Follow Up to “Advice Before Leave”

As a follow up to my previous entry with advice when thinking about taking a leave, I’ve added in my non-scientific research.  I realize this is information most people don’t really want to know, but since my last entry was “advice” I thought you might like to know if said advice was really valuable. Am I qualified to give this advice on how to prepare for reduced pay? How did I fare? Was I actually successful budgeting? Who would take advice on how to do something, if that person failed at it in the first place?

So, it’s now June and I’ve made it through three years of budgeting and planning to start my year off. I thought I would crunch the numbers (in my own NON mathematical way) and see how I fared. I will kindly ask my business savvy brother to NOT chastise my methods! haha.

I started keeping my budget plans in the September I started on reduced pay, and while it’s not quite three years, I did notice some trends and made some general statements with only three months left to go.

I was very much intent on saving before I started by “3 over 4″, so used the previous year and a half to start putting away as much as I could as a safety net , just in case. The benefit of this was, if I found I struggled a bit, I had money there to help. If I found I could make my new budget constraints, then I’d have that saving for doing some fun things when the year off finally made it. Win-win situation.

Here’s how it looks (in my non-scientific survey)

Living at 75%, I was able to stay on budget or even under budget 94% in all three years.  I am quite proud! The last 6% were months I went over budget. Can you guess what month? I bet you are thinking December, for Christmas reasons. Well, NO! The only two months I went over budget were AUGUST. Yep, back to school shopping and that “no pay cheque” thing caused me to go over budget.  That’s ok though! I expected as much from August.   The good news is, because during the rest of the year I stayed at or under budget, I was able to successfully absorb those funds and not dip into my savings.

If you doubted my previous entry, at least this is now a little more proof that I followed my own advice and made it work.  With some tweak in my spending habits and thought process of “want” versus “need” I made it work for me. I hope when you decide to take this plunge you find as much success as I did. Go live your dream!

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