Unexpected expenses and savings: Our Budget March 2014

March 2014 Household Budget Percentages

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

January 2014 Household budget percentages

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?

Shopping-cart

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 […]

Buying my first property: Was I too young?

Minimum Pay For Maximum Workload I bought my first property at the age of twenty-one even though some of my friends thought I was too young and crazy. I loved to work hard and equally play hard afterwards. It would have been comparable if I were to buy my first condo here in Canada or flat for those of a British background. I wanted to buy vs rent because with my down-payment I knew that my mortgage would be less than rent. My parents already had a few homes on the go and were renting them out so the mortgage would pay for themselves. It was the best decision they ever made, investing in real estate. They are still enjoying the benefits today of those mortgage-free homes and rental income. Somehow I wanted in on the action early so off I went and I found my first home fresh out of University. How much do you need to buy a home? More than I bargained for and many people suffer because they fail to plan. I was almost one of those people. Living pay to pay Contrary to popular belief, I know what waiting for the next chunk of hard-earned money […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge October 1-7, 2012-Giving Thanks!

It’s October already can you believe it with Thanksgiving knocking on our door and the scary monsters are anticipating the fun of trick or treating. It’s that time when we give thanks for all the blessings in our life and appreciate this beautiful world we have been given to live in. Take the time to thank those that have helped you in any way even if it is opening a door or making you smile. The power of the spoken word can make someone’s day a little brighter, especially those that don’t hear it often enough. The Grocery Game Challenge has been going on almost all year now and we are a few short months away from seeing how we made out for the year. Although I suggest checking in every few months to make sure you are on track for the most part if you stick to your budget you should hit the mark. We are aiming to ramp up our goals for next year and make some new changes with our grocery budget. We hope the changes will allow us to better get a grip on our expenses. I’ve also updated the grocery game template that will help us […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge-Sept 24-Sept 30, 2012~ It’s Fall!

The Grocery Game Challenge and Canadian Couponing go hand in hand because we know that using coupons we can lower our grocery budget significantly. We also know that Canadian Coupons can come from various outlets such as Canadian coupons from tear pads, mailed Canadian coupons, printable Canadian coupons, Canadian insert coupons etc. The point I wish to stress is to keep your eyes open for coupons and don’t be shy to ask for them. The savings from one product may off-set the cost on another product that might cost you out the nose. Now that the Fall is here don’t forget that shops may put end of season products on offer and now is the best time to stock up for next year. We often buy in bulk when we see the opportunity or an end of season sale because in the long run it will save us money in our grocery budget or our overall budget. The hard part is sticking to the monthly budget while buying bulk items which can be a challenge and where most people fail. They fail to see that although they are getting deals and using coupons they are STILL spending more than they earn […]

Mr.CBB’s Creamy Apple Caramel Harvest Muffins

With the Fall Season beginning yesterday I was influenced by my mate Julia who runs SaveBigLiveBetter a Canadian Coupon Site to make apple muffins. Apples are in abundance this time of year in Ontario and there is nothing more soothing than being in the kitchen and whipping up Fall apple recipes. Julia posted a picture of her muffins and I knew I had a few apples that  needed using up. Jokingly I said we should have a muffin-off as she says that my muffins look very similar to hers. Clearly we already know who the winner in the kitchen is here ..ermmm… ok, maybe I’m tooting my baking horn..toot…toot because Julia is not here to stop me! Something tells me I’ll pay for that comment for years to come. You can find all sorts of great recipes at her new blog Cooking Up Crafts. There is something nostalgic about the Fall air and the smell of cinnamon, apples and nutmeg swimming in the air. Standing in the kitchen I can close my eyes and take a deep breath and it reminds me of when I was a child and my mother would bake on Sunday morning. We don’t buy baked […]