The Saturday Weekend Review #33: Friends and family buy our kids too much stuff

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It Looked So Cute We Couldn’t Help Buying It

I openly admit that I talk too much sometimes, but these days I enjoy it even more because listening is how I am able to help others and learn from them. I mentioned on Facebook yesterday that my wife wanted to head out to garage sales this morning with her friend. I tagged along as the “hold this” guy not the driver this time so it was a fairly simple task for me.

I’ll openly admit the most intriguing item I saw was a book called “How to make love and cook at the same time”. I thought maybe I might give that a try some time lol. Bad visual I know, sorry but the book really was an excellent cook book packed with laughter and good eats. We need a bit of humour in our lives every single day.

Along the way I met a teacher who told me a story about a man who quit smoking and drinking heavily at age 40 and turned his life around and hiked across Canada. She wanted this man to speak to her students so he could motivate them to pursue their passions in life. Another woman told me that she was getting rid of stuff because her kids were now grown and left the home and she doesn’t need the items from when they were little kids any longer (no kidding).

How many of you parents out there still have items stored in your house and your kids no longer live with you. Come on, show of hands. Where are you? Then again many of you might still have your kids who never left or came back again for round 2 or maybe even 3 or 4. Failure to Launch………………or these days failure to be able to afford to live on one’s own due to increased expenses and osap loans after school.

Too much stuff

Too much stuff and not enough space. Does that sound like you? I stopped to talk to a couple who were selling mountains of boys and girls clothing for cheap and they were name brand as well. They also had many unopened kids items such as baby monitors, jumpy thingies, and lots of colourful balls (so many balls omg), bikes, sports equipment etc. The place was covered with kids stuff and I had to ask why they were selling items that still had tags on them. Why did you not use these items of clothing?

The father said that their friends and family buy them too much stuff and they can’t keep up with it. He says he has bins labelled with sex and age filled to the top of kids clothing that they need to sell. He wasn’t sure why people felt the need to always buy things for the kids but it seemed to be never-ending, and still is. He says the don’t expect people to bring toys or clothes for the kids when they visit but they do.

Their parents who are frugal minded and watch every penny they earn even went a bit bonkers when the kids were born. They thought nothing to drop $100 on a Christmas outfit their daughter might only wear once. Are the kids spoiled? Sure but when you tell people no, they don’t listen they keep buying. If I don’t accept the gifts then I feel like I am letting them down or insulting them so what are we supposed to do?

It’s true that some couples and I know you are out there reading this have a house that is jam-packed with stuff because of people buying too much. What does one do when you want people to slow down buying gifts for the kids from the aunts, uncles, grandparents, god parents etc etc.

It seems as if it may be a perk to get gifts all the time but when you don’t use the stuff then you have to spend time trying to get rid of it and the house is cluttered and potentially unorganized is there another way someone can give without buying “stuff”? All good intentions I’m sure but maybe they can put the money towards something else like an RESP or a savings account for the child if they don’t need any more.

If you have kids do you find people are always buying stuff for them that they don’t end up using and you still have tags on them or they are wrapped up?  Are you one of those people who tend to buy “too much” if so why do you do this?

Gardening and Landscaping

Well, the basil is dwindling down now that I’ve pulsed as much as I can into basil pesto but the chives and parsley are in full swing. Our mallow if finally blooming and this was one of those rescue plants at the end of the season which we bought years ago. We put it in a huge planter and bring it indoors in the winter and have never had a problem with it. I’ll grab a photo for you so I can share it next week but I’ve been swamped this week.

Blog update

Check out my first blog post contribution at SHE KNOWS CANADA where I will be a regular contributor moving forward. The post I wrote is “15 Ways couples can budget for a holiday getaway” which I hope you take a few minutes to read and comment on. I appreciate all of your support.

I saw the new Canadian Budget Binder website staged and I love it. We are working on some finishing touches and you can expect a new blog very shortly. I’m on the edge of my seat for this one. I hope you are too, I did it for you.

Other posts I wrote this week

You can now follow Canadian Budget Binder via Bloglovin and continue to get my daily posts in this reader.

If you are a regular reader you would have already received these awesome posts in your email or reader but just in case you missed reading one I’ve put them all together here just for you.

PLUS…. check out the NEW FEATURE I’ve added which is my New Free Recipe IndexYou get all the recipes that I have posted here at Canadian Budget Binder in one spot so you don’t have to go looking for them.

Garage sailing with Jen

Jen-garage-sale-finds

Jen and her husband have made many improvements to their shopping habits and their budget. You can read all about it in her guest post, Budgeting With Mr. CBB Got Us Back On Track. Jen shares her weekly garage sale finds with us for the summer to show just how much she can save for her family.

  • Car seat (need a spare) expires Dec 2017 – $3 (they were asking $5)
  • 22 pairs of socks (various toddler sizes) and Men’s Nike workout shirt – $3 (she was asking $5 just for the shirt)
  • Felt pieces for the bottom of furniture – $.25
  • Small zip up pouch, four collared shirts for Adam and an Elle lunch bag for me – $3 (were asking $6.50)
  • BBQ grill basket – $2 (they were asking $5)
  • Kandoo container to hold toddler wipes – free
  • Two-step stool for Adam to use in the kitchen – $1 (they were asking $2)
  • Cash register/calculator toy – free
  • Stuffed frog – free
  • Die-cast cars – free
  • Lego bases – $1
  • Sidewalk chalk bucket – $1 (they were asking $2)
  • Jeep toy – $.25
  • Stripped GAP dress shirt for Adam - $.25 (they were asking $1.50)
Total $14.75
Lots of free items today as we took Adam with us and people tend to give cute kids free stuff ;-) lol

Making a difference

Each week I like to showcase a blog that I follow on a regular basis and today I give to you my good friends The PoPs from Planting our Pennies.

Planting our pennies

kitty pop

Hey there! We are Mr. and Mrs. PoP, and we blog at Planting Our Pennies. Our tagline for our blog is “Money, Happiness, and Kittens”, and that’s a pretty good explanation of what we’re all about. 

Like Mr. CBB, we watch our money pretty closely, tracking our net worth and watching our spending by preparing monthly income statements so we know exactly where our money is going. We hope sharing this information prompts our readers to start tracking their own books a bit more closely. But there’s more to life than money.

That’s why happiness is also one of the things we’re focusing on. We like to share the little things we do that help and challenge us to find greater happiness in our everyday experiences.

And really, our Kitty PoP is one of our greatest sources of happiness on a daily basis. He’s so goofy and fun that we can’t help but share his antics with our readers for a good belly laugh.

If we can help readers keep an eye on their money, find joy in the everyday, and maybe even convince a few to adopt a shelter kitten like Kitty PoP, we’ll consider all the time we spend blogging well worth it in the long run.

Blog share

I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans. Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.

What is a blog carnival?

Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web.

Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals

Carnival glory

Google search terms

web search terms

What are Google keyword search terms?

Keywords for search engines help me to understand what people are looking for at Canadian Budget Binder. Although I get thousands of keyword searches from Google users that come in each week I pick out a few that catch my eye and make me smile.

Top pick- Lawsuit bad ladder out of dumpster- Oh please don’t tell me you took a ladder from a dumpster and you want to sue them now because they enticed you to take it out and you fell off and now you want compensation for it. 

  • Sleepy fun- No sleepy fun going on here…
  • Download Ugandan music- Another one just so out of place
  • Where do women love Canadian men- hmm, I’m keeping my mouth shut!
  • Glitz binders- I admit I get all sorts of binder hits.
  • Oprah recipe binders- Ya, like this one, see more binders…
  • Chef he has no job again- I have no idea why it is just so out-of-place 

That’s all I have for this weeks edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #33. Please, join me again next Saturday for more life updates and what’s been going on in my world. Have a great week.

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RESP Investing In Your Child’s Education-The Basics

Registered Education Savings Plan : The Basics

What is an RESP?

Being concerned about how to afford a college education for my son, I made some enquiries about a Registered Education Savings Plan, or RESP.  This is a special savings account that makes provision for post-secondary education costs. If you are like me savings and investing are very important to my family. Those who subscribe to a RESP are also entitled to receive the government’s Canada Learning Bond (CLB) if they qualify, and the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) which, as I found out, can provide a welcome boost to the funds.

Who is it for?

An RESP is set up to provide financial support for those aged 17 years and over, and who are undertaking eligible courses of study.  Contributors to a RESP are normally parents or guardians; however, a grandparent, other relative or even a family friend can also make contributions.

wagner51's own temporary SIN card, scanned and...

How do you get one?

A simple two-step process helped me to get things underway.  First of all I checked out my Social Insurance Number (SIN), and then I chose an RESP provider.  My SIN gave me access to government benefits and programs and, when I began to research RESP providers, I found there were a number of options – I could go to a reputable bank, credit union, umbrella company, or other financial institution to get the process started.

Make sure you research who you decide to go with as you will be with them for a long time and they will be managing your contributions.  Know what questions to ask each provider and get the answers before you proceed. Ie: fees involved and any penalties.

What does it do?

An RESP will provide your child with funds towards the costs of a course of study.  The course must be at least three weeks long, and have a minimum ten hours of work or instruction per week to be eligible as a full-time course.  This program can also cover part-time education, as long as at least 12 hours per month is spent on study.

When is it used?

When your child goes to university or college, takes up a place at a trade school, a CEGEP, or at some other institution that is certified by the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, the RESP can be activated.  Alternative arrangements for children who don’t take up educational courses beyond high school should be discussed with your RESP provider.

Advantages

Getting access to the CESG is a major advantage of having a RESP; the plan acts like a tax shelter, as contributions will have been paid at the time funds are deposited.  In the case of the CESG, the government will pay a percentage of funds saved directly into the RESP.  The actual amount available will depend on the net income of the family up to a maximum $7200.

Families with lower incomes can additionally benefit if they are eligible for the Canada Learning Bond.  For example, if you already receive National Child Benefit you could benefit from a lump sum deposit when you start your RESP plus an annual contribution thereafter.

The use of an RESP can also give you a clear goal to budget your money towards. Setting up a direct debit can ensure a regular amount is paid into the RESP. Having all of your finances recorded and accounted for can also allow you to budget sensibly and see where you are spending unnecessarily. Keep all of your receipts and analyze your spending, this will allow you to see where your money could be better spent. Setting yourself a weekly spending amount is also useful. Try to pay using cash; using cards is far too easy, allowing you to quickly go over your limit. Remember to always shop around for the best bargains, looking online allows you to compare prices from a number of retailers, and there are often coupons available for all sorts of products.

There are further financial incentives depending on where you live.  In Alberta we have the Alberta Centennial Education Savings (ACES) grant, which contributes a lump sum for babies where a RESP is in place, then annual additions at certain ages throughout the school years.  In Québec there is a similar incentive to save for future educational needs.

Disadvantages by Mr.CBB

I believe all parents should set up a registered education plan for their child as education in an investment worth investing in and so is your child.

For further help and information check with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada or your RESP provider – remember this can be a bank, credit union, or other financial body.

This has been written by Katie Green, who is a freelance writer with an interest in business and finance related matters.

Photo’s-Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Want to hang out with Mr.CBB of Canadian Budget Binder and all the fans?

Come  hook up with us on Facebook,Twitter and Pinterest! Join the conversation and share your stories! We want to hear from you. What do you think about Registered Education Savings Plans?