Mortgage Freedom Means You Still Need To Run : Our May 2017 Budget Update

EVERY DAY IS LIKE A FINANCIAL ROAD TRIP WITH BUMPS, DETOURS, GREEN LIGHTS AND FLAT TIRES.   Teach me how to get rich my sister-in-law asks me surprisingly a few weeks back since finding out we’ve been mortgage free 4 years as of May 2017. I don’t know about the “Rich” part but I can certainly talk for hours about budgets, frugal living and the importance of it all.   Mortgage Freedom is just the beginning   Since burning our mortgage papers Mrs. CBB and I have done one thing that some people might stop doing. Do you want to know what it is? Of course you do. Related: How we became mortgage free in 5 years We never stopped with the financial discipline we’ve ingrained into our routine over the past 10 years. Sometimes it’s hard to look back and think it has been that long but not really when you consider the life of a typical mortgage is 20-25 years. I don’t have all the answers but I do know that if you aren’t prepared to invest in your finances then you must deal with what you have. I don’t care if you’re already rich, collecting welfare, earn […]

How To Build Your Wealth Without Earning Big Bucks : April Net Worth Update (+1.96%)

YOU MUST BE EARNING BIG BUCKS IF YOU’RE DEBT FREE- Not exactly.   The misconception that you must be rich and earning big bucks if you’re debt free is SO WRONG. The first thought that comes to mind when a young person says they are debt free without a mortgage is that they must have inherited money from someone. Typically the parents are the first target of interest, but does that really matter? Not really. It helps but it’s not often parents have the spare cash to dish out but for those that get that kick-start if they aren’t money-wise they could lose it all. Buying a house depending on where you live in Canada is becoming out of reach for many people especially millennials looking to get into the real estate market. A recent house sale on our street went for nearly $700,000 at just under 1400sq feet. Have a look at how much we value our house at in our net worth chart below and you’ll see what I mean. Manulife Bank issued survey results on Tuesday that suggest 45 per cent of millennial home buyers received a gift of money or a loan from family. That compares […]

Inexpensive Long Weekend Activities Rain or Shine : The Saturday Weekend Review #224

BIRDS CHIRPING, EARLY SUNRISE, KIDS PLAYING, WATER SPLASHING, GRILLS ON FIRE, MUSIC AND LAWN MOWERS BLAZING-IT’S THE LONG WEEKEND VIBE!   The first long weekend of the year is upon us this Monday for Victoria Day 2017 and I’m at work, but maybe you’re not. You will want something to do even if it’s an hour or two just to get out of the house or short travel to destination to enjoy the sunshine. Don’t you just love the feeling you get go through your body and mind when you wake-up knowing it’s a long weekend and you don’t have to work? I do too but sadly that won’t be me for the Victoria Day long weekend. What I love about a long weekend is that people seem to be  relaxed and they tend to smile more and become engaged. This may be the best time to ask your neighbours to split a cost for a new fence or ask for help, haha! Even though we’re scheduled for some rain in the Greater Toronto Area on Sunday for the long weekend don’t let that hamper your plans. Grab an umbrella, rain boots and away you go whether you have a […]

One-Pot Meal: Courgette and Tomato Goulash

FILL THOSE HUNGRY BELLIES WITH THIS INEXPENSIVE ONE-POT MEAL.   It has been surprisingly cold and white (Yes that means snow) here in Manitoba,Canada the last couple of days. I think Mother Nature forgot to switch to Spring but that’s fine because it gives me more opportunity in the kitchen to create new recipes. Having said that it was time for me to make a pot of stick to your ribs goulash. Originally this was to be a soup recipe but I wanted it to be bulkier to fill everyone up easily. This is a great way to stretch a meal or to add any leftovers looming in your refrigerator that look like they could use some love.   What are Courgettes?   I knew you would ask! Don’t worry they aren’t something you have to source as they are found in every grocery store.   Photo Source: Rik Schuiling / TropCrop-TCS – Own work I love courgettes (a.k.a zucchini) and they generally go on sale quite often or you may find them on the reduced rack. Keep an eye out for green and yellow zucchini as most people tend to know more about the green then they do the […]

Why This Senior Doesn’t Care If He’s Retirement Poor : The Saturday Weekend Review #222

DON’T LET MONEY KEEP YOU LOCKED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.   Finance has consumed Joe’s (changed name) entire life and now he says that he doesn’t care if he’s retirement poor. Who is Joe? Joe is a guy we met last week at the gym while babysitting his grandson. The gym has become a hub for parents/grandparents/caregivers who have little to no social life. We joke about this just about ever week. All wired up in the corner of the gym there were 6 of us parents chatting about the cost-of-living and how it’s been getting harder and harder. This is where Joe jumped in to say that he’s tired of worrying about money and he doesn’t care if he’s retirement poor or not. “I’ve lived a good life and seen more than I thought I would ever see”, as he calls over to his grandson to get out-of-the-way. Joe is an athletic almost retired man with white hair and a big smile that most people would gravitate towards. Even though he knows he hasn’t saved near enough he says being retirement poor won’t stop him from doing the things he loves especially when it comes with a free price-tag.   […]

Gorgeous Asparagus Salad with Greek Feta Cheese (Low-Carb)

ADD A SPLASH OF COLOUR TO YOUR SPRING AND SUMMER SIDE-DISHES   A vibrant green fresh asparagus salad with sweet red peppers and Greek feta cheese dressed with an apple cider vinaigrette will wow you and your guests. The best part is that the asparagus salad is low carb and easy as pie to make. Well, easier than pie I should say. When you are hosting a party this Spring or Summer take advantage of fresh asparagus that are in abundance and fairly inexpensive to purchase. Since asparagus is stocked at the grocery stores keep an eye out on the reduced rack as you may get lucky and score a great deal on seconds.   Foraging for Asparagus   Around May, June and into July asparagus are in season in Ontario and you can find asparagus growing in many ditches along country roads where vegetable farms reside. This is the time you may find foragers out and about with their bags and a sharp knife scooping up their free produce. We’ve done this many times in the past with the family and it was quite fun. My father-in-law is a master forage ranger as he started with his parents back […]

Should We Bother Renovating Before Selling Our Home?

EMOTIONALLY INVESTING IN YOUR HOME RENOVATIONS IF YOU PLAN TO MOVE WILL COST YOU MORE THAN YOU NEED TO SPEND.   Lately I’ve been quite impressed with the house prices in our area but at the same time know that if we sell the cost to renovate and buy weigh heavily on our minds. Not only that but the real estate market in Canada might be hot right now but if you have renovating to complete that might set you back with missed money opportunities. The top 3 questions next to time-frame that you need to answer before putting your house up for sale are; Should we renovate our home to get better return? How much will our renovation budget be? Do we want to upgrade or downsize buying a new house? On our street for 2017 we’ve had 5 houses up for sale all of which sold in and around a week or less.  That might sound impressive and it is because houses don’t last long living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). With no more than 100 houses on our street that’s a huge number of nosey neighbour radars going off. That’s us ^^^^, we admit it.   Who […]

5 Inexpensive Gadgets All New Parents Should Own : The Saturday Weekend Review #220

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A BABY SHOWER GIFT THESE GOODIES HAVE BEEN THE BEST PARENTING INVESTMENTS YET.   I’m sure many parents reading this can think back to some baby gadgets or products which made their new role as parents a bit easier. Hands up if you’re one of those parents who bought too much useless baby stuff just because you thought you’d need it. Yes, that was us. >>>Both hands in the air. Now that our son is almost 3 years-old (wow where did the time go) Mrs. CBB and I have gone through boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of baby clothes (I know, right?) and piles of stuff we never used. The biggest problem was that we read too much, believed too much and fell into the “new parent syndrome” mode making sure we were fully stocked with what we needed. Related: How having a baby affected our monthly budget I will admit that we have boxes of baby diapers that haven’t been opened yet, clothes that still have the tags and other crazy things that have never come out of the box. We have a formula mixer that we bought just in case our son […]