February is looking pretty good…

February is shaping up to be a reasonable month, at least from the personal finance perspective.

While I overspent on groceries and booze and dining out (hey, I was on vacation), I’ll still manage to come out in the black, with an extra $800 toward my line of credit. Seems I was busier in my part-time job that even I recalled, and the financial benefits are starting to show up. Nice.

I think too, since it’s been a couple of months since I’ve been an “employee” with my full-time job, and the dust over a changed cash-flow is starting to settle now. I’m finding myself in a reasonably comfortable groove again.

Looking ahead to March, despite having the bill due for the new Piaggio Fly, will be okay too. Here’s my strategy for the next few months, and some decisions I’ve made:

  • I won’t contribute any additional amount to my RSP prior to the deadline of March 1 this year. I’m going to stick to my knitting, as it were, and continue to focus on debt retirement, now paying for my new wheels, and saving for a family vacation and for additional TFSA contributions
  • I’ll pay for Piaggio Fly out of my financial parking lot in March. This is money that is earmarked to pay my 2010 tax bill.
  • My 2010 tax bill is due April 30. Once that date comes, I’ll take money out of my line of credit to make up the difference between what I have (minus the Piaggio) and what I need for the CRA. This way, I’ll pay less interest if I just pay for the Piaggio now with the line of credit, instead of continuing to pick away at the debt between March and April.
  • I expect to continue to earn a bit more than budgeted through my part-time  gig over the next month or two. I won’t adjust my budget, however, and put any additional funds toward debt reduction.
  • I’m not going to say yes to any more fill-ins for my part-time gig. The snow will melt soon, and I want to do a bit more playing outdoors. I’ve said yes to anything I thought I could manage between January 2010 and now, and that’s served me well financially. At least, I’ve been able to retire an extraordinary amount of debt for a single mom, and also see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need to give myself a break…

So, as February winds up, I’m feeling pretty good about the finish line next Monday. What’s really exciting is that in May, I’ll be able to do a year-over-year review of my net worth. I’m excited about that.  Why May? It’s post-tax month to post-tax month. In the months after May 2010, I’ve accumulated funds that are earmarked for taxes. Now, once this May passes, I won’t have any more of that as an employee. My finances will be more straight forward, less work to deal with, and easier for me to see my progress month to month.

It’s going to be a good year.

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