Do you have a problem with spending money?

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Are money issues ruining your marriage or relationship?

Every November and into January of the following year I get so many emails about needing help with money problems.

In part, I believe that people who don’t budget, spend freely, and hope for the best need far more help than those who do use a budget.

Today, I want to explain to you how you can fix your money problems and it only works if you REALLY want it to.

At the very  bottom of the post you will see our November budget numbers and how we spent our money.

Money Problems Matter And Solutions Are Limited To Motivation

Financial difficulties can arise at any time so it’s important to fix your money problems beginning with a money mindset.

Over the years I’ve coached a few of my readers about financial management and where their money problems were coming from.

Often I hear that budgeting is too hard, I don’t understand how to budget or we don’t earn enough money to budget.

All three of those are excuses not to start a budget which further leads to deeper money problems.

With financial health quitting is never an option because it’s the only way to get back on track.

Even people with high-paying jobs have loads of debt they struggle with so it’s just not low-income, middle-class that feel the pain.

Help With Money Problems

Do you have trouble saving money?

Well, you’re not alone becasue we’ve all been there unless you were born into wealth in which case you probably wouldn’t even be reading this blog.

There are a few things I can talk about to help you fix your money problems.

You may have read them before if you’re a regular reader of the blog but for those of you who are new this may be an eye-opener.

Do You Need  A Budget To Be Financially Successful

I was once asked if it was possible to become successful financially without a monthly budget.

My answer was it is possible however it’s like walking away from opportunities to grow your wealth.

How many businesses do you think will survive or become wealthy if they didn’t create a budget for their company?

Probably not many and if they don’t it’s likely they are just scraping by. 

A budget is a necessity not a want in today’s society with so much economic turmoil.

Leaving Your Money Problems On The Table

Consider you bought 10 chocolate bars and left them on the table and you eat one and leave 9.

You could have taken all 10 of those chocolate bars but you didn’t because you wanted to leave them for someone else.

In the financial world if you want to eliminate money problems you should never leave anything on the table.

What if those chocolate bars were 100 dollar bills of money you earned but left on the table?

I know it sounds harsh because I used chocolate bars, and it’s nice to share but it’s the truth.

There’s a fine line with money where you take guidance from someone who’s lived through money problems or you eat one chocolate bar.

When you have money problems and you’re desperate to get out of them every dollar counts.

Sharing is nice but money is money and you need not sweep money problems under the carpet.

Instead, take charge of the situation by educating yourself, talking to s a financial advisor, and of course budget.

Can you believe those are three ways Mrs. CBB and I learned about finance?

It’s true and we only read blogs from bloggers who found success and not the ones who have nothing to back their claims.

Money Problems In Relationships

Since Covid-19 I’ve had more emails than you could imagine from fans of mine who are struggling with money problems.

So many people lost their jobs, were laid off, or just unable to sustain the bills, mortgage, or rent with the CERB.

I asked whoever emailed me two questions:

Do you use a monthly budget?
How much debt are you in?

As the conversations continued back and forth via email my goal was to plant the seed of how important a budget is.

The second most important task with using a budget is that both the wife and husband or partners must commit.

If you have to create a budget and go it alone you won’t succeed the best you can.

It’s like hiking half-way up a mountain and you’re starting to fall but there is no one there to help you.

Budgets aren’t built just for low-income families as some non-budget believers think.

No one has to know you use a budget and if they did who the hell cares?

If anything you’re both being smart savers and busting your debt into dust.

So, if you are not using a budget and you’re in a relationship it’s time for a chat.

Bring out all of your ammunition (your debt, net income (if any) all the financial data and set it on the table.

Talk to your spouse about how much debt you have and how much money you both net each month.

Show him/her the importance of paying off debt because you are both deep in money problems.

Show The Easiest Budgeting System For Best Results

Also, if you choose to download my free basic budget it might encourage him/her to work with you.

Often I find our excel budget may be overwhelming for people who don’t use excel.

I’m a paper and pencil guy as well but use our excel budget which is also free to download for CBB subscribers.

Soon I will have my Canadian Budget Binder-ready with custom printables for a small fee.

There is also the glass jar budgeting method or cash budget using envelopes that people like as well.

If you are able to get your spouse on the same page as you suggest that you both get an allowance.

I find that if there is a bit of money you can set aside as fun money it’s like getting a chocolate bar, happiness.

One last thing is if you feel trapped in a relationship and want out because he or she is the problem, then go.

I know it’s easier said than done and situations are different but you don’t have to live with financial stress for the rest of your life.

Some people may ask what’s in it for me if I budget?

You get a chocolate bar and allowance ha!
You’re fighting your money problems using a financial tool that has been proven successful for so many people.

How To Fix Your Money Problems

For some people who have fixed their money problems by reading Canadian Budget Binder, they did 7 things.

Spent time daily and monthly with a budget and both worked on it. That meant they were on the same page.
Using all the free tools and resources along with cashback offers and coupons to lower prices on their grocery and pharmacy expenses. One of our favourite cashback websites is Rakuten and Ampli.
Come up with a goals plan and discussion about things they need before buying it.
What debts to get rid of first where many like to use the snowball method where you pay off debts lowest to highest.
They created an emergency savings fund
Finally, they allowed themselves an allowance each month so as not to feel deprived.
Education is very important when it comes to financing so I suggested they read my blog with over 2000 articles. I’d suggest starting with my 10 Step Mini-Budgeting Series.

Seek Advice From Professionals With Money Problems

Finally, I told them if they were serious about the long-haul that they could email with updates and any questions

Once the debt is gone they told me they will plan to participate in the RESP, TFSA, and RRSP.

It’s hard to put money into these types of investments if you’re already struggling to keep the house going.

Three other ways are to talk to a financial advisor, consolidation firm, or call your credit card companies and ask for a reduced rate.

Do whatever it takes but don’t be shy to talk to the people you owe money to just to see if they can help you.

At the end of the day if you want out of the money problems you need to immerse yourself in all aspects of your debt to income ratio.

Discussion: What has helped you to crush your money problems? Leave me your feedback below.


Family Budget Income Report November 2020
Our monthly net income for November 2020
Hi CBB readers,

It’s easy to see from our budget expenses that Christmas is here. We’ve been buying gifts for the family and we’re hosting.

We never anticipated to host but it was last-minute changes with my family so we’re having them here.

There will only be 4 adults and 2 children but we like to bake and eat lots. ha!

A big chunk of the expenses went to my new Cooper tires and an alignment on my truck. That was around $1700.

Oh, and yes I looked around for the best deals for the tires I wanted. I did get $100 off so it was better than nothing.

You’ll also healthcare went up because my wife needed 2 crowns put in where our benefits covered half the costs.

Right now she’s getting set up for Invisalign as she is missing a tooth from birth and it impacts her having a larger smile.

She also bought some face scrub from the spa she goes to which was $125 but worth every dollar.

Her face is beautiful with no acne apart from once a month and she glows but she is 100% invested in facial skincare each night.

Well, that’s all for now. Let’s see how December goes and what breaks down because something always does. Haha.

Be Well,


Family Budget Percentages
A chart that shows monthly budget percentages for a Canadian Household of 3.
Our savings of  % include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $10,354.54

We save money in our projected expenses for things that need to be paid for in the coming months such as Christmas.

All of the categories took 100% of our income which shows that we accounted for all of the income in November 2020.

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

Monthly Home Budget Expenses
Our monthly net income for November 2020
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.

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: $6392.68

Monthly Net Income Total: $10,354.54

(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: $9,177.41

Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $10,3354.54(total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) – $324.22 (savings to emergency fund) = $9177.41

Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $10,354.54 (total monthly net income) – $9177.41 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91 (projected expenses) = $ 324.22

Monthly Budget and Actual Budget

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

This budget represents 2 adults and a 6-year-old son, plus retirement investments.

Budget colour chart: If highlighted in blue that means it is a projected expense.   

Since May 2014 we’ve been mortgage-free so much of our money will be directed at savings, investments, and renovations.

I appreciate that you enjoy this budget update each month but I do hope you view this as an educational tool rather than comparing your financial numbers as our situations are all unique.

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

Monthly Budgeted Amounts

Actual Monthly Budget Expenses

2020 Home Budget Challenge

November Update: We are still 2 players in for the Budget Challenge 2020.

These two budget challengers are going to ride it out until the end of 2020.

I’m beyond thrilled to have had both these ladies budgeting along with us this year.

This goes to show you that if you are determined to become debt-free and stick to a budget you can.

Let’s have a look at what happened with their monthly budgets in October.

Budget Challenger #1


We celebrated our wedding anniversary at home plus hubby had another week of vacation this month.

Hubby’s week off was a great opportunity for us to discuss our financial plans for 2021 and to review exactly where we stand at the moment.

I handle our finances but I like to bring hubby up to speed at least quarterly.

I will say that 2020 was both good and bad for us.

On the plus side, we remain debt-free BUT on the negative side, our level of saving was not what we had hoped for.

Four medical purchases cut deeply into our projected savings.

Our smaller than hoped for gain in net worth is no excuse for us to throw in the towel and start a “pity party” type of spending spree.

Finding New Ways To Save

Rather, it’s time to double down on saving & find new and creative ways to save!

Our Cash Back Visa card paid us a tidy little sum this month ($170.00) covering the cost of both November and December’s groceries!

I transferred the funds budgeted for groceries, $360.00, into our savings!

Secondly, we continue to use gift cards for gasoline purchases and those budgeted funds ($50/month) also make their way to our savings account.

On Dec 14th I will send in our extended medical claim for the year.

We’ll completely repay the CPAP purchase funds that we borrowed from our savings with the reimbursement cheque.

The remainder of the reimbursed funds will top up our Car Replacement Savings. 

I will keep trying to find more new ways to save!

Mr.CBB -Finding more ways to save is the name of the game. What is car replacement savings? It sounds like something I’d like to add to the budget binder printables.

Budget Challenger #2

Hey Mr. CBB and all, happy December. November was a crappy month for me. Not to get into it a lot but I lost my grandfather.

The reason I decided to share this is that I know the website has a lot of information about preparing wills and when someone is aging or sick.

I generally skip these kinds of articles its hard to think about but something we should be thinking about.

My grandfather had the requisite will and had identified who should get certain things, but a lot wasn’t figured out, little stupid things that are hard making things move slowly going forward.

What I would suggest, is if you have the type of family that can have tough conversations do it.
What things would you want to have that are here?
What are the sentimental things that you would like to own?
Are there any questions on photographs, artwork, etc that you would like some background on?

If there are multiple family members to divide things between, talk to them first and see if there is anything that multiple people want so it can be figured out then and if there are certain charities you want your clothes to go to, etc.

What would you like to be buried in?
Is there anything you would like in your obituary?

These are awful conversations that no one wants to have, but I think sometimes they are conversations most people are thinking about but too scared to bring up – maybe he wanted to discuss these things but didn’t want to make anyone upset.

Either way, this is neither here nor there when it comes to budget so I will leave you with these things to ponder.

My budget isn’t perfect this month. I spend with my credit card so that I can track things without having to keep all my receipts.

I spent a lot of cash when I was going to see my grandfather and the week after his passing.

My November Budget

November: Groceries 304.21
Entertainment: Spotify 22.98
Car maintenance 250
Pets 64.83
Fast food 110
Internet 95
Clothing 15.53
Gas 110
Health 19 Savings (preset with the bank) 200
Insurance 161.92
Xmas gifts 36.73
Phone 57.99

I’m  Now Debt-Free

I finally paid off my car so now I am mortgage and car payment free.

 My car has high KM’s so we are predicting 2 years max on it, but this way we get to start saving.

Last month was car inspection time so that and an oil change and undercoat made monthly maintenance expensive but it’s over and done with for a while longer.

Health costs were related to out of pocket pays for my eye exam and dental exam – I’m lucky my health plan covers most of everything.

I think I also paid $20 in cash for an osteoporosis appt but I’m not sure.

Again, I wasn’t perfect this month with my spending, too much on my mind.

I bought a few Xmas gifts but Xmas isn’t something we will be doing this year and with that said I don’t foresee December being too expensive.

January I have dental work being done, hopefully, the health plan will cover most of it.

No other potential large expenses coming up that I’m aware of, and no vacation to plan for any time soon so what didn’t get spent will get added to my savings.

I’m too lazy to do the math right now but I’m guessing I saved half my paycheque last month so that will help towards any unexpected costs in the future.

 Mr.CBB- Congratulations on being debt-free. It feels good, doesn’t it? Well done.

The post How To Fix Your Money Problems : November 2020 Budget Update appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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