I’ve decided to put together spending reports to share with you all, à la Frugal Woods. I am certainly not at their level of frugal mastery, but I do want to have a frank discussion with myself (and you!) about what I’m spending each month so that I can fulfill the review part of the assess, plan, do, review cycle.

I’ve already assessed my financial standing and income, I’ve planned using YNAB* , I’ve done the spending and here is my review!

About my spending reports

Here is a quick rundown of what you can expect:

  • Spending Report:
    • What’s included: Every penny I decided to spend this month.
    • What’s excluded: Deductions from my paycheque, including pension and charity contributions. I also don’t include my salary here. It’s a spending report!
    • Yearly expenses that were paid this month are denoted in grey italics. I put aside money each month into sinking funds for these expenses, but those don’t appear until the money is spent.  This is why when I talk about my budgeting goals they don’t always match up with my total spent.
    • I track automatic contributions to my RSP and TFSA as expenses, because I think of that money as gone. My TFSA is a very small “emergency fund”, but it’s more to build the habit of monthly contributions and take advantage of compound interest.
    • I pay most things on credit card, but don’t list credit card payments here because I don’t carry a balance. I treat all purchases on these cards as money already spent.
  • Net Worth:
    • What’s included: I only talk about an increase or decrease, as well as my progress towards my financial goals.
    • What’s excluded: I don’t include my pension or RSP at all. I don’t really track the current values and they do fluctuate.

August 2018 Spending Report:

Housing
Rent -$1,620.00
Utilities -$69.91
Storage -$40.00
Total: -$1,729.91
  • I realize that this is a lot, but I’m not willing to make cuts to this category right now, apart from being smarter about utilities.
Telecom
Internet -$73.44
Cell Phone -$67.80
Total: -$141.24
  • This category could use some improvement. I will assess my options in the next few months.
Media + Software Subscriptions
Netflix -$10.99
Google Drive -$5.48
Headspace -$77.67
Total: -$94.14
  • I invested in 12 months of Headspace this month when it was on sale.
Pet Care
Pet License -$15.00
Pet Consumables -$23.70
Total: -$38.70
  • This category is about where it should be.
Grocery and Household
Dollar Shave Club -$10.74
Personal Care Products -$64.38
Groceries -$252.81
Household Consumables -$7.90
Household Goods -$3.96
Total: -$341.79
  • I splurged a little bit and bought some hair bleach and dye, as well as replacing some makeup that I finished. I think I could do a little better with groceries as well.
  • I replaced a rusted cheese grater and stocked up on toilet paper and dish soap.
Health
Medical + Dental -$11.00
Total: -$11.00
  • My share of an almost $650 dentist bill, I think I got a great deal!
Transportation
Presto (Public Transit) -$30.00
Zipcar -$51.10
Total: -$81.10
Sport and Leisure
Travel -$58.18
Equipment -$372.90
Total: -$431.08
  • Yikes. Travel is campsite fees for one night (!!!) and the equipment include new hiking boots, new running shoes, trekking poles, as well as misc items for my hiking trip next month.
Indulgences
Books -$39.77
Tattoos -$220.00
Vice -$62.85
Eating Out -$102.62
Entertainment -$40.00
Art supplies and stationary -$3.96
Total: -$469.20
  • I bought too many books (5)! That’s the danger of “buy now with 1-click” on the Kindle. I will get a library card soon.
  • I also had many unplanned instances of eating out which would have been avoided with better planning.
  • The other expenses were reasonable and mostly planned. You don’t expect me to give up Drag Brunch, do you?
Giving
Gifts -$35.64
Misc $8.00
Total: -$40.64
  • I’d like to improve my other categories so I can do more here. The gift was a retirement of a co-worker.
Misc. + One Offs
Furniture -$279.05
Total: -$279.05
  • I had to bite the bullet and get a new home workspace setup. I did not need to buy a new desk, chair, and lamp from Ikea.
Savings Goals
RSP -$50.00
TFSA -$50.00
Total: -$100.00
  • These are auto withdrawals – not much to say here. I use these as a minimal savings goal, outside of my stated financial goals. I will probably make a lump sum RSP contribution at tax time, depending on how I’ve progressed towards my emergency fund.
Total Expenses -$3,760.85
Change in net worth $56.51

Progress towards financial goals

My most immediate goal is to have three months worth of expenses saved. Because I use YNAB*, this means that I am planning on giving my dollars jobs four months in advance. Currently, I am about 19% funded in that third month. My “age of money” is 63 days, but that’s because I started a new budget with a healthy chunk of cash to be applied to future months. It’s still growing every day.

My change in net worth was positive, but didn’t really put much of a stride towards my goal. I have assessed the individual categories and noted some places for improvement. Hopefully I can keep my eyes on the prize and have the willpower to reduce my spending.

How did you do this month?

Let me know in the comments below 🙂

* This post uses referral links where we both get a bonus if you sign up for the service linked. Neat!

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