February 2015 Budget

With the epic failure of my January budget, I’m going to try and really focus on my spending in February.  I also need to get my fiance a bit more on board as well.  I don’t want to say that he’s not already on board, but I really don’t want this to be about me telling him what our budget is and giving him the “okay” to spend money.  This should be a shared thing.

So last week we reviewed our January spending, and discussed some of our plans for February.  Together we determined that the biggest culprit for spending (other than my complete lack of regard for travel plans) was eating out, snacks, take out, delivery, etc.  (Pretty obvious by the results I posted yesterday…)  So, for the month of February we are going to do a zero eating out challenge.  No going out for lunch, no stopping at coffee shops, no delivery when we are too lazy to make dinner.  Zero.  All food must be purchased at a grocery store and prepared at home.  We are 9 days in to February already, and so far have been successful (well, one minor purchase by my fiance because of a travel day for his new job, but we won’t count that one).  Only 19 days left to go.

As a bonus, my fiance (I’m really going to have to come up with a better name for him on here…) got a new job that started this month.  We got the unfortunate news that the wait-list for his schooling is way longer than we had anticipated, so he went out and got himself a new job that will hopefully give him something interesting to do while still contributing financially to us.  Side note on this one, since our deadline for saving his education fund has lengthened, we may work a bit harder at the home reno fund for a while since that deadline is now closer.

I mentioned when I posted my original budget in January that I wasn’t sure if I’d like the format that I started with, and, as I mentioned yesterday, I have decided that I don’t really like it.  It’s hard to post results when things don’t go as expected when things are in percentages.  I have the straight numbers in my spreadsheet on my computer, so why not use them on here?  I’m a bit nervous about sharing specifics, but since it is joint expenses between me and my fiance, and also not specific transaction amounts, just monthly totals, it should be okay, right?  Here’s hoping that I don’t regret this, but I’m going to move to currency numbers for now.  I hope this will help me…

So without further ado, here are my budget numbers for February:

1. Mortgage & Property Tax: $ XXXX**
2. Utilities & Home Insurance: $ XXX**
3. Savings & RRSP Contributions: $ XXX**
4. Life Insurance, Medical & Family Expenses: $ XXX**
5. Cable, Cell Phones & Internet: $ XXX**
6. Car Insurance, Maintenance & Gas: $ XXX**
7. Food (& Liquor – including eating out we aren’t eating out this month): $ XXX**
8. Household Goods & Toiletries: $ XXX**
9. Fitness & Sports: $ XXX**
10. Clothing & Personal Care: $ XXX**
11. Misc. Others: $ XXXX**

Sorry, no pretty graph this time… Just the numbers.

Since I’m posting this already a week in to February, I can say that so far we are not over budget in any category, which is good progress from last month.

How has the first week of February budgeting worked out for everyone else?

**Edit:  I have decided that I don’t want to share my actual numbers on the blog, so I have removed them from this post… Sorry if it makes it a bit confusing or unreadable… Hopefully it isn’t unbearably so.

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6 thoughts on “February 2015 Budget

  1. While obviously I respect everyone’s individual desires for levels of privacy, I’ve never really understood how it could hurt to share exact numbers. The only stuff I keep out of my blog is exact amounts that affect other people (like, my parents gave me some birthday money which I spent on boots, but I don’t plan to share exactly how much that was, just mention that it helped.) I’m not sharing my SS# or credit card numbers, after all! Anyway, I’m glad you felt comfortable sharing these numbers. I always find them interesting — it’s a snapshot of someone’s lifestyle in a different location with different jobs etc. Or maybe I’m just a voyeur (highly possible!) // On the practical issue, good for you for eating at home this month. Doing it hard-core for a while helps cut down overall, I think. My Feb budget got knocked for a loop by a $350 car repair but I’m handling it — in fact just realized this morning I had a spare $113 I hadn’t accounted for (forthcoming reimbursements) so that will help a lot.

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    • Yeah, I guess I’m just nervous about what malicious people could do given enough personal information. I don’t want to make myself an easy target for any type of fraud or whatnot. I’m pretty sure that the information I am providing will be vague enough to keep me safe. I also find it interesting to learn about other people’s numbers, so it is only fair that I share too, right?

      That is really too bad about the car repair, but bonus money is always helpful! Hopefully it will help keep your February budget close to being on par. 🙂

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  2. I love exact numbers! I agree with C about how it doesn’t hurt with real numbers, especially if you’re anonymous. I can understand it if you have your first/last name and your picture up, but there’s still a bit of a veil there (perhaps I’m too naive) when anonymous. We need to get you a moniker or something 🙂

    I have to admit, that’s one heck of a budget! I think it’s mostly the mortgage really. Also, what does the $1150 in “Misc” account for? I really cannot get over that mortgage payment,… but I’m used to NS-sized mortgages 🙂 (there’s no criticism in this comment whatsoever, I’m just curious, and it’s so different than what I am used to, that’s all).

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    • Numbers do make things easier to see… And yes, I am still anonymous, though anyone who knows me would immediately recognize my cats. LOL. I should get myself some sort of name on here… I’ll get my thinking cap on and see what I can come up with…

      As for my mortgage, it is huge. Real estate isn’t exactly cheap on the west coast, and we decided to move in to a pretty nice area of town, so even though our house needs quite a bit of updating, we still paid over $600k for it. And there was a bit of a mix-up with the down payment plans, so we ended up with a lower down payment that we had initially planned… and some bad customer service by my bank, so we didn’t get a very good rate on the mortgage… Anyway, it all adds up to a bigger mortgage, and a bigger monthly payment. We are planning on getting the whole thing refinanced eventually…

      And the big item in the misc. category that makes it so high is travel expenses. My fiance is planning a trip down to the states to watch some NBA basketball, and I’m heading down to the states for a girls’ trip, so that makes that category much higher. I also put our vet bills in there, and any fun or entertainment spending. I’m not totally sold on my categories for my budget, they may need some work…

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  3. I’ll go ahead and admit that we are terrible at setting a budget. We do track our spending very closely, but I don’t necessarily impose caps on the categories.

    Good luck with eating all of your meals at home. I usually eat at home and I’ve found it’s very helpful to have a few quick options on hand for dinner in case you have a hectic day.

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    • I need to put some caps on things so that I can start limiting my spenderella habits…
      So far I’ve been successful in meal planning our meals for the most part, so hopefully that works out for the rest of the month. Good tip though to have a few easy meals around. I’ll add that to my shopping list next week.

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