July’s Report Card: B+

To earn an A, I gotta be pretty flawless.

I did balance the budget this month. Frankly, I’m not really sure how. Honestly – no idea. There’s a little nuisance on my shoulder who keeps asking me “aren’t you forgetting something?” It’s possible, but for the life of me, I have no idea what it could be.

There are two reasons I’m not giving myself top marks this month: (a) I let my paperwork slide, and I really put myself out of touch with my budget, which helped contribute to (b) I over spent in my clothing budget. Totally lost track of what I’d spent, so I went out and spent some more.

Like every other month, there were issues that tested my ability to be flexible. I was expecting an interest rate hike, but how much of a hike was still a wild-card when I drafted my budget.

Challenges that kicked the budget in July included:

  • losing my Metropass (the prepaid public transit pass) on July 21, leaving me with a need to supplement our public transit budget for another 10 days
  • Interest rates were hiked again, .25%. Bi-weekly mortgage payments increase by almost $14 per payment, interest paid on line of credit goes up by .25%.
  • Decided to have a few cold beers. Spent $8.40 that wasn’t in the budget. Guess I’ll have to add the line for alcohol back in. I was on the wagon for a while.
  • Went on a semi-conscious shopping spree for clothing.

I got better at shuffling expenses around again this month. In the end, I actually put a few more bucks toward debt reduction than I anticipated.

Here’s the good news:

  • Line of Credit is on track, with 57% paid to date, and July marks 58% of the year gone. Balance remaining is -5,767.72.
  • Saved $739. Specifically, $250 for each daughter for post-secondary, $139 for emergency fund, $100 for retirement savings.
  • Repairs and renovations on the rental are all paid for.
  • I haven’t eroded the minimum balance in my chequing account that I like to start a month with. In other words, I still have last month’s money.

Here’s my view of the future from here:

  • I can’t see any way that I can retire the remaining debt of -5,767.72 by December 31. Unless I can increase my part-time job earnings quite a bit more. Frankly, I’m not sure I’d have the energy to keep up this pace until the end of the year. We’ll see. Worst case scenario will have me debt free by February 2011. I’m hopeful for January, but I’ll take February if I have to.
  • I was hopeful to increase my contributions to my emergency fund and to my retirement savings by at least $50/month each by September, but I don’t think I’ll do that. I’m content to just keep the contributions there at $100 each monthly, then increase them in earnest once the debt is retired.
  • CIBC needs to run another credit check in order to see if they can offer me a reduced interest rate on my line-of-credit. I’ve signed the papers to approve the check. Perhaps that will make a modest difference.
  • I’ve made some decisions in July that will strain the budget over the short and longer term, including driver’s training for daughter number 1, drama day camp for daughter number 2, and a pending adoption of two fur babies.
  • My new tenants failed to deliver the rent cheque for August on time. I expect to see it this week. On the off chance that I don’t, there’s a can of landlord worms that gets opened.

All in all, a pretty stable month. The trick for August will be to keep the entertainment/dining out budget in check as summer holidays wind down, and we get bombarded with messages to get out before it’s all over and done with.

Thanks again for being here. Onward and upward with savings, downward with debt.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] little spending spree in July. When I was able to balance the books in July, I was mystified. In my month end report, I mused about how I had no idea how I managed to balance the books. I said “There’s a […]

    Reply

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