Teenage Pregnancy: Couple Makes Amazing Life Changes and A Budget!

This is going to be one of those teenage pregnancy stories with a happy ending for both of us who are now happily married with a darling son.The path that takes us to where we are today was not paved with gold, it took hard work and we created opportunities. I hope our story inspires, motivates and encourages other teenagers to take a step forward, challenge themselves and make a change. My Story, Our Life I grew up in suburban Winnipeg in your typical middle class Canadian neighbourhood although I never really felt middle class. My parents separated when I was 3, and divorced when I was 7 years old. As common as divorce is, it certainly didn’t feel that way to me. My mother did the best she could to provide us with the necessities  and we never went hungry. It just felt that we did because everyone else had so much more, like a car or a microwave. It always felt like it mattered to me not having the best of everything which others all had. I soon realized that it didn’t, after all, how many dolls does one kid need? School and Work School was always easy for me and in my circle […]

Three Hands And An Action Plan~I’m A Mom On The Go!

Three hands and an action plan, that’s what I have because I’m a mom on the go. Any mom will tell you there’s never a dull moment and always something that has to get done and something that needed to get done yesterday. Welcome everyone to Katrina’s life as I share with you how I manage my time with my career, my kids and my personal finances. ‘I don’t know how you do it’, ‘I wish I had your energy’ and even ‘You’re crazy!’ are just a few of the things I’ve heard over the last 3 years. Crazy sounds accurate to me some days and I can honestly say I do not always know myself how I do it! I’m a single career mom who works on average 30 hours a week, landscape on the side to make extra income and care for my two kids on my own. On the home-front although I do not own my home, I take care of the entire property and as much of the home maintenance that I am capable of. I also started couponing about a year ago with Coupon Christine who introduced me to Mr.CBB at Canadian Budget Binder. It wasn’t long until I was hooked on the idea […]

Daycare-You Are The Voice For Your Children

Daycare is not something Mrs.CBB and I are worried about at the moment but for those of you that are parents that might be a different story. You don’t really read up about kids when you don’t have kids, well at least I don’t unless it’s something that is brought to my attention. I tend to thrive on “How To” articles and DIY projects that I need to get done around the house because I enjoy learning about these topics. This post mostly comes after friends of our divulged how much they were paying out for their 1 year old child to go to a licensed daycare. They also told us how they struggled to find a spot and weren’t sure if they were going to be able to get their child into the daycare as they were put on a waiting list. I asked what other options they had and the first one was to bring their child to family. They chose the daycare for the day-to-day interaction so their child had the opportunity to interact with other children. Luckily for them a spot opened up. Are parents really in the dark though about who’s looking after their kids?Apparently […]

The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling In Canada Part 2 of 2

  What is Homeschooling? Homeschooling is the form of education where the parents teach their children outside of the conventional classroom setting. For those of us in the trenches, we slog through the day-to-day challenges of teaching our kids at home – both the good and the hard – in order to offer the best education that we can. It’s not for everyone. We fully appreciate that. Today, I’m going to share with you a few of the pros and cons of being a homeschooling family, from our side of the fence. Pros You can tailor-make your curriculum to suit your child‘s interests, needs, abilities, skills, and learning style. You can personalize your curriculum to cover topics that are important to you, such as faith, life skills, culture, languages, etc. You can be flexible in your scheduling – so you can take days off, go on holidays when everyone else is in school, do “school” all morning and take afternoons off, don’t fall behind if your family is sick, have a birthday party in the middle of the day, spend days with Dad, etc. You get to be the major influence on your children‘s lives, instead of a group of peers and adults whose values […]

A Personal Story:Chores and Money Lessons Growing Up

Teaching children about money is one of the most important things a parent can do for their child. It has the potential to set them up for the rest of their lives as financially responsible adults, or if it is neglected, adults who just don’t understand why they can never get ahead financially. My parents taught me about money through household chores and this is how it unfolded. Parents, Chores and Money I didn’t realize it when I was younger, but my parents started teaching me about the value of money from a young age. It wasn’t your typical classroom style teaching experience where the teacher comes in and says – “Now Glen, you’re going to sit here and learn about the value of money. Pay close attention, because there will be an exam at the end of the week!”. No, it was a gradual learning exercise that started when I was a young boy. Each week my parents set out standard chores that I was expected to complete. Things like: Making my bed every day Doing the dishes and clearing the table after meals Getting the mail Taking the bins to the curb My remuneration for completing these chores was $5 a week allowance. […]

Bullying To Homeschooling Our Two Kids On One Income- 1 of 2 Part Series

My name is Nicole and I live in Calgary, Alberta and have homeschooled my two boys, ages 14 and 10, for 2 years now. Homeschooling was our oldest child’s idea due to bullying and other peer issues at his elementary school. They were in the public system before that and it was a huge nightmare for us. Homeschooling has been a huge blessing and stress relief for our entire family.   Why We Chose To Homeschool and  the process   Our oldest was dealing with major bullying issues in elementary school and it actually landed him in hospital for a week. During this time he had talked about homeschooling but didn’t think we would be able to do it because my husband and I worked full-time. We explained to him that if he thought it would help him and relieve some stresses, we would look into it. It must have been meant to be because of the way things lined up. He had mentioned this on a Thursday. The following Wednesday we went to an Open House for the Centre for learning at Home. The next day we went to an Open House at CHER where we can buy all of […]

Making Money on Parental Leave In Canada

  Can I make money while on Parental and Maternity leave? This is a frequent question my Canadian Budget Binder fans want to know. So, I went to Mom Expert Sarah Deveau, Author of Money Smart Mom to share the inside scoop for our fellow Canadians wanting to learn about making some extra money while they are off work caring for their new bundle(s) of joy.   Parental Leave Earnings   Here’s what Sarah has to say…. If you’ve just had a baby and are living on the reduced income of employment insurance maternity or parental leave payments, you might be wondering how to bring in extra income. If you earn income while on the maternity leave portion of the benefit (the first 15 weeks), your earnings will be deducted dollar for dollar from your benefits. If you work while you’re receiving the parental leave benefit, after the first 15 weeks, in the past you’ve been allowed to earn $75 per week or 40% of your weekly benefits, whichever is higher. Any income earned above that amount will be deducted dollar for dollar from your benefits. However, due to the new Working While on Claim (WWC) pilot project, once you have served the waiting period, if your earnings are equal […]