How financial management led this man to pay off $20,000 of debt : June Net Worth Update 2015 (+0.22%)

MONTHLY NET WORTH UPDATE

YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE   When it comes to financial management of your money there is no excuse about not knowing why you are in debt, besides the obvious. Calculating personal net worth is a controversial topic in the personal finance world only because everyone calculates their worth a little different. Some people may add liquid assets such as “stuff” they have acquired over the years as well vehicles and their primary residence. Others may not.   Financial management starts now   Whether you hire someone to manage your finances or you do all the leg work and management yourself you know that this task never ends. Money will always be a mission on the monthly “To-Do List” no matter how rich or poor you are. It’s been years now that my wife and I have been calculating our estimated personal net worth but we never quite gave much thought to the motivational aspects of knowing “What am I worth?”. What I mean is how taking charge of our finances have influenced our mindset. Financial management of our assets and liabilities didn’t come into play until we bought our first house together after we were married BUT we could […]

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5 Ways to Check Out Faster at the Grocery Store: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 July 13-19, 2015

HOW TO CHECK OUT FASTER AT THE GROCERY STORE(1)

 TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE   So many people have said they hate grocery shopping and arriving at the checkout is where most people experience the stress of waiting. There’s nothing worse than having to run into the grocery store for one product and you end up having to wait forever because every check out is backed up. Since the invention of the self-scanner more people opt to forgo the traditional cashier and check out their groceries by themselves. In the past almost every grocery store had a grocery bag boy/girl at the checkout who would pack your groceries with his/her trained eye. The bags would go into your shopping cart and away you would go. The worst you would have to do is load the groceries on the belt and pay for the bill. Easy Peasy! Back in the 80’s (possibly before that too) my wife remembers some stores namely A&P who would have big red bins that would be numbered and all you had to do was pull up to the shop and a grocery clerk would take your number and pack your vehicle with your groceries. Gone are those days and I’d be shocked to ever see […]

Quick and Easy Zucchini Casserole

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FRUGAL ONE DISH MEALS   I wanted something quick easy for dinner tonight so I created this quick and easy Zucchini Casserole. With all the fresh fruit and vegetables that are available the ingredients for this zucchini casserole will hardly put a dent in your grocery budget. This zucchini casserole is a dish that can be done in under 20 minutes, is tasty and of course you don’t have to put the oven on for long. You can even use a toaster oven if you have one. This recipe can be made overnight and placed in the refrigerator so it’s ready to go for the next day. This makes it perfect for a dinner party where you want to prep the meal the night before. Tip: Don’t add the cheese until you are ready to place it under the grill. Now this recipe has a few different ingredients but I assure you it will enhance the flavours immensely. What are these ingredients?  It’s lemon zest and basil. If you are like most people or Mr. CBB you will have an abundance of basil that grows in the garden every year so don’t be afraid to start using it to bring […]

Homeowners Price Drop May Cost Other Property Sellers Thousands : The Saturday Weekend Review #129

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SELLING A HOUSE CAN BE HIT OR MISS   Property prices in Canada, specifically in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) seem to be going up, not down. That sounds great for homeowners but unless they are downsizing it’s all relative because buying a bigger home comes with a bigger price tag. If you are in the market to buy a family home or even an investment property be ready to shell out big bucks. We live in the GTA and property prices range anywhere from $400,000 to a million plus dollars which for most seem to be reasonable these days. Property prices in 2014 for Toronto according to the Huffington Post and the Real Estate Board for 2014 prove to be some of the highest in Canada with Toronto condos coming in at $663,787, GTA $542,047 and single detached at a million plus unless you get lucky. Many people who work in Toronto simply can’t afford to buy a house as the affordability level is through the roof. Some home buyers opt to buy houses in the GTA which pretty much is Toronto and commute to work like we have chosen to do. It’s not that far  even with traffic […]

When should you stop using a household budget? : June 2015 Budget Update

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HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR FINANCES?   A household budget sounds so “old school” especially with all the new technology we have today but it’s not. Not much has changed with the household budget apart from the ability to use other forms of budget tracking rather than paper and a pencil. Even so, many people continue to track their household budget the easy way because it’s something they are used to doing. Let’s remember that for further down the post. “It’s something they are used to doing”. Learning how to manage your finances can be as complicated or easy as you want to make it. Everyone has a unique financial situation which may take little to no effort at all or lots of undertaking. Your household budget may be weekly or monthly like ours and at first it seems like a huge chore and it is but over time once you start to see the benefit (and you will). Then,  you might never want to let it go even after you pay off all of your debts. There is some sort of an emotional attachment to the household budget every month comparable to wanting to eat healthy, exercise and be happy […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How to get grocery savings you deserve without embarrassment: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 July 6-12,2015

HOW TO GET GROCERY SAVINGS YOU DESERVE WITHOUT EMBARRASSMENT(1)

LEAVING THE SAVINGS   While standing in line to get groceries the other day the lady in front of us had a product scan in higher than the shelf price. For all you savvy Canadian shoppers you know that most grocery stores follow The Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP). That meant that she could have gotten the product that scanned in higher FREE up to $10. When she told the cashier that the product was cheaper the cashier needed to check the price. The customer was happy to settle on paying for the shelf price and moving on with her day as most people are. While she was doing that I mentioned SCOP to the lady and she shook her head when I told her to mention it. She said, “No, I’m too embarrassed to ask”. I thought how could someone be embarrassed to get some grocery savings? It’s not that hard to ask for something but for some people it’s a BIG deal especially if it’s not something they’ve done before. It was then I realized that maybe customers wouldn’t be so embarrassed to ask for deals if they knew how to ask. Last week this also happened to […]

Rhubarb Cherry Applesauce

Rhubarb Cherry Applesauce COVER

NEW WAYS TO USE RHUBARB   Although this Rhubarb Cherry Applesauce is unique compared to traditional applesauce I will say that the change in ingredients tastes great. If you love the tartness of rhubarb and the sweet taste of cherries and apples this is an applesauce you will want to try. I’m always trying to come up with recipes to use the vast amount of rhubarb our one plant gives us every year. I don’t know if it’s because it was planted practically under the downspout on the side of our house or it just likes its home but it sure does give us an abundance of rhubarb without fail every year. It got to the point where our freezer was starting to fill up with bags and bags of frozen rhubarb which I promised my wife I would make something with. Well 2 years later we still have beautiful rhubarb waiting to be used up plus the new crop we get this year. Since the birth of our son we have started making our own fruit puree and it wasn’t until my mother was here that the idea of making Rhubarb applesauce came to my mind. I haven’t had […]

Woman Confesses Shopaholic Game Helped Pay $10,000 Debt : The Saturday Weekend Review #128

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WINDOW SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP   If you are scratching your head wondering what on earth the Shopaholic Game is trust me, I was too No, I did not invent another game to help all of you save money however I certainly realized just how a challenge can motivate someone to save money and pay off debt. Not everyone can create success alone but when there are a few people involved with the same goals in mind it becomes a challenge of who’s going to make it to the end victorious. It’s not everyday someone drops the term “Shopaholic Game” into a conversation BUT this is what happened to my wife this past week while we were coincidentally out shopping. I don’t know what it is about when we get together with friends BUT money always seems to pop into the conversation and we aren’t the initiators. Trust me when I say we don’t talk much about finance with family and friends however we are always more than happy to hear what’s happening in their financial lives. Since we went home for the Canada Day Holiday this past week my wife decided to meet up with a friend at the […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How to send your husband to the supermarket successfully : The Grocery Game Challenge #5 June 29-July 6, 2015

how to send your husband to the grocery store successfully (1)

HE MAY JUST NEED YOUR HELP   If you want your husband to return home from the supermarket victorious you may have to start with a bit of shopping 101 with him. Reality is that most men have NO interest in the grocery store. Why? Most of us have no patience to go up and down aisles searching for things on a list. Not all men you see at the grocery store though are forced to be there (circumstances) or asked to go by their significant other. However, we need to eat so whether we are married or not sometimes we do go to the grocery store hunting for food. I know many of my single friends before they meet their girlfriends made ordering food at the nearest fast food joint more of a priority than putting on the chef’s apron. Secretly many of us men have no idea how to grocery shop but we will never tell you that. it’s easier just to go in and wing it than ask for help how to find something. It’s not macho just like we will never ask for directions even if we’ve been driving around for an hour in circles. Not […]

Homemade Garlic Basil Mayonnaise

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HOMEMADE MAYO TOPS ALL   I’m a huge fan of mayonnaise and if you’ve ever wondered how to make mayonnaise at home today I’m going to show you just how easy it is. This recipe I came up with last year is a Garlic Basil Mayonnaise. It’s tangy and rich plus you can taste the herbs which is what you want. I like to add it to my favourite salads, sandwiches or use as a dip. Nicola’s Potato Croquettes stuffed with Bacon and Cheese for example would pair well with this Basil Garlic Mayonnaise. You just have to use your imagination because no one likes to eat the same foods all the time. Spices and sauces really make a big difference to the foods we eat. Every year I plant a load of basil in our back garden. I use bucket containers and start them with about 4-6 packets of seeds. I water the pots just about every day and never let them get dry otherwise the basil leaves aren’t as large and full. The 4 to 6 packets amounts to lots and lots of basil and although the first year I wasn’t sure what I was going to do […]