Well I was able to come just in under budget this month, which I’m pleased about. Our pet sitter has been booked for our two trips this year, and soon we’ll have a screen door on our balcony. But buying a screen door got me thinking about all of the other projects I want to tackle in the house. You wouldn’t think a 9 year old condo would need much work, and while none of it is ridiculously expensive, it will add up quickly. Here are the projects I’m hoping to tackle in the next few years:
- New blinds. Ours are the cheapo blinds that come standard with most condos. They’re bent in some places, and are starting to look shabby. I’d like something more substantial that will look and last longer. But since we are a corner unit with floor to ceiling windows, I feel like this is going to be expensive.
- Glass shower doors. We were spoiled in our last place with having a beautiful glass shower door, so now having to go back to shower curtains makes me feel unreasonably cranky. Shower doors just look so much nicer and makes the bathroom look bigger.
- Kitchen sink. Our kitchen still looks modern and new. We have stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and bamboo cupboards. But the sink isn’t very nice and the nozzle buttons are starting to fall apart.
- Baseboard moulding. The current moulding is pretty dinged up from the previous owners, and it’s also a cream colour which we are not fond of. We would have painted it when we moved in, but thought that we’d replace it in the next few years anyway. It doesn’t look horrible, but I think would really freshen up the condo.
- Deck flooring. Our balcony is concrete, and not super great to look. So it would be amazing if we could lay down something that will feel nicer on our feet, and will be easier to clean. A few other balconies have it in our building, and it looks really nice.
Anyway, I have a sneaking suspicion there will always be something one of us would like to change about the place. :) But for now it’s fine. I’m thinking we’ll probably get the deck flooring project done this coming spring, so that we can enjoy our balcony next summer.
Enough about home improvement projects! Here’s how I did with my budget in October:
- Groceries (work lunches/coffee): There’s no excuse for spending so much money on lunches and coffees while at work. I just got into a habit and didn’t plan ahead. One of my November goals is to not spend any money on food at work (unless a friend comes into town, it’s a team lunch, or some sort of networking event – none of which are very common).
- Household: We had budgeted for a pet sitter and a screen door for the condo, which would have put us well under budget. But we also decided to buy pet insurance for Zoey, and RD really wanted to buy a vacuum to deal with the cat hair that is just everywhere.
Income & Savings
I saved 44.5% of my income this month, and thanks to a great months for my investments, my overall net worth increased by 3.6%.
October 2017 Goals:
- Work out 3-4 times each week (average). FAIL. I only worked out 11 times this month because for the past 2 weeks I’ve been nursing some sort of weird hip flexor issue. I know I injured myself in a field hockey game, but am not sure how I did it. So I haven’t been doing any cardio except for field hockey games (not even practices), and have gone easy on the climbing. It’s slowly getting better though, so fingers crossed I can get back into it soon.
- Check credit score. CHECK! Because I’m a Capital One customer, I now have access to their CreditKeeper website. So I can check my credit score for free on a weekly basis if I really want to.
- List at least 5 things for sale online. FAIL. I listed one thing and it didn’t sell. :(
- Research pet camera systems. CHECK! We ended up buying the PetCube Play. I found it new on eBay for $125 (regular $260 + tax/shipping on their website). I have it set up now, and it’s actually really fun to check in on Zoey. Except that most of the time she’s sleeping. :)
- Work on freelance business. CHECK! I’ve got a couple of freelance jobs scheduled for this year, and one potential one for the first few months of 2018.
November is shaping up to be a fun month! I’m looking forward to bringing my boots and winter coats back out, and settling into a cozy routine at home. I want to cook curries and stews and fill the freezer with leftovers, and I also really want to clean out my closets and donate at least a few bags of clothing that I no longer wear.
This month is also when I’ll be headed to Toronto for 4 days for the 2017 Canadian Personal Finance Conference! I’m so thrilled because we have an entirely female speaker line-up for the Saturday. It’s just so exciting when the speakers, attendees, and sponsors are all equally enthusiastic about what’s been put together so far. If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, head over to CPFC.CO for more information – and as a special offer to GMBMFB readers, I have a coupon for 20% off the ticket price. Just enter in the code CPFC2017_GMBMFB! Can’t wait to see you there!
There’s also a chance I’ll be headed to Toronto in the middle of the month for a day or two of meetings with a freelance client. I’m keeping my fingers crossed about this one, because if it works out, I think it’ll be one of the coolest freelance gigs I’ve ever been apart of. :)
Our little cat Zoey has been with us for just over a month, and she seems to be settling in nicely. I’ve got a routine set around her meals, and we’re starting to get her sleep schedule more aligned with ours. :) She used to wake up at 2am and just got nuts running around the house playing with her toys. But in the past couple of days she’s slept until around 5am which is when I wake up most mornings anyway. Hopefully we can keep that progress up.
Anyway, here is my budget for November!
November 2017 Goals:
- Set up a joint savings account. RD mentioned it would be nice to have a savings account set up so that we’re at least earning something instead of having all of our joint money sitting in the chequing account.
- Consolidate my TFSA accounts. I have some money sitting in a Tangerine TFSA account from a few years ago, and I’ve been wanting to move it over to Questrade all year, I’ve just been too lazy to transfer it over. Then I’ll only have 3 TFSA accounts (TD e-series, Questrade, and stocks from work in a Sunlife account).
- Get my boots re-soled. I two pairs of boots that desperately need a new heel. Not sure I’d survive the winter without them.
- Pack a lunch every work day. This will be tough, but doable. The only exceptions will be if it’s a work lunch with my team, or if a friend from out of town is visiting.
October is probably my favourite month of the year – I just love the colder weather, breaking out my sweaters, cooking curries and stews, and spending cozy evenings indoors (except when I have field hockey practice in the evenings – brrr!).
One change to our Fixed Expenses it that our condo fees have gone up about $40/month – which is a pretty significant jump, but still cheaper than most condo buildings in our area. I like the fact that we have 24/7 security, full-time caretakers, and regular cleaning to all floors and common area spaces.
This month my spending looks pretty normal, with the exception of a few things:
- We are installing a screen door to our patio – so we can enjoy some fresh air and kitty can stay safely inside.
- We will be going away for the November long weekend, and about 12 days over Christmas, so we’ve hired a pet sitter to watch Zoey twice a day while we’re gone. Maybe two visits a day is a bit much, but I want to keep her feeding times on a regular schedule, and she hates (HATES) a dirty litter box.
- I’m starting my Christmas shopping by giving myself a $300 budget for the month. My budget will likely be a lot more, but for now this will be fine as I have something in mind. :)
- The car needs an oil change and a couple of small things fixed.
October 2017 Goals:
- Work out 3-4 times each week (average). Gym, rock climbing, field hockey.
- Check credit score. Once a year treat, for my birthday!
- List at least 5 things for sale online. There’s a lot we can get rid of.
- Research pet camera systems. We left Zoey at home overnight so that we could go to my parents for Thanksgiving, and I was surprised at my anxiety level. I think some sort of camera system will help me with that, especially since we’re gone during the days, and have a couple of vacations coming up. Initial research shows me they’re about $150-300 in price. I know that she’s fine by herself all day, but just being able to see her somehow makes me feel better. Maybe I’ve already turned into a crazy cat lady. :)
- Work on freelance business. I need to follow up with some clients, and finalize a contract or two for the fall.