Update: February 2014 Budget & Goals

Update: February 2014 Budget & Goals

The first of three very busy / expensive months is over and done with! If you look at the total amount spent, you’ll see that the final number came up just $62.70 over the usual $3,200 I budget for – and I’m really happy with that, all things considering. However, there are two teeny, tiny (non-existent) numbers at the top of this budget that I wish I had tried harder to boost.

I didn’t save a dime of my own money, this month. The $25 I put into my Emergency Fund was a referral bonus I got because someone used my ING DIRECT Canada Orange Key (thank you!). February was a “spendy” month – there is no doubt about that. Going into it, I tried to write a budget, but things changed so often that I eventually just had to go with the flow and make it all work.

So, let’s talk about the fun stuff: I booked a trip to the Dominican Republic! This was a totally unexpected expense, as co-workers and I had been talking about going on a trip in May, not March. But after humming and hawing, and crunching the numbers, I decided to go and March 20th can’t come soon enough! This + New Orleans in September will likely be the only two “big trips” I go on in 2014.

Housing looks the same, except that my promotion with TELUS finally ended, so my Internet bill increased by close to $15. Transportation costs also look good, other than parking fees. I went downtown a lot more than usual this month and it ain’t cheap to park there. And food looks intense at first, but groceries are fairly average, and the restaurant budget includes Baby Sis’ birthday dinner + my trip home to Victoria.

As for health care, you may have read my last TGIF post, where I mentioned I went to the dentist for a cleaning and found out I didn’t have any cavities? Well, the receptionist was away that day, so they couldn’t process any payments. My hygienist said I could either wait for a bill to come in the mail or go back in the next time I’m in town. Since I’m heading back over to Victoria on the 15th, I’ll go in and pay up then.

Finally, “my” money. Here’s where the real spending happened. For starters, I paid for a few major bridesmaid expenses: my portion of the bridal shower, my bridal shower gift and my dress. Originally, we were told our dresses wouldn’t be in until the end of March, which I was thinking would require yet another trip home to Victoria, but they arrived early! So I brought it home, and now I just need to get it altered.

I’m starting to forget some of the items that were purchased under “Personal Care”, but I know for sure there was a $20 pair of jeans, a $20 sweater, the fireproof safe I wanted and a few toiletries. Oh! And I bought a couple of prints for my bathroom. As for the rest, the $80 gift was cash to Baby Sis for her TFSA. I made my usual donations. And I took out $80 cash before my trip home.

In the end, I spent 36% of my income on housing, 13% on travel, 10% on transportation, 13% on food, 3% on health care, 13.5% on myself / gifts / charitable donations, 10.5% on my friend’s wedding, and I saved – not even 1%. Ouch. (Next month looks better! I promise.)

Goals for this month:

  • Celebrate Baby Sis’ 20th birthday – PASS! She spent her birthday here with me in Port Moody.
  • Help host a bridal shower! And finish planning the bachelorette party! – PASS! The bridal shower was a success, and I booked a hotel room for the bachelorette party and sent out invitations.
  • File my taxes – PASS!
  • Nix my daily chocolate habit that formed at Christmas – FAIL! I’m not eating it daily, but I’m still consuming too many afternoon sweets.
  • Finally buy/hang some shelves in my bathroom – FAIL! And I’ll likely push this goal to April, since I’m barely home this month.

How did your month finish up?

  • I love ING referrals boosting emergency funds. That is basically what I am relying on now to get my last few hundred dollars.

    Your “wedding dress” line made me think I had missed something major in your life for a second ;)

    • My dad texted me and asked the same thing, lol. I may have to edit that… as I was typing, I was just thinking, “I have to make sure I track all of the wedding expenses”. Then my dyslexia made me type “wedding” lol.

  • That’s not so bad! I mean sure, you didn’t get to save much this month, but you still lived within your means and managed to avoid charging your credit card, I’d call that a win. I also got an ING referral and dumped it directly into my emergency fund.

    • Thanks, Jordann! It was an expensive month, but you’re right about living within my means… I think I have that skill mastered now. :)

  • All in all, Cait, it looks like you’ve had a pretty good Feb. Remember, due to all your extraordinary expenses these days (as expected and as you mentioned to us earlier), don’t get too hung up on the lack of savings for this past month but rather deal with it on a quarterly basis. As you say, I’m sure that next month will see increased savings.

    As for me, I calculated our month end actuals this past weekend (which came in under budget), along with our budget for March (basing it on past years’ actuals), and all looks good. Our 2013 RSP contributions and 2014 TFSA contributions were all topped up. Overall our total investment market values grew nicely. I can now only hope for more of the same monthly investment performance goals over the rest of this year but I won’t hold my breath! :-)

    • This month definitely looks better already… but my tax refund is mostly to thank for that!

      Great to hear you came under budget and were able to top up all of your investments.

  • Way to go, Cait! It’s important to remember that sometimes you have to spend money in order to have experiences with your loved ones and it looks like you sure did that this month…yet managed to keep everything so close to your original budget! Well done :)

  • Being just $62 over budget for what you consider a very expensive month is great! With the parties and trips, it looks like you had a lot of fun. Spending quality time with friends and family is more important than money.

  • You are going to have so much fun in the sun in the Dominican Republic Cait! You may not have saved any money this month but you didn’t go in the hole either so it’s still a win in my eyes. :)

  • Since we are also planning a trip to DR, do you mind telling me what resort you guys booked (you can email me or DM me on twitter @morgainemoney if you don’t feel comfortable telling us here). The place we were looking at is booked for the week we were planning (April 15-20) because somebody wanted to wait until after March break to book. I just hope there’s places left to book! Would really love your input.

    • I actually have no idea where my boss booked us in, but I’ll ask and let you know! The only thing I know is that it’s not an all-inclusive resort – we’re renting a penthouse condo, or something like that.

      • Thanks Cait! That sounds like a good idea. We might not do that this time as its only the 2 of us but maybe in the future we can wrangle some more people and go the condo route. But I do appreciate the info just the same! :)

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