Adulting Guides

3 Tips on How To Budget Monthly Bills & Save Money

Do you follow someone from your past on insta or Facebook who’s always posting these stunning photos of their adventures but also seem to be achieving some of those big life purchases as well like a car or house and every time that person posts a photo your hit with a ping of jealousy but also curiosity as to “how the heck do they do it?!” or “do they even work?!”

I feel you. I’ve been there, but now I have people at work, past friends and acquaintances coming up to me asking me how I do it. I guess for myself, I always wanted to travel, its something that my fiancé and I prioritize first – we always want to be able to travel to new countries, explore new things and don’t want to use everyday life challenges, a mortgage, having children or pets to hold us back from our adventures…but we both still want children,  we own a home in the one of the most expensive provinces in Canada, and we have two adorable pets (Olive Nacho’s Edwards – our rambunctious 4 yr old Boston Terrier {follow her on insta! @allaboutoliveedwards} and our devilish 5 yr old rabbit, Petunia Grace {who I discovered was a male after 4 years of believing “he” was a “she”…})

So, how do you do it?

First, let me set the expectations – there’s no big hidden secret on how to make 50k in 3 weeks. It takes time, patience, resilience, and sacrifice. I am known as “grandma” at work because I rarely go out at the end of the shift and honestly its because I know I can put that money that I would have used towards a couple drinks at the bar or on cab fare, towards my next flight out of Vancouver. Don’t think the sacrifice stops there though…we rarely eat out, I buy a coffee out maybe once a week on the weekend, and I plan out when I want to go shopping and what I need and set a budget.

In today’s post, we’re going to focus on understanding where your money is going. Understanding how much money is coming in vs. how much is being spent – this is vital. By laying out what your bills are in comparison to what your income is you’ll come to understand how much money is being wasted and from there you can figure out how much you’re actually spending per month. It’s shocking how many people spend more than what they actually earn, unfortunately most people don’t even realize because they don’t keep track of it. Tracking what you’re spending your money on, holds you accountable-you hold more value to your money and the things you are going to buy with it.

3 Tips on Understanding Finances

How much should you be spending?

Do you know how much of your monthly income should go towards food, medical, transportation or housing? The answer’s probably not. But that’s okay, because I didn’t know before either! The Credit Counselling Society actually provides a breakdown for us – you can check out the pie chart below (you can also click the picture to be directed to their page with more detailed information). It’s useful to know this type of information, when I moved out of my parents house I had no idea how much my internet bill would be or electricity costs – even asking my parents didn’t suffice because we were comparing a 2-storey home with 4 people living in it to a 1 bedroom condo with 2 people living in it. The numbers are different no matter what you do.

Track it

I know it seems like a pain & that’s why I made a simple template for you to follow. You can edit how you need to suit your personalized lifestyle and then start keeping track of your daily spending. It’s short term pain – long term gain. By the end of the 3 months (or however long you choose) you will know how much you should be spending and how much you are spending. That’s all the knowledge you need – and knowledge is power my friend. But if you honestly know you won’t track your money then there may be an even easier way for you to track your money. I bank with TD (Toronto-Dominion) and they have a fantastic banking app; but not only do they have their regular banking app they also have an app called “TD My Spend.” It’s basically a secondary app that tracks your spending habits. It’s pretty amazing! I know not everyone is Canadian or necessarily banking with TD but I know a lot of different banks, financial institutions and credit unions offer very similar features. Reach out to them and ask – there are quite a few tools available to us, we’re just unaware of most of them! Make sure to click the link at the bottom of the post to download the free template!

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Set Goals

This may not seem important but I find setting goals for ourselves and writing them down help with continuous motivation and long term success. Every month I have a certain amount of money I want to put into my savings and I will do anything to ensure I get that money into the account (well… not anything! but I mean make sacrifices etc.) Just do yourself the favour and make sure they’re realistic. The number of people out there that have nonsensical travel goals for their timeline or financial situation or unrealistic goals for the type of home they want to buy is astonishing. One of our biggest keys to success has been being patient, setting our eyes on the future and working everyday towards those goals and being realistic so we can truly accomplish the life we want to live every single day.

I’m sorry, because I know this sounds kind of like a school lesson. But I promise it helps so much! Below I have attached a downloadable link to my money tracking template. I have laid out 4 months {I find you only need to do up to 3 months} worth of watching your income in comparison to your spending – all you have to do is personalize it to your liking. I chose 3 months because its a short enough time where you feel like you can commit to it but its also long enough that you are able to pick up on habits, see trends in your spending etc.

Once you have successfully tracked your finances for a couple months we can move onto step two – saving money for a home and travel!


So…let’s get to it! I have created a template to help you get started!

Click the link below to download!



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