Friday, August 29, 2008

There's still room for improvement

I managed to have 5 days no driving (although I drove another vehicle during that time) as I was doing some traveling to the communities over a two week period. While I did spend during the travel, I will get it back as expenses (and because of the way the Yukon Government works, I’m going to get back MORE than I actually spent…and I don’t even need receipts! What a great deal…).

I have two bank accounts that I actually use, so it gives me the opportunity to “double dip” on occasion, depending on when pay days fall. The idea is that some bills come out of one account and some – usually rent – out of the other. And for the most part, that’s what happens. Or at least has been happening since I’ve been more focused on everything.

My spending looks like this:

Bank 1:

Tim Horton’s: $5.76 (x3 visits @ $1.92 ea for tea, down from daily visits!)
Tim Horton’s: $3.84 (tea for me & a friend)
Gas: $55.12
Food: $22.76

Bank 2:

Dinner, Dawson City: $22.00 (reimbursed)
Lunch for drive home: $11.76 (a FANTASTIC sandwich, water and an apple; reimbursed)
Cinnamon buns: $17.00 (literally dinner plate sized, x2)

Chocolate & milk: $9.73
Groceries: $19.40
Oil change: $15.62
Plastic sheeting for windows: $16.78
Superstore: $1.46
New clutch: $787.07
Dinner, Watson Lake: $26.75 (reimbursed)
Breakfast, Watson Lake: $14.58 (reimbursed)
Vet: $315.99
Dinner: $70.00

Total: $1415.62

Hardly what could be called a thrifty month! :-P However, it’s not all as bad as it looks, despite some big numbers in there. The funds for both my cat and the clutch came out of separate accounts which I’ve set up specifically for such situations. I’ve needed a new clutch for some time now and my cat, Bylaw, was suddenly unwell, and actually needs to go back in two weeks’ time for dental surgery. When the vet gave me the estimate of how much that was going to cost me, I’m glad I was sitting down: $800 - $1000!

Still, that’s exactly the reason I’ve set up these accounts and spent so much time building them up. The cap was $1000 on each (at this point) and while these expenses mean that the accounts are now essentially empty, at least I HAVE them and there was no panic about where the money was coming from. And I’m hoping that if I keep saving through October at the rate I am, I will have enough money in the car account to pay my insurance for the whole year.

I’m expecting reimbursements for my travel, however, which helps the rather high monthly total seem not quite so outrageous. That works out to approximately $375.00 which will be split between debt repayment and account replenishment. I also rolled (most of) my coins and emptied my “cash jar” to come up with an extra $268 which will also be split between debt and savings.

So, the monthly expenditures are reduced as follows:

1415.62
- 643.00
772.62

Wow! Almost half. That makes me feel way better actually because Tim Horton’s really isn’t a need and, well, neither are the cinnamon buns to be honest. But I have the buns maybe two or three times a year and they last over a week! And I don’t go to Tim’s every day anymore, either. I’ve slashed it from 6 days a week to about 3, so there’s still room for improvement, but I’d say it’s a definite start. :-)

3 comments:

notesfromthefrugaltrenches.com said...

well done you!!!

that's a great idea for the accounts re car & cat!

Canadian Saver said...

your car and cat accounts work the same way as what I call my Freedom Account... I don't stop funding mine when they are full though, I put in the same amount each month since I know they will eventually be drained.

You did great this month, way to go on cutting the Tim Horton's visits back!!

Frugal Dreamer said...

I am also located in Canada (BC actually) and i sure love my timmys! I have cut myself down to 2-3 times a week, the other days i brew my coffee at home. Surprisingly, it's not that bad. This month i may price out Tim Horton's coffee grounds! That may also be a cheap alternative!