Bust our budget: July 2013 Saving money

Bust Our Budget Budget Update

Over Half Way Through The Year

Saving money this month was a bit easier since we refrained from going into too many shops. We had a bit of a quieter month in terms of our expenses especially since May and June were filled with landscaping materials and pet costs. It was nice to actually beat the budget in July in comparison to our overspend in June. We are over half way through the year now and so far things are looking good but I’m sure we will be making changes at some point, we always do.

Even when an emergency arises and we spend the money we have saved in our projected expenses (PE) our overall net worth will take a hit, thus life. Personally, I don’t worry so much about that, all I worry about is that we are on the right track to meeting and beating our goals.

Sometimes people get hung up on the numbers but for the most part we are critical to an extent and try to fix our overspend but we know there is only so much we can do. No budget will ever be perfect and that is why it is critical to visit the budget every month so adjustments can be made, if necessary. If we find cutting monthly expenses is necessary or adjusting up is needed we will do so. Sometimes we will wait until the end of the year for some not so critical categories, like, um…. my allowance.

Clothing

Our clothing budget was up this month so we are keeping an eye on that. We don’t spend too much on clothes and most of it was spent at The Salvation Army and a quick trip to Value Village to see if we could find any deals. To be honest, The Salvation Army was much better and likely where we will go now for the second-hand clothing or items we want to look for.

Allowance

I went over my allowance this month because we went to the in-laws for the July 1 Canada Day long weekend and went to Tim Horton’s a few times on the way and while visiting relatives. It’s always more tempting to get out of the house and to go for a drive to Tim Horton’s when you are visiting someone out-of-town, at least for us it is. I also bought a 28 pack of Beer which gave my allowance that kick. I’m going to be evaluating my allowance come 2014 to see what I’ve spent in 2013 and average that cost out for the year. Another great reason to budget.

Grocery

We were aiming to get back on track in July with our grocery overspend and we almost made it. We came in over budget by around $53 BUT had we of not had the overspend in May our July grocery budget would have been a perfect $235.08 spend with $0.08 over spend. Working harder means finding ways to cut back and I’ll talk about what we might do in tomorrow’s grocery game post.

Health Care/ Prescriptions

The doctor has put my wife on some over the counter medication that costs a fortune. We did manage to get a discount from the Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy because my wife has been with them for over 10 years and some optimum points to bring down the cost with the SDM printable bonus coupons. The pharmacy technician had a rain check and allowed my wife to get up to 5 of the product for $10.00 cheaper so she picked up 2. Her reasoning was that she can make more in points on 20x the points days or with other promos if she waits. For now she’s stocked up for a couple of months.

Work

I spent a bit over my $50 for work items which is fine as I’ll get most of the money back any how. I just have to wait until I spend a certain amount so I can redeem my receipts.

How we budget our monthly expenses

I often have fans ask me how to budget money and what we do in order to save so much money but the reply is that it’s not about the money it’s about the process involved. We don’t always save as much money as we would like every month but most importantly we are not going into debt because we are budgeting our money.

Budget failure only occurs when you give up on the budget which should not happen as long as you give 100% into making sure you reach your goals. Sometimes fans email and ask me if living on a budget in Canada is any different from living in other countries. To be honest I’m going to say, probably not. If I still lived in the UK I could use this exact budget to meet all of my needs. Below are links to the budgeting series which I wrote while designing our spreadsheet.

I’m not a financial planner/advisor so I can’t tell you how you should budget but I can show you how we budget. I’m just a regular guy just like everyone else; some might call me a budget nerd. Please take the time to read through the budgeting series and I hope you take something away from the information.

  1. How We Designed Our Budget Step 1- Gathering All the information
  2. How We Designed Our Budget Step 2Categories
  3. How We Designed Our Budget Step 3Tracking Receipts
  4. How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
  5. How We Designed Our Budget Step 55S Organization
  6. How We Designed Our Budget Step 6Who Does What and When?
  7. How We Designed Our Budget Step 7Balancing Our Budget
  8. How We Designed Our Budget Step 8Knowing our Coupon Savings
  9. How We Designed Our Budget Step 9Reading Our Bills
  10. How We Designed Our Budget Step 10- Projected Expenses

Free stuff

download symbol

We also make use of all the Free Money Saving Lists that I have created to help keep us on track which you can also download for free because I’ve made those lists available to you.

Canadian budget binder spreadsheet

Canadian Budget Binder Spreadsheet Screen shot

I’ve had many fans testing our Canadian budget binder spreadsheet over the course of the year and for the most part they love the simplicity of it but they can also customize it as they see fit as I’ve left the formulas open. The good part is they have given me feedback in terms of making changes to the spreadsheet which I am currently working on. That’s the best part of having my team of fans test it out for me.

Budget changes

There were no changes to the budget in July.

Budget percentages

Our savings of 12.66% includes savings and investments. I’ve also went ahead and added in our projected expenses this month at 20.21% which brings the total July 2013 Household Budget percentages to 100%. 

household-budget-percentages-July

Expenses breakdown

This is simply a breakdown of our expenses which has helped us to understand where all of our money goes. I appreciate that you enjoy this budget update each month but I do hope you view this as an educational tool rather than comparing your own financial numbers as we are all unique. Sometimes we wish we had more money to budget with but understand that we only have what we earn and if we want more, we need to earn more. Spending less than we earn and budgeting our money has been the easiest way for us to pay down debt and save money.

acutal expenses July 2013

  1. Chequing- This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from.
  2. Emergency Savings Account- This is a high-interest savings account.
  3. Regular Savings Account- This is a savings account that holds our projected expenses.
  4. Monthly Budget Total: $4459.07
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$6386.73
  6. Total Coupons Used: includes every discount attained during the month = $70.41
  7. Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $1290.44
  8. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$4118.01
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out Calculated is $6386.73 (total net monthly income) - $978.28 (total monthly savings/overspend)–Projected expenses $1290.44= $4118.01
  10. Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings$978.28 Calculated is $6386.73 (total monthly net income) – $4118.01 (actual expenses paid out for the month)–$1290.44 (projected expenses)= $978.28

Saving money

What are Projected Expenses? - We project expenses throughout the year so we have the money saved.

PE= A projected expense is money which is automatically saved each month so it is ready when the bill comes in or when you need it as in the example below. We review our projected expenses at the beginning of the year to set up our yearly budget and adjust as we go along if a new projected expense arises and needs to be added to the budget. Sometimes we remove a projected expense as well so it’s very important to keep an eye on your expenses.

This has happened on many occasions but it’s bound to happen as we can’t predict everything we have to pay for over the course of the year. The important part for us is that we are saving for these expenses and we no longer have to stress about taking money from our savings to pay for them. To learn more about projected expenses read Step 10 in my budgeting series.

When we spend the money in a projected expense category we move that money to our chequing account in order to pay for that incoming expense. We pay money into the projected expenses account continually throughout the year even when bills come due as it’s revolving so as one bill gets paid the money continues to come in from the other categories all year-long. So the$1290.44 gets paid into the projected expense account every month no matter what. It seems to be easier to track our money this way but you can do what works best for you.

Projected expense example

If for example our clothing category was a projected expense we have a budget of $50 per month for the two of us. If we spend $30 on clothes for the month that means we need to pull $30 from the projected expenses account to pay for this expense or we move only $20 to projected expenses for the month and leave the $30 in your chequing account. It’s up to you how you do it as I mentioned above. I’m hoping to put together a projected expenses spreadsheet to track the expenses all year-long otherwise you need to do that to make sure you don’t overspend what you haven’t saved or will save over the course of the year.

It’s a fairly easy process and becomes a lifestyle change for your finances but the most important part is that the money is available and saved, which means potentially less stress. This means we should have $600.00 per year for clothing to spend. We have to track that expense as we spend it manually but hopefully for our 2014 budget I can incorporate that into our spreadsheet so it tallies the numbers up as we go along. That way we will be able to know exactly what we’ve spent as an ongoing total.

Budget for July 2013

If it is highlighted in blue that means it’s a projected expense. You will see that the budgeted does not include the emergency savings. This is added in last after all expenses.

July-budgeted-2013

Actual budget expenses for July 2013

actual-budget-numbers-july-2013

July 2013 goals

  • Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (if you want me, email me) PASS Frugal Rules> Check it out!
  • Have a couple of awesome bloggers guest post on Canadian Budget Binder ( if you are interested read my guest post guidelines then email me with your blog post pitch)
  • Fix the fence post (did you read about my fence post?) -FAIL maybe next month
  • Roll The Back Lawn with my free lawn roller I found on the side of the road with a FREE sign! I love free stuff!- FAIL
  • Fix the deck lights FAIL
  • Seal and protect the new steps PASS 
  • Read 3 more chapters in my personal finance book- FAIL
  • Sort out the mortgage- FAIL in the works
  • Reach 6025 Facebook Fans- PASS (6094)
  • Reach 1750 Twitter followers- PASS (1794)
  • Reach 1125 blog followers- PASS (1156)
  • Install garden spotlights- FAIL
  • Start to tear main bathroom for renovations- FAIL Spent too long on the front porch this month and the garden

August 2013 goals

  • Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (if you want me, email me) 
  • Have a couple of awesome bloggers guest post on Canadian Budget Binder ( if you are interested read my guest post guidelines then email me with your blog post pitch)
  • Fix the fence post (did you read about my fence post?
  • Plant the cranberry tree
  • Pick the crab apples and give them away
  • Roll The Back Lawn with my free lawn roller I found on the side of the road with a FREE sign! I love free stuff!
  • Fix the deck lights 
  • Read 3 more chapters in my personal finance book
  • Sort out the mortgage
  • Reach 6120 Facebook Fans
  • Reach 1810 Twitter followers
  • Reach 1170 blog followers
  • Install garden spotlights
  • Start to tear main bathroom for renovations

Year-to-date percentages 

In case you missed our budget updates from the start of the year I will list them all here each month.

That’s all for this month check back at the beginning of August with a new budget update and who knows maybe some good news.

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

Bust Our Budget Budget Update

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 we just finished up the landscaping of our front property, for now. I still have to purchase some electrical wiring so I can put in the lights but other than that I’m finished until around September when I lay some new sod. Next year I will add some mulch but it’s not worth it for the 2013 season. 

Our grocery budget is still struggling from May as we try to catch up because of spending more than we were supposed to. It has been an eye opener for us and probably the hardest catch up period to date. You can read all about it in the grocery game challenge each week but moving forward we will try even harder to stick to our budget.

Since we are half way through the year we feel that we are on track but we can do better in some areas. There is always room for improvement but next year we will have an even better idea where we are headed with our budget. That’s all the fun stuff that happened in June although I anticipate even more good times rolling in for the month of July, so stay tuned for that update at the end of the month.

How we budget our monthly expenses

I often have fans ask me how to budget money and what we do in order to save so much money but the reply is that it’s not about the money it’s about the process involved. We don’t always save as much money as we would like every month but most importantly we are not going into debt because we are budgeting our money.

Budget failure only occurs when you give up on the budget which should not happen as long as you give 100% into making sure you reach your goals. Sometimes fans email and ask me if setting up a budget in Canada is any different from living in other countries. To be honest I’m going to say, probably not. If I still lived in the UK I could use this exact budget to meet all of my needs. Below are links to the budgeting series which I wrote while designing our spreadsheet.

I’m not a financial planner/advisor so I can’t tell you how you should budget but I can show you how we budget. I’m just a regular guy just like everyone else, some might call me a budget nerd. Please take the time to read through the budgeting series and I hope you take something away from the information.

  1. How We Designed Our Budget Step 1- Gathering All the information
  2. How We Designed Our Budget Step 2Categories
  3. How We Designed Our Budget Step 3Tracking Receipts
  4. How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
  5. How We Designed Our Budget Step 55S Organization
  6. How We Designed Our Budget Step 6Who Does What and When?
  7. How We Designed Our Budget Step 7Balancing Our Budget
  8. How We Designed Our Budget Step 8Knowing our Coupon Savings
  9. How We Designed Our Budget Step 9Reading Our Bills
  10. How We Designed Our Budget Step 10- Projected Expenses

Free stuff

We also make use of all the Free Money Saving Lists that I have created to help keep us on track which you can also download for free because I’ve made those lists available to you.

Our Canadian budget binder spreadsheet

Canadian Budget Binder Spreadsheet Screen shot

Changes to the budget this month

For some odd reason I took out our extra mortgage payment category last month so that was added back in. Other than that our vehicle and home insurance was adjusted and the figure is now correct. It’s been a relatively quiet month for us.

June household budget percentages 

June-Pie-Chart-Budget-Update-2013

Our savings of 12.20% includes savings and investments. I’ve also went ahead and added in our projected expenses this month at 19.47% which brings the total May 2013 Household Budget percentages to 103.45%. The reason that this months figure is based on 103.45% is due to the overspend.

June budget expenses breakdown

This is simply a breakdown of our expenses which has helped us to understand where all of our money goes. I appreciate that you enjoy this budget update each month but I do hope you view this as an educational tool rather than comparing your own financial numbers as we are all unique. Sometimes we wish we had more money to budget with but understand that we only have what we earn and if we want more, we need to earn more. Spending less than we earn and budgeting our money has been the easiest way for us to pay down debt and save money.

Coloured-budget-chart-June-2103

  1. Chequing- This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from.
  2. Emergency Savings Account- This is a high-interest savings account.
  3. Regular Savings Account- This is a savings account that holds our projected expenses.
  4. Monthly Budget Total: $4459.07
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$6626.35
  6. Total Coupons Used: includes every discount attained during the month = $80.71
  7. Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $1290.44
  8. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$5564.55
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out Calculated is $6626.35 (total net monthly income) + $228.64 (total monthly savings/overspend)–Projected expenses $1290.44 = $5564.55
  10. Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings$0 Calculated is $ 6626.35 (total monthly net income) – $5564.55 (actual expenses paid out for the month)–$1290.44 (projected expenses)= ( -$228.64)

What are Projected Expenses?

PE= A projected expense is money which is automatically saved each month so it is ready when the bill comes in or when you need it as in the example below. We review our projected expenses at the beginning of the year to set up our yearly budget and adjust as we go along if a new projected expense arises and needs to be added to the budget. Sometimes we remove a projected expense as well so it’s very important to keep an eye on your expenses.

This has happened on many occasions but it’s bound to happen as we can’t predict everything we have to pay for over the course of the year. The important part for us is that we are saving for these expenses and we no longer have to stress about taking money from our savings to pay for them. To learn more about projected expenses read Step 10 in my budgeting series.

When we spend the money in a projected expense category we move that money to our chequing account in order to pay for that incoming expense. We pay money into the projected expenses account continually throughout the year even when bills come due as it’s revolving so as one bill gets paid the money continues to come in from the other categories all year-long. So the$1290.44  gets paid into the projected expense account every month no matter what. It seems to be easier to track our money this way but you can do what works best for you.

Projected expense example

In our clothing category we budget $50 per month for the two of us. If we spend $30 on clothes for the month that means we need to pull $30 from the projected expenses account to pay for this expense or we move only $20 to projected expenses for the month and leave the $30 in your chequing account. It’s up to you how you do it as I mentioned above.

It’s a fairly easy process and becomes a lifestyle change for your finances but the most important part is that the money is available and saved, which means potentially less stress. This means we should have $600.00 per year for clothing to spend. We have to track that expense as we spend it manually but hopefully for our 2014 budget I can incorporate that into our spreadsheet so it tallies the numbers up as we go along. That way we will be able to know exactly what we’ve spent as an ongoing total.

Budget for June 2013

If it is highlighted in blue that means it’s a projected expense.

June-budgeted-numbers-2013

Actual budget expenses for June 2013

Actual-June-2013-Budget-CBB-2

June 2013 goals

  • Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (if you want me, email me) – FAIL 
  • Have a couple of awesome bloggers guest post on Canadian Budget Binder ( if you are interested read my guest post guidelines (<<That’s the way I like it) then email me with your blog post pitch)- PASS 
  • Read 3 chapters in my Rules of Wealth Personal Finance Book- PASS
  • Sort out the paperwork to pay off the mortgage (fingers crossed)- FAIL (working on it still)
  • Finish the landscaping out front- PASS (except the lights)
  • Seal the driveway- PASS
  • Seal and protect the new steps- FAIL
  • Re-caulk garage window- PASS
  • Swap the garage lights around- PASS
  • Install spot lights out front- FAIL
  • Reach 5700 Facebook LIKES- PASS
  • Reach 1700 Twitter Followers- PASS
  • Reach 1075 Blog Subscribers (this may fail once I move my site as I may lose my wordpress subscribers unless they re-subscribe at the new site)- PASS
  • Start splitting plants in the back garden- PASS
  • Fix the fence post- FAIL
  • Roll The Back Lawn with my free lawn roller I found on the side of the road with a FREE sign! I love free stuff!-FAIL
  • Fix the deck lights- FAIL
  • Find our dog a full-time job to earn extra money to pay for his vet bills ;-) FAIL

July 2013 goals

  • Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (if you want me, email me)
  • Have a couple of awesome bloggers guest post on Canadian Budget Binder ( if you are interested read my guest post guidelines then email me with your blog post pitch)
  • Fix the fence post (did you read about my fence post?)
  • Roll The Back Lawn with my free lawn roller I found on the side of the road with a FREE sign! I love free stuff!
  • Fix the deck lights
  • Seal and protect the new steps
  • Read 3 more chapters in my personal finance book
  • Sort out the mortgage
  • Reach 6025 Facebook Fans
  • Reach 1750 Twitter followers
  • Reach 1125 blog followers
  • Install garden spotlights
  • Start to tear main bathroom for renovations

Our year-to-date percentages 2013

Year-to-date-percentages-June-2013-chart

In case you missed our budget updates from the start of the year I will list them all here each month.

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March 2013 CBB Budget Update #3- A Quiet Month With The Budget

Canadian Budget Binder Monthly Budget Update

Well, here we are at the end of March 2013 with another budget update which with confidence I can say is a bit better than our February Budget Update. Sometimes it’s a good thing to have a quiet month with the budget because it helps to put things into perspective. Sometimes budgeting and saving money doesn’t always happen depending on what your priorities are that month.

As an example, last month we saved no money in our emergency savings, a big fat zero. We actually spent more than we earned in February which can be discouraging but also motivating to do better the next month.This month we didn’t have any big-ticket expenses like our water softener that cost us over $1000 in February.

We didn’t have alot going on this month in terms of expenses but we did pre-pay the full 20% of our mortgage of over $32,000 for the 2013 year which I will get into in an upcoming blog post. I’m expecting next month to be costly for us with having another installment of city taxes to pay and our hydro./water bill will be coming due.

Other than that with spring and then summer just around the corner I will start to get the deck sanded down and treated. I already purchased the Thompson’s sealer with tint at Canadian Tire earlier in the year when it was on sale. I’ll also be looking at our landscaping projects which is top priority this summer as we’ve put it off for far too long.

I’ve got the vegetable seeds ready to go for the garden, so we will see how much money we will be spending on plants this summer but hopefully not too much. I had a peek in the compost bin which I jammed full of leaves and other organics at the end of last summer so I’m sure I will reap those rewards shortly. I did manage to save some of our flowers and plants from last year by bringing them indoors for the winter although next winter I will be pickier on what comes in. I try to do whatever it takes to shave some expenses off the home maintenance budget for the year including re-using and re-purposing items we already have.

I also plan to start renovating one of our main bathrooms with a full tear down, heated floors, new cabinets, new counter tops and faucets,toilet, Shower faucets, tile floor to ceiling, new mirrors, accessories, heated towel bar and shower curtain and bar. That’s a big project for me but I’ll be tackling the outside before I do any indoor work. This job alone will take a big chunk of our budget but will add value back into our home.

What spring cleaning do you do? 

How We Budget Our Monthly Expenses

Below are links to my budgeting series which I wrote while designing our spreadsheet. I’m not a financial planner/advisor so I can’t tell you how you should budget but I can show you how we budget. I’m just a regular guy just like everyone else, some might call me a budget nerd. I love seeing money grow and where it has gone. Please take the time to read through the budgeting series and I hope you take something away from the information.

  1. How We Designed Our Budget Step 1- Gathering All the information
  2. How We Designed Our Budget Step 2Categories
  3. How We Designed Our Budget Step 3Tracking Receipts
  4. How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
  5. How We Designed Our Budget Step 55S Organization
  6. How We Designed Our Budget Step 6Who Does What and When?
  7. How We Designed Our Budget Step 7Balancing Our Budget
  8. How We Designed Our Budget Step 8Knowing our Coupon Savings
  9. How We Designed Our Budget Step 9Reading Our Bills
  10. How We Designed Our Budget Step 10- Projected Expenses

Click this link if you want to see a sample of a budget sheet spreadsheet that we designed>>> Finances+Budget= Success Formula

Changes to the Monthly Family Budget This Month

I mentioned a bit about our life insurance policies and how we applied for life insurance as non-smokers since we are now over 1 year smoke-free. We received our assessments back and we are now only paying $70.43 a month as opposed to the $135.05 so that is a bit of savings for us at $64.62 a month.

Our income taxes are done and I’m proud to report that I did them on my own. I read everything I needed to read in a couple of days and did them online for free. We are getting just over $200 back which isn’t much but that’s fine as long as we don’t have to pay the government any money. I’ll be removing the $2.50 a month we were saving in projected expenses out of our budget and put that money in our emergency savings now.

March Monthly Household Budget  Percentages Overview

Our savings of 60.18% includes savings and investments. I’ve also went ahead and added in our projected expenses this month at 12.53%  which brings the total budget percentages to 100% for the month of March.

March 2013 Monthly Budgeted Expense Chart 2

The CBB Family March Budget Expenses Breakdown

We have 3 Canadian Bank Accounts with our Chequing account being with President’s Choice Financial. We chose PC Financial as one of our banks because we didn’t want to pay any bank fees. We also have never felt the need to see anyone personally inside of a bank but if we do Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) will gladly help us out as PC is affiliated with CIBC.

  1. Chequing- This is where all the bills get paid from.
  2. Emergency Savings Account- This is a high interest savings account.
  3. Regular Savings Account- This a savings account that holds our projected expenses money.
  4. Monthly Budget Total: $4611.65
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$8544.05
  6. Total Coupons Used (includes points redeemed, big box store coupons, not just grocery coupons:=$91.38
  7. Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout year and save monthly for = $1282.90
  8. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$2927.97
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out Calculated is $8544.05 (total monthly income) –$4333.18 (total monthly savings)–Projected expenses $1282.90 = $2927.97
  10. Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings Funds$4333.18
  11. Calculated is $8544.05 (total monthly net income) – $2927.97 (actual expenses paid out for the month)–$1282.90 (projected expenses) $4333.18

March Budget Updates

What are Projected Expenses?

PE= A Projected Expense is money which is automatically saved each month ready for when the bill comes in or for when you need it as in the example below. We go over our projected expenses at the beginning of the year to set up our yearly budget and adjust as we go along if a new projected expense arises and needs to be added to the budget.

This has happened on many occasions but it’s bound to happen as we can’t predict everything we have to pay for over the course of the year. The important part for us is that we are saving for the expense and we no longer have to stress about taking money from our savings to pay for them. To learn more about projected expenses read Step 10 in my budgeting series.

Projected Expense Example: Clothing we budget $50 per month. If we don’t spend it we move it to the projected expenses account. This means we should have $600.00 per year for clothing to spend. We have to track that expense as we spend it.

Below is our Budgeted Amount for March-Money that we budgeted to spend minus the savings as that gets added once we see what is left for the month.

Budgeted Amount March 2013

Below is our Actual Budget Expenses for the month of March-What we actually spent plus our emergency savings

Actual Budget  March 2013


March 2013 Goals 
Revisited
  • Network with some new Bloggers let’s say 2 for now, keep it simple.- PASS
  • Reach 4200 Facebook Fans- PASS  4830
  • Reach 1500 Twitter Followers-PASS 1528
  • Reach  900 Blog Subscribers-PASS 905
  • Order 1 personal finance book from the library and start reading it (not sure how well I will do with this one but I’ll try) Any recommendations?-FAIL I really need to get on this.
  • Clean out the garage mainly the salt on the floor and organize it a bit- FAIL
  • Get my flower seedlings going as I’ll need lots of flowers this year!- PASS
  • Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (not sure who yet though)- PASS  
  • Complete our Income Tax Returns on my own (fingers crossed I don’t mess it up)- PASS
April 2013 Goals
  • Pre-Pay another 20% off the mortgage
  • Pay the mortgage in full after we pre-pay but will see how this all comes together
  • Order a personal finance book from the library and actually start reading it
  • Reach 5000 Facebook Followers (lofty goal but I’ll try)
  • Reach 1575 Twitter Followers
  • Reach 920 Blog Subscribers – I’m just taking baby steps with the blog until I move to self-hosted soon
  • Work out the final touches on the new blog design with my designer
  • Clean out the garage
  • Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (if you want me, email me)
  • Take the winter tires off and store the winter beater to bring out my hot rod (not really but I like my set of wheels)
  • Clean out the inside of the vehicles
  • Start sanding down the deck
  • Get the indoor plants out
  • Clean the windows inside and out around the house
  • Scrub the front porch
Our Year To Date Percentages 2013

Year To Date Percentages March 2013

Overall: March overall was a good month for us as we had paid down the mortgage which left us with $417 a month expense that we would typically use to pre-pay but are now at our max for the year. We didn’t spend as much as we budgeted in March simply because we didn’t go out too much and we didn’t have anything to purchase. All good things come to an end though so we will see some healthy expenses in and around the next few months to cover renovations around the home. We will also be paying off our mortgage hopefully by the end of April 2013.

How did you do in March with your budget?

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February 2013 Canadian Budget Binder Budget Update #2- Big Ticket Expenses Hurt!

Canadian Budget Binder Monthly Budget Update

February 2013 is a month we hope to forget but also learn from as our budget took a right hit coming out into the negative. As you already know we had our water softener go belly up and I had to replace that to the tune of over $1100. The good thing is I received Sears points and Canadian Tire MasterCard rewards points as well have 90 days to hope the unit goes on sale for less than $899.99. That way I can go in to Sears and get a product price adjustment. We also had Union Gas around to change our old meter to a new updated meter so I’m guessing we can expect higher bills from now on. Over time the older meters don’t read correctly, hence Union Gas wanting to change them. It was good while it lasted.

We also had an increase in our telecommunications bill which I touch on later in the blog post. Let’s see, we had to pay city taxes, our electricity and water bill which comes every 2 months. I noticed a spike in our water bill and once I get the next bill I should be able to pinpoint why and I’ll blog about it. The water bill was higher than what it was back in August 2012 when we are out watering the garden almost every day more so when the water barrel is empty.

Our Reliance bill went up slightly which comes every 3 months which they informed us about in December. Although most of these expenses came from projected expenses accounts we still have to set aside our $1282.90 for projected expenses 12 months of the year.The water softener was counted under home maintenance and that is a projected expense (thank goodness). Just having this happen in one month was an eye opener for us as the water softener is the third major expense since we bought our home. If we didn’t have the money set aside then guess where we would have to get the money from, the line of credit.

The line of credit is something we have and vow never to use unless everything goes … how can I say this nicely, up caca creek without a paddle. This is why we started saving projected expenses in the first place. Other than that we used up our stockpile budget this month and came under in grocery and in petrol (gas) for the vehicle.

How We Budget Our Monthly Expenses

Below are links to my budgeting series which I wrote while designing our spreadsheet. I’m not a financial planner/advisor per my disclaimer so I can’t tell you how but I can show you what we did for us. I’m just a regular guy just like everyone else, some might call me a budget nerd. I love seeing money grow and where it has gone. Please take the time to read through the budgeting series and I hope you take something away from the information.

  1. How We Designed Our Budget Step 1- Gathering All the information
  2. How We Designed Our Budget Step 2Categories
  3. How We Designed Our Budget Step 3Tracking Reciepts
  4. How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
  5. How We Designed Our Budget Step 55S Organization
  6. How We Designed Our Budget Step 6Who Does What and When?
  7. How We Designed Our Budget Step 7Balancing Our Budget
  8. How We Designed Our Budget Step 8Knowing our Coupon Savings
  9. How We Designed Our Budget Step 9Reading Our Bills
  10. How We Designed Our Budget Step 10- Projected Expenses

Click this link if you want to see a sample of a budget sheet>>> Finances+Budget= Success Formula

Changes to the Monthly Family Budget This Month

The only monetary changes to the budget this month was to Rogers who like usual increases their prices, shocked, not really. I’m not complaining as I do like to watch the television but sometimes what you believe is a contract price always isn’t a contract price read the fine print and always adjust your budget accordingly. Don’t get me started on how we are getting cained (that’s the polite way of saying it) on cell phones in Canada. It’s likely a good reason I don’t own one, not much I can say for the wife though. There was also a slight change in price to our water tank from Reliance. All the categories are up to date as of current.

February Monthly Overview

This adds up to 87.46% as it does not include our projected expenses because it’s not savings and it hasn’t been spent yet. Our goal is to save at least 50% of our net income each month and live from one income. This is just an artificially high month as everything came out at once in housing which was saved in projected expenses. Our savings of 12.54% includes savings and investments.

Feb Household Budget

The CBB Family February Budget Breakdown

We have 3 Canadian Bank Accounts with our Chequing account being with President’s Choice Financial. We chose PC Financial as one of our banks because we didn’t want to pay any bank fees. We also have never felt the need to see anyone personally inside of a bank but if we do Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) will gladly help us out as PC is affiliated with CIBC.

  1. Chequing- This is where all the bills get paid from.
  2. Emergency Savings- This is where our Emergency money sits.
  3. Savings- This account holds money for projected expenses.
    • Monthly Budget Total: NEW $4679.79 OLD (JAN)-$4675.94 $3.85 difference
    • Monthly Net Income Total$6447.45
    • Total Coupons Used (includes points redeemed, big box store coupons, not just grocery coupons:=$85.63
    • Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout year and save monthly for = $1282.90
    • Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$5639.29
  • Total Expenses Actually Paid Out Calculated is $6447.45 (total monthly income) –$0 (total monthly savings)–Projected expenses $1282.90 = -$474.74
  • Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings Funds$0
  • Calculated is $6447.45 (total monthly net income) – $5639.29 (actual expenses paid out for the month)–$1282.90 (projected expenses) = -$474.74

Feb Budget 2013

PE=Projected Expense is money which is automatically saved each month ready for when the bill comes in or for when you need it as in the example below. We go over our projected expenses at the beginning of the year to set up our yearly budget and adjust as we go along if a new projected expense arises and needs to be added to the budget. This has happened on many occasions but it’s bound to happen as we can’t predict everything we have to pay for over the course of the year. The important part for us is that we are saving for the expense and we no longer have to stress about taking money from our savings to pay for them.

Example: Clothing we budget $50 per month. If we don’t spend it we move it to the projected expenses account. This means we should have $600.00 per year for clothing to spend. We have to track that expense as we spend it.

  • A/C Service /Maintenance- PE $12.50 Spent $0
  • Allowance $20.00  Spent $30.00 (burp!)
  • Birthday PE $13.34  Spent $31.29
  • Car Repair/Maintenance PE $23.50  Spent $0
  • Christmas PE $42.50  Spent $0
  • Clothing PE $50.00  Spent $0
  • Healthcare/Prescriptions PE $10.00  Spent $14.36  (will get most reimbursed)
  • Electricity/Water PE $160.00  Spent $307.44 (This bill comes every 2 months)
  • Entertainment-$7.00  Spent $0
  • E-test PE $7-Spent $0
  • Extra Mortgage Payment 5 week- PE- $101.26 Spent $0
  • Furnace/Hot Water Rental PE$116.31  Spent $116.31 (This bill is every 3 months)
  • Union Gas (domestic)-$59.19  Spent $90.04 (new tank is now installed)
  • Gasoline/Diesel (vehicle)-$170.00 Spent $83.46
  • Grocery- $235.00 Spent $160.77 Play The Grocery Game With us to Save!
  • Stockpiling- $20.00 Spent $20.00
  • Home Maintenance PE $379.00 Spent $1123.39 (ouch)
  • Car/Home Insurance-$211.49 Spent $211.49
  • Income Tax Filing PE$2.50 Spent $0 (hoping to bank this money and pay myself if I can do it on my own)
  • Investment-$808.33 Spent $808.33
  • Licence Renewal Fees PE $11.84 Spent $0
  • Life Insurance-$135.05 Spent $135.05
  • Lottery-$12 -Spent-$12.00
  • Membership/Club/Sports PE $6.00 Spent $0
  • Miscellaneous-$125.00 Spent $82.26
  • Mortgage-$1389.12 Spent $1389.12
  • Parking-$5 -Spent $0
  • Pet PE $115.83 -Spent $6.27
  • Property Tax PE $289.49 Spent $868.00
  • Emergency Savings-Saved $0
  • Vehicle Sticker PE $15.00 Spent $0
  • Cable/Internet/Cell/Home Phone-$149.71 Spent $149.71 Price went up!!!
  • Work  PE $50 Spent $0

Overall: It sucked! Hopefully March will be much better!

How did you do in February with your budget?

February Goals- Revisited

  • Install the New Water Softener- PASS
  • Network with other Personal Finance Bloggers that share my passion + 3 new a month-PASS  She Thinks I’m Cheap, Wise Dollar, The Happy Homeowner
  • Reach 1000 Twitter Fans- PASS (Currently just over 1400 Fans)
  • Reach 3800 Facebook Fans (2013 Goal is 5000 Fans)- PASS Currently over 4100 Fans
  • Start my seeds for the vegetable garden- PASS (post for this coming soon)
  • Finalize and have this site moved to self hosted with the new design – FAIL (in the works) :-)
  • Learn more about passive income and hang out with the pros -PASS (learning slowly)
  • Reach 40,000 page views- FAIL (Just under but it was only 28 Days in February) I had more visitors in February than in January though. Overall I’m happy either way
  • Grow my subscribers to 800 readers- PASS (this will change when I move to self hosted)
  • Learn something new about investing on my own- FAIL (Once I get the blog self-hosted I will focus more on this goal)

March Goals

  • Network with some new Bloggers let’s say 2 for now, keep it simple.
  • Reach 4200 Facebook Fans
  • Reach 1500 Twitter Followers
  • Reach  900 Blog Subscribers
  • Order 1 personal finance book from the library and start reading it (not sure how well I will do with this one but I’ll try) Any recommendations?
  • Clean out the garage mainly the salt on the floor and organize it a bit
  • Get my flower seedlings going as I’ll need lots of flowers this year!
  • Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (not sure who yet though)
  • Complete our Income Tax Returns on my own (fingers crossed I don’t mess it up)

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December 2012 Canadian Budget Binder Budget Update

Canadian Budget Binder Monthly Budget Update
What happened in December in the CBB House? 

Christmas and New Years have come and gone and now the bills are going to come piling in. Like many others December is a busy month for our budget although we do somewhat prepare for these expenses. We did go over in some categories like clothing for example where Mrs.CBB needed a new winter jacket and pair of winter boots. Both of which we were able to score for %50 off and they are a great quality product. Sometimes it’s worth waiting for those great boxing day sales in Canada. You can actually take that expense of $247.97 and double it and $495.94 would have been what we would have spent if not for the sales.

Our gas was up slightly this month, not over budget but we spent more because we had to travel for the holidays. We also paid a bit more on the mortgage this month to make it an even $154,000 that is left to pay. Yes we have had the cash to pay that in full since last month. I’ll be talking more about this in the next little while. If you live in Ontario you know that the prices for your vehicle sticker have gone up. We had to pick up a plate sticker so we thought why make 2 trips so while we were there we picked up a sticker for our other vehicle for next year. I also picked up some items for work which is fine as I’ve hardly spent anything this year on work materials.

Our grocery expense for December was lower for a couple of reasons

1-We went away for the holidays

2-We spent too much in November so we had to cut back in December

Changes to the Budget This Month:

You won’t see many changes to the budget in December however I just posted adjustments we made to our Canadian Budget Binder 2013 Family Budget. While you are reading our 2013 family budget update don’t forget to enter to WIN $100 cash! You will see how we did in 2012 and what our new figures will be going into 2013. You will also read about why we made the changes to our budget.

December Monthly Overview:

We have 3 Canadian Bank Accounts with our Chequing account being with President’s Choice Financial. We chose PC Financial as one of our banks because we didn’t want to pay any bank fees. We also have never felt the need to see anyone personally inside of a bank but if we do Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) will gladly help us out as PC is affiliated with CIBC.

  1. Chequing- This is where all the bills get paid from.
  2. Emergency Savings- This is where our Emergency money sits.
  3. Savings- This account holds money for projected expenses.

The CBB Family December Budget Breakdown

    • Monthly Budget Total: $5797.85
    • Monthly Net Income Total$8370.79
    • Total Coupons Used (this includes everything such as points redeemed, big box store coupons, not just grocery coupons: $279.06  up from $202.21 in November
    • Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout year and save monthly for = $1257.39
    • Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$4997.27

Total Expenses Actually Paid Out Calculated is $8370.79 (total monthly income) –$2116.13 total monthly savings)–Projected expenses $1257.39 = $4997.27

Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings Funds$2116.13

Calculated is $8370.79 (total monthly net income) – $4997.27 (actual expenses paid out for the month)–$1257.39 (projected expenses) $2116.13  (Total Savings for December)

The Outcome: December

PE=Projected Expense  is money which is automatically saved each month ready for when the bill comes in or for when you need it as in the example below. We go over our projected expenses at the beginning of the year to set up our yearly budget and adjust as we go along if a new projected expense arises and needs to be added to the budget. This has happened on many occasions but it’s bound to happen as we can’t predict everything we have to pay for over the course of the year. The important part for us is that we are saving for the expense and we no longer have to stress about taking money from our savings to pay for them.

Example: Clothing we budget $10 per month. If we don’t spend it we move it to the projected expenses account. This means we should have $120 per year for clothing to spend. We have to track that expense as we spend it.

  • A/C Service /Maintenance- PE $12.50 Spent $0
  • Allowance $15.00  Spent $41.75
  • Birthday PE $10.00  Spent $0
  • Car Repair/Maintenance PE $23.50  Spent $160.03
  • Christmas PE $25.00  Spent $332.91 (300 yr budgeted)
  • Clothing PE $10.00  Spent $247.97 (wow!)
  • Dentist/Prescriptions PE $5.00  Spent $47.61  (will get most reimbursed)
  • Electricity/Water PE $153.05  Spent $344.82 (This bill comes every 2 months)
  • Entertainment-$7.00  Spent $15.80 Over $8.80 (party animals that we are)
  • E-test PE $4-Spent $39.55
  • Extra Mortgage Payment 5 week- PE- $101.26 Spent $0
  • Furnace/Hot Water Rental PE$112.38  Spent $112.38 (This bill is every 3 months)
  • Union Gas (domestic)-$59.19  Spent $58.21
  • Gasoline/Diesel (vehicle)-$192.00 Spent $185.66
  • Grocery- $190.00 Spent $71.02 Play The Grocery Game With us to Save!
  • Home Maintenance PE $329.00 Spent $83.92
  • Car/Home Insurance-$205.17 Spent $205.17
  • Income Tax Filing PE$2.50 Spent $0 (this may change in 2013)
  • Investment-$767.00 Spent $767.00
  • Licence Renewal Fees PE $11.84 Spent $0
  • Life Insurance-$135.05 Spent $135.05
  • Lottery-$12 -Spent-$14.50 Over $2.50 (2 free plays added encore)
  • Membership/Club/Sports PE $6.00 Spent $0
  • Miscellaneous-$125.00 Spent $113.56
  • Mortgage-$1389.12 Spent $1712.39
  • Parking-$5 -Spent $0
  • Pet PE $83.33 -Spent $0
  • Property Tax PE $287.45 Spent $0
  • Emergency Savings-Saved $3373.52 (this includes PE)
  • Vehicle Sticker PE $16.00 Spent $179.00
  • Cable/Internet/Cell/Home Phone-$146.19 Spent $146.19
  • Work Tools PE $50 Spent $105.16

Overall: We are happy with our December numbers. We are hoping with the budget changes for 2013 that we will make an even bigger difference come January 2014.

Check in at the beginning of  February 2013 to see how we made out in January 2013!

Question: Did you make any changes to your budget for January 2013?

It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

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