Your Weekly Expense Sheet Is A Snap-Shot Of Willpower
Why should a weekly expense sheet be part of your budgeting journey?
In a nutshell, it’s that instant gratification that you will get when you see that you are on track with your budget.
On the flip-side, it will alert you to any budget categories that you are slipping on so you can correct it immediately.
Sometimes readers who send me their budgeting questions often fall short at the end of the month.
The reason is they are not tracking their expenses as they go and only find out at the end that they spent too much.
If you are using our monthly excel spreadsheet and input your receipts daily you will be able to see your expenses.
For those of you who don’t like to budget using an online app or excel spreadsheet, our printable budget binder worksheets are made just for you.
We use both an excel budget spreadsheet and our budget binder only because we like to test what we offer to our fans for free.
I guess that makes senses right?
Selling You Nothing But Experiences
We don’t like to do double the work but it’s a hard-sell to convince my readers that budgeting is critical if I haven’t even used the process I’m offering.
That’s what makes this blog special, I’m being real with all of you and not selling you anything but motivation.
I’m not like those other bloggers who are trying to make a fortune from their readers with stuff that is readily available online for free.
Don’t get duped into that.
I did last year with an online blogging course from a well-known blogger and it was the worst thing ever.
Talk about a waste of over $200. I even asked her if it would benefit a blogger like myself with 7 years of experience.
I should have known better than when someone is raking in a million dollars plus online that it’s easy to get tangled up in greed even if it means blindsiding a supporter of their blog from inception.
Too bad, we aren’t on the same page any longer. Yes, no refund for me because I was late to let her know.
Sadly, we had health concerns with a family member that was more important at the time.
That didn’t even matter, so oh well she can keep the money and get richer.
So you see, I’m not here to sell you any B.S course or budget just straight up help to get you from debt to debt-free.
Thankfully, I love my full-time job right?
How To Use A Weekly Expense Sheet
I’ve made this weekly expense sheet basic so you don’t have to fumble around trying to make heads or tails of it.
I’d suggest printing as many copies as you need based on the budget categories that you have.
In the first column, you will write in or type the budget category if you are planning to save this word document to your online budget binder.
All of my free printables you can save to your computer if you don’t wish a physical paper budget binder.
I’ve labelled the rest of the columns based on the 7 days of the week, Monday to Sunday.
At the end of each day take all of the receipts that you collected and add them up based on budget categories.
From there you will put the total expense in the box for the day of the week that you are working on.
You’ll do this for the entire week.
At the end of each column, you’ll also see a small space for notes if you want to remind yourself of anything.
Keep in mind you don’t have to track your fixed expenses or expenses such as hydro, water, gas as you won’t know them on a daily basis.
For the most part, you can either estimate that number if you want a full weekly expense report or only track what you are physically spending with cash, debit or credit.
When you come to Sunday you’ll use a calculator and add up each budget category from Monday to Sunday and fill in your weekly expense totals.
Based on these numbers you will want to compare them to the budgeted amounts of your actual budget.
If you look at our budget charts below you’ll see a Budgeted and Actual Chart.
Comparing your weekly expense report to your budgeted amount for the month divided by how many weeks in the month will give you an idea of how well you are doing.
- Your final weekly expense for groceries is $130.
- On your budget, your budgeted amount for the month is $500
- If there are 4 weeks in the month you are working with take $500/4 =$125
- So, now you know that for the week you calculated you’ve overspent by $5 for your grocery budget.
That’s easy to fix by spending less for the remainder of the month but the main point is that you know where you are with the money you are spending.
In a week a weekly expense report is similar to using a budget envelope system where you divide your money weekly or monthly into envelopes.
Once the money is gone it’s gone but even then using the envelope system you should manually track your weekly expenses.
That means you can use this free printable for that purpose as well.
Weekly Expense Report Template Overview
As noted this weekly expense sheet is a snapshot that I hope will help you gain a better understanding of the way you spend money.
As we enter into this new year many of you have said that paying off debt and saving for your emergency savings is a priority.
If you are serious about getting your finances in order take it from me that Canadian Budget Binder has everything you need to do that and it’s FREE.
Love to you all,
Discussion: What ways do you track your weekly expenses? I’d love to get your feedback as I know everyone budgets a bit differently so please do share your experience in the comment section below.
Home Budget Income Report Jan 2020
Where did the money go?
Considering that Christmas has just past and we did treat Jr CBB, it was surprising just how well we did when it came to socking away the money into savings and investments.
The bulk of our income for the month went to savings.
The standard Household bills and categories in the “Life” ratio took the rest.
We’ve been very busy around the house getting our lives in order rather than spending money this month.
You’ll notice some new colours and layouts for our budget charts which we decided to refresh for 2020.
I’ve also updated the look of the new 2020 Budget Excel Spreadsheet offered for free if you want to use it.
You may also notice in our new budget down below that we’ve eliminated some categories from 2019 that are no longer relevant to us.
We’ve also adjusted our projected expenses based on last year’s expenses and what we plan to spend in 2020.
Our grocery budget did increase to $500 a month for the 3 of us which I think is do-able.
I think my next budget update report I will do a run-down of our new budgeted and projected expenses so you can see what changes we made and why.
We’re also now using our weekly expense report template to track our weekly expenses.
That’s all for now.
Enjoy the read, there’s lots of great information down below this month.
Home Budget Percentages
Our savings of 60+% includes investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $10,553.70.
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 January.
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 has been the easiest way for us to pay down debt and save money.
- Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from. We use Simplii Financial.
- 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: $6,392.68
- Monthly Net Income Total: $10,553.70
- (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 = $852.91
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: $5604.14
- Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $10,553.70 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) –$4,096.65 (savings to emergency fund) = $5,604.14
- Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $10,553.70 (total monthly net income) – $5,604.14 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91 (projected expenses) = $4,096.65
Monthly Home Budget Results
Below you will see two tables, one is our monthly budget and the other is our actual budget.
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.
Monthly Home Budget Actual Expenses
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
First off, congratulations to the wonderful people below for taking on the 2020 CBB Budget Challenge.
It’s not easy to commit to something like this and as I learned last year many people initially want to join in December but drop out quickly.
I’m not sure what that is perhaps it’s the December financial blues kicks in or they easily give up on themselves.
Either way budget reports are extremely important to your financial success so I applaud you for taking the time to creat them.
Let’s have a look at this year’s 2020 Budget Challenge line-up.
Note: We have one challenger that has suffered a health issue and will report back in February for both months. I hope she heals quickly.
Budget Challenge #1
January 2020 Budget Report – Spoiler Alert: Budgeting was a success this month!
My husband was laid off from his seasonal job (with 1 month’s severance and not eligible for EI) a couple of days before Christmas, but despite that setback, we stayed within $80 of our grocery budget (family of 4).
This was – in part- due to the PC Optimum points we had saved up from the year before…$330 worth of points that we used on groceries and other household items. The points were a lifesaver!
- My job doesn’t provide benefits, and my 10-year-old needed emergency dental work so that set us back and unexpected $175.
- I had to pay out $288 for before/after school care for my youngest son for services in Nov 2019. I thought this was paid until the child care provider called me up and told me the amount was still outstanding to be paid.
- The utter fail was dining out: We spent $190 between restaurants and fast food due to poor planning and just opting for convenience instead. This is for sure an area I want to improve on throughout the year.
Budget Challenge #2
Well now seems like as good a time as ever to write my blog post.
My flight has been canceled due to the weather and they couldn’t get me on one for 2 days.
With that said, I’m not able to access my budget spreadsheet, so future months will be a bit more in-depth than this one.
My goal for this year is to be better at recording everywhere my money is spent, and to cut down on fast food which is my biggest weakness.
I follow the Gail Vox Oxlade budget breakdown which is 35% on a home, 25% life, 15% transportation, 15% debt and 10% savings.
Again, I’m doing this by memory, but I believe I was at 10% of housing, 12% transportation, 0% debt.
The two I don’t remember too well are life and savings. I automatically have savings set up from my paycheque, but it is not set up with a large enough amount to be 10% of my paycheque.
Usually, at the end of the month, I shift around what is left in my bank account and split it between short term and long term savings.
Long term is my RRSP and short term stays in my account for 6 months and then I re-evaluate how much is there and put some of that in my RRSP.
There are always short term emergencies that eat into it, so it doesn’t go as far as I would like it to.
I believe that the life category is over by about 14% which is normal for me.
Thankfully I have relatively low bills/debt in other areas of my life because I definitely can’t keep that category to 25% of my paycheque.
Things that caused it to be a bit higher than I would like are a laptop purchase after mine died, an emergency trip to the vet that was about $330, and some expenses for the vacation that I started at the end of January.
Next month is going to be extra high since I have to pay for all the delays due to the weather out of pocket, but trip insurance should cover everything.
My goal for February is to try to cut back on all other expenses to try to make up for it, but with Valentine’s day and my 10 year anniversary, I’m not feeling too hopeful about seeing the life category go down.
Budget Challenge #3
January is a relatively easy month for us financially because of the ABSOLUTE RULE in our house that we do not carry debt of any kind from one year into the next.
There’s no panic when the credit card statements are issued and the Christmas shopping has come thru but then again we don’t Christmas shop so that helps eliminate any nasty surprises on our statements.
Looking Back At December
We did a vacation for 3 weeks in December though.
What I did was pay the credit card off once a week, while we were away, and when we got home voila…there was nothing left to pay.
The vacation was over and so were all the costs associated with that vacation.
That’s my kind of holiday! I even feel like we made out like bandits because we came home with lots of leftover groceries & treats not to mention a new comforter for my future vacation travels.
I am always cold in hotel rooms when we travel from the AC.
I hate to come home and be paying for months on end after my vacation fun has finished.
I did that ONCE when I took my first ever solo vacation and I swore I would never finance a vacation with a credit card again no matter how much I thought I needed a get-away.
It sucked all the joy right out of my holiday memories, not to mention the fact that I couldn’t manage to save up enough for a vacation that year because I had carried my charges from the previous year’s vacation into it.
Live and learn I guess.
Have you ever done that?
Budgeting Plans 2020
Talk about learning my Timeshare condo fees and tax shortfall in December caused me to substantially raise the amount that I am setting aside every month in 2020.
Hopefully, I will have enough set aside this year! I increased the amount to cover the higher costs we saw in 2019 PLUS I added an additional 10% to hopefully cover any further 2020 increases.
After chatting with my sister on New Year’s day, I am expecting a 20% increase this year in our household insurance.
She has her thumb on the pulse of the insurance industry and said that I should expect 2-3 years of 20% increases without having a claim of any kind.
Earthquake and Water coverage will be leading the charge of the industry increases. We’re going to have to cinch in the expenses belt a little tighter to find another $500-$600 for these increases every year.
Sigh. Ever feel like you have cinched that budget belt so tight that your disposable cash is getting skinnier than Twiggy?
Hubby gets paid every 2 weeks or 26 paydays per year.
I budget based on 2 pays days a month or 24 paydays per year.
The extra 2 paydays, which occur in January and July this year, are used to pay his annual RRSP contribution.
Since he has a work pension plan that he contributes to his RRSP contributions aren’t exactly going to get him wealthy in a hurry but it’s all retirement money so we MAX out his contributions every year.
Using the 2 extra pay periods makes my life just a little bit simpler because I don’t have to fiddle around trying to find extra money every month for his contribution.
Before we left on our December holiday season trip, I sent in our 2019 Medical Extended Health Claim form and received a $1,043.27 refund cheque that went promptly into our savings account towards a new car purchase somewhere down the road.
Between what I set aside monthly and the annual addition of the extended medical refund, I try to set aside $2,000-$2,500 every year towards the next vehicle.
It makes for a good chunk of cash for a replacement vehicle.
A large part of our FUTURE PAYMENTS SAVINGS is in GICs that will be coming due in April and June this year.
There are 4 accounts that I will retain in cash though because the money will either be spent or sent off to our long term savings with the stockbrokers during the course of the year:
- Future Payments in the next year
- Savings to Send to Brokers for TFSA/RRSP/
- Car Servicing & Repair << will also pay the extended warranty on a new car
- Hubby’s Car Replacement Inheritance
The following accounts will be in for another “sweeping up” of any spare cash in the high-interest savings accounts added to the maturing GIC principal and interest.
Most of the funds are invested in Non-Redeemable GICS but a couple will be held in Redeemable GICs (just in case):
- Gym Fees
- Gym Equipment
- Gym Clothing
- Assorted Classes
- New Purchases of any kind
- Income Tax & GST
- Car Replacement
- Renovations and Repairs
- Entertainment and Gifts
- New Appliances
I also logged into My Services Canada account at the start of this month to request a delay in the payment of my OAS. I don’t plan to request my payments commence until I am age 70.
Hubby is still working full time, so we might as well delay my payments and receive an additional 36% when we do start the payment process.
It’s also my intention to delay the payment of my CPP to age 70 as well…to take advantage of a 41.9% increase.
I decided to wait because so far we can pay our bills but should it become a struggle I will re-think my decision.
Flexibility and change are not exactly my strong points but with financial matters, it really is the name of the game.
What Happened This Month
Hubby and I were offered free credit monitoring for a year with Trans Union as a result of the Life Labs cybersecurity breach. I got the accounts set up to monitor our credit.
After a quick discussion with hubby, we will continue the monitoring for a fee after the free period is over.
Breaches are getting more and more numerous every day so it doesn’t hurt to be proactive with your security.
What a rigmarole getting the accounts set up was though.
First of all, there are no instructions on how to do this.
You just get a phone number to call for a 12 digit code to use during the set up absolutely no details on how to set the account up though.
Hubby’s set up didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped and I ended up with another phone number to call and had them manually set it up with a temporary password to log in and change the password within 24 hours.
Then, I had to change the passwords on our myeHealth accounts which were locked on Dec 17, 2019, as a part of the attempt to gain control of their cybersecurity.
Finally, we again have access to our medical records and appointments and hopefully, the hackers do not!
I can hardly believe it but tax season has started!
I downloaded our 2019 RRSP contribution receipts and printed them off for our tax files on January 9th. Things will start coming fast and furious now!
Mid-month I paid my GST due for the period of Oct 31-Dec 31, 2019.
That’ll keep me in good stead until April when the Personal Income tax returns are due to be filed.
Our last 2 TFSA account transfers are now in progress moving from a bank TFSA into our self-directed brokerage TFSA accounts.
I am going to be so glad to finally finish the consolidation of our RRSP and TFSA accounts.
I started the whole amalgamation process nearly 5 years ago to ease the future management for my hubby in the event that he suddenly became the administrator of our funds.
Now there’s not a prayer that will happen as long as I am alive…but we all come with an expiry date and no knowledge of exactly when it will arrive.
I want to be prepared he’s not a financial person, he’s an IT guy, so whatever I can do to simplify matters for him is a “good thing”.
Does that sound a little Martha Stewart? LOL
After a break from all our various appointments, while we were away vacationing, January has felt incredibly busy with all the dental, optometrist, massage, chiropractic appointments, and haircuts.
That’s still not as bad as February will be… when we also add lab work, the doctor and podiatrist appointments to the list.
The fact that hubby and I were both battling horrible head colds that zapped our energy terribly made all the running around feel that much harder!
We had one night get-away planned this month in Burlington, WA but with all the rain, downpours really, I thought I would enjoy the get-away more if I waited for some sunshine.
I need a one night stay with Hilton properties during 2020 in order to keep my points “active” for another year.
However, I tend to take one night in the off-season when the cash prices are very low.
I save using my points for high season bookings when I am getting the most bang for my points.
My hubby loves this spot…they have a 4:00 pm fresh-from-the-oven cookie call.
I enjoy the passion fruit-guava juice that they offer on their breakfast buffet and I REALLY enjoy the fact that they have the Hallmark channel.
There’s always a nice movie to watch in the evening when we stay there. So at least for now, I have re-scheduled the trip into March.
I made a couple of “Mad Money” deposits for hubby and I this month.
He keeps his in a MOMENTUM PLUS SAVINGS account at Scotiabank earning 2% interest as long as he leaves the funds sit for 360 days.
I put my little deposit into our JUMPSTART SAVINGS at VanCity and then went on to purchase 18-month non-redeemable GIC @ 2.10% with the funds.
I guess I don’t expect to get mad or want to run away from home anytime soon! Hahaha.
And at those rates, I don’t expect to get rich anytime soon either but remember the story of the tortoise and the hair our “Mad Money” is very much like the tortoise.
I seem to be running in slow motion this year because I got hit with a horrible sinus cold that knocked me off my feet for nearly 3 weeks.
However, I have the records for our personal funds caught up but now I need to tackle the corporate records.
I expect it will take 7-10 days to get everything posted, the financial statements and year-end valuations prepared.
If what they say about there being no rest for the wicked really is true…I must have been really wicked in a previous life.
Projected First Quarter Of 2020
The months of January through April are my busiest time of year with accounting and income tax coming out the ying-yang.
Since I am pretty much chained to my computer anyway working 10-14 hours a day, we really don’t have time to spend money.
This is a bonus when you consider all the large bills there are coming up in the first half of our year.
- Personal Income Tax
- Property Taxes
- RRSP Contributions
- TFSA Contributions
- Non-Registered Brokerage Account deposits
- Safety Deposit Box fees
- RRSP fees
- TFSA fees
- Accounting fees
Whew! Isn’t that a mouthful?
Did you notice that I refer to RRSP Contributions, TFSA Contributions, and our Non-Registered Brokerage Account deposits as “BILLS”?
I always pay my bills but back in my teens with my very first job, I thought of them as “SAVINGS” and they were at the bottom of my budget list of what I needed to pay with my earnings.
In my very first month with the new job, I found that I didn’t manage to set aside the desired amount in my savings vehicles.
BUT, on the plus side, I went to my Dad and we went over what I had done with my money.
Back in those days, the rule-of-thumb was that a minimum of 35% of your net earnings was to be saved and 35% were to be set aside for income tax since I was self-employed.
That remaining 30% leftover sure didn’t feel like much to live on when my gross salary was $10,000 per annum.
There sure wasn’t any wiggle room to overcome an error in how much I needed to set aside.
I really needed to get it right, right from the get-go!
I learned that I am far better off making savings of my TOP PRIORITY to ensure I always set aside the desired percentage of my earnings.
I can always cut back my future payments by eliminating or cutting expenses that I can’t really afford if I want to meet my savings goals.
Alternatively, I can cut some of our regular monthly expenses if they have increased in price to the point where they are overpriced in terms of value.
And if absolutely necessary I can even cut my grocery budget.
That’s a tough one though and only to be used as a last resort.
What I NEVER wanted to do was skimp on my savings!!
That’s a decision that will bite you in the but most likely it will rear it’s ugly head right when your ability to rectify the situation is slim to none.
I will say though it’s not always an easy commitment to keep.
When hubby was downsized out of his job shortly after we married and he was in the process of re-training.
I had to work 2 full-time jobs for a period of 18 months in order for us to stay the course with our budget.
We did it though!
Hubby was putting in long days with classes, homework, home maintenance and working a part-time job.
I admiringly say there’s not a lazy bone anywhere in that man’s body!
I’m grateful that Dad really did know best when he said, “Pay yourself first!” LOL
The last thing I want is for us to not be able to afford to either eat or get medical care once we retire.
Unfortunately, I see far too many seniors trying to choose between food and medications.
It’s sad really.
And as the years march along and we get closer and closer to retirement…our savings are ever increasingly important and therefore more and more of what I am focusing on.
Our Vacation Status
Our vacation accounts finished off the month of January with $4,133.21 already saved for our 2020/2021 vacationing enjoyment.
All things being equal, I should be able to save another $2,774.75 over the balance of the year ($252.25/mo) to add to the existing vacation funds and we’ll have a total of $6,907.96 available for our enjoyment.
2020 Holiday Highlights
- Jan Overnight Get-away – $150.00 BUT $0.00 SPENT – POSTPONED TO MARCH
- Family Day Weekend – $250.00
- March Overnight Get-away – $150.00
- Easter – $350.00
- Victoria Day weekend – $250.00
- Canada Day BBQ – $100.00
- July Overnight Get-Away – $150.00
- BC Day Weekend – $250.00
- Labor Day & Hubby’s Birthday – $675.00
- Canadian Thanksgiving – $450.00
- American Thanksgiving & Holiday Treats – $300.00
- My 65th Birthday Adventure <– not until Oct 2021
- Christmas – No Reserve this year
What I Learned This Month
There are certain times of year to fluff off on absolutely sticking to our budget and the first 4 months of the year are not them assuming I want to avoid any INTEREST EXPENSES on the various fees and bills that will be coming fast and furious this spring.
Why would I want to pay more than I absolutely necessary?
Interest on an outstanding bill is like me volunteering to “gift” the extra funds to some corporate balance sheet.
To heck with that!
Keep those interest dollars on my balance sheet!
It is also the time to send in our RRSP, TFSA contributions to maximize the “TAX-FREE” and “TAX DEFERRED” INCOME that we can possibly earn in 2020.
Why pay tax on your earnings if you don’t have to? I’d far rather have the money in my pocket rather than CRA’s.
So I am currently saving my guts out to get those funds together ASAP!
The $6,000 maximum TFSA contributions for each of us in 2020 can go off to the broker as soon as I can write a cheque.
I will however wait to do the RRSP contributions until the 2019 income tax returns have been prepared and I have the exact maximum contribution figure for each of us.
I’m very careful not to over contribute…why get dinged with steep penalties and interest over a simple oops?
I can wait until I have our 2020 MAX RRSP CONTRIBUTION figures.
Our safety deposit box fees at VanCity had a MAJOR increase this year…they went from $700 to $1050 per year.
The good news is that I learned of the increase before they overdrew our account and I was able to top up the funds we had just sitting and waiting for the fees to be charged.
I really can’t complain about the increase though it was the first increase in 10 years.
Hubby thought it was huge until I mentioned that instead of increasing each of our three boxes $15 a year they raised the rates $150 in one fell swoop.
On the positive side, I do get a small discount for being a senior.
I use an ENVELOPE BUDGET SYSTEM of sorts using High-Interest Savings accounts instead of paper envelopes.
My Mom did use the actual paper envelopes, in her purse, for her budgeting system.
Before I spend a dime though, I budget as follows:
I deposit the budgeted funds to our various types of savings, RRSP, TFSA, non-registered accounts, vacation savings
Deposit the budgeted funds to our FUTURE PAYMENTS account.
- Fees for RRSP
- TFSA and our accountant
- Property taxes
- Safety deposit box fees
- Any new purchases of any type
- Entertainment and gifts
- Home repair and renovations
- Appliance replacement
- Car replacement
- Car repairs
- Timeshare condo fees and taxes
- Car and house insurance
- Medical travel insurance
- The BCAA
- COSTCO memberships
- Personal income taxes/GST owing
- Emergency money
- Entertainment and Gifts
- Service contracts for pest control and our furnace/heat pump
- Reserves for medical appointments (massage, chiro, podiatrist)
- Reserves for medications (both prescription and over the counter), glasses and other medical devices not covered by our extended medical
- Garbage removal contract
- Haircuts and anything else that crops up by maintaining a buffer of $1,000-$2,000 in the account
I deposit the budgeted funds for our CURRENT BILLS issued and due for payment during the month into my chequing account from which I make the payments and the create a clear trail of what has been paid out and when it was paid i.e
- Life insurance
- Telephone + internet
- Gas bill
- Storage locker
As well as any credit card that we used during the month.
All balances must be paid IN FULL each and every month.
At the beginning of each year, I use my Platinum Air Miles AMEX until we earn 1,000 air miles and lock in our Air Miles Gold status for another year.
Once we have earned the air miles we need, I will switch back to using my Marriott Bonvoy AMEX to continue earning our Marriott vacation points.
Hubby uses his Marriott Bonvoy AMEX all year long. January 17th was a BLUE FRIDAY Air Miles Day at Thrifty Foods and I earned 373 air miles on a $139 order, not including the air miles I will earn by using my Air Miles AMEX card for the payment.
I expect by the end of January I will have roughly 663 of the 1,000 air miles that I need.
It’s easy to earn air miles on a Blue Friday I just stocked up our supplies of oatmeal, Chef Boyardee Beefaroni, and Jif Peanut Butter.
Some places do not take AMEX though so we use our CASHBACK VISA I like getting cash back on my purchases.
The best part of our Cash Back Visa is that since we never pay any interest on our credit card…it’s like they are paying us to use their card.
You’ve gotta love FREE MONEY!
When we go to COSTCO Canada, hubby will use his MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard because they don’t take VISA.
He also uses his MasterCard to pay our household insurance in the fall.
These transactions will keep his Alaska airlines points active for another year.
I keep my Alaska airlines points active by paying for our annual BCAA travel insurance and our monthly storage locker rental using my Alaska Airlines MasterCard.
Finally, we get to the spending part of our budget for items that we NEEDe. monthly gasoline, groceries/eating out using only whatever cash remains.
This is also where I draw from when there are little hiccups in the budget too so I never know exactly what this part of the budget will be until the month is over.
Since the calculation of any eating out/take-out that we do is the very last item on the list.
I don’t get my budget in a twist by eating away from home more frequently than I can actually afford.
I will not know what we’ll have left for “dining treats” until the month has ended.
Any leftover funds can pay for dining away from home during the following month assuming there will be any splurging at all.
We have had many, many months where we simply can’t swing any dining out though without going into debt for it.
No way, no how I’ll go hungry rather than dig a hole of debt for the sake of fast food!
I budget our rewards points too… we achieved our Platinum status with Marriott and that gives us an assortment of perks.
I chose to have 5 additional Elite nights added to my nights earned since inception as one of my perks.
I also get 15 Elite nights every year from using the Marriott Bonvoy AMEX + 1 FREE Night’s worth of points to use.
Since it only takes 50 nights to retain our Platinum status, I already have 16 YTD nights earned and only need to book 34 more nights using our existing points.
We won’t be using our timeshare during 2020 so we will convert the vacation ownership points to an additional 473,550 Marriott points to partially replace some of the 1,324,000 points that I used to book our 2020 reservations.
We have our hotels for the whole year + all of our hotel breakfasts & some of our hotel dinners to look forward to without spending any cash.
We sure wouldn’t travel the way we do if I had to cough up cold hard cash for it all! LOL
That’s all for January. See you next month!
Budget Challenge #4
We moved to Vancouver Island in September 2015, to get away from winter.
We were working in Alberta when the economic downturn meant my husband lost his job.
I was injured at work and 3 years of fighting with WCB eventually got a pension because I was unable to return to my original job.
We sold our mobile home for what we paid for it and only had about $10,000 equity in it that allowed us the ability to move.
We had purchased an old truck and 5th wheel before we sold our trailer with our savings and paid off all of our debt.
Most of my extra income had gone to supporting two grown children get through university with a little less debt.
We moved to Nanaimo and spent the first 5 months living in the RV and figuring out what was next.
Some EI and, my WCB pension helped us stay out of debt while we figured out where we wanted to live and what we could find for work.
Having to start out on minimum wage jobs and part-time whittled away at our savings over the next two years.
Then Cancer reared its ugly head.
Cancer punched a whole in our savings bucket and shot our credit all to hell.
Over a year of treatment, and procedures radiation, etc I am finally starting to come around.
About 6 months after I got back to work it was my husband’s turn.
Lost wages, credit card debt bad choices means we are roughly $25,000 in debt.
Our health is slowly returning and we are back at work full time now is the time to work out a budget.
I’m 51 he’s 54.
#1 Get a handle on what we actually owe.
What I think we owe is about Actually what we owe
BC medical about $900 $900
Home trust visa $500 $398
Costco Master Card $4000 $4046
Capital one $7000 $6082
Easy home $7000 $6930.12
PC Mastercard $1000 $1023
Husband taxes $500 $500.00
Wife taxes $750 $279.11
Fortis $100 $98 gone
Telus home $600 $477.30 gone
Telus mobile $400 $377.00 gone
Hydro $45 $44 gone
Water and sewer $125 $125 gone
Daughter $650 $642
Total $24120 $21987.25
What we actually owe is $21,268.25
#2 Get a handle on what we take home it’s about
Husband take home $2650
Wife take home $2300
WCB pension $1515
#3 Track our expenses for the month and see what our fixed expenses are
Banking fees/late $100
#4 Boost our savings ( $2800) RRSP is all we have.
#5 Create a budget for some planned spending and a much-needed vacation.
#6 Create a budget for planned spending instead of a reactionary one. ( what bill can I pay this month) and when to have a bit o cushion
The plan is to move to a less reactionary budget and onto a more planned spending budget when the bank accounts have enough reserves to pay bills when they come in and not wait for specific payday.
Working on our coffee habit, lunch spending and cooking at home more.
We have also moved to a keto-ish diet way fewer carbs and more veggies.
Walking for entertainment and paying for vacation (family visits) before we leave.
January 31, 2020
We survived another month.
This has been an incredible learning month and I have finally got a handle on what we owe.
I have caught up all the utility bills so, in reality, I wiped out $622.76 of debt in past-due bills plus 100 off of the credit card.
So even though my debt repayment shows I did not make my $1000 debt repayment budget it doesn’t reflect these amounts.
Things I learned this month
Putting money in savings each pay saved my bacon when my car needed 525 of unexpected repairs.
We spend way too much at Tim Hortons.
Bought new small drip coffee maker for $20 hope to cut this by half next month.
I need to stop going to the grocery store.
I decided to inventory my kitchen and restock the staples so hopefully, I can cook even more at home.
Our eating out the bill was $200 more last month so hopefully, this can be a new trend.
I am still having trouble with setting our variable spending budget so this is more of a tracking month so I can figure out what a reasonable budget should be for 2 adults.
It’s been eye-opening how much we fritter away at the dollar store and various online and streaming subscriptions.
My goals for next month is to set up some savings accounts for vacation, car, emergency, and long term as well as set budgets for clothing, entertainment and medical.
Budget Challenge #5
In the past, I dealt with depression with shopping. I got myself into $40,000+ consumer debt which caused a lot of unwanted stress.
I moved back home after telling my family about it.
This has helped immensely to pay off large chunks of debt. I have a small amount to go before being completely debt-free.
It’s a 2.5 person household with 4 cats. I am responsible to pay hydro, ½ groceries and misc. things. I also cover the cost of cat food, litter, snacks, all vet related things.
I am only dealing with my take-home pay when I look at my budget because I have an RRSP and TFSA that I pay into at work and it comes off my pay before I see it.
I ended 2019 in a good spot.
I had budgeted and paid for Christmas with cash and did not use my credit card.
January went well and I didn’t have any budgeting issues since I had already planned out what my month was going to be like I didn’t do any overspending in any category.
I ended the month with a few extra dollars. February will probably be the same.
March is when I find out if I get a bonus & raise at work and that is when I will need to re-evaluate my budget and rework how much I need to put away for car/vacations/personal.
Planning for 2020
Pets: I knew from a vet appointment in December that one of my cats would need to have dental work done in the new year so I received a quote for it.
I was able to work 38.5hs overtime between Christmas and New Years to put towards the bill that I am expecting in February.
Vacations: I have a cashback credit card that is paid in full every month that I have $500+ on it that I am using towards a trip to Europe in October.
I plan on buying my ticket when the airline has its fall ticket sales on 😊
Debt Repayment: I am planning on paying off another $5,000 on my debt.
Personal: I give myself between $100-$150 a week in spending cash. I use it for dental/meds/beauty/gas/entertainment etc.
Other events I budget for are races during the year (aim for 1 event each month) and gym clothes.
I also do horseback riding lessons that cost between $180-$220 a month.
The amount is taken out of each pay and put into a separate account.
Memberships and Subscriptions: I have 6 in total and I use them regularly.
Car: My vehicle is paid off. I put money aside because I generally know what my maintenance costs will be during the year.
A big goal this year is to learn how to get more cash back on items.
That’s all for this month! Check back next month for another exciting CBB Budget Report.