The Secret Society Of Debt Freedom : The Saturday Weekend Review #217

The Secret Society of debt freedom money behind closed doors. 3



There are many secret societies of the world but the only one you should be focused on is that of your debt freedom. Why a secret society? Not many people I know flash around the news that they have achieved debt freedom nor do they explain what it feels like.

It’s almost expected that people who have found the key to financial success must share it with the world. That’s fine as long as you’re prepared to deal with the aftermath and there will always be one whether you think so or not. Having money brings peace and an evil all at the same time so choosing your battles wisely is always teeter-totter situation.


Secret society invitation


If you’re waiting for an invitation it will never come especially if pretending to have money is part of the smoke cloud you’ve put on for the real world.

There are no awards, no red carpet, bright lights or paparazzi going to be following those who have been inducted into the secret society of debt freedom either. You don’t have to be famous, You don’t have to have a 6-figure income and you sure as hell don’t need someone telling you that you’ll never get an invitation.

I’m not talking about the ultra rich, very successful people whose financial lives may be obvious to some because even they too can be looking for help with debt. Seriously, earning mega bucks means nothing unless it’s managed well.


Awkward conversations


The other day while chatting to a colleague about work and how it has sucked the life out of me with all the hours I put in I got kicked in the butt again. You know it was just as exciting (insert sarcasm) as saying, “the weather outside today isn’t the greatest” to fill dead-air time.

Crunching on a red apple and looking me straight in the eyes he asked me why I keep doing it. Good question and one I’ve asked myself many times and each time I come up with the same answer.

Are you in debt?“- “Do you need money?” Just then I thought, oh crap he’s going to start giving me debt advice and tell me about the importance of managing money. That’s just it, I don’t NEED money, it’s not about the money it’s about settling into a career I love. I was saying this in my head but I wanted to say it to him. Do I tell him this? I pondered for a brief second and then I spit it out, “No, I don’t need the money.”

“Must be nice. What do you mean you don’t need the money?” as he continues to savage his apple to the core. (This guy must be hungry I thought or takes food waste VERY seriously. Nothing wrong with that.) We can be called at any time while on break to go back on the floor if the staff needs help so conversations are typically kept to a minimum.

“If you don’t need money then what’s the problem?” he blurts out while smiling at me as if I shouldn’t have any worries in the world. This is why it’s easier to say nothing then to say something when money isn’t the issue.

That’s a man thing I think because we don’t typically get involved with stuff that’s none of our business unless it’s a close pal or family member. I just work with this guy and he was expecting me to pull up a seat and tell him about my, “problems”.

I don’t have any problems besides dreaming about being in a cozy bed next to my wife every chance I get or playing with our son. Just then I realized that debt freedom comes with a price tag. Either you stick to the secret society that you’ve been automatically entered into and keep your financial life hush-hush or you break-free and not care about what anyone thinks or asks you for.


Who will lend me money?


There are problems associated with letting people know that your bank account is healthy and you’re not suffering from debt overload. Why? Because then you are an open target for becoming a financial supply cushion or jealousy destination.

Just like lottery winners get financial advice and help with their win you may need a similar type of protection when you’ve entered the secret society of debt freedom. Not everyone can handle the emotional pursuit of financial success.


Fit in, Fall or Stand Tall


Sometimes it’s better to fit in then to stand out depending on how prepared you are to handle certain situations. I’m not rushing out to get a licence plate that says, “Money Talks” but I am passionate about helping others achieve their success.

Mrs. CBB and I have already experienced a friend asking us for money because they think we don’t have any financial worries. The problem is that they always need money for credit card debt help. They aren’t solving their debt problems and us giving them money won’t cure the issue.

Then what happens? You upset them as if there is a special code of financial honour to help friends clean up their repeated money mess. You’ll find family, friends, colleagues and even strangers will ask for money if they know you’ve got it or aren’t struggling financially.

It’s easy to tell someone to ‘just say no it’s my money’ when being asked for a personal loan but it’s not that easy. Some people give freely but we all know that if you want to stay debt free you need to balance what you have, what you get and what you give away. Sure, we donate money but we don’t expect it back nor are we expected to donate. We do it of our own free will.


CBB opened the door


Finance is not my full-time job nor is blogging the way I earn a living.

I think that’s why blogging at CBB has helped both of us understand the secret society that we’ve entered into and why we choose to keep it private. You won’t catch us talking about our financial position with just anyone. Sure, we’ve spilled the beans a couple of times but it keeps us feeling safe inside knowing that we fit in rather than stand out. It’s not about growing a back-bone either.

Being young (ish) and accomplished is not an everyday thing but there are people out there that crave the attention and want the world to know, “Look at me I’m successful”. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as they can handle breaking free from the secret society to deal with whatever money pressures comes their way.

It’s strange because for years we busted our butts to save money to become part of an elite group of financially free young couples only to keep that success under wraps. Then we realized that we did this for us and only us, not the rest of the world.

Why are some people crazy about showcasing what they’ve got? Because they’ve earned it? Maybe. Feels good? Maybe. Because they can? Maybe. Maybe they are doing none of that but as outsiders we view it this way.

Discussing personal finance is something that most people aren’t comfortable doing especially if they have achieved debt freedom. For those that do I envy them because I wish I had the voice and strength to come out from the secret society to say, ” I did it’, “We did it” but I know that not everyone handles money the same way whether it’s about debt or debt freedom-including us.

So, why all this talk about the secret society of debt freedom?

I wanted people to know that just because someone has achieved debt freedom that doesn’t mean that their financial problems are over. Whether you have money or not there will always be something or someone lurking around your business and you have to watch your back. Financially speaking you can have it all and lose it all at the same time.


Money invites problems


Call me crazy, call me whatever you want but crossing the line from secrecy to putting money out on the table takes more than just a few steps through a door. I’m not complaining by any means but just wanted to get it off my chest that no matter what your financial status is no one NEEDS to know whether you are rich or poor and no one should care. We all know that’s like living in a dream world though because money talks and people DO care.

Financial success can cause problems in relationships, with family and jealous friends and colleagues who want what you have but can’t at the moment. It’s a burden that many people have who aren’t riddled with debt no matter what age they are.

You don’t have to own a house to be successful nor do you have to drive a fancy car. What you do need is patience and tolerance to understand that not everyone will understand what it feels like to be on this side of the door even if you’ve been on their side. This is why I’m so compassionate about helping people get out of debt and budgeting their way to success. I did it, we did it and they can do it to.

When I started blogging in 2012 we had debt and in 2014 we became completely debt free including burning our mortgage. It was then I realized that although I may be behind closed doors in my real life with money I’m able to be free with it here but not without reservation hence my anonymity for all the above reasons.

I also realized that there are more than one door for people to hide behind including those that are suffering in silence with too much debt. It’s never easy to reach out for help especially when you aren’t behind the door you’d hoped and dreamed of in your pursuit of happiness.


It’s YOUR journey


Financial hardship and success is a personal journey that you have to take whether you like it or not. Whether you choose to stay behind closed doors or volunteer your success is up to you. Being the millionaire next door feels great but we’ve learned that keeping our financial life private has offered us something that we can appreciate more than anything, our little family and no money drama.

The part of the conversation with my colleague I didn’t tell you about above is that I told him, “I don’t need money, just happiness. ” Although I felt like I was kicked in the butt because I had offered up what I consider a weakness in my life, I survived it.  Certainly a stepping stone but hey it was a 10 minute work break not an afternoon of tea, biscuits and chatter.

There are two types of people in the world: those who ask for directions and those who get lost.

Life may be great in this elite secret society but being happy is all that matters and that my friends doesn’t take money, just a strength to never give up trying and a heart of love.

Discussion Question: Do you talk about your financial success(es) with family, friends, colleagues etc? Why or why not?


A week in my life


This week sucked. We were ALL sick. Not much to say except we went through lots of kleenex, sick days and plenty of rest time. Hopefully this coming week will be filled with smiles and lots more Spring Cleaning. It’s nice to get rid of stuff. I never knew how good it felt until just recently.

Have a great week everyone.



CBB Published Posts


low carb lemon cheesecake squares fb. 3If 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 or you can find me on Twitter (@Canadianbudgetb), Google Plus, Facebook, Tumblr, Stumble Upon, Flipboard.

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 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 May/June/July/August 2017-Limited spots.

Hello everyone,

My name is Amanda, as announced in my website URL and header. I’m an essayist and educator living in the Midwest. In 2015, I started a blog called Dream Beyond Debt.

On that blog, I tracked my progress in paying off $48,000 of student loan debt as quickly as possible. The “as quickly as possible” turned out to be 14 months. I paid off $48,000 of student loan debt in 14 months.

When I started paying it off, I’d never made more than $40,000 a year. I was working as an adjunct instructor at a couple different colleges. Halfway through my debt payoff project, I was offered a full-time teaching position.

Now, I’m an Assistant Professor focused on my creative work. My debt was a big obstacle, but overcoming it was not the only accomplishment of my life. I rebranded the site to my name to tell a different story.

Over at Amanda Page, I write about finding ways to fund my life as the author and activist I want to be. I write about keeping your focus on your dreams. I write about pursuing those brilliant, beautiful, often illogical, outside the box, lovely, irrational, big, giant dreams.

You’ll need money to chase them. Come on over to to read about how I find the money (and energy) to chase my own. I hope my story can help you find the funds to live the life you’ve always wanted to.


CBB Finance Tip


Show off your smile not your money quote

Enjoy life with a smile and put less focus on the money. Happiness welcomes people into your world and with that networking opportunity you’ll find the success you deserve even if it’s a new friend.


Top finance post


This week Jen over at Saving With Spunk has some tips to share when you are faced with paying for your parents financial mistakes. I’m sure there are many people out there that are in this situation and although it’s easy to say you won’t help most do.

It’s hard for parents to watch their children suffer but also difficult for children to find out about their parents. Just like today’s post many people who have debt suffer in silence behind closed doors for fear of failure or not wanting to burden anyone.

Millennials are at a point where in order to take care of ourselves we have to start thinking about taking care of our parents, whether they deserve it or not. It doesn’t mean I’m letting my mom move in with us or paying her future rent, but I’m establishing habits now so I’m protected in the future.


Frugal recipe hot spot


Nutella Cookie CupsFood 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 Dan over at Cakes Cottage wins my approval with these bite-size Nutella Cookie Cups.

I thought they would be great for Easter as well with a couple of chocolate eggs on top and decorate around the dish. Easy, peasy. Don’t you just want to sink your teeth into one? I do!


Do It Yourself


how to prune basilhow to prune basil

Over at the Humming Home Body blog I read an excellent article all about –How to Prune Basil. As you might already know there isn’t a year that passes where we don’t grow an abundance of Basil.

We always have an amazing crop but have never been introduced to the proper way to pick the basil. My father-in-law briefly explained it to me as he’s a master gardener but he’s not the best teacher when it comes to explaining his tricks of the garden. He is most interesting to watch though.


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.

  • How to have instant big money in Summer Time– Haha, ya instant.
  • Funk Me Hardwood– Say what?
  • Products that will make money– So much for being unique
  • How to get a better deal with cable retentions– Cancel your subscription and now you have more money. That’s an awesome deal.
  • I have too many bills how do I get rid of some bills– Well you certainly can’t pretend they don’t exist. Start paying them off or cancel what you don’t need.
  • Buy food with Paypal–  That’s different.

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.

Hey…if you see any mistakes let me know. I’m not an editor just a guy who likes to write and yes I make mistakes.









Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. Great article. I think one still needs to brag about financial victories (to closest friends/family only) but avoid saying mortgage-free as that seems to bring out the vultures as you’re not paying hundreds of dollars to mortgage anymore.

    A perfect example is my husband paying off his house in full about a year before we got engaged thus, he had no debt. Since the announcement that he now owns his house outright, his friends have been bugging him to buy a new snowmobile, a new ATV, buy a bigger house, go to another country for destination wedding, etc. He is very debt adverse (stems from a surprise layoff years ago with lots of debt and no savings forcing him to make changes afterwards) and feels pressured a lot. He always get down when he see his buddies going off in their new toys (who by the way are making much less money than we do) and I have to remind him from time to time saying, “yeah, but what are they doing to their future selves? Remembered what happened to you when you were in their position?” They have debt everywhere and can’t save enough for a downpayment for a house. He feels better after that.

    In the end, he found a very reliable used ATV paid in cash and he always end up lugging his friends’ new ATV’s home when they push their vehicles too hard and are forced to sell it at a loss with debt still outstanding. We always have a good laugh afterwards and his friends have seen that we were right. They now ask us for advice to help minimize their debt. My answer, “stop buying new toys!”

  2. Hi Mr.CBB
    I love reading your blog. Every once in a while you’ll mention in a blog post your second job…dream job…I was just wondering what is your dream job? I’m nosey 😉

    1. Thanks Michelle for your kind words. I actually haven’t revealed what I do for a living. The only hint I’ve given is that I keep people safe. Sorry.. 🙁 Maybe one day I will come out a bit more. I do give hints away all the time in my posts. Have a great day. Mr.CBB

        1. Oh no problem, any time Michelle. Thanks for being a fan. I know there are many fans out there but I don’t often hear from them so it’s nice when I get a message like this. What do you like about CBB the most? Would you like to see anything different? – Mr.CBB 🙂

          1. Hmm…I don’t want to sound creepy or stalkerish (I don’t think that’s a real word)…but, I enjoy reading about the CBB family and all the crazy things you guys are up too… your blog seems real and authentic…that’s what I love about it… I get a great story about the CBB family and I pick up some great tips and recommendations to be money smart…and you do it without a sales pitch vibe…other blogs recommend certain products or services and I can tell the post is an ad…I feel like when I read something from your blog, I’m reading your genuine experience…I appreciate that a lot! I personally like your blog just the way it is…keep up the good work Mr CBB… I know I’m just one of many who enjoy reading your blog?

  3. What a thought evoking article. People do love to speculate about other people’s bottom lines. While I don’t think it’s wise to disclose your personal financial situation to just anyone, I do think it’s okay to share some of your financial victories. I believe these victories can inspire, challenge and inform people who may not know how to achieve their own financial victories. Like reading about a man and his wife who can feed their family of three on $265/month when your spending $600 for two. Or a lady who maintains a grocery fund “reserve” despite having an exceptionally small food budget and serving full and delicious menus each week.

    What constitutes a financial victory can be defined not only by a bank balance or paying off a credit card debt, it can be that great used car you got for a steal 12 years ago rolling over the 400,000 km mark.

    Financial success is also not the only reason people work. Many self-made people continue to work long after they are financially independent because their work isn’t just what they do, it’s who they are. To some people a pay raise doesn’t just mean more money in their pocket, it’s validation that someone appreciates their time and commitment to the job they take pride in doing everyday. That said, I have mentioned to my husband, who is exceptionally committed to his career, that I’ve never seen a headstone that read “Beloved Employee”.

    There will always be people who want to know your business, who are jealous, who seek to take advantage, who believe they are entitled. It’s up to you if you choose to inform them, compete with them, be taken advantage of by them or enable them.

    1. Thank you for your perspective, Libby!
      I love your last words: “There will always be people who want to know your business, who are jealous, who seek to take advantage, who believe they are entitled. It’s up to you if you choose to inform them, compete with them, be taken advantage of by them or enable them.” It’s a great motto.

    2. Hi Libby,
      You make some valid points and I agree that money isn’t the motivation for everyone when it comes to their career,mine included. For us it just seems easier to not say anything at all at least for now.

      What constitutes a financial victory can be defined not only by a bank balance or paying off a credit card debt, it can be that great used car you got for a steal 12 years ago rolling over the 400,000 km mark.

    3. Hi Libby,
      I agree a pay raise doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. We choose what we want to disclose depending on the person but in general we just keep it to the blog as it keeps things easier. I agree with you about the financial successes which again will differ for everyone. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. 🙂

  4. Straight facts…you don’t have to advertise debt-free tor even not-living-paycheque-to-paycheque to get hit with the requests.
    What I’ve had related to me would curl you financial toes!

    In a year, someone I know very well paid last month’s rent for a family friend to help them get started in a new place when they were evicted from the family home. Started taking them around to get items to set up their new apartment. Helped them get years of taxes done. Got a new cell phone as they couldn’t get a monthly plan on their own. Paid for groceries about once a month close to “cheque day” because they’d run out. Shown them how to grocery shop and meal plan, even taken them.
    My advice, “Don’t loan anything you can’t afford to make a gift in the end. Despite their best intentions, you won’t get any money back. They didn’t get to that point by some bizarre series of bad luck and coincidences. And set some limits.”
    What we’ve seen since is no money back, no headway, in the same position a year later. This person just signed up for a gym plan at $280 month and doesn’t have any money for groceries after getting paid. Woefully talking out their financial predicament and in the same breath talking about their visit to the casino and the wonderful meal the day before.

    When I hear this, I feel deeply for the people in asking. And a tiny bit resentful that they feel someone should. They can’t get their stuff together, and can’t plan and what is even worse, can’t imagine WHY you aren’t able to help.

    If, on your own, you can’t make the sacrifices and hard choices to get to a place where you at least can breathe, don’t EVER come knocking on my door for sympathetic monetary donations. I will spend the time to help you get on track, but time is the only commodity that I have that will help you. But time is never what they are looking for.

    My great-grandfather said “I wish I knew how long I was gonna live, because then I’d know how much I could spend.”
    I’ve turned it around, “I wish I knew how long I was gonna live, because then I’d know how much to save.”
    Rant over!

    1. Hi Anne,
      My parents gave me a small $5000 loan before I moved to Canada but they knew I had the money to pay them. My money was tied up at the time. I know what you mean about lending money and people asking. It’s so hard to say no. We even know someone who constantly moves or gets kicked out, doesn’t pay rent or it’s the landlords fault for this and that so they hold back the rent they don’t even have. Then they ask to stay with us…

      I loved this…..

      My great-grandfather said “I wish I knew how long I was gonna live, because then I’d know how much I could spend.”
      I’ve turned it around, “I wish I knew how long I was gonna live, because then I’d know how much to save.”

    2. Hi Anne,
      Would I be able to quote your grandpa in a post?
      My great-grandfather said “I wish I knew how long I was gonna live, because then I’d know how much I could spend.”

      1. That would be fine! My mother talks about how funny he was and her memories…how he helped all his children get farming, was generous and happy, had no debt and lived pretty much month to month in his older years with family. The analogies are endless, he lived the “You can’t take it with you” mentality, and brings to mind the parable about the grasshopper and the ants, or squirrels that put away just enough, and a little more for the long winter.

  5. I’ve only discussed them with friends I’ve made because of blogging about money. They have almost all the context and background so there’s never any issue with jealousy or misunderstanding or feeling like they want to use me because I “have it easy”. I’d never talk money with colleagues because mixing my money information which is highly personal is against my rule about keeping work and home life separated. Had too many run ins with bad and creepy bosses who felt entitled to info about my personal life to bend that!

    1. Hi,
      I try not to discuss money but it always seems to come up in conversation with almost everyone. I don’t disclose anything about us because like you mention we shouldn’t mix work and outside talk together. Why would your bosses want to know so much personal info about you?

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.