Monthly Debrief: January 2021


  •  # Buy nothing days :20 (65%)
  • # times ate out/purchased take out: 2
  • # activities with loved ones: 10; these included video calls, good news calls and walks outside
  • $ saved at Costco: No Costco visit this month; we’ve decided to not renew our membership as Costco is more expensive online and we’re not comfortable going to the store
  • % over or under budget: 3% under budget (I’d abandoned the fun fund over the past couple years so it’s nice to be able to put money in there again)


  • I have avoided the allure of online shopping and leaned into my stay at home life at the moment
  • We supported a local restaurant we love and did a good job of eating the food we’ve purchased


  • I paid my school fees, books and applied to an MA program through my savings line


Not only are we in the midst of a pandemic but there’s an emergency order in place keeping us pretty close to home and removing the usual temptations. While this is a grand January , budget-wise, I hope it’s an outlier.


This month was fantastic. I’ve been trying to embrace the “Little Goes a Long Way” philosophy to encourage myself in moving but not pushing so hard I cause flare ups of pain.

Budget Review & Mortgage Update

I was scrolling through my budget document and saw the list that I used to break down my expenses into the categories: Essential, Lifestyle and Future. I had skipped this process in 2020 so was curious to see how my current budget lines up with my goal to flip the suggested 50-30-20.

Here’s how it lines up with both the aim and previous years:

My Aim201520162017201820192021

While my Essential and Future costs are moving to the more traditional direction, I noticed that my essential block contains an increase to my monthly mortgage payments. With the added payments, we’re on track to pay off the mortgage in 11 years and 5 months – June, 2032. This would bring us 2 years shy of the original 25 year amortization.

Paying off the mortgage ahead of 50, would give us a solid opportunity to save for our retirement. This would include not only the savings to cover reduced income but the ability to outfit our home so we can stay in it as long as possible.