Our Family Budget

International Women’s Day Financial Empowerment Tips

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Every March 8th is International Women’s Day, where finance is celebrated worldwide.

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.

The survey says…Women need to do some severe financial homework.

financial empowerment tips International women's day
Financial empowerment tips International Women’s Day.

Empower Financial Independence

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.

This means you may be knowledgeable in one area but fall short in another.

Related: Get your Credit Report; it’s Free in Canada.

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

Learning Finance Success 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 have little to no knowledge about finance and budgets, never negotiate bills or interest rates, and over-draft is in full swing and late payments.

We’ve uncovered it this week, and my mother-in-law has no interest in learning 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, meaning they may live 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 economic 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?

A financial plan documents your economic life on paper, where you are, where you plan to g,o, 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 find talking to our financial advisor helpful and reading many financial articles and books.

You 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 can’t get to the other.

Related: What are your sources of 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.

I found it interesting surveyed (80%) agreed that they track their spending.

At the very least, everyone should do this, which is why budgeting is critical, as is keeping receipts.

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.

Finance Tips For Women’s International Day

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

  • Know the lingo: Vow to get up five minutes early every day―just for one week―and Google as many financial terms as possible. Knowing a few financial basics and terminology is a great start to building solid 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. Meeting once a month to discuss all things financially 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. Working with a CFP® professional is the quickest way to build self-confidence and ensure it stays strong your entire life.

Get Involved And Make The Call

Oh, and ladies, don’t be afraid of the person on the other end of the telephone.

Call your credit card companies and start negotiating rates.

Over 38% of women surveyed feel uncomfortable negotiating a better interest rate.

It’s not difficult, 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

The other day I saved my sister-in-law $32 off her wireless bill and increased it from 5GB to 8GB by learning to negotiate.

The more you do, the better you get at it.

Next year she will understand 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 and you’ll be happy you did tomorrow.

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 and the press release.

Discussion: What would you say is your one weakness regarding financial knowledge?

Where Our Money Went In February

February 2018 Month Income and Expenses

Hey Fans,

February was a rotten month for us in terms of eating out, buying clothes, and spending money here and there on stuff because we weren’t home.

With my father-in-law’s death, we suddenly rushed home without any clothes.

We made a few fast-action trips to Value Village to get us dressed up, which came with a price tag.

It’s incredible how an emotional time such as a family death puts you in a bubble where nothing matters.

The compassion that follows 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 little world.

Besides being away and a few trips back and forth, our petrol costs are up, as is my allowance since I’ve been back into the beer again.

I’ll modify that next month because I don’t want to fall into the trap of spending more than my monthly allowance.

Daycare is booming for our little guy, and he’s doing SO WELL.

Hearing him belt out some of the new songs his daycare provider teaches the kids is fun.

Sometimes we try not to laugh because he’s so adorable and sincere.

One day he might be a rock star; you never know.

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!!


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 projected expenses that must be paid in the coming months.

The other categories were pretty normal this month, except the Life Ratio.

All 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 expenses which helps us understand where our money goes.

Since May 2014, we are 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.

Still, I hope you view this as an educational tool rather than comparing your financial numbers, as our situations are 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 from which all our debt is paid.
  2. Emergency Savings Account– This is a high-interest savings account.
  3. Regular Savings Account– This savings account 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 Paid Out: $6320.04
  9. Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $7,345.97 (total net monthly income) – $1,025.93 (projected expenses) – $0 (savings into the 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 February 2018.

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

Budget Color 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 will be factored in at the end.

Monthly Budget

February 2018 Monthly Budgeted Amounts

Actual Budget

February 2018 Actual Monthly Budget

Budget Updates Month By Month

In case you missed our budget updates and want to do a quick searI’veI’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.

Check back at the beginning of April 2018 to see how we made out with our March budget.

Thanks for reading,


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