Sunday, January 13, 2019

Well That Never Happens...

Well that never happens...almost never that is...!

Guess what?!  I had a surplus in my budget at the end of December! In previous years I've usually been in the hole by a whole bunch! I'm not  exactly sure why or how it happened but I'm certainly not complaining!

Below is my budget for December - not pretty is it?! I am a very messy budgeter but it works for me.
I don't feel motivated to go through it now item by item to figure how I ended up with a substantial surplus but I can make a few guesses.

  • I had an extra $150 in my December budget due to paying my property taxes over 10 months instead of 12 - I really appreciate that around Christmas. I end up with an extra $300 in total to put towards Christmas expenses. 
  • Food expenses were lower mostly due to getting a half price turkey in November which I stored away along with some of the fixings. Usually I wait til the last minute to go food shopping for Christmas so getting some things in November really helped the December budget. As it was I still ended up over spending on food by $30 which was covered by my misc budget line
  • As far as decorating goes I didn't buy anything new. My only purchase was a $6 poinsettia for my neighbour and one for myself. I use an artificial tree.
  • I think the main reason for decreased spending in December was due to buying gifts while I was in Scotland: beautiful wool scarves were a big hit as were woollen toques and mittens and fingerless gloves, handmade soaps, books, bookmarks, jewellery, and of course - scotch! So in December I got Juno tickets for Kazi and I (Canadian Grammys), a few more books and that was about it. I also helped Kazi by paying off her phone bill and I created a 2019 calendar with some of my photos through a printing company called Vista. I also made a couple more charitable donations than I usually do. 
So to all of you smug folks out there who shop and plan for Christmas beginning in January I now understand why!!! and I plan to do this from now on! On January 1st I was able to put $1500 into savings instead of the usual $1000. Only $500 more to go and I will have recouped all the money I spent (from savings accounts) last year on paying off my car and travel. 

Oh the sun is shining so I'll soon be heading out to Kilally Meadows :) but one more thing...
I recently tried a frittata recipe and we loved it. Besides being delicious I like that I can hide leftovers in it :) scraps of chicken or turkey, limp vegetables - pretty much anything goes. And it lasts us three meals so is very economical as well as yummy! Just top with shredded cheese and a dash or two of Frank's hot sauce (any dish that Kazi can top with Frank's is a good meal in her humble opinion 😋


  1. The frittata looks fabulous! Anything that makes 3 meals is a winner in my books. Congrats on the extra money at the end of 2018. I don't prebuy gifts - I started xmas shopping in September though. I do save money year round as we tend to give more money gifts to the kids now versus stuff. We overspent on each other but that was it, everything else was on budget. I baked too much, next year there will be less of that. Sticking to 2 types of cookies and I might even make then in November and just freeze them.

  2. A bit of extra is always good! I am one of those weird people who shop for Christmas all year. If I see something I think someone will really like I grab it , record it in my Christmas journal (same one I have had for the past 10 years) and stash it in my gift drawer.
    The frittata looks wonderful!

  3. Good on you for having extra $$ coming out of December!
    I'll be right over for some frittata.......

  4. I hope you find lots of months with extra. Nice looking meal.

  5. Cheapchick - I only baked two items this year, down from the usual four or five and two turned out to be more than enough!

    Anne - a gift journal is a great idea! It took me quite a while to remember what was for whom with all the gifts I brought home from Scotland.

    Sluggy - the frittata was yummy - I'm willing to share :)

    I hope I have more surplus months as well - this is usually a more frugal time of year for me and I tend to sock away a bit more than usual.

  6. Great on having extra money. I am still paying for December. I love the food picture now I am hungry may just make that for dinner.

  7. I have been following you for many years. When you were counting down to when you could stop working. I am so happy to say that I have finally gotten out of the rat race a bit early. Money will be tight due to using COBRA for health insurance for 18 months until I qualify for Social Security, but so worth the wonderful feeling of not having the pressure and stress from 42 years in health care ! I hope I do as well as you seem to be doing as I look down the line. I am not making any definite plans or decisions for a year. Just need to decompress. Your posts have given me hope that as a single person with no family, that I can do this!!

  8. Can I just tell you how much I love paper and pen budgeting! I loved seeing your
    And that food...Um, YUM.

  9. I'm a messy budgeter too (back of the envelope kind and envelopes in a tin under the bed). The irony is that I have a Swiss bank account (only because I worked in Switzerland of course). Still it works for me. And yep, that frittata looks wonderful!


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