Well look who’s come crawling back once more!
At the end of the summer of 2015 my former tenant moved back in. Things weren’t going well at her new place and I kind of missed having her around. The rental income allowed me to pay more toward my mortgage as well as contribute regularly to an RRSP. I also made two big trips – to Australia (to visit my sister) and to Germany/Iceland. I visited my family in Germany, and on the way back IcelandAir allowed a free stopover so I spent 5 days in Iceland. (Nice scheme, guys! It works. ;))
Not long before Christmas I found out my tenant was moving out, which left me panicked about money. My accounts were still looking sad after my trips, and I was having trouble restocking my savings even with the rental income. I made a few lists to calm myself down. One was a list of benefits to living alone again, and another was a list of free or cheap things that make me happy.
A day or two later I woke up realizing I’m pretty smart with my money, and I knew having a tenant wouldn’t be permanent so I had allocated most of my rental income accordingly. Each month I was putting $200 extra toward my mortgage, $100 into an RRSP, $150 into a hard-to-dip-into savings account, and a bit into general savings. (In theory… that usually got eaten up.) I was also spending about $40 more on heat and electricity per month. That added up to $490 of the $590 I was getting in rent, so not so bad.
I scaled most of those back right away. It’s not ideal and it’s also not meant to be long-term. I’m hoping to earn more side income through my photography (yeah yeah, I’ve been saying that for a while) and a potential side job supervising exams. With that income, I’ll to put the first $50 toward savings, the next $50 toward mortgage, the third $50 toward savings, the final $50 toward mortgage, and anything beyond that I can use however I feel like.
I also started automatically transferring part of my paycheque into two savings account. One is for yearly costs like insurance, property taxes and other predictable amounts. The other account is to set money aside for Teddy’s veterinary costs and car repair bills.
I’m also trying to be more disciplined about how I spend money. I was spending a whole lot on lunches and coffee at work and not using up my groceries. I’ve brought down my coffee and fast food budgets, and I’ve been bringing lunch almost every day and making my own coffee. I’m excited about cooking again and I feel like I have more control over my health.
Anyway, I’m determined to be thrifty again, and I’m enjoying it so far.