lol, always stings. Two more pays for us til we leave Aus – I work for the Australian Government, so I’m really grateful to have been granted unpaid leave for 14 months. Then I can come straight back to work after Toronto (and back to all my accrued sick leave and long service leave etc). Random question; we fly into TO at the start of Nov, will it already be super cold? I’ve never seen snow before so I can’t wait :)

    • Cait October 1, 2013 at 6:58 am

      Yep, it’ll be cold! I don’t know that you’ll see much snow in November but it’ll likely be sitting around 5°C – sometimes warmer, sometimes colder.

      I actually found snow to be really weird in Toronto. Last year, I swear it snowed from like November – April, but sometimes just a sprinkling and it wouldn’t always stick to the ground. So, keep your eyes to the sky :)

      • SammieK October 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        Awesome, thanks :) We’ll be buying winter coats as soon as we arrive !

        • Cait October 2, 2013 at 9:59 am

          Awesome! Just don’t waste your money on “Canadian Goose” jackets. They are so expensive and you do NOT need them in Toronto. A thick polyester fill will do just fine. (And some good gloves!) Go to a store called Winners and you should be able to find something for $100-150.

  • dojo October 1, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Now this is what I call staying on budget. Really great job with it. I’m starting one this month (have set it up with what I think I’ll spend and will update it as the month goes by). Hope I’ll be able to stay as close to my budget as you :)

    • Cait October 1, 2013 at 7:00 am

      How exciting! Try to make a habit of sitting down once/week (pick a day, like Sunday, and do it ritually) to add up all your numbers and put it into your budget. And don’t worry if you start going over anywhere – it’ll just be a lesson for what numbers to move around next month. Good luck!