Would You Quit Your Dream Job To Do Nothing For 2 Months? : The Saturday Weekend Review #136

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SHOULD LIFE’S EXPERIENCES TRUMP A DREAM JOB?   We’ve all felt like doing something that seems a bit outrageous but that doesn’t mean that we should do it. Or should we have? Do you remember creating a dream job list while studying at high school, university or college? You may have wanted to become a Police Officer, Doctor, Teacher, Mechanic, Painter, Business Owner, Photographer and so on. I did think about my dream job and creating a list helped keep me motivated although when I moved to Canada my career options were opened up. I’ve just finally landed my foot in the door of one of those dream jobs on my list but I must admit I never believed it would happen. I recently read a story about Bethany Butzer who left her dream job at Harvard to spend 2 months in a remote cabin near Willisville, Ontario north of Manitoulin Island. She sold everything she owned and packed up some old clothes and with her husband went into hiding to spend 2 months doing nothing but soaking up life. Like many people who are workaholics or those so into their jobs they tend to forget about life and themselves. […]

Why Are You Being Frugal When You Don’t Have To Be?

why are you being frugal when you don't have to be

MIND YOUR OWN FINANCIAL BUSINESS   The whole saving money and being frugal movement is always filled with people who just don’t get it. Wanting to save cash is not a new concept even if you think someone shouldn’t have to. It’s amazing how saving money ideas are crucial when running a business but not when it comes to personal finance for some people. Even if you don’t own a business you can bet your employer successful or not is always looking for ways to curb spending. You don’t have to be budget poor to live a frugal life and you can be rich and frugal at the same time-Imagine that! Mrs. CBB and I were at a friends dinner party about a week ago enjoying some of the finest foods including triple brie, prosciutto, melons and a main dish that we would only make for a special occasion. I guess that means we were all special. Most of the people in attendance would be considered “rich” or “well-off” because they own successful businesses or have thriving careers in the medical field. My wife and I don’t typically talk about personal finances with anyone however sometimes we’ve been happy to […]

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11 Ways to Feed Your Family When You Have Little to No Money : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Aug 17-23, 2015

11 ways to feed your family with little to no money

I’LL NEVER LET MY FAMILY GO HUNGRY BECAUSE I LOVE THEM   We hear it more on the news these days about parents who have no money and feel that shoplifting is their last resort to put food in the stomachs of their children. It shouldn’t be this way. There is so much food on this planet that no one should ever have to starve, but they do. A CBB fan emailed me looking for tips about how she can feed her family of 4 during the months she has no money and the cupboards are bare. She is a single mom who relies on social assistance for money every month but that money is met with bills and earlier credit card debt she is still trying to pay off. Her comment about not letting her kids starve because she is poor pushed me to talk about this topic because it’s real. It’s heartbreaking to see children go without food for days or parents who give up eating for their children. They get shunned for not having a decent paying job (what is decent these days?), an education or for having habits that cost big dollars. Let’s not forget parents […]

The Best Turkey Chili Recipe

turkey chili

A TURKEY CHILI RECIPE WITH FARM FRESH VEGGIES!   Time is not on everyone’s side but if you meal plan you can make recipes like this gorgeous Turkey Chili Recipe that CBB fan Chandra has submitted to share with all of you. These days it seems easier to just buy canned and frozen food instead of spending the time chopping up vegetables for delicious, healthy recipes. I’ve tried some award-winning chili recipes in my time with beef but never have I made a turkey chili before. I was intrigued when Chandra shared this on my Facebook page in our What’s For Dinner? nightly post. Using the same proteins for recipes can get boring plus it’s nice to add leaner cuts of meat or minces like turkey to recipes to make them healthier. Mrs. CBB and I have always enjoyed turkey meals made from mince such as turkey burgers or turkey pot pie. Either way kicking beef to the curb for a day or so is not a bad thing if you want to experience new flavours. You may even find turkey to be cheaper to buy rather than beef mince. If you don’t mind cooking a whole turkey you can […]

6 Ways to Give Back Without Monetary Expectations : The Saturday Weekend Review #134

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ANYTHING TO SEE SOMEONE SMILE   One of the hardest things for people to do is give something away for free that they worked hard to pay for or their time. We see it happen over and over how some people will cling to every last dollar they earn or possessions they have and other people who just give back. Here’s the thing though, if you want to give back it doesn’t have to be monetary in nature. You don’t have to give up your favourite toys, clothes or furniture to give back. So, yes you can do things to make other happy without digging into your bank account.If you can give back by donating stuff that’s great but it’s not necessarily the only way.   Give Back without hesitation   My wife used to be this way, but she is slowly changing where she comes up with ideas of ways to help others, mainly through donations. My wife had the one-track mindset of just working and saving money. It wasn’t about anyone else, but her. This has changed over the years dramatically. She doesn’t think twice about giving away things we no longer use for free instead of asking […]

grocery game monthly challenge

10 Food Products Worth Buying To Save Time In The Kitchen: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Aug 10-16, 2015

10 food products worth buying to save time in the kitchen

TIME IS MONEY EVEN IN THE KITCHEN   Everyone knows that you can’t rush a recipe if you want it to taste delicious but the reality is most families opt for food products that save time. Today we are going to talk about food products you can purchase at the grocery store to save you time and money. You may look at the list of food products below and not find any one product that you use in the house. That’s fine. The point of this exercise is to get you thinking about all those foods on the market today, what do you really need to stock up on and what can you make at home.   Making the plans work for you   I know you’ve all heard about meal planning and picking one day a week where you can cook lots of homemade meals to freeze and use during the week. That is a great idea IF you have the time to do it. If you are in the mood for gourmet foods you WILL need the time to create these dishes. Sure, some can be made faster than others but again if you don’t have time or […]

Dundurn Castle: The Best Shortbread Cookie Recipe

DUNDURN CASTLE BEST SHORTBREAD COOKIES

THE EASIEST BUTTERY SHORTBREAD COOKIES   Earlier this year when my parents came to visit we made our way to Hamilton, Ontario to enjoy a tour of Dundurn Castle among other things such as the Royal Botanical Gardens which are beautiful this time of year. Dundurn Castle is considered a National Historic Site in Canada and I thought it would be a great place to tour along with the Hamilton Military Museum which is on the grounds. The great part about the museum is you get to dress up in clothes from that era so you really get a feel for what it was like. When you first walk through the doors of the Dundurn Castle you enter at the side where the workers would come and go. It certainly is an eerie feeling and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt like eyes were watching me. You just get this feeling that the house is haunted or you start to envision what had happened when the castle was up and running. If you live in the Hamilton area you may notice many couples choose to hold their wedding on the grounds of Dundurn Castle as well having […]

Is Reducing homelessness by creating housing worth it? : The Saturday Weekend Review #121

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Soldier Of Your Own Dream   I have always been intrigued about homelessness because I often wonder why it even exists in a country that has so many resources. There is no reason so many people are homeless for so long. It makes no sense to me unless they don’t want to be helped which is certainly a possibility if you’ve become so accustomed to a way of life. At the end of the day I’m sure it’s safe to say that we all want a place to lay our head that is safe and food that will fill our tummy and clothes to keep us warm. Did you know that homelessness costs the Canadian economy a whopping 7 Billion dollars annually and if that number doesn’t blow you away or push you towards tightening the budget, nothing will. In Canada, though the median length of stay in emergency shelter is approximately 50 days, most people are homeless for less than a month (29% stay only one night), and manage to leave homelessness on their own, usually with little support.- Homeless Hub Canada I often wonder what we are doing to try and combat the situation so we can get […]

Statistics and Traps Every Investor Needs to Know

statistics investing

Statistics and Pitfalls for Investors   In the second part of this two-part post on independent investing, we will look at 3 critical investment statistics and the 3 biggest pitfalls to individual investing. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, jump back to post one to learn about what investing on your own can do for you. When selecting between the various investment options there are a few key metrics or statistics that are important to keep in mind. These form the foundation for any good comparison between investment assets. Personally, I like to use the filter tool available through my online trading platform to sort by the statistics below. Doing so helps me gauge what appropriate values are and to immediately weed out the less attractive options. Metric #1 – Expenses & the Expense Ratio (Mutual Funds and ETFs)   Possibly the most important investment metric or statistic is the expense ratio. Expenses directly eat into your return each and every year. The expense ratio is the easiest way to determine how much extra you are paying to own an investment.  Any mutual fund or ETF will have a specific expense ratio that shows how much […]

To Take Or Not Take Early CPP

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CANADA PENSION PLAN DILEMMA   My husband just turned 62 and we’ve been in a quandary about whether he should take his Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) early (before 65) with penalty or not. We’re both still working and plan to be for the next 4 years while we pay off a whack of debt. Because of penalties introduced in 2012, the amount you receive by taking your CPP early is less than before this legislation was introduced. Let me try to walk through the peculiarities of our situation and how we reached our final decision.   The CPP Rules   While I can’t walk you through all the rules, I will highlight the key ones or ones that were relevant for us but refer you to the CPP website which is actually pretty clear.  I just want to point out that the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) has a different set of rules, up front. Normally CPP was collected at 65, with penalties and premiums if you elected to take it anytime from age 60 to 65, or from age 65 to 70. Contrary to popular belief, with the new rules introduced in 2012, the age for CPP has not changed […]