My end-of-month report for October is due. So here I am!
October was a little bit of a rough month income-wise because I didn’t get any money coming in for the projects I am working on. One of the clients was late with payment, main client, but they have been late the last few times so I was kinda expecting it.
I actually had to dip into my savings to make payments towards debt. I felt comfortable doing so because my savings are still enough for now. Not one year’s worth like I want, but maybe enough that I could make the money in it stretch to last me 6 to 8 months if I get no income for a while, without reducing my debt reduction rate. Although I have a feeling that my cash flow will continue to be bad for the next month or so, here’s hoping it won’t come to the situation where I’m looking at 6 to 8 months without income!
Anyway, since I kinda knew I wasn’t going to have any money coming in, I limited my spending throughout the month. Glad to report that my spending for this month is the lowest it has been since February last year, a few months before I got my first contract. Back then I was on such a spending diet that my monthly spend for the month, minus credit card interest payments, was $400 or less. So this month my spending was the lowest it’s been in a year and a half. Definitely a record.
Granted the main reason my monthly expenses fell was because I cut back my spending, knowing or rather suspecting that I wouldn’t get any cash coming in this month. But it’s nice to know I can easily make $500 plus reductions in spending if really needed.
As part of my reduced spending plan in October I went out less. Part of this was prompted by the fact that early on in the month, after a late night out and a few minutes waiting out in cold weather in clothes that were not meant for cold weather, I impulsively decided to get a cab home. That ride cost me over $40 as opposed to the $3 the bus was going to charge. I felt so guilty about that that I skipped going out at night for a couple weekends. I also hate cold weather. So the way I see it, my guilt was another excuse to not go out in the cold.
My dining expenses for October amounted to $172. Thankfully, that’s a marked decrease from the previous 2 months. The last time it was that low was in June.
The $172 is close to my ideal of $150 or less and within my budget of maximum $250. So I’m feeling better about it.
My other big expenses excluding loan interest, for the next few months, will be health (mainly dental), gifts (including monthly amount I give my Mum) and entertainment. Health should be a fairly constant $250 – $350 for the next few months. Gifts will ramp up during the holidays. My family is thankfully not big on gifts, but I do like to buy presents for my friends and also treat my huge family to a few dinner/lunch takeout meals. Entertainment is the other regular expense. That includes travel, drinking/partying, recreation, etc.
I no longer really have a grocery bill. So from now on I will track entertainment expenses instead. In October it was pretty low, because I barely went out and my bus tickets for travel were bought in July. Here is a comparison of my entertainment spending the last 4 months.
ENTERTAINMENT EXPENSES (TRAVEL, DRINKING/PARTYING, RECREATION)
In other news, the Canadian dollar keeps falling. Earlier this month I started feeling a bit of debt fatigue as I considered how the balance feels like it has barely moved the past couple months. And I felt a bit depressed when I considered how much longer the Canadian balance on my b-school loan is going to take to go down.
I am feeling a bit better now as I am focusing on small steps at a time (that by the way is great advice for life!). When all was said and done at the end of October, here is where things stood:
|NAME||JULY 31, 2013||OCTOBER 31, 2014|
|Mastercard||$6,123 CAD||$0 CAD|
|Visa||$8,653 CAD||$0 CAD|
|B-school loan||$96,800 USD
|Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan||$20,931 CAD||$18,576 CAD|
|Student Line of Credit (LOC)||$9,678 CAD||$0|
|TOTAL||$154,527 CAD||$112,940 CAD|
September’s balance was $115,652. So that means that in October I paid off $2712, meeting my minimum threshold of $2500/month but falling short of my real goal of $3000.
My US dollar amount is going down but, as aforementioned, my Canadian balance feels like it is not moving much. I think part of my sadness came from accepting that I am not going to be able to pay off $50K by the end of this year, a stretch goal I had. Perhaps if the dollar was not dropping so fast and the end of this year was not looking to be filled with cash flow worries…Ah well.