Happy 2018 To You. From Me! I hope you’ve been having a productive 2018 so far, and that you’ve finished your budget for the upcoming year. I spent the first few weeks of 2018 working on my personal goals list (budget included). I’m a big planner, and there is something extremely satisfying about checking off a goal after I’ve completed it. I also need a little structure in my life, and I think it’s extremely important to always be learning and working towards something.
Here are a few of my 2018 personal goals:
- Read 12 Books – I’m currently reading my second book “It’s Your Money, Honey”, and I am diggin’ it.
- Contribute $5500 to my TFSA – I can happily say that I completed this on January 2, 2018, thanks to tracking my 2017 budget. Don’t know what a TFSA is? Check out the infographic.
- Donate $800 to Charity
- Learn the Justin Bieber “Sorry” Dance – this was also a 2017 goal that I didn’t complete but I am definitely going to learn it this year.
- Meditate 3-4x/Week – this has been great. I love meditating. Mostly because I feel like I’m in The Upside Down.
- Donate Blood 4 Times
- Prepare 26 New Vegetarian/Vegan Dishes – I’ve already prepared 4! I’m on a roll.
- Max Out my RRSP – Don’t know what an RRSP is? Check out the infographic.
Updating Your Current Budget
I spent 3 hours over this past weekend reviewing my 2017 budget and re-organizing it for the year ahead. Some big things changed in my life last year that will affect 2018 and beyond. I also have some financial goals on my list that need to be incorporated into my current financial plan. This is what it looked like when I finished my first draft.
It is SO important to do, but more important to track it. And here’s why:
- If you don’t track your budget, then what’s the point of making it in the first place? I have so many clients who constantly tell me that they have or had a budget but they don’t follow it. WHYYYYYYY? If you’re going to sit down and take the time to make yourself a plan, then you need to track it.
- Have you ever tried to lose weight by eating the shittiest food possible and sitting on your couch for hours on end? How did that work out for you? Successful? I’m guessing…. probably not. You need to change your old habits and stick to the new ones. Tracking shit will work. Trust me.
- Things change in your life all of the time. Maybe you got a new job, bought a new house, just had a cute little baby, or maybe you have a big trip coming up. Every year is different, and your budget needs to reflect those changes.
- The economy changes. This is a BIG one for 2018! So much just happened in Canada and it’s going to affect our wallets. Interest rates just went up, the minimum wage increased in Ontario, and don’t forget about inflation!
What to do now?
After I completed the first draft of my budget, I crunched some numbers and made sure that it made sense. I just started a new job, and I have some upcoming trips that I’m planning for 2018 so I needed to cut back in some areas in order to accommodate for travelling.
I then turned to my Visual Budget tracking app (which I’ve been using for the last 5 years and LOVE more than avocado toast – what is up with that anyway?), and I updated all of my numbers. You should definitely use an app or find your own process that works for you. Just make sure it’s manageable because tracking does take time.
I like to input all of my transactions when they happen, but I know some people who do this on a weekly or monthly basis. Whatever works for you – just fucking do it. If you need another example of some categories that you may be missing, head to the resources page to check out the budgeting examples. This is what my budget looks like now….
Crisp. Clean. Easy to read and track. Puuuuuuurfecto.
You want to make sure that your net income is covering your expenses (savings and investments included)! I know that I’m on the right track. Are you? I just helped 20 other Torontonians create their own budgets at the “Getting Your Financial Sh*t Together” workshop at The Drake Hotel. You should have seen some of their faces after realizing how much they were spending on stupid shit. It’s a real eye-opener for some!
Are you spending more money than you’re making and living outside of your means? Where can you cut back? If you need some more information on creating your own budget or just needs some financial advice, contact me!