Well, here we are at the end of March 2013 with another budget update which with confidence I can say is a bit better than our February Budget Update. Sometimes it’s a good thing to have a quiet month with the budget because it helps to put things into perspective. Sometimes budgeting and saving money doesn’t always happen depending on what your priorities are that month.
As an example, last month we saved no money in our emergency savings, a big fat zero. We actually spent more than we earned in February which can be discouraging but also motivating to do better the next month.This month we didn’t have any big-ticket expenses like our water softener that cost us over $1000 in February.
We didn’t have alot going on this month in terms of expenses but we did pre-pay the full 20% of our mortgage of over $32,000 for the 2013 year which I will get into in an upcoming blog post. I’m expecting next month to be costly for us with having another installment of city taxes to pay and our hydro./water bill will be coming due.
Other than that with spring and then summer just around the corner I will start to get the deck sanded down and treated. I already purchased the Thompson’s sealer with tint at Canadian Tire earlier in the year when it was on sale. I’ll also be looking at our landscaping projects which is top priority this summer as we’ve put it off for far too long.
I’ve got the vegetable seeds ready to go for the garden, so we will see how much money we will be spending on plants this summer but hopefully not too much. I had a peek in the compost bin which I jammed full of leaves and other organics at the end of last summer so I’m sure I will reap those rewards shortly. I did manage to save some of our flowers and plants from last year by bringing them indoors for the winter although next winter I will be pickier on what comes in. I try to do whatever it takes to shave some expenses off the home maintenance budget for the year including re-using and re-purposing items we already have.
I also plan to start renovating one of our main bathrooms with a full tear down, heated floors, new cabinets, new counter tops and faucets,toilet, Shower faucets, tile floor to ceiling, new mirrors, accessories, heated towel bar and shower curtain and bar. That’s a big project for me but I’ll be tackling the outside before I do any indoor work. This job alone will take a big chunk of our budget but will add value back into our home.
What spring cleaning do you do?
How We Budget Our Monthly Expenses
Below are links to my budgeting series which I wrote while designing our spreadsheet. I’m not a financial planner/advisor so I can’t tell you how you should budget but I can show you how we budget. I’m just a regular guy just like everyone else, some might call me a budget nerd. I love seeing money grow and where it has gone. Please take the time to read through the budgeting series and I hope you take something away from the information.
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 1– Gathering All the information
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 2– Categories
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 3– Tracking Receipts
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 5– 5S Organization
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 6– Who Does What and When?
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 7– Balancing Our Budget
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 8– Knowing our Coupon Savings
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 9– Reading Our Bills
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 10– Projected Expenses
Click this link if you want to see a sample of a budget sheet spreadsheet that we designed>>> Finances+Budget= Success Formula
Changes to the Monthly Family Budget This Month
I mentioned a bit about our life insurance policies and how we applied for life insurance as non-smokers since we are now over 1 year smoke-free. We received our assessments back and we are now only paying $70.43 a month as opposed to the $135.05 so that is a bit of savings for us at $64.62 a month.
Our income taxes are done and I’m proud to report that I did them on my own. I read everything I needed to read in a couple of days and did them online for free. We are getting just over $200 back which isn’t much but that’s fine as long as we don’t have to pay the government any money. I’ll be removing the $2.50 a month we were saving in projected expenses out of our budget and put that money in our emergency savings now.
March Monthly Household Budget Percentages Overview
Our savings of 60.18% includes savings and investments. I’ve also went ahead and added in our projected expenses this month at 12.53% which brings the total budget percentages to 100% for the month of March.
The CBB Family March Budget Expenses Breakdown
We have 3 Canadian Bank Accounts with our Chequing account being with President’s Choice Financial. We chose PC Financial as one of our banks because we didn’t want to pay any bank fees. We also have never felt the need to see anyone personally inside of a bank but if we do Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) will gladly help us out as PC is affiliated with CIBC.
- Chequing– This is where all the bills get paid from.
- Emergency Savings Account– This is a high interest savings account.
- Regular Savings Account– This a savings account that holds our projected expenses money.
- Monthly Budget Total: $4611.65
- Monthly Net Income Total: $8544.05
- Total Coupons Used (includes points redeemed, big box store coupons, not just grocery coupons:=$91.38
- Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout year and save monthly for = $1282.90
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: $2927.97
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out Calculated is $8544.05 (total monthly income) –$4333.18 (total monthly savings)–Projected expenses $1282.90 = $2927.97
- Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings Funds: $4333.18
- Calculated is $8544.05 (total monthly net income) – $2927.97 (actual expenses paid out for the month)–$1282.90 (projected expenses) = $4333.18
What are Projected Expenses?
PE= A Projected Expense is money which is automatically saved each month ready for when the bill comes in or for when you need it as in the example below. We go over our projected expenses at the beginning of the year to set up our yearly budget and adjust as we go along if a new projected expense arises and needs to be added to the budget.
This has happened on many occasions but it’s bound to happen as we can’t predict everything we have to pay for over the course of the year. The important part for us is that we are saving for the expense and we no longer have to stress about taking money from our savings to pay for them. To learn more about projected expenses read Step 10 in my budgeting series.
Projected Expense Example: Clothing we budget $50 per month. If we don’t spend it we move it to the projected expenses account. This means we should have $600.00 per year for clothing to spend. We have to track that expense as we spend it.
Below is our Budgeted Amount for March-Money that we budgeted to spend minus the savings as that gets added once we see what is left for the month.
Below is our Actual Budget Expenses for the month of March-What we actually spent plus our emergency savings
March 2013 Goals Revisited
- Network with some new Bloggers let’s say 2 for now, keep it simple.- PASS
- Reach 4200 Facebook Fans- PASS 4830
- Reach 1500 Twitter Followers-PASS 1528
- Reach 900 Blog Subscribers-PASS 905
- Order 1 personal finance book from the library and start reading it (not sure how well I will do with this one but I’ll try) Any recommendations?-FAIL I really need to get on this.
- Clean out the garage mainly the salt on the floor and organize it a bit- FAIL
- Get my flower seedlings going as I’ll need lots of flowers this year!- PASS
- Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (not sure who yet though)- PASS
- Complete our Income Tax Returns on my own (fingers crossed I don’t mess it up)- PASS
April 2013 Goals
- Pre-Pay another 20% off the mortgage
- Pay the mortgage in full after we pre-pay but will see how this all comes together
- Order a personal finance book from the library and actually start reading it
- Reach 5000 Facebook Followers (lofty goal but I’ll try)
- Reach 1575 Twitter Followers
- Reach 920 Blog Subscribers – I’m just taking baby steps with the blog until I move to self-hosted soon
- Work out the final touches on the new blog design with my designer
- Clean out the garage
- Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (if you want me, email me)
- Take the winter tires off and store the winter beater to bring out my hot rod (not really but I like my set of wheels)
- Clean out the inside of the vehicles
- Start sanding down the deck
- Get the indoor plants out
- Clean the windows inside and out around the house
- Scrub the front porch
Our Year To Date Percentages 2013
Overall: March overall was a good month for us as we had paid down the mortgage which left us with $417 a month expense that we would typically use to pre-pay but are now at our max for the year. We didn’t spend as much as we budgeted in March simply because we didn’t go out too much and we didn’t have anything to purchase. All good things come to an end though so we will see some healthy expenses in and around the next few months to cover renovations around the home. We will also be paying off our mortgage hopefully by the end of April 2013.
How did you do in March with your budget?
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- January 2013 Canadian Budget Binder Monthly Budget Update #1 (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Family Finances: Somebody Is Watching You (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- How I Reduced Our Grocery Budget From $1100 To $600 In 6 Months (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Mr.CBB’s Personal Finance Reading List #8~ Working Past Age 65 (canadianbudgetbinder.com)