Our Family Budget Showed Us What We Missed Out On For Years.
There was a time when we were not using a family budget and now we look back at the effect it had on our debt and savings ability.
A typical household budget has everyday budget categories and can be completed in a variety of ways.
We chose the zero-based budget approach using our free budget excel spreadsheet that I designed years ago.
Let’s go back to the start when there was no family budget and how we managed to just get by with our money.
It wasn’t until we were married and in our early 30’s that we started to read up on budgeting 101.
Like you may be new to the world of budgeting we had to research the family budget.
Some of the common questions that we wrote down before searching the web gave us the answers we needed.
These are the questions I remember but over the years we’ve always learned as we went along by experience and educating ourselves.
This is why we feel our excel budget spreadsheet has been our financial bible for so many years.
At one point we were using a printable family budget but later found it was easier to use excel as we could add formulas for more data collection.
Not everyone cares about the nerdy data like we do but for those of you who do a mobile budgeting app or excel spreadsheet is the way to go.
Let’s have a look at some of those questions and answer them below for you.
Common Family Budget Questions For Beginners
- What is the family budget? or home budget, monthly budget (whatever you want to call it)
- How do we create an excel budget spreadsheet?
- Why do we need to use a family budget?
- How often should we update our family budget?
- Will budgeting help get us out of debt?
- Can we save enough for a 25% downpayment on a house using a budget?
- How many budget categories do we need?
- What do we include in our family budget?
- How to make a budget binder?
- How much should a grocery budget be?
- Do we need emergency savings?
- What is the best type of budget to use?
There are many types of budgets to use that I may not have listed but these have all been discussed on Canadian Budget Binder.
- Cash Budget
- 50/30/20 Budget
- Basic Budget
- Zero-Based Budget
- Magic Jars Budget
- Envelope Budget
- Irregular Expenses Budgeting
- Retirement Budget
6 Consequences Of Not Using A Family Budget
As we’ve learned over the years there were consequences for us when we did not use a family budget.
Learn lessons and educate yourself from bloggers or professionals who understand finance and have applied it successfully.
1. No Financial Documentation
When you don’t have a family budget you’re likely not tracking your money and have little to no documentation.
Even if you do keep receipts there is still no organization to the money coming in and going out.
Now, if we want we can go back to 2012 when we started budgeting and created our free excel budget spreadsheet and review it.
Keeping a financial trail of your money is a big deal especially if you need to reference an expense or debt for future dealings.
2. Net Worth Not Recognized Properly
We had no idea what our net worth was before we started to use a budget.
Having this type of financial knowledge would have motivated us further had we known.
For example, if you were in debt knowing your net worth would prompt you to perhaps find a better way to pay it off.
Now we calculate our net worth every month so we can have our net worth numbers at our disposal.
It’s kind of cool to see how our net worth has increased over the years since we paid our house and debt off.
3. Debt Was A Guess
Honestly, we had no idea what the exact number was when it came to the debt we owed.
Yes, we had money in the bank for a house downpayment but we were not utilizing it properly.
Our minivan was not paid off and we should have just paid it off in full even though it had zero interest on the loan.
Budgeting for us allowed us peace of mind and getting rid of the debt fast was our goal.
There was also rent we had to pay but received no rent receipts and we did not have renters insurance.
We found the more research we did the better it was for us to get ahead.
4. Missed Savings Opportunities
Any time you are not budgeting you’re missing out on savings opportunities.
Why? Well, if you budget your numbers correctly it allows you to see where your money is going.
Perhaps you’re spending too much money on entertainment and eating out and it’s soaking up too much of your finances.
For example, your clothing allowance may well be over budget but you won’t know it without a budget.
Over the years we could have invested more in our RRSP and TFSA had we started budgeting earlier.
It was safer for us to sit on the money but now we know that maxing out our investments was a smarter move.
No budgeting = missed savings opportunities along with a visual of your income, debt, or your debt to income ratio.
The numbers are the most important part of your family budget and they are crucial.
5. Not Knowing Where Our Money Went
Without a family budget, we had no idea where all of our money was going unless we had asked for receipts.
At the time we did not ask for receipts as we do now for just about everything so we can file it for our end of month budgeting updates.
Guessing where your money is going or forgetting that all the little expenses add up can put people into debt fast.
6. Financial Stress and Insecurity
When you don’t have a family budget it can cause you financial stress and insecurity because all you see is what’s in your bank account.
You won’t know if you will be safe if you were to be let go from work, health issues, or in an accident that left you without income or short-term disability.
Sometimes if you’re hurt at work the WSIB takes forever to figure things out which means that you will end up paying your benefits company back when WSIB kicks in.
To ease financial stress we found that using a budget that we created out of a need for our peace of mind made a world of differences.
There are so many budgeting apps, free budgets, and types of budgeting systems online that you can experiment to find one that fits your needs.
Let the stress of money and debt roll off your shoulders and into a budget to release the anxiety that so many Canadians face with money.
According to the Scotiabank Financial Worry poll, Canadians aged 18 to 35 worry the most about their finances, logging 2.4 hours of self-reported anxiety each day. (That’s equal to about five weeks straight of worry annually.)
People aged 35 to 54 worry a little less — an average of 1.8 hours a day, which still totals almost four weeks of annual financial anxiety.
Older Canadians, aged 55 and up, sleep a little easier, but they still worry about their finances around 1.4 hours per day – enough time to enjoy a movie instead. – Source
You’ve got the tools all you need is the motivation to budget your way to a debt-free life.
You Need A Family Budget
A family budget could mean many people in the family or just one person.
From my experience, a budget is a budget no matter how many people are bringing in the income.
Whatever you do, create a budget and if you are worried or scared about budgeting I’m here if you need to ask questions.
I’m not a professional financial advisor but I have 12 years of experience blogging and using budgets, so that counts for something.
If you’re not comfortable asking questions talk to your financial advisor, bank, or other financial institutions that you deal with.
Discussion: What lessons have you learned now that you use a budget that you missed out on before you took control of your money?
Leave me your comments and experiences below.
Family Budget Income Report October 2020
Hi CBB readers,
October was a busy month for us financially as we spent quite a bit in the health and beauty section as well as healthcare.
Mrs. CBB took advantage of PC Optimum points and scooped up almost 90,000 this month which helped.
Mind you we have near 6 million PC Optimum points which we plan on using in 2021 for groceries. (we think)
Our son went to his first session with an eye specialist, and we paid for his soccer membership and our Costco membership.
It’s a case of everything hits you all at once.
There was also a birthday celebrated and travel back and forth to my mother-in-law’s house.
That meant coffee stops at Tim Hortons and McDonald’s.
We also made a few pit-stops at second-hand shops to buy some long-sleeved shirts, winter pants, and jackets for the family.
I also found a scooter for our son for $5.20 which I thought was pretty good compared to its retail price of $89.99.
The basement I’ve been finishing slowly as I mentioned in a previous post about the city inspector coming through.
Just about every month I’m spending money to get that job complete so he can give me the approval to move forward.
There’s never a dull moment with a budget but thankfully we use one so we know where our money is going.
See you in November for our update.
Below you will see all of our November family budget data.
Home Budget Percentages
Our savings of 41.96 % include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $10,394.54
We save 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 October 2020.
This type of budget is a zero-based budget where all of the money has a home.
Monthly Home Budget Expenses
Below is a breakdown of our expenses which helps us to understand where all of our money goes.
- Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from. We use Simplii Financial, TD Canada Trust, and Tangerine Bank.
- 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: $6392.68
- Monthly Net Income Total: $10,394.54
- (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 Paid Out: $8162.54
- Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $10,394.54 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) – $1379.09 (savings to emergency fund) = $8162.54
- Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $10,392.54 (total monthly net income) – $8162.54 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91 (projected expenses) = $ 1379.09
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 6-year-old son, 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.
Monthly Family Budget
Actual Family Budget
2020 Home Budget Challenge
October Update: We are still 2 players in for the Budget Challenge 2020.
These two budget challengers are going to ride it out until the end of 2020.
Let’s have a look at what happened with their monthly budgets in October.
Budget Challenger #1
October…we are back to the soup season!
I love the fall and winter because we make oodles of cheap, healthy, homemade soups.
We can cook 4-6 times over the course of a 30 day period and eat well for the entire month!
It is very economical in terms of our time, the cost of our utilities as well as the actual cost of our groceries because I tend to focus on beans, lentils, cruciferous, and root vegetables.
I adore soup and am extremely grateful that my hubby sees it as supper material as long as he gets some bread, muffins, salad, or something to stretch the size of his meal.
BIG bills are coming fast and furious now…the house insurance and travel insurance invoices are here now.
Our BCAA membership renewal, the service contract on our furnace and heat pump plus the condo fees and taxes owing on our timeshares are all due before the end of the year.
Every nickel that I don’t absolutely have to spend will happily get moved into our FUTURE PAYMENTS ACCOUNT.
I guess replenishing the EMERGENCY ACCOUNT, after our next medical expense borrowing, will have to be temporarily placed on hold until 2021.
We’ll get there but not nearly as quickly as I would have liked.
Thank goodness we have paid back the initial borrowing for the Apple Watch and iPhone.
Fortunately, I haven’t had to draw the funds for my 2nd round of medical expenses yet.
I am waiting for our extended health coverage approval to determine what my portion of the purchase of a CPAP machine and all the assorted supplies will be.
However, I expect that to happen next month but for now, the cash sits in the EMERGENCY ACCOUNT
Budget Challenger #2
Hi everyone, happy November!
October wasn’t that bad a month for me though I am embarrassed to say how much I spent on fast food.
I’m usually embarrassed to write this, but I’m extra embarrassed this month.
For October, it was an extra pay month which was awesome, gotta love those.
However, if we couple that with no house payment and no unexpected bills I’d call it a win.
- Fast Food: 135.93
- Groceries: $324.50
- Phone: $59.99
- Land tax $398.00
- Car payment: $304.98
- Power $140
- Savings short term: $200
- Car/house insurance: 144.53
- Netflix: $9.99
- Spotify: $15.99
I believe I have one more car payment and then it’s all paid off which I’m thrilled about.
My car was inspected and it passed so I’m good to go until 2022! Hopefully, the car lasts that long.
My goal is to save for a new car and be able to pay at least half of the cost in cash.
Because it was an extra pay month I was basically about to put about 1.5 paychecks away for long term savings.
I need to reach out to my bank and figure out my RRSPs.
Oh, and I used my air miles to get a kitchen aid mixer for free so that was awesome.
I’ve wanted one for a long time and I decided I would save up points to get it.
I had enough points probably 2 years ago but decided to save up for vacation instead.
Since vacations can’t seem to happen right now I figured I’d use some of my points and get it, and then keep saving for when travel does become a reality again.
That’s it for me this month!
- Internet: $95
- Gas: $124.00