It’s time for us to Bust our Budget and see how we made out for the month of April and set the ground rules for May. Managing personal finances in April has proven to be a bit tricky for our budget mainly because of the spike in the grocery budget which I spoke about in the last grocery game challenge update for April.
Budget mistakes this month didn’t seem as bad as they should have been but we knew that we would be stocking up buying products for the wife’s new GI diet. Looking at our overall budget goals for the month I’d say we reached them all although we really wanted to tie up loose ends with the mortgage and get the next mortgage pre-payment set up and paid.
I spoke with our mortgage company and the pre-payment allowable doesn’t re-set until May 3rd. I’ll transfer the funds now and get the ball rolling so we can pay the final $37,000 before we break the mortgage. In the meantime while we are working on getting the money sorted with the mortgage we are allowed to increase our weekly payments which I will start to do immediately. I don’t know the actual figure just yet but I will make that adjustment in the budget as soon as I get that number.
I’ve been hard at work around the house cleaning the windows, screens, garage, vehicles and the women up the road left me a hardwood barrel for free. I re-finished the barrel and brought it back to life saving us some money for our front landscaping which is a plus for us. That’s probably why I didn’t end up getting my personal finance book from the library but I can’t do it all and I understand that. I hope to get to the book at some point and will continue to keep that as a goal.
My blog goals for the month went pretty smooth thanks to all my fans who helped me spread the word about Canadian Budget Binder by sharing posts and participating on my Social Media accounts mainly Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. We made it to 5000 Facebook fans in April which blasted our yearly goal so now I’ve set that for 6000 Fans for 2013.
Our income tax returns arrived safe and sound to Revenue Canada and a cheque arrived in my name for just over $200 and the wife owed nothing which made me happy. We work hard to make sure we don’t owe money for income taxes but we also try to make sure we aren’t paying more than we need to into taxes over the course of the year.
It wasn’t the income tax refund cheque that made me happy it was the fact that I took the initiative to research about preparing our own income tax returns. That enabled us to get rid of our income tax category in the budget and put that money to use somewhere else. You never know unless you try.
How We Budget Our Monthly Expenses
I often have fans ask me how to budget money and what we do in order to save so much money but the reply is that it’s not about the money it’s about the process involved. Budgeting and saving money is like a marriage of many variables but stay together with a dedication to learn, grow and work together towards budget goals.
Sometimes fans email and ask me if setting up a budget in Canada is any different living in other countries and to be honest I’m going to say, probably not. If I still lived in the UK I could use this exact budget to meet all of my needs. Below are links to the 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
Screenshot Of Our Canadian Budget Binder Spreadsheet
Changes to The Budget This Month
As I explained above you will no longer see our income tax category as I have removed it since I will prepare our own income taxes. I’ve taken out my summer vehicle which means a bit of a spike with our insurance company so that budgeted amount had a slight increase.
The good thing is that my vehicle doesn’t use half as much gas as the winter guzzler so hopefully we can save a bit there. You can already see from the April figures that we only used $113 in gas instead of the $170 we had originally budgeted.
I’ve also been smacked with a professional association licence so now I’ll be saving for that every month which is reflected in the budget. I think it’s a big crock but what can you do when they feel you need a voice to watch over you.
You will notice that my allowance has gone up for the summer as I tend to like my beer and my BBQ. I don’t go out to eat or drink in the pubs often so after all my hard work I deserve my one case of beer a month. The case usually runs around $34 which means it will leave me with $1.00 of fun money.
I had also renegotiated with Rogers for new 2013 promotions so you will also see a spike in our payment for April but it will even out in May with a payment for just over $90. I’ve left in the extra mortgage payment this month but you will see that dissapear in May as it will no longer be relevant to our budget.
April Household Budget Percentages
Our savings of 37.27% includes savings and investments. I’ve also went ahead and added in our projected expenses this month at 16.68% which brings the total April 2013 Household Budget percentages to 100%.
April Budget Expenses Breakdown
- 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: $4231.62
- Monthly Net Income Total: $7735.03
- Total Coupons Used (includes points redeemed, big box store coupons, not just grocery coupons:=$75.26
- Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout year and save monthly for = $1290.40
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: $4440.62
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out Calculated is $7735.03 (total net monthly income) –$2004.01 (total monthly savings)–Projected expenses $1290.40 = $4440.62
- Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings Funds: $2004.01
- Calculated is $7735.03 (total monthly net income) – $4440.62 (actual expenses paid out for the month)–$1290.40 (projected expenses) = $2004.01
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 April-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 April-What we actually spent plus our emergency savings
April 2013 Goals
- Pre-Pay another 20% off the mortgage-Fail we are allowed to do this as of May 3
- Pay the mortgage in full after we pre-pay but will see how this all comes together- Fail
- Order a personal finance book from the library and actually start reading it-Fail
- Reach 5000 Facebook Followers (lofty goal but I’ll try)-PASS
- Reach 1575 Twitter Followers-PASS
- Reach 920 Blog Subscribers –PASS
- Work out the final touches on the new blog design with my designer-FAIL Still working on them
- Clean out the garage-PASS
- Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (if you want me, email me)-PASS
- 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)-PASS
- Clean out the inside of the vehicles-PASS (and a hand wax)
- Start sanding down the deck-Fail (Starting it May 1)
- Get the indoor plants out-FAIL (soon it’s still a bit too cold)
- Clean the windows inside and out around the house- PASS and I did the screens
- Scrub the front porch-PASS
May 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 5120 Facebook Followers
- Reach 1600 Twitter Followers
- Reach 975 Blog Subscribers
- Work out the final touches on the new blog design with my designer
- Start Planting our seedlings
- Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (if you want me, email me)
- Finish sanding/Protecting and sealing the deck
- Get the indoor plants out
- Seal the drive
- Re-caulk Garage Window
- Design plans for landscaping
- Put our summer furniture outside
- Roll the back lawn
- Clean up the back gardens
Our Year To Date Percentages 2013
How did you make out with your budget in April? Make sure to pop back in May to find out what we got ourselves into this month.
How did you do in April with your budget?
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- January 2013 Budget Update #1 (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- February 2013 Budget Update #2 Big Ticket Expenses Hurt (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- March 2013 CBB Budget Update #3- A Quiet Month With The Budget (canadianbudgetbinder.com)