How to survive a winter storm with no power

MAKING IT THROUGH THE STORM   While the ice storm that we had this week in Ontario created quite a sight to see, sparkling trees covered in glistening ice and an ice covering over everything, this Winter Wonderland also came with a lot of destruction, inconveniences for many and sadly a couple of deaths. With hundreds of thousands of people losing their power there are still a number of people who are waiting for theirs to come back on, 48 hours or more after the storm while others enjoyed Christmas Day in the warmth of their homes. Being prepared for an extended power outage can make getting through those long, cold days less of a struggle. The recent cold snap hasn’t helped the situation.   Staying Warm   Having no power means no heat in your home. Staying warm will be a challenge if you are not prepared. We had a little notice that this storm was coming and I have to admit I was not as prepared as I could have been. Beyond having lots of blankets and warm sweaters to put on, seeking out warming stations that many cities provided would have been an option if our power […]

How to get what you pay for when buying online

DON’T REGRET YOUR PURCHASES   If you fail to take a few minutes to read over the small print you might just be surprised what you are actually buying. With the holidays fast approaching and many people scrambling to buy their Christmas gifts many people buy online, especially if they can score a great deal. We often talk about how we like to sometimes buy online vs. in-store whether from Kijiji or picking up the odd items on Ebay or Amazon but with that comes caution when spending our money. Buying online items is not something new and it’s well secure for the most part but what happens when the buyer is the person who is trying to scam you out of money even though it’s plain to see you are getting what you pay for. I was reading a Yahoo post the other day about a 19-year-old guy from the UK of all places who was hoping to get his hands on the new X-Box One that was recently released. He also has a 4-year-old child whom he stopped at nothing to make sure he was able to get the X-Box One for but he was duped at the […]

A leaky shower: Watching your cash flow down the drain

DIY HOME IMPROVEMENTS FOR LESS It pays to be involved in the workings of your own home and understand what happens when something goes wrong so you can be fixing items the frugal way. I’ve always prided my self in the fact that I have never had to call out a trade in an emergency situation, but I do call trades in to complete installations of services. It all seems to have happened in and around the water system this past few weeks. First, the water drain for the kitchen sink blocked up and wouldn’t shift when using a plunger. Liquid plumber was used to release the build up inside the trap as the trap for some reason is not equipped with a clean out. Once the standing water was drained, part of the problem was solved. The trap clean out part of the problem that has been noted and will be dealt with during the kitchen renovation. The second issue was the opposite of not draining. Having our inner tank of the water softener split on us earlier in the year and replacing the water softener myself things have been running smooth. That is, up until a few weeks ago when the shower started to leak on a […]

Will Roundabouts save money and time for Canadians?

Driving Me Around The Bend   As I’ve driven around southern Ontario I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of round-a-bouts that are replacing the more traditional light controlled intersections that north Americans so love. There are benefits to having roundabouts mainly, maintenance free and cheap to run due to no potential electrical problems. Those savings should eventually be passed on to the average Tax payer but I’m not a politician and where that money really ends up is anybody’s guess. Traffic flow is the next advantage, it allows  a constant controlled flow of traffic with zero intervention unless there’s been an accident which leads me on to my next subject.   Roundabout rules   Coming from a country that has a large amount of roundabouts it’s no big challenge to negotiate the circular obstacle. There is a simple rule in the UK about how to navigate a standard 4 entry/exit roundabouts that seems to have been made very complicated over here in Canada. In the UK the rule is stay on the right side lane if you’re exiting the first right hand exit or going straight which would be the second exit. Enter the roundabout using the left lane […]

How I put a $1700 dent in our budget with a simple error

Nothing Lasts Forever If You Are Careless If you follow me here at Canadian Budget Binder you know I am a big fan of having an emergency savings fund and using a budget. Every month I post our budget and net worth update to show how we made out for the month and areas we need to improve on or we feel we are on target or exceeding with. Unfortunately not every month is going to be a good month and sometimes we have to suck it up and move on just like we’ll have to this month with a silly error that cost us $1700 but the buck didn’t stop there let me assure you. We often ask ‘how can I protect my computer from viruses?’ but sometimes you also need to ask yourself ‘how can I protect my computer from myself?’ Water in computer It all started one evening when I was sitting in my office minding my own business with beverage chatting to my fans on Facebook for my nightly What’s for Dinner post when I accidentally spilled water on the keyboard of my netbook. It was not a happy site and I frantically tried to dry […]

Expired warranty: Do you buy expensive cheap junk?

Nothing Lasts Forever These Days I’m sorry sir, your product is not covered, the one-year warranty is expired. It’s often said that you get what you pay for but even then I question the validity in that statement sometimes when I say it because it’s not always true. I’m not one to get a product warranty when I buy something because generally if something is going to go wrong it tends to happen after the first year and that means that anything more that you pay for is worth peanuts. I agree, not always but like anything it’s your call to assess the risk vs cost of the extended warranty. Reminds me when Katrina wished she had cell phone insurance when her phone was damaged. Some people say sod that I’m not paying for insurance and others have to have it. A $100 stainless steel kettle we bought lasted us a few months where the $12 cousin lasted us years. So, do you go with matching appliances or products that work and can stand the test of time? Product warranty definition: It means that if a product you buy fails to live up to the quality standards we set out we […]

A parking lot scam for money gone wrong

There’s A Scam For Everything I know what you are thinking and yes there are such things as a parking lot scam and schemes thought up from the best and worst scam artists around. When we go shopping around here it’s normal to see someone sitting on the ground playing the guitar or some other instrument hoping to make a few bucks. In the past I’ve heard that’s just another way to earn extra money although some may think it’s a scam, especially if they have a sign that says they need money, but do they really? Who knows, if they aren’t approaching me I leave them to it and if I like the music I toss in a buck or two at least for the few moments of entertainment. It ends up being more of a judgement call at the end of the day, at least for me. I give someone credit for getting out there to share a skill with the world. What are the latest scams? I don’t know much about parking lot scams but I know that there is a scam for everything out there and we have to protect ourselves. The scams to avoid are […]

How To Overcome Laziness And Save Money In 5 Steps

If you want to overcome laziness and save money then it’s up to you to make changes to your life. Overcoming laziness and procrastination are the hardest things for many people to do that don’t have clear goals in life. Even if they do they probably don’t like the path they are on if they are not willing to change or have some sort of enthusiasm about why they need to get something done. I’ve heard it all before when it comes to budgeting, how we don’t have time, it’s not worth our time, it makes no sense, but we need to find a way out of debt because we are drowning in it. Own up to your debts and make it right, do something about it. Not all people are lazy, some people are simply unable to do things on their own and those aren’t the people I’m talking about today. Many people with disabilities or seniors would love to do so much more but are simply unable to do so. Sometimes  age, illness and disability come at a premium because you have to hire others to help you get jobs done that you really want to do on […]