Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'm thinking about adding another progress bar. I have some things that I will need to buy before I go, major things that I haven't really worked into a budget. These things include luggage, spare laptop battery, electrical converters, a small digi-camera, and a spare battery for my current camera. All in all these things add up to probably about $1,000.

I'd like to start buying these things within 2 months, so I'll have to save $500 a month. I don't see how it would be a problem. I will need to cut back on the spending, but hopefully I should have $500 left in my budget for the next two months. Either that or I'll try to contribute $80 from each week's budget. We'll see. I'll think about it over the weekend and decide on Monday.

What a shopping trip that'll be!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Woah! I had 217 page hits on Wednesday! What the...? That's pretty freaking awesome! I can only say THANKS A MILLION FB! FB at Fabulously Broke in the city linked to me, and that's the only reason I can think of that I got so many hits!



So, yesterday, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 10 p.m., I spent nearly my entire budget for this week. Whoops. However, the good thing is that I still have $24, and $7 in my "bonus", and I don't have any plans this weekend for spending.

What, did I spend all my money on exactly? Well, I will tell you!

K met me for lunch and we trodded off to Earl's for lunch. My absoluate favorite dish at Earl's is:

Penne Alfredo simmered with fresh cream, garlic and nutmeg and topped with grated grana padano parmesan **Add pan fried chicken or sauted shrimp $4.00

Yum yum! I do add the chicken for a bit of protein, and I also aske for a side of hot-sauce for some spice. The only downer is that it costs $16.50 (with the chicken). So, add an iced tea ($2.50) and tip, that meal ran me $23.00 - a bit high for lunch, but damn! It was a good meal!

After work I trodded over to the Alberta College of Art and Design's spring art show. I love these shows, they really have all sorts of things created by the art students: photography, clothes, glassware, painting, pottery, anything! I found a lovely scarf that was a light teal with a silk screened peacock feathers on it. I love it. I would've bought more than one if they hadn't been so damn expensive! The scarf costs me $85. Yeesh. Usually I wouldn't spend that much on a scarf, but I instantly fell in love with it, and given the hand-made aspect and the fact that I'm supporting just one guy, not a company, makes me feel better. That is usually my only complain with ACAD Show & Sale, that things seem to be so overpriced. I really don't know how to properly "price" art, but everything just seems so expensive.

After that, I wandered downtown for a bit, wasting time (I had an hour or so until I had to meet friends for dinner), where I found an adorable necklace for $25. I don't wear a lot of jewelry, but this just stuck with me, I'm even wearing it right now. I'll take a picture of it later, since I can't seem to find a picture of something similar online.

After that, I met up for a friend's birthday dinner at a bistro downtown, where I had a nice steak and caesar salad, which ran me $28. It was a ver nice meal, but very expensive again.

All in all, I spent $145.83! Yikes! It's overwhelming as I haven't shopped like this in a long time, but at the same time, it's awfully relieving to know that I had the money to spend. I had budgetted it, and know that I had to make sacrifices (such as no more eating out until Monday) to purchase what I wanted. I did have to shuffle the money around the coin purses, but so far I think this system is working for me! Yay!


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What do they say? It usually takes 30 days to make or break a habit? Something like that? Well, it seems that I've surely developped a habit of bringing my lunch! I haven't even thought about fast food yet this week - it just seems like a bigger pain in the tush than just bringing it from home and eating it here in the office. So far it's working out well for my $$$$ and my waistline!

I'm a little panicky right now because I won't have any money to take out for next week's $200. I've got about $275 left in my chequing account to pay off the clothes charge from last month's VISA, but I won't be getting paid until the 15th. So, I will have to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to take my $200 out again. I will need to work on my buffer money again, as I did let it dwindle last month. I'd like to keep a minimum of $1,000 in there to waive the $3.95 a month fee, but I earn more interest having that $1,000 in savings.

I spent Monday and Tuesday nights cleaning the room and deciding what I wanted to keep/store/donate/sell of my stuff. It's a little sad, I feel like those couples on Til Debt do us Part that don't realize how much money they've spent on junk until Gail shows them their rooms full of crap.

Okay, maybe I'm exagerating. Maybe. I just have a lot of junk. I really do wish for a simpler, de-cluttered life, and in a way that's what I'm looking to have in London. But, for now, it's a sad state of affairs just how much money I've spent on things that I'll be selling for maybe 10% of the original value. I'm hoping that a garage sale will be a sucessful venture, we'll see. Early May to late May is a good time to have a garage sale, so I've got to get hopping and get some of this stuff cleared out.

In the meantime, I'm looking up "garage sale pricing" on google, as I find I usually under-price things at garage sales.

I should also mention, you guys are awesome! You have left so many kind comments and suggestions! It makes me smile everytime I check my e-mail. Thanks a million!

Oh! I also got my $20 from Pay Per Post! It is now safely deposited in my PayPal account. It's very cool, $20 for maybe 3 minutes worth of work. I don't know what I will do with it. I would like to have my PayPerPost money (not that there's any more comming my way right now) to be put aside for 'fun', but it seems that there's probably a better use for it. We'll see. Either way, nothing like (almost) free $20!

April Budget and Goals

Monday, March 31, 2008

Okay, so, I've made some changes to the format of my budget, as outlined here and here. I have switched to the envelope system, but by 'envelope', I mean, fancy coin purse. That's right. Hah.

By the by, how does one actually spell 'envelope'? I feel like I'm messing it up everytime I try to spell it. I'm smart, I really am....

So, my new budget spreadsheet looks like this:I have decided that rather than applying any leftovers from my budget to savings, I will put them into my last coin purse, which I have labelled 'bonus'. I figure if I know I have to save the extra cash, I am more likely to just spend it, so this way, if I want something really bad that is our of my budget, I can try and save as much as possible, and convert the extra cash to apply towards that purchase. Right now I have $7 in it, which was leftover from last month's non-existant budget.

Also, rather than carrying around $800 in cash at the same time, I'm taking to pulling out $200 a week every monday.

I will then break it down like this:

  • $63 - Food
  • $12 - Transportation
  • $50 - Personal
  • $25 - Entertainment
  • $50 - Misc

Today is the first day of my new budget! I'm going to visit the bank later this afternoon and take out my $200. I will also deposit a paycheque and some other earnings. Excellent!

I have also set out a number of both pf and non-pf goals for April:

Pf Goals

  • To not go overbudget in any category.
  • To contribute at least $1,400 into London Savings
  • To bring a lunch 3/5 days a week.
  • Don't buy anything that I won't be bringing with me to London, except perishables and (some) clothes.
  • Renew my Learner's license.
  • Make $15 with PPP.

Non-Pf Goals

  • Get my paperwork filled out for my VISA.
  • Get passport photos taken for VISA
  • Visit Edmonton and get fingerprints taken (I think this is cool!).
  • Set daily goals at work and accomplish them.
  • Find my mom a killer b-day present.
As I think of more I will add them. I think that that is a good start!

March In Review

March was a tough month for me, surprisingly. I actually went waaaay over budget in many, many categories. Fortunately I keep about a $500 to $1,000 buffer of cash in my chequing account, mainly because I don't like to dance too close to $0 -makes me panic just a little bit.

My income this month was a whopping $3,336.00! That was mainly because of my nice tax refund, which I plopped directly into savings.

This is what my budget looked like for March. The colors that I've added are the transition from my old broken down budget to a new enveloppe-type system as explained here.
I'm very surprised that even though I (nearly) sucessfully completed Krystal's Food Challenge, I still spent almost my whole budget for food!
Looking at the money I've spent on food:
Looks like most of it was spent on either dining out or groceries. I think that since I wasn't eating out for lunches during the week, I gave myself an excuse to eat out and buy lots of groceries on the weekends. Plus I also treated a couple people out to sushi on several occasions, which can add up!

Good news is, even though I did overspend this month, I still contributed $1,400 to my savings!

So far this is where my accounts are sitting at:While it looks like I have acheived my goal of saving over $10,000, in reality that goal was set for my London Savings only, so I'm about half-way there. I'm still definitely making progress, though! On the bright side, I'm well ahead of shedule for my London Fun Fund, which is sitting at $3,392! While I set a goal of $5,000 for that fund, I may extend it given how fast it's comming!

For those of you of a more visual variety, here's my savings goal chart courtesy of ING Direct.

I won't upload the one for the London Fun Fund yet, as I have yet to deposit the cash from my wallet into TD to be transfered to ING Direct. Yeeesh.

I am a little bummed that ING Direct has dropped its interest rate down to 3.3%. Sucks big time. Oh well, I will live with it, but it would've been nice to have it stay up there at 3.65%.

My net worth is now a whopping: $10,407!

Here is my little chart, courtesy of Networth:

It's actually very satisfying that my graph has a little bend in it now. Before it was just a straight line, and without any real numbers on the chart, it wasn't a nice. Now it's a little bit curvy. Excellent.

April's budget and goals to follow!