The news coming out of the US the past couple weeks have been depressing, especially as it concerns the Brown and Garner cases. Added to that is the fact that, after October, November was the month I took in the least amount of money since last year when I first started working for myself. So money is tight going into the holiday season. Also, the Canadian dollar is still struggling against the US. For these reasons, my mood going into the holidays is a bit somber.
With November being the second straight month of barely any incoming funds I was unable to put as much money towards debt. I cut down my expenses a little more too, as I am now on the path of spending as though I expect no income for 6 more months.
In fact, if I discount the money I gave my Mum and loan interest payments, in November I only spent $458 in total. Most of it was on health and dining out.
I reduced my dining out by a bit. A good chunk of the dining spending above was work-related. The only non-work-related dining expense was treating my family to Popeye’s takeout one Saturday night ($55 fed close to ten people – there is a reason poor people eat a lot of fast food). I was lucky in that often my clients paid for lunch if we had a lunch meeting. However, sometimes I ended up buying my own lunch when my meeting was just before lunch time. A few other times I was good and packed my lunch with me when I knew my work meetings downtown were scheduled to be done at lunch time and I wanted to go work at the library afterwards. I may have to go back to packing my lunch more frequently if my situation continues as is.
ENTERTAINMENT EXPENSES (TRAVEL, DRINKING/PARTYING, RECREATION)
That $13 was for a movie ticket.
If things continue as is I will have to suspend giving my Mum money and cut down further on dining as well as miscellaneous expenses, until I start receiving income again. For instance, no more delicious lattes every now and then at Starbucks – it will be all about the cheaper tea/bottled water during my meetings. Every little adds up when trying to cut down on spending! I had also been hoping to do a holiday trip (or rather, a January trip) somewhere but that doesn’t look possible at the moment.
On the bright side, since I am in the suburbs with my fam again, far away from the temptations of downtown living, and since it is cold again here in Canada, my desire to go out and spend money is much lower. So I am not yet really feeling the crunch.
Anyway, here is where things stood at the end of November:
|NAME||JULY 31, 2013||NOVEMBER 30, 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||$18,421 CAD|
|Student Line of Credit (LOC)||$9,678 CAD||$0|
|TOTAL||$154,527 CAD||$110,767 CAD|
October’s balance was $112,940. So that means that in November I only paid off $2173, falling short of my minimum threshold of $2500/month. I am, nonetheless, thankful that I was still able to pay above the minimums for my loans (which combined currently equal around $1091), despite two low-to-no incoming cash flow months. And I’m very thankful that my situation is not so terrible yet.
In December, I hope I will be able to pay off enough to get to $45K paid off in 17 months.