All About Budgets

How A New Budget Can Help You: Dec 2021 Budget Update

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Have you ever tried a new budget only to find out that it takes too much time out of your month?

You may have gleefully decided that you didn’t need a budget, so you just left it.

Moving forward, you gave up on using a budget because you thought it was challenging and not worthwhile.

Well, I can tell you that you might be wrong, so pick up your big boys and gals pants and let’s get to work.

We haven’t struggled, but of course, we created the CBB excel budget and the bare-bones budget.

That’s because we wanted to become debt-free, including our vehicle and home.

It took years living a frugal lifestyle to pay our mortgage off in 5 years, including the equity from our other homes.

Related: 20 Crazy Happy Things We Did As Frugal Savers

Today, I plan to share and inspire you to use a budget and put a smile on your face.

Let me show you how a monthly budget can keep you as keen as mustard.

If the old budget you used didn't work for you then try a new budget until you find one that works for you.
The Benefits Of Using A New Budget

Start Over With A New Budget

Mrs. CBB used a piece of paper and a pen similar to what budget challenger #4 did at the end of this blog post.

It was quick and easy and got the job done, which matters the most, along with the mathematics.

I often feel that starting a new budget is scary for folks in debt and don’t want to know their numbers.

It’s essential not to let your emotions get in the way of using a budget.

If you are struggling financially or living pay to pay, try to be optimistic about your situation.

You have two choices, leave the debt until collectors call, continue paying the minimum balance.

Nobody Wants To Hear About Your Debt

The best choice is to buckle up and start budgeting, removing the hatred of your situation.

No one wants to know how you had a hard life, or your ex screwed you over. Do you know why?

It’s because they don’t care, and there’s nothing they can do to help you.

Let go of resentment, anger, disappointment and guilt about the life we’ve been walking.

I’m pretty confident that everyone wants to feel successful and happy, and when they are not bitterness shows.

They don’t want to know how much money they owe and how much money is left on the mortgage.

Change Your Attitude Towards Expectations and Money

Be optimistic, take charge, think success, patience and dedication to taking control of your finances.

It’s strange because you think having a budget plan in place is a baby step toward debt freedom.

Like dieting, starting a new budget is just as stressful because we don’t know what to expect.

I can assure you that creating a budget management plan for the year will change how you spend your money.

It’s also pretty cool to compare numbers each month to see if you can beat what you spent the month before.

I want to share many positive reasons for using a new budget.

Download My Free Budget

I hope those reading this do not use a budget to take on the challenge.

I have several free budget downloads on my free resources page.

The budgets I have included are two excel budgets and a bare-bones printable budget.

If they won’t work for you, try using a mobile budget app or perhaps your bank offers a free budget online.

Positive Reasons To Use A New Budget

  • You will learn how much money you are spending
  • Alert you to budget categories you need to increase or decrease
  • Keeps you motivated when you have a sense of control over your money
  • Allows you to save money when you know what you’ve got
  • It’s easier to see what your debt to income ratio is.
  • Creating a payment plan for your credit card debt when you know how much you can afford to pay back.
  • Budget numbers often are eye-openers for people who use a new budget for the first time.
  • Once you learn to use a bare bones budget you can move up and use my excel budget for even more details on each budget category.
  • A budget will help you get back on track to paying off your debt and for many people that will put a smile on their faces.
  • The numbers hopefully will influence you to stop shopping and start saving.

From experience, I can tell you that being debt-free is fantastic, and that’s what I hope for all of you.

Our timeline to debt-freedom will be different but knowing that you’re doing something is better than not knowing anything.

Discussion: What type of budget do you use for your monthly budget? What motivates you to use a budget?

Please leave me your comments below as I’m interested in your responses.

P.S- If you are not subscribed to the blog, please do so, and you’ll get my exclusive FREE Emergency Binder sent to your inbox.

Trust me that it will make a world of difference for anyone looking after your affairs as you age or if one of you passes away.



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CBB Family Income Report

Canadian Budget Binder December Monthly Income Report

Where Did Our Money Go?

This Christmas was our turn to host the family here, which didn’t turn out as planned.

We did go a bit overboard at Costco for Christmas, so we’d have enough for the week.

Both Mrs. CBB and I never did discuss how our relatives would come from out of town, and we’d have to feed them.

We will work more into our Christmas expenses, including groceries for 2022.

Unfortunately, the entire Christmas fell apart when our nephew tested positive for Covid-19.

Our family all tested negative with the home tests from our son’s school.

We decided to quarantine for ten days to ensure we were ok and tested again negative.

Now we have all this food we have to eat, including two stuffed Butterball turkeys.

That’s our month, how was yours?

Family Budget Percentages December 2021

Dec 2021 Household Budget Percentages Canadian Budget Binder
Dec 2021 Household Budget Percentages

Our savings of include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $9821.08

All categories took 100% of our income, which accounted for December 2021.

This type of budget is called a zero-based budget, where all the money is accounted for.

If you’re interested in using the same budget, we are I’d read about the zero-based budget.

December 2021 Household Budget Percentages

December 2021 Household Budget Percentages`aq8p`;-
December 2021 Household Budget Percentages

2021 Household Percentages For The Year

Final Household Percentages for 2021
Final Household Percentages for 2021

Year To Date Percentages 2021

Year To Date Budget Percentages 2021
Year To Date Budget Percentages 2021

Monthly Home Budget Expenses

Note that I mixed up the Money Left Over and the Emergency Savings.

Canadian Budget Binder December Monthly Income Report
Canadian Budget Binder December Monthly Income Report

Below is a breakdown of our expenses which helps us understand where 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. Join Simplii Financial today!  Read more about some of the best Canadian online virtual banks.
  • 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: $6570.80
  • Monthly Net Income Total: $9821.08
  • (Read our Ultimate Grocery Guide with over 300 Canadian Grocery Tips and Savings Posts.
  • Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $852.91
  • Total Expenses Paid Out: $6149.90
  • Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $9821.08 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) – $2818.27 (Savings to emergency fund) = $6149.90
  • Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $ 9821.08 (total monthly net income) – $6149.90 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91 (projected expenses) = $2818.27

Estimated Budget And Actual Budget

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

This budget represents two adults and our 7-year-old son. Since May 2014, we’ve been mortgage-free and redirecting our money to investments and renovations.

In 2017 we bought a new showroom truck for $48,000 cash, so we have no vehicle payments apart from insurance. When creating your monthly budget, try to eliminate the feeling of comparing your financial numbers as every situation is unique.

Spending less than we earn and budgeting has been the easiest way to pay down debt and save money. One last thing, situations change, and sometimes we spend less or spend more.

Monthly Budgeted Amounts December 2021

Budget Colour Key: It is a projected expense if highlighted in blue.   

December 2021 Monthly Budget
December 2021 Monthly Budget

Actual December 2021 Budget Results

Actual December 2021 Monthly Budget Final Numbers
Actual December 2021 Monthly Budget Final Numbers

CBB 2021 Budget Challenge Update

Budget Challenge 2021
Canadian Budget Binder 2021 Budget Challenge

The year sure did fly by with Covid-19 and families struggling to find childcare or working from home.

We will always have some form of crisis or incident that throws us off the path in our lives.

One thing not to do is let your monthly budget be the first thing you forget about because you need to know.

In 2021 we started with around 20 Canadian Budget Binder friends asking to join the Monthly Budget Challenge.

We finished the year with only two participants that made it to the end for some reason or another.

I wasn’t surprised because I’ve had budget challenges in the past, and people drop off like flies.

It amazes me how that happens, but the budget was not a priority for whatever reason.

We would have had a third participant finish; however, she passed away in 2021.

I learned so much from her over the years, and she always had my back on CBB.

In my gut, I know she would tell me not to give up the Budget Challenge and to continue.

So, as we start the 2022 monthly budget challenge, I will start posting at the end of January 2022.

Below are the last two budget challenge participants for 2021.

I’ve decided to give them both $50 gifts or cash for their participation in posting the entire year.

Be well,


Budget Challenger #2

Hi all, I guess this is the last update of 2021!

The year ended pretty well; most things were as expected though a winter-based accident did cause some damage to my car.

It was cheaper to pay out of pocket than going through insurance, but unexpected funds were spent.

Also, my boyfriend’s last day of work was the last day of the year, so we have been trying to cut back on expenses to be a bit more financially responsible while it’s just my income starting next month.

I try to follow the Gail Vox Oxlade plan: 35% on housing, 25% life, 15% transportation, 15% debt and 10% savings.

Fortunately, I am lucky my house and car are paid off, and I don’t have debt. It also means I don’t have to worry because I can shift things around.

I don’t always stick to a budget because I’m not worried about running out of money.

2021 Budget Summary

  • $842 spent on the house – this is housing repairs as well as house insurance for the year
  • $3717.00 on the car – this is gas, car repairs, regular car maintenance and insurance
  • $14,879 was spent on life – groceries, pet, fast food, power bills, phone bills, internet and entertainment.
  • $15000 was put in short-term savings – this is something that was automatically set up to go out of my account. I set it up so that my old mortgage and car payment go in automatically. I have some more money in the safe that needs to make its way to the bank. Usually I feel better having some cash on hand. I also set up an RRSP this year.

I feel I did poorly this year as it’s the same as always, especially spending too much on fast food.

Also, I pay for a gym membership that I barely use.

These are the things I want to focus on in 2022 and give my money a fighting chance.

If I have a gym membership, I need to use it rather than letting my money go to waste.

To keep in mind for the upcoming year

  • Boyfriend won’t be working at least for a bit – one income
  • The car is at 242K km; how long will it go?
  • Out of firewood, so I try to buy for two years so looking at probably $2000-2500
  • Vacation – if we can travel, I plan on two smaller and one larger. I’m thinking I’ll be spending about $4000-5000 between the two of them.

Here’s to 2022!

Budget Challenger #4

Monthly Budget Challenger #4 December Canadian Budget Binder
Monthly Budget Challenger #4

Hi Everyone,

December was good and busy as I’ve been working lots of overtime.

My son got into line cooking school, and he will be earning minimum wage too.

He is working at my friend’s shop on Sundays starting on January 10th.

My daughter is moving out and will be living with a friend.

I won’t be getting rent but not as much groceries. 

Christmas was only supposed to be 50 dollars as we only buy a gift for one person.

I bought my son’s gift, my nieces and their mother a gift.

We got takeout dinner, and my dad and I went to the movies. 

My battery froze on my car, so I got a new one for 110 dollars and 25 dollars to install.

They guarantee a new battery for five years which makes me happy.

I used 20 dollars worth of Petro Points for gas. 

My son’s phone contract was up, so he renewed it and got a new one.

There is no money down, the exact cost per month, and we have 150000 points.

We spent it on groceries, and I have decided that January is a no spend month only buying necessities.

My employer messed up my cheque and owed me 300 dollars.

I talked to my son and told him that we/I would be cheaper.

Use more coupons/apps and menu plans as prices go up, and it’s scary.

We need to be more intelligent, but I feel up for the challenge. 

This budget challenge has been a roller coaster for us, both good and bad.

It’s discipline yet hard to see if you’re not doing well financially.

Once you see the monthly budget numbers, you can fix them.

I have a new financial advisor who is helping me get back on track to retire by 58 years old.

If possible, I’d also like to have my mortgage paid off before I retire.

I’m still figuring out how to do that, but it’s a start, and I will continue to talk to my advisor for advice.

I will get a plan and budget for that, and I’m optimistic that 2022 will be great. 


The End Of 2021

Thanks for reading, and I will see you back in January 2022 for our budget challenge.

I’m so excited to see how everyone does in 2022.

Please comment below if you have any questions about any of the participant’s budget updates.

Take care,


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  1. I’m still using my budget format and even changed it a bit more last year. When making up my budget, my daughter and I “worked” on it together so we can keep each other more accountable. It’s going to be struggle, especially if the Highland Games (Scottish Festivals) start up this year. I know that I need to reduce my expenses and living thru some financial regrets, but that’s life. Live, learn and try to do better in the future.

    1. Hi Dee,
      I like how you mention that you both work on the budget to be accountable. How will the Highland Games affect you? Often we need to give up something to get something, and that’s how we’ve lived our lives and paid our debt off fast. You’re doing it right, Dee. Thanks for sharing your input. Mr.CBB

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