Where did all my money go? I’m sure I’m not the only one whose asked themselves that question before. I know it’s the end of February and most of you bloggers and readers are probably so over talking about finances, but I’m basically a month behind so please bear with me!
Once I got back to work, I started getting my T4 slips and realized tax time was just around the corner. I do a pretty good job of tracking my spending and saving throughout the year (after all I am a personal finance blogger), but when I was taking good look at my savings accounts after I got back, something didn’t look quite right.
For the past three years (including this year), I have set certain savings goals to achieve each year, and every year (except this one) I have reached them. The first year I literally started out with just a few hundred bucks in my bank, but still I promised myself that as broke as I was, and as little income as I had coming in at the time, I would try my best to save up $8,000. And somehow I did it!
Though looking back, I know I didn’t have the best diet (lots of canned soup), lived in some pretty sh***y places, and didn’t have the most vibrant social life. Oh, the sacrifices we make for financial freedom. The following year I bumped up the goal to $12,000. I achieved this goal too. So of course, for the following year I thought that I could easily achieve the goal of saving up $15,000. Ya, not so much.
This honestly should have been a pretty easy goal to have achieved. I had already adjusted my lifestyle in such a way as to not need that much to be comfortable, plus I received a raise at work, had a freelance writing gig on top of my on-call teleprompting job, and started to rake in a bit of income through this blog. Still, even with my increased income, I didn’t reach my goal…by $5,000.
So where did all my money go this year? Well, I spent way more than I thought I did for one! Thank goodness for Mint.com for making things fairly easy to find out where my money went because otherwise, I don’t think I could have figured it out on my own. Basically, what it came down to was me having a few too many coffees on my way to work, some frivolous and frequent purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart, wedding purchases and deposits, my dental surgery, and then there were the trips.
There was my trip to Portland, my weekend trip to Little Shushwap, a weekend visiting a friend on Gabriola Island, yet another weekend away at the Semiamhoo Resort in Washington, and the big one, my round-trip plane ticket to Thailand. I also spent way more than I thought on eating out! I’m talking in the $4,000 range. And it’s like I treat myself to a steak dinner every couple of months. I just eat out often and didn’t realize it.
I was talking to my BF about all this the other night and his reaction was pretty interesting. He wasn’t that shocked. In fact his response was “But we had a great year!” He had got a point. I may have spent way more than I thought I did, and saved less than I had hoped, but I did have a very fulfilling year. Before this year we rarely ever traveled or went shopping.
But now, for once in our lives, we’re both in a position where we can afford to do these things and not worry that we won’t be able to pay off our credit card in time. Sure, I definitely think I spent way too much money on eating out and plan on making some adjustments to my budget and lifestyle this year, but all in all, I don’t have any regrets.
How did your saving/spending go? Do you have any regrets?