October 2014 Budget & Goals

October 1, 2014


The Internet is flooded with posts about why October is everyone’s favourite month of the year. I think September is mine, but I see the appeal of October: cooler weather (love), leaves changing colour (also love), pumpkin spice lattes (going to try a homemade version soon) and a reason to start wearing warm sweaters, scarves and rain boots. Ok, yea… maybe October is my favourite month, too.

This October, in particular, is going to be really special for me. For starters, I finally get to meet my longtime Internet BFF, Clare, and witness her marry her best friend. I’m also planning on going for a hike or two in Denver, while I’m down there. And then Sarah and I are going to move forward with the project we’ve been dreaming up, once she’s back from her honeymoon. How does all of that translate into dollars and cents? Let’s see.

Life Expenses – Budget: 64%

Bah – another expensive month. But for three good reasons. First, wedding gifts, of course. (When are these ever not in my budget, haha.) I’m bringing Clare and Drew a little something special down from Vancouver, for their gift. And then I’m also going to a wedding in Victoria the weekend after, so will tote something over there, too. Then that’s the end of weddings in 2014 for me! Unless any of you plan on eloping and asking me to be a witness… no? Ok cool, then that’s really the end of weddings in 2014 for me. Besides that, I made a pretty big purchase earlier this week, which I’m paying off the last $263 of today. Can you guess what it is? I’ll give you a hint: I’ve been talking about buying one all freaking year! (Will share pics in this week’s TGIF.) And finally, I’m setting aside a few bucks for an application fee I may need to pay this month, as part of the project. Eek! I’ll spill more details, as things unfold.

Travel – Budget: 18%

As I just said, I’m doing a little more travelling this month. Next Friday, I’m flying down to Denver for the long weekend. (It’ll be Thanksgiving in Canada.) My flights and rental car were paid for long ago by freelance income, so I just need to budget for my hotel + gas + food. I think this’ll be my last trip outside of Canada in 2014, so I want to make it count! Other than going out for a few meals, I hope to spend most of my time outdoors and with friends. I fly back on Monday morning, and am going to head straight for the ferry to go home to Victoria for 6 days. I’ve been missing my family and friends a lot lately, so I’m really excited about this trip. It’ll likely be the last time I go home before Christmas, though, so I hope everyone’s prepared for big hugs. And I can’t wait to cuddle the dogs!

Savings – Budget: 18%

Because travel isn’t taking up quite so much of my budget, I should be able to save at least 18% of my income this month. I’m going to focus on topping up my Emergency Fund in October, though, and put a halt to saving for retirement until November or even December. Now that I’m in the home stretch of reaching my goal, I feel that same gazelle intensity I did when I was paying down my debt. There’s no doubt I’ll reach my goal before the year is up, if I stick to the plan!

Goals for this month:

  • Read 2 books
  • Workout 20x
  • Remove 11+ items from home (only have 33 items to go, to meet my goal!)
  • Hike Red Rocks in Colorado
  • Have at least 2 brainstorming/working sessions with Sarah

What do you have planned this month?

  • Strandedrocks October 1, 2014 at 4:13 am

    It’s the mattress isn’t? :)

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 5:55 am


  • Taylor Lee October 1, 2014 at 4:31 am

    October = last weddings of the year. Which is great because I cannot take anymore awkward talk-to-the-groom’s-family-who-I-don’t-know-very-well-while-standing-in-the-buffet-line moments. Other than that October is shaping up to be pretty low key. No travel unless work flares up, in which case WAY TOO MUCH TRAVEL. My goal is to keep spending under $2k this month and pry myself away from the MLS long enough to really sit down and figure out how much house I can afford.

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 5:57 am

      So we’re in the same boat re: weddings! And I love the $2K goal – mine is usually $2,100, but wedding gifts + the big purchase kicked that up a notch. Hope you get some downtime and good luck avoiding MLS!

  • Marg S October 1, 2014 at 4:54 am

    I am pretty sure you got a new bed. I hope you have a great month.

    My October is looking quiet which I’m looking forward to. I’m getting my feet under me with the new job so that’s my focus this month.

    I got a shock when I got my first pay stub though – in a wonderful way. My gross annual salary is slightly lower (for now) then the old one but my net take home is higher! It was a combination of the new employer paying my benefit costs and the change in the type of pension I have. It does mean rejigging my RRSP contributions somewhat but I can handle that. I have a wonderful financial advisor so I’ll be making an appointment with him early in the new year to go over that.

    Oh and I love Octoher because it means hockey is back – watching the games is how I keep my sanity LOL.

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 6:03 am

      That’s exactly what happened to me when I switched jobs, Marg! Definitely make that appointment and flow some extra cash into your RRSPs – it took me too long to do that. Here’s to an enjoyable month!

  • Kate@GoodnightDebt October 1, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Worst Budget Advice Ever: Cait, you should have fewer friends, especially ones who are in happy relationships. This will save you a boat load on wedding travel and gifts. :D Sounds like October will be a good month for you.

    I’ve got a lot of reading, working out and cleaning/decluttering to do. Hopefully with a little mental and physical clean up, I can improve my focus. I’ve got too many things swimming around in my head.

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 6:04 am

      Ha! I think 2013/14 were just the busy wedding years for me… so far, I only know of 1 in 2015. But, I guess we’ll see what happens. :P

      Oh, and I can promise you that you’ll find your focus after a mental/physical declutter. Good luck!

  • Rob October 1, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Yup Cait, I figure that you finally got your new bed (which is one of the goals on my list to get as well, all in due time). Looks like another busy month ahead for you, eh? Well buddy, when are you not busy? :-)

    This month I hope to finally finish all my painting projects for the year (around the house and at other locations). And it’s a good thing cuz I’m just about “all painted out”!
    Celebrating birthdays this month – that of our eldest grandson and yours truly (mine being on Halloween, no less – boo!) :-)

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 6:17 am

      Ha! Yes, it won’t be quite as busy as September, but there will be 9 days of travel right in the middle of the month. After the 19th, though, I’ll probably stay home for a good 6-8 weeks… likely until I go to Toronto for our Christmas party. But we’ll see! lol

      Wow, what was it like having your birthday be on Halloween as a kid!?

      • Rob October 1, 2014 at 8:39 am

        As a kid, having my b/day on Halloween was great! In the afternoon I’d celebrate my birthday party with my friends and then later in the evening I’d go out trick or treating, grabbing all kinds of goodies going door to door. Of course, as I grew up things “radically changed” – no more afternoon b/day parties, too old to go out trick or treating. In fact, after we had kids, we couldn’t even have a party for me on Halloween night – doorbell kept ringing from other kids at the door and (of course) I was “elected” to take our kiddos out around the neighbourhood, regardless of the weather. So now instead I tend to not have my b/day party on Halloween night but rather I celebrate it with our oldest grandson on his birthday, which falls just prior to Halloween. And so it goes … :-)

        • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 10:48 am

          Yea, we usually celebrate mine and my mom’s birthdays together, as they are just 8 days apart. Birthdays are starting to interest me less and less – my own anyway, lol. I’ll do something fun for 30, so it’s not depressing… but we can probably just forget about them after that!

  • Judith Cane October 1, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Congratulations on achieving your goals and enjoy the new bed. You deserve it! I love sharing your blogs because you are such a great example of how managing money can be done as a single person AND not with a huge income. I also love the idea of using percentages to manage your money because it relates to people regardless of the actual numbers. Keep up the good work and if you ever decide to visit Ottawa, let me know I’ll set up a meet-up for you. Cheers,

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 6:53 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Judith! I will absolutely let you know if I head over to Ottawa one day. Would love to see it, that’s for sure!

  • Jordann October 1, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Sounds like a fun month! This month is pretty big for me, with lots of celebrations, I’m also hoping to squeeze in a trip to Halifax, maybe on the weekend of my birthday. I also mentioned that I might be able to hit a $25k net worth before age 25 in my latest net worth post, and people really seem to be rallying around that, so who knows? Maybe I’ll make that a mini goal for the month. :)

    Have a good trip to Denver!

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 6:54 am

      So many celebrations! And yes, definitely make it a mini goal for the month!

  • Leslie Beslie October 1, 2014 at 9:39 am

    What books are you planning on reading?!

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Hmm, well I’m just starting Wealthing Like Rabbits. I’m not sure what I’ll read after yet!

  • Nadia October 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I’m going to be like everybody else and say you got your new mattress. Hope you’re enjoying it!

    I found out yesterday that I have a Vitamin D deficiency. I had the test done 3 months ago but apparently that one takes forever to come back. So now once a week for the next 8 weeks I get to take a big dose of Vitamin D. Thanks to insurance it’s only costing me $3 (because of the dose size only a pharmacist can dispense it).

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Can I ask what the symptoms were, Nadia? If it’s TMI or personal, maybe you can email me? I’m just curious what made you go see a doc. I take Vitamin D almost daily, but am still not sure it’s enough. (Also, hooray for it only costing you $3!)

  • Ciel Belle October 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    lol yes, no more weddings for me this year either – but now its full of birthday parties plus, the holidays. I cant wait to see what the big purchase is!

    Looks like you’ll have a fun October!

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Oh yea… that Christmas thing is coming, lol.

  • Kristen October 1, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Hope you are enjoying your new bed:)

    My October goals: To put aside as much $ as possible because in November we are traveling for 3 weeks in Europe and as a self-employed person I won’t have any income those 3 weeks. We have paid for most of the trip, so that will help, but the bills will keep coming while I am off!

    I also want to get back into doing yoga. I broke a toe early September and this has made it difficult to do extra standing, walking etc. I am hoping another week and we will be good to go!

    • Cait Flanders October 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      Ahh yes, I am trying to think about that for a trip I’d like to take in 2015: that I may not be at home, but that won’t stop the bills from coming in, lol. Hope your toe feels better! I broke one as a teenager and totally feel your pain. There’s literally nothing you can do but wait. Grr! Hope it’s better next week. :)

  • Lisa October 2, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Weddings are so gosh darn expensive!

    • Cait Flanders October 2, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Haha, ain’t that the truth.

  • Dayle October 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

    This month I am planning/hoping to run my first (and last) half marathon on the 19th.

    This month is also our ball team party, Thanksgiving with the fam, Applefest, ball banquet, and my sister-in-law’s baby shower.

    Nothing too crazy planned, just keep on keepin’ on with the reading books, school work, working out, and helping bf with his garage reno when/how I can. (He’s the handy one!)

    Best of luck with all your October goals!

    • Cait Flanders October 2, 2014 at 11:07 am

      How do you know it’ll be your last half already!? ;)

      • Dayle October 3, 2014 at 3:50 am

        I”ve learned that I don’t enjoy long distance running enough to continue it.
        10K is much more my thing.
        I’m really dreading the race.

        • Cait Flanders October 3, 2014 at 7:07 am

          Aww. Well, first and last then. You’re almost there. And you can at least be proud you trained for something like this!

  • Carrie Smith October 2, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Can’t wait to hear how your new project with Sarah pans out! Also, excited to see the pics you take of Red Rock in CO. I LOVE hiking that place and it’s so beautiful this time of year. Will be checking in on this week’s TGIF for the big purchase reveal too! :)

    • Cait Flanders October 2, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Ohhh, I hadn’t thought about the fact that you’d probably hiked it before! Kayla is taking me there. I can’t wait! :)

  • Leigh October 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Congratulations on the bed! I bought a new one for $2200 after my long term boyfriend and I broke up because he had just bought a new bed for $1800 ;) It also helped me feel good that I bought mine with savings and he financed his. I still love it (my mattress) over 4 years later! :) my opinion, a great purchase.

    Happy october!

    • Cait Flanders October 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Thanks, Leigh! I’m happy I didn’t have to spend quite that much money… but only because I got an amazing deal. It arrived today and I’m in heaven. :)

  • Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore October 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I survived my month long Paleo challenge only because of my homemade PSL: http://shoeaholicnomore.com/fff-paleo-pumpkin-spice-latte/

    • Cait Flanders October 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you for this!