I got a little melancholy as I packed up the Christmas decorations this afternoon - then I had a beer. And 2 pieces of cashew brittle - I feel much better now, at least until I crash after all that sugar.
So where was I? .... oh yeah, financial goals for 2016. Let's see....well, there's good news and then there's bad news.
- I'll get a wee pension increase.
- it won't cover fully the increases in my condo fee, electricity, insurance etc etc
- Union Gas (heats my house, heats my hot water tank, runs my dryer) is GOING DOWN a little bit next year!! Woot woot - no bad news there (to my knowledge!)
- I turn 60 this year (wait...that's not the good news)...so I will start drawing on my Canada Pension!! Yes, that's the good news! Hundreds more dollars a month added to my budget - I estimate I can go from saving $350 a month to saving $1,000 a month! I see more travel in my future!!
- Had an expensive repair on Dougie the Dodge but...
- my mechanic told me Dougie should last at least another 4-5 years! Right now it's 16 years YOUNG! So I've decided it makes more financial sense to keep driving Dougie instead of spending big bucks on a small car. What I also like about having big ol' Dougie sitting out there in the parking lot is I tend to walk/bike more to do errands instead of driving. Good on gas and good for me!
- More good news - I had exactly enough money for Christmas and all of the many December needs. On Dec. 31st I had $70 left in my wallet and I used it to rent movies and buy Chinese food. I stayed on budget this Christmas and I feel really good about that. But I was anxious about it all month so tonight I'm going to sit down with my day planner and make a notation each month to buy a Christmas gift so that when next December arrives it won't be so anxiety provoking. I just gotta do it!
- I have NO debt. Not one nickel.
- I've been saving my change - I have almost $70. It's just a wee household emergency fund. For example....today I don't really feel like cooking so I might order a pizza. Saving my loonies and toonies and some $5.00 bills means I always have cash "on hand" just in case.
- I received a Starbucks gift card and a Tim Hortons gift card for Christmas - that will augment my misc budget this month
- It's time to transfer $5000 from my RRSPs once again. I can do this once a year and it goes into my travel account - of course the gov't takes their share (10%) right off the top so I really only get $4500. I'm interested to see what my tax situation will be like this year - this is my first tax season that I've been on my pension the whole year. I know I won't be looking at $2,000 tax refunds anymore but I hope I get a little bit back at least and don't have to pay!!
So...to sum up my 2016 financial goals - SAVE SAVE SAVE and spend less than I make each month! I have no large purchases to make (as of this particular moment in time - touch wood touch wood touch wood!!); I don't plan to buy and then immediately sell any real estate this year :( (I was on a learning curve, what can I say?), and IT'S FINALLY SNOWING A WEEK AND A HALF AFTER CHRISTMAS!!
Do you have a NEW budget for 2016 or is it the same old same old?