Our monthly budget update does not change much.
It is primarily fixed expenses, like rent, phone bills and car insurance, which remain the same month after month. Even the amount budgeted to our miscellaneous line (more on that here) stays the same most months.
So instead of giving a line-by-line breakdown for our monthly budget update, I do something a little different. Each month, I share five highlights from our budget, along with three goals for the month to come.
Here is the update for January 2020.
Monthly Budget Update: JANUARY 2020
In January, we…
- Paid $550 toward the student loan
We have been making minimum payments on the student loan for the last couple months while we paid off a bill. This total represents the $436 minimum payment and $114 extra toward the principal. Good news: the bill we were working on is now paid, so we will be able to focus on our 2020 financial goals.
Outstanding balance: $29.214.08
- Spent $133.68 on the car
Our car was due for an oil change, so we took care of that…and in the process, found out our winter tires needed to be reinstalled.
Turns out in the haste to get them on before a storm, we accidentally put the bolts on backwards? I didn’t even know you could do that. Anyway, it’s all fixed up now.
The $133.68 total represents $110.68 for the actual work and $23 ($11.50 both ways) for cabs to and from the garage. The life of a one car family!
- FINALLY made vet appointments
We have been procrastinating on this for SO long — too long, honestly.
Our cats are indoor cats, but we keep them up to date on all their shots. We put off going because our place was a little more chaotic than usual these last few months. Our landlord decided to sell our house, which meant multiple showings over a couple months. The house is sold now (and, as far as we know, the buyer intends to keep us as tenants) so we finally booked the appointments.
Lyla had hers in January and it cost $135.70. We used the cat medical sinking fund to cover it. Nala’s appointment will happen in February.
- Bought a new FitBit
Because of course my FitBit died right when I started my shopping ban. Ugh.
I considered not replacing it but here’s the thing: I use it. A lot. Both for tracking activity and for the silent alarm system.
I did end up getting a 25 per cent off coupon through customer support, which was…OK, I guess. I actually have a lot of feelings about FitBits, specifically related to their durability versus cost. Maybe I’ll do a post about it eventually.
Ended up spending $112.08.
- Tracked all my spending
And wrote about it here. One thing I learned from this exercise is that I find this easier to do during the week than I do one the weekend. I think this is because my entire routine is different on the weekend compared to the work week.
I found tracking my spending encouraged me to stick to my shopping ban for the most part. Knowing I needed to note it plus include it in a post on the blog was motivation to keep going.
FEBRUARY 2020 Goals
Looking ahead, in February, we will…
- Pay my hosting fees
My favourite annual expense. February is when my blog fees come out. The good news: all this money is ready! I have been stashing away my Rakuten cheques and the cash-back I get from my Tangerine Mastercard to cover it. I don’t do much in terms of hustle, but any money I earn passively through these means tends to go right back to the blog.
- Start gathering our tax documents
It’s one of my favourite times of the year! Tax season is coming up and I am excited. I would likely feel differently if we owed, but we never do. In February, I will start pulling our documents together so I can file ASAP in SimpleTax.
- Decide what I am giving up for Lent
February 26 is Ash Wednesday. In the past, I have given up social media, wearing makeup and hitting the snooze button for Lent. I’ve been considering giving up refined sugar for Lent this year, but I’m not totally sold on it yet. Do you do Lent? What sort of things have you given up? Open to ideas!
Your turn! How did January turn out for you? What are your goals for February?