The One Million Dollar Frugal Journey Train Ride : June 2018 Net Worth Update (+1.02%)

one million dollar frugal journey



Money is why we started this blog and we certainly aren’t going to end it just because we’ve reached the one million dollar number that for some reason people think is the big bang theory of finance. How finance began and how finance ends, either you’re broke or you’re worth millions.

We aren’t quitting now, not ever (unless we are 6 feet under) and it’s taking me weeks to write this post because I wasn’t sure how to tackle a topic that really was just a number. We’ve learned at CBB there’s more to life than just money however we still need to consider yesterday, today and tomorrow. Somehow debt rules and not from a happy perspective either.

Happier has become my our rich and even thought we’ve achieved our one million dollar frugal journey we aren’t stopping now. There has to be a reason why so many people thrive on the million dollar journey yet stumble to get over paying debt or simply understanding their financial health.

Give me a million dollars

I need a million dollars

I want a million dollars

Why do so many people want or need one million dollars?

We all want to be rich but what is rich and will it make you happier when you get to that point? These are all questions only you can answer but over the past 6 years of blogging at CBB one million dollars was always our net worth goal. Looking back it really was just a number, one that people view as the King or Queen of finance hill. Meh, it’s just a number.

Then you have people who just want money to buy a meal, put a roof over their heads or just to pay the bills. It’s one of those situations where we all view money from different perspectives depending on where we live and how our lives are playing out.


A Million Dollars But…


Every day people flock to lottery booths across Canada to play and for what reason, to win big bucks. It’s not the small prizes that have people sprinting to the machine it’s the number of zero’s after the first number that gets our engines running.

There’s something about one million dollars or millions of dollars that takes over our brains and tells us that life will be better. This is why lottery organizers from hospitals to the OLG use the million dollar mark as a hand to drive the masses to dig into their pockets. Buy what we offer and you might win this. We believe that on the other side of the fence the grass is greener and that’s the place we all need to be in order to be happy.

WRONG. It gives us STUFF and sure we may have peace of mind BUT you can still do the same thing with less money and without waiting for a lottery win. Winning the lottery is a rotten way to hope that you can live the life of luxury because you may find that the money you invested in playing the lottery could have made you financially happy in other ways.


Can you handle TAKING RISKS?


What is your risk tolerance? Are you prepared to put everything you’ve got into making sure your yesterday, today and tomorrow is comfortable for you? If your answer is yes then risk even time just to manage the money you do have and you will see rewards through your efforts.

At the same time starting your own business and taking it from nothing to millions or investing the money you spend into buying real estate investments may just get you from point A to point One Million Dollars faster than winning the lottery might.

We actually have a friend who lost her job and was granted money from the Government of Canada to start up a small business in the healthcare field. It started with just her and now she has a fleet of employees and is widely successful in our surrounding area. I’ll be honest and say that I was a bit hesitant for her but man she proved me wrong and sent me to the naughty corner. IT CAN BE DONE and she taught me a lesson about achieving goals that I set out for myself- all that matters are your dreams.

With ventures such as the above they all come with risk which is something that most people aren’t willing to take which is why a small investment in a Lotto Max ticket makes sense. The same thing goes with saving money and budgeting what we earn each month, there’s risk but it must be done if you want to find your freedom. For those of you who don’t budget you may find gratification in paying your bills, saving money other ways and life goes on or you take it as it comes. This all boils down to choice.

I know plenty of people including my mother-in-law who doesn’t budget because this has been the only way of life she knows. Money comes in, bills get paid and the rest is spent on whatever needs or wants come up for the month. If there is anything extra it sits in the bank account. Not everyone was brought up in a budget-minded family environment and trying to put someone on a budget who doesn’t want to be on one is tough going, if at all.

Then there are others like ourselves who want to know more about risk and where money is going, how to grow it and see the positive in long-term investing even if it is in small amounts. There is no room for negativity in finance because if you invite that feeling into your home it becomes a struggle between paying off debt, enjoying life and sailing down the road to your happy retirement.


From nothing to something


When I moved to Canada the only thing I wanted or worried about was my wife and finding a job. After I decided to go back to school I was earning what minimum wage is now in Canada around $14 which increased slowly over time to $19 then $30 and now 6 figures a year.

It took me 11 years to go from point A to point B and to be honest it was never something I had dreamed of but I worked harder than I had ever imagined I could to get there. All I wanted was a career that would support my wife and I so we could live without worrying about paying the bills each month.

After a couple of years of renting a basement for $500 a month and going back to school we bought our first house together which should have been a time of happiness. It was for the first three months until Mrs. CBB lost her job and fell ill afterwards. Thankfully we bought our home based on one income and we didn’t listen to the bank shoving big numbers at us like a mortgage was no big deal, it is a big deal.

There are far more things to consider in a budget then just a mortgage repayment which is why creating a budget that includes a mortgage as a test drive before buying is always a good idea, one we wish we had done. You know, life kicks us in the butt when we least expect it which is why we need to think rationally when setting goals for ourselves. The one million dollar mark is fine and dandy but getting there takes leaps and bounds for most people.

Sure, there are the lucky ones who have fortune fall in their laps due to a lottery win or inheritance but that lucky life doesn’t last forever. For those of us who don’t get involved with successful business ventures working and saving is the primary way to become debt free and save for retirement. This is how we were able to save money from a young age which helped set the platform for us paying our Canadian mortgage off in 5 years. Zero help from anyone.

Financial freedom or money for that matter doesn’t own anyone it’s a ticket on a train that can take you forward or turn around on you without notice. It sucks going back to the station empty-handed, I know because I’ve been there more than once, but I never gave up hope.


Death and Illness Changed Our Perspective


I think once my father-in-law passed away and my mother-in-law was diagnosed with dementia that we began to think more about our future than ever before. Our will was finally updated, signed and completed this past month even though we thought we had finished it last year.

We decided to go with another lawyer after learning more about death, illness and Wills shortly after my father-in-law passed away and we’ve spent more time contacting banks, lawyers and government officials on his behalf. Woah, it’s a LONG process and one that I don’t wish on anyone but we all die at some point and hopefully someone will be there to pick up the pieces left behind.

Who was going to get our son if we both died in a car accident?  Now we know because it’s written in our Will as is a number of other things that we hadn’t considered or found was vaguely explained if at all in our Will.

Related: A frozen bank account after death leaves widow broke

We realized that the lawyer we went with was not thorough enough with us so we went with the top lawyer in our city who blew us away with her services. Both Mrs. CBB and I are comfortable now with our Will but know in the future we may need to update it but until then we’ve lifted stones that we didn’t have in the other Will. I believe this was a case of live and learn for us and that cheap is not always best and that you don’t often find out consequences until it happens to you or close to home.


One Million Dollars feels like…


How does it feel to be worth one million dollars on paper? Well, it doesn’t feel any different to be honest and perhaps that’s because we are a frugal family and we know that one million dollars is just a number. Don’t get me wrong, we are happy that we have been able to save enough where we are comfortable but at the same time we understand that things always aren’t as they seem.

Once you knock out the value of our house which we haven’t increased in our net worth for years you’ll see that number get chopped. If we sold our house today we could put it on the market for around $600,000 but as we all know real estate prices go up and down just as fast as gas prices do in Canada.

We can’t rely on that number for anything especially if we plan to buy a larger house with some land in the same city. We’d most certainly be looking at another mortgage of $300,000 to achieve this. We’d have to move to a town where the cost of living is less which would free up more cash for us. I guess that is our retirement goal moving forward.

One million dollars is more than we had ever expected to hold in our net worth pocket but at the same time life throws curve balls and we have to be ready for them. This is why we continue to live the one million dollar frugal journey so we continue to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees.

We also have to consider that I have 25 years left in the workforce before retirement. I could lose my job, change jobs or fall ill or even die which are all things to consider but not topics people like to discuss.


One Million Dollar Frugal Journey


What does one million dollars mean to us?

  • We continue to budget monthly
  • We continue to track our grocery spending
  • We continue to buy used, garage sale and frequent second-hand shops
  • We continue to be deal hunters
  • We continue to educate our son about finance
  • We splurge when we can or want to but with-in reason and must be saved for first
  • We continue to set financial goals, family goals and retirement goals
  • We continue to recognize that money doesn’t own us but it helps guide us to where we want to be but unfortunately not everyone reaches this part of the journey.
  • We live life the way we want to know that allows us to save and enjoy ourselves.
  • We continue to blog at Canadian Budget Binder and help others who financially struggle to pay debt by sharing our journey and those of other readers.
  • We just care.

That’s really all it boils down to, caring. You must care about your journey and know that whatever you put in is what you get out and if you fail to get back up again and keep on going.

So, this is our Million Dollar Frugal Journey and I hope you stick around for the ride. I promise I won’t kick you off our train. Choo Choo!!!!



Our Net Worth June 2018


June 2018 Net Worth Losses and Gains

Where all the money went:

Let the fence building begin!! We decided that I would build our wood fence to save us lots of money which I will be blogging about when the fence is done. The best part ALL of the neighbours are pitching in. I’m taking photos along the way to share with everyone as well. Not too much happened in June to be honest which is not a bad thing sometimes.



Understanding Net Worth


What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?

Net Worth is a snap shot of your financial health sort of like a picture or debt to net assets. In simple terms it’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities.

We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget and not giving up. Your numbers may go up and down but don’t let the numbers scare you rather understand why and move on.

If you would like to use our budget I offer a FREE downloadable budget which I created and that you can use at home just like we do. I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!

There are tonnes of other free printable lists offered at Canadian Budget Binder to help you achieve some of those financial goals and build your net worth.


Determining net worth


Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your personal numbers or monthly finances which means you need to do your homework. Net Worth is simply adding up all your assets (what you own) then taking away your liabilities (what you owe) which will give you a net worth number.

Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track to meeting or beating your personal financial goals. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

How to Determine Net Worth?

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities


Calculate net worth


Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth? We like to calculate our net worth every month so we know if we are still on track. Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly but it’s up to you and how informed you want to stay when it comes to your financial health.

Net Worth is only an estimate and not everyone uses the same type of figures to tally it up. Some of you may not include vehicles like we do or leave out assets inside the home like we have. You might be that person that believes that your house should be excluded. It depends on what you want to calculate or what you can sell today and make money on for tomorrow.

Why not go ahead and calculate your own using our Free Money saving Tool Net worth Calculator (Canadian Budget Binder 2012)


Why you should set financial goals


Below is our progression chart towards our goal of a million dollars net worth which should happen according to our net worth calculations by Mid August 2017 (this year). Note: Since we went on holidays and spent money buying a new truck in 2017 this goal has now changed and will likely take us into 2018. I will have a more accurate update shortly.

Setting goals are the only way we work towards achieving what we want to get done as a couple around the house and in our financial life. I know that without them we would be flying by the seat of our pants which wouldn’t work for us.


Our financial numbers


June 2018 Preceding 12 Months Net Worth

When budgeting anything is possible, we are proof of that although we still have a long way to go in our journey. These are our numbers and our goals, not a means of comparison towards your own goals to others target goals.

We don’t care how much money others make or if they have a high net worth or if it is lower than ours as it’s not a competition. I hope our experiences perhaps will help guide you along your financial path working towards debt freedom.


Different financial paths


Not everyone has the same path in life. Some of you may have had to start over like I did or go to school a second time and now have OSAP loans to pay back.

Others may have divorced, lost money in the stock market or other investments, suffered job loss, fell ill or injured on the job etc. but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.

Some of you may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, paid educations or perks in life that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too. Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.

No one cares about your money as much as you do so don’t waste your energy trying.

The only reason people accumulate wealth is because they know how to save or invest it wisely even if they did inherit money or win the lottery. The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.

Sometimes we have to fail in order to learn and we’ve all been there. Money can be an evil force for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their own financial situation.

I urge you to be optimistic and little by little with determination you too should see improvements, if you want that to happen.


Net worth updates 2018


Click the links below to read 2017 net worth updates to see how we made out following our own budgeting and investing rules.

That’s all for this months net worth update but please check in at the beginning of July 2018 to see how we made out in June 2018 with our financial portfolio.


It’s Not About How Much Money You Make It’s How You Save It

Don’t forget to Subscribe to CBB and Check out our 2012-2018> Monthly Budget Updates

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  1. As Mary has pointed out back when I began work in 1966 as a newly-graduated RN my salary was $172.00 every 2 weeks after taxes or the grand total of $4472 a year. I remember saying that if I ever made $10K a year we would be “rich”. I grew veggies and fruit in our garden to supplement our income. Learned to save for things we wanted and rarely splurged on a meal out. That mindset has truly followed me through life but now – in retirement – and after disastrous divorce fall-out – life is a constant concern as to whether I can pay all the bills that come in. I now volunteer in a thrift shop which allows me to buy clothes or whatever I need at half their already low prices. I pay weekly for 18 weeks to have fresh (organic) veggies delivered weekly . If I need something my first impulse is to look at the many giveaway sites locally and/or on Kijiji. I donate regularly to the free sites as well as things become redundant. Almost all my other groceries are bought on sale (especially meat) or reduced. First place I check when shopping is the reduced carts. I buy my fresh eggs from an egg farm at less than half-price. Pick blueberries & strawberries to have some for the winter. This week I helped a retired single friend who is disabled and needed some medical equipment which CCAC wouldn’t cover for her. I went to an outfit near here which accepts donated used equipment and checks for safety & function. One piece she needed (a RoHo cushion) is retail $5-600. I got it for $50 for her & a raised toilet seat for $10 and asolid safety bar for tub-side for $20. Ask around or on facebook and you will receive lots of hints as to where things are available for rock bottom prices. It can be done. I’ll never have a million dollars in the bank but happiness and gratitude are worth so much more to me.

  2. Congratulations CBB family!

    I have to say, a milion dollars today is not what it used to be. 🙁 When I was a child and standard salaries were less than $10,000 per annum…it looked like a lot BUT in today’s dollars, the reality is that you need to aim for the Billionaires club to have the sort of financial clout that my childhood dreams thought that the Millionaires club would bring.

    So, I challenge you! You’ve done it once…it’s now time to repeat the process. Do it 1,000 times, either yourself or with multi-generational wealth, and you’ll be announcing that you’ve joined the Billionaires club! My hubby says that once I have saved something, it never gets spent! I learned that one from my Dad. Your son, and his heirs, will make faster progress in building wealth than you ever imagined simply by virtue of 3 financial rules: 1. Start as you mean to continue, 2. Pay yourself first and 3. COMPOUNDING is king. 🙂 You’ve already laid the groundwork for continued success by trudging a long, slow uphill climb to the first million and now continue to build, build, build! 🙂

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