How To Escape A Financial Mistake Without Selling Your Soul

Financial mistake bomb

 LIFE IS FULL OF FINANCIAL LESSONS   I’ve made a ton of financial mistakes over the years from buying a timeshare, to making bad investment choices, to refinancing to a bad mortgage. The reality is we all make bad choices with our finances at one point or another. My worst financial mistake came when I bought a $4500 timeshare on my honeymoon of all places because I thought it would be a great to force us to take a vacation every year. This lead into other financial issues when we decided we wanted to sell our timeshare and found out it’s next to impossible to sell them. We tried for over 2 years to sell our timeshare with literally no luck at all. Our lowest point came when we decide to sign up for a couple of timeshare resale companies and this only lead sticking $1100 into a losing battle. Finally, after 6 long years of owning this timeshare, paying maintenance fees, and losing our money to the timeshare resale companies, I was able to contact my resort and get a buyback option that allowed me to get out from under this black hole that had done nothing more than […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How we plan to spend $100 a month grocery shopping: The Grocery Game Challenge #5 Oct 27-Nov 7, 2014

shopping-cart-walmart

I’M NO SHOPPING CART HERO   I know, I know, I know we went WAY over budget this month leaving us with just over $100 a month to spend until the end of 2014 on groceries. I’d like to say that we had a no-shop week like we were supposed to and that photo to the left is our empty cart but I’m afraid that’s not the case. The shops you will read below are in between weeks and with 5 weeks of grocery shops in October it really put us in the red. Although we don’t normally shop for groceries in-between weeks or more than once a week if we can help it this month has seen us visit the shops more than anticipated. Having to go to the shops on my own and for various reasons one being that we have a newborn in the house ended up us stockpiling more than we normally do. We opened a bank account for our son which brought us to the store twice because we didn’t have the proper documents to open the account. I guess that’s one downfall having your banking pavillion in a grocery store. This is one of […]

The High Costs of Newborn Photos and Birth Videos

newborn photography Cat Alford Budget Blonde

MONEY WELL SPENT   I guess you could say I’m a pretty frugal person most of the time. I don’t like to spend money on new cars, expensive meals out, or lifestyle inflation. But, when it comes to spending money on experiences, making memories, or my boy-girl twins (the beans) I’m willing to make bigger investments here and there. To me, making memories with my family and taking care of the beans are the most important things in my life. This is how I choose to spend my money – not on “stuff” but on memories. With that said, when I got pregnant last year, I knew that I wanted the full experience of newborn photos and possibly even a birth video. I also knew that these things would not come cheap at all. In fact, paying for professional photography and videography is often one of the largest and most under-budgeted expenses for life events, like weddings and births.   Newborn Photos and Video Costs   When I began looking for a newborn photographer, it was very tempting for me to try to be frugal about it. I wanted to get photos taken, but I didn’t want to spend the […]

Easy Apple Turnovers

easy apple turnovers

APPLES AND PUFF PASTRY IN A FLASH   Apple Turnovers are a favourite in our family because you can eat them on the run or add ice-cream, caramel sauce and toasted walnuts on top to create a luscious dessert. Sometimes after a busy day of cleaning, washing and running after the kids you want to make a sweet treat that is satisfying but more importantly fast. There is nothing worse than the kids coming in from school saying, “I’m hungry mom what is there to eat?” It’s that time of year when you want your home to smell like apples and spice. I know many of my friends have been to the apple orchards with their families to pick apples and now they want apple recipes to use them up. If you fancy muffins Mr.CBB’s Harvest Apple Caramel muffins are a must try. Other recipes that you could use apples for are apple butter, apple sauce, apple cakes and apple pie. The list of recipes that use apples is endless but when I have time and the house is quiet I don’t mind experimenting to create new homemade recipes.   Apple Turnovers   Today I am going to give you […]

Door to door sales representative uses neighbour as selling tactic for media bundle: The Saturday Weekend Review #94

door salesman making money

MAKING MONEY AT YOUR DOOR   Selling door to door as a sales representative is not an easy job as with any type of direct sales you are dealing with a potential customer face to face. In the midst of cooking dinner tonight the door-bell rang. We weren’t expecting any friends or family to come around so I wasn’t shocked to see a salesman standing at the door. He asked me if I had a few minutes to talk about my Rogers services as he was a sales representative from Bell Canada. Normally, I don’t talk to door to door sales people but this time I was intrigued. I’m always looking for ways to lower our monthly budget so I wanted to listen to what this guy had to offer me.  My wife was sitting on the couch feeding our son and I could hear her making grunting noises because she wanted to come to the door. She just loves when sales people try to sell stuff to her because she tends to take it all in then hammer them with questions at the end. Likely if it were her who answered the door he would have eaten dinner with […]

Why you should be your own expense manager : September 2014 Net Worth Update (+0.51%)

expense manager money out the window

SOMEONE HAS TO BE IN CHARGE   If you’ve ever heard the saying “pay yourself first” it’s likely because you should. You are your own expense manager when it comes to your budget and overall household finances. I never gave much thought to it until yesterday when I was running the numbers for our net worth update for September. If you read our September budget update you’ll know we blew a heavy amount of money on a new mattress and bed. Typically we don’t splurge on ourselves because all of our money is budgeted and if we do need something like a mattress we need to justify that expense before we commit to it. You don’t need to have management skills to run your own finances but what you do need is patience and determination to make it work.   An expense manager takes charge   What is an expense manager? I know it might sound like something you’ve never heard before but if you think about it the two words are self-explanatory. I actually made it up but it holds a great weight in our household. An expense manager to us simply means someone who is in charge of […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Budget Friendly Easy Dinner Ideas: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Oct 20-26,2014

Easy Dinner Ideas

SIMPLE RECIPES IN A FLASH!   Life in the kitchen was great until our son came into this world and now we are counting on easy dinner ideas just so we eat decent food. Over the course of the past 7 weeks our diet has went from eating homemade foods with fresh vegetables and fruits to canned soup, sandwiches and cereal. Lately I’ve been on the hunt for fast meals that pack a nutritious punch in a short amount of time. Sure we could have planned freezer meals ahead of time but we prefer to cook hot meals rather than turning on the oven to re-heat frozen food if we don’t have to. We do enjoy frozen foods such as perogies, ravioli, tortellini, fish and some vegetables but we’ve never ventured into batch cooking.   Cheap meals   I know that many parents and working couples rely on 15 minute meals just to make sure they get something hot into their stomachs and to avoid the dreaded TV dinner or even costlier….eating out. Another reason that homemade quick meals are important is because most are budget friendly depending on the type of ingredients you purchase. I know many of my […]

Why I No Longer Hate Making a Budget

why i no longer hate making a budget

YOU EITHER LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM   Fifteen years ago you could not have twisted my arm enough to make a budget. It wasn’t going to happen. My wife had tried several times making a budget but I hadn’t given any input and I certainly didn’t think one was necessary. It’s safe to say I hated them. Budgets were for “those people” who were in massive debt or who wanted to control an overspending spouse. They weren’t for normal people like us who lived off our paycheck from week to week and could afford pretty much everything we needed. Some months we’d have some money left over at the end of the month to put into our savings account. Other months we wouldn’t. Things seemed fine to me so I didn’t see the big deal. Then came the first kid. Suddenly spending patterns changed. No longer was it just my wife and I. We had another person to account for, one who would have some very expensive habits. Can anyone say 10 diapers and 6 meals a day? So we set out again to tackle the monthly budget. We actually managed to make a budget that we thought would […]