Talking About Money

One of the things I’m most proud of when it comes to TDDUP is the fact that people have become more comfortable talking about their money. Before the show was on the air, I was quite open about money – my money and money in general – but other people were really resistant to sharing their financial information. I remember doing a call-in radio show in the West on debt; nobody called. We switched to RRSPs and the phone rang off the hook. Even now, people want to remain anonymous, or want their names withheld, because the stigma associated with money  mis-steps is still huge. If we want to get better at this we have to get over ourselves, start sharing what we know and asking for help when we need it. The families I’ve worked with on air have been so brave to tell their stories to the world, and I’m hoping that kind of disclosure is catching. I think it’s a real shame that we keep our money stuff so under wraps that we actually do harm to ourselves with our secrets. Here’s a letter I received recently:

My husband and I make excellent money (over 200,000 last year). I “manage” our money, but mismanage is a better term. In spite of our income, we have $66,000 in consumer debt. Each month I go a little further in the hole. I am not a shop-a-holic or a gambler, and we don’t have a lavish lifestyle. However, my husband has always been very insistent that we save for retirement (about $800 a month, not including my pension) and that we pay off our house (we have paid off $130,000 in the last five years and will have it paid off in three years). Nothing is left over for clothes, gifts, or vacations. About four years ago, I was very depressed and began to let things slide. So when we wanted to buy things or go on trips, I just said, yes we can afford it, never telling him that to afford it, we would go into debt. Now after four years the debt has mounted, he doesn’t know and I don’t know how to tell him. I don’t think he would leave me, but I know he would make my life unbearable. I guess I need the courage to bite the bullet, because the stress is killing me.

Here’s an example of a secret that is destroying this woman’s life. No doubt her waking moments are filled with the dread of her husband uncovering her financial mismanagement.  But she’s not the only one who is prepared to suffer in silence rather than face up, ‘fess up and get on with fixing the problem. I find it hard to believe she has no friends, no family members to turn to for advice. But she obviously doesn’t think she does, and so she continues to suffer silently. To what end?

It’s a shame we don’t share our stories more often. We’d be so much better off learning from each other, and have a sense of how others are coping with whatever dragons we are facing. It is so lonely to have to face the fear alone.

Children resist talking to their elderly parents about how their parents are coping. Some parents do the “check-in”: honey, is everything okay?, but don’t really want to hear the truth if it means things are a mess. And everyone just assumes that the other guy has got it together and is doing much better. We’re embarrassed by how little (or how much) we make, by the amount of debt we have, by the mistakes we’ve made with our investments. Or worse, we think our way is the only way and are completely intolerant of the path a friend, sibling or lover has chosen, even though it may be working just fine for them.

I think it’s important that we share our successes and our challenges. That’s one reason I introduced the Gail Clubs: so people could get together and learn from each other. It’s also the reason I set up the Success Posts… but I’d like to see more people asking for help there. So I’m offering an incentive. Over the next 8 weeks, I’m going to be giving away a prize once a week to the people who are brave enough to share their stories and ask for help from this community.

I have four copies of The Money Tree Myth (they are my last four copies). I also have two Moonjar gift sets that you can use to help teach your children about money. I like these a lot. And I have 2 Offices-in-a-Box as well.  These will be awarded by random draw from the entries received between Monday and Friday for each week for the Success Posts. To be eligible for this draw, your entry needs to be an “I Need Ideas” request. Yup, you have to share your story and ask for help. The whole shebang begins on Monday. Pass it on to friends and family and lets see how many posts we can get in the next eight weeks.

  1. Week One Prize: The Money Tree Myth
  2. Week Two Prize: Moonjar gift
  3. Week Three Prize: The Money Tree Myth
  4. Week Four Prize: Office-in-a-Box
  5. Week Five Prize: The Money Tree Myth
  6. Week Six Prize: Moonjar gift
  7. Week Seven Prize: The Money Tree Myth
  8. Week Eight Prize: Office-in-a-Box

I want to thank Brent Dobson of Moonjar Canada for sending me a couple of samples for this give-away. Y’all know that I’m a firm believer in the importance of teaching kids about money. Well, Moonjar provides some very useful tools to not only help kids understand what to do with their money, but to help parents begin conversations about money – yup, that’s the tie-in people; it’s about talking about money – with our kids. Conversation starters include questions like this one, which I just love: What’s one thing you always buy but never really use? Let’s see mommy explain all that face-cream when she has to answer that question. Or this one: What’s the difference between wants and needs? Yup, daddy, go ahead and tell Junior why you NEED another drill!

Get posting!

31 Responses to “Talking About Money”

  1. avatar Michelle Says:
    July 16, 2009 at 8:02 am

    I think that many people – myself included – don’t want people to know how much we make because people judge you on what THEY THINK you should have with the money that you make.

    Husband and I live in a small townhouse. We make good money and don’t have debt (other then the mortgage). We have a one year old and the house is starting to feel small.

    However – we CHOOSE to stay in a small house and use our ‘extra’ money for things that are important to US. We love to travel and entertain. Some of our family members don’t understand why we don’t move, why we don’t get a bigger house and why we don’t spend our money the way that THEY think that we should.

    So we keep VERY quiet on all things money. Each person has a very different view on what they think is important, what their priorities are and where they think that their ‘extra’ money should go.

  2. I am always surprised by how many people don’t know what is going on in their marriage pertaining to finances as the husband in this post. Even though he may not “manage” the money, he must have a clue as to whether they can afford a trip, large purchase, whatever. I mean, really, what does he think all the items they own cost? Anyways, hubby and I discuss the budget frequently throughout the month. We both see the numbers as I do a print out of incoming money and outgoing. I cross things off as they are paid or go through the account and keep a running total of what’s left in the bank and on our CC. He gives me his receipts every couple days, so there is no secret spending. He used to have a “better to ask forgiveness than permission” attitude about money but that changed over 10 years ago (with heavy persuasion) LOL We both have spending money so that is never an issue. Large purchases are discussed and sometimes one of us will say no and there is a strong debate about it, and one of will be disappointed if it is purchased, but at least we discuss it. Thanks Gail

  3. Before a couple can discuss their money with “outsiders” they need to first discuss it with each other!…it’s surprising how many couples have no clue what the other is doing financially…whenever we hear stories about a wife with a “secret” account my husband always asks me in a hopeful tone if I have one of those “secret” accts…LOL…I always have to tell him ” afraid not…what you see is what you get”…LOL…it’s always better to be up front and honest about all things financial…ALWAYS…spill the beans and together clean up the mess…if you are honest with each other you can be honest with anyone…

  4. avatar psychsarah Says:
    July 16, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I’ve been trying to figure out a way to help a family member with a sticky issue, and money is a part of the problem/solution (depending on how you want to look at it). The problem is that I can’t find a way to make him comfortable to get the money out in the open, so we keep coming back to a stumbling block. If it was open, I would know what needed to be done to help, but I don’t know if he’s in a place to accept that help. Money is so tied up in judgment and shame-it’s weak-making!

  5. I feel sorry for the woman who wrote the letter – she sounds like she’s under so much stress and is just overwhelmed with guilt. But I agree with Terrie. The husband has played a role in this too. If he made the decision to save heavily for retirement and pay down the mortgage so quickly, he must have taken a look at how much money they had and made a plan. I wonder if he secretly knows or fears they have credit card debt and just doesn’t want to think about it. He couldn’t possibly really believe that after saving so heavily, they’d have tons of money magically appearing from somewhere to spend on vacations and clothes. It’s a shame that this woman is carrying the entire burden and will probably gladly take on all the blame. Besides, if one spouse chooses to be ignorant and stay uninvolved, it’s partly their responsibility for what happens, because they’ve played the role of the ostrich.

  6. My husband and I are very open with our finances. Its been that way since the day we moved in together before marriage. Any purchase we make outside of groceries, we discuss first.. even about the occasional toys for the kids. I’m very lucky that I have a husband who is on board in making our life better.

    I am working on being more open about money to my family. Sometimes, its hard because they think I’m too tight. I try to talk about money in a way that doesn’t sound too preachy. I guess, I haven’t succeeded in doing that because they think I’m miserable because we don’t spend our money the way they spend theirs. That we don’t have a life. (We practice delay gratification). They don’t understand that I’m miserable because I believe they could manage their money better. I worry for them. They say, “everybody is in debt”. I say, ” they dont’ have to be like everybody else”. They could enjoy more of their money if they don’t end up paying it to interest. But I understand that I can’t “fix” them, I can only practice better money management and hopefully, one day they ask how we can do the things we can do, then, I will tell them that we dont’ buy everything that we want. And that we avoid paying interest fee to anybody.

    I’m working on being open about money to my close friends. Some are receptive, some are not. Its a work in progress. I tell them, I talk about it because I’d like to know what works for them and If I can adapt it to help me better manage my money, then I’m grateful for the information.

  7. While my hubby and I share our financial information, it does become difficult when discussing anything with family. Our in-laws make easily 4-5 times as much as we do. When we mentioned buying a new work truck, they flipped. After all, they said, even WE don’t buy brand new vehicles, so why would YOU? Talk about judgemental. We may not make as much, but we also don’t spend nearly as much (small mortgage, no children, no expensive hobbies, no travelling out of the country regularly, no landscaping the yard, no entertaining of regular guests, no hottub). A new truck would be a long term investment for hubby. But it’s attitudes like that that make us hesitate to open up about our finances. I think in-laws are very good at managing THEIR money. Not ours.

  8. Gail, thanks for the moonjar product mention as I am always looking for ways to help my grandchildren learn about money. We have set up a jar for sharing so that we can buy chickens, or goats at Christmas and my seven year old came to my house and put some of her toothfairy money in it. She was so excited to do this.
    However, if I buy a moon jar product and send it home it will be hard for me to follow through so I thought that I would keep the jars at my house and give them money on special occasions and they can sort the money into the moonjar. I will do some reading on the moon jar site.

    I can share a childhood story that I do share with others. I came from a family of 12 and my mom and dad had very little money. When I was in Grade 5, the teacher wanted to teach us about saving and we got tin cans, covered them with wall paper and we would add extra money into our cans when we had it. She kept the tin cans in her desk. I was very enthusiastic about this project and I would take money 5cents, 10 cents, pennies from my mother’s purse without asking (in those days a loaf of bread cost 10 cents a loaf). I faithfully took the money to school and put it in my jar. At the end of the time when we could open our jars, I was amazed that I had the most money. I am sure the teacher was as well as I am sure I was one of the poorest kids in my class. So, I got to take the money home but I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. I couldn’t tell my mother I had been stealing from her purse and it was SO MUCH money (maybe $3 or $4) that I couldn’t spend it. As I was hiding the money in an old coat, my older brother discovered what I was doing. Well he went and told my mother and the lesson that I learned that night taught me more about honesty and integrity than about saving. When my mother found out, she took me in the bedroom and told me how disappointed she was that I had stolen the money from her purse and I was devestated. Needless to say, that I never took anything that belonged to someone else again. That memory is still fresh in my mind even though it was 48 years ago.

    I kept that secret of stealing well into my adult life because I was so ashamed and when I shared it with someone it took a big load off my mind in being able to share this.

  9. Wow, that poor woman!

    My husband is sort of the same way… when he thinks we have money for everything I let him know he’s welcome to take care of our finances! He doesn’t push me too far anymore when I tell him we aren’t swimming in a pool full of loonies!!!

  10. avatar Sarah F. Says:
    July 16, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I remember when my husband and I first got married and we were watching till debt do us part and one of the couples was spending like $3500 more than they make a month and my husband goes “how does anyone spend $3500 a month???” and I gave him a weird look and told him we do. which in turn I got a weird look lol. I had to explain the mortgage, property taxes, truck pyment, insurance, bills and life. It was then I realized how little he knew about our finances, I had just figured he put the numbers together in his head like I do.. but I was wrong. He has always known how much each of those things costs just never totalled them up. He knows now, just at the time made me laugh

  11. Talking about money openly seems to be such a taboo, especially for those of us who don’t make as high of an income as our other family members. My in-laws in particular are very uncomfortable when my husband and I talk about our money. There seems to be a subtle assumption that WE should be embarrassed by our money. Perhaps I project that too much, but it’s the vibe I get from certain members when they close the conversation quickly.

    But yet they feel it okay to make comments here and there that assume our financial goals. For ex, we are frequently assumed to be saving for a home since we don’t own and live quite frugally.
    Finally the other day I said, “well we may not purchase a home. I’m not convinced it makes financial sense for us as it would seriously affect our quality of life in other areas. I’m interested in other investments more at this point, but we are also working hard to pay off my student debt. So no, I don’t see a house in our future for at least 5 years. It’s not at all one of our financial goals right now anyhow.” Well, to my brother in law he looked at me like I had two heads. Instead of asking me more he seemed utterly confused and speechless. I went on a bit to say, “we don’t make a high enough income for it to make financial sense for us at this point in our lives and we want other things”. He closed the convo pretty quickly there and I took it to mean that he didn’t want me to talk openly about our lower income (compared to their’s). I guess sometimes it’s harder for those with higher incomes to talk to those of us who have lower incomes because they assume we make judgements of them OR that we wish we had their incomes instead of actually being happy with our own.

    The taboo aspect of money talk is so deeply ingrained in our culture and society that I don’t honestly see it changing anytime soon. I’ve always been one to be slightly radical, and honestly see this issue as something radical. I was raised in a family where my parents talked fairly openly about money in front of us and didn’t shy away from explaining that we couldn’t afford something this time. It would have helped more if we had known the details, so it is something I plan to do with my children. Why shouldn’t they learn to understand where all the money goes in our household? Usually I assume parents keep this info from their kids because they either don’t think the kids can understand it, THEY don’t actually know what’s going on, or they worry that their kids will then talk about it to others. And THEN the adults would be social outcasts, don’t you think?

    I could go on with other thoughts, but my personal view is that those of us who like talking about money will just have to keep talking and we’ll find others who like to talk about it too. In the process though, we will likely make others uncomfortable and potentially turn them off.

  12. Sarah F. – that is the same reaction I get from my husband when we watch! And the weird looks between us too! However, we have really been working on the jars and cash this year and have found a lot of success.

    I too am uncomfortable sharing details on what we make, especially in the ‘down’ economy. My husband usually got a bonus that was more than my annual income (when I worked). Yet we are still paying off vehicles, toys, and of course the house. Hubby just got a $16,000 retention bonus – he wants to do something ‘for us’. I had to remind him that the money will ‘almost’ pay off the second hand truck we purchased in May, so go enjoy the truck.

    I am a stay at home mom right now, but taking a job in the fall. My cousin asked me in shock ‘Why? You don’t need to work, do you?’. Uhhh, well, yeah, I do. If I want to save up money for fun stuff . . . I need to work. I wonder how he does it on less income sometimes. . .

  13. […] See the original post here: Talking About Money « […]

  14. I have a friend that talks all the time about how they “don’t have any money” and yet when I suggested she do the jar thing with me, she pooh poohed. And they continue to eat out several times a week, spend regular amounts at Starbucks, etc. and support an adult child who lives back at home.

    These are people who think that the extra $$ they received with a remortaging of their home as “savings”.

    I get so frustrated I just want to scream “get it together”!

    Talking just doesn’t get the job done.

  15. avatar Catherine Says:
    July 16, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    “The act of judging…too ready to criticize or condemn” – that’s judgment. I feel it is going to take the pendulum a while to swing the other way and let us discuss salaries, debt and money issues. People are too judgmental – be if family or friend. There are too many soap boxes people love to stand on and critique you. It makes everyone shy about sharing.
    Personally, I have been harassed a few times a year for 37 years by ‘Joe Public’ because my husband was a teacher (newly retired). It is public knowledge what school teachers make and I’ve heard it all. For years I handled it by saying “it’s hard to decide at the end of each month whether to buy that yacht we’ve been looking at…perhaps our own airplane???…or take a trip around the world???. Why don’t you go back to school and get your Univerisity degree and teaching certificate and you too can make a teachers salary?” They usually stop and leave me alone as they say they wouldn’t want to do the job – what? be with that many children all day??? I would love to continue and say that for the 5 years they worked and earned money after high school, my husband went to school and earned nothing….and had student debt….but I didn’t.
    I’ve been spending coffee breaks at work since November (when I started the jars) talking with a co-worker (and RAVING about Gail!!!) about finances. Very slowly she is opening up a bit and I am hoping that in time she will be more comfortable and we can have indepth discussions and hopefully learn from each other.

  16. avatar Green Monster Says:
    July 16, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Not long ago Gail wrote about “comparing” ourselves to others- I really took this one to heart becuase I find I do this a fair amount- I look at others around (family, friends etc) and wonder how do they do it? How do they have 2 new cars, a new house, one income, vacations etc etc.. I beat myself up becuase I percieve that my husband and I are not doing something right because those around us have all these things and we don’t .. the light bulb finally came on when I started thinking more about it.. i have no idea first what sort of debt these people carry – they could be living the high life while drowning in debt and second which seemed to be my aha moment was that I have to think about their journey prior to where I know them today..
    I spent alot of wasted time envying a friend who I thought was doing so good finanically based solely on their hard work and financially savy ways until I found out that about 6 years ago they had received a $500,000 buy out from the husbands company.. so that’s why they are the same age as me-but mortgage free, 2 new cars, and 2 -3 vacations each year.. The envy is totally my issue and something I am working on..:) but its a good lesson to remeber that although on the surface you might think all things are equal you don’t normally know the entire story. Same can be said for judging people you think should have more- student loan debt, a job loss a few years back that set them back ..whatever it may’s not always a lack of or abundance of money management skills
    I would love to see our society become more open about money but if that were to happen- how could you bury your head in the sand and pretend that you really can afford that Hummer even though you have to use your LOC to put gas in it each week..

  17. avatar EchoLake Says:
    July 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    My husband and I have always been very good with talking about money. Since very early on in our relationship – the money has always been ours – not his or mine. We have lived on no money (both of us in University and living off student loans) and we have lived with good incomes – living with no money taught us to live within our means – and we have always held to that.

    We would love to talk about money with family – but it always seems to be such a touchy subject. Maybe one day things will change. For now, we drop hints that we are open to talking about it.

  18. I think it is necessary to be open with your spouse about money.
    I think it is good to not try to keep up with the Joneses, if you can’t afford things then be honest (and not ashamed) with your children/friends/family/yourself.
    I think it is great to share money saving ideas, etc.

    I don’t think you need talk about money to satisfy other people’s curiosity about your lifestyle.

  19. avatar Cynthia Says:
    July 16, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I admit when I was a college student I fell into credit card pitfall. I ended up with 5 cards, maxed them out, but paid them off and closed 4 of 5 in under a year. I’ve had one card since 2000.

  20. I admit when I was a college student I fell into credit card pitfall. I ended up with 5 cards, maxed them out, but paid them off and closed 4 of 5 in under a year. I’ve had one card since 2000.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  21. avatar ComputerHero Says:
    July 17, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I’ve made my friends and family very uncomfortable in the last year or so because I’ve taken to talking about money freely and openly, even in groups.

    I’ve decided to end the silence. I talk up Gail, but more importantly I share the lessons we’ve learned and the progress we made, and give tips to those who are in various situations. A few friends have found it so uncomfortable they don’t like to come over, but that’s okay, that’s their choice. I’m out of the money closet now and I’m not going back. Money is the single biggest constructive/destructive force today in our society and we hide it, I won’t because I don’t want my friends to suffer any more.

  22. My sister and I are very open with each other about the whole money thing.

    We are polar opposites about what the value of a dollar might be, but I think we are good for each other to see “how the other half lives”. She is in her big house full of pretty decor and designer clothes and well-dressed kids and shiny vehicles, and my house is modest with hand me down and thrift store clothes/furniture and very old vehicles. (BUT we do enjoy a garage full of dirtbikes). My sister also sees debt as okay, and they work their 2 high-hours jobs to maintain the lifestyle that they love… my husband and I loathe debt and would rather do without than pay any interest (we are pros at delayed gratification now!). My focus has always been to try to be happier with less so I can work part time from home while the kids are young. She works harder so they can have their heart’s desire while the kids are young.
    Both of us are happy with it, even though we are so different. And we talk about it all the time… sometimes we disagree, she thinks I am a tightwad, and I think she is crazy… and she thinks because we have less debt, and I stay home, that we should have more disposable income than she does (meanwhile her household brings in DOUBLE what mine does, so I think she should have more savings!)…. it’s funny now that I think about it. One thing we both agree on…. our mom is definitely a shop-a-holic and we both worry about her golden years — so we talk about that too — maybe we should start talking to our MOM about it?

  23. […] Don’t Forget to Enter your Success Post to Win A Prize! See the end of this blog.  […]

  24. avatar stamperitis Says:
    July 20, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Since watching the show starting early last year I realized that the reason hubby and I had no money was because we were spending it as fast as it came in. My husbands earnings are hourly and there are times when he works a ton of overtime for weeks on end and makes a lot. Then there are times when he works no overtime at all and yet because he’s tired from all the overtime he then deserves to be able to enjoy what he made and he was spending it all. Due to health issues and that fact that he wants me to do everything to do with house and family I don’t work outside the home. It just isn’t worth what I can make part time.

    Fast forward to now. We have paid our insurance cash, our RRSP contributions cash, new shed for the yard cash, kitchen reno cash have savings in the bank for a holiday this year for our 25th anniversary and a healthy cushion in the bank for when hubby is not working during the vacation (his vacation pay is on every cheque but we never saved it before!) and an emergency fund. Very different from when we borrowed for our RRSP, borrowed for any home improvements, etc.

    Now the problem is my husband is seeing this emergency money as a car fund. So I’ll have to delegate a portion and then keep it going. Otherwise he just may go back to his old ways of spending it all as he makes it. Thanks Gail!

  25. My partner (common law husband) and I still have separate bank accounts, and he “pays” me once a month to share in the cost of the mortgage, car payment and bills. We are both in our 30s and have jobs we enjoy. We make about $70,000 combined a year (each contributing nearly 1/2), and have a weekly mortgage of 136.00, a monthly car payment of $400.00 (0% interest) that will be paid off in 1 more year, and credit card debt of $5000.00. From a debt perspective, we are doing okay, but from a saving perspective we are up the creek. We both have jobs with employer pension plans and I have some RRSPs, but we have virtually no emergency savings, or splurge savings, and are basically living pay cheque to pay cheque. I have started to put 100.00 a month into a tax free savings account to s-l-o-w-l-y build an emergency savings.
    We both really like to travel, but we can’t seem to save to be able to actually go anywhere. After watching many episodes of TDDUP and reading some financial blogs, I decided to sit down with my partner and talk about money. I suggested a few things like using the jar method to keep track of our spending, or going on a “spending hiatus” for a month just to see how much we could save in one month if we eliminated all “wants” from our spending. He is resistant to any ideas I have thrown out. I want to tackle our credit card debt and lack of savings head on, but he seems oblivious to the issue. I have even applied for some part time work so that I will have some additional income to put towards debt repayment until that credit card debt is gone.
    My question is – How do I get my partner engaged in the process of reducing our spending and starting to save for emergencies and even future travel or major purchases? What can I do to make him see that our current financial situation is making me stressed out and frustrated?

  26. Need Ideas/Input
    In general I think that we are doing ok..yet our visa keeps creeping up.. I think that we are living fairly “tight” (relative to our income) but that must not be true if the the visa balance keeps growing right?? I feel like I have reviewed our budget at least a million times..:) but I am thinking that maybe someone else can see area’s I am way out of whack on..
    So forgive the length of the post but I will give you all the details so you can get the whole picture:

    my husband and I are 33 and 34 respectively with two kids 6 and 4.
    We both work full time- he as an electrician ($92,000) and me as sales administrator ($44000) (these are gross totals)
    I also receive about $10000-12000 per year in quarterly bonuses- the bonuses are quaranteed but the amount fluctates so I don’t consider it as part of my monthly income- this money is usually used to fund christmas or the summer vacation or pay the visa..
    we live in Calgary- so $$ are a little higher than maybe some smaller centers
    we are paid biweekly and have RRSP’s deducted from our cheques that are matched dollar for dollar by our companies – I have 4% removed from each cheque and he has $50 from each cheque

    1011 Mort -Biweekly (we have a $280k mortgage – house is worth is $400)
    693.42 – childcare-biweekly
    400-Groc Biweekly
    200 Gas – biweekly ( I drive about 60 km each day to work)
    200 Spending money biweekly- we each get 100 for two weeks that is ours to spend- this is also where we take money for family entertainment- rent a movie, go for ice cream etc
    300- visa
    100- emergency fund
    100 RESP -monthly
    175 Shaw cable- this includes phone, internet and cable ( I do need high speed internet as I work 3 mornings from home a week)
    442 van lease payment (we have 8 months left )
    200 Enmax- which includes water,sewer and electricity
    94-Direct Energy- which is Natural Gas
    255 Insurance- this includes house, and vehicle
    177- Property Taxes
    130-Bell Mobility- cell phone for Hubby and I

    It seems to be the “life” stuff that gets us turning to the visa.. we have lot’s of family (lots of divorces and remarriages) so it seems there are always lot’s of birthdays, mothers day, father day christmas etc.. and my oldest is now in school so the onslaught of bday parties has begun ( he had 6in the month of may alone) . I have gotten to the point where I am only giving gifts from Christmas and bday but I feel like with our income we should be able to work these things in better..

    There may be more “fat” to trim from the budget that I can see but I also struggle with the budgeting for items like clothes, gifts, car repairs etc.. the stuff that is not needed every month and seems to be the things that end up on the visa..

  27. […] That: Insurance Edition Don’t Forget to Enter your Success Post to Win A Prize! See the end of this blog. This week’s prize is a copy of The Money Tree Myth and you have until Friday to […]

  28. Sarah F…lol…I can relate – that is completely MY husband too! We’re pretty much squeeking by on one income with a baby at home (trying to get an emergency fund going while paying down our $20,000 in student loans and $7000 car loan) and I could swear he thinks that we should be living the high-life on our net household income of just under $3000/month. I have tried to engage him in the finances on a zillion occasions and am at the point where I just have to shake my head and laugh when he conspicuously leaves the sale flyer out, open to the page with the Big Screen TV’s…keep dreaming darling!

  29. […] Gail wrote an interesting post today onTalking About Money « gailvazoxlade.comHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  30. Amy cut back on your Grocery budget try cheaper cuts of meat or stick some vegetarian meals in your week with 2 little ones $400 a fortnight is huge for food I have 2 teens and spend $200 a fortnight on food so can definitely see that your budget can be cut back here.
    Birthday presents for Children don’t have to be expensive just thoughtful If you cut out some of the competitiveness that happens with other parents sometimes I made for this age home made play dough put in tubs with cookie cutters and a small rolling pin was always a popular gift they loved it.

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