How Should We Budget $5000 of Discretionary Income?


PLAYING WITH SPARE CASH   Not many people can say they have extra discretionary income kicking about every month where they have to drum up ideas about how to spend it.  For those of you that do you can still manage that money with a budget if you want to stay on track with your financial goals. When Mrs. CBB and I paid off our mortgage in April 2014 it was a grand time for us. We managed to break down our mortgage into pieces and pay it off far sooner that we had ever dreamed of. The reason that happened was due to perseverance and a drive to be successful at whatever we did. I guess in a way we were pushing ourselves to earn more money but we knew in the back of our minds that it was all stepping-stones for our dream career roll. Now that our mortgage is paid we have lots of discretionary income which we just recently worked into our budget. Lots of people would be more than tempted to start spending money especially if they’ve hit it big time and the money is rolling in.   What is Discretionary income vs. Disposable Income? […]

Saving for retirement on a lower-income

saving for retirement lower-income

EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS   Let’s face it, saving for retirement is tough work. I mean, the concept is not difficult for us to wrap our heads around but finding the money, putting it away consistently and not spending it is challenging stuff. I suspect this is the case because money is an emotional subject and it’s easy to become attached to it; we work hard for it and want to reward ourselves with it. Saving for retirement takes discipline. When you’re not relying on paycheque to paycheque for living expenses, saving some money should be easy enough. You also have options on where to put your money for retirement, into Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), real estate properties, Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), non-registered brokerage accounts and more. High-income earners are often advised to contribute to their RRSPs in their highest-income earning years, and rightly so. This RRSP account is optimized when you contribute money when your income taxes are the highest, so monies can be withdrawn in the future when you’re in the lowest (or lower) income tax bracket, presumably in retirement. Low-income earners probably shouldn’t follow this advice, and they probably need different financial advice altogether. Today’s post will […]

Couple’s happy retirement on hold until son moves out

happy retirement couple

HANDS OFF THE RETIREMENT POT   Enjoying a happy retirement for many couples means that they are able to use the money they saved to live out their retirement dreams and fund everyday expenses. For some young adults living at home can be embarrassing and for others it’s a great way to save up cash, pay down debt and to start life on their own. What happens though when the money you save for retirement is being spent on your kids because they move back home and/or always in need of cash?   Moving back home with the parents   Parenting is a hot topic no matter what age your children are but none the less it’s still a hardship many parents face when they don’t have the answers. Sometimes the solution is easily solved and other times it’s a sensitive matter especially when it has to deal with finances and life in general. I’m pretty sure some parents out there wish that their kids are only sticking around for a short period to save up money to move out on their own. There are kids though that have no intentions but to live off their parents hard-earned money because […]

Retirement investments revisited: July 2014 Net Worth Update (+1.40%)

retirement investments

STAYING ON TOP OF OUR FINANCES   This month we finally sat with our financial advisor to chat about topping up our retirement investments like we’ve been planning on doing once the mortgage was paid in full. Now that we have told all of you that we are expecting our first child very soon our budget and net worth will change but we will worry about that when the time comes. Our finances are not just about us anymore so although we are planning our retirement investments we need to start thinking about Baby CBB. We will be setting up an RESP for baby as soon as we can so we don’t fall behind on any important educational investing. Most of this month’s net worth increase came from our net income because we worked some overtime and combined with last month almost net close to $20,000. The news of us having a baby has really changed our financial mindset but one thing is for sure we will be putting our money to work for us best we can. No, we don’t invest on our own and I know for some of you that is a big no, no but not […]

How far would you go to fund your child’s education? : The Saturday weekend review #75

childs education

MAKING SACRIFICES FOR YOUR CHILD   Education in Canada isn’t getting any cheaper and parents are struggling to find ways to help their kids financially. Not all parents feel the need to fund their kids’ education but many would do just about anything. I wasn’t surprised when I read an online article sharing results of a survey of over 600 Canadian families by Abacus Data. The survey was of parents who had children in post-secondary education, on their way to school or have attended in the past 5 years. We know that debt looms high in many Canadian households plus saving for a child’s education can make any budget tight. With over 74% of parents saying they feel financially responsible to help pay for their kids’ education I’m wasn’t shocked to read how far some parents are willing to go to make sure the money is available. I’m not sure if I agree with them all but one thing I am sure of is that if you have a child and can set money aside into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) as soon as they are born you don’t have to do wild and wacky things to find money […]

The Saturday weekend review #37: Stashing cash, is it worth it?

Only You Know What’s Best For Your Situation I think stashing cash is worth it but whether people have the cash to stash is another story. I don’t think it’s hard to believe that many people do have about $10,000 stashed away for a rainy day but on the other hand I can completely agree that many people don’t have the money to do that. Debt for Canadians is a big problem and in reading this article on Yahoo about a survey conducted by the Bank of Montreal it’s no surprise that the writer is saying that most people don’t have the means to sock away 3-6 months of income just in case an emergency would come up. You know last week we had an emergency where I managed to spill liquid on my computer. Since I blog full-time my computer is a huge necessity in our household and that to me was an emergency where I was thankful that we had money in the bank to cover. We didn’t just hide away the money overnight either and I don’t think any personal finance blogger I’ve come across who talks about emergency savings says it has to be done in […]

How We Calculate Our Net Worth~Now Calculate Yours!

What is Net Worth? An easy definition for net worth is that it is a simple calculation where you add up all the things you OWN which is also called an “Asset” and minus the total of everything you still OWE also known as a “Liability“. Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities How to Determine Net Worth Items like your house value, current value of cars if sold today (remember cars depreciate over time meaning they will always be worth less in the future), any investments you have which could be TFSA’s, RRSP’s, stocks, bonds, work or private pensions or cash in the bank are all assets. Assets can be liquid cash or less liquid items such as bricks and mortar (house), less liquid items would have to be sold to generate cash. What Is A Liability? Then, add up all the things you still owe money on like your mortgage, car loan, line of credit etc. All these are called Liabilities which simply means, you are still liable for  them. In other words they still need to be paid whether you have a job or not. After working out what my Net Worth is, what’s it gonna do for me? Calculating your net worth […]