Using Vinegar to Clean up your Budget!

By now if you are following how we designed our Budget Steps One, Two and Three you should start to see where your money is going every month. One item we noticed that cost us a bit of money was “cleaning supplies”.  We asked ourselves whether it was necessary to spend over $20.00 a month out of our budget. Then it happened, I realized how much more we could save after hearing my mothers voice in my head. When I was younger and my mother told me that she liked using vinegar to clean windows. I just thought she was nutty but like the saying”you will understand when you get older” now makes sense. Here is a list of Cleaning Supplies I used to purchase even with coupons. Windex or Window Cleaner Floor Cleaner Brasso Fantastik Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaner Wipes Stainless Steel Cleaner Stainless Steel Wipes Silvo Liquid Plumber Oven Cleaner Leather Wipes The list goes on and on, and I didn’t realize the many uses for vinegar. Vinegar is not only used for cleaning but an array of ideas have surfaced all over the web. Yes, Vinegar Kills Bacteria, Mold and Germs! This is why I now keep a spray bottle with 5% Vinegar ( […]

How We Designed Our Budget Step 3-Tracking Receipts

Perhaps it’s been a bit of work to get this far in the budgeting process but it will be worth it. In Step 1 we learned what a budget was and what information you needed to gather before moving on to Step 2. While Step 1 might have been a daunting task Step 2 in Designing the budget should have been a bit easier. You learned how to divide your Net earnings into a budget and spend less than you make. In Step 3 of designing the budget you will learn the importance of documentation.  Documenting everything you spend is crucial to succeed when budgeting. Tracking all your Receipts Keep track of what you spend. Why you ask? Read the following scenario; If you spend $5.00 on coffee in cash and fail to document it that’s $5.00 you have lost a trail to in the budget. You now have to figure out why you are short $5.00. I always make sure I ask for a receipt even at Tim Horton’s. Another loss leader in the budget is trying to hide spending from your spouse/partner ,simply “don’t do it”. What do we do with all these Receipts? Every time we receive a […]

Breaking the Budget: Coffee and Lunch Comparison of 2 Co-Workers

THIS IS HOW EASY YOU CAN BLOW MONEY WITHOUT KNOWING IT   I’ve worked professionally for the past 4 years and faithfully bring my own 20 oz travel mug of coffee and a hot lunch to work daily. I wanted to compare the figures of what I bring to work to a buddy of mine whom I will call Mr. Co-worker. It’s amazing how fast convenience can add up in the budget and before you know it your budget is shot. There really is some merit to saving money by making food at home compared to buying it. Sometimes it’s better when people see the final numbers rather than the small numbers. We tend to look at something as only costing $50 a month for example which is a reasonable expense in the budget but over the course of the year that $50 cell phone bill will now cost you $600 out-of-pocket. If you find that you know someone you are trying to talk some money sense into or trying to teach them the importance of budgeting this coffee and lunch comparison is a great way to tally up the numbers and give them a bit of a wake up call. […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Can we stick to the Grocery Budget February 2012 Week 2?

We did pretty good last week considering it was our first week playing our Grocery Game. The Grocery Game is something we play to bring down the total out of pocket in our monthly Grocery Budget. We challenge ourselves to stick to a budget without giving in to temptation, although temptation sometimes gets the best of us. The tough part is figuring out which week will be our no shop week. One week out of every month we are going to be staying home and doing ZERO shopping. This could prove difficult for us but this is what the challenge is all about. Perhaps I will have to come up with a solution for instance maybe not opening the grocery flyers and tossing them to the bin. I don’t know, that sounds pretty harsh if you ask me. Who know’s what deals we could miss. Well this weeks shop is fairly straight forward; Budget $64.26 Zehrs We wandered around the store but didn’t find anything so we left empty-handed. The store is up the road from our house so we pop in every once in a while to see if there are any 50% off pink stickers. If you shop at […]

Top Ten Ways to Cut your Grocery Budget

Looking back at 2011, the first four months of our grocery budget was completely out of control, but that was our own fault. Although we were getting amazing deals, we never stuck to the budget because we were using coupons more than we needed to. We went from spending over $500 a month on groceries to our 2012 goal of $192.78. One thing we learned it was OK to let coupons expire and that we didn’t need to get everything even if it only required us to pay the tax. You see, over time all those little amounts that seem like nothing at the time, all add up. With only 2 people to feed we believe we can easily meet this goal. The problem comes when there is a really good deal or a 20x Shoppers Optimum points events. We also like to keep our eyes peeled for all those discount pink stickers and reduced to clear shopping carts filled with discontinued products. We scan our favourite spots in certain stores to find shelves that have marked down merchandise and so can you! Over time you get to know where in a store they will put all the marked down items for sale. If you are […]

Kick the Smoking Habit Save Your Health and Budget Week 1 Update

Hi Folks, This is our Week 1 Health and Budget update since Quitting Smoking Sunday, January 29 at 9pm.  🙂 As previously discussed we decided to take part in the Driven To Quit Challenge advertised on Global TV. It’s a great motivator to achieve our goal of quitting smoking and balancing the budget. Last week we attended a meeting for participants who wanted to quit smoking. This is a 6 week program that we signed up for through our Family Doctor. Interesting to note that 15 people signed up and only 8 showed up. Quitting seemed like a good idea at the time, easy to say but difficult to carry out.  The Registered Nurse spear heading the meetings says it happens every year. Upon arrival the stench of cigarette smoke blanketed us we entered the room. It was at that moment we realized we made the right decision. That was the first time since quitting we had smelled cigarette smoke. The  meeting was 1 hour and we introduced ourselves like it was an AA meeting. I am ( enter name here) and I’m addicted to smoking because ( I like it). The top 2 reasons for quitting were health and money. Learning about why […]

Haggling the Best Deal with your Communications Company

Do you call your cable company annually to negotiate a better deal? If not, read this post to learn how you can save yourself and your family money each year with a simple call. Haggling with your communications company may seem like a pain in the back side but with high competition for services it’s worth the time it takes to talk to a customer retention agent. Every year I shake my head when I do the yearly round-up of our expenditures with Rogers Cable. I must admit that I have lowered these costs over the years but am looking to downsize them. Sure I have some of the best Rogers retention plans going but sometimes they make it difficult to want to continue being a long time client of theirs. The cancellation department also handles the retention phone calls for customers who have promotions coming to an end. Essentially all they are is a customer service representative with retention strategies to try and keep you as a customer. They are the people who can boost your savings depending on your needs and how well a customer you are. Rogers client retention may not seem like a big deal when you are […]