Sorry for the disappearing act, friends. Email subscribers know that I received some pretty tough news not even 36 hours after launching the Mindful Budgeting Program, and I haven’t found the time (or inspiration) to write since. But now that it’s been a couple weeks, and I’ve gotten some distance from it, I’m starting to get back into the groove of things… and what better way to get back into writing than by sharing some numbers with you? :)
April 2015 Budget
All things considered, April was a pretty good month. I launched my first print product, worked out 14x and read a couple books. First, I finished Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. Then I read Creative, Inc. and started The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. As for my budget, I had a couple financial hiccups.
Life Expenses: 58%
Despite earning more in April than I think I have in any other month before, I also “lived” on more than usual, but that’s mostly because of one giant expense: a trip to my surgeon’s private clinic. In BC, the waitlists for anything surgical-related are ridiculous. My sports medicine doctor put in a request for me to see my surgeon at his public clinic more than 3 months ago and they still couldn’t give me an appointment date. I finally decided to eat the cost and book an appointment at his private clinic, because it meant that I would get on the surgical waitlist right away – and now I’m on it! The wait is 9-12 months, so I’m mapping out a plan to lose some weight and get in better shape beforehand, to help with my recovery. Anyway, despite that one big expense, my usual costs were fairly average.
I went home to Victoria for a week, so this 3% was just the cost of taking the ferry there and back.
Planned Spending: 1%
I put $250 into my Shopping Ban account last month, but then had to take out $195 to replace my iPhone 4S, which finally bit the dust. I knew it was going to happen, at some point. Over a year ago, it stopped connecting to WiFi… and it loved turning itself off all the time. I’ll share more details about the purchase later, but I really want to express one thing now: if everyone you know is upgrading to the newest technology and you’re feeling left out, stop. The iPhone 6 is literally the exact same phone as the 4S, only slightly bigger and with a better camera. But it’s still just a phone! If it makes calls, sends texts and lets you connect with people, it doesn’t matter how old it is – a phone is doing its job.
Long-Term Savings: 38%
Finally, despite that one huge expense, I still managed to save 38% of my income in April and I feel really good about that. As the end of the shopping ban approaches (only two more months to go!), I can’t help but marvel at how much money I’ve saved, since making this attempt to live on half of my income… it has truly set me up for a better life.
May 2015 Budget
Now, May is going to look totally different than April, as I’m travelling for 90% of the month. I’m in Toronto right now, and my full travel schedule looks something like this:
- May 1: Vancouver*
- May 2-8: Toronto
- May 9-14: Victoria
- May 15-18: Tofino
- May 19: Vancouver*
- May 20-30: Boston/NYC/Philly/DC
- May 31: Vancouver*
*I’m literally only home for 3 days all month. And I’m not complaining about that; it’s one of the best things about working remotely (although I’m taking time off for that big trip to the east coast at the end of the month!). It’ll just be tough on my finances. Here’s how I think the numbers are going to work out:
- Life Expenses – Goal: 40%
- Travel – Goal: 38%
- Planned Spending – Goal: 5%
- Long-Term Savings – Goal: 17%
It could be worse, I guess. And remember, this is just based on guaranteed income (not freelance or sales). Whatever extra money I make always goes into savings or helps fund my trips, so this actually doesn’t look too bad, in the grand scheme of things. I will just hope I can earn a little extra money, so I can boost my long-term savings.
Asking for Help
With everything that’s still going on in my personal life (coupled with all these trips), I’ve decided to take a little more time away from the blog… and as any blogger knows, that idea sent me into a panic. I’ve already felt bad enough about being M.I.A. for the past two weeks, but I just can’t seem to concentrate long enough to get anything good down on paper (so to speak).
When it comes to teamwork, I’m always comfortable asking for help. I seek input on projects at work, I love to collaborate with partners on side projects, and I even asked friends to review and give me feedback on Mindful Budgeting. However, I’ve never really considered asking for help with my blog before, until now.
For the first time ever, I’ve asked a couple of my favourite bloggers to guest post here. Next Monday, Sarah is going to share something that came up in one of our many conversations. She even told me to take her idea and turn it into a blog post of my own, but that didn’t seem right; it has to be in her words, and I can’t wait for you guys to read it! And the following week, Mrs. Frugalwoods is going to share some thoughts on how (not) to handle change (something I could use a little help with right now).
I don’t know why asking for help with anything personal seems so difficult, but I’m so grateful that I finally decided to reach out to these girls. Their enthusiastic “yeses” proved that friends will always help you out, in a time of need, and I’m so grateful they agreed to step in and keep the conversation going here. I can’t wait to share their words with all of you. Until next time, friends. xo
How did April finish up for you? What are your goals in May?