budget | mindwi.se
Currently using Debit and Credit to manage my money flow.
So far in 7 months of 2022
- Incomes: 56,819
- Expenses and cash back: 1,007 - 562 (expenses) + 471 - 203 (fees) = 713
- Canada Child Benefits: 3,174
- Tax return from 2021: 7,186
- TOTAL: 67,892
On the income side, most of it is on track, except the expenses and cash back that is low because of no work travel. Also, one federal tax return is still pending to this day (about 4,800).
On the expense side, clothing, family, food, home (an increase for September is planned as we move in a larger unit), pharmacy and pet are all on track. Spot and tech is high mostly because of a bike purchase (2,400), transit is high because of an expensive car repair (2,600) and SAVINGS is low because we will increase it soon to match our goals. Travel is a new category I had to create to separate irregular expenses from the other ones.
On top of that, I avoided to list medical as I'm dealing to get a major refund of many expenses for an hospital delivery outside my home province and it will probably end up below the actual expenses. It will be listed in the yearly summary.
In September, a cash back from Amex will provide about $500 and a potential settlement against Desjardins (regarding a data breach) will provide about $2000 to us.
- Clothing: 1,781
- Family (new items, children, activities): 5,479 - 5,107 (stuff sold) = 372
- Food (grocery, restaurants): 7,264
- Home (rent, insurance, hydro, phones, internet): 15,183 - 11 (refund) = 15,174
- Pharmacy and pet: 1,485 - 40 = 1,445
- Sport and tech: 4,724 - 1,436 (stuff sold) = 3,288
- Transit (car, bus): 4,434
- SAVINGS: 8,025 - 804 (withdrawn) = 7,221
- Special - Moving: 4,682
- NEW - Travel: 687
- TOTAL: 46,422
Number of expense categories reduced from 21 to 7 to simplify.
- Incomes: 77,800
- Expenses and cash back: 3,200
- Canada Child Benefits: 7,200
- Tax return from 2021: 11,800
- TOTAL: 100,000
Moved back to BC on March 1st, we settled to rent an apartment for the moment. It keeps our costs stable and with a newborn, we don't really want to spend our time to bid on condos that will sell way over listed price anyway. We will keep adjusting our expenses and sell possessions we no longer use to reduce our burden.
We can count on a close to $12k tax return since we moved twice last year and all expenses are deductible.
- Clothing: 3,000
- Family (new items, children, activities): 7,200
- Food (grocery, restaurants): 12,000
- Home (rent, insurance, hydro, phones, internet): 24,260
- Pharmacy and pet: 2,100
- Sport and tech: 4,300
- Transit (car, bus): 3,600
- SAVINGS: 17,000
- Special - Moving: 4,681
- TOTAL: 78,141
Few notes by category
Clothing: Even if the last two years were above the $2,100 mark, I'll try to minimize the damages here.
Family: Since we just expanded to a family of 4 and we moved again, this category has been increased because big expenses will arrive.
Food: This one will be difficult since the inflation of good prices is alarming. Still, I decided to restrict it to $1000/month.
Home: We decided to rent at $1,900/month, on which we need to add a mere $14 for insurance, $26 for hydro, $20 for phones and $50 for Internet (starting in June). We do not pay city taxes, strata fees or any other maintenance costs on appliances.
Pharmacy and pet: Last year totalled at $2,600, decided to try to lower our expenses at $2,100 by buying cheaper products and by stocking a bit.
Sport and tech: Decided to buy a $2,400 road bike to replace the one that I sold a year ago. Still budgeting it even though it is a replacement. The rest will be tech parts (batteries, etc) and sport gear (helmet, gloves, replacement parts).
Transit: Former Car category, now replaced to consider the fact that we will have bus expenses. Our car that we bought last year will probably need some maintenance, but we really don't use it much for now, so it brings our gas bill super low. Fixed expense is the car insurance at $130/month. Rest is variable with mileage and bus usage, but it doesn't include depreciation. I believe it is more than needed.
SAVINGS: On the budget, we have a huge gap of about $21k between incomes and expenses, but I'm sure we will increase the saving rate. $17k is the bare minimum (it represents twice the TFSA contribution limit of $6000 per adult and twice the RESP contribution minimum of $2500 per child to get the federal grant).
What I bought for myself so far in 2022
Every single item bought was to replace a broken, sold or disposed product I already had.
I'm not listing the things I sold because I totally lost track to be honest. Also, common possession are not listed, per example a set of winter tires for our car is actually shared with my wife, so I don't consider it mine as per se.
July 1st update: During the first six months of the year, I purchased a bit more than what is listed above. However, I returned that extra stuff because it was disappointment after disappointment. We tend to forget how buying stuff doesn't produce the expected outcome most of the time and it also doesn't lead to more happiness. I try not to add anything in my possession list before removing something. But even by replacing something, so we feel like upgrading our life, dissatisfaction stops by most of the time.
For example, I own a Farsik small handle bar bag for my bicycle. I want to give it to my wife so we can use it. I'm now looking to get a new one for myself. Ordered a massive 17L Giant bikepacking bag. Truth is, I probably won't bikepack enough to justify a $150 bag that is a pain to use on a daily basis. Ah, and it doesn't fit a road bike handlebar properly because it is too wide. Having passed the return date, I sold it at loss and bought a different one.
- 1 SSD drive ($28)
- 1 road bike ($2,414) as a 2nd bike, because the first one as a child seat on it now and is used during rainy days.
- 1 bike helmet ($115)
- 1 pair of bike gloves ($50)
- 1 carabiner ($10)
- 1 travel/compact bike pump ($101)
- 1 cycling cap ($27)
- 1 t-shirt ($46)
- 2 pairs of shorts ($234)
- 1 swim shorts ($30)
- 7 briefs ($55)
- 1 hoodie ($54)
- 1 pair of sandals ($111)
- 1 used bicycle handlebar bag ($70)
- 1 bicycle saddle bag ($80)
- 1 used MacBook Air 11" Early-2015 ($250)
In correlation with our Budgeting 2021, let's review the full year.
Expenses (Actual vs planned)
- Savings : 43,100 vs 14,500
- Phones : 262 vs 251
- Electricity : 233 vs 1,755
- Internet : 162 vs 394
- Food : 10,751 vs 9,600
- Car : 5,024 vs 4,000
- Pet : 262 vs 300
- Technology : 1,545 vs 600
- House improvement : 15,152 vs 6,000
- Pharmacy : 2,232 vs 900
- Personal care : 378 vs 500
- Sport gear : 3,066 vs 1,000
- Clothing : 2,700 vs 1,800
- Child : 4,597 vs 1,000
- Restaurants : 1,000 vs 600
- Mortgage : 9,910 vs 14,945
- Rent : 3,900 vs 0
- Strata : 1830 vs 906
- City taxes : 466 vs 2,680
- House insurance : 250 vs 820
- Car purchase : 15,660 vs 0
- TOTAL : 122,480 vs 62,560
Incomes (Actual vs planned)
- Both wages : 68,699 vs 75,700
- Corporate expenses : 28,543 vs 3,000
- Canada Child Benefits + sales : 6,193 vs 2,760
- Sport gear sales : 5,505 vs 0
- Savings withdrawal : 3,686 vs 0
- Home improvement sales : 2,891 vs 0
- Clothing refunds : 511 vs 0
- Car refunds : 382 vs 0
- Technology sales : 266 vs 0
- Pharmacy refunds : 44 vs 0
- Inheritance : 11,000 vs 0
- Cash-back : 899 vs 400
- TOTAL : 128,619 vs 81,460
Extraordinary expenses (not budgeted)
- Car purchase : $15,660 - New car at $15,660, sold old one for $3,600, amount transferred to savings.
Incomes (Actual vs yearly projected net)
If you compare the expenses total with the incomes total, the excess is still another $13k. This is potentially another saving chunk currently used as emergency fund or money in transit to savings/investments.
- 1st wage : $25,620 vs $15,750 - Still on the payroll, no leave.
- 2nd wage : $13,046 vs $22,100 -- On a leave without pay since April.
- Corporate expenses : $9,256 vs $1,500 - On a temporary relocation, resulting of per diem.
- Canada Child Benefits : $1,979 vs $1,380 -- One special payment received.
- Child stuff sold : $1171 vs $0
- Home stuff sold : $1600 vs $0
- Cash-back : $599 vs $0
- Gift cards : $375 vs $0 (gas card, coffee, Apple)
- TOTAL : $53,646 vs $40,680
What I bought
- Car : $15,660 new car, $378 new roof rack, $121 protective mat, $974 winter tires/wheels.
- Bike : $80 tires (2), $28 tubes (5), $10 Clug rack, $100 Rockymount Jetline car rack, $20 chain, $5 bar end plugs.
- Tech : $25 8bitdo controller, $30 Beats earphones, $20 phone cable, $4 CR2032 batteries, $4 CR1616 batteries, $18 64GB USB drive, $400 iPhone XS 64GB, $500 iPhone XS Max 64GB (for my wife), two $15 phone case, $9 lightning adapter, $20 hair clipper.
- Sport : $55 backpack (Bbee 11), $40 backpack (Mec Pack Light), $15 water bottle, $135 camp stove pot, $150 cycling bib, $7 replacement tube, $80 road tires, $40 bike light.
- Misc : $85 manual coffee grinder.
- Clothing : $33 trunk.
- A ton of home stuff since I basically started from scratch in our new place. Refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, dishwasher, furniture, decoration, kid stuff. Probably above $10k.
What I sold
- Car : $100 part, $3,600 old car, $200 old roof rack.
- Bike : $30 shoes, $1,700 road bike, $3,650 mountain bike, $60 lock, $60 knee pads, $10 old tires, $40 pump, $20 tools, $80 bag, $80 helmet.
- Tech : $10 controller, $10 power inverter, $40 MacBook adapter, $20 mouse.
- Sport : $160 large backpack, $10 old backpack, $35 small backpack, $240 showshoes (2 pairs), $30 ski poles, $90 camp stove pot.
- Misc : $120 automatic coffee grinder.
Not much to say except I failed totally in my goals. I moved back East and returned to BC at the beginning of 2022. What a waste of time, money and energy. And nothing that I bought made me happy at all. It just complicated my life as before. Next year, I really need to refocus on what really matter.
Even if everything is to be set regarding the sale of our place and job transfers, we hope to be able to move early in the year. It will impact the budget, so let's assume March 1st. If the category is split in two, it denotes the previous location and the new one.
- Savings : $14 500
- Phones : $251
- Electricity : $55 + 1 700
- Internet : $44 + 350
- Food : $9 600
- Car : $400 + 3 600
- Pet : $300
- Technology : $600
- House improvement : $6 000
- Pharmacy : $900
- Personal care : $500
- Sport gear : $1 000
- Clothing : $1 800
- Child : 1 000$
- Restaurants : $600
- Mortgage : $4 954 + 10 000
- Strata : $906 + 0
- City taxes : $280 + 2 400
- House insurance : $120 + 700
- TOTAL : $62 560
Projected net incomes
The gap between spending and incomes is not a bug, it's a feature. I tend not to budget to tight because it does not serve the beneficiaries well in my opinion. Incomes can fluctuate, so can the expenses. Any leftovers will be turned in savings, no second though.
This budget will allow us to save a minimum of 18% of net incomes, plus the equity on the mortgage ($12 000), bringing the total saving rate at 33%. In the perspective of a downsizing year, it is excellent.
- 1st wage : $31 500 (if leave without pay for 2 months)
- 2nd wage : $44 200
- Corporate expenses (estimated) : $3 000
- Canada Child Benefits (estimated) : $2 760
- TOTAL : $81 460
Here are couple details on what will happen this year, so I don't forget.
- Bike sale (+$3 600)
- Car sale (+$3 500)
- Car budget does not include the amount to buy a new car (planned budget of $15 000).
- Tech budget is may be for a new phone (250$) if mine wants to retire early after 4+ years of service. And a new battery (50$) for my wife's phone. I'm leaving room (300$) for the unexpected, but probably not much spent here.
- Home improvement budget does not include the amount returned to us after the sales of possessions before moving, but including the cost of a container.
- We will be able to do some fiscal deductions from the move.
- Mortgage budget factors our new target at $1000/month to be able to live from 1 wage in the future.
On another note
Life is not only about money. Don't take this planning as the meaning of our life. We do aspire at creative work, spiritual experiences, etc. I just personally want our wallet to be aligned with our values and not to be a drag for our future. At the same time, I do not want to pursuit the American Dream of the always more money, always more stuff. Thus, I don't care about having a promotion to get a better income. All I want is to make good decisions with my money.
Total spendings of $63 441 without the savings.
On incomes of $92 093, savings then equal 25%, on which we need to add 26% from the equity built on the mortgage ($24 000 estimated, inflated with the reduction on prime rate). Thus, the total saving rate is 51%.
- Savings : $23 241 - Include a $1594 one-time transfer from another account after selling the first MacBook Air and other stuff.
- Phones : $292 - As planned.
- Electricity : $280 - Less than planned.
- Internet : $251 - Less than planned.
- Food : $10 802 - Way to high!
- Car : $1 910 - In free fall, super low costs!
- Pet : $700 - Stable, but $432 is linked to the death of one cat.
- Technology : $1 989 - One MacBook Air M1, one used iPhone 7, one Kobo, a modem, 2 batteries, 3 ebooks, Netflix (3 months), iCloud and a Lightning adapter. Doesn't include $1100 from the sale of the first MacBook Air.
- Housing improvements : $2 134 - Declining, even though we had some large purchases (mattress, kitchen table).
- Pharmacy : $1 344 - Too high.
- Personal care : $390 - Great improvement.
- Sport gear : $969 - Goal was $1 000, success! Purchase of: a bike ($850), a replacement tire ($40), a Bbee 11 backpack ($44) and other minor things, plus the sale of a bike rack ($65).
- Clothing : $2 060 - Stable.
- Child : $898 - Does not include sales in cash that would lower the expenses.
- Vacation : $362 - Mostly restaurants/treats while driving around with family and other small expenses.
- Restaurants : $588 - Major reduction compared to 2019.
- Mortgage : $30 968 - One more payment than planned.
- Strata : $5 332 - Increasing.
- City taxes : $1 635 - Higher than expected.
- House insurance : $485 - Prorated, controlled increase.
- Gym : $52 - Memberships cancelled in March.
Compared to 2019
When comparing with last year's review, we were able to reduce:
But, we spent more money on:
- Phones: -$177
- Car: -$1778
- Pet: -$35
- Home improvement: -$679
- Pharmacy: -$819
- Personal care: -$1995
- Sport gear: -$1275
- Child: -$143
- Vacation: -$738
- Restaurant: -$394
- Gym: -$220
- Total reduction: -$8253
Then, we basically saved $70/month, even though many increases were out of our control. If we don't count the extra payment on the mortgage, it is $173/month in reduction. Imagine if we were able to cut our crazy spending on food.
Also, savings were reduced, but mostly because we haven't invested all the funds in 2020, preferring to have a security fund since we had a leave without pay.
- Electricity: +$9
- Internet: +$251
- Food: +$2360
- Technology: +$1856
- Clothing: +$248
- Mortgage: +1238
- Strata: +$1314
- City taxes: +$131
- House insurance: +$158
- Total increase: +$7565
While we estimate to live on a single salary from June 2020, this will have a considerable impact. We need to budget more than ever and avoid unnecessary spending.
- Savings : $ 12,000
- Telephones : $ 290
- Electricity : $ 300
- Internet : $ 300
- Food : $ 8,400
- Automobile : $ 3,600
- Public transport : $ 120
- Pets : $ 720
- Technology : $ 240
- Home improvement : $ 1,800
- Pharmacy : $ 900
- Personal care : $ 500
- Sports equipment : $ 1,000
- Clothing : $ 1,200
- Child : $ 1,000
- Vacation : $ 1,200
- Restaurants : $ 700
- Mortgage : $ 29,730
- Strata : $ 5,000
- Property taxes : $ 1,550
- Home insurance : $ 323
- Gym : $ 272
- TOTAL : $ 71,145
The expected revenues are:
I intentionally leave a difference between planned spending and planned income so as not to budget too tightly. As much as the income can be greater than what is planned, so much the expenses can vary.
This budget will allow us to save 17% of our net income. In the perspective of a year of decline, it's still excellent.
- Salary 1 (employment insurance for 4 months, 1 month of paid vacation) : $ 9,700
- Salary 2 : $ 46,800
- Expense accounts (estimated): $ 12,000
- Canada Child Benefits (estimated): $ 4,050
- TOTAL : $ 72,550
This adds up to a total expense of $ 99,742.
The savings are therefore 36% to which we must add 15% thanks to the capital accumulated on the mortgage ($ 14,865 estimated). This gives a figure of 51% savings.
- Savings : $ 35,456 - Totally impressed by our ability to save and reduce our unnecessary expenses!
- Telephones : $ 469 - Current expenses of $ 24 / month after service decrease since July. Next year, the total will likely be less than $ 290.
- Electricity : $ 271 - As expected.
- Internet : $ 0 - Service provided free of charge.
- Feeding : $ 8,442 - In control, despite the increase in the number of mouths to feed.
- Automobile : $ 3,688 - Under control.
- Public transport : $ 161 - Reimbursed by the employer.
- Pets : $ 735 - As expected.
- Technology : $ 133 - Can increase as needed.
- Home improvement : $ 2,813 - Several major purchases.
- Pharmacy : $ 2,163 - Too high, reduce to $ 900 maximum.
- Personal Care : $ 2385 - Too high, was reconsidered not to spend in this category.
- Sports equipment : $ 2,244 - Some errors ($ 80 lost in returns, multiple bicycle repairs). Limit to $ 1,000.
- Clothing : $ 1,812 - Stable, try to reduce.
- Child : $ 1,041 - This includes cash gifts received.
- Vacation : $ 1,100 - Flight to Montreal ($ 775), no other travel. Can sharpen as needed.
- Restaurants : $ 982 - Always higher than expected. Reduce as much as possible.
- Mortgage : $ 29,730 - As expected.
- Strata : $ 4,018 - As expected.
- Property taxes : $ 1,504 - As expected.
- Home insurance : $ 327 - Stable, reduced in February 2019.
- Gym : $ 272 - As planned.
After the move in December 2018, there will be the birth of our child who will upset the established order! Scheduled for April, we have been preparing for a few weeks already, both physically and financially, its coming. My spouse will first be 4 months at 93% of her salary, then 8 more months at 55%. It's an understatement to say that this will come as a shock, especially since the costs of care in BC (after maternity leave) are not what can be described as frugal.
Our objectives are to continue to reduce certain expenses (in food for example, but also certain "luxuries").
Analysis of monthly costs and 2019 targets
In order to be able to estimate our expenses, I made a summary from May 1, 2018 to February 18, 2019 using YNAB (You Need A Budget).
Category : Amount rounded to the nearest dollar - Notes [Target]
- Baby : $ 19 - Non-representative, includes family cash gifts. [Limit increase to $ 100]
- Clothing : $ 287 - Rather high, but it includes several purchases during the move. [Reduce to $ 150]
- Restaurants : $ 89 - Definitely lower than the average person, but it could be reduced. [Reduce to $ 70]
- Electricity : $ 30 - Reduction with the new condo. [Decrease to $ 23]
- Leisure : $ 82 - 2018-2019 ski passes. [Remove]
- Groceries : $ 659 - I suspect this category is undervalued by certain expenses paid in cash. Probably more around $ 760. [Limit to $ 650]
- Gym : $ 23 - No surprises and no change in sight. [Keep]
- Internet : $ 28 - Costs became zero in December (free service for 1 year). [Allow $ 40 if needed]
- Entertainment : $ 9 - Netflix subscription that we did not renew recently. [Allow $ 15 if needed]
- Pets : $ 90 - Approximately $ 35 / month has been allocated for emergency medical intervention. [Limit to $ 60]
- Home improvements : $ 250 - Includes moving costs and furniture purchases. [Limit to $ 100]
- Personal care : $ 125 - Expenses to be reassessed with spouse. [Limit to $ 100]
- Pharmacy : $ 86.13 - Relatively high per purchase of skincare products from Sephora. [Limit to $ 70]
- Telephones : $ 81 - As of August, we have reduced to approximately $ 62 by switching provider. [Keep at $ 62]
- Rent / Mortgage : $ 1,740 - Not significant given the move. [Fixed payment at $ 2650]
- Home insurance : $ 21 - Not significant given the move. [Allow $ 29]
- SAVINGS : $ 2,537 - The savings rate will change due to maternity leave. [Variable / to be evaluated]
- Sports equipment : $ 164 - Highly variable. [Limit to $ 100]
- Technology : $ 13 - Few expenses, only 2 battery changes and a few other minor ones. [Keep]
- Public transport : $ 41 - Used partially during the period assessed and partially covered by work. [Allow $ 95]
- Automobile : $ 347 - Does not include depreciation and parking (free, but can be leased). [Consider selling the car]
- Holidays : $ 138 - Includes only 2 tickets for Montreal and some minimal expenses. Not representative. [Allow $ 250]
- Water : $ 73 - To be eliminated and replaced by the condominium fees. [Remove]
- Strata : $ 0 - New fees to consider. [Fixed payment at $ 371]
Note that education and medical expenses are fully covered by the employer.
In total, I estimate the re-balancing of expenses at a possible savings of $ 55 per month in 2019. However, this same $ 55 could be allocated to the addition of 2 20-year term life insurance policies.
We have stopped saving most of the 46% of our income since the move and have created automatic transfers into savings accounts to cover variations in future income and some expenses within 2-3 years. . After having re-balanced the budget during the 8 month to 55% of the 2nd salary, we will increase the savings rate again for the long term.
Thus, our objectives are to better reflect on each of the unforeseen purchases in order to better contain the budget during the 8 months for which the income will be lower and to re-establish savings.
Comparison 2016 vs 2019
Our monthly costs in 2016
With a house in Quebec (QC) sold for $435,000, two recent / luxury cars and 1 motorcycle.
- Interest on mortgage: $ 500
- Electricity: $ 180
- Municipal taxes: $ 270
- School tax: $ 66
- Home insurance: $ 50
- Home maintenance: $ 100
- Maintenance (contingency fund, potentially underfunded): $ 100
- Car 1 (depreciation, gasoline, maintenance, repair, insurance): $ 1,000
- Car 2: $ 750
- Motorcycle: $ 300
- TOTAL of $ 3,316
Our monthly costs forecast in 2019
With a condominium in British Columbia (BC) bought for $ 715,000 and a 14 year old car.
The difference of about $850 is major. However, we must also consider that the new province saves us about $ 1,000 / month in taxes. However, childcare services will be more expensive in the years when we use them. The ability to sell the car and reduce our travel costs would reduce our costs below $ 2,000 / month.
I also notice that our costs in 2016 represented nearly 50% of our net salaries in QC while it will be around 30% of our net salaries in BC in 2019.
Obviously, even if the price still seems high to us, we consider to be able to subsist with such financial responsibilities. Our tendency to cut our costs and increase the savings / investment ratio allows us to breathe and not worry with our current lifestyle.
- Interest on mortgage: $ 1,200
- Electricity: $ 20
- Municipal taxes: $ 127
- Home insurance: $ 26
- Co-ownership fees (for the building, includes heating and natural gas): $ 371
- Maintenance (for repairs in the condo only): $ 100
- Car 1 (depreciation, gasoline, maintenance, repair, insurance): $ 500
- Public transportation: $ 126
- TOTAL of $ 2,470