Journal Update #5: March 2013

Here is my financial snapshot as of March 31st, 2013:

Current Savings: $26,213.15

Current Savings Rate: 59.38%


Journal February 2013


Category This Month Average
Rent 0.00 257.14
Utilities 0.00 17.14
Internet 0.00 0.00
Household Items 553.33 134.80
Groceries 499.60 279.91
Eating Out 295.83 105.09
Recreational 547.25 461.02
Transportation 226.12 194.98
Entertainment 23.74 14.68
Animal Friends 6.21 27.05
Cell Phone 11.30 24.21
Gifts 5.20 74.91
Other 123.02 77.28
Expenses 2,291.60 1,494.40
Evertz 2,756.68 2,685.34
Freelancing 335.40 236.08
Other 4,576.56 549.16
Income 7,668.64 3,678.83
Savings 5,377.04 2,184.43
% Spent 29.88% 44.93%
% Saved 70.12% 55.07%


Total Income $44,146.00
Total Savings $26,213.15
Total % Spent 40.62%
Total % Saved 59.38%


The first thing you may have noticed is that I gave my categories another revision. I find them more clear now, and they reflect my current expenses better (ie adding the “Utilities” category, and generalizing “Rodney” into “Animal Friends” since my girlfriend will be bringing her 12 year old rabbit to our new apartment). Seperating “Food” into “Groceries” and “Eating out” was long overdue, I don’t know why I didn’t do it a long time ago! I can also make awesome pie graphs like this, which are now more meaningful to me:
Pie-Graph March 2013

I’d like to set up a category system that can reflect all of life better so that I don’t need to change it anymore. It isn’t a big deal with about a years worth of data to go back and recategorize things, but it is still troublesome and gets harder as time goes on.

The next, more exciting update of this month: My girlfriend and I officially paid our deposit on our new 1BR apartment!! Rent is $660 per month which is a great rate for what I have seen in the area (closer to $775 on the low end). Assuming our rental application is approved, it’s ours! And we see no reason for the dissaproval πŸ™‚

I’ve heard that some landlords choose undercut the market in order to secure good, long-term tenants. The last tenant lived here for 5 years. So hopefully we’ve found that here, and we won’t have to learn “you get what you pay for” the hard way. There is a forest and bike trail right outside the building and our window faces it!

With moving out comes lots of new things to own. We had to buy kitchen utensils, plates, cutlery, storage containers, etc. We bought most of this at Ikea and jumped on sales at various other stores. We bought a 12 piece stainless steel cookware set for $179 off Wagjag. All of these purchases are filed under “Housing”. I want to attempt to build much of our furniture such as our kitchen table, bed frame, coffee table, and end tables. I’m weary about the couch, kitchen chairs, and dressers so we may buy those. This is a very exciting time for me, and April 15th is coming up fast!

I took a short afternoon to file my income taxes using SimpleTax and received my return quickly – a whopping $4,500! Thanks to my non-refundable tax credits from 3 years of tuition payments.

My food expenses are staggering this month – and I will not see this happen in April. The money spent ‘Eating Out’ was largely due to trying to get out of the house for several reasons (we arn’t getting our own apartment for nothing!). There were some huge purchases though, such as buying 35kg (77 lbs) of fruit for $166 [sold 10kg for $50] and a $108 subscription payment to Plan B Organic Farms. This fruit is rolling into April, as are payments made to Plan B Organic Farms.

Sadly, my perpetual wheatgrass setup has been put on hold but I’ll probably set up a proper system when we move into our new apartment.

I read 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. I am trying to create a full body exercise routine for myself with body weight (or very minimal equipment like a pull up bar, russian kettleballs, or dumbells). I have created a weekly schedule for myself in order to make exercising a part of my life. I sleep from 10pm to 6am which gives me time exercise, meditate, stretch and do yoga in the morning (varying lengths, longer meditations and yoga sessions on days I don’t exercise). I have designated time for my freelance work on Saturday mornings for about 4 hours and blog writing on Sunday. All that’s left is following through with the plan πŸ™‚

Bought Rodney two heat lamps [the old one I was using burnt out], and a UVB flourescent. I have set both lamps up because I think she is colder during the winter, and is less active. She seems to really like my decision πŸ™‚ I had a gift card to the pet store which I won awhile back at a stag and doe with $36 on it so this only cost me $6 out of pocket and that included a pepperoni treat for my girlfriends dog, Abby!

My girlfriend has made an arrangement with a local yoga studio. She does 4 hours of voluntary work per week and she gets unlimited yoga and meditation classes! Perhaps you can do this with your local yoga studio, gym, or farm to save money! πŸ™‚

And last, but not least, I also got my new MBNA Smart Cash Credit Card. I first heard of this card from Million Dollar Journey and applied online. It is one of the best credit cards in Canada [with no fee] and I have been using it exclusively for all of my purchases and I am enjoying the 1-3% discount on life. One day I will call and upgrade to the Smart Cash World card to remove the limits on cash back spending.

That’s about all I can think of to report this month. Until next time!