INCREASE THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
Discussion topics involving your budget can be tedious and boring but let me tell you that nothing you do will be in vain.
When the new year begins all I can think about is our yearly budget spreadsheet and income tax returns.
Both of these discussions topics can cause stress for me because I know that if we haven’t been organized there’s the chance we might miss something.
Without fail every year I’m looking for a receipt or researching what’s new for tax return season and I’ve come to realize, this is normal.
At least, normal in our world since we want to make sure that we cross our T’s and dot our I’s.
No one should ever leave money on the table.
Stressful Discussion Topics Must Be Communicated In Relationships
Married or not discussion topics involving money must be talked about.
If you live together and your finances are combined and use a budget, full disclosure is key.
Even if you use separate bank accounts you still should bring up discussion topics around money.
Why? Relationships can fail because of;
- Lack of Communication
- Money Discussions
Even if math is not your best subject it’s critical to know what’s going on just in case someone should die.
That’s the reality of life and discussion topics many couples fail to address until it’s too late.
You, Will, Make Financial Mistakes
Don’t let mistakes get in the way of improving your financial situation especially trivial ones.
Address the mistakes you make and come up with a solid plan.
For instance, we screw up from time to time and my wife will tell you that I’m not the best at keeping organized.
This is why she’s in charge of the front-end of our budget.
By that I mean she tracks all of the receipts and makes sure that she asks me for them when I make a purchase.
She also files our receipts whether they are online receipts for purchases or paper receipts in our budget binder.
Not only that but we track our medical expenses, investment reports, business costs, and utility bills for tax time.
It can be overwhelming but so important to do to make the process of budgeting and filing your taxes stress-free.
Budgeting whether at the start or end of the year requires a review of what just happened and what’s potentially going to happen.
This means that you must be prepared to delve into your financial numbers and investigate just where you stand.
Your First Budget Discussion Topics
If you’re budgeting for the first time you won’t have previous budgeting documentation to review but this topic is very important.
I’d direct you to first review my 10 Step Mini Budgeting Series which details how to budget from A to Z.
When you are new to budgeting reading all the discussion topics surrounding what you’re supposed to do can be overwhelming.
I know, I’ve done it all and at times thought my brain was ready to give up.
Finance doesn’t have to be difficult which is why I aim to keep the process simple for us and you.
Budget Discussion Topics For Successful Budgeting
However, what so many people don’t consider is the end of the budget year where you really should look back and say, “Hey, how did we do?”.
Surviving by paying your bills and not having any debt collectors at your door doesn’t mean your budget was successful.
Good discussion topics involving your money revolve around your personal situation and breaking down your budget.
Below you’ll find areas I feel that everyone should discuss with themselves if they are the only person responsible or couples.
Year-End Budget Results
If you’re new to budgeting this is one of the discussion topics that you can still have based on what you know of your financial situation.
Look back at your bank account, credit card statements and review any bills that have not been paid in full.
Once you have a full year of budgeting behind you then you can do a year-end review.
This information will be SO valuable to your finances because it will help break down your needs and wants moving forward.
You’ll be able to see where your money went, how it was spent and how much debt and wealth you have.
Not everyone gets a yearly raise but if you do then you must make changes to your monthly budget.
Basically. you want to know where that extra money will be going.
Perhaps you will want to pay off a credit card faster or increase your emergency savings or investments.
If you don’t have emergency savings now is the time to make it one of your discussion topics.
Typically we aim for a year of emergency savings now that we are debt-free but for some that might be over-kill.
I’d say start with 3 months savings and continue to build to 6-month padding of cash in case you need it.
Once you feel comfortable with your budget, savings, and debt to income ratio perhaps increase your savings further might be an option.
This is one of our biggest discussion topics because we must save money for stuff we need to pay for in the future.
One of the biggest mistakes of budgeting is not considering everything outside of the month of budgeting.
For instance, if your CAA membership is due every March and will cost you $120 then save $10 a month for 12 months in a projected expenses savings account.
By doing so there is no tapping into your emergency savings and far less financial stress down the road.
Catch my drift?
One of the discussions Mrs. CBB and I had last week was whether or not we would be contributing another lump sum to our non-registered bank accounts.
With over $100k in our savings account and upcoming renovations we knew we had to crunch some numbers.
We would rather see the excess money that we won’t be budgeting invested earning us more than a simple interest rate from the bank.
We also opened a life insurance policy for our son that is costing us a fair amount of money for the next 10 years.
The good thing is he will never have to worry about life insurance, ever plus its hefty savings for him as well.
You may have other investments you need to review but now is a good time to talk about how much you will budget for each.
Personally, I’d suggest doing so before the new year but we don’t all fall into a budget on January 1 so it is what it is.
Another great discussion topic Mrs. CBB and I had was about the budget categories that we needed for 2020.
We did get rid of a two that were no longer relevant and replaced them with something new.
By evaluating the year-end budget results we were able to see what additions we needed and those that we rarely used.
How much money are we able to spend on each budget category is one of the biggest discussion topics.
Once you know your net income or the average net income it will help you to disperse the money accordingly.
You can break down your budget paying your fixed expenses and variable expenses to create a zero-based budget.
Essentially that means all of your money has a home or place to go.
It is what has worked best for us but you can choose the type of budget that suits your needs.
Lastly, consider what your spending habits were the previous year and what changes you plan to make.
Perhaps you spent too much money online shopping or grocery shopping was a disaster.
Write down your goals and create discussion topics around each of them with a potential solution.
Once you have a master plan for your finances you’re ready to hit the road running.
Discussion: What budget discussion topics do you review at the beginning of the year and why?
Drop me a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond.
Blog Posts You May Have Missed
Below is a recap of the blog posts I’ve published over the past two weeks so you can catch up on your reading.
- How To Make Your Money Work For You (Free Printable)
- 5 Debt Reduction Strategies To Adopt In 2020
- Best Of Canadian Budget Binder + Recipes 2019
- 5 Ways To Save Money For The Festive Season
- Keto Cranberry Lemon Custard Bars
- Boxing Day Sales No Longer Carry A Thrill
Frugal Recipe Of The Week
When I’m at work and in snack mode, I want to reach for something healthy and inexpensive.
I’ve had vegan roasted chickpeas many times before because we used to make them quite often years ago.
My problem is taking the time to make the recipe for myself since Mrs. CBB eats a Keto diet.
These roasted chickpeas make such a delicious and healthy snack!
They’re perfectly seasoned, a bit spicy, and super easy to prepare.
They’re perfect for parties, snacking in front of the TV, road trips, and so much more! – Vegan Heaven
You’ll love that this roasted chickpea recipe has only 5 ingredients and is a natural healthy snack.
- Cooked chickpeas (either canned or home-cooked)
- Garlic powder
- Smoked paprika powder
- Olive oil
If you don’t fancy any of the above flavours you can add anything you like from your spice list.
Think popcorn and chip flavours as well which you can buy at Kernels Popcorn shops or Amazon Canada.
Mr. CBB’s Motivational Corner
You can’t live the life you want if you keep doing what everyone else says you must do.
Live YOUR life because it’s yours to LIVE.
Regrets can tear you apart.
Home and Blog Update
Here we are 2020 and a new year of our exclusive blog and home updates for all of you.
To be honest, I’ve been working on improving old blog posts to update them for Search Engine Optimization.
My blog designer took the Christmas holiday off so we will be back and sorting out new stuff on the blog shortly.
You can expect to see a few changes such as a password-protected Free Downloads page and new freebies for subscribers.
I’m also working on a new budget binder printable to help track your medical expenses on paper throughout the year.
Lastly, I’m getting the Ultimate Grocery Guide sorted so it’s easier to read and not just one giant list of links.
Let me know what you’d like to see on the blog or changes you’d like to make your experience better.
Happy New Years everyone!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year’s celebration and are ready to start 2020 off with motivation.
For Christmas, we kept our dinner simple with a large roasted chicken with herbs and spices.
It turned out golden brown and was simply – Perfect.
On the side, we had steamed broccoli, carrots (for me), Keto sugar-free cranberry sauce (homemade), cauliflower mash and keto gravy.
It was nice to have a simple Christmas dinner where we didn’t feel so stuffed.
During the week we made homemade keto spaghetti squash ricotta soup which is amazing.
For New Year’s we broke out the Atlantic smoked salmon that we bought at Costco for $19.99.
I made a dill cream cheese spread along with our homemade keto buns and dill pickles.
Yes, all of the recipes will be on the blog at some point.
I’m trying to mix up the keto recipes with other recipes as much as I can.
The good part is that many recipes are already Keto which makes things much easier.
Most people just don’t realize that just because a recipe is labelled Keto doesn’t mean anything has changed.
For example, the cream cheese dill spread is what it is and it’s also keto-friendly.
Related: Keto Pork Rind Loaded Nachos
Other than doing massive cleaning around the house before I head back to work it’s been peaceful.
It has been nice to spend time at home with my family and to get some chores crossed off the list.
For the coming year, I will have some new renovation projects I will be blogging about and new savings strategies.
Until next time,
Treat Your Money With Kindness
Saturday Search Term Giggles
Every week I get tens of thousands of people who visit Canadian Budget Binder because they searched online and found my blog.
Yes, I can see your search terms and sometimes they are funny, educational and worth sharing.
- Bare Bum Worksheet– Haha, you mean Bare Budget Worksheet.
- When He Refuses To Budget– You Do It, Face potential finance problems or You Leave.
- Rich People Don’t Care– That’s Not True
- Tax-Free Savings Account Contribution Limit 2020 – This is a popular query for 2020 and I have the answer Right HERE.
If you see the acronym (SIC) next to a word that means I’ve copied the text exactly as it was typed in Google and it has spelling errors
That’s all for this week my friends, see you again in 2 weeks for the next Saturday Weekend Review!