The Saturday Weekly Review

Is a Housewarming Party another excuse to get free stuff? : The Saturday Weekend Review #138

The Saturday Weekend Review logo- Housewarming partyWELCOME TO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD


I thought getting invited to a housewarming party was an excuse to get together with friends and drink the night away, but you may think differently.

What really is a housewarming party all about?
A housewarming party traditionally is a way for new homeowners to invite family and friends around after they’ve moved in to tour the new home and party.

A housewarming party gift is a must for this type of event although some hosts may say not to bother especially if they already have a full-house of furnishings.

If you want the rest of your new neighbours to know that you are moving in with a bang have a housewarming party in your back-yard and show them who the King is, ha.

I’m only having a laugh but it happens and we’ve experienced that first-hand 2 weekends ago when our new neighbours moved in. That night we heard loud music, laughter, dogs barking and car doors opening and closing all-night long. I think they shook up the neighbourhood because we don’t normally hear anything. Our street is made up of seniors, older married couples and the odd younger couple with kids.

Just recently we are seeing younger couples moving in the area with kids. The housing market is so ridiculously high in the Greater Toronto Area that we know of two couples on our street that were sold their new house at a deep discount from their grandparents.

They told us if they hadn’t they would never have been able to afford to bring up their family in this neck of the woods. They would be renting. At this time two years ago we were probably the youngest couple on our street. Not any more.


The unexpected housewarming party invitation


Many of us who budget our money can’t really budget for such events because we don’t know when and if they will happen. It’s always nice to have a projected expense for a gift category which means you can estimate costs of gifts you may need to buy for the year, including birthdays.

Friends of ours who just bought their second home sent out housewarming party invitations last week. We started to think of excuses why we couldn’t go but decided that they are good friends of ours and we really should be there to support them. Besides, we wanted to check out their new home.

When we opened the invitation another friend of ours was at our house who laughingly spoke up and said “Housewarming parties are just another way for people to get free stuff”. I laughed too because I could already hear the mixed reviews I’d get from all of you about this topic. I’m somewhere in the middle on this one.

I guess housewarming parties fall next to baby showers, wedding showers and so on. I know many people who detest going to these types of events and believe they’re just money grabs. Not all people give gifts because depending on culture it’s all about the cash. Money is always a prized gift but don’t get too greedy, accept what is given with a smile. No one says you have to spend a fortune on a housewarming party gift either though.

Some people may add a birthday party to that money-hungry list as it’s true that some parents have birthday parties for their kiddos and encourage them to invite everyone in their class or those they haven’t played or talked to in years.

Some of those kids have no interest in going because they don’t really hang out or talk to the kid and their parents make them go. I’m not sure what’s worse, not inviting the entire class or inviting them all where some kids are just miserable about the pure experience.

Adults can be just as greedy as they invite people they hardly know or haven’t seen in ages just to get more presents or more booze to line the liquor cabinet. Weddings are the worst for this. I’m just being realistic here, it happens. I bet you can think back to an invite you got from someone you haven’t heard from in a long while.

Even though someone may say, “Don’t bring a gift” you know if you don’t you will feel horrible about it. My wife once got an invite to a 30th birthday party from a woman she hasn’t seen since high school yet found her on Facebook.

I know she was being nice but my wife had no interest in meeting up with her again this way. I think one on one first would have been more appropriate rather than getting a few minutes of her time at her party to re-connect as friends.


How often should you have a housewarming party?


When our friend said that housewarming parties were just to get free stuff it had us wondering if people who buy more than one house should even have housewarming parties. Some people like to buy and sell their house every few years.

That can turn into lots of parties, unless of course you don’t mind the party factor especially if your traditional housewarming gift idea is a plant in a flower-pot or something similar. You can pick these up for fairly cheap or even better if you can make the plant yourself from one you already have on your property.

The idea of buying large housewarming party gifts like furniture or house decor can get pricey unless you can source something second-hand on Kijiji or other sites. Then again, what if the item you buy doesn’t suit their tastes? You might just end up blowing money on something they will turn around and sell when you’re not looking. The funny twist though is they may just make more money from it, haha!

You might not care but you should, it’s your hard-earned money after all so choose your housewarming party gift wisely or ask the host what they may be in need of if that is appropriate.


Bringing a housewarming party gift


So, what do you buy for someone who has practically everything and is having their second housewarming party since buying their first home?

Good question and one we need help with from all of you because we are stumped!

Here are a few of the ideas that came to our mind:

  • Tea towels or bath sheets
  • Gift Certificate for house cleaning, yard maintenance work or a retail store
  • Alcohol
  • New flatware
  • Yankee Candles
  • Coffee Gift Basket
  • Homemade Foods or a bundt cake (joking haha)
  • USB Plug Wall Outlets (we have these and they are great)
  • Decorative DIY Wall Chalkboard
  • Expensive olive oil
  • A new set of freshly labelled and filled spice mason jars
  • Tool box filled with new quality tools

I’m not sure if these will be the best housewarming gifts to pick from but we wanted to bring something different. A housewarming party is a great way to just forget about your daily stresses and just get out, which many people find hard to do after a hard work-week or dealing with the kids.

The invite also suggested that if we wanted to bring easy finger foods that we are more than welcome too. I normally always make something when we go to a party so this was a no-brainer for me. The best part is making something that becomes a central talking piece among people and not boring housewarming party food like chips and dip.

Although we didn’t have a housewarming party when we bought our first house together we aren’t too worried about attending this one. Even if this house is their second home and some people may think it’s a housewarming party just to get free stuff we look at it as an opportunity to ‘adult’ a bit.

Sometimes life such as work or family obligations get in the way and we forget to live a little. A little adult time is nice even if it means wrapping a housewarming party gift and bringing something for everyone to munch on.

Do you think housewarming parties are held just to get free stuff? What would you bring? Should housewarming parties only be held for first-time home buyers?


CBB Week At A Glance


This week was just as busy as the last however we did manage to get out as a family to pick up some groceries and our Halloween candy. I promise not to touch the four boxes of chocolate bars in the freezer… and repeat.  My wife made me say this over and over. She knows what I’m like with chocolate. Good thing I love to run!

The chocolate bars were on sale at Zehrs so we picked them up while we could. We used to load up after Halloween and freeze it until the next year but we didn’t get out after the last Halloween so we missed out.

We’re still looking at our options for Halloween costumes as we have about 4 of them. They were all gifted to us by someone in the past year. This year our son will go door to door so we are both going out with him then coming home to hand out candy.

We’ve also started to pack up all of our sons summer clothes and bringing out the Fall and Winter items. While on Kijiji the other day my wife found a Children’s Place 2 piece snow suit in mint condition for $15 so we picked that up.

A friend of ours says she may have winter boots for him so I’m hoping that works out otherwise we’ll keep looking. We’ve learned that we have to ‘plan’ with him (the sacred word of all parents) otherwise we are running around like chickens looking for what we need.

That was my week…how was yours?



Published This Week


Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below. If you are looking for past Saturday Weekend Review posts scroll down to the bottom of this post where I will list up to 5 previous weeks for you to read.

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!


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.

Today Jen P shares her latest Garage Sale find!

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans,

I was fortunate to find these amazing Children’s headphones which are soft and fuzzy like earmuffs and have a retractable cord. Brand new in box. Asking $4. Paid $2.

-Jen P

toddler headphones Biker Bearz


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.

Hey CBB Readers!

I’m Thias and I run the newly launched personal finance blog, It Pays Dividends. You can also find me bumming around on Twitter @ItPaysDividends.

The reason I started on my personal finance journey wasn’t because I found myself in massive debt or that we were constantly spending too much, but rather because a major life event happened.

In August 2014, my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child. This event helped me realize that I needed to become better in everything I did so I would be able to provide the life for our daughter that I knew she deserved.

It helped push us to prioritize paying off the remainder of our student loans, which we can happily say we completed this past June. We began talking about our finances more, what we valued in life, and begin planning for longer term goals.

We are more conscious on what we spend our money on and making sure we continue to save a good portion of our monthly income.  I’ve also almost convinced my wife that the stock market isn’t a rigged game and that you can make money in it if you have a long-term focus.

I began exploring ways that I could be more productive and gain back more time that I would be able to put towards our growing family.  Who knew what a big different a simple daily to-do
list can make?

These things are what drove me to begin It Pays Dividends.  I realized that there are more things in life that you can earn you dividends from than just your investments.

Every decision you make in life has the potential to pay you something down the road, whether it is taking time to read each day, the decision on where to invest your money, or whether you are going to eat good, healthy foods.

I am not perfect in any one of these areas, but I continue to strive to find ways to improve myself, and hopefully help others improve as well.

Life is too short to not try and make a better life for yourself every day.  So check out It Pays Dividends to learn about things like not having a pro-debt mindset, utilizing small wins to accomplish your goals, and ways to save more money.

I hope that my experiences and insight will help others be able to realize dividends in their personal lives as well as their finances.



Top Recipe


pumpkin spice woopie pie cookiesFood  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 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 The Noble Pig Winery Blog for these amazing looking Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies filled with Maple Cream. I just want to reach into Internet land and steal a few of these beauties to have with my cuppa tea right now.


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 pick (That’s me Mr.CBB) is a Globe and Mail online post. Should this Couple Dig Away Their Mortgage or Grow Their RRSP’s– My answer-I think it’s pretty clear they should get rid of the mortgage.

What do you think they should do?


How people find CBB


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.

  • Why can’t I get a good positive line on a Dollar Store Pregnancy Test: If you get any hint of a line at all I’m betting you are pregnant. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just need to see it! Get tested at your docs office if you’re unsure.
  • Rich people who loan money to strangers for free– Some people hope there is that one person out there to help them out.
  • Best Grocery List– Honoured you found my blog!
  • House has not sold in over a year- You may want to take a look at that price, get a better agent, fix it up, rent it out or suck it up and stay. Sometimes the market is so saturated that unless you lower your price real low it will sit.

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