Clever Online Shopping Saved Our Christmas Budget $400 So Far : The Saturday Weekend Review #242

online shopping saved our christmas budget $400, so far!-1



In general there haven’t been many people I’ve chatted to who don’t have some form of a Christmas Budget. Sounds odd since budgeting for the entire year seems to be one of the laziest financial tasks going even though it is mega easy to do, and valuable.

Shopping for any holiday or special occasion without a budget makes for a potential financial disaster. Make sure you read the fine print on your credit card statement which states the length it will take you if only monthly minimum payments are paid. That should be MORE then enough to put the spending without a budget breaks on.

Consumers who random-shop tend to spend more money on things they could have purchased cheaper somewhere else. If you care about your money then plan out occasions where you know you will be spending more than typical amounts of money. Compare random shopping to window shopping.

Some people like to do their Christmas shopping on Boxing Day and throughout the year which is ideal but again a budget is necessary in my opinion. There were times when we would Christmas shop without a Christmas budget well before I started this blog and the amount of receipts we had were insane.

Every time we would step into the shopping mall or any shop for that matter we would find something that someone would LOVE and we’d buy it IF it were on sale. Well all those cute moments turn into mega-bucks even if you think you’re adding it all up in your head or tracking it.

Many people end up with too much stuff and decide to return it before and after Christmas with their receipt just to get some of the money back. Holiday shopping is fun whether you’re on foot or doing it with your smartphone, laptop, tablet or PC but there has to be financial limits in place and tracking MUST be done.


Christmas Budget Money


Christmas Budget 2017We save each month in our projected expenses under Christmas Budget money so we can do some shopping whether it be online shopping or in-store shopping for the hottest Christmas deals.

Although we budget $40 a month or $480 a year for our Christmas budget shopping it all doesn’t go to just gifts.

These days we’ve changed the way we gift give in the family.

Over the years we’ve

  • Bought something for everyone which took over 5 hours of unwrapping
  • Picked names at the beginning of the year from a hat for ease of shopping and savings.
  • Shopped for just the kids

Now we shop for the kids and for ourselves since we don’t buy each other anything for Christmas and in the past we would buy something for the house.

One year on Cyber Monday we bought our Smart TV which would be nice to have updated but it’s not something on our ‘to do list’. Having the latest and greatest doesn’t always appeal to us.


Online Shopping Deals


While I was at work Mrs. CBB was online shopping which is something that she doesn’t do often unless we need something fast. Just this past year we decided to get an Amazon Prime Membership which we did not budget for but will in 2018. We have saved tonnes of money shopping at Amazon with free shipping and price-watching.

The best part of online shopping and I’m sure any of you who love it know that shopping in private is far better than banging carts, bumping into people and most of all, waiting in line.

You can find just as many good deals online if not better than venturing out into the shops. In fact, you’ll probably save more money staying away because the temptation to buy may be greater because the of the rush effect. At home the rush won’t be as strong so you can think more about your purchases before making them.

There will be those odd timed sales that you might click on where it gets the best of you but if there are free returns you’re good. Keep in mind that it does take time away from your day making returns but for the most part it’s not so bad in comparison to driving in snow, getting our son ready and lugging him around the shops.


Deal Watching Perk


Last week Mrs. CBB ordered a die-cast toy for our son from Amazon Canada which was already a great deal at $22. Of course yesterday as she was browsing Amazon and just an hour after the package arrived at the house did she spot the same item 50% off for Black Friday.

Well, you can imagine the sigh she had so she was determined to return the item and purchase two more. She would have been able to get two sets for the price of one. This would work out perfect as we’d have a Christmas gift for our son’s best friend as well.

Upon doing research about refunds and returns Mrs. CBB noticed that it was not a free return and they wanted minimum $7.99 for Canada Post. That was a bit upsetting so her last resort was to contact Amazon Canada to let them know the situation.

The outcome…

The lady on the phone was awesome and sent a return label for the product so we could buy two new ones. She saved us money and Mrs. CBB saved us money by investigating a bit further.

Always check with customer service if you’re not sure about pricing or read the fine print something we often forget but try to do. It can be a bit BORING though important for money saving purposes.

This is why Black Friday 2017 Stock Surge Pushes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Worth to over 100 Billion Dollars customer service is critical for ANY business. If you want to make mega bucks as a business owner think about your customers and your clients needs first and the profits will surge.


Black Friday Deals Clearance Sections


The biggest savings for Mrs. CBB was in the online clothing department. Our clothing budget covers the basics of what we need and buy at second-hand shops throughout the year. The only thing I buy is new jeans which I will likely have to factor in a bit more money since they tend to be $100 a pair plus tax. I like to get them at Marks Work Warehouse when they have a BOGO deal for some savings.

With a her huge mug of coffee in hand away she went busting up the Christmas budget buying herself a few new pieces to add to the wardrobe. She was shopping at Reitmans and Additionelle where they were offering 40% off the entire store.

Although this was super appealing to her she ventured to the clearance section which is typically 40% off but was now 60% off for Black Friday. She managed to purchase close to $600 plus worth of clothing for just under $200. That came with a whopping near $400 savings for our Christmas budget.

The rest of the savings came with Amazon Shopping for the toys which ended up bringing the total to just over $400 saved.


Treat Yourself


You can still be frugal and splurge on yourself once in a while provided you have the money to do so and you budget for the expenses. Considering Mrs. CBB would never have purchased anything she did buy full-price sure the savings are negligible from that perspective but she was able to save more buying quality items.

Even if you don’t save money for special occasions consider starting today because you never know when a deal will pop up on something you’ve needed but couldn’t afford. Our Christmas budget will not take us into a credit card disaster this holiday season because we’ve learned to save and splurge without hurting our financial outcome.

Discussion Question: Did you do any Christmas Online shopping for 2017 and was it worth it to you? Why? Leave me a comment below and I’ll respond.


A Week In My Life


This week our lives were uneventful as we’ve all come down with the cold that just doesn’t want to go away. Our son started the week off ill and passed it along as the days went by. Thanks buddy. 🙂

Ideally, I was planning on getting the outdoor Christmas decor up but I worked late Friday night and now it’s raining. I’m still ill but I’m sure there will be another nice day before the white stuff visits and sticks around.

We did manage to secure a spot in an in-home daycare with a teacher who stays home now with her little guy. It’s great since they are the same age and others that are younger. We didn’t budget these costs so they will be extra for us and will spike our budget.

Life happens and as much as you plan your projected expenses you can’t get them all. Saying that it’s best to save as much as you can and know about so when these unexpected come up it’s not such a huge hit to your budget either. Catching my drift?

The idea is to get him ready for Junior Kindergarten this year by making him comfortable being without us and around other kids his own age. He will also have to learn how to take instruction from someone else which will be new to him and a shock to his system. It’s best to get it out now while he can because life is going to hit him fast. Oh, I hope he lives it to the fullest while he can.

That’s the fun of our week. How was yours?



CBB Published Posts


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Top Post This Week: The Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) in Canada


Top Finance Weekly Read


This week one of my favourite blog posts came from My Money Wizard about the true costs of Compound Spending which is a great topic for today’s blog post. Spending on one thing even if the price is small leads to more and more and more. It’s hard to say NO sometimes even when the sticker price says it’s a sale or a huge deal.

Mrs. CBB did some Black Friday shopping for herself but we have that expense in the budget. Sure, we could save that money but we earn enough to splurge on ourselves too. You can’t go through life saving every penny not to enjoy it once in a while.

Like mentioned the key is to say no but for most it’s about learning to say no and when to stop.

Excellent read!


CBB Words of Wisdom




Budget Recipe Pick



The photo is blurry but you can still make out the beauty of this gorgeous recipe.

No one should dislike brownies…EVER! My favourite. I made a pit stop at Love Foodies Blog and found Nanny’s Fudge Brownie Cake shared over 660,000 times on social media and with good reason.

This is the type of cake I like to tuck into when I blog late at night and am craving something sweet. Check it out but be ready to start baking! Perfect for the holidays when company comes around for a visit or for an after dinner dessert.


Budget DIY Weekly


candy canes Door Ornament Christmas-1

Over at Trendy and Wild I found this cool Candy Cane door ornament that you could use in place of the traditional wreathe. A perfect little craft that takes virtually no time at all and cost-effective for any budget!!

When you visit the site you’ll notice that it is in Spanish so I’ve done the translation for those of you who would like to make this DIY Christmas ornament.

The candy canes are a very sweet and Christmas option to create a very fun and easy to make crown. If you cannot find them easily, I recommend American food stores – this time, it’s better not to go to Starbucks; They sell them one by one, when perhaps in the American stores you can find them in the most economical format. To do it, you only need candy canes, a hot-melt glue gun and an ornament to put in the center.


Saturday 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. (SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly and it has spelling errors.

  • Most times funny, Sometimes serious.
  • no grills scanming : Drunk and searching, Sleeping and searching, Half-asleep and searching. No Frills Scamming!
  • how to scam real Canadian superstore with self checkout : People actually search this shit! I’m amused, really. Then they wonder why there are high prices to begin with. Stop STEALING.
  • Is there a penalty for cashing out Mutual funds in Canada– I’ll give you ONE guess.
  • What to look for in a heavily renovated house? – The next house on your home shopping list!! I’m not a big fan of buying heavily renovated homes because I’d rather do it myself or hire the help. Most people find the cheapest way or hire the cheapest, unqualified at times help just to get the job done. Then they sell it to the next sucker!


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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.

Note: Some posts on CBB may paid and written by me and is of my opinion of a product/service. Please read disclaimer.

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  1. When you ask someone how much they spend on gifts in a year, they might guess $500. But there’s a lot of gift giving throughout the year… see how much you actually spend on gifts by answering my questions here…

  2. Interestingly enough, I’m turned off online shopping this year. I work in retail so it’s competition in the brick and mortar stores but that’s not why.
    I did buy online pick store with an Actifry for adult kids. Saved $140 When I got it home, I investigated and found it was an older model and new ones were the same $ now. Returned.
    Went to buy a roomba for my parents, out of stock when I got my email. Busted, Wal-Mart.
    My daughter found the perfect boots online at Payless. Can’t order because there is no Canadian online store. Can’t ship to Canada. doesn’t ship to rural routes, PO boxes, other than home addresses, and Click and Collect doesn’t work in Orillia or Barrie yet.
    So, I shop in my area, price match and have the benefit of local returns and actually seeing/touching the product.
    I have bought online but it’s ends up being things I can’t substitute and can’t buy locally. Like a bumper for my daughter’s car from Amazon (which was returned because they advertised the wrong year on the model).

    1. Hi Anne,
      Sorry you’ve had a rough go at online shopping. I never thought about the rural routes and shipping areas but you’re right it could become more of a hassle. Any time I go to a site I check first to make sure it ships to Canada so I don’t waste time. I’ve found what I’ve looked for through Google only to find out it was an American company not shipping to Canada. That sucks but if you have a friend in the USA you could have it sent to them. Not everyone has this option but it is one. Thanks for sharing your important points Anne! Have a great day. Mr.CBB

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