The Saturday weekend review #37: Stashing cash, is it worth it?

end -of-summer-beach

Only You Know What’s Best For Your Situation

I think stashing cash is worth it but whether people have the cash to stash is another story. I don’t think it’s hard to believe that many people do have about $10,000 stashed away for a rainy day but on the other hand I can completely agree that many people don’t have the money to do that.

Debt for Canadians is a big problem and in reading this article on Yahoo about a survey conducted by the Bank of Montreal it’s no surprise that the writer is saying that most people don’t have the means to sock away 3-6 months of income just in case an emergency would come up. You know last week we had an emergency where I managed to spill liquid on my computer.

Since I blog full-time my computer is a huge necessity in our household and that to me was an emergency where I was thankful that we had money in the bank to cover. We didn’t just hide away the money overnight either and I don’t think any personal finance blogger I’ve come across who talks about emergency savings says it has to be done in a certain time frame. Just like paying off debt a little at a time or putting down a larger amount on the principle I hold true with the emergency savings fund.

Since this past month we have spent a whopping $5000 on stuff, you read that right, “stuff” but all items that were needed in our house especially the computers. Sure we could have done without some of the clothes but we enjoy shopping the end of season sales to get the best bargains. We also didn’t need to spend so much on computers but we wanted to make sure we got quality computers with everything we needed so down the road we weren’t replacing the computer again and again.

We also needed to get new running shoes and sports bras for my wife which costs money because you want to invest in some good articles of clothing when you are working out. Sure many people are drowning in debt and I also agree that we should be paying off this debt but I prefer to tackle the debt on a balanced level if I had any which I have over the years.

The feeling you get when you know you have a bit of money put aside is hard to explain but it’s more about peace of mind if anything at all. Saving the money is always the hardest part because many of us make excuses as to why we need to use the money.

I won’t say that everything we bought in the past month was 100% needed but once we hit that mall all hell broke loose with our budget and it was a grave reminder how fast we can spend money if we aren’t mindful of how many times we are swiping the credit card.

Overall, we did well but this is the only month we will be splurging on us but it was well deserved with all the saving we have done over the years. I wasn’t shocked to read and maybe you won’t either in the article where it says the latest survey from the Canadian Payroll Association says that 42% of people are living pay to pay with 40% using up their net income each month.

That’s the way life goes and if that is the case then we have to start making some changes to our budget, our work, our experiences or simply spend less than we earn. I know it’s always easier said than done and depends on circumstances but for those not in special circumstances there is always time to make a change if even small ones

Many of my fans have accomplished significant strides over the almost 2 years I’ve been blogging and the one thing we almost all have in common is that we needed to be motivated. Sometimes depending on your life situations you may feel stuck in a rut or you may have had someone in a previous relationship say you were nothing and would never be anything. Well, don’t listen to that crap and do the best you can to be more than you can be.

It’s your life

If you have the drive inside to follow through with a hobby and make your fun times into money-making times like many of my blogger friends, then go for it. I have a friend who is pursuing his passion and its taken motivation but he is damn good at what he does and I know he will be going places. He is one of those guys who had an ex that cut him to pieces verbally over the years and is just now moving out from under the rock.

I hope that with my push that he will continue to grow and show the world what he’s made of. If you were born to lead, if you were born to motivate, inspire and share your strengths with others but don’t wait because one day that person might look back and remember what you did for them to help them succeed and pay it forward. It’s a great way to build a better world together.

Sometimes when we hear negativity towards us as an individual enough times that we are nothing or won’t amount to anything we may start to believe it, don’t. If you know you can move mountains, get out there and do it.

Don’t worry about what you should have done when you were younger or why you didn’t go to University or College or that you should have studied something different. Many people are struggling and feel stuck now especially if they have a family with young kids and a mortgage and feel trapped in a career they don’t like. Not everyone knows what the outcome of an education will be for them either. You just have to trust in your abilities.

Little by little you will see how your dreams can come true if you take steps. Just like with the emergency savings fund or using a budget all these things take time and if you are willing to put forth the effort you will start to see improvements if you stay positive and make your way to the top of your success ladder.

Best place for cash

Even though the interest in the savings accounts are crap in Canada we still will keep some cash stashed away for a rainy day. If you want to put money into a tax-free savings account maybe you will find that you get a better return on the money than you would in a traditional savings account.

The article says BMO’s “Smart Saver” account is only 1.1% annually, less than the 2% we get with Presidents Choice Financial and their Interest Plus Savings account although you still have to pay tax on that if you make over $50 in interest over the course of the year so get ready for your tax slip in the mail.

Sure you can save more if you pay down debt because the interest on consumer debt is huge but at the same time for some people who don’t have a home or a home equity line of credit or even a credit card saving a bit of cash in the bank is not so bad of an idea if they like to keep it balanced like I do.

It’s not written in stone what people should have in an emergency savings so put it in what makes you feel comfortable but if you are paying down debt be reasonable with what you are saving and how much you are killing that debt.

The goal would be to get rid of your consumer debt but have a bit of padding just to help you sleep better. Once you pay your debts you can start stashing away more and investing more. That is our plan once we actually pay the mortgage in full. In all honesty, not everyone fits in one category so we all need to custom build what is right for ourselves and stop worrying what everyone else is doing.

Spending less than you earn or making more money is the only way to go. No matter what you choose to do it may turn into a revolving door of cash and credit and the bills just keep on circling or you take the bull by the horns and do what you need to so you can get out of debt once and for all.

I think that people need to simply find what works best for them and never stop learning about ways to improve financially even if that means reading personal finance blogs, magazines, talking to professionals. Do whatever it takes to get your finances back on track. Some people cook from scratch instead of eating out, others shop at second-hand stores and many people don’t even have cable. It’s about choice not what you think you need because most times we don’t really need something.

I know that if Canadian Budget Binder fan Jen were here to comment (and I know she will) she would tell you that her life, her family and the family finances was all worth the struggle this past year and a half to get them on track towards their financial goals. You can read her financial struggles and how her and her husband Ken are working on getting out of debt fast here.

Do you have emergency savings? If not, what means would you use if there was an emergency?

Should you pay all your debts first before saving?

Do you live pay to pay and what have you done to start saving for a rainy day?

Gardening and Landscaping

Fall-Yard-work

Lke I mentioned last week I tore the garden apart and started my Fall clean-up. The back yard looks bare now but it also doesn’t look so cluttered like it did before. I know that next year I will keep it very simple for us as I’m just too busy to get out there all the time to weed and clean up.

Jen’s Garage Sale Finds

garage-sale

The garage sale season is wrapping up for us here and although many people still have indoor garage sales in the Fall and Winter it’s still a great way to find some hidden treasures at a fraction of the cost. So keep your eyes peeled online especially on Kijiji or on Facebook 24 hour auctions for your area to score some great deals.

Jen and her husband have made many improvements to their shopping habits and their budget. You can read all about it in her guest post, Budgeting With Mr. CBB Got Us Back On Track. Jen shares her weekly garage sale finds with us for the summer to show just how much she can save for her family.

My Finds

  • Two hoodies for Adam $.50 for both (they were asking $1 each)
  • Aeropostale sweater (brand name) $.50 (bought for a less fortunate student at my work).

Blog update

Make sure you are subscribed via email because once I leave free WordPress if you are not subscribed via email you may stop getting my posts in your inbox.

You can now follow Canadian Budget Binder via Bloglovin and continue to get my daily posts in this reader.

If you are a regular reader you would have already received these awesome posts in your email or reader but just in case you missed reading one I’ve put them all together here just for you.

PLUS…. check out the NEW FEATURE I’ve added which is my New Free Recipe IndexYou get all the recipes that I have posted here at Canadian Budget Binder in one spot so you don’t have to go looking for them.

Blog Posts On Canadian Budget Binder This Week

Making a difference

freedom35bird
Hello! My name is Liquid. I’m a 26-year-old graphic designer from Vancouver, BC. I run the site Freedom 35 Blog in my spare time and write about investment strategies as well as commentaries about business, finance, and economics.

I started my blog three years ago to track my own financial progress and aim to reach financial freedom by the time I’m thirty-five years old. I also want to help other people learn about money which is why I share all of my financial experiences online.

My hope is that people can be inspired by my stories and learn from my mistakes so they can become more confident managing their own money. After all, even the best financial advice in the world won’t be very useful if people don’t have the confidence to act upon it.

One way to build that confidence is to think outside the box like taking on debt to buy a farm, or leveraging stocks to potentially boost profits. These techniques are usually only used by high net worth individuals, but I want readers to realize that ordinary people can take advantage of these strategies too, as long as they understand the risks.

When I started investing five years ago my profits were quite low, but today my investment returns exceed the income from my full-time job. It’s a learning process and the only way to get better at investing is to practice doing it. Knowledge is power, and the more we know the better equipped we’ll be to reach our goals.

Blog share

I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans or even mention my blog on their blog or website. Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.

Thanks to Eva from Teens Got Cent for mentioning Canadian Budget Binder in a recent newspaper interview.

What is a blog carnival?

Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web.

Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals

Carnival glory

web search terms

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Here are a few of my favourite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • A godly homemaker- Nope that’s not me
  • Yard strap binder- I have no idea
  • Sexy frugal men- I love it!
  • Mommy moron budget- That’s a new one
  • Welfare Cheque grocery specials- huh?

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review stashing cash, is it worth it?. Join me next week same time, same place to see what trouble I can get myself into.

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The grocery game challenge Sept 2-8, 2013 #1- Back to school treats for kids

grocery-game-challenge-Sept-2013

What’s In My Lunch Box?

It was back to school today for many Canadian kids which meant the grocery stores were jam-packed and it was near impossible to get help if you needed it as there just wasn’t enough staff. The streets tend to get a bit crowded here when the students arrive for University and College but we have learned to have patience. Funny though while at Shoppers Drug Mart the University students were piling in and the sheer amount of snack items being purchased was outrageous. The counter was filled with Red Bull, Mentos, snack packs of crackers and cheese, chips and chocolate bars. In my head I was thinking how unhealthy all the food was and the cost to purchase the items.

Back to school lunches

While I was reading the grocery flyers for this week you couldn’t miss the “Back to School” sales in just about every flyer. Many of the sales that were advertised were for convenience foods such as juice boxes, chocolate, cookies, various types of bars and get this, Perrier water. I know, I was thinking the same thing, what kid brings Perrier water to school? I’m pretty sure that a sandwich is standard for many children but even including a salad with hard-boiled eggs or other proteins plus a dressing is a great way to switch things up. It’s also a great way to keep the lunch healthy for your child so their sugar levels aren’t fluctuating during the hours you want them to be alert, education time.

Back to school recipes

I remember when I went to school when I was real young and my mother made my lunch for me. Nothing in my lunch bag was ever convenience foods nor did I go hungry. I often wonder why we are so persuaded by the likes of “easy snacks” that can be packed in a lunch bag as opposed to something homemade. There are tonnes of recipes that parents can experiment with and involve the children with so they will eat what they help create. I know not all parents are able to bake treats or cook for that matter (I have a mate who is going to get the cooking experience of a lifetime next time I see him as he’s rubbish at it but needs to learn) but I remember getting homemade treats once in a while in my lunch box and never complained about it.

Check out my RECIPE INDEX for some awesome back to school recipes that are not only frugal but easy to make. 

I wonder if we put healthy snacks and homemade cookies/bars or other treats such as mixed nuts and seeds, fruits, cut up vegetables in a lunch box that the children would get used to it and then later crave that same tastes as an adult? Maybe if we do this when they are young they won’t want to tear the cookies and chips from the shelves at the grocery store or reach for unhealthy snacks in their diet when they are older. I was being nosey in others shopping carts today at the grocery store and no word of a lie some were packed with all convenience foods, to the top.

 If we had kids I’d be inclined to peel and cut fruits up every single day and bake on the weekends or when I had spare time and store some goodies in the freezer. There has to be a plan and that’s what we would do, plan our shops, lunches and meals and prep them ahead of time. I guess what I would do is all going to be a mystery since we have no kids but I’d like to hear from other parents.

What do you send your children to school with in their lunch boxes?

Do you save money by baking treats at home?

If you are a University or College student what is your food diet like while in school?

greens

September grocery game recap

Congratulations goes out to our AUGUST Grocery Game WINNER and that is Christine Weadick  Ballot #8!!! Congrats Christine!!! Send me your address and I’ll get your coupon envelope sent out to you!! Thanks to all of you that participated in August and I look forward to spending September here with you! If you have any topic ideas you think I haven’t covered and I should, please let me know. 

Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads is lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much moreall for FREE. I want to see you save money in your budget.

Free-stuff-download

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy

Food food and more food

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart

Food Basics

  • 2 x 2lb carrots 2/$ 1.00 Sale
  • 2 x 2lb yellow onions 2/$1.00 Sale
  • Iceberg Lettuce $1.27
  • Chipits Chips $6.99 Sale
  • Chipits Chips $6.99 Sale
  • Hellman’s Mayo $2.99 Sale
  • 6 x Black Diamond Cheese $3.88 Sale
  • 4 x Lean Ground Pork $3.00-30%
  • 2 x White mushrooms $1.97 each Sale
  • Red field peppers $1.97 Sale
  • 2 x Lactancia Cream $2.49 -$0.75 Sale
  • Krinos Feta 1kg $13.99
  • 5 x Johnsonville Brats $2.99 Sale
  • 3x garlic $0.98
  • 2 x Collard Greens $3.00
  • 2 x Kale $3.00
  • 2x Swiss Chard $3.00
  • Mini White Potatoes 5lb $1.97 Sale
  • 3 x Watermelon $1.88 each Sale

Total out of pocket $118.79

Shoppers Drug Mart

4 x Neilson Cream $1.99 Sale

Total out of pocket $7.96

grocery-game-challenge-Sept-2013-1

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38
  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
  • Total Budget For September: $234.57  which is $235.00-$0.43 overspend in August
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $1.50
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $
  • Total Spent This Week: $126.75
  • Total Spent So Far for September $126.75
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop:  $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (September): $ 0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month:$107.82
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$1.50
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83 (August) $182.35=$1724.95 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.

Weekly Overview: We had a huge shop today and picked up quite a bit of food. I’ve already cooked all the greens so they are ready to eat all week for dinner with a protein and salad. I’m hoping we can make it this month with 5 weeks of shopping. Let’s just see what happens, fingers crossed. 

Canadian coupons found in September

coupons sept

Frequently Asked Questions

Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. 

  1. Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop? No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have a few players from around the world.
  2. When does the Grocery Game Close each month? The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.
  3. Does Your Grocery Budget Include Health and Beauty and Laundry? Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
  4. Where can I find Canadian CouponsHere are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week including Checkout 51 from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.
  5. What is an FPC? An fpc is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  6. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  7. How Do I Grocery Shop?- I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I ‘need to buy this or that. You may also substitute items in order to stick to your budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving. You’ve made a wise decision.

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PF Weekly Grab a Brew 31: I don’t care about debt…push!

Grab A Brew Reading Line-Up

I’m sure you know someone who is deep in debt and shrugs it off like it’s no big deal saying they don’t care about debt. Sometimes I wonder how someone gets to that point but from another perspective I can understand how overwhelming debt can be for some people, myself included. Every one in a while we need motivation in our lives, and I’m here to share some of mine with you.

Yes, when I bought my first condo that amount of debt and unexpected bills were piling up even though some people would say a mortgage is not a bad debt it loomed over my head. I’s not near as bad as having thousands in consumer debt that you just can’t pay off no matter how you accumulated it. Some people are comfortable paying the minimum payments until the bitter end no matter how much they pay in interest. It’s easier to close our eyes than to take the steps to iron out the wrinkles.

12 per cent of them — said they are comfortable carrying the debt and don’t intend to pay it off.

The CIBC telephone poll that I read said “14% of Canadians won’t pay off their debt” and although any number seems high to me it’s no surprise especially if we take on the negative attitude that many people swim with. When one is too far in debt the feel the waves are too high so they float. Push. I know not everyone is in debt from their own doing but realistically if we could only think of better ways to pay off the debt instead of saying “I could care less if I pay it or not” because that attitude is a huge weight that some people carry around and will take them down, eventually. Push.

When one CBB fan shared her story about drugs,  debt, divorce and triumph her words were so powerful that the post was seen by so many who crave that inspiration. Then there is Katrina a single mom who does whatever she can to make extra money for her family to stay out of debt. It’s that drive, that attitude, that push.

How do you become more positive about debt?

Well, there’s not much more to say except for take your debt with both hands and conquer it. It may be easier said than done but for those of you that know me, you know I always say anything is better than nothing at all. It’s hard for some people to see the bits come from the pile little by little but if we could cut back in other areas or make more money we could take bigger bits. No one will sorry for you and your debt, that’s just the way it is. They won’t care how you got it or arrived at the place you are at but they may want to help you get over the negative hurdle and back on paying higher monthly payment grounds. Push.

Being positive is not hard at all, because if you have what it takes deep in your heart you can make anything happen. Digging out of debt takes steps but you must climb them and figure out what you want money for. There are people out there with varying degrees of disability that are able to make positive change to their life where they once thought there was no hope. If we could just take their strength and apply it to our finances we would be in a much better place. Push.

The name of the game is to “push” and don’t stop until you get what you want. If you want lower interest rates on your credit card, find a way. Do what you need to do to get back on track, especially if that means budgeting every penny so you know where your money is going. It’s your ship, you’re sailing, no one is going to pull your heavy debt weight along but the strength you put into getting your ship to shore. Push.

There once was a girl I knew, and still know who had dreams, lots of them. In an instant all those dreams came crashing down after an accident she was in. She went through the stages of  loss through emotion but now she is a fighter and is doing whatever it takes to get back the goals she lost through re-arranging the way she thinks about her life and what she wants from it. The hidden message in this post is so obvious that I hope those that read it grab it and hold it close because when you want to give up, say the word to yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that what you dream is impossible, but when you tell yourself that it’s only a dream you won’t ever bring it to life. Push.

Do you know someone who has debt and has just given up or doesn’t care what happens any more? What would you say to them if you could to motivate them never to give up?

Top Recipe

skinny-frozen-smores

 

It’s a hot day today and I’m in the mood for something sweet but skinny and this Skinny Frozen Smore’s Treat that Nancy Fox from Skinny Kitchen created is right up my alley, no camp-fire needed at all. This is my top recipe from my Facebook page The Free Recipe Depot! Each week I feature one recipe from other Food Bloggers right here… just to make your mouth water. Check out my full frugal recipe index to see what you’ve missed in my kitchen.

PF weekly reading line-Up

I’ve had another busy week so I didn’t get a chance to read and comment on as many posts but from what I did read and comment on I think you might enjoy the few I picked out. Looks like a certain host (s) is down today and some posts I wanted to share I can’t. Sorry.

Top story: My good friend Karen is celebrating 3 years blogging at Lil Suburban Homestead. Lots of contests going on so please head over and say hello and tell her Mr. CBB sent you!! I always think that if a blogger can make it past a year you know they are passionate about their topic and Karen, well she goes above and beyond. Enjoy the real-life photos of her homestead and how she lives the frugal life. 

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Personal Finance Weekly Grab a Brew #31, I don’t care about debt…push.  Join me again next Friday when I do it all over again. Happy August long weekend Canada.

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PF Weekly Reading List #16- I Give Up……………

Change Yourself I Give Up

What? I give up… it’s probably one of the hardest things I would have to decide to do or anyone for that matter. A part of us shatters when we are forced to make the decision to give something up in order to get out of a financial mess that we created or for reasons beyond our control.

When times are tough and it’s hard to make ends meet or we simply are drowning in debt we have to give something up. Sure we may NOT have to give something up and could keep juggling money from credit card to credit card or consolidating debt in order to ease the pain but is that enough? If you answered “that’s all we have left to do” the you need to find a way because you can’t live your life like that. It won’t last forever, the walls will crumble down on you eventually.

For some credit cards and consolidating debt over and over seems like the right thing to do but for others its way out in left field. For those that would do just about anything to get out of debt they would rather ‘give up’ something than to incur more debt along the way. It’s no secret that Canadians are sinking in mounds of debt we read about it all the time and for many reasons, job loss, work injury, illness, divorce the list could go on and on.

Never Give Up On Yourself

There are also many people who are in these situations that have come out on top because they didn’t give up on themselves. When I hear people say they can’t, I don’t know how, there is no way, it’s impossible. That’s giving up on you, don’t do that. We all have to grieve what life hands us if it’s not what we anticipated or dreamed of and for many it’s been a rotten life but we don’t have to continue down that path. Believe. If you have a crappy job for example make the most of it by finding ways to improve your skills to better your career with another employer. Think positive.

There comes a point though when we need to put all that behind us, move forward and figure out what we are going to do to make the money stretch or work harder for us.

I Give Up…

I was reading an article yesterday which was about asking Canadians what they would “give up” for $250 in extra savings every month. My mind drew a blank as I simply had no idea what I would give up if debt was taking over my life. A survey by ING direct provided information that many Canadians don’t think they are saving enough money each month.

I agree though that with simple planning and budgeting there is light at the end of the tunnel no matter what your income is.  If you don’t make enough to cover the bills the options may be  clear to you 1- make more money 2- give something up. If there’s nothing left to give then you may need to make extra money, some how, some way. The other options may be to move somewhere cheaper, move where the job opportunity takes you or start-up your own business and work for yourself.

Our friend Katrina did just that, a single mom with 2 kids who works full-time and needed more money, so she started her landscaping business to bring in more money. A friend of mine who is on disability has to be one of the smartest guys I know and also has a small side hustle. He can’t work so the family cuts down on all the expenses to fit the budget. It’s hard for him to watch his wife go work every day while he stays home to clean and cook. He said to me that “I have to do what I have to do for my family”.

If that means he gets clothes from a second-hand store or has to cut down on the groceries with no chips and snacks then they will do it. The kids don’t complain and know that their parents are doing what they have to so they don’t lose their house or their car gets taken away.

“We don’t want to be those people on that television show “Til Debt Do Us Part”  as a couple at their wits end. We want to fight the battle and never let it get that far”.

They doesn’t spend more than they earn and he also doesn’t complain about his disability to anyone. He makes his life work “for him” even though he says parts of his life gave up on him. He makes extra money refinishing items he finds for free and sells them to keep himself motivated and to feel like he is giving back.

He says ” the worst thing you can do is feel sorry for yourself, that doesn’t pay the bills”. He searches online for freebies and sells them for more money. He told me there is always a way to make more money if you set your mind to it. The best part is he’s always smiling.

Get Rid Of Debt

I know many of my fans who read Tony’s debt story on the blog yesterday about how he is pulling his family out of $100,000 in debt, it gave them some hope. It really made me realize that sometimes in life we have to give things up to solve a problem. I’m sure Tony would agree that he would do whatever it takes to get his family above water even giving up stuff for a short period until they are at a happy place with their finances.

It’s harsh to say sometimes but when you’ve already spent money that you don’t have you may just have to suck it up and do without until you can get out of a mess. Some Canadians say they would give up social media for $250 extra each month to put towards their debts.

With all the available credit surrounding us like a drug it’s hard to say, No I’m on a budget or no, I need to get out of debt first before we go on a trip and blow more money that we don’t have.

Is it that sense of entitlement that creeps in here for some people?

It may make us feel better to have some liquid cash set aside in emergency savings which I think we all should have so we don’t turn to more credit when in dire need but how many actually use that emergency savings for the said purpose, an emergency.

Nearly three-quarters of Canadians say they would give up social media for three months in exchange for the chance to set aside that extra money, according to a survey released this week by ING Direct.

We Give Up ..

I was thinking about this most of the day wondering if I could give up social media and the reality is , no I can’t. Well, I could but it wouldn’t be my first pick to knock off put it that way. If I had no other choice, you bet I would, there’s always the library.

Last year I gave up smoking which was likely the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. If you are addicted to smoking, drugs or alcohol you know that you don’t really give it up for the money first you give it up to live first, so that didn’t count for me.

When it came down to the nitty-gritty If we had to give up something in our budget to save extra money we’d likely give up cable. We don’t watch much television as it is and it’s costing us around $60 a month. If we were that hell-bent on watching a TV program we could likely watch it on the computer or pretty Smart TV that we own.

That wasn’t enough though and we needed to think of more things we would give up. This reminds me of the time Mrs.CBB and I sat to do our first budget and decided to make 2 budgets. One budget was for the present and the other was just in case one of us lost our job, got injured at work or something drastic happened that we would have to survive on one income. We designed the second budget with all the things we would have to give up in order to survive and not dig ourselves into debt.

On an “I” note, I would also say bye-bye to my weekly allowance which I really only use for beer and the occasional coffee when I’m out on the road and my travel mug is empty. If I had debt that I “REALLY” wanted to get rid of I’d suck it up and scrap the allowance. Other parts of our budget we would smash is the cell phone, eating out, major renovations etc.

I’m sure we could pick it apart but the main thing is we are willing to give something up in order to have a better nights sleep and money peace in our relationship.

Love and Money

Many people ask us how we can be so happy all the time and it’s because we are so in love with each other. It’s also because we chose to give up stuff along the way together while living our life the way we want to. We plan and budget our money in order to live this life of  debt freedom at a young age.  It’s been a bumpy ride with lots of falls but we got right back up again. We will continue our budgeting journey because it has worked for us and it makes us happy.

Like Tony, his family has had to give things up and make choices they may not have wanted to but they did and they too are pushing forward, not living in the past, not complaining of how life dealt them a crap deck of cards. Living a frugal life while you are financially under construction and not giving up while you give up something is a better wau to build your castle than to build nothing at all.

We all deserve happiness, but sometimes we have to create that happiness on our own by giving up something to get something.

What would you give up for extra money in your budget to pay down debt?


Personal Finance Weekly Reading List

PF WEEKLY READING LIST

Here is this weeks reading list which includes some of the best blog posts from many blogs that I interact and comment on and who also have a common interest in CBB. I hope you all enjoy this weeks round-up. There are a few more than normal that I really enjoyed so I hope you enjoy them as well! -Mr.CBB

Mr.CBB's Olive Bread

Recipes/Frugal Blog Posts of the Week

I made more Olive Bread yesterday although I made it with white flour. I honestly thought they were turning into the bread blobs as they wouldn’t stop rising. We were thinking about a plan B just in case they fell off the baking stone. I made two giant loaves of bread and they are much bigger than the photo shares with you. Just check it out above, can’t wait to get into these this weekend with our friends!

Top Recipe: Three Ingredient Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies – Coking Whims (check out how easy it is to make these cookies)

Inspirational or Funniest Post of the Week

Inspirational: Making Sense of Cents- “My Dad Was Awesome” Michelle share a short story about her dad and why he is so awesome. Truly inspirational and another reason to enjoy life to the fullest with those you love. Funniest: Budget and The Beach : Do I Need An Emergency Fund: One Cats Dilemma  Tonya shares a guest post by  her feline friend Pepe the cat. Smart, funny and just all around an important message for all pet owners to read.

Quote-Budget and Money

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New Year’s Resolution:Canadian Debt and Tackling Personal Finances

Tackling Personal Finance 2013

Tackling Personal Finance 2013

This year’s New Year’s resolution: Tackle my personal finances in the face of Canadian debt. This should be what many Canadians are planning for 2013 but are they really? Just about everybody goes to the doctor or walk-in clinic if there’s something wrong with their health, and they take their car to the mechanic if it breaks down. If you ignored these problems your health would deteriorate and your vehicle wouldn’t run, so why would you ignore your personal finances?

Canadian Priorities 2013 Sun Life

Canadian Priorities 2013 Sun Life

Statistics Paint  A Picture…..

In a recent study initiated by Sun Life, 55% of  1,277 people surveyed ranging in age from 18-55+ stated they weren’t happy with their personal finances for the year 2012. Of those 1,277 people, only 30% wanted to do something about it- and yet 68% stay strangely optimistic. How can you be so optimistic for the forthcoming year and have financial woes at the same time without ignorance?

Are people in denial over the amount of their debt or the fact they have debt altogether? Statistics from various sources including top Canadian banks suggest that the average household Canadian debt is somewhere in the region of $114,000, though most of that will be mortgage. I can’t see how the current economy is to blame for debt problems of Canadian households as the debt was already present before the economy tanked way back in 2008. True, the majority of debt was accumulated from a lucrative housing market that has only recently started to slow down, but there’s also a startling amount of consumer debt.

The Answers Are In Front Of Our Eyes…..

The problem lies in the uncontrollable spending habits of Canadians and the fact they are spending other people’s money for the things they want and forgetting that sooner or later those people are going to want it back. New cars, electronics, clothes, furniture and an enormous house to put it all in all build up to a pile of debt some people are finding hard to deal with. Daily advertising for consumer goods and services and peer pressure all contribute to an ever-increasing problem. Saying you “need” the latest iPhone 5 is great if you can justify it, but I can guarantee 75% of the people who own them could live their lives with a much simpler mobile phone at a quarter of the price. We’re not like our parents or  grandparents; we don’t want to make do, we want the biggest and the best and we want it all right now.

No More Buy Now Pay Later…..

I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I’ve gotten as far as I have with hard work and determination. Sure I’ve bought things in my life that I wanted more than I needed but I had the cash to pay for them. I’m a strong believer in “don’t buy it unless you can afford it”, leaving me with no payments to make, because I didn’t buy it on credit. Maintaining what you’ve got is also a strong belief of mine. I see it everyday people throwing perfectly good stuff away when all it requires is a little love and attention. Laziness also contributes to bad finances due to the added costs of convenience, usually at premium rates.

The “Snow blower” to some people is the all-important winter item, but nothing that a shovel can’t handle. Agreed, when you get to a certain age or you’ve got health concerns, shovelling probably isn’t going to do you much good. A vast proportion of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s could manage shovelling the drive, but instead choose to spend between $600-$1600+ on a machine.

Just about every single company that sells products is going to advertise and these days consumer advertising is everywhere. It covers a multitude of products and it will probably let you know that you can’t live your life without what it’s selling. The trick is ignoring the hard sell and only buying what you need.

Optimistic or Pessimistic New Years 2013

Optimistic or Pessimistic New Years 2013

Optimistic or Pessimistic?

Through analyzing the data you can also see that there’s a generational gap. The results for the 18-34 age range suggests less than half enjoyed a good year as far as their finances went, yet 73% remain optimistic. The older generations seem a little more conservative with their opinions and probably remain a little more true to their future and how they see themselves later in life and into retirement. The older generation should also have less debt due to paid-off mortgages, cars, senior-level employment, etc.

There’s also another worrying trend associated with the sheer amount of household debt and that is retirement. If Canadians are struggling with such high debt loads, how are they going to fund their retirements? I was probably no different from a lot of people in my early 20′s; I didn’t really think about retirement although I did take advantage of my employers pension scheme. The Canadian Pension Plan  will currently pay out a maximum of $986.67 a month upon your retirement, but do you want to try and live on that? If you’re renting your home, what are you going to use to pay for bills and groceries? Old Age Security may provide additional benefits to lower-income seniors if they are eligible.

At Canadian Budget Binder my goal is to inform you that with forethought, planning, research and a bit of hard work you, too, can get your finances back in order. Budgets define boundaries for your finances within which you can make realistic decisions that affect how your life will run. It’s not rocket science, nor is it a quick fix or a get-rich-quick scheme. Budgeting is more of a lifestyle choice based on the simple premise of spending less than you make.

For more information on the Sun Life 2012-2013 survey with a detailed infographic click here.

So, try this New Year’s resolution: Put your spending on a diet and tackle your personal finances by giving them a budget workout.

It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

Mr.CBB’s Quote

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