A Love Letter And Life Lessons: Money Fool To A Budgeting Money Saver!

I'm_A_Money_Saver_Quote

A love letter taught me a life lesson steering me away from becoming a money fool and into a budgeting money saver. I know what you are thinking and you are probably right. What did Mr.CBB get himself into this time. Well the morale of the story is always the icing on the cake so I’ll save that until you get deeper into the thick of things.

A Fool And His Money

If you’ve ever considered yourself a money fool which to me means someone who spends without a care in the world then you may learn a lesson or two here. You may be someone who doesn’t worry much about what’s right and wrong but you know that at some point you have to make decisions you might not want to face.

You are spending cash to impress others or to make yourself feel better but there comes a time when you must pay for those pleasures. If you spent money you didn’t have or too much money then you have to decide what your next financial step will be.

I often think back to when I was younger and ponder what I might have done or experienced that moulded me into the frugal money saving man that I am today. I certainly didn’t aspire to be an accredited investor in hedge funds but I knew that if I was to make millions it would be because I won the lottery or by some odd chance I had a talent I wasn’t aware of .

Consequently as an adult maybe by default I could become a master of invention and end up on Dragon’s Den, but that’s not likely going to happen. Clearly none of these have come to fruition but I still have the seeds that were planted when I was a young boy. Those seeds taught me that I have the power to become an expert at saving money and the mindset to learn how to invest my money.

Why didn’t I go hog-wild and spend money on clothes, cars, partying and trying to be the cool kid? So many kids today try to fit in but that was never me, I didn’t care. There wasn’t visions of the present only what I thought my future might or could look like if I put in a little hard work.

If only I could find all the ways to save money and make my real estate investments work for me then I’d be ahead of the game was what I used to think to myself. “Hold your investments proud” (hyip) my father would say and I remember being happy when I bought my first home at age 21. That’s the new way to say, I’m hip! I’m sure he meant to have faith in what you do with your money especially if your goal is to make more money.

My parents taught me about money from a young age but it’s more than just education, it’s a mindset that creates individuality with-in a person.  I didn’t save every penny I earned but I also didn’t do enough homework about personal finance like I should have done. A money fool, maybe I was to an extent but at least I rode the waves without burning holes in my board.

We grow up learning from our own experiences what we should and shouldn’t be doing. It’s with-in these experiences that we build up the forces to giving us the strength to make the right or wrong decisions in life. We all make mistakes but learning the reasons why we made them and why we want to fix them is a concentrated way to come to terms with these experiences.

Budgeting our money is just one way that as a couple we learned to come to terms that we can’t just run out and buy something because we have credit or cash for that matter. We know through experiences in our younger years that money is earned and doesn’t grow on trees. I get it now, it takes hard work and lots of hours to build up emergency savings in the bank.

When someone wants to start using a budget they should make sure that they are ready for this chapter in their life and they are willing to take control of money, this world’s evil, this world’s comfort, this world’s love letter. We have a love for money, it’s a note, a letter that follows us through all facets of daily living and into our minds and how we react to situations that surround us.

Why Are You Budgeting?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, not everyone is cut out to budget their money and not everyone wants or has to use a budget. There are many people who are comfortable making sure they don’t spend more than they earn and pay themselves first. That’s certainly not me only because I need to track figures because I’m a numbers guy and want to know where my money is going.

Asking yourself why you are budgeting and what you plan to accomplish by using a budget is the first step to accepting the budgeting challenge. Getting your finances back on track takes a commitment and it has to be more than “I promise I won’t spend any money”.. like a 5-year-old tells their parents.

It’s not a game or a race to the finish line because no one else is going to care how much money is in your pot and whether you finish or not. Don’t look at budgeting comparing it to likes of  ‘confinement of your own money’ and your life has ended rather look at it as a tool to educate yourself about your spending habits.

You know that we never used to budget before we were married and we spent money whenever we wanted but we made the big mistake of not tracking expenses. We just spent money and whatever the cost we paid for it with a bit of the frugality mindset, just not enough.  Since we always had a healthy savings account we never gave much thought to how much money we would dish out each week, which was the wrong attitude to have.

Swiping our debit card and MasterCard was and still is the way we roll with our money and how we pay for purchases. Sure using plastic to pay could get out of hand if one is not mindful but at the same time it taught us to think about what we were spending our money on especially when the bill came in.

Cash just seems to flow easier when we have it so we rarely carry it. Reading our credit card bills really set off the spending alarm bells for us and another reason we wanted to cut-back and stop being money fools with our money.

Yes you can still be a money fool even if you are saving money because you just spend like nobody’s watching when in reality you may not have as much control over your expenses as you think you do. I know some people who say once all the bills are paid the rest is for me to blow any which way I see fit. Maybe, but we don’t always have to rush out and buy stuff just because we can.

Don’t Be A Money Fool

If you don’t have the right attitude when beginning a budget then it’s probably going to fail before it’s even begun. Sometimes I get emails from fans who say they are on board with their new budget but their partner is not. It’s not easy to motivate someone who views their income as easy spending money. A money fool won’t see the light until something comes crashing down, life changes or a reality sets in.

Be Real With Your Expectations

If you believe that a budget is going to solve all your money problems right away you aren’t being fair to yourself. Let go of the notion that there are quick fixes to pay off debt because that is nothing short of a lie. Sure you can get payday loans, bank loans, lines of credits and all the other credit that’s widely available but it’s just that, credit. You still owe the money now matter what end of the bill you hold.

Spend Money On Yourself

This is one area of our budget that we put on hold while we were saving for a downpayment on our home. Even though we had significant savings we wanted to maximize how much we could save and how much home we could buy. We decided to lay off  on the rare occasions of eating out, coffees and shopping in general to reach this goal.

We have since introduced a small entertainment fund and an allowance which is essentially for the both of us of $30 although we use it mainly for a case of beer or if we want to splurge on coffee or a treat at the local shops.

Chill With Other Money Savers

Although we learn from being around a diverse group of people sometimes it’s best to surround yourself with people that are similar to you. If you are with people whom you try to impress with your money your goals may not be attained as you desire. It’s a different story if you have enough money to get by every month to pay the bills and splurge.

If you aren’t paying your bills and splashing your money around with excuses of entitlement than maybe the folks you mingle with aren’t the best company for you at this time.

If you want to stay motivated then sometimes you need to move away from those that aren’t and go it alone. It reminds me of when I quit smoking. It’s not easy hanging out with a bunch of mates that smoke when I just quit smoking.

After a while it didn’t bother me like it did at first but I opted to stay away for a while until I got the cravings under control. I didn’t ditch my friends I simply took a step back until I knew It was safe to come out again. You can do the same with your finances but only if you feel you have the control you need to achieve your goals.

Deep inside if you want something so bad that you can almost taste it, than you will do whatever it takes to achieve it. Sure we all fall off the bandwagon but hell, pick yourself back up and get going again. No one is going to wipe your toosh from falling because you are the captain of your destiny.

If you do have someone with open arms, they are your angels, your light, someone who cares and someone who doesn’t want to see you fail. Embrace the help with open arms.

Bottom line, if you can’t say no I’m on a budget then do yourself a favour and walk away. If your friends don’t understand then it’s time to find new ones. If you’ve already tasted what it’s like on one side of the fence why keep your foot buried while trying to get over to the other side?

Incorporate A Budget Into Your Lifestyle 

It’s not necessary that a budget must dominate your life because that’s not what it’s meant for. Take the time to customize your budget and make it work for you and not against you. Introducing a budget slowly is much easier than dumping it on all at once. Budget failure is your own fault when you don’t plan to work through step by step how it should be incorporated into your daily life.

The Budget Attitude

If you can’t laugh a little then what’s the point? If you feel that a budget is going to hamper your spending style and your depress you to the point where you will give up then don’t start. You need to live a little, love life and find ways that don’t always involve money to make you happy. If you find that “things and stuff” are more important than the roof over your head and homemade meals on the table than a budget might not work for you.

Love Letters

Ah, the love letter. I remember when I got caught by the teacher doing something I wasn’t supposed to being doing in class. Yes I was always into something I wasn’t supposed to be but this time I was merely being the good student and helping out a fellow classmate. You see, Jillian was the popular, pretty girl that no one ever dared said no to. I surely couldn’t say no to her especially since she had a crush on my mate Billy.

I was passing a note that Jillian had tapped me on the shoulder with and asked me to pass to Billy for her. You would think it would have said something like, “Can you help me study for the next math test”. No, that would be far too easy, she had to make it mushy.

Well I’m the one who got caught with the “love letter” and remember thinking “why does this crap always happen to me”. I was a good kid but I knew better than to not pay attention when I was supposed to be learning from my teacher. I should have said, no.

Although I didn’t have to read the note out loud the teacher kindly did that for me. It went something along the lines of “Billy, you make me smile whenever you look at me”… bla bla bla, Love Jillian xo xo. Everyone knew Jillian had a crush on Billy and of course the letter made everyone bust out in laughter and should have made me red in the face. My punishment that day for passing the letter taught me a few things that I carry with me today.

Life Lessons 
  • Laughing really does help when you think others are going to laugh at you, might as well join them because we shouldn’t be ashamed of who we are, where we came from and mistakes we’ve made.
  • It didn’t matter what anyone thought of me because I had to take responsibility for my actions when I should have declined passing the note. It’s hard though when a pretty girl is smiling back at you but we must overcome temptation especially if we know it’s wrong.
  • When the teacher made me write “I Will Not Pass Love Letters In Class” 100 times on a piece of paper it meant I sure as hell was never going to do that again.
  • Learn to say no sometimes, it doesn’t hurt and people will soon forget and move on.
  • Good looks only gets you so far in life

My point is if you really want to have something engrained in your mind, laugh a little, take responsibility for your actions, do something about it and stop worrying about everyone else. If all else fails, write it out 100 times because I bet that by the time you hit 10 or even 20 lines you’ll get it.

No Billy and Jillian didn’t go on to live happily ever after but I went on to learn that one wrong doesn’t make a right. Becoming a budgeting money saver doesn’t have to make you feel as if you are being punished or sent to the corner for not managing your finances properly.

What it means is that you are taking the time to educate yourself on ways to improve your finances so you too can stand up and say “budgeting saved my finances” while leaving the money fool behind.

Can you remember a time when you were young that you were taught a lesson that is still with you today? 

-Excuses Quote

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Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. mycanuckbuck says:

    This may sound like an odd one – but never overdo it on baking powder or soda. I remember a home class where some folks put too much of these in – and whatever they made tasted horrible! I guess the life lesson is that more is not always better!

    • For a second I thought maybe you meant to post on one of my recipes lol. I think balance in anything we in life is important. I also think that if we truly want to achieve a goal we will set our plans in motion and give it 100%! Cheer Cat!!

  2. Good post Mr CBB! I think we’ve all been a money fool at some point, it’s just part of the journey. I say this as I have 8 lawn sized garbage bags and 4 boxes ready for a charity donation pick-up tomorrow morning. I hate to admit, it is all crafting supplies that I never used and I have since lost interest in as I age. The worst part is… this is just a drop in the bucket towards my major de-cluttering project for the entire house. Books are another big issue…everyone used to share books, back in the day, and I have so many pocket books I have never even looked at! I have more books than any one human being will read in a lifetime and now that I read on my iPad and have 10,000 free books on it… it’s time to donate all the paperbacks to someone who will enjoy them.

    Did I NEED to buy all this “stuff”, obviously not but I thought so at the time. :-( After storing most of this craft stuff and the books for more than 30 years and in some cases 40 years… it’s time to move it on out.

    Do I lament the donations? Not really… because I am donating to charity and someone deserving will inherit my cast-offs or be able to purchase at a discount in their local Thrift store. It would be nicer to have all the cash that I spent over the years but… yesterday is gone and I can’t dwell in the “past” while I live in “today” and plan for the “future”.

    I have adopted a new attitude as well… if I haven’t either worn it or used it in the last 6 months, it is time to get rid of it. I am tired of our pack rat mentality where we have hung onto stuff just in case we need it some time before we die! REALLY!!! That’s nuts! If 20 years from now we need one, we’ll get one.

    We never did pare down our “stuff” when hubby and I got married and we combined 2 absolutely chock-a-block full households into one home. At that point we needed to divest ourselves of at least 50 percent of the stuff but being newlyweds, we were still rather attached to our “single selves” and so all the stuff all remained.

    Then, my mother passed on and more “stuff” came our way! Still no downsizing occurred but how could I give away a family treasure? I would feel like a traitor to my mother’s memory! Needless to say, you know what also happened when both of my grandmothers passed on.

    Fortunately, hubby and I have bought almost next to nothing as a couple, just a kitchen table and some oil paintings for the walls. It’s a good thing too – we simply don’t have the room for it! We have had way more stuff than any sane person either wants or needs since we moved in! Before anyone else leaves this earth and we inherit something else…I am clearing the decks! LOL :-)

    I know it’s a departure from the Money Fool concept a bit, since most of what we have is inherited or 30-40 years old but it’s the other end of the “Money Fool” scale. I am tired of the color scheme I picked when I was 17 and earth tones were in style. It might be nice to have some little thing that’s new and fresh, but we don’t ever get anything new while we hang onto the old. I am not advocating spending like a lunatic but it would be wonderful to make room for a little change and recognition that what we like 40 years ago is not what we like today. :-)

    Off I go to pack another box…

    • When I read this Mary you said something that reminded me of the wife. She ALWAYS says I’m going to keep this article of clothing for one reason or another. She has so many clothes it’s ridiculous and at one point I had to trash some when she wasn’t looking especially that awful Christmas sweater. I still hear about it today, do you know how much that cost, it was pretty etc.. but she’s over it. It’s hard for some people to get rid of stuff like you are doing as we get used to the mindset of we need it just in case. Almost cause for a blog post on this topic I think. Thanks for sharing your input and happy packing!! Out with the old and in with the new!

  3. Oh wow there are probably SO many things but here is one lesson that always stands out in my mind. When I was in 7th & 8th grade I used to shoplift a LOT! Mostly stickers and candy. I always got away with it. One day I was with my friend L (who passed away a couple years ago from cancer), and we were at a store. I stole some gum and she had no idea. When I offered her a piece she wanted to know how I got it. I told her I took it and she wanted me to put it back. I said there was no way in hell I was going back in to put it back, so she took the gum from me and put it back herself. I don’t know why but that was the only thing I needed to never steal again. In fact I’m honest to a fault. One time I thought the drug store forgot to charge me for a prescription so I drove all the way back there to tell them that, only to find out the prescription was now free. When we were roommates in college I remember one day where I was hurrying about and was tripping over things and knocking stuff down. She said, “haste makes waste.” Whenever I start to get chaotic I think those words from her and it always makes me slow down. I guess you could say she’s still somewhat of a guardian angel. :)

    • Thanks for sharing your story Tonya. Really what had me writing this post was thinking back about silly things I did which taught me a lesson. It’s clear how we may learn from things we did when we are young and they stay with us when we are older. Maybe she is your guardian angel and like I mentioned, embrace it. Cheers mate!

  4. You are certainly right about staying away from people who don’t support whatever you are trying to accomplish. It’s sad to say, but my family makes me want to spend money. My parents are pretty much set after my Dad sold his business a few years ago. They’ve always been pretty frugal and not carried debt, now they can buy what they want. However, then generally expect that I can as well. Almost like they forgot the effort it took to get there. They expect we should buy all kinds of crazy, unnecessary stuff for our daughter. It’s very odd because we didn’t do that growing up. Maybe you get amnesia as you get older? Anyway, I don’t bite at the temptation anymore or feel guilty. I’d rather be debt free with a bit investment account than have stuff.

    • Funny how some people who have money can expect others to live the same lifestyle and it can get hard if it’s family members. You shouldn’t feel guilty, like I said, no one will be there to wipe your toosh.. you have to pick up the pieces while they support you while eating popcorn watching you put your life back together. It’s not worth it.. take care of your own first. Cheers Kim, thanks for dropping in mate!

  5. “If you believe that a budget is going to solve all your money problems right away you aren’t being fair to yourself.” I could not agree more Mr. CBB! Having a budget is one thing and living out a financially disciplined life is another. That’s probably part of the reason why I started & stopped so many times before it finally stuck with me. Great post sir!

  6. Christine Weadick says:

    Life is a learning experience….. we all learn as we go on. I’m slowly working at getting rid of stuff, usually when hubby is outside enjoying the nice weather. If I can get one bag in the garbage bin and one to the Thrift store a week all is good. He doesn’t notice….. lol…I have stuff we inherited from his Mom to go through and donate. The only reason there is some of the dish set she loved but no one else did is that I know there is more of it so I may as well send the whole works at one time so some one may enjoy the whole set…. It reminded her of Hawaii where her sister used to live….Better work on this stuff now because I’m going to have another houseful of stuff to clear out at some point when my Dad goes…. Mary… I hear you with the books….. no books online all on shelves here…. hubby is so proud of his book collection…………We’d have to be cats with 9 lives to get through all of them!!! Our basement really needs work as hubby has tools from here to hell and back, there are doubles down there because he couldn’t find something so he bought another…. We need to loose the pack rat habit….

    • Books are almost a thing of the past, I wonder who buys them any more and I wonder if they will fall to the side in the future. My wife has many books here as well but she claims she will read them or will read them again> Thanks for your comment Christine!

  7. There are too many life lessons, but my biggest was about lying. I used to lie all the time when I was young, but then my mother stopped listening to me. I realized that I was hurting those that I lied to. I don’t do it anymore because I learned a valuable lesson.

    • Well done mate. We don’t often stop and think about lessons learned growing up and how they have shaped us into who we are today. Sometimes we have to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Cheers mate

  8. Chilling with other money savers is one of the hardest things to do. We have always had trouble finding friends who share our money saving values. That is one reason we love the PF blogging community so much. As far as budgeting goes, we used to believe that we didn’t need a budget either. We were frugal. We were cheap. However, our money kept flying out the window…until we gave it a purpose with a budget.

    BTW – I believe the US version of Dragons Den is called Shark Tank…and I love that show. It has several of the same people on it too:)

    • I think that’s the point I try to get across. Like the both of you we were also very frugal but when we started budgeting we realized we were still blowing money, more than we should have been. I like that program as well it’s always interesting to see what people come up with. At least they are giving it a shot, I envy them for their courage and determination to succeed in life. That’s a drive I would love to have.

  9. daisyprairieecothrifter says:

    I love the life lessons. I think I budget because I want to save enough to be comfortable should there ever be an emergency or something happens. Unfortunately my friends (most of them) aren’t money savers!

  10. Great post, Mr. CBB. My biggest lesson learned was probably from my parents’ divorce. It taught me that most times, failure is a choice. It also taught me not to give up on my own marriage, and that marriages often fail because of selfishness on the part of one partner or the other. For those reasons, Rick and I have chosen to stay married, even through the rough stuff, and we’re so very glad we did.

  11. donna pierce says:

    My childhood is what has made me who I am today. It’s not so much what I learned in school as what I learned growing up in an alcoholic home . Money was always scarce as well ss food. I knew when i grew up I was not gona live like this. I wanted security. I never wanted an expensive life. I wanted a home I could live in& not have to move all the time. I wanted enough food as to never know hunger again .I wanted the things people took for granted. I also knew I had to do it to myself. Only then could noone take it from me . I never wanted to be rich. I knew people with lots of wealth & very unhappy. I wanted a home paid for. I wanted to meet all my needs & have money for some wants . I always have made sure I had a nest egg for the unfor seen things. I have realized life has gotten more complicated & expensive. There fore I must learn better ways to hold on to what I call my peace of mind. So now to put my actions on paper & not just in my head. This way I can see where the dollars go I dont see slipping away. No time for waste. I’m not young enough anymore to have time or money to waste. It’s now or never. I’m looking forward to taking what I’ve learned along with me on my journey . Blending the old with the new & finding out whats down the road ahead of me. Till I die i pla- on learning how to be a better me & live a better life.

    • Thank you for sharing that story with us Donna. Sometimes we can look back on our lives and think of all the things that we didn’t want to do or what we wanted to change. We always have the power to make our own lives what we want. We may not have lives layered in gold but having love, a roof over our heads and food on the table is just as equal to me.

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