January 2013 Budget Roundup = Increase of +$9959.43 or +4.98%
Not much happening on my end.
Just chillin’ out, trying not to spend money, looking at pictures of cute Japanese flying squirrels.
YES THEY EXIST!!!!
INCOME = $500.19 — NOT A $0!
Only $463.86 was actual cash
- $75 — Freelancing; there seems to be a lack in writing opps which I didn’t foresee happening
- $33.44 — Google Adsense
- $323.10 — More of my consignment stuff sold; I have another batch ready to go for Spring
- $22.32 — Found money on the ground; Found a $20 bill!! Best find ever.
- $10 — Lottery ticket winnings (don’t ask, it was a whim spurred on by nagging)
This “income” was in the form of gift cards.
Technically it isn’t “income”, but I feel like I should note it here:
- $11.33 — Amazon Associates referrals (thank you!)
- $25 — Swagbucks (Didn’t buy any e-books though, am building up a credit on Amazon)
DIDN’T 100% HIT MY (CASUAL) $500 EXTRA-ON-THE-SIDE GOAL
My original grand plan this year was to try and make $500 (on average) a month and I was about $75 short because there seems to be a lack in writing opportunities.
It wasn’t from lack of trying, I can tell you that.
I was pestering people who were surely sick of me by January, because they never replied.
I know, you’re thinking:
“Do I need to call you a WAH-mbulance!?”
That’s really no excuse because I could have picked up some fast food job and pulled in $1600 this month working full-time, but I didn’t because I didn’t want to.
(You wanted the truth, right?)
In my defense, I didn’t book about $140 in income this month to (falsely) boost my earnings above $500 to make this rather dubious, already-quite-fake goal, because I won’t be actually getting that money until February 2013.
The good news, is that my expenses were pretty low this month.
The lowest I think I’ve ever seen them!
Also, I heard back from my real career and I am looking at something that might be coming up in the next month or so.
Trying not to get my hopes up.
*Taken from Modern Family‘s Claire and Lily act during the baptism of Fulgencio Joseph Tucker episode. I love that show!
EXPENSES = $551.01 — LOWEST, EVER!!!!
I almost wept for joy when I saw these numbers.
Of course, it’s partly deflated because of the massive returns I made ($250-ish dollars), so I’m spending around $800 a month.
My original budget is a generous $2500. I’m really under by about $1700, in terms of the average for this year.
ALMOST PAID FOR MY EXPENSES THIS MONTH
I was about $87.15 off from actually covering my entire living expenses with extra income (cold hard cash only) on the side this month.
This is doable.
Maybe selling all my stuff all the time on consignment is not as sustainable (nor returning things I already bought), but it’s really uplifting to know that I can reach these levels if I try.
I think my general living expenses can be around $800 a month, or so.
$300 for rent, $300 for food, $200 for the rest (v. generous).
Wardrobe looks like a massive chunk in here, but it’s - 23%. Don’t miss that very significant, important ” - ”
Even though my Don’t Break the Chain app that I’ve been using to help stay away from stores and buy anything is a full red-X checked month… LOOKY LOOKY!
I didn’t buy a SINGLE Wardrobe-related thing this month.
It absolutely felt difficult and slightly painful for me to stay in this month.
Don’t let anyone lie to you and tell you it’s SOOOO easy to stay in and be entertained.
It isn’t and they’re liars. Or hermits.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m really more of a homebody and I’d rather stay in than go out and party until 3 a.m. in the morning, but I literally didn’t leave the house more than 7 times this month.
REASONS WHY I STAYED IN
- snow and below-0 freezing cold temperatures suck
- rain sucks
- saves me money on spending any TTC tokens (they’re $2.65 per single trip now!)
- ..and as Revanche points out, I am self-punishing for various reasons
Can’t help it. Sorry.
I know I shouldn’t think like that, but I am.
All of this gave me a bit of cabin-fever, which made me go into overdrive for writing and scheduling posts, and researching more into possible investments.
OTHER THINGS I GOT ACCOMPLISHED VIA CABIN FEVER
- I did my U.S. taxes — Took about a week of reading to acclimatize to the U.S. tax jargon
- Set up my Money To Do List such as move TD E-Series index funds to Vanguard ETFs**
- Stayed well, WELL under my given, average monthly budget of $2500 a month
- Realized I didn’t die from staying inside for 24 out of the 31 days
- Am resolved to repeat this self-punishing cabin fever behaviour for February 2013
**I promise I will cover and explain what I just said in my Investing Series over the next month.
NET WORTH = $210,105.06 or an increase of + $9959.43 or + 4.98%
TOP 5 SPENDING CATEGORIES
This might actually be the first time I’ve spent on necessities for all 5 of my categories of spending.
NET WORTH FROM THE PAST 12 MONTHS
ARTICLES/POSTS I REALLY LIKED THIS MONTH
- Smithsonian: For 40 years, this Russian family was cut off from civilization, unaware of WWII
- Objective Wealth: Are you materialistic enough? – Excellent summation of prioritizing money
- Rick Ferri: Naïve Investors Taken to the Cleaners
- Globe & Mail: Can’t save? Forget about the lattes - Houses & Cars make a bigger impact
- Australian Tourism Answers — True or not, they’re hilarious
MY TOP 5 BLOG POSTS FOR JANUARY 2013
- Switching to buying used or consigned (thrift) clothing completely: Could I do it?
- Save like a developing country
- Investing Series: What fees and things look for when you’re investing
- How to name your files, folders and photographs
- BBC Documentary: Why are thin people not fat?
CARNIVALS I ENTERED (& WHO ACTUALLY ACCEPTED)
- Carnival of Personal Finance with this post: Could having too much money make you suicidal?.
- Carnival of Wealth with this post: Single women are paying more versus their married counterparts over a lifetime.
Another month of staying in and learning how to deal with cabin fever, especially now that I’ve discovered Hola Media Unblocker and I can surf major country-restricted sites like Hulu to watch videos.
Can I beat my record for not leaving the house for more than 7 times this month?
Only time will tell.
(Probably won’t happen. I’ll go out at least 7 times, I think. Plus I have some lunches/dinners I’m planning for next month.)
Oh, and waiting for a contract. Yep. Still doing that.