Could you chop your budget and live off of the grid?-PF Friday Grab a brew #55

GIVING IT UP TO LIVE ON LESS   I’m not sure if I am the type of person who could give up my convenient life to live off of the grid but many people do. When I read about 34-year-old Abe Connally who quit his full-time job to move his family of four to the middle of the desert in Southwest Texas to live off of the grid I felt a bit of a jolt go through my body. He closed the door on 40 hours of working a week to enjoy the 5-10 hours he works now to live a simple rural life. Imagine what you would do with an extra 30 hours per week. The family lives off of a budget of $800 a month which covers everything from groceries to feed for the animals. Quite impressive. I certainly know I could do all sorts of things including hobbies of mine that seem to be put on the back burner because there is no time left in my day. It makes me wonder if we work ourselves into the ground for nothing and over-think living without giving much thought to the obvious living off of the grid. I […]

What to do in the winter that won’t break the bank: The Saturday Weekend Review #54

YOU EITHER LOVE IT OR YOU HATE IT…SNOW   It’s been no surprise with the cold snap we have had the past couple of weeks here in Canada that most of us want to just hibernate. I’ll be honest and say that when I first moved to Canada I enjoyed the luxury of having all the different seasons especially watching the snow fall in the winter. I was a lover of the winter white stuff, oh, for about 2 years until it just kept falling and falling and falling and getting colder and colder. I’m just about running out of places to shovel the snow. What is miraculous is that it’s been so cold that even photos of a frozen Niagara Falls keep surfacing on the internet and it truly is a beautiful sight. I’m used to it now and for that brief moment in time I am still very excited to see the first snow fall and the beauty it brings to our surroundings. My family back home in the UK even though they get some snow are always jealous about the amount of snow we have in Canada and the kids wish they could do what the kids […]

Is cord cutting part of your new budget plan?- PF Friday Grab a brew #54

NOT EVERYONE WANTS THE SAME SERVICES   I have to admit that “cord cutting” is not part of our new budget for 2014 but it may be in the future. All that cord cutting boils down to is whether you want to pay for cable TV or not. I’m a huge fan of watching movies but not as much as my wife who is a movie buff and has her fair share of DVD’s, VHS movies (boxes full and she still has the player) and the odd Blue Ray movies these days. When she was younger she had basic cable and loved watching movies so she would buy them at the local Blockbuster or Rogers store as previously viewed for cheaper than buying a ticket to go to the movies. It wasn’t worth it to her besides she got to keep the movie and watch it as many times as she wanted. Many people are doing away with the traditional TV packages from their communications providers simply because the pricing has become so unrealistic, they don’t watch much TV or streaming TV programs is more the way they want to roll. Throw in some free streaming and watching DVD’s and […]

The Saturday Weekend Review #53: Do you know your household debt ratio?

WORKING YOUR WAY OUT OF HOUSEHOLD DEBT   Household debt which is an all-encompassing definition of not only personal debt but also mortgage loans has been the talk of the economy for quite a while. From a recently published CIBC Poll results, combined with the increased downloads of our personal Excel budget spreadsheet I started thinking about the facts and figures as I see them. The one particular figure that stood out was the 16% of Canadians that are prioritizing the paying down of their debt. Having topped the Poll last year with the same issue, it made me wonder if anybody got anywhere closer to paying their debt off or at the very least reducing it significantly. There was controversy last year when statistics were issued from various sources saying that for every dollar earned in Canada the average Canadian owed $1.64, then the way it was calculated by one bank suggested that the rate was actually lower. Either way, the debt ratio hasn’t really changed, although it has got slightly lower since the highs it obtained in 2012. I was curious to see what our household debt ratio was, so I got trawling the internet to find out how it’s calculated. There is […]

PF Weekly grab a brew #53: Free excel budget template takes off for 2014

BUDGET ON THE BRAIN?   Unlike New Years diet and exercise videos, budgeting your finances doesn’t have to be painful. Having only enjoyed two days of the New Year I have noticed a common influx from viewing site statistics. My Free Excel Budget Templates for creating your own budgets have been popular to say the least. There is no better time than right now to start your budget and for some eager viewers, they have wasted no time in showing that. The beginning of the year is the best time to start your new budget if you’re already familiar with them or to start your first budget from scratch.   A reason to budget   For some people January bills can be daunting especially after the holiday period. I’m sure there’s always some items you bought before Christmas in the grand hopes of using them and yet failed to utilise them. I’ve done it a few times, I just learned and moved on. That’s what budgeting is all about, learning where your money goes and then correcting the situation. Information is the best tool you have and only you have all the information to start your own budget spread sheet.   Being on a budget is good for […]

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