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Feb update

February 7th, 2007 at 11:50 am

I'm getting less and less time lately to come here and give updates - I updated stats today - it looks worse I think than what it is - as the emergency fund was used to complete our landscaping in the house - its nice to have our trees, hedge and flower beds in - make it more homely. But the emergency fund at $60 is at danger levels, but if I had to I can use other savings if I needed.

And due to some unexpected expenses at the end of January - the credit cards were used at the end of the month - but I have some back money due to me this month so provided I have no unexpected bills that can go in off the credit cards.

I know I have the option to cash in some investment - but I don't want to touch that until May 07. And once we get past March 07 I usually find the first 3 months the hardest to stay on budget, I think I will be in a better position for May, but I will be clearing the personal loan at that point.

Busy at work so until next time.

One income

January 17th, 2007 at 04:25 pm

With the possibility of one income I spent a bit of time playing with a spreadsheet to see how we would cope long term (at the moment we have some in income protection insurance coming in as my dw was laid off last Oct - but thats good for 12 months). I did my first draft of a 2008 plan with one income, and provided we save this year for the big yearly expenditures, insurances, taxes, services we should be OK I think if we stay on budget - and this year (so far) we are showing that we can stay on budget - possibly even under budget. I had a 'feeling' we could get by on one income - what I did today was to see would we still be able to save a bit as well - or would it all just pile up on top of itself in 2009 - It seems crazy to be talking about 2008 and 2009 now - but we are considering my dw staying out of work to mind the kids and I'm trying to see if we can really afford this or not. For the moment it gives us something to talk about at home - the joys of budget spreadsheets!!!

More or less on budget to date

January 12th, 2007 at 11:32 am

I need to do the weeks grocery shopping tonight, I'm amazed at how much this month to date has stayed pretty much on budget. We discussed last night about the credit card debt, and our plan to pay it off. We are due a refund from educational assistance, our healthcare is due to give a partial refund from doctor and consultant visits last year, and we are owed some tax back from an overpayment last year also. It would be nice if these refunds could be used for savings but maybe next years refunds might go there. For the moment we are staying on track budget wise.

We also seem to be surviving the cold and flu season well, with no major complaints on the health front. You can't plan for illnesses, and what of course happens is because you can't plan for them, you don't plan for them, and then when it happens your plan is immediately thrown out of shape. I'm watchful for any surprises at the minute. I keep going back to last year spreadsheet and checking what expenses we had in January 2006 in case they repeat this month.

MIL birthday is at the end of the month, last year we went to a local restaurant and purchased present, this year I expect the same year - between the present and restaurant it was a about $150 last year, a little too expensive, but its a big family thing. I'm hoping to cut the cost this year. January is a recovery month following the turmoil of christmas, so anything that can reduce expenditure in January is most welcome. I'm hoping this year to lose a bit of weight, so maybe a cheap light salad at the restaurant might help as well

Planning

January 10th, 2007 at 01:25 pm

When I wasn't paying attention and planning/budegting my finances pay days seem to just come and go - now days it seems a long wait until pay day comes round. I can depress myself when I think of the money that I let slip through my fingers in my 20's and early 30's - such is life I guess. Tomorrow is pay day, and I get to move some money around, pay a few bills, and move money to savings etc. Its the first pay day of 2007 as well. I've had no financial surprises this month so far - long may that continue, so I think the next two weeks will be key to staying on top of the budget for January. Today is certainly quiet so another 21 days like this and we will come in just under budget

The plan

December 20th, 2006 at 12:43 pm

Reviewing my budget for 2007, between retirement fund, saving stamps, the three savings accounts, and the investment account I will be saving $960 a month.

I was hoping to increase the % that I pay into the retirement fund in 2007 but that was before my dw was laid off, I'm in my current job three years now, and they have a non contributory defined benefit pension plan, as well as a defined contribution plan which they give a 2% match on, so I doing enough to get the 2% match but was hoping to increase the % but I'll wait until we have more certainty before I do that, I feel very lucky to have joined the defined benefit plan, but I was used to paying 5% in a previous job to get their 5% match, and would like to get back to at least 5% again even if I'm only getting a 2% match.

The saving stamps is something my dw enjoys - I would prefer to put the money we spend on saving stamps into a high interest savings account but dw enjoys the saving stamp process and takes comfort in the fact that the money won't be spent on something else, the grocery store offers a free stamp per book if the book is redeemed in the month of December so that works out at 2% interest, so to keep the equilibrium stable at home, we'll do saving stamps in 2007 again. We typically do $20 a week in stamps.

The three savings account are online savings accounts and as I get paid biweekly I put $20 every pay packet into Savings A this has built up nicely since June 06 when I started it, but as my sister in law is getting married in June 07, it should afford me a new suit, my dw a new dress, and we will probably give a cash present to them both, so what will be left in Savings A by the end of June will be interesting. Savings B has the remains of what severance money my dw got, and Savings C gets $25 every two weeks it is our old emergency fund, but has become my car fund.

We are also getting a $430 monthly cheque on an income protection policy we had on my dw, this is currently going in to clear the credit cards but as soon as they are at zero, that cheque will be lodged to the Savings C account which I have earmarked to change my car in a year or two. We already changed my dw car in 2006 from what severance money she got when she was laid off, but we currently have 2 cars and no loans on them which is good.

The investment account is currently getting $250/month, and as our emergency fund is low, I will use this money in another few months to build up the emergency fund, and pay for our summer holiday to France, and we have some home improvement jobs to complete as well in 2007.

I won't hear my performance percentage increase until March 07, the last two years I have been pleased with the increase, lets hope I will be again this year!!!

Overall the plan is in place for 2007, but I know you can't plan for life and the curve balls it can throw at you from time to time so I expect an interesting journey, but hope I can stick to my budget/plan and achieve some of my goals that Iíve set for the year.

Day 1

December 19th, 2006 at 12:38 pm

A quick entry today as it took me longer than I thought to get my stats together, but I'm glad I did now.

I've been browsing for a while and reading a lot of the blogs, and I thought I would get my ramblings in one place and become more active around here.

Thanks for all the interesting blogs that are going here.