Financial Fitness Check-In: December 2021

I have been running the numbers over and over and I cannot make sense of them.

I am simultaneously impressed at how on budget I was for some areas and how reckless (honestly the only word that is appropriate) I was in other words. December was my “wild out” month. It was a three pay cheque month and I learned on a Friday night that I could claim my cell phone and internet since I’ve been working from home for the entire time I’ve worked for and I got an unexpected cheque for $1360 that was very nice.

There were a couple unexpected things, I noticed that I hadn’t received my water bill yet and apparently I also didn’t receive it in November so I ended up paying $195.90 for water in December to make up the November bill and it’s late fee.

I also bought 4 jugs of windshield washer cleaner (if you aren’t from a snowy country, you have to buy liquid to put in your car that sprays out over your windshield, and you use it to clean off all the salt, sand and snow that sprays up over your windshield as you drive), which was more than I thought I would need. But I also budgeted $600 for gas and only spent about $300 (thanks to my surprise car pool buddy).

I am annoyed with myself that I didn’t save any money or make any meaningful progress on my credit card when I had such a good income month. But I also bought several things that I did actually need, limited my impulse buys, and since the ballet got cancelled, I have that refund coming and I spent a lot less money on hotels (less nights), less meals out, less shopping in Guelph/Toronto, less doing things in Guelph and Toronto.

So in January I am doing a no-buy. One of my financial resolutions for the year is to never use my overdraft protection in 2022, to pay off my credit card, and do some big savings (more here). So I after a big month, I want to reset financially. It’s like that New Year’s diet so many people do, but for my spending. I will also be paying for my cat sitter for over the break and my half of the motel for the drive back (one of many downsides of a multi-day drive back here), so there are still a couple things to be paid for from my Christmas break, but between lock down and general January frugality I think that this will be the perfect start to a year of financial breakthroughs. Here’s to not spending any money for the rest of the winter.


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