Why you should be your own expense manager : September 2014 Net Worth Update (+0.51%)

expense manager money out the window

SOMEONE HAS TO BE IN CHARGE   If you’ve ever heard the saying “pay yourself first” it’s likely because you should. You are your own expense manager when it comes to your budget and overall household finances. I never gave much thought to it until yesterday when I was running the numbers for our net worth update for September. If you read our September budget update you’ll know we blew a heavy amount of money on a new mattress and bed. Typically we don’t splurge on ourselves because all of our money is budgeted and if we do need something like a mattress we need to justify that expense before we commit to it. You don’t need to have management skills to run your own finances but what you do need is patience and determination to make it work.   An expense manager takes charge   What is an expense manager? I know it might sound like something you’ve never heard before but if you think about it the two words are self-explanatory. I actually made it up but it holds a great weight in our household. An expense manager to us simply means someone who is in charge of […]

Why I No Longer Hate Making a Budget

why i no longer hate making a budget

YOU EITHER LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM   Fifteen years ago you could not have twisted my arm enough to make a budget. It wasn’t going to happen. My wife had tried several times making a budget but I hadn’t given any input and I certainly didn’t think one was necessary. It’s safe to say I hated them. Budgets were for “those people” who were in massive debt or who wanted to control an overspending spouse. They weren’t for normal people like us who lived off our paycheck from week to week and could afford pretty much everything we needed. Some months we’d have some money left over at the end of the month to put into our savings account. Other months we wouldn’t. Things seemed fine to me so I didn’t see the big deal. Then came the first kid. Suddenly spending patterns changed. No longer was it just my wife and I. We had another person to account for, one who would have some very expensive habits. Can anyone say 10 diapers and 6 meals a day? So we set out again to tackle the monthly budget. We actually managed to make a budget that we thought would […]

Sometimes you just have to spend money : September 2014 Budget Update

bust-our-budget-budget-update

DIG INTO YOUR WALLETS   I’m probably the last person you thought who would tell you that sometimes you simply have to spend money. Spend money… that’s right. You can’t go to the grave with it so why not spend the money you worked hard to save? It’s true that it’s great to make money and watch your net worth grow but you can’t hang on to every penny without spending some of it.   Spend money using a plan   It’s fine and dandy saving money but there will come a time when you have expenses that you might not want to pay for but you’ll have to. There will also be times where you want to splurge on yourself because you’ve reached your financial milestones or any goals that you’ve set for yourself. The key to remember is that you shouldn’t spend money that you don’t have. What that means is if you haven’t saved the money yet you shouldn’t be rewarding yourself. This only contributes to debt and even though your intentions to pay back debt are important remember that anything could happen. As you will see below in the charts our budget for September was way […]

How sleep deprivation causes us to spend more money? : The Saturday Weekend Review #90

sleep deprivation summer flowers

TIME TO GET SOME ZZZ’S   There’s only so much coffee and tea that I can drink to keep me going before sleep deprivation takes over. Sleep deprivation effects can be serious whether you are behind the wheel of your vehicle, at work or doing something that could potentially cause an accident and injure yourself or someone else. There is also something else that lack of sleep may compromise and that’s your budget if you allow it to.   Sleep patterns   Not sleeping enough may cause you and I to spend more money because when you are tired you just want to go to bed and sleep which means saving money might not be at the top of the priority list. These days daytime sleepiness has found a place in my life even though previous to my new sleeping routine I was used to working long hours with odd sleeping patterns. Whether you have trouble sleeping at night due to insomnia, late-night work hours, illness or like us have a newborn in the house being tired can take its toll on your budget. Our sleep patterns are now in sync with our newborns sleep patterns which means we sleep […]

Rethinking fashion to embrace personal style and budget

Fashion jeans budget clothing

 FASHION WITHOUT PRESSURE   Fashion trends to one person may differ to the next especially when it comes to quality fabrics and cost. A few months ago, I was folding some laundry and I noticed one of my sweatshirts was made in Bangladesh. I wondered if the people who had made it were still alive because in 2013 a large garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed and killed over 1,110 people. This factory manufactured clothes for a large number of brands that I happen to have in my closet. It was unsettling to think I was wearing something that had been produced in a sweatshop by workers making about 32 cents and hour. This brings a whole new meaning to the expression “slave to fashion”. I admit that I have closets and dressers overflowing with cheap, disposable clothing. I cannot believe the trash bags of clothes that we stuff into the donation bins at regular intervals. How many articles of clothing does one person need? How many of them do I actually wear on a regular basis? I read a statistic somewhere that people wear 10% of their wardrobe 90% of the time. Clearly, we need a lot less than we buy.   Fashion overflow   Why […]

Child Budgeting: Teach Your Kids to Respect You and Money

Child budgeting with technology

FINANCES FROM A YOUNG AGE   Growing up, my parents hated shopping for me. It was stressful and usually led to rushed purchasing decisions. They would rather spend $300 now to get it over with than spend $200 after shopping around and researching. Now I always wanted more money growing up. So I realized I could both solve their problem and satisfy my desire for more cash. I asked to be given money instead of things. $200 for back-to-school clothing, $20 for school supplies, whatever the occasion, I preferred cash. If they didn’t want to shop around and do the research, I would – and I would feed my piggy bank the money I saved. My parents cheerfully agreed. However, reading CBB, I know you are already budget conscious. So you’re not like my parents who rushed their purchasing decisions. I’m looking to solve a different problem for you – your kids’ lack of interest in budgeting.   Child Budgeting   Child budgeting means your children are budgeting for their own lives. They are taking care of themselves. This can start as early as you feel appropriate. I began at age 13 – a little late because that’s when I […]

Reflection on summer days: The Saturday Weekend Review #87

The Saturday weekend review Summer Days

SUMMER MEMORIES   Hot summer days might not be the appropriate words to use for summer 2014 in Ontario with the up and down weather we’ve been having. Since we are getting hammered with heat this week we’re still in the clear to enjoy the best days of summer holidays. I didn’t want to make this post the usual Saturday blog post because it’s the Labour Day long weekend which means school starts back up which brings financial changes for most people. I also wanted to make it personal in hopes you share memories of your summer days in the comment section. What’s open for the Labour Day Weekend? I don’t know what’s open in your local area but in the Toronto area we have some shops open. Many of you might be enjoying one of the last weekends at the campground or prepping for back to school. You might plan to attend some local attractions for the long weekend such as the Toronto Zoo, Wonderland, Toronto Science Centre, CN Tower, Toronto Eaton Centre or hit the beach but all government is closed including the LCBO so stock up today! It’s hard when summer days seem to end at the […]