What to Expect With Little to No Retirement Savings : Our June 2016 Budget Report

UNDERSTANDING HOW RETIREMENT WILL AFFECT YOU NOW IS BETTER THAN FINDING OUT LATER WHEN TIME IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE.   If you’re tired hearing about how much money you should have in your retirement savings to live comfortable in the golden years and want to hide because you’re not part of this elite group of savers- you’re not alone. Company pensions, in particular defined pension plans are becoming a perk of the past and Canadians are left will few options when it comes to retiring without living the rest of their years poking through a tight budget. I’d love to retire early but since the birth of our son we’ve seen our life goals change significantly where we were content living mortgage free in our house and living happily ever after. Now we are talking about buying a bigger house to have more room for our son to run around along with an in-ground pool. That means we’ll need to save even more money if we hope to pay cash for the next house or face added debt of a mortgage loan once again. Related: Retiring Early Should Never Be Expected I received an email from a reader who […]

There’s One Major Budget Tool Needed For Success : Our May 2016 Budget Report

MAKE MONEY NOW, SAVE IT, SPEND IT AND START ALL OVER AGAIN   If another month has come and gone and you have failed to balance your budget that doesn’t mean your efforts failed you. It simply means you need to focus on budget categories that need attention, bringing in more money and spending less. There is one tool more important than all of the above especially for people who give up on budgeting because it’s not working for them. If you’re not already doing this, you should be. Let me explain. For starters please don’t forget that there will never be a perfect budget as it will always have flaws. Even we have good months and bad months and we’re debt free which wasn’t an easy journey. What you have saved in the bank or with investments has nothing to do with whether you meet your monthly budget goals.   Find this tool and you’ll succeed   I’m afraid the one tool that you need to start using a budget is not an actual budget, that comes after and to be honest doesn’t take that much effort. With all the free budget spreadsheets available online it’s easy peasy. What […]

3 Budget Preparation Steps Not To Be Missed : Our April 2016 Budget Report

YOU CAN’T BUILD A BUDGET WITHOUT BLUEPRINTS   Budget preparation is an essential action step that if you pretend you don’t need you’ll never get past GO with your finances! Creating a personal budget doesn’t have to be complicated however the fine details certainly help to assess where existing or potential problems may sneak up.  Using a financial spreadsheet to document everything to do with money coming in and going out of your life is in my opinion an essential tool for everyone, even if you think you don’t need it. You do! Every month before you sit down to figure out your finances there are budget preparation steps that you don’t want to miss. The reason for this is because if you put half the effort into your monthly budget you’ll only get partial or potentially inaccurate results. Like you, budgeting was new for us years ago and took time for us to get to familiar with but over time we can safely say we are in a place where we confidently collect the monthly data we need. If you are one of those people who think you can search the web for a free budget template and think […]

3 Budget Negotiations That Saved Us Money : Our March 2016 Budget Review

YOUR MONEY WON’T WORK BY ITSELF SO GIVE IT A PUSH   Treat your finances like you own a company and you are the CEO. Budget negotiations should be part of everyone’s financial plan not just the government and business owners. You may be working for someone else making them rich but when it comes to your money there are ways to achieve the same successes but on a personal level.  It’s amazing how many people take their budget for granted and accept the bills they are given instead of putting the green light on budget negotiations. You’ve worked hard for your money now make your money work for you. Don’t let your cash float away without seeing how much you can save. You don’t have to be an outspoken customer to get a better deal. Before you attack (take that with a grain of salt) you must be armed with details and the outcome you’d like from your budget negotiations. If you need to balance your budget but you’re off by $50 try to see if you can get your bundled-telecommunications services lowered. Make a deal. The top way to trim budget expenses is by negotiating the interest rates […]

Property Tax Bill-One Bill You’ll Never Burn : February 2016 Monthly Budget Review

THE TAX MAN HANGS AROUND FOR LIFE   In February like clock-work we get a letter in the post from the city about our new tax rate along with payment dates for our property tax bill. Whether it’s paying for income tax, property tax, product tax or anything that says tax you know you’ll never get away with dodging it. Which is why there are two certainties in life: death and taxes Every year the property tax bill gets higher and higher but that’s expected I suppose since it goes to pay for various things in the community such as municipal services, police, fire, transit and so on. I received an email from a young couple in the process of buying their first home and they wanted to know what the best way was to pay for their property tax bill. Dear Mr.CBB, My wife and I are just finalizing the sale of our new home and were wondering how we should pay for our property tax bill in order for our budget to balance. What else is there that we need to know about our new property and our tax bill? Thanks for any tips. -Chris and Angela If […]

A Balanced Budget Doesn’t Make It Unbreakable : January 2016 Monthly Budget Review

BALANCE IS NEVER A STEADY VARIABLE IN FINANCE   I often hear that a budget is ready to go once it is balanced but a balanced budget doesn’t mean that it can’t incur hiccups along the way. Someone asked me how we could possibly budget every single month. “Isn’t it time-consuming?” After a bit of practice it gets easier BUT is your life not worth the effort? Think about that for a second. Anything you do to better your life IS worth it. It’s not hard to make a budget look pretty with colours and numbers but numbers are like credit, once you spend it you are stuck with it. You still have to pay it back. What I’m trying to say is that anyone can say they have a balanced budget and still screw it up. Too many people rely on a fixed balanced budget and ignore it for the rest of the year as if it’s bulletproof.  This is a huge mistake in my opinion because when it comes time to review your budget the last thing you want to find out is that you messed up along the way and didn’t pick up the broken pieces. Even […]

New Budget 2016 and 2015 Surprises and Fails : December 2015 Budget Update

START YOUR BUDGET 2016 NOW   Our updated budget 2016 has some changes which was expected because 2015 proved that prices are steadily going up so we’ve had to adjust our numbers to reflect this change. Unless you aren’t big on reading or watching the news maybe you’ve noticed that prices are skyrocketing, especially at the grocery store. In 2016 you can expect to add an additional $345 to your grocery budget for the year because of these increases. It’s not just food either. In 2015 it seemed like every time we turned around something was more expensive. If prices go up a dollar here or a couple bucks there that still accumulates as extra expenses in our budget especially since we budget accordingly. The reality is that you are never going to have a perfect budget so always leaving some room for price increases is critical.   Our free gift to you   Every year I wonder how we can change our budget plan to reflect something new and honestly there isn’t much to change. I’ve got a simple budget that I created years ago and that has been downloaded free by thousands of people around the world. All […]

How We Effectively Curb Spending When We Have To : November 2015 Budget Update

PUT YOURSELF IN FRONT OF MONEY SO YOU’RE ALWAYS ONE STEP AHEAD   When we have to curb spending in our budget there are ways that have effectively helped us conquer the money demons over the years. Essentially a budget is a tool that we use to track our cash flow. We want to know what’s coming in, what’s going out and how much money is staying. These financial numbers were crucial to our debt freedom success over the years. Budgeting may get negative connotations from those who don’t believe in it but for many people a budget is a financial life-saver. What I believe is that if we hadn’t used our budget we’d still have a mortgage and other debts to pay off. Sure, there are other ways to track your finances but for us working with numbers in our head or guesstimating wasn’t getting us to our end goal fast enough. Now that 2015 is drawing to a close we will have a full year of budget results to evaluate for the upcoming new year. Waiting until the end of the year to curb spending is not ideal but if you are budget ninjas like we are a […]