This was such a fun month because it’s finally summer here in Vancouver, and that means hiking season! This month I tackled Elk & Thurston Mountain, the Sea to Summit trail, Skyline Ridge, and then RD and I went and hiked 3 days of the Sunshine Coast trail out in Powell River. :)
And because it’s the summer, I’ve been walking and biking more – and using my car less. Which is why you can see I only needed to fill up my tank once all month. :)
My full-time job has been relatively busy, but I’m actually quite happy to work a bit extra because it just means I’m accumulating more time off to use later. Plus, RD was only actually home for one week out of the month, so it was easy to work an extra few hours every week and not really notice it.
As for freelancing, I have been saying no to a few opportunities, but I did say yes to a few things that are more about networking than about making money. I’ve also committed to speaking at a workshop for writers in Northern BC next spring, which I’m nervous and excited about, but should actually be a great experience.
Now, let’s see how I did with my budget and goals for the month!
- Entertainment – a pricey drink during dinner out with my cousins pushed me over my budget this month. But it was worth it. :)
- Travel – I would have been under budget, but we took an impromptu day trip (yes, day trip) to Ucluelet which included lunch and a kayak rental.
- Fitness – I thought we’d buy a 1-month climbing membership, but it made more sense to buy a 10-pass drop-in pack until we can commit to going at least 2-3 times a week.
- Gifts – My sister and I took my parents to a baseball game when I was in town.
Income and Savings:
In June I saved 62.2% of my income, which is well above my 50% target. I only brought in $600 in freelance income this month, but was happy to see that all put into savings.
June 2016 Goals:
- Continue being active. CHECK! It was a diverse month for exercise this month. I went to yoga, spin class, the climbing gym, and got in a few hiking trips – including a multi-day hike of a portion of the Sunshine Coast.
- Go hiking somewhere new. CHECK! I actually did 4 hikes I’ve never done before, which I’m super pleased about. That includes a solo 20km hike up Skyline Ridge in Squamish. I usually don’t like doing new hikes by myself (prefer to stick to ones I know, just to be safe in the back country), but it was a great day out.
- Examine my retirement plan. CHECK! I’ve done a lot of thinking this month, and even blogged a bit about my early retirement savings strategy. Although no actual decisions have been made (I don’t think any drastic changes are necessary at the moment), I’m a lot more confident with my savings rate and retiring earlier than I initially anticipated. RD and I have also been discussing what a good life and a good retirement mean to us, and how we can potentially shape that into reality.
After a very expensive May, I’m hoping June is a quieter month for spending.
I technically have no confirmed travel plans this month other than a weekend home to take my dad to a baseball game. But because we both have a lot of banked/vacation time to use up this year, we were thinking of taking the last week of June off and tackling a portion of the Sunshine Coast Trail over in Powell River. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do more than go on an epic multi-day hike to celebrate Canada Day! So I definitely hope this happens. :)
Work looks to be busy this month. Actually, it’s been busy for the past few months, but seems to be catching up to us lately. I don’t mind though, because I’m still loving my job and the company. I feel valued as an employee, and that’s not something I’ve felt in a really long time. Along with a small raise in April, my overtime hours have just been bumped up from 1.0x payout to 1.5x (with the option to get paid out or bank the time). I was already collecting banked time off at a pretty rapid rate, but this just means I’ll end up with a lot of carry-over days for 2017 (which isn’t a bad thing – because next year I want to get on a plane and go somewhere amazing!).
RD won’t be home from his big 5-week work trip for another 7 or 8 days, and he’s gone again later this month for another 5 or 6 days of field work (and then again in the beginning of July). So I’m going to try to keep my dining out habit in check (something I failed at last month). I love the summer, but will love having him home even more. :)
Anyway, here is the budget I’m proposing for the month:
June 2016 Goals:
- Continue being active. May was an amazing month for working out. I did something active 5x times per week, and loved it. This month will be a bit different because I’ll be bringing rock climbing back into the mix, but hope to continue mixing climbing up with yoga, spin class, and hiking.
- Go hiking somewhere new. Aside from the SCT, I’d like to try something in the Lower Mainland I’ve never done before. Since there’s still a lot of snow up high, I’ve been looking at some hikes near Chilliwack and might head out there one weekend.
- Examine my retirement plan. For many years I feared I wasn’t saving enough money. Now I think I’m saving too aggressively for the kind of retirement I actually want. I need to actually sit down and take a look at the numbers. Could I be putting my money towards savings outside of retirement? Or can I adjust my retirement goals to stop working even sooner than I thought?
Wow am I glad May is over. Not because it was completely horrible – there were some really great moments – but because May was super expensive, and the end of May means that RD comes home in just over a week. :)
I had planned two trips for may – home for the long weekend, and a camping/hiking trip with Cait. My three nights home were really great. I got to spend time with friends and family (and eat a lot of delicious food!). Plus, I took my sister to the spa (as you can see in the ‘Gifts’ category below). However, my camping/hiking trip with Cait ended up not happening. She got super sick with the flu – and even if she hadn’t gotten sick, the weather last weekend was so horrible I doubt we would have gone anyway.
- Food – I got lazy and stopped cooking meals at home. It was surprisingly hard to keep disciplined, even though we’ve been cooking the majority of our meals at home for the past 6 months.
- Clothing – I got two dresses altered, and bought a new pair of workout pants.
- Car & Transportation – Well, now. My little car got new tires, an oil change, and a couple of other random fixes that I’ve been putting off for a while. I knew I was going to have to get this done before our October road trip, but I didn’t anticipate doing it this month. One of the little fixes got to be too bothersome, so I ended up taking it in and just getting everything done just out of convenience. I’m glad it was all taken care of, but ouch!
Income and Savings:
This month I saved 48.6% of my income, which is just a bit below my target of 50%. I brought in $3,000 through freelancing, and still have $6,250 in outstanding invoices yet to be paid.
May 2016 Goals:
- Be diligent with cooking meals at home. FAIL. Oh, yes, this was a complete and total fail. I had all these grand ideas of cooking my meals at home and not getting lazy just because I was cooking for one this month. :) I actually did fairly well for a while, but a bachelor mentality set in, and I ended up going $60 over budget for the month – mostly in take-out food.
- Workout 5x/week. CHECK! I worked out 19 times this month, and did a mixture of yoga, spin class, climbing, and the gym. I shed a couple pounds (which was not the intention, but I’ll definitely take it!), and feel much stronger.
- No alcohol or coffee. PASS. I did quite well with not drinking alcohol (I had 4 drinks all month), and I was doing well with coffee for the first three weeks … but the last week has been hard. Work got really busy and I ended up coming in early a lot and grabbing coffee on my way in.
- Be creative with freelancing opportunities. PASS. I had some good conversations with potential sponsors. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but I’m just glad I was able to flesh out my ideas and pitch them.
- Save $2,500 towards retirement. FAIL. My huge car bill ate up the majority of my freelance income from the month, but I still managed to put over $3,000 away in retirement and savings combined – so even though it was a fail, that’s still a win in my books. :)