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How To Get Your 2020 Home Budget Plan Organized : November 2019 Budget Update

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Budget Binder Organization


With the New Year upon us, it’s time to start thinking about your 2020 Home Budget Plan so you’re organized come January.

To do this I suggest a few simple tasks that won’t take much effort or time but will be valuable for you in the New Year.

What does it mean to create a budget?

It means that you are putting your finances into something that you can review, update and track so you know where your money is going.

Choose A Home Budget That Fits Your Lifestyle

A budget can be elaborate or simple based on your expertise of using one as well your desire.

I also would consider what is currently causing you the most debt.

For example, if using a credit card is pulling you deeper into debt you can’t repay fully each month perhaps a cash-only budget is an answer.

So, certainly think about the type of budget that might suit your lifestyle come the new year.

Other types of home budget ideas to consider:

Keep in mind that not all budgeting apps or external budgets may come with costs as not all of them are free.

You may also want to consider how safe your information as opposed to using a simple excel budget or printable budget.

The choice is yours as many budgeting apps are very popular by consumers who want the app to do the work for them.

If your home budget app is connected to your bank account the app will further explore and calculate your finances without much effort by the user.

Basic Home Budget Living Expenses

Every budget needs budget categories that fit their lifestyle which includes basic living expenses.

These are like your baseline budget categories that most people will have and then you expand from there.

By this I mean you add other budget categories that you need to save for or are part of your financial plan.

For example:

  • Rent/Mortgage payments
  • Utilities such as Hydro, Gas, Water, Telephone, Cable, Internet, Water Heater/Furnace etc.
  • Transportation
  • Home Maintenance
  • food expenses
  • Clothing
  • Insurance ( property, life, health, and accident)
  • Property Taxes

For more Budget Category ideas I wrote a post a couple of years back that shares more in-depth conversation about this topic.

I also suggest reading the Budget Step 2 in my Budget Mini-Series about home budget categories and how we created ours.

How To Create A Home Budget

One of the best experiences of our life that have drastically changed the way we save and spend money is by using a budget.

I’m not one to brag but we are debt-free not just because of the money we net each month but because we knew where it was going.

If you do what we initially did and calculated numbers in our head or scribbled on a piece of paper you’re going to fail miserably.

However, if you take simple money management seriously you’ll find areas you can improve your expenses coming in and going out.

By decreasing debt, increasing income, saving more money and putting effort into your financial plan you’re on a winning path to debt freedom.

You may not get there as fast as we did but you’re doing something about it which is far more than some people do.

Don’t be the person at the end of the path who wishes they had done more when they could have.

Trust me when I say the older you get the more expensive life can get even if you are debt-free. 

One of my personal goals for 2020 is to share with you the costs involved with becoming a senior and long-term care costs.

Not everything is free and boy do the expenses add up and it scares us to death.

So, on that note start by reviewing our extensive 10-Step Mini Budgeting Series and follow the home budget plan tips below.

If you are stuck on anything feel free to message me any time.

2020 Home Budget Plan Tips

  1. Pick a home budget or budgeting app that works for you
  2. Choose home budget categories that fit your lifestyle
  3. Organize how you will keep your receipts and document your journey in a Budget Binder.
  4. Consider who will manage your home budget.
  5. Plan a day of the week to work on your home budget for 20-30mins
  6. Always do a monthly home budget update just like this one or join our 2020 Budget Challenge.
  7. Review and adjust your budget as needed if you are overspending or not spending what you alloted.
  8. Educate your spouse if he/she is not participating so they know what to do if you happen to pass away or leave for whatever reason.
  9. Investigate your investments if you have any by setting up a yearly meeting with your financial advisor.
  10. Don’t give up, no excuses because your money works for you and you work for your money.

Once you subscribe to the blog go straight to my Free Downloads Page to print or download our free budgets.

I plan to have our 2020 excel budget spreadsheet update on the page shortly but there are also plenty of budget planning printables for your home budget binder.

You may make mistakes but guess what, so do we and that’s ok we learn from them and move forward.

Give a home budget a try in 2020 and watch how fast your debt decreases and put that smile back on your face.


Home Budget Income Report November 2019

November 2019 Month Income and Expenses

Where did the money go in November?

We had a lucky November where we didn’t spend more than we earned due to renovations and actually saved some money.

Our biggest expenses in November were Christmas gifts as we start to purchase for the holidays, including food.

We are using our projected expenses that we saved over the year so you’ll see our net worth drop because of this but not by much.

Our vehicle maintenance was higher in November because I took the truck to Krown to get it oil sprayed for the winter.

I do this every year so it protects my investment from rust and it works.

Our miscellaneous category is up this month due to travelling to see my mother-in-law, hotel expenses and buying things that she needed.

We don’t charge her for the stuff we buy her like a winter coat, winter boots and Christmas decorations for her living quarters.

One other monthly recurring expense is our son’s soccer which we pay $80 a month for.

It keeps him busy and active and he loves it.

That’s our month!

See you in December for our end of year update.

Home Budget Percentages November 2019

November 2019 Household Percentages

Our savings of 65.50 % include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $11,990.42.

We put money away in our 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 we accounted for all of the income in November.

Monthly Home Budget 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 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.

November 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: $5902.63
  5. Monthly Net Income Total: $11,990.42
  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 = $324.98
  8. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$6331.64
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $11,990.42 (total net monthly income) – $324.98 (projected expenses) –$5,333.80 (savings to emergency fund) = $6331,64
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $11,990.42 (total monthly net income) – $6331.64 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $324.98 (projected expenses) = $5333.80

Monthly Home 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 2019.

Monthly Home Budget Amounts

This budget represents 2 adults and a young boy plus retirement investments.

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

November 2019 Monthly Budgeted Amounts

Monthly Home Budget Actual Expenses

November 2019 Actual Monthly Budget

10 Step Mini Budgeting Series

Free Budget Education

Do you want to learn to budget as 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.

Over the years we’ve created a 10 Step Mini Budgeting Series that will help you understand how to start using a budget.

CBB Home 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.

2020 Home Budget Challenge

2019 Canadian Budget Binder Budget Challenge

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

Note: If you want to join the 2020 Budget Challenge email ( or contact me (see contact Mr.CBB tab) right away.

I will also be posting the challenge on my Facebook page in the coming days.

November 2019 Budget Challenge Update:

And then there were 4!

We started the year with 20 participants and are down to 4.

I’m so proud of these budgeteers!

As our budget challengers ventures along you may see their budget reports increase in data which I expect especially because it’s a learning experience for everyone.

The more you do a task the better you get at it and the more you learn about what you are doing.

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!!!

Budget Challenger #1

I can’t believe it’s the end of November!

Where has this year gone?

Our funds from the CSB/CPB maturities back on the 1st are being held in money market mutual funds at the brokerage house.

I need to scrape together enough funds to deposit to each account that had a maturity…so that I can purchase a higher earning investment vehicle.  

If you are looking for fixed income vehicles, as I do, Non-Registered accounts require a $20,000 minimum purchase but the Registered accounts (RRSPs and TFSAs) only require a $5,000 minimum purchase.

Either way, that’s quite a chunk of change…no matter how you slice those minimums!

We have more CSB/CPB maturities coming in Feb, March and November 2020 and November 2021.

I am treating the money market funds as an income-generating kind of slush fund to gather up all the maturities before I move the funds into a long-term fixed-income asset.

Hubby received his inheritance cheque from his mother’s estate this month.

As agreed, we set aside some funds in a cashable GIC for the purchase of a new car…at some point in time when we get around to it.

Our vehicle is 10 years old and although I would prefer to drive it until it was dead, dead, dead…hubby really wants a new vehicle.

He doesn’t ask for much in this life, so I try my level best to make his wishes and dreams come true when he does make a request. I am rather like my Mom that way.

She always put her wants behind those of the other family members. I didn’t actually realize how very much that was true until after she had passed and we were cleaning out her closet!

She had 2 pairs of slacks, 2 blouses, 2 dresses (one of which was the standard little black dress), 1 housecoat, 2 nightgowns and 1 pink cardigan ,and enough unmentionables for a week to get thru until laundry day.

Notice there wasn’t a single coat in her wardrobe…she always bought for the kids first.

She also had 1 pair of slippers, 1 pair of walking shoes and 1 pair of heels…no boots even though we had lived in Montreal and Toronto for 20 years!!!

Could she afford more?

Absolutely! Did she NEED more? Obviously not.

I learned at my mother’s hip that there is a HUGE difference between what you NEED and what you think you WANT.

Although I have over the years collected more “stuff” than she ever did, I still have the NEED V.S. WANT evaluation deeply ingrained in my psyche. 

Even after deciding that I do actually need something, another of her lessons kicks in.

Do I need it TODAY or can I wait a bit?

Delayed gratification is a real boost to the budget!

The longer I can hold off a purchase, the better my bottom line is.

The balance of hubby’s inheritance was sent to one of our “non-registered” brokerage accounts for investment. 

I am taking this as a teaching opportunity for my husband since I have always handled our investments and this is the perfect way to start to prepare him for the day that he has to take over because he’s younger than I am and will probably outlive me.

I divided the remainder of his funds into 5 equal portions and set up a set of laddered GIC’s.

One fifth will come due in a year, two, three, four and five years. 

We discussed how every year a NEW MONEY cheque will be added to the principal and interest of the maturing GIC before a new 5 year GIC is purchased.  

Easy Peasy!

The plan is to add a sufficient amount of new money each year to effectively double the yield on the maturing principal.

I will work with him on how you actually calculate what you need to add in order to double the yield.  

In addition to teaching him what to do & how to do it – this is a also great chance to get him more involved in the recordkeeping for those GICs, budgeting the NEW MONEY to make those annual cheques not to mention the income tax consequences of earning the interest. 

Once we get the inheritance to the place where it generates enough income.

I’ll get him involved with making his annual TFSA contribution using the earned income…never ever touching his principal. 

It will be like having an ongoing “tax-sheltered gift” from his mother every year for the rest of his life.

It will take us some time to get to that point though.

I’m sure his Mom would be happy to know that not only will he get to enjoy a new vehicle with her help but that he’s also being frugal and investing the vast majority of her gift for his future.

Parents that lived through WWI, WWII, and Korea, not to mention the Great Depression, place an extremely high premium on having funds set aside for a rainy day. 

They also tend to drill the point home with their children.

I think perhaps that was probably a part of my character that my mother-in-law admired. 

She never worried about her son…not even after he was downsized out of a job shortly after our marriage.

I took a second full-time job to cover our “planned budget” including our annual RRSP savings while hubby went back to school and re-trained for 18 months.

I did insist that he get a part-time job though because as my father used to say, “There’s no free lunch in this life!”   

Are both members of your household involved in handling the finances and could your partner take over if they had to?

Back in 2015 when I had a near-death experience, I realized that our finances were far too complicated for my spouse to deal with and that I needed to simplify them and get my husband more involved with the day-to-day management of our finances.

Learn from me and don’t wait until it’s nearly too late to involve your spouse. 

Ensure your family will remain financially sound if you are gone. But on to less morbid thoughts…

The Friday before our planned 25th anniversary get-away, we woke up to a dead car battery and hubby had to hoof it to work on a damp and foggy morning.

It was a pretty chilly half-hour walk.

We have BCAA so we were able to get a boost on a Saturday morning, without having to pay for a service call, and hubby took the car into Canadian Tire to have a new battery installed…at a cost of $214.84.

I wiggled and jiggled the budget to cover our battery installation by reducing the amount of time we planned to be away for our anniversary get-away.

On the morning of our anniversary, I woke up feeling fine at 3:00 am but by 9:00 am I was downright sick and in no shape to travel!

We ended up staying home and having a very quiet day.

Fortunately, I had the fixings on hand to give my sweetie Honey Garlic Ribs, an Egg and Potato Salad with a side of coleslaw for his anniversary dinner.  

I was just drinking sparkling water for mine.

On the plus side, we didn’t spend the $250 I had set aside for our trip so we used those funds to top up the 2020 vacation savings.

Notice that not having to spend the $250 for our anniversary doesn’t mean I can willy nilly splurge unnecessarily.

Rather, it is a perfect opportunity to SAVE! I look for every opportunity I can find to save and it makes me extremely happy to find one.

I would have hated to spend that money and not enjoy myself…so saving was my reward for staying home.

Here’s an update on our current 2019 vacation expenses


Where                          Projected                               Actual



B-Day Get Away         $200                                        $200



Portland Vacation      $400                                        $291.31



Anniversary Trip       $250                                        $0.00



Bellevue Holiday        $650                                        still to come


Annual Allotment    $1,500.00                              $491.31 So far


Our vacation budget finished off the month of November with $3,624.12 in our vacation accounts but let’s say that’s $650.00 remaining for 2019 and $2,974.12 already saved for our 2020 vacationing enjoyment.

Hubby has 40 “vacation days” in 2020 to use, not including the stat holidays and weekends.

We are going to need every penny I can find to slide into those vacation accounts! 

I have oodles of fun things planned. In fact, I have already booked our reservations up to the end of October 2020.

I am just waiting for the bookings to open up for the balance of the year.  

When you are using points for your reservations, it’s smart to grab your reservations as soon as the booking window opens.

For the first time in our married life, I am getting hubby involved in the vacation booking process…he’s in charge of getting our tickets for Disneyland at a good price.  

I’m in charge of the hotel bookings to make sure we have the minimum annual 1 required Hilton property stay (in order to keep our points “active”).

I will also ensure that we earn at least 50 Marriott nights to retain our Platinum status.

That will earn us our third year as Platinum members (2014, 2019 and now 2020) towards the 10 years that are required to become a LIFETIME PLATINUM member.

Even with my vacation planning, I have goals! LOL

Hubby recently booked his first 2020 “FREE Night” that he earned & will continue to earn annually with his Marriott Bonvoy AMEX card

Here is another teaching opportunity.

The value of the reward is for a maximum of 35,000 points and the stay must occur within one year of the issue date.

It is not sufficient to simply book the reward stay within the time period.

You must actually complete your stay within the year.

I also taught him to use his freebie wisely and stay in the best hotel he can with his up to 35,000 point freebie.

There’s no point in wasting your reward on a location that only costs 17,500 points!

Since I have my own Marriott Bonvoy AMEX card, we actually end up getting 2 free nights every year.

You’ve gotta love that! FREE is always good!

Budget Challenger #2

November 2019 Budget Challenge Update


November update

Status: 122% to budget

This month was supposed to be a catch-up month, save more spend less.

Ha! No way, I had to buy presents for all my family in California.

We’ll be visiting in December for 3 weeks over Christmas.

To say I’m excited is an understatement. I haven’t been to visit my family over Christmas in 10 years.

One good thing I did last month was to purchase most items on my debit card.

That way I don’t have to look at my credit card interest charges and sigh.

Another good thing happened this month, my husband got a raise at work!

I’m super happy for him and I’m glad they like him so much at work and the work he does.

I forgot to mention that I also got a raise this year, and I’m looking forward to that when I go back to work in April.


Let’s start with the wins this month, looking at my chart it seems there are no wins.

I overspent in every category (except savings/Auto).

However, what you don’t see in this chart is our spending to income ratio.

It was smaller than it has been in over 6 months due to my husband’s raise and the opportunities I had to put in our health care expense reimbursements.  


The first category to analyze is House.

We spent a bit upgrading our light bulbs, making our dim apartment a little bit brighter.

Its great in the summertime when everything is hot our unit is cool, but wintertime is soo dark.

This month I also spent quite a bit more on my chinchillas’ food, stocking up for when we’re gone in December.

I had to take one to the vet to get her teeth filed. Poor thing lost so much weight, she’s doing much better now.

 However, I wish I had saved more for her surgery and I know these teeth things come up at the end of their life spans.

I will try to save more for these situations in the future.

Obviously my Misc budget was buying Christmas presents, I remember reading CBB’s post on these a while back and how they set aside money every month to purchase gifts.

Related: How we budget for Christmas extras

I had all the good intentions of this, but unfortunately, I did not.

Next month things will be better.

Food again for obvious reasons, I just love eating out and it’s easy.

I am glad the ratio is not as high as it was the previous months as I did keep us eating at home more, yay…?

Personal care was stocking up on the Black Friday clothing deals, I got some really nice nursing pieces for pretty cheap as I had been keeping tabs on those over the last couple months.

That’s November at my house!

Budget Challenger #3

November 2019 Budget Challenge Update Bre

I thought October was busy!  November has been nuts!!! 

This month we had my best friend’s daughter’s birthdays, our daughter’s birthday party (friends and family, so two parties), Christmas shopping to get done and a trip to pack for.

As if that wasn’t enough, our cat decided it was a perfect time to have behavioral issues we took her to the vet to confirm it was nothing medical, which it wasn’t. 

We proceeded to spend a couple of hundred dollars trying different things, but nothing worked. 

In the end, we had to give her up and we also had to buy a new mattress. 

That was definitely not in our budget, but it just wouldn’t come clean. 

I’m happy to report that I stayed on budget for Christmas this year. 

We only have a few things left to buy and then we’re done. 

I always feel so good when I get my shopping done.

Our ‘Everything Else’ category, this month, included clothing, health expenses, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and a few miscellaneous items.

  • Christmas shopping is almost done
  • Celebrated my daughters 9th birthday
  • Our cat cost us much more than expected
  • We bought a new mattress

Budget Challenger #4

Good evening Mr. CBB,

Where has the time gone?

I keep thinking its still March and we’re nearing the end of the year.

Not a lot to report this month, still going over when it comes to fast food.

I’m wavering on what to do about a cellphone plan, do I buy a new one outright so I can get a lower plan, or do I get a better discount on a phone but pay a higher rate plan?

I feel I’m overpaying by about $20 a month in terms of the usage I have, but I have one of the cheapest plans you can have.

That and internet, I feel WAY overcharged but not a lot of options when you live rurally.

The only real deviation from a normal charge this month was the $360 I paid for property taxes.

This has been bundled with my mortgage payment but is now separate.

Next month is the hard month so I tried to keep expenses to a minimum this month.

Moving forward the next month has everything to do with getting the house and car (and me) ready for winter, and I’ll probably make some payments toward my vacation in February.

I also noticed something this month, I haven’t been tracking when I use gift cards.

I very rarely ever use cash, so I keep the receipts when I do, but for credit card or debit card purchases I don’t keep the receipts I just look back at visa/master card.

I’m going to have to monitor this as well, especially since some stores are generic enough that I might be spending the money in a variety of ways.

It will only show up on my credit card with the store name (pet, automotive, food, clothing etc and doesn’t get counted right if I don’t track it properly).

That’s all for this month! Check back in January for a a year to date report from the last 4 budget challengers and our winners.


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  1. This is a great plan that every person should follow. I am going to give this to my 22 yr old son. He makes good money and will be making amazing money when he starts his career, in a year out of University.
    Money comes and money goes however making a substantial amount of money can get out of control and too easy to spend and one wonders why they are broke with great income or can’t do what others are doing when they make more money then them.. “Spending too much” no matter what you make bites

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      You are a smart woman doing that for your son. So many kids get into debt because they just don’t understand the basics of budgeting. I mean, I really didn’t but taught myself. These days with the availability of credit being so easy it’s important to do whatever we can to stay ahead of the debt game. Thanks for your comment. Mr.CBB

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