2011: still under construction

Wow!  Thanks for all your kudos yesterday. Sounds like a few of you were inspired to find a little something to give too.  Hooray!

My charitable giving in the past has been better than it will be in 2010.  Turns out, however, that I was giving away money I hadn’t earned yet. I mean, if a person is charitable and has rising debt, isn’t that an indication that they need to get their house in order? Still, this year I’ve totally learned that I can get my house “in order”, meaning retire my debt, as well as accomplish other financial goals concurrently – like save, and be charitable.

Still feeling great after learning that 5,341.6 pounds of food were collected in Toronto in total for the “Lose for Good” campaign, I wanted to revisit my 2011 budget draft to see what I’d planned around charitable giving.  Seems not much. As I spent only a few minutes reviewing my budget for 2011 yesterday, I realized it needs a lot more work.

My draft budget for 2011 is picking up all the mistakes I made in 2010. For instance, even though I’ve done the analysis and I know I spend just under $200/month on car rentals, I have $0 in the car rental cel on my spreadsheet.  Apparently there will be no gift purchasing, nor any clothes purchases in 2011 either. There certainly isn’t any charitable giving.  Yep, still have work to do.

I am more clear, however, on the cost of our vacation in 2011. While Walt Disney World is having promotions in the late summer, with two girls potentially heading to first year University in September, the timing is awful.  Add another kid who’s photosensitive, and we want to arrive in Orlando as far away from the summer sun as possible.  This means we’ll likely go at Christmas. The impact of that is an increased cost, and the park will be busier.  I always had it in my head that we’d go at Christmas anyway.

The good news is that gives me most of the year to save for it.  Perfect.

My 2011 budget also doesn’t reflect the conversation I’ve had with a contractor to replace my crumbling front steps in the spring, or the fees for applications to Universities.

To my credit, what I did nail in my budget were regular contributions to my TFSA, to the girls savings for post-secondary, and for my RRSP. Oh, I also budgeted $100 in dining out for March, when I intend to get the VISA bill for the celebration dinner I’ll be having when I’m debt free.

Perhaps this weekend I’ll be able to take another run at 2011. At least I’ve learned this year that the budget is a guideline  –  it can roll with the punches when it has to.  Are you ready for 2011?


6 responses to this post.

  1. We went to Disney at Christmas 3 years ago Tracy, and it really was a madhouse. We were grateful to get out of there and say we’d been there, done that, time to go off to something else. My sons said they felt bad because I wasn’t “getting my money’s worth” (bless their frugal hearts), but that’s okay, lesson learned. It’s not our kind of place really to begin with though.


  2. Oh, also meant to say that I’ve figured out my “monthly allowance” / draw and that’s what I’ll stick with and just shift on the fly. With selling the house etc., it’s so hard to tell the timing of things that I just want to be sure there’s enough in total. If it means I can’t have some of the other extras that I want due to renos costing more or the house not selling, I’m okay with that. I’ll revisit it every quarter. I feel much better sticking myself on a total allowance like I used to do rather than just having ad lib spending like the last year has been.


  3. I have $100 set aside each month for charity – usually the Red Cross or the World Food Program. Another venture I’m involved with is micro-financing with Kiva.org. Being a single mom I have a thing about helping women to support their families. A $25.00 loan combined with other $25.00 loans from other lenders can make the world of difference. So far I’ve made 14 loans – some of them with money that was paid back to me. No one has defaulted on me yet. It’s a very economical way to help as the $$ is repaid to you and then you can relend. I have about 8 still outstanding in various amounts. Kiva.org was one of Oprah’s “favourite things” this year!


  4. We give to a couple charities every month. Canadian Cancer Society & we sponsor a child every month. Then there’s the “extra” donations for runs, walks, etc… 🙂 I feel even if you’re “scraping by”, you can still donate something, whether it be time, a can of food out of your cupboards, or financially.

    I’m ready for 2011!! My cc will be down to $0.00 this week and i’m kicking in a new budget for December! 🙂 Bring on the savings!


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