Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mid-Month Money

I was thinking yesterday, yes thinking, that I don't post that much about money anymore. There's only so much excitement one can wring out of an unchanging monthly pension. Before I retired, two years early, I had to meet a few goals: pay off all debt and increase savings to a level that felt comfortable. I had a Five Year plan and I worked away at it and was able to retire early, thankfully.

Now I still try to sock away some money every month into savings and most months I'm successful at doing that. My budget is very simple: take my net pension, subtract all variables and invariables (is that a word?) including savings, and the rest is my spending money. I divide the spending by 4 weeks so that every week I can put cash in my wallet. I've been following this plan since I retired in 2014 and it works for me. Occasionally I have to use long term savings for big purchases and travel but I rebuild month by month.

There IS a little bit of exciting money news though...

  • I will receive a cost of living increase starting the end of January which increases my net pension by $30 a month. Not a lot but it covers increases in condo fees, insurance and increased utility bills (almost)
  • I did my income tax online to see whether I would get a refund or not. I don't have any tax receipts yet but it was pretty easy to guestimate. I will receive a refund but nowhere near what I used to receive. Only about $200. But I don't have to PAY which is the important thing. I needed to know this because...
  • I filled out my forms to start receiving my Canada Pension in June and they want to know how much income tax I want taken off. So I had to see what my income taxes look like before I could answer that question. Woo hoo!! Looking forward to that additional money every month and all the fun it will bring!
January's Budget - Am I on Track?

I would say that I am! My $150 weekly allowance seems to be multiplying somehow. I've paid $120 for an eye exam, $50 to charity, an extra $50 to savings, $38 to Walmart, $17 to Shoppers Drugmart, $14 for a movie and $11 at Value Village and $10 on yoga. My ticket for the Food and Wine Show ($32) will come out of next's weeks allowance. If you did the math you'd see that I've spent more than my $150(x two) weekly allowance. That is because I overestimated some of my bills. I estimated $75 for natural gas and the bill was only $47; electricity was $65 and I estimated $70 and so on. Those extra little snippets go into my misc budget which funds my allowance :) Aren't numbers fun??

I have $127/$160 in my gas budget and Dougie's tank is almost full and $158/$280 in the food budget. So far this month I've only had to put $33 in the gas tank (I see that oil dropped to below $30/barrel!!!) and have spent $122 on food. That's for two adults. I'm pretty good at stretching my food dollars - I got 3 meals out of 4 chicken breasts! And 4 meals out of 1 package of ground turkey!

So that's how it rolls for January so far...I hope I haven't jinxed myself by proclaiming that I've had a good month so far...!!

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