May 2015: Final Budget + Giveaway

Happy June 3rd, friends! You’ll find out why today is so special, as you scroll down… 🙂

But truth be told, I’m feeling extremely grateful for this new month. As you know, May was a month full of travel for me. I was originally only supposed to be home for something like 3 days, but I ended up cancelling my trip to Tofino over the long weekend because I needed a little more time to myself. Also, even though mine and Sarah’s trip back east was amazing, the time leading up to it was rough. I basically had to do 10 days worth of work before we left, in order to take 10 days off. All of that is to say it’s good to be home and back into a somewhat normal routine… both in life and my finances!

Life Expenses – Goal: 40% / Actual: 33% / Difference: –7%

Travelling for an entire month messed with my numbers – there’s no doubt about that. For example, I only spent $56 on groceries. And $8 on gas. I kid you not. These are real numbers. I actually spent double the amount on parking than I did on gas all month, lol. Obviously, this will never become the norm… so I’ll never see a number as low as 33% again. But it’s always interesting to track your spending, to see how the “irregular” months shape up.

If you’re a subscriber, you also know that the newest category in my budget is gratitude. Each month, I am going to pull out one expense that I’m extremely grateful for, so I don’t always feel guilty about spending money. This month, that was the $20 I spent on going to hot yoga with my best friend. It was the first time she’d ever been, and my first time since the accident… and it was just nice to go and practice together. I think we’ll try to budget for more classes this summer. (Or find ways to go for free, right Mrs. FW?)

Travel – Goal: 38% / Actual: 43% / Difference: +5%

If you read the recap of our time in DC, you know I came in under budget for that trip; that’s not where this red is coming from. The overage came from a mix of spending a bit more in Toronto than I thought I would and then paying my portion of a bachelorette party that I’m going to in July. I can’t say anything more, because the bride reads all my posts. In fact, I’ve already said too much! But I should’ve remembered that cost was coming.

Planned Spending – Goal: 5% / Actual: 5% / Difference: 0%

I topped up the Shopping Ban account and am over the $2,200 mark now! There are only 34 days left in that yearlong challenge… and I still don’t know what I’m going to spend the money on, but I’m going to save more more more in June. I’d love to cross the finish line with at least $2,500 in there.

Long-Term Savings – Goal: 17% / Actual: 19% / Difference: +2%

Finally, even though travel took up such a huge portion of my budget this month, I still managed to put 19% of my income in long-term savings. Remember that my only long-term savings goal is retirement. I’m not saving for a down payment or anything like that right now… I’m just trying to max out my TFSA, and put enough in my RRSP to offset some of the damage (i.e. taxes that will be owed) that comes with being a freelancer.

Considering how abnormal this month was for me, I’m fairly happy with how the numbers came out. June is going to be a pretty standard month for me. I should be able to live on less than 50% of my income and save the rest (no travel). But then things are going to get downright crazy in July, as I’m facing a huge (and exciting!) life change that is going to alter my entire budgeting strategy. I need a few more things to happen, before I can make it official… but I promise to fill you in this month!

Giveaway

Mo Money Podcast

Now, onto the good stuff! If you read a lot of blogs, you should be no stranger to podcasts. A few months ago, after getting hooked on Serial, I finally realized that I prefer to listen to people talk than watch TV. Today, I might binge on a show occasionally, but I spend the majority of my “free” time listening to podcasts… like Jess‘ new one!

Thanks to the wonderful world of blogging, Jess and I met a few years ago and became great friends. I love hanging out with her because she’s smart and opinionated… but she also always makes these witty little remarks that send me into fits of laughter. When she says she has a dash of sass, she means it! And now you can hear it for yourself in the new Mo’ Money Podcast!

Depending on how you prefer to listen, here is a list of places you can find it. (If you look carefully, you’ll even find an episode with me!)

Jess has been working hard on this for months (I think we did our interview in March!?) and finally launched it today! (See? Happy June 3rd, Jess!) To go along with the launch, she’s hosting a huge giveaway that I’m excited to share with all of you…

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

  • 1 x $100 Amazon gift card
  • 1 x $50 Amazon gift card
  • 1 x “Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses” bag from Bow & Drape (valued at $75 and totally unique!)

For a chance to win one of these prizes, cross as many things off the list in this Rafflecopter form as you like. And then be sure to listen to the first few episodes of the Mo’ Money Podcast, tell Jess what you think of it and leave her a review. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you’re still reading, let me know how your budget looked at the end of May. What do you want to work on in June? 🙂