Update: February 2014 Budget & Goals

The first of three very busy / expensive months is over and done with! If you look at the total amount spent, you’ll see that the final number came up just $62.70 over the usual $3,200 I budget for… and I’m really happy with that, all things considering. However, there are two teeny, tiny (non-existant) numbers at the top of this budget that I wish I had tried harder to boost.

I didn’t save a dime of my own money, this month. The $25 I put into my Emergency Fund was a referral bonus I got because someone used my ING DIRECT Canada Orange Key (thank you!). February was a “spendy” month – there is no doubt about that. Going into it, I tried to write a budget, but things changed so often that I eventually just had to go with the flow and make it all work…

So, let’s talk about the fun stuff: I booked a trip to the Dominican Republic! This was a totally unexpected expense, as co-workers and I had been talking about going on a trip in May, not March. But after humming and hawing, and crunching the numbers, I decided to go… and March 20th can’t come soon enough! This + New Orleans in September will likely be the only two “big trips” I go on in 2014.

Housing looks the same, except that my promotion with TELUS finally ended, so my Internet bill increased by close to $15. Transportation costs also look good, other than parking fees. I went downtown a lot more than usual this month and it ain’t cheap to park there. And food looks intense at first, but groceries are fairly average, and the restaurant budget includes Baby Sis’ birthday dinner + my trip home to Victoria.

As for health care, you may have read my last TGIF post, where I mentioned I went to the dentist for a cleaning and found out I didn’t have any cavities? Well, the receptionist was away that day, so they couldn’t process any payments. My hygienist said I could either wait for a bill to come in the mail or go back in the next time I’m in town. Since I’m heading back over to Victoria on the 15th, I’ll go in and pay up then.

Finally, “my” money. Here’s where the real spending happened. For starters, I paid for a few major bridesmaid expenses: my portion of the bridal shower, my bridal shower gift and my dress. Originally, we were told our dresses wouldn’t be in until the end of March, which I was thinking would require yet another trip home to Victoria… but they arrived early! So I brought it home, and now I just need to get it altered.

I’m starting to forget some of the items that were purchased under “Personal Care”, but I know for sure there was a $20 pair of jeans, a $20 sweater, the fireproof safe I wanted and a few toiletries. Oh! And I bought a couple of prints for my bathroom. As for the rest, the $80 gift was cash to Baby Sis for her TFSA. I made my usual donations. And I took out $80 cash before my trip home.

In the end, I spent 36% of my income on housing, 13% on travel, 10% on transportation, 13% on food, 3% on health care, 13.5% on myself / gifts / charitable donations, 10.5% on my friend’s wedding, and I saved… not even 1%. Ouch. (Next month looks better! I promise.)

Goals for this month:

  • Celebrate Baby Sis’ 20th birthday – PASS! She spent her birthday here with me in Port Moody.
  • Help host a bridal shower! And finish planning the bachelorette party! – PASS! The bridal shower was a success, and I booked a hotel room for the bachelorette party and sent out invitations.
  • File my taxes – PASS!
  • Nix my daily chocolate habit that formed at Christmas – FAIL! I’m not eating it daily, but I’m still consuming too many afternoon sweets.
  • Finally buy/hang some shelves in my bathroom – FAIL! And I’ll likely push this goal to April, since I’m barely home this month.

How did your month finish up?

Also, in case you missed them, you can still read this month’s guest posts on Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s blog:

2014, Feb 23 – Recipe: Spicy Peanut Stir Fry
2014, Feb 16 – Getting Out of My Comfort Zone
2014, Feb 09 – Do You Spend Less or Earn More?
2014, Feb 02 – What Do You Count?