January has come and gone and it was a fab month, the highlight being a family trip with my parents, my brother and his family to an all-inclusive in the Dominican!! It was nice and relaxing and the kids had an absolute blast! They’re at the perfect age where they’re old enough that they can play (somewhat) independently and young enough that they aren’t yet surly, bored, embarrassed-by-their-parents teens. It was a special trip and we’ll cherish those memories forever!

Now, on to 2018 update #1 of 12!

  • $10,722 in RESP contributions – We contributed $1,980 in January, so we’re well on track here.
  • Make at least 5 extra mortgage payments – None made yet. I work in a unionized environment and we are currently waiting for our new collective agreement (the old one expired almost 4 years ago). The new CA will bring with it backpay for those 4 years. I intend to make extra mortgage payments from that backpay cheque, which I likely won’t receive for several months still.
  • Annual spend under $75K, including at least 4 months under $6K and at least one month under $5K – Our January spend was an ultra-low $4,907.13!! Our lowest monthly spend since we started tracking a few years ago now! And we managed to hit our ‘at least one month under $5K’ right away – WOW!! Definitely on track! I’d love to say it’s cause we truly lowered our expenses but the truth is that our spend was artificially low.  It just happens that I submitted several health receipts for $580 in reimbursement. Anytime I received health plan reimbursements, I deduct them from that month’s expenses. First, I need to deduct those amounts because if I didn’t, my health expenses would be artificially high (an expenses shouldn’t count if it’s later reimbursed!). Second, I deduct them from that month’s expenses (rather than the month in which that health expense was actually incurred) because to do otherwise would require revising and adjusting past monthly expense reports and financial goal updates, which it too difficult  and unnecessarily confusing. As a quick example, if G paid $35 for chiropractic services in October 2017 and that expense was reimbursed in January 2018, I reduce my overall January expenses by $35 and the $35 chiro expense continues to appear in my October 2017 reporting. The net is $0. Likewise, our January expenses were also reduced (off-set) by $128.86 in returns (Christmas gifts returned, and cash back for purchases that went down in price post-Christmas). Some expenses of note this month:
    • over $900 in utilities, which is atrocious. Our Hydro bill was high because well… winter. And our cell phone expenses were nearly $475, because we got 2 bills for the month (this happens sometimes based on how the billing cycle shakes out, and will be compensated by no cell phone bill in February) and some extra costs related to G getting a new phone under contract (hello activation fees), buying a case for said new phone, and a new battery for his old phone which is now being used by our son. Ouch.
    • Just over $700 in costs related to our trip, including a costly excursion to Ocean World (dolphins!), some food, resort tips and airport parking.
    • nearly $200 in medical costs (most of which will be recovered through our work health plans).
  • NOT incur any consumer debt – None incurred, so on track.
  • Assemble a binder of financial information – haven’t done anything yet – boo me.
  • Double my Simply Made sales ($650 in 2017) – $80 in sales in January, so a little behind the 8-ball. To better my chances of meeting this goal, I’m thinking of revamping my logo / packaging…

There you go.  Not stellar, but not terrible either. How about you?

LS