April 2014 Budget & Goals

April 2014 Budget & Goals

The last of three very expensive months is here! With a little bit of travel, and a whole whack of bridesmaid expenses, I’m two parts excited and one part anxious to see how this month will be.

Starting from the top, you’ll see that, once again, my savings goals will not be met. I have a separate spreadsheet to keep track of my original savings goals for the year and the actual amounts I’ve saved, and the numbers don’t come close to matching up. I’m going to wait until the end of this month to decide how I want to adjust my goals going forward. For now, all I can do is save what little amount I can.

My regular living expenses all look normal. Under housing, I’ve included what I think will be my Internet bill going forward. I gave myself a healthy budget for takeout, because I already have a couple of coffees, brunches and dinners planned. Transportation costs look the same as always. And my health care costs include nothing more than my regular monthly expenses. (Speaking of health care costs, guess whose company just gave benefits to its employees? Yep – mine! They kicked in on the 1st. Good thing I didn’t end up buying any on my own, eh?)

As for my travel expenses this month, I included a small budget for what I spent during my last few days in Toronto. And the amount I’ve budgeted for Victoria probably looks random, but it’s simply 3 x $69 trips with my car on the ferry: one when I came home yesterday, and then a roundtrip for when I need to go back to Victoria for my friends’ wedding at the end of the month.

And that’s where so much of “my money” is going this month! This past weekend, we hosted the bachelorette party at a hotel in downtown Victoria. Tomorrow, I’m picking up my bridesmaid dress from the shop I took it to for alterations, so I’ll need to pay for that. (Bonus: We don’t need to pay for hair or makeup!) And then I still need to get her a wedding gift.

In total, I plan to spend 37.5% of my income on housing, 11% on food, 10% on transportation, 3% on health care, 4.5% on myself, 2.5% on charity, 9.5% on travel, 16% on my girlfriends’ wedding and put just 6% in long-term savings. It should be a fun month, but I have to admit I’m looking forward to May being a little quieter.

Goals for this month:

  • Hang out with my mentee
  • Submit my first piece to The Globe and Mail
  • Throw a fun bachelorette party / be a great bridesmaid on my friends’ wedding day
  • Try to workout 3x/week
  • After 23 days of travelling/dining out, do some serious clean eating at home!

What do you have planned this month?

  • Hi Cait,

    My plans this month:

    -Work on healing my back (hopefully I’ll make good progress this month)
    -Ace my final exam next Monday
    -Take my friend out for a lavish birthday dinner (a rare splurge on dining out)
    -Visit my family for Easter (4 day weekend!)
    -Purchase a pair of sneakers so I can go for walks once the snow goes (still waiting) and the temperatures go above 0 (also still waiting)
    -Find a way to fill my days now that I don’t have school or a second job (learning to cook some new dishes is at the top of my list)

    I hope you have a great time at the wedding. Next month I have a bachelorette party and a wedding to attend. I’ve already got the outfits so I just need a little spending money and the gift (which will be cash. They just bought a house and I’m sure they need to purchase some things).

    • I totally forgot I have concert tickets for the end of the month. I’m going to see Bryan Adams with my mom and step dad.

      • I am so jealous!!! I am not a concert girl. Never have been. I just don’t see the need to spend money to see a concert – doesn’t matter who the headliner is. Bryan Adams? Him I might make an exception for.

        Have a great time!!

        • Thanks. I’m sure it will be a great show. I saw him about 8 years ago as well. He was amazing then too.

          I don’t see a lot of concerts. We don’t get a lot of people here I’m NL. Mostly country and classic rock. I’ve got tickets to Toby Keith next month. Then it could be another year or two before I go again.

    • Sounds like a busy/exciting month, Trista! I can’t believe it’s still below 0°C out there. I won’t tell you that it was 17°C here yesterday… :S

  • Wooo on the health benefits!!! That is very exciting stuff. I too got health benefits on the 1st. About freaking time ;)

    My month is going to a be a bit all over the place while trying to get used to a new pay schedule (which I might be over analysing, but still). I’m doing an Easter dinner for just me and the fiancé rather than travelling back home for the weekend. I’m hoping to get back in the swing of running three or four times per week. Let’s hope the weather cooperates.

    • Yay for us both! Our benefits packages are small, but are perfect for what I need each year. :)

      And I’m definitely hoping the weather improves for you guys! Do yourself a favour and don’t Google “Vancouver weather”…

  • Woohoo for health benefits! Your month looks expensive (putting savings goals on hold sucks) but at least you have it all budgeted and you aren’t putting anything on credit. That’s a plus! Have fun with all of your wedding related activities. :)

    • Yea, putting savings goals on hold sucks… but I think you and I have talked about the fact that I’ll be able to make up for it later this year. Anyway, should be a good month. :)

  • I agree with everyone who says as much as not being able to save what you wanted stinks, you’re still saving something and you aren’t putting anything on credit. That’s a win win.

    My plan for April was to save every penny of my tax refund and I did that. So that means the Apple Store iPad inventory is one higher than it might have been. Now I’m glad I didn’t cave to the “want” and when that I see the balance in my savings account I won’t.

    April should be pretty standard for me for expenses. It is my birthday at the end of the month but I want a quiet uneventful birthday (read deny I’m turning a year older) so I’m going to keep my plans low key.

    • Woo hoo! Way to stick to your savings goal (and not give in to your dreams of owning an iPad)! If you really want one, have you thought about starting to save for it? :)

      • Here’s where I fess up. I already have an iPad (and a Google tablet and an iPod toch). I want the new iPad with 128gb memory. I only have 32gb and find I’m constantly swapping out apps and movies/tv shows. I hear there’s another new iPad coming, maybe even this Fall, so I’m going to wait and see. Have I mentioned I’m a real tech gadget geek? :-). But yes I am saving over and above now for it. I’m not touching my savings.

  • Are you doing anything in particular for “clean eating” or just loading up on fruits & veggies? I’ve never been one to monitor my food but as I’m getting older I’m finding exercising isn’t solving all my “problem areas” like it used to and I’m interested in loading up on some healthy recipes but don’t really know where to start. I assemble a lot of salads but a woman can’t live of spinach alone…

  • Sounds like a fun/exciting month for you!

    For the rest of this month my plans include:

    – doing well on my final exam this Friday
    – running the Toronto Yonge Street 10K this Sunday
    – finish my book for book club and reading one more – I picked up the Fault in Our Stars at Costco yesterday
    – finishing up our volleyball season next week
    – starting our baseball season at the end of the month
    – celebrating Easter with the family
    – celebrating my dad, brother, and sister’s b-days
    – trying at least one new recipe
    – spring cleaning my house and planning some garden type stuff
    – staying on track with my fitness and fincial goals for 2014 – Q1was good!
    – and curbing my cookie “addiction” … 7 days in and so far so good! lol

    • You have so many fun/exciting plans, Dayle! Let me know what you think of the Fault in Our Stars; I read it in the Dominican. And congrats on curbing your cookie addiction, so far! My afternoon sweet tooth has yet to disappear… but I’m working on ignoring it.

  • Clean eating is something I have to pay more attention to. Honestly I’m pretty good but i really need to be better. If I ate the way I feed my kid it would be so easy! There is very little ”processed” food in her diet and the stuff that is really isn’t that bad (think Goldfish crackers, the odd non homemade cookie, granola bars). I love diet pepsi but I’ve been making an effort to cut it out entirely. I didn’t dare touch it while pregnant but started again after…I would never let my daughter drink diet pop so why should I drink it?

    • That’s a good way to think of it, Catherine! I never drink pop, but guzzled them down in the Dominican. (They use real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, and it was so good, lol.) I’m trying to avoid added sugar at all costs now…

  • Congrats on getting healthcare coverage at work! :D

    I’m hoping April will be a quiet month. I went on vacation in March and spent a lot of money on holiday, so I need time to recover and refocus my finances.

  • That’s one of the most categorical budgets I have ever come across. The best part of your budget, I liked, is the category of My Money that includes Sub-categories such as Personal care, Entertainment, Bachelorette Party, Wedding Expenses, Charitable Donations, and Misc./Cash. I liked it so much as you have mentioned all the monetary accounts that you are going to spend. In fact, these are the exact accounts I usually spend too. I simply loved the Personal Care sub-category. However, I have one question that I couldn’t resist asking: Why didn’t you put any money in the Retirement sub-group?

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