October 2012 Recap

Armed with the free version of the Money Wise app on my phone, I carefully tracked my spending throughout October, hoping to determine if I can finally quit my second job or not.  (Okay, so I wasn’t so great at tracking for the first few days, but I did really well the rest of the month.)  Ladies and gentlemen, this is how my month went:

[Note: I’ve purposely left out the dollar amounts for privacy reasons.]

Now I know why tracking is so important.  My spending is so much worse than I thought. This SUCKS!

  • I have $0 going towards savings.  ZERO.
  • I am spending the same amount on fast food/restaurants as I am paying my student loan (which is the large, dark rain cloud constantly hanging over my head).
  • I spent more on fast food/restaurants then I did on groceries.
  • My utilities are actually double this because this does not include my cell phone costs.  (I somehow pre-paid for 2 months, and was given a $20 promo when I upgraded my phone.)
  • My total debt repayment is approximately 17% of my spending – 7% for my student loan, and 10% for my car.  (My car expenses shown in the pie chart above include the loan, insurance, and gas.)
  • My medical expenses are really high, but this will decrease as my health improves.  I went to the chiropractor 10 times in October, but will now only be going 4 times a month, thus cutting this expense at least in half.
  • Travel was really high this month, too.  I spent a weekend out of town for a friend’s wedding (hotel, cabs, and airport parking fees).  As well, I booked my flight home for Xmas (on sale).  I’m expecting this to be 0% for November.
  • I only went to the gym twice, meaning each visit cost me $22.50.
  • I had 7 no-spend days this month (or perhaps days that I forgot to track), or 23% of the month.

But the pie chart doesn’t show the whole picture.  Factoring in my income, it gets worse – much worse…

  • I unexpectedly received $95 from the Government. (Yay!)
  • I didn’t track all my tips; I know I’m missing at least 5 shifts worth (which could be anywhere from $30-$75 that’s unaccounted for).
  • I was paid for 61 hours for my part-time job (some hours were worked in September, but due to the pay schedule I was paid for them in October).
  • I still spent $385 more this month then I made

I thought I was doing alright, but without the second income (and that extra $95), I would have overspent by over $1,000!! That’s so depressing.  Not what I wanted to hear… Looks like I’ll be keeping that part-time job after all.


So, here are my Financial Goals for November:

  • Make more money then I spend (this may be easy as it’s a 3 paycheck month, but on the other hand I’ll only be working 30 hours at my PT job).
  • Track every penny.
  • Have 10 no-spend days (or 33%).
  • Set and stick to a budget of only $100 on fast food (this would, sadly, cut that expense in half).
  • Contribute all the income made from my second job into my TFSA.  (I may redistribute this money later, but until I figure that out, it’s going to collect interest tax-free.)
  • Go to the gym at least 12 times (thus costing me only $3.75 per visit).
  • Plan. Grocery shop.  Cook.  Even if it’s simple, and consists of cereal for dinner, this has to start happening. Yesterday.
  • For Christmas, figure out what gifts I want to buy, how much I want to spend, and start looking for deals.  (Also, figure out smart gifts to ask for.)
  • Do not use my RBC debit card (I was charged $4 in fees in October for going over my “free” limit).

Hopefully, this is the kick in the ass I need to tighten my purse strings and get things under control.

Amanda Kay

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

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