Should a landlord and tenant have basic rental responsibilities? PF Weekly Grab a brew #61

Frozen Strawberry Dessert

RENTING IS A TOUGH BUSINESS   Being a landlord has its ups and downs depending on the space you own and the tenants you rent to. The same could be said for a tenant and the landlord who rents them a place to live. As a landlord you have lots of responsibilities and one of them is listening to what your tenants have to say as long as the requests are reasonable. I don’t know if the Landlord Tenant Act is the same all around Canada but what I do know is there should be some standardization when it comes to maintaining a property. You don’t have to jump at every single complaint but you must or at least should adhere to complaints that are of important nature. It also takes time to get the right people in to get the job done so having reasonable expectations as a tenant is also important. Wanting the paint color changed in your kitchen is not an emergency as a tenant but if your toilet is not working that is a different story.   Money in my pocket   Sure, renting is a lucrative business and if you can score a rental building, […]

Can you afford to take a full day off from work?

ill girl taking medicine

PAYING THE BILLS TAKES MONEY   In order to take a full day off from work for most people that means an entire day’s loss of income. That can be tough for any budget but there are times when it must be done. Unless your employer has provided you with stellar benefits or a contract that states your days off are paid sick days you might be shaking your head, no you can’t afford to take a full day off. You may say, yes you can afford to take a full day off because you have money saved up in the event that you need to take a day off and it won’t affect your budget too much. That’s great. Some employees are lucky they can carry over their sick days, bank them or get paid out for them but you must read the provisions of your contract with your employer to know what is covered. If you are not sure contact your human resources department or your benefits company for a more in-depth explanation. It’s better to know rather than to guess.   Full day off   Not everyone can afford to take a full day off from work […]

How a small town family saves money on groceries

small town grocery bananas

SMALL TOWN SAVINGS   Today we have a guest post from a small town fan of Canadian Budget Binder who wants to share her insights into grocery shopping on a budget when your options are limited. If you are a fan or a personal finance blogger and would like to share a story please read my guest post guidelines and contact me. My name is Christine and I live in a small town in Ontario and have followed Mr CBB for quite a while now on the blog and participating in posting my grocery shops with his Grocery Game Challenge since Sept 2012.   Our grocery budget   I shop for my family of 4 which includes my two adult children, my husband and I. We also can’t forget our family pet fat cat Stuart who eats up a part of our grocery budget as well. Our grocery budget is $650 per month so I have to make that money stretch and living in a small town can make that challenging for me. I have tried very hard to keep things within my budget, not always successfully. It’s been a learning experience to say the least. If you have been […]

Will the Ontario minimum wage hike help? PF Friday Grab a brew #57

Superbol chili

IN ONE POCKET OUT THE OTHER   Surviving on minimum wage is not easy in fact when I moved to Canada the only jobs I could find were minimum wage jobs although that was still a struggle at times. Living in the UK was equally as difficult because prices for petrol and food not to mention housing accommodations were astronomical compared to what we earned. I was already used to living on a tight budget and working hard to make ends meet to stay ahead of the game but I guess I expected more moving to Canada but knew I would have to work my butt off no matter what challenge I was given. No road is an easy road unless it’s all handed to you on a silver platter but even then those people still fall. Unless you haven’t heard the Liberal government is giving a $0.75 boost to the minimum wage in Ontario raising it to $11.00 an hour. They say this is in line with inflation but is it really enough to get by on?   Finding a job   I struggled to find work even with my University Degree from the UK because it wasn’t fully […]

How to survive a winter storm with no power


MAKING IT THROUGH THE STORM   While the ice storm that we had this week in Ontario created quite a sight to see, sparkling trees covered in glistening ice and an ice covering over everything, this Winter Wonderland also came with a lot of destruction, inconveniences for many and sadly a couple of deaths. With hundreds of thousands of people losing their power there are still a number of people who are waiting for theirs to come back on, 48 hours or more after the storm while others enjoyed Christmas Day in the warmth of their homes. Being prepared for an extended power outage can make getting through those long, cold days less of a struggle. The recent cold snap hasn’t helped the situation.   Staying Warm   Having no power means no heat in your home. Staying warm will be a challenge if you are not prepared. We had a little notice that this storm was coming and I have to admit I was not as prepared as I could have been. Beyond having lots of blankets and warm sweaters to put on, seeking out warming stations that many cities provided would have been an option if our power […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge Nov 25- Dec 1, 2013 #4 : How do you like your bread?


COST IS ULTIMATELY THE DECISION MAKER   Do you find that you consume more or less bread at different times of the year and that you are changing the brands you purchase frequently depending on price? While at the grocery store yesterday we noticed there are so many bread choices available these days and most people do what we do, stand and stare. Almost everyone buys bread unless you don’t like it, make it at home or simply just don’t care to purchase it and will be a driving force especially if bread is on sale in the weekly grocery flyer. Bread deals are a fierce competition amongst the different companies and coupons are just icing on the cake especially if that motivates you to buy the product. Although we don’t purchase much in the way of bread products we do stock up when we can find pink stickers offering 50% off in the Loblaws stores or we can get a great deal using coupons. I’m going to have to agree with many that homemade is always better but what it boils down to for many is the price and for a great majority the health benefits of the loaf […]

Bust our budget October 2013: Romance and money


BUDGET CATCH UP IN EFFECT   Just when you think you have everything under control life throws you lemons. You know that you can’t spend more than you earn but inside your head you say it’s ok to spend a bit more because you are worth it. Sure you could spend cash if you have extra money and no debt like us but it’s also important to realize why you are budgeting in the first place and whether your budget needs to be tweaked to fit your lifestyle.   In September we thought for sure that expenses would cool down a bit and they did for October just not as much as we would have liked. As you will see below we didn’t save a whole heck of a lot of money in our savings account but we did manage to balance the budget as per usual. I had to spend money for work as well we bought a universal home gym second-hand which cost us a bit of money. I have some gym equipment that we have been using but I wanted more weights and the system was a great price so I wasted no time picking it up. […]

Will Roundabouts save money and time for Canadians?

roundabout sign

Driving Me Around The Bend   As I’ve driven around southern Ontario I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of round-a-bouts that are replacing the more traditional light controlled intersections that north Americans so love. There are benefits to having roundabouts mainly, maintenance free and cheap to run due to no potential electrical problems. Those savings should eventually be passed on to the average Tax payer but I’m not a politician and where that money really ends up is anybody’s guess. Traffic flow is the next advantage, it allows  a constant controlled flow of traffic with zero intervention unless there’s been an accident which leads me on to my next subject.   Roundabout rules   Coming from a country that has a large amount of roundabouts it’s no big challenge to negotiate the circular obstacle. There is a simple rule in the UK about how to navigate a standard 4 entry/exit roundabouts that seems to have been made very complicated over here in Canada. In the UK the rule is stay on the right side lane if you’re exiting the first right hand exit or going straight which would be the second exit. Enter the roundabout using the left lane […]

Reader question: Budgeting tips for low-income families

May 2015 Budgeted amount for the month

Budgets Do Not Discriminate   The low-income budget question caught my eye as it’s not the first time I’ve been asked so here I am sharing my thoughts with all of you. It has been a while since I went into my mail bag and a few days ago one fans question touched me to have her reach out to me the way she has. Many people are in the same position as this reader so I hope I can shed a bit of light on the topic of budgeting and low-income families for those that are reading today. This is one of those touchy topics so please bear with me as I realize many people are struggling through tough times. Debt is debt, money is money, a budget is a budget. I know all of you have unique situations just like we do. I don’t claim to be a budget hero, just a guy who wants to listen and share what we do with our budget. Nothing is easy, we fail, we get right back up again. Dear Mr. CBB, I’ve read your blog for a while now as I was searching for some family budget information and a […]

PF Weekly grab a brew #32: Catch me if you can


I’m A Qualified Professional Now Open Wide Catch me if you can, another Frank Abagnale Jr was on the loose and he was just showing Canada how easy it is to be whoever we want to be. Ya, that was a true story that film and why not, if people can get away with something they will do it. Geesh, I don’t think that was what the motivational aspect behind the sayings ‘be all you can be’ or ‘you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it’ was meant for. Caught you I was a little more than shocked when I read about an underground dentist who goes under the name of Dr. David Wu (not his real name) in B.C who has provided dentistry services to patients in an apartment for many years. This guy has NO, and I repeat NO training as a dentist, whatsoever in Canada. That means that no dentistry schools in Canada have ever seen this guy let alone have them in their data base as a medical professional. Seriously, if you are gripping the bottom of your seat I know what you’re going through. It’s bad enough when I have […]

PF Weekly Grab a brew #30 : Handling a product concern responsibly

We All Make Mistakes Someone messed with the chicken breasts at Safeway in Phoenix, Arizona and it’s causing a big stir on the web. I don’t shop at Safeway since we don’t have that grocery store in Ontario but if I had a product concern at any store the first thing I would do would be to bring it to the attention of a store clerk or manager. I can’t believe how so many people are taking to social media as their first line of defense when they are not happy about something but before they contact the appropriate people in a responsible manner. As consumers we expect excellent customer service but we should also do our part to help out if we see a problem, at least that’s what we do. We all make mistakes and when I read how one Twitter user named Lindsey tweeted a photo of chicken breasts with a chicken foot clearly in view to say,“Does this look like chicken breast to you? I’m vomiting” in a tweet to Safeway,  I was a bit stunned. It really made me stop and wonder if we are going to corrupt ourselves and society with everything we’ve got […]