I missed my “blog-a-versary”, but I thought I’d chat a bit about what I’ve seen happen over this past year. Lots of changes, especially with the birth of my little guy, but we’ve also made some progress financially.
For one, we made a decision to pay off our line of credit from our daughter’s education fund. When we looked at our bank summary and saw that we were actually “in the black” by a few thousand dollars, it suddenly seemed foolish to be paying interest on the line of credit portion of that tally. We’ve been able to continue, and even increase, our deposits in the RESP, which now includes our boy as a recipient as well.
We have also become more aware of the cost of traveling, and have reduced our pleasure traveling significantly. This has also been due to having two little ones making traveling harder, but also because we noticed that our “little” trips to Toronto or Montreal would leave us reeling financially. We would check our balance a few days later and end up shaking our heads and asking “How did that happen??”
We still travel to Sudbury to visit our family a fair bit, but we are lucky that we almost always get those travel expenses covered. Our families like to see us I guess 🙂
I’ve been trying very hard to keep our food expenses down, and it’s getting easier now that the little guy is a bit older. Now that his naps are more regular, and I can leave him to roam around the living room a bit longer, and everything is just a bit less intense, I’ve had more of the requisite time to cook and plan meals. Actually I’ve noticed that the planning is almost everything in terms of staying on top of meal frugality.
There are other things–I’ve reduced my spending in many other random ways, and so has my husband, we’ve made some loose financial goals and have started moving towards them, and I’ve been using my freezer to stock up when things are on sale. All good changes.
So it only makes sense to bring things to a new level with the coming year. I recently got Your Money or Your Life out from the library. It is a nine-step plan to achieve Financial Independence, defined as having enough money to live on from a source other than paid employment.
Wow! Who doesn’t want that! Right now that seems a bit impossible, but even without fully achieving that goal, I do feel confident that we can reduce our spending, and refine our financial goals. Our next big ones would be paying off my partner’s 2 remaining student loans, and saving up a down payment for a house.
I’m giving the book a primary read-through, but we’re going to start tracking all of our spending right away. The beginning of the month seems like a good time to do it. I will give updates along the way, and who knows–maybe some day I’ll be writing “frugal + rural” posts from my organic farm in Northern Ontario, having achieved Financial Intelligence, Financial Integrity and ultimately, Financial Independence!