Spending Update: June 3 – June 9
This week was a big one for spending in some ways: I signed up for Chris Guillebeau’s Empire Building Kit and Taynia’s Fiscal Flamingo financial program like I mentioned in an earlier post. These expenses showed up in this week’s spending since Paypal can take a couple days show up in my account.
On the down side, I bought a lot of books this week. I bought $80 worth of escapist-type novels that will entertain me when I’m feeling restless or stressed out but it wasn’t planned out – so not ideal.
I also spent more than I should have on eating out since I really wasn’t thinking about things and just wanted to forget about cooking. So between fast food purchases (before writing about my monthly challenge, in my defence) and buying coffee, I spent about $40.
The rest of the expenses were business as usual.
Life Under Construction & Financial Journey: June 3 – June 9
I have done a bit of an audit on my expenses like the cell phone bill. I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon researching different cell phone plans and add-ons to bring down my bill. After speaking with my cell phone company, I managed to bring down my monthly cell phone bill by $45.00.
I’ve also been reading a lot of Mr. Money Mustache lately and I really like his “take no prisoners” writing style about fighting consumerism and living simply. I am going to start doing our laundry using cold water only and rethinking the way I rely on my car to get everywhere (more on the car thing later).
I was also noticing that my husband was having a hard time with making his money last until next pay check. Now husband is not the kind of guy to go on big spending sprees these days so something was up. We sat down and talked about the way we split our bills and discovered that some of our monthly bill estimates were way out of whack and needed to be adjusted. After our 15 minute chat, we moved things around and now husband can continue with not living in poverty two days after he gets paid. We have decided to sit down and review our finances once a week to make sure we’re still on track with everything.
In previous posts, I discussed that we were looking for a tenant for our basement suite downstairs so we can bring in some extra money. We have found a wonderful girl that we believe will be a great fit for our home and family and will move in August 1st. She has signed a year lease and will pay $800 a month – all expenses and utilities included.
We discussed in our financial chat what we would do with our $800.00 rent. Our plan for now is to:
- Spend the first two months building an emergency fund of about $2000, we chose this amount to cover most immediate expenses without having to rely on credit. We have already started building our emergency fund and currently have $200 in it.
- After that, we will use the money to pay off our store department card balance of $1000 (will take 1.2 months)
- Once this is complete, we will work on paying down our second car loan of $12,000. We anticipate we should be able to pay $7000 of this loan by next August 2013.
I am going to take a page out of the Generation X Finance and start putting away something each paycheque with the $1 first week, $2 second week, $3 third week and so on until I have $1378 after a year in a savings account. This will be our vacation fund for something fun and reasonably priced here in Canada or the U.S.
What are you guys doing this summer?
Good for you both that you found a tenant!! I have an allowance which we have factored in our budget. The rest of the money is budgeted so I know what I can and can’t spend each month. This takes a HUGE amount of stress off of us and we know that if we’ve spent the budgeted amount there is NO MORE left to spend. It’s that easy. I believe that anyone who truly wants to reach their goals will stick to them with a vengeance and not let anything or anyone get in the way. I wrote a post last year on time of use and smart meters and ways to save. It’s how we save money on some of our bills every month. Good for you getting your cell phone bill reduced. The wife’s bill is about $30 a month. We don’t negotiate any more on her phone as it’s the best plan Rogers has. I don’t own a phone as I refuse to pay prices for cell phones in Canada. They were not near as expensive back home and even then I didn’t have a home phone only a cell. Keep up with your plan and you will achieve your goals! Cheers
Lindsey D says
Smart meters and time of use? Hmmm…I’ll have to look that up. Pretty much anything that saves me money at this point is super welcome.
$30 a month is amazing for a cell phone plan. Rogers doesn’t currently “offer” any plans cheaper than $50 a month which makes me a little bitter. We don’t have a home phone either – everyone in the family has a cell phone so there’s no need.
In Britain (and Europe), they are definitely light years ahead of us when it comes to cell phone plan options and affordability.
Matt Becker says
Congrats on the tenant! That should be great having that extra income, and it sounds like you have a great plan for it. I like the PP’s suggestion of an allowance where once it’s gone, that’s it. We haven’t gone quite as strict as that with our budget, but it’s a good idea.
We don’t have any huge summer plans. Our 6 year old niece is going to be staying with us for a week in June-July, and we’re going to a wedding in North Carolina in August. Other than that just trying to enjoy the daily life!
Lindsey D says
Yeah, we have an “allowance” that we give ourselves once a week although I frame it up differently for my husband. He hates the idea of it so now it’s become the “what we have left over after our bills” weekly fund. Doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it?
Having your niece stay with you should be fun! And summer is definitely wedding season – should be a good time!
Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) says
Awesome job on the tenant! I’m working a little this summer, but I have all of July off which will be glorious!!!
Lindsey D says
Nicely done, buddy! Are you guys staying in Grenada over summer then or planning a trip home?
We’re happy to have the tenant, the rent will be a huge difference in our monthly budget and putting more money on debt and in our emergency fund. Cheers
Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says
Congrats on finding a new tenant! Her rent money will definitely be a huge help. I like Gen X’s saving tip too. It’s pretty pain-free to do (especially in the beginning) but adds up to a nice sum that can be used for something fun.
Lindsey D says
I noticed that we had lots of plans for paying down debt and adding money to our emergency fund and none for a fun stuff which is equally important for our sanity.
It’s been easy for me to forget to live while we’re paying everything down so this my conscious plan to make bring the awesome.
John S @ Frugal Rules says
Great work on getting the tenant! I am sure that’ll do a lot in terms of helping your finances out. I also think the Gen X savings plan is spot on, and it can really make it painless.
Lindsey D says
Thanks for stopping by! I’m looking forward to the tenant, the money will be nice and she seems like a nice girl. Husband is slightly less thrilled with stranger danger being in our house but he’s agreed to adjust given the huge advantage it will give us financially.
I’m keen to start paying down some debt with that money – I love watching the numbers drop.
Budget and the Beach says
wow great job on the savings and extra income! You have a solid plan and some great goals!