Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Budget : November 2014 Edition

I think it is time to introduce you to my budget. It is one of the sharpest tools in my personal finance arsenal and it is the main reason that I started this blog.

Here stands a woman that is completely wedded to her budget and yes we are happily married.

As I have mentioned a few time before, I use YNAB to do my budgeting but this doesn't stop me from using the old school method of pencil and paper at times when I need to get a new perspective on where I am headed.

My budget is named Sado. I named my budget because I wanted it to have a more personal feel. A budget should become an integral part in your life and you can either see it as a best friend who is helping you achieve your goals or a strict school matron with a ruler that bangs it on your desk when you overspend.

My budget hasn't always been so trendy as she is now. Sado is in my opinion much more of a leather-clad biker with the appropriate tattoos than a Mother Superior. She is lean, mean and healthy machine of spending power.

My budget is set up along these guidelines for November but they are subject to change as some things shift in my life. A good budget grows with you and allows you to become the woman that you want in the present. If your values evolve, so too should your budget shift to align with your new values.

N.B 1 US Dollar = 2 BBD

Sado: The Biker Budget
Gross Pay: 2738

Income Tax, NIS, Union Fees and Health Insurance are deducted.

Net Pay: $2215

RRSP & Emergency Fund - $600

Barbados has a National Insurance Scheme (NIS) which is compulsory. It provides sick benefits as well as a pension. This is calculated at 10% of your gross salary a is deducted at source. 

I also have a Registered Retirement Savings Plan, which is tax sheltered and allows me to claim a deduction on my yearly Income Tax.

Further I have my Emergency Fund of 12 months expenses and a smaller emergency fund of $1000 dollars. My goal is to grow these two funds until I have a year's worth of salary and at least 1 month's salary additionally to be my mini emergency fund.

Needs - $800

These include anything non-discretionary. This may be subject to each persons opinion. This Master category has sub categories of: Bills, Life Insurance, Groceries, Household Goods, Bus-fare, Toiletries and Grooming.

I am working on reducing this category as much as I can by working on cutting expenses gradually. e.g. I decided against having data plan on my phone and saved myself about 30 dollars a month. I also turned off data on my phone altogether and so my bill is 10 less than it was when I allowed my phone to occasionally connect to the data services to use WhatsApp on the go.

Projects - $215

This category is for anything that I undertaking that will take a larger than normal amount of funds and spanning more than one month. 

I am currently saving to post a shipping barrel full of pantry, toiletries and other goods that my Grandmother packed for me. The shipping of the barrel is $125 US and I anticipate at least that much in custom duties and fees to get it cleared at the Port of Entry.

This category also is funding my bedroom redecoration project but to a much lesser extent.

Rainy Day Funds - $150

This Master category is used for saving for things that will happen at some point. This includes up-keeping items, replacing items and medical expenses. 

When I take over more of the responsibilities in my family home, this category with also include home repairs and remodels. Similarly if I ever got a car, Car repair would be saved for under this category.

Vacation - $120

I am planning ahead for 2015 vacation time. I will visit my grandmother in Philadelphia and go on a solo vacation to recharge.

Misc - $100

This is a boring heading I know but it fits it well. This includes my charity, gifts, post office charges (I love sending snail mail) and any bank fees that I incurred. 

This is also higher this month than it would be in an average month because I have packages to post to friends which can be quite costly but the joy that it brings them and me is more than worth the expense.

Hobbies - $100

I am an avid Diner, Yogi and I enjoy writing and doodling. This category generously allows me to pursue this passions which I think is key to a fulfilled life.

Wants - $50

This includes things like books, iTunes music or apps, speciality items like handmade soap and hand poured beeswax candles. :)

Saving Goals - $50

I am saving for a bicycle and to have a month's worth of expenses as a cushion in my main account. In YNAB lingo this is buffer which allows you to fully budget for a month ahead without having to worry about whatever income you may receive in that month.

It is very useful for people with variable income or who are paid weekly and have trouble budgeting for monthly bills.

Business - $30

I am building my Financial counselling and Knitting Commissions into side businesses. I anticipate that this amount will increase as I get into having a website, business cards etc.


Here is a peak at my YNAB budget screen. I have kept my RRSP and Emergency Savings accounts off this budget. This is the money that I work with on any given month.

It is currently spread across 3 savings accounts and cash. One of my goals for the New Year is to have only 1 account.

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