TURN YOUR FINANCES INTO A CHALLENGE CHASING WEALTH
If seekers of living the dream would treat their budget and put as much effort into their finances as Pokemon Go players do we’d all be on our way to the bank with a bag full of cash.
Do you ever feel that you caged up and running around in circles in your mind because you just can’t get out of debt and financial success seems out of reach?
You’re not alone but what one wants one must work at to achieve.
It’s amazing how we can take something so simple as a virtual game to get the world off the couch. If we could apply the same determination that I see so many players have roaming around outside to personal improvement we’d all be rich. I’d rather chase my financial dreams and put my effort into fun ways that we can build wealth so we CAN do things we dream of.
If you are someone who tends to set low expectations for yourself because you don’t believe you will amount to anything more than you are, give your head a shake. You are worth it.
I often hear people say that they don’t have time to budget, it’s not fun or challenging but that’s because you set your playground to mute. Think about it, you’re running around collecting virtual characters to put in your game bucket. Why not do the same for your budget?
If chasing Pokemon is part of your daily get up and go how about chasing your dreams as financial riches await you.
How’s that for some awesome finance fun?
Becoming debt free is one of the biggest challenges most people will face today because let’s face it, money doesn’t go very far. Some people are constantly thinking about debt and need to free their mind from the hassles of life with distractions. This is great but only if you’re doing something to battle what weighs on your shoulders at the same time.
No one says you can’t have fun and play virtual video games or do other cool things to chill out but don’t let it be your world. Save some of that enthusiasm and motivation to build wealth, find new opportunities and network with people who can help get you attain your goals.
Just because you live pay to pay with a high debt load believe in yourself and you will be set free. Press GO on your finances and watch dollar signs will pop up under your feet no matter where you go. It may take some time but it’s better to build wealth at a turtle’s pace then to accumulate debt as fast a train can go.
How? Mindfulness and a Budget Spreadsheet.
What is mindfulness?
It sounds a bit boring but trust me when you focus on alone time and thinking about what you really want from life you’ll start to see things change.
Mindfulness is an awareness of your surroundings so if you’re crushing Pokemon Go then I can assure you that you’ve got some skill in mindfulness as long as you don’t find yourself walking into a wall.
Putting all your energy into one venture will cause a roadblock if you’re not careful which is why it’s important to balance what makes you happy while taking on what it will take to free you from unhappiness.
If financial freedom is part of your success strategy then play your own No Debt Go game and scare the debt demons away. I know it’s a bit cheeky but hey I thought if we could relate them to each other you’ll see how much power you’ve got behind you.
You are the star of your own financial game and all you need to do is Press Go, follow your debt repayment plan and the road-map to reach your goals will become reality. Forget about virtual success unless it’s making you millions because you can’t take that to a beach when you retire.
Work off Debt with No Debt Go
If financial stress relief is what you are looking for you can count on lots of that coming your way once you start to work off your debt load. How’s that for some get up and go?
That means the more debt you pay off the less stress will be weighing on your shoulders. That sounds like a pretty cool game to me especially once you pay off your debt and watch your savings grow.
Since paying our mortgage off back in May 2014 we’ve had 2 years to save our money and boy has it been fun crunching the numbers every month. You may think we are geeks for not jumping on the virtual game bandwagon but no debt goals and the ability to retire early is our idea of a fun game to play.
Decide what course you want to run after
So, when you’re out chasing Pokemon remember that if you want to be like your friend who’s chasing financial freedom you must play the right game.
Mindfulness exercises are fun especially when a couple gets involved with No Debt Go together. My wife and I challenged each other and continue to do so when it comes to our family budget. Always trying to find the best bargain, second-hand steals and ways to earn extra money gets us fired up every day.
Mindfulness based therapy works for the both of us and helps our relationship. Marriages break down because it’s either all work and no play or all play and no work. Balance fun and issues that support your short-term and long-term financial goals and you’ll be rich.
We know people who play Pokemon Go and to be honest if that’s what works for them that’s fine. We’re not bothered either way as it’s not our thing but adopting that same motivation towards personal goals is where I’d like to see more people realize they CAN beat DEBT.
So while you’re out getting exercise and meeting new people chasing Pokemon think about how much fun it would be to turn that energy into chasing financial freedom. That turns my crank and hopefully it motivates you to kick-start your No Debt Go game for the win.
What ways have you improved your work-life balance to include investing in your financial wealth?
Where our money went in July
In July I spent a bit more on Jr’s back garden play set than I’d hoped, but some of the costs involved including buying saw blades which went on sale conveniently enough.
Replaced the back half of the exhaust for the one vehicle, just needed to pay for parts as I did the work myself. It was blowing quite badly and wouldn’t have passed it’s E-Test which is due sometime later this year.
I haven’t been working at my second job for any more than 1 day a week, which is actually nice. Spending time at home is a welcome change. It’s all well and good earning a whopping pay cheque but since Jr has grown up a bit more he’s into everything and needs more time playing with us.
I’m glad we concentrated on making the most of what we could when we did so that we have no worries now. By all means it’s not over. Even though we have paid off the house and we’ve accumulated a small retirement fund, it’s not over yet.
Things happen and I would imagine we as a family will change over time. It might be nice to upgrade to a larger house, but we’re not in a blazing rush to do so.
Pick a budget that’s right for you
I’m currently offering 2 versions of our budget and the reason behind it is simple. Firstly, read the CBB blog 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 you asked me for in your emails. (See I do listen and read your comments and emails)
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.
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.
Our free 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 where 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.
Test the budget for a month and see how it goes.
Our family budget plan
How we budget our monthly expenses?
CBB fans want to know what we do in order to save so much money and the reply I give is simple>> It’s not about the money it’s about the process involved.
We are both money managers of our finances and with our relationship compatibility we have been able to get to where we are in 2016, debt free.
It doesn’t matter if you are using a cash only budget or you use your debit and credit cards, if your budget doesn’t balance you have budget issues you should check it pronto.
Learning how to be your own money manager is important because no one else will care about your money more than YOU!.
We don’t always save as much money as we would like every month but most importantly we are not going into debt but only because we are budgeting our money. In fact we are currently debt-free including the mortgage which means all we pay for is our monthly bills and expenses.
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’ve made up for it or we learned from our mistakes just like we should. Budget failure only occurs when you give up on your budget which should not happen as long as you truly want to reach your goals.
We didn’t always earn the income we do today but made do with what we were earning so we didn’t go into debt. That my friends is called “living below your means”. The only science to becoming rich!
Sometimes fans email and ask me if living on a budget in Canada is any different from living and budgeting 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 spreadsheet to meet all of my needs however the budget needs to be reviewed monthly.
Below are links to the budgeting series which I wrote while designing our excel budget spreadsheet which will give you an idea just how we designed our budget.
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 or numbers nerd.
Learn how to budget with Mr.CBB
Our Budgeting Series
Do you want to learn to budget like we do?
We explain everything we do and more in this mini-series below all about budgeting.
Please take the time to read through our budgeting series plus read Budgeting in the New Year. I hope the information will help stop you from making common budgeting mistakes that I hear of often and that you take something away from the information and apply it to your financial situation.
If you have any questions about what we do with our budget money tracker feel free to email me.
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 1– Gathering All the information
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 2– Budget Categories
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 3– Tracking Receipts
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 5– 5S Organization
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 6– Who Does What and When?
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 7– Balancing Our Budget
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 8– Knowing our Coupon Savings
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 9– Reading Our Bills
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 10– Projected Expenses
Budget percentages July 2016
Our savings of 36.28% includes savings and investments and emergency savings for this month. If you include the projected expenses savings, we actually saved 59.46% of our income. That’s $4918.80 going into savings or investments of some description or another.
The monthly totals comes to 100% which shows that we spent our income this month and used the rest as emergency savings.
The other categories were well within the defined percentage limits. Our projected expenses this month is at 23.18%.
Budget percentages month by month
Breaking down expenses
This is simply a breakdown of our expenses which has helped us to understand where all of our money goes. Since May 2014 we have been mortgage free so much of our money will be directed at savings, investments and renovations.
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 our situations are all unique.
Although I encourage your comments and love to hear what you have to say about our budget categories and expenses please don’t tell us to donate our money to charities because we have too much or are fortunate. We are hardly out of the clear with finances for the rest of our lives and have worked and sacrificed to get where we are. We do plan to enjoy the money we’ve saved now since we haven’t over the years with our son.
What we do with our “extra cash” is our business and although we do donate to a charity we won’t be putting it on display for the world to see as it defeats the purpose in my eyes. It is part of the budget as you see it. I hope that clears that up for those of you who had concerns about our extra money.
Almost 8 years ago I started working in Canada making a bit over minimum wage and have since moved up the ladder. I’m now working very hard to secure my dream job with one foot in the door. We aren’t all lucky but if you do the best you can at least you can look back and say you gave it a shot.
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.
- Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from.
- Emergency Savings Account– This is a high-interest savings account.
- Regular Savings Account– This is a savings account that holds our projected expenses.
- Monthly Budgeted Total: $5093.64
- Monthly Net Income Total: $8272.45
- (Check out our Ultimate Grocery Guide to see where our grocery money goes)
- Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $1917.68
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: $4607.15
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $8272.45 (total net monthly income) – $1,917.68 (projected expenses) – $1747.62 (emergency savings) = $4607.15
- Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $8272.45 (total monthly net income) – $4607.15 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $1917.68 (projected expenses) = $1747.62
Saving for future expenses
What are Projected Expenses? – We project expenses throughout the year so we have the money saved. PE= A projected expense is money 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. So this means the numbers go up and down in the projected expenses account based on what we need to pay for that we saved for in the account over time.
The only thing you need to do is track your projected expenses each month manually as I can’t customize that for you in the excel budget spreadsheet as I don’t know what you will use for projected expenses.
For now we will have to manually track which means month after month we add up what we save in each projected expense category and minus what we spend so we know how much we have and what is left in each category. I have updated our personal excel budget spreadsheet for 2016.
We pay money into the projected expenses account continually throughout the year even when bills come due as its revolving so as one bill gets paid the money continues to come in from the other categories all year-long. This ensures that money is always available. It may not always be enough but having something ready is better than having nothing at all and having to use credit.
So the $1917.68 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.
Sample Projected Expense
If our clothing category was a projected expense we would 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. My plan is to create a projected expenses spreadsheet to track the expenses all year-long otherwise you need to do it manually which we currently do in order to make sure we don’t overspend what we 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 2015 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.
(Note: I am working on this but slowly as I wasn’t anticipating all the extra hours with my second job)
Time for the juicy category numbers and to see how we made out with our monthly budget. Below you will see two tables, one is our monthly budget and the other is our actual budget for the month of July 2016. This budget represents 2 adults and a toddler plus our investments.
If it is highlighted in blue that means it is a projected expense. You will also see our budget does not include the emergency savings as this is factored in at the end.
Budget for July 2016
Actual budget expenses for July 2016
August 2016 Goals
Here are my August 2016 goals along with whether I completed tasks from July 2016
- Call around to lawyers to talk about getting a Will written up- Sadly we have yet to book an appointment but we’ll try to revisit this in August.
- Finish sanding and stain our sons kitchen table and chairs – Fail. I might just sell it or give it away as he has 2 other tables.
- Start revamping old blog posts (2 a month)- I completed 2 in July.
- Finish the master bathroom shower- Fail I’ll be starting this up again now that I’m not working as much.
- Pick out new tiles for bathroom and accessories (mirror, towel bar holder etc.)- Not yet
- Buy a new blind for the garage- Fail but we’re looking mostly at second-hand shops. We’d rather not buy a new one if we don’t have to since it’s just going to get mucky.
- Finish the walls in the baby room- Work in Progress: We managed to organize the baby room and will be selling lots of stuff that we don’t need. I do need to take the crib apart and put his toddler bed upstairs which I will do in August. As for the decor we will keep the jungle theme and revisit as he gets older.
- Write down what we want in our new kitchen- We discussed whether we wanted to put in an IKEA kitchen or a high-end kitchen.
- Start looking at pricing for a new insulated garage door- Fail
- Buy a pressure washer- Fail but I’m looking and waiting for the one I want to go on sale.
- Research Kitchen designers in our area- Not really
- Start researching vacation spots for 2017- Not quite yet
- Hang paintings and wrought iron decor on the walls- Fail
- Take out all the patio/deck and sunroom furniture- We’re leaving this for next summer. In August the plan is to chop the basil and make basil pucks for the winter.
- Basil Update- Next year we are putting the basil out front again as it’s gone wild.
- Sand and protect the deck for the year- We will be adding a pergola to the deck so I’m going to be working on this for the rest of the summer. I’m in the planning stages now and am hoping to buy the materials from Home Depot in August.
- Start planning a sand pit for our son out back- The sandpit is completed and looks awesome if I do say so myself. Our son loves it!
- Possibly making a rock pit for our son out back- I’m not sure if this will happen now
- Purge our clothes little by little and get rid of them- We picked up 3 more free garbage bags full. Although we didn’t keep it all and passed the free clothes on to someone else in need.
- Clean out the entire garage- I cleaned out part of the garage. That still counts.
- Wash the windows inside and out around the entire house- PASS I did get on the roof and do all of the outside windows. The inside windows were also cleaned.
- Kill the ants- Still working on those ants
- Cut open the central vac system so I could remove part of our son’s train set that he fired down the chute.
- Stained a little wood table for my wife so she can put her plant on it.
- Bought a second-hand sled from Kijiji for 10 bucks. I sanded it, fixed one of the boards and stained it again. Looks brand new.
- Rearranged the dining room and living room so we could strategically place our son’s toys around. It’s amazing how much space a child takes up with stuff. Thankfully we get lots of it free or cheap. We’ve hardly ever bought him anything new. It’s a waste of money.
- Tidy up the office (or else)- Um, nope.
- Replaced the exhaust on our vehicle but only paid cost for parts as I did the work myself. $250
- Order new plugs and leads and replace them for the vehicle in August.
- We used the BBQ.. first time in 2 years! That means I cleaned it from top to bottom so it looks good as new.
That’s all for July and we’ll see how much I get done in August.
Budget updates month by month
In case you missed our budget updates and want to do a quick search I’ve compiled them all on one handy page: monthly budgets. For the 2016 Year I will also keep track of each month below and update the monthly budgets page.
That’s all for this month check back at the beginning of September 2016 to see how we made out with our August 2016 budget.
Happy Budgeting CBB’ers!
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