Our Family Budget

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.


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.


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.


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.


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 2– Categories
  3. How We Designed Our Budget Step 3– Tracking Receipts
  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

Free stuff

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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%. 


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.


Actual budget expenses for 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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  1. Hello CBB. Wow, I really like seeing your projected expenses and actual expenses. I think we just might want to get that specific. I think tracking every penny we spend would be fun. I’m wondering how accurate my guesses actually are when it comes to my actual expenses. I think I’m doing great, but am I really? Only the numbers can tell…

    Thank you so much for putting it all out there!

    1. Oh that’s going to pay the mortgage off… we have more than we need to pay the mortgage so essentially once I get my money over here (it’s been transferred in the UK) I can pay the mortgage in full.. it’s just a tedious process to move money.

  2. Budget nerd…. I laughed out loud! *snicker* too bad I wasn’t closer, I’d make some crab apple jelly and we could split the cost of the sugar. We would both have more than we would eat AND probably some for gifts at Christmas too.

  3. I just love the details in these posts, Mr. CBB. And you’re right about budgeting: country to country it makes no difference: it’s about deciding what’s important to spend on and what’s not, and sticking to those limits a person sets. You guys are kicking it as usual on your budget. 🙂

  4. I love your take on budget failure, only fails if you give up. Great job again on savings.

    I feel like I need to come to Canada so I can visit Tim Horton’s. Everyone speaks so highly of it.

  5. Things are looking good at your house this month. Even with the little oops’s over the month things do tend to even out long term. We haven’t seen the bill yet for the work a couple of weeks ago on the truck but the bills go out the first of the month I think so it will be here soon. Hopefully it won’t be much as they didn’t find any issues with the transmission and it’s running OK now. They did change the fluid and the filter for the transmission and checked the plates underneath the truck. I don’t understand the what ever about the plates but they were checked and nothing bad was found, I’ll take that for good news. Changing the fluid and a filter I can understand…. These are all things that can upset the budget and your PE account is good there as you can figure out roughly what you might pay out in repairs for the vehicle based on its age and such and plan accordingly. We have good people where we go which does help. I trust them with our truck and know we are in good hands there.
    You managed to get some things done around the house, maybe not all you would have liked but we know you are very busy so take credit for what you did get done. That’s something that we all struggle with, we all have a to-do list that is and always will be a work in progress….such is life. Hope things go as well for. August…..

  6. “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.” I could not agree more Mr. CBB! We all fall from time to time, but just giving up is when failure can set in. It looks like you have a good month, overall, it’s hard to believe that the year is already half way over. Looking forward to seeing where the rest of the year takes us!

    1. That’s why it’s important to share our failures with our fans so they know we are not putting up some silly front like we are untouchable, which is far from true. We all fall, but yes getting right back up is important.

  7. Thanks for sharing Mr CBB. I love watching you and the Mrs. Get ahead one month at a time. 🙂

    1. Thanks Mary,
      Little by little we will get there. We don’t make massive amounts of money but it’s more about how we are spending and saving rather than the numbers. 🙂 I hope you are enjoying your holidays together 🙂

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