I am now four months into the year and I think that this is a good time to assess whether this budget is doing what it was set out to do. If you remember January's original post, I was concerned that without a budget in place, my pen spending had been very impulse driven rather than focused on achieving a certain goal. To help ensure that my impulse triggers were not pulled I did the following:
- I unsubscribed from the Massdrop mailing list.
- I stopped frequenting the classified sections in forums such as FPN and FPGeeks as well as auction sites like eBay.
- I now think twice before backing stuff on Kickstarter.
- I unsubscribed from Ink Drop.
I am glad to say that all of the above is still in place and it has worked. A flock of Pelikans has been through Massdrop in the past few months and not one has landed in Deep River. Although if someone wants to be a benefactor, who am I to say no.
So while the budget has brought focus to acquisitions, it is not perfect. I picked the wrong dollar value. You may recall from past posts on this topic that I have a budget of $50 Canadian for pen and ink purchases in any given month; this is not enough. By the time this is converted into US funds and then cross border shipping is subtracted, the funds that are available for purchasing products is pretty pitiful, typically about $25 US. The initial $50 Canadian per month was an arbitrary number so I have decided to arbitrarily double it to $100 per month.
When we left off at the end of March, April had $4.63 available for purchases. Early in the month I received a shipment of "free" ink that had a $24.68 customs brokerage fee attached to it. I realize that this sounds a bit like a lottery player complaining about having to pay tax on their winnings but it was an unexpected expense and it threw a wrench into this month's budgeting spokes. Next up I saw a tweet that said the Andersons had Montblanc JFK Navy Blue in stock. I have been looking for a bottle of this since November 2014 and everywhere had been back ordered for months. I pulled the trigger and since the shipping was going to be $15, I also added Aurora Blue as well as a No. 6 Jowo Medium nib. This order came up to $67 US. This month's story wasn't solely about spending though, I had a surplus bottle of Sailor Jentle Apricot that I sold to a reader of the blog for $25 US. Once all of the currency conversion is done this means that I am entering May $70.59 in the red. With the $100 influx to the budgeting account, that will mean that there will be $29.41 left over for purchases in May.