Our Family Budget

How To Create A Budget Summary: January Budget Update 2022

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I can go on and on about the importance of a budget however what adds even more padding is a budget summary.

You probably think that a monthly budget has WAY too much work involved and you’re right.

Keep in mind that as time goes on you’ll work your way through the budget and budget summary quicker.

Budgeting is one of the BIGGEST investments you’ll ever make towards your financial health.

Whatever your purpose is for budgeting trust your instinct but never give up on it.

I’ve seen many budgets over the last 10 years and they are general in nature.

Those types of bare-bones budgets are ok but think of it as getting half a pizza pie instead of the entire pie.

You’re only giving yourself a glimpse and for some people, this can make them angry especially if the budget is not balanced.

Using a budget that is detailed is the ice cream, chocolate sauce and nuts that allow you to see where the money has gone.

A budget summary is the icing on the cake after you’ve successfully completed your monthly budget.

Keep in mind that your monthly budget summary may not always be full of successes. Failure in budgeting happens and we have to accept that we screwed up and move on.

Learn from mistakes and keep going.

Today I hope to engage you in learning about what a budget summary is and how it can help you improve the budget data you receive.

Let’s go.

Mr. CBB shares with his readers the importance of a monthly Summary Report.
The Importance Of A Monthly Summary Report.

Budget Summary Is Not A Budget Report

What is a budget summary?

A budget summary comes after you’ve pulled all your budget category numbers including debt and income.

I’m talking the full shabang is done and instead of hitting save on the computer or printing it out for your budget binder, there’s one more step.

I know, you thought I said there were only 10 Steps to Creating a Budget but there’s 11.

This just goes to show you that finance will change and you need to change with it or at least try.

Pushing Your Budget To The Next Level

First off, pat yourself on the shoulder if you use a budget and are willing to make it work for your lifestyle.

Armed with your budget information each month try to push your budget to the next level and go through it with a fine tooth comb.

A budget summary is comparing your actual spending versus what was budgeted for.

You can find an example of our budget summary down below for our January Budget 2022.

These budgeted amounts below are set out for us to stay under or on target, kind of like estimates.

Let’s say you need a new roof and the roofer you chose will come to your house and give you an estimate.

As the homeowner, you need to decide if the estimate is within your budget and also consider any possible issues.

You can certainly tell your roofer after the estimate what your budget is and what types of common problems they might find.

From there ask what the costs of the possible problems might be so you have a better idea of the costs.

What happens with a budgeted amount with your monthly budget is the same thing.

For this reason, saving money to build emergency savings for a roof or by using projected expense will help.

Emergency is, ‘The Roof Is Leaking” where non-emergency roof is the shingles have done their time.

That’s the difference between an emergency savings account and projected expenses.

Determining Your Estimates and Fixed Expenses

Sample Budgeted Amounts (estimates) for variable expenses as the fixed expenses you already know.

A fixed expense example would be your mortgage payment or rent payment.

Anything in blue below is our projected expenses that we save throughout the year until it’s needed.

Generally, a lack of saving for projected expenses and emergency savings can break your budget.

The idea is to not only think of what’s happening now but also throughout the year such as paying for a new sticker for your car.

If you won’t have an extra $90 for a sticker when it’s due where are your going to get the money from?

The best way is to add it to your budget and pay a little into your projected expenses bank account.

By the time the sticker is due you’ll have the money saved up. Yay!

It was one of the best things we did for our budget as we had never read about it before.

This captures the budget numbers that you set out for the month.
This captures the budget numbers that you set out for the month.

Budget Summary Teaches You Valuable Lessons

There are things a budget summary will tell you that can help free up cash for the next month.

For example, if you budgeted $600 for monthly groceries and spent $700 which is $100 over budget.

When you begin your budget summary list all of the budget categories you plan to discuss.

In this instance it was obvious that $100 put your grocery budget in the red.

Using a simple budget summary the budget manager (that’s whoever owns the budget) must explain why it’s in the over-budget zone.

For example, I forgot to make a grocery list, meal plan, rushed through the store or went when you were hungry. That’s the worst for me.

Finding Deals In The Grocery Store

In our case when we overspend on groceries it’s because we find 50% off stickers on products we really would like to try.

Over the years for example we’ve found loads of meats, cheeses, bread, you name it for 50% off.

Now we use the Flashfood app to find deals before we get to the grocery store.

You can read my review of the Flashfood app and try it out for yourself. You’ll be hooked.

By doing this we know that we’ve already purchased what they are selling for 50% off using the app and just have to pick it up.

You’ll already know how much money you’ve spent on groceries and can build your meal plan and grocery list around this.

When you are at the grocery store you just get what’s on the list and pickup your FlashFood order from customer service.

If we didn’t come up with some form of a plan we’d likely spend another year of overspending.

Costco And Your Budget Summary

Grocery stores are dangerous for overspending especially someone with little willpower.

The same goes with Costco Canada, factor in what you are buying for groceries only.

We love Costco and the gas station and I only buy gas at Costco and fill up two large red tanks.

What’s the problem then? Like almost everyone you go in for 10 things and come out with 30.

Don’t be like Mrs. CBB who struggles with grocery shopping (it’s not me, it’s her and she’ll admit it).

The minute she sees something she’s already cooking it in her mind while in our kitchen.

Then I hear the, “I need to get the cream cheese to make a keto caramel cheesecake“.

Don’t worry, she’s somewhat got it under control but we’re working on it. It’s our hardest budget category to conquer.

All the extra stuff you should be able to find online at Costco Canada or force yourself not to buy until you go home and talk about it.

You might just realize, you didn’t need to buy a large fireproof safe because it’s not on sale.

This is what we did and we finally purchased our fireproof safe from Costco last year.

Each time we’d go we would watch for a sale on it and near the middle of 2021, it happened.

We grabbed one because we knew we needed one to store our valuables and we saved up for it.

This is where projected expenses come in handy as well because when a sale happens you’ll have the money ready or somewhat saved.

Increased Prices On Groceries And Gas In Canada

It’s just not possible to predict when a product will go on sale. Lately, the shelves are looking a bit bare with truck drivers protesting in Ottawa and around Ontario.

The report, released in early December, projects that overall, food prices in Canada will increase by five to seven per cent in 2022.

CTV News

Bridges to the US in Detroit, Windsor, Sarnia and Port Huron are backed up for hours. Product is late to get to the grocery stores if at all.

Even if the trucks were on time trying to guess what a price would be is probably your best route unless you track it all year.

If you’re eagle eyes like we are you’ve already been seeing huge product hikes that will hit the budget hard.

This is another great reason not to blow savings from slimming the budget or buying in bulk.

At any time something can happen and you’ll need that money to put towards groceries in this instance.

Let’s not discuss the massive increase in petrol because it’s on its way up the two-dollar a litre ladder.

Once you surpass the halfway mark you know it’s serious business.

A Budget Summary Is Powerful Tool For Success

How and why would a budget summary be powerful when all it does is tell the user where they spent too much money.

In the moment when you type your budget summary it’s fresh in your mind and it’s there for reference.

That’s why a budget summary should be typed or written each month.

Ah-ha, so it tells you where you need to make changes to slim down your spending and where you are understanding.

Perhaps you notice that the $50 you budget for alcohol every month is not getting used.

This may be a great time to reduce the budgeted $50 to $30 and put the $20 on debt repayment or in another category that is drowning.

Don’t just blow the money use it wisely. It reminds me of how people who get an income tax return go wild with their money.

An income tax return cheque is not free cash it’s your money coming back to you that the government collected interest on all year.

Make sure you have all your bases covered before you start splurging and instead build retirement savings, add cash to your child’s Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

I know what you’re thinking? But, I need to take care of my needs and wants.

Listen, I’ve been there and we both know how nice it would be to spend the money but it can serve you better by retiring debt.

Job Loss Affects Every Budget Category

In 2009 when Mrs. CBB lost her job right after we bought our house on my $15 an hour job we would have been in BIG trouble.

Thankfully we bought our home using one income and not both so I was able to get a second job.

Our frugal years started as a savings and debt repayment journey and are still going on but with some frills.

Since becoming fully debt-free including our mortgage and a 2017 Dodge Ram that I bought in 2017 for cash we still lead a frugal lifestyle.

If you want to learn more about our final year with debt you can read about it here.

Things are easier now but we’ve been in the hot seat and experienced life having little to no money.

Debt-Free = Frugal Living, Family or Filthy Rich

Filthy rich is either a glitch or it’s the real deal but big money also means bigger debts if it’s not spent correctly.

There’s a video on Netflix titled “The Tinder Swindler” and we watched it on the weekend.

Living the high life becomes VERY addicting as one man finds out. It’s a true story and shocking.

If you’re young and debt-free you will either be met with questions about how you did it.

There are numerous reasons why someone becomes debt-free but the best is through hard work.

The next few come from inheritance, lottery wins or a successful business or career.

Frugal Living Your Way To Debt Freedom

Anything we used to do for fun was either free or we used Pinterest to find out how to make it.

You gotta love Pinterest as it has all the coolest ideas and recipes. DIY is awesome when you find something you’re passionate about.

Missing out going drinking with my buddies spending min $100 is nothing compared to foraging in the woods for chicken mushrooms, fiddleheads, leeks and asparagus.

The idea is to find fun things to do that you don’t need to pay for and stop worrying about what you’re missing out on.

I’d rather have a full belly than a hangover or children I can’t feed or house because I said no to spending money I didn’t have or did have.

Learn to say no and who cares what they think. Nobody cares as much as you think, really they don’t.

Often we believe someone is talking about us and really they are not. Getting worked up for no reason is not an excuse to go into debt or depression because you can’t be cool like they are.

Cool is having the ability to say no and living the frugal-frills high-life with no debt.

Your buddies over there are drinking while sitting on hot lava. They’ll feel the fire under their a$$es and if they continue it will explode.

Summarize The Summary Report

Writing a summary report can be boring but fun thinking about the memories you’ve made.

Be optimistic even during a rough month because that will get you through to the next.

Your budget summary can be like a journal you can read over and over especially the goo months to boost your spirits.

Yes, we’ve had bad times but we made good on them by getting out of the house and having fun.

Family time, couples time and free time all follow with freeing your mind from financial worry.

Getting to the bottom of debt takes a person who is persistent and dedicated to challenging debt.

If you let debt win there’s not much more to do except deal with debt collectors, consumer proposals or bankruptcy.

Take small steps to improve your monthly budget so it gives you more information to help make better choices.

Discussion: Do you write a monthly summary report and how does it help you?

Please leave me your comments below so we can all learn from each other.


Below is our January 22 Budget Update and updates from our 2022 Budget Challengers.

CBB Family Budget Report

Monthly Budget Report for January 2022 Canadian Budget Binder
Monthly Budget Summary for January 2022 Canadian Budget Binder

January 2022 Budget Summary

We had a reasonably quiet start to January 2022, where most of the money was spent on our son.

His jacket zipper was getting stuck, and he’s worn it for two years, so it was time to buy a new one.

We did go to the Goodwill to buy him a red second-hand winter jacket which is more of a spare.

I like to wash his hats, gloves and jacket weekly if needed.

Then we found a great deal on a full snowsuit with pants and jacket along with a pair of BOGS.

The total for all items included seven packs of masks which were $9.99 on sale for $0.99 cents.

Overall, after the deep sales discount, we paid around $150 minus $60 in rewards points on my Canadian Tire Mastercard.

We bought the suit bigger, so he has had it for a couple of years, but the way he grows it could be a struggle.

He’s pretty well getting to be as tall as I am, and he’s only seven, and I’m 6ft.

Spending Less On Back To School Supplies

The kids have been back to school, then online learning, back to school and then home.

Our son’s teacher sent us a list of items the kids would need for the year including tissues.

Since our son struggles with breaking pencils from pushing too hard that we bought at the Dollar store.

A pencil becomes a distraction just as much as doodling or staring out the window for anyone.

We ordered a pack of premium pencils with erasers and a sharpener from Amazon Canada.

Everything else was standard back-to-school supplies that we purchased from the Dollar Store.

Another item we purchased was a mailbag which is better for him than the Ziploc offered by his teacher.

He used the mailbag in junior and senior kindergarten as well in grade one that the teachers provided, so we bought him one for grade two.

It makes it easier for him and the teacher to put homework, notes and anything inside.

Otherwise, he will mush it right into his backpack, which I’m sure many parents can understand.

Grocery Budget Increase

Other expenses were mainly groceries which we increased to $700 because we were always spending more.

Whether we use it all for 2022 we’ll have to wait until our yearly budget report which includes a $25 stockpiling reserve.

Feeding A Picky Eater With ASD

We are struggling to get our autistic son to eat other food groups such as vegetables.

I know we can add it to foods but with his current diet, there’s nowhere to hide anything.

He eats hotdogs, pizza from the shop or President’s Choice pizza, as well as grilled cheese. That’s it.

For snacks, he likes salami chips which are just salami that is microwaved to a crisp and fish crackers.

All the bad stuff such as chocolate chip muffins, Scookies, Joe Louis and cookies are a few of his favourites.

We’ve tried but he gets upset if we suggest anything but we have bribed him.

It’s a sight to see when he takes the slightest bite; however, it’s a win for us. At least he tried it.

See ya and have a great month.

Please if you have any questions or additions to having a budget summary leave your comment below.

Budget Expenses Percentages 

January 2022 Canadian Budget Binder Household Expenses
January 2022 Canadian Budget Binder Household Expenses

Our savings include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $10,610.30

Equally important is that we save money on our projected expenses such as birthday celebrations and  Christmas.

All of the categories took 100% of our income which shows what we accounted for in January 2022.

This type of budget is our favourite and is called a zero-based budget, where all the money has a home.

Monthly Home Budget Breakdown

January CBB 2022 Net Income Budget Report
January CBB 2022 Net Income Budget Report

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. 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: $6590.22
  • Monthly Net Income Total: $10,610.30
  • (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: $5884.96
  • Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $10,619.30 (total net monthly income) – $915.00 (projected expenses) – $3810.34 (Savings to emergency fund) = $5884.96
  • Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $10,610.30 (total monthly net income) – $5884.96 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $915.00(projected expenses) = $3810.34

Estimated Budget And Actual Budget Report

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.

Budget Colour Key: If highlighted in blue, that means it is a projected expense.   

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

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 we spend more.

Monthly Budgeted Amounts January 2022

Projected Budget For January 2022 is what amount of money we can spend in our budget categories.
Projected Budget For January 2022 Is the amount of money we are able to spend for each budget category.

Actual January 2022 Budget Report Results

Actual Budget 2022 Canadian Budget Binder
Actual Budget 2022 Canadian Budget Binder

Meet The 2022 Budget Challengers

Rules for the Canadian Budget Binder Monthly Budget Challenge 2022
Rules For The 2022 Budget Challenge on Canadian Budget Binder

Well, hello everyone and welcome to the 2022 Budget Reports from our 5 possibly 6 challengers.

Over the past two years of this challenge, it started with many CBB readers who wanted to join.

This year was no exception however at the last minute they drop out for whatever reason.

For 2022 we are starting with six people who are ready to change their lives by challenging the process of how they manage a budget.

Each budget summary will always fall under the same Budget Challenger number.

This was a suggestion of a CBB reader last year who wanted me to not shuffle them around.

Great idea, so I’m going with it.

Let’s do this and see how many of the six challengers make it through the entire year with me.

One of the challengers is going through the process of bankruptcy and wanted to walk us through it.

P.S. – Two of the challengers are from last year so I will ask them to write us a blurb for their February update about how the 2021 budget challenge has helped them. I think that’s important to note so everyone can get a sense of the importance of budgeting.

Budget Challenger #1

Well, it’s a new year. I’m trying to work more overtime so I can earn more money.

I’m missing $175 dollars on my pay stub for January so I’m working on getting that sorted out.

My daughter is paying for her part of the cell phone plan which lowers the cost for myself

I received a gift card from Mr. CBB for participating in last year’s budget challenge which I used for groceries. 

My son is in an online cooking program and he loves what he’s doing.

He gets a minimum wage and is paying me back the $600 dollars he owes me slowly every cheque.

Also, he still works one day on the weekend at my friend’s shop to earn extra money.

I added a credit card fee which is $11.70 dollars per month to keep me from using it.

The idea is that I want to use my credit cards less and use cash starting in February for the entire year. 

I’ve been trying very hard to have a NO/LOW spend year to reduce my expenses.

As well, I’m growing a little garden inside my house which is exciting.

It’s been 3 weeks now and everything is growing well.

My son and I are cooking/baking lots at home to reduce eating out or buying food on the go.

So far, I have lost 4 pounds and will start exercising again soon.

Let me know if I did this budget right. I want to do a zero-based budget.

I have a positive $85.71 dollars which is going to my Connexus account to save to put extra money on my mortgage principal.

Thanks for reading.

Hi BC1,

Yes, this is how we do our zero-based budget. Any money left in the end goes to our savings. Mr.CBB

BC1 2022 - Using a zero based budget
BC1 – Using a zero-based budget
BC Challenger1 Zero Based Budget Money to Savings
BC1 Zero Based Budget Money to Savings

Budget Challenger #2

Hey CBB Friends,

To set the stage: I am a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), employed as a contractor in two clinics and with a few clients at home and have a couple of outcall clients.

At the end of 2012 I moved from Toronto to Calgary.

In November 2013, I moved to a village so small it was referred to as a Hamlet.

I bought a small (and I cannot emphasise this enough OLD) house, having fallen in love with it through pictures (bad…very bad).

Foolishly I began to accelerate the rate of my mortgage payment; figuring I would have the house paid off in 10 years and do a massive reno.

It never occured to me that my taxes might need a portion of this money.

In a couple of years I was behind in tax payments; worse, I quit a clinic I hated and spent the next year just barely holding on financially.

I was using credit cards and saving was out of the question.

Revenue Canada, as you might imagine did not appreciate my circumstances and the fact that I was paying $500.00/month on a debt that only grew.

That wasn’t the only expense that expanded.

My house is in a ‘fire and flood’ area and my house insurance has tripled in eight years. I’ve never made a claim although I had a massive plumbing repair. On and on…the joys of old homes.

Unfortunately, my financial situation has now grown untenable.

I have very reluctantly made the decision to file for bankruptcy. This is very painful.

Joining the Budget Challenge 2022 will allow me to learn about budgeting and how budgets can be successful.

Now, this is a year of not only learning but re-setting and applying myself to build from nothing.

  • Income – all sources $4600.00
  • Expenses mortgage $1533.20
  • Mortgage Insurance $35.00
  • House Insurance $217.60
  • Vehicle repair and Maintenance $808.00
  • Fuel $450.00
  • Car Insurance $250.00
  • Cell phone $200.00
  • Banking fees $58.00 (two accounts)
  • Township fees $205.00
  • Property Taxes $90.00
  • Heat&Hydro $225.00
  • Tax Debt Payment $1000.00
  • Charitable Donations $68.00
  • Card Debt $750.00
  • EHC fee $160.32
  • Groceries$175.00
  • Internet $85.00
  • Entertainment $45.00

Thanks for sharing all of this information and we look forward to learning about your journey through bankruptcy. I’m sure there are many people reading who would love to learn about the process.

Have you looked into any other options before going bankrupt?


Budget Challenger #3

Hi everyone,

The budget that we use is called the Everydollar app from Dave Ramsey.

Our system is complicated as we have 5 rentals, 4 managed by a company and our basement by us.

So there is a lot flowing through the system and we see the reports each month for maintenance but don’t include it.

We had an extra big expense this month as the dishwasher died.

Luckily for us, we purchased a floor model and some installation fees plus other plumbing work while he was here.

So that wasn’t in our original budget, but we were able to adjust it. I worked more than the expected income to cover that cost.

January Budget Report BC 3
January Budget Report BC 3

So we didn’t quite balance, but we had $547 leftover. We can account for it as the rent that was not deposited due to maintenance this month.

House Maintenance481.06
Maid service100
Life Insurance230.93
Auto Insurance173.81
Home Insurance708.89
Total expenses7156.1
Mortgage 1886.84
Mortgage 2908.16
Mortgage 31021.18
Mortgage 41556.94
Total Debt6745.25
BC3 Monthly Summary Report and Budget January 2022

Budget Challenger #4

Budget Report 4 January 2022
Budget Report 4 January 2022

Hello, CBB!

Long-time reader, first-time budget challenge participant!

A little background about me (E) – I’m a single, mid-40s, cat-mom in Whitehorse, Yukon.

I started paying attention to my money when I began treatment for depression ten years ago – as the fog lifted in my mind, I started getting a handle on my finances, and I’ve been doing that ever since.

In 2021, I sold the mobile home I had owned for seven years and bought a small condo closer to work. I like living downtown, not being responsible for lawn maintenance or snow removal (especially after being snow-dumped for weeks at a time!).

It’s a nice distance to walk to work since I’m trying to get more active.

The real estate market in WH is pretty zany, so while I made a pretty profit on the mobile home and put a good down payment on the condo, the high purchase price of the condo means my housing costs are much higher than they had been previously.

By the end of April, I will have a year’s worth of data about living in the condo, which may see some changes in my budget from May onward

January Budget 2022

So, enough about me – how did I do in January?

My (condensed) budget works like this:

Income – Paycheques from work, insurance reimbursements, things I sell on the local marketplace, and any deposits from Projected Expenses accounts

Projected Expenses – Money put aside for future known expenses (e.g. my biannual new glasses, my yearly vehicle insurance). I have not broken down the details of those accounts out in the snapshot, but if anyone is curious, I’d be happy to share the breakdown. YES Please!!!

Planned Expenses – All the money I spend, whether that is mortgage and utilities, groceries, or random purchases from the yarn store. Again, if there is interest in the more detailed version of these expenses, I’m happy to share.

Savings is long-term savings in my Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). Sometimes at the end of the month, there will be a few dollars left over but I leave that money in chequing to create a bit of a safety float.

I run everything I can through my Visa for easy tracking, and to accumulate points for TFSA vouchers.

January got off to a rough start.

We had a very cold week and I was sick, and somehow I forgot to plug my truck in, resulting in a battery that wanted nothing to do with me.

Luckily, I had a friend with long jumper cables who got me going, but we decided it would be a good idea to buy a battery booster pack so I wouldn’t have to wait for outside assistance.

I ended up not depositing money to my Truck account (I actually ended up withdrawing from that account) to cover that purchase.

The big-budget destroyer was something really silly – in 2021.

I never considered I needed to put aside money for January birthdays (my youngest sister, niece, and nephew).

Last year, I gained a bit of a reputation for Amazing Cheese Trays I arranged delivery from local cheese stores/makers to my family in Ontario, as well in New Zealand.

I felt like I needed to continue that tradition since I am always delinquent in sending birthday cards. But good cheese isn’t cheap, and it meant drawing funds from other areas.

I have learned from this error, though, and have added a monthly amount to my Projected Expense for gifts going forward.

I was taking part in the Frugalwoods’ Ultra-Frugal Month throughout January, so I made a habit of really questioning every purchase.

Overall, I’m okay with my January spending, but there’s always room for improvement. I guess that’s why I’m here! I hope to see you again when February is done 🙂


I love to read that many of you have projected expenses. It makes me smile because they are budget killers that people don’t account for but we must do our best.

Congratulations and thank you for a lovely write-up. I’d love to see any numbers you have if you care to share.

Budget Challenger #5

Hi CBB Readers,

Well, January sucked, and there’s no other way to put it.

My boyfriend quit his job, as it was making him absolutely miserable.

However, quitting a job means no employment insurance and is a one-salary household.

In the future, he may look for a job but it has actually been nice having him home to cook and clean.

He has been paying rent, but I’m not sure how long that will last as he is working through his savings account.

Then my cat had an emergency and needed to be euthanized which was heartbreaking for me.

We did our best to try to get him help but couldn’t. If there had been other options, I would have paid for them.

Last but not least, we went through two major rainstorms and I learned that one of our windows leaks,

As well, there appears to be a hole in the roof based on how many pots I had lining my hallway.

I am going to start looking into metal roofs and see if we can have it done this spring or summer.

It will be an expensive summer as we need to buy firewood, and my car is getting old; just praying it doesn’t die out.

My budget follows the Gail Vax Oxlade method of breaking money into categories.

In January 2022, I spent $242.85 on transportation – most of this was gas.

I also had to travel a lot costing me $1226 on ‘life” which included the $450 vet bill and $212 on the household, most of which was my power bill.

I put a small amount in short-term savings which are withdrawn automatically with no mortgage or car payment.

It helps and I have some money left over to go into a savings account.

For this year I’m doing a better job of setting up an excel sheet to track where my money goes.

It will be important to see if we can cut back on things and see if it is worth my boyfriend not working, or only working part-time.

Before I had to pay to have repairs done because we were both working, but now he takes care of it.

Also, he is a cook so getting homemade food has been fantastic, and we are throwing out much less food as it is getting eaten before it goes bad.

Related: Food Waste In Canada

That’s it for January, hoping February is better.


Have you both set any financial goals for the year together?


Budget Challenger #6

Hey CBB Friends,
I am newly separated so having our income cut in half will be a challenge.

Currently, I have 3 adult kids in their 20’s still living at home. 

We still have a mortgage after 20 years of being in this house. 

This was due to my bad decision of opening a Line of Credit Mortgage with Manulife many years ago.

We added $40,000 to the line of credit for basement renovations but instead, we used it on our three kids.

The money helped pay for sports expenses over eight years (hotels, tournament fees, registration fees and gas, etc.). 

I was also a stay-at-home mom from 1996 to 2003, which hurt us financially. 

Now I have a mortgage that is more than we bought the house for in 2002, but I must move forward.

My husband moved out of the house, so I have the home expenses to pay for.

I didn’t do too bad in January, considering I was tight a few times and made it to the next pay.

What I am trying to do right now is to keep paying into most of the savings I had. 

I did cut the $500/month surplus going into my RRSP and still put 150 into it as I did years ago, but I just wanted to get a feel for what my budget would be like.

Hopefully, I may add that to the budget later on.

Currently, I pay savings for property taxes, my professional fees, auto, and vacation. 

The vacation is flexible, but I try not to touch it if I can help it. 

I also pay about $430/month into my Emergency Fund each month. It is important for me, so I will try to keep this up since it’s important to pay yourself first,

Any surplus I have the night before payday, I put into a savings account, or put toward my Christmas debt. (I know—I shouldn’t have done it, but it isn’t too bad!).

Consequently, I also put money into a Christmas jar when I get spare cash on hand.

For February, I plan on pretending I’m in isolation for a few weeks and use up more pantry and freezer foods. 

Cooking is enjoyable for me, so most of my meals are from scratch. For now I will try to go to the store for fresh stuff I need and cut down on my grocery bill.

There is also a trailer that I have up north in Haliburton that we go to all summer.

Gas is slated to be expensive this summer, so I’m trying to save a bit of a surplus which will be put into my vacation fund.

However, I am on one income right now as I am separated (although my hubby wants to make amends, so perhaps I will have two incomes before year-end, we’ll see!).

Mr. CBB- If you want, you can download my free excel spreadsheet.

Note: The budget is a bit blurry as I copy-pasted it into Paint as I’m not sure how to extract a photo.

Please let me know if I can do this using her excel spreadsheet.

Thanks, Mr.CBB

Budget Challenger 6 January Budget Report 2022
Budget Challenger #6 January Budget Report 2022

Feedback From YOU For The 2022 Budget Challengers

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  1. Starting in March I am going to do this. My income is small every month. The bulk of the money goes to my half of rent $698.61. We have wifi which includes telephone,telephone t v. Our TV has Roger’s ignite and my half is $130.00. Pet care is $259.00 a month which includes food. My cell phone is not on a plan, I pay $40.00 dollars a month. I have no car, I put $40.00 dollars into presto for ttc.
    Laundry every month is $20.00 a month. After bills are paid I have $165.00 left for food for the month. On the 10th of every month I get a deposit of $65.00 from the Govt. That money is my Cosco shopping money. My mother subsides my income every month with $100.00
    I put $5.00 in another account as emergency. It’s also used to pay for my passport which I have to pay in American dollars every 10 years. Than there is my permanent Resident card which is every 5 years. And the money comes out of this account. I currently have $70.00 dollars left over for the month. I have celiac, and as you may not be aware of the food is expensive. I do the bulk of my shopping at No Frills, Real Canadian,Wal Mart, Cosco, Bulk Barn and dollar store. I coupon and I price match as much as I can. There is no money for anything extra. Is there anything I can do to have more money left over at the end of the month to put into savings.

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