October’s Report Card: F

Have I lost all credibility with you yet?  I hope not.

This month seemed very similar to September.  Not only was I in the red, but I was really in the red. Most of the issues around my budget this month and last are due to rather silly budgeting on my part.  I hope to correct that for 2011.

For some reason, when I drafted my budget, I didn’t add in any vehicle expenses, or clothing expenses. I guess in January I thought I’d never drive again.  Where’d I get the idea the kids or I wouldn’t need new clothing for a year?  Silly me.

I’m not trying to make light of it, a shortfall is serious, and that’s how I started the year with over $13K in debt.

Here’s where the higher than budgeted expenditures were:

  • Car rental and fuel:  actual $300.00; budgeted $0.
  • Public transit:  actual $210; budget $110. (started buying a Metropass for both daughters now, since the eldest is working FT. For the eldest, I’m charging her for half the value of the adult Metropass, hoping that I can still make use of it to go to my PT gig whenever she isn’t working)
  • Dining out: actual $173; budget $0. Most of this was charges to my credit card, when I was getting worn down when my youngest was sick.
  • Veterinary Fees: actual $802.06; budgeted $550.  Largely the financial impact of my eldest kitty getting sick, and having to put her down in September.
  • Clothing:  $497.80 is the whopping actual.  Not all year has the budget looked like this for clothing.  The eldest started a job and needed comfortable shoes (specifically black, not too sneaker like) to start work in the fancy new Grocery store downtown. She also needed new black slacks. Mom paid. The youngest, who hasn’t had new shoes in can’t remember when, got two new pair for back to school. In my shopping trips with the girls, I got two new tops as well.

The revenue side was pretty much as I expected it to be.  I cut back on a few expenses, believe it or not. Regrettably, I actually took up the CIBC on their offer to pay “interest only” on my Line of Credit for October. Insert heavy sigh here.

The bottom line, about $900 in the red. Like last month, I have not increased my debt, but I’ve eroded what I call my financial parking lot.  This is the bank account I save money in to pay my income taxes in April. I’m hopeful there will be enough money in there come April 30th to pay my bill, whatever that may be. I have a fair idea, based on my last return. I’m reasonably confident I can pay in full in April 2011, but I can’t have any more months like September and October.

On the bright side, I was still to contribute to my youngests RESP, to my eldests TFSA (for post-secondary savings), and to my RRSP. I paid all my bills. My Line of Credit balance is now -$4,642.57.  Instead of fretting about the past two months, I’ll focus on the positive: I’ve paid off almost $9,000 in principle, and the interest on that in the last 10 months. Not bad for a single gal in the city huh? I’ve also managed to invest $2,500 for each daughter for their post-secondary savings, for an additional $5,000. Still, not bad.  My TFSA is maxed out.

I have some cool news about November I’ll tell you about tomorrow. Even though I get an F today, I’m not dropping out of school. See you tomorrow!



6 responses to this post.

  1. Hey MCM, what’s your “fudge factor” in your budget? I’ve always factored in a miscellaneous amount that’s higher than any of the other categories and that’s pulled me through a lot of tighter months. But then I don’t budget the same way that you do, just give myself a total to shoot for so I don’t have to think too much. 😛

    I don’t think you did too bad considering all the stuff you’ve had thrown at you the last few months. It’s just life and the way the dice get thrown sometimes – or more often than not.

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s news!


  2. Morning Jacq,
    I don’t have any fudge factor in my household operating budget. In fact, as I noted today, I actually made a bunch of mistakes budgeting for 2010, which I hope to learn from going forward.

    The only “fudge” factor is in my fiscal parking lot. When I get paid for my FT gig, I automatically take a sum off the top for Provincial Tax, Federal TAx, CPP and HST and put it in a high interest savings account, and basically forget about it. This is also the account I’ll use to manage expenditures for my employers, and reimbursements, so it doesn’t mess up my household cash flow. I estimate the amount I’ll need for taxes based on my income. However, as I start writing off expenses against my income (including my rental property), then my taxable income declines.

    This year, I’ll have about $5,000 capital expenditures against my rental income, which is much higher than last year. That will help reduce my taxes due. So, that’s my only fudge factor, and I don’t know if it’s sufficient or not until tax time. A bit of a crap shoot.

    I totally loved your idea last week of establishing an account for those unexpected expenses. I’ll try and incorporate that for 2011. What I have to be cautious about is knowing that unexpected must be truly that – unexpected. Not unbudgeted because I somehow thought I could get away without clothing myself or the kids, or driving, etc.

    Despite my lack of good budgeting behavior these last two months, I’m still feeling great about the journey, and know it’s totally worth taking!


  3. Posted by everydayminimalist on November 2, 2010 at 9:03 am

    The point is to keep going!

    So you’re $900 back in the hole. You’re trying instead of giving up — very admirable.


  4. MCMOM, you are very hard on yourself! I think you’re doing great with all that life has dropped at your doorstep lately! And like you said, you made a few budget planning mistakes that you have learned from and moving forward, you’ll have a better plan for 2011. I don’t think you deserve an “F” this month…


  5. You did well, all things considered. You weren’t the only one who has had a couple of bad months. I had totally forgotten to add our insurances to our yearly budget, and had to scramble when the bills totalling more than $6100 came rolling in during October. But I got through it. And you did too. I try not to expect perfection from myself anymore. I’m happy with not incurring more credit card debt during any given month. Keep your head up! You’re doing fine. We all live & learn from our mistakes.


  6. mmmm fudge factor. maple fudge

    sigh I guess that isn’t what y’all meant huh? lol


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