PF Weekly Grab a Brew #51: Money, my best friend and Boxing Day

grab-a-brew-online-reviewWE ALL VALUE MONEY DIFFERENTLY

Bang… yes that was the sound of the boxing day flyers hitting the porch last night.

It didn’t take long to realize that the massive bundle of papers sitting was the boxing week flyer bundle last night after that loud thump.

We are only days away from celebrating Christmas for the 2013 year and shops are well ahead of us already preparing for Valentine’s Day in the next week or so.

Nothing is fly by the moment when it comes to marketing and advertising and some stores know a year in advance exactly what they will be selling on Boxing Day and for how much.

We typically get out of bed around 4:30 am on Boxing day (I know it’s crazy) but we must do what we need to if we want to get in on a great deal. To be honest, we haven’t found any amazing deals that we needed over the years except for some major appliances but the timing was off.

It’s become a tradition just to head out and see what’s on sale and just a way to get out of the house after eating so much food on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

This year might be different as we are in need of a washer and dryer because our Kenmore machines that we got for free almost 5 years from another family have done their time for us. The machines are still working but it’s time we upgrade and pass the machines on to another family in need.

Believe it or not a free washer and dryer that works will be picked up with-in a day if we post it on Kijiji because so many people are in need. Looking through the boxing day flyers it’s clear we will be spending over $1000 just to get a new set.

This time of year is when we try to give away as much as we can because donating or giving is always better than receiving. If there ever was a time that I was in need I would hope that there would be other people out there that are willing to part with items if they can rather than make a fast buck.

We’ve done that on numerous occasions and I’d rather make someone happy than to line my bank account with money. Money only takes you so far but giving and the passion in your heart for others will take you further.

What goes around comes around


When Jen Peacock donated all of the items last week to her local food bank her husband went on to win a gift certificate from a works Christmas party that weekend.

There are many people who have a huge stockpile from couponing and donate and we should be because it’s a great way to give back especially if we lots of freebies or items we might not use.

Good things happen to those that believe and aren’t greedy because in life we don’t need as much as we think to survive. The more we think we need the more we keep adding to the collection.

The simple life


I do believe in living a simplistic life, heck I’d be happy with a simple home on a farm where I could enjoy the scenery and live out the rest of my life, stress free while enjoying what nature has to offer. Sometimes people judge you by where you live assuming that you must have lots of money which brings me back to the millionaire next door book I read.

Never judge a book by its cover nor assume that just because someone has money that it means they want to live the high life. That’s not always the case.  As I get older I realize that love, family and true happiness is more important than what money has to offer although it’s needed for the basic necessities in life.

I know people who are struggling themselves and think nothing to donate to help someone else in need because they understand what it’s like. Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes really does open perspective and make you thankful for everything you have in life. Sometimes we don’t realize when we talk especially about money how that might affect relationships as well.

What is little to one person might mean a weeks worth of groceries to another. Sure, we can’t be judged by the way we choose to live our life because if we work hard, save our money and spend less than we earn then we are free to spend it as we see fit.

It can be difficult though when we fail to walk in their shoes (even if we have and tell them so) some friends might think you are insensitive when in fact all you needed was someone to say listen show me what you did to get where you are at, I want to learn, I want a better life financially, teach me or the hard to swallow words, help me.

Many people would rather bury themselves alive than ask for help even if it’s from someone who cares and is offering the love and support. Pride gets in the way and shuts the door before it’s opened.

Not everyone who has money had it handed on a silver platter. Many people started from nothing, lived lives where food was lucky to be on the table and the bills paid. Don’t ever judge someone because you don’t know where they have been.

It’s probably another reason why I don’t tend to talk about money outside of the blog if I don’t have to. I always fear I might offend someone when it’s never the case although it seems I may have done so with my best friend. Not intentionally of course but it taught me a lesson in terms of how I speak about the value of money because we all value it differently.

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve learned so much from him even if he doesn’t think he’s taught me a thing. Hanging out with him has got to be the most entertaining of times because he does things on a whim. He taught me to live life to the fullest and to see things not for what they are worth but for what else they have to offer, such as in a photograph. What one might see as beauty another may see as opportunity. A set of trees entwined may be trees to you and I but to him it may be 2 people embracing life and dancing in the wind. He can think outside the box and I envy him for that quality, he’s brilliant that way.

Oddly enough my mate Jake at IHeartBudgets wrote a post today about how to be a frugal friend and to be honest I really am that frugal friend except lately I’ve been spending a bit more just because I can. I have that option and although it’s a good option to have I may have invited negativity into my friendship with it. Like Jake says they have been on both sides of the coin and are trying to be more conscious of planning outings with friends so it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

I can’t always get it right but I will try harder. It’s only recently that I’ve been spending a bit more money and it’s been nice not having to worry about paying for things but for many years I went without while others splurged on the latest and greatest gadgets in technology, TV’s, video games, movies, cars, houses etc. I saved my money every chance I could and now I’m trying to live a little. He said to me something that really had me think about my spending habits. He said when he if we are out shopping or looking around the shops he spends more money when he is with me.

That really hit home and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Did I pressure him? Did he feel obligated? Did I say things I shouldn’t have? Did I make him feel like he needed something? I’ve had this running through my mind ever since and the reality is, maybe but I was only trying to help save money by spending money to get ahead. Sometimes we need to do that with certain items or to make life a bit less stressful.

If anything I’m here to help as many people as I can to move forward with their finances and get back on track. I hope that my best friend understands that although I’m sure he will see that I was only trying to help and be there for him to show him the way that he too can get what he desires.

I also realize that some people don’t want to be helped and would rather try to figure it out on their own. Some would rather forget about it all and just pretend it’s not happening and do what they can to survive.

I also see that some people want the help but lack the drive to put the plan in motion or are too ashamed or feel discouraged because of their employment status, debt load or hate for their current job. Some people feel they will never get out from underneath and give up before they begin.



The harsh reality is that any time we think negative with the ‘what if’s in life’ so far into the future we have already failed at what hasn’t even started.

The negative mindset is what will drive you down that path. If we could only believe, have faith and sometimes just follow the road to see where it takes us with our eyes and ears open we might just find that there was nothing to fear all along.

The last thing you want to do is to look back and regret all of things you should have done or could have done when they were right in front of you all along.

I’m not giving up on him, in fact I’ll be there every step of the way if he wants me by his side. He deserves that much because he’s the best friend I want to keep in my life forever. When he’s ready if ever, I’ll be here waiting for him.

That’s what best friends do for each other…. right?

Have you ever had a friend who gave up before they started something things in life whether it be a budget, relationship, career, education etc? What would you say to them?

Top recipe



Every day Food Bloggers from around the world pass by my other love the Free Recipe Depot Facebook page to share a daily recipe which I share with my fans.

This weeks Top Recipe comes from a blog called Kitchen Dreaming who are regular posters at The Free Recipe Depot. Today’s recipe is very festive and if you want to share some amazing decorative yummy treats check out these Candy Cane Cookies.


Posts of the week


If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!


Weekly reads


Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.

Well, that’s a wrap for this Friday’s grab a brew #51 so happy saving and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.



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  1. That is awesome you are passing on your machines to another family in need. I put my washer dryer on freecycle a month ago and it was an epic fail as two people canceled the pick up so the tenants got bored and disposed of it. Hope you find someone reliable! Merry Christmas 🙂

  2. I pretty much gave up on the Boxing Day sales back when Canadian Tire stopped having the toys on half price!!! We had a few years there where I went to CT for those sales and got the kids birthday presents ahead of time and hid them until the day. Got some sweet deals that way!!
    My sister-in-law will buy you something if you are out shopping with her and see something. Her and her hubby will do anything for someone they care about. That’s just the way they are. We return the favour as much as we can in smaller ways. Things like the time he replaced the gaskets in our then car. We knew he wouldn’t want payment….. so I picked up an outfit for each of their kids and a case of beer. We always take some beer to their place when we go and I take doggy treats for Mitzi!! Our younger son will get some beer when we go there and he might drink one or two then he leaves the rest of the case there for his uncle. They both like the same beer….. When we had doctors appointments in Toronto they drove us and paid for most of it. If there is ever anything they need we can provide we will do it…….We would do anything for them as they would do for us.
    We may not be able to give much in the way of money but we can and do give of our time. This year the younger boy has spent a few days at the Salvation Army church helping unload, sort and put away food and such for the food bank and the Christmas hampers that went out this week. This morning we got a call from them, they had a 5 hour time slot at the grocery store across from us, would we be able to help out a little??? We did……for the whole 5 hours. It made things so much easier for them and we were happy to help.We have been helped out on the past by friends and we are quite willing to help others.
    You help people like your friend by example and here on the blog. There are a number of us very grateful for that help. None of us is perfect, we all make mistakes and, hopefully we learn from them. I’m sure you have taught your friend a few things and he has taught you in return. It may not be obvious at the moment but those lessons are there….. have a good weekend…

    1. Time is always a welcomed gift for many people. Yes he has taught me so much and I hope if anything he’s taken something away from me. You are right they may not be obvious at the moment but in time he may see the value in them just as I see in what he has taught me. Thanks Christine.

  3. I have a friend who likes to bring up money situations often and when I give any advice her response is ‘Well it’s (insert husbands name) money’ he can do what he wants, I have given up trying to give any advice mainly because it is frustrating to hear her talk like that. They have been married 6 years yet its still ‘his’ money, thinking like that they won’t get ahead. Mr. CBB I hope your best friend is able to figure it out for himself, if he is asking for help then I think it’s fair to give it as in the case with my friend she asks and then every response ends with well it’s up to him (husband) so I just keep my mouth shut. Budgeting and saving money really is a mindset and it may take more than others for some to figure out how to get there. All we can do as friends is give advice, whether or not they accept the advice is their choice.

    1. Thanks Katrina,
      Yes we talk about money and budgets etc and how he wants to get get a better job and pay off his bills and live a stress free life as much as possible. This guy is one of the hardest working guys I know and a father that loves so unconditionally it blows your mind. He’s great guy who wants to improve and I’m sure he will take what I’ve taught him and what he continues to learn and put it to practice even if it’s one step at a time. I’ll always be there for him.

  4. Many hugs to you, my dear friend. We have had situations too where we try to help friends/relatives, only to upset them. Mr. CBB, I know he recognizes in his heart of hearts that you have a heart of gold and only want to bless him. Hang in there, my friend. And thanks for the mention, too!

    1. I don’t think he’s upset we talk every day. He’s more concerned about his life and how to get from where he is now to where he needs to be. I know he will get there and he’s proved that he can hurdle milestones just from some of the goals he set and worked on together the past few months. He’s a warrior and made it this far I know he is going to make it to a place that makes him happy. I’ll be there if he needs me.

    2. I don’t think he’s upset we talk every day. He’s more concerned about his life and how to get from where he is now to where he needs to be. I know he will get there and he’s proved that he can hurdle milestones just from some of the goals he set and worked on together the past few months. He’s a warrior and made it this far I know he is going to make it to a place that makes him happy. I’ll be there if he needs me.

  5. It’s a tough balance. If we love someone and DON’T tell them about the great life-changing value of managing money well….are we doing them a disservice? Tough to say.

    1. That was more what it was about since he knows how i love budgeting and how it’s helped so he wanted to give it a try. This time of year is also tough because people are feeling the crunch of the holidays and then some. We are best friends, nothing will change that… not a budget that’s for sure but we’ve taught each other valuable lessons about life that we will carry with us and apply to our daily lives. Thanks Jake for a great article this morning.

  6. I am really glad to hear that you are backing off Mr CBB! Your friendship should not be in ANY way financial. It changes people, it changes the dynamics of the relationship and those changes are permanent.

    I made my own mistake last night. My life long best friend had an kitchen appliance give up the ghost just before a very busy Christmas at her house and out of the goodness of my heart, I sent a new one for Christmas. Bad move on my part. I know she felt the gift was “over the top” even though it was just over $25. I didn’t mean to be insulting or insinuating anything with the gift. But, my good intentions were not well received. 🙁 Unfortunately the order has entered the shipping process and can not be cancelled so I am destined to live with the consequences of my actions. I heard what she said though, and I will make sure that I do NOT send anything for a very, very long time! Hopefully that will help alleviate what she perceives to be an over indulgence on my part. 🙂

    I hope, for the sake of your friendship, that this will be the very last we hear about your best friend in a financial sense. Does he really want his business all over the blogoshere? Even if his name isn’t attached, it is humiliating to have his story shared for the whole world to comment on. Share your personal story, your personal methods, challenges and mistakes…it’s the only story that you need… it’s a good one full of all sorts of trials, tribulations, achievements and disappointments. 🙂

    My history says that if the friend is an adult and IF he has questions, he will ask. Accept him as he is, financial habits and all – or move on. He may not ever change and may be entirely ok with that. You need to be ok with it too.

    1. Hi Mary,
      He is aware of the blog and the posts and I would never have posted without his permission. I do accept him as he is and always will. I am always there for him I never tried to change him. He wanted to start getting back on track financially and I was there to help him as a best friend. You may hear about his finances again depending on whether he wants to talk about them to me for a blog post, that’s his choice. I accept that. Thanks for your comment Mary.

  7. I couldn’t agree more mate. Although having a bit of spare cash makes life a lot less stressful and more enjoyable, without my wife and kids to enjoy it with my life with be pretty much meaningless and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for the mention buddy, hope you have a good weekend.

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