November 2013 Budget & Goals

November 2013 Budget & Goals

I don’t want to be one of those people who says, “it’s almost Christmas!” right after Halloween, but I have to. Last week, I told you that my #1 priority going forward would be to boost my Emergency Fund – and that’s true! But November is also the month I try to start/finish all of my Christmas shopping, because shopping in December is a nightmare. With that in mind, my goal is to save $400 in my Emergency Fund this month and $600+ in it next month (and all months going forward).

I’m in Victoria right now, which is why a few numbers look different here. First, the cost of the ferry, which as you saw last month is not cheap. I’m housesitting in Victoria, with access to whatever food is in the fridge, so I’m anticipating a slightly lower grocery bill than usual. And, because I’ll be here for a little while, I’m sure there will be more breakfast and coffee dates with friends, so I gave a little boost to my Restaurant budget to prepare for that.

As for housing, that’s how much I’m now paying in rent. Yep. Living alone in Metro Vancouver ain’t cheap. (Although Toronto would have been just as bad, if not worse.) And then I budgeted $30 for Internet, because I just have no idea what TELUS is doing with my bill anymore, lol.

Transportation costs look normal. Looking at the rest, you’ll see I’ve budgeted for rain boots again under Personal Care. It’s also Baby Bro’s 18th birthday this month, and a friend’s 30th! I can’t wait to celebrate them both (a.k.a. this is why I have a Gifts budget this month).

And I guess that’s that! I haven’t calculated the different sections of my budget as percentages in a while, so let’s see what it all adds up to. This month, I’m saving 29% of my income (23% in long-term savings, 6% in planned spending), spending 35% on housing, eating just over 9%, spending 10% on transportation, travelling home with 4% and spending the leftover 13% on life. Not too shabby!

Goals for this month:

  • Read 1 book
  • Go to a movie
  • Try to start/finish my Christmas shopping
  • Bake Baby Bro a cake for his 18th birthday and celebrate!

What do you have planned for this month?

    • Shopping before December 1st has been a goal of mine for years; it lets you enjoy the month of celebrations! :)

  • Great budget and monthly goals. Every time I look at your spending totals they remind me that once I get out of debt- I too can have similar numbers.
    This might be a bit random but do you remember saving while you were cleaning up your debt? This is an area I’ve been struggling with especially since I’m such a crappy saver.

    • I saved a little bit here and there, but had trouble finding a balance. If you can try to save 5% of your income while you’re paying down debt, I think that’s a good start.

  • I have to finish some work for my clients and will also try make an effort to save more. This month should be easier than October, money wise, so I hope to make a good ‘contribution’ to my EF.

  • As a married woman with 3 kids, all in representative sports, my budget looks a little different! That said, you are saving for the best gift to give your future children and spouse …no debt and a sound financial plan. Both come in handy later. To you. Ps i hope you enjoy Victoria. I’m from Cowichan. Island life is nice :-)

  • Christmas is SO soon and I’m just glad I’m not the only person saving for it, planning for it, thinking about it, listening to Christmas music (?) etc….

  • I’m not a fan of Christmas at all, but I’ve already been thinking about it since I have to book a flight down to Toronto. It’s usually not too expensive, but it can be if I wait too long. Thankfully my shopping list is pretty small :)

    Good luck with your goals!

  • I started Christmas shopping last month – I think the festive season is much less intimidating when you spread it out over a few months. I’m adamant we won’t have to borrow money on a credit card or spend savings to buy gifts! I’m trying to home-make/re-gift as much as possible – I think I’ll be eBay-ing a fair few belongings this month! x

  • When I read that “Living alone in Metro Vancouver ain’t cheap,” I realized that it’s all relative. I pay what you do, but need to have two roommates to get there. Oh New York…

    I do have to get started on finding gifts, but don’t spend very much since my close relatives and friends do secret Santa exchanges, rather than gifting individually. I guess there’s that in the goals.

    • I was thinking the same thing! The more I read Canadian PF blogs, the more I want to move out of LA to Canada. Fortunately, I still don’t pay NY prices and I managed to live on a metro line in LA (it exists!) that takes me into work.

      I love these kinds of posts. They always make me want to take another look at my own finances and give me all kinds of idea. Thank you! Please post more about the cake you’re baking!

  • Don’t ya just love it when all the stores have their Christmas decorations up the day right after Halloween! Anything to get us all out there spending $$$, eh? :-)

    Like you, we here are also starting to plan our Christmas gift purchases. As well, this is the time of year for the car checkup and putting on the winter tires. And, although we here in TO (along with Montreal) got wind blasted late last week, at least we’re not expecting 25 cms of snow that my sis and her family out in Calgary had (they can have it, I say! lol)

    So Cait, good budget and good goals for the month. I’m currently reading 2 books (a Clancy and a Grisham), along with lots of leaf raking as well as starting on my house painting. Never a dull moment, being retired here! :-)

    • I’m more shocked by the store displays that went up in Sept/Oct! Insanity.

      And I’m with you: Calgary can definitely keep the snow. I picked up a pair of rain boots finally, so I’ll take the rain… but never the snow!

  • The savings goal for Nov sound great!

    Have you looked into Novus for Internet? We just made te switch from shaw and the performance and price is phenomenally better! Novus has a 1 year promo for their Internet for $20 a month!

    • My understanding is that Novus isn’t available in all areas? Anyway, I may look into it next year, but have been really happy w/ TELUS so far.

  • I absolutely love your blog, as it inspires me to want to budget. I have been procrastinating making a budget for a while now, but when you made your template available for downloading I took it as a sign to start! I do have a question though, I have added additional lines to your template for my own usage, but your formula doesn’t copy into them. If you have a chance, could you please tell me the formula so that I can add it to my additional lines?! I would be so grateful!

    Have a beautiful night!

  • Ooh. Thanks for the reminder that your budget template is downloadable! I think I am FINALLY going to get a grip on budgeting and your template will be very useful. I know I always say I will change X habits with my finances… but some real life stuff is shaping up to be a good incentive to actually, finally, REALLY start budgeting for real. (If it all pans out the way it should *crosses fingers*)

  • CAIT!! I’m so excited to tell you that I made the last payment on my MasterCard today. So I’m officially credit card debt free. I still have my car loan but I’m pleased with it’s progress and it is at a very low interest rate. I wish I lived in an area where I could get by without a car but there’s no public transit in my area. If I was to move back in to the city it would cost me $300 a month more in rent plus $75 or more for a monthly bus pass. So really, I’m only paying about $100 a month extra to have the car and I think that’s ok. I do plan on looking at options to pay the loan off early. Perhaps bump up my payments a little biweekly or perhaps but a lump sum down. Now I’m turning my focus to school and saving. I have given up my second job and will be going back to my old university part time in January with the hopes of increasing my earning potential by completing a certificate program in business and then hopefully a masters in employment relations. Being debt free means I can pay for school in CASH. I’ve got the money for my first semester already and then it’s just $250 a month to save up for the next semester. I find that number significant because $250 a month was what I used to pay to service my debt. So now instead of wasting this money on interest, I am able to invest it in myself.

    I’m with you guys in that I’ve got half my Christmas shopping done and plan to have it all completed by December 1. Also I’ve got rough budgets planned until March as it is my goal to have $1000 every four months for school as that it about the cost of the tuition and books needed for two courses a semester.

    I want to thank you Cait and Gail for helping and inspiring me with this journey. Finally a light at the end of what used to seem like an endless tunnel. I’m so happy and excited today it’s crazy. I’m having a couple of my girlfriends in on Saturday night and I might spring for a budget friendly bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate.

  • As a family we try to do homemade gifts… or a gift exchange instead of gifts for everybody in the family… this helps with the budgeting!
    Frugal girl trying to pay mortgage before I am 40 and hubby is 50!

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