Money and Finance are two very important life topics that encompass “financial literacy” yet many people are unable to take control of what it means to them. I hear stories about those that are struggling to get to the end of the month before they run out of cash to pay the bills and others that realize that learning about money is the only way to go.
April is Financial Literacy Awareness month and learning money management skills and how to budget money is only the beginning. There are a host of financial literacy topics that are available to those wanting to find ways to save money as adults and teaching youth financial literacy to their children all over the internet.
There is no shame in not knowing but wanting to learn, there is no shame about why you are in debt, there is no shame in what others think of you. Find the strength to enjoy the small things and work towards a brighter future by taking the initiative to build your knowledge of what you desire in life. There are so many people who wonder if they will ever know “how to learn to save money” but don’t know where to start.
Children and Money
As parents struggle with ways to teach kids about money it’s not something that “should be done” it’s something that “must be done”. I often wonder where I would be today if my parents didn’t teach me the value of money and how to make it grow into something bigger than I had ever imagined from a young age.
Back then I wasn’t thinking millions of dollars, investment properties and stocks that would rock my world and net worth. I was thinking about how can I make this money last while making more money in the process. Today parents are playing money game with children and using money management games for kids online in order to guide them through the process.
It all takes time but parents investing in their child’s future is one of the best gifts next to loving them so deeply that you can give them. One CBB fan Mandi Holland takes proactive steps with her son that I encourage other parents to do.
We play games online at Kids Math Games for him to learn to add up coins & Money. My Son really likes Math & School, we buy him age appropriate work books when we find them as well.
Times have changed and Life, Retirement and Money are topics taking on whole new dimensions as we evolve year after year. As Canadians we need to work even harder to save for what we need in this life as the economy struggles to stay afloat without giving up hope.
At Canadian Budget Binder I am reaching out to adults about financial literacy so they can learn more about their financial health and changes they might want to make. We don’t have any children in our home but I know if we did you can bet we would teach them all they needed to know from a young age.
Why I Care About Financial Literacy
Financial literacy to me is understanding personal finance concepts in regards to how much money you have and how you spend and invest it over time in order to pave the way for your future. Life is about risk and if we don’t take the time to step up and follow our dreams and invest in ourselves no one else will.
In November 2012 I shared my Best Financial Tips with my readers in recognition of Financial Literacy Month. Since April is Financial Literacy Awareness month I want to share a bit more about why I care about financial literacy so much.
I’ve learned that everyone has their own unique situations about personal finances and how “rich” and “poor” mean different things to different people. It really opened my eyes from a skewed view of money and finance and what I thought it was to what I’ve learned up until today.
Goal of Canadian Budget Binder
At Canadian Budget Binder my goal is to share our journey towards financial freedom using a budget while motivating others to find ways to manage their own money. I wanted this to be a safe environment where people could come and talk about money and debt and not be judged. This is the place we have created here at CBB with many fans from all over the world.
All of my fans who have been with me from the start know that making extra money blogging was not my intention when I opened up the curtains to share our financial life in the CBB household. If the time comes when I do I know that I will give back in a way that I think will continue to help others grow and learn about finance.
This blog was the beginning of something special for me. It has taught me so much about life, death, money, success, failure, debt, illness, poverty, sharing, kindness, love, motivation, desire and more than you can ever imagine.
I encourage financial literacy because I know deep down no one likes to feel like they are swimming in debt and a heavy weight on their shoulders and in their minds day in and day out. “If only I could just share the basics so others could learn how to budget money like we do”, that’s what I would think to myself when I started the blog.
It began as desire to help others understand money and finance then sending them on their way to build their castle from the rocks (knowledge and experiences I have provided to them. That is what I hope people take from Canadian Budget Binder and why I encourage a “team” environment where we all help each other out.
Building Her Castle
Budgeting has been a part of our lives for a few years now and I wanted to give back to those that want to walk the same path but just don’t know where to start. When I first met Jen Peacock on my Facebook fan page her and her husband had no budget, were deep in debt and spending more than they earned.
They had alot of catching up to do and her determination was fading because she felt she had no where left to turn. She thought she was doing everything right but it all came crashing down, slowly. It was time to get out of bed and make that change so they could move forward with their lives.
Jen has a beautiful child together with her husband Ken and a lovely home in Ontario, Canada. She had rolled debt into their mortgage 2 or 3 times by which time the debt just kept piling back up again especially during maternity leave to the tune of 21K plus 30k in car loans.
Money and Finance- Budgeting
When I took Jen behind the scenes we talked more about budgets in detail and I agreed to guide her along the way. Since I’m not a financial advisor, just a reg Joe I did just that. I worked with Jen month after month, hours poured into her budget and teaching her WHY they can’t afford to spend $150 a month on the 407 ETR to get to work or WHY she should work on cutting down her grocery expenses.
It wasn’t to be cruel it was to open her eyes so she could share this wisdom with her husband and build a solid financial future together for their family.
I admit she had me pulling out my hair at one point because it’s hard to do this via email but I never gave up on her because I knew how badly she wanted to get back on track with her money and finances. Eventually Jen and family got to a place where they were budgeting using my Canadian Budget Binder Spreadsheet that I designed for our family finances.
I can’t tell you how many times she messed up the budget BUT, she learned, she learned more than I ever would have imagined. Jen went on to write a blog post for the fans in November 2012 that touched my heart.
All I ever wanted was to help one family get on track and Jen’s family was the one and I hope that I can continue to motivate others. She took “budgeting with Mr.CBB” to a whole other level for me. With the budget help Jen also managed to cut back on her grocery budget by posting her shops each week faithfully to this day in The Grocery Game Challenge.
She is now spending less in 2013 on groceries than she did in 2012 for her family of 3. She still emails me her budget once a month to look over and I’m more than happy to do just that.
Chef Jen- What’s For Dinner?
Just look at some of the food Jen has created in her own kitchen that she never once dreamed she would be doing. I also encouraged Jen to stop buying food in boxes or food that she could easily make at home. I bugged her to no end to start cooking more homemade meals with her husband. It was important for me to motivate her to use recipes and work on them with her husband so they could build family traditions that they could pass on to their son.
Even with a recent setback and having to make changes to her diet Jen still champions the grocery budget and simply amazes me more every single week. Jen has not only made me proud but all the other fans that have cheered her on this past year at CBB.
Below are some quotes from Jen that I saved from my Facebook Fan Page that she posted along with her food photos. Maybe we can talk her into sharing her homemade Quesadillas recipe for our CBB Sunday recipe post because they look so good.
I’m proud of Jen and her family and I tell her this all the time. She never gave up and she still fights the fight but she now knows what she has to do, they both know what they have to do and all because they invested in themselves.
Busy today in the kitchen! We also made Rice Crispy squares and my favourite Heavenly Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies! Tomorrow I think I’ll attempt tortillas and flatbread!
Here is my first attempt at Mr.CBB’s flatbread recipe on the blog! I made 3 large ones instead of 12 small ones as I am using it for pizza. I can’t wait to make the pizza tomorrow.
Here it is! Tonight for dinner I made pizza on homemade flatbread! It was awesome! And so filling!
Proof I made the tortilla!
My dinner for tonight: BBQ Chicken Quesadilla on homemade tortillas! Sour cream and salsa on the side
My very first attempt at homemade bread!
Six Months Later
I posted Jen’s story on Facebook again for my over 5000 fans to read just in case they missed it the first time, this is what Jen had to say about it
I just read it over again. It’s amazing how much things have changed for the better. I was just thinking the other day about how I used to live in overdraft and since budgeting I’ve never touched it and actually had money in the bank. Ken is SO on-board now! He now has an allowance which made a big difference for us.
Call me a numbers nerd but I’ve been that way ever since I was a child and even now as an adult. I not only see the importance of teaching children about money habits but also adults.
As adults we need to prepare ourselves financially and emotionally so we can provide this valuable information to our children to pass on to their own.Together we can create a chain reaction that spans this earth but money and finance begins with you.
If you care about financial literacy as much as I do, take the time to spread the word and help others to understand. You may just make someone smile.
I want to thank Shannon at the heavy purse for encouraging me to be part of Financial Literacy Awareness month and to share a story like this one today. Shannon has created a Financial Literacy Carnival and recruited other bloggers to share what financial literacy means to them. I hope you get an opportunity to read these personal stories and take hold of your financial future.
Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?
- PF Weekly Reading List #15- Bieber Wants To Help Your Kids “Get Money” (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Should I Rent Or Buy? The Million Dollar Question (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- There And Back Again: A Spenders Financial Journey (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- The A-Z Of Saving Money E-Book-A to Zero Excuses! (canadianbudgetbinder.com)