Become Debt Free By Asking The Mirror These 3 Questions : The Saturday Weekend Review #192

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Now is the best time to become debt free and unleash yourself from the daily stress that accompanies owing money for stuff you’ve bought or already enjoyed. Debt is a dark place because you always feel attached to someone who can make or break you financially.

Some people feel vulnerable because of money and having to take out loans or putting purchases on credit and they should be. We all are susceptible to the dark alley that accompanies debt if it’s not paid back to whom it may concern. As fast as it’s given everything we own can be taken away. That’s terrifying.

Focusing on ways to work harder for ourselves so we don’t have to rely on credit or creating unnecessary debt is possible but without your support you’ll never succeed.

Having a student loan or a mortgage is just as important as consumer debt however these are debts that most people have. We take these debts on in hopes of getting ahead financially with a solid career and having equity in real estate.

If you want to become debt free and wipe out everything including the mortgage then you need a starting point. You can’t pick and choose what you want to do or not do because in the end you’ll always have that debt. You have to do it right and you have to do it now. The longer you hang on to debt the more it will cost you with interest accumulation and the less likely you will feel motivated to pay it off.


I want to become debt free


Typically the breaking point for those who want to become debt free is that they notice their vision isn’t being met in life. They are also tired of not having money and feeling overworked with nothing to show for it.

We’ve all had career goals growing up dreaming about becoming a doctor, writer, pilot, manager, business owner, nurse, painter or even a farmer. Whatever your dream was if you aren’t living it and you want it then you have to go get it. It’s never too late to go back to school like I did when I had just turned 30 years old. My first round of University didn’t get me the job I wanted so I went back to school to do it all over again.

You may not work in the career that you’ve always wanted but finding what makes you happy creates a sense of belonging. With that it motivates you to become organized, focused and willing to make changes to your life that will shift stress out the door and debt out the window.

I’m not making this easier than it sounds because it’s not. Starting a new career, moving to a new city or country, new apartment or going back to school is all tough stuff. Amazing how easy it is to create debt but a pain in the back-side to pay it back.

Related: Not having one of the best paying jobs is embarrassing

Don’t be ashamed of the person you’ve become, where you work, don’t work or how much you earn. Depression is a huge problem among people who are low-income and people who are wealthy. It shows no mercy on how much money you have or don’t have in the bank. This is your life and if you plan to stick around until your 100 you’ve got some time to sort yourself out but don’t wait forever. You can’t get back the time after it passes.

Related: I’m ashamed I owe money because I chose to conform

become-debt-free-by-asking-yourself-3-questions-in-the-mirrorWhen all you have is creditors calling for money you owe them or your mailbox is stuffed with overdue accounts your life needs the transition.

You can’t keep going this way unless you want to meet Bankruptcy face to face. Personally, I’d rather face the man/woman in the mirror first and ask him/her what is needed to become debt free.

Sounds silly but many of us don’t look at ourselves in the mirror unless we really want to. In this case I’m asking you to stop everything, pull up a chair and just look at yourself in the eyes.

You may cry, hate yourself for what you’ve done or become with your life BUT you will MAKE a CHANGE. Sitting in front of the mirror to face your debt demons and other concerns that need addressing is easier when it’s your face rather than facing people you owe money to.

You already know what they are going to say and for the most part you’ve likely been avoiding it or paying little attention to them. Your debt is still there. If you want to quarterback your debt repayment plan to get rid of creditors and become debt free once and for all, ask yourself these 3 questions.


Why am I In Debt?


The first thing people who are in debt do is blame the fact that prices have gone up and they don’t earn enough money. Both may be true but the real answer is because you’re spending more than you earn. No matter where you live, what you do or how you spend your money if you can’t afford to live you must meet your budget goals by spending less than you earn.

Right now, spend a few moments and jot down the real reasons you are in debt. Be true to yourself even if you don’t want to face that reality. You may be trying to compete with your friends, colleagues or other moms who appear to have a nice cash flow. Remember that means nothing because everything can be put on credit.

You don’t have to keep up with anyone. Even a thrifty person can look stylish wearing second-hand clothes, driving a used card on a road trip. You don’t need name brand, brand new and airplanes to have a good life.

Debt freedom is the best ride ever.

Now that you know why you are in debt and your emotions might be a bit high let’s turn our attention to something a bit more uplifting, our visions.


What are the advantages of being debt free?


The most important advantage of being debt free is that you own your life free and clear.

This is the part where you smile because you start dreaming about all the ways you are going to enjoy your life once you become debt free. You’re going to write all of your visions out on a piece of paper and tape it somewhere that you can see it when you need a push in the right direction.

Related: How we paid off our mortgage in 5 years

All of it is possible if you believe. I did it, We did it and You can do it. No one helped us get ahead with money it was all us from start to finish. Keep in mind I started earning $15 an hour and then my wife lost her job just after we bought our house. It’s not about how much you earn, it’s how you save it.  <<< That’s my belief, always has been and always will be. You’ll see it plastered all over the place on the blog so you don’t forget it.


How fast can I pay off my debt?


Paying down debt fast is a great ambition but first of all you need to know how much money you have to play with before you can even come up with an estimate of when you will become debt free. Even then anything could happen however having an end date in mind will keep you motivated.

Debt free solutions start with a debt plan and the first thing you need to do is document every debt you owe because you want to see those numbers. Don’t be shy to add in the little details like interest rates, minimum payments etc.

You’ll also need to know how much money you earn every month, every pay- gross income and net income (what you take home). The net income number is what you will be working with when you create your budget.

No excuses- You can download the same budget Mrs. CBB and I use for FREE.

After you organize your budget you can then start eliminating stuff you don’t need and is costing you money that you MUST put towards debt repayment. That might mean, no cable, no home phone but if you compromise with unlimited cable you won’t miss a thing, not even the money you were dishing out for those services.

If after you slash your budget the best you can and you still don’t have enough money to pay down more than the minimum payment on your personal debt then you need to earn more money. You can’t keep going on paying minimum payment without snowballing your debt, or getting rid of it for good.

Some people have great success paying off the smallest debt first and putting the minimum payment on the bigger debts and as the debts get paid in full they move to the next. This is the debt snowball method which personal finance guru Dave Ramsey can help you explore in great detail.

Do what works best for your situation.

Related: How the debt snowball method works

Once all of your consumer debt is paid in full if you still have a mortgage to pay off and student loans, tackle them with force if you want them gone for good. I’m sure you do anyways unless investing your way into more money is important to you. Not everyone wants to pay down their mortgage for various reasons. If debt freedom is yours, then pay it off and save money wherever you can do so aggressively.


If you want to become debt free start educating yourself so you know what changes you need to make to start your journey.


Cutting coupons, negotiate prices, frugal living, eating-in and so on are all valuable ways to save money to pay down debt. There are tonnes of blog posts that I’ve written over the past almost 5 years that will lead you in the right direction if you want to become debt free.

Related: Where to find Canadian Coupons?

Spend some time looking around and even though I write long posts everything I say is sincere and from the heart. I want my fans to know there is life after debt and it’s the best feeling ever. I want you all to feel this too.

Most importantly you need to follow your progress as you go along. There will be times where you may feel discouraged and want to give up but once you see those beautiful numbers that will help you become debt free, you won’t jump.

I hope you’re smiling in the mirror right now, you should be.

Discussion Question:

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become debt free?


CBB Insider Weekly



Big thanks to everyone who supported Canadian Budget Binder once again this year for the Plutus awards by voting for my little blog. It’s always been a pleasure kicking back and putting my extra steam into topics I’m so passionate about Finance and Food.

Over the years I’ve come to know many of my fans and other personal finance bloggers who have guided and supported me in the blogging world. I’ve learned that the only way to get where you want to be is to keep on reading baby!!

Finance is Free Debt is Not.

Congratulations to Young and Thrifty the 2016 Plutus awards winner for Top Canadian Personal Finance Blog.

This week the wife and I managed to get some Fall cleaning done around the house. We still have a bit to conquer outside but we’re going to wait until the weather gets a bit better. It’s been wet and soggy here with all the rain lately so I want to hold off bringing anything in until its dry.

It looks as if in the new year I’ll be taking a couple of months off from my second job which is welcomed as I need to get renovations done around here. I’m still half-way done the master bathroom and haven’t touched it since before our son was born.

We made a trip to the Goodwill this week to see if we could find a Halloween costume for the little guy but nothing yet. We may look on Facebook and Kijiji now to see if we can score something cheap in the free to $5 range as he’s only going around the neighbourhood.

That’s all for now… how was your week?



Awesome posts I published this week


If you have a question that you would like to ask me fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each question.

If you would like to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details! Contact me for more info!

Top Post This Week: How to make money fast without going crazy


Making a difference (MAD)


Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder 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 and would like your blog to be featured simply drop me an email.

I’m currently booking for December 2016/January 2017.

Today it is my pleasure to share with you the personal finance blog, Tidy and Teal.


Hey there,

My name is Rachel, and I am thrilled to introduce you guys to my blog, Tidy&Teal! Not just another millennial personal finance blog, it focuses on ways to make money, save money, and tips on living frugally.

I started Tidy&Teal in mid-spring of 2016 and have been growing and building it ever since. When I started, my blog was much more general and included topics on all areas of the household. However, I soon realized that my passion was for personal finance so I shifted my focus solely onto this topic.

My goal with Tidy&Teal is to show millennials (and anyone else) that they don’t have to wait to be financially successful – it can be achieved right now! Since being married, my husband and I have figured out some things that work well in managing our household finances. We have been able to completely pay off our car, put over $10k away in savings, have no credit card debt, and have taken a big chunk out of our student loan debt. We are really invested in being financially responsible now so that we will be financially successful later.

Our goal is to pay off our student loan debt within the next 3 years, which will make us completely debt free. This dream of being debt free was the catalyst for starting Tidy&Teal in the hopes of bringing in supplemental income to bring us closer to our goal. However, my other hope is that during my debt-reduction journey, I am able to positively impact and inspire others to “tidy” up their finances and become financially responsible.

Anyone can come up with excuses as to why they are letting their finances slide, so I try to give easy to implement solutions that anyone can use. Simple ways to save money, effortless ways to make extra money, and smart budgeting ideas are the foundation of what I offer my readers at Tidy&Teal. I truly hope that my tips, ideas, and strategies can help others get out of debt, put money into savings, and prepare for retirement. Thanks for reading – I would love to connect with you!

Keep tidying,

– – Rachel


Reader Budget Brags


I created this spot to showcase reader enthusiasm for saving money. Send me your Budget Brag and you will automatically be entered into a yearly draw for a surprise gift card. Open to Canada and USA residents. email: canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca


Hi Everyone!

Yay!  I got out today all by myself and snagged some deals!

  • Retractable clothes line and hanging fish bird feeder $5 (asking was $7 – I bought the clothesline for my parents and the bird feeder as a “thank you for letting us use your pool all summer” gift for my aunt and uncle lol)
  • Annabelle compact pressed powder (makeup) $2 for both
  • Lego “Cars” truck $1 (asking was $3)
  • Connect 4 game and rubber spatula $1
  • Lego lot (huge Christmas gift bag full, book, plastic bin and batman box) $20 for all!

Great deals!

Jen P.


Spotlight on Finance


first you learn then you remove the L

First you learn then you remove the L

When it comes to finance I believe that educating yourself is very important as is the motivation to become successful and earn the money that you deserve. Hard work pays off but to get there you need to invest in yourself and with that comes time and discipline.


Frugal Recipe Pick


greek-yogurt-pumpkin-banana-bread2Food is a big part of any budget and a struggle for many which is why it has been important for me to create frugal recipes for my fans.

I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world.

Check out the Free Recipe Index on CBB compiled of frugal recipes that are 100% tested and accepted by family and friends!

Since Fall is in full-swing I’m going to focus on Autumn flavours in October. Today over at Running With Spoons the wildly popular Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips looks delicious and moist.

A must for any pumpkin fan!!


Cool Pinterest Find


the-thankful-treeEmily Rose over at Simply Vintage Girl has created The Thankful Tree which both my wife and I both plan to make.

The idea is to create little sayings in chalk to give thanks especially during September and October months when Thanksgiving is upon us.

The thankful tree is simple to create but boasts huge decor points for your household Autumn look. Check it out…. very cool DIY project.

For assembling, all you need is:

  •  Sticks
  • Wooden Chalkboard Tags (make your own with wood slices and chalk paint or buy  them already made)
  • Chalk (you can sharpen the chalk with a pencil sharpener)
  • Scissors
  • Glass Jar – gallon (shown) or half-gallon
  • Assorted Nuts, for extra beauty
  • Burlap and/or Ribbon, for extra beauty
  • Thankful Heart (“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart…”)


Editor’s Choice


Editor’s Choice (That’s me Mr.CBB) This week goes to Money Ramblings Of A Financial Underdog who wants people to stop blaming “education” or lack there of as a reason people have debt or don’t understand finance.

There is no reason that adults can’t sort out how to spend less than they earn however early intervention with education might shed light on how debt works. It’s not rocket science but for some people who choose to ignore basic math they will find out the hard way.

I read the post and agree to an extent. I believe motivation is key as stated but I also believe that education is equally if not more important. Like the quote above, “First you Learn, Then You Earn.”  Great read…check it out.


Google Search Giggles


Always begin and end your day with a SMILE!- Mr.CBB

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • Teach husband a lesson– oh, oh I hope it’s in a good way
  • Is a water softener worth it?– If you have hard water then yes get a water softener.
  • My father controls my finances– Hmm, how old are you?
  • What’s fair in a divorce if wife spends all the money– Oh man, you have some research to do.

That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by and we’ll see ya all again next Saturday!


Don’t forget to Follow me on Social Media and Subscribe to the blog!

Woman in Miror Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net













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  1. One advantage of having an experience to be in great debt, or in debt, is that you never want to be in debt again or you avoid expenses that can put you in great amount of debt. I think the experience is the best teacher of all, and I myself glad that I have been able to stay away from debt because of that experience of mine and to learn some financial-related skills.

    1. That’s true for some people but there are others that are attracted to debt and struggle just to say no even thought they know the consequences. Thanks for dropping by Jayson.

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