3 Budget Negotiations That Saved Us Money : Our March 2016 Budget Review

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YOUR MONEY WON’T WORK BY ITSELF SO GIVE IT A PUSH   Treat your finances like you own a company and you are the CEO. Budget negotiations should be part of everyone’s financial plan not just the government and business owners. You may be working for someone else making them rich but when it comes to your money there are ways to achieve the same successes but on a personal level. It’s amazing how many people take their budget for granted and accept the bills they are given instead of putting the green light on budget negotiations. You’ve worked hard for your money now make your money work for you. Don’t let your cash float away without seeing how much you can save. You don’t have to be an outspoken customer to get a better deal. Before you attack (take that with a grain of salt) you must be armed with details and the outcome you’d like from your budget negotiations. If you need to balance your budget but you’re off by $50 try to see if you can get your bundled-telecommunications services lowered. Make a deal. The top way to trim budget expenses is by negotiating the interest rates […]

How To Grow A Positive Net Worth While You’re Young : February 2016 Net Worth Update (+0.26%)

February 2016 Net Worth Update Positive Net Worth

Debt Reduction and a Positive Net Worth is the New Cool.   Validating your financial numbers whether they include a negative or positive net worth doesn’t make you any better than your neighbour, friends and family. But, if you want in on the money action while you’re young there are some things I’ve learned on our quest towards debt freedom. I often have fans asking me, “How have you been able to save so much money before the age of 40?” The answer is simple, I hate debt and I love a positive net worth. We didn’t start out earning 6 figures to get where we are today but we both came into the relationship with the same mindset and savings in the bank. My wife is a stay-at-home mom now so earning one income is what fuels our family and positive net worth. It’s funny when I hear that people think we have lots of money because what one person believes is bounty another views as peanuts. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies but I can safely say that money won’t fall into your lap unless you win the lottery and the odds of that happening are slim. […]

Property Tax Bill-One Bill You’ll Never Burn : February 2016 Monthly Budget Review

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THE TAX MAN HANGS AROUND FOR LIFE   In February like clock-work we get a letter in the post from the city about our new tax rate along with payment dates for our property tax bill. Whether it’s paying for income tax, property tax, product tax or anything that says tax you know you’ll never get away with dodging it. Which is why there are two certainties in life: death and taxes Every year the property tax bill gets higher and higher but that’s expected I suppose since it goes to pay for various things in the community such as municipal services, police, fire, transit and so on. I received an email from a young couple in the process of buying their first home and they wanted to know what the best way was to pay for their property tax bill. Dear Mr.CBB, My wife and I are just finalizing the sale of our new home and were wondering how we should pay for our property tax bill in order for our budget to balance. What else is there that we need to know about our new property and our tax bill? Thanks for any tips. -Chris and Angela If […]

How to make money today and save it for tomorrow without going bonkers : January 2016 Net Worth Update (+0.48%)

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TREAT YOUR CASH LIKE A MONEY PLANT AND WATCH IT GROW BUT EVEN A PLANT CAN DIE…RISK!   Retirement should always be on your mind or at least at the back of your thoughts because if you want to enjoy the fruitful golden years you need to make money today and save it for tomorrow. Does that mean we should shy away from investing in our future if all of our retirement plans can get flushed over-night? No, I don’t think so but I do believe that Canadians need to be aware of what is going on out there and stay on top of their investments which includes their house. A whopping 26% of Canadians feel they are in a worse financial position than they have been over the past two years according to a recent Manulife poll. I’m not surprised with the way prices are go up, incomes not moving anywhere but down and consumer debt on the rise. Every month we review our investment portfolio online to check performance, some days are good other days are better. There will be days,, months and maybe even years that are crap but you can’t predict everything even if you are […]

A Balanced Budget Doesn’t Make It Unbreakable : January 2016 Monthly Budget Review

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BALANCE IS NEVER A STEADY VARIABLE IN FINANCE   I often hear that a budget is ready to go once it is balanced but a balanced budget doesn’t mean that it can’t incur hiccups along the way. Someone asked me how we could possibly budget every single month. “Isn’t it time-consuming?” After a bit of practice it gets easier BUT is your life not worth the effort? Think about that for a second. Anything you do to better your life IS worth it. It’s not hard to make a budget look pretty with colours and numbers but numbers are like credit, once you spend it you are stuck with it. You still have to pay it back. What I’m trying to say is that anyone can say they have a balanced budget and still screw it up. Too many people rely on a fixed balanced budget and ignore it for the rest of the year as if it’s bulletproof. This is a huge mistake in my opinion because when it comes time to review your budget the last thing you want to find out is that you messed up along the way and didn’t pick up the broken pieces. Even […]

Twenty Year-Old Father Taught Me About Financial Responsibility In 30 minutes

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I DON’T WANT TO BE BROKE LIKE MY PARENTS WERE WHEN I WAS YOUNG   Financial responsibility follows you for life and one young father shares his life plans with me and with two powerful words “He wants” becoming the driving force behind his journey in all aspects of life. Have you ever asked yourself, “What would you do differently if you could go back in time?” I have, and knowing what I know now there would be some changes to the way that I save money, earn money and invest it. My life was automated because I was so focused on school and working that even I may have paid more than I should have at times. Financial Responsibility was nothing my fellow University friends would think about while in school. It was no big deal to blow money down at the pub or to take a girl out on a lavish date with all the trimmings. Money was no object when it was given by the bank of mum and dad. When I was in my early twenties I bought my first house then sold it to buy a bigger house. I wanted in the real estate game […]

CBB Year-End Financial Report 2015 (+22.6%) : November (+2.06%) December (+1.51%) Net Worth Update

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THE NUMBERS ARE FINALLY IN   We anticipate our year-end financial report like little kids because we want to see if our predictions were accurate for the year. At the beginning of 2015 we predicted we would be sitting on $700,000 of net worth by the end of 2015. Although we track our finances all year and can make changes as we go it’s always nice to find out if our hard work has paid off. As we treat our finances like we are running a business it is only fitting that we spend some time talking about our year-end financial report for 2015. No we aren’t the Donald Trump’s of Canadian budgeting but we certainly take our finances seriously. What is in our year-end financial report? Numbers, that’s what. Our year-end financial report will tell us just how well we were able to save money, reduce debt and how our investments did for us over the course of the year. Not every year will be the way we dreamed it would be but if we are headed in the right direction towards our financial goals we know we will get to where we want to go eventually. Even though […]

New Budget 2016 and 2015 Surprises and Fails : December 2015 Budget Update

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START YOUR BUDGET 2016 NOW   Our updated budget 2016 has some changes which was expected because 2015 proved that prices are steadily going up so we’ve had to adjust our numbers to reflect this change. Unless you aren’t big on reading or watching the news maybe you’ve noticed that prices are skyrocketing, especially at the grocery store. In 2016 you can expect to add an additional $345 to your grocery budget for the year because of these increases. It’s not just food either. In 2015 it seemed like every time we turned around something was more expensive. If prices go up a dollar here or a couple bucks there that still accumulates as extra expenses in our budget especially since we budget accordingly. The reality is that you are never going to have a perfect budget so always leaving some room for price increases is critical.   Our free gift to you   Every year I wonder how we can change our budget plan to reflect something new and honestly there isn’t much to change. I’ve got a simple budget that I created years ago and that has been downloaded free by thousands of people around the world. All […]

Why Alberta has the Highest Consumer Debt in Canada

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YOUR DEBT YOUR LIFE   Experiencing some level of debt is quite normal and in most cases necessary for Canadians to live full lives with families and careers. At some point you may say to yourself, I’m going to buy a house, a car and even more, some have families. Children are a huge expense and unexpected costs become a reality as you adapt to parenthood. Yes, we all know how easily personal debt can be created and accumulated and tough to get rid of. We take on credit card debt, mortgage loans and car leases and do our best to work and stay on top of our personal finances. In recent years, household debt in the homes of Canadians has steadily increased on average and the Province of Alberta has had a spotlight on it ever since. Related: What pushes people over the edge financially Today we’re looking at why newspapers and financial journalists have reported for years on the state of debt in this province since its role as an energy exporter in Canada’s economy is unique and the consequences financially have in past years seemed overwhelming. With the national average household debt ratio quite high in Canada, […]

How to handle a billing rate increase on a tight budget

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IN ONE DOOR OUT THE OTHER   Ask almost anyone about their “spare cash” and I bet they laugh and say, What spare cash? The difficult part with a tight budget is there’s not much wiggle room for most people especially if there is a billing rate change, interest increase or price hike such as groceries or living expenses. It’s been a while now that we’ve paid off our mortgage and living debt free which has opened up some avenues for us financially. Our budget is lean and any savings left at the end of the month gets distributed into our savings account. I received an email from a guy who uses our family budget and wanted to know how to go about adjusting the budget when the net income he earns along with any income from his wife covers just about everything they have to pay every month. Hey Mr.CBB, I just wanted to shoot you a quick email to ask you a question about your budget and how I go about making changes to accommodate rate increases such as the current Hydro pricing increase. I’m not sure what more we can do so we could free up some […]

Why Live A Frugal Life If You’re Always Going To Be In Debt?

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JOKES ABOUT BEING CHEAP AREN’T FUNNY TO MOST PEOPLE   I’ve never heard anyone say that they LOVE living a frugal life. Carrying debt is not something to take lightly so choosing to watch where the dollars go is better than the stress of debt collectors calling. Nobody wants to struggle with their finances. Nobody wants to budget but many of us do it so we can make ends meet and save for the future. We do what we believe we must do to get ahead, but not everyone thinks this way. Anyone that can add and subtract should realize that if you continue to spend money that debt will mount, especially if it’s not being paid in full every month. I’ve had the painful luxury of listening to a conversation between two guys who said there’s no point saving money because we’re all going to die before we can spend it. I’ve also been in the middle of a conversation where an acquaintance was saying to his wife that he doesn’t care about debt because he will never pay it off before he dies. I’ve come to the conclusion that some people are clairvoyant and can see into the […]

How We Effectively Curb Spending When We Have To : November 2015 Budget Update

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PUT YOURSELF IN FRONT OF MONEY SO YOU’RE ALWAYS ONE STEP AHEAD   When we have to curb spending in our budget there are ways that have effectively helped us conquer the money demons over the years. Essentially a budget is a tool that we use to track our cash flow. We want to know what’s coming in, what’s going out and how much money is staying. These financial numbers were crucial to our debt freedom success over the years. Budgeting may get negative connotations from those who don’t believe in it but for many people a budget is a financial life-saver. What I believe is that if we hadn’t used our budget we’d still have a mortgage and other debts to pay off. Sure, there are other ways to track your finances but for us working with numbers in our head or guesstimating wasn’t getting us to our end goal fast enough. Now that 2015 is drawing to a close we will have a full year of budget results to evaluate for the upcoming new year. Waiting until the end of the year to curb spending is not ideal but if you are budget ninjas like we are a […]