It’s just about time we say goodbye to 2016 and get ready for the challenges that await us in 2017, and there will be some. With rising food costs, increased utility bills and the ups and downs of interest rates we’re in for another tight year of saving and investing.
Every December I get an influx of emails from readers who want to put the year behind them and start anew with a fresh outlook on their finances. This is a great opportunity to set up your 2017 budget especially if you are motivated to do so.
My blog budgeting plan for 2017 will include lots of budget talk and possibly a more in-depth look at a new budgeting series to compliment the first I wrote back in 2012. We’ll call it CBB Budgeting Series v.2 only because I’ve learned much more over the years and feel I should share everything I know about budgets.
This is the last Saturday Weekend Review post for 2016 and I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the fun we’ve had here on CBB. Today though, I would like to reflect on the Best and Worst performing blog posts of 2016 and chat about what we’ve learned throughout our financial journey.
YES we still use a budget and we are debt free!
We get asked this often from fans who think that you shouldn’t have to budget if you have no debt. This is the difference between settling and not settling. If you’re happy without a budget and have all the money you need then ditch it if you want. If you still have some investing to do and want to keep your finances tight and on-track then continue to use a budget. You can make your budget as tight or loose as you need to, you’re in charge remember?
I love this time of year when everyone is rushing around but also chilling out because Christmas is around the corner. I used to be a fan of the snow for about 5 months after I arrived in Canada until the novelty wore off. These days I dream about retirement and jetting off across the world travelling. In 2017 we’ve planned a trip back to the UK after being away for almost 10 years. This to me is the trip of a life-time as I get to see my family and they get to meet our son.
Welcome to the frugal lifestyle.
I’m sure many bloggers that I know are relaxing a bit now that the holidays have arrived to enjoy the festivities. Blogging is serious business and for many of us it revolves around the clock. If your blog goes down in the middle of the night who do you think has to fix it? Yes, the blog owner has to sort it out. That’s only 1 of a million things that could go wrong. It’s equally as pressing for those Personal Finance bloggers who want to grow their readership and earn a full-time living from it.
At the end of January 2017 Canadian Budget Binder will be 5 years old. I never thought I would be as interested as I am in how to be financially smart with our money. It’s amazing what you can learn when you invest a little time.
Our Financial Journey 2016
What a year of ups and downs we had in 2016 with our finances, especially investments. On a good note we are happy to report that we are on our way to reaching our goal of one million in cash, assets and investments in 2017. Our main financial goals include topping up the rest of our investments, investing more, renovations, travel and family time.
Ask me if I think a budget is a smart move and you know what I’d tell you? ^^^ That would not be possible without a budget in that short of time frame for us. Yes a budget is valuable so either you get off the fence and try it or find a new way to save and pay off debt that works for you. I’ve written SO MANY articles about experiences we’ve learned aboug budgeting that I’m sure I could have written a novel by now.
Our last net worth report for 2016 has not been posted yet but our November report has shown some goal-setting increases even though we weren’t sure how we would fair. If you miss any of our budget posts you can read them all from the start on my budget update page.
In the last year since November 2015 our net worth according to our figures has grown $115,199.96
November 2016 $875,409.71 – November 2015 $760,209.75 = +$115,199.96
One of the most important parts of this personal blog for me is that it’s mine. That means what I write is of my opinion and furthermore I get to interact with the fans every day. I like that. I enjoy building friendships and networking with many other personal finance bloggers around the world.
I remember when I started Canadian Budget Binder back in 2012 that I thought I had a grip on what I needed to do. Boy was I EVER wrong. Go back and read some of my earlier posts and you’ll see the difference time and education makes. There is so much you need to learn about blogging especially if you want your posts to be read. If you plan to monetize your blog it’s best you do your homework before you start blogging because the last thing you want to do is back-track to fix up your blog.
I learned from experience even though I don’t treat this blog as a well-oiled running money machine. It’s just my hobby and what I do earn goes into keeping the blog in top shape and provides little gifts to my readers.
Moving forward into 2017
When I began blogging I was writing a blog post every single day which I find hard to believe today. Every single flipping day I wrote about something on this blog. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t write a blog post and if I did miss a day it had to have been important. I was a serious blogger and not that I’m not now I’ve just learned that you don’t need to post every single day to share your knowledge. Sometimes less is more.
As the years went on and I learned more about blogging I realized how much effort I needed to put into these posts. Writing too much can become overwhelming so I knew I had to cut back. You don’t want to lose your purpose and bury it in lost opportunity. I went from spending an hour on a post to upwards of 6 hours sometimes more but cut back on how many posts I was publishing each week.
The last few years since I’ve taken on my second career and we’ve had a bab my posts on CBB are limited to 4 per week. We may see this change in the new year depending on my availability. I find it incredibly satisfying to only publish a few articles a week that I know I poured my heart and soul into rather than rushing something just for you all to read.
I’ve also learned that not everyone is your friend in the blogging world. It’s amazing how quickly bloggers come and go especially if they underestimated the amount of work involved with blogging. This is not my full-time job so I might not have similar goals and interests as other bloggers who do this full-time in place of their career. I can only imagine the work behind the scenes but the payoff for many is spectacular. You have to love what you do.
Through the Making A Difference series I’ve had the opportunity to chat with many bloggers about finance and showcase them on Canadian Budget Binder. It’s so much fun sharing other blogs and letting all of you know that I’m not blogging for a medal I’m blogging for all of you.
You may not agree with some of the stuff I chat about and that’s fine. The most important part is being able to chat like adults and understanding each side of the conversation. This is what learning is all about. I sure have learned so much from my fans and other bloggers that this continues to motivate me to write for Canadian Budget Binder.
In 2017 I hope to bring you some fresh blog posts about finance, personal situations, fan stories, frugal recipes and that Grocery Game Challenge 2017. What a successful year the players have had including the CBB family all coming in under budget thus far. We have our last GGC post this coming Tuesday to finish off the year.
I’m also hoping in 2017 I will magically meet the blog designer of my dreams and he/she will turn this blog into something magical again. I’d love to update the blog but it takes a certain designer to work with as I’ve had two not so good experiences in the past. If you have anyone in mind please send them my way.
Lastly, I want to share with you the top blog posts I’ve written in 2016. I wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Don’t be shy, leave a comment say hello so I know you are all out there reading my posts.
- Budgeting Tips for Low Income Families
- Scanning Code of Practice
- Free Downloads and Money Saving Tools
- How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be?
- Free Recipe Index
When the sole provider of the house loses their job was the least read post but I’m sure there were posts that weren’t even clicked on so this is just the least favourite of those read for the year. I wonder if maybe there haven’t been many layoffs in 2016 and people are finding jobs. I’d be interested in hearing some of your stories, good and the ugly.
Get ready to start your 2017 financial journey with my family.
Merry Christmas to all.
The CBB family. x
P.S Today’s Post is just a small version of the norm as it’s Christmas Eve and I’m sure you’re all busy wrapping gifts, watching movies, drinking and eating delicious foods with friends and family.
CBB Published Posts
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Post This Week: How much should my grocery budget be?
- How to calculate and track only your food expenses
- Cranberry Orange Biscotti Dipped in White Chocolate
Weekly fan brag 2016 Winners
If you have a brag that you want to share email me at email@example.com with a photo and small write-up of your deal. It can be anything you saved money on that you are excited about.
If your story gets featured you get two ballots in the yearly draw for a PC Financial Gift Card and at least one ballot for emailing me your entry. Either way, you get a ballot in the draw.
2016 Brags Winners
In 2016 I have documented 47 brags that were emailed to me by you the fans. Thank-you to everyone who took the time to snap a photo and tell me what they saved money on.
Our two random winners for 2016 are as follows:
- Colleen Knudsen Ballot #14
- Jen Peacock Ballot # 23
Congratulations ladies and thank-you for your many submissions this year. For every brag you send in you get one ballot and if it gets published you get a second ballot so send in your brags! In 2017 I will be giving away 4 prizes at the end of the year.
Search term 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.
Need help: Should I keep this section for 2017 or get rid of it?
What else would you like to see reported in The Saturday Weekend Review? Send me your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Chat to you all in 2017!
Don’t forget to Follow me on Social Media and Subscribe to the blog
- The Saturday Weekend Review #199: 11 DIY Christmas Decorations You Can Make At Home
- The Saturday Weekend Review #200: 10 Simple Resources to Get Free Christmas Gifts
- The Saturday Weekend Review #201 : 10 Frugal Ideas For Gift Wrapping Christmas Presents
- The Saturday Weekend Review #202: How to Change Christmas Traditions You Can’t Afford
- The Saturday Weekend Review #203: The Magical Moments Looking Back on 2016