Sure spending money sounds pretty easy to do but it’s not that easy when you just don’t have the time to spend.
If you have kids and work full-time, appointments, chores etc. finding that time to spend becomes smaller and smaller.
Many people spend out of boredom which means they roam the mall or shops looking for things that they might need as opposed to what they actually need. I try to get out to pick up what I need and get out although that’s easier said than done.
Spending money is not that easy
Yes, I know you can spend money online without leaving the comfort of your home or job but if it’s not something you normally do it’s likely no big deal to you. You probably don’t even think about spending money buying products online.
If you’ve ever asked yourself how you can stop spending money I have the answer. The answer is to fill your day with activities that don’t cost you a cent. The other answer is to be mindful of your budget so you aren’t out blowing money that you simply don’t have. I suppose that is one of the biggest reasons spending money is not that easy but not the main reason.
Time is a big reason.
This month my days have been filled with working just about every single day. I worked 21 days straight and to be honest with you it hit me hard.
Spending money means that I need to have time and in June that did not happen for me. Sure we got out to pick up some materials needed for renovations but other than that my head was buried in my work. I know you are all going to tell me to slow down but don’t worry, I’m fine, just busy.
The good news is that I’m back to my regular hours for the time being which means I won’t have to worry for a bit about the second job. There was an opportunity to work on a special project and I certainly wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity especially since I love the job, it’s my dream job and the more hours the better it is for me.
The blog is my hobby so in between everything I’m on here chatting away and sharing these daily experiences with all of you. The best part of being busy means more blogging topics seem to pop into my head because I chat to more people about finance every chance I can.
If you are a blogger you might know what I mean when your brain is always wired to think about how you can turn a conversation or event into a powerful blog post that the fans can relate to. I’m always thinking about my fans and how I can bring them the best real life type scenarios that I’ve come into contact with or learned about.
So, if you want to control spending money make sure you stop spending if you are at work, find more work or just stop spending when you don’t have to. Either way all of the ways that require us to spend money takes time and time can either cost you or save you, it’s your choice.
Have you ever found when you work more hours or keep busy the less you are spending money?
Where the money went
This month our money mainly went to renovations but we didn’t spend too much aside from having to pay our city taxes because we didn’t have the time to get out to shop. Our gas was a bit high this month with all of the extra trips I made to work as well we went out of town to some personal appointments.
There was also a trip back home to the relatives and a couple of day trips so gas was a bit more than we normally budget. I still have about $100 worth of gas in the tank and our spare cans as well. We picked gas up for $129.9 and $133.9 which wasn’t so bad considering it was reaching $141.0 per litre or more around Ontario.
We weren’t expecting the rest of our bathroom vanity cabinets to go on sale but they did. That means we spent more in the budget for the bathroom renos although we do have the money budgeted for these upcoming jobs.
It wasn’t as if it was a huge shock although we thought we may have to wait a few months to get the deal we were waiting for. I guess you never know when what you are looking for will drop in price so it’s a good idea to have the money ready to go so you don’t miss that savings opportunity. Now we still need more bits to complete the reno and we are doing our best to score the best deals we can.
If we have to settle and pay full-price as the project begins there’s not much we can do about it. Other than that June was a quiet month for us since I worked so much.
I’m currently offering 2 versions of our budget and the reason behind it is simple. Firstly, read the disclaimer because what you do with it is your own business so if you mess it up you need to sort that out. I have not closed off any cells so you can make all the changes you like to the budget to reflect your lifestyle which is what the fans wanted.
Although I would love to help every single fan with their budget I am unable to do so but I am always willing to answer any emails you send me so don’t be shy.
This was after all meant to be our personal budget and although I would love to customize it for every fan that wants to use it but, I’m afraid I cannot. I’m not selling this budget or hope to make any money from it so enjoy this free budget and I hope that it works for you as much as it does for us.
Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet
(Click to see a larger version of the budget spreadsheet or download it for FREE)
You can download the free budget spreadsheets here.
- Budget 1– You can use the pre-existing categories or you can use your own if you wish and you have the option to use projected expenses or not. Please read all notes left around the budget for tips.
- Budget 2-Everything is pre-set so you have to use the pre-defined categories but this budget will generate year-end budget figures where the other one won’t but you must use the categories already in this budget. If you change anything you will mess up the formulas and year-end figures. Please read all notes left around the budget for tips.
I’m always open to feedback but be polite as you don’t want to hurt my feelings Get started and don’t procrastinate. Test it out for a month and see how it goes. There is never any harm in trying something new in life.
You either love it or hate it, which is a fact with anything.
What type of budget do you use?
Our budget plan
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. There is no one money manager in our household as we are both responsible for tracking expenses.
It doesn’t matter if you are using a cash only budget or you use your debit and credit cards throughout the month if your budget doesn’t balance then you likely have budget issues you need to review. You need to learn how to be your own money manager because no one else will care about your money more than you ever will.
We don’t always save as much money as we would like every month but most importantly we are not going into debt because we are budgeting our money. In fact we are currently debt-free including the mortgage which means all we pay for is monthly bills and expenses we create or that are fixed expenses such as the hydro and water bill etc.
One of the most important things we did for our personal finances was that we never let the budget deter us from reaching our goals.
Sure we’ve had crap months but we made up for it or we learned from our mistakes just like anyone else would. Budget failure only occurs when you give up on the budget which should not happen as long as you give 100% into making sure you reach your goals. We didn’t always earn the income we do today but what made do with what we were earning year after year so we didn’t go into debt.
Sometimes fans email and ask me if living on a budget in Canada is any different from living in other countries.
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 our numbers. I’m just a regular guy just like everyone else; some might call me a budget or numbers nerd.
Our budgeting series
Please take the time to read through the budgeting series and I hope you take something away from the information. If you have any questions about what we do with our money tracker ie: The Budget than feel free to email me. I may expand more on the topics as we go along and add some mini-series on how we budget to break it down even further for you.
- 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
Budget changes June
We were going to make changes to our categories in June but that didn’t quite happen. I’m sure you can all understand how life gets in the way and when there is no time things fall out of the picture.
I don’t want to see this happen month after month so I’m going to make a conscious effort to get this done because it’s VERY important to our finances to make sure they are up to date. You should make sure yours are as well so go over them every month.
I ended up working 21 days straight and there just wasn’t any time to do the job right. I don’t want to rush through this process because we feel we need to post the perfect update for everyone here.
I’m hoping in July that we can finalize what we plan to do with some of our categories or at least come up with solid plans so we know which way we are heading. You will notice we still have our mortgage in the budget which is clearly not needed so that will have a huge impact to our monthly budget when I sort that out for July.
I did notice that we should have the blog expenses as projected expenses so that will definitely get changed for the July budget update. We also haven’t factored in any type of maintenance on the blog or having to pay someone to help sort out any issues so that’s something we may have to look into for July.
Budget percentages June
(Click photo to see a larger version)
Our savings of 40.16% includes savings and investments. Our projected expenses this month is at 18.70% which now includes some increases due to overspend explained in the 2013 year in review. The total June 2014 Household Budget Percentages comes to 100%.
Budget percentages month by month
(Click photo to see larger version)
This is simply a breakdown of our expenses which has helped us to understand where all of our money goes. As of May 2014 we are mortgage free so much of our money will be directed at savings, investments and renovations. We still need to sort out how much we are putting into our investments with our advisor but will have that sorted out soon as there is another account we need to start with him.
I appreciate that you enjoy this budget update each month but I do hope you view this as an educational tool rather than comparing your own financial numbers as our situations are all unique.
Just 6 years ago I started working in Canada making a bit over minimum wage and have since moved up the ladder. I’m now working very hard to secure my dream job with a foot in the door. We aren’t all lucky but if you do the best you can at least you can look back and say you gave it a shot.
Sometimes we wish we had more money to budget with but understand that we only have what we earn and if we want more, we need to earn more. Spending less than we earn and budgeting our money has been the easiest way for us to pay down debt and save money.
- Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from.
- Emergency Savings Account– This is a high-interest savings account.
- Regular Savings Account– This is a savings account that holds our projected expenses.
- Monthly Budget Total: $5352.51
- Monthly Net Income Total: $9951.76
- Total Coupons Used to date: $41.00 ( Check out our Ultimate Grocery Guide to see where our grocery money goes)
- Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $1860.68
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: $4902.59
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $9951.76 (total net monthly income) – ($3188.49 (cash savings) + $1860.68 (projected expenses)) = $4902.59
- Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $9951.76 (total monthly net income) – $4902.59 (actual expenses paid out for the month) + $1860.68 (projected expenses) = $3188.49
What are Projected Expenses? – We project expenses throughout the year so we have the money saved. PE= A projected expense is money automatically saved each month so it is ready when the bill comes in or when you need it as in the example below.
We review 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. Sometimes we remove a projected expense as well so it’s very important to keep an eye on your expenses.
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 these expenses 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.
When we spend the money in a projected expense category we move that money to our chequing account in order to pay for that incoming expense. So this means the numbers go up and down in the projected expenses account based on what we need to pay for that we saved for in the account over time.
The only thing you need to do is track your projected expenses each month manually as I can’t customize that for you in the excel budget spreadsheet as I don’t know what you will use for projected expenses.
For now we will have to manually track which means month after month we add up what we save in each projected expense category and minus what we spend so we know how much we have and what is left in each category. I’ll be updating our personal excel budget spreadsheet for 2015.
We pay money into the projected expenses account continually throughout the year even when bills come due as its revolving so as one bill gets paid the money continues to come in from the other categories all year-long. This ensures that money is always available. It may not always be enough but having something ready is better than having nothing at all and having to use credit.
So the $1860.68 gets paid into the projected expense account every month no matter what. It seems to be easier to track our money this way but you can do what works best for you.
Projected expense example
If our clothing category was a projected expense we have a budget of $50 per month for the two of us. If we spend $30 on clothes for the month that means we need to pull $30 from the projected expenses account to pay for this expense or we move only $20 to projected expenses for the month and leave the $30 in your chequing account.
It’s up to you how you do it as I mentioned above. I’m hoping to put together a projected expenses spreadsheet to track the expenses all year-long otherwise you need to do that to make sure you don’t overspend what you haven’t saved or will save over the course of the year.
It’s a fairly easy process and becomes a lifestyle change for your finances but the most important part is that the money is available and saved, which means potentially less stress.
This means we should have $600.00 per year for clothing to spend. We have to track that expense as we spend it manually but hopefully for our 2014 budget I can incorporate that into our spreadsheet so it tallies the numbers up as we go along. That way we will be able to know exactly what we’ve spent as an ongoing total.
Below you will see two tables, one is our budget and the other is our actual budget for the month of June 2014. This budget represents 2 adults and no children and includes all of our investments. Keep in mind there is no mortgage so no expenses will be paid in that category.
Budget for June 2014
If it is highlighted in blue that means it is a projected expense of ours. You will also see our budget does not include the emergency savings as this is factored in at the end.
(Click photo to see larger image)
Actual budget expenses for June 2014
June 2014 Goals
Sometimes I think I am being too optimistic about our numbers but if I don’t reach them I try harder the next month. Stay positive and that’s all you can do apart from bringing the best you can for your readers.
I’m not competing with nobody when it comes to the blog as this is my hobby and my fans are the people who keep me here.
June is going to get even busier for me since I’m working more hours at my second job which is only part-time at the moment. I’m hoping this is the career that will take me to retirement as it’s what I love to do.
Below I’ve added PASS or FAIL to what I managed to accomplish during the month of June.
- Get the backyard cleaned up and plant new bushes- PASS
- Finish adding lighting to the front yard landscaping- FAIL
- Hide the wires on the flat screens I hung on the walls- FAIL
- Complete projected expenses tracking sheet for budget (ongoing)
- Reach 3000 Twitter Followers- PASS
- Reach 6420 Facebook Followers- PASS 🙂
- Reach 1800 Pinterest Followers- Fail (very close)
- Reach 1230 Blog Followers- PASS
- Read a chapter in my personal finance blog- FAIL
- Finish the spare bedroom decor- FAIL
- Help a new blogger with a task or question- PASS
- Finish the blog updates- Work in progress
- Connect with a new blogger- PASS
- Reach 2050 Followers Facebook for The Free Recipe Depot – A BIG PASS!
- Rip out the upstairs bathroom- FAIL
- Repair the fence in the back garden- FAIL
- Paint baseboard in the back room- FAIL
- Buy a new blind for the garage- FAIL
July 2014 Goals
Below is my list of things to carry out in July and although it seems long sometimes I need to create it that way just so I remind myself just how much I really need to get done. Most of the goals are similar to June because I just didn’t have the time to get the jobs done.
- Get the backyard cleaned up
- Finish adding lighting to the front yard landscaping
- Hide the wires on the flat screens I hung on the walls
- Complete projected expenses tracking sheet for budget (ongoing)
- Reach 3200 Twitter Followers
- Reach 6460 Facebook Followers
- Reach 1820 Pinterest Followers
- Reach 1320 Blog Followers
- Read a chapter in my personal finance blog
- Finish the spare bedroom decor
- Help a new blogger with a task or question
- Finish the blog updates
- Connect with a new blogger
- Reach 2600 Followers Facebook for The Free Recipe Depot
- Rip out the upstairs bathroom
- Repair the fence in the back garden
- Paint baseboard in the back room
- Buy a new blind for the garage
Budget updates month by month
In case you missed our budget updates from the start of the 2014 year I will list them all below.
That’s all for this month check back at the beginning of August 2014 to review our July 2014 budget to see how we made out with our numbers and if any changes were made. Hopefully I’ll have lots more done with the budget numbers.
Happy Budgeting CBB’ers!
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- How I Reduced Our Grocery Budget From $1100 To $600 In 6 Months (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
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