Let’s face it, if you owe money to people you have financial problems that need to be addressed and attacked with a plan.
Your money issues might not necessarily be problems that will cause you financial stress.
On the other hand if your debt keeps growing you may want to re-think how certain events might affect your stress levels.
Finances are for life not just until you are debt free because financial problems never really go away they just get masked with dreams.
Financial problems may be considered consumer debt, facing bankruptcy, creditors calling, owing money to family and friends, no money to pay bills and even the unknown. The list is endless BUT people with little to no money aren’t the only people with financial problems.
When you are in debt that can easily change if you lose your job and can’t pay the money you owe.
Can you see how that might be a problem?
The birth of Canadian Budget Binder was created to share a journey of inspiration, new life and financial problems.
I’m that “guy” Mr.CBB A.K.A (MO), welcome to my blogging hobby!
Since the first blog post at CBB our budgeting journey sure has changed as expected. I thought I might tackle chatting a bit about living debt free, blogging and life changes.
You might think just because I moved to Canada with some money in my pocket meant that I shouldn’t have had any financial problems, think again.
Having a University degree and many years of working experience behind me in the UK I struggled to get a job in Canada. No one would hire me without Canadian experience. I would be lying if I didn’t say I could feel the stress mounting up.
Not only was I living in a new country where I thought it would be reasonably easy to find a job but my career seeking journey turned out to be a disaster. All sorts of things were running through my mind, mainly about financial security and my new wife.
My wife had a decent job but this was all about me. I was the one who was responsible for my career and I was faced with finding a job, using my savings or returning to school. Once I had my University degree swapped over and credits applied, off to school I went.
My financial problems weren’t over by a long shot. There was no way I was getting OSAP or any type of loan so the financial burden of my education was all on me.
When I started looking for a job in Canada the most I could get paid was minimum wage. It was disheartening knowing the education I had behind me but not a shock knowing what I know today. Most educated students struggle to find a job in Canada that eventually pays well.
There is such a misconception when moving to the USA or Canada to “live the dream”. Sure circumstances may be different in terms of economy but jobs are scarce no matter where you live.
Back in the UK where I bought my first house at 21 and my second at 24 I was always living simple. I knew that financial problems were only a step away if something were to happen to my career.
I don’t think many people give much thought to what they would do in the event they do lose their job as opposed to trying to be a good employee. Working hard, experience and a few bucks in the bank will only get you so far and I knew that.
I was always looking for a deal because living frugal meant I could pay my bills, mortgage and still have a few dollars left over to invest in my pension plan at work.
I don’t think looking back that I ever dreamed that finance would be such a huge part of my life today nor that I would be writing about it.
It’s amazing to see finance related posts I’ve written shared at The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and on some well-known financial websites.
Financial problems never end
It’s true just because you are debt free that doesn’t mean that your financial problems are over, far from it. Unless you have money in the bank that will carry you until you are buried in the ground then you have financial problems in your path.
So many people think that they will be fine come their retiring years relying on the government and the sale of their home but I don’t trust that for a minute.
Anything could happen and that’s similar to putting all of your eggs in one basket although some people only have this system to rely on.
Rely on your own savings and investments not that of which is apparently coming your way.
Where would we be if…
When I found my first job after my Canadian graduation it was then that I started to really get a grip on living in Canada and our finances. I had no idea about the cost-of-living until I had actually spent a good year here.
We weren’t using a budget yet but money was always a topic for the wife and I because we were starting our lives together and we knew we didn’t want debt to be a part of it.
I often wonder where we would be today had I have not had the career luck over the years. I certainly don’t think we would be mortgage free. Although it wouldn’t have been the end of the world because the mortgage typically is the longest debt held by a homeowner. Most don’t rush to pay it off as fast as we chose to do.
I possibly would be making less money than I do today which means that we likely wouldn’t be living in the house we have or doing the renovations that I’m doing.
I’ve since come to realize that no matter if you live in a house or an apartment that your financial problems never really go away.
Debt free doesn’t mean you’re done
That’s right just because you have no debt doesn’t mean that you get to live life for free or on easy street. When one door closes another opens especially in the financial world.
Our net worth may have gone up and is going up but since closing the door on our mortgage we welcomed our baby boy into the family. That means that we have baby financial problems to address with our budget.
The best part is those financial problems make it all worth it because he’s such a joy in our lives. Parenting is far from easy or cheap to do but very rewarding.
Paying for diapers and even his education savings put a dent in our pretty budget savings every month. Remember that door closing that I was just talking about… nothing lasts forever.
We are to the point where most of our net income is spent, if not now but very soon we will be living on a tight(er) budget. It’s not the end of the world for us because we could stop payments on certain things to liquify cash and life would go on.
My point is that with every level of financial freedom comes a new set of financial problems.
Once we moved out of our rental we were able to buy our first house together. It was then that money really took front seat in our financial conversations.
Fear of losing our home or not being able to pay bills set in and with that we were documenting our numbers on paper. It wasn’t long after this that we started to budget which was certainly different for us but boy did it open our eyes to the expenses we had and money we spent.
That’s why I started this blog. I needed a place to document our financial problems and share how we were going to combat them one by one.
I’ve since realized that we are far from alone in this budgeting journey. Many of you that read CBB are now budgeting and have come to realize just how important a budget truly is.
The fans want to know…
I get lots of reader mail here at CBB and I wrote this post today because I wanted to share with all of you about common questions we get from fans.
- Why do you still work so hard when you have no debt?
- You have no financial problems. You don’t even know what it’s like to be poor, those are financial problems.
- A budget isn’t going to help us save as much money as you have.
- The budget is only for people who earn lots of money.
- Dude, you don’t need to budget, you’re rich.
- Do you even make money blogging?
Those are just a few questions and comments sent my way about our financial journey. It is those types of questions that make me wonder just how much effort people put into their finances.
Some fans are just curious and really want to know… so they ask. I’m not offended rather intrigued how people view money. You can’t just be a money saver and think that you will get ahead in the game of financial wars. It doesn’t work that way.
I may not know what it’s like to be poor but I do know that my parents struggled and I didn’t get all the gadgets and fancy clothes like some of my friends. What poor is to one poor means something different to another.
Budgeting is for everyone and not just for those that are strapped for cash or in debt. We will continue to budget for as long as we can because we have experienced the benefits. We’d be fools to dump it in the trash and say we were done with it.
I never started this blog with the mindset “Can I make money blogging?” only because I had no idea you could nor did I care to.
This is not considered a business for me rather a place where I can talk about life and finances. Over the years I’ve realized just how much work it takes to monetize a website and be happy you don’t get those nasty pop-ups when you visit CBB.
Blogging has become my hobby and yes you can make money blogging although what I do make gets filtered right back into maintaining the blog. It’s not cheap running a blog especially if you have to pay people to help you maintain it.
We are hardly living on easy street and everything we have come to own is because we never gave up trying. Saving money is more than just setting cash aside every month. You have to take your entire financial picture and accept all of it as a financial problem you need to address.
Now that we are debt free I am faced with catching up with thousands of dollars of RRSP contribution room. My retirement is a big deal to me because my working years in Canada might not be as long as others.
This means when I come to retire I won’t be getting as much of a pension as someone who has worked in Canada their entire life. I’ll likely get a UK pension but I don’t even know what that will be and I’m not waiting around to find out before I take action.
My defined benefit plan at work right now is not permanent so until that day comes I’m treating it as a financial perk in the moment.
There are days I wonder why I blog and then there are days that I’m happy I’m still blogging. This blog wasn’t created to become as big as it has today but it has shown me there is a huge gap in personal outlets for people who want to talk about their financial problems and successes.
I believe that financial problems are a problem for everyone and until you own up to them they will sit quietly in the back of your mind. This little blog started out as the engine that could and is still chugging along at a fast speed.
I’ve learned so much along the way whether it be from other bloggers or from the fans who write or chat to me every day but my perspective on finance has changed. We only really get a glimpse into our own lives so we don’t know what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes.
I thought when we paid off the mortgage I would quit blogging like many PF bloggers who start a debt blog do. They get rid of the debt and they are gone forever. Not this guy.
Stick around and hang out with us
Canadian Budget Binder is a place where financial problems are real and we attempt to showcase how money affects not only our family but for all the fans who pop in on a daily basis.
The best part about being debt free is your financial stress levels are minimized. It’s been over a year now for us where we only pay for investments and living expenses. One thing for sure is that I can promise you your budgeting journey won’t be a waste of time.
If my hobby has become your daily stop to chat and read about financial problems and successes I welcome you to my second home.
This blog might not be successful financially but what we do have here is a fan base that is a bigger success on its own. I’m Mr.CBB and this is our financial journey.
Do you have a hobby that helps to keep you focused?
Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?
- Check out my new Free Recipe Index
- If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving Lists!
- You can now have full access to my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide in Canada.
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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/suphakit73