Wednesday, March 19, 2008

There! I've settled on a new template. I like this one since it's wider - I can put more in the sidebars without squeezing it onto one page. I appologize if you don't have a widescreen monitor - I'm not sure how this will look on a regular one.

I must admit, though, I'm getting midly competent with this whole HTML thing! This one only took me about 15 minutes to get all together, whereas the last one took me several hours.

Again, I've put a poll to the side, if you'd like to vote, please do so.

I'm looking forward to having Friday off, I'm feeling midly overwhelmed with everything I have to do at home.

So. Much. Slice.

Oh. My. God. I've been watching so much Til Debt do us Part on the net. In the last 3 days, I've watched three seasons. Yep. Three. 50-some-odd episodes. So. Much. Debt.

It's made me (more) obsessive with finances, though.

In other news, I think it's time for a template change. This one has done me good, but I'm feeling a change. I'm going to look around and see what I can find.

What my budget looks like!

Last night I took some photos of my budget for all of you to look at. So, here you go!

(I did find a similar coin purse at another store yesterday afternoon, so now I have five of them!). This is all of them together in a little box I have in my room. This is the green coin purse that I'm using for food. Currently it has the following: My learner's drivers license, my Air Miles card, $70.24 in cash, and a little card I made to remind myself what I am using this bag for.
This is the coin purse that I'm using for Transportation/Communication.
Other than my little 'reminder card', I have $14.63 left this month. I shouldn't be spending any more money in this category this month, as I have already paid my cell phone bill.
This is my favorite color. I'm using it right now for my personal category. This is what is in there. I've got all my rewards cards, along with a MAC gift card and a Sephora gift card (received for birthdays). I've also got $4.83 left in here.This is the wallet that I'm using for Entertainment.
Right now, this one is the fullest. I've got my rewards cards, a coupon for free photos, and some theatre tickets for a play next Sunday. I've also got $15.71 in cash left.This is the new coin purse I just bought. It is holding my Misc. fund. Right now it's got:

My HBC card, a card-store card, as well as $42.63 left in cash.

So there you have it. That's what is in my purse if you were to look into it today.

In response to a comment I got yesterday, I'm not sure what I will do with the left over money. I have been throwing around a couple different ideas. Thse include keeping the leftovers in their own coin purse and using that to save up, putting all the excess into savings, or putting it into a separate category for a different type of spending (such as frivoulous spending or other stuff). Any thoughts??

I have a new budget!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Well, it's not a new budget, it's just a re-vamped budget. I have decided that since I am a visual person I am switching (partially) to the envelope budgeting system.

As I am a high-fashion gal (hahahaha), instead of using enveloppes I am using the most adorable coin-purses from Espe. The coin purse is the same size as this, but has the design of the birds on the main page. They are very cute. The original plan was to get five of them, but there were only four matching ones (I'm a little obsessive about matching things...) at the store, so I bought the four. I now have a black, white, orange and green one. I'm checking a different store this afternoon to see if they have another one. I have also color-coodinated my budget spreadsheet to reflect the colors of the coin purses.

I combined the sections from my old budget and re-worked them into four new categories:

(The first one is this months (color-coded) and the bottom one is next month's (reworked).
These categories are Food, Transportation/Communication, Personal and Entertainment. I'm still looking for another coin purse for the Misc. category, but until then it rests happily in the "Personal" category.

My Food category constitutes anything I put in my mouth: groceries, eating out, vitamins, drinking out, etc.

My Transportation/Communiation category is anything to do with getting around and talking to people. Right now it covers any bus passes (I won't need another until May) and my $40-ish cell phone bill. I rarely pay gass unless it's for friends for road trips and such.

My Personal category constitutes anything I put on my body as well as put all my other shit in. Things like toiletries, clothes, purses, bags, jewelry, etc. Right now it also contains my Misc. category, which has things like gifts, stationary, housewares, etc.

And, finally, my entertainment category. This includes everything I enjoy. Things like books, admissions, technology and general non-food going out.

I find that having large categories is much easier for me than lots of small ones. I will go months without using the $15 I have budgeted for books, but will overspend by $15 a month in other categories. It makes me feel bad seeing the red, even though in reality, I haven't overspent my total amount.

On top of that, this way I can see while I'm out shopping, how much cash I have left. On days where I work, I religiously put my spent money into my spreadsheet. But at home, since I'm running the stupid Windows Vista, I cannot access my spreadsheet. Just like when I'm at the mall, I can't track exactly how much I have left the spend, and sometime end up overspending without knowing it until I return to the spreadsheet. This way, I can peek into the coin purse, and know exactly how much I have left to spend.

I also have a new budget breakdown. I have decided to break it down weekly, because otherwise, $800 is a lot of money to be carrying around. Plus, I don't get paid until the 15th of the month, so the first few weeks of the month would depend on the last few weeks of the previous month - very confusing.

Here is the new plan:

On Mondays, on my way to work (there's a bank on the train line), I will withdraw $200. When I get back to the office, it will be broken up like this:

  • $63 is Food
  • $12 is Transportation
  • $50 is Personal
  • $25 is Entertainment
  • $50 is Misc.

Fortunately there is change readily available at the office so I can break this down properly.

Another good thing about the coin purses is that they are roomy enough to keep both the receipts as well as my club/savings cards (like safeway card or other non-fee points cards) in the appropriate sections. Cards that have no specific sections (like bank/VISA cards) or cards with more than one section (Air Miles, Shopper's Drug Mart - groceries/toiletries/gifts) go in a little card holder that I already own.

I am very excited about implementing this system. I am looking forward to seeing how it works. Hopefully I will carry it forward to use in London, where I would much prefer to use an all-cash system rather than my Debit/Credit Cards, where, as TD told me, I'll pay a $5 CAD fee (as well as 2.5% interest fee) everytime I want to take out British Pounds. Yikes!

Til Debt do us Part

Monday, March 17, 2008

I've been watching Til Debt do us Part over at - soooo many episodes but it is as obsessive as ever.

There are so many couples that are hiding fiances from each other and even themselves.

Finances are such a taboo subject. I find myself pretty blunt about finances. I'm pretty open about how much money I earn, how much is in my bank, etc. Most people I know say things like "I'm so broke" and "There's no money" but are hesitant to answer in-depth questions.

While K was good at checking her balance and online bank account information, however, my friend H doesn't even know what her bank account is sitting at. She gave me her bank account info a long time ago, and since I'm a snoop, I peek in on her accounts once in a while and see how she's doing.

Sometimes I just want to call H up and tell her how much debt she's in, but I won't. That's not my place. She's incredibly lucky, since she never seems to max things out. She's within $50 of blowing her limits on both her $14,000 line of credit and her $2,500 CC, not to mention the $500 overdraft on her chequing account. But, she never hits the limit, so she never knows how close she is. It's scarey, but there's nothing I can do until she asks. It's not my place to boss her around.

I know this point was brought up a while ago, but I wonder if everyone would act the same if they had to wear their net worth on a sign around their neck? It would look a bit rediculous yes I agree, but how differently would you act?

As a cashier at Subway, it's horrible, but yeah, I do judge people. I judge them when I see their debit go NSF on a $4 purchase. I judge people who come for a $15 sandwich 5 days a week. Maybe I would think differently if either of those people broadcasted a $50,000 networth.

My networth is a little over $7,500 right now. I'm not sure how I would act.

How would you act differently if you had to wear your networth on you forehead?