Keeping track of your monthly budget and all the money in and out is crucial to keep you on a strong savings plan. I adjust my budget a few times a year when my family encounters a new milestone, for example: when I had my baby and my income changed from a full-time pay to maternity leave (EI in Canada), after a raise/promotion, when my son started daycare, etc.
Google Sheets works for me to budget and keep track of my spending. I have a tab where I have my budget categories with dollar amounts and percentages of my net income. I also create a new tab every month showing money in and out of my checking account. This tab helps me to make little adjustments in case my credit card bill is greater than expected and make sure my pre-authorized payments don’t bounce. I personally don’t like pre-authorized credit card payments but this is something that is very useful for a lot of people.
Here are the 9 categories that summarize my monthly spend:
- $1230.40 Mortgage. I have bi-weekly payments. Each payment is $615.30.
- $100 Because my mortgage is biweekly, there are 2 extra payments a year.
- $58.94 House insurance
- $235 City taxes
- $200 Maintenance: This includes a new light fixture, fixing or replacing something
- $7.44 Amazon Prime. $89.27/year
- $47.46 Koodo. Cell phone bill for myself
- $50.85 Fido. Cell phone bill for my husband
- $8.99 Disney Plus subscription
- $77.91 TechSavvy. Home internet
- $9.99 Spotify
- $70 Hydro. Electricity bill. This is an average of the yearly payment
- $150 Water/Gas/Sewer. This is an average of the yearly payment
- $10 Sticker. 1 car. This is the province permit/registration
- $40 Gas. We fill the tank every month, usually between $29-$32
- $100 Insurance
- $40 Bike gear and maintenance
- (We drive a 2013 Prius C, purchased in 2017, paid cash)
- $400 Grocery shopping every 2 weeks. Each time around $200.
- $150 Some of our food and household items are on Amazon Subscribe & Save
Eating out, Uber eats, alcohol, camping fees, parks, etc.
This is my backup in case I exceed my grocery bill, recreational spend or gifts
Piano lessons, $160
For my husband. $40 per hour once a week
I put aside this amount on a savings account to pay for flights to visit our family members, a weekend getaway, etc.
$200 for myself, $200 for my hubby and $100 for my son. This includes clothing, personal gadgets, anything we want, etc.
- $500 Personal
- $200 Vacation
- $160 Piano Lessons
- $50 Extra
- $200 Recreation
- $550 Groceries
- $190 Transportation
- $422.64 Bills
- $1824.20 Housing
- $3,996.84 Month
- $47,962.07 Year
$1.2 M FIRE number. 25X yearly spend. Check out my post: FIRE Financial Independence, Retire Early.
There’s so much room for extra savings here^, I know! Every family has different incomes and different spending needs. The important thing is to have a monthly budget and an amount for each category each month. Stick to it! This way you are able to guarantee the remaining of your income to go to your retirement savings accounts or any other investments you have. Have you set up your own budget? Do it today 🙂