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June 2017 Goals: Recap

Okay, June’s expenses weren’t as bad as I thought they would be, BUT I made a few errors when developing my budget back in May because I had no idea what our mortgage payments would look like, and for some reason I put July’s rent into the budget. Whoops. Obviously we didn’t have to pay for July’s rent, and the way our mortgage payments work, we don’t actually make our first payment until July.

Speaking of our mortgage, after running the numbers with RD, we decided we’ll be increasing our accelerated bi-weekly payments by 20% and going from there. It’s an easy way to bring our mortgage down by a few years, and it doesn’t really affect our overall budget. Or at least it doesn’t seem to. We can re-adjust the amount later if we find it’s impacting our other goals.

Overall, our move went smoothly. We spend an entire weekend shuttling boxes back and forth between our house and the condo, so when the movers actually came, all they had to move was our big furniture. We also spent about 3 days painting – it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but the place looks much better.

This month we also spent a weekend in Seattle with my family. It’s always a really fun trip, but with the exchange rate being what it was, it came out to be more expensive than we thought. I had also budgeted that we’d book the rest of our Portugal accommodation this month, but we ended up being way too busy, so that will just have to wait until July!

Freelancing went well this month and it was also a 3-pay cheque month. So because my cash flow this month puts me in a decent spot, I took on a bit more of the household expenses. We went to an antique store and found a beautiful teak dining room hutch (I’m going to use it as a pantry). It was originally $1,700 but we got it on discount for $570, so I’m pretty excited. I hadn’t anticipated buying furniture until July, so it wasn’t accounted for in the June budget, but the sale was too good to pass up. :) We’ll be going to IKEA this weekend to pick up a few more things.

Anyway, here is how I did this month with my budget:

Over Budget

  • Property Tax – we pre-paid for our property tax for the year when we closed on our condo.
  • Groceries – because we weren’t cooking at home that often, I ended up going out for lunch way more often. I tried going to more inexpensive places, but I still went over budget by a lot.
  • Household – as mentioned above, I bought an amazing pantry hutch for the house (it’s getting delivered next weekend). We also bought some stuff from the dollar store, got keys cut, bought cleaning supplies, and other small miscellaneous expenses.
  • Clothing – when we were in Seattle, I bought 2 pairs of jeans that were on sale. I also got a pair of Birkenstock sandals repaired, and bought a t-shirt at a concert I went to.
  • Personal Care – bought some miscellaneous toiletries at Target in Seattle.

Income and Savings

I brought in about $575 in freelance income this month, but still have about $7,500 pending. I thought I’d get some of it paid out in June, but looks like it’ll be more like July. :)

My savings rate this month was at 53.1%, and my average for the year is 54.5% – so right on target.

 

May 2017 Goals: Recap

May was a very busy month for me. I thought I’d have a lot of free time since RD has been gone since the end of April, but my evenings have been filled with overtime, freelancing, organizing our move, booking travel plans, and seeing friends more often then normal. But I’m happy, my To Do list is getting smaller, and I feel organized, so that’s always a positive. :)

I will admit that this month I was lazy when it came to cooking at home. I ate very simple dinners (cooking meals for just one person seemed like too much effort), and then didn’t have leftovers for lunch … which is why I went over budget in the Groceries category (bought my lunch too many times). But other than that, it was a pretty normal month of spending for me.

Over Budget:

  • Groceries – Like I said above, it was pure laziness. I bought my lunch more than normal, and also went to Starbucks because the thought of making coffee just for myself in the mornings at home seemed like a lot of effort? I know. And even though Starbucks was just $2.20 each time, it added up!
  • Household – when my friend and I were in Seattle, I impulsively bought two side plates at the market. I couldn’t help myself! They were just too nice. :)
  • Personal Care – I ran out of shampoo and some hair products.
  • Miscellaneous – RD and I bought a Garmin InReach device, which allows us to text message through satellites (instead of cell towers) so that we could communicate while he’s doing his field work. 5-6 weeks is just too long to go without talking

Income and Savings

I only brought in $600 in freelance income this month, but billed out for about $5,000 which should be coming to me for June.

My retirement portfolio got its normal $1,600-ish contribution, and I was able to put about $500 towards my down payment. Now that we’re about to wrap up saving for our down payment, I’m looking forward to funneling that savings into my TFSA. Maybe over time I’ll be able to catch up with my maximum contribution amount. Maybe. :)

May 2017 Goals:

  • Exercise. PASS. I’m giving myself a pass because while I didn’t use my YYoga membership as much as I would have liked, I did go hiking, running, and I walked a lot. Not quite the same, but working overtime almost every day meant that I was canceling my booked classes a lot.
  • Organize our move. CHECK! I booked a mover, organized move-in times with the building caretakers, inquired about doing small renovations to our place, got quotes for painters (decided to DIY this one), bought condo insurance, canceled renter’s insurance, and bought 12 months of mail forwarding for the both of us. Whew!
  • Refresh GMBMFB. FAIL. I’ve started working with the theme on my test site, and it should be ready to launch soon. I wanted to get this done, but working so much at my day job this month meant the last thing I wanted to do was be on my laptop when I got home from work.

June 2017 Goals

June’s budget makes my head hurt because it’s going to be so expensive. SO expensive. Good thing it’s a 3 pay cheque month, right? :)

Even though we close on our condo on June 13th, we are paying rent until the end of the month – giving us about 2 weeks to move – but also 2 weeks of paying rent and a mortgage. Boo. But it’s a lot less stressful this way, and really can’t be avoided because RD wants to spend a couple days painting the place, and then he goes off on a week-long work trip. While he’s gone, I’ll start moving some of the smaller stuff over in my car, and will leave the big stuff for the movers who come on the 28th. :)

Some of the numbers in my budget below are just a shot in the dark. I’m not exactly sure how much the notary will cost, so I just estimated based on the last time I bought my home. And as for the mortgage/strata/property tax, I just estimated based on a partial payment for the month. I’ll write up a post in a few weeks detailing all of the closing costs associated with our purchase, and I will be very curious to see how they compare to my costs back in 2011. Spreadsheets will be made. So much fun will be had!

Related: The real cost of closing on a home

To add to the piles of moving expenses this month, we will also need to book the last week of our Portugal trip (I booked the first week last month because budget-friendly accommodation was getting scarce in the Azores). We are hoping for an average of $100/night in Lisbon and Porto, which should be doable.

AND oh yeah, we’re going to Seattle for with my family for our annual Blue Jays weekend. We’ve already paid for our baseball tickets and train ride, so all we need to pay for is our accommodation for 2 nights and food.

Anyway, here’s my budget:

You can see I’ve updated the way I present my monthly budget. Now, I’m breaking up my spending into Fixed and Variable categories, as well as clearly indicating what is a shared expense. This makes it easier for me (and probably for you) to visualize, as I’m obviously only going to be sharing my half of the expenses.

June Goals:

No goals. Seriously. There’s just too much going on this month, that whatever goals I try to make, will definitely 100% not get accomplished.

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