Journal Update #2: December 2012

And now that December is over, here is my update for the month! It has been a month of clear thinking. For the past few months I felt I was constantly busy, trying to learn and do so many more new things. I had a moment of insight this month and realized I need to focus on things I’ve already taken on rather than adding new ones. I’ve been focussing a lot of buying my own property, and starting some other new time consuming hobbies and reading interests. But I have yet to do other things I wanted to. I don’t eat the way I’d ideally like to yet, so I am going to focus more on my meals. I also don’t exercise nearly as much as I’d like, and I will do that first. I’m going to get my current life running smooth and efficiently before adding on more things. It makes sense to me.

Current Savings: $17,914.77

Current Savings Rate: 60.93%

 

 

Category This Month Average (6mo)
Transportation 180.00 270.90
Food 330.12 163.44
Housing 17.81 159.62
Recreational 490.00 400.85
Entertainment 25.00 71.26
Rodney 93.09 21.87
Clothes 0.00 41.81
Gardening 0.00 35.66
Cell Phone 28.25 113.00
Contingencies 0.00 2.13
Munchies 4.23 23.35
Gifts 475.99 98.03
Other 78.24 132.78
Expenses 1,652.09 1,449.94
Evertz 2,750.62 2,945.04
Other 22.75 219.56
Income 2,773.37 3,710.93
Savings 1,121.28 2,260.99
% Spent 59.57% 43.79%
% Saved 40.43% 56.21%

Total Income $29,687.44
Total Savings $18,087.90
Total % Spent 39.07%
Total % Saved 60.93%


With regards to the house search, I have set some strict criteria and told my Realtor to contact me if they see a suitable house. My criteria is: A 3 bedroom house with at least 2 bathrooms. Ideally, a 3 pc bathroom in the basement with a basement that I can live in or rent out (while taking a bedroom upstairs). Or a great deal on a house with a separate in law suite. Since I’m not particularly inclined at this moment to go forward with property management and ownership in a city I plan to be far away from in the near future, I will probably only go down this path again if I see an awesome deal.

This month had some extra increased spending due to Christmas. I bought my girlfriend a used Nikon D50 off someone on Kijiji that included two Tamron lenses: 18-55 and 70-300, four filters, and a camera bag. I also bought some $25 gift cards for other people. Though Christmas isn’t all giving, and I got some gifts myself which helped subsidize these expenses. My girlfriend gave me some new clothes (nice plain coloured t shirts), a lettuce spinner (useful for salads, I was not a fan of dabbing lettuce with paper towel), and an awesome yoga mat for my new interest! I have already used it a few times and it is much nicer than the floor or a towel. From some others I received a movie gift card good for 2 tickets (My girlfriend and I used this up very quickly on our 6 year 5 month anniversary this past Friday to see The Hobbit! We also ate at Pho Mai before hand which cost $25 placed into the Entertainment category). Her parents gave me socks, underwear, and a new sweatshirt. Her Nonna gave me a fleece house robe, 2 towels [now I have 4, more than enough!], and her Nana gave me a nice sweatshirt. Most of this is very useful as I only had 1 sweatshirt, and I actually don’t think I’ve bought my own socks in awhile. I believe all of the socks I own are from her parents now, since they often give socks with something else, which is great. The 4 t shirts she bought me should last awhile and save me from buying some new shirts myself. I might not have bought some of this myself, but it is all useful to me.

I think my food expenses are too high. I’m going to try to cut this down to at least $50-75/week. It is hard to know what a good goal is as I have health as a major concern and don’t want to save money on food at the expense of my health. I also feed my girlfriend a lot and that is hard to account for. All I know is, I don’t feel comfortable seeing that number reach over $300 for a single month, and it’s going lower.

I spent a lot on Rodney (the bearded dragon that guards my room in exchange for food) this month, but I expect to spend less on her in the coming months. Lately, I haven’t been feeding her as much as I’d like, and now that I’ve moved, I have access to a different local pet store, and they have a great system that I bought into. You can buy 100 crickets for $14, or a 500 cricket card for $30. You can simply go in and say how many crickets you want and they take it off your card. I bought a worm card too. Rodney will grow big and be eating a lot in the coming months.

It was also my Dad’s birthday this month, so I spent $38 to take him out to lunch and bought him a deluxe mixed nut container from Costco (taking advantage of the membership my girlfriends mother has).

The next month should be interesting, as it is the first month of a brand new year – and that means brand new challenges that I am ready to face head on! 🙂