How To Start Selling Everything During A Crisis (Free Printable) : May 2020 Budget Update

Sell stuff

Going To Great Lengths To Bring In Extra Cash To Pay The Bills

Selling everything you own is not a bad idea if you are faced with being unable to make ends meet.

Your motorcycle, kitchen-aid mixer, electronics, leather couch set, clothing, and jewellery are worth money if sold.

There was a financial crisis way before the virus came along and now it’s about to get even worse.

In 1999 for every $100 of disposable income there was $106 of household debt was a big deal.

Over the years we’ve seen that number rise to 176% or $176 and during the pandemic that may increase to $230 or 230%.

Meet The Neighbours Who Are Struggling

Neighbors of ours have started selling everything they own because they can’t make ends meet financially.

You would think since we live in a prominent neighbourhood where most people have incomes over $100,000 that this wouldn’t happen.

Well, you’re wrong, I’m wrong and the other people judging a book by the cover is dead wrong.

Anyone no matter what their income level can be in debt up to their eyeballs.

With low-interest rates, people have been buying new cars, renovating their homes, and buying new homes.

It’s appealing when the interest rate and that’s what happened to Canadians who didn’t plan.

Buying is great but can you afford it if a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic? 

I’m sure lots of people didn’t even consider a looming crisis but are feeling the financial crunch right now.

Insulating Yourself From Financial Ruin

Like many Canadians who failed to plan or didn’t plan enough, they did not have enough emergency savings.

Once the pandemic hit both of them who work full-time started working from home and then eventually laid off.

The small amount of money they had in their Tax-Free Savings Account was used to get by until their CERB came in.

Even then it wasn’t enough to cover their mortgage, car payment, and put food on the table.

These are people who have a large house around the corner from us and another reason to live with-in your means.

While I was outside gardening during their nightly walk they had stopped to chat (from a distance).

I hadn’t seen them in a while so it was nice to catch up with them for a few minutes and I needed a break.

They had asked how we were doing and if I was working which led to a conversation about how they were selling everything.


Long before this pandemic, alarm bells were ringing about the amount of household debt Canadians are carrying. Now, the financial stress for many is through the roof.

Some aren’t earning at all, many are earning less, and millions are getting emergency benefits from the government.

What happens when all that ends? David Akin explores that for us.– Global News Canada

Reselling For Spare Money

Typically we do sell everything we no longer need but on occasion, we put freebie on the curbside.

Why throw away money when you can sell it to someone else?

That’s always been part of our frugal mindset and how we earned extra money over the years.

We’re not ashamed to say we are buyers and sellers and that’s how we’ve earned spare cash.

As long as what you are doing is legal and you can find some way to bring in more money, then why not?

This is what people do who come around collecting free stuff on the curb at night do.

These people take what they find for free then clean it up, and resell it.

Just last week I collected 3 beer cans out of the garbage bin at our neighborhood convenience store.

I went to put something in the can and there were 3 beer cans and I took them out.

You never lose that money-saving mindset once you get it or understand finance the way we do.

Selling Everything You Own During Pandemic

This is a chilling scenario for many Canadians who have depleted their savings accounts or haven’t saved enough.

I felt they were hoping to talk to someone who wouldn’t judge them and I was that person. (I’m always that person).

I don’t think many Canadians are holding back talking about their debt and how they don’t know what they will do.

The money the government gives won’t last forever and with businesses closing things are about to get worse.

Could it get worse?

It sure can and you have the choice whether you want to go down with flames or put them out.

If we thought 2008-2009 was bad this pandemic was only the ignition to set off the debt bomb that has scared everyone.

Even people like ourselves who are debt-free are concerned but are thankful that we put our energy into savings.

Although we can’t look back on what wasn’t done what Canadians can do is figure out a plan now to get through.

That’s what the name of this debt bomb is about, getting through the flames without getting too burnt.

You may have to do things that you don’t want but when you’re left with little choice, you do whatever it takes.

Canadians Aren’t Afraid To Talk About Debt

We had some free stuff on the curb that we could have sold to earn some money and they wondered if it were free.

I said yes it was free and did they want it?

He said yes because he could sell it to collect a few dollars.

I was fine with that because if he could sell then so be it and I hoped the extra cash would help him.

Instantly I thought either he was a frugal saver like we were or they were struggling financially.

I believe there was a time when Canadians would rather stay hush about their debt but it’s leaking out every crevice.

It’s hard not to fall prey to the debt bomb especially if there was no financial plan or that plan wasn’t enough.

Sometimes talking about debt might bring about information for people that they weren’t aware of.

  • Potential Solutions
  • Expert Advice

In short, people are scared now more than ever and are willing to step out of their comfort zone for help.

Although I’d like to see people happy and in control of their finances during the pandemic, it’s just not the case.

I hope now that this pandemic has been the flame that lit the debt bomb but the motivation needed for Canadians.

It’s never too late to start over or to begin planning financially especially by using a budget and investigating expenses.

Selling Everything You Can Buy Again

If you need fast cash start with selling everything you own, even if you can’t stand to see it go.

When I moved to Canada I needed cash fast so I sold everything I owned apart from bits I had sent over on a ship.

I started by selling my house followed by everything in it that I could do without or purchase again when needed.

The key take-away from that was that I didn’t need stuff and could rebuy it at some point.

Another example that we have lived through the past almost two years was no livingroom set.

Many of our friends can’t believe they walk into our house and there is no couch, loveseat or chair to sit on.

We’ve survived without them without issue but some of you might not even dream of doing that.

Recently we got rid of our cable and haven’t looked back as we’ve replaced television with streaming, DVDs, and staying active.

We didn’t need cable after all and that savings alone is near $900 a year.

My point is if you are reading this and are at rock bottom start selling everything you own and chop expenses.

You will survive and remember all you want to do is stay afloat.

Stuff can always be replaced.

Track What You Are Selling

Extra Income Tracking Screenshot

If you begin to start selling everything in your house that is worth money track it all.

You’ll want to know what you sold and for how much for personal reference.

This way when you track your extra income you’ll know how much you earned and what you earned it from.

A simple budget binder printable that we use helps us to look back for reference each month.

Create A Debt Payoff Plan

Find out every debt you owe and bring it to the table.

Create a spreadsheet or download my free budget binder printable Debt Repayment Plan to document it all.

It’s easier to come up with a payment plan when you have all of the information in front of you.

From there decide how you plan your debt reduction strategy with the information you’ve collected.

Save For Emergencies

I just recently blogged about the importance of emergency savings and have many times over the past almost 9 years of blogging.

It’s never too late to start saving cash for an emergency whether you stash it in a savings account or tax-free savings account.

The idea is to save a minimum of 3-6 months of cash to fuel your complete household expenses before a crisis.

I even suggest taking that number to a year or more if you can get past the 6-month mark whilst paying off debt or after.

Other Emergency Savings Posts of Importance

Start Using A Budget

I don’t agree with the comment below that someone by the name, Hadwell left on the Global News YouTube video.

Making a budget and cutting back on expenses isn’t hard when you have no money to make a budget with and can’t afford anything considered an expense

You can always make a budget because it’s the means of knowing what is coming in and going out.

If he/she has zero income (which I doubt unless he is homeless) then the person can make a budget.

A budget may not balance and you’ll see you owe more than you earn but that’s perfectly fine.

These are the numbers you want to see so you can create a plan of action.

Being negative about a situation will never get you ahead, EVER.

Fix it or live with it for the rest of your life and stick with the whiners club that no one cares about.

Hard to hear? Well, I bet it is but it’s the truth.

You need to see your numbers every month of the year whether you are in the plus or the negative.

Using a budget is simple and for everyone, I have free budgets in my Free Resource Library along with a simple mini-series.

Starting Over

If and when the storm settles and you get back on your feet with your finances you can start to replenish.

Like us, you may not find the need to buy new items or can do without what you once thought was a necessity.

As long as you have a roof over your head, bills are paid, you’re clothed and food on the table life is good.

For some, living a minimalist life is living their best life.

You don’t need ‘stuff’ to get you to the next level with your friends and family nor can you afford it.

Stay living with-in your means and maybe one day you too can say you’re debt-free and proud of it.

Discussion: Would you start selling everything worth value in your home to stay ahead financially?

Why or why not? Leave me your comments below.

Home Budget Income Report May 2020

Family Net Income

Where did the money go?

Hi CBB readers,

This month Mrs. CBB purchased clothing that was on sale such as bras and undergarments for great prices.

There’s never a shortage of needing bras and underwear I guess.

We purchased quite a bit of gardening supplies such as soil and plants, coconut liners, and other home maintenance items.

Lastly, we bought our son playground equipment so he has something to play on  which I bought extra parts for on Amazon.

Overall, we had a good month apart from going over on our grocery budget however with pandemic shopping has been a struggle for us.

If you have any tips for in-store grocery shopping during the pandemic I’d love to hear about it.

We earned some extra money by selling items we no longer need in our house which was mostly kids big-ticket items.

That brought us an extra $564.

Chat to you all in June


Home Budget Percentages

Budget Percentage

Our savings of  59.04% include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $11,104.48.

We save up money 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 April 2020.

This type of budget is a zero-based budget where all of the money has a home.

Monthly Home Budget Expenses

Family Net Income

Below is a breakdown of our expenses which helps us to understand where all of our money goes.

  1. Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from. We use Simplii Financial.
  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: $6,392.68
  5. Monthly Net Income Total: $11,104.48
  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 = $852.91
  8. Total Expenses Paid Out: $6214.44
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $11,104.48 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) –$ 4037.13 (savings to emergency fund) = $6214.44
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $11,104.48 (total monthly net income) – $6214.44(actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91 (projected expenses) = $4037.13

Monthly Budget and Actual Budget

Below you will see two tables, one is our monthly budget and the other is our actual budget.

This budget represents 2 adults and a pre-schooler, plus retirement investments.

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

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.

Family Budget

Monthly Home Budget Actual Expenses

Actual Family Budget Excel

CBB Home Budget Updates Month By Month

Just in case you missed our budget updates from 2012- present I’ve compiled them all on one handy page: monthly budgets.

2020 Home Budget Challenge

2020 Budget Challenge

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.

April Update: We still have two budget challengers reporting their budget in April.

Let’s see how long they can hold on and if they will make it to December.

Budget Challenger #1

May is a quiet month for us financially it’s time to concentrate on SAVING!

With the property taxes due for payment soon, we are scraping together every nickel, dime, and quarter that we can find and depositing them into our Future Payments account.

I’m sure this year’s tax payment will obliterate the balance in our account. <Sad face>

This month, I found myself removing all the “WANTED” but not “NEEDED” grocery items from my online “click and collect” order in an attempt to spend less and save more.  

It sure made for a small shop especially when I only got half of what I ordered!  It didn’t help that I picked up my order on Mother’s Day morning all the fresh items that I wanted were out of stock.


I did finally, after 3 months of trying, get a 12 pack of toilet paper though! Celebrate, good times, c’mon!

Who knew TP would be something to celebrate? Lol.

I am finding that more of the items we want are “out of stock” & probably will remain so for the rest of the summer.

I did order hubby a case of 24 cans of non-alcoholic Molson Excel beer for the summer.

It’s 85 F here today and I know he enjoys a cold one after he cuts the lawn so I put one in the fridge for him.

At least now he has a case to carry him through the summer and early fall.

I did make a couple of hotel reservations “on points” for Easter 2021 in Vancouver at one of our favorite Sheraton hotels that has Club Floor lounge dining meaning we get FREE breakfast and afternoon snacks.

Even after making our reservation, I still had almost 300,000 Marriott points that needed to be used up before the end of the month when they would expire.

They were points that I converted from our timeshare options back in 2014 that are only good for six years from the date of issuance.

Since we are not travelling right now, I didn’t want to transfer the points over to Alaska Airlines because I already have a substantial point balance with them.

I have enough for 2 x North American FIRST CLASS round trips for each of us (4 trips in all).

Instead, I used our expiring points to purchase $1,500 worth of various gift cards with Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Shell, Esso, Petro Canada, iTunes, and Olive Garden.

The gift cards won’t go to waste because we’ll use them within 12 months and thereby reduce the actual cash we spend a double win for us.

Hubby wants a new pressure washer; ours isn’t working properly after 25 years of use, so now he can get himself one using a gift card.

That’s my kind of shopping!! Also, we can use our Olive Garden gift cards for some take-out dinner treats every couple of months!

Thinking of gift cards reminds me of the year I sent my husband on a California vacation by himself (I wasn’t well enough to go) all loaded up with restaurant and department store gift cards to use while he was away. 

All his hotel and timeshare stays were on points. The only thing he had to pay for was gas for the car and a few groceries for the condo.  

He was gone for nearly a month and he onlyfor spent about $1,000.

He did all of his retail shopping for FREE and because he was away long enough there were no duty or taxes applied at the border.

Best of all, he got to take advantage of loads of incredible sales at Sears pbeforethe store closing.

He came back with a whole new wardrobe including several pairs of runners, shoes and hiking boots, spring/fall jackets, and a few new tools.

He was pretty darned happy!

He Facetime messaged me every night to show me his goodies and I encouraged him to completely use up the gift cards he had.

Victoria Day weekend was quiet for us with some lovely meals at home while watching shows and movies that we had previously taped but never got around to watching.

I am rather enjoying this self-isolating stuff. It rained almost all weekend so there were no barbecues at our place.

I renewed our annual pest control contract with Orkin for another year.

Between spraying the perimeter to keep any unwanted pests outside where they belong and looking after wasps when they build a nest they are well worth the cost!

Things may be starting to open up again but I had my annual check-in with my cardiologist by telephone this month.

In June I will go into his office for a stress test, an EKG, and pick up a Holter monitor to wear for 24 hours.

As long as the results are to his satisfaction…that will be it until December when I have a Divinity echocardiogram at the hospital as an outpatient!

I did hit up our medical savings account this month and bought a couple of boxes of non-medical reusable masks for hubby and I thru Staples.

I have the N95 masks for when we are going somewhere “high risk” but we’ll use the non-medical supply when we are somewhere where we can’t social distance like the hairdresser or at the pharmacy.

We also had prescriptions to pick up this month.

We were really beginning to look like a pair of ragamuffins!

Fortunately, our hairdresser has re-opened and we got a chance to get in and see her on the 22nd.

Hubby went from being my little mad scientist to my favorite cue ball.

Oops, don’t tell him I said that!

Our landscapers were here so our garden is now weeded, the vegetable and herb planters are done.

The fence and cedar planters have been pressure washed and re-stained and all the bushes have been trimmed back until we close things down again in the fall.

Let’s see how I do with growing a few herbs, tomatoes ,and some rhubarb this year.

I am usually dreadful but I hope I can manage to not kill all of my plants!

Budget Challenger #2

Hey Mr. CBB and all, happy June!

So May was a bit more expensive than I had expected it to be, especially when I saw my total for groceries.

I spent approximately $500 on groceries when we usually average $390.

Because it was so much higher than expected, I went back and checked when I did my shopping and found that trying to avoid going into town due to COVID just changed my shopping habits somewhat.

I overspent by about $50 because of a day I was stuck in town waiting for car repairs, while the rest was due to having 3 paycheques in May.

Budget breakdown

  • Transportation – 22.9%
  • Debt – 0 Savings – 4.73%
  • Living – 22.73%
  • Household – 11.97%

As you’ll see, the percentages do not add up to 100%, this is because at the end of the month.

Whatever I have not spent gets divided up into savings (whereas my category for savings is a regular amount taken out of my paycheque automatically by the bank).

At the end of the month, I usually put some money into a savings account, while others get divided into a TFSA or RRSP.

Sometimes I let it sit a bit longer in my normal account if I know I have big bills coming.

By doing I don’t have to shuffle things around last minute (or forget to draw from the wrong account – thus ending up with a charge for accessing accounts “the wrong way”).

Transportation was much higher than I was expecting as I needed new front breaks and rotors.

As mentioned above, when I was trapped in town I didn’t want to sit in the small shop.

So I went next door to the grocery store and local dollar store, both of which seemed empty at the time.

A bit of mindless shopping later and I had overspent my grocery budget by about $50.

Another expense (that I should have remembered but didn’t) was for the cats flea/tick medication.

This was $130 I had completely forgotten about.

Oh well, done for 3 months!

One expense that I haven’t really been tracking properly is how much I’m spending on work items.

Because they cost so little each, I’ve been paying for them myself, though I probably should have been gathering receipts here and there and looking to be reimbursed.

It just seems so petty to ask for reimbursement of little charges here and there (batteries for my computer mouse, stamps to send clients documents, the $4 long distance charge on my phone).

I’ve heard rumors that we may be able to get reimbursed at tax time next year if we have had to work from home.

For this reason, I’m keeping this in mind but not going to actively seek anything out from work.

I figure all the times I’ve printed off personal documents probably equals out.

As you can see from my budget breakdown, I’ve been able to put aside 40% of my paycheque for the month of May.

This will be good as next month I have another car repair (and lord help me it’s inspection year in November and I’m sure they’ll find something wrong with it then too!).

I also have vet checkups, and sometime this summer 6 cords of wood coming.

Working from home has been a godsend for me, so I’m hoping I do it for one or two more months to be able to put aside money.

Though it’s unlikely to happen, I had started paying for a vacation to Atlanta in October, and hoped in 2 years to go to Europe for 3 weeks.

All things I’m trying to put money aside for. I hope you are all doing well during this time!

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  1. Like you said, it’s a good idea to put a plan in action. Even if it’s a small plan Luckily I’m debt free, no longer a homeowner aka own an albatross money pit, and have emergency savings. I live frugally and the CERB along with my dividend income is getting me by. And work is just start to pick up again this week. If the rest of this month goes like this last week I might be over the $1000 earnings CERB allows for my last installment.

    When it comes to selling stuff, I’ve had mixed results. People would rather take your stuff for free. It’s hard to sell things knowing you might need that item again in the future and it will cost more to replace it than you sold it for. 6 years ago when I was getting out of my house I put a lot of things up for sale, Craigslist, yard sale, and I sold some things dirt cheap just to get them gone so I wouldn’t have to move them. I had a $2000 hutch I was selling for $200, a few lookers but no sale. One person emailed to say it was a beautiful hutch and they’d take it off my hands for free. I still have it. For me, at least right now, “needing” to sell stuff versus “wanting” to sell stuff so I can downsize and not move it is more the motivation. I have an 1895 grand piano I don’t want to part with, been in the family a long time, and yes I play piano, but it has crossed my mind to achieve a more minimal lifestyle. I’m not there yet with the piano. Might never be.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I know what you mean about people wanting things for free or cheap. When I was moving to Canada I sold pretty much everything I owned. It got to the point that if someone knew I was moving abroad they’d think I’d give it away. I never told anyone after the first time as I learned my lesson. My mum even sold stuff after I left and just put the money in my bank account for me. I think when it comes to the point sometimes we have to make decisions we don’t want to such as selling items even if we can buy them again and it will cost us more. It’s a matter of surviving today and dealing with tomorrow, tomorrow even though I’m not a huge fan of that philosophy. I’d rather plan ahead and be ready but for those who aren’t the options are slim, very slim. I bet that piano is gorgeous. Keep on playing, music is beauty. Thanks for dropping by. Mr.CBB

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