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Thread: May 2012 Budget Challenge

  1. #1
    Smart Canuck Valiant's Avatar
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    May 2012 Budget Challenge: $ $ $ $


    It's a brand new month to work on our goals!
    All participants, please post below, thanks!



    ENJOYING SPRING !!!

    My May 2012 Budget:

    Expenses:
    Rent (+ utilities): PAID(as per rate)
    Phone: $16.56 (with finalized adjustments from last internet bill)
    Water: $9.90 (reverse osmosis: cooking/drinking)
    Food & Stockpile: $22.00 (tomatoes, milk, milk, margarine, 1 dozen apples, milk)
    Other: $19.21 (tomato & impatiens plants from greenhouse = $4.27); (Conservation Fishing License = $13.94; (Metal Dish-Rack from thrift shop = $1.00)
    Pharmacare Deductible: $104.76/$106 (meds)

    Total May 2012 Expenses to date: $172.43 (plus Rent)

    Coupons Used: $
    Money Found: $0.12 ; and I should have an adjustment of about $15 refunded for phone & internet on May bill, after discussing 2 errors on my bill with MTS. Yes..adjustment came on this bill, and I'm now done with internet catch-up costs.

    SPEND Days to date: 12/31

    NO SPEND Days to date: 18/31


    Goals:
    - maximize work
    - essential expenses: rent/utilities, basic phone, R.O. water; Pharmacare meds deductible = $106 (use budget surplus from April + some of Income Tax Refund to pay for this.)
    - spending cuts on everything else
    - exceptions: stockpile additions, emergencies, fishing license
    - stay within budget this month
    - add to Emergency Fund

    To-Do List:
    - work
    - utilize all my resources:
    - spend spare time on crafting for gift-giving: finishing touches on my crochetted articles completed, except for laundering and starching.
    - OAMC&B (Once-A-Month-Cooking & Baking): made whipped topping & froze it in Cool Whip tub, still have some cooking/baking left from my big effort last week; made cream cheese frosting & froze it; baked biscuits & 15 turnovers (apple, saskatoon) for freezer; baked 5 loaves of whole-wheat bread, cooked a stockpot of vegetable soup (froze some loaves and soup-tubs; baked large batch of oatmeal-craisin cookies). Baked cornbread, oatbran/craisin muffins.
    - get a fishing license this spring: waiting...waiting...; May 13: checked out the river area last weekend, but it's a terrible mess from last year's flooding, so can't access one side at all, park fishing-area also badly affected, so fishing may not be an option, after all. Update: conservation license has gone up to $13.95 + taxes...that's 16 tins of tuna, but still worth it if the fishing runs are good this year...haven't bought one yet, still waiting to check out how good the fishing is. Bought the license at $13.94, and must get my tackle box in order now.
    - garden and yard work: moved seedling trays outdoors to harden off (potatoes included); black current bushes now have tiny berries; perennials sprouting out nicely. Mowed both front and back lawns, tilled front borders, tilled back borders, moved a few perennials to keep like plants in clumps, found 2 hollyhock windfalls in the lawn & moved them to borders, now getting ready for final transplants: tomatoes, potatoes, runner beans, morning glories, cucumbers (lots of digging, so must pace myself). Today, got up at 6 AM, gentle rain falling, air sweet and clean, had my cuppa on the patio steps under the roof overhang, so enjoyed the best of both; little sparrow timidly but trustingly scurrying nearby looking for its breakfast in my perennials, chirping happily... a golden moment to treasure in my storehouse.
    Just got a notice from landlord that our 4 townhouse units will be completely reshingled, which will cause a big mess in our yards and gardens, plus leave dangerous nails in the grass which could cause injury during lawnmowing. On the plus side, my leaky roof & flashings will finally be fixed. Frost last night, but I protected my garden and flowers by sprinkling them with water from my garden hose, at midnight and again before sunrise, and my garden was saved (no frost), though frost was on the neighbouring tenants vehicles....whew!
    - plant lettuce seeds; transplant tomatoes, herbs, flowers, etc.: lettuce & dill planted; tomatoes, basil, cucs, windfalls all planted. Only potatoes and impatiens left to plant out, but am waiting a bit before I plant the potatoes out, due to the upcoming reshingling of our roofs; they'll be throwing the old shingles down onto our yards and my garden...AAAGGHH!!!
    Robins pecked out my basil, so have seeded again indoors.
    - sewing: mended buttonholes, tried on some pants (now ready for alterations)
    - some long visits with Mother Nature: checked out the park and river areas (badly devastated from last year's flood, lots of debris and dead trees, dead grassy-space), but it was wonderful to be communing with nature again!! Managing to get around a bit more outdoors without my cane or walker, which is a challenge, but also just plain wonderful!
    Can hardly wait to go fishing now!!!

    Living within my Budget: (updates)
    - checked out my Pharmacare deductible, so I can plan the payments.
    - checked out 2 errors on my MTS bill for April, and should receive a $15 refund adjustment on my May bill.
    - need to do more OAMC&B soon to keep the freezer and fridge topped with homemade-prepared foods, saving money and time.
    May 11/12: have been spending time on cooking and baking again: baked fluffy biscuits and 15 turnovers (invented recipe for apple, saskatoon) for freezer; also spent a few days laundering doilies, thoroughly dusting my studio, and doing vacuuming & some spring-cleaning throughout my home!
    May 19/12: this has been a good, productive week for me. Got lots done in the yard and garden, and also sorted out my summer clothes in my dresser drawers, so I can assemble my clothing outfits immediately. Spent money only for water and milk. Cooked some flatbreads. Am now using my chives regularly, and keep a snatch of them in a glass of water in the fridge, as well as some cress.
    May 23/12: neighbour discarded her baby-stroller, so I asked her if I could have it, and got it, for new wheels for my walker (if I can get them off).
    May 30/12: budget doing nicely so far; fishing license bought. Re-organized the freezer from top to bottom, and found out what I have, and don't have, so happy to discover many possibilities there.


    May 2012 Budget Balance & Update: - $24.14 (Deficit)
    This deficit is due to the Pharmacare deductible, now almost entirely paid off. The surplus from April helped with that, and although I have no surplus this month, I'm quite happy with my budget results for May.

    May Budget surplus allotted to Emergency Fund: $ 0

    This thread is currently associated with: Spring Shoes, Apple
    Last edited by Valiant; Wed, May 30th, 2012 at 01:59 PM.
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    ( Valiant, the valley-ant )


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    Apr/May Budget 2012:


    Mortgage and Fixed Expenses: PAID

    Variable Expenses:
    Hydro: $95.24/$90 - $5.24
    TV/Internet: $124.22/$124.22
    Cell Phones: $61.82/$61.82
    Home Phone: $22.59/$22.59
    Line of Credit: $538/$550 +12.00
    Visa: $5.49/0 -$5.49
    (interest owing from last month)
    Emergency Fund: /0
    Income Tax: $13.41/0 -$13.41

    Groceries: $642.56/$640 (Apr 13- May 12 CC statement) -$2.56
    Gas: $379.99/$340 (Apr 13 - May 12 CC statement) -$39.99

    Misc Cash Purchases: $454/$400 -$54.00

    Misc CC Purchases: $661.29/0 -$661.29
    Vet Bill: $84.61 (apr/may cc stmt)
    Vet Bill: $90.40 (apr/may cc stmt)
    Car Maintenance: $175.60 (apr/may cc stmt)
    Restaurant: $21.55 (apr/may cc stmt)
    Car Wash: $8.46 (apr/may cc stmt)
    Income Tax Software: $56.93(apr/may cc stmt)
    Electric Mixer @ WalMart: $223.74 (apr/may cc stmt)

    Daycare Business Expenses: $245.97/$100 -$145.97
    Used Toys at Mom 2 Mom Sale: $40.00
    Craft Supplies and Game: $55.97
    Triple Stroller (used): $150.00

    My Extra Income this month: $55
    Kijiji Sales: $50
    DH's Carpool income: $70.00
    Camping Deposit credited back: $140.12
    Finish MIR: $6.81

    Coupons Used: $154.65

    PC Points Used: $20
    SDM Optimum Points Earned: 12000


    Actual Budget Results: -$538.00

    Goals for this month:

    - continue advertising so I can build my home daycare business (I would like to make an additional $800 per month)
    - aim to have at least 10 no spend days
    - work towards being debt free in 4 years (must pay at least $550 on line of credit per month to achieve this)
    - keep within grocery budget
    - try use cc only for gas and groceries and pay balance in full every month. Keep better track of cash spending
    - bake and cook more from scratch. Buy less junk food and take out
    - start selling, donating and throwing stuff out. Have way too much stuff that is never used that is just cluttering up the basement and closets.
    - Time Of Use Hydro Electricity Billing starts May 1st. Try to do baking, laundry and run dishwasher only during cheapest times.

    May 1st update: After adding up the credit card statement, our projected bills for this month and the projected cost of the roof repair, it looks like money will be very tight. I am really hoping to finally secure some more daycare work after advertising for 6 months with no results. In the meantime until more money comes in the plan is to sell stuff and cut back on variable expenses. I have listed 9 items to sell so far on kijiji and plan to keep going through stuff in the basement. On impulse I bought a Kitchen Aid mixer that was on sale at Walmart but after trying to balance the budget I just cannot afford it. If I can’t come up with the $200 to cover the cost, I will have no choice but to return it


    May 28th update: Bad News: This month: went way over budget and had to take $538 from emergency fund. Good News: Finally (after looking for 9 months) have a new family of 3 children starting at my home daycare. They will not be coming everyday so I will have to see how much extra I will make. This comes just in time since I am losing 1 child next month because he is old enough to stay at home by himself.
    Last edited by bobbiegirl2010; Wed, May 30th, 2012 at 08:40 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Valiant, how are things with the barbecuing neighbour? Is the neighbour being neighbourly to your respiratory issues?

  4. #4
    It's time to win lekate's Avatar
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    Expected income - 1500$
    Actual income - 0$
    Variance +/-$?

    Expenses
    Cell phone - 40$
    OSAP - 71$/71$
    MC Interest - 30$
    Alesse - 21$
    Transit - 94$

    Variables
    Groceries - 32.25$/300$
    Cats - 100$
    Misc./other - 100$
    Eating out - 10.35$/125$
    Entertainment - 50$

    Savings and Debt payments
    TFSA - 200$
    Savings - 68$
    MC - 200$
    I owe taxes so dipping into savings and 200$ from this month. Poop.

    Goals
    - Stay on top of budgeting, I'm using Google Documents so I should be able to update and access from any computer, to see where I'm heading.
    - Keeping bringing lunch into work, and not buying a bagel for breakfast from Tim Horton's.
    - Use up the instant coffee I was given at work instead of buying coffee out and work on replacing morning coffee with tea.
    - Buy ticket to go to Montreal in the summer (OSHEAGA!)
    - Yard sale this month

    I've been doing sooo good at not buying material items. It's been almost a month since I last bought a non-food/drink item. No books, no magazines, no clothes, nothing 'just because'. It feels great! I know I'm not helping to be a good little consumer like the economy would like, but hey I don't get paid well enough to be one!
    Did you see the pool? They flipped the B!tch!

    I'm going to South Korea!

  5. #5
    Junior Canuck carebearhamm's Avatar
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    My May

    Income
    Actual income - $2,000
    In the Bank $700
    Universal care benifit - $100
    Child Tax credit - ???

    Expenses
    Cell phone - $65
    Plates - $65 - sold truck need to return plates
    Bank fee -$10
    Trampoline - $400
    Scrapbook Storage - Canadian Tire - $160.00 each

    Variables
    Groceries - $149.72/$600
    Misc./other - $21.06/$200

    Savings and Debt payments
    Savings - $400 - Done
    MC - $400 - Done
    Summer - $100

    Goals:
    Stay on track with my money
    Keep track of my spending
    get the house organized - Got my bed room clean - now the rest of the house.
    sell of the old toys from the kids play area
    plan for the summer - lake time (food for 3 weeks & gas), activites for the kids (rainly days)
    Build garden box"s
    Get garden in
    move more eat less
    more home cooking
    Last edited by carebearhamm; Mon, May 7th, 2012 at 12:38 PM.

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    Junior Canuck carebearhamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lekate View Post
    TFSA - 200$
    Sorry to sound dump what is TFSA???

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    Smart Canuck alicia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carebearhamm View Post
    Sorry to sound dump what is TFSA???
    Tax Free Savings Account. You don't pay capital gains on interest earned within it. Introduced four years ago and you can put up to $5000 for each year since then (so total of $20000 now assuming you were 18 and over four years ago). You don't lose the contribution room so assuming you came into $20000 today you could max it out. Also you are able to withdraw money one year and then get that room back the next year. So say you have $5000 in there and remove $2000, you would then have $7000 for the upcoming year (plus the remaining $15000 from previous years). If you use it as a retirement vehicle be careful with withdrawing from it since there is no incentive to keep it in there (like the big penalties on RRSPs and the lost contribution room). Also, you can hold most investments within a TFSA similar to RRSPs however you can't write off losses in TFSAs. So don't just think of it as a savings account.

    *disclaimer* - I have no financial training whatsoever, just what I have learned through trial and error, through reading forums, budgeting/banking websites and books. I do not profess to be an expert so please just gently correct me if I misspoke
    Last edited by alicia; Wed, May 2nd, 2012 at 06:59 PM.
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    Blog. Open an account with Tangerine (formerly ING-Direct) using my Orange Key (40643422S1), deposit $100 and we both get $50! Offer is available until December 31st. Check here for more details.

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    My big challenge for this month is getting used to Time of Use Hydro Electric billing which started in our area May 1st. For those of you who are not familiar with TOU, the electric company is now charging different rates throughout the day. The cheapest time being 7pm - 7am and most expensive being 11am-5pm during the week. Weekends and holidays are the cheapest rate all day. The cheapest time is almost half the price of the most expensive time.

    So my plan is to use expensive appliances only during the cheapest times/dates (dishwasher, washer, dryer and oven). With working from home and having small children this will be a huge challenge. I cook 2 hot meals a day, run dishwasher at least 2 times a day and have at least 5 loads of laundry a week.

    My goals are:

    1) Do 1 load of laundry every day starting the washer at 7pm so that I have time to switch over to dryer before going to bed. Fold laundry the next day.

    2) Cook lunches on BBQ or in crockpot to avoid using oven. (DH works afternoon shift so he likes to have a hot dinner type meal at lunch time before going to work otherwise the kids and I would just eat sandwiches )

    3) If dishwasher is full after lunch and has to be run only use quick wash setting (runs almost half the time of normal wash).

    4) Cook dinner for daycare children at 5pm when rates are slightly cheaper. Plan meals that are cooked on stovetop or toaster oven instead of regular oven.

    5) Load dishwasher after dinner but wait to start until after 7pm

    6) Do baking on weekends when rates are cheapest

    If anyone out there already has TOU billing and has anymore cost saving tips please let me know
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  9. #9
    It's time to win lekate's Avatar
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    I cleaned out my filing box the other night and am really going to keep on top of it. I'm pretty certain I would have had more 'tax credits' if I had kept some health receipts, all of my bus passes and so that I can keep track of any other important receipts/documents.

    My benefits kicked in at the end of last month, I'm hoping that I can get reimbursed for my prescription I filled just after it kicked in but before I got my Manulife card. It wouldn't be much, but hey, every bit counts!
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    Did you see the pool? They flipped the B!tch!

    I'm going to South Korea!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lekate View Post
    I cleaned out my filing box the other night and am really going to keep on top of it. I'm pretty certain I would have had more 'tax credits' if I had kept some health receipts, all of my bus passes and so that I can keep track of any other important receipts/documents.

    My benefits kicked in at the end of last month, I'm hoping that I can get reimbursed for my prescription I filled just after it kicked in but before I got my Manulife card. It wouldn't be much, but hey, every bit counts!
    Yes you can submit any prescription receipts you have from the date your insurance coverage started and get reinbursed. You just need to fill out an Extended Health Claim form (you should be able to print them off Manulife's website). I used to work for Manulife

    And yes, save every receipt for tax time. Take advantage of all the tax breaks you can get!

  11. #11
    It's time to win lekate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbiegirl2010 View Post
    Yes you can submit any prescription receipts you have from the date your insurance coverage started and get reinbursed. You just need to fill out an Extended Health Claim form (you should be able to print them off Manulife's website). I used to work for Manulife

    And yes, save every receipt for tax time. Take advantage of all the tax breaks you can get!
    Thanks! Will do that tomorrow!
    Did you see the pool? They flipped the B!tch!

    I'm going to South Korea!

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    Junior Canuck carebearhamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbiegirl2010 View Post
    3) If dishwasher is full after lunch and has to be run only use quick wash setting (runs almost half the time of normal wash).
    I run my dishwasher on the shortest cycle too - I can't belive that you guys have this trouble with your Hydro bill - as i know Saskatchewan doesn't have this issue its based on use only.

    My only cost saving tips is for the dryer is to hang dry your cloths - between the washer and dryer the dryer is the worst for power useage.

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    Smart Canuck Valiant's Avatar
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    Well hello, People!
    Time for an update here. Hope you can all still make sense of my quick and 'concise' notes.
    So far, so good with my barbecuing neighbours...all 3 of them. I just don't use that kitchen window anymore, and can stand it, if I use my fan and keep my other windows open to air my home at the same time.
    The other neighbour's scary dog got loose a couple of weeks ago, and chased the other neighbours children around for awhile; the dog was happy to be free and excited to be 'playing' with then kids again; the kids were scared and screaming. Back and forth he chased them in the yard for about 10 minutes; then the parents came out, caught the dog, and now the dog is chained with a heavy chain to the tree beside the neighbour's back window. It tries to dig under my fence, but can't so far. Lately, it has tolerated me better, and I talk to it quietly while I have coffee on the patio, and try to soothe it a bit. It's actually a pretty smart dog, so hopefully it will accept it's confinement, and just enjoy the people around it. Still, both neighbours' dogs bark their fool heads off at the least chance. They are either sleeping, or barking.

    I spent part of yesterday phoning MTS, and checking out my phone bill with them. I found 2 errors, and they will correct and adjust on my next bill, saving me almost $15. That should bring May's bill down to about $15 in total. It really does pay to keep receipts; they had overcharged me on my long distance for March, and I was able to prove the error by referring to my Internet cut-off date on my receipt, which also includes my long distance cut-off date. Also, I contended with them about their extra 10 days of Internet charges from March 21-31, which they added to the extra month's charges for the whole month of April, so they will refund that extra 10 days too. I often find that companies make errors, and the only thing to do is to deal with it, with the facts and the receipts to back up your claims, or lose out on the money that really belongs to you.

    I also phoned about my Pharmacare deductible, and it's $106 for the year, so with this week's meds due, I'll pay it off in full, and then be covered for eligible medications for the rest of the 2012-2013 term. So that's where my surplus and extra savings are going right now, and that's a relief!
    Another thing I found out was that the money I deposited in my TFSA is a compound-interest type account, so I will leave the interest there to compound and will actually get about $15 extra interest per year due to that, so that's another nice little bonus.

    One thing I do in regards to money is keep in mind that every little bit helps.
    "That's enough to buy............." is my motto.
    Even a penny saved when buying a jug of water amounts to a free jug of water at the end of the year, with some extra.
    ie: 1 jug of water = $.99; most people just put down their loonie, and go, without taking their 1 penny of change. But 1 take it, and my receipt, and I know that that's enough to buy a jug of water at the end of a year.
    Same way with amounts of $15 or $20. I don't think of these as just 'a few dollars'. I think of them in terms of: food for a week, 1/10 of my insurance, water for 1-2 months, etc., and that way, no amount of money is insignificant.

    Did the finishing touches on some crafts this morning; just the laundering and starching left to do.
    Also whipped up a whipped-cream packet, put it in a Cool Whip tub, and froze it for future desserts. There's lots of cooking and baking in my fridge, at present, so meals are easy to get, and I have time for other things.
    ( Valiant, the valley-ant )

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    Junior Canuck carebearhamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valiant View Post
    One thing I do in regards to money is keep in mind that every little bit helps.
    "That's enough to buy............." is my motto.
    Even a penny saved when buying a jug of water amounts to a free jug of water at the end of the year, with some extra.
    ie: 1 jug of water = $.99; most people just put down their loonie, and go, without taking their 1 penny of change. But 1 take it, and my receipt, and I know that that's enough to buy a jug of water at the end of a year.
    Same way with amounts of $15 or $20. I don't think of these as just 'a few dollars'. I think of them in terms of: food for a week, 1/10 of my insurance, water for 1-2 months, etc., and that way, no amount of money is insignificant.
    I love the way you put it.

    We are trying to teach our kids the consept of $$$. I have to admit they are spoiled alot, and were trying to change that (we need to change our thinking first)

    We went to Calgary on the weekend for a comic convention and "i" bujeted $60 to spend - $30 each for 3 days - on the last day we had spent the budjet and they wanted more - so i told them that mommy had no more $$$. My five year old son saw a transformer that he wanted and it was $10 (really good price - but i spent my budjet). So he went up to the guy (my husband was talking to him) and said "I want this transformer and my mommy has no money so can we call it free." My husband and the guy lol. My "husband" bought it for him. (my husband is the spender of the family - that is another post)

    Later that night while we were out for dinner my daughter kept telling us she was not hungry so i asked why - "mommy you have no $$$." So we tried to explain the concept of a buget - they are 5 and 6.

    We have been trying to explain how much stuff costs - they have asked for a trampoline for a couple of years - i have saved up $400 - they have been asking why we couldn't get it sooner - so i told my daughter (6 year old) count to 400 and that is how much it costs or its 40 barbies (she has 5 barbies at home)

    I really want my kids to be more educated about money then i was - education is power.

    It's going to be tough but really worth it - any ideas that i can try

  15. #15
    Smart Canuck Valiant's Avatar
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    Kids learn best if they truly understand the concept, and the practical aspects of achievement. It might be helpful to have a bulletin board with a thermometer, or pie graph, to track saving up for a certain item. Another thing that helps is to have small jars labelled for specific savings. Money or money-tickets can be placed into them until goals are reached. Or just post charts on the fridge, and put stickers or check-marks on them for amounts saved, and the kids will see what has been done, and what has to be done yet. Always follow through with the plans, but be flexible and adjust as necessary; the kids need to see consistency, and they are learning all the time about the value of money, and how to plan, save and spend wisely. And when goals have been reached, make a little celebration about it (or family round-table discussion), and follow through with the plan and/or reward.
    ( Valiant, the valley-ant )

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