2015 Budget for a Family with a Toddler

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Personally I love budgets.  I love planning.  I love math.  I love setting little challenges for our family and tracking our success.

Maybe you’re one of those baffling to me people who live without a budget.

Some people are so good with the money that they can manage their spending without one.  Some people just don’t manage their spending (If that’s you, I’d love to hear what you think of my 3 Money Rules).

I’ve been trying to decide how much of our family finances I should share with you all.  You already know that we try to live on one half of our single income.  But, the details of our income and expenses have been, well, vague.

While I’m not prepared to share every penny that comes in and leaves our bank account yet, I thought it would be useful to share how we’re hoping to spend our money this year.

I always appreciate seeing other families’ budgets.  So, I thought I would share how we plan to spend our money this year.

2015 Family Spending Plan


Upkeep3003,600Some cosmetic, but mostly maintenance.
Property Taxes2503,000
Mortgage Interest1752,100Lower every year!  The principal portion of our payments isn’t included here because they are debt repayment, not an expense.  Our total monthly payment is about $1,500, and we’re on track to be mortgage free in our mid thirties. Here are 5 reasons to considering paying off your mortgage early.
Home Insurance65780
Natural Gas65780It gets very cold in Ottawa.  We wear slippers and sweaters inside.
Electricity60720We’ve made some huge improvements with our usage.  We’re still billed $140 per month, so we’ll get a big credit back. 
Water / Sewer50600

Repairs and Maintenance1001,200I’m expecting us to go over this year.  We seem to be having a lot of repairs. 
Auto Insurance60762Dropped in the year.
Bus Passes50600$100 less tax credit and reimbursement through work.
Bikes10120A second hitch for the bike trailer and we might want more safety gear, etc.

Living Expenses:
Groceries / Diapers / Toiletries / Beauty/ Cleaning Supplies3033,640$70 per week, usually the in-laws feed us well twice a week and we get some leftovers too.
Gifts1001,200No weddings or babies planned for this year (just means less for Christmas)
Entertainment871,040$20/week. Usually fast food, but we’re trying for actually entertaining stuff.
Entertainment with Friends/Family871,040$20 per week.  We want to make the people we care about a priority.
Travel831,000For a destination wedding in 2016.
Spending on Stuff831,000New! Stuff we want that doesn’t fit into a categories / wasn’t planned.
Hockey75900Added summer league too after two years of just subbing in the summer.
Clothing67800$400 for the Little Miss plus $200 for each of us. Usually there’s extra at year-end because of gifts and hand me downs.
Internet60705Cable internet through a reseller, increased mid-year.
Cell Phones50600$40/mo. plan + $25/year (challenge!).
Cat Supplies40480Cat food and litter.  Separated to avoid buying more when we don’t buy cat stuff.
Little Miss Activities25300Money for toddler soccer/something if she wants to join something
Medical Expenses25300First aid supplies, over the counter medications, out of pocket dental, etc.




Where’s the Rest?

  • 10%+ of salary goes to defined benefit pension contributions and is matched.
  • Simple Cheap Dad gets full benefits.
  • We save $2,500 per year in a Registered Education Savings Plan and get a $500 match from the government.
  • We set aside $100 for our next car (this one was a family gift).

    Any extra money and side hustle income goes to mortgage principal payments.  We plan to be mortgage free by 35


Every family has different priorities and those show up in how they spend their money.  Some of you might think our family is indeed a cheap family.  Others may think that we’re rolling in excess.  This is a snapshot of what our priorities are right now.

What About You?

Have you updated your budget for the New Year?
Are we a cheap family?
How much of your personal financial information would you be comfortable sharing on the Internet?

Can We Stick to a Budget?

January Edition
February Edition

Budget Updates

Updates February 8, 2015:
Since I posted this budget I’ve noticed some errors and some ways to improve the budget.  I believe a good budget is one that is always improving.  So, I’m making the first update to our budget of the year. 

  1. Updated clothing from $83/$1,000 to $67/$800The budget says $1,000 a year for clothing, but only $400 for Little Miss and $200 for the Mr. and Me.  That only adds up to $800.  $200 savings for the year!  
  2. Moved savings for next car from transportation to Other
    Savings for our next car were grouped with car expenses because for me it showed the total ongoing cost of keeping cars.  But, my intention was to show what our expenses are each month, so it made more sense to move the savings with the other stuff.
  3. Added an amount for medical expenses
    This was an oversight when I posted it.  Yes, we’re Canadians, but we still have some expenses to pay for over the counter medications, first aid supplies, and the out of pocket costs for dental work, etc.
  4. Added some extra comments for mortgage interest
    As a single income family, it’s important for us to get our monthly payments as low as possible in case of a job loss.  So, we’re trying to eliminate our biggest expense, which was mortgage interest (but isn’t anymore!)
  5. Sorted the expenses from biggest to smallest and made things prettier
    By this point, I’m just having some fun playing with the numbers.  But, I do think this shows our priorities best.  We might need to make some more changes!
  6. Added some comments to natural gas
    I just added some comments to give our expense some point of reference.
  7. Updated cell phones to show my switch to pay as you go
    When I first posted this budget I said I WOULD be switching.  Now I have!  Accountability people!

Updates March 5:
I just did some formatting and tightened up some descriptions.  Added the total expense line.  No changes to the numbers.

Updates April 9:
Updated car insurance to a new monthly amount for the remainder of the year. 

Reformatted the “where’s the rest” section to be a list rather than a table.

Played around with the page spacing.  I think it’s easier to read. 

Increased monthly internet for April-December.

What do you think?

Written by mom

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