I’ve been looking forward to August for a long time because 1) it is full swing hiking season, 2) we have an awesome 3 night camping trip planned on Mayne Island for our anniversary, and 3) there are just 5 weeks left until we head to Portugal! :)
August will be less hectic than July, as we both agreed to curb our household spending (the only thing I want to buy is a plant for the dining table, as the one we have there currently did not survive in our laneway house). I’m also looking forward to being less social this month. I love my friends and family, but it’s been a busy summer, and I can’t wait to just do nothing. There are a few dinners planned so far, but nothing as crazy as last month.
August is also the month that my boss gets back from her amazing 3-month vacation, which means (I think) things will slow down for me. I’m happy to have her back, but also happy that I was able to accumulate some banked hours over the past few months. :)
This month we are also hoping to get back into climbing – we haven’t gone since RD left for his work trip back in April. It’ll be slow going, but hopefully it won’t be too much of a struggle to get back to where we were. I had just cracked into the 5.11b routes back in April, and was pretty proud of myself because that’s the farthest I’ve ever gotten.
Anyway, enough with the talk, here is my budget for the month!
August 2017 Goals:
- 450,000 steps – that’s just slightly under 15,000 steps per day on average, which I think is attainable now that I’m running 3x/week and we’re also hiking every weekend!
- Bring lunch 4x/week – even if it’s just toast and avocado, it’s significantly cheaper than buying my lunch. Obviously this doesn’t count if it’s a work lunch.
- Schedule blog posts for September – I’ve been trying to be more consistent with my blog posts, so I want to get out at least one post per week while we are on vacation.
- Budget for a new cat – We are starting with no pet supplies, so I’m going to have to source out everything. I’m assuming I can get some stuff used on Craigslist, but I also have a feeling that the initial set-up to get our cat will be more expensive than I think. That’s why I want to start researching now so that we can pick everything up easily at the end of September. Any tips on initial costs would be much appreciated! :)
July was more expensive, social, and busy than I thought it would be. You’ll see that I went over on my budget by a lot – but perhaps I should have expected that as we spent the month settling into our new place. We also made an unscheduled trip to the Sunshine Coast to visit with RD’s brother who was vacationing from Alberta, and we had guests stay with us (RD’s mom and my sister) just a few days after we moved in.
We made some larger-ish home purchases that were needed (like a mattress for the spare bedroom), and a few that were clearly wants and not needs – but our closing/moving costs were less than what we had budgeted, so we were happy to use some of that money towards making our home more cozy. The biggest change was removing the fireplace, and I’m so excited to take photos and show you how much it made a difference! Hopefully I’ll have a blog tour of our home posted in the next couple of weeks.
I already have a list of home improvements I want to do in the future (like new blinds, painting the kitchen, getting new doors and baseboards, deck flooring, and installing shower doors for our bathtubs), but we’re happy for now and will start to look at costs for the more important improvements next year, once we’ve saved up enough in our joint account.
Anyway, here’s how I did this month:
- Mortgage – we decided to increase our accelerated payments by about 12% to get to a round number. This may change in the future as we get more comfortable with the amount.
- Groceries – I went for lunch a few times with co-workers/friends, and also if there’s only leftovers for one person to take a lunch, I usually give it to RD because he works in the middle of nowhere with no access to restaurants. I work downtown and it’s much easier for me to grab something.
- Household – LOL. These expenses include the renovation, an antique hutch, a custom made spice rack, multiple trips to Canadian Tire, and buying plants. Oh, and one more large expense that I’ll talk about next week. :)
- Restaurants & Entertainment – Nothing out of the ordinary, we just went out once or twice more than we normally would during the summer.
- Personal Care – I got my hair cut.
- Gifts – Bought a couple of cute cards for occasions coming up.
Income & Savings:
I made just over $2,600 in freelance income this month, but was only able to save 25.25% of my net income because of how much we spent on getting our condo in order. I still have $4,900 pending in freelance work billed out though, so I’m excited to throw most of that towards my saving next month to make up for July. :)
July 2017 Goals:
- Work out 12 times this month. CHECK! I actually only worked out 11 times, but I’m giving myself this one because I slippedon one of our hikes and deeply bruised my upper thigh. :( I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious, and only had to take 5 or 6 days off to fully recover from it.
- Try 3 new recipes. CHECK! I made cauliflower cake, jackfruit burritos, and made a zucchini lemon loaf.
- Unpack all boxes. CHECK! We are officially unpacked!
- Grow herbs. CHECK! I planted basil, parsley, and chives on our windowsill and am happy to see they’re growing strong. I still want to grow cilantro but when I was at the store, they had sold out of seeds. Will get to it in August.
This past long weekend was our first weekend in the new condo. We spent our time building new IKEA furniture and planting flowers and herbs on the patio. I also started really organizing our pantry by putting most of our bulk dry goods into labeled jars. I also finally got our spice cupboard in order. These are all things we just didn’t have room for in our old place. It’s funny how much difference there is when you have a bit of outdoor space and an extra 150 sq.ft. inside. Although RD kept wandering around the condo the other day, muttering that the place was too big because he kept misplacing things. :)
We also got approval from strata for our renovation project to remove our electric fireplace, so I got a quote for the job (about $750) and fingers crossed we can book someone to do it in the next few weeks.
As for July, it’s shaping up to be a pretty busy month. My sister will be visiting us for a few days later this month , we are hosting a couple of dinners in the next few weeks, plus we have a trip planned back to Victoria, and we’re still chipping away at those home projects. I’ll try to keep our costs low by cooking as much as possible at home, and finding fun (free) local activities to keep us occupied.
Here’s my budget for the month:
July 2017 Goals:
- Work out 12 times this month. I’m feeling pretty sluggish from about 3 weeks of very inconsistent physical activity and so much take-out and restaurant food. Ugh. Can’t wait to go running along the water, work-out in our building’s free gym, get up into the mountains, and join the (amazing) climbing gym near our place.
- Try 3 new recipes. We have our favourite 5 or 6 recipes on rotation, but I’d like to try out some new ones from the cookbooks that we have. Plus I really, really want to try cooking with jackfruit but it is impossible to find! Might have to venture out to a T&T or another Asian market to try to find some.
- Unpack all boxes. We’ve done pretty good so far, but the last 3 or 4 boxes are mine to unpack. Once we get our pantry delivered, I’ll be able to organize everything and finally feel moved in.
- Grow herbs. I already have rosemary growing on the patio, but I decided to buy some some seeds, soil, and pots so that I can grow the other herbs I use the most (basil, cilantro, parsley, and chives) on our windowsill in the kitchen. I’m really excited to stop buying huge bags of herbs from the grocery store and having more than half of it go bad before I can finish using it all. Seriously, tell me who actually uses a whole bunch of cilantro before it starts rotting? :)
What are you up to for July?