Update: December 2013 Budget & Goals

Update: December 2013 Budget & Goals

Happy New Year, friends! How did you ring in 2014? I spent part of my night writing this post, then curled up and finished a book I only started reading on Sunday morning. It was a quiet night, but one I needed.

Before I can jump into my first budget of 2014, as well as the goals I’m setting for myself this year, I need to first add up the numbers for my last budget of 2013. For a month that is always full of expenses, I’m both surprised and happy with the total at the bottom of my spreadsheet. Maybe I’m finally in the groove of this whole budgeting thing! Still, let’s see where I tripped up.

Of course I would go over budget on the first line, right? Ha! But putting an extra $50 into savings can’t be a bad thing. I had my heart set on finishing 2013 with $2,300 in my Emergency Fund, and I needed that extra $50 to make it happen.

Then there was my trip to Toronto, where I stayed a good 30 minutes outside of the city, and used that + cold weather as an excuse to take a few cab rides. Sorry/not sorry.

My grocery bill was higher than I expected, considering I was out of town for 14 days of the month! However, I did have friends over a few times, and extra snacks and meals (and cookies!) add up fast.

Tenant insurance was something I planned to have in place by January, but ended up making my first payment for in December, so that’s where that overage (and new category) came from.

Finally, my health care premium is going up in 2014, and since you pay the premium one month ahead of time, that meant I had to pay the higher amount this month.

In the end, I saved 30% of my income in long-term savings, spent 36% on housing, 8.5% on food, 8.5% on transportation, 12% on travel and the leftover 5% on myself. Not too shabby.

Goals for this month:

  • Read 2 books – PASS! This month, I finished reading Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston and started/finished A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg.
  • Workout 2x/week – PASS! I didn’t actually start going to the gym again until mid-month, but since then I’ve been going twice/week.
  • Relax and enjoy a week off work between Christmas and New Years – PASS! I was tempted to check my email so many times, but managed to stop myself.
  • Create a realistic list of goals for next year! – PASS! I’ll be posting these next week.

How did your month finish up?

  • Happy New Year, Cait!

    No, your budget vs actuals for December 2013 ended up not too shabby at all. Congratulations lady!

    I’m not yet sure how my December fared, bottom-line wise. I’ll be calculating that later today, along with my total budget vs actual results for the whole year – to compare how the 2013 categories fared vs the 2012 categories, so that I can further fine-tune my budget, as/if required, in preparation for 2014. Investment wise, December 2013 results looked pretty good so I’m pleased that things are well diversified in our portfolio.

    Last night was quiet here as well. While others went to bed early, I stuck it out ’til midnight to ring in the new year, sipping a glass of bubbly! :-)

    Have a relaxing day!

    • You stayed up until midnight!? I was asleep before 10pm, haha. But I thoroughly enjoyed my last day of freedom. Back to work at 7am!

  • Great job Cait. It is so hard to hold it together at Christmas-time, and you definitely did that. Your New Years was similar to ours. We ordered pizza (gift card from family), and lounged at home. It was way more enjoyable than going out into all that drunken, over-the-top bustle.

    May 2014 bring you all the things you need, and many that you ask for.

    • Mmm, pizza would’ve been good! I had considered that, but made fajitas and guacamole instead.

  • Hey! Just came across your blog. Well done on clearing your debt, I’ve just begun a similar journey and cannot see any light at the end of my tunnel just yet. Happy New Year! Good luck with your 2014 goals.

    • If you can make a couple big debt repayments, you’ll see the light. And celebrate small milestones along the way to stay motivated. Good luck, DBC!

  • Almost your entire overage could be summed up between the tenants insurance and extra savings. There’s no shame in that at all! That’s a pretty decent way to end 2013 :) Way to go Cait!

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