I want to be more successful than my father: PF Weekly grab a brew #63

grab-a-brew-online-reviewALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS BELIEVE


Sometimes we want to be more successful than others especially if we come from homes where our parents aren’t successful in our eyes.

But what does successful really mean?

Defining what successful means or even being rich means is an inner belief that will differ from person to person.


Life lessons


When you go to school as a child and see other kids with the latest and greatest toys, gadgets and clothes or boasting about their vacations you wonder why you aren’t either.

As a child shopping at second-hand stores when your friends shop at the mall is hard but for many they have no choice. Eventually they will understand that the reason and unless they understand the value of money you may run into resentment.

Not all children will turn away on their parents but for the most part if they don’t grasp that you don’t have to spend money to be happy they may try to correlate money with happiness.

It’s hard to understand the meaning behind being successful and how hard it is to make something of yourself as an adult or as a parent. I watched this short 9 minute Singapore drama this morning called “Gift” and I hope you do as well.

The young Asian boy lived with his father and he disliked his father because he felt his was unsuccessful and from what I could tell lazy the way he slapped him in the face with a book.

He didn’t understand why he wasn’t unsuccessful and rich which over the years put a wall up between the two of them. As the young boy grew older and ventured out into the working world he gave up on his father.

He was more concerned about being more successful than his father believing that having the career, money and bling was what makes people happy.

Being Rich is not about how much money you have it’s about how much you can give-Father in “Gift”

He goes on to tell his son that somehow “when we give we will be happier”. I believe him because any time that I can help someone whether through a donation or simply my time or expertise I feel better about myself. I feel rich in heart.

You will be a great man…. just BELIEVE- Father in “Gift”


Money doesn’t make people happy, love does. Giving to others, loving others and making sure that you give your 100% in all that you do is what makes our world a better place.

These days the children are so focused on technology and what they aren’t getting that their friends are that they are missing the message.


Successful parents


Not all parents have successful career where they make comfortable incomes to give their children all they want.

When one family is taking their children on vacation to Florida for March Break another is sitting at home spending time together. Money is not what defines people.

It’s nice to have but it doesn’t mean you are not rich when you don’t have what you believe is a successful amount of cash in the bank or no debt etc.

Parents whether single or married work very hard to keep a household going and unless we teach children the value of money they may end up resenting their parents if they lack that richness like the boy in this film.

When I first read to grab a tissue in the headlines of this movie I thought there was no way I was going to shed a tear. Now after watching it three times if you don’t cry or have some form of emotion come over you then maybe you should evaluate what being successful means to you.

I once wrote a post about not comparing yourself to others especially when it comes to wealth rather focus on you and how you can make your world a better place.

Love does not care about money or how much you have or don’t have love is about sharing and understanding that simply waking up in the morning with all your basic needs met is important.

It’s important to take what you’ve learned and to spread the word and help others. Like in the video the father made the son pay his taxes from his allowance I presume and the father matched it. That money went to a great cause the boy would later discover.

Giving your time, making people smile, laughing, inspiring and believing that someone can do anything in this world is what LOVE is all about.

Don’t wait until your parents are gone to tell them that you love them and don’t underestimate how brilliant they are. Your parents know what they are doing and whether you believe they are successful or not boils down to what your beliefs. You only have one shot.

I don’t want to tell you too much but I urge you to watch this video and share this post with everyone you know.

As a parent you know your children look up to you so teach them the meaning of being successful from different perspectives so they don’t grow up to resent you or wish you did more for them.

Grab that kleenex.


Top recipe


drunken leprechaun drink St. Patricks Day


If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page online called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Foodie Bloggers from around the world.

Once a week I pick one recipe that has been submitted as my Top Recipe of the week. Trust me when I say this is no easy task as some of these foodies can cook up a storm.

This week that recipe goes to a food blog called “Real Housemoms” and today I’m sharing their St. Patrick’s Day drinks “Drunken Leprechaun and “Pot of Gold” cocktails. Enjoy.


Weekly CBB posts


If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!


Weekly reads


Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read online over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.


Well, that’s a wrap for this PF Friday’s Grab a brew #63. Happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.




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The Celebrate Like Scrooge Christmas Gift Exchange


Now I know that old Ebenezer Scrooge has a reputation, and it isn’t as a suave investor or brilliant saver. I imagine him walking about in a house coat with a grimace and a hook for a nose. Not exactly the kind of guy I want babysitting my three kiddos. But let’s not deny that he was a hard worker who amassed a large fortune by spending very little and sacrificing where required. Besides his gruff exterior and dislike for Christmas, isn’t he just a wise spender!

There is a lesson here, I can sense it

In honour of Ebenezer Scrooge’s wise habits I am going to change my giving this year and would like to have you join me in this new tradition. I am going to cut back on non-essential gift giving, and definitely not go into debt while shopping. That’s right! I am going against the social norm to start a new tradition. No more generic $20.00 trinket or gift card. My friends and I are going to give each other crap from our basement. To participate with me, just find something hideous or broken in your basement and wrap it up in newsprint to give to some poor sucker in a Christmas gift exchange. It works better if everyone has the same idea, otherwise you might not get invited again next year. But If everyone is on board, it’s a real laugh watching people open up the strangest things that others had stored away.

It puts the fun back in dysfunctional

Now I don’t want you to get the wrong impression about me. I put up a Christmas tree and decorate with lights. I enjoy watching my kids open presents (bought at a real store ), but I don’t like the pressure of gift giving to people who don’t live in my house. So for all the rest of you, we have this other exchange. I have tested it on friends and last year even my family. Long story short, it’s a HIT! It’s spreading like wildfire and coming to a town near you. For those of my family and friends we call it “crap from the basement Christmas”, but if you wanted to call it “Freeat33 Christmas” or “Free Christmas”, I wouldn’t object! LOL.

Christmas Exchange

Free at 33 Crap From Your Basement Christmas Exchange

Some of the crazy things we have seen?

  • A ten-year old tax strategy book
  • A broken clock
  • A talking Santa Christmas decoration
  • Someone’s Grandmothers kitten cookie jar.
  • A guide to bodybuilding written by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

One year someone put in hockey tape and people went crazy for it. Next to crap from the basement, hockey tape was like getting a diamond ring! People were talking about how they wish they got that one.

In fact besides the hockey tape (boy I wish I would have scored that hockey tape ), everyone else spends the night trying to purge of their “present” by hiding it in other people’s purses/coats/cars etc. Sometimes they don’t know they took it home with them.

It’s a whole new kind of fun.

Suddenly getting a lump of coal doesn’t seem so bad…..

This year for Christmas instead of mindlessly buying that CD or DVD for your cousin, suggest the Freeat33 Christmas gift exchange. I guarantee it’s a blast.

Question: What is really important to you? Is it really the CD?  Or is it the company?

You might just find that this is a great excuse to forget about all the holiday stress. It’s also a great reason to go through the basement once a year and really question why you have saved something.

The Best Part

At the end of the night, everyone leaves what they couldn’t get rid of with the host. I hope you consider joining me in this Freeat33 tradition Christmas Exchange and celebrate like Scrooge!

Merry Christmas.

Thanks to CBB for this guest post opportunity.

Editors Note: Gift Giving doesn’t always have to be brand new items. The Holidays should be about spending time with loved ones. We do “new to me” gifts like a mate of ours. If someone on our list needs something and we can find it used, practically new or new still in the package on kijiji for cheaper we will do it. All of the immediate family is ok with that. Our mate is no Scrooge she’s just a smart saver who shared her smarts with us and a gift exchange like Derek suggests is brilliant.

Derek Knight Free at 33

Derek Knight Free at 33

Guest Post By: Hi, I’m Derek Knight, and I write about challenging the status quo in life and finance at Free at 33. My readers and I are part of a unique gang of Freedom Kn’ighters.  It’s always better, faster, and stronger for us.  If this sounds like you’re kind of misfits, then stop by and check us out.

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

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Solving Spending Pressures of the Holiday Season

You’re probably at the beach or spending time in the pool and snow and ice are the furthest thing from your mind. It’s only July but thinking about the Holiday Season early can save you money and help take the stress down a notch with a an early planning strategy.

The Holiday Season was special for my family in the UK and there was a feeling of  joy in the air every day in December. We celebrated Christmas in the UK but just not on the level as Mrs. CBB’s family does here in Canada. Looking back I think if we had the snow it might have had a bigger impact on us. You know how we are all dreaming of a white Christmas… well that is part of the experience but not all of us get it.

My father used to always say,”I was lucky if I got an orange son,you don’t know you’re born“. In other words you don’t know how lucky you have it now compared to life before you were born.

My Mum and Dad would always help us kids decorate a tree and we would all have gifts to open on Christmas morning followed by a traditional Goose Dinner. We never really had snow on the ground so no snowmen or snow angels on our front lawns. What we did have is love and although our gifts might have been far and few we can’t deny that money is the topic most chat about leading up to Christmas and thereafter.

I’m not kidding when I say my first Christmas in Canada was outrageous. Not only did I get to make a snowman but I got to drive highway 401 in a snowstorm as my first Canadian driving experience. I also got to feel the crisp cold air up me nose and feel my hands going numb. These times although we may have had them when I was very young were not memories in my mind.

I also got a glimpse of how empty my pockets were going to be if I didn’t start planning for the holidays in Canada. I believe that Christmas is much more Vegas compared to what I’m used to and I’m not a Mr. Money Bags. No, I’m no Scrooge either but I certainly wasn’t ready for the celebrations Mrs.CBB’s family were about to surround me with.

I figured for about 8 of us it took around 5 hours to open our Christmas gifts as it’s the one time of year the entire family is together and boy do they make it a good time. The budget for each person was $150-$300 and was a growing trend each year as if we all needed to deal with a shopping addiction. Although Mrs. CBB’s family is frugal with their money they spare no expense for Christmas.

Mrs. CBB and I didn’t spend that much on each other in fact after the first year we stopped buying gifts for each other. We saved our money to buy what we wanted once per year. Last year was our HD (1080p) Smart television that we envisioned for 3 years on our wall over the fireplace.

Since we were Newlyweds and needed a budget by the time we got round to it last year everything had changed. The family now had to listen to us say no we are on a budget and so we decided to pick names for Christmas with a $50 limit per person. If only more people realized it’s not the amount you spend it’s the love that’s given. So now we only spend $100 at Christmas as opposed to the almost $2000 we used to spend (not really but no one needs to know if you got a good deal, right?)

Stress for many creeps up during the holiday season when people are trying to sort out what to buy and if they can afford it. Sometimes this stress can turn into holiday depression. Some families turn to the food bank or rely upon Christmas hampers, community groups and donations just to see the kids smile. It’s these programs that take some of the stress away for many and continue to gain full support from communities around Canada. Tis, the season of giving, sharing and Love.

Then for others it’s after Christmas when the credit card bills start popping up that stress sets in. This can cause money fights and money problems in relationships. Most people spend far more on holiday shopping than they should and simple planning can help solve this problem. Stop the last-minute shopping and paying full retail price for items. Some people like to shop after Christmas to get boxing day deals, wrap them up and away they go, smart idea.

Not only are gifts and the grocery budget top of the list during the festivities there is also snow tires, under coating protection for vehicle maintenance, shovels, wiper blades, wind shield washer fluid, boots, hats, gloves, scarves, snow pants, ice scrapers, ice-melt etc….

All this can add up and if it is not being saved in the budget these expenses can come at a high price for some. These are not considered emergency expenses either.

Ways we reduce spending pressures of the Holiday Season

  • Budget monthly maintenance costs and save the money in our projected expenses account so the money is there when we need it.
  • Factor in the cost of winter attire into our clothing allowance when allotting money to the clothing category in the budget.
  • We draw names for gift-giving each New Years Eve so that way we know who we are buying for at the beginning of the year.
  • We talk to the person who we are buying for and ask them about things they like in advance so you have options.
  • Search for the best price on items that the person we are buying for wants, then buy it. The best part is we have all year to do this.
  • Save $25 a month in our Budget for projected expenses at Christmas Time and New Years (we don’t go out so not much to save for us).
  • Set a grocery budget that reflects the food we want to bring to the relatives as we don’t normally host. This includes baking as we bake for our friends and wrap up our Christmas Cookies each year.
  • Set a drinking budget-how much alcohol do we want in our home. festive season so we budget this ahead of time so we have the money.
  • We buy items at end of season for the following year. We are well stocked on wrapping paper, bags, Christmas cards, outdoor-lights etc.
  • We don’t buy for each other so we save for want we want and buy it on boxing day if we find an awesome deal.
  • Avoid the line-ups, shop early, time is money and we would rather spend it together than slugging around in the snow from shop to shop.
  • We also like to volunteer during the festive season with our local community groups.

Thanks to my Facebook Fan Mary Campbell for asking me to talk about this topic! I always appreciate listening to what my fans want to know and learn.

What ways do you prepare for the festive holidays? How do you save money? Do you budget your holiday expenses?

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