|My View From Work|
I have been MIA this fall for the most part because we have had some exciting changes, we bought a condo in Montreal! Needless to say, my 7 month budget project has gone out the window! October was the highest spending month yet!
I decided even though my project and goal of saving 10% a month is ruined, I would still see it out. So what did we spend our money on this month? Well aside from high closing fees on the condo we also had visitors and birthdays to celebrate! My dad came up for his birthday and one of my closest friends came up for a weekend. This meant we spent a lot more money going out then normal but thats ok! It was also my nieces birthday, and I took her and my other niece to Ottawa to visit our uncle, that plus birthday gifts meant that our going out/shopping budget was through the roof! We are also nearing our wedding and wedding expenses are beginning to roll in.
Here is our typical cost of living, the only new addition is homeowners insurance.
Here is our "Things We Had to Buy" graph. Sure some of the shopping and eating out at restaurants we didn't *have* to do, but you have to enjoy your life, you only get one. You can see house costs is the highest by far. We had to pay our notary, taxes, closing fees, etc. However, wedding costs and eating out/shopping is still pretty high, both are just under 1000$ each.
I'm sure you are wondering how we afforded everything, between rent, wedding planning, and buying a condo costs have been high. How do we do it? Every month Nick and I set aside 60% of our pay into our savings account. After we pay for rent, utilities, groceries, etc, anything left over is spending money. Now of course sometimes we just put things on credit card (like this month), because we don't always have a to of extra spending cash. But mostly we try to only spend/shop in cash and avoid using our cards. We also had the help of my parents with our downpayment for our condo, but everything else we have paid for, closing fees, notaries, etc. It helps that I have a stellar credit score. It is one thing I am very proud of. I can not stress enough how important it is to build good credit. I got my first credit card at 19 and kept the limit at 500$. For a while I never paid it on time, but by 21 I had begun to realize the impact it could have and I tried to always pay it off. 8 years later and I have a personal line of credit, mortgage, credit cards etc. If you feel like you're not responsible or don't know how to build credit, get a low credit limit on a card and just try not to use it. If you have a lot of school debt, try to always make the minimum payment.
This past month wouldn't have been feasible if I didn't have access to my line of credit to help cover some closing condo costs. We have spent around 5000$ of our line of credit and I am hoping to have it paid off by the end of the year. I hate having that much on our line of credit, but the interest rate is much lower than our credit cards, and we have kept our credit cards paid off. I've had to come to terms that debt is part of life. Line of credits are meant to be used, and its ok to use them as long as you have a re-payment plan in place. I try really hard for us to only use the cash we have on hand, but as we get older, I realize that a big part of adult financing is using credit, repaying it, and building more credit. It's a cycle I kind of hate. Down with capitalism!
Another big help is my partner, we are a two income house-hold, and he and I are always on the same page for spending and saving. He knows how important it is for me to be able to set aside large chunks of our paycheque to be put into savings. Just like I know how important it is for him for us to enjoy our life and not just work and sleep, we balance each other out.
For now, all of our savings are going to the wedding and paying off the line of credit. Once the wedding is done and we are back from our honeymoon, I'll post about entire wedding budget.
Maybe in the new year I'll be able to to return to this budget project and actually cut costs. For now it is what it is, and I hope you're enjoying reading along. It is really important to me to be open and honest about money. People don't like discussing it and that is a taboo that in my opinion we should end. We aren't taught enough about actual living costs and money in school, a lot of my friends, just like me are self taught about budgeting, interests, taxes, etc. It can be hard to navigate adulthood when you really have no idea how to spend and save. It is a new world out there for millennials, gone are the days of 401ks, pensions, living wages without a ton of school debt, living wages WITH a ton of school debt. We have to help each other out! And yes I know not everyone has parents who can help them buy a condo, I really am *that* millennial. But Nick and I work 50hrs/week, we save and try to hold ourselves accountable to where the money goes. I know some people just see us going on trips and spending our money jet-setting, but that is why we work so hard and so much. Our #1 priority is to travel, and we self-fund all of our trips. Meticulous planning and budgeting goes into each and every one. Life is hard and short, it's important to try and spend it with the ones you love, doing the things you love!