May’s Report Card: D

May ended -$274.49 in the red. This was the second month in a row that more money left the house than came in, I have to give myself a D.

You’ll notice I’m not giving myself a failing grade. The reason is it could have been much worse, and I did everything I knew how to do to make that deficit as small as possible.

Here are the issues that caused the red ink:

  • May was the last month for my tenants in my little rental property. Since I collect first AND last month’s rent when I sign a rental agreement, I didn’t have last month’s rent as revenue. When these tenants first came on board two and a half years ago, I was clinging to their last month’s rent for quite some time.  Some urgency arose and I spent it, and didn’t return the funds. So I paid for it this month. The loss of revenue was almost $1300.  This was the single biggest hit against the budget, so my deficit of just over $200 seems minute in comparison.  Still, I knew for about 90 days that they were leaving. That period of time wasn’t enough for me to do enough adjusting to break even.
  • Over spent my home maintenance budget by $100, of which $95 was for dishwasher repair. Because I don’t have a home maintenance fund (yet), this had to come from somewhere. I refused to touch my emergency fund, because home repairs are NOT emergencies. They are planned spending. Just because I don’t happen to have a fund set aside for this doesn’t mean that my emergency fund has to suffer for it.
  • I received a surprise invitation to an 80th birthday party for my ex-husband’s step-mother. I was honoured to be invited, and was thrilled to attend. For the girls and I the cost for our meals was $80, which wasn’t in the budget. This was an investment in family. Not a regret in the world about this one.
  • I had a moment of panic when I thought I had underpaid my visa card, and sent them an extra $100 just because. The next day I realized I had sent them the right amount, so I gave visa extra money. Not that it won’t get used up in June, but it was an unnecessary expense for May.

What did I do to curb the flow of cash out?

  • Cut my gardening budget by $50 (that hurt)
  • Cut my expenses for home-office supplies by $40
  • earned a few extra bucks in the part-time gig (and I mean a few)
  • used some points for purchases
  • sold a lamp I didn’t use on Craigslist

What still got accomplished?

  • still made a payment toward my line of credit, although a smallish one. It was more than the minimum, but not a lot
  • still put $100 toward my emergency fund, which now stands at $300.77 (long way to go, but hey, it’s building)

Here’s the big picture:

  • My line of credit is 63% of the amount it was on January 1. The end of June will mark the half-way point of the year, and I aim to be at 50% paid off by then.
  • My emergency fund is being built slowly, the funds are automatically transferred into a TFSA at the first of every month
  • All my bills are paid and paid on time
  • In June, I’ll start contributing to my RRSP again, although only $100 a month right now
  • I’ve continued to invest $500/month toward my children’s post-secondary education ($250/month each). The youngest has an RESP valued at over $11,000 right now.
  • My RRSP portfolio has done well in the last month, after making some changes.
  • The family need for $1200 in medical expenses was met.

While May doesn’t look too good on the bottom line, I think that considering how it could have looked, I’m happy. In June I vow to balance the books. There’s lots of things that could happen in June with a mortgage approval still pending, and new tenants still to sign a rental agreement, and now lots of repairs and renovations in the rental for June, while it’s empty.  I’m still optimistic about how 2010 will shake down, and still really happy with the discipline that we’ve managed to stick with for the first five months of the year.

We’re marching onward. I can picture being debt free, and I will arrive there.


One response to this post.

  1. You were severely challenged in May and you did very well inspite of some pretty major hurdles.
    I’m confident that you can meet your goal of balancing the budget in June.
    You’re doing awesome!!!


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