All About Budgets

How To Catch Up With A Late Payment (Sample Letter) : February 2019 Budget Update

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how to catch up with a late payment strategies


Late payment stress begins before a payment is late and increases into a migraine afterwards especially when you are struggling to make ends meet.

A missed credit card payment, falling behind on bills, or even a late mortgage payment including loans can really set you back financially especially when expenses start to mount.

Not only are you faced with extra costs arising from interest but the headache of trying to sort out the late payment and then possibly your credit report.

One of the first signs of financial breakdown is when bills start going unpaid leaving creditors scrambling to try and get money from you, even a bit.

The phone might start ringing off the hook, letters arrive in the mail or you may even get a knock on your door with a registered letter.

The last thing you want though is to have late payment credit score notes on file because they can hurt you in the future if you need a loan, mortgage, apply for a rental apartment or even apply for a credit card.

How to catch up on more than one late payment

This can be tricky especially if you have an irregular income or were expecting a pay cheque that didn’t arrive but your bills have come due.

Below are a few suggestions that would help get you organized to help you take steps to paying off the bills that are late.

Create a debt repayment plan using our free debt repayment printable

  1. List who you owe money to and always track your bill payment dates
  2. Automate bill payments if possible and make sure money is in the account each month
  3. Contact who you owe money to via phone, email or by writing a letter.
  4. Create a budget if you haven’t already
  5. Pay off the bill collectors who are screaming for money first to get rid of them
  6. Create a payment plan (who you will pay and how much you will pay) –Snowball your payments if you can’t pay them in full. The snowball method which is paying the smallest debt off first and the minimum payment on the larger debts.
  7. Earn more money, ask for a raise. If you find you can’t pay your bills on time each month perhaps earning extra cash on the side might be beneficial. You could even start a blog!

How to remove a late payment

I remember the first year we moved into our house and we had a late payment charge the first month because we forgot to pay our city taxes.

At the time we planned to pay our taxes manually instead of including them with our mortgage something that most people do.

I have no idea why we chose to go that route but we did and nearly got dinged for it.

It was early afternoon when I brought the mail home and there was a letter from the city stating that we had a late payment for our city taxes. Immediately my wife got on the phone to the tax department to plead our case.

How were we going to get out of this late payment charge that could affect our credit score?

It would most definitely be on our credit score because any time you have a late payment for anything you owe money for it will show up for creditors to see when they access your credit report.

First off I want to say that the outcome of our situation may not be what you will face as every organization is different. If you want to remove a late payment the first thing you should do is make a phone call and plead your case.

Second, you need to have the cash ready to pay it in full or else they will probably tell you, sorry.

In our case it was our first month moving into the house and they let us off thankfully citing the overwhelming amount of things that new homeowners have to go through. We got lucky but it wasn’t the only time we had a late payment on a bill that we were caught off guard with.

A late payment penalty can be anything from interest charges to putting a hold on your account until the payment is made.

If you are dealing with a late mortgage payment you may be able to get one month’s forgiveness as some mortgages have a clause that allows you to skip a month.

It’s important to always make a phone call as soon as you know you will have a late payment or if you know you will have a tough month paying bills.

Fixing a late payment mess

It doesn’t matter if you are 3 days late or even a one day late credit card payment or any bill that is due and you don’t cough up the cash you will be hit with interest and possibly put in the credit report clinker (jail).

Related: Why People Hate Knowing Their Debt Repayment Numbers (Free Printable)

An overdue payment is late when the money whether you paid it into your bank or not has not been processed.Many banks take up to 3 days to process a bill payment so always pay your bills at least a week in advance or go direct to the source to pay it.

By this I mean if you have a hydro bill to pay go straight to the hydro department to pay it rather than putting it through your bank.

Alternatively, auto payments are a great way to make sure your bills are paid on time BUT you can’t pay for bills when there is no money in the bank to pay for them.

This is the case for most people who fall behind with a late payment which is what happened to us earlier this year.

Since we have many bank accounts with Simpli Financial we tend to move money to our chequing account monthly for bill payments and investments.

After my father-in-law passed away in 2018 and his bank account was frozen we panicked and went straight to our bank. Mrs. CBB and I both had separate accounts due to me trying to build credit in Canada.

Since I had been here long enough to have a high standing credit score we should have taken steps earlier to put our bank accounts in both of our names.

We went through the process to do so but the overdraft on our chequing account did not follow suit which meant we left ourselves open to disaster if we didn’t move enough money over.

Overdraft was always just for emergency purposes but in this case it wasn’t even enough to cover our investments that went through NSF.

After many phone calls and a written letter apologizing and stating our case we were happy to hear back that the late payment wouldn’t affect our credit score and that it was handled.

This may not happen for everyone but it’s worth a shot if you happen to fall into a late payment by error like we did. We’ve since added a larger overdraft cushion just in case and track all of our bill payments on paper to make sure they get paid each month.

Late Payment Letter (Sample)

You can go to my free downloads page to get the PDF or Word document that you can edit and print to make things easier.

Below is a sample letter that you can edit as you see fit which you can use to send to your bill payment companies.  (remove this before you send it).


Your First and last name

Full Address

Phone number

Company Name (Who the bill payment is for)

Full Address

Phone number

To whom it may concern, (or personalize with a name)

I’m writing you today to inform you that I am struggling with our financial situation at home which means I’m late paying for my (insert bill payment here including account number).

We are working on a strategic budget plan to get back on track but in the meantime I’m hoping that we can come to an arrangement to pay the bill in full by (insert date).

I’m also hoping that we can work on removing any notes that may be left on my credit report since I’ve been an excellent customer and this is my first time being late with a payment.

If you’d like to talk on the phone or in person I’m more than happy to accommodate your schedule.  Please contact me at (insert your phone number here).

I’m looking forward to hearing back from you.


Mr/Mrs. Peabody

Whatever you choose to do with a late payment make sure that you pay it in full by a set date and to contact who you need to pay before anything else.

Letting them know you are aware of the late payment and that you plan to do something about might just keep you in their good books. Just try not to let it happen month after month.

Related: How to handle a missed bill payment for the last time

Discussion: How do you handle a late payment when paying your bills?

Money earned in February 2019

February 2019 Month Income and Expenses

February was a good month for us income especially on the blog where we earned an impressive almost $3500 which is not reflected in our above net income as I keep it separate.

I do however add it into our net worth updates each month but don’t offer up the figures as I’ve never really blogged about it before.

I don’t think that will happen every month but earning extra income is a great way to supplement cash flow for anyone.

I’ll likely write more about blogging and earning money this year so get ready for that especially if you’ve ever considered blogging for extra cash.

Money wise I can tell you that we also spent thousands on something for Mrs. CBB which I will talk about next month or so in a blog post.

You may notice the large miscellaneous charge on our budget below and this is in part what it’s from because it was not a projected expense but a needed procedure.

On a good note it was nice to see that we put more into our emergency savings this month since the last couple of months we haven’t had too much extra sitting around.

In February we also had to pay for Mrs. CBB getting a crown from the dentist but we won’t see the realization of that until March I believe as we are waiting to hear back from the insurance company.

A crown will run someone close to $1000 without benefits but with ours it will cost us half of that so just under $500. She still needs one more crown so more expenses that were not expected coming right up in 2018.

We’ve also been looking into getting an occupational therapist for our son who needs help with focusing in daily life. This will be another blog post to write which is a bit emotional for the both of us.

It’s also that time of year that we start signing our son up for spring and summer sports. This year we have him swimming, baseball, soccer and a gig where they teach kids a variety of sports which he loves.

Budget percentages February 2019

February 2019 Household Percentages

Our savings of 40.87% includes investments as well as any savings for this month based on the income of $9566.94.

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 more than 100% of our income which shows that we had to pull money from the emergency savings account to pay for it.

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.

February 2019 Month Income and Expenses

  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: $4792.05
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$9566.94
  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 = $213.01
  8. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$7335.56
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $956.94 (total net monthly income) – $213.01 (projected expenses) –$ 2018.37 (savings from emergency fund) = $7335.56
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $9566.94 (total monthly net income) – $7335.64 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $213.01 (projected expenses) = $2018.29

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 February 2019.

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

Budget colour chart: If highlighted in blue that means it is a projected expenses      

Note: We’ve decided to keep our grocery budget at $410.

February 2019 Monthly Budgeted Amounts

February 2019 Actual Budget Update

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.

2019 Budget Challenge- 7 Monthly Budget Reports

2019 Canadian Budget Binder Budget Challenge

When I was looking for people to join the CBB 2019 Budget Challenge back in December I had over 20 people interested in joining.

I’m thrilled to say we have 7 CBB fans who reported and are 100% in the Budget Challenge.

As they go along you may see their budget reports increase in data which I expect especially because it’s a learning experience for all of us.

The budget reports below will remain anonymous unless the writer chooses to use their name and each one will be unique. They get to choose how they report their budget back to us.

Here we GO!!!

P.S- Don’t forget to leave them a comment about their budget challenge report.

Budget Report #1

Our Valentines was VERY quiet because I found an awesome GIC rate so I cleaned out the vacation accounts and invested the money for 23 months! Guess it’s time to start saving furiously again if I want to go away at all in 2019 or 2020.

Hubby says once money goes into our accounts…I absolutely hate to take it back out for any reason. He’s so right! I’ll do just about anything to save up more funds rather than spend what we already have.

He knows that all to well…tax refunds, gifts and windfalls go directly to savings…do not pass go and do not collect $200. We live within the budget, period, full stop. We can always spend the money later on but there is no guarantee that we will ever receive the un-budgeted cash again. So enjoy it, invest it, watch the interest compound, ah!

I also told hubby that our grocery budget for February was pretty darned lean (I used some of it to top up the Future Vacation CMPD GIC) and that we’d be having our Valentine’s treat by shopping the fridge and freezer BUT in fact I used some of my MORE points to get a whole tray of JUMBO shrimp with cocktail sauce for FREE (normally $34.99.

I’d never pay that!). I did splurge and get hubby a small tray of bakery fresh cinnamon rolls for his Valentine’s night dessert and his lunches on sale for $3.99. I’m the last of the big time spenders obviously!

We started our Valentine’s the night before when I asked him if he would be my Valentine for the 31st year in a row! I am thrilled to say, he agreed once again!! I hurt myself on the 13th so our special dinner got postponed one night so that I could fully enjoy it too. On the 14th we had a bottle of Chilled Raspberry juice in the fridge for our “wine substitute”.

For our meal we made a pot of Creamy and Brothy Potato Soup. Little did hubby know I also had a cinnamon bun and tea planned for his dessert. Sneaky devil aren’t I?

The Valentine’s main, pushed back to the 15th, was the FREE jumbo shrimp re-heated briefly with a dry garlic sauce and served alongside Steamed Carrots, Snap Peas, Onions & Assorted Bell Peppers and a bed of rice.

Not bad for a stay home supper huh…even if it was one day late? I did get a little Valentine’s present this year…hubby used his weekly allowance to pick up a box of dark chocolate salted caramel at Purdy’s.

OMG they are totally sinful! I hid them at the back of the fridge so that we can dole them out to ourselves sparingly throughout the year. I can’t tell you how much that box of chocolates means to me.

He gave up ALL of his spending money for a whole week…as in no Timmies coffees for him during his coffee break at the off just so he could buy it without me seeing the price on a credit or debit transaction.

What a lucky lady I am! I was a little less affluent with his little Valentine’s Day treat. I bought him a bag of Sour Jelly Bellies (on sale for $2) and gave it to him for his lunchtime surprise.

He loves Jelly Bellies and they are expensive little devils usually. I finally got the medical expense claim forms for 2018 done and off to our extended insurance company so I am anxiously awaiting a cheque.

Every year when we get it, it goes straight into our Car Replacement account. I want to pay cash the next time we get purchase a car. I figure it will probably be our last car purchase when hubby retires.

No financing charges for us. See what I mean, un-budgeted money goes straight to savings? I have 7/8 of our next vehicle funds already saved up. Once that’s done, it’ll be time to save for our next roof replacement & upgrades on the furnace and heat pump that’ll be another $40,000 at least to update them all.

I could cover them right now if I had to by robbing Peter to pay Paul but I’d rather wait and have a fistful of cash so I’m not dipping into our emergency funds. My middle name ought to be “Delayed Gratification”. See what I mean, I hate to spend money once it’s saved?

The first part of the year is always kind of tight for us, as is the end of the year…there’s RRSP and TFSA fees to pay and until we hit a certain $$$ threshold, we have some pretty hefty prescription costs to pay despite our extended medical coverage and the annual car insurance renewal cost for the next year.

At the same time, I am also getting ready for our personal income tax returns, accounting fees, property taxes, our RRSP and TFSA contributions and our annual contribution to our non-registered investment accounts. I try to send as much as I possibly can each year to the brokers.

I feel better the more I can send for long-term investment. It’s out of sight and out of mind until it comes up for maturity and re-investment.

Did you notice that I did not mention a withdrawal of funds?

Once it goes to long-term says, it is never seen again! And, let’s just say there’s not an unallocated nickel that isn’t heading straight to one savings account or another to bump up those long-term savings.

Speaking of nickels…one came in the mail with some address stickers and it’s heading for the savings too with my next bank deposit. At the end of the year it’s all about bills, bills, bills, house insurance, travel medical insurance, renewal of the BCAA membership, renewing the Costco membership and of course all the various holiday season expenses.

This Christmas will be cheaper though because although hubby will be on vacation, we’re staying home and enjoying some nice little day trips.

I don’t have a lot of wiggle room in our budget, actually none if truth be told, if I want to accomplish all of our 2019 goals so I have been looking really hard at our meal plans and keeping grocery shopping to a dull roar.

I usually budget $190 a month but this year, I plan to channel $100 of that back into the vacation accounts!

I know…OMG! This year is our 25th wedding anniversary and I really want to make sure we can celebrate in style despite my emptying the vacation accounts and investing the funds for a whirlwind kind of trip.

I have a suite booked at the Westin in Whistler for 10 days to celebrate our special anniversary. Our breakfasts and dinners will be prepared in the suite and will include some party trays fixings that we take up with us such as a Cold meats and assorted cheeses, deviled eggs, raw fruit and vegetables, margarine, peanut butter, jam, breads, eggs, bacon and some homemade gluten-free sweet treats not to mention a supply of Perrier, soft drinks and fruit juices.

I also plan to take our popcorn maker with us so we can do popcorn and a movie in front of the fireplace. We’ll have lunch out every day at a different restaurant in the Whistler-Blackcomb area to celebrate the quarter of a century together. Lunches are a lot cheaper than dinners AND there are a lot less drunk drivers on the road in and around Whistler at that time of day.

I actually have a four holidays booked this year using points for the hotels and I think I can manage the meals and gas for all of them with about $1000 total because breakfast and supper included for three of the four trips.

I WILL need to manage VERY carefully to make $90 a month for our groceries work (see me grimacing?) by only picking up what I absolutely HAVE TO HAVE to make our meals. It’s turnover time for the pantry and freezer at our house anyway…it’s not a bad thing to do every once in a while.

So, February closed with $300 in our vacation savings after I stole $100 from the groceries. I hate zero balance bank accounts, don’t you? The new Canada Food Guide is inspiring me to return to my vegetarian and vegan roots so I find that our grocery costs are actually a lot lower these days but that doesn’t mean I am not horrified with some of the dead-of-winter fresh produce prices. Hubby paid $4.79 for one large bunch of celery the other day!

Ouch! I can make a lot of yummy soups/stews/chili and sheet pan suppers though using the frozen vegetables that I have in the freezer and the root vegetables I always keep on hand (Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Celery, Rutabaga, Daikon, Squash and Beets) in conjunction with the lentils/beans/grains that I have in the pantry.

I find meat is not appealing to me these day at all and it really hasn’t in quite some time, but fish and seafood still do, and I try to include them every week at least 3 times. I love sardines, canned mackerel or fish fillets on toast or with a cracker for my breakfast.

I know, my girlfriend says I am strange for eating what she calls “fishy crap” for breakfast.

Hubby hates anything too “fishy” so I don’t push the issue at meals where I am eating with him. He will eat tuna, cod, haddock, red snapper, trout, imitation crab and shrimp and very occasionally salmon and oysters so I pick my battles.

Hubby still has meat in his lunches but I am tempering the number of lunchtime servings using eggs, cheese, nut butters, fish, seafood, meal sized salads and dinner leftovers so that he’s not getting nearly as much meat as he once did.

A good chunk of my grocery budget this month has gone to purchase a 34 quart stock pot (almost $75) so I can make BIG batches of my Doukhobour Borshch for the fridge in quart sized jars. I could eat a bowl of that soup absolutely every day.

Hubby doesn’t like it but it’s a handy little “stay at home” lunch for me. Once the pot arrives, it’ll be time to think about getting some of the ingredients that I don’t currently have on hand.

It’s looking like 2019 will be challenging to reach ALL of our goals but where there’s a will…there’s a way. Are you with me? What goals are you trying to achieve in 2019?

  1. Here’s some of the soups I made in February in case you are looking for ideas for healthy but economical suppers. I find we can usually get 3 meals from a pot of soup:
  • Tomato Vegetable Soup
  • Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
  • Chickpea and Potato Soup
  • 10 Minute Egg Swirl Soup
  • Fully Loaded War Wonton Soup


  1. I made some standard meals this month:
  • JUMBO Shrimp, Steamed Carrots, Snap Peas, Onions & Assorted Bell
  • Peppers with Rice
  • Mennonite Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner with Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Celery,
  • Peppers, Mushrooms and Assorted Peppers
  • Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Pumpkin
  • Cornbread Muffins
  • Grill Ems Smokies on hot dog buns with Tomato-Cucumber-Onion Salad
  • (only hubby eats the smokies so 1 pkg lasts 2 meals)
  • Homemade Kappa Maki Sushi Rolls with pickled ginger and wasabi paste on the side
  • (Nori sheets, sushi rice and matchstick cucumber slices)
  • Cabbage Rolls with Mashed Potatoes and Boiled Onions
  • Maple and Brown Sugar Porridge
  • Cacio e Pepe (Gluten Free Spaghetti tossed with oil, cracked black pepper &
  • Freshly grated parmesan)
  • Homemade Turkey, Salami, Tomato, Onion and Cheese Mini-Subs
  • Fish and Chips
  • Meal Sized Green Salads with Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins
  • Caesar Salads with Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins
  • Soy Roasted Mushrooms, Onions and Snap Pease served on a bed of rice
  • Chicken Pot Pies with a side of coleslaw (hubby only)
  • Sriracha Egg Salad with Coleslaw (me only)
  • Southern Style Green Beans, Potatoes and Ham
  • Imitation Crab Salad with Carrot and Celery Sticks and Tzatziki Dip
  • Bacon-Tomato-Pepper Jack Cheese Sandwiches (I skipped the bread)
  • Oktoberfest Sausages with Mashed Potatoes and Boiled Onions
  • Greek Salads…hubby has feta but I add kalamata olives to mine

Budget Report #2

So looking at some of the comments on last months post, I wanted to put a bit more detail into this months overview of spending.

I follow the Gail Vaz Oxlade budget which breaks down your spending into 5 categories: housing (35%), life (25%), transportation (15%), debt repayment (15%) and savings (10%).

Because I don’t have any debt other than my morgage and car (which I lump in with transportation and housing) I leave 10% to fiddle around with depending on my months needs.

For the last couple of months this extra category has helped pre pay for my vacation I took this month. So in looking at February: Housing: like every month I stayed under and put the extra money into savings.

I put this money aside every month to put towards a one time extra payment each year that I’m allowed to do to pay off my morgage faster. I’m allowed to contribute $8600 extra a year towards my mortgage as long as I do it before October 28th – so I always wait until that week to make sure there isn’t a more pressing need for the money.

If I am able to do this again this year I will be MORTGAGE FREE!

My goal has always been to be morgage free before 40 and I’m on track even if I can’t make the extra payment this year – and it feels good! This month I had $193.8 extra to put aside for October. Transportation: this month I went slightly over my allowance.

I had booked a car rental through my air miles points but still had to pay a bit of out-of-pocket money. The day of my flight my flight got changed and I ended up arriving 5 hours early.

I could either sit around the airport for 5 hours, or I could rent a car for an extra day – which is what I ended up doing.

Between the extra fee, gas fill up and the american exchange rate, I went over by $124. 42. Life: this category always gets me. I’m very rarely under, so some of my extra money normally allotted to debt repayment usually finds its way here.

On top of my normal over spending in this category, I did buy myself some things while on my vacation, and sigh, I hit black ice before my trip and put my car into a tree.

Luckily I wasn’t hurt and the car wasn’t damaged too badly, but this brought me to $758 over budget. But, we also still don’t have water and I’ve noticed we’ve made smarter choices about what we buy to eat, we’ve cut down on eating out, and not having to heat water has cut down our power bill.

So when all is said and done, and I use up all my extra room from my debt repayment money, I’m only over by $475 which I don’t feel too bad about. Savings: I was able to put my full 10% into savings this month.

So as you can see if you add my numbers up, I am over 100%. I have about $600 sitting on my visa waiting to be paid. I have the money in my savings account to pay it but generally wait until the last day to pay off my balance.

My biggest accomplishment of this month was getting my mental health under control. Being depressed all of last month had me spending money on everything in sight that I thought would bring me temporary happiness (stress eater!). I didn’t do this at all this month and am really proud of that fact.

Next month I hope to get back in the swing of things going to the gym more often, listening to my Spotify account, and watching my netflix account.

These all seem like little amounts of money each month, but if they’re not being used then it is wasted money.

Budget Report #3

Hi Mr. CBB,
Here is my February 2019 Budget Challenge…

Inline image

It’s been a busy month, we’ve had a lot of personal changes and adjustments. Most expenses were in line with our budget, but we bought a few new cats toys that put us over our pet budget and as usual, our food expenses exceeded our budget.

The ‘Everything Else’ category this month included: cake supplies, birthday gifts, my son’s 16th birthday party, my son’s contacts, personal care, miscellaneous shopping, and household items.

We bought a hand held Dyson vacuum this month and despite it being a large (and somewhat unplanned) purchase, I am over the moon happy with it! I can’t believe I waited this long to get one.

With two cats, it makes cleaning up hair and litter a cinch. We are also saving for a cruise in December.  It’s the first big family vacation we’ve taken all together since 2009, so I’m quite excited about that too.


  • I got a raise (woohoo)!
  • We earned extra income from over time hours
  • We continued to pay down our debt


  • My hours changed at work, so now we have to pay after-school daycare for our daughter
  • This month we still struggled to get our food (groceries, take out, restaurants, coffee & alcohol) budget down

Overall, I am pleased with our budget this month.  We still have some things to aggressively work on, but I’m optimistic.

Budget Report #4

Good morning,

February budget challenges:

Definitely improvements from last month.


  • A little too much take out still


  • All bills paid on time.
  • Saved $800 towards our savings goals
  • Paid off 2 credit cards.
  • Put more money in my RRSP before the end of February for the tax deduction.


  • We continue to eat out of our pantry, fridge, and freezer.
  • Less take out.

Budget Report #5

Here’s my report for Feb!

Current Status: 116% to budget

Wins: There were three categories that came below budget, Auto, House, and Child. For the money spend on my child, it came in the form of a subsidy from the government for child care.

I’m really looking forward to when he starts Kindergarten, though with one on the way we’re not going to get out of child care that easily, but at least for a year we can breathe.

For the Auto category we lucked out this month and the Vancouver gas prices stayed lower than they’ve been all last year which helped a bit.

I have Pet chinchillas whose expenses get put in the house category, luckily I got enough food for them last month that their bucket wasn’t used for this month.

Fails: We had two buckets that made up the majority of our fail this month, MISC and Food. In the MISC category we had to pay for our passport renewal for myself and my child.

We also moved down into our basement suite and it came with restocking the pantry we were expecting but hadn’t really budgeted for.

One thing that I am proud of this month was that I was able to pay off my Feb expenses on my Credit card, i.e. groceries, gas, etc.

We’d been struggling for a couple of months because we were also buying food for people who were not paying into it monthly.

Now we’re separated its easier on my brain and anxiety only having to worry about my own family.

I’m looking forward to March when we “Shouldn’t” have unexpected expenses and hopefully can keep better to our budget.

Budget Report #6

February’s budget

It was great reading everyone else’s budget report. We started out a few years ago following Gail Vaz Oxlade. We took a seminar with her and actually got to ask questions. So we do the jar system.

We have fuel, groceries, allowances (husband & I), vehicle maintenance, extra (just in case) and trailer(broke the yearly fee down to weekly). My husband thinks that companies should provide health/dental benefits for their employees.

When he started at a previous job, it was going to cost us roughly $100 biweekly. So instead I take out $200 a month and have created a benefits jar. So whatever isn’t covered I just pay from that.

In Nov 2017 I decided that since we like to travel I would start a TFSA and put money in there so we didn’t have credit card debt after we got home from the trip.

My husband started a new job a couple of weeks ago so our earnings were down for the month.

Budget Report #7

*Budget Chart still needs to be submitted.

February was an exciting month for us as We did a major role reversal. I returned to work from maternity leave (5month old) and my husband went on parental leave. I make more with shorter hours so it just made sense.

I also pulled in more than I was expecting from my side hustle which went straight onto debt. We also were blessed with some gift money which we put into some sinking funds and into our house Reno budget for our big March break Reno extravaganza.

That being said we did overspend on groceries (I believe it was the going back to work and not being organized struggle) and we spent too much at Tim Hortons. Again back to work exhaustion and roll up the rim season always gets us.

Looking ahead to our March budget we are doing a big renovation so we hopefully have allowed for everything in that fund and won’t have to touch our extra savings. Also March break means a week unpaid for me and more fun things for kids.

Welcome to our Budget Challengers for 2019 above.

That’s all for this month check back at the beginning of April 2019 (sometimes in the middle) to see how we made out with our March  2019 budget.

Happy Budgeting CBB’ers!

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  1. Budget #7,

    It’s sure exciting times at your house!

    Welcome back to the workforce…I’ll bet it feels good to have some adult contact again. On the other hand, I bet you miss your little one like crazy. There’s two sides to every coin though, right?

    You are so brave taking on the major reno with a wee one at home…but very smart to have hubby on paternal leave to deal with the day to day ups and downs of it. Contractors and trades people still, even in this day and age, seem to be able to communicate better with the man of the house. Why? I don’t know…but I have had to resort to asking my hubby to deal with them on more than one occasion. Maybe that’s just my experience though?

    It sounds like an exciting but topsy turvy kind of time for your family. Good luck! I hope all the changes go smoothly and you end up with the house of your dreams! 🙂

  2. Budget #6,

    Smart ideas you have regarding medical expenses and your TFSA savings!

    Hubby and I don’t travel unless I have the money in place before we leave. I did that once in my 20’s and hated paying for the trip for a year after I was back. It also means we know exactly what we have available to spend on the trip so we can relax and simply enjoy our time away. In 2018 hubby took his first solo trip to California for a month when medical issues prevented me from going with him. He went cash and gift cards in hand, credit cards earning rewards for future travel and he instant messaged me his expenses each evening. I kept an eye on his credit cards for possible fraudulent activity while he was traveling and verified that he was earning all the rewards he was entitled too. By the time he got home, I had paid all of the trip expenses and begun saving for our next trip…perfect!

    I actually use our TFSA’s as just another vehicle to earn compounding income on a tax free basis. Once we have both retired, still a number of years off, our non-registered brokerage account will continue to fund our annual TFSA contributions by moving our investments from the taxable category into non-taxable.

    I use a couple of High Interest Savings accounts with our primary financial institution to fund our holidays. One account is for actual travel costs like airfare, car rentals, train travel and gasoline. The other account funds the meals, groceries, entrance fees, souvenirs and entertainment costs. It makes it very clear weather our vacation will be local or long distance in a given year…based on the balance in the travel account. Since I invested all the funds in both accounts back in February, 2019 will be a year of relatively local vacationing for us. That’s fine with me though, we’ll be on the road again in 202o! 🙂

    Why do I use a savings account instead of the TFSA you ask? Well once funds have gone to the registered accounts, they are not to be withdrawn until it actually NEEDED in our old age. I am a big one for saving for potential needs. I see a vacation as a want. Keeping the money in a different account allows me to see the balance as available and not feel guilty if I withdraw all or some of the funds. Besides, in the savings account I can make a spur of the moment decision to take a trip and grab a handful of cash on my way out of town. No, I’m not heading to Vegas but…I could! LOL 🙂

  3. Budget #5,

    Congratulations on the move! I am sure not subsidizing the food for others will be great for your budget!

    May I suggest that you start building a FUTURE PAYMENTS category into your budget? Hubby and I have 10 year passports so that’s $300/10 years = $30 I set aside each year…$2.50 a month. I set it aside every month and then I have the money all saved up and ready for the next time it’s time to renew. I hate scrambling to try and cover a bill that comes up and I don’t have the money set aside for. This just keeps me on an even keel when I have extra payments.

    Looking forward to hearing how the new place is improving things for you!

  4. Budget #4,

    Congratulations on paying off 2 credit cards! Woo hoo! That’s awesome!

    It looks like several of us are working to beat down our food costs and limit our take-out. Do you have some standby make at home treats that you can call forward when you don’t feel like cooking, are simply too tired or you’ve had a bad day and need a little treat? Pasta is cheap, easy to have on hand and is a comforting meal for a nasty day. I always make sure I have spaghetti and elbow macaroni on hand for this very reason. Best of all, hubby never complains about a pasta supper…in whatever form it arrives.

    I always have a nice dark chocolate bar in my fridge so that if I need a sweet treat to chase away the blues…I can have a square or two.

    My saving grace though is my slow cooker and our homemade soups…I can dump the ingredients into it in the morning and ignore it until it’s time to eat supper. We have a 7 quart slow cooker so with only two of us…that’s 3 meals worth and I don’t have to cook every day! I can switch it up by using different sides that I serve with it i.e. a salad, crudites with dip, a sandwich, a slaw or even a nice home baked muffin or quick bread. It doesn’t fell like the same old same old whith all the different add-ons! 🙂

  5. Budget #3,

    Congratulations on your raise!

    It looks like you and I are both working hard to lower the grocery bill. My secret weapon is staying out of the stores. I have food in the house – just not what I “feel” like eating on a given day. I am working hard to have an attitude of gratitude that I at least have food in the house and I try not to whine at my hubby about what I’d rather have instead.

    Last night I really WANTED a Teriyaki Veggie Rice Bowl from the local sushi place but I settled for a nice big green salad instead. Once I quit my pouting…it really tasted a lot better than a plain old rice bowl with limited veggies would have. Next grocery shop – I’ll pick up a teriyaki sauce so we can make the bowl here at home where I have lots of vegetables and sushi rice. It’s a lot cheaper to make our own and I feel better knowing that I don’t have to do without. My method to achieve the goal is just a little different than simply paying through the nose for take-out. 🙂

  6. Budget #2,

    I so hope you can manage to get your mortgage paid off this year! It feels amazing when it happens and sure frees up a lot of money that can be re-directed elsewhere.

    I would have booked an extra day on the rental car too…a 5 hour stint at the airport would have brought my mood to a really dark place and that’s not really what you needed. I am glad the vacation helped with getting your attitude back in the positive zone. It’s so much easier to cope and make progress with a positive outlook, or at least it is for me.

    I’m really glad you were not hurt in the car accident. It sounds like your 2019 has both highs and lows to it…mine too! I guess that’s what they mean when they say, “Life happens!”.

    Keep up the good work!

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