Our Family Budget

January 2013 Canadian Budget Binder Monthly Budget Update #1

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Canadian Budget Binder Monthly Budget Update

Learning to budget money is not always as easy as it seems to most people as it takes time and planning and continual revisions over the course of the year. Some people have no desire to budget monthly and only check in quarterly or yearly but not this guy. Most families are happy to start out with a basic budget sheet until they get the hang of the monthly budget items that they need and over time will graduate to something a bit better. In our case that is what we did and later designed our own CBB monthly family budget as an excel spending worksheet. In 2012 we learned alot about our spending habits and in 2013 we hope to challenge what we learned to make this year an even brighter year in terms of finance and savings. By April this year our mortgage should be closed and paid in full as this will be our 4th year into a 5 year term. We are currently in the process of getting this all sorted out so it’s a waiting game but one we are ready to celebrate when the time comes. Champagne anyone? You bet we are excited and why I want to tell you anything is possible.

Budget spreadsheets in my opinion are simple to use because they do the work for you as long as you have the formulas set up properly. Problem with excel is that if you don’t know what you are doing it’s easy to mess up a formula and things simply won’t make sense anymore. That is why I added a basic budget sheet to my free downloadable money saving tools on the blog for those that aren’t so handy with excel and spreadsheets. I’m hoping once our new website is up I will start a resource page of all the free budget spreadsheets on the web for you. Our budget isn’t the only one around in fact there are thousands of them and you need to pick the one that is right for you. If you have any you would like to submit for my resource page please feel free to email me as I’m starting to build this list now.  

Whether you work with a cash budget in jars or envelopes you still need to track your expenses. If you don’t know where the money is going it’s hard to make it work for you. Some of my fans prefer to make household binders where they add work sheets with monthly budget items and track them manually which is also fine especially if you aren’t computer savvy. You may have seen budget binders on the TV show Til Debt Do Us Part and Gail keeps it simple and so should you. 

If you are looking for help with budget planning I’m not the only website out there but I do hope that you stick around and see how we’ve been able to become debt free in our 30’s simply by spending less than we earn and using a budget. We don’t make mountains of cash and have never been given money or inheritances. Our net worth is because of what we did from a young age up until today and in some people’s eyes it’s alot and in others we are far behind. Don’t worry about what you think you have or don’t have worry about how you are going to get where you need to go. I sure don’t care and neither should you. A typical household budget may have most of the categories which you will see below in our budget but you don’t have to follow them. Figure out what you need to pay and create your own which make sense to you or you can use 

How To Budget Monthly Expenses

Below are the links to my budgeting series which I wrote along the way while designing our spreadsheet. Honestly 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 and you can decide if that is right for you. The last thing I want to do is pretend I’m some sort of budgeting guru when in fact 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 and I hope you do to. Only you know your finances and have to make informed decisions about what to do with it. Please take the time to read through the budgeting series and I hope you take something away from the information as part of your household budget guide so you too can track how your money is spent. 

  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

In December I highlighted all the changes to our budget which you can read in the link just above what I am writing here in my success formula post. We also had a change in our vehicle insurance which was updated this month and we lowered our petrol amount and added a stockpile category. So far so good but we will continue to monitor everything. 

January Monthly Overview:

This adds up to 81.14% but it does not include our projected expenses because it’s not savings and it hasn’t been spent yet. Our goals is to save at least 50% of our net income each month and live from one income. Our savings of 44.37% includes savings and investments.

Budget Percentages

Budgeting and Saving Money

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.

Total Net Income

The CBB Family January Budget Breakdown

    • Monthly Budget Total: $4675.94
    • Monthly Net Income Total$6911.97
    • Total Coupons Used (this includes everything such as points redeemed, big box store coupons, not just grocery coupons:=$74.49
    • Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout year and save monthly for = $1282.90
    • Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$3370.66
  • Total Expenses Actually Paid Out Calculated is $6911.97 (total monthly income) –$2258.41 (total monthly savings)–Projected expenses $1282.90 = $3370.66
  • Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings Funds$2258.41
  • Calculated is $6911.97 (total monthly net income) – $3370.66 (actual expenses paid out for the month)–$1282.90 (projected expenses) $2258.41 (Total Savings for January)

The Budget Outcome: January 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 $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.

Household Budget Breakdown

  • A/C Service /Maintenance- PE $12.50 Spent $0
  • Allowance $15.00  Spent $3.19
  • Birthday PE $10.00  Spent $20.66
  • Car Repair/Maintenance PE $23.50  Spent $0
  • Christmas PE $25.00  Spent $0
  • Clothing PE $10.00  Spent $0
  • Healthcare/Prescriptions PE $5.00  Spent $14.36  (will get most reimbursed)
  • Electricity/Water PE $153.05  Spent $ (This bill comes every 2 months)
  • Entertainment-$7.00  Spent $0
  • E-test PE $4-Spent $0
  • Extra Mortgage Payment 5 week- PE- $101.26 Spent $0
  • Furnace/Hot Water Rental PE$112.38  Spent $0 (This bill is every 3 months)
  • Union Gas (domestic)-$59.19  Spent $79.43
  • Gasoline/Diesel (vehicle)-$170.00 Spent $143.55
  • Grocery- $235.00 Spent $206.95 Play The Grocery Game With us to Save!
  • Stockpiling– $20.00 Spent $20.00
  • Home Maintenance PE $329.00 Spent $2.35
  • Car/Home Insurance-$211.49 Spent $211.49
  • Income Tax Filing PE$2.50 Spent $0 (this may change in 2013)
  • Investment-$808.33 Spent $808.33
  • Licence Renewal Fees PE $11.84 Spent $0
  • Life Insurance$135.05 Spent $135.05
  • Lottery-$12 -Spent-$15.50 Over $3.50 (extra week)
  • Membership/Club/Sports PE $6.00 Spent $0
  • Miscellaneous-$125.00 Spent $135.10
  • Mortgage$1389.12 Spent $1409.10 
  • Parking-$5 -Spent $4.25
  • Pet PE $83.33 -Spent $17.80
  • Property Tax PE $287.45 Spent $0
  • Emergency Savings-Saved $2258.41 (this includes PE)
  • Vehicle Sticker PE $16.00 Spent $0
  • Cable/Internet/Cell/Home Phone$146.19 Spent $140.54 ($5.00 Rogers Discount for downtime)
  • Work  PE $50 Spent $2.81

Overall: This has been a month of learning again as numbers changed since 2012 and we want to narrow down our expenses so we make sure we are saving enough in our projected expenses account. Our water softener was put to rest last night so we can expect a $1000 bill for a new one in February’s Budget Update. Poor thing was over 15 years old and did what it had to do but sprung a leak. I’ll do a blog post follow-up on the removal and installation of the new system soon. 

February Goals

  • Install the New Water Softener (small compared to what I have to do this summer)
  • Network with other Personal Finance Bloggers that share my passion + 3 new a month
  • Reach 1000 Twitter Fans
  • Reach 3800 Facebook Fans (2013 Goal is 5000 Fans)
  • Start my seeds for the vegetable garden
  • Finalize and have this site moved to self hosted with the new design 
  • Learn more about passive income and hang out with the pros
  • Reach 40,000 page views (lofty but I was very close in January)
  • Grow my subscribers to 800 readers
  • Learn something new about investing on my own

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

Question: Do you save for projected expenses, if not how do you pay for them when the bill comes due?

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

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  1. That is simply awesome, Mr. CBB. I always feel so inspired by your updates. Thank you for the invaluable resources, such as the included budget sheet. I am still wrangling my way through Excel so that is super handy.

  2. Thanks, as always, for sharing and being so detailed. I’m not quite that brave, but maybe I’ll get there if anyone in interested in seeing.

  3. Looking good…….. I’m looking forward to when you get that mortgage paid off!!!!!Sounds like the new site will be beyond awesome… can’t wait!

  4. Fab month, Mr. CBB. We have a mixed approach to projected expenses because we spend so much less than we make for our everyday costs. Bg money like IRA money ($10K) gets set aside every month as we usually buy in at one time during the year.
    But other just big-ish expenses are handled as they come up with the monthly income buffers. For example, the last year we paid down $38K worth of debt. While we were doing that we had to pay big-ish expenses as they came up for the duplex (taxes, insurance, etc), but it was better for us interest-rate wise to use the money beyond our buffer and retirement allocations for immediate debt paydown (since that was at 6%) rather than saving it in an account earning < 1%.
    It's a comfort level and knowing how big an expense has to be for us to really focus on setting stuff aside more than a month or two in advance.

    Hope that makes sense…

    1. Ya I get what you mean, and really it is all about that comfort level. We just thought of everything that we would have to pay for at some point in time and added to the budget and turned the category into a projected expense. It has worked out fab for us. Our water softener went and broke down on us last night so now we will blow around $1200 for a new, thank goodness for that projected expense in home maintenance… Have a good one mate!!

  5. A great post and i can see how your budget is working very nicely for you! Also good to see your goals, the amount of people i speak with, who have not written their goals down frustrates me. I believe if you keep up the hard work you exceed your expectations.

  6. Great work Mr. CBB! It looks like you’re killing it, as usual, with the budget. I agree that budgeting is not as always as easy as some might communicate but that should not hold us back. I know I did allow it to years ago, but am so glad that we took the path of budgeting. I really view it as having a plan for our money and directing it to certain areas that’ll work best for us. There are so many tools available to get started and I always encourage people to find what works for you and go with it.

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