Thursday, June 23, 2011

Promotion! Aka: Back to the Books!

If you're seeing this on your eye chart, there may
be something wrong with your eyes, or
you have an awesome optometrist!!

Oh boy. Let me start by saying that my budgeting skills have been on the decline lately. Summer has snuck in leaving me eating takeout (especially pizza), neglecting my yoga practice, drinking more ($80 bill at the pub the other night) and all around not planning for any of my expenses. For example, today I had an optometrist appointment which cost me $80 and I also had to order new contact lenses. They aren’t too expensive ($80 for a one year supply), but now I’ve left my self shortchanged for the essentials like rent! So silly. Now, I have a dentist appointment next week and I’m looking at another $120 for a teeth cleaning that will come out of my pocket. However, I finally have insurance! My benefits package kicked in this week which means I am going to get reimbursed for most of my costs so I guess you could say I planned it a little bit, but since we have a postage strike, my benefits package has not arrived (not to mention all the stolen contents of my wallet) and I’m left footing the bills in the interim. Yeah yeah Complainy Complainerson, what’s your freaking point? I'm getting to it! I promise this isn’t going to be one of those negative blogs again. All my $hitty preparation has left me thinking that it’s time to revisit my budget analysis worksheet and redo the math so that I am not completely screwing myself over when it comes to my day to day spending. But, there is one more variable that I am going to have to include in my new analysis…

Whoo! More money! Less Problems???
This blog post is coming to you later than usual this week because I wanted to write about some news that will affect my financial future greatly but it couldn’t be shared until now. Last week I was offered a promotion and I accepted it! I wasn’t even looking for a new job, this one just seems to have sniffed past all the bull$hit and found the wonderful rose in the garden which is moi! At my new job I will be receiving more money (whoo!) and I’ll be able to pay off my debt while being able to give myself a little spending boost as well. I’ve been learning to live on less for so long that I never even imagined that I would end up making more money to put toward my debt. Now I’m going to be getting almost a 10% increase in my salary – and it can only go up from there. My apologies for my outpouring of happiness during a time when finding work is proving to be more and more challenging for people, but I really did not expect something so wonderful to happen after losing my wallet and having my cards stolen. I suppose my optimism has been rejuvenated. Admittedly, I was already planning a ‘good news’ blog for this week since some of my past entries seem a little blasé.

Now this job is not going to be without its challenges. I have been getting rather comfortable with my routine of coming home at lunchtime and making myself something to eat, but I think I may have to start making my own lunches and bringing them to work which is something I despise doing. Why are most leftovers so nasty? This new position will definitely be more demanding on me and when I get stressed, I do the stupid things like eat take out. This week for example I’m doing the work of 4 people and I think I have eaten every single one of my meals as takeout because I don’t have any time to go home and make something! The worst part of all of this is that I’m not even enjoying the food that I am buying. Even that General Tao chicken I ranted and raved about early on in my blog has left me feeling not satisfied and it just tastes a lot like guilt.

Anyway, back to the budget. Lately, I’ve noticed that my paychecks were averaging out lower than when I first started my analysis and that my expenses have actually gone down since I started my Fight For Financial Freedom (see what I did there), however due to unexpected variables my average monthly salary is about $400 more than I was making last year (this doesn’t include that $hit month I had in January where my income was $0). While this may make no sense to anyone, The key to my increase has been that for the first time in seven years, my income is consistent so I had one month where I received 3 paychecks! What a spoiled bit¢h I am! Ok I should also point out that all my checks from January were delayed, but I remember putting a lot of that money back into savings.

Mmmmmm Number Crunching!
This is where I get all nerdy and start crunching numbers like I did back when I started the budget, so for those of you who don’t give a $hit about how I do my budget and only read my blog for the sheer pleasure of hearing my sexy blog voice, you may want to skip this part, but I assure you, humour will be coming to the party. My debt repayment is actually right on par with where it should be based on my old budget, the problem is that now I make more money that I did back when I first did so I really want to kick my debt when it’s down and show it what’s what. I did a comparison of my figures from October, 2010.

Here is what I was spending pre budget:
  • Savings: 0%
  • Debt: 25%
  • Transportation: 1%
  • Life: 87%
  • Housing: 25%

Yes, that adds up to more than 100%, remember, I was financially handicapped so I overspent by 38% each month.

What I have been spending post budget:
  • Savings: 10%
  • Debt: 50%
  • Transportation: 1%
  • Life: 19%
  • Housing: 20%
Not too shabby, but not too fun either.  

What I plan to start spending as of July:
  • Savings: 15%
  • Debt: 45%
  • Transportation: 1%
  • Life: 20.5%
  • Housing: 18.5%
You may be asking, if my debt repayment strategy isn’t broken, then why mess with a good thing? Well the answer is pretty simple to me. I have been pushing myself so hard lately and I hit that seven month itch. If I were dating this budget plan, it would have probably dumped it’s cheap a$$ by now. This will still keep me right on track to paying off my debt in less than three years, but I will still be getting to enjoy some of the fun things with my cash when I’m young. There’s no reason for me to bend over and take it from my budget since I don’t have any major responsibilities like kids, a mortgage, medical problems, and so on. The key to this budget is to make me as aggressive with my savings as I am with my debt repayment. Now that I am going to be making more money, all these amounts will increase and I’ll get to enjoy a better quality of life. Yes, one and half percent added to my life spending might not seem like much, but having just a couple more bucks to enjoy a night out at a concert or buy a couple bottles of wine can make a huge difference in the life of a privileged Westerner who has deprived himself of minor bits of joy over the past few months. And hey, if this doesn’t work, then I can always come back and revisit my budget plan later. 

Yay Promotion!!! 


  1. Hey John!
    I love that you're only spending 1% of your income on transportation. If only we could convince the rest of the world!
    I'm confused about your new spending breakdown and how it affects your every day spending. You say you went from 19% to 21.5% for'life', but from 20% to 18% for rent. This tells me that you already factored in the raise. Can you put the breakdown in dollars again? If only just the every day stuff? Like, what is the breakdown for food and clothes and entertainment. That was my biggest interest before (mostly because I thought it wasn't sustainable, and when you did it, I was inspired!) How much are you cheating by adding money to 'life'? :P

  2. Andy! I totally am just reading this now! I will do one up special just for you! xoxo