Money and Finance: Why I Care About Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy Mr.CBB

Money and Finance are two very important life topics that encompass “financial literacy” yet many people are unable to take control of what it means to them. I hear stories about those that are struggling to get to the end of the month before they run out of cash to pay the bills and others that realize that learning about money is the only way to go.

April is Financial Literacy Awareness month and learning money management skills and how to budget money is only the beginning. There are a host of financial literacy topics that are available to those wanting to find ways to save money as adults and teaching youth financial literacy to their children all over the internet.

There is no shame in not knowing but wanting to learn, there is no shame about why you are in debt, there is no shame in what others think of you. Find the strength to enjoy the small things and work towards a brighter future by taking the initiative to build your knowledge of what you desire in life. There are so many people who wonder if they will ever know “how to learn to save money” but don’t know where to start.

Children and Money

As parents struggle with ways to teach kids about money it’s not something that “should be done” it’s something that “must be done”. I often wonder where I would be today if my parents didn’t teach me the value of money and how to make it grow into something bigger than I had ever imagined from a young age.

Back then I wasn’t thinking millions of dollars, investment properties and stocks that would rock my world and net worth. I was thinking about how can I make this money last while making more money in the process. Today parents are playing money game with children and using money management games for kids online in order to guide them through the process.

It all takes time but parents investing in their child’s future is one of the best gifts next to loving them so deeply that you can give them. One CBB fan Mandi Holland takes proactive steps with her son that I encourage other parents to do.

We play games online at Kids Math Games for him to learn to add up coins & Money. My Son really likes Math & School, we buy him age appropriate work books when we find them as well.

Times have changed and Life, Retirement and Money are topics taking on whole new dimensions as we evolve year after year. As Canadians we need to work even harder to save for what we need in this life as the economy struggles to stay afloat without giving up hope.

At Canadian Budget Binder I am reaching out to adults about financial literacy so they can learn more about their financial health and changes they might want to make. We don’t have any children in our home but I know if we did you can bet we would teach them all they needed to  know from a young age.

Why I Care About Financial Literacy

Financial literacy to me is understanding personal finance concepts in regards to how much money you have and how you spend and invest it over time in order to pave the way for your future. Life is about risk and if we don’t take the time to step up and follow our dreams and invest in ourselves no one else will.

In November 2012 I shared my Best Financial Tips with my readers in recognition of Financial Literacy Month. Since April is Financial Literacy Awareness month I want to share a bit more about why I care about financial literacy so much.

I’ve learned that everyone has their own unique situations about personal finances and how “rich” and “poor” mean different things to different people. It really opened my eyes from a skewed view of  money and finance and what I thought it was to what I’ve learned up until today.

Goal of Canadian Budget Binder

At Canadian Budget Binder my goal is to share our journey towards financial freedom using a budget while motivating others to find ways to manage their own money. I wanted this to be a safe environment where people could come and talk about money and debt and not be judged. This is the place we have created here at CBB with many fans from all over the world.

All of my fans who have been with me from the start know that making extra money blogging was not my intention when I opened up the curtains to share our financial life in the CBB household. If the time comes when I do I know that I will give back in a way that I think will continue to help others grow and learn about finance.

This blog was the beginning of something special for me. It has taught me so much about life, death, money, success, failure, debt, illness, poverty, sharing, kindness, love, motivation, desire and more than you can ever imagine.

I encourage financial literacy because I know deep down no one likes to feel like they are swimming in debt and a heavy weight on their shoulders and in their minds day in and day out. “If only I could just share the basics so others could learn how to budget money like we do”, that’s what I would think to myself when I started the blog.

It began as desire to help others understand money and finance then sending them on their way to build their castle from the rocks (knowledge and experiences I have provided to them. That is what I hope people take from Canadian Budget Binder and why I encourage a “team” environment where we all help each other out.

Building Her Castle

Budgeting has been a part of our lives for a few years now and I wanted to give back to those that want to walk the same path but just don’t know where to start. When I first met Jen Peacock on my Facebook fan page her and her husband had no budget, were deep in debt and spending more than they earned.

They had alot of catching up to do and her determination was fading because she felt she had no where left to turn. She thought she was doing everything right but it all came crashing down, slowly. It was time to get out of bed and make that change so they could move forward with their lives.

Jen has a beautiful child together with her husband Ken and a lovely home in Ontario, Canada. She had rolled debt into their mortgage 2 or 3 times by which time the debt just kept piling back up again especially during maternity leave to the tune of 21K plus 30k in car loans.

Money and Finance- Budgeting

When I took Jen behind the scenes we talked more about budgets in detail and I agreed to guide her along the way. Since I’m not a financial advisor, just a reg Joe I did just that. I worked with Jen month after month, hours poured into her budget and teaching her WHY they can’t afford to  spend $150 a month on the 407 ETR to get to work or WHY she should work on cutting down her grocery expenses.

It wasn’t to be cruel it was to open her eyes so she could share this wisdom with her husband and build a solid financial future together for their family.

I admit she had me pulling out my hair at one point because it’s hard to do this via email but I never gave up on her because I knew how badly she wanted to get back on track with her money and finances. Eventually Jen and family got to a place where they were budgeting using my Canadian Budget Binder Spreadsheet that I designed for our family finances.

I can’t tell you how many times she messed up the budget BUT, she learned, she learned more than I ever would have imagined. Jen went on to write a blog post for the fans in November 2012 that touched my heart.

Related: Budgeting With Mr.CBB Got Us Back On Track

All I ever wanted was to help one family get on track and Jen’s family was the one and I hope that I can continue to motivate others. She took “budgeting with Mr.CBB” to a whole other level for me. With the budget help Jen also managed to cut back on her grocery budget by posting her shops each week faithfully to this day in The Grocery Game Challenge.

She is now spending less in 2013 on groceries than she did in 2012 for her family of 3. She still emails me her budget once a month to look over and I’m more than happy to do just that.

Chef Jen's Kitchen
Chef Jen- What’s For Dinner?

Just look at some of the food Jen has created in her own kitchen that she never once dreamed she would be doing. I also encouraged Jen to stop buying food in boxes or food that she could easily make at home. I bugged her to no end to start cooking more homemade meals with her husband. It was important for me to motivate her to use recipes and work on them with her husband so they could build family traditions that they could pass on to their son.

Even with a recent setback and having to make changes to her diet Jen still champions the grocery budget and simply amazes me more every single week. Jen has not only made me proud but all the other fans that have cheered her on this past year at CBB.

Below are some quotes from Jen that I saved from my Facebook Fan Page that she posted along with her food photos. Maybe we can talk her into sharing her homemade Quesadillas recipe for our CBB Sunday recipe post because they look so good.

I’m proud of Jen and her family and I tell her this all the time. She never gave up and she still fights the fight but she now knows what she has to do, they both know what they have to do and all because they invested in themselves.

Jen's Homemade Quesadillas

Busy today in the kitchen! We also made Rice Crispy squares and my favourite Heavenly Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies! 😀 Tomorrow I think I’ll attempt tortillas and flatbread!

Here is my first attempt at Mr.CBB’s flatbread recipe on the blog! I made 3 large ones instead of 12 small ones as I am using it for pizza. I can’t wait to make the pizza tomorrow.

Here it is! Tonight for dinner I made pizza on homemade flatbread! It was awesome! And so filling!

Proof I made the tortilla!

My dinner for tonight: BBQ Chicken Quesadilla on homemade tortillas! Sour cream and salsa on the side

My very first attempt at homemade bread!

Six Months Later

I posted Jen’s story on Facebook again for my over 5000 fans to read just in case they missed it the first time, this is what Jen had to say about it

I just read it over again. It’s amazing how much things have changed for the better. I was just thinking the other day about how I used to live in overdraft and since budgeting I’ve never touched it and actually had money in the bank. Ken is SO on-board now! He now has an allowance which made a big difference for us.
Financial Literacy

Call me a numbers nerd but I’ve been that way ever since I was a child and even now as an adult. I not only see the importance of teaching children about money habits but also adults.

As adults we need to prepare ourselves financially and emotionally so we can provide this valuable information to our children to pass on to their own.Together we can create a chain reaction that spans this earth but money and  finance begins with you.

If you care about financial literacy as much as I do, take the time to spread the word and help others to understand. You may just make someone smile.

I want to thank Shannon at the heavy purse for encouraging me to be part of Financial Literacy Awareness month and to share a story like this one today. Shannon has created a Financial Literacy Carnival and recruited other bloggers to share what financial literacy means to them. I hope you get an opportunity to read these personal stories and take hold of your financial future. 

Quote-Budget and Money

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  1. This is an excellent post on financial literacy. Kudos to you. Education is so important. I expecially love y our point that teaching your children about being financially responsible is not something that you should do, it is something that you must do.

    You are so right. Behaviour patterns carry through to adulthood, so as parents, we might as well instill the proper ones.

    Continued success to you.

  2. What you did for/with Jen is really amazing Mr CBB! I imagine your frustration some days and then great happiness when it finally starts to come together. If you impact even this one life then it was all worth it.

  3. Awesome post CBB!! I love what you said about how teaching kids about money isn’t something that should be done, it is something that must be done. I completely agree! Even though I wasn’t taught any money lessons as a kid, my daughter will know differently. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters 🙂

  4. That’s very inspirational! I love hearing stories about real people who have managed to change their financial situation for the better. Keeps the rest of us going!

  5. I love “it’s not something that should be done. It’s something that must be done.” We teach people how to make money, but not what to do with it. You could spend a lot less time earning money if you spent a little more figuring out the best way to put it to use.

  6. Jen, thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us!!!! You have done an awesome thing here with your budget and it gives the rest of us the courage to keep trying….
    Mr CBB, you are our inspiration, our confidante, our cheerleader, our teacher and best of all….. our friend……hope to see you here for a long time!!!

  7. This is my goal one day. I know that i’m on the right track but still far away. Taking baby steps toward being debt free and cooking most of my meals at home.

    It’s an awesome story and should inspire so many of us.

  8. You’re doing a great thing over here Mr.CBB. I honestly don’t know of another blogger who gives as much back to his fans as you do, keep up the good work mate and I’m sure there’ll be many more thankful people like Jen!

  9. Wow! I’ve shared this with you before but I just love the community you’ve created for your readers. It’s such a welcoming, inspiring place to be. It’s why I come back week after week and I know it’s why they do too. A lot of people are living in debt and feel great shame about it. These are good people who made some mistakes. Yes, we live in a consumer-driven world, but just because they got caught up in that world – doesn’t make them a bad person. They don’t deserve finger-pointing, nasty comments or condescension.Those are the very reasons why they continue to suffer in silence with the weight of the world on their shoulders. What they need is a place to give them hope, to give them strength to move forward and change their situation. I love how you help people do that – Jen’s story is just more proof that people can do it when they put their minds to it and have some great supporters cheering them on. You said you didn’t know what to write at first and I cannot think of anything better than what you did write. I’m so grateful we connected Mr. CBB and I appreciate your participation in the carnival.

    1. Thanks Shannon,
      Sometimes I’m my worst enemy when I come to write. These fans that surround me on a daily basis overwhelm me at times only because I can read how they are changing for the good. When a team is doing good you will have the team champion you to the finish line. This is what CBB stands for=TEAM EFFORT! There are so many people here that have enriched my life including all the bloggers that visit and comment daily. They are all truly inspiring. Cheers Shannon!

  10. I love that story. That must feel great to be able to help your readers so much. At this point, I am still learning myself, but hope that by sharing my mistakes, I can help others to avoid them or stop making them if they are in the middle of a mess.

    1. Thanks Kim, I’m always learning as much as the fans are learning. The key point you touch on is we learn by sharing. That is what we do here, SHARE… it’s that personal circle of experiences that we can relate to or may know someone in that situation that helps us to understand and become a bit more compassionate about. I can’t give someone determination and hope but what I can do is provide an environment for them where they can gather their own stones and build their own castle, just like Jen and Ken are doing. Cheers!

  11. Great post! Such an inspiring read! It’s amazing and encouraging to see the people that have come across your blog and were impacted / inspired to change their ways, because of the things you said. Thanks for sharing your stories! Keep it going 🙂

  12. This is great! I’m sure Jen was truly grateful of your help and I am sure you felt great helping out. Its nice how lending a hand is a two way street. I remember starting my blog because even though there were lots of PF blogs out there, when I talked to people I knew offline, they had no idea about basic finance. I have friends that I talk to regularly about finance and it feels great everytime I can help out. Bravo Mr. CBB!

    1. Hey Ian ,
      There are so many sites that have similar concepts but only 1 Ian, or 1 Mr.CBB or…. it’s the personality that counts the most in my opinion. If you can’t bond with your reading audience then you have nothing more than words on a page. Cheers mate!

  13. What an awesome and inspirational story! Congrats on helping change a life! My wife and I hope that something we write inspires change in others. Perhaps one day we’ll have a story like that…

    1. It is a good feeling knowing we are making a difference as PF bloggers but like Mary says there are so many silent people that have made changes for the good and I raise my glass to them all!!! Cheers Jacob… Looking forward to that story one day mate!

  14. Mr. CBB, you have such a gift for writing inspirational posts. Thanks for sharing the story about Jen, I hadn’t heard that one. And I love what you said about having no shame in why you got into debt, in what others think of you, or in not knowing but wanting to learn. Thank you for being such a wonderful support and example to us all, my friend. You are a blessing. 🙂

    1. Laurie, often people hide their debt because they are ashamed of it and all the reasons that led to it. I never wanted CBB to be a place where it was all about “look at how much I have” or “how much I make”. That’s not teaching people that’s bragging. I wanted people to learn from the skills that we use when we share our numbers to motivate. The numbers are only numbers, nothing more. The fan base keeps growing because of the encouragement to come out of their shells with no reprise. It’s a great place that I enjoy coming to each day. I’m always learning something from someone.

  15. Mr CBB, I loved this post but would also like to emphasize that I have been watching amazing growth in so many of your CBB fans this year! And, I probably don’t even know the half of it because so many are reading, learning and changing their lives silently. I admit… the daily participation has changed my life and some of my financial habits & decisions. I am not sure I have said that before… I can’t be the only one that has just quietly made changes.

    Could I suggest a blog…how about asking your fans to post what they have learned since they arrived, what changes have they been able to institute with their money, how has this page helped them and why do they keep coming back day after day??? I think you’ll be really surprised! Not everyone blabs as much as I do! 😀

    There are many quiet voices that have “liked” your page and are reading but perhaps are too shy to post. What about asking them how even just reading regularly is helping them? Maybe they’d dip a toe in the water and tell you. They didn’t “unlike” the CBB page for a reason.

    Financial literacy is an overwhelming concept to many at the beginning of their journey BUT learning how to hang onto their money a little longer, get better value for the money they do have, learning how to differentiate between a need and a want according to their personal family needs and experiencing less financial stress are all universal topics, no matter what financial resources you currently have.

    And when all those confidences are in place and strong, they can dream again… plan for the future, save for life’s enjoyments and one day a retirement.

    1. Thanks Mary,
      I won’t say that I thought about doing that but I also didn’t want to come across as “the one and only”. I guess I am humble in that way. Hey, your blabbing has helped me on more than one occasion Mary… don’t ever stop.. you don’t realize how you silently help others 😉

      1. Mr CBB, I don’t think this opening up the blog for your readers to brag a little about their accomplishments comes across as “the one and only” for you just by asking for feedback.

        I would also ask if anyone has any suggestions to make their CBB participation even better. That’ll keep you humble – you might get some amazing suggestions! LOL

  16. Enjoyed reading this, and I am amazed at the impact you’ve had on Jen & her family’s life! Thanks Mr. CBB & WTG Jen, you must be so proud of yourself.

    1. Thanks Wendy,
      Jen has done the work on her own, I’ve only been there for her as a dart board (sounding board) I mean 😉 haha, I might end up in the corner for that comment now. I’m proud of the team we have built here at CBB and it’s all of us who should be proud for standing to the occasion and sharing this page with everyone they know. That my dear, is what I am proud of the most. The determination of the fans! Cheers mate!

  17. Great story Mr. CBB! That’s exactly why I started my site so I could have the opportunity to help others. It’s so neat to be able to help someone start down the road of making better financial decisions so they can improve their life. Oh, thanks for the pictures…I am hungry now. 😉

  18. Awesome story Mr. CBB! I agree with you here and it is great to see the impact you had on Jen’s life. This is why I do personal finance. I hope to give someone the motivation to make the change. We all must learn at some point and hopefully I can take what I have learned and put those lessons onto my son.

    1. Thanks and Jen has done a tremendous job and continues to surprise me each month. Yes, this is why we do what we do, you are right mate. Thanks for reading and I hope others take the time to visit your blog and see what you have to share with them. Mr.CBB

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