Update: February 2015 Budget & Goals

I know February is always a short month, but the last four weeks flew by especially fast. It’s hard to believe I was roaming around NYC just two weeks ago… and that the cold I caught after stole 10 days of my life. Still, I have nothing to complain about, these days. Life is good. I’m finally feeling better and getting my energy back, have been working more on a new project with a friend, and just spent the weekend in the sun with family/friends in Victoria. On top of all that, I’m really happy with last month’s numbers. Take a look.

Life Expenses – Goal: 52% / Actual: 44% / Difference: -8%

Despite the fact that I was able to live off just 44% of my income this month, there was still a lot of red in my budget. Some categories saw minor overages (groceries were exactly $0.30 over budget) but one was huge: charitable donations. There were two instances where friends had the courage to ask for help from family/friends – one was fundraising for their brother’s neurosurgery – and so I donated what I could. Without donations, I technically lived off 40% of my income this month.

Travel – Goal: 0% / Actual: 3% / Difference: +3%

I thought the amount of money in my Travel account would pay for my trip to NYC, but I ended up going over by ~$80, mostly because I forgot to factor in my airport parking… and the worst exchange rate ever! I also decided to go home to Victoria this past weekend, so needed a little more for the ferry, etc.

Planned Spending – Goal: 11% / Actual: 11% / Difference: 0%

I put the regular amounts I’d budgeted for into both my Shopping Ban and Wedding accounts, but then topped up the Shopping Ban account with leftover amounts that were sitting in my chequing account on the nights before my two paydays. It’s sitting at a random $1,411.

Long-Term Savings  Goal: 37% / Actual: 42% / Difference: +5%

Finally, my goal for the year is to put at least 32% of my take home pay in long-term savings, and this month’s budget had room for 37%. Thanks to my freelance income, I was able to save 42%, instead. I won’t see a number close to this in March, though, so I’m grateful I was able to save a lot in February.

Goals for this month:

  • Consolidate my two RRSPs into one – PASS!
  • Invest more of my Emergency Fund – PASS!
  • Get all my tax stuff ready, so I can file as soon as I get my T4 – PASS! And I filed my taxes, too!
  • Read 2 books – PASS! I read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (loved it) and Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (wouldn’t recommend it).
  • Workout 15x – FAIL! I worked out 9x; maybe 12x, if you add the few days I walked 15-20K in NYC. But that cold wiped me out for almost 10 days after…

How did your month finish up?

PS – I’ve decided to stop writing two posts about my budget each month. Instead, I’m just going to write one post at the end of each month, to tell you how I did. I’ve always shared a before/after, so this feels a bit weird but is still something I want to experiment with. We’ll see how it goes, at the end of March!