A Balanced Budget Doesn’t Make It Unbreakable : January 2016 Monthly Budget Review

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BALANCE IS NEVER A STEADY VARIABLE IN FINANCE   I often hear that a budget is ready to go once it is balanced but a balanced budget doesn’t mean that it can’t incur hiccups along the way. Someone asked me how we could possibly budget every single month. “Isn’t it time-consuming?” After a bit of practice it gets easier BUT is your life not worth the effort? Think about that for a second. Anything you do to better your life IS worth it. It’s not hard to make a budget look pretty with colours and numbers but numbers are like credit, once you spend it you are stuck with it. You still have to pay it back. What I’m trying to say is that anyone can say they have a balanced budget and still screw it up. Too many people rely on a fixed balanced budget and ignore it for the rest of the year as if it’s bulletproof.  This is a huge mistake in my opinion because when it comes time to review your budget the last thing you want to find out is that you messed up along the way and didn’t pick up the broken pieces. Even […]

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Should You Buy Into The Costco Membership Consumer Hype? : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #2 Feb 8-14

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COSTCO WHOLESALE STOCKS YOU UP BUT DOES IT STACK UP $$   Put away your coupon binder if you plan to shop at Costco as they don’t accept manufacturer coupons because they have their own coupons and promotions for private members. They also boast having the best deals because their buyers are able to negotiate great prices. Just how great are these prices though compared to your typical grocery store paired with sales, coupons and coupon apps? Let’s find out…. Related: How to chop everyday food prices without coupons I think not owning a smartphone and Costco membership at the same time either means you’re very frugal, don’t see the benefit or there is no Costco location nearby so there’s no point considering if there are any budget savings to be had. I don’t have either BUT we do have a Costco very close to our house so we wanted to see if there was a benefit for us to stop in and shop on my way home from work. What I found interesting was that Costco motivates shoppers who entertain saving money by buying in bulk every frugal persons’ dream but they also offer a Costco Concierge Service. Can […]

Queen of Hearts Jam Tarts For Valentine’s Day

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NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF LOVE AND SWEETS   We love jam tarts of just about any description in our home so when a special occasion pops up like Valentine’s Day I don’t mind baking up a few batches for my family and friends. This Queen of hearts jam tarts recipe boasts a beautiful pastry filled with either raspberry or strawberry jam followed by a light dusting of  icing-sugar. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own jam tarts, today I will show you how easily I was able to make my recipe and how you can do the same in your kitchen. Most men and women are scrambling at the last-minute to get a Valentine’s Day card and treats but with a bit of planning you can make these Queen of Hearts Jam Tarts for Valentine’s Day and your loved one will love you even more…if that is even possible. Other simple Valentine’s Day recipes for him or her which you can make and add to a Valentine’s Day Gourmet Basket, Bake Sale or for guests. Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Cherry Cheesecake Blueberry Cheesecake 5 minute Hazelnut Chocolate Fudge Cherry Pie Minis Coconut Custard Tarts […]

Travelling Tips You’ll Want To Read Before Boarding : The Saturday Weekend Review #158

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DON’T MAKE TRAVELLING MISTAKES YOU’LL REGRET   Traveling around the world was on my bucket list in my 20’s and although I’ve been to many places such as Iceland, Thailand, Spain and Portugal (just to name a few) I’ve learned a few travelling tricks along the way.  I always made sure to arm myself with all securities because the last thing I needed was to end up dead, injured, stranded or without my valuables because I made the wrong choices. Travel insurance is a must when you are travelling out of country anywhere, even to the USA. At the least talk to your insurance company to see if you need additional coverage. If you think nothing can happen, think again. Friends of ours recently went travelling to Mexico for a 2 week holiday after celebrating their first wedding anniversary. They actually got married in Cuba but thought travelling to different destination spots every time they vacationed made more sense. I don’t blame them because the last thing I’d want to do is travel to the same resort or country over and over unless I wasn’t finished with the original trip. In most cases you may have more tourist spots that […]

Twenty Year-Old Father Taught Me About Financial Responsibility In 30 minutes

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I DON’T WANT TO BE BROKE LIKE MY PARENTS WERE WHEN I WAS YOUNG   Financial responsibility follows you for life and one young father shares his life plans with me and with two powerful words “He wants” becoming the driving force behind his journey in all aspects of life. Have you ever asked yourself, “What would you do differently if you could go back in time?” I have, and knowing what I know now there would be some changes to the way that I save money, earn money and invest it. My life was automated because I was so focused on school and working that even I may have paid more than I should have at times. Financial Responsibility was nothing my fellow University friends would think about while in school. It was no big deal to blow money down at the pub or to take a girl out on a lavish date with all the trimmings. Money was no object when it was given by the bank of mum and dad. When I was in my early twenties I bought my first house then sold it to buy a bigger house. I wanted in the real estate game […]

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5 Ways To Slash Binge Shopping From Your Grocery Budget: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Feb 1-7

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SELF-CONTROL IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT SAVING   I think just about everyone has had their fair share of binge shopping at the grocery store which attributed to spending more money than anticipated. We shop with our eyes and nose and at the grocery store so we have to be on high-alert because it’s simple to buy what you probably could have done without. What does the word binge really mean? It means you do something excessively in a short period. I don’t know about you but I don’t plan to hang out at the grocery store all day. Binge shopping happens when we let the grocery store do the shopping for us and not the grocery list. Major budget buster! Guilt shopping is right up there with placing food in a shopping cart with no plan in place. What is guilt shopping? You know when you leave the house and the kids or your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend beg you to bring them home chocolate, chips or make you feel guilty when you say, “No, we can’t afford it this week”? Well, if you give into their demands that’s guilt shopping. Try not to do this if you can help […]

Homemade Taco Seasoning

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MAKE YOUR OWN TACO SEASONING AND SAVE MONEY   I’m going to show you just how easy it is to make homemade taco seasoning and how to stop spending unnecessary money on those store-bought packets. Chop the grocery budget by creating homemade versions of your favourite products. Comparing the flavour of packaged taco seasoning vs. homemade taco seasoning you will easily tell the difference and I’m betting you’ll be just as if not more than satisfied making it yourself. This is not a copycat Old El Paso taco seasoning it’s a new-age vibrant taco seasoning mix that will make all of your Mexican dishes sing, ole! I’m guessing since you’re reading this recipe that you likely have a nicely stocked spice pantry in your house. In our house we have our spices set up in medium-sized mason jars which are labelled for easy reach. Having a well-stocked pantry will not only contribute to grocery savings but you don’t have to rush out every time you are short of a product. My wife and I are both huge Mexican food lovers and we love our spices. I’m not talking about hot spices either because I’m not a huge fan of “Heat”. […]

Sexy Photo Fun Could End Up A Nightmare Of Revenge Porn – The Saturday Weekend Review #157

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ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO GO BROKE IS TO COMMIT A CRIME   What happens behind closed doors in an intimate relationship should stay closed. For those who feel wronged in a relationship or have other ulterior motives “revenge porn” may be their ticket to getting the last laugh or to cash in. It could also be the worst mistake mentally, physically and financially one could commit if they are caught in such a situation. Let’s not forget about the victim who has to suffer the consequences of their private life splattered on the web. It’s a horrible situation. The word “Porn” may be labelled a dirty word but it’s one of the biggest money-making industries in the world. Nobody wants to talk about it nor read about it but it’s everyday people who get caught up in crimes like revenge porn. Individuals who feel they have a power over someone with pornography need to understand that the consequences of their actions will not be tolerated by the law. It’s also important for parents to discuss topics like this with their teenage children because they know about sex whether you choose to believe it or not. Don’t get upset […]

Why You Should Never Trust A Real Estate Listing

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DON’T MISS THE OBVIOUS WHEN LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL REAL ESTATE   Whether you are buying or selling a house with a real estate agent or for sale by owner (FSBO) NEVER trust a real estate listing. I’ve invested in real estate since I was 21 years old when I bought my first house and a second at age 24. I’m not in the game of real estate to become a monster property millionaire but what I do know is that not all real estate listings are created equal. Finding the best real estate agent that will work for you isn’t an easy task but when you do remember that none of us are perfect and mistakes can happen. As a homeowner or buyer beware of any errors that could cost you thousands of dollars over the long haul once you move into your new home or sell your house. The last thing you want is your house sitting on the market for months because of en error no one is catching but potential buyers. If you want to add value to your house either you lower the price to gain attention or you add renovation/unique home perks to […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Big City Savings Tips To Survive Grocery Shopping : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 Jan 25-31

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OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS IN THE CITY   Many people who live in the big city choose not to drive, can’t drive or can’t afford to drive. This means rolling their shopping cart into a large parking lot to load groceries only to whiz home around the corner is not an option. Many of us take for granted the luxuries of living in a smaller city while shopping especially when it comes to parking and space. You’ll get more of that than you will living in the big city where space is at a premium. Related: How a small town family saves money on groceries The smartest tip that I can share with you today about shopping in any city is to be ORGANIZED. Without organization you risk having a less than ideal shopping experience. I find when we have things planned out it’s almost always smooth sailing. Unless of course we have a tired toddler, dirty nappy or it’s feeding time. Download my Free Printable Tools to get you started on the organizational train. With millions of people who live in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area you will certainly find just about every grocery store on the market. In […]

Cauliflower Rice & Broccoli Stir-Fry with Sausage (Low-Carb)

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REPLACE WHITE RICE WITH CAULIFLOWER RICE   This easy to make cauliflower rice recipe will blow your taste-buds away and I’m not joking. Cauliflower rice is the new mashed potato and versions of this dish are getting rave reviews all over the world especially from low-carb eaters who quit eating rice. Mrs.CBB is a rice quitter. I was a big skeptic when Mrs. CBB kept telling me you could turn cauliflower into mashed cauliflower which tasted just like mashed potatoes but better. I gave it a try last year and didn’t mind it at all although I’m a potato lover at heart coming from the UK where we ate lots of potatoes growing up. There’s nothing quite like a Sunday roast dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, veg and Yorkshire pudding. Mrs. CBB was all fired-up to make this cauliflower rice likely because new recipes are exciting when you are limited with what you can eat. Armed with our kitchen-tools, a pot and cheese grater away we went. With the addition of cumin and turmeric along with Frank’s Red Hot sauce this cauliflower rice dish came together beautifully. Not only was the colour vibrant but it looks as delicious as the […]

My Neighbour Made Me Richer Over One Beer : The Saturday Weekend Review #156

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FINDING RICHES WHERE I NEVER EXPECTED I WOULD…   I’m Richer because my bank account says I’m rich. Don’t expect that to pop up but I can tell you that many of us need to back off the money train and take a look at our lives, from all angles.  How many slices are in your pie? You should know the answer by the time you finish reading this post. Our neighbour went away on vacation with his wife for 2 weeks but since we hadn’t seen them we weren’t aware that they were gone. No big deal as we don’t talk to them everyday nor do we need to know their every move. One day while I was out shoveling in the late evening I noticed that their garage door was wide open and no lights were on. The vehicles were nowhere to be found and instantly I knew something wasn’t right. Since we have the key to their house in case of emergency I went in and locked everything up. They had gone on vacation and left their garage door open as well the man door to anyone who was thirsty to clean them out of house and […]