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November 2016 Goals: Recap

2016macbookproI’m currently typing this blog post out on my new Macbook Pro. :) After I wrote about my purchase at the beginning of November, my friend Nic convinced me I needed to upgrade the graphics card on the computer since I plan on keeping it just as long as my last one (hopefully longer).

The original budget for my computer was $3,500, and after tax, my computer came to $3,619.84. But I had $300 in Apple gift cards (which I got for my birthday in October), and I managed to sell my old computer for $400 – meaning the grand total of my computer actually came to $2,919.84! :)

Unfortunately I went over on a few other categories in my budget this month, so I wasn’t able to save my savings. But at least I didn’t go over budget, so that’s a small win.

11-november2016-recap

Over Budget:

  • Tenant Insurance – One of my goals this month was to decrease our annual insurance, but we ended up increasing it because I wanted to add earthquake coverage.
  • Household – A few weeks ago we went to the Circle Craft Market downtown to do some Christmas shopping, and we ended up buying a few pieces of art for ourselves. Whoops! :)
  • Entertainment – One extra trip to the pub put me over budget this month.
  • Clothing – I had budgeted $300 for boots and pants, but ended up using the entire amount for a pair of tall Phillip Harness Frye boots I had been lusting over for years. They are $629 on the Frye website, and I saw them locally in Vancouver for $480 after tax. But I was able to get them on a Black Friday sale through Amazon for $296.76 after tax and duties.
  • Fitness – We bought a one-month membership to the climbing gym, and I also lost RD’s water bottle so I had to get another one for him. :)
  • Gifts – I thought I’d just *start* my Christmas shopping for the year, but decided just to finish it off since we’ll be traveling in mid-December to celebrate some birthdays and an early Christmas with RD’s brother. The money I spent was gifts for 11 people (9 Christmas presents, and 2 birthday presents).

Income and Savings:

This month I was only able to save 19.2% of my income, because of the MacBook Pro purchase. But I’m just pleased I was able to save anything at all.

November Goals:

  • Shop around for tenant insurancePASS. I mean, I kind of did this by getting two different quotes. Both were about the same, so I went with the same insurer as last year. But just today I found a policy for about $200/year cheaper … so am going to try to switch. And if I cannot switch, I’ll know better for next year. :|
  • Create my budgeting spreadsheet for 2017CHECK! My spreadsheet is bigger and better than before, and I’m so excited to start using it in January. Yes, I am a nerd.
  • FreelancingCHECK! I have one outstanding invoice for 2016, and have quoted out for 3 projects in 2017.

November 2016 Goals

November is going to be an expensive month … not because I’m going anywhere (although I am going to Toronto next week for the Canadian Personal Finance Conference), but because I pre-ordered one of the new Apple Macbook Pro computers.

I bought my current MBP six years ago, and it has served me well. In fact, aside from it running hot, it’s still a very good computer … it just doesn’t work for my purposes anymore. I work my computers hard, and the lag in the last 6 months has become so bad that I’ve stopped doing any sort of photo editing or design work. And that needs to change.

So with some of the freelance money I’ve earned this year, I’ll be getting my new computer in just a couple of weeks! I had budgeted $3,500 and with taxes, my purchase came to $3,269.84. I’m really pleased I was able to come in under budget, and I plan on selling my old computer which I think should get me a few hundred dollars.

Anyway, onto this month’s budget!

11-november2016-budget

I’ve included money in my budget this month for clothing – I’d like to get a pair of black boots as I had to throw away my last pair two winters ago. I also need to get two pairs of shoes repaired, and would like to buy a pair of pants for work.

Also I’ve included about half my budget for Christmas gifts. :)

November 2016 Goals:

  • Shop around for tenant insurance – ours expires at the end of the month, so I’ll call around to a few places to see if we can get a lower rate.
  • Create my budgeting spreadsheet for 2017 – I stopped using Quicken a few years ago and track my budget in my own Excel spreadsheet. Except that it has gotten quite robust and complicated over the years with so many linked cells across multiple tabs. I want to set up a clean version for 2017 so that I don’t have to worry about it next month. :)
  • Freelancing – I need to wrap up the last of my freelance contracts for 2016 and start the negotiating for contracts during the first half of 2017. I’ve also been getting inquiries about doing some freelance design work, which I might pick up just for fun … haven’t done any contracted design work in a while!

October 2016 Goals

img_1298I had good intentions of getting my September numbers all sorted out before going on our trip, but I was pressed for time and didn’t get it done. So instead, I’ll post my October 2016 goals and get back to recapping September when I’m home in a few weeks. :)

Right now I’m writing this post from Haines Junction, YT. It’s Day 5 of our trip, and we’ve already seen and done so much! We’ve already had some pretty crazy weather – including pretty intense icy roads from Chetwynd to Fort Nelson. But since Muncho Lake and into Yukon, it’s been partially sunny weather and surprisingly pleasant. I mean, yes it’s still cold, but it’s manageable. Although I notice in the weather reports for the next week that it should get to -10C in Dawson, so that will be interesting for a weather wimp like me. :)

I’ll be interested in seeing if we will hit our travel budget for the month. One thing I’ve really been surprised with is how cheap groceries were in Whitehorse. And by cheap I mean most of the things we bought were either on par or cheaper than prices in Vancouver – and we shop at the cheapest grocery store in our neighbourhood. Granted, the grocery prices in Watson Lake were outrageous, so I suppose that’s the benefit of living in the biggest city in Yukon.

Anyway, since about 3/4 of October will be spent on vacation, you can see that my October budget reflects that in lower food/entertainment/transportation costs.

10-october-budget

October 2016 Goals:

  • Extended health benefits – later this year, I’ll be eligible to change my extended health benefits at work and get onto RD’s plan. So I need to check out exactly what his plan covers to see what combination of cost/coverage would suit us the best.
  • Shared cell phone plan – we’ve talked about getting onto a shared wireless plan for a few months now. My corporate plan is eligible to be shared, and would cut down on RD’s bill significantly. The only issue is that since RD is in remote locations so much during the year, he’s afraid going over to my carrier (Rogers) will limit his cell coverage.
  • Research stocks – I recently sold my shares in the first stock I ever bought, so I have a few thousand dollars to play around with. I have my eye on a few stocks for the long-term, but need to do more research before I commit.
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