Canadian Budget Binder https://canadianbudgetbinder.com A Canadian Couple On A Financial Journey Using A Budget Thu, 03 Dec 2020 15:28:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://i1.wp.com/canadianbudgetbinder.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/cropped-siteicon.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Canadian Budget Binder https://canadianbudgetbinder.com 32 32 58272847 How To Downsize Your Christmas Expenses https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/12/03/how-to-downsize-your-christmas-expenses/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/12/03/how-to-downsize-your-christmas-expenses/#comments Thu, 03 Dec 2020 14:52:58 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45499 Christmas Is Different But It Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Celebrate Christmas expenses have to be paid by cash, scaled back, or just non-existent this holiday season. At the very end of this post, I’d love for you to comment about how Christmas in your house may look different for 2020. A Christmas Story will always... Read more

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Christmas Is Different But It Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Celebrate

Christmas expenses have to be paid by cash, scaled back, or just non-existent this holiday season.

At the very end of this post, I’d love for you to comment about how Christmas in your house may look different for 2020.

A Christmas Story will always be different for families around the world however Covid-19 has forced us to make changes.

I bet most of you might answer this the same as I will. All I want for Christmas is for life to be back to the way it was.

You try it. Say to yourself, All I want for Christmas is _____________.

I Can’t Afford Christmas Expenses

Getting Christmas help for your family is an option but not everyone is willing to take it.

Sometimes pride steps in the way of asking for help and instead the second option are to use a credit card.

Honestly, Christmas for us is being with family and eating way too much food and gorging on sweets. Ya!

The problem with Christmas 2020 is that everything is limited and more people are opting to stay home alone.

At the very end of this post, you will read what many CBB fans plan on doing to reduce Christmas expenses.

They also explain why it has to be this way for them with each answer being very personal.

Christmas Presents

Trimming Christmas Expenses

This Christmas season feels far different than any other that I’ve experienced living in Canada.

Many Canadians I’ve spoken to have been laid off or had their hours scaled back leaving them on a very tight budget.

I’ve created a Christmas Budget Planner but that won’t help anyone for 2020 but now you can plan for Christmas 2021.

This year our Christmas expenses have taken a nose-dive as we only buy for 2 people however we are hosting dinner.

The good part is we have an artificial tree so we don’t have to pay for a real Christmas tree each year. .

I understand the premise behind the real tree but it’s another one of those Christmas expenses you can trim.

Shops such as Goodwill and Value Village sell fake Christmas trees for cheap.

You may even find one for sale on Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji so you can put the money you do have towards something else.

Christmas Bonus Bounced

Gone are the days when employers would give employees a Christmas Bonus and some very lucrative.

Mrs. CBB when she was working would get $1000 each Christmas minus taxes but it was a huge help.

That’s long gone from what she’s heard through the grapevines.

If employers still hand out a Christmas bonus it may be a turkey or small gift card.

Businesses are struggling and it all becomes a domino effect so keeping up with trends and traditions is tough.

The worst thing any individual could do is put Christmas expenses on their credit card.

If you can’t pay it in full you don’t need to create a Christmas experience like you once did but with better cash flow.

It’s ok to say I can’t afford Christmas or that perhaps we could honor Christmas Day a different way.

Christmas Doesn’t Feel The Same

While visiting the mall the other day to get our son’s Christmas ornament with engraving we noticed how solemn it felt.

The energy and hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers were met with a few people in and out of the stores.

I can only assume that Canadians are opting to shop online for Christmas this year which is no surprise.

We have purchased Christmas gifts online as well because it’s easier and the prices are competitive.

I think if shoppers don’t have to go out in the snow to shop they will stay home and shop online.

Besides with cashback options and rewards especially from Rakuten and Great Candian Rebates you can’t go wrong.

Where Santa’s village once stood for all the kid’s delight was nothing more than a couple of silver trees and gifts underneath.

The mall used to be decorated from top to bottom and that was no longer anywhere to be seen.

Stress During The Holidays

Instead, we had our hands sanitized about 10 times going in and out of stores, felt rushed and stressed out.

Maybe we aren’t the only couple out there experiencing Christmas stress but we are.

While we are trying to find the gifts we need we are staring at arrows on the ground hoping not to smash into anyone.

We are focusing on staying away from other customers and to follow the Covid-19 protocol.

That alone is exhausting and causing us to shop less because we have no desire to look around.

No Money For Christmas Gifts

Holiday stress may also be for people with no families and nowhere to go or unable to afford gifts for their loved ones.

There are community services that can help with Free Christmas gifts and perhaps a hot Christmas dinner.

It’s worth exploring the options available to you by calling local churches or community organizations.

This year we will be going downtown with a brand new winter jacket for someone in need.

It’s a 250 dollar winter coat with the tags still attached and we will wrap it up and pass it on.

Hopefully, we get the opportunity to chat with someone who is living on the streets so we can listen to their story.

If not, they will get a warm coat for winter and that’s our way of giving back.

Christmas Expenses Shopping Local

There have been many adverts asking Canadians to shop local and support the family businesses who are suffering this Christmas.

While that sounds like a fantastic idea most little shops have prices that are far beyond what most Canadian families can afford.

It’s a case of if I bought the boots at the mall for $100 or do I buy them at the local shop for $150?

Every dollar counts however some people can support the small shops and will do so.

For those people not shopping at small shops the choice is obvious for two reasons;

  1. It costs more money
  2. Canadians can’t afford the extra costs

I think it’s clear where Canadians who are on a tight Christmas budget will shop and that’s where they will get the best prices.

Christmas with family

mashed cauliflower keto

For many Canadians, there won’t be any big Christmas festivities with family because of Covid-19.

Our little bubble of 6 which is just family will be spending a day together on Christmas Eve Day and night.

We will be preparing a

Baking will be limited as there are only 4 adults and all of us are keto, low-carb, or watching sugar intake.

That means we will be making our favourite treats but using our Keto recipes.

Thick Classic Date Squares-3

We don’t need too much but we do like to prepare a Christmas can of cookies for our neighbours who are just amazing people.

Typically we will also make fried dough or potato zeppole donuts and we may do a small batch this year.

I’m also buying a small bag of chestnuts that I plan to roast over the charcoal BBQ on the front porch.

The great thing about baking is that you can limit how much you make rather than buying a container at the grocery store.

At the CBB house, it will be a quiet Christmas and the first with no parents  or which makes it even harder for us

Family Gift Option

Typically Mrs. CBB and I do not buy Christmas gifts for each other any longer.

When we were dating we did spend some money to buy gifts but we didn’t go overboard.

I remember one year I got a Mike Holmes book about renovations. I laughed because we had just bought our house and I took that as a hint.

The following year while living in our new home we decided to buy a family gift since there were only two of us.

If you’ve ever ventured down the family gift idea you may buy a vacation for the family or a much-needed renovation for the home.

Cyber Monday Family Gift

Our first family gift was our Smart TV which at the time was a big deal and costs near $900 on Cyber Monday.

It’s lasted us almost 10 years and finally was laid to rest about a month ago.

Thankfully we took home my mother-in-law’s smart tv which is 55 inch Dynex and was able to use that successfully.

A family gift could take your entire Christmas budget or part of it so you can still celebrate but without the gifts under the tree.

Our son is only 6 so he wants to see something under the tree wrapped with his name on it.

Perhaps when he gets older and hopefully Covid-19 is under control we may take a family trip to Disney instead.

Family Secret Santa

Another way you can trim your Christmas expenses is by hosting a family secret Santa where you all pick a name and buy for that person.

That limits your Christmas gift expenses to buying one gift and far less stress.

Our son is still small and it’s just the three of us so we buy him something to read, a trampoline (family trampoline), and a Playstation 4 which he will be thrilled with.

We picked up the Playstation 4 for free at Shoppers Drug Mart during their massive points event.

The deal was cash in 250,000 Optimum points for $400 to spend in the store. WOW!

With almost 6 million Optimum points we had to swoop in and grab some Christmas goodies.

I did the math on our Optimum points and if we were able to spend them all with that bonus redemption we’d have almost $8500.

The gifts are from his aunts and us so we pooled our money together.

Celebrate Christmas After Boxing Day

If you’re looking to trim Christmas expenses this year there’s no harm in celebrating on Boxing Day or even the day after.

This gives you ample opportunity to scop out some deals in the stores and online that you can order.

The only catch with online shopping for Boxing Day Deals is might take a day or two to arrive.

Virtual Visits With Family

You guessed right if you thought that I would be on Skype with my family in the UK for Christmas.

The great part is the only Christmas expenses that I have to pay for is the internet and a computer or device with skype.

Since we already have all of that then we’re happy to see them on camera and they can watch our son open his Christmas gifts.

My parents don’t send gifts to Canada as you’ll learn in a few minutes down below.

Instead of putting money in my UK bank account like they always have, we told them to just use it for our nieces and nephews.

When we got married we used Skype so my family could be included in the wedding ceremony.

It’s amazing what you can do with technology today and when you’re living in a different country it’s a life-line.

What used to be phone calls (which I still do with a calling card) has become visual and that’s far more jolly than the big man himself.

Homemade Gifts

Christmas Basket

Some of the best gifts to give when you are trying to trim back Christmas expenses or show off your talents are homemade.

Besides baking, you can make Christmas Baking Jars or if you knit slippers, blankets, gloves, and hats are always a hit.

We have a friend who makes homemade scented candles, bath bombs, and bars of soap.

She buys baskets from Value Village throughout the year and fills them with small gifts she’s made and some treats.

At the Dollar store, there are so many Christmas gifts that are worthy of filling a Christmas hamper.

You can also buy the cellophane wrap at the Dollar store and some Christmas string to jolly up your baskets.

People appreciate homemade gifts as if you thought about what they would like instead of buying something they won’t use.

Perhaps you make homemade wine that you could pass along for the holidays.

It’s far cheaper to make wine than to buy it.

Skip The Christmas Cards and Gifts Abroad

Skype

Although sending Christmas cards is a nice gesture it can also be a costly Christmas expense you don’t need.

How many of you keep your Christmas cards? Do you read them?

A permanent stamp for Canada will cost you $1.07 to send the Christmas card plus the cost of the card.

For some, this may be part of your Christmas budget but for others perhaps an online email and family photo attached is cheaper.

Since my parents live in the UK we don’t bother with Christmas Cards but it costs more to mail the card than the card itself.

I know it may be the meaning that counts but what counts more are whether you have enough money to pay your bills.

Price To Send An Envelope Abroad

Red Post Box

 

Here’s an example of how much it costs just to send a package to the UK.

Yesterday Mrs. CBB put in a large yellow envelope a sweatshirt for her friend in the UK  with a Maple chocolate bar.

The cost of the gift was around $30 but the cost to ship by Air was $41.

Had we sent it by boat the gift would arrive in the UK in 2 to 3 months which was far beyond Christmas.

My tip is if you want to send gifts abroad send them very early by boat but you’ll pay for that.

Although we paid the $41 to ship by air we wanted her to have this for Christmas because she has helped our family so much.

She has been a wonderful listener through the rough years of my wife’s life and just a great friend.

Next time though, I might just pay my sister to do the shipping from the UK and just pay her the costs involved which will be far cheaper.

Canadian Budget Binder Fans Trim Christmas Expenses

decorated Christmas Tree

I asked my readers whether they would be downsizing Christmas expenses and what they might be.

Below are all of the answers and you will see a common trend of people are having to slim down the holiday season.

This year we will have our normal gathering of our 10 people. Budget cut backs on how much we spend on Christmas a few years ago. We have a new granddaughter this year so an extra person to buy for. Nancy

There will not be gathering this year. No staff party. The rest will not change.

However, we  never really did anything over the top anyway.

Decorations are done, keeping the Christmas lights on less to save a bit of money.

Presents for my son purchased months ago and wrapped. We haven’t done a big meal on Christmas Day in years and that will not change. H’ors d’oerves on Christmas Eve.

I guess the biggest change will not be going to mass, we are staying home.Angela

Normally we have a big Christmas eve dinner /get together but not this year.

It will be a quite family game night.

Will be finished shopping at 12:01 am when legos get released lol.

I’m super late this year. Will also be less baking since I’m not going to eat it all lol.Jaime

No Christmas in regards to gifts, cooking or decorating. I do have a wreath on my front door.The Christmas spirit is always there. Make the best of things.Linda

We started scaling back a few years ago – we only buy for the 3 littlest ones – and the adults play a game with a big ball of saran wrap with small gifts rolled up inside.

My sister and I save up things like gift cards, small items like chap sticks, keychains, etc.

We gather them up and make the big saran wrap ball and play “hot potato” with it- it’s hilarious.

I’m hoping the immediate family will still get together for our meal and to watch the girls unwrap their gifts.Mary

I made home made soaps jelly and scarf/hat sets for my relatives up north. Got gift cards for my business type people. I keep Christmas pretty small anyways. My son got a new to him washer dryer in August for Christmas. I’m taking his girlfriend grocery shopping at Aldi to fill their pantry as her gift. She a budding young cook. She’s really improved over the summer.Cynthia

Everything will change … no gifts, no special dinner, no family from outside the house – it will just be myself. Not even bothering to decorate this year.Nancy

I have scaled back a lot with every passing year. This maybe a last Christmas for a couple of family members which saddens me. I wish for just one more normal day but unfortunately I don’t see that happening any time soon. I am blessed to spend family time as the kids are growing way to fast. Next year will be different but I welcome new adventures. – Laura

No big family dinner this year on Christmas Day, just the 4 of us, my daughter’s boyfriend, and a Single friend. We will set up a zoom meeting with my husband’s sisters and parents so we can visit that way. Susan

Yes and no! Every year I plan to cut back. This year is a bomb as my 5 and 7 year old grand kids, who live with me, are not in school or preschool daycare, due to rising positive results with other kids around them.

We decided to keep them at home. So I have now heavily invested in nice art supplies and books, as early gifts, for them as they love to create crafts.

Usually they are at school creating there.. now I and home schooling, so more supplies needed. Also I am unable to run around looking for the best prices, unless its online. – Mary Anne

We usually do an outdoor activity then head to dinner. This year dinner will be the 2 of us at home. Maybe a virtual visit with family members.Pat

Because of Covid, we lost one month income. So I’m not doing any decorating nor gift giving. It’s going to be a really sad Christmas this year.Mona

I’ll still do my baking, and making gifts. Really hope my daughter and grandson can be here that day. Our bubble is very small at the best of times.Christine

Don’t really have much of a choice now do we?Sandra

There isn’t going to be much of the little stuff. The stocking stuffers may lack.Karen

We won’t be going on a family vacation or gifting one so ya its definitely not the same as usually. Will be more stuff than we are accustomed to but super excited and counting the days 🎅🎄🎁Angela

Everything will be the same this year maybe even a few extra special surprises in store for my granddaughters.They deserve after the year we have had. – Darlene

We will not be seeing any relatives so while cost of entertaining or pot lucking the big dinners will be gone, we will be paying to mail gifts to the nieces and nephews. I expect most of our Christmas expenses will end up similar to usual.Larrisa

Usually we to our timeshare condo in Cabo… obviously can’t do that this year. We have the Victoria location booked instead, but may just need to cancel that too, depending on the health orders by then.

In terms of spending being scaled back, yes, with no flights to buy! But we may just splurge on a Harbour Air float plane to get to Victoria instead of taking the ferry but only if we’re actually allowed to travel within B.C. Time will tell.-Dana

Yes but we never go overboard and always pay for and not charge the gifts we buy.

We just cut back a bit w/ Ed out of work again due to the Covid rules. Christmas isn’t about the gifts even tho I love giving them. Rice for my dinner tonight.Stacey

Unfortunately, we will not be traveling, there’ll be no baking, no special holiday meal either (just a regular dinner), no gifts, no evenings of entertainment out and the only splurges I am planning thru the season will using restaurant gift cards for some take-out goodies. Basically, December is a NO SPEND MONTH! 🙂Mary

I’m from a large family so we won’t be gathering for our Christmas, which normally would be before Christmas. We don’t do presents so that’s not changing. I only buy for few people regardless.Rhonda

I will not have anyone joining us for dinner. There is going to be a lot of trifle for just 3 people!

I will not be singing Midnight Mass with the choir and our St Stephen’s day celebration ( known as Chili Bingo) will not happen.- Cathlyne

We have to scale back. There will be no gatherings, no dinners, no gift exchanges andwe won’t be travelling to meet our newest grandson (born a week ago) or to see his sibs.

We bought a family gift this year instead of my husband and I buying for each other.

The tree will still go up this weekend but other than that.. there isn’t much christmas going on around here in the spirit of hope and light we look forward to next year.Donna

I said I was scaling back. And I did on my families gifts. But I have also taken on more people that don’t have gifts or food.

So it pretty much equals out. – Jennifer

Well, I’ll disgust everybody and say I finished my Christmas shopping on Nov. 26, slightly under budget and a few dollars less than last year.

However, I am going to spend a few dollars on outside Christmas decorations.

I haven’t put lights up in decades and now that I am retired and the house was repainted in the fall, I think it is about time.

I’d use the old outdoor light sets but you can’t buy light bulbs for them anymore.

At least the new ones won’t use as much electricity.Thad

Staying home not being with my family. But Christmas will still come. – Colleen

Discussion; How will you trim your Christmas expenses this holiday season?

Comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

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8 Budget Building Considerations For 2021 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/12/01/8-budget-building-considerations-for-2021/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/12/01/8-budget-building-considerations-for-2021/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2020 14:51:08 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45467 Budget Building Is Documenting Your Road To Debt Freedom Before the 2021 New Year starts I wanted to go over how budget building worked for us and how it can for you too. Everything and everyone has been hit hard with the Covid-19 pandemic which means 2021 is going to be a catch-up year. We... Read more

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Building a budget

Budget Building Is Documenting Your Road To Debt Freedom

Before the 2021 New Year starts I wanted to go over how budget building worked for us and how it can for you too.

Everything and everyone has been hit hard with the Covid-19 pandemic which means 2021 is going to be a catch-up year.

We already know how the financial impact has struck us and now we have to do damage control.

Living on a tight budget or not having enough money to cover all of your monthly debts can be stressful for anyone.

If this is the first time you’re going to use a budget or if you’re new to Canadian Budget Binder, congratulations and welcome.

You will find an abundance of free budgeting tools and information on CBB as well as a blogger who cares about finance.

What You’ll Learn From Budget Building

Budgeting Quote

In October we learned about the consequences of not using a budget and for those who want to be part of the budget savers.

  • Understanding How Budget Building Happens
  • 10-Step Mini Budget Course
  • Benefits of Budget Building
  • Three Types Of Expenses You Need To Know About
  • Taking advantage of Free Cash
  • The importance of setting up Projected Expenses
  • Types of Budgets To Explore
  • Figuring out your Debt To Income Ratio
  • Monthly Net Income
  • Ordering your Credit Score and Credit Report
  • Best Budgeting Tools

Understanding How Budget Building Happens

I took everything that we went through as a couple back in 2012 and created a 10 step mini budgeting series for you.

You’ll find it’s simple and straight to the point but if there’s something you need help with, drop a comment.

I’m not one of those guys who needs to complicate money because it doesn’t have to be that way.

Most people want a simplified budget building process because life and family take up a great majority of the time.

Having a quiet area to review 0ur free 10 step mini budgeting course will allow you to gain a better understanding.

Benefits Of Budget Building

At the time of creating the Canadian Budget Binder, excel spreadsheet budgeting was somewhat foreign to us.

My parents never used a budget and neither did Mrs. CBB’s family so we were starting from scratch.

Like most people, we would track our debts and expenses with a passbook and then online as banking became the norm.

Unfortunately, we started to see cracks in the way we were saving and spending money and knew that we could do better.

Taking the easy way out trying to thrive financially without a budget will come with regrets down the road.

There, I said it. You NEED a budget.

Building a budget in excel came after the pencil and paper budget and we connected with it far better.

Some people might like a budget app or the basic pen and paper budget approach but for those who understand excel, it’s better.

There, I said it. You NEED a budget.

  • Budgeting is as easy as you make it
  • Less Financial Stress
  • You feel accomplished and on track
  • In Control of your financial health
  • Visual representation of where you stand with today, tomorrow, and in the future when you retire.
  • Budget Building is NOT Perfect
  • Household Expenses to Consider

Three Types Of Expenses

While starting a budget seems simple there’s a bit more homework that needs to be completed before jumping in.

I think this is where people get overwhelmed with budgeting because it has a few layers to peel before you get to the fruit.

As we started writing our budget goals for the year back in 2012 it occurred to us that we needed to understand the types of expenses.

On our budgeting journey, we felt we were faced with two expenses which are fixed expenses and variable expenses.

1. Fixed Expenses In A Nutshell

Fixed expenses are those bills that are due each month and are generally the same amount as you have little control.

Examples of fixed expenses are rent, mortgage, insurance, or predictable expenses so there are no surprises.

They can be some of the most expensive of expenses that you struggle to pay but at least you know how much you’ll need monthly.

You will find there’s not much to fixed expenses however with variable expenses the nutshell is cracked open.

In other words, you have the control of where to put your nuts and which will yield you the best results.

2. Variable Expenses Outside Of A Nutshell

Variable expenses are those expenses that you CAN control which I always tell my fans who are struggling to keep peeling the orange.

Trying to get to the fruit by jumping hoops is never going to get you to the debt-free status if you know what I mean.

Things MUST change if you are struggling to pay the bills and your variable expenses are always on the chopping board.

Changing Your Variable Expense To Free Up Cash

Have a look at changing or eliminating your telecommunication bundles such as television, home phone, skip the data, or internet services.

You can also track your food budget for a couple of months and start meal planning around grocery sales only.

Stay away from shopping online if you find this is an easy trigger for you to spend money until you gain financial control.

Try your best to be frugal when it comes to clothing and other gently used items by visiting second-hand shops.

We did all of this and for the most part, continue this practice even though we’ve been debt-free since 2014.

Your lust for savings and realizing what needs are important may change as it did for us.

We have no problem buying clothing second-hand and taking advantage of major sales days such as 50% off days.

At the grocery store while we use a meal plan we keep our eyes on the reduced rack for products, health and beauty, and loads of other products.

Take Advantage Of Free Cash

Using the Flash Food App for Loblaws stores is awesome and we check it every day to see what price reductions are being offered.

If you are behind with credit card payments call them up and explain your situation and ask if they could lower the rate.

By doing so would help you pay back your credit card expenses instead of having more interest tacked on.

If they say no keep on peeling that orange to find more ways to eliminate expenses under your control.

Lastly, when you do shop take advantage of cashback and rewards programs and make sure to use a rewards tracker.

I know I’ve said this a million times on the blog but leaving free money on the table is all wrong.

Our favourite cashback apps are Rakuten, Great Canadian Rebates, Checkout 51, and using rewards cards for shops that offer them.

The idea for variable expenses is to slash and save wherever you can to help boost income and slim the financial load.

3. Projected Expenses Is The Missing Link

This is where people struggle because they may be one-time expenses at some point in time during the year.

These are the expenses consumers forget about when budget building however must not be ignored.

Although when budget building one important budget category is emergency savings.

When you are dealing with projected expenses you should never have to take money from your emergency savings.

Once you create your goals and expenses list for the year these types of expenses should be covered.

I talk about projected expenses  (PE) and how it significantly lowers financial stress including it into budget building.

Budget Building Is Never Perfect

There is NO budget out there that is perfect but it’s better to budget than to be staring at a blank page of uncertainty.

Now, here’s the kicker. We aren’t perfect and things just happen to come up as it did for me the other day.

All-Season Cooper Tires

My truck needed new tires and I did NOT factor that into projected expenses because I didn’t give any thought to it.

Every year you will add more to your projected expenses so you save up as the year or years go on.

If I had considered my tires in the last 3 years of owning my truck I would have had to save $41 a month in our PE bank account.

So that’s 36 months /1500 (cost of my tires) = $41.66 that I know I need to stash away for the next set. 

Obviously, the price will go up but at least you’re going to be ahead of the game when it comes to replacing them.

Mine came with cheap factory tires that needed to go but these new tires may last longer.

Even so, I’m going on the 3-year timeline just to be safe.

You could do the same if you need a new roof and have a timeline for hiring a company.

It could be a year, two years, or longer. Once you get a roof estimate you’ll know what type of price you will be paying and can start saving.

Projected expenses will save your sanity if you can save for them without having a big bill thrown at you when the time comes.

Household Expenses When Budget Building

Grocery Cart

The budget building process includes knowing from A to Z all of your household expenses.

As mentioned about your fixed expenses are simple because they are what they are every month.

What other budget categories should you create?

We broke our budget categories down as far as we could so we could see numbers on a true scale.

For example, we kept groceries only for groceries and health and beauty in another category.

You can have a look at our monthly budgets for the past years to see how we’ve created our budget categories.

And to be fair, you will find that your categories may change year after year.

Once you become a budgeting pro you may want to break them down further as we have.

It’s not an obsession it’s just a way of understanding where the money is going and where we can chop, slash, or get rid of when needed.

Budget categories paint a detailed picture and how much detail you want is up to you.

Debt To Income Ratio

Not everyone wants to know their debt to income ratio but if you want to be successful at becoming debt-free faster you need to know.

When budget building you must be realistic and know how much money you have coming in which we talked about above.

You also need to know the exact numbers of every debt you owe.

Part of budgeting is understanding the health of your overall financial picture so you need to understand your debt.

What are some types of debt you might hold?

The idea is to figure out how much debt you owe in comparison to your gross income.

This is called your Debt To Income Ratio.

When applying for a loan or mortgage some organizations want to know your debt to income ratio to decide on whether you’ll be able to pay them back.

When you arrive at a number you’ll see how much money you are earning and how much debt you owe.

It’s one of those numbers that can be scary but don’t let it get you down, we all have to start somewhere.

Order Your Credit Score and Credit Report

I also suggest that at least once a year to find out what your credit score is and to get your credit report.

We use Borrowell but also have checked out Credit Verify which is also a great system for Canadians.

Did you know you can get your Equifax credit score for free from our partners at Borrowell?

In under 3 minutes, you’ll be able to access your credit score and full credit report – for free! 

Get My Credit Score!

Why should you understand your credit score? 

If you’re planning on getting a mortgage, finding a new job, financing a car, applying for a loan, or signing a lease, your credit score will be taken into account. Having a higher score will make it easier (and cheaper) to do those things. 

Borrowell’s mission is to help Canadians make great decisions about credit. Checking your score won’t affect it.

Borrowell will never ask for your credit information and doesn’t share your data with third parties. 

Credit Verify

Who is Credit Verify?

Credit Verify is a Canadian consumer-facing credit report that focuses on helping customers with credit education and suitable products to rebuild credit.

Credit Verify also offers Identity Protection Monitoring and Internet Scan services to their customers.

Credit Verify is owned by Credique, LLC and is available in all provinces, except Quebec.

To read your full credit report Credit Valley only charges you $1 which in my opinion is very reasonable.

Get your Free Credit Score and $1 Credit Report Now!

Monthly Net Income

If I asked you how much money you net each month would you know that number?

For some of you, it may fluctuate or be irregular based on when your employer pays you.

However, you should always have somewhat of an estimate so you can start budget building.

Your net income is how much money you get deposited into your bank account monthly from your employer.

If you are a business owner and work for yourself and want to begin budget building you’d do the same.

How much are you being paid by yourself each month?

You can also use a net worth income tracker for your budget binder and track month to month what you net.

This will make budget building easier if you know what net income amount you are working with.

Best Budgeting Tools To Get You Started

There are so many budgeting apps and free budgets online that you can choose anyone you want.

However, if you are like me and would rather track your budget manually or with the excel budget spreadsheet the choice is yours.

I find that I lean more towards the excel spreadsheet for budgeting only because I’ve set time aside to work on it.

Top 2020 Canadian Budget Apps

Below are some of the Top Canadian Budgeting Apps for 2020 and I’m sure into 2021.

  • Mint.com
  • You Need A Budget
  • Mylo
  • Wallet
  • Spendee
  • Pocket Guard
  • Spending Tracker
  • KOHO
  • GoodBudget

What I can tell you is that our excel budget spreadsheet has been successful for us and continues to be motivating.

The great news is that you can test different types of budgets to see which is a fit for you or your family.

Why choose Canadian Budget Binder?

To get yourself ready for your New Year Budget Building journey there are only 5 simple Budgeting tools that you will need.

Discussion: If you have any questions about getting the budget ready for 2021 please to leave me a comment below.

Disclaimer: This post may include links where I get a small commission if you click on them. It helps support this blog.

The post 8 Budget Building Considerations For 2021 appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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Easy Nanaimo Bars Made Three Different Ways https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/29/easy-nanaimo-bars-made-three-different-ways/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/29/easy-nanaimo-bars-made-three-different-ways/#comments Sun, 29 Nov 2020 13:31:07 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45449 Canada’s National Dessert – The Nanaimo Bar Nanaimo Bars first came to life in 1952 in a Woman’s Auxiliary cookbook at the Nanaimo Hospital and it was named chocolate squares. According to the Food Network Canada history of the Nanaimo bar, it later popped up in Vancouver in a cookbook by Edith Adams. Edith called... Read more

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Canada’s National Dessert – The Nanaimo Bar

Nanaimo Bars first came to life in 1952 in a Woman’s Auxiliary cookbook at the Nanaimo Hospital and it was named chocolate squares.

According to the Food Network Canada history of the Nanaimo bar, it later popped up in Vancouver in a cookbook by Edith Adams.

Edith called the chocolate squares, Nanaimo bars which were fitting since that’s where they were first created.

But before Edith named the Nanaimo bar the recipe appeared in The Sun called the London Fog Bar.

The bar itself was named after the city of invention, Nanaimo, British Columbia, and is coined Canada’s national dessert.

Some of you may be familiar with these types of cookbooks and they are still made today in hospitals and schools to raise money.

Our son’s school has them for sale once a year where parents send in their recipes and photos for the cookbook. 

It’s a great way to showcase traditional recipes that are part of your family.

Nanaimo Squares

Before we get into the Nanaimo Bar recipe I want to thank Christine Weadick for the photos and recipe.

These Nanaimo Bars are a Christmas tradition in her house and I’ve been holding on to the recipe for two years.

Finally, we can say that it’s up on the blog and it’s truly an easy Nanaimo bar recipe that is hard to resist.

Nanaimo Bars Are Easy To Make

One of the reasons it’s so popular besides its amazing taste is that Nanaimo Bars are a no-bake recipe.

You’ll start to see Nanaimo bar recipes pop up around the Christmas holidays for family gatherings as a sweet treat.

Most grocery stores including Costco in Canada offer pre-made Nanaimo bars but homemade is always the best.

Besides the price of making Nanaimo bars at home vs. buying them at the store or a bakery is far cheaper.

What Is A Nanaimo Bar?

Let’s break down the Nanaimo Bar into three layers since that’s what you’ll get when you bite into one.

Layer 1

C0conut and graham cracker and chocolate layer pressed into a lined baking pan

Layer 2

Custard or Vanilla icing filling for the centre (this is where you can create new flavours of Nanaimo bars such as mint or cherry.

Layer 3

The top layer is a thick chocolate coating similar to ganache so that when you bite into it the chocolate cracks in your mouth.

Adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to your chocolate layer while the chocolate is melting will also give it a glossy effect.

It’s so good and customarily you would find them out for Christmas, New Years’, Birthday’s, Weddings, Funerals, etc. 

In fact, It was at my Father-in-laws funeral luncheon where I first had a Nanaimo bar from the dessert table.

Cutting Nanaimo Bars

Cutting Nanaimo Bars

This is the part of the recipe where you want to be mindful and gentle with your Nanaimo bars.

The thick top layer of chocolate can crack if you make the wrong move.

Ideally, once the Nanaimo bars are done put them in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the chocolate firm up.

This also will prevent the layers of your Nanaimo bars from melting or the layers bleeding into each other.

Just as they begin to firm up take a sharp knife and score the Nanaimo bars where you want to cut them into squares.

You don’t have to be perfect but if you want your bar uniform you can use a ruler to guide your knife.

Once they are firmed up remove the parchment paper with the Nanaimo bars to a cutting board.

Using your sharp knife cut the lines where you scored all the way to the bottom to get nice clean squares.

If for some reason you put the Nanaimo bars in the freezer instead of the refrigerator put them in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.

By doing this the bars will defrost a bit and then you can move forward with cutting them.

Freezing Nanaimo Bars

Can you freeze Nanaimo Bars?

Yes, you can freeze Nanaimo bars but I would score and cut them before I froze them.

It will save you the headache of trying to cut them afterward.

Once cut into bars place parchment paper or wax paper at the bottom of your tin and store them for up to 3 months.

This gives you ample time to make them for the Christmas holidays as gifts for friends and family or to set out on the treat table.

How do you pronounce Nanaimo?

This can be tricky for some people just like the name Edinburgh always gets pronounced wrong in Canada.

At least the people I run into can’t pronounce it but we all still know what it means.

So, let’s break it down. Nuh-Neye- Mo.  How does that sound?

I just made that up so take it or leave it or comment below how you would break it down.

How To Make Nanaimo Bars

nanaimo bar recipe

The first one is the almonds, coconut, and graham cracker crumbs waiting to be added to the base.

In the second photo are the eggs, cocoa, sugar, and butter before cooking.

Once that is cooked, I dump the almond, coconut, cracker mix in and stir fast before dumping in the lined pan.

The third is the base pressed into the lined pan.

Number 4 is the custard powder, water, butter, and lemon peel before I start making the middle layer.

The fifth photo is the middle layer spread in the pan.

Lastly, the top layer is the melted chocolate that I scored once it was chilled in the refrigerator.

The recipe calls for a 9X9 pan but I have this 7X11 pan I got in a set back when I got married so it’s over 40 years old.

3 Different Varieties Of Nanaimo Bars

cherry nanaimo bars

If you want to make changes to the Nanaimo bars you only need to change the middle layer.

Cherry Nanaimo Squares

Cherry Nanaimo BarsHow to make Cherry Nanaimo Bars

Omit the lemon zest.

Add chopped up 12-15 well-drained maraschino cherries with the sugar and replace the water with 2 Tablespoons juice from the cherry jar.

Follow with custard powder, butter, drained chopped maraschino cherries, and some juice from the cherry jar in place of the water. 

The second shot is the cherry filling before the melted chocolate is poured over.

Lastly, we have cherry squares with the chocolate scored so it hopefully doesn’t crack when you cut it.

Cherry Nanaimo Bar Filling

Cutting Nanaimo Bars

Mint Nanaimo Squares

How to make Mint Nanaimo Bars

Omit the lemon zest. Add peppermint extract to taste and a few drops of green food coloring

The mint squares lifted out of the pan with the wax paper ready to be scored and cut and placed in the tin for the freezer.

The Ultimate Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Printable version below

Base Layer

In a saucepan combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and eggs cook over medium heat stirring until smooth and starting to thicken.

Add vanilla. Quickly add the cracker crumbs, coconut, and almonds and stir to completely combine everything. 

Press into a lined 9 X 9 pan. Wax paper or parchment paper both work to line the pan. 

Middle Layer

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons custard powder
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Cream the butter and gradually add sugar, custard powder, water, and lemon zest.

When smooth and well-blended spread over the base as smooth as you can. 

Top Layer

  • 1 Tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • 2-4 squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped up

Melt the butter and chocolate together stirring as it melts.

Pour over the middle and quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread it all over the top. 

Refrigerate until set, 2-3 hours or longer. When ready to cut and serve, let the pan sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes to let the chocolate warm.

This helps prevent the chocolate from cracking as you cut it. Lift out of pan using edges of the paper.

I score the chocolate carefully before I try cutting all the way through.

How many squares of chocolate is up to you, I split the difference and use 3. 

Printable Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Easy Nanaimo Bars Made Three Different Ways
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

These easy Nanaimo bars are a hit every year at Christmas and I pack away a few for any company that comes around. You can freeze them up to 3 months so you can make them ahead of time. You can also switch up the flavour by adding peppermint or cherry Nanaimo bars.
Author:
Recipe type: Desserts
Serves: 20

Ingredients
  • Base
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • Middle
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons custard powder
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Top
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • 2-4 squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped up

Instructions
  1. Base
  2. In a saucepan combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and eggs cook over medium heat stirring until smooth and starting to thicken. Add vanilla.
  3. Quickly add the cracker crumbs, coconut, and almonds and stir to completely combine everything. Press into a lined 9 X 9 pan. Wax paper or parchment paper both work to line the pan.
  4. Middle
  5. Cream the butter and gradually add sugar, custard powder, water, and lemon zest. When smooth and well-blended spread over the base as smooth as you can.
  6. Top
  7. Melt the butter and chocolate together stirring as it melts.
  8. Pour over the middle and quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread it all over the top.
  9. Refrigerate until set, 2-3 hours or longer. When ready to cut and serve, let the pan sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes to let the chocolate warm.
  10. This helps prevent the chocolate from cracking as you cut it. Lift out of pan using edges of the paper.
  11. I score the chocolate carefully before I try cutting all the way through.
  12. How many squares of chocolate is up to you, I split the difference and use 3.

 

There you go Boss, this is a Nanaimo bar recipe that you can have fun with by changing the flavor of the middle layer.

I have a pan I got in a set many years ago that is 7 X 11 and it works well as a replacement for a 9 X 9 pan.

Have fun!!!

Christine W.

Thanks, Christine for sending me your recipe. It only took two years to get it up but now I’m happy to showcase it.

To view all of the recipes on Canadian Budget Binder please read The Free Recipe Depot. Tonnes of recipes to try.

Mr.CBB

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13 Easy Christmas Desserts You Can Freeze (Free Christmas Printables) : The Saturday Weekend Review #317 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/28/13-easy-christmas-desserts-you-can-freeze-free-christmas-printables-the-saturday-weekend-review-317/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/28/13-easy-christmas-desserts-you-can-freeze-free-christmas-printables-the-saturday-weekend-review-317/#respond Sat, 28 Nov 2020 14:49:17 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45418 With today’s Easy Christmas Desserts post you can download free printables for your budget binder to keep your holiday cooking and baking organized. Christmas Labels – See below Budget Binder Printable For Christmas Desserts Ingredients list Printable Christmas Grocery List This will help everyone who uses a budget binder or just wants to start a... Read more

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With today’s Easy Christmas Desserts post you can download free printables for your budget binder to keep your holiday cooking and baking organized.

Christmas Ingredients List

This will help everyone who uses a budget binder or just wants to start a list of ingredients and recipes they will make.

No one likes missing an ingredient or having to rush out to the grocery store at the last minute.

Christmas Baking Gifts

Plan Ahead For The Holidays With These Easy Christmas Desserts

Easy Christmas desserts are a must for our family and the recipes are fairly traditional for us.

Ever since I moved to Canada the holiday season and lots of food was a big deal for my wife’s family.

Without fail we would go home for Christmas with containers of easy Christmas desserts that we made and froze.

Baking at the CBB house starts on Dec 1 and keeps on going until we have enough to pass on as edible gifts.

We would always make tonnes of extra Christmas desserts for anyone who showed up at the house.

It’s a must that we give a small plate of our easy Christmas desserts for guests to take home for the holidays.

There was always that aura of happiness with all of the Christmas decorations inside and out and an amazingly decorated tree.

It was a big deal to my inlaws to have the entire family home for Christmas and we made that trip without any thoughts.

Christmas was always at my inlaws and we’d stay a week sometimes two depending on our holiday schedule from work.

Most often we’d leave after New Years’ and head home and happy that we made more memories to hold in our hearts.

Our Little Christmas

How To Print The Christmas Tag

If you Right Click on the Christmas tag below and open it in Microsoft Photo Viewer you can print as many as you’d like on one sheet.

Printable Christmas tag

 

how to print free Christmas lables CBB

Free Printable Christmas Labels

Our Little Christmas Celebration

This Christmas we will be hosting a little Christmas with only 5 adults and 2 children.

Lots have changed for our Canadian family due to things beyond our control and are now only memories.

With Covid 19, death and illness have crushed our hearts and at Christmas, it hurts the most.

December is also a busy month for Mrs. CBB and I as we prepare for Christmas and our Anniversary.

My Mrs. was a December bride as I asked her to marry me at Christmas in the middle of the year.

So, December is not only a time where family comes together but we plan a little something special for ourselves.

Although, now that we have a 6-year-old unless we get a sitter it’s the three of us enjoying a family anniversary.

Stress-Free Easy Christmas Desserts

Easy Christmas Baking

Christmas for many people is a stressful time for many reasons but planning is the key to holiday happiness.

When you host a Christmas Dinner, Christmas Eve Dinner you’ll need to plan and write everything you need in advance.

The last thing you want is to be running back and forth to the grocery store to get missed ingredients.

Take deep breathes and start with the first chores you need to do and move to the next until you have to put your plan into motion.

Below are only a few of the things a host must do before having guests over for Christmas dinner and baking easy Christmas desserts.

  • Hosting Christmas by sending invites and shopping for all the decor, beverages, alcohol and groceries, etc.
  • Baking easy Christmas desserts and ensuring you make enough and have holiday plates and tins to give away
  • Buying Christmas Gifts and stocking stuffers for family
  • Wrapping Christmas Gifts and making sure you have enough wrapping paper, tape, Christmas tags, Christmas bags, and tissue paper.
  • Christmas outfits for the family if you like to wear the same outfits or host an ugly Christmas sweater event
  • Making sure the table is big enough for the number of people coming over for Christmas Dinner, Christmas Eve, New Years’.

I’m sure all of us reading can come up with other stressful events for planning Christmas but in the end, it’s always worth it. 

This year we are hosting and we want to make sure that we provide the same easy Christmas desserts plus one new one.

Traditional baking is great especially if you have cultural recipes that are a must on your holiday baking list. 

Keto Easy Christmas Desserts

fathead cinnamon rolls

Besides the traditional Christmas baking extravaganza at our home, we also will be making Keto Christmas Desserts.

Although Mrs. CBB and one other family member are keto for life we modify our easy Christmas desserts and voila.

It’s simple to make a chocolate peanut butter ball which is one of our easy Christmas desserts and make it keto.

To be honest you can’t even tell the difference but anyone watching their carb and sugar intake they are a nice treat without the guilt.

For those of us who don’t mind a bit of guilt and splurging we’ve got you covered.

Below are all excellent choices for easy Christmas desserts but they are all Keto, Low-Carb, and Sugar-free.

I’ll write a post specifically for Keto Easy Christmas Desserts and get more into detail.

Simple Keto Christmas Desserts

Almost all of the ingredients we buy for baking are either from Amazon or Costco as they have the best prices.

You can freeze any of the recipes I’ve chosen today for up to 6 months or even longer so no worries if you start baking before the holidays.

Top 13 Easy Christmas Treats You Can Freeze In Advance

I often find that making squares and balls are some of the easiest and inexpensive Christmas desserts to make.

They freeze well, transport and besides the rolling of the balls, they are pretty darn simple to make.

1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Find the recipe here.

Peanut Butter Balls

2. Holiday Snowballs

Find The Recipe Here

walnut snowballs

3. Festive Coconut Balls

Find The Recipe Here

Mr.CBB's Festive Coconut Balls
Mr.CBB’s Festive Coconut Balls

4. Classic Thick Date Squares

Find The Recipe Here

Thick Classic Date Squares-3

5. Festive Butterscotch Ginger Snaps

Find The Recipe Here

butterscotch ginger snaps cookies Pinterest-1

6. Cherry Almond Bundt Cake

Find The Recipe Here

EASY CHERRY ALMOND CAKE-1

7.  Fondant Fancies

Find The Recipe Here

Christmas FONDANT FANCIES

8. Dundurn Castle Shortbread

Find The Recipe Here

British Shortbread

9. Spiced Rum Oatmeal Cookies

Find The Recipe Here

Rum Oatmeal Cookies

10. Italian Pannetone Bread and Butter Pudding

Find The Recipe Here

Italian Panettone

11. Italian Zeppole Potato Donuts sprinkled with granulated sugar

Find The Recipe Here

potato donuts Italian

12. Festive No-Bake Coconut Balls

Find The Recipe Here

No Bake Coconut Balls
Mr.CBB’s Festive Coconut Balls

13. Anginetti Christmas Cookies

Find The Recipe Here

italian lemon cookies

Easy Christmas Desserts We Want To Try

  1. Sugar Cookie Bars From Just So Tasty

Sugar Cookies

2. Easy Italian Fig Cookies

Some сulіnаrу experts ѕау thаt the mоdеrn Italian Fіg Cооkіеѕ, Cuсіdаtі, Sicilian Fіg Cооkіеѕ, or Chrіѕtmаѕ Fіg Cооkіеѕ, whаtеvеr уоu wаnt to call them асtuаllу come from wау bасk to thе time оf the Rоmаn Emріrе, аnd thаt thе rесіре іѕ аn offshoot frоm thе Rоmаn раѕtrу called Pаnіfісаtuѕ.

Anоthеr ѕtоrу іѕ thаt one of this pastry’s mаnу nаmеѕ, раrtісulаrlу buссеllаtі, соmе from thе Latin buссеllаtum, which ѕоmе ѕау mеаnѕ “bіtеѕ.” – Flossiekitchen.com

That’s all for now even though I could go on and on looking for new recipes.

These are the two that we chose from Pinterest that we’d like to try for this holiday season.

Wish us luck and I hope get a chance to pick a few recipes that were posted to serve your guests over the holidays.

Discussion: What other easy Christmas desserts do you make that you can freeze in advance?

Leave your comments below as I enjoy reading your feedback on my blog topics.

RECENT BLOG POSTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Rakuten Canada

Below is a recap of the blog posts I’ve published over the past two weeks.

If you haven’t subscribed to the blog make sure to add your email to my list so you get my weekly blog posts and access to my Free Budget Resources Library.

I also publish a bi-weekly newsletter that comes straight to your email, but only for subscribers.

You’ll find exclusive updates about the blog and CBB home life including photos and exclusive contests.

If you have a blog topic you’d like to submit email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca

I’m also looking for anyone who might want help with their budget as I am willing to look over your work and make suggestions.

Seasonal Frugal Recipe Box

Christmas Vegetable Bake

Starting now I’ll be posting Christmas recipes up until after New Years’ 2021 and I’m very excited to find new recipes.

Today I will focus on something savory since the topic of this blog post is Easy Christmas Desserts.

How about this Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Bake from Jules Eats and Treats.

It would make a delicious Christmas side-dish to go with your turkey, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes

Thoughts Corner By Mr.CBB

CBB Quote

Blogging is nothing short of basic math and if I can encourage any of you to start using a budget I’m thrilled.

Start by reading my 10 Step Budget Mini-Series and if you have any questions please message me.

As the new year approaches now is the time to educate yourself about finance and budgeting.

If you have any questions please message me.

Mr.CBB

HOME AND BLOG UPDATE

Canadian Budget Binder

HOME UPDATE AND BLOG UPDATE

Bring on the snow! I’m just kidding but I’m almost ready.

Home Update:

Like most people, we are preparing for Christmas by writing out a master baking list so we have all the ingredients.

Since we are hosting this year we don’t want to mess it up, ha!

I’ve got the Christmas wreath up over the garage and the lights on the house are beautiful at night.

I’m planning on going to Canadian Tire tonight to get my new tires and a couple of packs of white lights to string around the trees out front.

Mrs. CBB has the job of putting out the Christmas decorations that we have in a big bin under our stairs.

Other than that I’ve been working from home most days and we made a trip to the city which I cringe because it’s so busy.

Plus, I had to pay $20 for parking which makes my blood boil, like really $20 is massive but not for Toronto.

We had to bring our son to Sick Kids to see his doctor but that will be the last visit for the year.

As I mentioned on Facebook we’ve been experimenting with Food Kits for the last 2 weeks.

I purchased 3 meals from two different Ontario food kit companies and I will be blogging all about it.

Is it worth it? How much would it cost us to make the same meal at home?

I already know I’m going to be SHOCKED. More to come on that topic soon.

Blog Update

Not a whole heck of a lot has happened on the blog apart from me updating posts, fixing broken links, and making sure they all comply with Search Engine Optimization.

If you ever find a broken link please alert me so I can fix it. 🙂

In the new year, I’d like to have a budget binder completed. That’s all I will say.

The new 2021 Canadian Budget Binder Excel Spreadsheet will be ready in time for January 2021.

If you have any ideas for the blog that you’d like to see or topics that you feel I should discuss please message me.

I love hearing from the fans and knowing what they want to know about.

Don’t be shy, I’m just a guy on a mission to bring financial knowledge to as many people as I can.

That’s all for now CBB friends.

Please share CBB to help us grow.

Have a great two weeks and if you haven’t subscribed to the blog do so now as my bi-weekly newsletter comes to your inbox for free.

It’s filled with photos and what we’ve been up to in the CBB family.

Keep on reading, stopping by, chatting, and thanks for being a fan of CBB.

Without you, there would be no Canadian Budget Binder. A safe space for Canadians to talk about their finance and find free resources to get them on the path to debt freedom.

Talk soon,

Mr.CBB x.

SATURDAY SEARCH TERM GIGGLES

kermit the frog

These are keywords that readers typed into their search engine and landed on this blog.

I get thousands of these every single day and pick some of the best to feature right here.

  • How to write a bad customer review letter- Good point I’ll do a blog post about this one.
  • Canadian Budget Saver: Hey I like that and might use it… Canadian Budget Savers… what do you think?
  • Can I sell my clothes to Value Village? – Nope but they will give you a coupon for donating so you can save some money when you shop.
  • Dating a frugal man – There are pros and cons to this however first both of you must be on the same end of frugal.
  • Blue Vein Cheese and Avocado Toast – You mean, Blue Cheese. haha!

Thanks for your continued support of CBB and for listening to me ramble about our financial journey.

I’ll see you back here in two weeks for the next edition of The Saturday Weekend Review.

Be well,

Mr.CBB

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How We Planned Our $1400 Debt-Free Winter Wedding https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/26/how-we-planned-our-1400-debt-free-winter-wedding/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/26/how-we-planned-our-1400-debt-free-winter-wedding/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2020 14:57:24 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45358 Your Winter Wedding Day Doesn’t Have To Be A Bucket Of Debt I know it sounds crazy but we had an intimate, inexpensive DIY winter wedding day and zero debt when we woke up in the morning. We planned our special winter wedding around what we could afford and without all of the frills. Our... Read more

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debt-free wedding

Your Winter Wedding Day Doesn’t Have To Be A Bucket Of Debt

I know it sounds crazy but we had an intimate, inexpensive DIY winter wedding day and zero debt when we woke up in the morning.

We planned our special winter wedding around what we could afford and without all of the frills.

Our friends and family did not even blink an eye when it came to our non-traditional white wedding.

There was no large wedding venue, no buffet tables, midnight snacks, or chairs covered with cloths and bows.

As you read on I’ll explain to you how we planned our $1000 winter wedding and how special our day was.

Marriage Debt Is Real Debt

The number one marriage killer is debt and that can be debt brought into the marriage or creating debt together.

This is why I always suggest talking about finances as a couple before you tie the knot or move forward with a relationship.

Some of you might say that debt means nothing when you are in love and perhaps that is true but just wait and see.

Once the lovey-dovey honeymoon phase is over and you realize how much debt you have it hits you like a tonne of bricks.

Should You Go Into Debt For Your Wedding?

The answer is no you should not take on more wedding bling than you can afford.

Mrs. CBB and I were both on the same page when it came to saving money for our winter snow wedding.

Yes, we gave our special day a theme as it was a beautiful winter wonderland the day we got married.

How To Finance Your Wedding

When planning for your wedding there are four ways couples can get money to afford a wedding.

  1. Save up cash as a projected expense in your budget (you should have an idea of how much you can afford based on your debt to income ratio.
  2. Borrow money from a financial institution in the form of a bank loan
  3. Put all of the wedding debt on a credit card
  4. Financial gifts from family or friends

How to save money to pay off our Winter Wedding Debt

Provided that you’ve both planned your wedding around how much you could afford there should be no wedding debt.

Too often couples believe that they need to have the most expensive and glamourous wedding in the world.

In a way, it almost seems as if weddings have become a day to pretend you are Royal or wealthy when you’re broke and in debt.

This is why when you mention the word wedding to anyone dollar signs take the front seat.

Weddings are very expensive depending on how far you take them from start to finish.

For example, a small intimate wedding vs. a large venue wedding will not come with a comparable wedding bill.

Non-Permanent Resident Canadian Wedding

I was not a permanent resident in Canada when Mrs. CBB and I got married but here on a 6-month travel Visa.

Planning a wedding with me being in the UK and here in Canada would have been tough but we did it.

When I landed in Canada I stayed for 4 months to plan our wedding, get married, and learn as much as I could about Canada.

You would have laughed if you saw me trying to count coins at the grocery store. I had no clue.

I opened a Presidents choice bank account before I left which was under Mrs.CBB since I didn’t have any credit history in Canada.

Permanent Resident Application

Once we were married I had to go back to the UK and wait until I was a permanent resident of Canada.

The paperwork we had to do for the permanent resident application was massive.

We spent weeks working on it and getting letters from family and friends to prove that we were a legitimate couple.

Actually, I brought with me everything we needed from the UK during my 4-month stay.

By doing that we saved time by not having to mail my portion of the application to Canada.

Included in the package we sent was every receipt including our flight receipts.

In 114 days from the time we mailed my permanent resident application in I was accepted as a PR.

It was the happiest days of our lives but then the big work had to start on my end.

Packing, selling assets including my house, and working to earn money while I waited for my Canadian PR card.

Getting Married In Canada

This is why we chose an intimate wedding with 12 people at my wife’s parents’ house.

We did not have our wedding at a venue as the costs were far too much even for a small gathering of people.

My family could not afford to fly to Canada for our winter wedding so we had two laptops set up with Skype.

They were able to watch the entire wedding from the UK and they even dressed up as if they were at the wedding.

I was very thankful for that opportunity as it made us feel that my parents, sisters, and our nieces and nephews were with us.

No Income = Frugal Wedding Plans

Some couples won’t wait until they have money set aside for a wedding and just shop till they drop on wedding ‘stuff’.

I call it stuff because most of what is out there for weddings is not necessary.

I can compare it to buying too many items before the baby is born only to realize he/she has no interest.

The focus on a wedding is the couple so opting for a minimalist wedding may save you money.

During my 4-month Visa, there was no money coming in as I was not working or allowed to work in Canada.

Savings Websites To Cut Wedding Costs

When Mrs. CBB would go to work I was online searching for frugal savings blogs in Canada.

We laugh about that now because that’s how we got started with looking for discount codes, rewards, and couponing.

Using cashback websites such as Rakuten is a massive help for DIY weddings which I wish we had available at the time.

I felt I was using my time wisely while she was at work by sourcing savings outlets available to Canadians.

After dinner each night we started to plan our winter wedding event.

Creating The Wedding Budget

The first thing we did was decide on a wedding budget and since I was not working we needed it to be small.

Although we both had money it was going towards buying me a vehicle and the downpayment on our house.

The winter wedding was a no-brainer for us as it was ideal for someone like me who is not a fan of big weddings.

Once we knew that we wanted to spend around $1000 for our wedding budget we got to work planning the event.

In a book we bought at the Dollar store we started to document what we both wanted at our winter wedding.

Below is a list of everything we wanted and what we paid for.

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

They were given the opportunity to pick their outfits and it didn’t have to be a fancy dress.

We had two bridesmaids and one groomsman which made this fairly simple for planning.

Talk about less stress for the ladies.

As for the guys we all wore suits which was pretty simple and they did not match which was even cooler.

It’s ok to be different when you get married.

Flowers For Your Winter Wedding

wedding flowers

If you want flowers at your wedding this comes with a big price tag so visit a flower shop to get ideas and estimates.

We went with flowers that were blooming in pots my father-in-law had in the house. Each winter he brought in his flowers from outdoors to keep them alive.

It was perfect as it lit up the venue for us for zero cost. For example, when my FIL died the flowers for his casket and one stand cost us just over $700.

Whatever the occasion flowers can cause a hefty dent in your wedding budget based on what you want and how much you choose.

Costs: zero

Winter Wedding Bouquet and Groom Buttonhole

One of Mrs. CBB’s friends is huge into crafts and made her bouquet as a gift for her.

She bought flowers from the Dollar Store and a green wrap from Micheals and it looked simple and elegant with white, blue, and silver.

For myself, she made me a pin with a blue rose and white and silver accents which is called a buttonhole or boutineer.

Costs: Free

Alcohol

Wedding booze

The alcohol was purchased by my father-in-law so no costs to us.

He didn’t go overboard but bought a bottle of vodka, rum, whiskey along with a case of beer and juices.

There was also homemade wine that he made.

Costs: free

Winter Wedding Decorations

diy winter wedding decor

We didn’t go hell for leather on wedding decor and we kept it simple.

A quick trip to the Dollar store and we found some items that we could use on the fireplace mantel.

Now we have them in our upper-level bathroom and it looks quite lovely.

A vase filled with white stones and white and silver decor and a mason jar that was whitewash painted.

Cost: Vase only with the decor was $15 and the mason jars were donated by my sister-in-law

Winter Wedding Dinner Buffet

This is where we opted for a Chinese food buffet for our winter wedding dinner.

We changed out of our wedding attire and into something casual as we all drove over to the Chinese restaurant.

There was a private room ready for us and the guests were able to order drinks and eat as much as they wanted.

We thought we were picking up the tab for the wedding buffet by my sister-in-law paid the tab as her wedding gift to us.

When we went back to the house there was a large wedding cake for us with coffee and ice-cream.

This was paid by the family and it was a Costco Cake for $20.

Cost: Zero

Winter Wedding Dress and Shoes

snow wedding

Since we weren’t having a traditional wedding Mrs. CBB didn’t want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a wedding dress.

She went through the Sears Catalogue and found a beautiful dress that was worthy of being a wedding dress.

For $89 she looked beautiful walking down the aisle or should I say, hallway.

Her wedding shoes were white and she picked them up on sale at Sears as well for $14.99

Costs $120.72

The suit, tie, and shoes

I was also not interested in renting a tux or buying a suit for a few hours that I would be in it.

On a trip to Value Village, I scored my wedding suit and tie for $40.

I also bought a pair of men’s dress shoes for $10.99 from The Goodwill store.

Costs:  $58.65

Wedding Rings

cheap wedding rings

My wedding ring was purchased from a kiosk at our local mall for $20.

Unfortunately, after 8 years of marriage, I lost the ring while I was on a job site.

I was upset about that but Mrs. CBB said don’t worry and ordered me a new men’s wedding ring from Amazon for $25.

It was perfect and looks something like this which is a great price at $12.99.

Her wedding ring I purchased from a seller on Kijiji for $200 and had it fitted at the jewellery store for another $40.

It’s a simple wedding band which is what she wanted to compliment her engagement ring.

Costs $25 and $240 = $265

Photographer and Videographer

wedding photographer

We did not hire a photographer or a videographer for our wedding which was a huge savings.

A friend of ours at the wedding wanted to take photographs for us so we let him.

They turned out great and gave him $50 for his help.

Minister

The minister we located through a friend in the city where we got married.

We went to his house to talk about what he was going to say at the wedding as well our part.

It was pretty painless to be honest and the cost to have him come to the house was only shy of $200.

Who can perform a marriage in Ontario?

Registered marriage officiants

The following persons registered with the Office of the Registrar General as a marriage officiant under the Marriage Act can perform a marriage in Ontario:

  • a person duly recognized by their religious body as entitled to perform religious marriages in Ontario, or
  • a person who belongs to, and is duly recognized as entitled to perform marriages by a band, First Nation, Métis or Inuit organization or community or Indigenous entity located in whole or in part in Ontario. – Ontario.ca
  • civil marriage officiants

    The following can perform civil marriages in Ontario:

    • a municipal clerk and/or their delegate authorized to perform civil marriages in Ontario
    • a judge
    • an Ontario case management master
    • an Ontario justice of the peace

    Contact a local city hall, town hall, or municipal office to find out if they provide civil marriage services.

We had to pay for a marriage license and a marriage certificate which cost us close to $225.

The fee for a Licence is $125.00, Canadian funds. (Cash or Canadian Debit ONLY). Once issued, a marriage license is non-refundable and only valid in Ontario for 90 days.Source

Costs: $225 plus the minister $200 = $425

Winter Wedding Gifts

Wedding Bomboniere

The wedding gifts or wedding Bomboniere that we decided on giving each guest were personal as it was a small wedding.

We purchased a set of 4 glass photo holders in wooden frames to be used as coasters with our photos.

The Dollar store had a clear wrap for a dollar and some coloured string.

The labels we ordered online for around 15 dollars as we only needed a few.

Included was Hersey’s Kisses in each wrapped wedding gift and we bought 4 bags on sale for $1.99.

We bought our wedding coaster sets from a place in the mall called the Kitchen Store.

At the time we paid $12.99 each plus an additional $20 to print the photos.

The wrap and string cost us $3.50

Costs: $263 for the gifts, labels, chocolates, wrapping products.

DIY Winter Wedding

Creating a wedding budget that is reasonable is one of the most important tasks a couple can make before planning a wedding.

It’s so easy to get caught up in wedding bling that by the end of it all the wedding price tag could cost you a whopping 5 figures.

Are you worth it? Sure you are, but can you afford it? If the answer is no then don’t do it.

A wedding is no different than any other consumer debt because it is created by you.

You are in the front seat driving the debt into your lives by making decisions that don’t match your finances.

Winter Wedding Colours

If you plan on a small intimate wedding with a winter wedding colours theme you are in luck.

Our winter wedding colours were dark blue, white and silver which we both fell in love with.

I wore a blue suit and Mrs. CBB a dress that looked similar to a wedding dress that she ordered from the Sears catalogue. RIP.

You wouldn’t have guessed that I found my blue suit with a white and silver tie from Value Village, but I did.

Winter Wedding Wonderland Decorations

It was easy to come up with inexpensive winter wonderland wedding decoration from searching on Pinterest.

There are so many DIY wedding decor projects that you can do for a winter wedding.

Where We First Met

This is a question that we got all the time and our response was at the airport.

We laughed about it because it was true as we met at Toronto Pearson Airport.

I was shaking with a nervousness that is so hard to explain.

Falling in love with someone across the world was a big deal and one that comes with decisions.

So, I came to Canada to visit for 2 weeks and stayed with Mrs. CBB at her house.

It was an amazing two weeks after talking online for almost a year.

Total Cost Of Our Winter Wedding

After we total it up we spent $1397.00 so a bit over budget.

However, both of our parents gave us $1000 which paid for the wedding costs that we had left to pay, and our hotel reservation for the night.

Plenty Of Fish Dating Website

We met on a dating website called Plenty Of Fish which was pretty popular at the time.

With both of us just going through relationship breakdowns that year, we thought there was no harm in dating again.

It was Mrs. CBB who contacted me first and I was astonished at how beautiful she was.

Although it took me 2 days to answer her back, I’m glad I did.

It didn’t take long for us to cancel our Plenty of Fish dating website as we were talking exclusively every day.

The time change was challenging but we made it.

So, yes people do and can meet online and live happily ever after.

A Wedding Doesn’t Need To Put You Into Debt

Before I go, just a reminder that weddings don’t define who you are as a couple.

Plan your wedding, save for your wedding and try and come out the other end with little to no wedding debt.

I understand not everyone will be gifted cash like we were that helped pay for the wedding but we did not receive gifts.

This is how we were able to pay our mortgage off in 5 years and are now completely debt-free since 2013.

I can assure you being debt-free feels far better than having a Royal wedding we couldn’t afford.

A frugal wedding day vs. a lifetime of debt freedom was a no-brainer for us.

We will be celebrating our 12th year of marriage this December and still love our winter wedding choices.

Discussion: Do you have wedding debt to pay off? Did you go overboard for your wedding? What would you change if you could go back?

I’d love to hear your wedding stories so please leave your comments below.

MR.CBB

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Why Cremation Might Be Right For You : What Will It Cost You To Die? https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/24/why-cremation-might-be-right-for-you-what-will-it-cost-you-to-die/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/24/why-cremation-might-be-right-for-you-what-will-it-cost-you-to-die/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2020 10:33:20 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45368 More people are choosing cremation and for good reason, affordability and to ease the process on loved ones. Funeral arrangements don’t have to be complicated and should be the last thing on your mind when mourning. What Will It Cost You To Die? Ways To Plan Ahead For A Cremation The traditional experience, however, one... Read more

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More people are choosing cremation and for good reason, affordability and to ease the process on loved ones.

Funeral arrangements don’t have to be complicated and should be the last thing on your mind when mourning.

cremation costs

What Will It Cost You To Die? Ways To Plan Ahead For A Cremation

The traditional experience, however, one that’s remained unchanged for nearly 150 years, is known to be expensive, complex, and often lacks personalization to honor life after death.

With the rise of secularism, scientific innovations, environmental awareness, and shifting outlooks on death, we’re looking for new ways to ritualize our lives after we’re gone.

With this disruption in the industry, we’ve even seen the rise of the ‘death movement,’ which encourages more open dialogue about death, actively addressing existing fears, advocating for a better and more humane dying process, and reinventing memorials and funerals.

Many families (70% of Canadians) have chosen to forgo the more traditional, somber, embalmed-body funerals, with their $10,000 industry average price tag, and look for other options like cremation.

When it comes to death almost everything is under review, which will only continue to shift and evolve. And perhaps, the last thing we can be remembered for is less about mourning death and more about celebrating life.

Introducing Eirene: Simple, Modern Cremation Services

Eirene is a modern arrangement service, available in Ontario, providing affordable cremation, completely online, all at your convenience.

Skip the in-person visits, endless paperwork and negotiating, and focus on grieving.

Offering peace of mind so you don’t have to shop around, we won’t upsell you on expensive caskets or memorial services.

We make sure there are no surprises—it’s simple—go online, pay a flat fee, and get back to spending more time on what matters most.

Our online process offers the flexibility to commemorate the deceased on your own time, with funeral directors and a care team supporting you every step of the way.

You’ll find that we have the same professional licenses as traditional funeral homes and are regulated under the same governing bodies.

We believe thinking and planning for death, one of the few and shared inevitabilities of life, makes for a more authentic and meaningful life.

We’ve made it our mission to unpack difficult conversations around end-of-life planning and help families navigate the complexities of death care. Learn more by visiting our blog.

What Makes Us Different?

Affordable: we charge $2,500 for a direct cremation vs. an industry average of $5,000.

We don’t have the same overheads as traditional funeral homes, which means we can extend those savings to our cherished families while maintaining high-quality services.

Simple: our platform allows you to make arrangements completely online from the comfort of your own home.

It’s easy to use, with a focus on your experience.

We only ask the required questions, ensure your payment is secure, and handle the rest.

Flexible: with direct cremation, there’s the freedom to arrange a memorial service to fit taste, budget, and timelines and none of the time or cost-pressure constraints, that would be typical of traditional funeral homes, are present.

How Does It Work?

You can expect the entire process to take one week and we’ll keep you informed along the way through email.

Post-cremation we provide the tools and resources to settle the estate, close accounts, and access grief support.

Anytime you need it, our care team, which is also made up of licensed funeral directors with decades of experience, is available to help you navigate the process, answer any questions you may have, and ensure your loved one is expertly cared for.

What to expect:

  1. Enter all required information via our online platform
  2. We bring the deceased into our care from their place of passing
  3. Our licensed funeral director completes all required paperwork
  4. We register the death with the Office of the Registrar General
  5. Your loved one is transported to our partner crematorium
  6. They receive a private, dignified cremation
  7. Remains are then ready to be picked up or delivered at your earliest convenience

Common Costs For Cremation Packages

We started Eirene to provide more education and transparency in the funeral industry.

The following breaks down the most common costs you’ll encounter during cremation arrangements and highlights those that are not required.

Note: cremation is a simple disposition that doesn’t involve an immediate memorial or burial service (these are options still available once the ashes have been returned).

Mandatory Cremation Costs

Cremation ashes

 

    • Professional service fees: basic services of staff, facilities, etc. This fee is charged by all providers and can vary widely
    • Transfers: from the place of passing to the storage to the final disposition (once the paperwork is complete). This fee is heavily dependent on where your loved one dies (hospital, hospice, or at home), and how many people are required to safely transfer, based on weight and location
    • Shelter of remains/storage: safe storage in a refrigerated facility while paperwork is completed
    • Cremation container: a container used to hold the deceased during transfer, storage, and cremation (depending on preferences, anything from a cardboard box, the most eco-friendly option, to an elaborate casket)
    • Urns: a temporary container is most often provided with the remains, although it is important to note a temporary container is not actually temporary. Be wary of urn pricing, as markups can range from 300-500%. Eirene has an online store with a selection of over 300 high-quality, affordable Canadian-made products
    • Proof of death certificates: death certificates may be required to close accounts and settle the estate. Some funeral homes charge per death certificate, while others provide several copies and charge for extras. For an additional fee, certified death certificates can be acquired through the government
    • Pacemaker removal: poses a safety risk during cremation, therefore must be removed
  • Disbursements [these costs are mandatory and paid on behalf of your provider]
    • Cremation: charged by the crematorium your funeral home works with. This price varies greatly, so be sure to check the package includes the actual Prices can be deceiving and can often come as a surprise when you enter the arrangement process
    • Coroner’s fee: burial permit is required to proceed with cremation
    • Registering the death: funeral home will register the death with the Office of the Registrar General

Additional Items Not Required For Cremation

  • Additional items [not requirements]
    • Goods and services from outside vendors: organists, obituaries and flower arrangements, etc.
    • If you make these arrangements through the funeral home there will likely be an additional fee and you can save on these costs by reaching out on your own
  • Embalming: embalming is not a legal requirement in Canada and not required for most cremation arrangements. Refrigeration is often enough for body storage.

Shopping Tips For Cremation Services

Cremation Prices

Most people forget a funeral is not just an emotional ritual, it’s also a business transaction.

Doing your research, specifically around pricing, has the potential to save you thousands of dollars.

And, of course, the most effective way to avoid overspending during this emotionally vulnerable time is to articulate your preferences ahead of time and put your wishes in writing.

This may be the single most important thing we all do before we die.

The point of all of this is to make a difficult thing like dying, or loving someone who is dying, even a little bit less difficult.

  • Shop around and compare pricing. Funeral homes are legally required to provide a detailed price list of what their package includes
  • Look at options ahead of time, so you’re not under pressure to make a decision
  • Ask a friend to accompany you, specifically someone who isn’t as emotionally invested. They’ll likely be able to help you make better choices and ask different questions
  • Ask for an itemized statement regarding your final choice before entering into a contract. Be clear on what parts are mandatory and which are optional (for example, most aren’t aware that embalming is not a legal requirement in Canada and isn’t required for cremation)

Changing Our Relationship To Death

None of us escape death, both with our own mortality and also with the people we love.

Despite this commonality existing between us we rarely talk about it.

Navigating end-of-life is scary and complex, and it’s common to question if we’re making the right choices.

The experience is loaded with emotions, it’s expensive, and it can feel hard to know what to do.

When we normalize conversations about end-of-life and prepare for the inevitable it truly has the power to change how we live

Sharing wishes for end-of-life means we’re more likely to have access to quality care. 

It encourages a sense of control over final moments and ensures we can all die with dignity.

Having these conversations alters fears, strengthens relationships, and provides stability for those left behind.

These conversations, though difficult, mean we impact how we’re remembered, our legacy, and what we leave behind.

We started Eirene to provide families with a better funeral arrangement experience one that is different from the traditional, expensive, and complicated process, and we’re here to serve you in this new way.

We’re proud to partner with Canadian Budget Binder to educate and bring affordable, simple arrangement services to their readers.

Thank-You

Related Posts

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Easy Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/22/easy-keto-cranberry-orange-muffins/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/22/easy-keto-cranberry-orange-muffins/#comments Sun, 22 Nov 2020 13:43:05 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45321 These are easy low-carb, gluten-free, keto cranberry orange muffins which are moist and bursting with flavours. I’ve included chopped walnuts and orange rind to make them a festive Keto Christmas recipe for the holidays. What I love about my Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins is that they are versatile so you can adapt the muffin to... Read more

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These are easy low-carb, gluten-free, keto cranberry orange muffins which are moist and bursting with flavours.

I’ve included chopped walnuts and orange rind to make them a festive Keto Christmas recipe for the holidays.

What I love about my Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins is that they are versatile so you can adapt the muffin to your tastes.

Keto Blender Muffins Cranberry

Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins With Walnuts- Blender Muffins

Since I don’t have much time in the mornings before work I thrive on grab-and-go foods such as these Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins.

Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins are perfect for Thanksgiving, New Years’, and as part of your Keto Christmas recipes list.

History Of Cranberries In Canada

I did not realize how much I didn’t know about cranberries until I started to research them.

Although most people won’t eat raw cranberries there are so many cranberry recipes available from bread, cookies, bars, and muffins.

Like I did with the fresh cranberries that I picked up from Zehrs for only $0.24 a bag I needed to learn everything I could about them.

Cranberry Fun Facts

Here are some fun cranberry facts before we get into the Keto Cranberry Orange Muffin recipe.

  • Cranberries are harvested in water because it makes picking easier. Cranberry vines form a dense ground cover. Flooding floats the cranberries out of the tangled vines, making them easier to pick.
  • Each grain of pollen a bee brings to the blossom means another seed in the cranberry.
  • Cranberries need at least 20 seeds to be viable.
  • Once called crane berries by early settlers the cranberry was a significant source of food back then.
  • The blossom head resembled a crane hence the name crane berries later called cranberries – Source Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery
  • Cranberries are a source of Vitamin C. One cup (250 mL) contains 46 calories.
  • The fruit was first grown commercially in Canada on the East coast and in Newfoundland. Later, large plantings were started in British Columbia.
  • Cranberries in North America are available during September, October, November. –Foodland Ontario
  • Cranberries are primarily made up of carbs and fiber. They also boast several vitamins and minerals, including manganese, copper, and vitamins C, E, and K1. Keep in mind that cranberry juice has almost no fiber.Source: Cranberries 101

Variations Of Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins

You don’t have to stick with cranberry orange muffins because you can customize them any way you like.

Once you have the base recipe you’re free to play around with flavours and textures that fit your preference.

  • Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffins (use sugar-free white chocolate Chips or if not Keto use white chocolate chips)
  • Keto Cranberry Muffins with Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips
  • Orange and Sugar-free Chocolate Chips and Cranberry Muffins
  • Keto Cranberry Muffins with chopped pecans or walnuts
  • Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins with Sugar-free white icing drizzle
  • Cranberry Lemon Muffins
  • Lemon, Blueberry, Cranberry Keto Muffins

Cranberry Nutrition Facts

Are cranberries low in carbs?

They sure are and should be used far often than they are in keto recipes.

Superfruit CranberriesThe main nutrients in 1 cup (100 grams) of raw, unsweetened cranberries are (1Trusted Source):

  • Calories: 46
  • Water 87%
  • Protein 0.4 grams
  • Carbs 12.2 grams
  • Sugar 4 grams
  • Fiber 4.6 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams

So for the keto enthusiasts that means for every cup of raw cranberries, you would calculate 12.2 grams of carbs – 4.6 grams of Fibre.

Your total carb count for 1 cup of raw cranberries would be 7.6 net carbs per cup raw.

That’s pretty darn good considering the multiple other benefits that cranberries offer consumers of this fruit.

Raw Cranberries vs. Homemade Keto Cranberry Jam In The Blender Muffins

You do not have to make the sugar-free cranberry jam for this recipe although I had extra cranberries so I used them up.

Honestly, the extra bit of jam on top with the butter is outstanding but they are great as is without any toppings.

Another option is to use the sugar-free cranberry jam in the middle of the muffins or swirl it throughout the batter.

You do not have to use whole raw cranberries in this recipe if you don’t care for them in their natural form.

For some of the blender muffins, I added a bit of the muffin mixture, a spoonful of keto cranberry jam than more muffin mix.

They turned out just as well comparable to a muffin I remember eating at Tim Hortons that included a jam in the middle.

How To Make Sugar-Free Cranberry Jam

cranberry jam recipe

In a pot add 1 cup of raw cranberries, a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/3 cup of Sukrin Gold Brown Sugar (sugar-free), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tsp xanthan gum, and 1/3 cup of cold water.

On medium heat stir the mixture until the cranberries soften up and mash them gently with a fork and stir into a lovely cranberry jam.

It’s that easy and takes about 10 minutes.

Let the cranberry jam cool and use it however you like.

Store it in a container and put it straight into the refrigerator and use it on toast or even as a substitute for cranberry sauce.

How To Make Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins In A Blender

A printable version of this recipe is below.

  • Oven 350 degrees
  • 12 cup muffin baking pan with silicone muffin tray or 12 parchment paper muffin liners
  • Tin-foil just in case you need to protect the top of the muffins from browning too fast

Blender muffins are easy to make but you can also use your food processor, stand mixer, or the old-fashioned way, by hand.

Muffins are what I like to call recipes that work no matter what you do to them, at least in my experiences. 

This recipe will yield 12 Keto cranberry orange muffins.

How To Make A Blender Muffin

Blend the wet ingredients first until light and fluffy, 20 seconds in your blender.

  • 4 large grade A or free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Sukrin Gold or your choice of Keto sweetener but run it through the coffee grinder or buy the icing sugar sweetener as it tends to blend better when baking.
  • 1 tablespoon sugar-free marmalade or 2 teaspoons of orange rind around 1 net carb or less.
  • The overall net carbs will be less if you use just the orange peel rather than the sugar-free marmalade.
  • (I used 2 teaspoons of orange rind which equals where the marmalade is 5 net carbs for one tablespoon.

Related: Orange peel nutrition

orange rind

Follow that with the dry ingredients, blend until combined.

Finally, fold in the remaining ingredients.

  • 1 cup raw or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts ( I used walnuts but you can use pecans or almonds as well)

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 watching the tops don’t brown too fast.

If yes, add tin foil over the top of the muffin tray to prevent further browning.

Use the toothpick method to check if the muffin is fully baked by sticking a toothpick through the centre of a muffin.

If the toothpick comes out clean your muffin is done.

Remove from oven and let cool before serving unless you like your keto muffins warm.

keto blender muffins

 

Keto cranberry muffins

As mentioned, you may notice the tops of your keto cranberry orange muffins may brown quickly.

What I do is cover them with a sheet of tinfoil for the remainder of the baking process.

I find whenever I use nut flours this happens but it does not affect the overall taste and texture of the keto muffin recipes. 

As you can see we cut one of the muffins open while they were warm, added butter and a small spoonful of sugar-free keto cranberry jam.

Awesome is all I have to say.

Easy Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Keto Cranberry Orange Muffins are light and fluffy and perfect for Christmas or any holiday season between October and January.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Holiday
Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • If you want to make the sugar-free cranberry jam please see the recipe in the blog post above.
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 4 large grade A or free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup Sukrin Gold or Your Choice Of keto Sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons of orange rind or 1 tbsp sugar-marmalade
  • Dry Ingredients
  • 2 cups ground almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • Fold in
  • 1 cup raw or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped nuts ( I used walnuts but you can use pecans or almonds as well)

Instructions
  1. Blend the wet ingredients first until light and fluffy, 20 seconds in your blender.
  2. Follow that with the dry ingredients, blend until combined
  3. Finally, fold in the remaining ingredients.
  4. Fill 12 parchment-lined muffin tins or a silicone baking pan to the top
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 watching the tops don't brown too fast.
  6. If yes, add tin foil over the top of the muffin tray to prevent further browning.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool before serving unless you like your keto muffins warm.

Once baked let your muffins cool and store them in an airtight container and freezer or eat them up with-in a few days.

I keep my keto muffins in a container that sits on the counter so we can grab one when we are running out the door.

Let me know what you think in the comments below if you try my recipe.

Mr.CBB

Nutrition: Each muffin made with orange rind is 4.6 net carbs.

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Should You Include Your Home Value As Retirement Capital? : October Net Worth Update (+1.32%) https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/19/should-you-include-your-home-value-as-retirement-capital-october-net-worth-update-1-32/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/19/should-you-include-your-home-value-as-retirement-capital-october-net-worth-update-1-32/#respond Thu, 19 Nov 2020 14:51:34 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45293 Including Home Value in Your Net Worth May Not Be A Smart Idea Your home is likely your most valuable asset however whether you should include it in your net worth depends on a few key factors. A home value takes up a massive chunk of your net worth picture and fools us into having... Read more

The post Should You Include Your Home Value As Retirement Capital? : October Net Worth Update (+1.32%) appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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net worth property value

Including Home Value in Your Net Worth May Not Be A Smart Idea

Your home is likely your most valuable asset however whether you should include it in your net worth depends on a few key factors.

A home value takes up a massive chunk of your net worth picture and fools us into having more cash in hand.

Some of you may consider your home as a positive unrealized value subject to market risk.

This means until you sell it there’s money in it but you don’t know where you’ll end up with your net worth calculation.

Your home is not liquid cash it’s an asset that is called a hard asset as in hard to get anything from it unless you downsize.

What that means is unless you sell your home you all you have is a home with money tied up into it.

Unpopular Scenarios Relying On Your Home For Retirement Capital

If you plan to sell your home to feed your retirement you may face a bumpy road ahead.

  • The market is flooded
  • Home values drop
  • First-time buyers can’t afford to buy
  • Home selling less than you imagined
  • Your home sits on the market 
  • Supply exceeds demand

Importance Of Net Worth Calculations

Determining your retirement needs with and without your home listed as an asset has both benefits and risks.

For simplicity, net worth is your assets minus your liabilities which seems pretty straightforward because it is.

I’ve been posting our net worth update on Canadian Budget Binder since 2012 and included our home in our net worth statement.

Recently our retirement vision has changed to living a simple life and enjoying what we accomplished.

Both Mrs. CBB and I have talked about whether that was a smart move and we decided to stick with it which I’ll explain below.

However, having money tied in a house that you plan on living in after you retire only blurs the lines of wealth for people.

Is Your Home Value A Financial Asset?

Dear Mr.CBB

I notice when you do your net worth update post that you include your home value as part of your net worth.

I’ve heard conflicting information about whether to count your home in a net worth statement.

What are your thoughts about this topic?

We currently own my home with a mortgage that will be paid off by the time my wife and I are 65 years old.

At this point, we are not sure whether we plan to stay in our home or downsize to something smaller and cheaper.

We’ve also considered our health as my wife works part-time but she is not sure how long that will last.

I work full-time in a career that offers me a great pension and we both have investments in our RRSP and TFSA.

If we choose not to sell our home then why bother including our home value on our net worth statement?

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Chris and Judy

Counting Your Home Value As Retirement Capital

Hi Chris and Judy,

That’s a wonderful question and one I’ve been meaning to talk about on the blog for a long time.

Sometimes it’s the readers who send me their finance questions that remind me of the importance of certain topics.

Although I’m not a financial advisor we do work with one and there are reasons why we do include our house in our net worth.

There are pros and cons to including your home as capital in a retirement planning situation which I will discuss below.

I hope our insight will inspire you to perhaps talk to a professional you trust about your specific situation based on your net worth and retirement.

Recognizing retirement capital depends on whether you want to keep your glasses on, off, or hanging off your nose.

Calculating Net Worth

If you’ve never calculated your net worth now might be a great time to do so if retirement planning is part of your financial plan.

Even if it’s not because you think you’re too young to be thinking so far into the future trust me it will be worth it in the end.

Your net worth is calculated by your assets-liabilities= net worth.

This is your assets which are anything that holds value minus what you owe in debt.

Examples of Assets include your home, rental home, cottage, jewellery, investments, or vehicles.

Liabilities on the other hand is any debt that you owe.

You can read more about the debt to income ratio and how to calculate your net worth on CBB to learn more about them both.

How many of you have parents or relatives that are seniors and still living in their first home or a home for a very long time?

Lots of people we know have parents in this situation however with today’s economy and low mortgage rates things are different.

We see homeowners buying and selling far more frequently and wanting bigger homes taking on a larger mortgage.

Purpose Of Calculating Home Value In Your Net Worth

Yes, your home most likely will give you a return but like anything else, there’s risk involved based on the current real estate market.

Something Mrs. CBB and I talked about was the purpose of calculating our home value in our net worth statement.

At the time we began tracking our net worth our mortgage was not paid in full, however it is now.

We needed to understand what the purpose was of including a home value in a net worth statement.

That’s the question you must ask yourself.

If you plan on retiring soon and want to know your overall net worth go ahead and calculate these two possible scenarios.

Which Strategy Works For Your Retirement Plans?

One situation would be retiring without adding your home value to your net worth allowing you to see a true picture of your financial health.

The other scenario would be to calculate your current net worth without your house for a realistic approach.

You can technically do this any time as you’ll learn what we do that you don’t see on CBB>

Downsizing To Free Up Retirement Cash

On the other hand, if you have years in your pocket before you retire you can add it but consider whether you will sell it or not.

Selling your house to downsize or move to a smaller city where houses are cheaper will allow you to cash in on the equity.

Not everyone who retires will do this which means their home may be paid off but that’s about it.

Anyone who has equity in a home can apply for a home equity line of credit but why would you want to do that after you retire?

You’ll likely get very attractive rates which is why it can be lucrative however risky if you struggle to pay it back.

I’m sure lots of people tap into it their home equity in retirement for various reasons, however, consider the risks.

Perhaps you want to invest in real estate or another big adventure putting you back into debt once again.

Debt-Free Retirement Living

Ideally, having little to no debt and a mortgage-free home in retirement is the safe spot for seniors.

Why? because it’s easier and stress-free living not having to worry about paying off massive amounts of debts when you’re older.

Anything can happen which means your house is just a house unless you free up the cash by selling it without increasing debt.

For example, let’s say that when you retire you’ve created a retirement plan you want to net $50,000 a year.

If your home is worth 1 million dollars, paid in full and it’s your only asset you will need to sell it.

However, if you have investments or pensions coming you should factor in how much you will be using each year.

If you’re not able to sustain $50,000 a year from your other assets besides your residential home then you’d still need to sell down.

Re-evaluate Retirement Finances

The other option would be to re-evaluate your retirement planning needs so you can stay in your home until the end.

This will allow you to use any income coming in including investments, government funds, and savings for your retirement.

Not everyone wants to sell their home when they retire because it has become their kingdom of memories.

So, ask yourself what is your purpose of including the home value in your net worth?

If it’s just to see how much you are worth IF you sold your house that’s an important number to know.

On the other hand, if you want to see what your net worth is without your home then don’t include it.

You can just do both but be mindful of the consequences of which one you choose to live by.

Two Situations We Consider When Summarizing Our Net Worth

Consider planning your future living costs ahead of the special day with a retirement checklist.

Below are two situations Mrs. CBB and I could face in the future which we’ve considered.

First off I want to mention that it’s imperative that if you are married or common-law that you are on the same page.

You don’t want to find out at the last-minute that your spouse has no intentions of downsizing or selling assets for cash.

  1. If we plan to stay in our home we will not include the home as part of our retirement plan. Even though the mortgage is paid in full we have ongoing bills to pay.
  2. In the future, if we plan to sell our home and downsize freeing up cash that would be part of our Future Investment (FI) plan.

When we calculate our net worth we look at the following categories;

  • Liquid Cash on hand
  • Investments including pensions, business income
  • House value and profit if we sold plus any costs involved (our home is paid in full but if yours is not then consider what you owe vs. any profits made if you sold it)
  • Current vehicle value

Calculating Net Worth With and Without House Value Included

You don’t see the numbers we calculate as we lump them all together apart from our house and vehicle worth if we sold it today.

You’ll also notice that we haven’t increased the value of our home in our net worth statement for many years.

We bought our house for $265,000 and comparable homes on our street are now selling in the $700k range.

Our home value increased once to $345,000 but decided to leave it at that because we don’t know if we plan to stay or go.

Behind the scenes, we document our net worth with and without our home so we aren’t blinded by rose coloured glasses.

Anything can happen in the future so staying realistic with our retirement planning is the smarter route for us.

Working With Our Home Value And Net Worth Calculations

As of the date, I pulled our finance numbers or net worth including the $345,000 house value is $1,214,183.86

We know our vehicle is an asset that will only drop in value over time so we consider this.

Let’s have a look at what our net worth is without the house included.

Net Worth with house $1,214,183.86$345,000 House valued in our net worth = $869,183.86

That’s the number we truly look at because we can’t predict our housing situation for the future.

We also can’t predict how the investment markets will do so overall net worth is just a snapshot of potential wealth or debt.

If I was to calculate our net worth using the market value of our home today that would increase it to $1,569,183.

Looks good on paper but that’s about it, for now.

Risk Factors Of Including House Value As Part Of Net Worth

  • Not Cash In Hand unless you sell or getting a home equity line of credit if needed
  • A false sense of financial security unless the owner downsizes and sells other assets for cash

Benefits Of Including House Value As Part Of Net Worth

Future Unpredictable Situations To Consider Before and During Retirement

If you plan to rent in retirement and your house is paid off it will be cash in hand however keep in mind future rental inflation.

There’s also a possibility that one of you passes away, becomes very ill, and needs care or is put into long-term care or retirement living.

Selling your house may or may not net you the cash you expected and need or want in that situation.

Lots to consider, that’s for certain. Luckily for my mother-in-law, we sold her house for far more than my inlaws ever imagined.

Fortunately, the house sold in an area that gained multiple potential buyers wanting to purchase it.

This won’t happen to everyone.

The house was their retirement savings along with a works pension from my father-in-law.

Thankfully, it will be more than enough money including her government pensions to give her everything she needs until the end.

A friend of ours put an offer in on a house that needed lots of work and listed for $600,000.

There ended up being 13 offers on the table including hers and it sold for $750,000.

The problem with relying on these types of bidding wars is that they are not realistic for every house sale but certainly a nice financial perk.

Final Thoughts – To Include or Not Include Your Home Value For Net Worth

I think for us calculating the three different scenarios is the best way to see a realistic net worth and a potential net worth.

At the end of the day, you’ll need to calculate your retirement needs without your house value.

That’s the closest you’ll get to make sure you’re going to be financially stable during the golden years.

3 types of net worth calculations you can evaluate

  • Without the house included so we know what we may have if we stay in our house.
  • Adding a slight increase in the value of our home just in case the market crashes and we need to move.
  • Including the current market value of the house if we were to sell

Overall, we’re happy with the way we see both the retirement net worth figures and understand that there will be risks.

Discussion: Do you include your home in your net worth update? Why or Why not? Leave me your comments below.

Net Worth Losses and Gains

net worth retirement planning

What happened to our money in October?

Anytime we see a net worth increase it’s a good month but at the end of the day, it’s the overall performance at year-end.

I can’t believe we will be finishing up 2020 shortly and to be honest, I’m ready for it to be done.

We spent a bit more on our monthly budget than we had anticipated too however we do save monthly for many expenses.

Next month, for example, I bought a new laptop which was something I did NOT plan for in 2020.

That will hit our net worth but it was a business need so I’ll be able to claim it on the business taxes.

How was your month?

Share your comments below.

Net Worth 101

What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?

Net Worth is a snapshot 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.

I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!

There are tonnes of other free resources at Canadian Budget Binder to help you build your net worth.

Calculate Your Net Worth

Net Worth Over Time

 

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.

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 as 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 for tomorrow.

Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your monthly financial numbers.

Net Worth is 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 meet or beat your personal financial goals.

It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Determining Your Net Worth

How to Determine Net Worth?

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities

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

Financial Numbers

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 earn 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 will help guide you along your financial path working towards debt freedom.

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 and so on but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.

You may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, educations, or other perks that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too.

Earn It, Save It, Invest It, Build It

Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.

The reason people accumulate wealth is that they know how to save or invest even if inherited or a lottery win.

The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.

Sometimes we have to fail to learn and we’ve all been there.

Money can be evil for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their financial situation.

Be optimistic and little by little with determination you too should see improvements if you want that to happen.

Canadian Budget Binder Net Worth Updates 2020

Click the links below to read our net worth updates for the year 2020.

That’s all for this month’s net worth update but please check in the middle of December 2020 to see how we made out in November 2020 with our financial portfolio.

Woohoo, the year is almost over thankfully.

~Mr.CBB

Note: This page may contain affiliate links where this blog earns a little income if you choose to use a product or service.

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Review: Rakuten Canada Is A Must-Have Cash Back App https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/17/review-rakuten-canada-is-a-must-have-cash-back-app/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/17/review-rakuten-canada-is-a-must-have-cash-back-app/#respond Tue, 17 Nov 2020 14:52:57 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45238 The Most Lucrative Cash Back Website In Canada is Rakuten Canada I’m going to share with you the magic of earning cash back with Rakuten Canada by shopping online or in-store and it’s all FREE.  For most Canadians shopping this year will look different, even for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday celebrations. With the... Read more

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Rakuten Canada

The Most Lucrative Cash Back Website In Canada is Rakuten Canada

I’m going to share with you the magic of earning cash back with Rakuten Canada by shopping online or in-store and it’s all FREE

For most Canadians shopping this year will look different, even for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday celebrations.

With the Covid-19 Pandemic, many Canadian shoppers are opting to make purchases online rather than going into the store.

As well, this holiday season 90 percent of Canadians according to a recent survey from the Retail Council of Canada consider shopping Canadian is important.

At Canadian Budget Binder, I pride myself on finding ways to earn money back for our family and pass it on to you, my readers.

Nothing puts a smile on someone’s face when they realize they’ve got a cheque in the mail or money deposited into their bank account.

Rakuten Cash Back Into Your Bank Account With A Simple Click

Never leave money on the table especially when you are online shopping or physically going into a store to make a purchase.

Below I will detail how to use Rakuten on your laptop, desktop computer, cell phone and how to earn with in-store purchases.

One of the best apps Rakuten is a Cash Back App worth signing up for.

Christmas Shopping Online

cash back online shopping Canada

If you plan on Christmas shopping online don’t wait until the last minute to do so as courier services are gearing up for a busy 2 months.

Fed Ex is urging Canadians to start buying your gifts now so you get them on time for the holidays.

“We asked 1,500 Canadians about what they plan to do when it comes to shopping online this holiday season,” said FedEx Express Canada Communications Advisor James Anderson. “Of the 1,500, 90% of them have said they shopped online this past month, 80% of them still plan to do so in preparation for the holidays.” – Source

A ship-a-thon according to Fed-Ex is about to begin for the next two months so if you can shop, do it now.

“This year, it’s a whole new phenomenon. We have been at peak levels since the onset of the pandemic, what we’re bracing up, for now, is what we call, tongue and cheek, the ship-a-thon,” said Anderson.

Budget And Get Cash Back

Budgeting is a big deal for many Canadian families and sourcing the best deals, rewards programs and cash back offers is a must.

Anytime we buy products online whether it be Christmas gifts, Birthday gifts, or everyday household items we go through Rakuten.

With over 750 stores under Rakuten Canada, you will almost always find a discount for something you are buying.

Rakuten Canada and Japan

Rakuten Canada is based in North York, Ontario on Yonge street and we’ve been using it for years back when it was called EBATES.

What I love about Rakuten is that their customer service is excellent and they work with you in a timely fashion.

Based in Tokyo Rakuten formerly Ebates was founded in 1997 by Japanese businessman Hiroshi Mikitani.

Its B2M E-Commerce platform Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and employs over 18,000 people.

How Rakuten Canada Works

  1. Download the App to your smartphone or extension button to your desktop or laptop.
  2. Click on the store that you will be purchasing from to read the available offers.
  3. Rakuten brings you to that website and applies the cash back offer.
  4. Once you purchase in about 7 days you will receive an email that states your cash back
  5. You can also shop in-store to get cash back by adding your credit card to your Wallet. (see info below)
  6. There are also gift cards that you can purchase and earn cash back (see info below)
  7. Four times a year the money you earned back will be presented to you in one of three ways. (see info below)

Easy Ways To Earn Cash Back With Rakuten

What we like about the Rakuten app is that there is more than one way to earn cash back on your purchases.

Let’s have a look at how you can be earning cash back in your bank account without much effort at all.

Get The Rakuten Mobile App for ios and Android

Rakuten Android App

Since I own a cell phone now I’ve added the Rakuten for Android as does Mrs. CBB so we can easily shop with our phones.

Above you will see a screenshot of my phone which shows 8 different cash back or savings apps that I use frequently.

Simply go to the App Store and search for Rakuten and download the app.

Rakuten Button Browser Extension

Rakuten Browser Extension

We have the browser extension on both of our laptops and my office computer in the basement.

You’ll see the letter ‘R’ in the upper corner of your device to get cash back for shopping. 

What we love about the browser extension is that it automatically will pop up when you are a business that Rakuten is affiliated with.

That means you won’t miss any cashback deals because Rakuten alerts you that there is cashback to be earned from the website you’re on.

Refer and Earn $25

Rakuten Referrals

One of the coolest things about Rakuten is their refer and earn program.

What program are you participating in that will give you $25 just for having a friend, co-worker, or family member sign up?

That’s big bucks for lots of people so once you sign up for Rakuten Canada start referring your friend and watch your cashback grow.

You can refer friends on Facebook, Twitter, Email, Text, or by using your unique referral link.

Here’s my referral link if you want to sign up under Canadian Budget Binder and you get $5 cash back just for using it.

Rakuten Canada

Earn Extra Cash when you shop online, it’s that easy OR if you want to go see a product you can still earn.

All you have to do is link your credit card to Rakuten and when you shop in a store you will be awarded the cash back.

Sign up with Rakuten Canada and receive money back when you shop and it’s all FREE.

Plus, if you sign up today you get $5 put into your account for FREE!

Rakuten Refferal Email

You can also email your friends and invite them to Rakuten.

This is what my Rakuten referral email says :

Mo Budget Binder thought you would be interested in checking out Rakuten.ca!

It’s an awesome site that pays you Cash Back when you shop online. With over 750 stores, including Hudson’s Bay, Indigo.ca, Old Navy, and Sephora, get paid to shop for things you’re already buying.

Plus, get a $5 Cash Bonus when you join today!

https://www.rakuten.ca/r/canadianbudgetbinder

Happy shopping!

Rakuten Canada

This program costs you NOTHING.

How does Rakuten earn money?

This is a simple process of the retailer paying Rakuten a certain percentage of each sale through their website.

Once Rakuten gets paid they pass a percentage over to you, the Rakuten customer to say thanks for using their website.

Everyone is a winner with Rakuten.

Rakuten Gift Card Shop

Can you earn cash back by buying gift cards on Rakuten?

Yes, you will earn Cash Back on the full value of the gift card purchased. Cash Back rates will vary from gift card to gift card.

You can also purchase gift cards on Rakuten which get delivered via a secure service right to your door.

Gift cards are always welcome for Christmas, birthdays, and other celebrations that you want to pass along some cheer.

If you have someone on your Christmas list and no idea what to buy them, gift cards are always a welcome surprise.

You can pick up both physical gift cards or electronic gift cards from so many Canadian businesses plus score Cash Back via Rakuten.

At the Rakuten Gift Card Shop, we’ve curated over 70 retailers including Esso, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaw, Indigo, Canadian Tire and more to offer you the best selection of Gift Cards and Cash Back on every purchase.

Below are some of our favourite gift card offers from Rakuten that we’ve purchased in the past. 

Also, you’ll find over 100 gift cards available from restaurants, grocery stores to clothing shops.

  • Home Depot
  • Sport Chek
  • Zehrs
  • Walmart
  • Toys R Us
  • Sobey’s
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • RCSS
  • No Frills
  • McDonald’s
  • Marks Work Warehouse (that’s mine haha)
  • Longo’s
  • Joe Fresh
  • Freshco
  • Dominos
  • Chapters
  • Cineplex
  • Air Canada

There are just so many to list I’d be here forever but once you sign up for Rakuten you’ll be amazed at how many stores there are.

The only catch here is that you have to sign up for a Rakuten Gift Card Account but it’s so easy to do.

Yes, in order to process your payments, manage shipping and orders, we do require our users to create a separate account for Rakuten’s Gift Card Shop.

New Rakuten In-Store Cash Back Offers

Rakuten In-Store Cash Back is a newer way to earn money back on the items you purchase in Canada only and it costs you nothing.

There will be times when you must go into a store to physically see a product to make sure it’s what you need.

No problem at all as Rakuten has in-store cash back once you shop at participating retailers and add a credit card to your account.

Click on the ‘My Wallet’ tab under your Rakuten account and this is where you will put your credit card info.

Before you go shopping simply link available in-store cash back offers to your valid credit card.

Go to your profile and click on In-store cash back offers, find the offer you want, click the link offer, and add to the credit card.

You’ll be able to see all of your in-store linked offers once you’ve linked them on your Rakuten account or app.

Link A Credit Card For Cash Back

Visa Credit Card Rakuten

Once you pay for your order in-store with the credit card you linked it will automatically add cash back on qualifying purchases.

There are no coupons, no vouchers to print extra to present to the cashier apart from using the linked credit card.

You can also link the deal to as many credit cards that you have set up in your dashboard.

It will take up to  7 days to see the cash back added to your account. Yay, free money.

Since the in-store is a new program currently they are only accepting Visa credit cards but this could change in the future.

Your credit card information is stored in a secure, encrypted environment because Rakuten takes security seriously.

Unfortunately, debit cards and debit transactions are not eligible for the program at this time.

Redeeming Rakuten Offers

How do you know if your offer was redeemed?

Once you successfully redeem an offer you will receive an email about the offer and how much cash back was earned.

You can view your cash back balance by clicking the ‘Cash Back Balance‘ tab for your account.

Don’t forget to add Rakuten Canada to your safe email list so you get the emails in your inbox.

If for some reason you don’t get an email within 7 days about an offer you redeemed contact Customer Care.

You’ll find Rakuten has an email service for customer care or a live agent both of which are excellent.

Today’s Featured Deals

Rakuten Canada Featured Deals

Like Amazon Canada, using Rakuten online or on mobile offers the user featured deals of the day.

They also feature ‘Weekly Hot Deals”, Coupon Codes, Coupons, and Flash sales all of which save the user money.

Rakuten Coupon Codes

This is only a small screenshot of the deals listed today but you can see they each have a coupon code and expiry date and Cash Back offer.

Rakuten Shopping Guides

Rakuten Shopping Guides

Forget the long line-ups in the cold waiting to get into the store for deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day.

Once you’re signed up for Rakuten you can shop at so many stores and still save without leaving the house.  (I love this part)

  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday 
  • Boxing Day

For each of the shopping guides, Rakuten offers deals from featured stores as the daily promotions commence.

Rakuten will show you what % back you typically would be offered and the extra-special % during shopping guide deals

For example, if you wanted to buy a Dyson Vacuum instead of getting 2.5% back you’d get 5% which is amazing.

Literally almost every store that is popular in Canada is on the list of Rakuten stores for cash back.

Favourite Stores

This is a feature that we use as it saves us time looking for the stores that we shop at online the most.

Add your favourites stores for easy shopping and personalized deals. When you see a , click it and the store will be added to your favourites here. Get started by searching above for the stores you already love.

Under the ‘Favourite Stores’ tab in your account dashboard, you can add your favourites to make online shopping that much easier.

How To Get Your Money From Rakuten

We LOVE it and have received 5 cheques in the mail since signing up in 2018 and haven’t looked back.

There are three ways you can get your cash back from Rakuten which they send out 4 times a year.

  • February
  • May
  • August
  • November

There are 3 options for receiving your cashback from Rakuten.

  1. Paypal Canada direct deposit
  2. Amazon e-Gift Card *if you shop on Amazon you can put the cash back towards your next purchase
  3. Physical Cheque

Here’s a screenshot of the last cheque stub we received in the mail in 2020 which was awesome to get.

The thing is you can buy online using your credit card to get the rewards points and still get cash back through Rakuten.

I’m all for double-dipping when it comes to getting back money for products that we purchase.

Once you have received a Big Fat Cheque, you can view all the details under the Big Fat Cheque Tab in your account.

Some of our favourite stores that we use Rakuten with when shopping online are brick and mortar stores.

  • Home Depot
  • Walmart
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Amazon Canada
  • Sportchek

Other Rakuten Services

There are other services offered by Rakuten such as Rakuten Kobo for the readers out there and Rakuten Viber.

Chats are 100% synced between devices, including 1-tap transfer of calls

The Viber app allows you to make secure calls and messages to anyone, anywhere, and worth checking out.

The Kobo is for those of you who enjoy e-books, audiobooks, and e-readers along with a Super Points rewards program.

Kobo PLUS is $9.99 a month and you have unlimited access to read as much as your heart desires. Pretty good deal.

Final Words Of Advice

My last tip for using Rakuten is to always read the offer so you are aware of expiration dates and specific offer details.

When an offer expires Rakuten automatically unlinks it from your credit card.

Also, if you don’t link to your credit card before you shop there is nothing Rakuten will do to fix it. That’s your oops, not theirs.

Personally, Rakuten has been a nice source of cash back for products we are already going to purchase.

If you like free money (who doesn’t) sign up for Rakuten today and start getting that cash back you deserve.

Sign up for Rakuten today and watch the cash back in your account grow as you shop.

P.S Read my Ultimate Guide To Cash Back Apps and Rewards in Canada as there are SO many you can use.

Subscriber Bonus: Print my free Rewards and Membership Tracker to keep informed of your deals and rewards.

Don’t leave money on the table. I stand by this, and always will. Your money is important to you.

Mr.CBB

Discussion: Have you used Rakuten before and what were your experiences like? Leave me your comments below.

Disclosure: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS MEANING CBB GETS A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

The post Review: Rakuten Canada Is A Must-Have Cash Back App appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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How To Get Christmas Help For Your Family : The Saturday Weekend Review #316 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/14/how-to-get-christmas-help-for-your-family-the-saturday-weekend-review-316/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/14/how-to-get-christmas-help-for-your-family-the-saturday-weekend-review-316/#respond Sat, 14 Nov 2020 14:56:00 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45205 Disclosure: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS MEANING CBB GETS A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO. Christmas Assistance Comes In A Variety Of Ways For Canadians It’s a special time of year for children at Christmas but... Read more

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Christmas Assistance

Disclosure: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS MEANING CBB GETS A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Christmas Assistance Comes In A Variety Of Ways For Canadians

It’s a special time of year for children at Christmas but it’s difficult for parents who are unable to buy toys for their kids.

With the plight of Covid-19, deaths, job loss, and employees being laid off families are going to struggle for Christmas.

Local food banks have put out requests for donations as their food pantry is looking bare.

What’s even worse is having to tell a child that Santa can’t come to visit this year.

Searching For Christmas Help Programs In Canada

I realize that there are probably hundreds of Christmas help programs across Canada but I’ve chosen what stood out.

These programs that help families celebrate Christmas are valuable and can light up a child’s eyes and fill a belly.

Christmas help doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have the money to spend but perhaps limited funds which can be stressful.

I sourced the web looking for ways that Canadians can apply for free Christmas gifts and other items.

Christmas assistance is a way to bring families together so they get to celebrate the holidays like everyone else.

If you have Christmas donations you’d like to offer refer to your community to see where the needs are.

 3 Gift Christmas Rule At Our House

Growing up we for Christmas my sisters and I had the 3 gift rule where we created handwritten Christmas gift lists for Santa.

We had to share with Santa something we wanted to wear, a book to read, and a toy to play with and that’s what we’d get.

Looking For Christmas Help In Your Community

There are many Christmas charities for low-income families however many you must first apply for.

The months of October and November are the best times to get in touch with these organizations in your area.

There’s no reason to make Christmas holidays specifically about the gifts but rather the gift of giving, volunteering, and family.

Although I can’t list every Canadian Christmas help program or charity I’ve listed many below.

If you need Christmas help connect with charities, churches, social services, city hall, and fellow residents on social media.

I’ve seen it done before where parents will ask for help at Christmas and community members online will come together.

Just be cautious of scammers this time of year and to give with the hope you’re helping someone in need or contact a local charity to donate.

 Save Money To Stretch The Cash You Do Have

The best online Christmas deals mean using coupon codes, rewards programs, and referrals from friends.

Online Christmas store offers have already been flooding our email inbox as I imagine it has for you.

With so many people completing their Christmas shopping list online there are many ways to get deals to keep Christmas costs low.

Christmas Shopping Online Armed With Savings

If online shopping this holiday season is for you here are a few websites that offer Christmas help with cashback and rewards.

For example, before we go to any website to shop we start with Rakuten to see what cashback or discount codes we can find.

Earn Extra Cash when you shop online. Sign up with Rakuten Canada and receive money back when you shop.

If we don’t find the store we are looking for we also check Great Canadian Rebates as both offer a variety of Canadian businesses.

By joining Great Canadian Rebates as we did you get to enjoy all of the best savings rebates in Canada.

Saving money wherever you can at Christmas when you’re on a budget is the key to stretching what you do have.

It also means that you may use all of your Christmas savings but still need more and that’s where community charities come into play.

There are also ways that teens in your family can earn extra money for Christmas, so there are plenty of opportunities.

What programs help with Christmas gifts?

For others who have little to no money for the holidays, there is Christmas help available across Canada and in various communities.

I’m going to touch on some of the major Canadian Christmas help programs but consult your local city-specific programs.

No one should go without over the holidays and I believe we can all do our part in helping families celebrate without Christmas stress.

Salvation Army Christmas Help

The Salvation Army is a Christian organization that offers a Christmas help program for those people in need over the holidays.

From toys to clothing the Salvation Army provides Christmas help that is practical for families across Canada.

Families and individuals may register for holiday assistance by completing an application process, which usually starts during October or November, at their local Salvation Army.

Salvation Army Christmas help is one of the most popular programs in Canada so please donate gently used clothing, toys, and other items.

Consider donating to the Salvation Army Christmas gifts program to help those in need.

For a location near you click here. (salvationarmy.ca/locator/)

Christmas Help With Toys

How can I get help with Christmas toys?

Toys For Tots is a program run by volunteers who offer toys to children during Christmas and other religious holidays throughout the year.

Toys For Tots (Canada) is a Canadian charity based on local partnerships between Canadian Armed Forces, businesses, and concerned citizenry whose sole focus as an organization is to provide toys for children who are in need.

The Toys for Tots program also provides toys to local emergency programs to deliver and to help with catastrophic events.

We collect toys though donations made at retail partners, media sponsors, and corporate fundraising events.

Children’s names come in from our partner agencies, and we sort toys and pack hampers for both individual home deliveries and large bulk packages for distribution before Christmas and throughout the year as requested.

If you’d like to donate to the Toys for Tots program there are a few things you can do.

  1. Volunteer your time
  2. Donate Cash
  3. Offer new gifts by donation
  4. Become an organizational partner for the program
  5. Make Homeless Care Packages 

Toys For Tots Facebook Page

Toys For Tots (Canada) is a Canadian charity based on local partnerships between the Canadian Armed Forces, businesses, and concerned citizenry.

Earn Fast Cash For Christmas Help

Christmas tree

If you find that the resources in your community for Christmas help are not enough or non-existent there are ways you earn fast cash.

The idea about earning fast cash for Christmas help means you do this in advance, not the week before Christmas.

Just think about the amount of money you can earn online for little effort but big rewards.

  • Start selling what you don’t use in your house online preferably with Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji Canada.
  • Take on extra hours at work if available
  • Look for odd jobs online that are listed by homeowners in which you qualify
  • Become a Canadian Uber Driver
  • Find a part-time job at shops looking for extra Christmas help
  • Buy products cheap at second-hand stores and sell them for more money.
  • Take advantage of cashback and rewards and referral programs such as Rakuten Canada or  Great Canadian Rebates to enjoy the best savings rebates in Canada.
  • House sit, pet sit, or become a dog walker in your neighbourhood or the surrounding area
  • Rent a room in your house
  • Complete online surveys for cash or scan groceries for gifts and gift cards by joining Nielsen Homescan
  • , Sign up to the LEO panel to earn between $1 and $35 by taking surveys and giving your opinion on real-world topics.
  • Activate the Paymi App FREE and use the code CanadianBudgetBinder and start earning cashback when shopping at participating Canadian Retailers.
  • If you spend lots of time online Sign up for Swagbucks It’s FREE, we LOVE it and hope you will too.

How To Find A Family In Need This Christmas

If you want to find a family that you can provide Christmas help to your best bet is to contact local organizations.

Your children’s school may offer an adopt a family for Christmas program where you donate money or gift cards.

This year our son’s elementary school is asking parents who can afford to donate $20 to do so to help a family in need.

Related Post: How to adopt a family for Christmas

Christmas Help Programs Across Canada

I previously wrote about resources to get free Christmas gifts which is a great source of information I encourage you to read.

This year I want to focus on charities and businesses that have programs available to families in need of assistance this Christmas.

Besides The Salvation Army and Toys For Tots below are some other programs that help with Christmas gifts that I found online.

If you’d like your organization or know of one in your community and would like it added to the list please message me the information.

Community Churches in your area are worth making a phone call to and ask if they have any Christmas help.

Christmas Cheer Program

Christmas Cheer Program

Provides needy families in the area with a complete turkey dinner, as well as mittens and toys for the children

Lions Club of Canada has a Christmas Basket Program depending on your local club but worth investigating.

The Christmas Sharing Program

Christmas Sharing Program

To qualify for the Christmas Sharing Program all applicants and dependents must satisfy income and residency requirements and provide proof of identity, income, and address with their application.

Children 10 and under qualify for the toy drive and single applicants can opt into attending the annual Christmas dinner.

Community Cares

Community Cares Registration

This is a Christmas registration for residents of St. Catharines and surrounding are in Ontario.

Hamilton Christmas Help

Christmas Registry of Hamilton

The Christmas Registry provides a listing of supports available in the City of Hamilton to help ensure as many people as possible will be able to enjoy Christmas. It is coordinated by The City Of Hamilton, Hamilton Food Share, and The Emergency Food Network operating in Hamilton. Agencies can be contacted directly for additional details.

Christmas Help in Waterloo, Ontario

Christmas Bureau Waterloo Region

The Christmas Bureau helps people living on a low income in Waterloo Region with food and gifts

The House of Friendship and the Kitchener Salvation Army help Kitchener and Waterloo. There are many generous donors like the Rotary Club that support their work. There are also many local groups who work with them to help families and individuals.

There are three organizations that help Cambridge. They are: the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank, the Cambridge Salvation Army, and Cambridge Firefighters.

Wilmot Family Resource Centre and Woolwich Community Services help their communities.

Applications for help with food and gifts will start November 2 2020. When and how you apply depends on the area in which you live.

Moorelands Kids

Christmas Sharing brings Christmas to families that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to have a traditional Christmas experience.

Christmas Help in Innisfil

Christmas For Kids

This is a Christmas help program for residents in Innisfil, Ontario.

What we need: 

  • We need to verify which school your child attends
  • Proof of residence in Innisfil
  • Be willing to tell us a little about your situation.
  • We ask that families only apply to one organization for assistance

The Christmas Marketplace 2020

Good Shepherds Christmas Help Through The Christmas Marketplace 

The Christmas Marketplace will be offered from Monday, November 23 to Thursday, December 24, 2020.

The program will offer food, essential seasonal clothing and toys for children ages 0-12.

We recognized the need to be open regular hours with the exception of statutory holidays to accommodate as many households as possible.

Please book your appointment with reception in person or by phone (905.972.9485) throughout November 2020.

Angel Tree Christmas

Angel Tree Christmas. Those of you who have been involved feel the emotion of that moment.

When a child realizes that a parent who is away from home in prison remembered him/her with a Christmas gift, complete with a gift tag written in the parent’s own handwriting

Community Centre 55 Share A Christmas

Community Centre 55’s Share a Christmas program provides Christmas assistance to over 1000 families. Due to COVID-19, there are several changes to the 2020 program. Instead of Christmas Hampers, eligible families will receive a grocery gift card. Families with children will receive age-appropriate toys for children up to 16 years of age.

To apply for Christmas assistance, complete the form below and return in person to Community Centre 55 by no later than November 30.

  • North of Lake Ontario
  • Southside of Danforth Avenue
  • East of Coxwell Avenue
  • West of Victoria Park Avenue

Christmas Reserve Fund

For our family to ensure that we had money set aside for Christmas, we started a Christmas Reserve Fund with-in our budget.

I know some of you might be saying there is no money to set aside for a Christmas reserve fun and that’s expected.

However, find a way to cut back on expenses by using coupons and apps, rewards points or budget trimming you’ll find a few dollars.

For example, throughout the year you can collect rewards points from sites such as Survey Junkie for extra Christmas help.

You earn Points for taking Surveys and earn gift cards for your time.  Sign up for Survey Junkie.

Another fun cashback app is Ampli for Canadians.

Sign up for the newest Canadian Cashback app, Ampli where you don’t get points you get CASH.

Once you reach $15 in your account you can e-transfer the cash to your bank account for free.

Sign up for Ampli first then enter my Promo Code: AMPLI5 and link your account you will get $5 Free Cash added to your balance.

Planning For Christmas In Advance

Christmas Budget

Christmas planning is a big deal for those of you who celebrate but can also be the most stressful financial time of year.

Creating debt at Christmas should be a red flag for you especially if you find it becomes a recurring problem every year.

If you are lucky to have a freezer you can buy food on sale and freeze it for your Christmas festivities.

Using the FlashFood app in Canada is an AWESOME way to find food and other products up to or more than 50% off.

We check the app daily to see what the grocery stores in our area are trying to get rid of fast for cheap and worth signing up for.

Flashfood app CanadaSave 50% off food products close to expiry from participating Loblaws Stores such as RCSS, Zehrs, Dominion, and Loblaws.

Christmas Help and Employee Bonuses

While Christmas gifts and food are important so are finding inexpensive Christmas activities for your family.

If your boss gives you Christmas gifts or a bonus don’t rely on that especially employee Children’s Christmas parties.

You never know when things can change for a business owner and the first that gets chopped is their budget.

Give Hope To Those In Need

Christmas Hope

In closing, there are ways we can all give back to help make Christmas a happy one for families across Canada.

Hope is something we should all have but if we can make someone’s hope come to life it will be a life-long memory.

Discussion: How has the community in your area offered you Christmas help? What tips do you have for CBB readers to save money for Christmas?

Leave your comments below as I enjoy reading your feedback on my blog topics.

RECENT BLOG POSTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

low carb peanut butter cookies

Below is a recap of the blog posts I’ve published over the past two weeks.

If you haven’t subscribed to the blog make sure to add your email to my list so you get my weekly blog posts and access to my Free Budget Resources Library.

  1. How To Find The Right Smartphone For Gaming
  2. Keto Peanut Butter Cookies with Sugar-Free Caramel Drizzle
  3. 11 Costco Items We Buy To Save Money
  4. How To Set Up A Christmas Budget Planner (Free Budget Binder Printable)
  5. 6 Consequences Of Not Using A Family Budget – Our October Budget Update
  6. Ontario Seniors Homeowners Property Tax Grant Qualifications

Plus, now I also release a bi-weekly newsletter that comes straight to your email only for subscribers.

You’ll find exclusive updates about the blog and CBB home life including photos and exclusive contests.

If you have a blog topic you’d like to submit email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca

I’m also looking for anyone who might want help with their budget as I am willing to look over your work and make suggestions.

Seasonal Frugal Recipe Box

Starting now I’ll be posting Christmas recipes up until after New Years 2021 and I’m very excited to find new recipes.

Hot Chocolate Cocoa Cookies

Christi from Love from the Oven has these delicious looking Hot Cocoa Cookies that are perfect Christmas cookies.

What I love about her recipe is that it screams holiday cookies and they would look awesome on a Christmas dessert platter.

Tips and Ideas For Saving Money In Canada

You’ll find ways you can save money in Canada here because I’m focusing on your budget binder as it’s important to your financial success.

What I’m looking for are ways to save money in all of the budget categories that you may have on your monthly budget.

Thoughts Corner By Mr.CBB

Motivational money quotes

Blogging is nothing short of basic math and if I can encourage any of you to start using a budget I’m thrilled.

Start by reading my 10 Step Budget Mini-Series and if you have any questions please message me.

HOME AND BLOG UPDATE

Canadian Budget Binder

HOME UPDATE AND BLOG UPDATE

Bring on the snow! I’m just kidding but I’m almost ready.

Home Update:

The last two weeks have been CRAZY around here travelling back and forth to tie up loose ends for family.

In the middle of all of that, we had three birthday celebrations and family workouts.

I’ve been heavily investing time every day into working out as I feel working from home I’ve been letting myself go a bit.

It feels so good to be back on the treadmill and we bought an exercise bike so we could both workout together.

Our basement is filled with workout dumbells and other fun gadgets to keep us in shape.

I’ve also been on the hunt for new tires for my truck which I know will cost us some big bucks.

Thankfully we have been saving money all year for the tire expenses.

This weekend is all about Christmas decorations which we will all be putting out.

I’m not sure when I will put the Christmas tree up but I’m sure it will be soon as our son just LOVES Christmas.

Other than that life is ok on our end and Mrs. CBB will be getting some much-needed treatment in December.

Blog Update

I’ve mostly been updating recipes and old posts to jazz them up as well as re-making my recipes for better photography.

Back when I started CBB I was taking photos without any skills and knowledge about the best practices for food bloggers.

Since I’m a Finance and Food blogger I wanted to have my recipes shine for someone interested in making it.

Having boring, blurry, or small photos just don’t cut it. These days food bloggers are also doing food videos but I don’t think I will.

I like to keep things simple on CBB and I’m always open to tips and ideas for my blog.

If you have any feedback please email me but don’t talk to me about advertising since I need lots of money to keep this blog going.

I’ve been slowly working on a How To Start A Blog post for the readers who have shared with me their desire to do so.

When creating a blog if you do it right you can be earning money working from home or passive income for the rest of your life.

If you have any questions you’d like answered about starting a blog please message me so I can include it in my blog post.

That’s all for now CBB friends.

Please share CBB to help us grow.

Have a great two weeks and if you haven’t subscribed to the blog do so now as my bi-weekly newsletter comes to your inbox for free.

It’s filled with photos and a behind the scenes look at what we’ve been up to in the CBB family.

Keep on reading, stopping by, chatting, and thanks for being a fan of CBB.

Without you, there would be no Canadian Budget Binder. A safe space for Canadians to talk about their finance and find free resources to get them on the path to debt freedom.

Talk soon,

Mr.CBB x.

SATURDAY SEARCH TERM GIGGLES

kermit the frog

These are keywords that readers typed into their search engine and landed on this blog.

I get thousands of these every single day and pick some of the best to feature right here.

  • Exchanging a gift without a recipe – Hahaha, no recipe required.
  • Blue vein cheese- You mean Blue Cheese?
  • How to right a letter to complain about the staff – no comment
  • Forgot to pay the mortgage – How does one forget the most important bill payment?
  • How long do you go to jail for shoplifting- It’s always good to know what will happen before you try something.

Thanks for your continued support of CBB and for listening to me ramble about our financial journey.

I’ll see you back here in two weeks for the next edition of The Saturday Weekend Review.

Be well,

Mr.CBB

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6 Consequences Of Not Using A Family Budget : October Budget Update https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/12/6-consequences-of-not-using-a-family-budget-october-budget-update/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/12/6-consequences-of-not-using-a-family-budget-october-budget-update/#respond Thu, 12 Nov 2020 14:38:47 +0000 https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=45181 Our Family Budget Showed Us What We Missed Out On For Years. There was a time when we were not using a family budget and now we look back at the effect it had on our debt and savings ability. A typical household budget has everyday budget categories and can be completed in a variety... Read more

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Our Family Budget Showed Us What We Missed Out On For Years.

no budget

There was a time when we were not using a family budget and now we look back at the effect it had on our debt and savings ability.

A typical household budget has everyday budget categories and can be completed in a variety of ways.

We chose the zero-based budget approach using our free budget excel spreadsheet that I designed years ago.

Let’s go back to the start when there was no family budget and how we managed to just get by with our money.

It wasn’t until we were married and in our early 30’s that we started to read up on budgeting 101.

Like you may be new to the world of budgeting we had to research the family budget.

Some of the common questions that we wrote down before searching the web gave us the answers we needed.

These are the questions I remember but over the years we’ve always learned as we went along by experience and educating ourselves.

This is why we feel our excel budget spreadsheet has been our financial bible for so many years.

At one point we were using a printable family budget but later found it was easier to use excel as we could add formulas for more data collection.

Not everyone cares about the nerdy data like we do but for those of you who do a mobile budgeting app or excel spreadsheet is the way to go.

Let’s have a look at some of those questions and answer them below for you.

Common Family Budget Questions For Beginners

There are many types of budgets to use that I may not have listed but these have all been discussed on Canadian Budget Binder.

  1. Cash Budget
  2. 50/30/20 Budget
  3. Basic Budget
  4. Zero-Based Budget
  5. Magic Jars Budget
  6. Envelope Budget
  7. Irregular Expenses Budgeting
  8. Retirement Budget

6 Consequences Of Not Using A Family Budget

As we’ve learned over the years there were consequences for us when we did not use a family budget.

Learn lessons and educate yourself from bloggers or professionals who understand finance and have applied it successfully.

1. No Financial Documentation

When you don’t have a family budget you’re likely not tracking your money and have little to no documentation.

Even if you do keep receipts there is still no organization to the money coming in and going out.

Now, if we want we can go back to 2012 when we started budgeting and created our free excel budget spreadsheet and review it.

Keeping a financial trail of your money is a big deal especially if you need to reference an expense or debt for future dealings.

2. Net Worth Not Recognized Properly

We had no idea what our net worth was before we started to use a budget.

Having this type of financial knowledge would have motivated us further had we known.

For example, if you were in debt knowing your net worth would prompt you to perhaps find a better way to pay it off.

Now we calculate our net worth every month so we can have our net worth numbers at our disposal.

It’s kind of cool to see how our net worth has increased over the years since we paid our house and debt off.

3. Debt Was A Guess

Honestly, we had no idea what the exact number was when it came to the debt we owed.

Yes, we had money in the bank for a house downpayment but we were not utilizing it properly.

Our minivan was not paid off and we should have just paid it off in full even though it had zero interest on the loan.

Budgeting for us allowed us peace of mind and getting rid of the debt fast was our goal.

There was also rent we had to pay but received no rent receipts and we did not have renters insurance.

We found the more research we did the better it was for us to get ahead.

4. Missed Savings Opportunities

Any time you are not budgeting you’re missing out on savings opportunities.

Why? Well, if you budget your numbers correctly it allows you to see where your money is going.

Perhaps you’re spending too much money on entertainment and eating out and it’s soaking up too much of your finances.

For example, your clothing allowance may well be over budget but you won’t know it without a budget.

Over the years we could have invested more in our RRSP and TFSA had we started budgeting earlier.

It was safer for us to sit on the money but now we know that maxing out our investments was a smarter move.

No budgeting =  missed savings opportunities along with a visual of your income, debt, or your debt to income ratio.

The numbers are the most important part of your family budget and they are crucial.

5. Not Knowing Where Our Money Went

Without a family budget, we had no idea where all of our money was going unless we had asked for receipts.

At the time we did not ask for receipts as we do now for just about everything so we can file it for our end of month budgeting updates.

Guessing where your money is going or forgetting that all the little expenses add up can put people into debt fast.

6. Financial Stress and Insecurity

When you don’t have a family budget it can cause you financial stress and insecurity because all you see is what’s in your bank account.

You won’t know if you will be safe if you were to be let go from work, health issues, or in an accident that left you without income or short-term disability.

Sometimes if you’re hurt at work the WSIB takes forever to figure things out which means that you will end up paying your benefits company back when WSIB kicks in.

To ease financial stress we found that using a budget that we created out of a need for our peace of mind made a world of differences.

There are so many budgeting apps,  free budgets, and types of budgeting systems online that you can experiment to find one that fits your needs.

Let the stress of money and debt roll off your shoulders and into a budget to release the anxiety that so many Canadians face with money.

According to the Scotiabank Financial Worry poll, Canadians aged 18 to 35 worry the most about their finances, logging 2.4 hours of self-reported anxiety each day. (That’s equal to about five weeks straight of worry annually.)

People aged 35 to 54 worry a little less — an average of 1.8 hours a day, which still totals almost four weeks of annual financial anxiety.

Older Canadians, aged 55 and up, sleep a little easier, but they still worry about their finances around 1.4 hours per day – enough time to enjoy a movie instead. – Source

You’ve got the tools all you need is the motivation to budget your way to a debt-free life.

You Need A Family Budget

A family budget could mean many people in the family or just one person.

From my experience, a budget is a budget no matter how many people are bringing in the income.

Whatever you do, create a budget and if you are worried or scared about budgeting I’m here if you need to ask questions.

I’m not a professional financial advisor but I have 12 years of experience blogging and using budgets, so that counts for something.

If you’re not comfortable asking questions talk to your financial advisor, bank, or other financial institutions that you deal with.

Discussion: What lessons have you learned now that you use a budget that you missed out on before you took control of your money?

Leave me your comments and experiences below.

Mr.CBB

Family Budget Income Report October 2020

Net Monthly Income

Hi CBB readers,

October was a busy month for us financially as we spent quite a bit in the health and beauty section as well as healthcare.

Mrs. CBB took advantage of PC Optimum points and scooped up almost 90,000 this month which helped.

Mind you we have near 6 million PC Optimum points which we plan on using in 2021 for groceries. (we think)

Our son went to his first session with an eye specialist, and we paid for his soccer membership and our Costco membership.

It’s a case of everything hits you all at once.

There was also a birthday celebrated and travel back and forth to my mother-in-law’s house.

That meant coffee stops at Tim Hortons and McDonald’s.

We also made a few pit-stops at second-hand shops to buy some long-sleeved shirts, winter pants, and jackets for the family.

I also found a scooter for our son for $5.20 which I thought was pretty good compared to its retail price of $89.99.

The basement I’ve been finishing slowly as I mentioned in a previous post about the city inspector coming through.

Just about every month I’m spending money to get that job complete so he can give me the approval to move forward.

There’s never a dull moment with a budget but thankfully we use one so we know where our money is going.

See you in November for our update.

Below you will see all of our November family budget data.

Mr.CBB

Home Budget Percentages

monthly budget percentages

Our savings of 41.96 % include investments as well as any savings for this month based on the net income of $10,394.54

We save money in our projected expenses for things that need to be paid for in the coming months.

All of the categories took 100% of our income which shows that we accounted for all of the income in October 2020.

This type of budget is a zero-based budget where all of the money has a home.

Monthly Home Budget Expenses

Net Monthly Income

Below is a breakdown of our expenses which helps us to understand where all of our money goes.

  1. Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from. We use Simplii Financial, TD Canada Trust, and Tangerine Bank.
  2. Emergency Savings Account– This is a high-interest savings account.
  3. Regular Savings Account– This is a savings account that holds our projected expenses.
  4. Monthly Budgeted Total: $6392.68
  5. Monthly Net Income Total: $10,394.54
  6. (Check out our Ultimate Grocery Guide to see where our grocery money goes)
  7. Projected Expenses: These are expenses we know we will pay for throughout the year = $852.91
  8. Total Expenses Paid Out: $8162.54
  9. Total Expenses Paid Out: Calculated is $10,394.54 (total net monthly income) – $852.91 (projected expenses) – $1379.09 (savings to emergency fund) = $8162.54
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $10,392.54 (total monthly net income) – $8162.54 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $852.91 (projected expenses) = $ 1379.09

Monthly Budget and Actual Budget

Below you will see two tables, one is our monthly budget and the other is our actual budget.

This budget represents 2 adults and a 6-year-old son, plus retirement investments.

Budget colour chart: If highlighted in blue that means it is a projected expense.   

Since May 2014 we’ve been mortgage-free so much of our money will be directed at savings, investments, and renovations.

I appreciate that you enjoy this budget update each month but I do hope you view this as an educational tool rather than comparing your financial numbers as our situations are all unique.

Spending less than we earn and budgeting has been the easiest way for us to pay down debt and save money.

Monthly Family Budget

Monthly budget screenshot

Actual Family Budget

monthly budget Ontario

 

2020 Home Budget Challenge

2020 Budget Challenge

October Update: We are still 2 players in for the Budget Challenge 2020.

These two budget challengers are going to ride it out until the end of 2020.

Let’s have a look at what happened with their monthly budgets in October.

Budget Challenger #1

October…we are back to the soup season!

I love the fall and winter because we make oodles of cheap, healthy, homemade soups.

We can cook 4-6 times over the course of a 30 day period and eat well for the entire month!

It is very economical in terms of our time, the cost of our utilities as well as the actual cost of our groceries because I tend to focus on beans, lentils, cruciferous, and root vegetables.

I adore soup and am extremely grateful that my hubby sees it as supper material as long as he gets some bread, muffins, salad, or something to stretch the size of his meal.

BIG bills are coming fast and furious now…the house insurance and travel insurance invoices are here now.

Our BCAA membership renewal, the service contract on our furnace and heat pump plus the condo fees and taxes owing on our timeshares are all due before the end of the year.

Every nickel that I don’t absolutely have to spend will happily get moved into our FUTURE PAYMENTS ACCOUNT.

I guess replenishing the EMERGENCY ACCOUNT, after our next medical expense borrowing, will have to be temporarily placed on hold until 2021.

We’ll get there but not nearly as quickly as I would have liked.

Thank goodness we have paid back the initial borrowing for the Apple Watch and iPhone.

Fortunately, I haven’t had to draw the funds for my 2nd round of medical expenses yet.

I am waiting for our extended health coverage approval to determine what my portion of the purchase of a CPAP machine and all the assorted supplies will be.

However, I expect that to happen next month but for now, the cash sits in the EMERGENCY ACCOUNT

Budget Challenger #2

Hi everyone, happy November!

October wasn’t that bad a month for me though I am embarrassed to say how much I spent on fast food.

I’m usually embarrassed to write this, but I’m extra embarrassed this month.

For October, it was an extra pay month which was awesome, gotta love those.

However, if we couple that with no house payment and no unexpected bills I’d call it a win.

Household Bills

  • Fast Food: 135.93
  • Groceries: $324.50
  • Phone: $59.99
  • Land tax $398.00
  • Car payment: $304.98
  • Power $140
  • Savings short term: $200
  • Car/house insurance: 144.53
  • Netflix: $9.99
  • Spotify: $15.99

I believe I have one more car payment and then it’s all paid off which I’m thrilled about. 

My car was inspected and it passed so I’m good to go until 2022! Hopefully, the car lasts that long.

My goal is to save for a new car and be able to pay at least half of the cost in cash.

Because it was an extra pay month I was basically about to put about 1.5 paychecks away for long term savings.

I need to reach out to my bank and figure out my RRSPs.

Oh, and I used my air miles to get a kitchen aid mixer for free so that was awesome.

I’ve wanted one for a long time and I decided I would save up points to get it.

I had enough points probably 2 years ago but decided to save up for vacation instead.

Since vacations can’t seem to happen right now I figured I’d use some of my points and get it, and then keep saving for when travel does become a reality again.

That’s it for me this month!

  • Internet: $95
  • Gas: $124.00

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How To Set Up A Christmas Budget Planner (4 Free Budget Binder Printables) https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/10/how-to-set-up-a-christmas-budget-planner-4-free-budget-binder-printables/ https://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2020/11/10/how-to-set-up-a-christmas-budget-planner-4-free-budget-binder-printables/#respond Tue, 10 Nov 2020 14:56:04 +0000 http://canadianbudgetbinder.com/?p=29140 The Ultimate Christmas Budget Planner With 4 Free Budget Binder Printables To Keep You Organized. How To Have A Debt Free Christmas So You Can Enjoy Family Time Holiday stress is about to set in if it hasn’t already and I want you to know that a Christmas Budget Planner is stress relief. Your Christmas... Read more

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The Ultimate Christmas Budget Planner With 4 Free Budget Binder Printables To Keep You Organized.

free Christmas Planner

How To Have A Debt Free Christmas So You Can Enjoy Family Time

Holiday stress is about to set in if it hasn’t already and I want you to know that a Christmas Budget Planner is stress relief.

Your Christmas Budget is not just about buying gifts which is why it’s important to consider all financial aspects of the holiday.

Create A Christmas Budget Plan Before You Shop

If we stop buying Christmas debt in place of happiness our holidays become far more meaningful .

As we roll into November stores have already begun marketing the Christmas holiday to motivate shoppers.

It works, especially if you love Christmas as much as our family does.

There are some downfalls when it comes to glitter, glam, and holiday music while you are shopping.

Getting out to shop for Christmas can take a toll on your debt especially if you haven’t created a Christmas Budget Planner.

Even for those of you who prefer to shop for Christmas from home online the holiday debt bug can get you too.

There’s massive marketing hype leading up to Christmas and then it drops like a silent snowflake falling on your hand.

After Christmas, we get the Boxing Day Sales, One Day Sales, and weeks after Christmas sales that come into effect.

Your Christmas Budget is never safe unless you have planned exactly how you are going to fund your holiday season.

Christmas Budget Planning Categories

We’ve already briefly talked about Christmas Budget Planning above and how it encompasses more than food.

I’m betting that most people spend far too much money on groceries over Christmas unless they stick to a budget.

It’s just so easy to do with the amount of holiday marketing at the grocery stores but keep your cool and you’ll win.

Below I want to explore each of these for my Budget Christmas Planner and how you can stay debt-free for the holidays.

  1. Christmas Budget For Travel
  2. Gifts including house warming gifts, online gift-giving, Christmas gift exchanges, shipping costs Christmas gifts
  3. Christmas Budget for Food including Christmas baking
  4. Alcohol Budget During Christmas including New Years
  5. Christmas Budget for Holiday decor
  6. Holiday gatherings and the costs involved with attire, host or hostess gifts
  7. Christmas family photography budget to capture the memories
  8. Miscellaneous is for everything else that comes up that is unexpected.
  9. Extra electricity costs
  10. Christmas stamps and Christmas cards

Christmas Budget For Travel

Since none of our families live in the same city or country as us we have a small amount of money set aside for travelling.

We won’t be going to the UK anytime soon for Christmas but we do travel throughout Ontario to see inlaws.

The most important part of your Christmas Budget for travel is the destination and how that impacts your budget.

If you’re like us and travelling to a few different cities in Ontario consider the costs of petrol.

You’ll already have to buy winter tires and other winter accessories for your vehicle so they aren’t really extra for the holidays.

If you plan on getting away for Christmas you’ll need to save money far in advance if you don’t already have the cash saved.

Putting holidays on credit cards for points is a great way to increase reward levels but you must pay it in full at the end of the month.

Gift Christmas Budget

Depending on how many people you need to buy gifts for your gift Christmas budget can get lost in a pit of money if you allow it to.

If you are struggling to buy gifts there are community resources in your area that can help you get free Christmas gifts.

Some people just throw their Christmas budget out the window when they shop especially if they get frustrated trying to find the right gift.

When creating your Christmas gift budget this should include, donations, adopt a family, house warming gifts, online gift-giving, Christmas gift exchanges, shipping costs Christmas gifts.

All of these little expenses add up to one big expense when you run your end of year budget expenses.

Consider all of the frugal ways you can save money when buying gifts and think ahead for the holidays all year.

Related: 10 Frugal Ways To Wrap Your Christmas Gifts This Holiday Season

Christmas Budget for Food, Drinks, Baking

Unexpected guests might pass by your house for the holidays so having enough extra food and drink on hand is ideal.

Your Christmas budget for food, drinks, and baking must be made in advance of the holidays.

I know some of you plan your Christmas budget for the following year as soon as the holidays are over.

The great thing about doing this is especially if you used a Christmas Budget Planner is that you already have an idea of expenses.

If using a Christmas Budget is new for you take the opportunity to document separately everything you needed to buy.

By doing so you can give yourself an estimated Christmas budget for the start of January.

We have a Christmas budget category built into our monthly excel spreadsheet that you can download for free here.

It’s easy for us to create our Christmas budget at the moment as we are just 3 of us and we don’t often have visitors.

However, we still budget a bit extra for the holidays just in case we need a quick last-minute gift such as bottles of alcohol.

By the way, if you do like to have economical holiday drinks keep an eye on the LCBO as they often have deals throughout the year.

Lastly, if you can plan your Christmas Dinner or Christmas Day Brunch in advance you will save money.

Create Your Christmas Budget From Projected Expenses

Since we integrate our Christmas budget with our monthly budget we save the money as projected expenses.

This means by the time Christmas rolls around we have saved enough money to get the items and gifts that we need.

Personally, I feel this is the best way to save money for Christmas.

You also don’t have to wait until December to use your Christmas projected expenses either.

Use them as the year progresses and you find something for the holidays that you can stash away early.

The idea around having a budget is documentation which is very important so always track what you buy and the costs involved.

You’ll need to ensure that you are taking from the projected expenses bank account and not your main account.

If you do use your credit card to make ANY purchases for the holidays always pay it back in full.

For those of you who can’t do that then your budget is off and you’ll need to consider the long-term costs with interest.

Our holiday baking pantry is also deducted from our grocery budget in part as well as our stockpiling budget.

The stockpiling budget is a category built into our monthly budget where we can spend $25 on items that are on sale or to stock up.

This little extra each month helps us to stock up on nuts, cherries, flour, pure vanilla extract, and all the other bits for Christmas cookies and cakes.

Again, it’s important to track what you are buying so you know how much Christmas baking cost you for the following year.

Having an estimated number is better than having no idea how much money you’ll need.

Related: How to create a Christmas Reserve Fund

Christmas Budget for Holiday Decorations

The Dollar Store is our go-to store for holiday decorations especially since our son loves seeing the house lit up.

We like to make DIY Christmas crafts to get our son involved as much as possible.

A couple of years in a row we’ve attempted to make a gingerbread house and although messy they are memories that last a lifetime.

I’m also your neighbour who likes to keep his white Christmas lights up all year long.

Yes, I leave them because I can’t be bothered to string them up every year however I do hide them so they aren’t so obvious.

End of season Christmas sales, second-hand stores, and freebies online are all great places to find holiday decorations for your budget.

The great part about holiday decorations is that you don’t have to continuously buy them every year.

It’s still important to have a budget just in case your lights need replacing or perhaps you need a new artificial tree.

If you purchase a real Christmas tree this is another expense you’ll want to add to your Christmas budget.

What other ways can you think of to save money on Christmas decorations?

Holiday Gatherings

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
Mr.CBB’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Although I suspect there won’t be as many holiday gatherings this season due to Covid-19 they still can be done.

If you are invited to a holiday gathering consider the costs involved with holiday attire and a host or hostess gift.

A bottle of wine, champagne, or even a homemade Christmas cookie platter makes for a fabulous hostess gift.

What else can you think of that might cost you money if you were to go to a holiday gathering?

Make a list of the items you think you will need and budget accordingly in advance.

Some of our favourite budget-friendly Christmas Desserts:

You can make many of these Christmas cookies in advance and store them for Christmas gifts, company, or a Christmas gift exchange.

Christmas family photography

Just about everyone owns a smartphone these days, even myself which means we can take Christmas photos as much as we want.

However, if you plan to get family photography done for Christmas with Santa at the mall or with a professional, you’ll need to budget for these expenses.

Typically we get a photo with Santa are our local mall which costs us about $20.

We all sit in for the photo and that’s all we need to send photos in our Christmas card to family back in the UK and around Ontario.

Miscellaneous

I think it’s safe to say that the miscellaneous Christmas budget category is for everything else that comes up that is unexpected.

Extra electricity costs for example if you keep your Christmas lights and decor on throughout the season, even during the night.

I keep our lights on a timer so they go off at 11 pm until the next evening which helps to cut electricity costs over the winter.

Christmas stamps and Christmas cards are still a thing in my family as my parents never miss a birthday, special occasion, or Christmas.

In the UK it is quite costly to purchase stamps as it is in Canada although if you have a Costco membership buy your stamps there.

We buy a roll of permanent Canadian stamps for the year from Costco and we don’t have to worry about rushing out to get one if we need it.

Christmas Cards From The Dollar Store

Anywhere you can save money for your Christmas Budget then do it.

Christmas cards from the dollar store are the only place we buy them because they are inexpensive.

Let’s be honest though, how many of you really care if you get a Hallmark card for Christmas?

I don’t but what makes me happy is knowing someone was thinking about us enough to mail us a holiday greeting card.

So, those are some miscellaneous expenses you can add to your Christmas Budget planner if you will use them.

Common Christmas Budget Planning Questions

  • How much do you spend per kid at Christmas?
  • What’s a good budget for Christmas?
  • How do I make a Christmas Budget?

The amount of money you spend per child at Christmas is based on how much money you have saved for Christmas.

There are no hard and fast numbers to offer you as the financial aspect is based on your earnings and savings power.

For our son, we spend at least $300 on him for Christmas sometimes more, sometimes less.

At this point, we are trying to buy him gifts that are educational and that he can use to further his passions in life.

Both Mrs. CBB and I do not exchange gifts for the holidays but we do like to eat lots of keto Christmas cookies.

How To Make A Christmas Budget

If you’re reading this and it’s already November or December you’re a bit late for a Christmas budget.

I suggest finding out how much money you have saved in the bank and whether you have emergency savings set by.

Forget about using your credit card if you plan on having a debt-free Christmas unless you pay it in full.

Ideally, you’ll want to start your Christmas Budget in January with your yearly budget.

Add Christmas to your monthly budget as a category and save x amount of dollars each month in a separate bank account.

It’s only for Christmas so don’t touch it unless you are buying Christmas gifts.

The amount you put away in projected expenses is based on your net income to debt ratio.

Debt is a killer so pay it off as fast as you can and stop creating more debt and continued stress that you don’t need.

At the end of the day if you only have a few hundred dollars for your Christmas budget to include gifts, hostess gifts, grocery items that’s what you use.

Stretch Your Christmas Budget All Year

Stretch your Christmas budget as far as you can to get the most out of it by shopping for grocery deals, using coupon codes, online shopping deals, friends and family discounts, etc.

Two of our favourite websites when we online shops are Rakuten and Great Canadian Rebates as they offer insane cash back rewards for shopping at your favourite online websites.

By joining Great Canadian Rebates as we did you get to enjoy all of the best savings rebates in Canada.

It’s great to have different savings apps because you can compare which one offers the best rebate.

Practically every purchase made through Great Canadian Rebates will qualify for a Cash Back Rebate.

Earn Extra Cash when you shop online. Sign up with Rakuten Canada and receive money back when you shop!

They also have an amazing referral program where you earn $25 cashback when your friend or family member joins.

Moving forward includes a realistic Christmas category in your monthly budget so you have the money when you begin your holiday shopping.

Free Christmas Budget Planner Printables

Christmas Budget Printables

Since we love having a Budget Binder and being organized when it comes to our finances I continue to create new printables.

I’m offering my CBB subscribers four new Christmas Budget Planner Printables absolutely free.

Share this post with your friends and have them subscribe to get their free copies and everything else free on CBB.

Here’s what Christmas Budget Planner Printables I have created for you.

  1. Christmas Budget Gifts Planner
  2. Budget Planner Checklist For Christmas To Keep Your Organized
  3. My Winter Travel Checklist
  4. Christmas Budget Total Planner which shows you how much you spent at Christmas so you can plan for the following year

You can download all four of the Christmas Budget Planner printables FREE from the Printables page.

Discussion: Do you have a Christmas Budget and how do you use it effectively to keep you out of debt over the holidays?

Leave me your questions and responses below as I always love your feedback.

Mr.CBB

The post How To Set Up A Christmas Budget Planner (4 Free Budget Binder Printables) appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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