Do you need financial motivation?

motivationPUSH YOURSELF TO SUCCEED

 

Financial motivation doesn’t normally just jump into your head when you wake up in the morning.

Motivation for many typically happens because something is either wrong or you want to make changes to your life.

Some people need personal motivation to get through daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks and if that’s what it takes, go for it.

Asking for help is not easy to do especially if you are a strong, independent person who struggles with showing weakness in any form.

I know plenty of friends especially my male friends who won’t even ask for directions because they don’t want to look like they don’t know where they are going. These days we combat that with the GPS but there’s only so much a GPS can do.

The same goes with letting our finances ride out on their own. You can’t expect to see optimal growth in your savings account if you aren’t focused on growing it.

Same goes with paying your bills on time and earning enough money to pay cash for something you want rather than putting it on credit.

Motivation to have patience and wait until you have your feet on the ground financially before jumping into any big decisions is something that many people seem to toss aside unless they are forced to think about it.

Many people rush out and buy a house with a small down-payment and nothing in the bank for an emergency.

What happens if you need a new roof and have no way to pay for it? Asking for financial help is not a bad thing whether it be buying your first house, getting OSAP for your education or learning how to do something financially that you aren’t too sure of.

The person who fails to ask the questions are the one’s who fail to get the answers because they fear failure.

Don’t let that be you. Failure happens because you let it happen. You let the world take over your life and you wallow in the memories of what you should have done or should not have done.

Move forward. Ask for help. Don’t back down.

 

Personal motivation

 

How to motivate yourself?

It’s not always easy to motivate yourself but sometimes starting with a pen and paper is a good start. I know that sounds old-fashioned but writing something out might hit home rather than typing it into a word document.

The written word for me has always carried strength because it’s your own handwriting. I know this may not work for everyone but do what works for you.

I have people searching this blog for motivational quotes all the time and that tells me people want to either encourage themselves or others.

If you really want to succeed at motivating yourself you have to be dedicated to the mission. Whether you need financial motivation to get out of debt or motivation to start something new and see it through to completion the puck is always in your court. If it’s not, then find a way to get it there.

When I moved to Canada as a permanent resident I needed financial motivation especially when it came to finding a job. Being new from the UK didn’t help my cause because I didn’t have any Canadian working experience.

I wasn’t old by any shot but I certainly wasn’t young and had to make the decision to go back to school.

It was a financial motivation for me because I knew I needed some sort of skill to get me the career that I wanted in Canada. I achieved that by never giving up on my dream of becoming who I wanted.

 

Words to motivate

 

Sometimes keeping motivational words that are positive in nature such as determined, focus, success, opportunity etc. on your radar is important.

Positive motivation gets people through all sorts of events in their lives whether it be an exam at University, a job interview or getting their finances on track.

Keeping a positive mind-set can not only change your outlook on life but the way you move forward with tasks that you might be afraid to tackle out of fear of failure.

No one likes to fail but if you don’t start, how do you know if you are going to be good at it?

 

Financial motivation

 

I find when I talk to some fans who email me or even people in my circle of friends who have financial difficulties that motivation is lacking.

There are typically more excuses then there are reasons why they should make changes to their finances. You may be able to talk to someone about their finances but never can you make them change the way they execute their spending habits.

They are the only one’s who can challenge themselves to make better choices and to spend less than they earn. When we started using the excel budget we designed it was new to us and something we had to get used to.

We weren’t sure how it would affect our life but we certainly didn’t back down because we feared the outcome. We wanted to see those financial numbers month after month and find out if our efforts were being realized.

Sure enough a few years later and we are still budgeting our money because we have seen the positive impact that it has had on our finances.

Personal motivation will always be the hardest of all but it doesn’t have to be unless you let it become a fear in your life. Just like we need motivation in the workplace when we do a good job or excel in what we do, the same is needed in our personal life.

The problem is sometimes the only form of personal motivation comes from with-in. If you know someone who needs some financial motivation, share this post with them.

What are some ways you personally motivated yourself financially?

 

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Is being taken for granted taking more than just your time?

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BUILD CONFIDENCE AND YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

There is only one reason someone will take you for granted and that is because you let them.

You are the nicest person anyone could ever wish to know, you have a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone because you are so kind, honest and enjoy seeing others happy.

Treating others with respect and if they need you for something you will always be there for them no matter who they are or how they have impacted your life in the past and present.

If the above sounds like you then you are also an easy target for those who want to take advantage of you whether it be with or without intent. Most often it’s the people who are closest to us in our lives that get accustomed to your good nature and think that you will do something all of the time with nothing in return.

We are all created the same way but the way we think, feel and act are all learned in my opinion and we become the person that we are because it’s what we were trained to do or it’s the way we handle situations that make us feel good inside.

The biggest problem with doing what makes us feel good inside all of the time is that we allow others to take advantage of us. What ends up happening is that we create the problem in others because that is what we trained them to do.

It’s great having friends with benefits as we all love to have people we can rely on for a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on but if you are always giving and no one is giving back to you then they are now conditioned to believe they can always take and never give back.

I think the same thing rings true if you are raising a child. If a child always ‘wants’ something and from a young age instead of doing the right thing and educating the child about where money comes from and is earned you just give in then you teach them how to get what they want without fail.

This can turn into a costly venture especially since your kids typically stick around until at least the age of 18 even worse if they expect it and are still living at home in their 20′s and 30′s.

 

Self-esteem

 

I know someone who is that guy and is always being taken advantage of or feels like he has to be the one to save the day. He is one of the nicest guys that I know and he always puts others before him.

He is a man whose personality is so laid back and with that comes a man who always wants to see people happy and he doesn’t want to be the cause of negative emotions in others.

In a way I believe he feels guilty if he upsets someone or doesn’t give into their manipulations or wants and even in social situations will jump in and be the one to sort out any issues just to be a nice guy.

When I was thinking about this blog post the title of how to get screwed out of money by being a nice guy came to mind only because that is what happens to my best friend who also lacks a bit of self-esteem.

I’m not talking about his looks either I’m talking about assertiveness and how stepping outside of his comfort zone to say what he really wants to might help him overcome his constant need to make people happy or keep situations low-key without problems or arguments.

 

Build self-confidence

 

He needs to learn how to build self-confidence in his ability to take control of social situations so he doesn’t keep getting taken for granted.  My best advice is to smile, look people in the eye, use their name if you know it and tell them what you want and get straight to the point.

I believe assertiveness training is a great way to help those that struggle to say no or to help them stop feeling guilty if they don’t help someone who they care about. Using an assertive communication style balanced with pleasant words not only gets your point across it shows that you have confidence and you know what you want without coming across as a self-centered jerk.

I’m sure many of you can relate to being in situations where money is involved and it was your wallet that was opened or it may be time that you gave up or give up often for others with nothing in return.

There comes a time where enough is enough and we have to learn to build up confidence with-in and start to say ‘no’ to people without feeling that guilt inside. Sometimes it’s nice to get something in return if you are always the giver even if it is simply an ear to listen or shoulder to cry on.

It’s also nice when someone does something special for you especially when you don’t expect it or where you feel no one really cares or has done something out of the blue for you.

It’s these small moments when a giver is taken aback and feels emotion because they are not the giver but they may also feel they are not worthy which is simply a learned behaviour in my opinion because they are so used to giving and being a nice person.

What happens is over time the giver will start to feel resentful for having to always give whether it be with time or money that comes out of his or her pocket. The key to happiness would be to start taking back the power you have given to people who take you for granted by wanting ‘favours’ or just thinking that you won’t care or will hand over cash when it’s needed.

This can be a tough road to conquer but for your own sanity it may be the best route to go even if that means losing people who are your so-called friends or just to improve the person you are inside without losing that ‘nice guy’ or ‘nice girl’ personality rather balancing your emotions so you can better handle social situations.

You don’t have to put up walls and set strict boundaries in order for others to stop thinking they can get what they want out of you. All you need to do is figure out what makes you as a person happy inside and what you require to feel good about yourself.

The other night while out at the bar with some friends the evening was getting later and later and the drinks kept getting ordered by a certain someone at our table but when the waitress came around he was nowhere to be found when it came time to dish out the cash for his rounds of drinks.

My best friend didn’t blink an eye and every time that this happened he pulled out cash to pay for the drinks.

He’s a far different man when it comes to handling his finances as I simply wouldn’t do that only because I didn’t order the drinks. He on the other hand felt the need to sort the situation in the moment to make it go away and everyone happy.

This can be a costly night out for the budget especially if that person who was ordering sees that the money is coming out of someone else’s pocket. This easy money target might get hit a few more times if they are not careful.

Below are some other ways that people may take advantage of your good nature and how you can learn to say no and reserve being the one always blowing your hard-earned money on what others should be paying for.

Maybe you can relate to some or all of these and if you are looking for help to try to build up confidence in your life just remember that you are the one in control and you have the power to change anything you want in your life. It’s your path after all and no one is walking it but you.

 

Forgot the wallet

 

Some other ways people may take you for granted is when you are out with them and they conveniently always forget their wallet and tell you they will pay you back and never do. Just because you are a nice person you would never ask for that money back but you know what, you should. If you don’t then they think they can continue to act this way with you just to save a few bucks of their own.

Solution: Don’t be shy to ask for the money back in a few days time or to even set a time frame when you are forking over the cash to your friend to split a bill etc.  Tell them you need the cash and when you will need it by or ask them when they will have it for you. If you continue to allow them to pull the wool over your eyes they will let you so set the payback schedule because it’s your cash that’s been put on the table up front.

 

Always on-call with no pay

 

Does your boss always seem to call you after hours requesting your time and wanting you to do things that are off the pay clock? That is my best friend who has a boss who doesn’t care what he may be doing at the time and thinks that he should drop everything for him. Just because someone is on salary if you are a boss and think that you can force people to work when they are not at work then you should give your head a shake.

Solution: No one likes to work for free all of the time but if you give up time for someone for nothing they will think you have no problem with this any time they need you. This is not right and he’s being taken advantage of from his boss and he needs to learn to tell him that he is off the clock and if would like to chat call me on my work day or pay me to take care of business after hours.

 

Providing a service

 

Do you have a skill or a trade that someone close to you always seems to want and borrow for free? If you are the guy or gal who is always providing a service whether it be renovating, moving items with your truck, cutting hair, fixing a car or even picking up kids and babysitting and not getting paid that is a problem. When you agree with someone about payment for a service that you provide and they fail to pay up thinking you won’t care then you need to speak up.

Solution: Everyone loves freebies and for some even if it’s at the expense of someone they think doesn’t need the money or they believe they can get away without paying them any money because they won’t say anything. You need to set the cost of the service you are providing and a payment schedule before providing the service. If they fail to pay you then you no longer provide the service nor do you provide any further assistance until you are paid in full. It’s your time so don’t let others believe that your time and efforts are worth nothing. Speak up.

 

The driver

 

You seem to be the only person who drives and owns a car so you are the go-to guy or gal that others rely on for you to cart them around town for free. The cost of gas is not cheap and everyone knows that.

To take a bus can also get pricey but there are monthly bus passes that can be purchased or even better walk if you are able to get from point A to point B in your city. All you pay for is your time to get up a bit earlier and to get moving.

Not everyone pushes themselves to take a bus, walk, or ride a bike or other means to get around town. Some people can be lazy and rely on others to drive them around without thinking about offering up some money for gas.

The worst part is when people like that don’t have any respect for your work day and the hours you need to rest up because you had a long day at work. They call at all hours of the day or night and expect you to jump in the car and get them where they need to go whenever they need you. This is wrong. You must stop this action before it gets out of hand.

Solution: It’s not a bad thing to ask those who you are continually giving rides to for gas money and to honour your time boundaries for contacting you for rides wherever they need to go. You know you are a good person and a good friend but it’s time for you to step up and let them know that you are human too and that your time is valuable as much as theirs.

If you have children who are working and should be able to get where they need on their own you must tell them to respect you as an adult figure in their life and to pay up a few bucks for gas. Not every parent has the luxury of money in the bank and an emergency fund, they live pay cheque to pay cheque and money doesn’t grow on trees.

Teaching children money values early will only help them to understand that working for a living is what puts food on the table, a roof over their heads and gas to fuel up the car to get around town. Nothing in life is free.

 

Stop being so nice

 

You don’t have to be nice all of the time and I’m not saying that to tell you to be rude to someone but to set boundaries so they understand that you have a life as well and that you work hard for your money.

When you are always compromising your time and money for others with nothing in return then you need to make that decision to say no and to get back that self-respect that you so willingly give away for free.

If someone has a problem with the way you handle the situation then don’t worry about if they walk away in anger because it’s their own emotions they need to deal with, not you. It’s fine to do things for free once in a while but not all the time.

Looking out for number one which is you should become your top priority and if you have a family then it becomes your family you look out for.

When it is your own children trying to take advantage that is your role as a parent to set the rules and the boundaries for the kids so they know who the adult is and that they need to pay up out of their allowance or work money if they want you to provide services to them all the time.

There is nothing wrong with teaching your kids about being kind and generous but don’t set them up for others to take advantage of them if you allow them to do it to you.

If being taken for granted is taking more than just your time than maybe it’s time to evaluate how you are approaching situations that might just allow others to take advantage of you. Being the one who always gives only means you have a heart of gold but when you feel taken for granted it starts to weigh down on your emotions and your pocket-book when all you need is someone to think about you and help you for once.

 

What are some ways you have been taken for granted and have set some rules to stop it from continuing to happen?

What tips do you have for those who might feel they are stuck always helping out but don’t know how to say no?

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The costs of being too nice

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Our Footprints Leave Our Mark On Life

Is being too nice a bad thing? Only you can answer that question but for many people on the outside looking in the picture is crystal clear. Most often it’s quite apparent when you can see others who might be taking advantage of someone’s good nature although it may not be intentional it’s a dependency that happens because it’s allowed.

Today my wife shares a bit about her mother growing up and how she was the go-to mom for all of her friends and for her and her siblings. I also talk about my best friend who is a one in a million guy, unique at best but certainly worth having around as a great mate and how his life is surrounded by giving up his time for his loved one’s.

Mrs. CBB

When I grew up my mother and father were and still are very caring people especially my mother who enjoyed hanging around with us and chilling out which no one seemed too worried about. I’m pretty sure my friends would wonder what was up if they came over and my mother wasn’t around to ask them if they wanted something to drink or eat.

My father a hard worker would always give something to someone every time they helped him out with something because to him that was the proper reciprocation along with a thank-you. My mother on the other hand she is all that my father is and more because she would do just about anything for her kids, their friends and her own friends if they needed her.

She was what our friends would call the “coolest mom” in town. Everyone knew if they needed something they could count on my mother to help them out. Looking back I don’t know how she did and it seemed like a hard role to fill.

My mom would always lend a helping hand even to our friends when they needed something like a ride to school, to work or she would even drive us to the club at night and pick us up so we didn’t have to pay for a cab or potentially risk drinking and driving which would never do, but who thinks they ever will in the first place.

If you ever needed money you could ask her for a few bucks and she wouldn’t hesitate to give it to you and most times not ask for it back if we or our friends didn’t remember to pay her back. The thing about my mother is that she would never ask for money from any of us kids or our friends for everything that she did especially for her time and the gas she used to drive us all over town.

My parents were far from rich and there were times when they had to live pay to pay so the extra money would have really helped but my mother was one of those people who had a hard time saying no to anyone. I’m sure in her own way she felt she was doing what everyone else does for their kids but she was forgetting about one person, herself.

My mother was always tired and eventually her long beautiful hair got cut and she started to age and life started creeping up in front of her. My mother always put people first and herself second and although it seems lovely and genuine we should always take care of ourselves so we can be strong for others.

I often wonder how she ever had the time to work, take care of us kids, our father, clean the house, tend to the yard work and help all the people she did. I can clearly see how strong of a woman she was and still is because my mother is still the same way today although she is now retired along with my father.

Healthy relationships

My parents have been happily married for um…. many, many years and it’s because they worked together and complimented each other, most of all they laughed together, had fun together, cried together and learned to talk about anything together rather than hide from each other, at least that’s what she tells me. That to me is the definition of love in a relationship.

I’m not sure if she is going to give me the relationship 101 talk but I know that when you are kind to others it is a reflection on the type of person you are and were raised to be. Both my parents are like this even though we are all far from perfect, but who is.

In many ways, I’m like this and I also fear that I might upset others if I don’t help them or do my best for them and that’s because I saw how my mother and father were and that’s how they raised me. I was raised to see the good in everyone and recognize that money does not define people, it’s what’s inside the heart that counts.

Almost twenty years later now and I can safely say that many of us might have unintentionally taken advantage of my mother’s generosity even though she would have never said a word to any of us because she was too nice. I wonder how many hours and minutes we took away from her already busy life that she won’t get back because she was too busy carting us from point A to point B.

The funny thing is we didn’t live in a big city and you could easily walk from one end of town to the other in about an hour and the bus system is like any other, running full speed daily. So, why are so many kids so dependent on adults and why are adults giving in to the kids when they ask? Is being too nice the real answer or is it because they don’t want people to think badly of them?

My mother is a lovely woman who no longer drives (she has her license though) has all the time in the world since she has retired early and us kids are no longer living at home she has all her time back and she can now enjoy the pleasures in life.

My parents go for bike rides every day and sit by the water to enjoy a beverage or a snack that they brought along with them and they talk, they enjoy each other’s company and the world around continue to grow as a couple. I often wonder why we have to wait until we are retired to have this luxury in life and why it’s so hard for many people to say no, I’m not available or no I can’t afford to lend you money.

Many a time we talk about how financial education should be taught not only at home but in the school system but i also believe that we should teach our children how to say no and why it’s OK if you can’t please everyone because in reality it can run you into the ground. Some parents will go as far as to go into debt by racking up credit card debt just to please their kids and family. We see it happen all the time.

Too tired to care

An ex of mine his mother was the credit card queen and everyone knew it.

She had a great job in the financial field for many years although she was a workaholic trying to please everyone so she knew what she was doing with numbers. We would often go out to eat as a family and the only person that paid, was her. She would pull out the credit card and pay for the entire bill often times at over $200 for the dinner. Time and again she was too tired to cook so his parents would say, let’s all go out to eat.

The thing is we were not little kids we were in our 20′s and working full-time but no one stepped up to pay or even leave a tip. I could only imagine now how much it must have cost them in relation to just buying groceries and someone, anyone cooking at home if she didn’t feel up to it. This was how dependent everyone became of her. It was wrong.

I was and still am a frugal girl and even I feel bad that I didn’t step up to leave a tip and looking back I feel just awful about it. I’m like my mother in many ways and often I hurt when those I love are not happy or if I at least don’t do all I can to try and make them smile so they have a better day. My ex’s family and extended family all did the same to her and that credit card just kept on swiping and her generosity became the norm.

She pays. I will admit it didn’t teach her kids a darn thing as our relationship ended because of money. He was a spender and I was a saver and it was difficult for him to see that you have to still pay the credit card bill when it comes in. His mother taught him that he could swipe when he needed and that didn’t lead him down the right path. It’s hard for people to say no just like for my mother.

New Start, New Beginning, New Life, Change, Divorce, Seperation

It’s me Mr.CBB again……

Not only are you losing your own precious time you are spending money that you might not have for others who are able to do things on their own or pay for on their own yet are too lazy to get up and get going. What happens is when we rely on something it’s too hard to give it up.

With the right guidance it can be done and soon enough those that were once so dependent feel powerful in their own way because you gave them the strength to be independent. It’s not wrong to give but it’s also not wrong to say no in order to let someone learn how to do it on their own.

The above situation reminds of me of my best friend a single father who I will say is the “go-to father” who has a young daughter of his own (the picky eater). He does not deny that he spoiled her yet regrets it but I don’t think he knows how to change that without his daughter getting upset with him as she is still so young. I don’t know how he does it most days. He also has step daughters, one a teen and one in her twenties who have boyfriends who hang out at the house when they want, wash their clothes there when needed etc.

His home is like an open door for drop-ins as is his cell phone that rings at all hours of the day and night or he gets texts while he is trying to get sleep he so desperately needs. He works odd hours of the morning which means he gets up very early while most people are still sleeping and enjoying the peace and warmth in between the sheets.

When he gets home from work it’s pretty much his night-time and for everyone else it’s the afternoon but his kids fail to see that. They are old enough to take the bus to work but they don’t they call him on short notice and he jumps.

He’s a nice guy, he’s better than that though because he’s my best friend and I know he would do anything for anyone like he does for his kids and has a heart of gold. The problem is that he is tired all the time, probably spends a fortune on gas driving the kids and boyfriends back and forth to work. His time is worth its weight in gold but he always puts himself last.

He is in love with a beautiful woman but I sometimes wonder how he will ever find time for her since he’s always tired and his kids take up his spare time, although they are both head over heels for each other. His daughter loves her to bits and tells her often which really does put a perspective on his life and she motivates him to make the changes he wants.

He feels he is aging faster than most and in reality with lack of sleep that can happen because when we are physically drained all the time our body doesn’t have the time to rejuvenate which we get through proper sleep habits or at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night.

I’m sure if he read this he would laugh because he doesn’t remember the last time he had that much sleep but I’m sure he would agree that he wants his world to change so that he can be the man he’s always wanted to be for himself, his daughter and his girlfriend. His youngest daughter is very active as he had her later in life and he struggles at times to keep up with her but loves her like no other. She’s his angel.

He often says he will die from a heart attack and although it chills me to hear that it’s clear he needs to make changes in his life starting with his career which he despises and his home life. His stress is apparent on his face, in his eyes, his actions and his body is telling him to slow down. He tells me that everyone’s situation is different and I agree but I also think that he needs to step up and take control of his life before it takes its toll on his health.

We often say what we feel and potentially forecast for the future but we can change the direction of our life. Like my wife’s mother he struggles to say no to anyone, lives pay to pay or ahead a pay when he can (I’m teaching him how to budget or at least that’s my goal he just doesn’t know it yet), has little debt, two mortgages and never asks for anything in return. Building the confidence to tell someone exactly how you feel and to stick to your guns and not worry if they are upset because you can’t be at their beck and call should be of great importance.

He is not only going to teach the kids responsibility to catch the bus so they make it to work on time he will get back his own valuable time that he do desperately needs. He will also save money and wear and tear on his vehicle because he’s not spending most days running around town for them.

Most of all he will teach them that he can’t hold their hand through every step in life and that he has to let them go to become and grow as adults. There comes a time when kids are old enough to tell them that they need to learn what it is like to be an adult because we are doing them no favours by doing it all for them. The hardest part is saying no, I can’t, I’m not able to but its life and we are not super hero’s we are human.

If they don’t understand today, they will understand when they get older like my wife where you can clearly read above how she can look back and wonder how her mother did what she did. Her mother today still feels worn out and does not look her age because she aged far too fast. The stress of life got to her but now she’s taking the time to live her life the way she wants to.

They say we will do anything for our kids and it’s true but we also have to remember that doing everything doesn’t mean we have to forgo teaching them the responsibilities of life, being an adult and how it takes time to make money and it doesn’t grow on trees. It also doesn’t mean that we have to put our own happiness last.

Although he says he’s just a nice guy and that’s why he always does what they want he needs to start thinking about himself as well as his young daughter who desperately needs to change her controlling ways over him when she doesn’t get what she wants. There is a cost to being too nice and often it is to our own well-being in mind, body and spirit and often times our bank account.

Is it possible to be too nice?

What would you say to my best friend about his situation and how he could go about handling it?

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How we quit comparing financial numbers

Jealousy-and-envy

Adjusting Your Financial Focus 

Some people like knowing what their friend’s financial numbers are, other’s don’t. Comparing what you don’t have to what they do have could hurt you in the long run if you don’t view it from a positive angle. People will complain, moan and groan about what they have or don’t have and why they deserve more or how they worked hard but life crumbled on top of them. Sure everyone has a story and likely a story worth listening to but will anyone really care about what you didn’t do in order to be happy with your life? Note I said happy, not rich and famous.

I’ve talked about it before how both my wife and I never did use a budget when we first got married.  We simply spent less than we earned and packed away money when we could after our everyday expenses were paid. That seemed like the common sense approach to personal finance and how people would amass their net worth.

We knew that it didn’t matter how much money we earned it was how we were saving it that mattered. You can make $1000 a week but if you blow $950 you only have $50 left to put away for a rainy day. If you make $500 a week but only spend $400 you have $100 left for the future. Hopefully you can see my point here. If not, re-read it again until you get it.

Money and relationships

Talking about money while we were friends seemed to make things a bit easier even though we knew something special was developing. It was likely the smartest first step in our relationship in that we did talk about money and its importance in our lives.

We were both frugal in our own ways but complimented one another enough to the point where one didn’t want to spend money on a pair of jeans and the other would say, “We have the money, come on, live a little would you” and so the jeans were purchased. That’s just a small example but money was important to us as a couple as was making sure that our path in life started off on the right foot.

Life was far from easy for us and we earned every penny we have ever made. I think coming to a new country not knowing where to begin and only having the help of my wife and the school system was a difficult task for me. I had given up everything to move to marry the woman of my dreams and to a new country. I had to work bloody hard to fit into a culture that was unknown to me, where people would laugh at my accent or what I said likely not understanding a bloody thing.

Renting vs. buying

Since we practically lived in run down shack for the first 2 years of my new life in Canada it allowed us to save money. It was a crappy circumstance but without me having a job we had many reasons to worry about whether we would have money coming in or not to pay the bills.

The decision to rent vs. buy was something that was easily made because we simply weren’t ready with us both back in school even though we had money for a down payment. There was no sense committing to a mortgage when we didn’t have a steady income. Renting allowed us to save more money and to give us the freedom by having less responsibilities. We didn’t have to pay for any utilities as they were all included in our rent. (I know lucky us).

During our first few months together we found ourselves dreaming about what type of home we wanted to purchase and where we wanted to live. We often found ourselves comparing our life to those our age and at times it seemed depressing that others were so far ahead of us. In all honesty looking back it wasn’t that they were ahead of us, heck I bought my first home at 21 and my wife had her first house at age 30. It was that we gave it all up to be together and we were living a new life starting from scratch.

Jealousy and envy

During our renting years we would get invited to our friend’s beautiful homes for backyard barbeques and we would be envious of what they would have. Many would have large homes, pools, double or triple car garages and a mortgage to go with the couple of kids they had. We had each other and our small suitcases of belongings.

Every time someone would ask what we did for a living we would practically sink in our seats. It was as if we were embarrassed that we were so far behind in our careers and they were off making near 6 figure incomes or more. We didn’t want to tell them that we were back in school for a second time hoping for a new career. Thing is, many people are doing it and by no choice of their own or because they want a career change. It wasn’t a bad place to be but it’s also not the place you dream of being just turning 30 years old.

I struggled mostly for people to understand me when I spoke because of my heavy accent and I would find that I didn’t open my mouth unless I needed to. I’ve obviously adjusted my speech over the time I’ve been here, mainly the speed and words for items.

We realized as a couple that even though our friends seemed to have it all we had to stop comparing financial numbers. The only cure for jealousy is to stop being jealous although it seemed more like envy than anything else. Are jealousy and envy the same though? Seems to be although one may assume that envy may be more of a positive than jealousy which may breed evil thoughts of others. Even though we really didn’t talk about how much money we earned we were more focused on the “stuff” they had rather than our own success.

It took a bit of time to realize that success is in the eye of the beholder. Just because we didn’t have kids or we didn’t have a big house, fancy cars and the career to go along with it that we weren’t just as successful as the next person. We were successful and we were only going to become even more successful when we stopped worrying about what others had.

When you focus too much on what you don’t have you will continue not having anything at all or that you desire from life. Granted that some people are lucky and win the lottery, have their educatioin paid for and others get an inheritance but for the most part success comes from hard work and a motivation to succeed.

Friends with goals

When I read personal finance blogs now and I see how well some of my fellow bloggers are doing I praise them because I know they work very hard because blogging is not easy and takes more time than I had ever anticipated but it’s a great hobby for me. Even in my life outside of the blog I have many friends  with goals who are successful and happy with what they have acquired over the years even if it’s simply to own their own home or pay down their debts.

When I read Tony’s story a blogger at We Only Do This Once who got rid of $100,000 in debt  it was a reminder that anything is possible. Other bloggers I know have a flourishing business like Michelle who blogs at Making Sense of Cents. Michelle works full-time and has a successful blog working from home earning her thousands of dollars each month. All of this has helped her to almost finish paying off her student loans. She works hard and plays equally as hard because she wants that success.

My friends, The Pops at Planting our Pennies share their monthly net worth with the world in hopes of motivating others and themselves to keep on working hard. There is also John and his lovely wife from Frugal Rules  who both run a business from home or Holly from Club Thrifty who gave up her career to blog full-time. They all set goals and are giving it their 100% to see where it leads them in life.

Then there is my happy friend Pauline a young woman in her thirties who runs the blog Reach Financial Independence who gave up the corporate world for cows, chickens, land, coconut plantation and a little house in Guatamala with her boyfriend. They are thriving because they are taking charge of their lives and are waiting around for no one to hand it to them on a platter.

There are many more amazing blogs that I read and am proud to learn from each day. My point is that people can sit back and complain about not having what others have but it does no good. Not everyone gets the opportunities in life to do what they dreamed but the only way to be happy inside is be the best you can be with what you are given. The moment we think that others are better than us or are showing off because they have more is the time you might as well go hide under the sheets and sleep your life away.

Teachers are lazy

We had a conversation with our friend the other day who is a teacher and brought up a good point about how others are more concerned about others than themselves. She said that she’s been asked if she became a teacher just to get the summer off.  She told me that she was made to feel lazy and not worthy of getting time away because everyone else has to work all year-long.

She said, “No, I love my job and the summer off is just a perk that comes with the teacher role”. She would be offended by those that think that she worked so hard in University and Teachers College just to score a job to get the summer off. It was an insult to her intelligence. She says if someone is jealous about what you have or what you did to get to where you are then walk away.

You will never change the way they look at you and you don’t want to be around people who are not motivated like you are to have a good life. They are too busy comparing their apparent miserable life with yours and pointing out all your faults instead of improving their own. You don’t owe them any explanations either and hopefully they get the hint when there is no more you in the picture.

You don’t have to make money to be successful because success is only what you believe. Our friends success was going into her classroom every morning even if she was having a miserable day only to see the kids smiling and saying, “Good morning Mrs. Teacher” to her face.

Some of the children would run up and hug her and others would bring her a treat to say good morning. That is her success, not the money, not the holidays, it’s the kids. All of that came with many years of studying, student loans and debt which she paid off with dedication to her role as a teacher. She told me that many of her friends have the big homes but they also have 6 figure OSAP loans and massive mortgages and are swimming in debt. She and her husband are in a happy place in their marriage even if their home isn’t massive.

How we quit comparing financial numbers
  • We stopped thinking about others finances and what they have.
  • We created a concrete plan with a set of achievable goals.
  • We set a reasonable time frame to accomplish our long-term and short-term goals.
  • Rewarding ourselves each time we achieved a goal became a challenge for us.
  • Be positive. If we weren’t positive about where we were headed we would have failed before we began.
  • The minute we stop educating ourselves is the minute where the story will end. We want to keep on learning so we can continue to battle our way to the top of our bucket list.
  • Spending less than we earn is a forever clause in our marriage and we continue to use a budget because that’s what keeps our finances on track.

Once we got rid of the jealousy bug we were able to focus on us. We purchased our first home with a price tag of $265,000 when we could have spent much more on a bigger house. We chose not to do that. We realized that in order for us to become successful in our world of personal finances we wanted to become debt free and mortgage free before we were 40 years old. This is now a reality for us.

Not having all the “nice to haves” in our home doesn’t matter to us any longer. We are simple and we now know that our success is being able to wake up in the morning and not worry about bill collectors or owing money to anyone. We created this life for ourselves with hard work, frugal living and by forgetting about comparing our life with those of others.

In essence we started from nothing but some money in the bank and our suitcases to create the life we have now. So for anyone who thinks comparing our life and personal finances to your own, don’t. It was far from easy and I recommend you take a look at what’s in your own backyard before focusing on others yards. You might thank me one day for that one day.

Have you compared your life to others success which de-motivated you? What did you do to change that?

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Mr.CBB’s Weekly Blog Post Picks Oct 26,2012

Mr.CBB's Weekly Blog Post Picks

Each Friday I will Blog Mr.CBB’s Blog Post Picks of The Week. This may include posts and shares from Friday Previous up until Thursday the following week. I like to recognize those sites that genuinely enjoy the content of my blog and share it.

I can’t believe it’s Friday already. It seems the more work I start doing outside and around the house the faster the week passes by. You can read what I’ve been up to each week at home and the blog each Saturday now with my new featured post “The Saturday Weekend Review“. Alternatively I would rather spend my time exploring the world with the lovely Mrs.CBB then cleaning the house. So,  unless I win this weekends Lotto MAX at $50 million, then that’s not likely to happen.

This week has been a super busy week at the blog and as the blog grows so does the time it takes to get through all the emails and the social media mentions. I’m enjoying the new people I’m making friends with as I realize that learning from each other is more important to me than anything else. This week as you will see below I did plenty of  reading and commenting on blog posts that I enjoyed reading.

This Friday blog post will include the following:

  • Blog Posts Picks- The Top Blog Posts that I have chosen that I think my fan base will relate to or I think are well written, inspirational or communicates knowledge that can be applied to my audience.
  • NEW!! Facebook Follow Friday- If you are a Personal Finance Blogger on Facebook please LIKE my page and SHARE my blog posts and You will be part of this list. I have started to share blog posts on my Facebook page with my over 2400 Fans from Personal Finance Bloggers that LIKE my page and want the exposure. Some of you are Friends with me on my Personal Page but all the magic happens on my Facebook Fan page. I encourage you to engage in conversation and get your name out there. Let me know you are on my page. My fans love to learn but won’t know who you are unless you pop in to chat.
  • Twitter Peeps # PF To Check Out- I’ve had to limit this list as its grown exponentially to only those that Re-tweet or Share my Blog Posts on Twitter at least 2x per week to their followers.

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These are Posts I think You will Love to read! Go ahead grab a hot cuppa and a piece of cake and enjoy the good weekend reads!

Top List of Blog Posts That I enjoyed this week and know my fans will enjoy as well. If you’re not on the list all you have to do is share so introduce yourself to me, Mr.CBB. There are so many amazing Personal Finance bloggers out there and sometimes it’s hard to pick favourite posts of the week. Therefore this list will start to shorten over the weeks to those that interact the most with CBB!  Cheers!

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Twitter  Personal Finance #PF  and Other Peeps to Check Out!

This is a list of the Twitter Peeps That I Follow that Tweeted 2 times or more from Friday to Friday Canadian Budget Binder Blog Posts according to the Follow Friday Helper App.  Thanks so much for your support! Mr.CBB

Facebook Follow Friday

Here are some awesome Facebook Pages to Check out!

Come say Hi! If I miss you.. let me know!

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