Financial Empowerment Tips For International Women’s Day : February 2018 Budget Update

financial empowerment tips International women's day



Today, March 8th is International Women’s Day and it just so happens to be perfect timing that a report was released by a national survey commissioned by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC). Financial empowerment is so powerful that only YOU can help start and grow your knowledge.

Survey says…Women need to do some serious financial homework.

After surveying 1000 Canadian women last month about financial struggles it revealed that roughly four in ten women don’t even know their credit score.  Also uncovered was that a majority of women have at least one struggle when it comes to their finances. What this means is that you may be knowledgeable in one area but fall short in another.

Related: Get your Credit Report, It’s Free Canada.

Never rely on anyone but yourself when it comes to your money.


Learning finance the hard way


Just this past week my father-in-law passed away and to say that their finances were even a smidge in order would be an understatement. Both of them have little to no knowledge about finance and budgets, never negotiate bills or interest rates, over-draft is in full-swing and late-payments. You name it, we’ve uncovered it this week and my mother-in-law has no interest in learning anything more about finance now that she’s retirement age.

Is it too late to learn about finance? No, it’s never too late however some people have no interest in learning which means they perhaps live pay to pay or miss out on valuable financial opportunities. More to come on this topic in future blog posts. We’ve taken over her financial well-being from head to toe and have learned that couples MUST BOTH know everything about their money together.


Financial Planning


The survey also revealed that women are still struggling for financial Independence which means financial empowerment needs to be improved. According to the survey 38% of the women know very little about finance and investments which is concerning.

Nearly nine in ten (86%) women agree to at least one statement about their finances, with more than half (56%) saying they do not have a written financial plan.

What is a financial plan?

The way I see it a financial plan is to document your financial life on paper, where you are, where you’re planning to go and what you hope the outcome will be. You want to know what kind of life you’d like to live once you’re no longer in the workforce and whether you’re doing what you need to today so that tomorrow is a breeze.

My wife and I both find talking to our financial advisor to be helpful and reading lots of financial articles and books. You basically have to stick your nose into finance and keep it there. With any plan things can and probably will change but without a plan you have no path and with no path you can’t get to the other side where you want to be.

Related: What are your sources for financial stress?


Empower Yourself- International Women’s Day


It’s important to understand that finance is always a work in progress but understanding just the basics is better than understanding little to nothing at all. What I found interesting in the report was that most women surveyed (80%) agreed that they do track their spending.

At the very least this should be done by everyone, every month which is why budgeting is critical as is keeping receipts so you know where your money is going. Some of you may not agree with this type of financial upkeep however we’ve  proven it successful for our family over the years.

These numbers show that women still have a long way to go in terms of their comfort and understanding in regard to financial matters,” said Kelley Keehn, award-winning author, personal finance educator and consumer advocate for FPSC. “It’s a wakeup call and an opportunity to seek education, grow in effectiveness and lay claim to our financial independence.

According to Kelly, women can empower themselves with these tips:

  • Know the lingo: Simply vow to get up five minutes early every day―just for one week―and Google as many financial terms as you can. Knowing a few financial basics and some terminology is a great start to building strong financial self-esteem for women.
  • Start a money group: Studies have shown that women can learn better when discussing topics with their cohorts. The group doesn’t have to be complex. Simply meeting once a month to discuss all things financial is a solid step to identifying and reaching your goals.
  • Work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional: The most important move is getting a pro on your side. Working with a CFP® professional is the quickest way to build your self-confidence and ensure it stays strong your entire life.

Oh and ladies, don’t be afraid of the person on the other end of the telephone, ring up your credit card companies and start negotiating rates. There was a whopping 38% of women surveyed who feel uncomfortable negotiating a better interest rate. It’s not as hard as it seems and the more you do it, the easier it gets like any other task in life.

Related: How to negotiate the best deal with your telecommunications company

Just the other day I saved my sister-in-law $32 off her wireless bill and increased her GB from 5 to 8 just by learning to negotiate. The more you do the better you get at it. Next year she understands what she needs to do and say to get the discounts she deserves as a long-standing customer.

Don’t let money walk away from you. Take steps today…you’ll be happy you did.

Now we need to survey men!!

Happy International Women’s Day to all the beautiful ladies out there. Oh, and If you’d like to view the entire report fpsc-financial-independence-survey-2018 as well the press release.

Discussion: What would say is your one weakness when it comes to financial knowledge?


Where our money went in February


February 2018 Month Income and ExpensesHey Fans,

February was a rotten month for us in terms of eating out, buying clothes and just spending money here and there on stuff because we weren’t at home. With the death of my father-in-law so suddenly we rushed home without any clothes. We made a few fast-action trips to Value Village to get all 3 of us dressed up which came with a price-tag.

It’s amazing how an emotional time such as a family death puts you in a bubble where nothing matters. The compassion that follows a death by all the service workers is indescribable. They truly helped us both get over one of many hurdles to come. Mrs. CBB described it to me as if she was in her own little world.

Other then being away and a few trips back and forth our petrol costs are up obviously as is my allowance since I’ve been back into the beer again. I’ll be modifying that for next month because I don’t want to fall into that trap where I’m spending more than my allowance each month.

Daycare is booming for out little guy and he’s doing SO WELL. It’s hilarious to hear him belt out some of the new songs his daycare provider is teaching the kids. Sometimes we try not to laugh because he’s so adorable and sincere. One day he might be a rock star, you never know.

Oh and that was Mrs. CBB who spent $100 on my birthday this month (projected expenses).

Who wants to know what she bought me? I loved it!

Have a great week everyone!!



Our FREE Simple Budgeting Series


Do you want to learn to budget like we do?

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.

  1. How We Designed Our Budget Step 1 Gathering All the information
  2. How We Designed Our Budget Step 2Budget 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 percentages February 2018


I know I forgot to change the year again…next month I promise!

ebruary 2018 Household Percentages

Our savings of 20.43% includes investments as well as any savings for this month based on the income of $7345.97 We put money away for the projected expenses for things that need to be paid for in the coming months. The other categories were fairly normal this month, except the Life Ratio. All of the categories took 100% of our income which shows that all the money we earned for the month is accounted for..


Budget percentages month by month


February 2018 Month by Month

Breaking down expenses


Below is a breakdown of our expenses which helps us to understand where all of our money goes. Since May 2014 we’ve 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. Spending less than we earn and budgeting our money has been the easiest way for us to pay down debt and save money. It may be different for you.

  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 Budgeted Total: $5,376.40
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$7345.97
  6. (Check out our Ultimate Grocery Guide to see where our grocery money goes)
  7. Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $1025.93
  8. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$6320.04
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $7,345.97 (total net monthly income) – $1,025.93 (projected expenses) – $0 (savings in to emergency fund) = $6320.04
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $7345.97 (total monthly net income) – $6320.04 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $1025.93 (projected expenses) = $0

Budget Results

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 February 2018.

This budget represents 2 adults and a toddler plus retirement investments.

Budget colour chart

If highlighted in blue that means it is a projected expense. You will also see our budget does not include the emergency savings as it’s factored in at the end.


Monthly Budget for February 2018


February 2018 Monthly Budgeted Amounts


Actual budget expenses for February 2018


February 2018 Actual Monthly BudgetNope, I haven’t fixed the spelling error in Christmas yet but I will remember next month. If I don’t I’ll give a gift card to the first fan who reminds me.


Budget updates month by month


Just 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 2018 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 April 2018 to see how we made out with our March budget.

Happy Budgeting CBB’ers!

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