Every Dollar Counts Starting With Your Mindset
So many people in 2021 have told me they were walking a fine line with their bill payments.
Well, we just wandered into 2021 so most of the debt is coming from 2020.
You see, we’re just weeks into the new year and already all of the debt stress is leaking out.
Every time I hear that I feel sorry and know that with a few changes things might look up for them.
The problem is I don’t give out advice to my friends about their money unless they ask me.
There are ways to take the financial stress off your shoulders in 2021 but you have to be serious.
As you might have heard food costs are going up in 2021 according to the Dalhousie Food Report 2021.
Canada’s Food Price Report 2021 predicts annual food expenditure could go up by as much as $695 compared to 2020
COVID-19 changes consumer behaviour and affects food prices in surprising ways.
With families, seniors and single folks already struggling to feed themselves this is going to take planning.
Although we had money stashed away when we got married it was for buying a home.
We sort of forgot about that savings account and worked with what we had every month,
Most of our meals were chickpeas, tuna, mayo, macaroni salads loaded with veg.
We had cereal, apple bananas and other protein that I’d go up and cook when the landlord was gone.
That was our meal of the week and with me not working and Mrs. CBB not taking lunch it was easy to stretch our food money.
Our Food Budget Without A Budget
I was the one involved with finding the deals and savings so I’d drop her off at work and away I went.
At this point, we never had a real excel budget like we have today.
It wasn’t until we moved out into the new house that money got serious for us.
Luckily, it didn’t take me long to navigate Canadian grocery stores but I still struggled with the money.
Just after we moved was when we started to increase our grocery budget based on our numbers.
This Pandemic Is Why You NEED an Emergency Account
No one predicted this pandemic however it made both Mrs. CBB and I feel fortunate.
I can’t tell you how many times we argued about the Scanning Code of Practice.
Many stores have this policy but employees and even managers don’t know how to use it.
We’ve been through it all and some shoppers are too shy to ask for but not us.
The Blog and Our Mortgage
At the time we were in our 30’s so I toyed around with starting a budget blog,
We were determined to kick our remaining debt out the door including our mortgage of $265,000- $85,000 down payment = $180,00.
Our current home if we decided to sell would go on the market in the $700,000 range.
That mortgage was smashed in 4 years because we both worked our tails off, no kids and goals.
I realize not everyone will be in our situation but whatever way you can drop the debt, stick your nose in and find out.
Luxury Costs, Even If It’s Just Eating Out
You might not be able to go out with friends or pay for things you can’t afford, but so what.
Unless you’ve got some heavy cash on you then the money is not an issue.
However, your friends might not be on the same page as they may not have what you do.
It’s not that they don’t like you but they simply can’t afford it.
The issue is the people who pretend they can afford it and go hog wild spending or on trips.
Can you think of something you or your spouse would spend too much money on?
Pandemic Budget Planning
Perhaps during the pandemic would be a good time to make debt-free a family plan.
Also, just because we are stuck at home apart from going to the pharmacy and grocery store means nothing.
You’re not going to save money when you spend the day online shopping.
I’d say online shopping has had perks but we always have to track what we buy.
Pandemic marketing is overwhelming online right now with constant emails from retailers.
This is where your monthly or weekly expense tracker comes in handy.
You can download it free on my free resources page.
You’re Not Alone With A Budgeting Battle
There are lots of people who use their credit cards to pay for all the luxury you see.
Are they able to afford such a large house?
Who knows and that’s why it’s important to not be ashamed you’re not as well-off as your neighbours or friends.
There are debt-free luxury and a debt collector’s luxury. You Choose.
We moved into our house with an air mattress, pillows and clothing at the end of 2009.
All of our furniture was from second-hand shops, garage sales or given to us.
We didn’t need the latest home decorations. Who were we going to show it off to? The Queen?
No friend would care what your house looks like as long as it’s clean.
Stop being that worrywart because that’s not going to get you out of debt.
Sometimes it’s hard to put on a smile when you cry alone at night about your next financial step.
Keep Your First Budget Simple – Baby Steps
Sit down at the kitchen table and ask the questions I wrote at the start of this blog post.
Perhaps you can take a piece of paper and both write questions you want to talk about together.
You both should know where you stand financially so have your debt figures, any savings and ideas for stopping the debt.
Numbers always seem to jolt people out of their living room chairs pretending they have no idea.
If you’re single, budgeting will be a breeze as it’s only yourself you have to deal with.
Follow my 10 step mini-budgeting guide and get ready for the shock.
Most people who start a budget begin to realize how every dollar counts.
For a small experiment track all the snacks you buy in the house whether you have children or not.
Don’t forget those pitstops at the gas station or convenience stores.
Add up the costs that you’ve spent on snacks and consider whether you can make them for cheaper.
Once I found out how much I was spending on coffee each year I limit my purchases.
I use a monthly allowance built into our budget if I want to buy something and that’s all I get.
No one is asking you to be cheap but frugal tends to take over the ‘I’m a super saver” which is what I do.
Wouldn’t you like to sitting back debt-free in a year or two while the people who think budgeting is boring are still struggling?
Hell yes, and it will be the best feeling ever.
Obviously based on your financial situation the timing of becoming debt-free will differ.
Taking Off The Rose Coloured Glasses Changed Us
Bye-Bye Fake Life and Hello Simple Life
Every dollar counts when you want out of the rat race and to lead a simple life without debt and I’m going to show you how we did it.
There’s not one thing I can think of that you would need besides a car to get to work that you need besides basic budget categories.
Although many people may walk to work, take the bus or Uber their way back and forth.
If it’s making you money then yes it should count as a means for financial income.
- Have you ever had a moment in your life where you’ve wondered where all the money went?
- How many times have you wished the stress of debt to be gone but give up on trying?
- What would your life be like if you were debt-free?
- Are you 110% dedicated to a monthly budget so you can crush debt and walk the red carpet?
Those are just a few questions you should ask yourself when deciding to use a budget.
I have heard so many excuses as to why a person could not use a budget.
The top excuse was that they couldn’t handle it with working, housework, kids etc.
Yawn. I’m sure if you want to keep a roof over your head and food on the table 15 mins is peanuts.
Remember, every dollar counts.
Make The Time To Budget
Budgeting is so easy that 15 minutes a day could save your family from financial loss or future financial emergencies.
With the onset of Covid-19 not only have Canadians have lost their jobs, but small businesses and some large have also shut their doors.
That’s a massive red flag to Canadians to get their things (nice version) together and look after themselves.
If you’re with a partner who has no interest in budgeting then decide how you want to move forward.
You need someone who wants to be financially fit and not a drain on your or his bank account.
Another thing to remember is that if you are married that if both your names are not on a bank account it will likely get frozen if one of you dies.
So as we slide into 2021 and see that not much has changed we have to be proactive.
Finding ways to earn money from home and if you can work from home you’re blessed.
Besides what you can do to stash extra cash the best thing you can do is budget.
Who’s The Problem With Your Budget?
If you sat back and figured you just overspent every dollar you owned you are the problem.
Whether you are married, single or in a relationship every dollar counts.
Granted not all couples use the same bank account and tend to split the bills.
Last week I had a chat with a friend who told me that both she and her husband have separate bank accounts.
I always found that option to be odd but when she told me that her spouse spends too much money and that she was worried.
She didn’t want to come home one day to find that he wiped out the savings for something unnecessary he bought.
Truthfully, there are men and women out there that don’t give a (monkeys) about money.
When the paycheck comes in the money starts to go out.
To me, that sounds like an inconsiderate jerk who has no care about money because someone else is paying the bills.
Obviously, the roles can be switched around I’m just this as an example.
Last week I started a 52 Week Loonie Challenge and the reason was to teach our son how every dollar counts.
I told him that if he does his chore every week I will give him a Loonie to put in his jar.
Even though if he follows through he will have $52 at the year to spend or hopefully save.
I’ve got an entire year now to teach him about money and how every dollar counts.
Adults Need Financial Discipline
It happens more often than not but lots of people hide that they can’t do math or they don’t make enough money to budget.
Another reason I chose the Loonie was for adults who don’t understand saving money.
Often when you start something new you have to take baby steps to get it right.
This is why I spent so much time putting my mini-budgeting series together.
I aimed to keep the budget series simple so anyone could start using it.
From there I created a bare-bones budget that was printable for new savers to work with.
If a year goes by and the person working the budget decides they want more I created an excel budget spreadsheet.
There are actually 2, one where you can make changes to the cells and the other you cannot.
You will certainly get a more detailed breakdown of your monthly budget which is why it’s so popular. Bonus, it’s free too.
Last Remarks For 2021
If you plan on budgeting do it.
You wanted to know how we became debt-free so fast well, you just read about it.
Make every dollar count, budget and keep saving.
A good budget challenge is what you need to put a smile back on your face.
CBB Budget Challenge 2021 – Join and Budget with me for 12 months
The new CBB 2021 Budget Challenge is starting this month January.
Find out why every dollar counts and what you will do with the info we go along the year.
If you’d like to join please message me or email me at Canadian budget binder @ yahoo.ca
Discussion; What has stopped you in the past from budgeting?
Is the pandemic scaring you financially?
Leave me your comments below.
You can also read our actual budget back to 2012 under the monthly Budget Category.