How many budget categories should I have? : Sept 2015 Budget Update

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YOU ARE THE BUDGET MAKER   Being the budget maker means that you are in control of your budget including how many budget categories you decide to use every month. I counted how many budget categories we have in our monthly budget and came up with 34. Honestly, I thought there would be more than what there actually is. When I designed our budget years ago the thought never crossed our mind to only have a few budget categories. I have seen many budgets out there that might only cover common fixed expenses and everything else is bundled into one or two other budget categories. That type of budget would never work for our family. Since we are so picky about the fine detail and wanting to know exactly where our money is going every month I thought we did reasonably well with as many budget categories that we created. I’ve also seen some budgets that have so many categories that I wonder if we’re doing enough. We are our own worst critics when it comes to our finances however it’s all about finding what works for you. I received a short email from a fan who wanted to ask […]

grocery game monthly challenge

President’s Choice World Elite MasterCard Is Helping Us Get Loads Of Free Groceries: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Oct 5-11,2015


WE LOVE FREE GROCERIES   President’s Choice (PC) Financial has done it again bringing customers the No Annual Fee President’s Choice Financial World Elite MasterCard to the table. We really do love that there are no annual fees on this credit card or any PC Financial MasterCard which is why we chose PC. My wife banked with PC Financial years before I emigrated to Canada. It was only natural that I sign up for my first Canadian Credit card with PC. I needed to build a credit history in Canada as a permanent resident so we were able to get a mortgage. Thankfully the good people at PC Financial were kind enough to give me that start in a country I was now calling home. As the years have passed PC Financial MasterCard has come out with new versions of their popular MasterCard which my wife and I have always applied for. There are now three PC MasterCards all of which we have used over the years including this brand new one I’ll be telling you about today. All PC credit cards now have the chip and pin technology which just about every shop accepts and it’s great for security […]

Homemade Sweet Corn Relish

homemade sweet corn relish cover

HOMEMADE AND FRESH IS BEST!   Making homemade sweet corn takes no time at all and the best part is that you always have a little bit of summer in a jar. Fall is finally in full swing which means the leaves are turning beautiful colours and sweaters, jackets and hats have come out of storage. The Fall season also means that the harvest has blossomed full force for everyone looking to enjoy the hearty crops. The fields around the house are a buzz with the combines taking in the corn crops and plowing for next years season. What vegetables are harvested in the Fall? Most vegetables that harvested in the Fall are vegetables such as Cauliflower, Rutabaga (Swede), Potatoes, Beets, Assorted Squash including Pumpkins, Plums, Pears, Peas, Peppers, Garlic, Peaches, Plums, Eggplant (Aubergine), Beans, Apples, Celery and so on. Knowing what fruits and vegetables to buy in-season and planning your meals around them will save you money in your grocery budget. My boys are nearing the end of football and looking forward to the playoffs which means more time for me in the kitchen. Having more time at home in the kitchen gives me the opportunity to finish up […]

Could Your Budget Handle a 6 Hour Workday? : The Saturday Weekend Review #141

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IMPROVE MORAL AT WORK   For many of us our workday consists of long hours and if there was an opportunity to go home early we’d take it. We are conditioned from a young age that working full-time meant at least an 8 hour workday unless of course you work non-traditional hours or part-time hours. Working 8 hours a day may be exhausting for many people but if we just cut out 2 of those hours our lives may change for the good or is that entirely true? Anyone who works a typical full-time job of 40 hours a week bases their budget around the income they earn. Could you handle that financial change to your income? If you work part-time hours you wouldn’t have to worry so much unless your part-time hours meant your 2-8 hour working days are now 6 hour working days which means you make less money. Of  course no matter if you work part-time or full-time hours budgeting your money is always important and any dips in your income can cause a ripple effect in each category. Catching my drift yet? Just yesterday I read that Sweden is offering employees the opportunity to bin the […]

Cinnamon French Toast With Mango


AN EASY FRENCH TOAST RECIPE   Most people have the ingredients to make Cinnamon French Toast in their house but they might not know how to make it. Believe me making Cinnamon French Toast is so simple you will be making if often like we do in the Canadian Budget Binder house. Breakfast foods for most people consist of muffins, oatmeal, bagels, cereals, smoothies, fruits, yogurt, eggs, bacon, ham, sausages, hashbrowns, toast and so on. Sometimes it’s nice to go the extra mile and splurge to make french toast or even pancakes. I’m sure many of you out there will admit to eating breakfast on the run most days but it really is nice to sit down to a proper breakfast to savour the wee morning hours before work or on the weekend. I’ve had oven baked french toast before and it’s good as well but it will take you a bit more time. This recipe is for the speedy person in you especially if you have a crowd of hungry eaters waiting at the table. Our son is now a year old and once in a while we like to make what we call back in the UK, ‘Eggie […]

How Distraction Theft Will Make You Their Next Win : The Saturday Weekend Review #140

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DO YOU TALK TO STRANGERS?   It doesn’t matter where you are distraction theft seems to be the hottest way for thieves to steal what you own these days. It’s not a new way for thieves to get your stuff but it sure does seem as if it has been revived. I wonder if scammers are running out of ideas or maybe this is the easiest way without much effort involved. A few years ago a friend of ours told us how her daughter was almost the victim of distraction theft while studying at a local coffee shop. On the table she had her Apple iphone and wallet along with her school books like most students would. A customer who had just purchased a coffee came up to her and asked a question looking for directions. While responding to him and looking out the window pointing she caught him trying to steal her cell phone. She said to her mom, “The guy had his hand on my phone so I removed it and put it in my backpack”. He apparently laughed it off saying that it was a habit because he had an iphone as well which he pulled from […]

Couple Cancelled Wedding and Used $3000 Stag Party Cash For Debt

stag party

EVERY GOOD PARTY HAS AN ENDING   Unfortunately for this guy his stag party ended with excitement but his wedding never brought him to the alter. Every year couples get married but before the big day they may hold a party to raise money for the wedding. Some people are against being asked to participate in funding a wedding by attending a Stag Party (for men), Hen Party (for women) or a party for everyone also known as a Stag and Doe or Jack and Jill. There are no shortage of names for these kinds of money-raising events which consist of lots of drinking and plenty of fun games. That’s only the first stage because there may also be a wedding shower, Bachelor Party, Bachlorette Party and so on mainly orchestrated by the wedding party, family or friends. Some pre-wedding events are merely just getting out for the last time as a single male or female and partying with your friends. Personally I didn’t go out with my mates or have a Stag Party. My wife and I were pretty low-key about our wedding and saved the money ourselves, although it was a frugal wedding to begin with. A Stag […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Should using the self checkout qualify you for a customer discount? – The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Sept 21-27, 2015

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NO EMPLOYEE DISCOUNT!   As of right now I don’t know of any grocery stores that will qualify a customer to a discount if they use the self checkout. Not even a loyalty card that states if you use the self checkout 10 times you get a Free Steak is available as a perk. I like Steak! You get ZIP Diddly as my wife would say, nothing. While standing in line the other day waiting for a product check watching and shuffling my feet another customer spoke up from behind me. “Hey, why doesn’t someone open up another cash register so we can get out of here faster?” says an older gentleman wearing a black business suit. You see this grocery store has 10 checkout lanes but only 2 of them were open although the self checkout was also available. Was it even worth moving over to the self checkout? Is the store purposely not bringing in enough staff to open the grocery checkout lanes because they rely on the self checkout? It’s all about the money. I’m sure there is some truth to this because if there wasn’t there would be more staff on duty to handle those customers […]

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

roasted tomato basil soup

SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED THE COMFORTS OF HOME   Roasted Tomato Basil Soup is perfect for the Fall season especially if you had a garden full of tomatoes and too much basil. Nothing quite soothes the soul than a hot bowl of soup especially after the week I had to endure. I made Roasted Tomato Basil Soup because I fell ill which landed me in the hospital with stomach flu. Thankfully I was only in overnight but was told to take it easy, consume plenty of fluids and to rest. As every parent knows “Rest” just doesn’t happen, but I dutifully went to my bed for a day before thinking about getting up. I did take it easy and hubby was in the kitchen cooking and organizing the kids. Luckily, I had some freezer meals already prepped so it was just a case of defrosting and serving up. It doesn’t get any easier than that for my husband. I on the other hand was on liquids only for the first couple of days so that was clear chicken broth, Jello, sweet tea and coffee but with no milk. It really doesn’t help when you smell good food, you are hungry […]

How NOT to get duped with Play Money Like We Did


FUNNY MONEY IS EVERYWHERE   I honestly never thought we would get caught accepting play money BUT it happened. Let me tell you how it happened and what you can do to make sure you’re not getting duped too! If you think we were silly enough to be handed Monopoly money and accept it, think again. I’m pretty sure any cashier would spot that from a mile away and likely laugh it off because we all know you can’t pay for goods and services with play money. Or can you? My wife and I are huge finance buffs as you can tell from reading this blog and saving money is important to us. If we can save a dollar on toilet paper with a coupon or even using coupon apps to get further discounts we will do it. The point here is that all these dollars and cents add up over the course of the year. Why work hard for your money if you don’t care where the small stuff goes? While shopping for bits and bobs at our local Dollarama store the other day with our son in tow we went to the cash register like any normal customers […]

grocery game monthly challenge

When Your Food Budget Is Out of Control You Should Do This! : The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Sept 14-20,2015

when your food budget is out of control you should do this(1)

FINANCIAL TRUTHS OFTEN HURT   Most people struggle with an out of control food budget and maybe why you might want to read this post today. I’m here to tell you that there is only one thing you can do to fix your out of control food budget. Don’t worry, I’ll get to it below but I want you to read something first. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready for the truth when it comes to debt and their money until they need to do something about it. Self-control is easy for anyone to forget until we have to consider it in our lives. For some people it’s easier just to live free and go with the flow which only works on certain aspects of our lives. Our worst enemy was using coupons because we spent more than we should have just to save money. It turned out we bought too much food, went over budget and wasted quite a bit in the end. We kept telling ourselves that it would save us money in the future. To an extent it did BUT it got to the point we had no interest in the tonnes of food we were stockpiling. We […]

Easy Cheesy Chili Cornbread Muffins

Easy Cheesy Chili Cornbread Muffins

YES IT’S CHILI IN A MUFFIN!   I bet you thought this was just a cheesy cornbread muffin with chili powder but NO it’s a Cheesy CHILI Cornbread Muffin. No need to cook up a pot of my Turkey Chili or Mr. CBB’s Slammin Chili with these because I’m giving you the cornbread muffin and the chili all in one. The Chili Pepper is widely used around the world but did you know it’s spelled differently which is why you may see chile con carne, or chilli con carne. Chili pepper, the spicy fruit of plants in the genus Capsicum; sometimes spelled “chilli” in the UK and “chile” in the southwestern US Now that Fall is in the air and back to school is in full swing for the kids I’m busy in the kitchen using my free time to create delicious recipes for my family. If I can make ahead and freeze meals to make week-night cooking easier, I’ll do that. I have used this basic chili cornbread recipe for years as it was in one of my old recipe books which I can’t seem to recall. I have tweaked the cornbread recipe to my liking through trial and […]