April Finance Chat

Fun fact, there are only 15 pay days until we go away. I just calculated this and had a small panic attack at how little time there is left for us to save! I know we’ll have an adequate amount of money because we calculated the bottom line budget that we’ll need, but I’m a planner and I always like a buffer zone when it comes to money for travelling. It’s time to get thrifty! Here’s how I went with last month’s goals (spoiler alert: not very well) –

– Continue to cut back on entertainment costs
– Start using up the coins in the coin jar
– Start catching the train into work again
– Track daily spending in my Erin Condren day planner

I think I’m at that point where I’m in denial that we need to save close to $10,000 between us this year. I’ve been spending way too much money on things that are not necessary. Time to stop that, and reign everything in once again. So with that in mind, here are my goals for this month –

– Sell 2 items on ebay and add profits from sale into my travel fund
– Start catching the train into work again
– Track daily spending in my Erin Condren day planner
– Work overtime where possible to earn some extra money
– Rewrite my fortnightly budget plan

If you’d like to read more about my planning for our trip to the USA this year, click here.

March Finance Chat

Money money money mooooney, MONEY! It’s that time of the month again, so lets talk finances. Side note: Is anyone else absolutely horrified that it’s already the middle of March? I know I am. It means that our overseas trip is growing closer and closer, and our budget doesn’t really seem to be growing as much as I want it to. Which means it’s time to knuckle down, a time that always seems to coincide with me feeling spendy. Here’s how I went with my goals for February –

– Cut back on unecessary day-to-day spending
– Continue to use my monthly budget book to track finances
– Change my mindset to be all about saving
– Cut back on entertainment costs

I fell a bit behind on my monthly budgeting, which is due in most part to me not tracking my finances daily. And also me not having the time (sorry, making the time) to sit down and write down an entire month’s worth of spending. I’m going to work on this though, because the budget book will come in handy moving forward. Here are my financial goals for March –

– Continue to cut back on entertainment costs
– Start using up the coins in the coin jar
– Start catching the train into work again
– Track daily spending in my Erin Condren day planner

What are your financial goals for March?

February Finance Chat

Well, that’s one month down for 2015! How did I do with my financial goals for the month? Not great. I thought being on holidays would help me save money, but I did go out a few times and one bout of shopping was enough to put a bit of a dent in my savings. Ah well, live and learn. Using my monthly budget book was a HUGE eye-opener for me. I think I’m going to change things up slightly though, and start tracking my spending day-to-day to help me when budget time comes around at the start of next month. Here’s how I went with my January goals –

– start using my monthly budget book to track finances for the month
– continue to put money into my travel fund, and only remove what is absolutely necessary for our trip down south at the end of January
– cut back on unnecessary day-to-day spending
– keep track of everything I spend for the whole month

And here are my goals for February –

– cut back on unnecessary day-to-day spending (which includes buying coffee and lunch on the way to work each day)
– continue to use my monthly budget book to track finances
– change my mindset to be all about SAVING
– cut back on entertainment costs (this was one of my biggest downfalls last month)

What are you financial goals for the month?

January Finance Chat

And we’re BACK for another year of finance chats and just generally being financially responsible! Who’s excited? I know I am! I always seem to have a renewed sense of purpose with budgeting when a new year rolls around. Fresh start, clean slate, etc. December is nearly always an absolute blow out when it comes to the budget, so being extra strict in January is a great way for me to get myself back on track. Let’s check in with how I went with my December finance goals, and then make set some new ones for January.

December Goals
I think I did a good job of being ‘reasonable’ when it came to buying Christmas presents. I didn’t buy anything too extravagant, and stuck to the budget for the most part. I’d say I went over slightly, but nothing too crazy. I’ve reduced unnecessary spending, and haven’t really bought much at all for myself over the last couple of months. I did buy some more planner stickers though, but I had the urge and I had to roll with it. Everything else I’ve purchased lately has been via other people’s money in the form of birthday and christmas gift vouchers. I have not cut back on coffee, and really now that I think about it that was a stupid, unreasonable goal. Coffee is a necessity in my daily morning routine and I just have to live with it.

January Goals
– start using my monthly budget book (pictured above) to track finances for the month
– continue to put money into my travel fund, and only remove what is absolutely necessary for our trip down south at the end of January
– cut back on unnecessary day-to-day spending
– keep track of everything I spend for the whole month

And that’s it for January! What are your financial goals for this month/year?

November Finance Chat

Fun fact: I was tempted to buy return flights to Bali at the end of November. Am I crazy? Possibly. BUT they were on sale, so I guess I can sort of justify my momentary madness. Also, I have massive wanderlust at the moment and am craving some sort of extended holiday. Alas, money. It’s hard to think of long term goals when short term satisfaction is at hand. Nevertheless I resisted the sale, and have refocused my attention on our the US trip at the end of 2015. Onwards and upwards. Also, I have a new addiction to scratchies.

November Goals
I did a decent job of not dipping into my travel fund (except for travel costs), so that’s a good step forward. I’m hoping to not touch that fund at all over the next few months, and I’m hoping it will GROW GROW GROW into something substantial soon. I’ve also managed to keep our grocery bill way down from what it used to be, although I haven’t quite reached the goal of keeping it under $100 every week. We’ve also not implemented ‘noodle night’ just yet, but I’m hoping we can make an effort to work this into our schedule during December.

December Goals
I think my biggest goal in December, finance wise, is to be reasonable when it comes to buying Christmas presents. I can’t help myself, every year I seem to go a bit over the top when it comes to how much I spend on presents. This year I’ve set a stricter budget, and I’m going to do my absolute best to stick to it. I also want to reduce unnecessary spending (as in, did I really need the two pairs of jeans I just ordered online? no. unnecessary), and stop shopping for myself for a while. I really don’t need anything, so why waste the money on extra STUFF? I also want to cut back on the coffee I’ve been buying on my way in to work in the mornings. This will be exceptionally hard, as I’m acting in a role that requires me to be ALERT (read: caffeinated), all day every day. Green tea don’t fail me now.