grocery game monthly challenge

Top 5 Reasons A Food Budget Is Financially Smart : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 June 15-21, 2015

Food budget financially smart(1)

KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING   A food budget is a huge part of the overall budget in any household whether you decide to use one or not. If you don’t believe me think about how much you pay each time you go to the grocery store and use that to work out your average yearly food expenses. Even though that’s probably the worst way to do it because you probably spend more than you think you are it’s somewhat of a ballpark figure of your yearly expenses. Then again for those of you who do the math this way your final number likely isn’t that important to you but it should be. If you are someone with more money than you know what to do with you might not have a care in the world to know the amount it’s costing you to fuel your body. For those of us who have to worry about balancing our monthly budget a food budget in my opinion is an imperative step to overcoming debt, saving money and balancing the budget. The fact is that whether you document your expenses or choose to just spend your money freely the money will […]

Man uses hourly wage to spend less and save $5000

hourly pay purchases

SAVE $ THE WAY THAT WORKS FOR YOU   Should you use your hourly wage as the deal breaker for potential purchases? Every so often I meet people who have something to say about finance and it just so happens that I find these people like magnets. First thing to remember is that what you earn is not what you net. In other words if you make minimum wage you aren’t taking home $11/hr after various taxes. Same goes to those who earn a salary, you’re in the same boat. This is common knowledge though right? If so why are so many people in debt? Whatever you net is the money you get to play with in your budget. It’s amazing how many people forget about using the concept “Spend less than you earn” even though it’s fairly straight-forward.   Mr.CD meets Mr.CBB   While we were doing some shopping in Burlington last week I was feathering through the CD’s which were on sale for 50% off. It was an amazing deal for new release CD’s and other CD’s that I normally wouldn’t pay full-price for. It was pretty busy so space was limited and we were all elbow to […]

Savings competitions helped couple save $20k to buy a house

couple savings competitions

MONEY COMPETITIONS CAN BE FUN   I’ll admit that I was always the competitive type growing up because I wanted to be successful at whatever I did. When I did participate in something I did it to the best of my ability and tried to surpass any goals that I set for myself. I could easily say money is a big part of my life in the sense that we need it to survive so I compete to keep earning it while building my career. I don’t challenge myself to earn a certain amount of money although we do set financial goals for ourselves. If it happens, it happens but we do live a frugal lifestyle and use a budget to help the process along. If I didn’t push myself to live each day to the max my life would be boring. My wife would never be surprised with the special things I do for her to make her day easier. Our son would not have the dad that goes above and beyond for him if I didn’t have some form of competitive nature in me. I want the best for my family so I work hard for them every […]

What would you do with $100,000 in savings? : January 2015 Net Worth Update (+2.53%)


SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY   If you are new to Canadian Budget Binder welcome to our monthly Net Worth Update post. I’ve posted our losses and gains for the past 3 years and this is the start of year 4 for us. This year however will be much different for us as we have some decisions that we should make with the $100,000 in bank savings which we have accumulated. At first you might think that’s a large amount of extra cash to be kicking about but as you will see by the end of this post that number will dwindle down in size with our projected expenses. There’s not going to be as much as you think by the time I’m done chopping down the pile. It was never out intention to keep long-term savings in the bank of this amount but in talking with a banking representative it’s certainly not uncommon. What I mean is keeping more than $100k in one bank account which is not necessarily the smartest thing to do. If you think about it money has to sit somewhere until it is invested. Some people have no intentions of doing anything with their money […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Product reviews for coupons saving you money : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Dec 22-28, 2014

product reviews grocery food

YOUR OPINION FOR SAVINGS!   Product reviews are a great way for bloggers to share their opinions but there is not always a kick-back such as a free product. Companies are always looking for ways to reach the customer so coming up with innovative ways to get our attention is something they strive to improve on every day. Even with a giant social media splash it’s hard to motivate customers to buy unless there is something in it for them. Most times for someone to try a new product a good starting point is putting it on sale aside from offering it free or tastings. You might see sample booths set up around your grocery store for this reason. I’ve received a free book to review on Canadian Budget Binder and the offer of other products here and there (nothing I was interested in) but one thing is for sure there has to be incentive for me to go out of my way to talk about. The pleasure is not always monetary either as I am a blogger but for the most part if there is money to be saved and I’m interested then I’m in. Just last week I […]

What pushes people over the edge financially?

financially cash

FALLING ON HARD TIMES…   We all know someone who has struggled financially at some point in their lives and although it’s not easy to stay above the water how some people handle it is shocking. It seems like each time September rolls around the media is filled with articles about people who are getting into trouble with the law for reasons relating to money. Financially holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a tough time for people who struggle with their money. Many struggle in silence. It’s no wonder talking about personal finance is taboo especially if people are ashamed of their debt load. This time of year it seems as if we hear more about thefts, robberies, fraud and scams leading into the Christmas holiday. Just the other day on Facebook my wife read a message on a group board from a mom advising other moms to make sure they lock their doors and take their gifts inside as someone had broken into her car and she lost everything. It only took me a few minutes online this morning to read another article about a couple who faked a pregnancy so they could steal products from an […]

Saving for retirement on a lower-income

saving for retirement lower-income

EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS   Let’s face it, saving for retirement is tough work. I mean, the concept is not difficult for us to wrap our heads around but finding the money, putting it away consistently and not spending it is challenging stuff. I suspect this is the case because money is an emotional subject and it’s easy to become attached to it; we work hard for it and want to reward ourselves with it. Saving for retirement takes discipline. When you’re not relying on paycheque to paycheque for living expenses, saving some money should be easy enough. You also have options on where to put your money for retirement, into Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), real estate properties, Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), non-registered brokerage accounts and more. High-income earners are often advised to contribute to their RRSPs in their highest-income earning years, and rightly so. This RRSP account is optimized when you contribute money when your income taxes are the highest, so monies can be withdrawn in the future when you’re in the lowest (or lower) income tax bracket, presumably in retirement. Low-income earners probably shouldn’t follow this advice, and they probably need different financial advice altogether. Today’s post will […]

Unexpected expenses and savings: Our Budget March 2014

March 2014 Actual Expenses

SAVINGS ARE IMPORTANT   We’ve talked about having emergency savings and the budget over the years here at Canadian Budget Binder and for good reason. You need savings for unexpected expenses that pop up. Savings whether a small amount or a larger amount are important not only to keep stress levels down but also so you aren’t creating debt. Debt is created because one doesn’t have the cash to pay for a service or product that they need. Just this month as you will read down a bit further we have purchased a product for our home and required emergency services which were paid from our projected expenses account. The reality is that things happen whether it’s this year or the next and being prepared for expenses with some savings in the bank is much better than creating debt. Some people as I wrote about the other day don’t mind carrying debt as they see it as a number on a piece of paper and others like us despise it. I don’t mean mortgages, student loans and car payments because the majority of people do carry debt to pay off some of the largest debts most people will ever have. […]

Are you envious of others’ success in life?

Envious of success

STOP THE GREEN EYED MONSTER   Envious definition for me means that someone wishes they could have your success but they just need to find their own path to reach their goals.  The minute your friends Facebook status goes up and says they got a new job, a new car or are in a new relationship do you get upset that it’s not you? Do you question why nothing good ever happens to you? Are you feeling jealous of other people’s success? Don’t be but if you answered no I’d say you are telling a lie because every one of us a tiny bit of envy towards something. It’s how we handle that envy that matters the most. No one likes to feel as if they failed at life and that they have no other options but to accept what they have been given. I think that we can do anything we want with this one life we are given if we find a way to make our dreams come true. Sometimes all you need is a positive boost from a friend or someone who believes in you and before you know it you will land your dream job. Never […]

Spending cuts and increases: Budget Update Jan 2014

actual budget Jan 2014

COUNTING THE CHANGE   Staying on top of our end of 2013 budget spending cuts and increases are going to be critical for us in the 2014 year. If you missed our December 2013 budget update you can go back and read about where all of our money went and how our budget has changed for 2014. I’m pretty sure that 2014 will be full of surprises for us so we want to be prepared for the unexpected at least with money set aside for emergencies after the mortgage is paid. With our mortgage coming due in April to the exchange rate rising we hope that we are off to a bit of a kick-start. Hopefully in the next month or so we will meet with our financial advisor to go over our investments. We’d like to make some changes for the 2014 year and maybe even talk about if we can get a further discount for being 2 years smoke-free on our life insurance policies.   Spending cuts   Spending cuts came to us in the form of having to spend less in a particular budgeted category or having to move money in the budget to balance it out. […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge #5 Sept 30-Oct 6, 2013: Is it really a reduced cost or blowout price?


The Price Blew Me Away Alright   Last night while I managed to get my wife out of the house after her surgery we decided to go do a bit of grocery shopping. It was a great time to stock up on a few items like eggs which were a great sale price and grab some milk. Ya, you will see we came out with more than we anticipated going in for and it’s so incredibly hard to stop doing. It’s common to see the “It’s a BLOWOUT” black and yellow tags in No Frills and Zehrs but this one particular reduced price tag caught my attention. How to reduce cost so we will buy it? Do they really think that a $0.25 discount is going to jump-start the engine of consumers and have them clear the shelves? It seems like the word “Blowout” for a mere $0.25 savings might not have been the appropriate word to use for this sale. I know I say that savings is savings and money is money but when I see a $0.25 with such a powerful word such as “Blowout” I just question the way they market the sales and the product they […]