Bi-Weekly Budget - Tomorrow is Payday

It's that time again, my how the weeks fly by.

Below is how things are shaping up for the next couple of weeks.  I have a bit of a heavy current balance that is being carried forward from last pay - this is for two reasons.  One, I had expected to have rent of $750, which I don't because somehow we actually managed to find a roommate.  The other bit of money is due to the benefit reimbursement that I received yesterday.

A few notes:
  • My pay is higher then normal (by about $30-50) because there was three pay periods this months, so i had no benefit premium deductions (these were all done on the first two pays)
  • My Christmas, RRSP, Emergency, and Clothing fund are all receiving their $25
  • My horse board is due, and I have already written a cheque for this (that's why it's in green).
  • I've given myself $290 as my bi-weekly jar money.  I would have liked to bump this up some because I have family come to town next weekend to start Christmas Shopping, but that's not the way it's worked out.
  • Bank fees = boo!  But if I could ever get this account to a steady $1,000, they would waive the fees.  Something to think about.
  • Student loans will be auto deducted on the last day of the month ($75/each loan)
You'll see quite a large C/c payment this month.  This is for a few different things that came up, which are detailed below.  The payment brings my C/c balance down to $0.  Wow that feels good!

There we have it.  Questions?


I forgot to mention that when Jordan gets reimbursed from work, he'll be giving me $100 for his work boots, which I'll dump into whichever pay period that works itself into.


  1. Hello Jessie,

    Have you looked into increasing the money you save? currently you are only saving 5.6% of your pay. just some food for thought. now if you include the student loan in the savings, since paying that off frees up credit room, then you are saving 16.6% of our income. The higher you can get your rate of savings the faster you will hit that magically $1,000 needed to waive bank fees.



  2. Hey Jason - thanks for the feedback.

    How much I save really depends on what you look at as savings. I'm going to assume that just the RRSP and the Emergency fund count b/c the rest is really planned spending.

    When I post my monthly budgets, it's much clearer - but my trajectory from October through to Christmas will have me saving over $1,500. This pay was pretty out of the ordinary b/c I had some unexpected items to purchase that I used my Cc for.

    I'll be posting my proposed 2010 monthly budget soon - I hope you check that one out and give me some big picture feedback :D

  3. Hi Jessie,

    Have you considered using PC Financial? They don't have any bank fees. And they are still accessible because you can use CIBC bank machines. I've used them for over 10 years, and never an issue. I also have a Scotiabank account that I use for when I need a teller (USD, or otherwise) and that account does not have any fees either and no minimum balance needed. I use it for my savings.

    Just something to consider. That would be $13 extra in your pocket every month, or $155.40 a year... !

  4. I would also recommend an account that doesn't charge a fee. I have ING and they're great - no overdraft fees and no minimum balance fees - and I earn (a small amount of) interest on it.

    $13 for fees is kinda ridiculous, really. Even when I have paid for a checking account the fee was only $3. I have 4 different accounts now through 3 different banks and none of them have minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. There are definitely some better options out there, because $13/month doesn't even come close to being made up for by any sort of interest rate or convenience.

  5. @ SS4BC and Canadian Debt Girl

    I used to have the every-day chequing account which charged $4/month, but I went wayyy over my 10 transactions b/c of all the internet transfers I do (to ING). The $12/month gives me an unlimited chequing account, and free cheqeues. The free cheques was another reason I went to the unlimited. It would have cost me $30 to get a pack of 200 and now I've got plenty.

    Why do I need cheques? To pay rent primarily.

    I want to keep my accounts with my bank that charges me for a few reasons...

    - joint account w/ Jordan
    - can pay my c/c online and it's automatic b/c it's with the same bank
    - it's right across the street from where I live

    With alll those reasons aside - I agree, $13 a month is silly. You've defn. given me some things to think about. I wonder if I found a bank that doesn't charge and threatened to leave if they'd waive the fees... hmm...

  6. Wait a second. Jessie do you keep your emergency fund in an ING account?

    If you do, I'd recommend changing up how you store your money.

    Keep it instead in your Chequing account and just track how much of the chequing account should be for the emergency fund.

    Why do I suggest this?

    your bank is charging you $13/month for each and every month you have less then $1,000 in that account. by moving your ING direct accounts to your checking account and tracking them in a spreadsheet you can save $155.40 per year in bank fees, thats like earning 15.54% return on your money just for keeping $1,000 of your ING direct funds in your chequing account. ING direct offers a return of 1.05%. If you can't keep the minimum in your account as a "Buffer" there is really no point to moving your money to an ING direct account, to earn 1.05% when you could earn 15.54% just by keep the minimum in your bank account and getting rid of the fees.

    So I agree keep your current bank and ditch ING.



  7. If your bank has online bill pay (for free, all of mine do) you can send a check through the online bill pay (typically). Since I discovered this I haven't written a check in 3 years. I pay my rent like this and send checks this way for things like deposits on apartments, or when I owed my dad $500 when I moved. It makes it easier because the amount is automatically withdrawn, no matter when the recipient gets the check (so you don't have to worry about overspending when a check goes through) - AND you don't have to pay for checks. I'm not sure if ING does this, but I know that BofA does this (obviously not helpful to you) and Chase offered me my first 200 checks free. I'm sure that there is a Canadian bank that offers the ability to send checks through their bill pay services for free or a free set of checks since currently you're paying $13/month when you go below $1,000 for "free" checks.

    As far as I'm concerned, there is ABSOLUTELY no reason why anyone should be paying for their checking account anymore. There are plenty of banks that offer unlimited deposits, transfers, free bill pay and free online checks that you're at a bad bank (IMHO) if you're paying for your checking services.

    I would do some searching around. I think you'll be surprised by the options that banks have - especially now when they REALLY want your money!

    (My apologies if my tone seems a bit harsh - I'm obviously overly-passionate about checking accounts) ;)

  8. I agree with canadian savings that you should move your emergency fund to your chequing account just so that you can waive the fees. I would keep the ING account open as well because they offer better rates than most other banks and they have some neat features.

  9. I too have monthly bank fees. I am with Scotia and I owe 3.95 per month. It used to be more when I had both a chequing and savings account with this bank. Now I only have chequing. I have only had to start paying this fee since I graduated so it's only been 17 months, still that is $67.15 minimum (I was paying $7.90 for about a year after I graduated). The reason I stay with my bank is because I do get cheques through them, I have direct deposit set up for this bank with both employers, I like being able to speak with a teller ocassionally. If I have a $1500 balance in it then my fees are waived as well. So I am working toward that now.

  10. Good call on the home for Starlight. I can't believe she is still on grazing only. Thats a good idea people have to avoid bank fees, eh? Something to think about.

  11. @ Mom - If he starts feeding hay in November, he'll just pro-rate and let me know how much to add for the December cheque, so it might be a little larger. It depends on the weather.

  12. @SS4BC - Banking fees (along with cellphone bills) are terrible in Canada.

    I just spent a few minutes looking up chequing accounts at the "Big 5" Canadian banks (RBC, BMO, TD, CIBC, Scotia) and none of them have plans that are free unless you are a student*. Most charge $3.95 for ~10-12 transactions unless you keep a minimum of $1000-1500 and then it's 65 cents per extra transaction. The unlimited plans usually charge between $9.95-12.95/month.

    Unfortunately, ING in Canada only works as a savings account and not as a chequing account. Although, we as customers have been asking for this to change for years!

    I've looked into Credit Unions as well and the ones in my area only have free chequing accounts for people under 25 years old.

    The only other option is PC Financial (as CanadianDebtGirl was mentioning). I spent some time recently looking them up b/c I was interested in switching and discovered a lot of frustrated people who complained about poor customer service and abnormally long "holds" on their money.

    It's terrible that there isn't really any competition between banks to get your services. Watch any commercial and the only thing they seem to compete over is the perception of customer service.

    *Banks/Cell phone companies do an excellent job of providing "free" services (ie: websurfing/blackberry, unlimited texting, free interac transactions) to students. The students get hooked, the service becomes a necessity and when they graduate, the company makes a ton of money charging them for the exact same plan.

  13. @ Rachel - wow, thank you for posting that response. You've just saved me some leg work.

    I hadn't listed it before, but one of the benefits I have with my current bank is that I have zero holds on any cheques. This is in part b/c of how long I've been a customer.

    It's amazing at the difference between Canadian and American banking systems!


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