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 […]

How to handle negative people who criticize your budget : October 2015 Budget Update

BUTT OUT COMES TO MIND…   In most ways we have a combination of positive and negative character traits although not everyone recognizes when the negatives outweighs the positive. When we let negative traits suffocate us we find it difficult to see the reasoning that others have for doing what they do whether you believe in it or not. There will always be people who criticize and it’s up to the individual how they handle these situations. Just recently I was helping a fan get started with our free budget download because she wanted to test our budget. In conversation I learned that over the past year she has saved $5000 and paid off over $8000 worth of consumer debt. She was a mall rat and every opportunity she could get shopping was where you would find her. These days she’s sitting behind her computer figuring out how to budget and how much money she can spend every month. Kudos to her and others that do the same because it takes a determined person to push themselves to get of debt and fight through outside turmoil. In her case… Her boyfriend is not happy about the budgeting because he is […]

How many budget categories should I have? : Sept 2015 Budget Update

YOU ARE THE BUDGET MAKER   Being the budget maker means that you are in control of your budget including how many budget categories you decide to use every month. I counted how many budget categories we have in our monthly budget and came up with 34. Honestly, I thought there would be more than what there actually is. When I designed our budget years ago the thought never crossed our mind to only have a few budget categories. I have seen many budgets out there that might only cover common fixed expenses and everything else is bundled into one or two other budget categories. That type of budget would never work for our family. Since we are so picky about the fine detail and wanting to know exactly where our money is going every month I thought we did reasonably well with as many budget categories that we created. I’ve also seen some budgets that have so many categories that I wonder if we’re doing enough. We are our own worst critics when it comes to our finances however it’s all about finding what works for you. I received a short email from a fan who wanted to ask […]

When should you evaluate your monthly budget? : August 2015 Budget Update

EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MONEY CHANGES   When should a monthly budget be evaluated? This seems to be the hot question the last few months of every year in my inbox. I wish I had all the right answers for those fans who want to become debt free and put all their financial worries behind them. In all honesty money concerns never end but what I do have is our experiences to share. If you haven’t realized it yet you will notice that everything to do with your money will change as will the way you think about your finances. Over the years we have found that we change the way we think about our money and how we manage it. If you rely on a monthly budget to manage your finances a serious evaluation must be done at the end of the year. What does this mean? It means you look at every budget month for the year to see where you can make improvements. You will also be armed with numbers which is critical to the success of building a monthly budget for the new year. The first year we started our monthly budget we realized that we […]

3 Ways A Budget Can Help Ease Your Money Stress : July 2015 Budget Update

FINANCIAL HARDSHIP CAN WEIGH YOU DOWN   Money stress is no stranger to most people simply because they’re not made of money and everyday bills can cause people to juggle money to make ends meet. When someone is deep in debt and the money stress is building up it can get overwhelming trying to find a way out. I’m not a financial advisor nor a doctor two people you may want to meet with if you feel you just can’t handle your money situation. If you’re up for the challenge I can assure you a budget will get you back on track. It may not happen right away BUT you will slowly feel the release of stress once you know where your money is going and how much you have left every pay to spend. While searching Kijiji this month for some used items for our son we noticed good friends of ours selling stuff. If you sign up for Kijiji and use the mobile app it shoes you people in your neighbourhood who are also selling items. This is great because if your neighbour has something you want to buy you don’t have far to go. It was a […]

When should you stop using a household budget? : June 2015 Budget Update

HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR FINANCES?   A household budget sounds so “old school” especially with all the new technology we have today but it’s not. Not much has changed with the household budget apart from the ability to use other forms of budget tracking rather than paper and a pencil. Even so, many people continue to track their household budget the easy way because it’s something they are used to doing. Let’s remember that for further down the post. “It’s something they are used to doing”. Learning how to manage your finances can be as complicated or easy as you want to make it. Everyone has a unique financial situation which may take little to no effort at all or lots of undertaking. Your household budget may be weekly or monthly like ours and at first it seems like a huge chore and it is but over time once you start to see the benefit (and you will). Then,  you might never want to let it go even after you pay off all of your debts. There is some sort of an emotional attachment to the household budget every month comparable to wanting to eat healthy, exercise and be happy […]

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