Our Family Budget

Bust our budget October 2013: Romance and money

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bust-our-budget-budget-updateBUDGET CATCH UP IN EFFECT


Just when you think you have everything under control life throws you lemons. You know that you can’t spend more than you earn but inside your head you say it’s ok to spend a bit more because you are worth it.

Sure you could spend cash if you have extra money and no debt like us but it’s also important to realize why you are budgeting in the first place and whether your budget needs to be tweaked to fit your lifestyle.


In September we thought for sure that expenses would cool down a bit and they did for October just not as much as we would have liked.

As you will see below we didn’t save a whole heck of a lot of money in our savings account but we did manage to balance the budget as per usual.

I had to spend money for work as well we bought a universal home gym second-hand which cost us a bit of money. I have some gym equipment that we have been using but I wanted more weights and the system was a great price so I wasted no time picking it up. I’m looking for a couple of benches now and more free weights on a rack so hopefully I can score a great deal.

I think that if you want to get healthy it doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to always join a gym to do it either.


Romance and money


October was filled with special occasions for us and we spent more money than we should have and like everyone else feel the crunch come budget time.

Our grocery game challenge has a rendezvous account built-in for any romantic getaways that the wife and I might want to take. If there is extra cash but we are thinking about a once a month date night come 2014 and a section in our budget for that or simply move more money into our entertainment budgeted section which may be easier.

The problem with the rendezvous account is that it hasn’t been building up much money so it might take us forever to go out on a date if we have to wait to spend less in our grocery budget for a few extra bucks here and there.

I have this bad habit of wanting to buy my wife nice things and although I have been successful sticking to our budget the last couple of months I’ve gone a bit hog-wild.

I also think that now that we have the mortgage pretty much paid for we are pulling back a bit from the budget to let loose although that could be detrimental if we are not careful.

We vowed to keep November simple and stay away from shops we don’t need to go in unless necessary. Getting back on track financially is difficult and no matter how much you make, save or spend you can fall at any time. Be cautious.

How do you budget in romance?


Seasonal shopping traps


I know I also briefly talked about how we were going to watch our budget numbers over the different seasons to see if the weather affects our spending habits.

I’m almost sure that when it starts to get a bit nippy out that shopping starts to fill our heads, especially with Christmas just around the corner now. No, we haven’t put the Christmas decorations up yet but we have been in the malls looking around which has cost us some coin because I love my wife and love to see her happy.


Home renovations


We have also started buying items for our home renovation so you will start to see our home maintenance numbers going up. We save money in our projected expenses every month for this purpose but we are pretty sure we will have to save more next year with the upgrades we would like to make inside our home.

Nothing is cheap when it comes to renovating your house so we aim to do the best we can over time. Some people like to do the whole lot of renovations at once but we like to save then do the work.

I know we don’t typically have any out of pocket expenses health insurance wise but on the odd occasion we have to pay a bit for prescriptions that might not be covered under my immaculate plan with my work benefits so we spent a few extra dollars in that category this past month.


Get your free budget


I’m currently offering 2 versions of my budget and the reason behind it is simple. Firstly, read the disclaimer because what you do with it is your own business so if you mess it up you need to sort that out.

I have not closed off any cells so you can make all the changes you like to the budget to reflect your lifestyle which is what the fans wanted.

Although I would love to help every single fan with their budget I am unable to do so but I am always willing to answer any emails you send me so don’t be shy.

The 2 Budget Spreadsheet versions are as follows below but I will be updating the below budgets for the 2014 year in December based on any issues that might come up from all of you so please take a moment to download the budget of choice and let me know how it goes and any further feedback you can give me.

I’m always open to feedback but be polite as you don’t want to hurt my feelings lol. I’m a sensitive guy you know.

This was after all meant to be our personal budget and although I would love to customize it for every fan that wants to use it but, I’m afraid I cannot.

I’m not selling this budget or hope to make any money from it so enjoy this free budget and I hope that it works for you as much as it does for us.


Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet


Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet

You can download the free budget spreadsheets here.

  • Budget 1– You can use the pre-existing categories or you can use your own if you wish and you have the option to use projected expenses or not. Please read all notes left around the budget for tips.
  • Budget 2-Everything is pre-set so you have to use the pre-defined categories but this budget will generate year-end budget figures whereas the other one won’t but you must use the categories already in this budget. If you change anything you will mess up the formulas and year-end figures. Please read all notes left around the budget for tips.

I’m always open to feedback but be polite as you don’t want to hurt my feelings :)

Get started and don’t procrastinate. Test it out for a month and see how it goes.

There is never any harm in trying something new in life. You either love it or hate it, that is a fact with anything.

What type of budget do you use?


Our  budget plan


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.

One of the most important things we did for our personal finances was that we never let the budget deter us from reaching our goals. Sure we’ve had crap months but we made up for it or we learned from our mistakes just like anyone else would.

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


Budget changes


No major changes to the budget happened for October 2013 or anything major before now and January unless we have the mortgage money in Canada in which case the mortgage will be paid in full.


Budget percentages



Our savings of 14.95% includes savings and investments. I’ve also went ahead and added in our projected expenses this month at 17.48% which brings the total October 2013 Household Budget Percentages to 100%.


Budget percentages month by month



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.

  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: $4373.40
  5. Monthly Net Income Total: $6803.82
  6. Total Coupons Used: includes every discount attained during the month = $14.25
  7. Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $1189.14
  8. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$5406.17
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $6803.82 (total net monthly income) – $208.51 (emergency savings) – Projected expenses $1189.14 $5406.17
  10. Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $6803.82 (total monthly net income) – $5406.17 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $1189.14 (projected expenses) = $208.51


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 $1189.14 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 October 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 October 2013




November 2013 goals


  • Change vehicles for winter and swap to winter tires
  • Put up Christmas decorations outside after Remembrance Day
  • Get organized with blog activities
  • Learn more about affiliate marketing and blog advertising
  • Do more freelance work (HIRE ME)
  • Read more in my personal finance book
  • Sort out and pay mortgage in full
  • Move my money to Canada (watching exchange rate)
  • Reach 6300 Facebook Fans
  • Reach 2150 Twitter Followers
  • Reach 1250 Blog Followers
  • Start to tear main bathroom for renovations
  • Train for 10k run and get my time down
  • Organize the basement
  • Plan the kitchen and double-check measurements and go to IKEA


October 2013 goals


  • Get organized with blog activities- FAIL (Work in progress)
  • Learn more about affiliate marketing and blog advertising- FAIL (Work in progress)
  • Do more freelance work (HIRE ME)- PASS I wrote one article this month
  • Read more in my personal finance book- FAIL
  • Sort out and pay mortgage in full- FAIL
  • Move my money to Canada (watching exchange rate)- Fail
  • Reach 6250 Facebook Fans- PASS
  • Reach 2000 Twitter Followers- PASS
  • Reach 1230 Blog Followers- PASS
  • Install garden spotlights- FAIL
  • Fix the deck lights- FAIL
  • Start to tear main bathroom for renovations- FAIL
  • Train for 10k run and get my time down- FAIL (working on this)
  • Take a 3 day holiday with the wife- FAIL


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 December with a new budget update and who knows maybe some good news.


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  1. Let me get this straight, you call investment expenses?? Isn’t that not a choice you made. You can put the money into your savings account if you want.

    1. That is correct. If the money is budgeted into our budget then it is an expense. Sure we could put it into our savings and we would if we were in dire need of the money, however that is not the case. We do our best to beat our budget each month and try to improve in areas where we lack discipline. Thanks for dropping by Ronny.

  2. Hey! Hubby and I havent had a real date night in almost two years 🙁 This month we splurged a bit with our bonuses…we went to a haunted house with some friends and went to see bon jovi 🙂 We figured after being at home for two years straight with the kiddies and both working full time we deserved it. One of our new years resolutions is to try and have at least one date night a month/every other month…..even if its just movies or dinner. Especially since our son will be two and much easier to care for.

  3. Budgeting in romance is hard, but we try to keep it simple. For instance, we went on a date this past weekend to Baskin Robins and it was a lot of fun. It only cost $12 for the both of us and we really enjoyed ourselves.

  4. Home renovations are expensive, no argument there. We have done a lot to this house and it still needs a lot. The joys of owning an older house. This one is either side of 100 yrs old I believe. We have lived in older houses most of our marriage. There are days I would like to be in something a little younger so we’re not always wondering what will need work next.
    For your bathroom, I might mention we got a new toilet in January for the downstairs bathroom here for under $200.00. It works very well and is a low flush… looks nice too. It came from Home Hardware.
    After trying to access your budget here I finally got the older boy to see what magic he could work for me so I can now access the spreadsheets and fiddle around with them. I hope to have something worked out by the new year. Hopefully by then we will know if/how much the older boy will get as a CPP-D payment so I can work with that figure as well. I have been tracking expenses for the last while and hopefully I can get both ends a little closer to each other than they are now. Getting both ends meeting in the middle is the target.
    We all have our to do lists and you are getting there on yours from the look of it. Not everything gets done in the time we think but we have our aims to work towards and you are doing well in that.I’ll be putting up our Christmas lights in the next couple of days as the parade is upcoming on Nov. 15 and I plug the lights in for that night only in Nov. The temperature look good this week so I should get that done.
    Having a monthly date night sounds like a plan to me. Working nights can make that harder but it’s still doable.Good luck getting things done in Nov……

  5. Mr CBB… hubby and I have always had a date night once a month. Sometimes we go out, sometimes we just aren’t available to the outside world.

    Going out doesn’t have to cost money although sometimes that is nice too. It can be a picnic and a walk on the dyke holding hands and chatting. I personally like coffee dates. I never drink coffee at home so we head out to a local restaurant where they have comfy booths and lovely coffee. It’s a nice outing and even if hubby has an order of fries with his coffee, we still come home for less than $10. 🙂

    I set aside $10 every month for entertainment…we have almost $300 in there now in case we see a concert or something we wish to attend. If not, it just keeps growing until we do. Normally our coffee date nights come out of the cash from my bottle returns.

    I am with Juanita, reconnecting and really communicating with your partner are so key to he longevity and happiness of a relationship. A marriage is a living, breathing thing that requires time and attention if you hope to keep it healthy.

    Hubby and I are not big shoppers and we save up for our treats, which tend not to be inexpensive side at this stage of our lives. This week we ordered our new iPads. That’s making a good size ding in our November budget. 🙂 It’ll be a year or two before we tackle another big ticket item though because it takes time to stash the cash! LOL

    Of course NEEDS are another issue. If hubby needs something, we get it. He needs to look presentable and feel good about himself in the workplace. 😀

  6. I just broke down and bought new snow tires. We were going to try and go without this year, but we’ve been having some bad weather already, so it’s not worth risking. It does seem like it’s something every month. I think it’s nice that you like to treat your wife! If you were going into debt, it might not be fun, but you’ve earned it.

  7. I know what you mean about expenses on home renovations, Mr CBB. We just spent $700 on shelving this weekend as part of our grand garage renovations. It’s expensive, but we wanted a system that will be flexible and last us for years and years to come.

  8. I am happy to hear that you and your mr.s are planning to do a date night once a month!!
    I feel sometimes having time one and one is important and helps reconnect us as a couple and the day to day life takes a back seat just for a little while.
    It is also hard not to spoil the ones you love especially if they don’t spend the money on themselves to begin with!
    The past few years I have waited till my bday or xmas for the gifts/items I really want instead of throwing our budget outta whack just for my wants.

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