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 […]

One Year of Savings After No Mortgage Payments : May 2015 Budget Update

A MORTGAGE IS A HEAVY DEBT   Kissing our mortgage payments goodbye one year ago this month was one of the greatest accomplishments we’ve achieved financially as husband and wife. Honestly it was my wife that reminded me that it has been a year since our final mortgage payments were processed. Time certainly does fly by but I’m certain since having our son time is just a big blur to the both of us.   Mortgage Payments are reality   Having no mortgage payments have not gone unnoticed though as our budget has shrunk and our net worth has jumped up to just under $700,000. It would be nice to be worth a cool million before I turn 40 although that may be super optimistic of me. When we conquer one hurdle we set goals to conquer another. Having mortgage payments will add bulk to any budget but it’s not the end of the world if you have one. The reality is that most people who have a mortgage pay for it until the end of their term unless they pay extra to shave a few years off here and there. That is great if you can do this as […]

How a To-Do List Stopped me from Playing Superhero with my Life : April 2015 Budget Update

ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE AND WATCH IT GROW   Life would be great if I could remember everything I needed to do in my head without having to consult a to-do list but that will never happen for me. When you decide to get organized with something in your life you almost feel like weight is lifted off your shoulders. I’ve made the mistake once in my life when I let work get the best of me where I then let things slip at home. My life was a bit of a chaotic mess during this time period because I was young and working as many hours as I could fit in while I could. I wasn’t a money hoarder or work-a-holic I just didn’t mind working for money and having the ability to save so I could afford holidays while paying down my mortgage faster. In the meantime I wasn’t completing all the tasks in a home I bought in my early 20’s because balance was hard for me. As a young guy I didn’t know everything. Who’s perfect after all? Nobody. Life is all about experimenting and learning from our mistakes and I did just that. My mind was […]

How I saved $336 by being my own mechanic : March 2015 Budget Update

FIXING YOUR OWN STUFF   We all know that car maintenance costs can rip a chunk from the budget but what’s worse is waiting until something falls apart. There is a reason that vehicles especially a new vehicle will come with a car maintenance schedule. Not everything on a vehicle has to be replaced but it should certainly be serviced and inspected for any wear and tear and potential problems. Vehicle Maintenance costs are what most people dread but if you are handy you might even get away with some mechanical DIY. If you are not handy please don’t attempt any work on your vehicle. You will only cost yourself more money in car repairs over the long-term. You may even repair something incorrectly if you just “guess” and it could cause an accident. Plenty of people play the mechanic role and do repairs or even their own oil change so they don’t have to fork out big bucks to a shop charging $100 an hour for their mechanic. Keep in mind there is a reason why they are in a trade and it takes many years to become Red Seal Certified. You can’t do everything a mechanic does unless […]