How To Handle The First Blank Page Of Your 2017 Budget: The Saturday Weekend Review #205




Tonight is the night where New Years is celebrated and the next day is when financially savvy people like us turn to the first blank page of our 2017 Budget. This isn’t one of those blog posts that tells you how your financial world is going to crumble if you don’t use a budget.

Not at all, rather it’s more of a reminder about just how important your money is and why taking care of it is the best option. First things first, breathe and understand how important of a step you are taking for your present and future days ahead. You are not alone at Canadian Budget Binder with lots of reader support and myself here to help guide you.

Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet
Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet! Download it for FREE!

One of your New Years resolutions may be to Budget and to work on your finances in 2017 which you’ve never done before. Whatever the case may be it’s important to not think that a budget is going to tie you down or get stressed about using one.

It should be the opposite feeling of empowerment.

Yes, you need a budget but it’s entirely up to you how you plan on understanding your financial situation in 2017. Budgeting doesn’t need to be a spreadsheet but ideally the more data you give yourself the better picture you paint at the end of the year. It becomes the difference between a clear picture and one that is out of focus but you can kind of make out what’s going on.

I wasn’t going to write another Saturday blog post until we were into January 2017 but over the past week I’ve been amazed at how many people have come to Canadian Budget Binder looking for a free 2017 budget download. I haven’t been writing blog posts over the Christmas holidays and the spike in traffic has been impressive considering I wasn’t around to do any promoting on the blog.

What does that mean? It means that Canadians know that 2017 is going to be rougher than rough and that they want to start working on how to manage their money better.

Related: Canadian Budget Binder Free Budget and Finance Tools Including our 10 Step Budgeting Series

With gas prices on the way up with the cap-and-trade this Sunday and plenty of other increases for Canadians it’s easy to see that we’re buckling down for a heavy financial 2017. Petrol is just the start of the budget tightening. Just wait until we start getting price increases on everything else. I’m sure they will come out one by one.

Related: Ontario set to tackle Cap and Trade launch Jan 1,2017

Mrs. CBB coincidentally yesterday asked me about whether I was going to be filling up the spare gas cans this winter like I always do. I reminded her that the only reason I did that was because of the high prices of gas. I believe at that point we were paying around $1.40/litre. That’s when it all came back to her and she said, “Oh Ya”. It looks like I’ll be dusting off those gas cans after all besides I like to have some petrol in the garage for emergencies.

The second reason I jumped into writing mode for this post was after reading about the double-suicide that rocked an Ontario neighbourhood earlier this year and finding out it may have been financially fuelled.


Time to pay off debt


After the Christmas hangover ends is when everyone starts to think about their upcoming credit card statements and how they plan to pay for them. Christmas for those of you who don’t use a budget and save the expense all year as a projected expense now have to pay it back if you’ve used credit.

Related: 11 Habits To Help You Budget Better In The New Year

This is one reason I see a spike in blog traffic for everything one needs to know about budgets especially how much a grocery budget should be. I’m sure many of us know that if we can learn to decrease the food budget by increasing our savings without jeopardizing food quality then we can use the savings to pay other bills.

Related: Everything you need to know about grocery shopping in Canada

Besides wanting to download our free 2017 budget we have more readers come out from behind the blog to introduce themselves. I love this and I encourage this especially if you want to get on track with your finances and want some sort of support line outside of the family.

Should you be looking for a 2017 budget download now and researching how budgets work?

Absolutely now is a great time. Any time is a great time but for many the first day of the new year is budget time and when all the goals start rolling out. The clear picture doesn’t become so clear until a few months into budgeting but if you stick with it you’ll thank yourself.

Related: Finances in the New Year + New Budget = Success Formula

Those end of year numbers will amaze you and likely you’ll stay the budgeting course for a long time to come. It’s a relatively frugal investment of time that you can’t buy. There’s no ease in debt only weight on your shoulders until you pay it off in full. Don’t stick around in that bubble for long if you don’t have to.

Related: How to keep debt from causing a marriage crisis


Financial stress is real


If you heard about the massive house explosion back in June 2016 covering a Mississauga residence you may have also learned yesterday that it was a double-suicide. As shocking as that is for everyone to understand especially when they put so many people at risk of death it was the disturbing note that was found that caught my attention.

Why would a couple commit double suicide I thought? My guess is the note that was found with burn marks perhaps explains a portion of what was happening. For some people shame of financial loss can trigger emotions and cause people do and say things they typically wouldn’t do.

You can read the entire note from the link above but here is an excerpt of what was found.

Dear God,

As of next week everything will fall apart for us.

We owe mortgage company

  • house taxes
  • water bill
  • gas bill
  • hydro bill
  • TV bill

The note goes on to say…

We have NO Money to fix or Pay Any One. Followed by plenty of sad faces after this last sentence.

Robert Nadler and Diane Page both of whom died in the large blast possibly had serious financial difficulty on their hands if the found note was written by either one of them. If you are reading this and feel you have no way out remember there are lots of people you can talk to about your financial situation.

I don’t know the full extent of this situation and maybe nobody ever will but if I learned anything from it I know that I certainly don’t want to question whether I should live or die because of money. It’s without saying that times are tough and money is on everyone’s minds even if they don’t want to admit it.


New Years savings comes early


I decided to spread some New Years Savings while I was on holidays for our family who struggles to make ends meet like many Canadians. Just the other day while we were enjoying our Christmas holidays we were hard-pressed to get online as the house Wi-fi signal kept going down.

It was very frustrating for my mother-in-law (MIL) who says that she just learned to deal with it and that there was nothing more her provider could do unless she paid money for a new box or for support to come to the house. When you don’t have much money to pull from you tend to live with what you have.

As puzzling as that sounded to me we made a phone call to her provider and I had a word with them even though my MIL didn’t think I was going to get anywhere. Over the past month she has tried to communicate with the company to no avail.

All they kept telling her was to bring her box in and they would replace it for a fee. They would not send any tech-support out to test the system as she was using an outside router that was not rented. Old school stuff.

Related: How to Negotiate with Your Communications Company

Anyhow while I was inquiring about their services I figured out the issue, tech support is coming next week and instead of a $50 fee it was reduced to $5. The reason for the decrease was for being a preferred customer for so many years. That stuff counts to many businesses as they know if they keep you happy that you’ll continue to stick around.

I also managed to get their monthly bill decreased by $35 a month for 6 months. That might not seem like much to some people but to my MIL she was ecstatic and was adding up the savings in her head right in front of me.

It was then I knew how the financial pull was really affecting those who were living on a fixed income like they are or for those of you who aren’t earning enough to cover all your living expenses. Early that morning I could sense the despair over costs and then the thrill of savings an hour later. Honestly, I was pretty impressed with my negotiating skills but as I’ve mentioned before it’s more about how you communicate and present yourself over the phone.

Now that I’m on their bill I can contact their provider for them each time the promotion ends to see if there is another promotion we can get set up for her. In the event there are none her monthly bill will only increase by $3 a month from what it currently is. That’s not too shabby.

I wouldn’t have known to help if she didn’t mention the situation to my wife when I was in the room. The problem today is that it’s hard for people to ask for help especially when money is tight. I hope that in 2017 many of you reading this post today will be motivated to learn more about your financial situation and set up an action plan with goals that you will challenge yourselves to stick to all year, no excuses.

P. S- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

On that note, we wish you a Happy New Year and plenty of celebrations tonight.

The CBB 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

Top Post This Week: How much should my grocery budget be?


What to expect for the Saturday Weekend Review 2017


Main topic of the weekend will be discussed whether it’s a personal experience or about something I found on the web that I want to discuss. Please send me any topic ideas or if you have a story you’d like to share please message me. All stories can be anonymous.

  • Making A Difference Series will come and go as finance bloggers are recruited to share their blog and financial experiences with us.
  • Budget Brag Contest *send me a photo and describe your savings for us to enter.
  • Search Term Giggles are here to stay. It’s nice to end a post like this on a fun note.
  • CBB Published Posts for the week just in case you missed one.
  • Top Frugal Recipe Post
  • Top Finance Blog Post
  • Top Money-Saving DIY Post
  • Top Budget Tip/quote is where I come up with a weekly tip for all of you to share.
  • A Peak at Mr. CBB’s week is where I invite you into my personal life to share a bit about what’s been happening at home and behind the scenes of the blog.

During the summer I may add a Top Gardening Post section.

If you have any other ideas please comment or message me.


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.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! The Search Term Giggles stay!!

  • Porn Photos Canada– Sorry but the only porn you will see here is financial porn. I suppose there is some correlation between porn and budgeting. You’ll find out when you run out of money after paying for it.
  • How to make money in Alberta– The same way I have to. Get a job!
  • Stealing Food Tips– Now this one heck of a New Years goal! Save yourself the arrest and possible jail time and visit a local food bank, community center or church for help. Food prices are already expensive.
  • My husband spends all our money on himself– I hope he at least looks and smells good for you! Talk to him and if you can’t because you are scared then possibly consider whether you want to change this lifestyle or not.
  • Can I save on groceries if I use coupons in Canada– Let’s do the math together. Coupons equal money savings which means you pay less on your grocery bill when you use them. Think of a coupon as pretend money that really works when you read the guidelines.


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



Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. Financial stress is definitely real, but I am having a positive outlook that I can overcome all these financial challenges with right outlook and strategies. Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.