August savings update – End of summer edition!

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Note: Our financial goals for 2017 include saving $18300 to buy back my pensionable years for my defined benefit pension as well as save $50000 which will make us mortgage-free at the beginning of 2018.

It’s time once again for our goal-reaching roundup! If you remember, last month we had saved $38 477 – more than half way to our goal! This month we’ve climbed again and I am super excited.

In August, Mr. Tucker and I really hunkered down with our spending – and we aren’t done yet – we’ve been relentless in our desire to cut our budget down. I think we still have a bit to go because I feel like we still live a pretty great lifestyle but we see places to save in a lot of our spending categories. I think overall I would say that we have been less wasteful in August, partially owing to the fact that being wheelchair-bound has made going out and spending money difficult!

I am back at work now – in a wheelchair until Tuesday when I will finally brave crutches at work. To be honest, has been challenging as I try and settle back into a routine both in terms of my job and in terms of home. With the kids starting school on Tuesday (and all their activities) I hope that we all get into a flow that works. My goal is to be back taking public transportation as soon as possible, which will save us a lot of money on gas and wear and tear on the car. Since Mr. Tucker also drives me back-and-forth, it will also save him loads of time in the morning and evening. Let me tell you, friends: you do not appreciate the value of having a normal life until everything is upside down and nothing is normal.

Still, perseverance is key to any good plan and there are plus sides as well to having been off most of July and half of August: when you don’t go out, you don’t spend. My grandmother used to always say, “If you want to save money, stay out of the stores!” Even window-shopping leads to higher rates of spending as you see all the things you can’t or won’t buy.

So August was a good month. Without further ado, I present to you our savings thermometer:

That’s 70% of the way there! Only two more good months like this and we will have all the money we need to accomplish our goals. Of course, I only have until November to buy back those 3.5 pensionable years so we’ve definitely cleared that. I just need to get my physical to prove that I will live at leave five more years (as per the buyback rules) so let’s hope that is good news or I have bigger problems than buying back a pension!

So that is where we are as of August 2017. Hopefully fall sees us hunkering down even more and ramping up the savings. The strong Canadian dollar will reduce the rate at which Mr. Tucker gets paid – which stinks – but that also reduces our tax burden next April so there is that (ok, I’d rather have the money, now hah!). That will continue to be an issue for us moving forward as Canada’s economy continues to be strong in relation to the US economy. While sometimes you can win in the exchange game, there is a lot of fluctuation as well. You have to be willing to ride it out and roll with the punches, which we do by not relying on that money to pay our monthly expenses.