Budgeting Problems We Struggled With Sept 2021 Budget Update

Posted by admin on

Budgeting sucks, and I’ve had too many problems budgeting that I don’t bother any longer.

If you have to decide whether this topic is important to you, remember that everyone has budgeting problems.

Does this sound like something you’ve said before?

Today Let’s Talk About

  • Typical Budgeting Problems
  • Budgeting Problems We’ve Struggled With
  • Why It’s Easier To Blame The Budget And Give Up
  • How To Begin Working Your Way Back To Budgeting
  • What do you want by using a budget?

At the heart of it all, I want this to be a positive, motivational post for anyone who is struggling with their budget,

Things will happen if you put faith in front of failures and believe you can do something incredible.

Budgeting Problems can be due to many reasons however giving up is not the solution. Find out what struggled with and how we fixed it and became debt-free by the age of 40 with a paid off mortgage and new truck.
Budgeting Problems We’ve Struggled Through Together

Typical Budgeting Problems

Every dollar counts when you create a monthly budget which is why we use a zero-based budget.

Unfortunately, budget expenses can change from month to month, which makes budgeting tricky.

It’s not something that has an easy fix, but you have to believe in the system for it to work.

There was a point in our relationship that budgeting became overwhelming for us.

It wasn’t that we weren’t talking about what we could change; the system didn’t feel right.

However, we’ve ironed out the budgeting problems we’ve had and continue to work on them.

The answer to our problems came in the form of creating a 10 Step Budgeting Series.

We planned to type out what we wanted from budgeting, and it wasn’t meant for the blog.

However, it has been an incredible help to thousands of Canadian Budget Binder readers over the years.

We did this so we could better understand budgets and what we wanted to get from using one.

Also, we realized that the paper and pen basic budget was not for us either.

Fine-Tuning Your Budgeting Problems

Some people live for traditional-style budgeting, and others prefer online budgets or mobile phone budgeting apps.

The cool part about budgeting is knowing if the wheel keeps turning and how you can fine-tune it.

Yes I started my year with a budget planner then moved to the 1money app. I really like this budget app because it reminds me daily to enter any spending that I did. I enter my budgeted amounts at the end of each month for the start for the next month.


Once that wheel stops, do you know what comes next?

Hard work trying to make your payments on time and asking companies for compassion.

For example, a credit card company may reduce your interest rate if you call and explain your situation and give them a solution to how you plan to fix it.

The worst thing that can happen is that they say no.

At that point, if you’re not talking to a manager or supervisor, ask to speak with one and explain your situation.

This is by no means something to rely on if you’re not tracking your finances, but you won’t know if you don’t ask.

Why Else Are Bills Not Getting Paid?

People don’t pay their bills in full because their budget sucks, have no budget, or are life events causing budgeting problems.

  • Relationship breakdown
  • Not enough net income
  • Spending too much money
  • Budget is not balanced
  • Making excuses to spend money you don’t have
  • Working with a positive mindset to fix budgeting problems instead of feeling sorry for yourself
September 2021 PC Optimum Points 6 million
September 2021 PC Optimum Points

For years Mrs. CBB felt sorry for herself because she no longer could work, and the income she once earned diminished.

Not working when you want to work but can’t because of a disability takes time to heal.

I chanced my focus over the years to saving money because that was challenging for me.

My job was to find all of the deals, coupons and ways to stock our pantry and earn rewards points.

I had enough of feeling depressed and our son deserved a mama who was happy.

I’m proud to say I’ve earned us over 6 million PC Optimum Points since our son was born.

Mr. CBB is too busy with this blog and work so I’m the one finding ways for us to save.

That was how we managed our budget and worked together as a team so we could pay the mortgage.


Common Budgeting Problems

Math skills can cause budgeting problems
Math Struggles Can Cause Budgeting Problems

There are a million reasons why but let’s focus on some of the common ones I’ve learned from my readers over the years.

For example, if you’re going through a nasty divorce and one spouse moves out and refuses to pay a portion of the bills.

Just because you decided to move out doesn’t mean you stop paying the mortgage, taxes and bills.

Perhaps you may be in-between jobs, and you’ve used up your emergency savings.

One budgeting problem that can cause issues is not understanding math.

Although mathematics is not difficult for us, it may be for someone like you.

Using a calculator is the obvious solution, but this is still a problem if your math concepts are not understood.

How To Ask For Help With Your Budgeting Problems

If you don’t understand budgeting or struggling with math, or setting up a budget, ask.

I’ve always been open with my readers and allowed them to message me if they have a question about their budget.

If you don’t ask, you won’t solve the problem. No question is a bad question, especially in finance.

I really do think that everyone used a proper budget that their lives will be simplified.

Either you can afford it or you can’t. The budget dictates the numbers to you and if you live by the budget you’ll come ahead.

Never Give Up On Something You Failed Before

Did you know that Mrs. CBB failed grade 11 math twice? Although she didn’t need it to graduate, she tried but failed.

While I stayed in Canada for four months, she asked me to tutor her in grade 11 and 12 math.

She was in her early 30’s, and she did fantastic, scoring high 90’s as her final grades.

Never give up on something you’ve failed at or aren’t sure how to fix a problem. Ask for help.

There could be thousands of reasons why bills go unpaid, or the minimum balance is all that gets paid.

That’s a trap you don’t want to set yourself up for because it’s like a system that credit cards want customers to fail at.

They give you a little leg room and know that you’ll like and probably continue doing it, making credit card companies richer.

There hasn’t been a month that’s gone by where we’ve struggled to stay on track because we are human, not perfect.

Being honest about your budgeting problems is the first step to fixing them, but it takes time.

Budgeting Problems We’ve Struggled With

We’re not ashamed to say that we have had budgeting problems for the past ten years.

Most of the problems we did struggle with were projected expenses and making sure we saved enough.

Although it’s an awesome system that we all should be using, the con is that anything can pop up during the year that wasn’t saved for.

Not budgeting enough money for budget categories caused us to spend more. Groceries are a great example, as we often go over.

At the end of the year, we see how our budget struggled in categories we never thought would be a problem.

Now, we budget according to what we need rather than to make sure we stash as much money away as possible.

That is because it becomes stressful when you can’t get your budget to balance for the month.

If we can budget with what we have, some of you might be thinking, why can’t you?

I’ve thought about that question, and the only answer I can come up with is because we can.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t care about our budget, but if we don’t have to eat tuna pasta salad for a week, we won’t.

Lifestyle Changes May Affect Your Budget

Also, our diets have changed, and we have made just about everything homemade since Mrs. CBB started her keto lifestyle.

Lastly, we have many budget categories, and we keep saying we will break them down further, but we put it off.

We’d like to see end-of-year numbers on a smaller scale by calculating how much we spend on dairy, toilet paper, paper towels, baby wipes, cleaning supplies etc.

This has been a smart way for us to budget especially because it opens our eyes to specific expenses.

What do you mean I spent $4000 on beauty products last year?

If that were real, I’d be trying to find out how we can lower the expenses, find deals, coupons or a cheaper brand that works the same.

Either way breaking down budget categories will take more time to budget, but it’s worth it if you want the deep, down and dirty numbers on what you’re buying.

Why It’s Easier To Blame The Budget

It’s the fault of the budget.

This budget sucks.

They don’t know what she’s talking about?

I don’t have time to do all of this finance work every month.

I’ve heard it all, and it’s not the budget to blame. It’s yourself, or if in a relationship, both of you need to be on the same page.

My tip for any of you wanting to start a budget is to seek the help of someone successful with one.

If you are trying to get advice from someone buried in debt and using a budget, that’s not a great idea.

Until they can show you that they are successful, then I would ask. That’s the way I’ve always been when it comes to anything, really.

If you needed a carpenter to do a job in your house, would you take the cheapest guy or gal with no trade certificate or the more expensive route with a red seal carpenter?

Although the cheap guy or gal may do a good job, I’d rather get it done right the first time.

What Do You Want From Using A Budget?

This was one of the first questions we talked about when we created our 10 Step Budgeting Mini-Series.

Why do we want to budget as opposed to doing what we did years prior?

It turns out we came up with a long list of reasons why and it worked.

We didn’t magically pay our mortgage off in 5 years. There were no handouts or inheritances.

With sheer willpower to save as much money as we could, we came ahead.

Plus, we bought a reasonably priced house that needed some renovations on one income.

Three months later, my wife lost her job. To this day, we still can’t believe we’ve paid our mortgage.

Goals And Things You May Have To Give Up

What we did was talk about the budget first and begin to write a list of pros and cons.

Also consider what areas of budgeting both of you might struggle with and find a solution.

By adding each other’s ideas into creating our free excel budgeting spreadsheet helped immensely.

It’s not just a budget I created, rather a budget that we created and were happy with.

We’ve still had ups and downs with the excel budget but have sorted them to where we are in a happy place.

For those of you who use our excel spreadsheet, I hope it’s as easy and helpful as it is for us.

How To Get Back On Track With Your Budget

How to get back on track with a budget when dealing with budgeting problems.
Getting Back On Track When Struggling With Budgeting Problems

If getting your budget back on track or considering using a budget, start with goals.

Why do you want to budget?

Add a timeline that you want to give a budget a chance. Say three months of budgeting, and then evaluate what you’ve done.

By then, you can see if there are any changes you’ll need to make.

If you fall off the wagon and your engine stops running, don’t give up.

Figure out what’s wrong and, as mentioned, ask for help. It may be something simple you’re missing.

Budgeting is the BEST thing we did for our little family, and now we don’t have to worry.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to message me. I’ll do the best I can but remember, and we just figured our finances out on our own.

It’s always best to work with a financial advisor to get the best results with your budgeting problems.

Discussion: Was there a time where you had budgeting problems? What were they, and how did you find a fix for the issues? How did it make you feel knowing you couldn’t pay your bills on time?

Leave me your comments below, as I’d love to read your feedback on this topic.

CBB Family Income Report

Where did the money go in September?

This month was expensive as we paid some hefty bills for health and wellness that are not covered by my benefits.

As well, we’ve got the official diagnosis for our son, who is ASD1 Aspergers.

This has taken its toll on both of us over the last two years, but at least we know now.

You’ll most likely read a heartfelt blog post about this topic when I find the words to present it.

It’s true, though, that unless you live through a problem someone is going through, you can never truly understand the tribulations.

I was also driving every weekend to help my family renovate a house that she bought.

Our grocery expenses were over budget because we added items for Thanksgiving, and a trip to Costco added to that.

Please don’t laugh, but Mrs. CBB started Christmas shopping, but she’s already covered, 3 people.

It was also our son’s birthday in September, and although we didn’t have a party, we bought a small cake, pizza and gifts.

Back to school expenses were mostly clothing as I ordered two backpacks in August by accident.

Since the summer was so busy for me, I wanted to take the family on a road trip.

We went to Marineland perhaps for the last time as it may be shutting down or under new ownership.

Our son loved it, and it was somewhere Mrs. CBB”s parents would bring the family every year and Niagara Falls.

Of course, we had to buy him the blow-up dolphin for $10.

Both Mrs. CBB and I continue to downsize what we own, including our son’s toys and educational materials.

Owning A Kitten Is Expensive And Exhausting

Lastly, we paid for the kitten to get shots and neutered and microchipped.

Owning a kitten or cat is not exactly cheap especially if you get them the full spa run-down.

How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Cat In Canada? I wrote this post years ago and I think I’ll be updating it based on our current experiences.

We have also been trying new types of kitten food because he likes some brands but not the others.

We are new at the kitten parents thing, so we found a book at Value Village about taking care of a kitten.

I also found a kitten leash to bring him out to the back garden without him running off. He enjoys some sunlight and goes back inside the house.

For $1.49, I thought, why not give it a read and see. I know I can look online, but I picked out four books for our son’s collection, and we got one free.

I think prices are steadily rising, especially at the grocery store, as I’ve been following them for years.

Our grocery budget has already gone up for 2021, so I’m not sure what we will see for 2022.

We are still using all of the rewards programs that we can for points. This month, in particular, we gained.

Have an excellent budget month in October. Sorry, I’m late getting this post out.

P.S This month, we earned 68,020 PC Optimum buying sales items as Shoppers and using coupons.

The amount of Shoppers Optimum Points we earned in September 2021.
Our September 2021 PC Optimum Points Earned For The Month


Family Budget Percentages

Budgeting Percentages September 2021

Our savings of include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $13,124.28

Equally important is that we save money on our projected expenses for upcoming expenses in the coming months, such as Christmas.

All of the categories took 100% of our income which shows that we accounted for September 2021.

This type of budget is our favourite and is called a zero-based budget, where all the money has a home.

Monthly Home Budget Expenses

family income
This is our family income sheet for September 2021

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. Join Simplii Financial today!  Read more about some of the best Canadian online virtual banks .
  • 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: $6570.80
  • Monthly Net Income Total: $13,124.38
  • (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: $11,155.17
  • Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $13,124.38 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) – 1,116.30 (Savings to emergency fund) = $11,155.17
  • Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $ 13,124.38 (total monthly net income) – $11,155.17 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91 (projected expenses) = $1,116.30

Estimated Budget And Actual Budget

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

This budget represents two adults and a 7-year-old son.

Budget Colour Key: If highlighted in blue, that means it is a projected expense.   

Since May 2014, we’ve been mortgage-free, redirecting our money to savings, investments, and renovations.

Our budget update is an educational tool rather than comparing your financial numbers as every situation is unique.

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

Monthly Budgeted Amounts September 2021

September 2021 Monthly Budget Amounts

Actual September 2021 Budget Results

September 2021 Actua; Budget Numbers

2021 Monthly Budget Challenge Update

Budget Challenge 2021
Canadian Budget Binder 2021 Budget Challenge

Currently, we have 3 Budget Challengers left for 2021.

Feel free to comment about any of the challenger’s budget reports using their Budget Participant Number in the comment section.

Budget Participant #2

Good morning everyone, not much to say; I’m not feeling well this week and don’t have the motivation to do a long post or to transfer all of my purchases into my regular excel sheet.

Guess I’ll have to get caught up when I feel better.

More or less the same as most months, spending too much on fast food but putting aside a decent amount of savings.

Since we are billed two months for power during September, that made savings a bit less.

Also, I paid for a work conference that my employer will reimburse me for next month.

Next month or two, I have more wood for winter to order, winter tires to purchase, and my license renewal coming up.

I feel like it’s that time of year when I will be paying land tax, too, so it will be expensive.

However, I like that a lot of those send the bills a couple of months early. Doing so helps me set up how I will be spending and what needs prioritization.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Fall weather.

Budget Participant #4

Budget Challenge 2021 Canadian Budget Binder #4 September
Budget Challenge 2021 Canadian Budget Binder #4 September
Budget Challenge 2021 Canadian Budget Binder #4 September
Budget Challenge 2021 Canadian Budget Binder #4 September

Hi. So September was a roller coaster. Mentally and financially. 

My son had lots of interviews for jobs. No luck yet, although a friend of mine will put in a good word for a potential job.

The pipes in my basement were terrible, so I got all new ones, and everything cost $3200. 

However, I have the money in the bank, and now I’m living month to month again. 

Over the month, I sold some things, made 70 dollars, and received a rebate from s.g.i. for 25 dollars.

Sarcan was 20 dollars and for my birthday 50 dollars.

Hopefully, October will be more financially stable, although I’m getting anxious about my money now.

I get paid 3x in October and trying to keep my head up.


Budget Participant #5

September was a spending month as a whole but started with $177.31.

It was also a busy month getting home maintenance things completed like gutter cleaning, weatherstripping exterior doors, cleaning the shed, putting items away, garbage dump run, etc.

  • My miscellaneous spending was -$254.30
  • Groceries I was over by -$55.00
  • My SUV needed a wheel alignment with a cost -$157.11. For this I should have had a sinking fund.
  • I bought my grandson a few hoodies and sweats for -$171.44
  • My spending for September was -$637.85
  • RBC LOC is now at -$2055.09
  • September ended -$206.69

The End

Thanks for reading, and I will see you back in November for our October 2021 Budget and Budget Challenge Updates.

Please comment below if you have any questions about the CBB budget update or the budget challenge members?

Take care,


The post Budgeting Problems We Struggled With Sept 2021 Budget Update appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

Related Posts

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →