The Saturday Weekly Review

How Financial Sacrifice Helped Us Become 40 and Debt Free : The Saturday Weekend Review #212

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how financial sacrifice helped us become 40 and debt freeSORTING OUT OUR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS TAKES MORE THAN SIMPLE MATH


For the first time in her life Mrs. CBB bought a brand new cell phone but it took her 20 years to make the decision to do so. Financial sacrifice has been a huge part of both of our lives from the time we were young and even today now that we have our mortgage paid off, $200,000 in the bank and almost all of our investments topped up.

It’s not much really considering we could have done better saving using a budget earlier on in our lives. But to someone else that’s a success they dream about. Let me tell you something, it wasn’t easy and it won’t be easy for you. We gave up lots to get ahead and not a day goes by where we regret anything we’ve done.


Unlimited Moves


The other day we made a phone to Rogers our provider for home phone, cable, internet and Mrs.CBB’s new Samsung Galaxy 7 (S7). The reason for the call was to ask about new Rogers promotions that might help us lower our monthly bill and talk about costs of a data plan for the S7. We knew that if we added data for our holidays this year that it would cost us about $30 more so any savings was better than nothing.

We trailed off topic but managed to secure something even better, unlimited internet.

When I asked him about current promotions he told me that there really wasn’t anything more than we currently have. In fact our existing TV promotion is better than what’s offered to current customers. I know there are all those fancy boxes out there where I pay a one time fee and cable is free. I’m not interested at this time. My sister-in-law had it at her house and hated it and now she’s with Bell Canada.

He did mention that our home phone could be chopped to $9.99 a month from $19.99 month if we gave up the features and free long distance plan. That would take our monthly charges from $163.xx to $153.xx. Not bad, considering I’m a negotiator. But they’re swift with the give and take when money is concerned.

Related: You can see our budget and budget categories here.

We wanted to remove our home phone but also keep it for emergencies as I refuse a cell phone. I don’t fancy knocking on my neighbours door every time I need to make a phone call. That would be extreme-frugal and we’re not like that although for what it’s worth kudos to someone who can save like a shark.


Let’s make a deal


Since Mrs.CBB has unlimited everything on her S7 for $35 a month minus data we decided to go for it. Chop that home phone price in half and give us back some money!

That was short-lived.

While on the phone we discovered that for $10 more a month we could get the Rogers Ignite 100 plan. Imagine that, $10. So we saved $10 and decided to go for the next level of internet service with our savings. This package comes with fast speeds and no data caps. Not bad considering it’s 3 times as fast compared to what we had. I am aware of the different providers out there with cheaper plans but so far Rogers has been good to us and in-line with our budget.

Why the data cap?

Our son is a You Tube Kids fan and enjoys learning from ABC and other educational apps. He has excelled so much over the past year and is well ahead some kids his age. Although we monitor his internet usage we noticed that we were getting increasingly close to meeting our data cap every month. The extra charges are pricey and something that was bothering us and became part of a daily routine check. In other words, a headache. When the offer was on the table we jumped because we knew it would help take away our worry.

Boy did it ever.


Feelings of unlimited freedom


Financial sacrifice means we either went without something to save money or we scaled back on certain things so we could still enjoy a balanced life-style without added debt. We weren’t in that position any longer as we were comfortable being debt free and spending money when needed to make life a bit easier. We did earn it after all.

The celebratory moment when we became debt free the both of us felt this underlying stress dissipate into thin air. It just left us. We then experienced deja-vu when we paid the extra $10 to data cap our internet service. It may sound corny but I was able to compare unlimited internet data usage to that of debt freedom.

We already have a fairly low Rogers bill compared to some we’ve seen and that simple $10 swap made a world of difference. It was a financial sacrifice in terms of no longer having the opportunity to save $120 a year but at the same time it eased the pain of overage fees that cap at $100 a month.

My point is if you want to feel the liberty of unlimited or debt freedom there will always be a financial sacrifice. Now I sound like Justin Bieber trying to sell you on the premise of “Unlimited is more” with T-Mobile and Unlimited Moves Superbowl commercial. It really is BUT only if you can afford to do so. If it makes financial sense and you’ve worked out the math, then you know your options.


Newlywed financial sacrifices


Mrs. CBB and I have been together for just over 10 years and in that time we made plenty of smart financial decisions and some not so smart. Looking back we wouldn’t have changed much apart from using a budget instead of pen and paper or in our head calculations.

So after I had that feel good rush of unlimited data I understood that no matter how hard we try we will always be faced with a financial dilemma of sorts. When you have the ability to walk up the next financial step knowing that it will be fine to spend a bit more here and there then you know you’ve given financial sacrifice a fair shake.

You will never get rid of financial sacrifice because no matter what step you are on there will always be a bigger quest. It’s likely not going to be clear at first but over time you will see change in your life and be faced with decisions to make about your money.

Debt free or not financial sacrifice will always carry us further than spending money for the hell of it. You might not like our decision to upgrade to an S7 phone (which we got an amazing deal on) or our internet and phone changes but they work for us. We’ve worked extremely hard over the years and are now able to enjoy some of the things we never thought possible, in moderation.


Financial Sacrifice to build our wealth


  1. We rented a room for cheap and lived in it for 2 years so we could save money and complete our education
  2. We never upgraded phone technology
  3. We never bought a new second vehicle
  4. We buy almost everything second-hand if we can
  5. We don’t travel every year
  6. We don’t furnish our home with new costly modern or vintage furniture
  7. We didn’t buy a big house
  8. We limited our entertainment invitations
  9. We created a reasonable adult allowance
  10. We simplified our life and started using a budget

Are any of those really a financial sacrifice? They aren’t when you can’t afford to spend money on anything more than what you consider a sacrifice. When you know you have the money but choose to make wise decisions about how you spend it (spending less) then you are in financial sacrifice mode. You could have more but you choose less to build wealth to live a debt free lifestyle before retirement.

Using a budget might not seem like a financial sacrifice to you but for someone who spends freely or doesn’t save money or invest in retirement it is. A budget has helped us curb the excess spending that we thought we had under control without using one. It may be a time-consuming or an extra effort but the sacrifice to be money smart outweighs the ability to just spend when we want until the money is gone in the bank.

There’s never a wrong time to start making changes in your life

Financial sacrifice means you do things because you either have to or want to in order to get ahead or move forward. Sometimes we don’t have the option to say, sod it and start spending money like we now have but that would only put us back at the beginning. If you want to win your financial game then you have to play it and sadly it never ends.

The good news is…you will always be the winner if you put the extra effort in.

Discussion Questions:

Over the years name a financial sacrifice you made and share it in the comment section below.

If you’d like to share your financial journey (anonymously) with the CBB readers please email me and we can talk. Sharing each others stories helps not only to motivate others but to show that we are all in this together.



Behind closed doors


Hey friends,

I had the opportunity to play in a ball pit this week with our son at a free local play centre and he loved it. The tough part was story time at the end when he didn’t want to have anything to do with it. How do we get our child to participate in group circles? He never seems to stay still and wants to wander off and not participate. Parenting sure does have it’s fun perks and moments where you want to go hide in a closet.

This week found me at work later than normal because I have lots of paperwork to do. I’d rather stay at work and get it done rather than come home and fight off a two year-old who wants to spend time with me. Going home without the stress of unfinished work makes a world of difference to my wife and I.

Since the weather was nice I managed to put the Christmas decorations away and clean up the garage a bit. This summer and next year we plan to get renovations done around here. I’m cutting my hours at my second job to one day a week . I need this time to chill out, be with my family and get stuff done.

Other than that a grumpy neighbour that no one likes on our street put a for sale sign up. I’m almost certain a street party has been coordinated behind closed doors. Ha!

How was your week?



CBB Published Posts


CRUNCHY PAN-FRIED PARMESAN CRUSTED HARD-BOILED EGGSIf 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?

Personal Finance Bloggers and Fans: I’m currently recruiting for guest posts on the blog while we go away on holidays. This is your opportunity to get published on CBB. If you have a topic idea and are interested please contact me via email. let’s talk.


Making a difference (MAD) 2017


Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2017 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 March/April 2017-Limited spots.

single dad living blogHey there Mr. CBB and Friends,

This is Single Dad is an anonymous blogger who lives in Canada close to Toronto, Ontario. I’m honoured to be spotlighted on your “Making A Difference” series to network with your fans and other personal finance bloggers.

My blog focuses on my journey as a single dad to a 10 year-old boy and 8 year-old girl following my divorce.

Some of the topics you’ll find on my blog focus on basic skills such as learning how to cook, grocery shop and clean the house (since I didn’t do that while married). The real focus at Single Dad Living is on parenting and managing the challenge of raising children the right way as a single father heavy bent on personal finance.

Thanks for having me and I look forward to chatting to some of you soon.


Weekly fan brag


If you have a brag that you want to share email me at 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.

Schwarzkopf keratin colorHey everyone!

It’s been a while but here’s a deal that I’d love to share with everyone.

  • Boxed hair colour: Regular $12.97 at Walmart. PM to RCSS for $9.98 – $5.00 coupon on each – $3.00 each from Checkout 51.
    Total Out-of-Pocket $1.98 plus tax each!
    Jen P.

That’s a great deal Jen. Mrs. CBB bought her first EVER boxes of hair colour just before Christmas. We have yet to use them on her though. It’s just to cover up the bits of grey coming. Her hair is dark and very long so you can see it. She’s thinking about leaving it now and letting the grey grow in as it’s trendy.


CBB Finance Tip


when you see an opportunity to grow don't wait jump in and make yourself known

One of the best things I did once I moved to Canada was take the initiative to get myself noticed. When I returned to school and started a job I would chat to everyone and have a laugh. Keeping my mood high even though life was stressful helped me through the dark times of trying to work and learn about my new home, Canada. Most of my current opportunities have come from people I have connected with over the years. Put on a smile and put yourself out there.


Top finance post


This week wealth expert Tom Corley at Rich Habits talks about Making Your Money Invisible. He starts of comparing the difference between the Frugal shopper and the Cheap Shopper. He then moves on to chat about how you can budget your money for a few months and any excess money that is left over he suggests putting it in a savings account and forgetting about it using 3 simple steps.

  1. Define Your Monthly Nut
  2. Calculate Your Excess Money
  3. Make Your Money Invisible

This is one of the hardest things for people to do because it’s easier to spend money than it is to save it. I know plenty of people who blew money they earned from selling their home and downsizing to have extra money in the bank and others who just blow it all.

We save the way Tom suggests in his blog post every month and it works. We only consider the money we have in our chequing account and not in the savings accounts if needed for cash purchases.



Frugal recipe of the week


Chocolate Hob Nobs

Food is a big part of any budget and a struggle for so many people which is why I’ve created frugal recipes for my family and yours for many years.

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!

This week I was over at the food blog Butter Baking where chef Natasha had me drooling after baking my favourite cookie, Chocolate Covered Hob Nobs. You can buy them in Canada but you’ll pay a steep price compared to what they cost in the UK. I love a nice hard cookie and Hob Nobs are my top pick.

Thanks for a great recipe Natasha!! GO check her blog out!


Did You Know?


tree branch coat rack

Allison Bell from Ottawa, Ontario who blogs at Aliedoesit created this awesome coat rack from tree branches. This would be perfect for my father-in-law who loves the outdoors. The great this is there is minimal costs involved and a bit of elbow grease. These are the best DIY projects in my opinion.


Search term giggles


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

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

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • I don’t care about poor people- They are living a better life than you ever will… with a heart full of love and compassion.
  • When do you use a Dollar store pregnancy test?– Um, when you think you might be pregnant?
  • Which car accessories are worth it? – None, invest in your future.
  • Ask a millionaire for money Canada– Never hurts to try I guess.
  • How to write-off OSAP loan?– Haha, in your dreams.
  • How to start seeds in Ice-cream cones?– Wow, that’s news to me. Anyone else done this?
  • God, I need money to pay off my debt– Not sure if GOD uses the internet and I don’t have his number sorry.

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


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






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  1. Those cookies!
    Those coat racks!

    Love it. haha.

    Also really lived this list:

    We rented a room for cheap and lived in it for 2 years so we could save money and complete our education
    We never upgraded phone technology
    We never bought a new second vehicle
    We buy almost everything second-hand if we can
    We don’t travel every year
    We don’t furnish our home with new costly modern or vintage furniture
    We didn’t buy a big house
    We limited our entertainment invitations
    We created a reasonable adult allowance
    We simplified our life and started using a budget

    Most of those things are actually really simple and easy to do. But most people just won’t do it!
    People are blowing their budget left and right and then wonder why they can’t make any progress.
    Well, if they just did the things on this list, they would be in a much better spot within a few months.

    Great post!

  2. Hi Mr. CBB; The Behind Closed Doors section of your post and your comment about your son’s lack of interest in group activities took me back to our first parent/teacher interview with our youngest son’s junior kindergarten teacher. I was heartbroken when she kindly informed us that our little boy would hide in the play house rather than take part in any group activity. Despite the kindness and sympathy in her voice, I definitely felt she was implying there was something wrong with our son. Similar comments ensued throughout his school career. Notations on report cards, anxiety over field trips, etc. etc. He did not want to be a part of the group.
    Fast forward a few years. High school co-op training turned into a full-time apprenticeship. Red Seal licensed trades person by his 21st birthday. Six figure income, his own home, road foreman of a six man crew and a company vehicle at his disposal by his 22nd birthday. He arranged to take his dad and I and his aunt out for a fancy dinner on him for family day. He has plans to tear down his existing home by his 25th birthday next year and rebuild one designed by his architect girlfriend. He then wants to sell his one acre property and find a larger one to build on. One without neighbours:)
    Maybe his disinterest in being part of the group has something to do with his leader of the pack personality. I’d like to go back to all those teachers and let them know our group adverse little guy is doing just fine.

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