Our Family Budget

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

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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 2– Categories
  3. How We Designed Our Budget Step 3– Tracking Reciepts
  4. How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
  5. How We Designed Our Budget Step 5– 5S Organization
  6. How We Designed Our Budget Step 6– Who Does What and When?
  7. How We Designed Our Budget Step 7– Balancing Our Budget
  8. How We Designed Our Budget Step 8– Knowing our Coupon Savings
  9. How We Designed Our Budget Step 9– Reading 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)

Quote-Budget and Money

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  1. Wow – you’ve been a busy guy! It’s always hard to deal with those unexpected/unplanned expenses.. 🙁

  2. Hi Mr. CBB. I’m a new reader and have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your posts. I’m especially interested in your grocery tips because we spent on obscene amount on groceries last month (more than our rent!).

    I’m sorry to hear that February was such an expensive month from the household repairs. I think it’s a perfect testament to the importance of planning ahead and having a good financial cushion built up.

  3. Wow! That is an expensive item to replace. The heater on my dryer died and I have been complaining about the $230.00 it cost to have it repaired. I think I will be quiet now. Thank heavens you had money set aside for maintenance.

  4. You were asking about financial books… Knew there was something else I wanted to add to my earlier post. I just started reading a book by Paul Krugman…. End this Depression Now. Not very far into it but he looks to be a follower of John Maynard Keynes so there are a lot of references to Keynesian policy’s. the book before this was Everything Under The Sun co-written by David Suzuki….. Interesting and he mentioned a book a couple of times in there….Peter Victor, Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design not Disaster. It is now on my future reading list. I’ll try to get back to you on the Paul Krugman book once I finish it….

    1. That sounds great Christine, one of my goals is to read a book, sounds odd but trying to find the time nowadays is hard. I need to cut back or plan better. Not sure what I will do especially with summer around the corner as I’ll be super busy.

  5. I’m with you and Grayson. In January I had some car repairs and thought that they were done with for a bit. Then earlier in February I had another problem and had to plop a few hundred dollars on it again. We didn’t get to pay off our debt by the amount that we wanted to. However, on a positive note we didn’t go into debt either.
    I hope March is a better month for the CBB household.

  6. February was OK, but I’m afraid to total my grocery receipts for March. I am going to be eating bread and water by the end of the month, but I’ll post on as soon as I can find a little time.

    That is a really great goal of networking with new bloggers each month. I think I do, but have never made a conscious effort to quantify it. There are so many good ones that I keep finding!

    1. Hi Kim,
      Oh well, if you mess up then you work harder the next week or next month. I had to learn from my mistake last month but not shopping on a no-shop day. Yes there are many…… but only so many that connect on a level that keeps me coming back for more… like you. 🙂

  7. We had our gas meter replaced a couple of years ago, had some issues with the pressure in the gas furnace and the repair guy called Union Gas to come look at it with him and the UG guy decided we needed a new meter….fine. All in all it looks not that bad for Feb. for you. You are right… own a house and these things happen….. Some say it’s Murphy’s Law…..I think Murphy was an optimist!!!! I keep just enough on my Sears card to replace a major appliance in an emergency. Right now I keep my fingers crossed for the fridge as it is the oldest appliance here at 21 years old. Sorry I have a big freezer that is about 25 yrs old…. We bought all new when we moved here 21 years ago and everything else has been replaced since…..I don’t use the Sears for anything else.

    1. Yes, a house costs money besides the mortgage and if it’s a big repair it can hit the budget hard. We’ll keep on planning and saving but at any time something can happen so we will do our best. It’s always a work in progress if you know what I mean. Cheers Christine

  8. I think if you’ve got a house, you’ve had one of those months. Totally understand, Mr. CBB. Reminds me of the month that we put over $4K into one of our duplex units. New AC + new washer. Both in the same month. *phew*

    1. I know right.. I’m sure we will have more months like this once the mortgage is gone. That’s ok, we’ll save up and do what we have to do. Our net worth will take a hit but that’s expected if you own a home, you are correct. Great going this month for the POP… 🙂

    1. I negotiate with our provider every year. I believe this year I got half price internet, and the cell phone is not a fancy smart phone just a reg text, photo type phone with a great package at $30.xx. I have to make the call again soon, oh joy!! I only have lite internet as well… but it does the trick I guess. Maybe I will do a breakdown of each in the next budget post… thanks for the idea!

  9. Big ticket items make me cry just looking at the prices. When we started shopping for our washer and dryer, the first set we came across cost more than my car!

    1. That’s what I said to the wife the other day it either costs $1000 or $5000 when it comes to buying something for the home. If you can find one on craigslist even a free set that works take it. Our set is over 20 years old and work like a charm.

  10. Sorry to hear about the issues, but seems like you made the most of it. And nice works moving toward 40,000 pg. views. That’s pretty awesome! Excited to see you move over to self-hosted 🙂

    1. Hey Jake,
      Well all I know is I”m happy we save for our projected expenses so it didn’t end up on credit. I don’t know what good page views are but that’s where I am at and to be honest I remember the day when getting even 20 page views was cause for breaking out the kool-aid!! Cheers mate!

  11. Sorry February sucked Mr. CBB! Ours was actually pretty good with a lot of business coming in which will allow us to save some more once our payments come in. That said, the next few months are going to suck as we have a number of big things coming up…buying a new mattress, getting our master bath redone and getting some legal work done.

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