Our Family Budget | Parenting | Students

How Do Parents Budget For School Fundraising Activities? : October 2018 Budget Update

How Do Parents Budget For School Fundraising Activities_-1


Every so often I blog about certain topics because a fan needs financial advice but today we have questions for parents reading this blog post about school fundraising activities at the elementary school level.

Yes, we have lots of questions because this is new territory for us and like many of you who learn from our experiences with finance we like to learn from you as well.

  • How do you budget for school fundraising activities?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed with school fundraising activities?
  • Does your child feel left out if you don’t participate?
  • Do you feel obligated to participate even if you don’t want to?
  • How do you budget for school fundraising activities?

As new-ish parents with a son in junior kindergarten in Ontario we knew they might have school fundraising activities but not to the extent we’ve experienced since school began this September.

We’ve been budgeting for many years now because frugal living has allowed us to save money, increase our investments for retirement and pay our mortgage off fairly quickly.

The above perks did not happen over night which meant budgeting was and still is an integral part of our financial relationship.

We want to keep it that way so we can teach our son the benefits of budgeting, not getting what he wants when he wants it and because you never know what could happen in life.

Money comes in and money goes out just as fast.

As our son started school in September with-in a day we had a newsletter in his mailbag that introduced us to the first of many school fundraising activities that would follow.

  1. Bake Sale fundraiser
  2. Chocolate Bar fundraiser
  3. Terry Fox Run
  4. Poinsettia’s
  5. Class Trips – Food sales for grade 8’s
  6. Random hat days  (Toonie to support various causes)
  7. Pizza Days

We weren’t prepared as parents for so many fundraising activities but we’re learning and have to modify our budget and way of thinking about donating to help our son, other students and community organizations in need.

Like many of you who are budgeting for the first time or have budgeted for years it’s important to remember that budget categories can jump on your lap at any time.

New Budget Category

What does adding fundraising activities mean for your monthly budget?

Well, it means that you have to either reduce your savings amount, earn more money to pay for the extra expenses, slim back on other areas or not participate in school fundraising activities.

Now, some of you may say that you don’t have any extra money to put towards school fundraising activities and you know what, that’s fine.

No one says you have to participate and to be honest we backed out of the chocolate bar fundraising and offered a donation of $10 instead because we have no interest in selling things.

Some parents bring school fundraising activities to work but I’m not that guy. Friend’s of ours did that with chocolate bars and sold a full case in the first day.

I’m the worst salesperson ever because I don’t like to ask people for money or donations and perhaps as our son gets more involved with the school my mindset will change.

What I wonder is whether kids who’s parents don’t participate feel left out of fundraising activities? I’m not too sure on the approach we will take moving forward however we will add a new budget category for 2019 to include school fundraising activities.

This move for us means that we will likely shift a bit of savings to dedicate supporting our son and his school throughout the year.

We’re fine with this but hope to grow as parents with a son in the education system as times have surely changed since we went to elementary school in the 1970’s

For now we will include a new budget category, learn from other parents and communicate as a family to see what works and doesn’t work for us.

Thanks for your tips everyone.

Please leave any comments below. I will respond to them all.

Money earned in October

October 2018 Month Income and Expenses

Hey everyone,

This was a standard month of spending for our budget apart from buying some renovation materials for the garage that I needed.

I like when we have months like this but I know it’s inevitable that I will be busting through our savings to renovate the rest of our home. At least the outside is 90% done. Next summer we will finish the new deck and we’re done out there!

We also bought our first Christmas gifts in October for the kids in our family because getting a head-start is always nice especially when we’d rather people-watch and do fun things while everyone else is rushing around shopping.

I’m sure we will be doing some online Christmas shopping as well this season. If you do online shopping for Christmas I’d love to hear about your experiences and why you choose to go that route.

Send me an email and tell me all about it! Your email may be posted on an upcoming blog post. 🙂


Budget percentages October 2018

October 2018 Household Percentages

Our savings of 47.36% includes investments as well as any savings for this month based on the income of $8255.10 .

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.

Our monthly 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: $5,238.72
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$8255.10
  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$4,497.65
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $8255.10 (total net monthly income) – $1621.00 (projected expenses) – $2136.45 (savings in to emergency fund) = $4497.65
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $8255.10 (total monthly net income) – $4,497.65 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $1621.00 (projected expenses) = $2136.45

Our 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 August 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 October 2018

October 2018 Monthly Budgeted Amounts

Actual budget expenses for October 2018

October 2018 Actual Monthly Budget

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.

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 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 December 2018 (sometimes in the middle) to see how we made out with our November budget.

Happy Budgeting CBB’ers!

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  1. If it’s a question of the kids participating in a fun event (like the pizza lunches), we make sure our kids are able to participate. I agree with Sandra, it’s tough for the kids who don’t get to participate, but have to be there.
    We have 2 kids in junior high. Along with school fundraisers we also deal with hockey and dance fundraisers. Selfishly, I try to get involved so I can drive the fundraising in a direction a) I prefer and b) what I think most people will support. I have no problem buying products we use on a regular basis (food primarily) through fundraisers, as I would have bought those things anyway. I often fill my freezer with chicken breasts & steak through hockey fundraisers and perogies & sausage through dance fundraisers. I find these are easier to promote to family and friends as well.
    The fundraiser I’m loving is gift cards. For example, I buy $500 in gift cards to the local grocery store, which I would spend there anyway, and the charity gets a percentage (but I still get the full $500). We’ve pre-paid for the next 2 months groceries and gasoline and the charity gets a benefit.
    I will not walk around selling things like chocolate bars, etc. with my kids though. I would rather just make a donation. I understand not every family has this ability though.

  2. My kids are in their thirties now but I cannot believe how the fundraising has increased with my grandchildren.We always participated in the pizza day, hotdog day etc. It was really hard for my children to eat a sandwich when all the others were having pizza. My daughter picks and chooses the fundraisers too but always goes with the lunch ones for the grandchildren.

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