March 2014 Budget & Goals

march 2014 budget

REMEMBER: You can download this budget template!

Entering the last month of Q1 2014, I know I’m seriously off-track with my savings goals already. With that being said, I also anticipate February through April to be the most expensive months of the year, so I’m confident I’ll be able to scrimp and save more later. This month, I plan to put $100 in my Emergency Fund, and I already received my tax refund, which I immediately put into my RRSP.

So, where is the rest of my money going this month? Mostly to travel plans! On the 14th, I’m leaving home for a little over 3 weeks, and being away for that long affects most of the numbers in my budget. I’m giving myself generous budgets for my trips to the Dominican and Toronto, because I’d much rather come under budget than go over. And the Victoria budget paid for my trip back last weekend, and covers my trip over on the 14th (where I’ll leave my car while I’m travelling).

My housing expenses are normal. I adjusted my food budgets, keeping in mind that I’m only home for 13 days of the month. I did the same with my transportation costs, but added an oil change, which I got last weekend. And health care expenses would be normal, except that I have to pay for last month’s visit to the dentist (which I called in and paid for over the phone on Monday).

As for “my money”, I’m thinking about purchasing a rechargeable electric toothbrush. I don’t know that it’ll happen this month, but I figured I’d budget for it just in case. I’m also on the hunt for some cheap dresses for the Dominican! I haven’t been on the beach in 30°C weather since December 2010, and I’ve lost 30 lbs. since then… some new (cheap) vacation attire is essential.

As it stands, I plan to save 14.5% of my income (in long-term savings), spend 33% on housing, 6% on food, 7% on health care, 9.5% on transportation, 20.5% on travel, 7.5% on myself and 2% on charity. All things considering, this budget excites me! Mostly because I can’t believe I’ll be on the beach in 2 weeks… and then in the cold (Toronto) after… brrrr!

Goals for this month:

  • Hangout / attend a public speaking workshop with my mentee
  • Tackle edits to the writing project I was working on in January
  • Bring my bridesmaid dress in for alterations
  • Rent a paddle board / soak up some sun in the Dominican
  • Squeeze in as many visits / meetings as I can in Toronto <3

What do you have planned for this month?

24 Comments

  1. Your travel plans sound exciting! I hope you have a great time in the Dominican! I love beach holidays and the +30C weather! ;)

  2. Hey Cait!!
    Awesome Blog! I heard about the piece you wrote about what you would tell your 20 year old self, on the Edge radio station, here in Toronto and I decided to check it out. I’m really glad I did. It has really inspired me to take control of my money. I’ve started reading Gail’s books and I follow your blog religiously. Thanks for all the tips and advice!

    Jealous that you’re going to the Dominican! and for only $350!!! WHHHATT. I’m going in May and I’m paying a million times more than that!

    Anyway, enjoy your trip! And thanks again for the inspiration!

    • Cait Flanders

      March 5, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      You heard about me on Edge!? That is so cool (and random)! I’m happy the blog has inspired you in some way – that inspires ME more than you know. :)

  3. I got myself an electric rechargeable toothbrush years ago! It was cheaper to buy at the dentist ($125) but I bought mine at Shopper’s ($180) but I was able to redeem my Optimum points and only paid like $30.

    The one I have has the wireless timer so you know if you’ve brushed for 2 minutes or not. I love it! Has definitely helped my teeth.

    • Cait Flanders

      March 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Yea, I figure I’ll be spending between $75-125 for it. My dentist said I could grab the $75 one and it would be just fine, so I’ll probably do that. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  4. I follow you on Twitter too. I appreciate your advice and experience.

  5. I echo the others… exciting travel plans! This has been a BRUTAL winter (here anyway) as far as cold and snow… it will be nice for you to get to enjoy some sunshine and the beach!

    March will be a busy month! I’m going to Niagara Falls and down to Buffalo this weekend for one night, and going to a Sabres game. I’m working 3 of the 5 weekends this month, but only half days so that’s ok. I also have plans to go to Medieval Times later in the month, and stepping up my running a bit because I’m doing an 8K race on April 5 and a 10K on April 13. I’m also going to that lunch with Gail thing in Cobourg on the 22nd. Can’t wait for Spring!!

    Dayle

    • Cait Flanders

      March 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      I used to live really close to Medieval Times! But I’ve never been… enjoy that!

      And you’re going to a lunch thing w/ Gail!? Holy cow, am I ever jealous! We still have yet to meet.

  6. Have fun in the Dominican! That sounds very relaxing. But man that’s a lot of traveling this month. I’m such a homebody. I think I’d go crazy if I traveled too much. lol! But I am looking forward to my trip to Denver/Iceland!
    See you at today’s meeting?

    • Cait Flanders

      March 5, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      You’re going to have an amazing time, Tonya! How long will you be in Iceland again? I forget!

  7. “I can’t believe I’ll be on the beach in 2 weeks… and then in the cold (Toronto) after… brrrr!”

    Yeah Cait – I’m sure that when you hit town (ie., TO) here later this month, you’ll be the only one walking around here flashing a sunburn!
    (not that we are envious of youse, if just a tad, eh?) :-)
    Have a great time!

    As for us here, well not a lot going on (other than March Break is coming up soon, along with the “spring forward” time change). The other day we sent in our passport renewals. The cost has increased – we shelled out $320 for 10-year renewals to cover our 2 passports. That’s almost as much as your Dominican trip is costing you !!! And so it goes …

    • Cait Flanders

      March 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Haha, me and my co-workers, yep!

      I will need to renew my passport shortly after I get back, and I’ll likely pay $160 for the 10-year… so I’ll be right there with you, on that expense! Going somewhere!?

      • Yeah – anywhere where it’s warm and away from all this %%^^&&&*$% Toronto snow (that – again – is falling down here this morning, as we speak!) :-)

  8. Hi Cait

    Can’t wait to hear about the trip to the Dominican. A much needed change from Toronto I’m sure :)

  9. i think your budget looks fantastic! i’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time in the dominican. p.s. your travel plans are giving me wanderlust–must add travel as a budget category so we can go, go, go!

  10. Ugh, I’m off track with my savings too. Last month was way more expensive than I expected. But I’m trying to make sure I put at least a little bit into savings each pay… Better than nothing, right?

    Enjoy all your jet setting! I hope you have an amazing time :)

    • Cait Flanders

      March 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      That’s a lot better than nothing! Getting into the habit of saving is not easy. As Gail says, even starting with $25 can get you into the practice of it.

  11. Soaking up the sun sounds like a great goal for the month! We are headed to Mexico (Cancun) in two weeks as well. Can’t wait, I’ve had enough of winter! :)

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