Monday, December 30, 2013

Introducing The Financial Mama Series

Before going on maternity leave we made some attempts to save for the income we would soon be missing. We definitely could have done a better job. We had to live very tight during my time from work... Sometimes uncomfortably so.

I am back to work now and have many "what could have been done differently" thoughts. I want to be financially secure, provide for our daughter, go on a vacation once a year.... And oh yeah.... Retirement is not to far away.

On Mondays we will be posting the "Financial Mama Series". I will share with you what I'm doing to get my financial house in order. I would love for you to follow... Maybe we can all do this together. I would love to hear about what you are doing in terms of money in your household. Any tips or suggestions? Please share.

So before I enter 2014, let me introduce you to my first challenge:

Can you track how you normally spend your money?  In some aspects this may be a piece of cake for me.   I have a spreadsheet that states unequivocally where my money goes in terms of my fixed expenses.

Fixed Expenses: The bills that are paid out at the same time and are a fixed amount.   ie: rent,  car payment, daycare

I also have listed my variable expenses.

Variable Expenses: Money that is spent on  any particular day and at any total.  ie:  groceries, vehicle gas,  hair appointments

I do an OK job at tracking my variable expenses. I have a cute pink notebook (and it is cute) in my bag.  Flip through and you will see a section of vehicle gas.  My budget is $240 per month.   Whenever I fill up I subtract what I spent and am aware of how much money I have left.  Same for my $75 clothing budget and $400 grocery budget.

I get in trouble with the variable category I call "Miscellaneous".  Why am I calling this miscellaneous anyway?  This is the money that goes to STUFF.  Could be coffee...  a movie...  a blouse....  Wait! !


See what I mean? You will probably find that you have a hard time finding out what happened within your variable category.

Like me, you may think this first task is a difficult one.  (why am I envisioning Jack Nicholson yelling that I can't handle the truth?)  This task is just to give you a visual heads up about where your money is going.  Easy peasy.

It is usually advised that you look over 6 months of expenses.  I am using two as I have been collecting a full paycheque during this time.

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