January Budget Check-In

2015-Budget-Plan-Jan

I am a little late on this one, but it has been a crazy week.

For January, we decided to buy only what we needed and get a better idea of how much to spend.  We tried to limit ourselves to one grocery shop per week (usually I visit several so I can look for coupons, but end up with more of those random purchases).  We were a little hampered by the fact that our flyers were only delivered once in January.  While I can view them online, I find you miss items that you find when going through the paper copies.  Sometimes they show one item but the description lists others, this is smaller on the e-copies so they are often missed.

We meal planned once we made a list of what was on sale for the week and used up a fair amount of our stockpiled food, but spent less than $65 per week on grocery shops and another $15 during the week picking up milk/bread.  We still ate out twice and grabbed some coffees (tea for me) and occasional food on the go.  I got a bagel in the morning a few times when I was running late for work, he is terrible for coffee and a donut but we cut our overall spending on food/drinks in half.  We spent just $500 for the month on shopping/food expenses, including dinner out and cat food/litter (they have expensive tastes) and I had $40 cash left in my wallet.

Our regular expenses did not change much, a little less on travel since gas prices are down and we went out less.  We spent a lot less on entertainment since we didn’t go out other than dinner twice, no movies etc.  We cancelled our newspaper subscription (less about saving money more about their service) and did not renew our three magazine subscriptions.

We did not buy much that had cash-back (made $12 in cashback rebates from the various apps) and actually used few coupons.  I did a $87 Shoppers Drug Mart shop and earned enough points back using my personalized coupons to spend $55 at bonus redemption.  Plus I got 100 bonus Air Miles from a Staples order I made for work because my boss doesn’t have an Air Miles card.

I slacked on my goal to get back into Swagbucks and Superpoints making enough to redeem for $5 on Swagbucks and enough for a $10 Amazon gift card (but I am saving for the new Tim Hortons rewards which cost more points but we will use it).  Still extra money is extra money.  I also got $5 in Air Miles Cash as a bonus for transferring my Sobeys points to my Air Miles card before they make the switch.

I won some makeup and a blender from contests/twitter parties and received lots of the items I won in December (that Campbell’s food hamper was amazing, I found my new favourite cookies).

My goal to stay out of the mall actually worked!  I have also resisted trips to Target to check out liquidation deals, partly because I know prices will drop lower and partly because I need to wean myself off Target shopping before they close.

I am fairly sure we can spend less than $500 a month but it works for us, we don’t feel constricted at that amount and there are some things we just don’t want to cut back on.  As more coupons come available, we will likely spend much less too as we use them too.  I do want to maximize swagbucks etc, I can click while doing other things, I just haven’t bothered.  Overall, I am happy with how January went.  It is typically a miserable month where I am more likely to shop than go out because of the weather so it was good to cut that spending too.

Are you still on track with your budgeting goals?

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