February 2013 Canadian Budget Binder Budget Update #2- Big Ticket Expenses Hurt!

Canadian Budget Binder Monthly Budget Update

February 2013 is a month we hope to forget but also learn from as our budget took a right hit coming out into the negative. As you already know we had our water softener go belly up and I had to replace that to the tune of over $1100. The good thing is I received Sears points and Canadian Tire MasterCard rewards points as well have 90 days to hope the unit goes on sale for less than $899.99. That way I can go in to Sears and get a product price adjustment. We also had Union Gas around to change our old meter to a new updated meter so I’m guessing we can expect higher bills from now on. Over time the older meters don’t read correctly, hence Union Gas wanting to change them. It was good while it lasted.

We also had an increase in our telecommunications bill which I touch on later in the blog post. Let’s see, we had to pay city taxes, our electricity and water bill which comes every 2 months. I noticed a spike in our water bill and once I get the next bill I should be able to pinpoint why and I’ll blog about it. The water bill was higher than what it was back in August 2012 when we are out watering the garden almost every day more so when the water barrel is empty.

Our Reliance bill went up slightly which comes every 3 months which they informed us about in December. Although most of these expenses came from projected expenses accounts we still have to set aside our $1282.90 for projected expenses 12 months of the year.The water softener was counted under home maintenance and that is a projected expense (thank goodness). Just having this happen in one month was an eye opener for us as the water softener is the third major expense since we bought our home. If we didn’t have the money set aside then guess where we would have to get the money from, the line of credit.

The line of credit is something we have and vow never to use unless everything goes … how can I say this nicely, up caca creek without a paddle. This is why we started saving projected expenses in the first place. Other than that we used up our stockpile budget this month and came under in grocery and in petrol (gas) for the vehicle.

How We Budget Our Monthly Expenses

Below are links to my budgeting series which I wrote while designing our spreadsheet. I’m not a financial planner/advisor per my disclaimer so I can’t tell you how but I can show you what we did for us. I’m just a regular guy just like everyone else, some might call me a budget nerd. I love seeing money grow and where it has gone. Please take the time to read through the budgeting series and I hope you take something away from the information.

  1. How We Designed Our Budget Step 1- Gathering All the information
  2. How We Designed Our Budget Step 2Categories
  3. How We Designed Our Budget Step 3Tracking Reciepts
  4. How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
  5. How We Designed Our Budget Step 55S Organization
  6. How We Designed Our Budget Step 6Who Does What and When?
  7. How We Designed Our Budget Step 7Balancing Our Budget
  8. How We Designed Our Budget Step 8Knowing our Coupon Savings
  9. How We Designed Our Budget Step 9Reading Our Bills
  10. How We Designed Our Budget Step 10- Projected Expenses

Click this link if you want to see a sample of a budget sheet>>> Finances+Budget= Success Formula

Changes to the Monthly Family Budget This Month

The only monetary changes to the budget this month was to Rogers who like usual increases their prices, shocked, not really. I’m not complaining as I do like to watch the television but sometimes what you believe is a contract price always isn’t a contract price read the fine print and always adjust your budget accordingly. Don’t get me started on how we are getting cained (that’s the polite way of saying it) on cell phones in Canada. It’s likely a good reason I don’t own one, not much I can say for the wife though. There was also a slight change in price to our water tank from Reliance. All the categories are up to date as of current.

February Monthly Overview

This adds up to 87.46% as it does not include our projected expenses because it’s not savings and it hasn’t been spent yet. Our goal is to save at least 50% of our net income each month and live from one income. This is just an artificially high month as everything came out at once in housing which was saved in projected expenses. Our savings of 12.54% includes savings and investments.

Feb Household Budget

The CBB Family February Budget Breakdown

We have 3 Canadian Bank Accounts with our Chequing account being with President’s Choice Financial. We chose PC Financial as one of our banks because we didn’t want to pay any bank fees. We also have never felt the need to see anyone personally inside of a bank but if we do Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) will gladly help us out as PC is affiliated with CIBC.

  1. Chequing- This is where all the bills get paid from.
  2. Emergency Savings- This is where our Emergency money sits.
  3. Savings- This account holds money for projected expenses.
    • Monthly Budget Total: NEW $4679.79 OLD (JAN)-$4675.94 $3.85 difference
    • Monthly Net Income Total$6447.45
    • Total Coupons Used (includes points redeemed, big box store coupons, not just grocery coupons:=$85.63
    • Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout year and save monthly for = $1282.90
    • Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$5639.29
  • Total Expenses Actually Paid Out Calculated is $6447.45 (total monthly income) –$0 (total monthly savings)–Projected expenses $1282.90 = -$474.74
  • Actual Cash Savings Going Into Emergency Savings Funds$0
  • Calculated is $6447.45 (total monthly net income) – $5639.29 (actual expenses paid out for the month)–$1282.90 (projected expenses) = -$474.74

Feb Budget 2013

PE=Projected Expense is money which is automatically saved each month ready for when the bill comes in or for when you need it as in the example below. We go over our projected expenses at the beginning of the year to set up our yearly budget and adjust as we go along if a new projected expense arises and needs to be added to the budget. This has happened on many occasions but it’s bound to happen as we can’t predict everything we have to pay for over the course of the year. The important part for us is that we are saving for the expense and we no longer have to stress about taking money from our savings to pay for them.

Example: Clothing we budget $50 per month. If we don’t spend it we move it to the projected expenses account. This means we should have $600.00 per year for clothing to spend. We have to track that expense as we spend it.

  • A/C Service /Maintenance- PE $12.50 Spent $0
  • Allowance $20.00  Spent $30.00 (burp!)
  • Birthday PE $13.34  Spent $31.29
  • Car Repair/Maintenance PE $23.50  Spent $0
  • Christmas PE $42.50  Spent $0
  • Clothing PE $50.00  Spent $0
  • Healthcare/Prescriptions PE $10.00  Spent $14.36  (will get most reimbursed)
  • Electricity/Water PE $160.00  Spent $307.44 (This bill comes every 2 months)
  • Entertainment-$7.00  Spent $0
  • E-test PE $7-Spent $0
  • Extra Mortgage Payment 5 week- PE- $101.26 Spent $0
  • Furnace/Hot Water Rental PE$116.31  Spent $116.31 (This bill is every 3 months)
  • Union Gas (domestic)-$59.19  Spent $90.04 (new tank is now installed)
  • Gasoline/Diesel (vehicle)-$170.00 Spent $83.46
  • Grocery- $235.00 Spent $160.77 Play The Grocery Game With us to Save!
  • Stockpiling- $20.00 Spent $20.00
  • Home Maintenance PE $379.00 Spent $1123.39 (ouch)
  • Car/Home Insurance-$211.49 Spent $211.49
  • Income Tax Filing PE$2.50 Spent $0 (hoping to bank this money and pay myself if I can do it on my own)
  • Investment-$808.33 Spent $808.33
  • Licence Renewal Fees PE $11.84 Spent $0
  • Life Insurance-$135.05 Spent $135.05
  • Lottery-$12 -Spent-$12.00
  • Membership/Club/Sports PE $6.00 Spent $0
  • Miscellaneous-$125.00 Spent $82.26
  • Mortgage-$1389.12 Spent $1389.12
  • Parking-$5 -Spent $0
  • Pet PE $115.83 -Spent $6.27
  • Property Tax PE $289.49 Spent $868.00
  • Emergency Savings-Saved $0
  • Vehicle Sticker PE $15.00 Spent $0
  • Cable/Internet/Cell/Home Phone-$149.71 Spent $149.71 Price went up!!!
  • Work  PE $50 Spent $0

Overall: It sucked! Hopefully March will be much better!

How did you do in February with your budget?

February Goals- Revisited

  • Install the New Water Softener- PASS
  • Network with other Personal Finance Bloggers that share my passion + 3 new a month-PASS  She Thinks I’m Cheap, Wise Dollar, The Happy Homeowner
  • Reach 1000 Twitter Fans- PASS (Currently just over 1400 Fans)
  • Reach 3800 Facebook Fans (2013 Goal is 5000 Fans)- PASS Currently over 4100 Fans
  • Start my seeds for the vegetable garden- PASS (post for this coming soon)
  • Finalize and have this site moved to self hosted with the new design – FAIL (in the works) :-)
  • Learn more about passive income and hang out with the pros -PASS (learning slowly)
  • Reach 40,000 page views- FAIL (Just under but it was only 28 Days in February) I had more visitors in February than in January though. Overall I’m happy either way
  • Grow my subscribers to 800 readers- PASS (this will change when I move to self hosted)
  • Learn something new about investing on my own- FAIL (Once I get the blog self-hosted I will focus more on this goal)

March Goals

  • Network with some new Bloggers let’s say 2 for now, keep it simple.
  • Reach 4200 Facebook Fans
  • Reach 1500 Twitter Followers
  • Reach  900 Blog Subscribers
  • Order 1 personal finance book from the library and start reading it (not sure how well I will do with this one but I’ll try) Any recommendations?
  • Clean out the garage mainly the salt on the floor and organize it a bit
  • Get my flower seedlings going as I’ll need lots of flowers this year!
  • Guest Post for an awesome personal finance blog (not sure who yet though)
  • Complete our Income Tax Returns on my own (fingers crossed I don’t mess it up)

Quote-Budget and Money

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My Biggest Money Mistake-Co-Signing and Taking On Debt

Money Mistakes aren’t always in your face but we learn from these mistakes to make it right the next time. There are many reasons people fall into debt but there are more reasons about why they should get out of debt even if that means fighting for your legal rights. You don’t need to make millions to use a budget but you do need to see the numbers.

One of my fans contacted me with a story she wanted to share about her biggest money mistake. Not everyone is willing to step up to say “this is what happened” and “this is what I had to do to fix it“. Julie took steps to get back on track and I hope others can learn from her story and not be taken advantage of. Take your failures and make them a success story like Julie.

Here is Julie’s Story……

Hello Mr. CBB!

When I separated from my ex-husband, I had to file for bankruptcy. I wasn’t mismanaging funds but what landed me in hot water was failure to protect myself from love and money. This chapter in my life has taught me to become fairly self-reliant whilst living on no credit. Great lessons learned and I vowed to never be in that place again so please enjoy my story and I hope that others can learn something from what I had to go through. My money mistake may be your success.

THE BEGINNING

I met a guy….isn’t that how a lot of these stories begin!!

THE TIME OF OUR LIVES

We were together a few years and it blossomed into something special between the two of us, so I thought. We seemed to be headed in the same direction, we got engaged and then began planning our wedding. We wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

THE MONEY

His credit history was not the best in fact it was so bad I had to step in like a warrior to conquer the matter. Money fights and money problems in relationships happen so I decided to save the day and potentially avoid this. In an effort to help him to start building up his credit score I rolled it into my mortgage to help clear up his debt. I guess that’s what you do when you are in love and think you will be with someone for the rest of your life, so I thought. Thankfully, a small part of me was in protection mode so I was adamant that he was not put on the title for the house. The title for those that don’t know means that I was the owner of the property and not him. Instead he was the guarantor meaning that he guarantees that the debt would be paid. This is how the birth of our Line Of Credit (LOC) began for us.

Since I was in love with this man I bent over backwards for him with rose-coloured glasses on. Amazing what we do for love with money. I even went as far as co-signing for a truck lease simply because my credit history was in perfect health.  You have to understand though that when you co-sign for anything you are saying that you agree to pay the borrower’s debt if the borrower fails to.

If you are not prepared to do this at any stage do not, and I repeat do not co-sign as it is a legal agreement that you are responsible for in the event it is not paid. That’s alot of weight to carry around for someone especially if you need credit for yourself so you risk your own credit and finances.

A FEW MONTHS LATER WE HIT A BRICK WALL

A few months after all the finances were in order everything began to fall apart. This is sort of like you worst nightmare coming to life, something you would never expect. I inadvertently to my horror found out he was leading a double life. While I thought he was off working hard in Manitoba for us, he was actually living with another woman. He was cheating on me and I had to wrap my head around all of this news. He had purchased big-ticket items with her and was living the happy life. Who does this? Why me? Lots went through my mind but I had to stay focused on not only my emotions but financial matters.

How did I know all of this? Well, conveniently the paperwork came to my house. There are no words to describe my feelings but what is done is done. The lessons are piling up here now but I’m taking it all in stride.

LEGAL MATTERS

Ultimately I was left to deal with the fact that He was gone, but the debts remained. I would have walked away from it all if it were a couple of thousand dollars, but that wasn’t the case here.

I waited about a year before I began legal proceedings against him. Canadian Small Claims Court was out of the question because of the amount of money he owed me. In order to file in Small Claims Court the amount has to be less than $5000 to fall under small claims in every jurisdiction in each province.
I needed to find the best legal representation so I hired a good lawyer and I did a lot of the leg work to save some money in legal fees.

THE  LEGAL PROCESS

A demand letter was sent to him but he had ignored it. I had proof that I was communicating with him via email, so we were able to serve him the Statement of Claim via email. The Statement of Claims details the reason for filing legal action with all the detailed finance information. He didn’t defend the case so I received a Judgement for the full amount he owed me plus costs and registered a Writ of enforcement all of which will show up on his credit report. Not surprisingly he vanished so the full amount of the judgement was still left unpaid.

I ended up conveniently locating  his bank account information and the lawyer garnished the account meaning money would be seized. If your employer receives a notice from the courts to withhold a certain amount of money they have to abide by this. Guess who’s in contact with me and making regular payments to his debt now! This entire process from start to where I am today has taking me a grueling almost 4 years.

The one good thing about this loan is that the minimum payment required was interest only. This gave me the ability to still pay it without causing any damage to my credit history or my monthly budget.

THE TRUCK

Regarding the truck lease, around the same time as everything else went south, he decided not to pay this regularly or the amount he was obligated. The financing company called me often looking for him or the truck. I was always polite but insisted that I didn’t have the vehicle, so I wasn’t paying for it. Find him, find the truck but it’s not my problem. I shared information if and when I learned something new. I advised them where he lived and when the arrears got high enough, they finally repossessed the vehicle. He paid what he needed to catch up with the payments and get it back. The lease is done now and the truck was returned to the truck dealer. Inside It felt like that was the longest leasing contract EVER!

THE DAMAGE TO MY CREDIT

This debt has damaged my credit. Luckily, I have been with my employer for 24 years and my banker knows about the situation. Should I require financing in the near future, which I don’t expect to, I can at least provide an explanation. It’s the only debt showing on my credit report, everything else is perfect. Eventually, that debt will drop off and the next chapter of my life and my credit score will be perfect once again!!

WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY BIGGEST MONEY MISTAKE

My biggest regret in this entire situation, was not following my gut and recognizing the red flags. I did take steps to protect myself, but not enough. I was lured in by love and promises  and taken advantage of by a guy who does this on a regular basis. I am proud to say that I stood up for what was right and am the only one of his victims that have come forward to take him to the cleaners. You can bet I’ll never, ever do this again.

It is not my responsibility to clean up my partner’s financial mess (at my expense). EVER! I actually dod recover well from my divorce and bankruptcy.
I managed to budget well enough that this didn’t do unrepairable damage to me, my kids or our budget. Do have and maintain a good relationship with your Banker, they can be your biggest ally when needed. I’m not as big of a  pushover as people thought. I fought back and I won!

My biggest lesson, life does go on and you figure it out. I crawled back out of the hole of feeling shamed and used. I found love with someone I have known for over 20 years and got married on Sept 16 of this year.

My Life is perfect again and my biggest money mistake is behind me.

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Are You In Debt Denial?

I’m no stranger to debt denial but it’s not me who has the problem. Every once in a while I get this chill that goes down my back when my mate, let’s call him “Bobby” rings me up. I know he is broke and always wanting to borrow money so he can go to the club, pay his bills and whatever else he does with his money. The problem is he doesn’t look or act like he is broke and drowning in debt. He makes close to 6 figures a year, drives a fancy car, dresses exceptionally well, takes good care of his grooming and body and he is in his early 30′s.  He’s one of those guys you love to hate because you just don’t get him.

He rolls with it, has many friends, lots of girls and not a penny to rub his nose in… but he does have credit and lots of it. As a matter of fact his credit card company just gave him an extra $3000 to spend on his already maxed out credit card. He’s the type that wants to get out of debt fast but is rubbish at managing debt. While this scenario is not uncommon we all know someone who blows money on crap and has nothing to show for it but a huge ball of debt.

There is that saying the “Rich get Richer” but that is for people who truly make money with money. Yes all the women think he’s loaded and drives a nice car, smells good, looks good and if he stood next to Jersey Shore’s Pauly D you would think they were best mates… Ya Buddy… but the only difference is, one is real and one is fake.

Why do people go on denying they are in debt and continue this downward spiral? The problem with Bobby is that he has played the role for so long that he can’t break free. The only way to shut down his operation is to literally take it all away. He needs to hit rock bottom and lose it all. The easiest way of getting rid of debt is to stop creating it and to pay it off.

Some of the reasons people like Bobby keep doing what they do is simply… they don’t know how to manage their money.  If they did they wouldn’t be in such a mess. Have you heard any of the following before?

  • Everyone has Consumer Debt.. it’s normal- What’s normal consumer debt? Tell me because I want to know who knows this number. Most of my fans say they would start to worry when their consumer debt load hit $1000. Others say they would never spend any money unless they had it in cash.  So what is normal again?
  • Can’t take the mask off- Like Bobby everyone thinks he’s got it all going on. If Bobby were to take it all away he may fear that he will lose everything including all the fine girls that swing his way and prestige of being the “cool” guy.
  • Afraid it will cause money fights-One spouse leaves the other in the dark or one is a spender and the other a saver. You don’t want to piss the other one off by denying them their beer because they worked so hard for it but you have so much consumer debt you may lose it all. Yes that is the truth, it happens every day. People don’t want to fight so they give in even if that means sinking further into debt to protect a relationship from going south. Divorce is costly you know.
  • You Only Live Once Attitude- Ah, where have we heard this before. This attitude is ok for some things in life but not money, unless you have it of course. Stop pulling the wool over your head and take off the rose-coloured glasses. Time to come down to earth.
  • Rationalize every Expense- I have overtime this week so that will pay for this purchase. The baby bonus is coming in I will use that, or my friend owes me money that he will pay me this week. Stop making excuses or reasons why it’s ok to spend when you don’t have the cold hard cash in your hands.  You’re only kidding yourself.
  • It’s Under Control- If your debt was under control you likely wouldn’t have any consumer debt. Problem is these people don’t know how to pay off debt. Start saving for emergencies and put money aside for items you need to buy and pay cash for.
  • Denial- Frugal Sally believes that there are two reasons for the denial behaviour. I do financial counseling and I rarely, and I mean rarely have anyone tell me they are in trouble until they are waist deep in it.
  1. What you don’t know won’t hurt you. So in denying they are so in debt it is better to ignore it and it will go away. Human nature not to confront problems.
  2. No one likes people telling them how stupid they were for doing something that could have (in most cases) been avoided. Also human nature.

Do you even know how much debt you have? Don’t estimate how much money you owe, that won’t help. Credit Cards, yes that piece of plastic manipulates the brain into making people believe they have more money than they do. They believe it gives them the opportunity to buy whatever they want with no immediate consequences until the bill arrives. That is if they even bother to open it.

Then you have people who think they will win the lottery or that gambling or an inheritance will save them. They turn to pay-day loans, personal loans, family loans, lines of credit, credit cards and will just about anything even lie to people to get what they want.

If people only knew how important a good credit rating was and how long of a trek it would be to repair a bad rating maybe they would think twice. Do you even understand your credit report and credit score? Don’t worry most people don’t but they should because your score can affect many aspects of your life such as renting,owning,buying and even getting a job. A credit report is one of the main tools a lender uses to decide whether to give you credit. The higher your score the better, the lower your score the harder it will be to secure credit. A credit score can be anywhere from 300 on the low end to 900 at the top of the of the range according to Equifax and TransUnion.

Chronic Spenders don’t realize the damage most times until it’s too late and then the creditors threaten and cut them off. When people are reduced to nothing and have nowhere to turn they may then agree that their debt is out of control. If you think debt intervention will work think again. Unless someone truly wants to change they may never until it’s too late.

Below is what some of my Facebook Fans  had to say from Baby Boomer to Gen X (Baby Busters), Gen Y (the Millennials)………. where are the Gen Z (Internet and Text) and Gen AO (Always On)….Too young to care, likely but the day will come, be prepared.

Wendy L-They don’t want to face the truth, they don’t have the money to pay it off, debt causes stress, and no one likes stress.

Allyson Turner-Sometimes I think people don’t realize what all adds into debt.

Meghan S- People lash out when under stress. We want to play the blame game and not have to take any of the blame upon ourselves.

Jen P- I believe people just think things will change/work out on their own or they will pay it off later. I believe they get angry because they have become accustomed to the things they have and don’t want to give them up. They could also be angry that they didn’t continue their education so they could have a better job, or angry at their career choice. I’m finding budgeting a lot like dieting, it takes a lot of self-control and will power.

Mary F Campbell-I preface this by saying I am about to speak in generalities but there are a few exceptions to every rule so take this in the vein it is intended. Part of what I can see is this:

1. Parents of my generation and later for the most part have 2 parents working. That means we try to make up the shortfall in personal time & attention with buying “things”. It also means at the end of a long and tiring day there’s little energy for teaching financial responsibility or manners. When did you last get a hand written thank you?

2.With a two income family, in my generation, there was the attempt to provide an even better lifestyle for the children than our parents had enjoyed. This made for some heavy consumer debt & mortgages. So here is the tail end of the Boomers broke & facing retirement.

3. Then there’s the “monkey-see-monkey-do” effect on the children. It doesn’t matter what you tell your kids about money, they will repeat what your actions have taught them. You overs pent…they over spend except if your financial mismanagement caused them all sorts of grief & then they become almost miserly in response.

4. In this no corporal punishment generation, there’s also has been no consequences to an inappropriate action. Our justice system confirms this regularly with a slap on the hand for horrendous crimes. In fact, we couldn’t take a chance on damaging the little dears and instead thought we had failed as parents & tried to bolster their self-esteem with the “you deserve” message.

GUESS what we got? A 20-30′s generation that believes it is truly entitled to the best of everything without putting in any work, delaying any gratification and saving for it and they are spending themselves into the poor house. You have generations that want what the post-war and boomers have but without all the blood, sweat and tears it took to get there. Angry at today’s recessionary climate – you bet they are!

Look at the 1% movement. We have trained them to be angry, entitled, blame the world for my hardship individuals instead of accepting responsibility for my lot in life and getting off their duffs to change things. Jealousy, envy, sloth…3 of the worst of the seven deadly sins. But, remember hearing that which we choose to forget we are doomed to repeat. I wonder if that was being bandied about just before the fall of the holy Roman empire?

If you need debt help I suggest you speak to  a consumer Credit Counsellor or Financial Advisor. It’s a starting point and certainly  some professional advice on how to get your personal situation back on track is a step in the right direction. Share your comments on why you think people are in debt denial!

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How To Say No When You Are On A Budget!

Photo source

For some say the word budget and they turn their head the other way. It’s almost taboo to be on a budget for some. They think budgets are for poor people, I don’t need to budget. Ya right, time to get a grip! I’ve never had a problem telling anyone “No” but sometimes it can get frustrating when people just don’t understand.

Have you ever met someone who tells you what they do for a living  and you automatically assume they have lots of cash? Likely, we all do it but is it the correct way to be thinking?- No

Why is that not the correct way to think?

It’s simply not always the case and we don’t know what happens in everyone’s budget and life. How do you know they have a healthy bank account? Can you read minds?  (if so please click here and contact me…. I could use your ability) There are lots of people earning 6 figure incomes but are in debt because they spend more than they earn or have massive student loans to pay back etc. Education is not cheap and most pay for it for years.

2009 Ford F-150 photographed in College Park, ...

Another example is when you say oh look at Johnny up the road, he’s just bought a new F-150 Truck and now he’s taking his family on a Cruise to Spain. He must be rolling in the $$$ right? Not exactly. It may be true sure, but remember one of the most important pieces of advice I say…

“Credit can buy you anything” problem is you have to pay it back and sometimes that could take ages and for some the credit card bill will outlive their very existence.

Here’s a quick scenario… tell me if you choose Scenario 1 or Scenario 2 answer.

Friend: Hey do you want to go camping for March Break it will be great… looking for something exciting to do, lots of sun, drinks, bbq’s,boating… ah the life!

You: Sure, where and how much is it? (you know you are in debt up to your eye balls and can’t afford it)

Friend: Wasaga Beach, the cabin is only $1200 a week.. and it’s right across from the beach… how cool is that? So it’s only $600 a week  plus food, drink and whatever else you need for each of us.

Scenario 1 Answer~You: (You know you can’t afford $600 and you really want to go but not build more debt on your line of credit... What do you say? Sure mate, when you thinking of booking it? (Wrong Answer unless you love debt)

Scenario 2 Answer~You: Sorry Mate, I simply have too much debt I need to clear up and don’t have the cash to fund an outing this year, maybe next time. Thanks for asking. (Better Answer)

Is that scenario reminiscent of  you when it comes to your friends/family wanting to do something with you. It doesn’t have to be a vacation it could be a simple trip to the mall or the spa, restaurant,pub or the movies etc.

How do these situations make you feel?

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Most people who are in debt and don’t want others to know will continue to build the debt for fear others will not accept them.They do what we call emotional spend on items they don’t need or think they need to impress others or themselves.

Are they really your mates then?

Probably not, so let it go and move on. If they understand then you should have no problem using scenario 2 above and telling them no. There truly are people in this world that are frugalminded and simply put on a show for everyone else to conform to perceived standards of living.                                                              

They believe that is what is expected of them but inside they are die-hard savers… they want to live simply and enjoy what the frugal life has to offer. We enjoy it and life is much easier without the stress of money worries. There are always cheap summer  family outings that don’t  have to cost an arm or a leg like above.

  • Don’t be afraid to be who you are.
  • Don’t be afraid to be the person you are at work or around your friends and relatives.
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One of the hardest parts for some are to tell their family. My wife’s family understands our frugal ways now but at first her sister would make fun of her.Her sister makes almost 6 figures per year and is in her early 30′s.

Have a gander at this Scenario………..

Sister- Oh nice sweater its American Eagle where did you get it at Value Village haha..you’re so cheap why do you shop there when you clearly have money.

Wife- Yes in fact I did and it only cost me $4 and it’s hardly been worn. You know buying second-hand clothing isn’t that bad and allows us to save for other things.

Sister- Ewee no way.. I’ll stick to the mall thanks

Moving Forward to the following year her sister now has a baby… (this is hilarious)

Sister- Hey do you think you can keep an eye out on kijiji for some deals on baby clothes and furniture. It’s so expensive now I see why you shop second-hand. Having a baby has truly opened my eyes.  (ha.. that’s me saying ha!)

Wife- Sure no problem anything to help out and I’m glad you see how watching you money can add up.

Sister- Yes I was wrong, now I am amazed how much you can save and when I watch others at the cash register I just want to give them coupons to help them. I want to tell them everything you have taught me. I’d rather keep my money for things that are important to me. I’ve hardly spent any money on myself since the baby was born and understand the meaning of a dollar now. Thanks Big Sis!blah blah blah.. it went something similar to this remember I’m a guy and am supposed to be watching the game beer in hand minding my own business)

The Lesson

The point of this scenario is before she had the baby she would freely spend her money at the mall on expensive clothes without a care in the world. She thought why is my older sister who has no consumer debt buying her clothes at Value Village. Although we still don’t have any kids she realizes how budgeting, couponing and saving money has helped our bank account grow and allowed us to almost be mortgage free.  She is now an avid couponer and rings the wife to go to garage sales in the summer! Success- You bet….

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Most people want their family to be proud and happy they are doing well whether it’s the parents or siblings. I hear it all the time, How can I possibly tell them I’m in debt? It can be stressful so here’s some advice I think might help.

1- Invite them over for dinner- While they are over for dinner set the mood and calmly explain to them that you and your (spouse/partner) have gotten into some debt and are struggling to make ends meet. You wanted to let them know so that they would have patience with you when it came to family dinners, outings, birthdays etc as you simply don’t have the money. Then pour them another glass of wine and enjoy the dinner. It doesn’t have to get into a full-blown conversation, simply tell them what you want and move on or add a bit of tip 2.

2- Show them how you plan to get out of debt- Sometimes having a plan in motion will help them to understand that you are serious. In my wife’s case she would show them her coupon binder, her coupon stockpile and how much she paid for the items. They were amazed at how much money you could save simply being mindful of prices, budgeting and using coupons.  There will always be the people who don’t believe, don’t care and think you are crazy but remember, “it’s your life”.  Family should be the first people you can count on when you need to tell them anything. They should never judge you, yet motivate you to meet your goals.  Showing them that you have a plan will only reiterate how serious you are to become debt-free.

Sometimes just being you and not keeping up with the fast paced corporate life or city living is easier than waking up pulling your hair out or having to say no to people. Start a budget, keep on track and before you know it you will be debt free with a healthy Emergency Savings Fund and can enjoy all life has to offer and have the money to do it!

You can find Canadian Budget Binder on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE! We are waiting to chat to you! Cheers Mr.CBB

Doc Photo Courtesy of: Copyright (c) <a href=’http://www.123rf.com’>123RF Stock Photos</a>