Life changes at light speed… faster than the internet!
During the month of May, I did the usual for me: I looked at my budget!
Instead of looking at my budget on Excel, I thought of printing my last two months of credit card statements. The advantage of paying everything with your credit card is that you have 100% of your expenses on a single document. Then, it’s pretty easy to determine what is going wrong with your budget!
We Eat Too Much
That’s a funny statement considering that I’m the largest of my family (by far) and I weight 185lbs. So the problem is not the amount of food we eat or the quantity but it lies in the quality. We eat a lot of fish, fresh vegetables and good meat over the weekend (like duck, lamb or filet mignon!).
This has a ridiculous impact on our budget. Considering that my two oldest children eat like adults now, our grocery bill has jumped to $1,200 per month! The worst part is that there is not much we can do about food. I might cut on my weekend dinners but it won’t reduce the grocery bills by much. I had to find somewhere else to cut…
Where Do You Cut When You Have Already Set Your Priorities?
My priorities are kids and family. Therefore, I won’t cut my savings plans for their tuitions fees nor will I tell them they can’t do the activities they like. The reality is that kids are expensive, lol! On my side, I noticed I could certainly eliminate a few bottle of wines per month. Besides that, I don’t spend too much money on clothing and the fact we have three kids really prevents me from spending money dining out!
I already brownbag my lunch every day and bring my own mug of coffee to work. I’ve negotiated all my insurance premiums (life, auto, house, etc) and saved a great deal. built my own home gym and only play soccer at a total cost of $400 for the year. My wife does a few runs and a cardio class for about the same amount. It would be stupid to cut on our health for the sake of paying bills!
What’s left? Cars most probably…. but my Tribute is still under guarantee and I pay 0% interest (I know it’s hidden but I can’t drop the payment!) on it. My RX-8 didn’t breakdown in the past 12 months and therefore, doesn’t cost much these days (knock on Holy wood!). Since I only have to drive 5 minutes away from my house to get to work, it’s not with mileage I can do something either!
I stopped all renovations plans for my house (we are just painting this year) so I won’t have to spend much money there as well.
Here’s My Conclusion
Life is expensive when you want to do something with it. Doing sports is crucial for our family. It’s part of our main values along with eating well and healthy. A Family of 5 just requires a lot of money with such a lifestyle.
The interesting point I made after looking at my credit card statement was the following: I need to make more money. Hahaha! Isn’t that cliché?
But that’s the reality: the biggest expense I have right now is definitely my debt payments. If I can generate additional money to pay off my 2 personal loans and car loan, I will free up almost $800/month with that. Then, I can focus on paying down my mortgage and starting to think about becoming debt free.
Our first step will be to start a daycare  in September. My wife will take care of a few kids and we will end-up adding at least $1,500 per month to our budget. We will cut our lifestyle quality but we will be going forward much faster with our financial plan.
Once the consumer debts are paid off (which would be within 18 months), we will be able to save a lot of money. We could either invest this money or simply pay down our debts faster.
The following point is to increase our online income and get rid of our corporate debts. The current debt payment plan is going well. Everything should be paid off within three years, probably less. After that, it will be time to withdraw a few thousand per month in order to pay our debts even faster.
Changing Our Priorities
The month of May was quite revolutionary this year. Instead of focusing on our lifestyle and not working too hard, we decided to switch focus and go “all-in”. I swear, I wouldn’t be a good poker player as I truly always want to go “all-in”!
My wife will focus on her daycare for the next three years and I’m adding more hours to my online company. Starting with the Niche Site Duel 2.0 , I’ll be working more than my regular 10 hours/week. It’s time we make it grow and make money!
What are your priorities right now? Do you focus on living or making sacrifice to pay off your debts?