Reflection on summer days: The Saturday Weekend Review #87

The Saturday weekend review Summer Days

SUMMER MEMORIES   Hot summer days might not be the appropriate words to use for summer 2014 in Ontario with the up and down weather we’ve been having. Since we are getting hammered with heat this week we’re still in the clear to enjoy the best days of summer holidays. I didn’t want to make this post the usual Saturday blog post because it’s the Labour Day long weekend which means school starts back up which brings financial changes for most people. I also wanted to make it personal in hopes you share memories of your summer days in the comment section. What’s open for the Labour Day Weekend? I don’t know what’s open in your local area but in the Toronto area we have some shops open. Many of you might be enjoying one of the last weekends at the campground or prepping for back to school. You might plan to attend some local attractions for the long weekend such as the Toronto Zoo, Wonderland, Toronto Science Centre, CN Tower, Toronto Eaton Centre or hit the beach but all government is closed including the LCBO so stock up today! It’s hard when summer days seem to end at the […]

Is there truth to less stress with financial freedom?

financial freedom

FREEDOM IS DEFINED BY YOU   Financial freedom means lots of things to many people and although everyone has their thoughts on what life is like without any debt for some it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. What would it take in order for you to take your stress financially from one level to the next? Would you have to pay off your credit cards, all of your debt, your mortgage or simply just be able to live a comfortable life while paying off your debts? In a conversation with a colleague the other day he brought up a friend of his who just built a new house that he paid cash for, his wife doesn’t work and they have no debt. Top that off with a well-paying job so that must mean his life is all roses, right? Wrong. We don’t know that. He seemed jealous to be honest especially when he said “it must be nice to live a stress free life” which made me wonder why people think that debt=stress. I’ve had people we know think that I must make lots of money with the careers I hold but what they don’t know is […]

Parents tell son he will create credit card debt with rewards cards

credit card debt

CREDIT CARD BUDGET SAVINGS   I talk about credit card debt on CBB once in a while and I also talk about how credit cards can easily be your friend if you use them properly. Many people use credit cards today rather than carrying cash with them. It’s simple to tap, swipe or insert and enter a pin to pay for a purchase and in most cases it gets you through the checkout faster. We carry credit cards because of ease of use and of course there are perks to using Canadian Credit Cards if you use them wisely. Credit cards have helped many people get back on their feet because they knew money was on the way. One friend of ours was in between jobs and used the credit card to get grocery rewards which helped them to buy more groceries for the family every month. One of our current rewards cards the SDM Optimum has almost 500,000 rewards points which is equal to about $1000 worth of free product. We don’t own the Optimum credit card but if you did you could get even more Optimum points faster.   Credit card debt   How to pay off credit […]

Couple’s happy retirement on hold until son moves out

happy retirement couple

HANDS OFF THE RETIREMENT POT   Enjoying a happy retirement for many couples means that they are able to use the money they saved to live out their retirement dreams and fund everyday expenses. For some young adults living at home can be embarrassing and for others it’s a great way to save up cash, pay down debt and to start life on their own. What happens though when the money you save for retirement is being spent on your kids because they move back home and/or always in need of cash?   Moving back home with the parents   Parenting is a hot topic no matter what age your children are but none the less it’s still a hardship many parents face when they don’t have the answers. Sometimes the solution is easily solved and other times it’s a sensitive matter especially when it has to deal with finances and life in general. I’m pretty sure some parents out there wish that their kids are only sticking around for a short period to save up money to move out on their own. There are kids though that have no intentions but to live off their parents hard-earned money because […]

Retirement investments revisited: July 2014 Net Worth Update (+1.40%)

retirement investments

STAYING ON TOP OF OUR FINANCES   This month we finally sat with our financial advisor to chat about topping up our retirement investments like we’ve been planning on doing once the mortgage was paid in full. Now that we have told all of you that we are expecting our first child very soon our budget and net worth will change but we will worry about that when the time comes. Our finances are not just about us anymore so although we are planning our retirement investments we need to start thinking about Baby CBB. We will be setting up an RESP for baby as soon as we can so we don’t fall behind on any important educational investing. Most of this month’s net worth increase came from our net income because we worked some overtime and combined with last month almost net close to $20,000. The news of us having a baby has really changed our financial mindset but one thing is for sure we will be putting our money to work for us best we can. No, we don’t invest on our own and I know for some of you that is a big no, no but not […]

Why the fixer-upper house might not be for you: PF Weekly Grab a brew #83

grab-a-brew-online-review

EXPENSES BEHIND THE WALLS   It’s true that our dreams can get crushed when we don’t have the cash to do what we thought we would especially when you buy a fixer-upper house. Of all the people I’ve ever met they said they didn’t feel that renting was helping them to build a financial future for their retirement years. Although this is a wide-open topic that will bring in all sorts of controversy it’s certainly a personal decision that we must make on our own. Acquaintances of ours in their early thirties are looking to buy an older home that is their dream home but the catch is they want a fixer-upper. They do plan to have kids as well in the near future. He asked me my thoughts about older fixer-upper homes since many homes in the UK are very old. I was honest with him but ultimately it was my opinion and they need to make their own. I don’t want to be responsible for one of the biggest purchases of their lives. They are currently renting and have never owned a home before so owning a home is like the golden ticket for them or anyone really. […]

Why hiring help seemed smart even for our budget

hiring help around house

ASKING FOR HELP IS NEVER A BAD THING   I know you are thinking that it can’t be possible that Mr.CBB would shell out money to hire help around the house but it’s true. Would you have spent the money we have to get jobs done or do you think we are crazy? Read on….. Not everyone has family around who they can lean on for help when it’s needed nor do you want to bug your neighbours for help in the summer. Sure I help my neighbours do the odd jobs but I would never ask them to help me with jobs that are easy enough for me to do on my own. Maybe that’s just me. I’m the first one to cringe but don’t complain out loud when our neighbours let their house fall apart because they fail to put any money into maintaining the home. Maybe communication would work better because you never know what someone is undergoing in their life and they could use some help. That’s also being a caring neighbour although some might view that as being nosey. You never win! I think just about every neighbourhood has one of every type of neighbour […]

Store saving money tricks to cash in on: PF Weekly Grab a Brew #82

grab-a-brew-online-review

WALLET SAVING STRATEGIES   We’re always looking for store saving money tricks to cash in on so we can save money in our budget. Paying down debt and saving for retirement seems much easier when you can find tricks to save money to invest in other ventures that will get you further ahead. Investing in your future seems easier when you have that spare cash kicking around. It’s undeniable that many Canadians want to save money because these days we aren’t making enough cash to keep up with costs associated with the retail gods. Any way a consumer can hang on to their money they will try it. Unless you aren’t aware the Scanning Code of Practice is one of those great store saving tricks that isn’t widely talked about in the stores but visible in most big box stores on the doors and at the cash register. Picking up rain checks is another great way to get continued savings. If you notice a sale product is out of stock ask for a rain check. Call or visit the store with-in a day or two and the shelves are typically re-stocked but you still have that rain check that will […]