Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Breaking Down my Budget

Because I live in Canada and because Im considered low income, I automatically receive both the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and the Childcare Allowance (which I group with my CCTB). Together they total $1400/month. This is huge for me, because I have no partner to contribute to our household expenses. When coupled with my WAHM income and child support, I have $2675/month to work with. I actually have considerably more due to some of my other money-making endeavors, but Ill get to them with another post.

So I sat down a couple days ago and looked at what I expected to spend each month for the next couple of months. I haven't cut spending for anything other than groceries (due to the two pantry challenges) and gas. Ill be looking at all of the other categories through out this year to see where I can cut. For this reason my numbers will probably seem really high to most of you. But remember, I live in Canada. On an island. Things ain't cheap!

Rent 1400
Renter's Insurance 26
Vehicle Insurance 317
Power 250
Aliant 150 (Digital Cable, Boxes, Internet and home phone)
Food/Household 300
Gas 120
Kids' Allowances 67
School 40 (pizza and ice cream days, book orders, field trips)
Birthdays/Holidays 100
Giving 88 (church, compassion international, mercy house)
Micah's Cell 22
My spending 25
Bank Fees 10
Total 2915

There are some obvious holes in this budget, I know. For one, I haven't provided for any maintenance on the van, but I've put in $100 for birthdays and holidays. Like I said, this will need some rearranging. To be honest though, I did spend $1200 on Christmas this year and if I added all of the other holidays, plus birthdays for my four guys and family/friends parties that we might attend, it's more like double that amount.

Some of you may have noticed that the total of these expenses is more than my income of $2675/month. And that's where my other money making endeavors come into play. But Ill explain those tomorrow. One of the things Id like to do this year is to reduce my expenses to $2675, so that I can totally support us by regular, dependable income alone. That would mean finding $240, which Im not sure is totally possible.


The Saved Quarter said...

Making a budget is a great step, and it looks like you've got a great start, but I wonder if there are ways to reduce some costs, even on an island. For example, can you give the kids a slightly larger allowance and have them pay for their own pizza and ice cream days or field trips? It helps them to learn how to manage their money and you could be spending less at the same time. Maybe increase kids' allowance by $20 and save $20?

Also, your Christmas budget is huge! You have a whole year to find deals and make things. Could you reduce that to $50 a month, or even less, and still have a nice holiday? We did our Christmas for $100 last year.

Are there any banks without fees in your area?

Cherish said...

I think the allowance/school fees is definitely an area that will change. I worry that they will miss out on things because of inproper money management, but then again, that IS the point. My 6 year old and I could look at the coming week and decide where he wants to spend his money, which could be a good lesson for him. Thanks for the tip.

I know I spent a lot on Christmas, but I have four kids, two of whom are of an age where I cant really get away with going cheaper. I also had 28 "other" people on my list this year. The 1200 included any decor I bought and extra food/baking supplies. I dont know what my budget will be for Christmas this coming year, but the $100 that I have in each monthly budget is more for birthdays and other holidays. Ill see what I can save in that category and probably decide in the summer what I'll need to add to it to pull of Christmas. Even if I can keep Christmas to 800 this year, I'd be happy.

Even at $100/month, that means $250/child's birthday and $200 for other bdays/holidays. Since I do a party for each child plus a special dinner and gifts, it does actually cost that much. I probably wont do a huge thing for my youngest, who turns 3 this year and so Ill probably save there. I was also able to only spend about $5 on two family birthdays so far this year...so Im working on it.

Lisa @Cents To Save said...

I did not budget for Christmas in 2010... like I don't know it is coming around every year! It busted my budget big time.

This year, I am budgeting almost 800.00 for Christmas and about 600.00 for other gifts like baby showers, birthdays and so on..

Trying to meet the surprises head on.