April should be a relatively calm month for spending compared to March. RD’s birthday is next week, and I’ve already bought his present. It will not be reflected in my budget on this blog (since he reads here!), but I think I’ll still be able to make my savings target this month regardless.
There are a few added expenses this month. I’ve included an extra $150 into my Fitness budget so that I can buy new rock climbing shoes (mine are 7 years old and are getting pretty ratty), and I have $75 in Personal Care to get some face cream. Actually, it’s a bit of a gamble because I’m trying out a new product line. For those that care, I have been using Origins for the last 5 years or so, but Sephora doesn’t carry their eye cream anymore, so I’m switching up and trying Ole Henriksen. :)
The only social obligations I have booked in this month is a concert this week (David Francey – although I’m assuming nobody who reads here has ever heard of him!), and a dinner date with two girlfriends later this month. I had a great time on vacation last week, but my capacity for socializing has reached its peak for a while. :) We got home on Friday and spent the entire weekend decompressing and spending quiet time together. I think that’ll continue for a little while longer – at least for me, anyway.
April 2016 Goals:
- Practice yoga – I was given a gift certificate to YYoga this month, so I’m going to start going on a somewhat regular basis. I’d like to practice yoga 2-3 times this month, with the goal of going once a week in May.
- Run twice – While in Tofino, I ran pain-free three times (all beach running) and loved it. It gave me hope that I can run again, but will have to limit myself to easy chip trails (no cement if I can help it, or North Shore trail running anymore). There’s a short looped chip trail not far from our house, so I’d like to get out there and try.
- Do my taxes and get organized for next year – This is a carry-over goal from last month. Life got hectic last month with so much work … and then we went on vacation … so I wasn’t able to find the time to do my taxes or get myself organized for this year.
- Read more often – I’ve gotten into the habit of surfing the internet or watching Netflix if I have some downtime. But I started reading A Superior Man by Paul Yee (no relation) on vacation, and really want to read more about this specific subject (the Chinese-Canadian experience in the 19th century in British Columbia).
March was an insane month, and I’m glad it’s over. :) And even though my poor planning resulted in spending more on food for the month, coming in almost $300 under budget overall for the month makes me really happy. I’m especially pleased with the fact that I only had to fill up my gas tank once for the entire month. And considering we spent without any regard to budgeting while we were gone, I’m really happy we came in under budget for our trip too.
- Food – I decreased my grocery budget this month because we were going to be away for a week … but I failed to realize that as a result of working a lot of overtime during the 2 weeks leading up to vacation (and trying to maintain our regular climbing schedule), we’d be buying lunches and getting take-out for dinner a lot more often than normal. :(
Income & Savings:
This month I saved 71.5% of my income, and brought in just over $5,000 in freelance income. It’s nice when those invoices get paid out on time. :)
March 2016 Goals:
- Practice yoga once a week – PASS. I didn’t practice yoga, but I made sure to bring stretching into my (almost) daily routine. And after running and/or hiking, I did a lot of stretching and yoga poses to cool down.
- Do my taxes and get organized for next year – FAIL. Nope. I was too busy this month to finish.
- Look into getting a credit limit increase on my credit card – FAIL. I didn’t look into this at all.
- Save $2,000 towards retirement – CHECK! At least I was able to accomplish one goal from this month. :)
Well this is an expensive month because RD and I are headed to Tofino and Powell River for a week.
We booked 4 nights in Tofino through VRBO.com which cost about $390 each. Expensive, I know. But it’s normal for Tofino, and the location can’t be beat – RD has stayed at this place before, and it’s just a couple minutes walk to Chesterman Beach. We’ll cook most of our meals – with the exception of at least a couple trips to the Tacofino food truck, and probably one dinner in town.
From Tofino, we plan on visiting my aunt and uncle in Nanaimo, before taking the ferry to over to Powell River for a few days. I’ve never been before, but hear it’s quite lovely. :) I’ve budgeted $1,000 for the entire trip. We won’t need to worry about accommodation in PR, so all we have to figure out is food, gas, and ferry costs.
I’ll also be renewing my rock climbing membership, but again will be buying a 1-month pass for March and April. Since RD is gone for much of May and June for work, it didn’t make sense to buy a 3-month pass. Instead, while he’s gone, I’ll switch gyms where they have more auto-belay options – so that I can continue to climb without a partner. :)
But to offset this expensive month, I expect to bring in about $4,200 in freelance income.
March 2016 Goals:
- Practice yoga once a week – Increasing our climbing to 3x/week has left my body pretty stiff. I wanted to look into classes, but even rec centre drop-in classes are $16, and I’m not into that. So since I can’t justify spending even more money every month on fitness, it’ll be back to my yoga DVDs for now. :)
- Do my taxes and get organized for next year – I’ve got almost all of my tax slips, and I’ve already done a preliminary run of my taxes, but it was just with estimated freelance numbers. I also want to get more organized with my 2016 taxes. I revamped my old spreadsheet to provide more details, but it’s the way I file receipts that needs a massive overall.
- Look into getting a credit limit increase on my credit card – I only have one credit card with a $5,000 limit, and that has been fine for the past couple of years. But lately I’ve been charging a lot of reimbursable work expenses (and joint travel expenses) which has caused my card to come dangerously close to my limit before my payments get posted. I’d like to get a credit increase so I can continue to use my card for work purposes (to earn reward points), and not worry about getting declined.
- Save $2,000 towards retirement – This is a carry-over goal from last month, but will largely be based on whether I receive payment for freelance work that I invoiced out for last month.