May 2016 Financial Update

So, we didn’t really get a financial update for April, so this post will sort of do double duty…  Also, small side note, is it totally insane that it is already May?!?  This year is just flying by!

March & April Spending

One of my unofficial goals of the year is to maintain our monthly spending below the average of $7700 from last year (average is technically only from April onward, but let’s not worry about that).  For this, I don’t take any of the planned spending in to account and I don’t include our contributions to our RRSPs or TFSAs, which really are savings, not expenses…  This is just for our regular month-to-month living spending (mortgage, bills, food & drink, etc).

Both March and April came in well below the $7700 line.  I would like to say that this is because we have turned a new leaf and have become amazingly better and keeping our spending down, but that is definitely not the case.  As I will discuss a little further down, it is because we were away for a large portion of both months and all the spending we did while we were away came out of the honeymoon budget which is “planned spending” and not included in this total.

April 2016 Spending
March & April Spending

As I mentioned in my April non-update, we have now been using YNAB for over a year.  It makes my nerdy little brain very happy to be able to check how we are doing compared to ourselves last year.  Of course, I have to take many things in to consideration when doing that… especially the past two month, since so much of our spending came from our honeymoon fund and not out of the regular budget… You will probably see some comparisons in future monthly updates…

Honeymoon Spending

We spent over 3 weeks away for our honeymoon in April and March.  It seemed like a long time when we were planning it, but it totally flew by.  At the end we were sad that the end came so quick… We had an amazing time, and I don’t regret not worrying about the spending while we were away.  We saved up for it (along with a lot of contributions from our friends and family) and really just enjoyed ourselves.  However, I probably should have paid attention to the date… We put a bunch on our credit card (easiest method of payment for a lot of things), but I missed the payment date so we ended up paying some interest this month.  Boo!  Lesson learned.  But anyway, in the interest of keeping track of all our spending and also keeping track of my savings goals, we totaled up everything we spent on our honeymoon.  The grand total: $10,500.  That’s a bit more than the original $8000 budget, but not to worry, we didn’t spend as much as we had intended on our trip in January, so we could use some of that extra savings, and it just means that we need to save more for our upcoming summer travels.

 And now for a quick recap of my finance-related goals for 2016.

Goal #3 – Emergency Fund

As of May 1st, we have $1000 in our emergency fund (this is an increase from the last update where it was at $900).  We are expecting to get a bit of money from our tax refund soon, so the plan is to put some of that money in the emergency fund.  I really should be putting a higher priority on this goal rather than saving for all the “fun stuff” in our planned spending list…

Goal #4 – Save for Planned Spending

I know I put together a fun spread in my bullet journal for this goal, and the individual sub-goals haven’t really changed, but the order of them has a bit… We took some of the “home reno” money from home reno goal #1 to purchase some supplies for home reno goal #4.  And I’ve been putting some money aside for the dog fund before we save all the money for home reno goal #2 because it is looking likely that we’ll want to get the dog sooner, rather than later…

So, I’m not going to change any of the goals, per-say, but I’m not necessarily going to do the planed spending in the same order as I listed them out originally.  All of this out-of-order stuff makes updating my spread in my bullet journal a little challenging… I’m moving to a new bullet journal for May, so I may re-design this spread in my new book.


Goal #5 – Net Worth & Retirement Savings

While I’m not sure what the markets are doing, I do know that our RRSP and TFSA values were finally starting to turn around at the beginning April from their downturn at the beginning of the year, but seem to have gone back down again by the end of the month…  I know that I shouldn’t get too concerned, we are saving for the long term, but it feels like such an uphill battle when we are still making contributions, but the numbers just don’t really increase… Add to that our spending went through the roof with the honeymoon expenses, so of course our net worth will see a bit of a hit from that…

Anyway, we are down about 7% from the beginning of the year, so there is a long way to go to get up to the goal of a 12% increase… In fact, I am beginning to doubt it is possible without some serious help from the markets… But we will keep plugging along…

May 2016

Goal #6 – Mortgage Renewal & Account Consolidation

Zero accomplished on this goal yet… other than that list I made a couple months back now… Okay, that’s not totally true… #1 on the list was to discuss the plan with my husband, and we have had a few conversations about the process and I’ve done a bit of research on #2 already, but I wouldn’t call either of those steps “done”… and in my classic rearranging the order of things (see goal #4 above), we have set up a meeting this week with my husband’s adviser (#8 on the list) and I’ve actually opened up a new no-fee chequing account (part of #9 on the list), but the plan is to have a new shared account too…  So bits and pieces have been started… but nothing has been completed, so no check-marks can be put on the list.

How did your April work out financially?  Any significant progress on your goals?  Or was your progress as stagnant (or somewhat backwards) as mine?


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