One thing I need to point out at the start - I didn't make any allowances for child tax credits or provincial benefits, because they vary between provinces. Thus, I also didn't add into the budget things like kids' activities, diapers, toys, etc. The assumption is that they only spend on their kids the amount of money provided by their child-related benefits.
Another thing I didn't do was have Jack and Jill buy a new vehicle. That's because they just didn't. The first reason for this is, new vehicles lose worth at an incredible rate over the first four years. After that, they can be bought used from people who are buying new. The second reason is, they realized they had higher priorities than buying a new vehicle. Notice they did have a budget category for vehicle maintenance - they took care of the car they had. And if it did happen to bite the dust, a temporary replacement vehicle could be paid for using the cash they had already been setting aside. So I didn't make it a priority to see them in a new car before they made it through the steps of their financial journey. One might argue that they would only be able to buy "junk" for the amount of money they could have set aside... but that is a matter that comes down to personal priorities and decisions.
Our friends Jack and Jill have decided that they're better off to stay with the status quo for now. Crunching the numbers was a bit of a rude awakening - the 'sticker shock' connected to the idea of Jill going to work has left them convinced she should stay home, but they aren't sure what their next step should be. What they DO know is this - they have to get their money under control. Right now it feels like Jack's paychecks go into a bucket with a lot of holes in the bottom of it, and they aren't really sure where it all goes.
Budget Spreadsheet and Expense Tracker (Excel Spreadsheet)
Google Docs Budget Spreadsheet
Microsoft Money (discontinued support but still a great program)
Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples: A Lifetime Approach to Spending, Saving and Investing
How To Manage Your Money
Family Financial Workbook