May 2014 Goals: Recap
Well, I’m under budget this month so that’s the good news. :) The bad news is I had earmarked $350 for a potential flight to Edmonton for next month (which likely isn’t going to happen anymore), so if you take that into consideration, I’d be a little bit over budget.
I was well under my already low projected monthly food budget, but that’s because of a few factors: at the end of April we went on a huge Costco run (where my share was $130!) so we had all the essentials ready to go. All I needed to buy were fresh fruits and veggies for the month, which doesn’t cost a lot at all. We mostly shop at No Frills, where I can get away with spending $25-30 week if I’m cooking simple meals. And the other factor? We ate in restaurants a lot this month. It was fun to see so many people, but after the trip to Victoria, all I wanted to do was detox and get back to a regular routine of eating healthy.
Gas was also really low this month because I commuted to work mostly from BF’s house. Likely that will change throughout the summer as life gets busier with sports, friends, and outdoor activities. Plus, I really do miss staying at my house. I spend a lot each month to have it, so I want to be there a bit more often.
- Entertainment – there were a few meals out with friends that I hadn’t planned for, but I’m actually surprised that this number is so low.
- Fitness – I didn’t expect to buy a tennis racket and sign up for lessons this month. I’m glad that I did, because it seems like a really fun sport and a good way to stay in shape during the field hockey off-season. But yeah, it was somewhat impulsive.
Net Worth Change: – $2,955 ( – 2.98%)
Okay, wait. This drop isn’t as drastic as it seems. Or maybe it is. :) I updated the value of my car to reflect what Kelley Blue Book says it’s worth based on its current condition, sold privately. It’s not exactly the most accurate way of measuring a depreciating asset, but it’s what I’ve always done, so to be consistent, that’s how I’ll keep doing it.
Without the drop in net worth due to my car value, I would have actually been up + $1,336.
- Contribute $800 into my Retirement Portfolio. CHECK! My normal contribution amount is $750. The extra $50 went towards my TFSA.
- Earn $1,200 in freelance income. FAIL. I only brought in $460, but I have $1,100 worth of invoices that are owed to me. Some of them are severely overdue, so I’ve been following up.
- Review my budget. CHECK! I was able to reduce my monthly bills by $18/month. Not a lot, but it’s still something.
- Pay attention to my health. CHECK! I cut back on my intake of refined sugars and salty snacks (didn’t eat a single chip this month, which has to be a record for me). I also took a multivitamin most days, drank more water, and have been exercising a lot more. As a result, I dropped 4 pounds this month. :)
- Walk 100,000 steps per week. CHECK! My original FitBit goal was to walk an average of 10,000 steps per day, but after realizing the goal wasn’t challenging enough, I upped it to 100,000 steps per week. And I’m really happy to say that I surpassed that amount and walked 460,805 steps during May – and that doesn’t even include today or tomorrow’s step totals. :) This is due to being more active at work, walking a lot in the evenings, and starting to get back into running.
- Bring my lunch to work every day. PASS. I did bring my lunch a couple of times this month, but I’m giving myself a pass because the few days I did that, it was because we were coming back from a trip the night before, or something unexpected came up and it couldn’t really be helped.
- Stay on budget. PASS. Technically, I was $338.81 under budget for the month. But if I had bought that plane ticket to Edmonton, I would have been over budget by $10-15.
There you have it – my budget recap for May. Any comments or questions? :)
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a writer, personal finance blogger, and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.