Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Building up my savings

Now that summer is over, I really want to focus on building up my non-retirement savings. Next year will likely be an expensive year for me, because I’d like to travel (already have a few places in mind), and I’d also like to put some money into my townhouse.

I haven’t created a budget yet because I don’t know where I want to go, and I don’t know exactly what I want to buy, but I do know I’ll need money for it. And since I’ve gotten into the habit of freely spending my money lately, I want to reign it in for the rest of the year.

The truth is, I don’t really need anything anyway. Whenever my family asks me what I want for my birthday or for Christmas this year, I can never come up with anything. Well, I want an iPhone 6, so I guess what I mean is I can never come up with anything realistic. :)

So here are my goals for the rest of the year:

  • No new clothes. I have enough to get me by. In fact, I should probably get rid of some of the stuff I don’t wear anymore!
  • No Starbucks. I’ve already been doing this one, and it will continue to the end of the year.
  • Pack my lunches more often. It’s about time management. I spend half my time at BF’s, and he’s not much of a lunch packer. So I need to figure this out for myself. Maybe it’s making an extra trip to the grocery store, or batch cooking and leaving a big tupperware of food in the fridge at work. Whatever it is, I need to figure it out.
  • No buying Kindle books. This is hard because I’m a fast reader, and I’m too impatient to wait for books to become available at the library. But I have a bunch of ebooks I haven’t read yet, and a few on my bookshelf as well. They should last me a few months at least.
  • Cook food at home. BF and I got into a habit during the summer of going to restaurants or grabbing take-out just so we could spend less time at home, and more time outside enjoying the summer. Now that the weather is coolling, I’m excited to roast vegetables, use my slow-cooker, and eat healthy meals at home.
  • Say no to things. If a friend suggests a restaurant that’s too expensive for me, or if there’s an activity I’m on the fence about, I’m going to say no and suggest something different.

Aside from these everyday ways to save money, I’m also thinking bigger. I’m going to try really hard to save 75% of my freelance income from now on, as well as all bonuses or raises I receive through work. Even though it’s going to be really tempting to upgrade my iPhone or get a new laptop, I know the money is better spent elsewhere. :)

Spending Recap: Sept. 29-Oct 5, 2014

Monday 29th
No Spend Day!

Tuesday 30th
+ $600 freelance income
$13.67 groceries

Wednesday 1st
$5.25 lunch

Thursday 2nd
$10.35 groceries

Friday 3rd
$12.50 lunch
$21.85 drinks

Saturday 4th
No Spend Day!

Sunday 5th
$20.53 Longtail Kitchen
$6 parking

Freelance Income: + $600
Expenses: - $90.15

TOTAL: + $509.85

After such a spendy holiday away, I was able to keep expenses relatively low this week. I filled up my tank with a gas card left over from September’s Hyundai loaner card, and ate low key meals at home during the work week. Although I did indulge in two lunches out – including Le Tigre Food Truck on Friday. :)

Friday night, BF and I went for a date night on Granville Island to watch an improv comedy show starring Colin Mochrie. It was awesome! We both loved it, although I couldn’t help but wish Ryan Stiles had also been there.

Both Saturday and Sunday I had field hockey games, which was nice to get back into after having missed the last two weekends. BF’s parents treated us to dinner on Saturday evening, and then I met up with my pal Cait on Sunday evening for a stroll around New Westminster and dinner at Longtail Kitchen. So yum.

How was your week of spending?

October 2014 Goals

It’s October already, and it’s my favourite month of the year. :) Usually I would go home for the Thanksgiving long weekend, but this time I’m staying in Vancouver. It’ll be nice to actually spend a long weekend in the city, and because the weekend after that, we are headed to Whistler!

October is going to be a month of regrouping after a spendy summer, and a trip to Hawaii. There are a lot of things I want to do next year, so I’m going to have to start saving diligently. :)

10-October-Budget

October 2014 Goals:

  • Sign up for education info sessions. I’m interested in learning more about some diploma/certificate programs through BCIT, SFU, and UBC. So I want to see if they have any info sessions coming up.
  • Rebalance my Retirement Portfolio. It’s that time of year!
  • Pull my credit report. Every year around my birthday, I pull my credit report. Since you’re allowed to do it once each year for free, I make sure to do it around my birthday so I never forget. :)
  • Declutter my house. I’ve been neglecting a thorough cleaning of my place, because I’m home so sporadically! But I’d like to have some of my friends over soon, so this is going to have to get done.
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