by Elizabeth S.
I appreciate your comments on my spending. It’s worth noting that the spreadsheet I shared includes what my spending looks like today, but my goal is to turn this around quickly. It’s only a matter of time before I have an urgent situation requiring money – whether it be for my car, my dog, or, heaven forbid, something that calls me across the country on a plane to see one of my siblings. Budgeting apps continue to pose a challenge (I commented about that in the comments of my last post). I think doing all my spending with cards, and having an app track and analyze that, is going to be necessary for me to really see where the money is going. I’d like to share some screenshots of my actual spending so as to be truly accountable to you all (and myself!).
Something I didn’t mention last time
Retirement savings – I’ve got ‘em (sort of). I only started contributing last year, and they are at about $12k. In Canada, these are called Registered Retirement Savings Plans (similar to a 401K) and my company matches my contributions up to 3%. It’s not much, but I’m certainly happy for the little bit of extra cash my company adds. Did I mention how exciting it is to begin to see my investments compound? Like, holy heck, why didn’t I begin this years ago! I also have equity in my company, but it vests over five years. Something like $9-12k of that vests this December. I won’t count those chickens until they hatch.
On the subject of retirement savings, have you guys ever heard of FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)? There are many FIRE communities online, but it’s probably most commonly discussed on Reddit. I’ve been fascinated with FIRE for the last year, and one of my goals is to move to a low cost of living city and live minimally. Yes, my current living situation is very much at odds with this plan, but I am beginning to think more and more seriously about this. There are many ways to do FIRE, including the very-attractive-to-me “Barista FIRE”, in which one gets a lower-paying job they love in order to make a little extra cash and spend their days happily working. I’m thinking a lot about this lately – what is my one-year plan? Five? Ten? Fifty?
Steps to take this week
- Call my service providers to negotiate better rates. A few of you noted I might be able to get a better rate on my credit cards. It’s worth a shot, right? I’m thinking of applying for a line of credit to consolidate those cards. 20% interest is bananas!
- I’m less optimistic about this one, but I’ll be calling my ISP as well. I’m reluctant to cut cable again, as I just got it back and it’s essentially free (but I pay a lot for internet, needed for my job (mentioned in the comments of last post).
- Look into posting one of my rooms for short-term renters. I am 100% never having a permanent roommate in my current house, and I would quit cable/going out/just about anything to avoid that, but I’m very open to having people stay with me for a few weeks at a time.
- I signed up for Rover. It’s an app for dog walking, pet sitting, etc. I have a niche skillset not being used! I can administer IVs, draw blood, and give injections. In addition, I have done multiple dog training seminars and am experienced with dog reactivity. I’ve had so much trouble finding help for my pets when I travel, and I’m certain others are in the same boat. Pending background check, I’m hoping I can make a little extra cash as an occasional service provider in the market of special needs pets. I work insane hours, so I’m not sure how much I can give to this, but I’m very hopeful.
- Make a plan for Christmas gifts/travel. Travel won’t be until 2020, but I will make a plan to have some money for the holidays.
Another pet photo – meet my cat, Billy. He’s the most playful, vocal, sassy little guy. I think my dog keeps him young.