My Money, My Choices - Level 2, Activity 1 (continued)

I left yesterday's post hanging - I didn't feel as thought I had adequately met Gail's challenge to balance  our cash flow, so put it all in a spreadsheet (easier to manipulate then a calendar), and started moving payment days around to find a schedule that didn't have us in the negative once.

Once I got it into the spreadsheet, it was actually a lot easier to manage, and I found a single bill that would make a big difference.  We've moved the billing/withdrawal date of our Shaw bill from the 8th of every month, to the 22nd - just two weeks later.  This assures us that Jordan will always have received his first pay cheque of the month (the 15th), before the bill is withdrawn.

This image shows you what the the cashflow looks like now.  The image doesn't include the updated Shaw bill - but the flow will just be slightly higher when I do, not less.

Shaw was great about moving the date, and I feel much more confident about the ins/outs.  Though we do still have to manage the large number of transactions that are scheduled to occur on each of my pay-days.

There is risk that if my payroll is not processed prior to the mortgage payment, and other automatic withdrawals, that we could dip into the negative - or have a payment bounce.  So, for that reason - I still think it's a good idea for Jordan and I to have an account buffer...but what's the right amount?

To help figure that out, I decided to simplify the chart above to get a clearer picture of the risk, and assume that the withdrawals happened on the same day, but prior to me getting paid.  I also wanted to project forward a couple of months b/c Jordan's paid a bit more this march (due to his guaranteed salary for the first 90 days of his new job before he switches to half commission/half salary).  I also moved Jordan's second pay to the beginning of the following month - because then it's ordered correctly to pay the bills that are due before my first pay day.

Here's what it looks like:

This actually took wayyy longer than I thought it would...mostly because I kept  making math mistakes.  The first time around, for example, I forgot $200 in regular escape payments because those are still weekly, not bi-weekly.

I wish that I had done this before - It's been a really helpful exercise to get a handle on the cash flow.

At the beginning of March you can see I added a 'Need' row.  It was clear that the buffer we already had wasn't doing it's job!  So I'll be transferring $515 from my emergency fund, and moving it here once I hit publish on this post.

The part I had the most difficulty with was figuring out when, and how much I could take the 'left over' from the account and sweep it into the Escape Snowflakes.  I would really, really appreciate your thoughts on this one.  At first I thought at the end of the month, then I thought at the beginning - but after working it through, I think that once I've received my first pay of the month. I should be able to sweep  the balance of the account, less my pay.

Any questions?  Do you think I missed anything?

Check out the My Money, My Choices program by clicking here.


  1. I am amazed by how thorough and careful you are! I thought that you already had things so well figured out, but this is a whole new level! Good for you two.

    1. Thanks Momma! I didn't think I did the process justice when I was trying to explain it on the phone. This one I have found to be the most impactful so far!

  2. Hmm, this is so thorough its hard for me to say if there is any flaws. I would agree with you to wait until you receive your first paycheque of each month to "sweep" the account. Don't want to leave yourself short. I also love the idea of a buffer, T and I should do that too, some bills (gas, hydro, etc) can vary drastically from one month to another and you never want to leave yourself short (or use OD, I hate OD!)

    1. Exactly! There are just some bills that can't be predicted for 100%.


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