Property Tax Bill-One Bill You’ll Never Burn : February 2016 Monthly Budget Review

THE TAX MAN HANGS AROUND FOR LIFE   In February like clock-work we get a letter in the post from the city about our new tax rate along with payment dates for our property tax bill. Whether it’s paying for income tax, property tax, product tax or anything that says tax you know you’ll never get away with dodging it. Which is why there are two certainties in life: death and taxes Every year the property tax bill gets higher and higher but that’s expected I suppose since it goes to pay for various things in the community such as municipal services, police, fire, transit and so on. I received an email from a young couple in the process of buying their first home and they wanted to know what the best way was to pay for their property tax bill. Dear Mr.CBB, My wife and I are just finalizing the sale of our new home and were wondering how we should pay for our property tax bill in order for our budget to balance. What else is there that we need to know about our new property and our tax bill? Thanks for any tips. -Chris and Angela If […]

Family Day Fun In Our House Goes Like This : The Saturday Weekend Review #159

FAMILY FIRST…TOUGH WORDS TO LIVE UP TO WHEN WORK KEEPS YOU AWAY   Family Day Fun is not something you pay for, it’s something you create together with the people who mean the most to you. There’s a statutory family holiday in February and it’s called Family Day… how will you spend your day? This will be my eighth Family Day in Canada and every year I learn something more about this beautiful country I call home. Today I’m going to share with you what I’ll be doing with my precious family this Family Day whom I love and miss when I’m not home to spend time with them. I’ve learned that even if you are tired and feel you can’t go on the love of your family always makes you go the extra mile.   Family Day Stat Holiday   You don’t need kids to enjoy Family Day fun either. Couples all over Ontario are finding ways of enjoying the holiday with just as much excitement as parents are with their kiddos. Family doesn’t mean “blood” either it can be anyone you consider to be part of your family. Family Day in Ontario is this coming Monday, February 15 […]

Sexy Photo Fun Could End Up A Nightmare Of Revenge Porn – The Saturday Weekend Review #157

ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO GO BROKE IS TO COMMIT A CRIME   What happens behind closed doors in an intimate relationship should stay closed. For those who feel wronged in a relationship or have other ulterior motives “revenge porn” may be their ticket to getting the last laugh or to cash in. It could also be the worst mistake mentally, physically and financially one could commit if they are caught in such a situation. Let’s not forget about the victim who has to suffer the consequences of their private life splattered on the web. It’s a horrible situation. The word “Porn” may be labelled a dirty word but it’s one of the biggest money-making industries in the world. Nobody wants to talk about it nor read about it but it’s everyday people who get caught up in crimes like revenge porn. Individuals who feel they have a power over someone with pornography need to understand that the consequences of their actions will not be tolerated by the law. It’s also important for parents to discuss topics like this with their teenage children because they know about sex whether you choose to believe it or not. Don’t get upset […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Big City Savings Tips To Survive Grocery Shopping : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 Jan 25-31

OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS IN THE CITY   Many people who live in the big city choose not to drive, can’t drive or can’t afford to drive. This means rolling their shopping cart into a large parking lot to load groceries only to whiz home around the corner is not an option. Many of us take for granted the luxuries of living in a smaller city while shopping especially when it comes to parking and space. You’ll get more of that than you will living in the big city where space is at a premium. Related: How a small town family saves money on groceries The smartest tip that I can share with you today about shopping in any city is to be ORGANIZED. Without organization you risk having a less than ideal shopping experience. I find when we have things planned out it’s almost always smooth sailing. Unless of course we have a tired toddler, dirty nappy or it’s feeding time. Download my Free Printable Tools to get you started on the organizational train. With millions of people who live in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area you will certainly find just about every grocery store on the market. In […]

grocery game monthly challenge

5 Ways Price Matching Can Significantly Lower Your Grocery Budget This Year : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Dec 28, 2015- Jan 3, 2016

ALWAYS FIND THE BEST PRICE   Many stores have a price matching guarantee which means if you’re not taking advantage of this wonderful money saving tool then you’re throwing money out the window. Don’t believe me? You are because what takes a few minutes of your time might take you longer to earn the money you are splashing without cashing in on the savings. Prices hardly ever go down on groceries these days and with produce prices going up in 2016 consumers better start thinking about how their grocery budget will be affected. Have you seen the price of cauliflower these days? One head runs from $5.99-$8.00 at some grocery stores. My wife wanted me to buy one for her but I’m not “Splurging” on cauliflower when it was $0.99 in the summer. She can wait to indulge when it’s cheaper. If spending money on food is not a big deal to you then you probably won’t care but you likely wouldn’t be here reading this in the first place. If you are critical about the money you spend in your grocery budget or you’re trying to get back on track with your spending you should learn about price matching. […]

How to handle a billing rate increase on a tight budget

IN ONE DOOR OUT THE OTHER   Ask almost anyone about their “spare cash” and I bet they laugh and say, What spare cash? The difficult part with a tight budget is there’s not much wiggle room for most people especially if there is a billing rate change, interest increase or price hike such as groceries or living expenses. It’s been a while now that we’ve paid off our mortgage and living debt free which has opened up some avenues for us financially. Our budget is lean and any savings left at the end of the month gets distributed into our savings account. I received an email from a guy who uses our family budget and wanted to know how to go about adjusting the budget when the net income he earns along with any income from his wife covers just about everything they have to pay every month. Hey Mr.CBB, I just wanted to shoot you a quick email to ask you a question about your budget and how I go about making changes to accommodate rate increases such as the current Hydro pricing increase. I’m not sure what more we can do so we could free up some […]

Buy the least expensive house in the most expensive neighbourhood

BE PICKY WHEN HOUSE SHOPPING   Typically we like to buy quality when we shop which included shopping for our home. This is why we scoured every available neighbourhood around our city for the best deal. The only thing we don’t like is paying full-price which meant we had our work cut out for us. Thankfully, it worked out in our favour. When buying a house you want to make sure that if you are buying a $400,000 house that the neighbourhood matches the price tag or you might struggle to sell as fast as you’d like down the road. This is why we hear over and over not to over-renovate but then again a smaller house in a bigger neighbourhood might have more luck finding a buyer than a house that costs far more than smaller surrounding homes. Today I have an email from a guy who is a first-time home-buyer with his wife and wants to know if they should spend the money and get the biggest house they can or a smaller house but in a more expensive area. Note: If you have a question for me please send me a detailed email similar to below so […]

Does your neighbours home improvement really affect your property value? : The Saturday Weekend Review #101

BABYSITTING THE PROPERTY MARKET   Your property value is determined by many factors and whether your neighbour paints his garage door pink or purple that has nothing to do with how much your home is worth. Sometimes I can’t get over how some neighbours pick on each other for the silliest of things. Earlier this year we talked about one of our neighbours who hardly ever cuts the lawn. We got serious about overcoming laziness as a homeowner and joked about renting a goat. That was a legitimate complaint because there is a city by-law against leaving your lawn to grow to a certain height. Sure if the homeowner were to sell his house it may impact how much someone would be willing to pay him. The house might deter potential buyers of other homes that are well-kept but for the most part I don’t think it would bring down property value of all the homes. When a homeowner lets their home fall apart that’s when I’d start to worry but not if they are making improvements to the home and keeping the property looking good. It becomes a pain in the butt when the neighbourhood patrol group picks on […]