If you’ve ever heard the saying “pay yourself first” it’s likely because you should. You are your own expense manager when it comes to your budget and overall household finances.
I never gave much thought to it until yesterday when I was running the numbers for our net worth update for September.
If you read our September budget update you’ll know we blew a heavy amount of money on a new mattress and bed.
Typically we don’t splurge on ourselves because all of our money is budgeted and if we do need something like a mattress we need to justify that expense before we commit to it.
You don’t need to have management skills to run your own finances but what you do need is patience and determination to make it work.
An expense manager takes charge
What is an expense manager?
I know it might sound like something you’ve never heard before but if you think about it the two words are self-explanatory.
I actually made it up but it holds a great weight in our household. An expense manager to us simply means someone who is in charge of finances.
Think of your household as a business. Just like a business has business expenses they make money and save money and so do you called household income and expenses.
All businesses have someone in charge of the finances and although their role might be called financial officer or something similar there will always be someone in charge of the money as you should with your household business.
If you don’t think being an expense manager is important you either 1- have lots of money or 2- don’t give a rats about spending more than you earn.
These days most people I talk to are concerned not only about their current monthly expenses but their expenses in the future. They are worried that they might not have enough money to retire on or wonder what their health or life might be like in the future.
Reflecting on your finances can be terrible for some people to do but becoming your own expense manager ensures you are at least thinking about your money.
It’s your life
The worst thing someone could do is not care about their money or how they will take care of themselves financially when they get older. You might have questioned whether you will work past the age of 65 or want to retire early so you can enjoy some of that money you’ve saved. You can’t do this without knowing where you are financially.
I know that when it comes to expenses in the CBB household it’s critical that we think about the expense before we make it an expense. There is not just one expense manager in our house there are two, both my wife and I as it’s important for the both of us to be part of the picture. It’s even more critical now that we have a son.
When it came time to swipe the credit card the past two months between renovation materials, baby products and the mattress we talked about the impact it would have to our budget together. You don’t need to hold a management degree and if you’ve ever been turned down for a management job don’t worry because you are your own expense manager at home.
I read once about not saving something for a special occasion because every day is a special occasion and it’s true. If you sock all of your money away for a rainy day you might find yourself dead and buried without enjoying your money. The problem surfaces here when people forget to balance their money so they don’t fall prey to a huge debt load.
Sure there is a big world out there but nothing is free that’s for certain. So, even though we blew lots of money the past two months becoming an expense manager meant that we did so without regret and could easily justify the expense as needed.
Finally, making sure we have the cash to pay upfront is important to us. It might not be for you as not everyone can pay cash but if you know you will need something make sure you take those financial projections and start saving for them. As an expense manager of your own financial destiny you might just thank yourself one day.
Do you consider yourself an expense manager and why is that important to you?
Our net worth
We are always looking for ways how to increase our savings and retirement investments. By tracking our net worth these numbers below show us how well we are doing in terms of meeting our target numbers or what areas we should concentrate more on.
You can check out our September Budget Update to see where the money went in our budget to give you a bit more information. I know we are a bit late posting our net worth update for September but it’s because our son was born so everything is behind on the blog.
I was lucky to have some amazing bloggers help me out with guest posts for Sept, Oct and upcoming in November so we could get on a schedule in the CBB household. Thank-you. If you would like to guest post shoot me an email as I’m looking to fill spots right up until the end of the year.
In September our net worth really didn’t change in any significant way mainly due to spending a large chunk of money when we bought our new mattress. We had a reduction in income due to taking time off from work to be with our son and investments didn’t exactly grow at a fantastic rate either. Here’s hoping we see an increase for November.
All things considered if we hadn’t indulged in buying a much deserved bed our net worth for this month would be considerably different. We’ve worked hard to get where we are now so trying to justify why we’ve spent some of our money isn’t hard but still has to be considered.
Understanding net worth
What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?
Net Worth is a snap shot of your financial health sort of like a picture or debt to net assets. In simple terms it’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities.
We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget and not giving up. Your numbers may go up and down but don’t let the numbers scare you rather understand why and move on.
If you would like to use our budget I offer a FREE downloadable budget which I created and that you can use at home just like we do. I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!
Enjoy and let me know what you think… plus there are tonnes of other free printable lists offered at Canadian Budget Binder to help you achieve some of those financial goals and build your net worth. Now… what you need to do is determine just how much net worth you actually have and go from there….
Determining net worth
Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your personal numbers or monthly finances which means you need to do your homework. Net Worth is simply adding up all your assets (what you own) then taking away your liabilities (what you owe) which will give you a net worth number.
Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track to meeting or beating your personal financial goals. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Calculate net worth
Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth?
Now you can stop asking yourself the question, how do you find out your net worth? Why? It’s easy to determine. We like to calculate our net worth every month so we know if we are still on track. Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly. It’s really up to you and how informed you want to stay when it comes to your financial health.
Net Worth is essentially an estimate and not everyone uses the same type of figures. Some people don’t include vehicles like we do or they may leave out the assets inside the home like we have. It depends on what you want to calculate or what you can sell today and make money on.
Why not go ahead and calculate your own using our Free Money saving Tool Net worth Calculator (Canadian Budget Binder 2012)
Setting goals are the only way we work towards achieving what we want to get done as a couple around the house and in our financial life. I know that without them we would be flying by the seat of our pants which wouldn’t work for us.
Below are our 2014 target goals some of which are the same from 2013 and many which are new for 2014. I don’t like to move on to new goals if I have other goals that are unfinished but I also like breathing room and play time if you know what I mean.
I hope by posting them each month it motivates me like it has this past year to get stuff done and reach our target goals with some form of ease although nothing in life is that simple.
I find it’s much easier to be held accountable when I share what we need to do with all of you. Yes, my wife refers to the list when she asks what I plan to do next. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for me or not, lol.
Do you set goals for the year?
Our short-term goals 2014
Every month I update these mini short-term goals as I like to call them where you will see what’s new and exciting in our world but not just financially. These goals are our life goals which include everyday jobs that need to be completed. We like to carry out these goals on a monthly basis although that doesn’t always work out that way.
I’ll continue to update this list for those that enjoy reading this net worth post each month but like most of you know, a list is never-ending. (Especially when your wife keeps adding to it, lol)
Not a whole lot has changed for October as most jobs were put on hold once our son arrived.
- Mortgage is now paid in full
- To renovate the upstairs bathroom- Renovations started but still need to purchase products.
- Clean up the basement- I need to get rid of junk and have a garage sale or just give it away for free.
- Fix some screw holes in the baby room– I will tackle this before baby stays in room exclusively.
- Start working on putting in the new flooring in the living and dining room- Haven’t even started this yet
- Purchase all new kitchen appliances- So far all we have is a new stove and an extractor fan (range hood) but they are not installed. We are on the hunt for a kitchen sink, tap and pot-filler.
- Purchase a new freezer- We are buying one medium sized freezer and donating our large freezer. August update: not much has happened as the bathroom reno took over my time.
- Finish the landscaping in the front and back yards- Done so I did accomplish something.
- Invest more in our TFSA, RRSP etc. – We will be setting up baby’s RESP this week and looking to top up my TFSA. We will also be opening a baby bank account for him.
- Continue to meal plan, create new homemade meals- I’m always whipping up something new in the kitchen (check out the all new recipe index on the blog)
- To grow more vegetables/herbs in the garden- Our plants are all indoors for the winter as of the beginning of October and we are still waiting for the figs to ripen.
- Learn more about passive income- I’ve been reading about earning extra income on the blog but to be honest I’ve been focusing more on my new career which is more important to me.
- To read a new personal finance book- Let’s be honest and say I might be lucky to read a chapter from now until the end of the year unless I find some quiet time. I wish I had more time to read books as I enjoy reading.
- Learn more about Search Engine Optimization and blogging and how to manage my blog- I’ve learned quite a bit about SEO and can confidently say that I can see the results of my efforts on the blog. There is always something new to learn though so never stop educating yourself as a blogger.
Our long-term goals 2014
I will do a yearly update on these goals so you know how we made out with them. The long-term goals are goals spread out over the year(s) as we are not in a huge rush to accomplish them but they are always on the top of our mind.
You can also follow our monthly budget update to find out how we made out with some other short-term goals we’ve been working on.
- Finish remodel of the entire kitchen- This may or may not get done this year with all the new surprises that have popped up but we are still thinking about it. We know where we are buying the cabinets and have some of the appliances.
- Purchase a new washer and dryer- We will likely only buy a new set if we find an amazing deal but for now our second-hand units that were free are working fine.
- Sort out the deck lights (garbage and I’d never buy them again and not in a huge rush to fix them) Don’t ever buy those little deck lights or you will regret it, trust me.
- Fix the fence in the back garden (not a huge priority but I need to get it done before winter)
- Look into buying a pressure washer (not a huge priority but if I can find a good deal over the course of the year I’ll grab it)
- Update the garage (man cave) not really a man cave but I like to keep it neat and tidy. I’ve took some time to organize it but with the bathroom renovations there are days it looks like a bomb went off.
- Save up to purchase a new vehicle (well, second-hand)
- Save for a holiday to anywhere that is not where we live- We could use this now.
- Start planning basement renovations (bathroom, bedroom, family room, laundry room, office, storage area.
- Look at new ways to invest our money i.e. rental units
- Continuing to educate ourselves on personal finance and investments
- Continue to network with other like-minded people
- Continue in my new career in hopes of it becoming long-term permanent
Our financial numbers
When budgeting anything is possible, we are proof of that although we still have a long way to go in our journey. These are our numbers and our goals, not a means of comparison towards your own goals to others target goals.
We don’t care how much money others make or if they have a high net worth or if it is lower than ours as it’s not a competition. I hope our experiences perhaps will help guide you along your financial path working towards debt freedom.
Not everyone has the same path in life. Some of you may have had to start over like I did or go to school a second time and now have OSAP loans to pay back.
Others may have divorced, lost money in the stock market or other investments, suffered job loss, fell ill or was injured on the job etc. but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.
Some of you may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, paid educations or perks in life that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too. Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.
Focus on you and don’t let the evil eye of money jealousy or keeping up with the Joneses cloud your vision. No one cares about your money as much as you do so don’t waste your energy trying.
The only reason people accumulate wealth is because they know how to save or invest it wisely even if they did inherit money or win the lottery. The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.
Sometimes we have to fail in order to learn and we’ve all been there. Money can be an evil force for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their own financial situation.
I urge you to be optimistic and little by little with determination you too should see improvements, if you want that to happen.
Net worth updates 2014
Below you can click the links to read past net worth updates to see if we were on target or if we struggled with some of our numbers. In the last year since September 2013 our net worth according to our figures has grown $88,339.07
September 2014 $610,168.64 – September 2013 $521,829.57 = $88,339.07
You will notice two Jan 2014 figures and shows where we had our house valued leading to an increase in our assets. I purposely left both Jan 2014 figures in so you can see the increase visually.
- January 2014 +3.80%
- February 2014 +1.25%
- March 2014 +0.75%
- April 2014 +0.31%
- May 2014 +1.15%
- June 2014 +1.31%
- July 2014 +1.40%
- August 2014 +0.99%
That’s all for this month’s net worth update but please check in at the beginning of November to see how we made out in October and what has happened to our finances since.
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