The Saturday Weekly Review

Woman Confesses Shopaholic Game Helped Pay $10,000 Debt : The Saturday Weekend Review #128

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The Saturday Weekend Review logo- shopaholic gameWINDOW SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP


If you are scratching your head wondering what on earth the Shopaholic Game is trust me, I was too

No, I did not invent another game to help all of you save money however I certainly realized just how a challenge can motivate someone to save money and pay off debt.

Not everyone can create success alone but when there are a few people involved with the same goals in mind it becomes a challenge of who’s going to make it to the end victorious.

It’s not everyday someone drops the term “Shopaholic Game” into a conversation BUT this is what happened to my wife this past week while we were coincidentally out shopping.

I don’t know what it is about when we get together with friends BUT money always seems to pop into the conversation and we aren’t the initiators.

Trust me when I say we don’t talk much about finance with family and friends however we are always more than happy to hear what’s happening in their financial lives.

Since we went home for the Canada Day Holiday this past week my wife decided to meet up with a friend at the mall. With baby in tow the wife and I met up with her long-time friend at a shop in the mall where I picked up some new sandals. I was in desperate need and I’m picky about what goes on my feet because shoes are very important to me.

We were just cashing out so it was perfect timing that we all started chatting and walking around the mall with our son. My wife and her joked around, had some laughs all the while window shopping.

I thought for sure my wife would go in a few stores just to see what was trending and hot in the clothing world. I was right but she checked in first at Pay-less Shoes because she also needed a new pair of sandals.

There was nothing my wife liked but her friend who didn’t have to buy anything pulled down about 5 boxes of shoes and was trying them on. She told my wife she enjoys trying on nice shoes and that she had a large collection of shoes at home.

My wife has her own little shoe stash but nothing like the 300+ pairs her friend has. When she said this my jaw dropped but I turned my head so no one could see. It wasn’t about the money either it was me wondering where she found a home for all those shoes in the house.

At first I thought, “I wonder if she has a great job and no debt ” just to afford all the stuff she says she has. You know she talks more about what she has but the debt eventually makes its way out into the open. Initially you would assume she has money but that was hardly the case.

She admitted to my wife while walking through another store that she is a confessed shopaholic. My wife was not in any shock to hear it because we are both huge fans of personal finance. We’ve heard it all before.

BUT wait a minute here the plot thickens with a twist… she’s no longer in DEBT anymore? Great we both thought. She spoke up with a sense of freedom in her voice to tell us that she had $10,000 in consumer debt but it was paid off.

The debt at the time consisted of all the stuff that she had bought then realized she didn’t need as time went on. I thought it was great that she had paid off her debt but I wanted to know, HOW SHE DID IT?

Yes, this budget guru wanted to know how she managed to lock away the shopaholic in her to come back down to financial reality. It’s not easy to start the debt pay-off journey so when someone opens up about their debt problem it means they do want to succeed.


The Shopaholic Game


The good news is that she was the first to pay off her debt in what she/they call the “Shopaholic Game”

So, what exactly is this Shopaholic Game?

It’s apparently a game that three friends came up with to help themselves stop spending and to get their debt under control. They were all using a budget but only tracking with a paper and pen which is great for beginners. Her other 2 friends who would frequent the mall with her also had shopaholic issues and debt.

She said to my wife that she realized when they would all shop together they would each spend more money than if they had of shopped alone. When you have 3 women all who have shopping issues together it’s easy to persuade someone to buy something.

Most often it was a case of if creating full outfits for work. Sometimes one outfit would cost her $500. It was simple to spend $1000 a month on clothes.

One afternoon while they were doing their thing at the mall shopping they were sitting in the food court enjoying a cup of coffee. The Shopaholic Game was born that afternoon when one of the friends said that they were behind one payment on the mortgage and she had to get her shopping under control.

All of them agreed she said and so they came up with some rules for the Shopaholic Game that had to be met each week. It almost seemed like The Grocery Game Challenge from the perspective that the Shopaholic Game was motivational to save money to help pay down debts or increase investing potential for retirement.

What they had to do in this Shopaholic Game was when they wanted to buy something instead of buying it they would document all the specifics about the product. They would then bring back the information weekly to the round table one of the women had in her basement to discuss.

Honestly it all seemed like lots of wasted time just to try and control spending money they didn’t have but this is what they needed to do to stop the debt. I gave them credit for that.

At the end of the month the person who was able to track their potential impulse shops and review them without purchasing them would get a star on a debt chart. The chart had their debt at the top and spots for stars.

The person who made it to the end with the least debt over the course of a year won this Shopaholic Game but most importantly they paid off or down their debts.

The morale of the Shopaholic Game was to keep the shoppers out of the stores as much as possible and to teach them that impulse buying is a HUGE reason people are in so much debt.

Once you eliminate bad habits such as shopping too much or even smoking you can use that extra cash you have hanging around to pay down debt. Each of the ladies made a debt pay down schedule and over the course of the year my wife’s friend was able to pay off $10,000 worth of debt.

So, instead of spending up to $1000 a month on stuff she didn’t need she was able to get rid of her debt. This is just another case of someone who earns a very good living from what she tells us and having to resort to desperate measures to be able to make ends meet.

Now they have no debt and the mortgage is always paid on time and the stress is gone. The biggest lesson my wife and I learned from this conversation was that challenges are important to many people.

When a challenge presents itself to someone who needs to make change in their life they may just take that challenge and push themselves to succeed, Why? In the simplest form, because there are others just like him/her battling the same war, spending money.

So for now she’s only allowed to window shop and any time she needs something she has to save money first then shop second. No debt besides the mortgage equals the best time of their lives financially.

My wife did end up buying a really nice pair of sandals which cost her $59.99 plus tax and came with a glowing recommendation. Guess who already had a pair?

Would you participate in a Shopaholic Game or challenge of sorts to help you pay off your debt? How would the Shopaholic Game motivate you to succeed?


CBB Week At A Glance


This week was all about our little family spending time together. We went to my wife’s parents house for a few days which was a nice getaway. Since it was Canada Day we took our son to the fireworks and parade for his first time.

He loved the parade although it was the police and fire trucks that got him fired up. His big eyes were wide open every time the sirens would go off and he would clap his hands.

At night we participated in the fireworks and festivities with the rest of the city. It was busy but worth getting out of the house for some free fun.

I picked cherries from my father-in-laws house and made some Rhubarb Cherry Apple Sauce which I will share on the blog this Sunday. The rhubarb was from our back garden.

I’m starting to create new recipes for rhubarb but this one I made up just to see what it would be like. It turned out beautiful and our son loves it with vanilla yogurt on top. (So do we)

Other than that I didn’t post too much this week as I wanted to chill out a bit. A writing break is good once in a while.

Happy 4th of July, Independence Day to all of my American Readers!

How was your week?


Published This Week


Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below.

If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the Home Page and send in your questions.

If you want to share a story via a Fan Question only please ensure that there is minimum 500-1000 words and details… we love details!

Right now CBB is posting Tuesday (Grocery Game Challenge) , Thursday (Personal Finance Post), Saturday (Personal Finance and Weekly Wrap-Up and a recipe on Sunday!

This week I posted only on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday so I could spend time with my family.


Budget Brags


Submit your Deal or Brag:

Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge 2015.

What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!!!

If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

Jens garage sales June 27 2015

Today Jen shares more garage sale scores from last Saturdays morning drive around. Thanks Jen!

  • Snow suit $5 (asking $7)
  • Breast milk storage bags $.25
  • Beer t-shirts $4 for both
  • Blue t-shirts $2 for both
  • Baby play mat toy $1
  • Backpack $1
  • Pillows $1
  • Baseball helmet $2 (asking $3)
  • Humidifier $5 (asking $10)

Total $21.25


Making A Difference (MAD)


Note: If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you.

This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans.

Today I’d like to welcome my blogger friend Toni from The Debt Free Divas!

Hi Mr. CBB and Fans!

My name is Toni Husbands. I’m an author, financial coach, and co-founder of the Debt Free Divas. This blog is the brain child of three contemporaries who set out on a mission to help people eradicate debt and keep more of their hard earned money in order to build wealth.

The Debt Free Divas is a community of like-minded debt dumpers who share information, motivate one another, and challenge ourselves to achieve financial goals.

As a group, we hold each other accountable and minimize the chances that people suffer in silence. Knowledge is power and debt freedom is definitely mission possible.

I hope to 1) help people recognize that living with debt is optional and 2) help people execute a plan to become and live debt free.

We’re helping to change mindsets by spreading the debt free message through social media, our podcast – The Midday Money Show, and our blog.

Find out more about the Debt Free Divas and how you can join the debt free movement at


Top Recipe


greek saladFood  and grocery shopping is a BIG part of CBB because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.

If you are someone who would rather buy convenience meals or products consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch.

Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Food Bloggers from around the world.

I created this second Facebook page because I love food so much and I wanted to showcase only food 24/7 and this is where I do it.

I also share recipes on CBB once a week on Sundays either made by me or my in-house home blog cook Nicola Don!

This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Debra over at Bowl Me Over for this delicious summer Greek Salad. It’s that time of year that vegetables are so cheap and in abundance and salads are what we eat quite a bit of at home. This is the perfect salad recipe! Thanks Debra.


Editor’s Pick


Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with you and an Editor’s top blog post pick.

Editor’s blog post pick this week goes to The Financial Diet with “When Spending on Experiences is what’s making you broke. A great read about how you only live once, travelling, paying for those little experiences and how you can enjoy them at home for less.


Keyword Searches


Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

  • How did you feel after paying off your debts– Awesome and Free!!
  • Husband spends lots of money then blames wife- The numbers don’t lie. Where is the paper trail? The bank must show withdrawals? Who is taking the money out?
  • Rules for dumpster diving- Don’t fall in! Haha!
  • What stores throw away good stuff?- Ha, like you’re going to find out on here. They aren’t going to tell you their secrets. They are keeping it all for themselves.
  • $8000 for a family of 5 Budget-  Only you will know if this is sufficient by using a budget.

Thanks for dropping by and reading!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my daily blog post by entering your email address on the home page and verifying the subscription email once it is sent to you.


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  1. I think that challenge is a great idea for a shopaholic! They learned how to control their impulses and paid down debt.

  2. Sounds like your wife’s friend found something that works for her and that is what really matters when you get right down to it. Awesome for her!!
    The last pair of footwear I bought for me came from Dollarama…a pair of cheap flip flops. I go barefoot in the house but do need to have something on my feet when I go outside, whether I want to wear something or not. I did buy a pair of jeans yesterday at Walmart for the younger boy for his birthday today. Given how slim and tall both my boys are it can be hard to find jeans to fit and i lucked out!! Best part was the price…$18.47 for a pair of mens jeans!!! They don’t look or feel cheap at all so we are both very happy with them!!
    Jen got some nice deals as usual!!!
    Hope you have a great weekend!!!

    1. I never find jeans second-hand that fit me so I buy them new. I buy cheaper ones at Giant Tiger for every day stuff around the house, going shopping etc. I did buy 2 pairs of pricey jeans that will last me longer to use when I go out somewhere I need to dress up a bit more. Jen did find some amazing deals. That humidifier was a great deal. I hope you have a great weekend too!

  3. Great idea. I’ll share it with clients. You should design a PDF that outlines all the rules and has info about your blog. People will download it and share it amongst friends and it will bring more traffic to the site.

    1. I don’t know about that… but The Grocery Game Challenge has done just that over the past almost 4 years!! I’ll consider it if they ladies let me.

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