Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Back to (better) budgeting

Since paying off my student loans in March, I've been both responsible with my money and more than a little profligate.

On the responsible side, I've increased my biweekly RRSP contribution; I've set up a biweekly TFSA contribution; and I've joined the employee share accumulation plan (ESAP) here at work, again with biweekly contributions. So every paycheque, money is automatically deposited into these accounts - and I don't even miss it. It's pretty great.

On the profligate side, I've bought some lovely new clothes; ordered in and eaten out whenever I've wanted; bought some things for my mom's house; and never been without a nice bottle of wine. It's been fun, I must admit, and I've felt so good knowing I don't have to pinch every penny that comes my way.

But it's time to get the spending under control (again) and get back to budgeting (again). The more houses we look at, the more it sinks in that this is a purchase that's going to happen - hopefully sooner than later - and a new house means all kinds of costs. And not just the regular costs associated with purchasing a home (commission, lawyer's fees, land transfer, taxes), but the fun costs, like new furniture and paint and curtains and linens and all the other fun things that help make a house a home.

The Beau and I talk quite a bit about what we want to do with the space we get and that conversation changes depending on what kind of space we're talking about. But even with the changes, we still want to be able to buy what we need but also what we like; it's our home and we don't want to buy the cheapest IKEA light fixture because that's all we can afford. Likewise, we don't want to be living with barely enough furniture because we don't have the funds for a new sofa.

We have also gone furniture shopping (probably more than we should have!) and we know not just what we like but what we'd like to spend. So really, it's high time I rein in my free spending and keep a better eye on the bottom line. As delicious as red wine is, leather club chairs are much more appealing - and will last SO much longer.

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