Hi, friends! Can you believe it’s February!? How has the first month of 2015 already come and gone? Before I look at how January finished up, I need to tell you that it was a really unusual month for me and my finances. I was offered a surprising amount of freelance work, which threw my numbers way off – in a good way, of course. I had planned to spend 60% of my regular income and save the other 40%, but my freelance income helped me do almost the exact opposite. Take a look.
Life Expenses – Goal: 52% / Actual: 40% / Difference: -12%
I lived on just 40% of my income this month. I don’t say stuff like this often, but I’m really proud of that number. Yes, I know freelance work helped bring down the percentage of my total income required to make it happen, but January was also a month of almost no travel (just a quick trip to Toronto for work) and I managed to come in under budget in most categories. My only major overage was for Personal Care, which largely stemmed from the spontaneous haircut I got a few weeks ago. It hadn’t been cut since August and felt out of control, so I walked in and asked her to cut 6″ off. Three weeks and $60 later, I can tell you it was worth every penny. Bye hair!
Travel – Goal: 8% / Actual: 4% / Difference: -4%
As I said, the only trip I went on this month was to Toronto for work. I was there for 5 days/4 nights, and only had to pay for food during that time. I actually came in under my original budget and freelance brought the percentage down even further. Win win.
Planned Spending – Goal: 14% / Actual: 16% / Difference: +2%
Onto the new category: the money I’m saving now, so I can spend it later! As I mentioned last week, I upped the amount I’m putting in the Shopping Ban account from $100 to $200/month. I put some money aside for my best friend’s wedding this summer. I also took one entire freelance cheque and put it into my Travel account, for my trip to NYC next week.
Long-Term Savings– Goal: 26% / Actual: 40% / Difference: +14%
Finally, the biggest win of all: I dropped 40% of this month’s income into long-term savings (divided evenly between retirement + my new Question Mark account). Tack on the 16% I put into all my planned spending accounts, and I saved a total of 56% of what I earned in January. I don’t foresee this becoming the norm, of course, but it was an awesome way to start the new year!
Goals for this month:
- Complete my first 31-day challenge – FAIL! It was still a good challenge, though.
- Read 5 books – PASS! Well, I’m at 4.5 books, but I’m rounding up.
- Workout 20x – FAIL! I worked out 15x. That’s still a workout every 2 days, which I’m happy about!
How did your month finish up?