Financial Fitness Check-In: January 2022

I have a lot of financial goals this year, and to be honest we are not off to a good start. I think that this month will turn things around if I continue to keep my spending in check.

I think most people find January to be a lean month, at least people that celebrate December holidays or travel over December. I definitely did, I think this is where a sinking fund would come in.

If you don’t know, a sinking fund is a separate savings account, not your emergency fund or travel savings account or whatever specific savings account you have, but a completely separate savings account. Then you total up your anticipated expenses of things like car insurance, birthday presents, car tag renewal, annual or quarterly taxes you might pay, biannual tire change fees, annual Disney+ subscription, etc. whatever you have. Stuff that isn’t a monthly payment, so it’s hard to include in a monthly budget, but that you know you will have to pay at some point throughout the year. A sinking fund is something in my short long-term goals (as in longer than a year, shorter than five years), that I think would really help. Like, I think if I had had a sinking fund last year, all of those unexpected expenses that crippled me, wouldn’t have.

I would also really like to bring my food costs down, I don’t know how feasible that is. I don’t eat out when I’m in Sioux Lookout, I went to a coffee shop three times in January, and two of those times I only got coffee. I also haven’t left Sioux since I got back because the roads are a disaster in the winter. I don’t get delivery, now the only reason I’ve been able to break that habit was because there aren’t any restaurants or delivery places in town. So all of my food expenses, except for $24 on coffee, are groceries. I do find the cost of food to be higher up here, so I am going to need to do a lot of planning and figuring out to bring that down. However, I also want to continue to make myself the quality of food that I currently do. The winters are long and cold and dark up here and cooking for myself is a big act of service and self-care for myself.

My gas was a bit higher, but I was driving back up from Toronto in January and I didn’t include that in my vacation budget.

I did get my refund from the ballet, but it felt more like a gut punch reminder of how many of my holiday plans got cancelled.

I do have a couple purchases planned for February, I plan to buy one nap dress in the drop on February 2 (this post is being published after that, but I’m writing the first draft before on the 1st when I go over my January spending and plan my February spending), and a ridiculous strap thing to get lotion into the middle of my back easily. My skin is struggling this winter, I am so itchy, and I just want to not have to strain to not be itchy in the middle of my back.

I also plan on having some friends over for a casual Valentine’s Day thing (we need a Galentine’s Day name that includes the girls, gays, and theys), so there will probably some money spent there.

I think that’s it for this month, slow and steady I think is the saying?


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