Author Topic: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast  (Read 26745 times)

Cpa Cat

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #50 on: March 23, 2014, 04:29:11 PM »
I'm a little late to the ball game, but if you're still struggling with the grocery bill...

I'm going to suggest revamping how you plan meals. You can find a variety of books and reviews on Amazon by searching "cheap meals." Many of these are actually free from the library or from authors who maintain blogs - such as $5 Dinner Mom. Family Feasts for $75 isn't a bad cookbook either. Don't go hog wild - check the library or pick up one or two selections used.

These types of books will change your meal-planning habits, but it's likely that you will "outgrow" them - so you don't want to make some huge investment. Using them for a couple of months will absolutely change how you think about meals.

strider3700

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2014, 11:02:51 PM »
I'm way late to this thread.  Best of luck on selling.  Not sure where on the island you are but at the moment take what you can and get out.   I can't think of a single market on the island that is unlikely to drop over the next few years.   
Going way back to october  someone argued that RESP was lower priority then TFSA or RRSP.   I completely disagree if you intent to fund your kids university.   Right now the government does a 20% match on anything up to I believe it's $2500 per kid per year.      There is nothing out there investment wise that is close to that risk free and guaranteed.   So make sure your family is putting the full $5k/year (I think you said you had 2 kids) into it.  If they aren't then make up the difference.  I'm comparable age to you and  my savings priority are RESP, TFSA,  RRSP  (I already have a cash emergency fund fully funded).


TGod

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #52 on: March 25, 2014, 05:47:46 PM »
The house sale has been melodramatic to say the least! The high bidders who won out had the inspection done right away, like the next day, and schedule the deadline for removing conditions at midnight the following Friday. They then proceeded to NOT contact us until late Thursday, we replied that evening and then didn't get their prompt reply till about 2 hrs before the deadline. Our crap realtor was MIA so we couldn't discuss specific details and at this point I have very little good to say about her. There were a couple of outstanding issues (electrical permit to close off, no probs, a hold back of 5K for debris cleanup and a boat removal....don't ask on the last one, it was one of my husbands precious items). We busted our asses last weekend to clean things up, bonfires, scrap metal trips, garbage bin, a crazy cleanup on a 5 acre property most of which had been left behind by the previous owners. Now the buyers have gone back and accused us of burying everything under dirt piles that have been uncovered since removing and burning piles of wood. We really just can't win. At this point I doubt they will sign off and we are worried that they are going to try to keep the 5K holdback if they find a single nail on the ground.
Closing is Thursday @ 5pm, and we leave for a tropical vacation on Saturday, which will be epically relaxing without the 2nd house to worry about.
Strider3700, we were selling a house in Port Alberni...and feel very happy about having managed to sell. We got less then we'd hoped, but knowing that I don't have a financial stake in what has been a chronically struggling town comforts me.

TGod

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #53 on: March 28, 2014, 09:58:57 AM »
Wow, well the sale went through and I have to say it was the most distasteful experience in my life. I'm not sure if these people are actually crazy or just generally toxic individuals. But my husband and i's excitement over selling was shat on by these buyers.
We finished the yard cleanup late Wednesday, we'd had a fire, and their last, late request on Tuesday evening was that they were concerned about glass and nails at the burn site but that they would be satisfied if we scraped 3-4" of soil off and replaced it, and that they would inspect it prior to closing...we had already scraped it with an excavator and were going over it with a magnet...but Whatever! We replied that yes we would do that, along with the list of things that we had said we would do on our previous email and that when that was complete we expected them to remove the holdback clause. Fast forward to Thursday, my husband takes the day off work to go in and sign the paperwork, gets to the notary only to find that, not only had they not removed the clause, they changed the wording to basically say that they would keep the 5K holdback to make changes or fixes to the property as they see fit and they would refund us whatever was left. They also said the house was damaged since we last saw it, which refered to a hook that held the dog line, that cracked the trim a bit (which had been done before they signed off on the house......) WTF! Thank god for our good notary who punted it back and said no way, that we had met the intent of the initial holdback and that they need to remove all conditions. They told the notary that we could expect a letter from their lawyer....clock keeps ticking as we approach the 5pm deadline. At this point we no longer wanted to sell our house to them, because they are horrible people. And we were secretly hoping they would walk away from the purchase and break the contract. We offered to walk the property with them twice to go over some details, since it's a big property with some quirky stuff about it. When my husband showed up at the property to fix the cracked trim, they were outside in their cars and drove away as soon as they saw him. No interest in being civil or pleasant.
So their parting shot @ 4:20pm was that they sent in an updated contract that removed the conditions but had a clause that said they reserved the right to sue if they weren't happy. Now I know that all buyers could sue whether they say so or not, but jeez, to actually say that staggered me.  They are absolute jackasses!!!
But we got our money, we don't have to worry about that house anymore and we can move on with our lives and start really working at achieving early retirement!!!

sherr

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #54 on: March 28, 2014, 10:50:29 AM »
Congratulations! I've been watching this thread for a while, so I know you've been waiting for this. It does seriously suck that your selling experience was so bad, but time heals all wounds eh? A few years from now you'll still have the money and still won't have to worry about the house, and things will look a little bit rosier. :)

TGod

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #55 on: April 15, 2014, 12:34:47 PM »
Well post house sell, I've got 30K burning a hole in my bank account, not as much as we'd hoped but still ok. We've already paid off my inlaws for their downpayment loan, so now the question is what to do with it. My DH really wants a new Toyota truck so we're thinking about purchasing one......queue facepunch.....I'm partially kidding, he does want a truck but no we are not buying one.
We do have a slightly higher than average cc payment to make due to what felt like an extravagant but was quite frugal, vacation in the carribean.

My inlaws had their 50th wedding anniversary and wanted to do a trip somewhere to celebrate. After lots of research, I convinced the crew (5 adults and 2 kids) to head to the carribean, where we rented a "villa" with a pool beside the beach. I used quotes, cause tho it was termed a villa, it was by no means fancypants. My inlaws are pretty mustachian people and have worked hard all their lives and are comfortably retired, their offer in all of this was to pay for the kids airfare, share of the house etc. My DH and I footed the bill for ourselves....which amount to our share of the rental van, and food and the house. We used our CC points to purchase our tickets (everytime I think about canceling my rewards card because we have to pay for it, I can't seem to do it....it takes about 2 years to save up enough points to purchase 2 $1k tickets to somewhere nice for the cost of 340$ (170$/yr). The fee always seems like a lot until we use the points and then we're happy. So for our family of 4 we ended up spending about $2500 on a 14 day trip. 
I'm writing this after reading MMM's post about buying happiness and the purchasing of experiences. I definitely bought into this idea. I traveled a lot before having kids, and I do miss it. Our experiences now tend to be more of the white bread type vacation, stay somewhere middle of the road that doesn't smell like urine, rent vehicles instead of hitching or taking old buses etc. But what I miss is the walking through crowded streets eating food from vendors, hanging out in hostel type environments and pushing myself onto a crowded bus winding my way through super steep mountains on really crazy roads. The trip that we just returned from, wasn't cheap, but wasn't expensive. We made the mistake of going out for dinner a couple of times and then settled into the habit of going to the market and buying veggies and fresh fish for dinner every night. Our accommodations were nice, but not luxurious by upper class standards, but they had everything that we needed and our kids had an absolute blast. We all relaxed. After the emotionally taxing experience of selling our house and the stress of owning 2 houses for the last 9 months it was nice to go somewhere that we could and did veg out. There was nothing we needed to do. I didn't even do any side hustle work while there, now that's really a vacation! Is this something we would do every year? No, but I know from the feedback from my inlaws that this was an experience that they absolutely cherish. They are on the other side of the country and make the trip our twice/year for a visit, but it was pretty amazing for them to have 12 days of full on access to their grandkids and lots of evenings of sitting around on the patio drinking wine with their kids. A pricy vacation...yes, but possibly priceless for the family.

Now.....about that 30K!
I'm leaning towards a combo....put a chunk, maybe 15K into RRSP to take advantage of the tax refund next year which could then be put on the Mortgage and put some away as a little emergency fund (which we don't have). The rest as a little lump payment on the mortgage. My husband is definitely of the "Pay off the mortgage first" line of thinking.

Any thoughts?

TGod

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #56 on: November 17, 2014, 05:41:15 PM »
Well it has been just over a year since I posted here for the first time. Given that, I thought it might be timly to post my spending from over the past year since finding MMM. Things have changed a bit, we sold our old house last spring which freed up cash and I’ve started saving more.

That said, my spending is still SHOCKING! There is cash leaving our accounts that I can’t account for because it is my husband making cash withdrawals (100$ here, 200$ there) that I know nothing about.

My husband is not a spendthrift in that he doesn’t make big purchases without a joint decision to do so, but he seems to always want to be dropping 1000$ here, 500$ there, as well, as I said he deals in cash often so that there is not trail in terms of where the money goes. He knows I keep up on our spending and that I’m always on this blog, but when I propose that he reads some of the ideas on the forum, he says he doesn’t need to because I do. He’s got the job that he hates, but he is not particularly energized at the idea of retiring in 10 years. He can’t even be bothered to go activate his RRSP account. That, and he’s pretty lackluster about following a budget. Not that I’m faultless, I’ve got $2000 racked up for my personal spending and the Costco tally, while it includes lots of food stuff, also has household stuff not accounted for in shopping.

My plan at this point is to go over our year’s worth of spending and then to do a monthly report to review until we can get on the same page and start cruising a little more smoothly.

Anyway, in the spirit of shaming myself in this blog, here are my crappy spending habits – this is total spending from January 1 to October 31, 2014:

Income: $125,357
Salary & Side Gig: 89210$ (After tax)
House Sale Cash back: 36,147 (this was dumped into our account, some was used to pay off parents loan, invest and put towards new house improvements)

Savings: $38,023
Mortgage Extra Payment: $10,745
RRSP:                                     $23,608
Emergency Fund:                 $3,670

Spending: $87334
Mortgage:      $15,760
House Insurance:   $1,156
Property tax:      $1565
Groceries:      $5911
Alcohol:      $2596
     (this includes boxed wine, Ubrew wine,  husbands beer – he no longer Ubrews)
Car (2 cars, 15km commute each way, drive separately)
     Gas         $3252
     Servicing      $501
     Insurance      $1,929
    Motorbike Insurance   $221
   (husband just sold it)
Daycare/Summer camp  $2701
Entertainment      $175
    (Netflix, movie, weekend excursions)
Bank Fees      $257
    (includes visa fees of $170/yr, overdraft protection, atm charges, account fees)
Coffee Shops      $23
Utilities         $947
    (includes firewood, garbage, septic etc)
Husbands Cell      $145
Hydro         $1220
    (this will be lower in the coming year since we installed a woodstove this fall)
Health         $480
    (whatever isn’t covered by our work benefits)
Internet & Landline   $1,328
Kids         $1385
    (school fees, clothes, shoes, bday presents – I buy a couple of larger sizes when things are on sale)
Lawn & Garden      $2384
    (big this year because we built raised beds, and a greenhouse – will be MUCH smaller next year)
Life Insurance      $995
Old House Expenses   $2530
    (no longer an issue given that we sold)
Parental Loan payout   $6980
Restaurants      $1356
   (this included about $500 on our 2 week vacation since the others in the group paid for 
               groceries)
Pets         $960
   (2 dogs, a cat and chickens – older dog just died so saves on future food and medication)
Moving         $223
Sports         $1294
   (my husband is a jujitsu fanatic, so this includes his & the kids lessons….does NOT include his 
seminars which I don’t know about price wise)
Vacation      $2748
   (every other year)
Misc         $644
   (finally did a Will…)   
XMAS & bdays…so far    $403
Me         $2000
       (includes my bi-annual haircut, Shopping & I bought a bike this year with the intent to start
biking to work….)
Husband       $2226
        (includes UFC tv, Jujitsu gear, books,  work shoes)
Home Improvement   $12642
Costco         $4774
Cash & ATM      $3623

   

The worst of the lot are the last 2...the Costco (which is on top of the groceries), and the unnaccounted for ATM withdrawals....crazy!

bigalsmith101

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #57 on: November 17, 2014, 07:55:58 PM »
Please take all pending face punches as they are intended, as proverbial aching stab wounds that make my mind and body hurt in lieu of your excess.

That being said, I'm not trying to be a "meany pants" but rather "see the light" in your present scenario/s.

I've read your journal from the beginning, and have waited until now to open my "big mouth", so please understand that I'm writing any/all of this from a cliff top scenario where I'm trying to pull you away from the edge.


....That said, my spending is still SHOCKING! There is cash leaving our accounts that I can’t account for because it is my husband making cash withdrawals (100$ here, 200$ there) that I know nothing about....

Where is the communication! You guys are married, have kids, have purchased and sold a home, and are parenting a growing family, not to mention everything else. You've got most of your shit together already it would seem, but the financial communication is outrageous.

My husband is not a spendthrift YES HE IS! in that he doesn’t make big purchases without a joint decision to do so, but he seems to always want to be dropping 1000$ here, 500$ there, as well, as I said he deals in cash often so that there is not trail in terms of where the money goes. Any purchase over $10 is a purchase that needs to be discussed!He knows I keep up on our spending and that I’m always on this blog, but when I propose that he reads some of the ideas on the forum, he says he doesn’t need to because I do. He's 100% NOT invested in the MMM (or any other ) concept! He’s got the job that he hates, but he is not particularly energized at the idea of retiring in 10 years. He can’t even be bothered to go activate his RRSP account.ACTIVATE IT FOR HIM! He's been bred into this cycle. You've gotta make the example, or it'll never happen That, and he’s pretty lackluster about following a budget. Not that I’m faultless, I’ve got $2000 racked up for my personal spending and the Costco tally, while it includes lots of food stuff, also has household stuff not accounted for in shopping. Do you really want to change? Or is this an outlet for you to find others like you that also see $15k+ in discretionary spending as normal/ok

My plan at this point is to go over our year’s worth of spending and then to do a monthly report to review until we can get on the same page and start cruising a little more smoothly.
This is a good idea. You should do this tomorrow, ie. immediately. Again, good idea.

Anyway, in the spirit of shaming myself in this blog, here are my crappy spending habits – this is total spending from January 1 to October 31, 2014:

Income: $125,357
Salary & Side Gig: 89210$ (After tax)
House Sale Cash back: 36,147 (this was dumped into our account, some was used to pay off parents loan, invest and put towards new house improvements)

Savings: $38,023
Mortgage Extra Payment: $10,745
RRSP:                                     $23,608
Emergency Fund:                 $3,670

Spending: $87334
Mortgage:      $15,760
House Insurance:   $1,156
Property tax:      $1565
Groceries:      $5911!!!!!! If this included your alcohol and restaurants, you'd be ok, but it doesn't!
Alcohol:      $2596!!!!!! Nearly 4 drinks daily at $2/drink. This assumes a constant and ever-present need for alcohol. Could you quit if you wanted to?
     (this includes boxed wine, Ubrew wine,  husbands beer – he no longer Ubrews)
Car (2 cars, 15km commute each way, drive separately)
    Gas         $3252
     Servicing      $501
     Insurance      $1,929
    Motorbike Insurance   $221
   (husband just sold it)
Daycare/Summer camp  $2701
Entertainment      $175
    (Netflix, movie, weekend excursions)
Bank Fees      $257
    (includes visa fees of $170/yr, overdraft protection, atm charges, account fees)
Coffee Shops      $23
Utilities         $947
    (includes firewood, garbage, septic etc)
Husbands Cell      $145
Hydro         $1220
    (this will be lower in the coming year since we installed a woodstove this fall)
Health         $480
    (whatever isn’t covered by our work benefits)
Internet & Landline   $1,328
Kids         $1385
    (school fees, clothes, shoes, bday presents – I buy a couple of larger sizes when things are on sale)
Lawn & Garden      $2384
    (big this year because we built raised beds, and a greenhouse – will be MUCH smaller next year)
Life Insurance      $995
Old House Expenses   $2530
    (no longer an issue given that we sold)
Parental Loan payout   $6980
Restaurants      $1356, this is addition to your expensive grocery bill. Unacceptable.
   (this included about $500 on our 2 week vacation since the others in the group paid for 
               groceries)
Pets         $960
   (2 dogs, a cat and chickens – older dog just died so saves on future food and medication)
Moving         $223
Sports         $1294 Isn't this covered in his $3600/yr spending and "Husband" allowance?
   (my husband is a jujitsu fanatic, so this includes his & the kids lessons….does NOT include his 
seminars which I don’t know about price wise)
Vacation      $2748
   (every other year)
Misc         $644
   (finally did a Will…)   
XMAS & bdays…so far    $403
Me         $2000, Shopping isn't allowed, you're barely out of the hair on fire stage
       (includes my bi-annual haircut, Shopping & I bought a bike this year with the intent to start
biking to work…. So, why aren't you biking to work then?)
Husband       $2226 He already spends $3600 a year on other things, he should learn to pick/choose
        (includes UFC tv, Jujitsu gear, books,  work shoes)
Home Improvement   $12642
Costco         $4774, you're shooting yourself in the feet every time you go there
Cash & ATM      $3623, this would cause serious relationship issues in my household

The worst of the lot are the last 2...the Costco (which is on top of the groceries), and the unnaccounted for ATM withdrawals....crazy! I can't agree. There are lots of "worst of the lot"

You're at a 42% savings rate if your numbers are correct (savings/income), but that is not a constant number and reflects the income from the sale of your old home. Proactively, your savings are forecasted at near 0% given your spending rate vs income. This is terrible. Just like many have asked, how is it that you intend to break even?

I've taken the liberty of highlighting in red things that should likely be considered if you intend to make a serious change.

I've got a friend that is in a similar situation as yourself,

gimp

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #58 on: November 17, 2014, 09:03:38 PM »
On the plus side, you're doing better. On the downside, you're still doing quite poorly.

Cut groceries.
Definitely cut liquor, you can't afford it.
Insurance is quite high - why is it so high?
Why are you paying visa fees?
Overdraft protection isn't protection, it's crap, get rid of it and set it so your debit card just declines if there's no cash, and use a credit card if you're accidentally dry / have unforeseen expenses (and pay it off.)
Why are you paying account fees?
Why are you paying so much for internet and landline? That's over $100/month.
Lawn and garden obviously needs to be much smaller.
Old house expenses gone - good!
Parental loan - how much are you paying? For how long? $7k is not a bad yearly repayment, I would consider this net worth increase if not savings.
Restaurants, obviously you need to cut. I combine restaurants with entertainment for myself as one budget. You can't afford them!
Vacation - you're spending $5500 every two years? Why? There are plenty of great, incredible vacations that cost hardly more than the gas you need to drive there; I guarantee you I've had better vacations for $500.
Shopping on what?
Costco on top of groceries? Or is that a sub-budget? And costco is a great company but they're not the cheapest way to eat, not by a long shot.
Cash and ATM - spent on what? Track every bit of cash you spend.

What you need to do, immediately, in my opinion, is the following. This won't actually hurt, by the way.

1) No more cash/ATM whatsoever unless every penny is strictly accounted for.
2) Create a monthly spreadsheet of expenses. Every single item, have it on a separate line. If it takes too long, it's because you're buying too much. Okay, you can put multiples of the same thing on the same line (eg, 10 pounds of beef, or whatever.)
3) At the end of the month, look at every item and ask the following questions: Did we need that? Did we use that? Would we notice had we not bought that?

Then, you start with low-hanging fruit. "I didn't even know we bought that." Okay, don't buy it again. Rinse and repeat. After a couple months, you get the harder questions. "We need it but we didn't use it." Don't re-buy it until it's been used and you need it soon. "We used it but we didn't need it." Don't buy it, look for things that are cheaper, or just don't bother replacing it at all. And so on. This time next year, you'll know what you're actually spending all that cash on!

backyardfeast

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #59 on: November 17, 2014, 09:23:07 PM »
TGod, it's brave of you to post all this--I haven't had the courage!--and I appreciate seeing your numbers just for comparison with ours.  We're just down the island from you, as you might remember, so lots of our numbers are similar.  Our mortgage and insurance is similar, cost of living area is similar.  For the last poster who wondered why utilities are so high, internet here is $60 for a basic package, with no competitors to switch to.  If they have a landline, that makes up the difference (although, TGod, if you're not on the basic package, you might want to consider it!).

Breaking down these numbers to monthly, I think you're doing pretty well; $500 for groceries for a family is pretty good in these parts, even with the Costco runs not included, for instance.  We don't spend quite as much as you do for alcohol, but we do spend 100-150/mo for regular, less expensive but still quality booze.  ($2 drinks are hard to come by in Canada!!) We are able to have some leftovers for savings, and we have some expenses that are much higher than yours (we have longer commutes, so our gas costs are crazy, and we have a sailboat with associated expenses), but a major difference is that we have no kids.  I think that's where our savings really come from, when I look at your categories.

But I think the reality check of the last poster is worth thinking about.  For the standard of living that's common in these parts, I feel like we're pretty frugal and not at all keeping up with the Joneses.  And I could see your husband getting lazy because against that backdrop it probably feels like you are trying to sacrifice in some areas.  But the truth is...you have NO savings in this budget.  And you still have debt to pay off.  So there is a hard conversation worth having with DH about what the present and future look like.  Where is the flexibility in case of a layoff or illness?  Is there an emergency fund?  How long will it take to build up a cushion or pay off the family?  It's time for a heart to heart and a real plan.

Some low-hanging fruit: no-fee credit cards, bank with Coast Capital Savings or another no-fee bank/credit union.  The woodstove will be a godsend (with it, our TOTAL utilities of all kinds are $50-55/mo).  Do you need a landline?  We pay $135 or so for a 2 phone family cell plan (unlimited everything with Bell).  Will there be more home improvement costs?  Can you budget for these?  I see that there are some other expenses that will not continue, but if you're anything like me, new surprises will pop up to replace them :).  I like the idea of sports coming out of the "husband allowance", although you may not have that structure yet? 

Good luck to you; I'll be really interested to see where this goes.  And if DH is still resistant to the RE motivation, you may have better luck with a cold look at these numbers for the year and basic financial security...

1967mama

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2014, 11:47:30 PM »
TGod, it's brave of you to post all this--I haven't had the courage!

+1

Also, great job with the tracking .. at least you KNOW where you stand (for the most part, except for the vanishing ATM $$ and Costco), even if its not pretty.

I actually rarely shop at Costco; too many temptations. Shopping has always been my drug of choice.

TGod

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #61 on: November 18, 2014, 02:53:28 PM »
This was a day I was actually a little scared to login to the forum.....So yes, I agree with everything you have all said. This is an embarrassing display of spendiness. What's crazy is I don't feel like we're living high on the hog even spending just shy of 90K of regular income on all this. We don't buy new furniture, we don't have car payments, we have a modest house.  That said, the shopping, the husband fund, the unaccounted for cash spending and the Costco bills at the very least stink of consumption.


On the plus side, you're doing better. On the downside, you're still doing quite poorly.

Cut groceries. - This has been a goal of mine but doesn't seem to happen. We don't buy a lot of convenience foods, other than my husband's cereal, his preferred bread and veggie burgers. We cook from scratch 95% of the time. BUT we have yet to stick to our budget which I tried to implement last year, $600/month (including Costco).
Insurance is quite high - why is it so high? - not sure if this about house or car insurance? Car insurance is what it is in BC, that's with a 40% discount. 95$/month on each vehicle. House insurance, again that's what it costs in BC. It's actually about 1/2 of what we paid last year because I did even more shopping around this year.
Why are you paying visa fees? - Ya I know...not sure what to do about this one. We have Avion cards, and it's a pretty good payback for flights. We've got about 2000$ worth of flights every 2 years for a visa fee of $340....BUT that's only because we spend so much. We discuss letting this one go.

Why are you paying so much for internet and landline? That's over $100/month. As Backyardfeast said, basic internet here in BC is 60$/mth. No other option other than to not have internet. Landline is $30/mth, basic, the rest is long distance. We can't get rid of the landline because our cell coverage is spotty at best at our house. Our total phone cost is ~42 plus long distance since my cell is covered by work.
Parental loan - how much are you paying? For how long? $7k is not a bad yearly repayment, I would consider this net worth increase if not savings. Loan was paid off entirely. We owe nothing.
Vacation - you're spending $5500 every two years? Why? There are plenty of great, incredible vacations that cost hardly more than the gas you need to drive there; I guarantee you I've had better vacations for $500.
 No that would be 2200 every 2 years. This was the first big tropical vacation we went on with out 2 kids. We have no plan to do it again anytime soon, but figured maybe every couple of years.

Costco on top of groceries? Or is that a sub-budget? And costco is a great company but they're not the cheapest way to eat, not by a long shot. I know! We go in there for dog food and almond milk and come out with all sorts of other stuff.



bigalsmith101 - if I didn't expect comments on my poor yearly showing I wouldn't have posted. And your feedback is well received.
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Where is the communication! You guys are married, have kids, have purchased and sold a home, and are parenting a growing family, not to mention everything else. You've got most of your shit together already it would seem, but the financial communication is outrageous

Alcohol:      $2596!!!!!! Nearly 4 drinks daily at $2/drink. This assumes a constant and ever-present need for alcohol. Could you quit if you wanted to? Yes, I don't think we've entered alcoholic territory...yet. I have a glass of wine/day. My husband will have ~glasses/day or maybe a big bottle of beer. I don't think we will give up alcohol altogether but we definitely have to get a handle on this.

I will start by saying I am not perfect. Passive Aggressive anyone? But, my husband and I have a dynamic where if I am in any way critical, his response is to criticize me on something, mostly unrelated and get angry and an argument ensues which effectively ends the initial conversation. I'm not here for marriage counseling or feedback on how to approach my husband better, but that has been my reasoning for NOT pushing this too much, even though I know that I should. We have a great relationship, lots of communication on everything, even money, but the willingness to change just hasn't been there. And as much as I want to march home today and throw down these details and say "We're sticking to a budget and NO we're not spending $1000 on an effin' cargo trailer right now", I also don't want to be a nitpicky partner. I have taken over the finances in our lives mostly because I enjoy it more, so he rarely if ever sees the bills, whereas I get to cringe every month at the 3500$ visa bills plus the 400$ Costco bill. Every once in a while i'll ask him about an Amazon purchase to make sure its legit but that's about it.  Savings wise, my husband feels a disgust for the entire stock market thing, he has not interest in investing in his RRSP because he feels it's all a big scam. He wants to put all our extra cash on our mortgage. I've chosen to balance between the 2 to keep us both happy.

The little things I am happy about are a) paying off our loan to my in-laws so we only have our mortgage as debt now. Upping the game on my RRSP contributions and putting extra money towards the mortgage. As stated however, that pretty much all came out of the house sale money. In order to replicate this we will need to cut back $30K of spending next year.


Where is the flexibility in case of a layoff or illness? Is there an emergency fund?   My husband's response to starting an emergency fund is that we can always use our line of credit....face palm...I've squirreled about $3500 way in a savings account for this.

Will there be more home improvement costs?  Can you budget for these? Yes, we still have improvement costs, probably another 10K to redo the 2 bathrooms (1 shower between the 2 bathrooms, and it's a corner shower that is literally falling apart....my husband had a shower the other day and the walls collapsed on him I like the idea of sports coming out of the "husband allowance", although you may not have that structure yet?  We don't currently have an allowance set up but we will, but given the 90$/mth martial arts and beer and martial arts seminars and gi's and books I don't think he'll be dancing for joy at my proposal :) .

Anyway this evening I will sit down with him and go over our finances and discuss the changes that need to happen and set up a budget. Set up mint on our tablet (which I got for free when I opened a TD account to put my emergency fund into) which I will hang on our kitchen cupboard so that he can also check in on this and become part of the solution.  Right off the bat there is about 22K that we should be able to trim off. I'd like us within the next month or so to get us down to spending 1/2 our regular income and save the rest. Right now that works out to about 42K after tax/year, plus I bring in another 12K-ish from my side gig that I would like to flow straight into savings, but till now it just goes to cover living....Yuck. That would funnel about 54K into savings. At this point it feels very far out of reach.

gimp

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2014, 03:11:30 PM »
There's no need to add any more feedback to the actual spending until after your conversation. The one thing I should say is that going from nothing to 50% in a month is a commendable goal - but likely not just unrealistic, but will plain old lead you to abandon the idea of savings. Just like weight loss, it's not a temporary diet but a consistent way of living. Cutting 5% of your spending per month puts you there a lot later, but it's a lot easier to do without rebelling and undoing all the good by gorging (shopping.)

Also, the good news is that you have $7k next year you can immediately save (loan to parents).

And yes, you need to actually stick to a budget if you have one. If you don't, it's like a speed limit: it makes you constantly paranoid, because you're always exceeding and you know you can get in trouble.

And stop dealing in cash. Stop it. Stop stop stop. You have no fucking clue what you're buying when you spend cash.

TGod

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #63 on: November 18, 2014, 03:22:42 PM »
And stop dealing in cash. Stop it. Stop stop stop. You have no fucking clue what you're buying when you spend cash.

I know, right! I think I've taken out cash about 5 times this year, and it's been for things like the Farmer's Market or to pay for firewood. My husband works near the bank, so he's the one who typically deposits my side gig checks, so I think it's a convenience thing for him. I'm always surprised when I see him pay for something with cash cause I pull out my credit card for every, single, tiny, little purchase. I figure if I'm paying a credit card fee I'm going to rack up as many points as I can.

TGod

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #64 on: November 19, 2014, 01:54:21 PM »
Well, last nights conversation went better than I could have anticipated. It always helps to start with a big bomb drop of "We've blown through 90K in 10 months" to get his attention.
So we cracked a $5 bottle of U-brew wine and started going through all the spending, I highlighted the big things which in my mind is Costco, cash, and the extra spending and shopping that we just need to eliminate period. And then reviewed the other high spending areas that we should look at lowering.
There was a couple of times where he threw out quality of life and let's enjoy ourselves in case we die tomorrow, but when I looked at him like he was crazy he said he was only joking.  What I really tried to drive home to him was that the big goal of all this is for him to be able to leave his regular job in 10 years, that it's not just don't spend to make our lives difficult. I REALLY encouraged him to read MMM to help him understand that it's possible to live below your means and still have an awesome life.
After going through our spending I focused on the budget that I came up with. He brought up accountability and before I could say anything he suggested a monthly conversation to check in and review our spending. We also made it clear that while we work through this process of getting control of our spending that we are, respectfully able to hold each other accountable and if I come home with a new pair of boots that he knows cost 250$ bucks that I'm going to have to justify it based on my personal spending money.
Probably the only area of minor conflict was the renovation amount.  We need to do our main bathroom and would really like to do our master bath (yucky jaccuzi bath). We are also going to need to do some plumbing updates to replace the piping. My husband is pretty handy, so we figure we could rock our main bathroom for about $1500 depending on good deals, and the master bath for maybe the same. The plumbing, we may look at hiring someone to do it, as he is not super keen on tackling that project himself.  He wants to have a bit more freedom to pay for these updates then I initially laid out in the budget. So that part may be a work in progress, and may require us to dip into our Emergency Stash every once in a while to cover the extra work. But we have decided to be a bit more conscious of when we spend money.
Anyway all that said, here is the budget we've agreed on:

                        Monthly           Yearly
Income              $6,800.00     $94,500.00 (yearly balance includes extra pay period for SO & my side gig)
Budget              $4,611.37     $55,336.40
Savings                $2,188.63       $42,436.40   

Savings Fund           $238              $2,805
Investments         $1,400             $27,300
Extra Mortgage        $800              $9,600


Car Insurance        184                2208
Gas                        300                3600 Extra to Savings
Car Service          60                 720 ROLL OVER (this is not a car service where someone drives me...its repairs, oil change etc)
Firewood                  50                 600 ROLL OVER
Hydro                  75                 900 ROLL OVER - Still seeing how the woodstove works out, hope to make it 600/yr
Garbage                  26                 312
Entertainment          40                 480 Extra to Savings
Internet&Landline    110               1320 Extra to Savings
Mobile Phone          11.2                134.4
Life Insurance          96               1152
Groceries                 550               6600 Extra to Savings
Alchohol                 150               1800 Extra to Savings
Restaurants           30                 360 Extra to Savings
Home Insurance         100               1200
Home Improvement  400               4800 Extra to Savings
Garden                   20                 240 Extra to Savings
Mortgage                1440             17280
Kids                          200               2400 ROLL OVER (this includes sports, and summer camp/daycare, clothes, shoes, school)
SO Spending          235               2820 ROLL OVER (extra $35/mth for work shoes - 3 pairs per year - extra on paycheck 2x/yr
Me Spending          200               2400 ROLL OVER
Visa Fee                    14.17         170
We are going to phase this out next year - we have enough points for all 4 to fly to visit some friends up north so will use those up before canceling - yearly fee due in May
Health                  100                1200 Extra to Savings
I had planned to make this part of our spending, but felt this is more appropriate. We don't have high health costs, but sometimes we do need to pay small amounts out of pocket for prescriptions, benefits deductible and we also get body work done to manage chronic injury issues that aren't covered by benefits. So it won't necessarily cover everything, but anything above the amount will come out of personal spending.
Xmas & Bdays            50                  600 Extra to Savings...but really who am I kidding, this will be a tough one for me
Pets                            35                  420 Extra to Savings
Includes dog food for our small dog who catches rats around the property so he's worth every penny, our cat who, to be hones,t at this point mostly sits around getting fat since I put a bell on her to keep her from killing birds, and our chickens, who give us eggs and compost for the garden, and we can sell our eggs  and make about 15$/mth if we want to.

I set up Mint on our home tablet, and SO has agreed that anytime he makes a purchase, particularly with cash, he will log the transaction and account for it. He will also cut back on the amount of cash he takes out, but informed me that he pays for the kid's martial arts in cash, which when both were taking it, amounted to 90$/mth and now that just one of them is taking it is still $60/mth, for 2x/week for an hour. That seems crazy expensive to me for a kids activity. But anyway that accounts for some of the cash withdrawals.

Anyway there it is. The initial plan. Not quite the 50K savings rate that I would like, but as someone else pointed out, if it's too painful from the get go, we'll abandon the budget. And as it sits it's a pretty extreme cut for us.


gimp

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #65 on: November 19, 2014, 02:16:25 PM »
That is a pretty extreme cut for you. I applaud the ambition, and definitely caution against too much too fast. Also importantly, this obviously needs to be fully and enthusiastically agreed on by both of you, not dictated and accepted, you know? But assuming that's the case, then, awesome.

A budget not kept just makes things stressful. Sometimes people end up hiding expenses or justifying them as "they bought x so I should get to buy y", etc etc etc. It has to be kept! I have however found it fun to as a couple search specifically for fun free or nearly free stuff to do. Hiking, exploring, wandering, watching that show you already have on netflix, ... "snuggling", you get the point. Eventually you have a repertoire of fun things that cost nearly nothing and you can't fathom going out without a good reason, or buying shit to fill the hole in your happiness, or whatever.

(Ah, who am I to lecture? I just bought another lens.)

Cassie

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #66 on: November 19, 2014, 03:47:33 PM »
Your budget looks good. If you start to fail don't give up.  Just realize that you may need to start with smaller cuts.  If you guys make this work right off the bat that will be awesome!

ThatsMyOtter

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #67 on: November 19, 2014, 03:51:49 PM »
I'm glad to hear that your husband suggested having the monthly conversation and that he agreed to the new budget. It'll be a lot easier to get him to stick to a budget that he agreed to. I strongly recommend affirming whatever progress he makes, even if it takes a while for him to keep to the new budget, so that he doesn't get discouraged and give up. Good luck!

RetiredAt63

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2014, 01:12:07 PM »
Looks good - good luck!  I don't have a formal budget, but I do all my spending on CC and debit if I can (some things do have to be paid by cheque).  It gives me almost instant feedback - how is the CC balance or bank balance doing?  Cash is deadly unless spending is written down immediately - and how many of us can do that?  Or get receipts for everything - and entering them into a spreadsheet is a pain.  Can your husband pay for more things by cheque?  At least then you have a better record, and he doesn't have cash burning a hole in his pocket.

Re costs, I am always amazed at how inexpensive things are in the US compared to here, and that is when I am visiting people who live in fairly high COL areas (Cape Cod is not cheap, right?).  Maybe Canadian posters should add the little caution - "American readers, remember that Canadian prices are higher - much higher, especially away from major urban centers".  ;-)

Bikeguy

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2014, 01:23:37 PM »
Get DH a prepaid debit with an agreed upon amount loaded every month. Bluebird.  Target Prepaid Redcard.

TGod

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #70 on: November 24, 2014, 11:26:13 AM »
Can your husband pay for more things by cheque?  At least then you have a better record, and he doesn't have cash burning a hole in his pocket.

We do pretty much all of our purchasing on our credit card, so it's fairly easy to keep track of the majority of the spending. This cash thing was just an extra...."while I'm here depositing this cheque, it would be convenient to take out some cash in case I need it", which I think ends up getting frittered away in 10-20$ chunks.
He has committed to not taking cash out, unless he accounts for it. I know he will continue to pay for our kid's martial arts with cash, but at least I will now have a heads up.
It's been less than a week, but he's been pretty proactive about giving me the heads up about receipts, so I'm pleased. I just emailed him MMM's latest post about the actual point of frugality, I think this is a good and timely read for him. We're dealing with a bit of a November spending hangover,  since we flipped this switch over halfway through November, we still had some pretty hefty reno spending that occurred earlier in the month, so my budget tracking on Mint has lots of red in it.

Though I complain about his spending, I am right up there with him, I just don't do cash, but I've given my credit card a great workout this year.


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Re costs, I am always amazed at how inexpensive things are in the US compared to here, and that is when I am visiting people who live in fairly high COL areas (Cape Cod is not cheap, right?).  Maybe Canadian posters should add the little caution - "American readers, remember that Canadian prices are higher - much higher, especially away from major urban centers".  ;-)

Definitely! Canada is more expensive for almost everything. Comparing prices of things on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com often makes me mad. Particularly when the $ is on par. We often pay 10-25% more than what something costs in the US, which is avoidable by just not buying stuff. Food however is also higher, about 10%. And I'm not talking about processed crap, but raw ingredients.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=Canada&country2=United+States

Hey It's Me

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Re: I deserve a facepunch...just do it fast
« Reply #71 on: December 18, 2014, 08:13:51 AM »
Expenses – I’ve attached a spreadsheet so I won’t go into detail here.

Where is the attachment? Sorry, I'm new here and I can't seem to find it.