MONEY IS YOUR BOX AND A BUDGET IS YOUR KEY TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM
Understanding the difference between a living wage and minimum wage is just as important as knowing your financial numbers from start to finish.
Just the other day on Facebook I was reading through the comments after a sponsored post by a popular budgeting app popped up on my screen advertising their service. I suppose reading what others think about budgeting is important to me since this blog revolves around budgeting and frugal living topics.
Two of the most important comments I wanted to talk about today which I read stuck in my head because I wanted to speak up and tell them, don’t wait for a living wage to budget, do it now.
- I’m not budgeting until I have a living wage
- Why should I pay to use a budget when I’m broke
Your debt costs more than you think once you factor in all the interest calculated over the term of paying it back. In fact reading the bottom of your credit card statement might just shock you when you see how long it would take to pay off whatever you charged.
Go have a look, I’ll wait.
Now that you’re back and probably still in awe at how much your debt is costing you perhaps you will want to consider using a budget once and for all. It doesn’t matter how much money you earn a budget IS a life-saver over time for anyone who is willing to take part and see the long and short-term gains.
Looking back to those years when I was saving to purchase my first property when I was 19 and then my second at 22 I wish I had used a budget, any budget. I know many of you may struggle to find the perfect budget but to be honest you never will. All you need is a simple budget if budgeting is not YOUR thing and you’re only doing it because it’s the right thing to do.
For those of you who want a bit more of an advanced budget and excel spreadsheet like the one we use and offer for free on Canadian Budget Binder perhaps is a better option.
Some of you may find that your bank offers a free banking app with a budget that you can use on your phone or computer at home. This is a great way to tap into a budget without paying for the service although most bank fees cover up the hidden costs of these so-called, “freebies”.
We bank with Simplii Financial and although it’s not for everyone we pay for nothing and are happy with the services. There is no frills with this bank but even so what you can’t find in one spot you can find in another which is why you’re visiting this blog for help to get started with your budget once and for all.
For those of you who have budgeted for a while now I’m sure you would speak up and tell everyone that waiting for a living wage to start budgeting is the wrong thing to do. Let me explain more in-depth but first let’s talk about the differences of a living wage and minimum wage.
Living Wage vs. Minimum Wage
The minimum wage in Ontario for 2018 is $14/hour which jumped from $11.60 in 2017 with another increase to $15/hour set for January 2019. This means that employers by law must pay their employers minimum wage upon start of employment.
This of course will be different for liquor servers, students under 18, homeworkers along with hunting and fishing guides although they still get a percentage hike based around the same increase. According to Ontario website information those who don’t get minimum wage based on their career choice below will still see an increase as stated below.
Liquor servers will see an increase from $10.10 per hour to:
- $12.20 per hour on January 1, 2018
- $13.05 per hour on January 1, 2019
Students under 18
Students under the age of 18, who work part time during the school year (up to 28 hrs/week) and on school breaks, will see an increase from $10.90 per hour to:
- $13.15 per hour on January 1, 2018
- $14.10 per hour on January 1, 2019
Fishing and hunting guides
Working 5 hours a day or less
Fishing and hunting guides who work less than 5 consecutive (i.e. back-to-back) hours a day, will see an increase from $58 per day to:
- $70 per day on January 1, 2018
- $75 per day on January 1, 2019
Working more than 5 hours a day
Fishing and hunting guides who work 5 or more hours a day (whether or not the hours are consecutive) will see an increase from $116 per day to:
- $140 per day on January 1, 2018
- $150 per day on January 1, 2019
Homeworkers (i.e. employees who do paid work in their own home for an employer) will see an increase from $12.80 per hour to:
- $15.40 per hour on January 1, 2018
- $16.50 per hour on January 1, 2019
Not too shabby if you live at home with your parents and have little to no debt or live in a small town where the living wage is comparable. Let’s be honest, you’ll struggle to find that anywhere.
What exactly is the difference between a living wage and minimum wage?
Minimum Wage is what the law states an employer must pay an employee upon the start of employment. So for Ontario this is $14/hour.
Living Wage is the wage needed for an employee to sustain a proper living in the community they live based on cost of living which differs community to community.
For example, if you live in Hamilton, Ontario the living wage you can find calculated at the blog Living Wage Canada is $15.85/hour where in the Niagara Region it is $17.57/hour. In Toronto the living wage is $18.52/hour but in Windsor, Ontario it’s only $14.15/hour. You can find the complete list at LivingWageCanada.ca to see where your community compares just to get an idea of where you stand.
As you can see where you live makes a real difference in the living wage which is meant to help lift financial stress from people so they can live life without added stress of financial insecurity. Keep in mind not everyone sees it this way. Have you ever heard someone say the more you give the more you spend?
This may be true for some people but not for everyone which means a living wage does make sense. Why wouldn’t it when it can help people get the hell out of the hole and into existence where it doesn’t feel like hell on earth. I can’t speak for everyone but I’m sure anyone in poverty would say it’s not the best place to be. Money does bring happiness to those who know how to use it to make more money.
The living wage is calculated as the hourly rate at which a household can meet its basic needs, once government transfers have been added to the family’s income and deductions have been subtracted. The living wage gets families out of severe financial stress by lifting them out of poverty and providing a basic level of economic security.
Earning a living wage would have a significant impact for anyone who is willing and ready to beat debt and stay on track with their finances.
A living wage according to Living Wage Canada
- enables working families to have sufficient income to cover reasonable costs
- promotes social inclusion
- supports healthy child development principles
- ensures that families are not under severe financial stress
- is a conservative, reasonable estimate
- engenders significant and wide ranging community support
- is a vehicle for promoting the benefits of social programs such as childcare
Budgets and Living Wage
No one says you have to pay for a budget because there are tonnes of free apps and budgets all over the web that will do essentially the same thing. If you want a budget that works on its own you won’t find it.
A budget works as good as the user no matter what budgeting platform you use. This means you can use a paper and pencil budget which works equally well as a budget spreadsheet but without the auto-numbers.
Should you wait for a living wage to budget?
Survey Says : Hell no! You might be waiting until unicorns are flying in the sky, if you catch my drift.
Why on earth would you wait for something that might never happen before you take control of your money? There was a time when I was earning minimum wage in Ontario and using a budget was what started us on our journey to debt freedom by the age of 40.
We went on to buy a house and lose an income all in a matter of months which could have seen our financial world tumble BUT using a budget kicked our butts in gear. There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t regret budgeting and we still do it today as if it were clockwork.
I know that won’t happen for everyone and it’s based on certain factors such as income, desire and debt load but the important thing to remember is YOU MUST START SOMEWHERE. I can’t scream that loud enough and if all you do is complain about what you don’t have you’ll never have anything.
If your budget doesn’t balance you know you need to make changes which includes earning more money. Knowing what your numbers are every month is critical to budgeting success whether there’s nothing left at the end of the month or you don’t have enough money to pay the bills. You can’t fix something you haven’t investigated fully which means doing your research, homework or whatever you want to call it.
How would it make you feel if you brought your car to the mechanic and all he did was lift the hood and tell you what needed fixing? Probably pretty shitty because hiring a mechanic is expensive for one and you’d expect more for your money. Well, your money expects more from you other than thinking you can’t fix it simply by looking at it. Just as you would expect the mechanic to investigate the issue further you must do the same with your money.
Wage/Salary Increases do happen
Although a living wage sounds clean-cut and would certainly make a difference just remember that money is earned, accepted and used differently on an individual basis.
Another thing to consider is that you might see your income increase above what would be considered the living wage for your area over time as you advance in your career. This may take years and on-going training and education but it’s all worth it in the end. I know, I did just that.
Sometimes I pinch myself to see how far I’ve come along since moving to Canada from the UK where I was stuck in a manufacturing sector just to make ends meet. The good thing was we were all earning more than what the national average for minimum wage was in the UK at the time.
It would be comparable to working in the manufacturing sector earning around $20 an hour or a bit more. I did it gracefully and never complained even though it was tough. I earned extra money by saving money through frugal living along with working over-time whenever offered.
Even though it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life I still had to consider my earning and savings power and come up with a solid plan in order to pay my mortgage and monthly bills.
Find what you like to do and make money from it
If you’re not happy with your career consider your options of going back to school, free education courses, employer training of find a money-making hobby like starting a blog to increase your income.
One of these days I’ll write a blog post to help those of you who are interested in blogging but in the mean-time write down on a piece of paper the things that make you happy. Then think about what you can do to make money from the things you like to do or offer to others. It’s as easy as that if you believe in yourself. Even if you can’t work like you used to because of health or disability there are always ways to increase income if you think outside of the box.
A friend of ours who is in a wheelchair and unable to work outside of the home started a small shop at home where he fixes guitars for his customers. He took something he loves to do and turned it into a money-making business which he can now claim come income tax time as a small home business.
Anyways, this post is for all of you out there who are hesitant about budgeting or holding out for that certain number that will apparently boost you into budgeting gear. Don’t be that person because you’ll never catch up with an attitude that you’re entitled to something. If you want it, do it yourself!
If we ever catch up and everyone gets a living wage all the better and certainly a huge milestone for Canada if employers could pay more and value their employees work as over and above minimum wage.
Don’t wait around for it though, start budgeting today!!
Discussion: How much is the living wage in your area and how would it help you if that was what you earned? Does your employer offer a living wage?
CBB at Home
This past week kept on target with lots of work action followed by a crazy shop at Costco that nearly got me run over by many drunken shopping carts. They should have been arrested for bully grocery shopping tactics for the way they push people around in that store sometimes. I know I’m just having a laugh with this but man it can get super busy. You know they ride up your ass while your arm is holding a bag of apples in the wind but you keep on trucking. Coming love, I yell over to Mrs. CBB.
Sometimes we need to go down the laundry aisle just to catch a breather. It’s not always this way but Easter weekend takes the cake. Remind me never to go to Costco the day or days leading to a holiday. We’ve also been doing Spring cleaning around the house mainly to sell all of our baby items.
We’ve decided that one child is enough for us given our ages and we have so much stuff we need to get done in our lives that keeps getting put off. Needless to say we are making progress with clearing up space in our basement but it tugs at the heart when those items that mean so much are no longer needed. I couldn’t believe our son fit in a newborn diaper when I held one in my hand the other day. Time sure does fly.
In May we are gearing up for another soccer season for the little guy so the next month I will be out with him practicing his skills. He’s also shown interest in baseball and basketball so who knows where he will go with his sports. I don’t play hockey nor have I skated before but I’ll get him a hockey net and stick to see if he’s into it.
Now that he’s a bit older I hope to see him use his drums a bit more once I find space to bring them back into the house. He has a monster bucket full of musical instruments that he plays with often. The harmonica and recorder are two of his favourites but he loves the xylophone the most. Lots of noise in the CBB house!
That’s all for this week, Happy Easter to all of you.
The CBB Gang!!
CBB Published Posts
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Favourite Weekly Read
I stopped by The Globe and Mail to read their weekly financial facelift story and I was amazed at the amount of money Lauren a 22-year-old had saved. Not only was the impressive $39k in savings and investments awesome but she has goals to buy her first home young like I did and she uses a budget. I don’t even think that a budget entered my mind at that age but if it did I probably would have been far better off knowing my numbers rather than just being frugal.
Parenting and Home Life
If you are new to gardening or are simply looking for ideas about the best times to start your vegetable garden I’ve found this great list of vegetables along with planting dates. Keep in mind where you live and the climate may make a difference in timing your planting season.
Frugal Recipe Of The Week
I think I may have heard of Funeral Potatoes once during the nightly What’s For Dinner chat on my Facebook page but I have not actually seen them or tried them before. They are inexpensive to make and don’t seem difficult to put together. Sounds like a perfect side-dish for Easter dinner.
If you’ve never heard of Funeral Potatoes before, you are in for a treat! This creamy, cheesy potato casserole is a real crowd-pleaser, and is ubiquitous at most social gatherings here in Utah. (And yes, that does include actual funerals.) It’s also an incredibly popular side-dish for Easter dinners, though I’m not sure how that came about.
You can check out the recipe for Creamy Funeral Potatoes over at One Good Thing!
I agree that there is power in positive affirmations as long as you do something about what you want to change in your life. I find the more I think down about things in a negative manner the angrier I become about the situation. Stay positive, Be positive and you WILL attract positive in your life. Saying, “I am proud of my efforts” is far better than saying, I suck at my job, my relationship and so on.
CBB Words of Wisdom
Complain all you like but that won’t change a damn thing!
Saturday Search Term Giggles
Every week I get tens of thousands of people who visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. (SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly and it has spelling errors.
- Price of currants at the Bulk Barn- Hold on, let me check!
- Retired husband spends all the money- Perhaps it’s time for hims to start a money-making hobby
- Can I remodel a whole house for $20,000- Sure if you live in a barn
- Stupid Skilled Trades- The only thing stupid about this is that you Googled It. NO TRADE is Stupid.
Most times funny, Sometimes serious.
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Hey…if you see any mistakes let me know. I’m not an editor just a guy who likes to write and yes I make mistakes.
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Note: Some posts on CBB may be paid and written by me and is of my opinion of a product/service that I’ve tried and used before. Please read disclaimer.