Happy Canada Day, Canadian readers! How are you celebrating!? This will, undoubtedly, be one of the most unusual holidays for me in years, as I actually plan to work all day, haha. No paid days off for me, right now. But I hope you all get out and have some fun!
I’m trying to get as much done as I can between now and July 9th, so I can take a few days off to go on a road trip with Sarah. Months ago, we decided to go to World Domination Summit – which is July 10-12th in Portland – and I really want to get offline and enjoy that weekend. It’ll be the first trip I’ve ever taken where I haven’t had to request time off from a job, which feels like an incredible luxury. And we’re going to drive down and stay with Kathleen, which will make it extra fun. But before I get ahead of myself and jump into a new month, I need to add up my numbers from June. Here’s how I did:
Life Expenses: 56%
Ahhh, things are finally back to normal budget-wise. After travelling for the entire month of May, it was so nice to spend all of June in BC. Honestly, I’m feeling pretty travelled out, these days. I’m excited for mine and Sarah’s road trip, but after that I’m glad I can stick close to home all summer, until I go to FinCon in September. The weather has been amazing, the waters have been calm and it just feels good to be here. I have a feeling I’ll be travelling a lot less over the next 12 months… and am sure my budget will thank me! Being able to live off 50-60% of my income is fairly average for me, and there was nothing abnormal in this budget. So, business as usual, as they say.
UPDATE: Reading the Frugalwoods’ latest monthly expense report reminded me that I forgot to share what I was most grateful to have spent money on this month. I spent $10.64 to mail two books to Sarah and David, which I picked up at the Harvard Book Store, just hours before going for dinner at the Frugalwoods’! Funny how that came full circle. :)
The only money I spent on travel this month was to take the ferry to Victoria mid-month.
Planned Spending: 10%
I threw my usual $250 into the Shopping Ban account, then sold $350 worth of stuff and immediately added that to the pot. I can’t wait to tell you what I plan to do with it!
Long-Term Savings: 32%
And finally, I was able to save an additional 32% of my income… but I didn’t exactly put it in long-term savings. For the past few months, I’ve actually been stockpiling cash, so I could build up a good buffer in my chequing account, before making the career jump into full-time freelance. If you remember, I had once built up a $10,000 Emergency Fund, but then decided to invest half of it and keep $5,000 in a savings account at all times. Well, not only have I kept that cash in savings, I’ve also built up an $8,500 buffer in my chequing account. I wanted to have more in there, before I quit – my goal was $10,000 – but then I was offered a contract with guaranteed work/pay, which gave me the confidence to quit early.
Q2 Net Worth Update
It could be my involvement with Rockstar Finance, but after 4+ years of writing a personal finance blog, I’ve decided to finally start tracking my net worth. I don’t really like the idea of tracking it monthly, though – probably because I think my budgets and finances are going to be totally out of whack for the next few months, as I dive into freelance. Instead, I’m going to do quarterly updates – and yesterday was the end of Q2! Here’s where I’m at:
Normally, I would tell you not to include what’s in your chequing account, because that’s money you spend and it fluctuates regularly, but I want to keep a $10,000 buffer in mine at all times – and that’s “cash savings” worth keeping track of. In order to make that happen, I should technically keep $12,000-12,500 in there at all times, so I have a month of living expenses plus $10,000 as back-up. As you might’ve guessed, that’s going to be my first financial goal in my new “career”.
The $5,000 in my savings account is money I saved last year, when I was building up my first Emergency Fund. I don’t really know what its purpose is, at the moment… that’s something I’ll need to think about after I’ve built up the buffer I want in my chequing account. All I know is that I currently feel the need to hold onto a lot of cash, because freelance is so new to me and the pay is so “unstable”. I’ll continue to hoard it for a while longer.
I’m a bit torn about whether or not to include the money in my Shopping Ban account, but since you’ll soon find out I have no plans to spend it (at least not anytime soon), I’m going to. I can’t have thousands of dollars lying around and not track it…
And then I haven’t done a ton of investing in the past few months, so my two index funds haven’t budged much (and are down this week, anyway). I have a couple different ideas for how my budgeting method might look, when I start getting paid as a full-time freelancer, so I hope to start investing again in July. But I’ll need to see how much I actually earn, before I can tell you how much I’ll be able to allocate to that.
Budget Posts Going Forward
As you can imagine, I have no idea how much I’m going to earn in July. Ok, that’s not entirely true. I have a spreadsheet with projected earnings and am confident I’ll at least earn close to that amount. But until that money is in my chequing account, I can’t tell you what percentage I’ll be living off, saving, investing, etc. In an ideal world, I’ll put:
- 30% aside for taxes
- 20% into TFSA index fund
- 10% into RRSP index fund
- and then live off 40%
But that won’t happen until I have first built up my buffer to the minimum balance I want; that’s my top priority, right now.
June 2015 was the last month I’ll receive steady paycheques, for who knows how long… maybe a year, maybe 10, maybe forever. I don’t know what these posts will look like in the future, but at least I got to end these “steady” budgets on a high note, right?
How did June finish up for you?