Unexpected expenses and savings: Our Budget March 2014

March 2014 Household Budget Percentages

SAVINGS ARE IMPORTANT   We’ve talked about having emergency savings and the budget over the years here at Canadian Budget Binder and for good reason. You need savings for unexpected expenses that pop up. Savings whether a small amount or a larger amount are important not only to keep stress levels down but also so you aren’t creating debt. Debt is created because one doesn’t have the cash to pay for a service or product that they need. Just this month as you will read down a bit further we have purchased a product for our home and required emergency services which were paid from our projected expenses account. The reality is that things happen whether it’s this year or the next and being prepared for expenses with some savings in the bank is much better than creating debt. Some people as I wrote about the other day don’t mind carrying debt as they see it as a number on a piece of paper and others like us despise it. I don’t mean mortgages, student loans and car payments because the majority of people do carry debt to pay off some of the largest debts most people will ever have. […]

The power of plastic points

credit-cards-in-wallet

If you’re like most people, you probably have a wallet full of colourful plastic cards that are taking up space and making it harder and harder for you to close the clasp! If you look through them, you’ll likely discover that while some of these cards are useful credit and debit cards than a few are loyalty cards you just never use. It’s understandable how anyone can end up with such a collection. Practically every retailer offers a loyalty point scheme. At the time, it can be hard to think of a good reason to refuse and with a little effort, the points we collect with plastic can be worth it … as the following tips show.   Be selective   Before saying yes to every loyalty point card which is put under your nose, think about how often you shop in a particular store. Is it really worth the effort of filling out the application form? Think about where you would shop regularly even if you weren’t part of a loyalty scheme. Once you’ve identified these stores then take advantage of the schemes that they offer. On the other hand, if you only shop somewhere once in a while […]

Costs Of Owning A Pet…Can You Really Afford One?

Owning a pet can cost money and I’m not talking chump change neither. There are significant start-up and ongoing costs that should be factored in to your decision to be a pet owner. So often I see people who get googly-eyed over a small kitten or a small fluffy dog and jump right in and adopt one or take one on for free. Impulse purchases are the worst and are often the expenses that will cost you most out-of-pocket. Dogs depending on size can live 8-14 years and the costs of owning a dog can mount up according to Dr. John Williams at petplace.com. Dr. Williams goes on to say Small to Med dogs Estimated lifespan 14 years Start Up costs $740-$1325 (first year) Annual Costs $500-$875 Lifetime Costs $7240- $12,700 Large Dogs Estimated lifespan 8 years Start Up Costs  $1020-$1825 (first year) Annual Costs $690-$875 Lifetime Cost $5850-$7950 There are reasons people offer their pets for free, mainly costs they never considered but other reasons such as allergies, not getting on with other pets or family members, scratching, illness (which they may not even tell you about) and the list goes on. A great example and I’m always going back […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge Aug 27-Sept 2~Tomato Heaven!

The Grocery Game Challenge for August is now in the home stretch as we face the last week of  the challenge for this month. We went over budget this month as expected due to feeding 4 mouths for the month of August as well as purchasing some bulk items such as jugs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil that cost us just over $60. Starting this week we were already $32.64 over our monthly grocery budget for 2 of $190. I guess feeding 4 people cost us a bit more but it wasn’t as bad as we thought. Once you take away the oil we bought it’s not all that bad I suppose. With Canadian food prices expected to rise by end of year up 2.5-3.0% due to the US drought many are wondering how bad it will get. That means we will see our grocery budget rise so keep that in mind when designing your grocery budget. If you don’t have the extra cash you will have to find ways to cut your grocery budget so you aren’t spending more than you have. It gets even worse for 2013 with an expected food price hike of 3-4 % according to […]