For the first time ever, I’m typing out a post sitting in a lawn chair in our front yard, enjoying a beautiful spring day (all that’s missing is a cold brew in my hand… seriously, why don’t I have a beer?? ‘KIDS, ONE OF YOU GET MAMA A BEER, WILL YA?!’)! The sun is shining, there’s the lightest of breezes, my daughter is at a birthday party, G and our middle son are playing ball at the park, our youngest is out here with me ‘watering out plants’ with his Super Soaker… Life is good. Our April finances were decidedly not good, but life is good. And really, what more can a girl ask for?!

  • $10,722 in RESP contributions – We contributed $1,080 in April, bringing our year-to-date total to $5,220, so we’re well on track here.
  • Make at least 5 extra mortgage payments – None made yet. Still waiting on that arbitration ruling… Even once the ruling is in, it will take several months to implement the new collective agreement, so I likely won’t get my backpay until the second half of 2018, meaning I likely won’t make any progress on this goal until then.
  • Annual spend under $75K, including at least 4 months under $6K and at least one month under $5K – Our April spend was through the roof (mostly due to income taxes), coming in at $9,774.23. Ouch. Which brings our year-to-date total to a ghastly $30,791.18, so we’re waaaaaaaay off target here ($25K would be on track, so ummmm, yeah, it’s pretty bad. At this rate, we’re on pace to spend over $91K!). Some (SEVERAL) expenses of note this month:
    • $2,220.73 in income taxes. We didn’t see this coming (doh!), otherwise, we would have planned for it. It turns out that G’s LTD provider isn’t taking off enough taxes from his pay… Aaaaaaand because we hadn’t planned for it, we used up the last of our emergency funds to pay them off, so that was a nice (not) double-whammy.
    • $1,215.04 for the lease fees on our summer cabin. Big expense but it only comes in once a year (and this one, we do plan for by putting aside some $ from every pay) and we get a ton of value from it. We spend as much time as possible there over the summer and it’s solid, quality family time. Ain’t nothin better.
    • $868.74 for 4 new tires for the van. Another big expense but it was time.
    • Atrocious phone/internet bills (I don’t even want to type in the total amount cause it’s too embarrassing… ok, it was over $500): because of our provider’s billing cycles, we sometimes get 2 bills in a month, and none the following month. Well, in April, we got 2 bills, AND for good measure, both were higher than usual. The first one was about $75 more than usual because of roaming charges for multiple phone calls we had to make when our van broke down on the side of the road in the States. The second one was about $60 more than usual because G went waaaaaaay over his daytime minute limit and got dinged hard for it. I’d like to say lesson learned, but I’m not sure G learned anything from it. At all.
    • Atrocious satellite bills (noticing a trend here?!): we also doubled up on satellite bills because we’ve switched from one provider to another, and got bills from each one, totalling around $230.
    • typing out all the above has seriously depressed me. But I just need to remember, life is good, right? RIGHT??!?!?! And at least most of these are one-time things that shouldn’t affect our finances for the rest of 2018. I hope.
  • NOT incur any consumer debt – None incurred, so on track, but again, we have no more emergency funds, so things are a little precarious.
  • Assemble a binder of financial information – Still working on this but not done yet – on track.

Well, I warned you in my March update that April would be ugly, and it was. I’m hoping it can only get better from here on in. First, we need to rebuild our emergency fund, so until it’s at least back to $2,000, I’m putting a halt on the $240/paycheque contributions to the kids’ RESP. I’ll start them back up once we get it to $2K, because I definitely want to max those out this year, but will keep trying to build up the e-fund at the same time. Would like to get that back to $10K eventually, but I’m thinking that might take some time… But that’s ok… slow and steady and all that.

Hope your April was better than mine!

LS