December 2014 Budget & Goals

I know a lot of people are in shock that December is already here, and a new year is just around the corner, but I am freaking ecstatic about it! Over the last few days, I’ve been reviewing my budgets from the past year and am blown away by how different they are compared to this one. I feel like everything I’ve been trying to do has actually worked, so I’m now able to live on less, spend money on what I value (travel) and still save; this month is a perfect example. Check it out…

Life Expenses – Goal: 48%

For the first time, I’m planning to “live” on less than half of my regular income (with no help from extra freelance). Of course, this is partially a result of the fact that I’m travelling so much in December, but the only cost that really goes down when doing so is groceries. If I spent my regular amount on groceries this month, I’d be at 50% – and I am pretty darn happy about that.

There are a few other reasons I was able to get this down to 48%. First, after months of dealing with shoddy internet, I finally cut the cord and switched providers. My new bill should be $35-40/month (6 month promo), versus the $73 my old bill had gone up to – and hopefully it’ll be a lot faster. Second, I paid the annual premium on my tenant insurance, so I don’t have to think about that cost each month. And finally, I only have a few small things left to buy for Christmas!

Travel – Goal: 29%

I mentioned on Monday that I booked a flight to see a good friend in one of my favourite cities. Well, that friend is Shannon from ReadyForZero, and I’m going to visit her in New York City… tonight! I’m taking a red-eye to Toronto, where I’m catching a connecting flight, and will be arriving in NYC tomorrow morning. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I’ve only been to NYC once, at Christmas time two years ago, and have wanted to go back ever since. It truly is as magical as you’d imagine – especially in December.

I’ll be in NYC for 5 nights, then I’m flying back up to Toronto for 5 more nights. I’m going for work/our Christmas party, and am also going to try to squeeze in visits with a few friends. I fly back to Vancouver on the 14th, then I’m heading home to Victoria for the holidays on the 18th. I’m likely going to stay there until the 28th or so, because I don’t know when I’ll go back after that… maybe in March!? Anyway, this means I’m basically “travelling” for the entire month. It’ll only take up 29% of my budget, though, because I have free accommodation in all of these cities.

Savings – Goal: 23%

Savings is something I’ve been thinking about a lot – especially since I topped up my Emergency Fund. I’m happy I’ll be able to save a good chunk of money this month, but I haven’t decided what my next goal will be. As you’ll see below, one of my goals for this month is to think about what I want to accomplish in 2015 – and my savings goals are part of that. There are a few things that are up in the air right now, which will hopefully be dealt with in December, so I can decide what to do after. For now, I think I’ll split my savings evenly between retirement and future travel.

Goals for this month:

  • Read 2 books
  • Workout 12x
  • Finish a personal writing project
  • Map out goals for 2015
  • Soak up all my time in NYC/Toronto/Victoria

What do you have planned for this month?