Our Family Budget

How Thrift Spending Changed Our Lives: March Budget Update 2022

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Thrift spending is the new way to buy what you need for a fraction of the cost of buying it new.

I realize that not all thrift stores are created equally and that Value Village is being called out for their ridiculous prices.

For example, on The Daily Hive, someone in Edmonton posted a photo of Mason jars seen at Value Village priced at $14.99 each. Ridiculous.

We’ve found crazy prices at Value Village, so we only go for a look around if we can’t find what we need at the other shops.

Besides, Value Village is for-profit, where The Thrift Store, Goodwill and Bibles For Missions are not.

We really appreciate that Goodwill values everyone equally, and I Care about their motto.

Goodwill Mission

Changing lives and communities through the power of WORK.

Goodwill Industries, a non-profit social enterprise, provides work opportunities, skills development and employee and family strengthening for those who face barriers such as disability or social disadvantage; to advance individuals, families and communities toward self-sufficiency and prosperity.

Don’t let silly overpriced items deter you from thrift spending because it saves us a fortune.

No Thrifty Spender or Cheap Spender would EVER pay this much for Mason Jars
No Thrifty Spender or Cheap Spender would EVER pay this much for Mason Jars.

Today I want to discuss why we will always be thrifty and why.

  • Saved money to pay a lump sum of 20% at the end of each year on our mortgage of $185,000
  • Thrift spending and not being ashamed to be seen by colleagues, friends or family.
  • It’s gross buying clothes, shoes, toys, books, home decor etc., that someone has used.
  • There’s no time to go thrift spending, so I buy what we need new online.
  • Importance of a thrift spending plan
  • Jealousy after the debt is gone.

What Does Thrift Spending Mean?

There is a difference between thrifty and cheap, although some people feel they are the same.

Being thrifty to me means you are being mindful of the amount of money you can spend, whereas cheap is part of negotiations and bartering.

For example, you’re at a garage sale and find an item you like, and the sticker says $1.00.

The thrifty person would buy it for $1.00, whereas the cheap shopper would make an offer such as $0.25.

There’s nothing wrong with bartering for something as we’ve done it ourselves many times.

Thrift Spending On Clothes Is Disgusting

If this was my mentality, I’m either rich or have credit cards that I struggle to pay in full.

Just reading that heading makes me angry because so many people rely on donated clothing.

Some people are great with their money and purchase what they need based on the save first, buy later mentality.

The other option is to buy first and deal with the consequences, which would cost the user more than what they saved at a thrift store.

Also, not everyone is in the position to buy new so keep quiet if it’s not your choice of shopping.

We’ve heard everything bad about thrift spending but never forget about the purpose.

Below are many rude things people have said about being a mindful spender.

  • Clothing smells like urine, mould, smoke, and hairy from an animal barn. Second-hand shops do not wash anything before they are put out to sell.
  • The people stink who shop at second-hand stores, and I can’t handle the smell.
  • Unfair prices and I can find the same item brand new.
  • The thought of someone else using the clothes I might buy disgusts me.
  • Only poor people on welfare shop at second-hand stores.
  • I thought only low-income people could shop at thrift stores.
  • People who shop at thrift stores with money take away from those who have little to spend.

The list is endless, and it mainly comes from people who have never set foot in a thrift store.

There is this frame of mind that buying used is for the less fortunate, whereas the rich buy new and name brands.

I’ve lost count of how often my wife has been asked where she found a shirt or jacket.

If you guessed the second-hand shop, you’re right.

Many home stagers also value thrift spending for pieces of furniture and home decor to keep their business costs low.

Probably the best one is someone who doesn’t want to be seen in the store and asks us to check and see if we can find clothes for their child.

I’m not kidding.

This cast of mind needs to stop, so Canadians can work together supporting thrift organizations and sustainability to save money.

Related: Why second-hand fashion is becoming normal

Create A Thrift Spending Plan

Recently Canadian interest rates rising by 0.5% can dent any budget, making planning incredibly important.

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1%, with the Bank Rate at 1¼% and the deposit rate at 1%.

The Bank is also ending reinvestment and will begin quantitative tightening (QT), effective April 25.

Maturing Government of Canada bonds on the Bank’s balance sheet will no longer be replaced and, as a result, the size of the balance sheet will decline over time.

Press Release The Bank Of Canada

Gone are the days when you have to hide when thrift spending because it’s the new norm.

Embarrassed About Thrift Spending

We briefly discussed the embarrassment that many people have about thrift spending.

It’s far easier to charge money to a credit card for brand new higher-end necessities than to shop.

If you’re that person who is afraid to go into a thrift store because you believe only poor people shop there, you’re wrong. So wrong.

However, f you’re someone who denies going thrift spending yet visits garage sales or holds a garage sale, think about that.

If you won’t thrift shop but will hold a garage sale, you might as well just donate it to a cause in need.

Also, if you buy items on Facebook Marketplace or online websites such as Kijiji, you’re thrifty spending.

I know people who create fake accounts on social media platforms, so people they know don’t see them making online purchases? It’s insane.

All walks of life enjoy thrift spending, and it should not be considered a dirty place to shop for the poor.

Create A Thrift Spending Plan

So, what is a thrift spending plan?

A thrift spending plan is nothing more than writing down what you are looking for and how much money you have to spend.

Think of it as a grocery list that you must follow but have a buffer if you find something special.

We do this at the grocery store by having a $25 spending amount for in-store advertisements.

It’s easy to find items, not on your list, but keep on rolling by unless it’s a deal out of this world.

Although we are debt-free, we still have bills to pay and renovations around the house to pay for.

The money for trips home to see my parents or even to drive to Mrs. CBB’s family costs money.

Having a child on the spectrum (ADD) means many visits to doctors and therapist appointments.

Even though we are swamped most days, we plan our week with an itinerary that’s not perfect, but it works for us.

Lump-Sum Savings Helped Reduce Our Mortgage

Using the money we saved as thrifty spenders, we paid a lump sum of 20% off our mortgage and increased our weekly mortgage payments.

We are a clear example of how saving money by being thrifty, mindful and entrepreneurial has made a difference in our lives.

The moment we paid our last mortgage payment felt surreal because we were still young.

Since then, we’ve realized that death has no age limit, and we can’t predict tomorrow.

Now we live for today and tomorrow and hope all of you savers don’t forget we can’t get back time.

Considering that, we’ve been on holidays to the UK, Spain and Iceland with money we saved from budgeting.

Thrift Spending And Debt-Freedom

We often have people ask if we work, and I say yes, I do, but my wife does not due to medical problems.

She did work in her field of study but soon realized that it wasn’t for her. It kind of worked out that she got laid off when she did.

We believe that everything happens for a reason.

Thrift spending became the norm in our house as we became a one-income family.

It was incredible to see how affordable it was to purchase gently used items or items with brand new tags attached.

Toys became the obsession not for our son but for us as I bought anything worth money that I could resell for a higher price.

I was very successful at that and continue to do so whenever I get the chance, although we stopped buying toys from Value Village.

For example, we would purchase wooden Melissa and Doug puzzles for $2-3 and sell them for $10.

We did this for five years and hosted students from Germany, Italy, and Spain that paid well.

Today if you host with Red Leaf, the remuneration is near $900 a month tax-free.

Lastly, we rented a room in our home, which was an experience with good and bad renters.

Jealousy Challenges Us

We’ve had some people jealous of how we live compared to their lives.

They don’t understand that we still have to do the same things they do, but we save and withhold desires.

Even though I might retire a few years early and collect my defined benefits, I’m not retired.

That’s so far away it’s hard to tell what I will do.

Challenges Made Us Crave Financial Fulfilment

Behind closed doors, everything financial is hidden on plastic or stashed away in an online folder.

Then some people have no qualms about telling everyone why they are broke.

If you’re the type of person who wants to be successful or debt-free, you need a challenge.

Putting your efforts into worrying about what other people have instead of asking them how they did it is a fantastic start.

It’s not a race; it’s a challenge because paying back debt takes time and planning.

You’ll also realize what they’ve gone through to save money which you may not have thought of.

Not everyone agrees with our way of thinking, but it works for us.

My wife and I agree that as long as the outside of our home is taken care of, the inside will take time.

It’s a case of living with an old kitchen, unfinished basement, old carpets and tiles that look clean, but the grout is black.

Functionality always trumps wants, so we held back until we paid our mortgage.

It was worth it, but there’s no place for jealousy, only education.

Discussion: What keeps you thrift spending and why?

Subscribe For My Free Emergency Binder

Please feel free to leave your comments or ideas for me, and don’t forget to subscribe to CBB.

Down below, you will find the CBB Family March Budget Update 2022.

As well, 5 contestants are battling out their monthly budget on the Canadian Budget Binder.

It’s certainly an eye-opener for everyone who reads real budgets and those who own the budget.


Subscribe To the Canadian Budget Binder And Get My Exclusive CBB Emergency Binder FREE!

What Does Thrift Spending Mean?

There is a difference between thrifty and cheap, although some people feel they are the same.

Being thrifty to me means you are being mindful of the amount of money you can spend, whereas cheap is part of negotiations and bartering.

For example, you’re at a garage sale and find an item you like, and the sticker says $1.00.

The thrifty person would buy it for $1.00, whereas the cheap shopper would make an offer such as $0.25.

CBB Family Budget Report

CBB Monthly Budget Report March 2022
CBB Monthly Budget Report March 2022

March 2022 Budget Summary

We didn’t do much in March apart from a road trip for Mrs. CBB and her friend out of town.

They split some costs for the trip, which was a bit pricey because of the petrol and hotel room.

As most of you already know, March was a three-month payday which means extra money.

For others, it’s extra money to pay off debt if it’s used properly.

Our pet category has been included in the monthly budget, and our life insurance and vehicle sticker removed.

You may notice our pet category is high, and it’s all food for our cat, along with some toys from the Dollar store.

We are trying to find a cat food that he likes, and so far, it’s Hills Science Diet Pouches with gravy.

The cost is $21 for 12 pouches that he eats; however, that will increase the pet category.

Other than that, I paid $70 for parking at work, but that was just a fraction of the yearly cost of $500.

Our son is still struggling to eat foods other than pizza and grilled cheese.

During the summer, he will add hotdogs back into his diet.

With his sensory processing disorder, it’s nearly impossible for him to eat food that he doesn’t choose.

As a baby, he ate everything, including the avocado that he says he hates. He has no idea how many he ate, lol.

I know, ouch!!

If any parents reading this today have gone through a similar concern, I’d love to hear what you did to increase foods in your child’s diet.


Budget Expenses Percentages

March 2022 Monthly Household Percentages Mr. CBB
March 2022 Monthly Household Percentages Mr. CBB

Our savings ratio in March was fantastic, at 64.76%, although I expect that will change this summer.

I’m starting to purchase items as I find them on sale for a major primary bathroom renovation.

I’ll be keeping my eyes out for lumber to build a new deck with more privacy features and less sunlight.

Our life ratio has also decreased from last month, so great news.

For now, we still have zero debt and not that I’m anticipating any; I don’t want to ruin a good thing by talking about it.

Monthly Home Budget Breakdown

Monthly Canadian Earnings
A snapshot of our monthly net income, expenses and savings.
A snapshot of our monthly net income, expenses and savings.

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

  • Chequing– This is the bank account from which all of our debt is paid. We use Simplii Financial, TD Canada Trust, and Tangerine Bank. Join Simplii Financial today!  Read more about the best Canadian online virtual banks.
  • Emergency Savings Account– This money is in a laughable high-interest savings account.
  • Regular Savings Account– This savings account holds our projected expenses.
  • Monthly Budgeted Total: $6580.29
  • Monthly Net Income Total: $12,266.43
  • (Check out the  Ultimate Grocery Guide to see where our grocery money goes)
  • Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $842.91
  • Total Expenses Paid Out: $6082.18
  • Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $12,226.43(total net monthly income) – $842.91(projected expenses) – $5341.34(Savings to emergency fund) = $6082.18
  • Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $12,266.43 (total monthly net income) – $6082.18(actual expenses paid out for the month) – $842.91 projected expenses) = $5341.34

Estimated Budget And Actual Budget Report

Below, you will see two tables: Our monthly and actual budgets.

Our monthly budget represents two adults and our 7-year-old son.

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

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

When creating your monthly budget, eliminate comparing your financial numbers and focus on what you need to fix.

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

Monthly Budgeted Amounts March 2022

Our March 2022 Monthly Budget Amounts for a family of 3
March 2022 Budget Mr.CBB

Actual March 2022 Budget Report Results

March 2022 Actual Budget Results Family of 3
March 2022 Actual Budget Results Family of 3

Another month under our belt for 2022, but I’ll be back in May to share our April Budget Update.

Keep reading below to see how our 2022 Budget Challengers make their monthly budget.

Thanks for reading,


Monthly Budget Challenge 2022

Rules For The 2022 Budget Challenge on Canadian Budget Binder
Rules For The 2022 Budget Challenge on Canadian Budget Binder

Hello everyone, welcome to the 2022 Budget Reports from our challengers.

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

This year was no exception; however, life gets in the way at the last minute, and someone needs to drop out.

For 2022 we began with six people ready to change their lives by challenging how they manage a budget.

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

If you plan to leave comments about one of the budgets below, always use the budget challenger number, so they know it’s for them.

Budget Challenger #1

Budget Challenger 1 - March budget update 2022
Budget Challenger 1 – March budget update 2022

Hi Mr. CBB and Readers,

I found out that I won’t be getting the $500-600 dollars that I thought, so I’ve had to make changes.

Unfortunately, I was in a different temporary position, and it ended, so I reverted to my lower pay.

As of February 22, I’m making $21.69 / hour, although I need to make more money.

I have more things to sell, which will bring in some extra income.

I cannot put money into Vacation, Takeout, Lottery, Home Maintenance, Christmas, or Birthdays.

I’m at a negative $355.33 this month, although I  have saved $250 from most of these categories. 

I’ll be using the $250 to pay off my negative amount for the month. However, I’m still in a negative of $105.33.

I also do not take the bus any longer as I’ve transitioned to using the shuttle and need to pay $45 for parking. 

There isn’t much overtime at work these days, but I will try still.

I will talk to my son about the $600 he owes me.

He’s working full-time as a prep cook, so hopefully, we can work something out as I need the money.

In April, I will be paid three times which is helpful.

Also, I’m getting a raise and making $22 89/hour as of April 1st.

 No April fools. Ha-ha.

 I know my finances will be better in April.

Thanks for reading my March 2022 budget challenge report

Budget Challenger #2

She will no longer post for personal reasons but keep us updated on what is happening.

Budget Challenger #3

You can read her March 2022 Monthly Budget in Excel format.

Hi, Mr. CBB

March was a bonus pay month, so we have a surplus this month due to 3 paychecks.

I have been working a bit harder at keeping my Grocery budget at $1100.00; this includes; cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.

I’ve been organizing the kitchen cupboards and rotating stock, so I don’t purchase a third or fourth of the same product.

So I was only $27.42 over.

We increased our RRSP/TFSA personal accounts, and we both paid into LAPP through our work.

The message category is up, I had my orthotics re-made and a new pair of shoes to fit them for work.

Thankfully, I will be reimbursed for them in April by my employer.

Rental Repairs

Another repair at one of the rentals for $297.20.

Yes, it feels like a continuous cycle of the repairs, but I remember that our tenants are paying the majority of the mortgage, increasing equity in the home.

The two homes are quite a bit older, so there will be some fix-ups as needed.

We have a huge budget this month for travel, but those are pre-paid for June/July.

There were extra savings if we had paid upfront for the one hotel.

Fuel for the cars was also up, as everyone may have noticed.

During March, I also had quite a few shifts out of town, an extra fuel tank.

Another large spending is our Large Household category as we purchased a large sectional off Buy & Sell.

In preparation for taking this over at the end of April, it is for the basement.

Once the current tenant moves out next month, we plan on furnishing the basement unit for a short-term student rental.

Budget Challenger #4

Hello, CBB! Budget Challenger #4 is here to talk about March

March Monthly Budget Challenger #4
March Monthly Budget Challenger #4

Shortly after sending February’s update to Mr. CBB, I was admitted to the hospital for surgery. It went very well, and I’m recovering and feel fantastic!

For my 6-week recovery period, I used my two remaining weeks of 2021 leave, two weeks of leave-without-pay, and two weeks of 2022 leave going into April.

There will be no paycheque on April 6. Sure, an April problem, but I tried to prepare for it in March.

Projected Expenses

All of March’s PE money went into a pot for April. My TFSA deposits were decreased to the minimum and will resume higher amounts in May.

The truck insurance is being processed in April, so it shows in the budget but not the actual.

No Condo Fees

When I sold my mobile home in 2021, I maxed out my RSP, which led to a fantastic income tax return.

After maxing out 2022’s RSP room, enough was to cover my 2022 condo fees.

I’ll be increasing my mortgage payment and TFSA contributions in May with what would have been my condo fees. 

RBC Points for TFSA Vouchers

Mr. CBB wanted to know more about how I use my Visa to collect RBC points and redeem them for RBC Financial Rewards.

There are different options for spending points, but the TFSA vouchers are the most convenient for me.

$1 spent on the Visa = 1 RBC point.

Redemption starts at 3,000 points ($25 voucher).

The voucher is mailed to you, and you pop into the bank to have it deposited.

Visitors Cost Money

March was spendy…

My sister came from Ontario to look after me, so my food and entertainment spending increased.

There was a lot of spending over this month’s budget, but I made some changes that caused the increase.

I had to increase my internet package so that I didn’t get charged an overage fee (that will show on April’s bill).

A used table-loom found its way from Buy & Sell into my condo*.

The “Miscellaneous” spending will be examined to see if I need more spending categories in my drop-down menu.

I wrote the wrong number for TFSA contributions in my budget.

For March, I ended up being $70 over budget.

I could have pulled money from one of the PE accounts to cover it, but that didn’t feel particularly honest.

It’s better to face it and try to do my best in April.

That’s all for March!

*I had been saving for one in the Self Care Account, and I hadn’t anticipated finding it quite so soon!

Budget Challenger #5

So March was not a good month for tracking my budget, but I will share what I have and some of the challenges in hopes of learning from them!

I was away for two weeks of the month on vacation.

Generally speaking, my bills can be set up for autopay, and when we go anywhere in person, we charge it to my MasterCard.

Not only does this give me Airmiles, but it gives me a record at the end of the month of what I spent.

Since I was on vacation, and my boyfriend doesn’t track anything, the numbers are far from perfect.

Approximately, I’ve spent $600 on vacation this month; however, my flight was paid for last month.

The bonus is that I used Airmiles to pay for my hotel and car rental.

I also met up with a friend, and we shared expenses with her, paying for our Airbnb nights and gas.

Basically, my money went to some clothing, restaurants and my stupidly expensive covid test to come home ($193).

How do most people chart their budget for a vacation?

Do you lump the money together, or do you subdivide it into the categories (housing, food, car etc.)?

(We have a vacation category in our budget, as you can see below, and it’s a projected expense that we save for each month.) Mr. CBB

Next month is going to be expensive – I will get my phone bill for when I was in the US, and I was being charged $10 a day to use my phone unlimited (which was needed for using it as a GPS), and I plan to buy CAA and get my winter tires off.

I do think CAA is a good deal, though.

Shell has started giving cents off per litre for that and using your Airmiles so I can save 8 cents a litre between the two.

Going this route should pay for the price of the card by year-end.

With a car closing in on 250Kms, it would be nice to feel safer if something happened.

Quick update for this month, but I am hoping to be back on the ´tracking´ bandwagon next month!

See you all in May.

Budget Challenger #6

Monthly Budget March Budget Challenger #6
Monthly Budget March Budget Challenger #6

Here is my March Budget.

Due to my separation, I’m adjusting to living on one income, so my budget will be a work in progress.

I’ve been picking up extra shifts at work and am grateful that I have that option.

In my family, I have three adult children still living with me in the house, which increases my grocery expenses.

I have been busy and procrastinating meal prep, so I make too many unorganized trips to the grocery store. 

In March I spent too much on eating out, although it’s easy to do these days with the 4 of us. 

I often get tired, and no one else cooks, so sometimes I get takeout or eat out.

Right now, I am looking at freezer meals for my crockpot.

Doing this task will take me one day of cooking/prepping for quick meals.

I’m contributing to my Emergency Savings and Savings account; otherwise, I’m not doing too bad.

I’ve reduced my RRSP contribution while I’m adjusting to one income.

Currently, I put $150 into my RRSP and the same amount into my Tax-Free Savings Account each month.

Next month I plan on better grocery expenses.  


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  1. Bb. I was using envelopes in 1963 when our combined income was 400 per month. After 60 plus years paper wore thin so I switched to jars. 🐇🐰🐰🐰 hoppy Easter all. Ann

  2. Re thrift shopping. I volunteered at a family life thrift shop for a year or so when first separated, to get out and meet people etc. I often worked in the back and assure your readers all items do indeed get a good washing and press, shoes are cleaned and sanitized inside, nothing goes on the floor without this. I took pride in cleaning as if it were my own. Alllevels of society came in that store.
    On another note as a senior of near 80 I own my 3 bdrm and large garden all on a budget of 1800 per month . Also get some interest in January from depleting investment that covers hearing aids extras. It’s. Not hard I have lived “from jars” all my life. See vaz oxley!

    1. Hi Ann,
      Was it a family-run thrift shop? I asked at VV and was told they do not wash anything. My wife’s friend works at Goodwill and she says the same. That’s fantastic Ann owning your home and large garden on a budget of 1800. Congratulations. Yes,

      there are many ways to budget envelopes, paper budgets, mobile apps, excel, and jars. Have you read the post on my blog about how one couple used the magic jars successfully? I love a good ending. Thanks for sharing your story Ann. Mr.CBB

      1. Family life a charity. I only have a modest home but was able to buy it following a 49 yr marriage split. I don’t think it wd be possible to buy on 1800 month. A

        1. Bb. I was using envelopes in 1963 when our combined income was 400 per month. After 60 plus years paper wore thin so I switched to jars. 🐇🐰🐰🐰 hoppy Easter all. Ann

          1. Haha that was cute Ann. You kept that paper going for a long while. Did you prefer the jars where you could see the money rather than the envelopes where the money is tucked inside? Happy Easter.

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