Neigbour Joe - Monthly Budget

Today, I am going to share my monthly budget. Hopefully it will help you with new ideas to reduce your monthly expenses.

HOUSEHOLD INCOME (ME +_WIFE) Approx. $6,500 after Tax and Work Pensions

EXPENSES Approx. $3,240
Mortgage + Property Tax: ~$1,075
I recently reduced my mortgage payment from $950 bi-weekly to $1,075 monthly, so I can have more cash on hand for miscellaneous expenses with the baby. Yes, I was super aggressive with my mortgage payments because I really wanted to pay it off quickly. My property tax was $2,450 last year which is about $204 a month.

Utility: ~$150-$200 Depending on the season
A lot of houses in Eastern Canada uses electricity for both space heating and water boiling. Depending on the season, electricity prices can be quite high, but still nothing compared to the prices in Ontario. Our house is set to 19 Degrees Celsius when we are at home, and goes down to 14 Degrees Celsius while we are at work. Our basement is kept at around 11 Degrees and our bedroom is set to around 17 Degrees when we are sleeping. Besides space heating, water heating is the next big consumption of electricity. The last biggest item is obviously the fridge and our mini fridge. One last note to remember is that a lot of provinces give rebates or tax credits for products and home improvements that can help reduce your monthly utility bills, so be sure to do some research.

Cell Phone: ~$120 for 3 Month
My wife is obsessed with finding deals, especially for cell phone plans. I’ve changed my plan 3 times in the last 3 years. My current plan is with Public Mobile which costs me $120 for 3 months and I get 12 GB of data along with unlimited calling and text, plus a $2/month deduction for auto pay (comes to $116 for 3 months). To save even more, we’ll use our points from various grocery stores to buy Public Mobile vouchers to pay our cell phone bills. Maybe I’ll get her to do a post later to talk about all the little savings and deals that she keeps finding. Her favorite website is RedFlagDeals. 

Internet: ~$55
We don’t have the best plan but it’s enough for Netflix, online gaming and binge surfing 9GAG. 

Food: ~ $600 - $800
This is buying standard groceries and does not include eating out. We do have a Costco membership that pays for itself since we do a lot of shopping there. Groceries in Eastern Canada are slightly more expensive for whatever reason, which is why our spending seems high. I can assure you we are not buying steaks or lobsters on a regular basis. 

Gas: ~$300 -~$400
We have two cars and we fill up at Costco Gas about once a week.

Insurance: ~$270
This is insurance for both cars and home insurance on the house. If you didn’t know this, you must have home insurance as a condition for the bank to give you a loan for your house.

Entertainment (Eating out + other stuff): ~$100-~$200

My wife and I probably eat out once a week, usually on the weekends. We don’t eat anything fancy, and it might be as simple as eating lunch a McDonald's. We prefer staying home on the weekends if we didn’t have to do a grocery run.

Misc Expenses: ~ $200
This includes expenses for our dog, donation to World Vision, and other random items. Instead of buying pet insurance for our dog, we put $100/month aside in a savings account for our little pup. So, if our dog lives a long healthy life, then we’ll have some extra money saved up for other items if the money remains untouched.

Things to note: both of our cars are completely paid off, so we don’t have any monthly payments on our vehicles. We don’t have Cable TV or a house phone since Netflix and cellphones are more than enough. I personally think that Cable TV, cell phone plans and utilities, are the easiest areas where people can reduce spending without much sacrifice. Minor things like cooking at home or making your own coffee/tea in the morning will also start adding up in terms of savings. Something my parents always said to me, is that “as soon as you leave your house you are spending money”.

LEFT OVER Approx. $3,260
The amount left over is for our savings, which is used to invest or used to pay off debt, such as my Line of Credit. My wife does the saving and I do the other two.

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