Our Family Budget

Bills Come First That’s How You Stay Out Of Debt : July 2018 Budget Update

Bills Come First,That's How You Stay Out Of Debt!



If you want to stay out of debt, pay your bills it’s as easy as that however for those of you who fall behind it becomes a game of catch-up. This is one of the deadliest financial games to be involved in because it can take months even years if at all to pay back money you owe for services you purchased or were provided with.

Almost everyone plays the game because let’s be honest, we’re not all made of money. Unless you were born in a money pit you have to work for your cash and have bills like everyone else. This is what we call everyday-life and working for a living. I do it and it sucks (although I do love my job) but it has to be done or we suffer the consequences of falling behind with our bills, bill collectors calling and possibly bankruptcy.

Not only that but factor in the mental and physical stress that comes along with financial struggles and you’ve got a hell of a mess happening. Money worries can take over your life fairly quickly. I also want to be clear that there are people who have money and no financial worries and still struggle with stress because they have to keep up with their lifestyle. I suppose a rich stress. I don’t know. It’s a game and when you roll the dice you take what you get or you say the heck with it and sort it out.


Bills always come first


The amount of people who I come across that are struggling financially because they live in world where they think the next pay cheque is their windfall is outstanding. If I only pay the minimum payment on my bills I can afford to spend on something else. Just thinking that is fire. Too many people live pay to pay and it’s not because they have to it’s because they choose to apart from exceptional situations.

I know there are people out there that struggle and it’s hard, very hard but I know there’s always a way to help yourself financially if need be. Giving up on your dire money situation doesn’t solve your problem what helps is offering your money the chance to survive by throwing it a life-preserver.

Often times there is a struggle when you try to help or advise someone because it becomes a chair you don’t want to sit in as you’ll never win. Even if someone wants your help if they walk into a meeting or conversation with a negative mindset then the meeting was over before it started.

You can offer all the experiences, advice, resources and tools but if someone has it in their mind that it’s impossible to save money then they will never change. That’s the downfall of finance especially when you want to reach out to those people who need it the most.


Reaching out for help


Just recently we assisted a mother and her son with extra clothing that we had from our little guy and my wife did a closet clear-out to donate to her. Her situation was unique as she came from an abusive relationship where he worked on and off and she stayed home with her son. There was no way they could afford daycare so staying home was the best option for her at the time.

Any money that came in was spent on alcohol, food and any bills that had to get paid but only the minimum payment. Thankfully they didn’t have much debt but there was no getting ahead. Often he would lend money to his buddies as they were broke which caused even more financial stress on the family.

They had little to no savings and what they did have was because she stashed it away without him knowing. She was in charge of the finances but he did what he wanted so she was backed into a corner. They lived in a housing community where rent was paid based on what they earned and living conditions weren’t the best.

In her spare time she would try to earn extra money by babysitting for her friends because her boyfriend would spend money without any regard. She knew they were in trouble financially but not sure how to get out of the situation other than leaving him. Finally she did that and now she’s starting over.

When I talked to her she said something that stuck with me, “If you want to stay out of debt, bills come first” and she’s right. Not all money conversations fall on deaf ears and this was one of them and it was nice to hear her enthusiasm. Instead of buying new clothes even at a discount or second-hand shop she opted for free clothes from the community instead.

Sometimes going the free route is the best route to help get you back on your feet. This allows her to save money where she would have spent it otherwise. She also uses the food bank and accepts offers from a community of moms on Facebook that help each other out when needed. There are resources out there.

I don’t know who she is apart from our brief conversation at out house when she picked up the clothes that we gave her but what I can see is a brighter future for her and her son. Knowing that she took the bus across town to pick up the free goods and that she said to us that any money she can save after paying her bills would go into a small savings account brightened my day.

Whether she keeps up with her financial goals will be unknown and in that short conversation she told me that she wouldn’t be where she is today without determination to better her life. The hardest part is getting out and moving forward but once you do there’s no looking back if you really want to be successful.

If you want to do something you have to remove all the barriers and often that means reaching out and asking for help even if is on social media or through community organizations. Don’t be ashamed, be proud that you are willing to say, I need help and then pay if forward when you can.

Pay your bills, stay out of consumer debt and the money game.



Money We Earned In July


July 2018 Month Income and Expenses

Hey everyone,

Although we had a great July financially lots of our money went to renovation materials which we purchased on our credit card. Right now I’m in the middle of removing an existing wood fence from our property and building a new one.

I’ve had a bit of help but I’m doing the work alone most days which has saved all of the neighbours money, including ourselves. It will be interesting to see the end tally.. Some of the money we spend will come back to us once the neighbours put their share in the pot.

Have a great month friends,



Our FREE Simple Budgeting Series


The Ultimate Guide For Beginner Budgeting-1

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.

Our Ultimate Budgeting Guide from A to Z has everything you need to know about budgeting in one blog post.

  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 July 2018


July 2018 Household Percentages

Our savings of 21.67% includes investments as well as any savings for this month based on the income of $10,661.94. We put money away for the projected expenses for things that need to be paid for in the coming months. 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


July 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: $5,323.72
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$10,661.94
  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 = $1,621.00
  8. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$8330.39
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $10,661.94 (total net monthly income) – $1621.00 (projected expenses) – $710.55 (savings in to emergency fund) = $8330.39
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $10661.94 (total monthly net income) – $8330.39 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $1621.00 (projected expenses) = $710.55

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 July 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 July 2018


July 2018 Monthly Budgeted Amounts


Actual budget expenses for July 2018


July 2018 Actual Monthly Budget

I forgot to add in the Christmas Reserve Fund which Mrs. CBB pointed out so I will sort that out for next month and make sure it gets updated.


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.

That’s all for this month check back at the beginning of September 2018 (sometimes in the middle) to see how we made out with our August budget.

Happy Budgeting CBB’ers!

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  1. Thanks for sharing this article. I also think that it is very important that we pay bills first and avoid debts. I think that by doing that we will surely be able to avoid financial issues.

  2. Yes,I totally agree with what you said. I think that we should definitely pay bills and our other obligations then create a good budget. This article is very informative and useful. Thanks for sharing this article.

  3. Whether in formal employment or self-employed, the rule of thumb is paying all your bills on time to avoid falling into debts regardless of the temptation to use your income otherwise.

  4. “Bills come first” is the best way to live to feel able to make decisions that will alleviate stress. I put money into lots of little pots (figuratively) such as gifts, RRSP contributions–I know, non-negotiable but I leave it in a special account and buy more at the end of the tax year, allowances (that becomes a new piece of technology), car repairs, etc. etc. These little pots are flexible in that they can always be re-allocated so that “bills come first” in a pinch. In addition, I have a false ceiling in my chequing account, an amount that prevents me from paying any account fees. If I had to, it would go to bills.
    My personal motto is “Be prepared for tomorrow.”

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