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December 2023 Budget Update + Yearly Review


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

Stay up to date with CBB’s December 2023 budget update. Discover the story of the month’s expenses and the data behind them.

Get the complete December 2023 budget insights and end-of-year review.

I hope you enjoy these monthly updates, and if you’d like to see other data, comment below.

Grab it now if you’re new to the blog and haven’t downloaded my free 2024 Budget Binder, Emergency Binder, or Grocery Savings Budget Binder.

December 2023 Budget Update Final

December 2023 Budget Update Final

Why Do I Share Our Monthly Budget?​

I look forward to putting this post together as it lets us see where our money was spent.

A budget also acts as a diary for your expenses so you can look back to see success and failure.

After all, we can only be successful if we learn from the mistakes we make along the way.

Our budget update also lets readers know that we are NOT perfect and must make changes like everyone else.

We use the tools (Free budget Binder), and I hope you have downloaded your free copy.

If there’s any information that you’d like to know or explain about our budget, please share your comments below.

Alright, let’s get into this.

Discussion December 2023 Budget + Year-End Figures​

Enjoy the read, and as always, I appreciate your kind feedback and suggestions in the comment section.

At the end, you will see charts that reflect our overall expenses for 2023, which allows us to know where all of our money went.

Creating a year-end chart also allows users to build a new budget for the following year.

Percentages For the December 2023 Budget​



Seeing our housing ratio again reflects slowed renovations in December.

Yes, I still have to finish the main bathroom, and it’s on my bucket list.

Oops, I mean honey-do list. Haha!

As mentioned last month, our Christmas expenses were due to increase for the holidays.

Budget Month Comparison​

We had a +17.4% (I forgot to change the arrow to green with a +) change in total net income for the month, with a decrease in expenses of -2 % compared to November.

Budget From Month to Month

Budget From Month to Month

December 2023 Household Budget Percentages​

December 2023 Household Percentages

December 2023 Household Percentages

Savings of 43.45% in December include
investments and savings based on our net income.

The housing ratio, as mentioned, dropped to 10.68%, under the 35% threshold.

Our Life Ratio is 34.10%, which is high due to the holidays.

Life contains everything from groceries, entertainment, miscellaneous, health/beauty, clothing, etc.

Both housing and transportation stay below the monthly percentage points.

Our truck has no loan, and only one of us goes to work, making things cheaper even though gas prices are increasing.

Equally important is saving money for our projected expenses due throughout the year.

All categories took 100% of our income, showing we accounted for all the revenue in December 2023.

We have zero debt, which helps fund other budget categories to maximize investments and savings.

Grocery Food Savings Jar December Update​

Soon, I will be writing a detailed blog post about why we will track our grocery discounts.

Update: Tracking Our Grocery Discounts For One Year + Free Printable

For December, we saved a total of $155.60.

By the end of 2023, purchasing discounted food saved us $1247.69.

That’s not too shabby, considering the fantastic deals we got using the Flashfood App, coupons, and in-store discounts.

I’d love to hear your results if any of my readers participated in the grocery food savings jar challenge.

I’ve started a 2024 Grocery Food Savings Jar challenge for our family again, so if you want to join us, download your free copy.

Grocery Savings Jar December 2023

Grocery Savings Jar December 2023

December 2023 Budget and Actual Budget​

Below are two tables: Our December 2023 Budget and our Actual Budget.

Our December 2023 monthly budget represents two adults and a 9-year-old boy.

Budget Colour Key: It is a projected expense
when highlighted in blue.

Since May 2014, we’ve been mortgage-free, redirecting our money into investments and home improvement projects.

Spending less than we earn and budgeting has been the easiest way to pay off our debt and save money.

This type of budget is a zero-based budget where all the money has a home.

Estimated December 2023 Budget​

December 2023 Monthly Actual Amount

December 2023 Monthly Actual Amount

Actual December 2023 Budget​

December 2023 Monthly Actual Amount

December 2023 Monthly Actual Amount

Canadian Banks, We Use​

Breakdown Of Our December 2023 Budget​

Below are some of our variable expenses from December, apart from investments.

We spent $ in December, which I will review below.

December 2023 Budget Category Changes​

We discussed increasing our budget categories for birthday, pet, grocery, and telecommunications and decided to do this in the new year.

I still have to fix the extended health category, but have decided to wait until 2024.

When I share the January 2024 budget update, you will notice the major changes.

Household Bills and Expenses​

Below is an explanation of the budget categories from December 2023 that were over budget or need clarification.

Grocery Budget December 2023 Budget​

Our monthly grocery budget is $900 plus a $25 stockpile budget.

We spent $903.33 or $3.03 over budget for December on groceries.

That’s a pretty good month if you ask me, although we’ve been stocking up for Christmas the past few months.

FlashFood App Year-End Savings 2023​

We saved $775 using the Flashfood app from January to December 2023.

Flashfood App 2023 Final

Flashfood App 2023 Final

PC Optimum Points 2023​

PC Optimum December 2023

PC Optimum December 2023

Over the year, we did use our PC Optimum points, but only during the Mega Redemption Event in November.

Although we didn’t earn over 7 million PC Optimum Points for 2023, we would have been there had we not redeemed.

I’m not sure what we will do with these points as we like to redeem them when we get more bang for our points.

Spending them at the grocery store only means we spend dollar for dollar, which we try to avoid.

Hopefully, there will be some big-ticket items in 2024 that we can redeem points for.

TD Visa Cash Back Amount​

TD Cash Back VIsa December

TD Cash Back Visa December 2023

Our TD Visa has just under $400 in rewards points, which we will redeem and begin again.

This has taken years to save, so it’s not the best rewards card, but we use it for Amazon and other online purchases.

Canadian Tire Triangle Rewards December 2023​

Typically, my expenses are put on my Canadian Tire MasterCard apart from Costco CIBC MasterCard for gas and groceries and PC World Elite MasterCard for groceries.

I’ve made several purchases at Canadian Tire in the last few months, and my balance of $830.08 is from these expenses.

We also only shop on 20x or 30x the Triangle Rewards days!

CT Money Balance December 2023

CT Money Balance December 2023

By ending the year with my Canadian Tire points, I saved $830.08, only a portion of what I earned in 2023.

It was redeemed to pay for renovations, tools, garden, and truck maintenance through 2023 but continued to grow.

December 2023 CBB Net Worth Update​

The investment portfolios increased in December by $9423.45, but our cash and emergency savings fund dropped by $976.94, leaving us with an overall +0.55%.

December 2023 Net Worth Update

December 2023 Net Worth Update

Although we didn’t have as large of an increase as we saw in November, we were pleased with $8446.51 or 0.55%.

I don’t include our mortgage in our net worth update, but our home would be listed at around 1 million dollars for anyone interested.

Since we don’t plan on downsizing, there’s no point in including it in our net worth, but it’s still part of your equity.

2023 Year-End Budget Numbers​

Total spent for the year 2023

Total spent for the year 2023

Budget Categories That Need Love In 2024​

Below are the leading budget categories we wanted to explore for our review, as the others are either fixed or under budget.

As you can see, we failed in many budget categories, not because we weren’t careful enough, but because things happened.

Sometimes, we take things for granted since we have money in the bank.

One of our goals for 2024 is to work extra hard and not deviate unless it’s 100% necessary.


As mentioned, we didn’t do too badly with the grocery budget; however, we can do better.

  • Use more coupons where possible
  • Continue to use Flashfood.
  • Stick to the grocery budget in-store and see deals not on our list.
  • We must be lean when shopping at Costco to avoid purchasing unnecessary items. The hard part is not knowing what Costco offers; they always bring new stuff.
  • I am leaving the grocery budget as-is for 2024.

Clothing Costs​

Our son grew faster than we thought he would, which caused us to spend more on clothing.

Prices increased on everything from food to renovation materials, so it was a tough year.

We can’t blame our son for all the clothing; we’ve purchased our fair share.

We’ve increased the budget for some of these categories apart from the grocery expense, as we feel $900 is workable for our family of three.

Work Benefits Increase for 2024​

My work benefits now cover 90% of prescriptions, increasing from 80% in early 2023.

Also, extended healthcare has increased from $2500 to $4500 per person, so hopefully, that will keep this category balanced for 2024.

It’s All About The Pizza​

Entertainment is one of those budget categories that will increase by $20 because it’s not something we do often.

If anything, we buy pizza for our son once a week with the money, or if we are travelling, we may grab a coffee and muffin.

Pets Can Be Expensive​

The pet category was horrific, I know, and that’s because of the vet bills between the new cat, shots, prescriptions, and injuries.

I also purchased bags of catnip, cream for injuries, and other sprays for their coats.

One struggle in 2023 was how much wet cat food we purchased.

The new cat eats too much, and we are trying to reduce his problem with a new plan.

So far, things are going well.

We no longer give each cat a small can of Fancy Feast but two spoonfuls, each with some hard food on the side.

Hopefully, this will make a difference in the food we purchase.

Treats are another story, as they both like their snacks.

Any tips are welcome.

In 2023, we also purchased new toys for the cats, one being a $350 cat exercise wheel that only one uses.

I’m still unsure about it, but we’ll wait and see if we can sell it.

Christmas Expenses​

The renovation of our son’s room and swapping out his young boy bedroom set for a big boy queen set, stand-and-sit study table, television, decor, bedding, rug, and so on boosted the Christmas budget.

It was more than we would have spent for Christmas, although we will increase the budget for 2024.

Saving $100 monthly is insufficient to purchase presents for our family and son.

As you know, he has ASD, and many of his toys are to help him with his education and increase his sensory processing awareness.

We did not purchase gifts for each other as we no longer needed to exchange them.

Although our Christmas budget won’t be as explosive as this year, we must improve our savings ability.

Year-End Budget Category Review​

  • Clothing $3844.40/12= $320.36. We spent too much. It should have been $100 monthly.
  • Pet $4585.71/12= $382.14 We spent too much. It should have been $50 monthly.
  • Grocery $12,850.43/12= $1070.86 We spent too much. It should have been $900 monthly.
  • Christmas $4068.15/12= $339.00 We spent too much. It should have been $100 monthly.
  • Miscellaneous $2431.30/12= $202.60 We spent under budget of $300 monthly.
  • Prescriptions/Healthcare $1276.12/12= $106.34 We spent too much. It should have been $90 monthly.
  • Health and Beauty $3255.14/12= $271.76 We spent WAY too much. It should have been $60 monthly. With Mrs. CBB transitioning to a new skincare routine, this increased costs. There were many other reasons, but we will increase this category.
  • Extended Healthcare $1482.90/12= $123.57 We spent under budget of $200 monthly.
  • Entertainment $649.76/12= $54.14 We spent over budget. It should have been $50 monthly.

2023 Household Percentages For The Year​

2023 Totals for the Year

2023 Totals for the Year

It’s no surprise to see our housing ratio for 2023 above the suggested 35% with all of the renovations we completed.

Our Life Ratio needs review for 2024, as reflected above in our overall budget numbers.

Until Next Time!​

That’s all for our December 2023 Monthly Budget Update and year-end review.

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