Leilani

We budget $150 a month. Since the beginning of December I've spent $450 ish, $250 of which was ski lift tickets for myself and 3 others. The skiing can be under health and fitness though if you were being creative.

Netflix and cineplex takes the rest of it mostly.

But we also classify beer under food/drinks too. And we paid ahead for our NHL game centre months ago, so that isn't included either. But I just canceled my son's WoW subscription. Dining out is also under my food/drinks category and we do it maybe twice a month.

I think we've spent $1,900 on Food and Dining since Dec. Most of it eating out as a family, maybe with my oldest son's girlfriend coming along. I budget $420 a month, and typically go over it by around $10-$50. Especially during the Dec-Feb time frame.

A lot of birthday and Christmas dinners to attend.

My brother and his family have it good. Their budget looks like this:

$7.99 for Netflix. Food out? My sister-in-law works in restaurant and brings home Thai food everyday. Books and DVDs from library. Taking walks and phone photography. Cooking at home. That's it.

Together they make good money, but they are happy simple. Still In the past it was the opposite for each of them before we met.

Leilani

I got my Canada Goose over 5 years ago right before the big peak in popularity. My aunt used to work for them so I got it at cost. Before I had the jacket, I would never have thought I would be willing to pay 700 for a coat. But now that I've had it for 5 years? I definitely would.

Wearing a Canada Goose Jacket to walk around the streets of Ottawa for ten minutes is like using a Unimog as a daily commuter.

They're both amazing pieces of equipment that WILL get the job done, but aren't wholly necessary. First thing to know about Canada Goose is that they use their own thermal rating system from 1-5; 1 being shit and 5 being worth the money. Anything between is a bit silly as well.

The original idea/concept for Canada Goose parkas (remember they ARE parkas and not 'jackets' after all), was to be a bomb-proof arctic parka for extremely cold and dry climates, usually worn by scientists and explorers and the like. Think, "Really cold, not very active-wear." Within that they make a few styles that still respect that philosophy but since becoming a popular fashion statement they make some shit that literally just wastes a coyote and a goose's lives to make the Chilliwack (among others). Ultimately, you can get what you pay for and it will be amazingly warm.

If you're against the trend, or fur, or down, or any of that, you can definitely find other options.

Some have been mentioned but I'll put an honorable mention out to Quartz Nature, they are Canadian-owned and operated (Montreal based, Canada Goose is no longer truly Canadian btw). They also use fur, but a variety of options and looks, and you can even opt to not use fur (How 'bout that!), and they even make much cheaper, still very warm, synthetic insulated parkas.

Also Quartz Nature, though not technically 'waterproof', uses waterproof materials, so if there is wet snow or conditions suddenly change, unlike with a Canada Goose, you're not screwed and it shouldn't wet through.

All that being said, as some people have mentioned, you can definitely find a layering system that works for you. Get a down sweater and hard shell or outer shell and you've already got a warm and more versatile solution, you can switch down for fleece, or layer up merino base layers, or what have you. There is no one single solution because Ottawa winters are all over the place, which makes a versatile solution more appealing.

I hate the snobbery, reputation, moral issues, expense, etc. etc. the list goes on, that comes with Canada Goose.

Would I recommend Canada Goose? Hell yes, it's amazing. But it's large and impractical for majority of the people that drive or bus to work. I used it to shovel my driveway and that was about it.

If you are patient you typically can find what you want and knock quite a bit off the regular price. Their flagship jackets (everything from their alpha sv to cerium sv) can be had for $250-$400 during the summer depending on where you look.

Eddie Bauer used to contract out to Canada goose for their down jackets (can't remember when they stopped) and just rebrand them their own.

So for all those fashionistas out there that said your parents clothing was ugly. They were wearing those trendy jackets before you were born.

Leilani

I saw a budget for having a baby, granted these are just the basics, but I wanted to weigh in and give my two center.

  • Diapers - $150 / month
  • Clothes - $100 / month
  • College - $150 / month

Our diaper budget went way down to ~30$/mo after 8 months. When they're little you're looking at 12-15 diapers a day but as they get bigger and concentrate all the poops into a few biggies a day the number shrinks. We go through 4-6 diaper a day now.

Clothing budget is a wee bit high I think.

Don't buy super expensive stuff for the baby. Family/friends will buy a lot of things. All you need for the first 3 months is maybe 5-10 onesies, 5-10 pajamas, and a couple pants/sweaters. All that stuff is cheap. It's the cute stuff you can't resist that gets pricey but you can get all that for really cheap at ross/marshalls/walmart/etc.

You'll also only need to clothes shop ~once/3-6 months to stock a wardrobe, definitely doesn't need to be an ongoing expense.

Move the savings into incidentals (docs, soap, butt cream, whatever) and you'll probably still come out ahead of that budget depending on your success in finding sub 1000/mo daycare.

Leilani

Pay off your debt don't make new by having a huge grocery bill. I buy enough for three hungry men and myself. I save more by making simple meals from scratch than the store where I shop. I cook a lot of pasta and rice dishes. For the most part I stat away from boxed meals. When there is a sale I stock up on dry, frozen, and canned foods.

I also cook in big batches so I have leftovers for later in the week.

This is about $400-450/mo on average.

Produce is actually the least expensive way to go in the grocery store but, yes, organic will hike the costs up. I looked into emails and don't see how anyone will benefit much from it - seems like just an added expense. It's so easy to write your meal plan.

nything you can buy at the grocery store except cosmetics which I have a separate budget for. This does not include restaraunts. It's definitely a challenge. I can admit that. But I don't extreme coupon or anything. I definitely only shop sales and I meal plan, and both of those help a lot.

If I'm shopping for meat and what I want happens to be discounted, I always feel like I've scored. But I've never gone searching for the deal. And why not? I have 3 freezers and a food saver!! So thanks!

Leilani

The only thing I'm really concerned about budgeting for is childcare, because compared to that, everything other expense is so trivial.

I have a baby fund that will help pay for everything, and I'd like spend no more than $1000 on crib, carseat, breast pump, stroller and cloth diapers...Those are my biggest budget items and I'm hoping to get some of those things used (when safe)..

You can pay to upgrade from semi-private to a private hospital room, but that's not too much.

Also a doula if you want one - they're fairly pricey. Then there's photographers and announcements and stuff if you're into that. Also some people throw massive baby showers and like rent a hall and cater it...But if you're a less-is-more type I'm guessing that's not really your scene haha. Elective ultrasounds aren't covered, I think the standard is a just the anatomy scan and sometimes the dating scan (at least in ON). All of the things I just listed are totally optional, I'm just trying to think of costs that aren't obvious.

Stay at home mothers don't need to worry about childcare costs, so I can't really think of anything else major. We're incredibly lucky to live in Canada where we don't have to worry about having a complicated delivery and ending up bankrupt. It's heartbreaking to see our American friends struggling with the insane costs associated with pregnancy and birth, and then on top of that not even getting paid leave.

I wish there was something we could do.