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 This RRSP account is optimized when you contribute money when your income taxes are the highest, so monies can be withdrawn in the future when you’re in the lowest (or lower) income tax bracket, presumably in retirement.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 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 […]