Saving Up Cash Kept Us Out Of Debt

Saving up to pay cash for your next significant expense doesn’t have to be a dream.

One tip I often offer young adults is to remember the importance of saving up first.

Although budgeting is our ultimate savings tool, limiting the amount of debt we create.

A credit card or line of credit is meant to help the customer.

A buy now pay later system has repercussions if it’s not paid back.

Related: How To Stop Getting Calls From Credit Agencies

Below, I will share how saving kept us from debt and what we bought.

How Saving Up Cash Is The Best Way To Stay Out Of Debt
How Saving Up Cash Is The Best Way To Stay Out Of Debt

Saving Up Cash Got Us Ahead

Some consumers fail to see that the credit card company is winning.

Unless you pay your entire bill in full, that’s one for the credit card and zero for the user.

They win unless you know how to get the most from a credit card regarding rewards points and a zero balance.

Related: Canadian Savings, Deals, Rewards, Discount Codes And Extra Cash

Those minimum payments are nothing more than you tossing money into the wind.

Granted, when using paydown strategies on multiple debts, the interest will still cost you; however, it saves you money simultaneously.

The idea is to pay off the smallest bill to the largest by paying the minimum payment on the others.

You may know this strategy as the debt snowball method of debt repayment.

Ideally, you don’t even want to put yourself in this situation, ever.

If you can’t afford something, saving up for it is the only way to obtain it.

A credit card is not meant to be an emergency savings fund, although companies love it when you do.

They don’t care if you go broke, bankrupt, or if your relationship fails because of money problems.

Nothing matters to credit card companies apart from they are making money from you.

Saving Up For Future Expenses

Trying to convince yourself or a spouse that making a big purchase on credit can wait is tricky.

Mrs. CBB and I created a projected expenses budget to save a bit each month to avoid this.

By doing so, we are not using credit or tapping into our emergency savings fund.

One of the most complex parts of saving up is motivating yourself to wait, which can seem like forever.

Of course, that depends on the purchase price and your debt-to-income ratio.

What if it’s not on sale by the time I’ve saved up the money to pay cash?

That is an excellent question, perhaps one you’ve used to manipulate your mind into swiping the credit card.

What do you think happens when you don’t pay that excellent deal you put on credit when the bill arrives?

You’re right. If you answered, it would cost you more month after month because of interest charges.

So you see, although the deal seems outstanding, you’ll pay the regular price or even more.

Credit Card Responsibility

There must be some form of responsibility when using a credit card.

Facing the consequences of being unable to pay a bill is disheartening and stressful.

One moment, you were happy, but it just turned sour when the money you thought you would have was not in your bank account.

You’ve successfully achieved debt.

It’s as easy as that. Again, it has nothing to do with income level and more with saving up.

You know what? We’ve done that and realized saving up is far better than paying long-term interest.

I’ve talked to CBB readers in the past who have messaged me about credit card debt, and this was their struggle.

It’s easier to think you’ll pay the credit card charge at the end of the month, but it often becomes part of the minimum payment.

Saving Up For Small Wins

The small wins turn into long-term big wins, especially in the debt department.

Even saving a few dollars occasionally adds up, even if you don’t see the big picture.

We’ve messed up our finances before and learn from our mistakes.

Even today, as we are debt-free, saving up to pay cash is vital to us.

I’ve had arguments with people who have zero motivation to save up before buying.

Their reason is that they want to enjoy life now before they get too old, and that’s what credit is for.

Fair enough, but at what cost?

Related: Can You Inherit Debt When A Loved One Dies?

Retirement Is Not Cheap

Retirement is NOT cheap; even if you are debt-free, there are expenses you still need to pay for.

You don’t know what will happen in the future that could change your envisioned path.

There is a fine line between having lived for today, future retirement savings, ongoing debt, and living off government pensions.

Related: How To Create A Contingency Plan B

What Saving Up Cash Allowed Us To Buy

You already know that we’ve been budgeting for many years, which has sharpened our savings ability.

Not only does budgeting tell you where your money went and how much you’ve earned, but it also opens doors.

I was hoping you could take a moment and write down your needs and the costs for each.

Are the expenses realistic in comparison to your net income?

When would you like to purchase the item? Days, Months, Years, etc.?

Doing so will show you how much money you will need to save.

Don’t let the process overwhelm you, as it’s not meant to be that way.

Take your time and understand that the beauty in debt-freedom can be yours.

Paying Cash Feels Good

Below is what we’ve paid cash for by saving up before we bought our house and after we became debt-free.

Remember that we use a zero-based budget, so all of the money has a place, meaning we must live a frugal life to save more money.

  • A truck that was a showroom truck and test drives for $47,000 paid by cash. Negotiated from $74,000.
  • Paid cash for our wedding: $1,000
  • A large downpayment on our house allowed us to pay the mortgage off in 5 years.
  • I paid cash for my College and University degrees in Canada.
  • Gas-powered pressure washer (I always needed one for cleaning outdoors but had to borrow it)
  • Our new kitten $300 cash plus initial vet bills
  • My new Laptop to use for my business (Canadian Budget Binder) is $3500
  • Cell Phone for Mrs. CBB: $1,000 cash
  • I had a new deck the year after we bought the house.
  • Landscaping the front property was $6,000, and I did the work.
  • A new wood fence was installed in 2019, and I worked with two neighborshelp.
  • I worked on a bathroom gut and renovation in 2020 for $6000.
  • Holiday to Spain, the UK, and Iceland in 2017 $10,000

All of the above is based on our savings ratio, so I don’t want to make it seem like you need a certain income to save.

That is far from the truth; however, I want you to consider your income and savings to help you pay cash instead of using credit.

Fight The Urge To Give Up

Choose your financial battles wisely today so you don’t pay for them tomorrow.

Saving up may not be ideal, but you’ll look back and thank yourself for having the patience to wait.

P.S. – Instead of spending today, build your emergency savings fund if you don’t have one.

Discussion: How has saving up for purchases changed your view of debt?

I was hoping you could leave your comments below and tell me what you’ve purchased after saving up to pay cash.

CBB Family Income Report June 2021

Family Budget Income Report
Family Budget June 2021 Income Report

Hi CBB Friends,

Where did our money go in June 2021?

Most of our money went to health and beauty as we get laser hair removal services.

I’ll write a blog post about why we chose to do this and the costs involved if you are interested.

I also had to pay the insurance for the car rental I purchased when my truck was being repaired.

You may have read we were in an accident where I was at fault for hitting an illegally parked van.

I had to pay the $500 deductible to our vehicle insurance for that mess.

The basement is now insulated and framed, and we have our drywall guy set up; however, he also has a full-time job.

That’s fine with us.

Unfortunately, our bathroom shower started leaking in the basement, so I repaired the leak but will trash the entire bathroom soon.

Everything has slowed to a snail’s pace dealing with our son and his possible autism diagnosis, home school, summer camp online, gardening, blogging, etc.

It’s not how we envisioned our renovation plans; family comes first.

Besides, the price of wood is off the charts right now, so I will wait to renovate it.

Grocery Prices

Our groceries were over budget, as expected, since we’ve been stocking up any chance we can.

Right now, grocery shopping has not been as enjoyable for us as it used to be.

We’ve lost our grocery fun motivation since COVID-19, as most people have.

That’s all for June. Tedious and expensive is how I describe it.

Family Budget Percentages

Family Budget Percentages 2021 June
Year To Date Family Budget Percentages 2021 June

Our savings include investments as well as any protection for this month based on the net income of $9274.66

Equally important is saving money on our projected expenses for things that need to be paid for in the coming months, such as Christmas.

All categories took 100% of our income, showing that we accounted for June 2021.

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

Monthly Home Budget Expenses

Monthly Budget Expenses Report Family Budget June 2021
June 2021 Income and Expenses Report

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

  1. Chequing– This is the bank account from which all our debt gets paid. We use Simplii Financial, TD Canada Trust, and Tangerine Bank. Join Simplii Financial today! 
  2. Emergency Savings Account– This is a high-interest savings account.
  3. Regular Savings Account– This savings account holds our projected expenses.
  4. Monthly Budgeted Total: $6570.80
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$9274.66
  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: $8062.55
  9. Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $9274.66 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) – $359.20 (Savings to emergency fund) = $8062.55
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $9274.66 (total monthly net income) – $8062.55 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91(costs projected) = $359.20

Estimated 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 two adults and a 6-year-old son, plus retirement investments.

Budget color chart: If highlighted in blue, it is a projected expense.   

Since May 2014, we’ve been mortgage-free, redirecting our money to savings, investments, and renovations.

I appreciate that you enjoy this budget update each month.

Still, I hope you view this as an educational tool rather than comparing your financial numbers, as our situations are unique.

Spending less than we earn and budgeting has been the easiest way to pay down debt and save money.

Monthly Budgeted Amounts June 2021

Estimated Budget for June 2021 Canadian Budget Binder
Estimated Budget for June 2021 Canadian Budget Binder

Actual June 2021 Budget Results

Actual Budget Figures for June 2021 Canadian Budget Binder Budget.
Actual Budget Figures for June 2021 Canadian Budget Binder Budget

2021 Monthly Budget Challenge Update

Budget Challenge 2021
Monthly Budget Challenge Rules 2021 Canadian Budget Binder

Currently, we have 4 Budget Challengers left for 2021.

Let’s see who can keep up for the entire year and who drops out of the challenge.

Feel free to comment about any of the challenger’s budget reports using their Budget Participant Number in the comment section.

Budget Participant #1

June has been a busy but very positive month! I had 2 whole weeks without a single medical appointment to deal with, meaning I could work on some of the accounting that had fallen way behind.

Property Tax Grant For Seniors In BC

I made my first online annual BC property tax grant application this year.

This was rather exciting to claim the additional $275 grant for “seniors” along with the standard “primary residence” grant for $570 so that our annual property taxes still came in just under $5,000.00 again this year.  

I have a friend who says living in B.C. means BRING CASH. She may be right! LOL

Related: Property Tax Grant For Ontario Seniors

Future Payments Account

Between the landscapers’ summer fees of $325, the pest control annual contract renewal of $400, the RRSP and TFSA contributions for hubby and myself to the tune of $31,000, our shingle roof replacement cost of $17,000, and the property tax annual cost of $5,000 we were looking at $53,725 in additional expenses over May and June. 

It’s the perfect reason to use a FUTURE PAYMENTS category in my monthly budget!

We are now saving furiously for our furnace and heat pump service contract renewal (DEC), the annual home insurance, water insurance, glass policy, earthquake insurance renewal (NOV), and travel insurance policies (NOV) just in case the US border opens and finally the condo fees and taxes for our timeshares (DEC)!

Spending Money To Earn Money Back

Hubby seldom asks to spend money on himself, but COSTCO had a deal where if you spent $1,000+ before June 23rd, you would get a $200 gift card.

So, he used some of our existing gift cards to order his new iPad, which triggered a new $200 gift card.

He also used one of our STAPLES gift cards to get his iPad case.

Excellent shopping, huh? I will, somewhere along the way, get myself a new iMac for our accounting needs, but my current one still works, so I’ll delay that purchase as long as I can.

Financial Trauma

I had some “financial trauma” this month when nearly $64,000 was debited to 11 of our accounts without me being able to see the corresponding GIC purchases when I logged in.

I spent two days on the phone with the bank and their IT department to get it fixed, what a gong show!

Finally, after getting the bank issues sorted out, I called one of our stockbrokers to invest the cash sitting in our TFSAs, RRSPs, and Joint accounts.

It is so much more accessible, 5 minutes and one instruction, and they make it happen. 

Visiting, Covid Vaccinations, and Travel

We had a “socially distant” outdoor visit with my Dad on Father’s Day. 

With all my medical issues this spring, he was pleased to see us. 

It was a lot of travel for me, and I crashed when we got home, but at least it’s done.

Dad is almost 93, so you need to make these things happen.

I am very anxious for July to arrive because hubby and I are both scheduled for our 2nd covid vaccination on the 3rd.  Yippee!

Then I must figure out exactly what documentation to set up to enable our eventual travel.

We’ll stay here, close to home, but I want to be ready when the US border opens and the mood strikes.

Freedom Mobile Phone

We renewed my annual FREEDOM Mobile account for $99 annually.

I use the account to call my hubby when I finish a medical appointment, sitting in my wheelchair, and waiting at the hospital’s main entrance for pick-up. 

I’ll be glad when my leg, foot, and knee are healed enough to walk again!

On the plus side, I received some excellent news this month on the status of my healing, and my mind seems to be sharper and more precise since the medication “fog” of the last three months is starting to wear off.

Budgeting and accounting sure are a lot easier now!

I will convert our timeshare options again this year into Marriott Bonvoy points so we can use them to purchase more gift cards when we want them.

Since we aren’t traveling, it’s been great to use our timeshare holdings still, and they don’t go to waste.

Summer Plans

I plan to use some of our restaurant gift cards to treat ourselves to fancy picnic materials over the summer.

I placed my 1st online grocery order in February, and it has been great to see a little buffer growing in our account from the groceries we didn’t buy. 

Hubby used the food in the pantry and freezer because I wasn’t eating much.

Welcome to summer, everyone. I hope you have some lovely plans for your season.

Budget Participant #2

Hi Mr. CBB and all, I hope everyone is enjoying summer!

June’s budget was higher than average, but it was also my birthday, and I decided to treat myself where we have been on lockdown so long, and things finally opened up.

I also got some money for my birthday but spent outside what I had planned and what I had been given.

The gifts I bought started with a Fitbit and some clothes, and then I treated myself to some of my favorite places to eat over the long weekend.

Budget Breakdown

I took Friday and Monday off to make a long weekend for myself and ended up going quite a bit over those categories:

Short-term savings of $300
Insurance for house and car: $161.92
Gas: 148.96 – because of all the travel, I guess I went outside the norm for this category too!
Netflix and Spotify – 22.99
Phone: $69.49
Fast food: 226.48 (as mentioned, it treated me a bit more than I should have, but when I treat myself, I buy for one or two others – gotta get this category back under control!
Groceries $360.58
Car 145.45 – ugh, tire issues!
Clothing – $182.97 – this was less what I was given in birthday money
Internet – $95
Cat food – $44.83

As mentioned, I went above what I should have but decided to treat myself as I have a vacation to the US planned for September, but it is looking so unlikely that I decided to dip a bit into my vacation fund.

I noticed how much more I spend when I work in the office vs working at home when I was on covid restrictions.

However, I would have never thought it would change so drastically, but it may be something to keep in mind for the future.

If I look for a different job, I may look into work options from home.

Next month, I’m expecting break work, so I’m trying to keep that in mind and cut expenses slightly from other areas.

Still, I generally lean a bit more to “enjoy the moment” rather than “save for the future,” though I think I’m positioned much better than some people I know, so there’s hope for me yet!

Budget Participant #3

The month of June was good and evil. GOOD- I made 460 dollars at my yard sale.

Recently, I got rid of a lot of stuff and plan to sell more online.

As well, I lowered my hot water monthly budget.

I Saved 100 dollars for a chiropractor as I don’t use this service often.

Soon, I won’t need my bus card as I use the free work shuttle, but I still have 18 rides left.

I got life insurance at the same rate when I was 40.

In the middle of all this, I was on vacation for 19 days, which I needed.

It was incredible; however, here is the terrible budget news now.

Bad Budget News For June

I went over the clothing budget and overspent by $90 on my son’s clothing and new shoes.

Below are other budget categories that I managed to overspend in.

$30 on gas.

$40 on groceries. 

$285 on home maintenance. 

I had a storm that damaged my downspouts, which I had someone fix, and I bought a ladder.

I overspent by $200 on Food Takeout as I was so busy; however, it’s no excuse but true.

Overspend $70 in medications.

I overspend a lot, and although I feel bad I am more motivated to do better.   

Budget Participant #4

June 2021 Budget

The month of June has come and left. I anticipated a NO SPEND month, but I found myself overspending.

Here I go with my overview of our June expenses, where I will begin with the negative and end with the positive.

Overspending In June

I started June with $63.05, not the greatest, but still ahead.

Added up all my miscellaneous spending for the month (-$261.14) 

I am unhappy, which reflects my not paying and looking into my budget and account daily.

At the onset of my journey, I told myself I would track my spending and expenses daily and check my budget weekly.

Well, I strayed away to reveal my truths. However, I will change this course before I crash.

Grocery Budget Expenses

Groceries were another significant dent in my budget, which must be considered and adjusted.

I spent this month a whopping (-$1202.14.) 

My first significant adjustment will be my grocery budget, as everyone eats 29 times daily.

I will be doing a massive cutback of $300-400. This needs to happen ASAP.

Budgeting needs to be between $800-900 dollars per month in the future.

I may even challenge this with less.

That extra dollar amount would have enormously impacted my snowball debt paying.

So would the frivolous spending. The amount would have been approximately $561.14

What an eye-opener. 

A hard look at my possibilities, not the problem.

RBC Line Of Credit

My focused snowball debt is RBCLOC.

At the end of May, it was -$3384.78. I made another sizeable principal payment of (-$365.00). The new negative balance entering into July is (-$3,019.78) 

It’s not what I was personally projecting due to frivolously spending in June. 

Remember I spent -$261.14 + the overspending on groceries.

Property Tax Adjustments

My property taxes have been adjusted, and a win for me.

They were $175.86 and are now adjusted to $167.14. Savings of $8.72 are still a win, even though small.

My final payment to CRA of -$102.73 will be next month on July 9th.

This will free up an extra $220.00/month.

I was initially was going to snowball this amount, but I need a slight adjustment to commit to continuing filling up my EF.

This should have been done before snowballing my RBCLOC, but what seems impossible will get done. 

My other three debts (besides my home mortgage and SUV payments) are not decreasing as I’m only paying interest now. 

I have no more items I can sell on the marketplace other than those still listed. 

Projections For The July Budget

July projection will be to have this RBCLOC down to under $2500.00. 

I must stay my course to succeed with a NO SPEND July and July grocery cutback.

This is all I can share for June.

The dream I’ve been having, that goal I’ve set but allowed things to interfere.

Well, it’s time to take a moment and revisit my commitments.

Commit to the goal and my WHY for my dream. It’s mine! So, I need to get it and refocus. 

See you in July 🙂

Thanks for reading, and I will see you back in August for our July 2021 Budget and Budget Challenge Updates.

Take care,



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