Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Budget Results

First, thank you to all the well wishers regarding paying off our mortgage.  It doesn't mean our habits will be changing, just that we now can save to do a few things we love like travel more.  I rarely talk about retirement savings so will just say this - we have substantial retirement savings tucked away after working over the years for companies who paid pensions.  Instead of leaving the pensions with the companies that we left behind we manage our own pension investments.  Our plan is never to rely on government funds like the Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Pension but rely on our own assets and investments therefore if they cut them we will be okay no matter what.  After we made the leap this year to self employment we make less but our standard of living has gone up so much that it is far more likely we work later in life, not because we have to but because we want to.   I realize everyone is not in the same fortunate position we are, and certainly don't want to dish out any advice in that regard so limit my sharing here to the things everyone has to deal with each month - like groceries, clothing and hair!

April Grocery Budget 
$425 - Actual Spent was $435.87

Includes all over the counter medications, personal grooming items, soaps, cleaners and household items for two adults who eat at home 99% of the time.

Previous months overage $53.16 plus this month's overage $10.87= $64.03 year to date overage

Coupons used  - Zero!

This was a very odd month grocery-wise.  I was away from home ten nights, seven in Alberta emptying out that home for sale and three at my Mothers helping her fix up her home for sale.  Our Alberta expenses and groceries all were paid for by furniture sold so I have not included them in this month's budget.  We ate out a good bit more than I wanted to this month but with all that was going on we could have done much worse.  We did splurge on eating out on Friday night to celebrate the end of our mortgage - but not worth mentioning the restaurant as the food was not good and I would not bother to go there again.  Once again, food that is prepared with love at home often tastes far better than those meals eaten out with rare exception.  For the first month in years I used zero coupons - likely due to the fact that I was away so much. When home I cook from scratch and usually those items are not ones I can use coupons for.  I did a shop for some easy to prepare convenience foods for hubby while I was at Mom's so those cost a little more as he is a great cook but prefers to only cook full meals for others, not just for himself.

This week there was a great dollar days sale where I bought bread, frozen veggies, 3 lbs onions, strawberries and yogurt.  The grocery stores have these sales as loss leaders, but they certainly don't make any extra money off me.  It was at one of the more expensive grocery stores and every item in my basket was $1.

I still have a half full freezer:  a turkey which I hope to cook this month, a ham, 2kg of frozen chicken breast, ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, bacon, and a little fish.  I need to find a good sale on pork, beef, and fish this month. Now that things are settling down a little I hope to play catch-up on the grocery budget this month to reduce the overage from the last two.

Hair Budget
Annual budget $250 - Left in Budget $208.53.

This month spent $18.65.  Remainder of hair budget for rest of year is $189.88

I had a haircut earlier this week, way overdue as a result of a busy month.  I still have one color in the cupboard  to use in the next two weeks.  Likely there will be no hair expenses in May as my next haircut is scheduled for the first week of June.

Clothing Budget
Annual Budget $200 - $187.25 left

This month I purchased a Bianca Nygard(high end Canadian designer) red blazer for $5 to go with a dress already in the closet that will work perfectly for the wedding we are attending in September.  The same day I also found a nice Spring purse and Liz Claiborne T-shirt.  Total spent this month - all at the thrift store - was $15.15.

Remainder of hair budget for rest of year is $172.10.

Christmas 2013
This year a goal of mine is to have Christmas saved for well in advance.  We always pay cash so no post-Christmas hangover but with self-employment December is one of our quietest months for work so if we save up over the year things will be much easier on us.  We joined SFT's Life After Mortgage sealed pot challenge and have been feeding it extra bits of money every week, this week an additional $10 went into the pot.  I also have $40 in amazon.ca gift certificates saved up so far (after using up balance of them for a new laptop battery in February) for use at Christmas as well from Swagbucks (click here if you want to join Swagbucks).  Unlike most of those who joined the challenge, I will be breaking into mine at the end of June to count it up and do a bank deposit and then will continue saving until the first week of December when the challenge ends.

Have a great week everyone!


  1. You've done very well indeed and have reminded me that it is time to add up my April receipts too!

    1. Frankly I still think there is plenty of room to shave a bit off - but a work in progress every month. Cheers!

  2. Good job! Especially considering your time away during the month. When months are that crazy it's easy to forget budgets, and just want to take care of things in any way necessary. So, once again, good job!

    1. I agree - today we are having stir fry as there is a bunch of limp neglected looking veggies in the bottom of the fridge that would be a shame to waste. Thanks!

  3. You really are doing great. I'm always so grateful when someone posts about how they spend their money. It always makes me want to try harder.