Savings competitions helped couple save $20k to buy a house

couple savings competitionsMONEY COMPETITIONS CAN BE FUN

 

I’ll admit that I was always the competitive type growing up because I wanted to be successful at whatever I did.

When I did participate in something I did it to the best of my ability and tried to surpass any goals that I set for myself.

I could easily say money is a big part of my life in the sense that we need it to survive so I compete to keep earning it while building my career.

I don’t challenge myself to earn a certain amount of money although we do set financial goals for ourselves. If it happens, it happens but we do live a frugal lifestyle and use a budget to help the process along.

If I didn’t push myself to live each day to the max my life would be boring. My wife would never be surprised with the special things I do for her to make her day easier. Our son would not have the dad that goes above and beyond for him if I didn’t have some form of competitive nature in me. I want the best for my family so I work hard for them every day.

On the flip side I’m very patient and know that you have to balance a busy life with happiness. Be happy with what you have but don’t give up trying to aim for more. Sometimes though competitions can get out of hand if all you do is focus on winning and ignore your surroundings.

I have to say that I get overwhelmed with joy when people email me to say that they use our budget or started budgeting because of this blog.

Today a CBB fan asked me if Mrs. CBB and I had money competitions before we were married. We weren’t in any money competitions like this couple which you will read about in a minute but I thought it was a brilliant idea if it helps to learn about each other.

Now that we are married and using a budget we noticed our grocery expenses were very high so we created a competition on CBB called The Grocery Game Challenge. The challenge helps us stick to our grocery budget which is one expense we continue to struggle with every month.

In the end Mrs. CBB and I did what worked for us and that is all you can do. We chose to rent and save as much as we could by using coupons and not going out to splurge on ourselves.

I’m pretty sure Mrs. CBB will agree that if we didn’t budget and have such a relationship that we wouldn’t be debt free like we are today. It was worth it and we’d do it all over again, but we’d budget earlier. We didn’t budget while dating so this couple is ahead of us by miles.

I’m happy that we inspired you to budget and we both hope that you go on to achieve all that you need in life which makes you both happy.

Thanks for sharing your story C &L.

-Mr.CBB

Please note: I do edit and optimize (add headers) to the fan question/story if need be and add the occasional link back to CBB if relevant then reviewed with the author. 🙂

If you have a question or a story about your financial life that you want to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca. You don’t need to leave your name if you don’t want to but I need an email address to contact you.

I get lots of emails so I can’t promise you that your story will get published but I will respond.-Mr.CBB

Dear Mr.CBB,

My wife and I both met on a free online dating website Plenty Of Fish when we had both graduated and were looking for love.

We had no success meeting potential suitors the traditional ways so we thought we’d see what online dating had to offer. I’ll admit that I had a brief experience with speed dating which was more of a laugh than anything.

Both of us came from homes where finances were tight but our parents taught us about money and the importance of savings even though it really didn’t register until we were in our teens.

What I found unique about my wife was when we met she came right out about her “financial lust” as I like to call it. She held nothing back and I can safely say that I don’t blame her. At first I thought it was odd but I had nothing to hide so I talked to her about money. It was no big deal for me.

Just like her I wasn’t interested in getting involved with someone who had debt trailing behind them either. This was what we wanted because paying off debt for years before we got married or even owned a home was not an option if a relationship were to bloom.

Neither one of us has student debt because we worked summers full-time before we started University to pay cash so we didn’t need to get OSAP. We can’t begin to tell you how thankful we are now that we made it to the end without debt and all those painful summer days we had to work for our future.

Our parents each gave us a bit of money to off-set some of the costs which we are thankful for.

 

Bring on the savings competitions…

 

What I wanted to share with you today is that while using your free budget we had these savings competitions before we got married, while living on our own.

I don’t know if this will inspire any of your fans but I thought it would do no harm sending you this email detailing what we did. Overall it helped us to achieve our goal of owning a home even though it may seem off the wall to some people.

We separately rented an apartment while we were dating and although we didn’t know if we would ultimately walk down the aisle together we knew that money needed to be discussed.

Our dates were (and still are) frugal as most of the time we enjoyed just spending time together going for walks, sight-seeing and drinking a beverage at a local pub or coffee shop. About 3 months had come and gone and things were getting very serious with us.

One night while walking on the beach to watch the sunset we had this conversation about challenging each other to save as much as we could to buy a house if we were to get married.If we didn’t end up together we would have a nice savings account.

In the back of our minds I think we already knew it was going to happen it was just a matter of time but there really was no rush down the aisle for us. We just clicked, it was love at first sight.

We would go on to create these monthly budget competitions to see who could save more money each month in certain budget categories that we struggled with. Whoever saved the most had to create a romantic date night that included a full home-cooked meal, wine and whatever else… shh!

The lesson also gave us both a head-start understanding what living life on a budget was like. We both have decent earning careers in our field of study and have since graduating.

This is where your budget came into play for us. We both downloaded it and set it up so we knew exactly how much money we were earning and what expenses were being paid out.

Over a 2 month period the results were pretty interesting as neither one of us had used a budget before.We had no idea how many thousands of dollars we were spending on certain items every year once we crunched the numbers.

It was at that point that we realized we both have financial weaknesses that need cleaning up.

Who knew that I was spending upwards of $500 a month on groceries for myself…. ouch! I admit I never bothered with sales or coupons. I just went in to the grocery store and bought what I needed.

I’ve never had patience for grocery shopping but I’ve learned to endure it. I cut that $500 back to just $150 a month saving me approximately $350 a month.

I like to eat out and she doesn’t BUT she loves her lattes so our entertainment category and our grocery budget became monthly competitions for us. I also like to go out with my friends drinking and she has a special love for all things fashion and makeup.

Even though you think you are frugal it’s not until you see how much you’ve spent where you have to wonder, maybe I can do better.

How did our savings competitions work?

What would happen is any money that we managed to save in our budget categories from the competitions would go into a high-interest savings account that we both opened. She had one and I had one with PC Financial since they have no fees we have to pay.

We could have put the extra money into a Tax Free Savings Account but we both already max out our investments every month. We also both have a $5000 emergency savings fund that helps make us feel better knowing that there is some money in case something were to happen.

As the accounts were growing we would add in our income tax refunds and any other extra money that we received. Over the course of almost two years we were able to save $20,000 for a down-payment on a house. We also saved $10,000 for our wedding from the savings competitions and using a budget.

The First Time Home Buyers Plan was an option but we thought why bother when all we would be doing is creating another bill we would have to pay back. We were better off saving the down-payment we wanted rather than tap into that option.

These savings competitions brought us together as a couple in terms of understanding each others spending habits and we managed to save some cash without going crazy in the process.

We were both confident going into the marriage that we could…

  1. Save money together
  2. Talk about our finances.
  3. Budget as a team

These are three things that many couples fail to do and end up divorced or bankrupt because they just can’t seem to get their finances in order.

We were married at the end of 2014 and have now just purchased our first home.

Some of you might think it was a bit odd what we did BUT it worked and now we want to continue budgeting so we can try and pay off our mortgage like Mr. and Mrs. CBB did and save for our future (maybe some kids).

Did you and your wife have any type of savings competitions before you were married and after?

Thanks for inspiring us Mr.CBB.

C & L

its not about how much money you make its how you save it logo

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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/Ambro

Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. That’s bad ass 🙂

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