DON’T LET THE EXTREME HEAT WARNINGS GET YOU DOWN THIS SUMMER
Spending time together this summer with your friends and family outdoors especially during a heat wave will include water, water and more water. Whether you are splashing in it or drinking it water seems to be the highlight of the summer all across Canada.
The Weather Network (TWN) has forecast dangerous heat warnings for most of Southwestern Ontario as of Monday with the humidex values reaching near 40. Yes, that’s Hot, Hot, Hot. It’s critical that we stay cool in these types of heat waves and to drink plenty of water.
If you live in the GTA and have had a sneaking suspicion that this year’s meteorological summer has been hotter than last years, you’d be absolutely right. -TWN
What is a heat wave?
According to The Weather Network a heat wave is;
- No official criteria
- Generally 3+ days over 32 degrees Celsius is accepted
- Dew point and humidity not taken into account.
With many cities applying a water ban for homeowners it’s easy to see that grass is looking lifeless and plants are screaming for rain. I’m sure many of you will agree with me but one of the hardest things to do for most homeowners is to keep their fingers away from cooling the house down with central air or window air conditioning units during the high periods of time-of-use.
If you’re anything like me you’ll stand in front of the thermostat and trying to justify whether you should turn it on while watching The Weather Network praying for some sort of weather forgiveness even a cool breeze.
One of the ways we combat the large hydro bill is to have working stand-only fans in the house and ceiling fans in all of our bedrooms and in the lounge. A fan is much cheaper to run than the central air however it still does not free you from summer expenses. Besides, who wants to stay indoors all summer anyways? Not me and neither does our son so my wife and I had to find some free summer fun in our city to help cool off and keep our budget in check.
If you’re a budget fanatic like we are or even if you watch your budget closely (which you should anyways) it’s important to always remember that there may be an alternative to spending money.
In the winter people complain it’s too cold and beg for the sunshine and when summer rolls in the opposite happens. The minute a heat wave strikes it can affect just about everyone who chooses to be outside in it or sat indoors without proper cooling mechanisms.
Besides drinking tonnes of water in a heat wave Mrs. CBB and I sat down last week and made a list of things to do in our area that would get the family out of the house and into the heat wave to cool off for free.
Although some of our choices are indoors it’s always nice to entertain and be comfortable without turning on your hydro. Being new parents learning about community organizations and events has been a transition for us as we’re not so much in the loop as we once were with the adult night-life.
With the new PokemonGo craze motivating all ages outdoors this summer hunting for virtual Pokemon characters local businesses are gearing up for more foot traffic and expect to see more people looking for free ways to cool off during our Texas-like heat wave.
I’m going to start this list off with something that many people don’t think about in the summer but is needed. There are plenty of organizations that are looking for volunteers whether it be indoors or outdoors in the summer. You may be asked to volunteer for a community event at the beach, kids camp or helping out at the local Food bank or soup kitchen.
Spending a bit of your time helping others is a great way to feel good and give back to your community. Best of all it’s another way to get out of the house and keep cool.
Not everyone has a car or can afford to do a day trip to the beach especially if you have to drive out-of-town so finding your own free fun to keep cool is a mall trip away.
I can’t tell you how many times we went around the mall for a walk when our son was a baby but it was nice to get away from the house for a bit and into some cool air.
This isn’t meant to be an all day event obviously but more of a change of environment. When you’re a new parent getting outside is like a family vacation so plan to do things together even if it’s a trip around the mall where it’s air-conditioned.
Just watch the wallet and keep window shopping as part of the plan.
Splash Pad Fun
Our family got to experience the joys of a splash pad earlier this week and all of us were smiling. My wife said it was such a beautiful afternoon to get out especially since we were in a heat wave warning. Our city has many splash pads which are all free for families to cool off during the summer months. Although our city taxes pays for these splash pads they are 100% for everyone to attend.
What is a splash pad?
If you’re not sure if you have one in your community just call city hall and they should be able to direct you to locations in your area if available. The splash pad is an unsupervised area for kids and their parents to cool off.
There may be slides, tubes, shower heads, spray jets, waterfalls and a host of other cool water features that all involve water. The ground is typically spongy which creates less hazard of falling as most go in bare foot. You can wear water shoes as well so there are options.
My wife and I were chasing our son around the pool while he played with his toy truck. We had a blast and it was great just to feel the mist of the water spraying on us and getting our feet wet. We weren’t as prepared as we would have liked to be for this trip. We even forgot the baby wipes. Every parents knows this is a big mistake next to having no diapers in tow.
Next time we go we will bring a blanket, chair and pack a lunch so we can make a full afternoon of fun in the water with our boy. Nothing beats sitting under a tree in the shade enjoy family time and splashing around at the splash pad. Don’t miss out.
Head to the Beach
There are beaches and provincial parks in Southwestern Ontario which makes going to local beaches a breeze. Whether it be a trip to Sauble Beach, Grand Bend you’ll find there are beaches hidden everywhere and a great way to cool off during an extreme heat wave-like we’ve experienced so far this summer. Pack a lunch and make a day of it.
If you’re looking for some of the best beaches in Canada check out this list of 22 of the most beautiful Beaches in Canada that you will want to visit if they are close to you this summer.
Swimming Pool- Go make friends
If you don’t own a swimming pool consider buying a kiddie pool that fits the entire family like we did. They are relatively inexpensive especially at the end-of-season. Last year we purchased a kiddie pool that comfortably fits our family for 75% off the retail price.
Although you’ll be paying to fill your kiddie pool you can bet the water costs will be less expensive than running your central air or air conditioner indoors. Hit up the dollar store for a huge bag of balloons and now you’ve got a water balloon fight that just about everyone loves. Create a back-yard oasis for the summer that motivates you to get outside with the family.
Organize fun things to do by searching Pinterest for ideas the family can enjoy with little or no expense to your budget. Alternatively, make friends with swimming pools and see what they are doing on the weekends. If you do try to invite yourself over at least bring food, beverages and snacks for everyone. It’s the least you can do for someone opening up their pool for you during a heat wave.
Library and Rec Centre summer fun
Our main city library and community rec center offers free programs in the summer for kids and parents either indoors at the library, in the pool or outside at the splash pad and playground. Our city also offers free kids programs at locations around the city that includes group play time, outdoor summer fun with water tables and other water events.
Call your local library or look online to see if there are any free indoor or outdoor events happening in your city.
Multi-Cultural and Arts events
This is a huge deal in Toronto but many cities have festivals that are multi-cultural in nature or country specific such as a Portuguese Festival or an Italian Festival. The best part is these events are almost always free, have indoor events that are air-conditioned and stuff for the entire family to do for free. There is always tonnes of food but if you don’t want to pay for food pack a lunch and enjoy the festivities and music for the day.
If you’re into the arts there is never a shortage of art events and concerts even in smaller communities that may showcase local talent or the riches of high-profile artists from out-of-town. It’s a great way to get out of the house to explore your community for free.
Home Depot free workshops
Our son isn’t old enough yet but if you’re 4 years old and up you can join in at Home Depot for one of their popular workshops. Every time we go to Home Depot our son can’t get enough of the tools section and he loves using his hands. When he’s old enough we’ll be signing him up for a free indoor summer event.
This free fun is for the adults as well because they want you to do the job right. Learn how to build a fence, install laminate flooring, painting or how to keep your closet organized by participating in a free summer workshop.
Don’t miss out on any free community events in your local area this summer especially the events that will cool you down for free during a heat wave as we’re experiencing. Our city has an indoor museum tour that will be free and air-conditioned which is educational and fun for the family.
Check online or your local community paper for free events close to you. Your city may also offer Movies in the park which is obviously outside but it’s free and you may find the evening hours will offer some relief from a heat wave earlier in the day.
We found this wonderful online resource called the Summer Fun Guide for Canadians which gave us plenty of ideas for upcoming events and places to explore. Some of them will cost money but not all and the best part is there are beaches all over Ontario so visiting an event and then heading to the beach for a jump in the water is a great way to cool down in this heat wave we’re having without stretching your budget.
Go Fishing or Boating
This is something we’ve already done with our son this summer while visiting his grandparents. My father-in-law is a huge fisherman and is out on the water just about every night. Our son was able to hold the fishing rod with his grandpa and the smile on his face was that of joy.
What was most pleasurable about the occasion was spending time with the seniors who we don’t often get to see. It’s nice to enjoy time on the water to cool down with our feet in the water and splashing each other while making memories to last a life-time.
If you don’t have a boat, sailboat, canoe or any other water driven fun toys maybe some of your friend do. If you get an invite don’t turn it down because getting out on the water is a wonderful experience and will certainly cool you down during a heat wave.
Summer only comes once a year
Enjoy summer while it lasts because soon enough we’ll be dusting off the winter gear. Brr.
What other free activities would you suggest to beat this summer heat wave?
Trouble I got into this week
This week went by so fast and we didn’t get much accomplished around the house apart from cleaning. I cleaned all the windows, inside and out like I do every year. I measured up the deck and was looking through deck photos to see what type of pergola I want to build. So far the wife and I haven’t agreed on anything specific but we have narrowed down a few that we wouldn’t mind.
Other than that I took our son for a few bike rides which he just loves. Now he tells us when he wants to go and play outside which is great. He’s even piecing together 3 words now which just sort of happened. It’s great!
The other day we made our way to the splash pad which was a tonne of fun since I’ve never been before. We’ll be back again likely next week as it helps our son integrate with other children in groups. This will help prepare him for pre-school or day care which we may enroll him in to prep him for kindergarten.
We finally made the trip to our son’s bedroom to start clearing it out. All of the clothes in his room are now the right size and we boxed stuff that was too small for him. It’s amazing how much stuff we have that he didn’t even get a chance to wear. Next the plan is to take his crib apart and put his toddler bed in his room so he can start sleeping in there. It’s going to take lots of transition time but we’re prepared for that.
A message from a friend of my wife saw us get a huge box of toddler books for free this week. I can tell you that our son probably has about 200 books almost all which were free or under $0.50 each. We are looking at a third bookshelf as the two we have now are packed to capacity. They are the smaller book shelves so our son can reach his own books. I think we paid $5 for one and the other was free.
I made a couple of new recipes this week which I’ll be sharing on the blog shortly. One involves gorgeous organic cherries and is to die for. It really surprised me the way it turned out.
Our son made some cash this week when he sold his sand box for $20 which he quickly spent on some new to him Melissa and Doug puzzles at an amazing price of only $2 each and lots of bins to organize his arts and crafts materials from the Goodwill.
That’s all for this week folks. Meet ya back here again next Saturday to fill you in on a crazy week in the CBB family.
Awesome posts I 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 blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each one. If you want to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details! I’m more than happy to chat via email to bring your story to life.
New: If your story submission gets chosen and published you will be entered into a yearly draw for a $25 Gift Card or $25 CDN via PayPal if you are from the USA.
Right now CBB is posting Tuesday (Grocery Game Challenge), Thursday (Personal Finance Post), Saturday (Personal Finance and Weekly Wrap-Up and a Frugal Recipe on Sunday!
Top performing CBB Post this week : How to Make Money When You’re Broke
- How to become financially secure so you forget it’s payday
- Supermarket confrontation and howto avoid embarrassment
- Simple Italian Tomato Salad
Fan Budget Brags
You got WHAT for HOW Much?
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 .
Join the Budget Brag Challenge 2016 and WIN!!!
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!
For 2016 if you send me your Budget Brag you will automatically get entered into a yearly draw for a surprise gift card.
If your Budget Brag gets chosen you get an extra ballot! So start sending in your brags with a photo and tell me about your deals. If you are from the USA and win I will PayPal you the money in CDN dollars. Open to Canada and USA only.
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.
Jen is back with her weekly Garage Sale Deals which are amazing as usual.
Here are today’s deals:
- Baby sleeper and children’s magnets for reward chart $1.98 ($2 since we no longer have pennies lol) at Salvation Army Thrift Store (stopped by after garage sales as they had a 50% off sale)
- Lego (brand new and sealed!), bouncy ball making kit and neon chalk $12 (Lego is a retired set and is $144 on Amazon)
- Bubbles (brand new), scotch tape (brand new) and play kitchen toys $3
- Marvel Avengers play shaving set $.50 (will use as a Christmas gift. Adam loves to pretend to shave with Daddy!)
Total spent $17.50
Making a difference (MAD)
Welcome to the 2016 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world. 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. I’m currently booking for August and September.
This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today it is my pleasure to share with you the personal finance blog, Smart Stewards.
Hi CBB Readers,
I am Sola Adesakin and the Host Steward at the Smart Stewards; a forum where I and others teach the principles of sound Personal Finance Management. On a daily basis, we address different topics that relate to personal finance such as Savings, Budgeting, Debt-Management among others.
Who Is Sola Adesakin?
I am a Chartered Accountant, with an MBA and many years of experience in teaching principles of Personal Finance as well as proffering financial solutions to Small and Medium size Enterprises.
What can Smart Stewards do for you?
Our Testimonials have shown that it doesn’t matter how bad your financial state may be; when you are committed to change, you will experience a change. No one can make you wealthy or debt free; it’s an individual thing and achievable if you can commit to the principles that have worked for many others.
You can move from debt to wealth and from stress to rest. You can partake in our free financial courses at the Smart Stewards Academy to help you on your journey towards financial freedom. Please subscribe to the blog for daily tips on how to make progress with your personal finance.
Thank you for reading and Thank you Mr CBB for the opportunity!
Food and grocery shopping are relevant to us because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.
We all have to eat to survive but just because we have a budget doesn’t mean we can’t eat delicious home-cooked meals that are drool-worthy.
If you are someone who would rather buy convenience foods consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch. Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you’ve accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.
For the past 2 years I’ve had a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world.
I also share recipes on the blog on Sunday either made by home cook and mom Nicola Don or myself.
This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Alyssa over at The Recipe Critic for these moist Blueberry Cream Cheese Cookies with Lemon Glaze. I’m a huge fan of blueberries and just about anything and these two ingredients pair well together. She says the texture is between a muffin and a chewy cookie which is perfectly fine with me. If I can dunk it, I’m good. With berry season in full-swing save this recipe to share with your family.
Cool Pinterest Find
I wanted to share a couple of busy boards for babies and toddlers that I found on Pinterest with all of you. The reason is that I made our son a busy board similar to the toddler busy board above built by the bloggers at Millionayres but on a larger scale loaded with more stuff to do.
The busy board can be a fairly frugal project depending on whether you can find used parts at second-hand shops and even the wood. I also painted the board the same as in the photo which took some time but well worth it. Our son loves his busy board. I’ve already had requests to custom make one or two for friends. I may just start a new hobby.
Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with all of you. Please head on over and give the post a read and let them know that Mr. CBB sent you if you comment. Thanks.
Editor’s pick (That’s me Mr.CBB) This week I read a post over at Money Coaches by Sandra Mann who explains a bit more about the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) expansion and how it will affect Canadians, most importantly to help fine-tune retirement.
I agree with her that most people don’t stay with the same company for long as they tend to bounce around to new roles as opposed to up the ladder. These days company pensions are far and few and retirement savings are coming from our pockets that in turn affects the budget especially when so many other expenses take priority.
What I do agree with is when people take money from one pile to use for another and say they will go back and top it up when things settle down. She’s right when she says that it won’t which is why it’s critical to balance the budget.
The plan is usually to put their resources on something more immediate, just for a short time, and when “things” settle down, they will double down and catch up. It’s an idea that rarely works, because “things” never settle down, “things” just change from one pressing priority to another.
Finance Quote Of the Week
Mr. Franklin is correct when saying that little expenses can sink a ship. Most people tend to push those small shops or coffee runs out of their budget but if the money comes from your bank account it MUST be documented. This is a good one for the refrigerator for budget motivation.
Google Search Giggles
Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. If you notice any spelling errors below this is because I share the exact way it was typed into a search engine query to land on my blog.
- My husband refuses to budget– Until the bank is calling to take away his home and he has to claim bankruptcy. Not that this will happen to everyone but using a budget is a clear path to understanding financial health and certainly will prepare you for future retirement.
- Rogers Promo May 1999- That seems like an odd thing to search for online seeing as it’s 2016.
- Why is squash so expensive in Canada?– For the same reason everything else is expensive. Get used to it.
- How to get $100,000 to pay off debt– Magic spell sounds like a start.
- How to steal from a grocery store- This always breaks my heart when I see this come up in search because it only means someone is struggling. I’d opt for the Food Bank as you won’t get arrested there.
That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by and we’ll see ya all again next Saturday!
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- The Saturday Weekend Review #177: Inexpensive last-minute Father’s Day Gifts
- The Saturday Weekend Review #178: How I Made My Move To Canada From the UK
- The Saturday Weekend Review #179: When you’d Rather Be A Redneck Than A Rich Girl
- The Saturday Weekend Review #180: How to Make Easy Money When You’re Broke
- The Saturday Weekend Review #181: Should I buy a Cheaper or more Expensive house?