Escape Insurance Due

Well, the insurance was due for the Escape - for a grand total of $1,183.

That's a couple hundred less then the Kia.  So annually, for both vehicles it's a grand total of $2,529. So we need to be saving at least $210/month to be able to do the lump sum next year.  I had guessed about $250 before we had all the totals, so not too shabby.


January Eating Out


Here it is.

In January we ate out 21 times.  Yup, 21 times.  We spent just about $540 in restaurants and fast food joints.  Yuck.

I felt like, it might help to do this left often, if I put the details out there, rather than just skipping over it in our monthly spend report posts.

We ate out three times when we were in Alberta - those I'm happy with.  The Tim Horton's run was also on a trip into Alberta.

 We picked up the tab for us and my mom at the Chinese Food place, and one of the Family Restaurant trips was just me and my mom.  The Greek Restaurant was me, Jordan and picking up the tab for my uncle who was helping us evaluate a home that needed a lot of renovations.

The McDonalds and A&W are mostly Jordan grading lunch and/or a breakfast sandwich (I think).  The couple of times when it was closer to $20 - he grabbed something for me too because I hadn't had a chance to feed myself with Little Man always napping on my lap.

So, I'm not going to say that we're never going to eat out - that's just not realistic.  For the month of February especially, we have several more trips to Alberta to get our stuffed packed and while we cook as much as we can, we're inevitably going to eat out some, and feed whoever helps us.

BUT...I think we have some progress to make in Jordan's lunch/breakfast trips and in the family restaurants for sure.

I don't know what a reasonable goal is - perhaps cutting the total spending in half because we went over budget in the day-to-day spending by about $250.  I know some people go the extreme all-or-nothing route, but I don't think that will work for us.

Maybe if Jordan picks up lunch/breakfast once a week, and we buy dinner out no more than twice a month?  What do you guys think?


January Spend Report

Here we go, January's spend summary.

The categories highlighted in pink, are all in the day-to-day spending category that we budget $425/week for.  So for January we were over budget by about $244.

We did go to Alberta twice if I'm remembering correctly, and it's hard not to eat out some when we do that, but we did make most meals at the house even though just about everything is packed.

Gas is pretty reasonable considering all the driving - but of course, gas in Alberta is pretty cheap right now (not where we are in BC though - it's about a 30 cent difference).

Entertainment includes our Netflix subscription, a few lettery tickets (Jordan), and what I'm assuming are a few slurpies and other quick-grab snacks at 7-11 from Jordan.

We had a few vehicle items in January, including renewing the insurance for the Kia which we paid for in a lump sum.  Home Maintenance included a $90 trip to Home Depot (can't remember what that was for, so I'm guessing Jordan went there), a $50 trip to the source (Jordan got a dongle for the TV to watch Shomi), and $35 at Walmart.

Reimbursable's  include all my trips to physio this past month, and a few odds and ends for Little Man.

It's really the last month where we can go over budget an we still have my income to cover it.  We're now just on EI, and need to get closer to not over spending.  Which us luck for February....where we have four trips to Alberta planned.


Spilled Milk

...or Wine as the case may be.

We unpacked a load from my mom's small utility trailer earlier this week, and found a box that had some of my home made wine in it....It had frozen, and then thawed and the corks had popped.

So sad!

Thankfully it wasn't a full case, and the bottles are still intact.

So Jordan, under some duress did a taste test.  So far, the first sip is better then expected.


Where the Budget Stands

Okay, so now that we're down to just EI and Jordan's salary, it feels like a good time to post the budget we're working with.  Now, this doesn't apply for February because we still have the Mortgage and the Line of Credit, and all the expenses (utilities, taxes) associated with having the house in Alberta.  Once the house clears, we're going to be clearing those debts and eliminating those expenses,  so this budget is for March going forward until we find a new home.

Some things that will be changing soon are insurances.  We're currently looking at Life Insurance for both of us, and we'll also need to look at tennants insurance of some kind to protect our belongings that are in storage.  I've left line items for those, but the numbers are blank for now.

You might have read on previous posts that I was eligible for the maximum EI and that we also are receiving USSB and BC child care benefits, so that plus Jordan's scary makes up our monthly income.

Next we have our cell phones and the unknown insurances.  Following that we have the benefit premiums I'm paying to maintain my benefits through work.  These used to be deducted from my pay - health care is paid for 100%, but this is 50% of the dental care premium, and Long Term Disability Insurance.

We're paying for TV at my mom's place which is the next line item.

Following that is the car payment - which is paid bi-weekly.  We owe around $14K on this still, so have a ways to go and it is at 0% financing.

I often refer to our monthly spending as 'day-to-day' - this is the money allocated for gas, groceries, hair, clothes, EVERYTHING that is not a fixed expense.  I did a post for leaving this as is a little while ago - but we'll keep evaluating as time goes on.

The savings and planned spending are relatively low considering the amount left over at the end of the month ($1,500) - which is part of the point of this post, to figure out what to do with it.  I feel like it would be good to boost RRSP for a while, and important to always tuck away a little bit for emergencies.  The Baby RESP gets $100/month and the Baby bank account gets the $86.28.  I want to have some money in his bank account for 'long term savings' for him to learn about when he's older, but we may also use some money from here at the end of each year to top up his RESP - we shall see.

We pay for auto insurance in BC annually, so the $250 is to set aside for each year.  Then of course vacation, gifts, and maintenance.  This is more personal, than home right now, because we won't have  a home of our own for a while - but this is for basically everything that we would need from home depot for house maintenance (yard supplies, shingles, money for big house stuff like when a furnace quits etc.).  Personal Maintenance is things like hair cuts, work boots etc.  If we need a 'top up' from the day-to-day.

Okay....so.  The only debt we have is the Kia which I'm inclined to pay off with the rest of the $1,500 each month BUT with planning to buy a house, it might make more sense to just stash all the extra cash for a bigger downpayment, bigger emergency fund - that sort of thing.

What do you think?  Keep the cash, or pay off the Kia?


Employer Paid Top Up

How did 15 weeks go by already?

Back in October, when I was waiting for Little Man to arrive, I mentioned that one of my benefits was a salary top up.  When on an eligible maternity leave, and approved for Employment Insurance, my employer tops up a mom's EI benefit to 70% of their salary for 15 weeks.  The idea is to help transition the family from regular salary, down to EI with a 'step'.  It's a huge help!  Normally, the employee must return to work for a minimum of six months after the leave or the benefit must be repaid.

In my case, I don't, because just before my Maternity Leave started, I was laid off.  As part of my termination package, I do not have to repay the benefit.

Not Little Man, but Super Cute!
The last Friday in January marked the end of my top up.  So going forward, it's just EI.  eek!  Good thing the house has sold so we will only have a mortgage payment for the month of February, well, until we buy our new home that is.


My Dad

Today would have been my dad's sixty second birthday if Lung Cancer hadn't taken him away from us almost four years ago.  We had gotten the confirmation weeks after my husband and I were married and just a few months later, he was gone.  I think about him so often, especially now that we have Little Man.  He was so ready for grandchildren and it breaks my heart that he didn't get the chance to meet his first grandson.   So today, instead of thinking about, or writing about money, I'm just going to spend time with my family.


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