The Mule was your Ride and the Backpack your Head

You watch the Food Network and your mouth begins to water and somehow your stomach starts fighting for your attention. Could it be that the recipes you see are so tantalizing you can smell them through the television. Yes, it’s true cooking from scratch is the best way to go. Celebrity Chefs and the Food Network thrive on all the amazing food they dish up to Canadians and Americans around the world. But does it have to break the budget? Do we really need to be eating convenience in can because we think we can’t afford fresh food? For the mere $1.29 cost of  canned pasta in sauce I can whip up something super healthy in a flash. Even College and University students are now taking a notice at their budget and meal planning in advance using flyers and coupons. The Mule was your ride and your backpack was your head You see, back in the day money was not so readily available to most families. You would see farmland from as far as the eye could see. Many families would grow produce, garlic,nuts, beans and grains etc on their land. They worked hard to put a roof over their heads and food […]

Top Seven Budgeting Mistakes

Budget, Budget, Budget- Only families with children and the white picket fence need one of those, right? WRONG…everyone should use a budget. Did you know that many people don’t even know how to budget? You see most people don’t talk about finances let alone chat about where their money is going. Try telling my old school parents about budgeting and you better duck as hands will be swinging. Whether your plan to start a budget is to get out of debt or stay ahead of the race don’t linger around the Jones’ pad as you might be calling on Uncle Jed to bail you out. Did you Know? In 2011, the Vanier Institute of  the Family released data claiming the debt-to-income ratio is a record 150% noted at yourmoney.ca. Seven Common Budgeting Mistakes You don’t have a budget- If you are wondering why you can’t get that new toy or why you can’t sleep at night it’s because you don’t have a budget. Designing a family or personal budget will keep your spending and saving on track. You don’t save your receipts– It’s so important to keep all your receipts so you enter this data into your budget binder spreadsheet. If you […]

Til Death Do Us Coupon- Are you doing it Canada?

Two things in life are for definite “Taxes” and “Death”.   Creeping the list is “Debt”  which is a reality for most Canadians. It really doesn’t matter what your neighbour has, it matters what YOU have! How can we dig ourselves out from this mess we created? Yes we all did it, purchased items with money we didn’t have. Now we need to clean it up. One way to help the clean up is using coupons to save money. I never thought I would say this. Coupons… Really? What man uses coupons? Not this one, no way! That’s what I thought a few years back. Now it’s a no-brainer.  Yes, couponing can and will help you save money but it’s just one step in getting debt under control. Extra money you save from couponing you can put towards your debt or investments. Some people have to coupon just to put food on the table but at the end of the day, money is saved. I remember my granny clipping coupons when I was a lad. Of course I had no idea about coupons back in the day. Who knew 30 years later consumers around the world still clip coupons to […]

Budgeting for Love on Valentines Day

Like most men, I wonder what I should plan special for my wife on Valentine’s Day. An automatic Day where love is in the air,  but seems like every other day to me. You ask any man and he is terrified about not doing enough for Valentine’s Day or getting the right gifts for her. He wants to make sure everything is perfect! I ask myself….. Do I love her more today than I did yesterday? Romantic Valentine’s Ideas come to mind but at what cost? Breakfast in Bed Candlelit Dinner Dozen Red Roses Box of the best Chocolates A beautiful card that says I love you! A date she will never forget Men save your dollars for today is the day, you WILL break the bank or potentially break her heart. According to Global TV News men spend an average $158 and women $75 on Valentine’s Day. Planing ahead and budgeting for these expenses are simple. Did you know that “Rose’s” are most expensive on Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year? Learn how to save money on Rose’s and why Red may not be your first pick. Whether you are dating or married you should budget in the “Love” if that’s the kind of  spender you are. […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Can we stick to the Grocery Budget Feb 2012 Week 3?

Week: February 13-19 We will not Shop, We will not Shop, We will not Shop Like usual I open the front door and there upon the mound of snow is our weekly flyers. I’m still confused why she avoids the mailbox which is clearly hanging on the wall. Perhaps, she just doesn’t care that my flyers are soaking wet. Changes to our grocery budget in February,2012 has us committed to a “Shop Free” week once a month. The grocery game is a system we use to keep the budget in check. Shop Free week has arrived for us and it’s bitter-sweet. Gazing into the refrigerator I’m amazed to see temperature controls on the back wall. I typically brace for explosion with produce, condiments and beverages. Now that we’ve taken it down a notch it makes me realize how little we need to make it through the week. Our Discovery…….Shop for what you need now, not what you think you will need. Less Food=Less Waste= More Money for the BUDGET You know when you’re at the grocery store and you convince yourself you need ( insert product here). We’ll use Mangos. Reasoning would be … It’s so hot outside and I can […]

Kick the Smoking Habit, Save your Health and Budget- Ending Week 2

Forever is just the beginning to a Healthy New You! Baby Steps, baby steps, you can do it, the words of our support system. We have ended week 2 quitting smoking and thus far its been the best decision in our lives besides marrying each other. Aweeee… I know, I’m sweet that way! Have you ever considered quitting smoking? We had over the years but mostly my wife as I never thought I could do it. Most of the time the negative reasoning got the best of me and ended any further conversation on the subject. What thoughts were running through my head? I love smoking too much What will I do with my time What do you mean I smell, I don’t smell anything I don’t smoke much I can’t, I need it to relax after I eat, at work, in my truck Everyone I hang out with smokes, I can’t possibly quit What I was missing were 2 important facts; Smoking Kills! My father passed away while having Heart By-Pass Surgery Smoking costs a fortune at $30 a week you crunch the numbers. I know some couples that spend $150 a week…. OUCH! What side effects have we […]

Using Vinegar to Clean up your Budget!

By now if you are following how we designed our Budget Steps One, Two and Three you should start to see where your money is going every month. One item we noticed that cost us a bit of money was “cleaning supplies”.  We asked ourselves whether it was necessary to spend over $20.00 a month out of our budget. Then it happened, I realized how much more we could save after hearing my mothers voice in my head. When I was younger and my mother told me that she liked using vinegar to clean windows. I just thought she was nutty but like the saying”you will understand when you get older” now makes sense. Here is a list of Cleaning Supplies I used to purchase even with coupons. Windex or Window Cleaner Floor Cleaner Brasso Fantastik Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaner Wipes Stainless Steel Cleaner Stainless Steel Wipes Silvo Liquid Plumber Oven Cleaner Leather Wipes The list goes on and on, and I didn’t realize the many uses for vinegar. Vinegar is not only used for cleaning but an array of ideas have surfaced all over the web. Yes, Vinegar Kills Bacteria, Mold and Germs! This is why I now keep a spray bottle with 5% Vinegar ( […]

How We Designed Our Budget Step 3-Tracking Receipts

Perhaps it’s been a bit of work to get this far in the budgeting process but it will be worth it. In Step 1 we learned what a budget was and what information you needed to gather before moving on to Step 2. While Step 1 might have been a daunting task Step 2 in Designing the budget should have been a bit easier. You learned how to divide your Net earnings into a budget and spend less than you make. In Step 3 of designing the budget you will learn the importance of documentation.  Documenting everything you spend is crucial to succeed when budgeting. Tracking all your Receipts Keep track of what you spend. Why you ask? Read the following scenario; If you spend $5.00 on coffee in cash and fail to document it that’s $5.00 you have lost a trail to in the budget. You now have to figure out why you are short $5.00. I always make sure I ask for a receipt even at Tim Horton’s. Another loss leader in the budget is trying to hide spending from your spouse/partner ,simply “don’t do it”. What do we do with all these Receipts? Every time we receive a […]

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