How Starting Over Financially Is Your Essential Service : 2020 Year-End Net Worth Update

money reset

Starting Over Financially Is Hard But Necessary

The year 2020 was met with people under order to stay home from work, business closures, curbside pickup, online deliveries and a whole mess of other changes.

Walking out the front door seemingly gets less and less exciting as there’s nowhere to go.

In a way, I felt like a newborn trying to figure out life when I thought I already understood it. 

Starting over for Canadians who relied on their career income this lockdown has become a lesson learned.

Don’t wait to survive when you are already in the midst of falling. 

  1. Rely on yourself for a second job or extra income
  2. Budget so you know what you spend, earn and your net worth.
  3. Family-Finance-Freedom is the key as you are your own essential service.

Canadian Government Steps In To Help

Over the last year, the only income for many households came from the Canadian Government. 

Billions of dollars have been spent to keep Canada functioning and financial help to the people who need assistance.

It could have turned out an entirely different way if we didn’t have that financial support. 

Living through Corona-virus and having someone you love pass away because of it is devastating enough. 

Not being able to pay the bills for any of the reasons above is a double-whammy.

It’s 2021 and things aren’t looking up for the year as deaths continue to rise while being in lockdown.

If you are a Corona-virus survivor you may have a long path back to who you were before you got the virus. 

Many Canadians saw a decrease in their income having to collect CERB and any other bonuses the government was handing out.

At the time applicants received $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week), between March 15 and September 26, 2020. 

All of which still needs to be declared as income and taxes are taken off as the CERB is not tax-free.

As of current, there is no more CERB as it was closed down at the end of December 2, 2020.

If you’re still not back to work and in need of money the government is working on transitioning people to the new employment insurance.

Working From Home, Homeschooling and Life Balance

Life Is Hard Motivation

Source: Unknown but if you see this message me for proper sourcing. 

Life is hard and it will always be. 

Having to work from home with school-age kids needing help with their online courses is stressful.

This is what I do. I work from home and my wife and I switch helping our son doing his online classroom work.

The torture of trying to keep a child with Sensory Processing Disorder to sit still is difficult and weighs on us heavily.  

Relying On Convenience Services 

Forget cleaning the house or grocery shopping until you get the energy once the day has settled. 

Actually, now that I think about it our neighbourhood has an app that we can all chat on. 

I have seen two jobs for house cleaners needed over the last three weeks.

Oddly enough, I just clued in that for some families that may be an essential service that they will pay money for. 

However, I’m not even sure if that would be allowed at this time. 

I think this is why Canadians are relying on the door to door services from food companies such as Hello Fresh.

The convenience and food are great but your grocery budget will go through the roof if you rely on meal kits.

Starting Over Can Be Depressing

Mental health has to be part of the process of starting over even if you work on yourself a little at a time. 

You can’t reach the finish line if you don’t have that motivation but it’s not easy for everyone. 

Some people are selling their houses and moving to smaller towns especially retirees. 

We’ve had 4 houses up for sale on our street the last few months and they were all seniors.

One spectacular lady, a neighbour of ours that we got to know well lost her husband 2 years ago. 

Most days she’s home alone most days as her family hardly visits the Toronto area. 

Also, with Covid-19, it’s hard to visit anyone unless they are in your bubble. 

She told us they might a well take my money because they’re taking everything else. 

It seems to me that she is lonely, misses her husband and now the world has been turned on its a$$ end.

Before Covid-19 she would drive to the local pool to go swimming and to meet other seniors. 

You’d see her walking the streets and stopping by to say hi and for a little chat. 

She says she’s lonely and tired of paying the bills on a house that is far too big for one person. 

She plans to sell her house and start over in an apartment or move to a smaller town.

The World Is Not The Same As We Know it

Another friend of my wife became depressed about not being able to work and loss of income.

Both her and her husband can’t work from home which means a drastic pay decrease.

I think many people will know what it’s like to live on a low-income and empathize with people who struggle. 

It reminds me of my mum offering me food that I don’t want and she says try it you might like it. 

When I tried it I still didn’t like it and I learned I don’t ever want to eat that food again.

I’m sure this is not uncommon given what the world is going through. 

She’s been working on bettering herself and taking it day by day and discussed it on her social media. 

Taking a Different Path To Starting Over

Starting over sometimes means taking a different path than what you’ve been given. 

You may be still paying minimum payments on your credit card, loans or have had to talk to your mortgage institution.

From small-town business owners to family finances something needs to change. 

Sort of like having that Plan B we talked about earlier this year. 

It doesn’t matter what you own, don’t buy it without extra cash stashed away.

Even Starbucks is cutting back and closing over 300 locations by March 2021 to restructure.

That is big news but who can afford a $6 coffee and a date square or Lemon Loaf on their way to work every day?

Canadians are now spending their money learning to bake, cook so they can spend their coffee stop money on food.

Restructure Your Life So It Fits Your Finances

I’m not talking about bananas, rice and beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner either. 

If you don’t leave breathing room and live from a tight budget you have to make changes somehow. 

This would be a great time to whip out your back-up emergency cash because now is the time to use it.

No backup?

This is where Canadians MUST take this seriously because emergencies will happen. 

Starting Over After Death Or A Relationship Breakup

Have you created a Will yet just in case you or your spouse dies?

Another chore that needs to get done but pushed aside for some reason and comes with harsh consequences.

Have you been putting any money away for your retirement savings?

It’s time for a financial reset when you don’t budget and can’t even pay the minimum balances on your bills. 

This is where you see people who bought too big of a house, expensive cars, and have all the latest gadgets freak out. 

Relationships break down because of money differences, lack of communication etc. and 2020/2021 is the year of reflection. 

Don’t want to vent to your friends? Consider navigating your breakup during the pandemic with the help of a mental-health professional. “Start seeing a therapist,” says Ficken, “or, if you already have a therapist, consider increasing the amount of sessions you have for a period of time to help cushion your mood.” –Source

Money Can Disappear As Fast As You Get It

Even if you do have an excellent income don’t say it won’t happen to you. Jokes on you this time. Even saving $5 a day is better than having an empty jar of money when you need it the most. 

It’s a nightmare and why we chose to live a simple life in a smaller house and use a budget.

Even then we mess up at times and we’re supposed to be smarter than that. 

The most obvious stress reliever is having a budget plan and using it even through tough times. 

Part of our budget plan in 2013 was when we quit smoking and the amount of money we saved was massive. 

Pick a goal that will help you save money and perhaps your health. 

How to Increase Money Flow When Starting Over

  • Stop Spending It Unless you are in dire need of something

Right now there’s not much open apart from essential shops so saving should be easier. 

Not so, because online shopping is glued to our hips every time we open our devices. 

The amount of enticing cash back apps, savings, discount codes and free stuff is alluring to consumers. 

It becomes easier to spend from the comfort of your home using a credit card or other available means. 

Window shopping online almost always ends in a sale and more money you don’t have to spend. 

Just reading back on what I wrote up above stresses me out and we’re fortunate that we aren’t in such situations.

Actually, It bothers me to see people suffer who have done all the right things but there just wasn’t enough money. 

Changing The Way You Think Your Life Should Be

Family-Finance-Freedom (FFF)is your motivator now post that on your refrigerator and never forget it. 

If you had big dreams and empty pockets and snap back to reality.

Stop spending money that you haven’t earned yet and live accordingly. 

I’m sure the Queen isn’t coming over for a visit is what I always say to Mrs. CBB.

Showing off to your buddies about what you’ve got is old-school now. 

Heck University grads are struggling to find a job and forget about owning a condo or townhouse. 

The prices of homes have increased so much that many people can’t find a way into the market.

No one cares about what you’ve got but you and it’s kind of laughable.

Most people are just trying to live and don’t care about your $500 Gucci bag or brand new truck that cost you 100k. 

This my friends are your life and the only way to blast through it is to embrace it as part of your FFF goals.

Giving Back To Your Community

We are all in this together and try to help those in need because everyone deserves kindness. 

Next week we plan on giving a $300 gift to someone who needs help, especially during the winter. 

We shovel other neighbours’ driveways and say hello when we see them outdoors. 

Giving back to your community is a feeling that makes us smile. 

Spending Less Than You Earn

Who knew It would be 2021 and I’m still blogging about spending less than you earn. 

But, here I am on my knees telling you all to start a budget and live by it without excuses. 

Even if there is job loss, illness or other reasons why you can’t work, use a budget

Spending less may mean no internet, no home phone, find a cheaper cell phone provider such as Freedom Mobile.

The idea is that if you are running out of money and the bills are not getting paid, you’ve got a big problem. 

Become Your Own Essential Service 

Living without what you can’t afford doesn’t mean it will be that way for the rest of your life. 

Pay off your debts, save for emergencies, budget and slowly you’ll see a return to the other side of the green fence.

Final thoughts, don’t be afraid of starting over, just take your time and get help from people you can trust.

Discussion: What has this pandemic taught you about your finances and what changes do you plan to make? 

Leave me your comments below as I enjoy reading your feedback.


Net Worth Gains and Losses

Net Worth Family

What happened to our money in December

First off the markets have been up and down so it was nice to see an increase in December. 

In December we ended the year with a 1.16% net worth increase of $14,423.00.

We had a change of plans for Christmas which worked out that we were hosting dinner for 5.

It’s far different when you go to a family member’s house for Christmas and everything is ready for you. 

This was our first time hosting Christmas and I think we went a bit overboard with food and alcohol. 

I’m not sure if it’s a thing or not but perhaps we went through some sort of Christmas panic.

The kitchen was bustling with baking Christmas desserts and cooking every day. 

It has been a hard 3 years for them and this was a Christmas for them to remember as they are very close.

There were only going to my wife’s siblings but we weren’t sure about what to do.

I should have read Pinterest as there is just about everything you need to know. 

We aren’t fancy people yet we wanted some amazing food for the Christmas week of eating non-stop. lol

Overall, we overspent on Christmas and it happened. 

Obviously is we were in debt we would not have done that but it was a very important time for our family. 

We did use our Christmas fund but that didn’t last very long. It makes a big difference when you host and don’t host. 

We’ve talked about our LIFE category as it was far too high in 2020 about making changes. 

You’ll just have to read about them along the way. 

Overall, we were happy at the end of the year. We survived it.


Discussion: If you track your net worth how did you do for 2020? Will you make any changes for 2021?

Leave your comments below. 

2020 Year-End Net Worth

2020 household expense chart

As you can see we did alright in all of the budget categories aside from the Life Ratio at 31.18%.

This number should have come in at 25% or less and we went over for the year.

We’ve been paying out for the dentist, our son’s therapy, tires, my university courses and more.

As I’ve mentioned before you can’t always project the future but you can work at saving for them. 

This is where our projected expenses came in handy for some of our living expenses. 

In 2021 we are cutting back and working with what we have instead of spending more money unless it’s a necessity.

What I mean is fewer trips to the shops and only buying what we need on our shopping list. 

I also want to point out that we jumped over 1 million Optimum Points for the year at near 6 million. 

That’s equal to quite a bit of free shopping if we were to use the points, especially on mega redemption days. 

Another year has come and gone and it’s time to buckle up for another financial ride. 


Year to Date Net worth 2020 chart

Understanding Net Worth

What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?

Net Worth is a snapshot of your financial health sort of like a picture or debt to net assets.

In simple terms, it’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities.

We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget, and not giving up.

Your numbers may go up and down but don’t let the numbers scare you rather understand why and move on.

If you would like to use our budget I offer a FREE downloadable budget that I created and that you can use.

I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!

There are tonnes of other free resources at Canadian Budget Binder to help you build your net worth.

Calculate Your Net Worth

final net worth 2020

Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth?

We like to calculate our net worth every month so we know if we are still on track.

Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly but it’s up to you and how informed you want to stay.

Net Worth is only an estimate and not everyone uses the same type of figures to tally it up.

Some of you may not include vehicles like we do or leave out assets inside the home as we have.

You might be that person that believes that your house should be excluded.

It depends on what you want to calculate or what you can sell today and make money for tomorrow.

Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your monthly financial numbers.

Net Worth is adding up all your assets (what you own) then taking away your liabilities (what you owe) which will give you a net worth number.

Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track to meet or beat your personal financial goals.

It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Determining Your Net Worth

How to Determine Net Worth?

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities

Why not go ahead and calculate your own using our Free Money saving Tool Net worth Calculator (Canadian Budget Binder 2012)

Financial Numbers

When budgeting anything is possible, we are proof of that although we still have a long way to go in our journey.

These are our numbers and our goals, not a means of comparison towards your own goals to others’ target goals.

We don’t care how much money others earn or if they have a high net worth or if it is lower than ours as it’s not a competition.

I hope our experiences will help guide you along your financial path working towards debt freedom.

Not everyone has the same path in life.

Some of you may have had to start over like I did or go to school a second time and now have OSAP loans to pay back.

Others may have divorced, lost money in the stock market or other investments, suffered job loss, fell ill or injured on the job and so on but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.

You may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, educations, or other perks that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too.

Earn It, Save It, Invest It, Build It

Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.

The reason people accumulate wealth is that they know how to save or invest even if inherited or a lottery win.

The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.

Sometimes we have to fail to learn and we’ve all been there.

Money can be evil for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their financial situation.

Be optimistic and little by little with determination you too should see improvements if you want that to happen.

Canadian Budget Binder Net Worth Updates 2020

Click the links below to read our net worth updates for the year 2020.

That’s all for this month’s net worth update but please check in the middle of February 2021 to see how we made out in January 2021 with our financial portfolio.

A New Year Begins for everyone, make it count in 2021. 

If you want to join my 2021 Budget Challenge please send me a Facebook message. 



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