I don’t really know how to start this post other than by saying that October 2014 was an amazing month. I travelled to Denver and Victoria. I finally met Clare and Drew, and watched them say “I do”. I saw my family and friends. Sarah and I made big strides on our project. I was invited to speak on a panel. I felt like my writing was more inspired (some of it you haven’t read yet). And I finally met and got to spend some time with David.
In keeping with the theme in Monday’s post, I’m just realizing how good life is these days. I started Blonde on a Budget (v1) in October 2010. I didn’t write my first budget until November 2011, though, which means I’ve been doing this budgeting thing for three full years now. Some months are good, some months are full of red… but I’ve stuck to it and am so grateful I have. Without my budgets, I don’t think I could accomplish half the things I do each year – especially this year, with all the travelling I’ve done. And without you guys, I wouldn’t have anyone to stay accountable to. Thanks for always cheering me on and for coming here to talk money with me. Now, let’s see how October finished up…
Life Expenses – Budget: 64% / Actual: 58% / Difference: -6% (Yay!)
This month’s numbers are a little deceiving. If you looked at the numbers I’d budgeted for under this category and compared them to how much I actually spent, you would see a whole lot of red. In fact, I went over budget for all of my variable expenses. Most of the amounts were minimal: I spent an extra $6.62 on groceries, $13.28 at restaurants, $7.09 on personal care and a whopping $0.76 on gas. A few were in the $20 range (charitable donations and gifts). Then I spent an extra $50 on parking – yikes! But I don’t regret a single penny spent. I got to spend so much quality time with people and explore a couple new areas of Vancouver, and I just soaked it all up.
So, if I went over budget in so many categories, how did I come in under budget up top? I earned a little bit of freelance income. Remember that when I write my budget, I base it solely on the income I earn at my full-time job. Freelance is a bonus that I don’t ever count on. I put 100% of my freelance income in savings, this month, but it increased my total income earned which makes these costs go down overall. (For curiosity’s sake, I did the math: without that freelance income, I would’ve lived off 65% of my income, spent 21% on travel and only been able to save 14%. Thank you, side hustle!)
Travel – Budget: 18% / Actual: 19% / Difference: +1% (Meh!)
I went on two quick back-to-back trips to Denver and Victoria, which you guys already know about. Both ended up up being slightly more expensive than I’d budgeted for, though, but not by much.
Savings – Budget: 18% / Actual: 23% / Difference: +5% (Yay!)
The big win of this month is that, thanks to that little bit of freelance income, I’m now just $450 away from reaching my Emergency Fund goal! I can’t believe I’ll be able to cross that goal off the list next month. Also, even though I’d originally decided to stop saving for retirement until I finished topping up my Emergency Fund, I decided to invest a little when the market was down. Better to buy low, right? I’m learning!
Goals for this month:
- Read 2 books – PASS! I read Wealthing Like Rabbits and re-read The Alchemist.
- Workout 20x – FAIL! As of today, I’ll have 17 workouts in the books, so I’d still say that’s a huge win!
- Remove 11+ items from home – HUGE PASS! I removed 63 items.
- Hike Red Rocks in Colorado – PASS! And with some great company.
- Have at least 2 brainstorming/working sessions with Sarah – HALF PASS!? We had one dinner where we didn’t do much work, one amazing 6-hour session and then we each did some work separately.
How did your month finish up!?