The Budget Movement Is Getting Back To Bare Basics
I’m willing to bet that many of you have monthly budget expenses that are destroying your ability to cash in on paying off debt and increasing your savings power.
Don’t worry, so do we which is why we review our monthly budget expenses every year and we want to reiterate how important this procedure is for everyone.
As the cold settles it’s that time of year when Canadians want to know how to cut their monthly budget expenses because the New Year presents new opportunities to get out of debt and flourishing savings.
Sounds lavish but not for everyone.
in the eyes of standardized optimism January is the starting line for budgeting and December is the finishing line. I believe starting a budget at any time is better than not starting at all.
Grocery prices are increasing by 1.5% to 3.5% in 2019 and Canadians panic because that means change once again to their monthly budget expenses. Well, I hate to break it to you but this financial roller coaster never going to end, ever whether you have money or not.
When one thing goes up another goes down and 3 other things go back up again. Our money is at risk of constant fluctuation coming in and going out unless we grab hold of it tightly and manage it right.
Unless we bring in more money or spend less than we earn than we are fighting a losing battle.
No matter how much we scream to the politicians about the cost of living, minimum wage, homelessness and other financial crisis’ that need attention the only person who can help you out, is you.
There will always be resources surrounding those in need but at the end of the day you pick up the pieces or your wait for the next financial blow.
You’re here reading Canadian Budget Binder and we hope you consider our journey a resource to help inspire your path to debt freedom.
Do you really need it?- Bare Budgeting Questions to ask yourself
Will you make your money goals for 2019?
In all of my years blogging about frugal living and finance on CBB I’ve come to learn that every single reader of this blog has a different financial situation and ideals how money should be saved and spent.
The only person that can save someone from drowning financially, is you. It won’t be me no matter how many tips and personal experiences I share with you.
YOU have to make the changes necessary to see a positive spin on what you may consider a faulty financial path for whatever reason.
On that note lots of readers have come to me looking for help on slashing their budget expenses because they’ve failed in the past, need support or would like someone to challenge them to become better at saving money.
What’s easy for one person many not be easy for another, I get it but there are always going to be general notions around ways to chop budget expenses although they may not all apply to you.
If you’re already living what you consider on little to nothing and you feel you cannot drastically cut monthly budget expenses there may still be ways you can save a few hidden bucks.
You know that I’ve had people of all walks of life categorized as blue collar, white collar, welfare, disability, fixed incomes and even homeless who end up finding ways to save money over the years.
Optimism is a fine outlook to have even in the wake of struggles.
It’s easier to put a blanket over a financial situation and say it won’t work rather than taking baby steps to even save a few dollars a month.
You have to make that decision and that might mean you don’t get everything you want but as long as you get what you need that’s what matters most.
Even if you aren’t struggling financially or want to free up cash for your savings or retirement there are ways you can drastically cut monthly budget expenses in 2019 to help you achieve your money goals.
The problem is that not everyone wants to give up something to get something because of excuses or fulfillment needs that are hard to walk away from.
That leaves a fine line between not saving money or having to find extra income to boost your savings power. There really isn’t much more to the equation at that point.
Things you can live without
After living in Canada for 11 years I have yet the need to buy a cell phone. I have a child, wife, home, vehicle and no cell phone which means I’m doing what everyone else did before cell phones became a ‘thing’.
You know those signs in restaurants that ask patrons to talk face to face instead of worrying about free wi-fi? Well, I tend to lump myself in the category of people who do like to talk to the people I go to dinner with, when I go which is not often.
People survived and they will still survive without owning one but it’s the addiction or need to have social media and technology at our finger-tips that drives the insane industry of convenience.
The ease in texting instead of calling on the phone or ordering online instead of shopping at the store has all become budget menaces for those who can’t afford it or know how to back away when debt is in over-load crisis.
Take a look at the GPS vs. The Paper Map. Although one can get you from point A to point B quicker you’re going to pay the price for that convenience. Do you really need it? We’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that a GPS is the best and most efficient way to solve our transportation woes.
I bet there are lots of people who would struggle to use a paper map for this reason which is why going back to basics is like getting your back-up plan in order.
Bare Budgeting – Monthly Budget Expenses
What does the term “bare” really mean?
Stripping down to little or nothing. This means your monthly budget will be nothing more than needs IF that is the route you need to take which will help solve your financial troubles.
Giving up something to get something is how it’s done and most often people forget about this which is what got them in the money mess from the get-go.
If you need to add minimum 1 cup of chocolate chips to a banana chocolate chip muffin to make it taste perfect that’s all you’d really need however there are some people who would rather use 2 cups even though it’s overkill.
What would happen if you eliminated the chocolate chips? You’ve taken that jazzed up chocolate muffin and turned it into a basic banana muffin.
It’s still edible and will feed your sweet tooth and perhaps fill your belly for a little while. The job is complete. This is the difference between budget expenses that are the bare minimum and those that are not.
What that means is that keeping things simple and without all the extras or frills is what your budget needs in order to get you to your financial target whatever that may be.
Another example may be that you only need 1 pair of running shoes yet you have 10 pairs. Perhaps 2 might be sufficient but for someone else having 1 pair will meet their immediate needs.
You make the final call
I can type a list of things for you to lower your monthly budget expenses especially those that are destroying your budget BUT you already know what they are. You’ve read about them a million times but either fail at keeping the promise you made to yourself or are setting yourself up for failure.
Take a look at your budget categories especially when you are calculating how much you have to spend each month after paying your fixed expenses and debts then ask yourself what is a NEED and what is a WANT.
Consider elimination, supplementing or lowering your monthly budget expenses.
- Limited to no eating out- Cook at home
- No more latte or stops at convenience shops
- Chop the cable, cell phone, home phone, internet or lower your package costs by negotiating a better deal
- Decrease your monthly allowance or add one to help overspending
- Cancel subscriptions you probably don’t read or need
- Commit to finding a set amount of money each month to save for emergencies even if it is $5
- Stop shopping for stuff you don’t need or will end up collecting dust.
- Set a grocery budget and stick to it even when prices increase. Use all the savings power you can via coupons, money-saving apps, reward points weekly sales, unadvertised sales and so on. Never buy anything at full-price if you can help it.
- Stop buying books and use the library (big waste of money)
- Workout at home for free and rid of that gym membership
- Limit or eliminate your entertainment, drinking, smoking and other costly expenses you can do without.
- If you can walk where you need to go keep your vehicle at home or even better bike, take the bus even if takes you a bit longer to get to your destination.
- Always be mindful of your utility expenses and ways you can decrease those costs.
Almost all of the above I’ve talked about on the blog year after year but as a side-note there are always new readers who need the push to free up heavy monthly budget expenses.
I wish you all the luck in 2019 and don’t forget to go download our free 2019 excel budget spreadsheet!
Join the Budget Movement and knock debt on its A$$.
P.S- Did you notice the most commonly used word in this post is YOU?
Discussion: What will be some drastic changes you make to your monthly budget expenses in 2019? (Leave me a comment below as I’d love to know.)
Money earned in November
Our biggest expense budget category this month was miscellaneous which are typically odds and sods or things we just couldn’t predict happening throughout the year as a project expense. Thankfully we have our projected expenses in place because numbers like this could be a a lot worse than they are.
Ideally you can take what you’ve learned or spent and decide whether it was a one-off or it’s something you need to incorporate into your projected expenses for next year.
We will definitely see some budget increases for 2019 based on the year we’ve had but perhaps we may see some decreases as well. Plus, Mrs. CBB is finally jumping into the allowance game which may help solve one of our problems.
- Hot Water tank expense
- Health and Beauty
Have a Merry Christmas everyone and I will see you back in 2019.
Budget percentages November 2018
Our savings of 26.27% includes investments as well as any savings for this month based on the income of $8708.18.
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.
- Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from.
- Emergency Savings Account– This is a high-interest savings account.
- Regular Savings Account– This is a savings account that holds our projected expenses.
- Monthly Budgeted Total: $5,238.72
- Monthly Net Income Total: $8708.18
- (Check out our Ultimate Grocery Guide to see where our grocery money goes)
- Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $1,621.00
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: $6399.51
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $8708.18 (total net monthly income) – $1621.00 (projected expenses) – $687.67 (savings in to emergency fund) = $6399.51
- Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $8708.18 (total monthly net income) – $6399.51 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $1621.00 (projected expenses) = $687.67
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 November 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 November 2018
Actual budget expenses for November 2018
Our FREE simple budgeting series
Do you want to learn to budget like we do?
Our Ultimate Budgeting Guide from A to Z has everything you need to know about budgeting in one blog post.
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 1– Gathering All the information
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 2– Budget Categories
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 3– Tracking Receipts
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 5– 5S Organization
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 6– Who Does What and When?
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 7– Balancing Our Budget
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 8– Knowing our Coupon Savings
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 9– Reading Our Bills
- 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.
- December 2017
- January 2018
- February 2018
- March 2018
- April 2018
- May 2018
- June 2018
- July 2018
- August 2018
- September 2018
- October 2018
That’s all for this month check back at the beginning of January 2019 (sometimes in the middle) to see how we made out with our December budget.
Happy Budgeting CBB’ers!
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