I work for a non-profit organization as an assistant. This means that I get to work towards a benevolent cause with awesome, like-minded people but I get paid peanuts while doing so. I’m good with money management, though, and in the five years since I graduated college, I have achieved some satisfying financial goals:
- Paid off my student debt (Mind you, my debt was much smaller than the average student’s, due to living at home throughout university and having very generous parents)
- Traveled to Europe a couple of times
- Purchased my first home
Now comes the greatest financial burden of my life, that is, raising a child! Luckily, I live in Canada which means my health care is paid for (courtesy of Kiefer Sutherland’s grandfather. No joke!) so I don’t have to worry about the medical cost of birth, and I get a year-long maternity leave which helps with the cost of childcare, plus, it also ROCKS ME TO THE CORE. However, I will only receive 55% of my regular wages. If you do the math, 55% of peanuts is really not that many peanuts. This means that in the months before I leave work, I need to do some MAJOR SAVING. Caps lock necessary!
Without communicating exactly how much I make, I feel comfortable talking about my current budget:
- I get paid every two weeks
- I hope to save 25% from each of these pay cheques (after all deductions and contributions to my retirement fund)…
- …Without wearing rags and eating ramen noodles for breakfast
Not that there is anything wrong with that.
- Therefore, each week, I “give” myself 12% (24% of pay cheque divided by two) to spend on clothes, meals out, entertainment, and other miscellaneous pursuits
- If I don’t spend the full amount each week, the balance is carried over to the next week. This helps with random big item purchases like a new furnace, a flight to Orlando, or a bear skin rug (kidding of course! I prefer tiger skin)
- I am lucky to have a husband to share the cost of fixed expenses. Of this I am sure.
Once I give birth to little Beansy, I will be living on an even tighter budget. My miscellaneous spending budget will be cut by half. I am confident I can do this, though. I have read a lot about frugal living and voluntary simplicity and the lifestyle really appeals to me. I want to work less and enjoy more. I want to have time to nap the afternoon away (I say this pre-Beansy!) and bake from scratch each week. I don’t care much about having new stuff or the latest gadget (except for the iPhone; oh, how I love thee). I want to be conscientious of every dollar spent. I want to live the best life possible! <– (Direct influence of Oprah Winfrey).
And… I want to blog about it!