6 Eye-Opening Strategies To Help Transition You Into A Budget Master : Our December 2016 Budget Update

IF THERE’S ONE LIFE SKILL YOU WANT TO MASTER IT’S HOW TO MANAGE YOUR FINANCES.   Every January social media lights up with posts about debt, money, savings, retirement, divorce, marriage and spending habits. Magically I see an influx of traffic to the blog that is out of the ordinary with searches always leading to budgeting, debt reduction and how to make money fast. Mrs. CBB had her friend over this afternoon and while she was making a tea in the kitchen the budget discussion came up. My wife lifted up a large Ziploc bag filled with our monthly receipts and said that she was working on adding the last few into the budget spreadsheet. When Mrs. CBB dropped the bag her friend said that she just finished writing out her family budget the other day.  With a second baby on the way and price hikes hitting Canadians hard at the start of 2017 she wants to make sure that they can continue to afford living where they do. Keep in mind this is the first time they’ve used a budget before so writing it out is sometimes an easier way to transition into a budget master. Baby steps are […]

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 […]

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 […]

How spending money requires time: Our Family Budget June 2014

SPEND WISELY AND STAY ON TRACK   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 […]

Spending cuts and increases: Budget Update Jan 2014

COUNTING THE CHANGE   Staying on top of our end of 2013 budget spending cuts and increases are going to be critical for us in the 2014 year. If you missed our December 2013 budget update you can go back and read about where all of our money went and how our budget has changed for 2014. I’m pretty sure that 2014 will be full of surprises for us so we want to be prepared for the unexpected at least with money set aside for emergencies after the mortgage is paid. With our mortgage coming due in April to the exchange rate rising we hope that we are off to a bit of a kick-start. Hopefully in the next month or so we will meet with our financial advisor to go over our investments. We’d like to make some changes for the 2014 year and maybe even talk about if we can get a further discount for being 2 years smoke-free on our life insurance policies.   Spending cuts   Spending cuts came to us in the form of having to spend less in a particular budgeted category or having to move money in the budget to balance it out. […]

Bust our budget November 2013: How do you pay your bills?

PAY ATTENTION TO THE NUMBERS   It’s inevitable that mistakes will happen whether they are by human error or computer generated mistakes that for the odd occasion can cause problems when it comes to your finances. How to pay your bills? There are so many ways to pay your bills these days whether it be in person to the organization, at the bank, with a credit card (for points), online bill payments and I’m sure there are a host of other ways to pay your bills. The key is to pay them once and to pay them on time while making sure you are paying for the services you used. We have a bill payment calendar set up on the computer in excel so we know exactly when our bills are due and the general amount they are unless they are fixed as that would be the same amount such as the mortgage payment each week. Just when we thought we were an organized couple financially we go and make an error this week that I wanted to briefly touch on this month because for some it may not be a huge deal but for those that might have limited […]

Bust our budget October 2013: Romance and money

BUDGET CATCH UP IN EFFECT   Just when you think you have everything under control life throws you lemons. You know that you can’t spend more than you earn but inside your head you say it’s ok to spend a bit more because you are worth it. Sure you could spend cash if you have extra money and no debt like us but it’s also important to realize why you are budgeting in the first place and whether your budget needs to be tweaked to fit your lifestyle.   In September we thought for sure that expenses would cool down a bit and they did for October just not as much as we would have liked. As you will see below we didn’t save a whole heck of a lot of money in our savings account but we did manage to balance the budget as per usual. I had to spend money for work as well we bought a universal home gym second-hand which cost us a bit of money. I have some gym equipment that we have been using but I wanted more weights and the system was a great price so I wasted no time picking it up. […]

Bust our budget update: June 2013 #6 Bills and payments

When The Budget Numbers Make Sense This was another one of those months where we had bills and payments come due that were big expenses so our budget took a hit on the nose. It won’t look as if we have any money going to our savings account for June as we spent $228.64 more than we earned but that’s not the case. The good part was that most of the big expenses were projected expenses so there will be a savings recognized in our net worth update for June. As you know our dog had to have some extensive work done at the veterinarian this past month so you will see the pet category well over $500 for June not including the work he had done in May. This should be (fingers crossed) the last month for high pet expenses. On a good note, he’s doing very well so it makes the money that we spent and saved worth every penny. We also had our annual tax installment due this month which was a bit higher than the last for this installment coming in at $935 although the money was saved. Other than that our home maintenance is still high as […]

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