THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY SIDE TO OUR BLOGGING JOURNEY
I’m not sure if magical is the term I’d like to describe 2017 for Canadian Budget Binder like it was in 2015-2016 but I will say it was challenging and we conquered it.
We may not have reached all of our blogging, personal and financial goals but there was no way in hell we were going to give up, and we didn’t. There is no good, bad or ugly to CBB rather we tend to view it as opportunity to do better, learn from our mistakes and take on new challenges.
I’ve grown so much as a blogger over the years and the most important thing I’ve gained is a reminder that this blog is MY opinion. I don’t get bothered as much when people say what they want to say like I used to. You can take it, or leave it. Isn’t this the way we should look at most things in life? If it adds value stick around but if you’re not willing to change your financial situation or don’t care then leave it.
One of the coolest things we did in 2017 was take a road trip to meet a long-time fan of Canadian Budget Binder. This happened just last week and it was certainly an adrenaline rush for the both of us since we are anonymous bloggers.
Sadly, we didn’t let her know we were coming so unfortunately she was not home. No Paparazzi please, haha! We wanted to stop by with a financial gift and to personally thank her for her support on CBB. Although we’d like to do this for everyone it’s just not possible since we live in Ontario. In 2018 we hope to surprise another fan or two and if you live outside of Ontario don’t worry we’ve got you covered.
Why my readers are SO important to me
What do the readers of CBB want to read about? This is what is important to me along with making sure that we are profitable to continue running this blog without digging into our pockets. You may not have liked every published post but not every post will apply to you.
If you are a loyal follower of CBB you know that 2017 has been very tough for us with so many personal happenings behind the scenes. The biggest being our one month holidays, two full-time jobs plus the blog, interviews, new full-time job change, death and very ill in-laws.
Those are just tips of the iceberg but through all of it we never gave up on our budget. Money is still tight every month but in 2018 we will loosen it up a bit so there will be a few increases to our monthly budget categories based on our final 2017 figures.
Food prices are definitely on the rise and with our little guy starting to eat more our monthly budget needs to be increased by at least $50. On the flip side he is practically out of diapers so we’re just moving money around.
Since falling out of the couponing loop we are hoping to slowly get back into it. I would love your ideas for coupon related posts or tips on what I’ve missed over the past couple of years. Although we still look at Canadian coupons when we shop we know we can do better especially using the coupon apps available to us.
What I would like to say is that because of you Canadian Budget Binder did have a fantastic year but not the best year to date. The 2017 year started out with a bang and then from June to December there was a small decline in visitors which put us under our readership goal for the year.
There could be multiple decline reasons why for any blogger but I’m not concerned about anyone other than my readers. A few reasons I came up with for the shortcomings in 2017 are;
- People understand budgeting better today then they did yesterday and don’t need help (likely but not that likely for everyone on the planet)
- My posts are just not cutting it or answering the questions the readers want. *Tell me, what you want to see on CBB.
- My posts are too long and readers run for the hills
- I need to invest more time into CBB networking with other bloggers and improve my email list
- The blogging world is changing and by this I mean the way we network and help spread the word via social media or word of mouth.
- People just don’t have time to read anymore
- Google and other search engines put us in the naughty corner
The interesting part of my stats for 2017 is that more people are using search engines to find Canadian Budget Binder specifically. This makes me happy and excited that the word about this once tiny blog is spreading. I don’t pay for advertising so I’d say we are doing better than expected.
Please leave me your opinion or email me ideas which you think would add a freshness to CBB. In the coming months you will see a new Canadian Budget Binder layout and blog as my designer is working feverishly behind the scenes to bring our Disney to life. Stay tuned!
2018 Blogging Schedule
Monday– No post unless I have a guest post
Tuesday– GGC 2018 (Can we live on our almost 2 million Rewards Points for one year grocery shopping?) or other Grocery Related Post if not the GGC.
Between Wednesday and Friday you should get one more post. I won’t pick a specific day each week.
Saturday– Saturday Weekend Review chatting about Life, Money, Relationships, Family and so on. This is more of a weekly round-up around the web or a small publication/news outlet for Canadian Budget Binder readers.
Sunday– Recipe once or twice a month only unless a fan recipe is submitted. Since we cook more Keto-friendly foods in the house we don’t want to saturate your email each week with a recipe. (unless of course you want us too). I’m hoping to see more fan recipes this year so if you have a family favourite you created (not someone else) and want to share it with photos and a bit of history I’m down for that. Email me.
My goal for 2018 is to have a mixture of long and short blog posts to offer variety to the readers. I know some of my fans love to sit down and read one of my long-winded posts and others not so much. I’m also hoping to diversify my posts adding more budgeting tips, fan budget reviews and questions plus offer personal tips on every category in a typical household budget.
The Grocery Game Challenge 2018
I know there are a few of you out there who want to know about The Grocery Game Challenge and the answer is I don’t have one just yet. Since there was a decline in fans wanting to participate in 2017 until the end I was going to leave 2017 the final year of the GGC. Help me to understand what we need to do so YOU stick around and get your grocery budget under control with us.
Although many fans sign up to play the Grocery Game Challenge very few stick with it. I’ve simplified the GGC as much as possible and hope for your opinion in the next few days. If the GGC is a go then Tuesday will be the day the post goes LIVE each week. If no, then I will continue to blog about frugal-living, money-saving ideas for grocery shopping and healthy living in place of the GGC.
Our idea for the GGC in 2018 is to see if we can buy groceries exclusively using our almost 2 million rewards points once the Optimum and PC Plus program combine in February. This should make for an interesting year if we move forward with this challenge.
A huge congrats to Mary and Dee for finishing the GGC once again from start to finish. These two ladies are such an inspiration to me because it is with friends that we build a support system. These ladies always share their ideas and feedback and that’s important when dealing with money. We are all winners.
GGC- Yes or No…. let me know your ideas time is running out.
Monthly Budget and Net Worth Updates
You may also see that our monthly budget and net worth posts will change as move forward. Since becoming debt free back in 2014 our Net Worth has been going up and budgeting has been successful although there are always areas to improve. I’m hoping to go back to a combination blog post where everything is tidy and in one spot.
You can read all of our Monthly Budget Updates in one spot now!!
CBB Around the Web
This past year has been hard for Mrs. CBB and I with having a death in the family, travelling for a month overseas and finding out two of our closest relatives are very ill. We are aware that 2018 will be another tough battle mostly with the in-laws and dealing with what comes their way.
I didn’t get the opportunity to put in as much time on CBB as I would have liked to but now that I’m sorted with my employer I hope to see CBB hit the internet waves hard in 2018. I’m hoping to offer more personal blog posts from my family and those of you who send me your money questions or share your financial journey with the CBB readers.
We were honoured to be nominated once again for the 8th Annual Plutus Awards 2017 and although we did not take home the prize for Top International Blogger we walked away with a feeling of accomplishment. Of all the bloggers in the YOU voted us as one of your top go-to finance blogs for 2017, so thank-you.
Our biggest media supporter in 2017 once again goes to the brilliant and successful Globe and Mail finance guru Rob Carrick who shared some of CBB’s most popular and intense blog posts of the year.
Most appreciated 2017 blog posts on CBB
A successful year as a blogger means that your earlier posts continue to hang on to top spot but also new writings dominate the scene. During 2017 The Scanning Code of Practice and Free Money Saving Tools got the most traffic from visitors to Canadian Budget Binder.
Our simple to understand 10-Step-Budgeting Series tends to hoover right up near the top as well, thank-you.
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 1– Gathering All the information
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 2– Categories
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 3– Tracking Receipts
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 5– 5S Organization
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 6– Who Does What and When?
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 7– Balancing Our Budget
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 8– Knowing our Coupon Savings
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 9– Reading Our Bills
- How We Designed Our Budget Step 10– Projected Expenses and 3 Foolproof Ways to Save for One-Time Expenses
What I found interesting though was that the same blog posts consistently make the Top 5 list of most viewed blog posts. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing but it’s nice knowing that my posts are still hanging on at the top of search engines. Keep sharing folks!
A Peek Inside the CBB Door
If you want to find out how our week went and what we did or didn’t do this is the place I will be sharing our journey in 2018. Get ready for some interesting moments as we try to renovate our home, parent a toddler, grow our investments and continue as a loving married couple for better or for worse.
Not too much happened this past week apart from the Christmas festivities which included eating, snacking, drinking, chasing toddler, visiting, sleeping and doing it all over again. It was a fun, festive week for the CBB family. Bring on the New Year!
What are your plans for New Years Eve?
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 email@example.com
Top Post This Week: Free Money Saving Tools
Making A Difference 2018
The Making A Difference Networking Series 2018 is booking NOW!! If you are a Personal Finance Blogger from anywhere around the world and haven’t had your blog featured please contact me today for a date and details. This feature may not run every Saturday Weekend Review (SWR) depending on booking and publication dates.
Submit your Deal or Brag:
Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge .
What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!!!
If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form on the home page of this blog by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.
Congratulations to our 2017 WINNER…
- Pat Breadbox Oct 13- WINNER!!!
Pat, please message me with your address to claim your prize.
CBB Words of Wisdom
I’m one of those guys whom you might call deep because I like to motivate people in my circle of friends and to my online audience. I hope I can inspire and give you some form of desire to grab life in 2018 and make it YOUR best Year!
As a parent to a toddler boy who NEVER stops I felt it was necessary to learn as much as I can about parenting from none other than, other parents. Here you will find cool parenting tips, hacks, crafts and just about anything related to finance.
I found this article interesting because becoming a parent for the first time is never easy and only gets harder as we learn to embrace a little baby that grows into a toddler. Every parent should care about the growth mindset of their child and these 20 things to say to your child might make all the difference.
Top Budget Recipe
Food is another F-passion of mine next to finance and I absolutely love finding inspiring recipes around the web each week to share with all of you. Most importantly these recipes will be inexpensive, delicious and fit for a King, Queen or Family! If you are a Food blogger and have an awesome recipe you’d like showcased please message me.
Over at Pip and Ebby this week I found a comfort food that most people may be familiar with, Goulash. I’ve never tried goulash before but have always wanted to make a pot. Now that I’ve taken the time to research different recipes I found one that appeals to my eyes… Best Ever American Goulash! So easy to make!
Saturday Search Term Giggles
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.
- Canadian Grocery Challenge– That was nice to see *insert smile
- Canadian Retirement Blogs– I can handle that and possibly more retirement posts in 2018.
- Ways to get money to feed my family– This is heartbreaking but I’m inspired to know that people find CBB when looking for tips on food and money.
- What is a good substitute for Nuts in Nuts and Bolts– I’m sorry I can’t stop laughing. Just open a box of cereal and enjoy.
- Finding Frugal Women- This is important because it tells me that possibly more people are considering savings powers with-in a relationship.
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.
- The Saturday Weekend Review #242: Online Shopping Saved Our Christmas Budget $400 So Far
- The Saturday Weekend Review #243: Homeless Care Package Ideas for Christmas
- The Saturday Weekend Review #244: Extraordinary Christmas Adopt A Family
- The Saturday Weekend Review #245: How a Gift Closet May Be Your Secret Source for Savings
Note: Some posts on CBB may be paid and written by me and is of my opinion of a product/service that I’ve tried and used before. Please read disclaimer.