January 2018 Expenses and Earnings

Time for another spending/earnings report! My net income in January 2018 was $3656.26. My paychecks are always a little higher in November, December and January because we get lots of overtime around Christmas. I’m guilty of a little bit of lifestyle inflation in January as a result of this. I treated myself to some stuff from Amazon, and downloaded plenty of music on iTunes. Fortunately, I’ve finally downloaded all the songs that I really wanted and I probably won’t buy many more, if any. I also had to buy new earbuds for my ipod because the old ones finally stopped working, two years after I bought them. It looks like I spent more than last month on eating out and using the vending machine at work. I’m not sure why that is. Lifestyle inflation again? Probably. My local Subway now closes at the same time I get off work, so I will no longer be able to go there on Thursdays (the last day of my work week ) as I had been doing. What I really need to do is find some healthy, tasty recipes that I can make and take to work with me. I usually go out at lunch time because the food I put in my lunch bag is so boring! So here is the breakdown of my expenses:

Rent:  $752.34
Cell Phone:  $22.60
Internet:  $102.25
Service charges:  $4.95
Netflix:  $8.99
iTunes:   $37.50
Gym membership:  $11.30
Amazon:  $85.36
Earbuds:  $45.19
Baby shower gift: $45.15
Eating Out:  $82.38
Vending Machine:   $42.20
Other food & Misc. expenses:  $359.08

TOTAL: $1599.29

December 2017 Expenses and Earnings

I love doing summaries of my monthly spending, mainly because I get exasperated with myself for spending too much! It’s fun to look at the breakdown and say to myself “Really? You had to buy that?” One of these days I’ll remember to say that to myself when I’m in the store, before I actually buy something. Then I’ll turn around and put it back on the shelf. Anyhow, my net income last month was $3286.06. Of that, I spent $1498.77. That means that I saved about 54% of my income, which is pretty good, although I’m going to try to get it up to 60%. Here is the breakdown of my expenses:

  • Rent: $752.34
  • Gym Membership: $11.30
  • Service charges: $8.20
  • Cell Phone: $22.60
  • Internet: $102.25
  • iTunes: $12.87
  • Netflix: $8.99
  • Baby shower gift: $63.81
  • New printer: $34.48
  • Food & Misc.: $481.93

A brief note about the service charges: it’s pretty funny, actually. I went to Subway and their machine froze up so I couldn’t pay with my credit card. I had no choice but to run to the ATM in the convenience store next door. It charged me $1.75 and then my bank dinged me another $1.50. The reason this is funny is because the cashier had decided-before she discovered that the machine was frozen-to give me a 10% discount. That would have saved me about fifty cents, but the meal ended up costing me about $2.75 more than it normally would have.

Speaking of Subway, food is definitely my worst category when it comes to spending. I love my chocolate bars, I usually pop into Starbucks on the weekend, and I just can’t seem to stay away from the vending machine at work. I used the ATM a lot this past month and I haven’t been tracking my cash spending so I don’t know exactly how much I’ve been spending on food outside of the grocery store. But here are the amounts that I spent on my credit card alone.

Subway: $23.36
Pizza place: $25.50
Dollarama: $43.80
Vending Machine: $12.80
Starbucks: $10.50

I’m blown away by how much I spent at Dollarama. Especially when you consider how often I pop in there on my way to work to pick up a couple of chocolate bars that I buy with whatever change I have lying around at home. The total spending at Dollarama is probably much more than $43.80. I can remember buying a new computer mouse and some printer paper there last month, but mostly I think it was chocolate and various unhealthy foods. That’s definitely something I’ll have to work on.

I go to Subway about once a week. It’s usually after my last shift of the week, just as a way to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. But I’m usually not hungry when I get it. I just buy it because it tastes good. So I could probably cut that out of my routine. Fortunately the current weather will help me out with that. As I write this, it’s -17 outside with a -25 windchill so that should deter me from the 15-minute walk to Subway and the 15-minute walk home

I’m not sure what to think of my trips to the pizza place. I go there during my lunch break. I know that bringing food from home is supposed to be cheaper than eating out, but the pizza place only charges $5.10 for two slices and a can of Coke so it’s a pretty good deal. And I have to eat something at lunch, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting money like I do when I go to Subway. I think I’ll just try to limit the pizza to once a week because there are healthier options.

The vending machine is another thing I need to give up. If you pay with your credit card, they charge you an extra fifteen cents. That means paying $1.90 for a chocolate bar, which is highway robbery. I definitely need to avoid that.

And as for Starbucks…well, I got a gift card for Christmas so I shouldn’t be spending any of my own money there for the next month or so.

So in summary, I will be focusing on (a) avoiding Dollarama, (b) avoiding Subway and (c) avoiding vending machines.

P.S. I will post my December dividends report as soon as possible. My TFSA is currently being held hostage by Scotiabank until they receive/process the documentation I have mailed in. So I am unable to see how much income I made on the stocks that I had transferred in! It should be around $900 total, but I’ll give you the exact number as soon as I can.

November 2017 Expenses and Earnings

It’s time for another summary of my monthly earnings and expenses! My net earnings in November 2017 were $5235.34. I love three-payday months! I also did a pretty good amount of overtime so each paycheck was higher than it would normally have been.

My total expenses were $1711.33. This is higher than usual because I renewed my passport and signed up with Bluehost in order to create this blog. The breakdown of my expenses is:

  • Rent: $752.34
  • Gym Membership: $11.30
  • Laundry card top-up: $30
  • Service charges: $4.95
  • Cell Phone: $22.60
  • Internet: $102.25
  • iTunes: $1.29
  • Netflix: $8.99
  • Food & Misc.: $446.93
  • Passport Renewal: $160
  • Passport Photo $22.59
  • Bluehost: $148.09

I had my usual problems this month when it comes to spending: too many trips to the vending machine at work, and too many chocolate bars from Dollarama! Otherwise I think it was a pretty good month. If I wanted to, I could save even more money by hand-washing my laundry (which I did for years) and ditching my Netflix membership. But I’ve reached the point where I have enough money saved and enough dividends coming in that I can afford to splurge a bit. And as far as a frugal person is concerned, $8.99 on Netflix and $2.25 per load of laundry is a splurge!

October 2017 Expenses and Earnings

I hope to make one of these posts every month: a record of my earnings from my job at the post office, and a breakdown of all my spending over the previous month.  I try to use my credit card as often as possible because I get Air Miles that I can redeem for free groceries. So it’s hard to track every single penny  but I will try to single out the major monthly expenses.

My net earnings in October 2017 were $3242.37. That includes ten hours of overtime.

My total expenses were  $1349.48. The breakdown of my expenses is:

  • Rent: $752.34
  • Gym Membership: $11.30
  • Laundry card top-up: $20
  • Service charges: $4.95
  • Cell Phone: $22.60
  • Internet: $102.25
  • iTunes: $3.87
  • Netflix: $8.99
  • Food & Misc.: $423.19

Financially speaking, food has always been my downfall. I’m an emotional eater and I love chocolate! I’m going to try to cut back on junk food for the sake of my physical health as well as my financial health. I don’t want illness to ruin early retirement! One thing I can definitely do to reduce my spending in this category is to eat out less. I go to Subway a couple of times a week, Starbucks once, and I often go to a pizza place for lunch on workdays.  I can definitely cut back on that!

My cell phone bill is about as low as it can get. I have a pay-as-you go plan, and I only use my phone for calling and texting. I can wait until I get home and turn on my laptop to check the Internet. Speaking of the Internet, I know my plan is overpriced. I will research cheaper plans when I have the time. Suggestions from fellow Canadians are welcome!

Netflix…well, I don’t want to give that up! I don’t think $9 a month is a big deal, and it’s cheaper than cable.

I hand-washed my clothes for years but I finally gave that up a few months ago. I just couldn’t get my clothes as clean as the washing machine can. I decided the laundry card was a good investment if it’ll extend the life span of my clothes. Of course, good frugalist that I am, most of my t-shirts come from thrift shops and only cost about $5 each. I will still let my clothes air dry in my apartment rather than using the dryer.