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If you are getting ready to join the real estate game and want your house sold fast for megabucks you’re not alone.

I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t want their house sold fast and for top dollar.

Here’s the thing folks, if you don’t invest time and money you may find yourself at the bottom of the earnings barrel.

Real estate prices across Canada have gone through the roof in recent years but there will always be competition on the market when you go to sell.

Just recently houses sold on my street over asking price but when we went to their open house we noticed how they were able to grab buyers attention.

From Listing To Sold Fast

What the buyer will see even if you don’t.

Just about any realty company will tell you that you must spend some time and money on your home if you want it sold fast.

You don’t have to spend megabucks to earn megabucks, but why wouldn’t you put a bit of effort for profitability?

When  were looking for a property for sale we ended up buying a house where the owner did not get megabucks from us.

Upon arrival of the open house we noticed that the landscaping was no bed of roses. 

There were weeds everywhere and the back garden was no better with a make-shift garden made from bricks that was leaning over.

The moment a buyer sees anything like this they see dollar signs which means they can negotiate with the seller.

Although her house sold fast we benefited from her lack of efforts to make the home ready for the real estate market.

Buying Our Home

The homeowner was a senior who lived alone and smoked inside so everything was yellow in the house.

From the light fixtures to the walls even the toilets were all yellow because she smoke in every room.

You could also smell the smoke in the air the moment you stepping in the front door. 

That was easily a huge loss for her because no one wants to pay megabucks for a house that reaks like smoke.

However, if you live in areas like Toronto or Vancouver where the real estate market is HOT some home buyers may suffer with disasters just to win an offer.

I guess that’s the perks of being a home seller in the big market but a downfall for the buyers who have to spend money to clean it all up.

Aside from the ciggarette smoke there were burn marks in her living-room carpets that were recently professionally shampooed.

Sadly, that $50 cleaning doesn’t hide the bigger problem of the burns in the carpet.

Easy Fixes To Get Your House Sold Fast

One thing you need to do is change your mindset when you plan to sell your house.

Although it may be hard to forget all the memories made in your home it is now a business venture.

You are now selling your asset and if you want megabucks for it market it the way you’d want to see it as a buyer.

Paint Your House

This is probably the second thing any real estate agent would tell you to do before they list your house for sale.

Depending on the size of your home paint costs will vary however if painting isn’t your thing hiring professional painters is an option.

You will pay more but the increase in your profits from the sale of your home is worth every dollar you spend.

Clean Everything

No buyer likes to step into a listed property to find it full of filth but if they do you can bet they will negotiate with the buyer high and hard for a price reduction.

Cleaning is super easy to do unless you have health concerns such as mould, rodents or other heavy cleaning problems where professionals should be hired.

Again, hiring someone or cleaning a house can get your house sold fast and for more money than you would get for a dirty home.

Update Lighting and Wall Fixtures

Old lighting fixtures or broken outlets on the inside of your home are easy fixes and will set the mood in your home.

Have you ever noticed when you visit an open house that all of the lights are turned on?

Well, buyers will and they will look at your light fixtures so make them sparkle and update them to fit the style of your home.

Also, consider walking around the outside of your home to replace any broken or sun-damaged outlets. A few bucks goes a long way.

Professionally landscape

Curb appeal is huge!

Next to a clean home and fresh paint buyers looking at house listings in your area will see the outside of your home first.

Having a professionally looking landscaped yard will make all the difference in whether a buyer will want to view your home.

A property for sale with landscaping that is full of weeds, high grass and just not maintained is just waiting for negotiation tactics from a buyer.

Simple tasks such as cleaning up the weeds, mowing the lawn, adding mulch, plants and flowers along with a general power-wash will improve your landscaping by 100%.

Don’t forget to clean the windows and add a fresh coat of paint to your front door and garage.

Huge Profits await you.

Remove Stuff

Decluttering your house before you sell it is not an option if you want your house sold fast and for top dollar.

If you’re not sure where to start sometimes the best way to look at it is to pack up or sell anything that collects dust or is personal in nature.

A clean, minimalist look to your house that sparkles will yield you better results when you host an open house.

Related: Nosey neighbours and your open house

Create A Fancy Dinner Table Setting

When potential buyers come in your home you want to work your marketing magic which sometimes involves lots of creativity.

Whether you have a dining room or just a kitchen area with a table and chairs take the liberty of setting the table professionally.

When potential buyers walk through for a viewing this will help them to envision eating dinner in your kitchen or dining room.

If you haven’t updated your kitchen which can be a huge expense apart from adding new handles, fixtures or professionally painting the kitchen cupboards will be a nice distraction.

Simple home decor may mean the difference between a competitors house so if you want your home sold fast do the little things.

Flowers and fruit baskets

When I go house hunting I love to see that homeowners take the time to add fresh flowers and fruit baskets to their home.

This type of homeowner adds value to the home in a different way because they show they care.

The addition of colourful fruits and flowers also adds an allure of a happy home and makes people smile.

It’s the simple things that matter if you want your home sold fast and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

Besides, you still get to eat the fruit and smell the flowers when they are gone.

New Floor Rugs

For a few hundred dollars you can find some beautiful rugs online or a shops in your local community.

If you want to save even more money and have time to look you can visit second-hand shops or even online Facebook or Kijiji ads.

Most home owners looking to list their property for sale do so quickly which doesn’t often leave much shopping time for bargains.

Welcoming buyers into your home with new rugs inside especially on your tiled and hardwoord or laminate floors is inviting.

If you don’t already have a front porch mat, get one. It’s an inexpensive way to say welcome home.

Pack up your belongings

Another thing I would suggest before you put your house on the market or host an open house is to get other’s opinions.

Don’t be afraid to invite your real estate agent, friends or even co-workers over to have a look at your house.

Ask them to give you their honest opinion and any tips they have to help you get your house sold for megabucks.

Photos and Videos = Sold Fast For Megabucks

Finally, if you want to get the stress of living in a house that was once your home out of the way you need awesome photos.

Don’t mask the photos or fix them to look different from what buyers will see when they arrive because that will only upset them.

Instead take professional photos that highlight the areas of your home inside and out to show the work you have done.

You want buyers to look at your photos or even high-quality real estate videos and think, “I can live there“.

That’s where the money is at.

Lastly, do a walk around before you give your real estate agent the go-ahead to list your house on the mls listings.  You never know if something small that needs a repair jumps out at you.

Look high and low because your buyers will.

Discussion: What other proven ways helped you to get your home sold fast?

CBB Posts You May Have Missed

These are the blog posts I’ve written the past two weeks that you can catch up on if you’ve missed them.

If you don’t already please subscribe to the blog and you will get my posts to come straight to your email.

Finance Read Of the Week

Since I’m in my 40’s now I think about early retirement quite a bit although I doubt I will retire early mainly because of my defined pension.

I read a story at A Retired Guy who talks about how he ended up in early retirement and there was something that stood out immediately.

When he says, “My goal was always to become Financially Independent in order to retire when I was ready” I felt like I everyone had to hear it.

Preparing for retirement is one thing but having the option to retire when you are ready and not when someone else says you can retire or you don’t have enough money to retire is important.

Giving yourself the freedom to choose is the key to take away from this because I feel financial freedom is about choices.

Garage Sale Finds

If you have some awesome deals you’d like to share from your garage sale outings this Spring and Summer email me your photo and tell us what you found and how much it cost you to be featured.

Here are today’s garage sale deals:

  • Noise machine $2
  • Travel size conditioners (2) $.50
  • Carpet cleaner $.50
  • Stainless steel bowls (dog dishes for at my parent’s house) two brand new play-doh containers and glad containers $3
  • 3 ladies tops, a dress and scarf $4

Total spent $10

Jen P

Frugal Recipe Find

Many readers here might already know we have a giant rhubarb plant in our garden that gives us a tonne of crop each year.

Most times we don’t even know what to do with it so we donate it to friends and family.

We have made a few rhubarb recipes over the years such as;

Growing up my mum had rhubarb in the garden but we only had rhubarb crisp so experimenting with rhubarb recipes has been fun.

This year our rhubarb is growing wild as usual and I wanted to find something different to do with it.

Well, I did!

I stumbled upon this Rhubarb Water recipe that I can’t wait to make although I will create a Keto version.

Rhubarb Water


  • 2 lbs of rhubarb, cut into pieces
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

The ingredients are simple and the sugar can be substituted for whatever you like although the measurements will differ.

What other rhubarb recipes can you suggest for us?

Leave me a comment below please and thanks.

Mr. CBB’s Motivational Corner

Gardening 101

We love to grow herbs as you know and don’t have space in our garden so we use planter pots.

I’m a huge fan of saving space where I can and when I stumbled upon this photo of a standing pallet herb garden I just had to share.

Next year this is what I plan on building for our herb garden and I can’t wait to show everyone what it looks like.

The photo I have here came from a website decomagz but they do not know the origin of the photo.

Have you created a pallet herb garden before? I’d love to see your photos and hear any tips.

Leave me a comment below please and thanks.

Home and Blog Update Our Organic Dill growing in a pot

Hey everyone,

I’ve been a busy bee the last two weeks mainly outside finishing off the front yard landscaping adding a few new plants.

The garden herbs are growing nicely in pots but that still works since we don’t have space.

This past week I finally made my way to the back yard since all of the rain and swamp kept me away.

The grass looks fabulous although I’ve already given it two haircuts since.

Most of the work that I’ve done has been digging the border, laying a new weed barrier and topping it up with Scott’s Premium Mulch.

I’m not a fan of getting the big load of mulch dumped on our driveway even though it may be cheaper.

The only reason is that I don’t find that it lasts as long as the Scott’s brand however I did get it on sale for $3.99/bag reg $6.99.

In the midst of all this, the city contacted me because they wanted to know how I made out with our basement renovations over the past year.

I picked up a permit and was told it was open-ended however that’s not the case. I called the building inspector for the city and he came around to have a  look.

As usual, I am nowhere near finishing the basement however I did re-insulate and frame the basement which he said was perfect.

While he was here I also took the liberty of picking his brain to ask any questions I was unsure of which was helpful.

Other than that sports season is starting up so our little guy will be on the soccer and baseball field every Saturday and once during the week.

That means my time will be scooped up a bit more but I’ll still try to make my way on to social media to drop in and say hello to you all.

So far we have no plans for the summer but if you have any cool suggestions of where to visit in Ontario we’d love to hear about it.

We haven’t done much in the way of road trips so perhaps something is in order for us since we aren’t jetting away this year.

Blog Update

Sara (my designer/developer) and I have been working hard behind the scenes to optimize the blog and change a few things around.

You will see a new subscriber freebie being added soon that I think everyone will love plus we’ve moved our ads to Mediavine.

I know you might not be a fan of ads however the blog costs lots of money to run each year and I need to bring in an income to keep doing this for everyone.

I’ve kept them as simple as possible and every time you read or click an ad it helps to keep CBB online so thank-you.

Besides, you may find some awesome deals from Canadian retailers who bid to get in front of your eyes on my blog.

That’s all for now friends. Have a lovely sunny week and we will see you again soon.


Saturday Search Term Giggles

Every week I get tens of thousands of people who visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Yes, I can see your search terms and sometimes they are funny.

If you see the acronym (SIC) next to a work that means I’ve copied the text exactly as it was typed in Google and it has spelling errors.

  • Cream of Celery Soupanadian – Haha, I believe that should..
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Have you ever thought about how it would be to teach English in Japan?

If you are planning to move to Japan and teach English to students, you might be researching the documents required.

But, what happens as you begin teaching the language?

Thus, here are some steps to make you prepare on how to start your new career as an English teacher in Japan.

Show Some Passion and Be Professional

In Japan, teachers are regarded as professionals. They put teachers in the same category as politicians, lawyers, doctors, and authors.

Thus, you must act with the highest professionalism to give honor to this job.

When we talk about how to teach English in Japan, one of the most important things to consider is dressing professionally.

Your behavior reflects the kind of professionalism expected of you.

Moreover, don’t forget to show your students that you are dedicated to teaching them.

Show them that you want to share your knowledge with them and not just to earn your salary and live in Japan.

Encourage and Motivate the Students

If your students are unresponsive at first, you don’t have to worry.

It will take some time before students can adapt to the methods of their English teacher.

In Japan, students might feel uncomfortable to speak English out of fear of making mistakes or getting the wrong answers.

Students might feel unmotivated over time since both languages are different.

Thus, it is your job to show some light and be the encouragement that your students need.

Let them know that it does not matter if they commit mistakes. Continue motivating them to learn more through positive encouragement.

Bring Some Positive Energy

It is okay to feel that the pressure is making you stressed. After all, it is challenging to be an English teacher in Japan.

You will find yourself alone and away from your family in a foreign country.

Also, you will need to prove a lot to people looking up to you at school.

No matter what the situation is, always make sure that you don’t lose hope.

Your lesson will depend on the energy that you radiate in the class.

This is true whether you are teaching kindergarten or high school students. In whatever year they are, you must keep them engaged.

If you are drained and stressed, your students will more likely notice it.

Make Your Students Talk

In some cases, Japanese students complain that their English teacher spends all the class hour talking.

Of course, you don’t want to be that kind of teacher. Thus, you must design your lesson plans with activities that will let your students do the talking.

Some students are taking these classes since they want to be fluent to deal with in the business world.

As such, give them all the chance in the class to talk.

Use Tools that the Students Know

If you teach English in Japan, you will have an opportunity to learn many things. Thus, you can begin by learning what Japanese students like.

If you take some initiative to learn popular characters from movies and TVs, the students can be more responsive during the class.

With this, students can appreciate that you are taking the time to learn what they love.

You can start using these characters in your activities in class.

Respect the Japanese Culture

It is nice to let your students know where you are from and what it is like in your hometown.

Sometimes, you can bring photos or objects to show what you have in your country.

This can be a good topic to talk about which can tickle their curiosity.

However, when you consider how to teach English in Japan, be careful with your words and actions.

Do not undermine the Japanese culture and you must stop complaining in front of your students. See this link for further tips on this.

Japanese people are proud of their rich tradition and culture and you must not disrespect it.

Instead of questioning the kind of community they have, you can ask your students for recommendations for things or places that you must see.

Seek the Help of a Team Teacher

When teaching English in Japan, you will never know what age groups you will have.

If you are dealing with kids, you will need all the help that you can get.

In Japanese public schools, they recognize team teaching.

Most likely, the team teacher is Japanese. His help is important during the first few weeks of your stay in school.

With his aid, you can learn how to discipline your students without harming them.

Determine What Acts are Offensive

When you are in Japan, you will begin to understand that the culture is different.

Start by learning the basic etiquette to prevent offending someone in your class.

In Japan, giving your student thumbs down is considered as offensive.

They understand it as giving students the middle finger sign.

Moreover, do not play the Hangman in the class because the students can find this game inappropriate and disturbing.

Also, do not push too hard on students to give their opinion inside the class.

Trying to engage Japanese students to give their opinion or join the debate is not fine with them.

The majority of students are fearful of getting the wrong answer and this makes them shy inside the class.

Let Students Sleep

In other parts of the world, it is not acceptable to let the students sleep inside the class. But this is not the case in Japan.

Japanese students are active in after-school programs, long school days, and homework.

Even if it annoys you seeing the students sleep in the class, just let them be.

Learn More about the Documentary Requirements of Teaching in Japan

Before you become too excited to come to Japan and teach English, you should learn about their basic requirements.

Begin by validating if your passport is current. If it’s not, renew it. Check to see the other requirements needed like drug screening, college degree, and teaching certification (Click for details).

Figure out the salary offering so you can estimate if you can afford to live in a new environment abroad.

The post Effective Tips On How To Start And Survive Teaching An English Class In Japan appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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The Best Way To Travel Is With A Travel Plan And A Budget

Whether you’re travelling by air or land you will need some form of spending money no matter the destination.

When bringing spending money when you are on holiday it’s critical to consider safety and convenience.

Travelling for free using Air Miles points, credit card rewards or winning a free trip is awesome but you’ll still need spending money.

A simple road trip through Canada or the U.SA or an international flight across the country may start with frugal intentions but can get out of hand if you’re not careful.

Even a camping trip or day-trip to Niagara Falls, Wonderland, Toronto, Vancouver and so on will all come with extra expenses you need to budget spending money for.

Research Your Travel Destination

When my mum and dad were travelling to Canada from the UK they asked me how much spending money they would need.

They had never been to Canada before so they weren’t sure about costs so I gave them the run-down.

Even then they still made a trip to a local currency convertor shop to swap over some British money to Canadian.

In part, it was my fault because I threw in a couple of extra road-trips and tourist destinations that weren’t in the original plans.

We even took them to garage sales on the weekends that was not in the plans and dad bought a fishing rod and a few other bits and bobs. 

Plus, they practically lived at Tim Horton’s for coffee, tea, and Boston Cream donuts, so I can partially blame them too!

The same thing happened when we hosted our international students from Spain, Japan, and Germany since we were able to email each other before they arrived.

One of the number one questions they asked us was, “How much spending money they would need in Canada?” and for good reason. No one really should bring more spending money on holidays then they need to.

In fact, creating a spending budget before you head out for on holiday for any prolonged period of time you should have some idea of costs for the country you are visiting.

Cash Spending Money

Should you bring cash as spending money when travelling?

Yes, always bring cash in the currency of the country you are visiting and some from your country just in case you need to use the currency exchange for more. 

The thing you want to consider is that if you exchange your spending money at one exchange rate it could easily change the next day.

So what was cheap yesterday may cost you double the next or if you’re lucky it will cost you less.

It’s always a gamble although I remember when I was visiting Canada the exchange rate was a whopping $2.52.

So for every British pound, I got $2.52 Canadian.

Sweet deal but it’s not like that anymore but still it’s worth more which means your spending money will go further when travelling.

Also, consider that if you don’t take enough spending money or plan to exchange money in the country you are visiting you may pay more for the process. 

Alternatively can use your credit card almost everywhere you travel across the world however it really does depend on your travel destination and the exchange rate. 

I’m not a huge fan of travellers cheques where instead of carrying hard cash as spending money you carry it as a cheque.

If you do bring traveller’s cheques with you for spending money always keep a note of the serial numbers and other pertinent information with you and a copy at home.

At least when you get back or if there is someone at home you can contact to get in touch with your bank you at least have the numbers.

The pitfall of traveller’s cheques is when you are in a country in the middle of nowhere and a traveller’s cheque is like fire-starter.

Cash is and always will be KING

Today, even pre-paid credit cards are far more recognized and desired over the travellers cheque although almost all countries will accept your travellers cheque

You might even find that your bank allows you to take money from an ATM outside of Canada but you will pay international fees for doing so.

Travelling with our Toddler

When we planned our holiday to England two years ago with a two-and-a-half-year-old toddler we decided to go with a stop-over to get a connecting flight.

Taking this route wasn’t cheaper, in fact, it cost us a bit more money but we were considering the overall experience for everyone involved.

The idea was that it gave our son a break from being on such a long flight if we flew straight into England non-stop.

Actually, we were travelling to a few destinations so it was important we didn’t bombard him with too much travel time on the airplane.

In the back of our minds, we were also thinking about the passengers because it’s not that much fun travelling with a screaming toddler for hours.

The twist in the story is that he loved it but what you don’t know before you book your travel tickets and what happens after is another story.

Turns out, we could have flown non-stop but now we know for next time although a trip to the UK from Canada is only about 6 hours. 

you will want to find out what the currency exchange costs will be when you use it BEFORE you go.

In some cases, you may find the exchange rate on your credit card when visiting out of the country is not much more or the same as it would be if you went to the bank. 

Spending Money At The Airport or Docking Ports

If for example you are travelling and you have a stop-over or you’re stuck waiting for your flight at the airport you’ll need spending money.

At the airport, there isn’t much to do apart from spending money on food, drinks, liquor, cigarettes and souvenirs.

The same thing applies if you are on a cruise ship that stops at different ports where passengers can get off to sight-see.

You’ll need some spending money if you plan to experience what the country has to offer for the short time you are there.

I recall while we were in Iceland we did not go prepared with any Icelandic króna but luckily they accepted American and Canadian Money and credit cards.

This is why having cash, credit card, travellers cheques or a pre-paid credit card will come in handy.

Even though you may despise the exchange rate you may get on a credit card when travelling having a life-line is better than no spending money at all.

Road Trips and Spending Money

Even when we would take long 8-hour road trips up north past Sudbury, Ontario we would stop frequently at rest stops for breaks.

This is when we would get gas, use the washroom and stretch our legs. 

As a frugal family, we always pack enough food and drinks to keep our travel budget low when on a road trip.

If you plan to go road tripping outside of Canada you will need to bring spending money in US Dollars as not all shops accept Canadian currency.

Travel Considerations And Your Spending Money

When budgeting for your holiday you’ll want to know how much spending money you will need to bring along with you.

If money was no issue you wouldn’t be reading this but for the average person, you will want a rough idea so I’ve got a few tips for you.

Let’s consider these situations.

Travel Budget

You won’t really understand how much spending money you will need until you create a travel budget.

Once you know how much money you have for your entire get-away whether it’s a day at Wonderland or a one-week all-inclusive holiday at a resort or on a cruise you’ll need a budget.

From there once you have your budgeted amount for travel you can plan your holiday.

It will also help to balance out paying for your holiday and giving you an idea of how much spending money you will have left.

If you go on a holiday with a blind-eye for the money you’ll spend way too much and you’ll feel the financial strain when you get home.

For example, if you have $5000 to spend in your travel budget and the cost of travel insurance, plane tickets and resort costs are $4000 that leaves you both with $1000 of spending money.

Now, depending on where you are going that $1000 might not be worth that much.

Using a simple Currency Convertor you can see that if your plan was to travel to England from Canada you’d only have 587.34 Great British Pounds.

At the time of writing this post, the exchange rate was 1 GBP = 1.70.29 CAD1 CAD = 0.587340 GBP but that can change tomorrow.

So, always consider the costs of local currency when creating your travel budget.

That same $1000 if you were travelling from Canada to the United States of America would be worth $742.25 USD.

At the time of writing this post, the exchange rate between Canada and the USA was1 USD = 1.34724 CAD1 CAD = 0.742256 USD


We spent almost three weeks on an all-inclusive 5-star resort in Spain and all food and drinks were covered, but that’s about it.

If you wanted your clothes laundered you had to pay for it.

If you wanted toys for your kids to play in the pools or on the beach, you had to pay for it.

If you wanted snacks outside of the buffet times, you had to pay for it.

Even if you plan trips outside of the resort with a travel guide, this will cost you money.

Mrs. CBB recalls a trip to the Dominican Republic that was all-inclusive however she still had to pay for a tour guide trip to see the lands.

She also paid to get her hair braided and to have fresh coconuts on the beach which is quite common with destination all-inclusive beach resorts.

Even in Spain we had women walking up and down the beach selling melon slices and at night men selling souveniors along the path-way of the beach.

Just because you think you are going to an all-inclusive resort or travel destination doesn’t mean you won’t need spending money.


Travel Itinerary

What are your plans when on holiday or your road trip?

Do you plan to participate in any overseas adventures or day trips with a tour guide that is not part of your travel package?

You’ll pay for that too.

Tips for travelling with your Spending Money

Carrying money when you are travelling is great but you must protect yourself and keep cash handy at the same time.

I’ve travelled to many places all over the world and done my online travel research by reading other’s experiences so I’ve learned what to do and what not to do.

If you are a first-time traveller whether by land or air you’ll want to secure the spending money you are bringing with you at all times.

Below are the most useful tips I’ve used and that I’d recommend to anyone who sets off on holidays whether it be camping, road trips, airplane or boat travel.

It’s better to be safe, then sorry.

Split Spending Money Up

There is a reason why you must split your spending money up and we did this on our recent trip.

In fact, I’ve always done this everywhere I’ve travelled for two reasons, haggling and safety.

Almost all the countries I’ve ever visited invited haggling prices especially when there was no price displayed.

If sellers see you have lots of spending money because you pay with large denominations the haggling might not go so well.

For safety reasons, in the event, you are mugged or someone tries to steal your wallet/purse if you store all of your spending money and credit cards in one spot you’ve lost them all.

If you divide your cash and credit cards or other spending money currencies into different spots at least you will have some form of money to pay for things.

The last thing you’ll want is to be stuck on a road trip or in another country with no money trying to call home for someone to wire you cash.

Bring smaller denominations of local currency

Always exchange your spending money for travelling into small bills so you have money for tipping and bartering.

Before we would leave our resort hotel room we would plan our spending money for the day in the local currency.

In one pocket we would carry coins and the other small bills and under our clothing, in secure zippered spots, we’d carry larger bills.

You don’t want to be announcing to everyone how much spending money you have if you don’t need to.

Keep Spending Money On Your Body

You can now buy clothing with money zippers or inside pockets where you can stash your spending money when you are travelling.

It also helps to keep it safe from falling out if you are on a road trip or venturing into the forest or bumpy places where roadways aren’t paved or there are no sidewalks.

Carry A Fake Wallet

I lost my wallet once while I was travelling and it wasn’t because it fell out of my back pocket either.

I made the mistake once and never again because I put myself in a vulnerable situation.

Luckily my girlfriend at the time had spending money with her and we were able to continue on our holiday without too much downtime.

They didn’t get any credit cards or identification but they got my spending money.

In the event, you plan to venture off your all-inclusive resort or are travelling a country where crime rates are high or you’re worried about being mugged always bring a dummy wallet.

Whether you are male or female simply buy a cheap wallet from Value Village and put some fake money, business cards or even coupons inside to make it seem legit.

If you are mugged or someone tries to pick-pocket your pants or purse they can steal the fake wallet rather then get your real cash.

This is why we suggest always keeping your spending money on your body rather than in a purse or backpack.

Do Your Research

Before you buy your plane tickets or even book time off from work do some research for your planned trip whether it be a short weekend road trip, a quick trip to Vegas or a long flight overseas. 

Leaving armed with knowledge and plans is the best way to ensure your spending money stays safe and you know how much to bring along with you.

Discussion: Have you ever been on a trip and stuck with little to no spending money? How did you handle the situation?

Leave me a comment below as I love reading your feedback and opinions.

The post The Ultimate Guide To Budgeting And Spending Money When Travelling appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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Whether you live in Canada or not and want to make extra money after retirement there are plenty of possibilities out there.

I think the obvious for most seniors who own a home would be to downsize and either move to an apartment, condo or smaller residence to lower expenses.

If you’ve already paid your mortgage off this may or may not make a big financial difference apart from having to pay property taxes and other forms of home maintence.

By this, I mean needing a new roof, windows and so on as opposed to keeping the yard tidy and cleaning the gutters.

As Canadian seniors age downsizing for other reasons such as health and lack of need is something that could easily free up extra cash.

Recently my father-in-law passed away and my mother-in-law is finding herself in a situation where she has too much house and property and is needing help with her health.

What we’ve learned over the course of a year is that there are many people out there willing to work to make extra money.

The thing is if you’re a senior and you’re feeling healthy and up for the challenge there are many ways you can make extra money by offering your services or even opening up your home. 

Whether you choose to declare any extra income you earn is up to you but there are a couple of tax exempt ideas I will share.

Dear Mr.CBB,

Thanks for writing such a wonderful blog as it’s helped me to conquer my fears about debt and growing old with little money over the past few years.

One of the things I’m curious about is earning more money and ways I can do this aside from cutting my tight budget further.

As a Canadian senior my pension is very small as I collect just shy of $1900 a month in Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) and have some retirement savings put by.

I own my home which is a 2500 sq foot 4 bedroom bungalow on a half acre property which keeps me busy but not busy enough.

My spouse passed away 3 years ago from lung cancer and I’ve been alone ever since to tend to the duties of being a homeowner.

It’s tough but I get by with the help of my children but would like to find simple ways I can make extra money on the side.

Sometimes it’s not easy navigating the internet to find certain resources and not knowing who to call in the community is also a struggle.

While I’m still healthy and willing to do odd jobs I was hoping you might have ideas to help this bubbly Canadian senior make extra money.

Thanks for listening,


Chatham, Ontario

Ways Canadian Seniors Can Make Extra Money In Their Community

Canadian seniors who are worried about their finances or want to fill up their time can turn to these ten needs in their community to earn extra money.

The following are only a few ways you make extra money as they may be things you’re already doing such as going for a walk or grocery shopping.

Let’s take a look.

Room Rentals

Our neighbour who is a senior rents a room in her basement to a gentleman monthly but he lives with his family in another city.

He comes and goes throughout the month as he works locally but would prefer to stay close to work during the week.

She earns $500 a month from renting a room that has garage access into the basement.

This type of earning potential is not for every senior especially if you are worried about who you rent to.

If you are not sure about the rental process you can always ask a friend or family member to help you out.

Renting a room is a simple way to make extra money but your renter may want a rental receipt which you should claim as income.

Host an International Student

This is where seniors may benefit from a tax-free way to make extra money because there are businesses such as Red Leaf Canada.

Red Leaf is a hosting company to international students who look to place them in houses with-in the community they are visting.

Related: How we became a host family for international students

The great part is you know that the internatial homestay student coming to live with you for a month or even a year is screened by the hosting company.

All of the hard work is done by them and the easy part is showing your international students about life in Canada and participating in it with them.


Landscaping and Gardening Services

Just recently we hired a senior couple to landscape my mother-in-law’s property and to add grass seed to an old vegetable garden.

Not only did they do a fabulous job they even went as far to clean out her gutters that were full of leaves.

They were paid $1300 for 4 days work and we hired them to mow the lawn twice a month.

We pay them $50 each mow which is a great deal for the size of the property she has.

They will make extra money from simple chores that they love to do and you can do the same.

We are not their only clients and word-of-mouth is what keeps them well-known in the community.

Dog Walking/Pet Sitting/House Sitting

If you’re a senior you can make more money by taking pets for walks and even pet sitting when their owners are gone on holiday.

My parents do this in the UK along with general house mainteence and get to live in castles and mansions most of the year.

They save their money by doing laundry where they house and pet sit and are able to eat food from the property garden if available.

Although they make more money it’s not much but the savings from other aspects of what they do is keeps them going.

Each day they earn about 30 pounds or $51 Canadian Dollars between both of them although it may be more in Canada.

Plus, they love it and it funds their holidays around Europe when they aren’t house or pet sitting.

Babysitting/Before and After School Care

Before and after school care in Canada is a need for parents since daycare costs are pricey and not easy to find a spot. 

If you’re willing to take on the challenges of getting kids to and from school 5 days a week there’s cash to be made.

My neighbour does this and she earns $20 in the morning before school and $20 after school at 3-4 hours a day per child.

Most days in the spring and fall she stays at the school after it is done and the kids play at the park or she brings sports equipment.

This keeps the kids outdoors getting fresh air and her house stays tidy.

She also provides healthy snacks and beverages for the children which is pretty easy to do.

If you’d rather babysit for the entire day for parents who are heading back to work full or part-time there’s also a need.

You can easily earn up to $40 per child, per day or $200 a week or extra money for 1 child if you’re ready for the challenge

Professional Organizer/House Cleaner

If your passion is geared towards cleaning and home organization there are a tonne of homeowners who need help in this department.

Related: How to tidy up and organize your home using the KonMari Method

You may even find that you have neighbours struggling to keep the house tidy and would like some help weekly or even once a month.

Chores might be as simple as dusting, washing floors, sparkling up the windows and spring and fall cleaning the inside of the house.


If you drive you could easily find another senior or adult in your community who is in need of companionship and get paid for it.

Some ideas of what a companion can do with others in need;

  • Visiting for an hour each day
  • Taking them grocery shopping
  • Bingo
  • Cooking and Cleaning
  • Sight-seeing
  • Sports events
  • Visiting relatives
  • Community events
  • Senior centres day program
  • Walking buddies
  • Medical and other appointments

One of the hardest parts about being a senior who is house bound without a vehicle, bus services or declining health is not getting outside enough.

Exercise for seniors is critical to physical and mental health just as it is at any age which makes becoming a paid companion an even greater need in most communities.

Senior fitness may mean a casual walk in the neighbourhood or accompanying them to a local gym or seniors community centre.

You may want to network with friends about becoming a companion or have a look on advertising boards such as Kijiji, Facebook or even call your local Canadian seniors association.

Sell Stuff

As you get older you may notice you’ll need less of everything from living space to stuff that you have collecting around the house.

Selling your stuff won’t necessarily earn you tonnes of money but it will put money back in your pocket.

It’s a great way to downsize before you sell or perhaps if you just want to clear clutter.

Related: How To Host A Community Garage Sale This Summer

A garage sale is always fun or participating in church community garage sales or neighbourhood garage sales can become a fun weekend event.

Oh, and if you love to bake you can sell your baked goods at garage sales to make more money too!

Related: 20 Garage Sale Tools You’ll Need To Attract Buyers

Focus Groups

There are plenty of focus group companies or businesses across Canada looking for your opinion on products that you purchase.

It can be anything from insurance to food to the types of vehicles you drive or even your opinion on certain community events.

These types of focus groups pay well for your opinion as we’ve been to quite a few over the past 10 years.

Most focus groups we’ve been to have been held at local hotels where you sit in a room filled with other participants.

There will almost always be free beverages and snacks for all participants and in some cases dinner or lunch if the focus group falls in that time-frame.

Most focus groups we’ve been to take about one hour and always pay a minimum $100 cash in an envelope at the end of the session.

It has always been one of our favourite ways to make more money.

Just recently Mrs. CBB participated in an online focus group from home and earned $275 for her time over a three-day period of 45-minute sessions.

Definitely look on Kijiji for focus group participants needed and source whether your community has businesses such as the following below who recruit participants for focus groups.


Earn Extra Money For Your Budget From Home

If you love being on the computer why not earn money while you’re doing what you enjoy.

Earn cash for taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos and playing games without any sweat.

You can’t earn cash any easier and it will help add money to your savings so you can free up the debt you’re working to get rid of or help increase your money power.

It’s a WIN WIN… Sign up for Swagbucks It’s FREE, we have it and LOVE it. 

If you love to earn extra cash Sign up for Survey Junkie.

You earn Points for taking Surveys and earn gift cards for your time.

Seniors helping Seniors

Whether you’re a senior living in Canada or somewhere else around the world if you want to make more money it’s pretty easy but you have to go looking for the opportunities.

The good part is once you establish networks you may find that indeed they will come knocking on your door.

This is how we found the landscaping seniors that help my mother-in-law out and boy are we happy we found them.

Discussion: What other ways can Canadian seniors make extra money in their community?

The post How Canadian Seniors Can Make Extra Money appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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If someone were to put a bowl of old-fashioned banana pudding near me and left, it would be gone when they got back.

I’m sneaky that way, ha!

Before you scroll down to check  I want to tell you now that this is an old-fashioned banana pudding with mashed bananas mixed in.

I did not layer sliced bananas because I don’t usually have an issue with ripe bananas but rather over-ripe bananas that need using up.

Making banana pudding sounds difficult which is why so many people opt for the instant boxed puddings.

Honestly, this is a quick and easy banana pudding that will taste 100 times better than anything you’d find in a box.

Toss them out!

British Desserts

I’m a HUGE pudding guy but I’ve had enough of the banana bread recipes and I wanted to try something traditional like when I was a kid.

Growing up my mum would make various banana dessert recipes but it was her thick vanilla custards that I like the most.

Related: Coconut Custard Tarts

When we went to the UK in 2017 both my wife and I would watch my mum and dad work together to make little pots of vanilla custard for the week.

No word of a lie you would find a tray of 12 in the refrigerator for their after-dinner sweet treat.

Puddings and custards are a big deal back home which is why I want to share with you what my mum taught me.

Italian S Cookies

There are no boxed pudding mixes used in this easy banana pudding recipe and you can forget about those expensive Nilla cookies too, I used Italian “S Cookies”.

The Italian S Cookie is a traditional buttery, lemon breakfast cookie with a crunchy texture that would be dunked in your coffee.

The lemon flavour is slight so it won’t overpower your banana pudding in fact, I don’t even taste it when I’m eating it.

At a little over $1.00 for a package of ten “S Cookies,” you can’t go wrong and they taste AMAZING layered in my banana pudding recipe.

Some of my favourite brands of “S Cookies” are Milano S Cookies and Gioia S Cookies (we used these).

If you feel extra creative in the kitchen you can make your own Italian Homemade S Cookies.

When unexpected company comes over to our house this is a quick banana pudding that we whip up in under 20 minutes with 30 minutes chilling time in the refrigerator.

The best part is if you do have bananas that are too ripe to eat and you’ve frozen them simply defrost, mash and you’re ready to make the best banana pudding you’ve ever tried.

How to make Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding with S Cookies

For this cooked banana pudding, you’ll need 10 key ingredients which are all staples in most pantries however they are easy to find.

My goal for this recipe like all others on this blog is to consider the frugal budget and to keep the recipe, simple.

  • 2% milk
  • Whipping Cream
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Bananas of course!
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • S Cookies

If you don’t have whipping cream you can use an extra cup of milk instead but it’s nice to have so you can also decorate the banana pudding.

Once the pudding is thick add a layer of cling wrap to the top of the bowl to prevent any skin forming and refrigerate for 40 minutes to chill.

If you can do it overnight, even better only because I find the flavours tend to come together with any baked or sweet recipe I’ve ever made.

It’s not necessary to keep it for that long though.

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding With S Cookies
You will love how easy it is to make this old-fashioned banana pudding with S cookies.
Author: Mr.CBB
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsps flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbsps butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 package Italian S Cookies
  • Nutmeg (optional)
  1. In a medium saucepan add milk and 1 cup of the whipping cream, vanilla along with the over-ripe bananas on medium heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
  2. In a small bowl add your salt, sugar, flour and cornstarch and mix.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in your sugar mixture until completely dissolved.
  4. In a small bowl crack eggs and separate the yolks and whisk. Temper the eggs with a teaspoon or two of the hot milk and stir quickly.
  5. Then add the egg yolk mixture to the hot milk mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Put back on the stove and bring to a boil stirring constantly for 1 or 2 minutes until thickened.
  7. If you want a chunky banana pudding leave the bananas chunky but if you want a smooth banana pudding you can use a banana masher or hand blender which I did to make it smoothe.
  8. In a medium to a large round baking dish or serving bowl add a layer of Italian S cookies on the bottom then top with some of the banana pudding. Do this until all of the cookies and pudding are gone.
  9. Add a plastic wrap to the top so it doesn't create a skin and refrigerate for 40 minutes or until cold.
  10. In a bowl or stand mixer add the last cup of whipping cream and a bit of sugar if you want sweet whipping cream. I'd add about 2 tablespoons or leave it as is. Blend for 5 minutes or until a whipping cream forms peaks.
  11. Put the whipping cream in a piping bag and make an x design across the centre of the bowl. Optional
  12. Top with sprinkles of fresh nutmeg and serve. Optional
  13. I also added Graham Cracker cookies. Optional

For decorations, I added two pieces of graham cracker cookies slid into the side of the dessert along with the whipped cream and nutmeg.

You could also sprinkle with crushed graham crackers or drizzle homemade caramel on top and sliced bananas.

If you prefer to have a warm banana pudding simply enjoy it right from the pot as is which is equally as delicious.


Please don’t forget to leave this recipe a review and share it if you loved it. I enjoy hearing from all of you and I’m sure my mum would be proud.

Related Recipes

The post Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding With Italian S Cookies appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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Dental care today is just as expensive if not more costly for families especially those without a benefits from their employer.

Luckily in Ontario there is free dental care for children up to the age of 17 if eligible through the government’s Healthy Smiles Program.

The Healthy Smiles program was introduced in 2010 by the province of Ontario for low-income families in need of financial support to cover their children’s dental costs.

Oral health is so important because it prevents gum disease and other painful infections that could affect the growth of adult teeth as children age.

This is why it’s vital that a child start receiving dental care from the age of 12 months and on a regular basis thereafter.

Imagine having pain in your teeth and how that might affect your daily living, education and ability to eat properly.

It’s imperative that all parents take responsibility to teach their children the importance of oral care by setting an example. 

Free Dental Screenings Elementary Schools In Ontario

Children in Ontario schools from Junior Kindergarten until Grade 2 get regular teeth screenings at the school to ensure all children get a first visit to the dentist.

Not all children in elementary school in these grades have been to a dentist before so this is just a way to provide free dental check-up or screenings for students as a preventative measure.

By grade two the back molar comes in and this free dental screening will ensure there is no tooth decay happening.

The public health unit will let parents know in advance up to two weeks or the school will send a letter home to let them know they will be visiting the school.

If parents want to opt out of the free dental screenings they can also do so by letter or a phone call to the public health unit or school.

You may want to opt out because your child already has regular dental visits or you simply don’t want it for your child.

Personally I can’t see why any parent would say no but the choice is there for all parents of children in these grades.

Dental Education and Parenting

Teaching your children from a young age proper dental care may be a tough task even though it’s as simple as it gets for what kids deem a chore in their lives.

The problem is most children have no interest in brushing their teeth and will avoid it at all costs.

When our son was little he used to watch Mrs. CBB and I both brush our teeth and floss in the bathroom.

We thought it was a great way to introduce him to taking care of his teeth and we could educate him along the way.

He loved it!

By the age of one he was attempting to floss and a pro at brushing his teeth with a bit of Colgate Children’s Watermelon Toothpaste.

He’s almost 5 and that’s the only brand and flavour he likes.

Since I have health benefits at work going to the dentist on a regular basis is something we don’t put off.

Picking the right Dentist for your family

Whenever we would go we’d book our appointments back to back so our son could watch us get our teeth cleaned or any dental work needed.

Our dentist is amazing with us and our child and allows us to sit in the dental office to watch her work on each other.

This has helped us to continue educating our son on the importance of visiting the dentist and dental care after each meal.

He had his first check-up at age 1 where our dentist noticed he had a chipped front tooth unknown to us. His second check-up was at age 2  where we managed a stand-up teeth cleaning session.

It was going to take baby steps to get him to lay in a dental chair and plenty of patience by the dental staff.

Finally at age 3 they had our son laying back in the dental chair, sunglasses on and learning the equipment names the dentist will use on him.

They took the time to teach him how each tool worked and why it’s important to brush his teeth pointing to a poster on the wall that compared healthy teeth vs, unhealthy teeth.

He even got to play with the giant toothbrush and teeth mold to practice proper teeth care which he adores since it’s not every day you get a learning tool so realistic.

Obviously the coolest part of the dentist visit is picking a toy out of the treasure chest!

Dental Costs Ontario

Who would have thought that you could get free dental for children especially at the alarming costs for a regular teeth cleaning.

The costs for a tooth extraction in Ontario follow the Ontario Dental Fee schedule which means a simple extraction can cost you anywhere from $75 to $200.

If you need to get any fillings in your teeth you can guarantee to see a bill between $150- $200 in Ontario depending on what materials the dentist uses for the procedure.

Keep in mind that every dentist is different when it comes to costs but do follow a set fee schedule for Ontario.

I’ve even heard of some people taking advantage of visiting a dental school to get procedures done at a discounted cost since it’s a teaching school.

The only downfall is that you have to spend more time for your visit because you may have students working on you and learning from the hands on experience.

I think it’s a fair-trade off especially if you are so much pain that it interferes with your quality of life.

Children Visiting The Dentist Chair

Getting help with dental costs in Ontario is not only beneficial it’s imperative for all children because teeth are vital to our everyday existence as humans.

Both of his teeth cleaning sessions lasted about 20 -30 minutes and was a simple process for the 20 teeth that he has.

It was the dental bill at the end that was pricey.

A dental check-up and cleaning bill comes to just over $120 Canadian dollars which my works benefits covers 100% up to $2500 a year. 

The same teeth cleaning costs with fluoride for adults runs around the same costs and we get this done about 3 times a year.

Imagine the costs if you didn’t have dental benefits? This is likely why so many people avoid the dentist because they simply can’t afford it. 

Last month Mrs. CBB had her third Crown put in over the past 20 years and each one costs a whopping $1000.

Most dental plans will cover only 50% of the costs up to x amount of dollars each year.

Luckily, I have only had one cavity, needed 1 crown and had my wisdom teeth pulled a year after moving to Canada and that’s about it for dental work.

Employee Dental Benefits

When I wasn’t working Mrs. CBB had work benefits that covered 100% of the costs but without any dental coverage I likely wouldn’t have went back then.

Now that we have a son dental care is even more important for us as a family especially that we could lose our benefits at any time.

Nothing is guaranteed including a career or our health which means if you have no benefits the money is coming out of pocket for your dental visits.

When I stumbled upon the Healthy Smiles Program in Ontario it was only after hearing about a local dentist in our area offering free dental care to low-income families.

This included children and adults and it has become a big thing in our community where people waste no time in getting in to see a dentist and dental hygienist for a cleaning and checkup.

The window of opportunity is only open for so many hours but just giving back to the community says lots about many health care professionals across Canada.

They do care and it’s not always about the money, it’s about compassion for the people and using their skills to help others.

How Healthy Smiles Ontario Works

The idea behind the Healthy Smiles Ontario program is that it provides preventive, routine and emergency services for children and youth under the age of 17 years old that come from low-income families.

If your children qualify for this program treatments such as teeth whitening or other procedures such as braces are not covered.

Did you know the cost of braces can run a family into the thousands for one child or adult?

Mrs. CBB got a quote for Invisalign braces near $6500 and our benefits cover up to $2500 once in a lifetime.

That means we still have to fork out thousands from our savings for braces and the same for our son if he ever needs them one day.

If you are fortunate to have two benefits programs for your family you may see an even greater portion of the costs of the braces covered based on your dental benefits.

This means both you and your spouse have work benefits with dental care coverage where both can be billed by your dentist for the costs.

Not all benefits allow coverage for the cost of braces.

That being said if you have no benefits then you have to pay the full cost for braces out of pocket and for low-income families this may be unreachable.

Free Dental Care Healthy Smiles Ontario

The free dental care procedures that are covered under the Healthy Smiles Ontario program cover regular visits to a licensed dentist in Ontario which covers dental procedures such as;

  • Dental Check-ups
  • Teeth Cleaning
  • Fillings (for a cavity)
  • Teeth x-rays
  • Teeth Scaling
  • Tooth extraction
  • Urgent or emergency dental care (including treatment of a child’s toothache or tooth pain)

Keep in mind that not all dentists in Ontario participate in the Healthy Smiles Program so it’s important to ask your dental provider first.

If they are not accepting patients with the program you will have to call around other dentist offices or contact your public health unit for a complete list.

Services Covered By Healthy Smiles Ontario

For a full list of free dental care services provided by Healthy Smiles Ontario and what are not covered visit here.

An examination or assessment by a qualified dental provider will determine the type and frequency of services a child or youth may need.

Free Dental Care Covered services include (for example):

  • Examinations/assessments
  • Radiographs (X-rays)
  • Preventive Services
  • Restorative Services
  • Endodontic Services
  • Periodontal Services
  • Prosthodontic Services
  • Oral Surgery Services
  • Anaesthesia
Healthy Smiles Program Eligibility

If you live in Ontario and are under the age of 17 and come from a low-income family you may be eligible to apply for the Healthy Smiles Program.

Below is the chart of dated as of July 2018 of eligibility requirements for the Healthy Smiles Program in Ontario.

Number of dependent children in your household Family net income
1 child $23,170 or lower
2 children $24,924 or lower
3 children $26, 677 or lower
4 children $28, 431 or lower
5 children $30,185 or lower
6 children $31,939 or lower
7 children $33,692 or lower
8 children $35,446 or lower
9 children $37,200 or lower
10 or more children $38,954 or lower. Add $1,754 for each additional dependent child to determine the income level at which your family would qualify for Healthy Smiles Ontario.

Once your child is enrolled for the free dental treatment the benefit year runs from August 1 to July 31st the following year up until their 18th birthday.

If their 18th birthday falls mid-way through the year the benefits will end by that point.

Your child will receive a Healthy Smiles Ontario Card in the mail which you must present to the dentist each time you visit for a procedure under the program.

Applying for the Healthy Smiles Program

You need help with dental costs you can apply for the program online or by mail but online will always be the fastest process in my opinion.

Before starting the enrollment process you will need a few things to fill out the application.

  • Social insurance number (SIN) or temporary taxation number (TTN)
  • Child’s date of birth
  • Valid Ontario address
  • Must have filed your income tax return in the past year

If you do not have a SIN or have not filed your income tax return in the past year you can still apply although you will need a Guarantor.

A Guarantor may be a nurse, pharmacist, doctor, dentist, mid-wife, teacher and so on that will verify your identity, age and Ontario residency.

You can mail the completed application to the address below but if you apply online you will have to print and mail a consent form with-in 30 days.

Applications are available at local Public Health Units or at Service Ontario locations or you can apply online.

Healthy Smiles Ontario
33 King Street West
PO Box 645
Oshawa ON L1H  8X1

You can find all the information including the application and a full list of guarantors at the Ontario Health and Wellness Website.

If you feel that you may qualify for this program please apply since you would be giving your child the gift of free dental care at the dentist as often as it’s covered.

Any information provided in this article was taken from Provincial government pages linked int his post.

Discussion: What are some of the ways you teach your children dental care at home?

The post How To Access Free Dental Care For Kids 17 And Under appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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Increasing your money supply is pretty simple if you look for opportunities although I’ll be honest and tell you that it’s going to take work but it’s so worth it.

This is how we funded our journey to debt freedom and if you’re serious about your finances take a look at what we did to optimize our money supply.

Since becoming debt free including our mortgage in May 2014 there have been many times readers have wanted to know how we are able to increase our net worth so much.

Honestly, there are months we see our money supply go up and months where we see it go down such as December of last year when all of our investments took a nose dive.

Thankfully our retirement investments have pulled through and are earning more money than they ever have which helps keep our net worth on the incline.

5 Ways To Increase Your Money Supply

I wanted to keep this simple for all of you but offer you the resources that we use to increase our money supply and have done for many years.

Some of the resources may be programs you have to apply for or tips for saving money by utilizing programs to help customers lower their overall household expenses.

My number one tip for increasing YOUR money supply is to READ and Network with like-minded people.

If you are interested in a topic and not sure how to go about something learn everything you can and work towards your goals like I did with this blog.

Pay Your Debts

The number way to increase your money supply is to decrease the amount of money that is going out each month. That means if you are paying interest on top of interest you’re blowing money into thin air.

For many of you that might be money that you don’t even have which keeps you in the minimum payment cycle for many years.

This can be heartbreaking especially if you really want to get out of debt fast and onto brighter roads ahead.

Once you increase your money supply and pay off debts in full you’ll slowly see that you have more money in the pot to play with or move around to pay other debts.

It’s simple to understand that paying off one debt leads to having extra money to put towards another which is why the snowball method of paying debt appeals to so many people.

The idea is you pay the smallest debt first while paying the minimum payment on the larger debts and eventually you’ll be debt free.

Cha-Ching, you’ve just increased your money supply.

Budget Your Money

Budgeting is an obvious way to increase your money supply because it gives you an accurate picture of the amount of net income coming in and the expenses going out.

Once you get control of your monthly budget you will be able to gain control of your money so you’re not overspending when you should be saving.

When you save in one area to pay off another you’re still increasing your money supply little by little.

You may not be out of the red but at least you’re working towards it.

P.S Don’t pay for a budget online or any apps when you can get all your budgeting needs at CBB for FREE.

They aren’t as fancy as those apps but damn they work and we’re proof of that.

Earn Extra Income

I often tell everyone that if you aren’t paying your bills on time, spending too much money or your budget just won’t balance no matter what you do then you need to earn more cash.

The only way to increase your money supply is to get a second job, start a business, cash on the side, sell stuff you no longer need or give up stuff.

I wish I had more answers for you but there really isn’t any. This isn’t about investing to increase your money supply either.

It’s merely a way for you to cut your costs in the present so you have more for the future. 

Some of the ways we earned money over the years above our monthly net income may seem tedious BUT we saved money and we are debt free. It made all of it, worth every minute invested.

We also used Canadian coupons, babysitting, dog-sitting, home repairs, hosted international students, participated in focus groups to help increase our money supply. 

There are always people looking for you to participate in something so look on Kijiji and source businesses in your area who do panel discussions, focus groups or study groups.

I remember we did one that lasted a month and we went in once a week for 1 hour and were paid $300 cash each. It was great.

We also drank cups of espresso for $75 in a controlled environment and offered our feedback via computer.

Needless to say we were full of energy when we left the building. That only took us 20 minutes and we made $75 EACH.

Cha-Ching- Increased Money Supply.

Another time I spent one hour talking about driveway salts with 4 other people and a moderator and we got to take as many bags home that we wanted.

The room was filled with different brands and I STILL have some in our garage years later plus was paid $100 and they fed me.

As you might already know there was a point in my career where I was working two full-time jobs just to get where I am today.

It was my foot in the door and although it took up all of my time and I earned lots double the income it also helped increase our money supply. Finding a second-job is always a nice boost to the income but a drain on time.

My point is that all the savings and earning a bit here and there cash helped us to pay off our mortgage in 5 years.

Invest It Wisely

I could tell you to take the money you have and buy a house and then rent it out so someone else is paying your mortgage.

Sure, this investment may turn out to be a windfall for you in the future depending on the housing market but it could also flop.

Also, investing money such as buying a house or retirement savings to increase money supply is a long-term investment that is certainly worth looking into only if you have the money to do so.

On the other hand if you have the cash to invest then surely you’ll be increasing your money supply which essentially means you’re on the right path.

Don’t let what you can’t see (the future) scare you away from what you need to do today for tomorrow.

Sometimes it’s tough to hand over your money and hope to see it grow but if you don’t include a bit of financial risk your money supply will only grow as fast as you save it in the bank.

Recently we took $5000 from our son’s bank account and invested it for him so we weren’t just building him a bank savings account portfolio earning peanuts in interest. T

he kids going to be set up when he gets older because we are taking the steps today for his tomorrow.

The only downside is hoping he does the same thing for his family and perhaps has the same savings ideals as we do. Nothing is promised though but worth it if we can help him out this way.

Start A Blog

This is a big topic that I really haven’t discussed much on the blog but plan to in the coming future.

I can tell you that I’m earning a nice money supply into the thousands that I consider passive income and has helped increase our net worth.

What passive income means is that I don’t have to do anything and when I wake up in the morning the money will be in my account.

If you are a stay at home parent or are looking for a hobby and you have something to say that might interest a wide-spread audience then blogging may be for you.

I also can get paid hundreds of dollars just for writing a blog post or working with other well-known businesses for offering my story to their readers.

If you want to start Blogging to earn Extra Money or you want to Work from Home here are some blogging resources to get you started:

BigScoots Hosting

I’ve been blogging here for over 6 years and Big Scoots is by far the BEST hosting company I’ve went with.

I’ve bitched about hosting companies that I was with in the past because they kept going down or were slow but NOT with Big Scoots and the customer service is awesome.

You feel important and not just a number.

Set up your Email Subscription Service with MailerLite

I couldn’t be happier with Mailerlite as I’ve moved away from Feedburner that didn’t allow me the amount of control over my subscriptions like Mailerlite does.

Again, customer service is amazing and I’m happy that Sara my blog designer and friend from Moonsteam Design helped me with the process.

She’s my rock and an amazing blog designer.

She designed this blog and we are still making amazing changes for the readers.

You can read all of my blog resources here.

Choices YOU Make

When all is said and done your money supply depends on your income sources and how well you are at budgeting the money.

If you are in a financial situation where you are on a fixed income it can be tough but not impossible.

Negativity can sometimes get the best of us when it comes to our money supply so take it in stride and start with small changes and you’ll see how it can blossom into something big.

Just LOOK at Canadian Budget Binder a blog that I started to help people is now giving back in the form of passive income.

If I can do it, so can you and I had NO idea what I was doing when I started.

Discussion: What other ways do you increase your money supply? Leave me a comment as I love to read your feedback.

Net Worth Losses and Gains

April 2019

What happened to our money in April?

Hey everyone,

Well, we finally got rid of our second vehicle which took us forever but it’s done now.

That’s where the -$500 appears on the vehicles portion of our net worth update above.

Although we lost $500, in actual fact we did get money for the vehicle and that cash was included in the income.

The most major increase was through our investments which is always a nice thing to have happen.

The markets along with our investments have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride this last few months but hanging in there pays off.

We had good gains in all of our investments which is what everyone wants.


Understanding Net Worth

What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?

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

We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget and not giving up.

Your numbers may go up and down but don’t let the numbers scare you rather understand why and move on.

If you would like to use our budget I offer a FREE downloadable budget which I created and that you can use at home just like we do.

I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!

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

Calculate Your net worth

Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth?

We like to calculate our net worth every month so we know if we are still on track.

Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly but it’s up to you and how informed you want to stay.

Net Worth is only an estimate and not everyone uses the same type of figures to tally it up.

Some of you may not include vehicles like we do or leave out assets inside the home like we have.

You might be that person that believes that your house should be excluded.

It depends on what you want to calculate or what you can sell today and make money on for tomorrow.

Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your personal numbers or monthly finances which means you need to do your homework.

Net Worth is simply adding up all your assets (what you own) then taking away your liabilities (what you owe) which will give you a net worth number.

Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track to meeting or beating your personal financial goals.

It doesn’t get any easier than that.

How to Determine Net Worth?

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities

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 make or if they have a high net worth or if it is lower than ours as it’s not a competition.

I hope our experiences 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.

Some of you may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, paid educations or perks in life that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too.

Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.

The only reason people accumulate wealth is because they know how to save or invest it wisely even if they did inherit money or win the lottery.

The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.

Sometimes we have to fail in order to learn and we’ve all been there. 

Money can be an evil force for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their own financial situation.

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

Net worth updates 2019

Click the links below to read our net worth updates for the year.

That’s all for this months net worth update but please check in at the beginning of June 2019 to see how we made out in May 2019 with our financial portfolio.


The post 5 Ways To Increase Your Money Supply This Year : Net Worth Update April 2019 (+2.63%) appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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How to host a successful garage sale?  Sell Food and Drinks for starters.

Hosting a yard sale, boot sale, tag sale or rummage sale with kids is a great opportunity for them to earn some extra money by selling garage sale food and refreshments.

It’s the best opportunity to get your kids set up to learn the value of buying and selling with their own little business while you’re off doing your thing.

When there is food and drinks people will come and only say this because I watch people who go to Costco shopping and how they dive into the free samples. 

People LOVE food and if you have something good to sell and it’s in demand there is money to be made so why not offer garage sale food the next time you host a sale?

Even if you don’t have kids who are eager entrepreneurs there are benefits to having garage sale food and drinks at your next sale.

  1. Extra Cash
  2. Draws in the crowds

Essentially you want to sell everything you put outside for your garage sale because no one wants to haul it back in.

The idea around having garage sale food and drinks is that it draws in the customers and adds that extra edge to your garage sale advertising.

I’d rather visit a garage sale early if it has items I’m on the hunt for AND coffee and muffins and other sweet treats.

Most people who go to garage sales are up very early including the hosts and often it’s a mad rush out the front door.

There have been plenty of times Mrs. CBB and I have went out looking for weekend bargains and found garage sale food and drink available for purchase.

If for example if it’s a Spring garage sale you are hosting perhaps offering some hot coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice, bottled water or juice boxes along with homemade muffins and squares for breakfast.

If you’re talented in the kitchen you can make savoury breakfast muffins with eggs, ham and cheese.

I’ve also been to a yard sale that hosted garage sale food that included a BBQ with hotdogs and burgers run by the husband and the wife was doing the selling.

It was quite amazing because they had fun music playing in the background and people were hanging around eating, drinking and looking at what items were up for sale.

That’s the kind of garage sale that you will want to host or that people talk about and trust me they do.

I remember when Mrs. CBB and her friends would text each other garage sales to visit that were what they called, “worth it”.

The reason behind that is when someone hosts a garage sale without much thought they don’t sell as much because it’s evident that it’s a sale just thrown together.

When you host a vibrant garage sale with all the fixin’s you’ll have far more luck selling your stuff at reasonable prices, negotiations will come in from all angles and you can make a profit selling your favourite garage sale foods and beverages.

Last month we went to a Maple Syrup Festival where the streets in a small community were shut down for a parade and all the vendors.

Would you believe there were homeowners out hosting garage sales and selling beverages along the end of their driveways for a buck each?

I thought, what a brilliant idea. Here you have thousands of visitors to a small community for a huge event and even if you sell 300 bottles of water for a buck each that’s a huge profit.

The same goes with pop and juice although there were more than enough vendors selling food that it wouldn’t have been much unless you had something unique that went viral through the streets.

Making a profit from Garage Sale Food and Drinks

Let’s have a look at some garage sale food recipes and drinks that I think would be a hit with frugal customers.

Here’s the thing, frugal is the keyword here because even though shoppers don’t mind donating a bit more money when it’s kids or they are desperate for convenience, pricing matters. 

The last thing you want is for your garage sale food and drinks to sit and no one buys them because you’re asking too much money for them. Keep the prices simple and the goals for offering garage sale food and drinks.

For example, here’s a few questions you will want to consider if you decide to have garage sale food and drinks available.

  • How much did it cost you to bake or buy what you are selling?
  • Will there be a profit?
  • Are you just selling food and drinks to draw in the crowds to sell your stuff?

If you buy 2 cases of bottled water on sale for $1.99/24 plus 2 bags of ice $2.99 each that equals $11.28 with taxes. If you divide $11.30 (rounded) into 24 you will need to sell the bottled water for at least $0.50 each to break even.

That means to get your money back. If you sell the bottled water for $1.00 each you will make 100% profit and double your money. This is where you will want to be IF you are selling for profit or fundraising money to give to a charity.

You would do the same math with your garage sale food as well. If you bought a bag of chocolate chip cookies for $2.00 and there are 20 cookies in the package you would have to sell each cookie for $0.10 each to make back your money.

If you sell each cookie for $0.25 each you will earn back $5.00 which means you’ve made over 100% profit. Essentially you’d have enough to buy 2 more bags of cookies and still have $1 profit left.

Best Garage Sale Food and Drinks to Sell

I’m going to compile a simple list of garage sale foods and drinks that I believe would drive customers and bring in a profit for the seller.

Ideally buying all the products you are selling while they are on sale will yield even more profits from your garage sale food and drinks.

Garage sale drinks

  1. Cans of pop
  2. Bottled water
  3. Juice boxes
  4. Homemade Lemonade, Iced-Tea, other juices. Make a lemonade sale sign or whatever drink or drinks you are selling.
  5. Coffee and tea can be tricky because you have to also provide sugar, sweetener, milk, cream. You could buy a bucket from the coffee shop and sell it for more money but I don’t think you’ll see much profit if any. If you make coffee at home to sell you’d definitely need treats to see a profit.

Garage sale food

Below are some easy foods to sell and make money or you can buy them pre-made and still make a profit based on selling price as described above.

You may have customers who don’t trust what you make because they don’t know you but it’s no different than buying food from a bake sale at work or school in my opinion.

Offering a variety of store-bought and homemade might make a difference to your overall sales.

My one big tip- Keep the messy garage sale food to a minimum and offer treats that are simple to eat. I also suggest that you keep some paper towel or napkins handy for your customers. (another cost to add into your sales pricing).

  • Homemade cookies mainly chocolate chip, oatmeal or other simple cookies that include chocolate. Always label if there is nuts but I would put a beware nuts could be in these products sign to be safe for those with allergies.
  • Fruits such as bananas and apples or even watermelon slices
  • Homemade or store-bought muffins or squares (including brownies, ha)
  • Sweet or Savoury breads such as banana bread, chocolate chip banana bread, cheese bread, zucchini bread.
  • Hotdogs, Hamburgers with buns and basic condiments ketchup, mustard and relish.
  • International food from around the world- Sell foods or sweets that are popular with-in your culture. Samosa is always a hit.

Chicken SamosaRecipe

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Homemade Lemonade

Orange Carrot Breakfast Muffins

Alternatively you could offer iced-tea and lemonade for free to your customers just to put a smile on their faces and perhaps they might just buy something from your garage sale.

Discussion: What other garage sale food and drinks can you think of to sell at a sale?

Home and Blog Update

What a wonderful two weeks we’ve had since our last update. No one has been ill and nothing major has broke down around the house. I’ve been busy like most homeowners outside getting ready for Spring and lots of sunshine.

So far, I’ve got all our herbs planted for the summer, hanging baskets are up, fertilized the lawn, added mulch to our front yard flower beds and fixed up our rock garden (no weeds still).

The basil is already peaking out as is the dill and garlic so we are very excited. We even have a stray onion we are nurturing although Mrs. CBB thinks she planted it last season from a cut-off she had in the kitchen.

Oh, and the rhubarb is on it’s way to making magic again this summer. I swear we get so much rhubarb we are stuck with what to do with it.

I also went ahead and gave our big stainless BBQ away for free and bought a small Kamado charcoal grill which we  do not regret. The taste of the meat and vegetables far surpass that of any propane or gas grill. 

Plus, we love the extra space and we can bring it in out of the rain and winter without a hitch. So easy.

Other than that I managed to clean out part of the garage but I have more to get done as well the back-yard is next on my hit-list. I’ll update you on that for the next Saturday blog post.

On the blog I’ve been working with my amazing designer Sara to improve the look and layout again plus we became publishers with Mediavine in hopes of bringing in more revenue for CBB to help pay for what it needs to continue to run.

This blog doesn’t run on coal I’m afraid, hehe! You may see some changes as the weeks go on but they may be subtle.

Thank you again for your support, reading the blog, commenting and sharing our posts with your friends and family on social media. I started this blog for us and the people in 2012 and look at us all now.

Here we are 2019 and still helping people out of debt even if it’s only through experience and motivation. It all matters.

Have a great two weeks!!


CBB Posts You May Have Missed

These are the blog posts I’ve written the past two weeks that you can catch up on if you’ve missed them. If you don’t already please subscribe to the blog and you will get my posts come straight to your email. Ta-da…CBB in an Instant.

Finance Read Of the Week

This week I’d like to draw your attention to Million Dollar Journey where the Frugal Trader discusses what happens to your RRSP and TFSA after you die.

With all the important death blog posts I’ve been writing lately this is another great reason to understand everything you need to when it comes to your money and anything you may be leaving behind if you were to pass away.

In fact this topic came up for discussion last week when we met with our financial advisor from Mr. CBB who was curious to know. I’m sure she just wanted to know if she was better off if I was dead or alive, haha!

To start off with the good news, RRSPs can generally “rollover” tax-free to qualified beneficiaries such as: 

  • a spouse/spousal trust/common-law partner;

  • financially dependent children/grandchildren under 18;

  • or disabled children/grandchildren of any age.

So, yes if I were to die we’d roll over the investments into my wife’s name or vice-versa.

Excellent read.

Garage Sale Finds

If you have some awesome deals you’d like to share from your garage sale outings this Spring and Summer email me your photo and tell us what you found and how much it cost you to be featured.

Hi Everyone,

Here are today’s amazing finds :

  • 2 packs swimming goggles and moisturizing lotion $5 (asking was $7)
  • Shave gel, skunk spray and chewing spray (for my new puppy) $1
  • Bath bombs $1

Total spent $7

Jen P.

Frugal Recipe Find

Fiona at Just SO Tasty has these White Chocolate Brownies that I could turn away from seeing once my eyes found the recipe. I just knew I had to share with all of you brownie lovers out there.

As you already know I have a sweet spot for brownies with thousands of Pins on my Brownie Pinterest board. This recipe is next on my list especially since I have a bag of white chocolate in our freezer to use up.

Mr. CBB’s Motivational Corner

Gardening 101

I always wondered how many seeds you should plant in each hole when getting ready for our Spring and Summer vegetable garden.

Honestly I would just play it by ear but there is an actual amount that you should use in order to avoid wasting and overcrowding.

For radishes you only need 4 seeds as do peppers but I had no idea, now I know. Oh, and look at squash only 1 seed needed.

How to avoid overplanting your vegetable garden

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At some point in our lives we may face financial hardship but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to overcome it.

What I’ve learned over the years from my readers is that where there’s a problem there’s also a solution especially with money.

If you’ve never had to write a financial hardship letter today I will show you how with a sample letter and some resources where you can seek support.

A reader sent me an email asking me about financial hardship and how he could approach the people he owes money in hopes of having them evaluate the debt he owes.

I didn’t think it was a bad idea given the situation he was facing and that it wasn’t going to be permanent.

The worst thing you can do when you don’t have enough money in the bank to pay your debts is to ignore it.

Whether it be your credit card, mortgage, rent or any other loans you MUST make the minimum payment required. Sadly when it comes to rent or a mortgage payment there is no minimum it’s a fixed expense for your budget.

Defaulting on your mortgage payments can mean BIG consequences so writing a mortgage financial hardship letter is important.

Not paying your rent will get you evicted and possibly living homeless until you can find emergency shelter.

What is Financial Hardship?

Financial hardship is when your cash flow has been significantly impacted by certain events in your life and you simply can’t make ends meet no matter how hard you try.

You must exhaust all avenues for earning money or adding cash before reaching the end of the barrel , sort to speak.

You know you’ve reached financial hardship when there’s nowhere else to turn.

Perhaps your financial priorities have changed based on life events that need to be addressed.

Unforseen events such as death or divorce may be the sole reason for your financial hardship which can lead to missing your obligatory debt repayment.

Changes in employment status such as job loss, restructuring or even injury and health decline can all add to financial hardship that must be addressed.

When should you seek financial hardship support?

The moment anything affects your income is when you must evaluate your financial position.

This may mean reworking your budget or exploring your emergency savings to see how much time it will buy you.

The emergency savings is there to help buy you some time until you can get a plan of action in place or at least your Plan B.

I often tell my readers to never depend solely on emergency savings and to always have that extra plan in place just in case the worst happens.

Do you remember when I mentioned that my mother-in-laws bank account was frozen after her husband passed away last year?

Well, we made lots of phone calls to explain the financial hardship she was having in order to keep creditors in the loop.

They appreciated that.

Other financial hardship support;

  • Credit Counselling
  • Budget
  • Financial Advisor
  • Bank Support
  • Family or Friends
  • Consider Refinancing
  • Student Financial Aid Support

Contact everyone you owe money to that you can’t pay back and either talk to them or send them a financial hardship letter.

Make a deal with them to see if you can manage your finances with lowered interest rates or perhaps a lowered minimum payment until your situation changes.

Number one priority is to always let them know of your financial hardship.

Debt Reduction Spreadsheet

Earlier this year I created a debt reduction spreadsheet that you can personalize and print or keep on your computer to track paying down your debts.

If you are struggling with financial hardship one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to use a budget and track everything.

I know it sounds like a daunting task and it may be just that for someone who is not a numbers nerd like I am but it’s a must if you want to get your finances back on track.

There is one good thing about tracking your expenses in order to reduce them and that is you’re doing something about your debt using a visual.

Seeing your debt numbers vanish is probably one of the most happiest times for anyone who carries debt. I remember when we had our mortgage loan and how scary the numbers were with added interest over the years.

Once we set up and printed our pay-down chart it was nice to start crossing off payments in order to evaluate where we stood and how much further ahead we would be if we could crush even more debt.

In other-words doing and seeing are very important when it comes to your money. It’s all part of being a responsible adult and taking charge of how much you earn, where your money is going and keeping debt to a minimum if any at all.

Sample Financial Hardship Letter

Besides making a phone call you can also write a letter which is why I crafted a sample financial hardship letter for anyone who struggles with writing

Below is a financial hardship letter that I wrote and that you can use by downloading and saving the word document to your computer to edit.

I’ve kept it fairly simple so all you need to do is insert your financial hardship and personal information before sending it to the person in charge of your account.

Your Name

Street Address

City, Postal Code

Phone Number

Recipient Name

Street Address

City, Postal Code

Phone Number

Attn: (Insert Contact Person)


Re: Consolidating/Restructuring/Forgiveness for Debt related to Mortgage, School, Credit Card or other loan payment.

To Whom It May Concern:

I’m writing you today because I’ve fallen into financial hardship and am struggling to pay my debts back on time.

I’m hoping we can work together to help come up with a restructure of payment, consolidation or reduce my monthly payments to avoid going into default.

My financial problems began when (Insert problem here death, divorce, illness etc. but be very specific.) Since this time I’ve only had (insert how much money you get monthly) to work with each month that is being used in areas such as (insert where your money goes groceries, rent, daycare, other loans) and am struggling to balance my budget.

I am not trying to avoid my responsibility paying back my debt as I’m truly embarrassed by this situation but have no other choice but to seek financial relief.

If I can offer a suggestion that might help me balance my budget perhaps (insert suggestion or money amount you can afford) until my situation changes.

This amount would help me balance my monthly expenses and continue to pay back the money owed to you.

I look forward to discussing my options with you so please contact me at your convenience.


(Your name here)

Get Ahead Of Your Debt

No matter where you stand financially always be ahead of your debt so you understand everything that is required by you even in emergency situations.

Financial hardship can be depressing but if you reach out to the people you owe they may give you some space or make arrangements to help keep you out of the bankruptcy office.

It’s a bad place to be but explore all your options and fear no one.

Discussion: Have you ever experienced financial hardship and how did you handle it? Leave me your comments below.

Money earned in March 2019

Where did all the money go?

One budget category that jumped for us in April was telecommunications as we upgraded to android boxes. The only problem is that we have 12 months of cable renewal with Rogers so we will cancel that next year and stay strictly with the android boxes.

Another big expense went to dental because Mrs. CBB needed a crown and will need another in May. That means another $600 charge. Her dentist also suggested invisalign braces to help with her clicking jaw and spaces.

Like most benefits ours covers $2500 lifetime for braces but I’m sure the grand total will be around the $5-7k mark.

Both Mrs. CBB and I reviewed our budget categories in April and updated each as prices have increased for most services related to our home.

We try to do this as often as possible but it’s easy to become lazy and view it as overage when in fact it’s the actual bill.

For example you might get a notice that your Rogers Cell phone bill will be going up by $5 so you must increase that number in your budget.

Next month we will see a huge increase in our insurance payments as we’ve taken a slightly different route with that as I will discuss in an upcoming blog post.

We will also see a decrease in our investments as I’ve had to stop my RRSP for 2019 to avoid over-payment which I will also discuss.

Overall it was a busy month and as most homeowners experience during the Spring and Summer lots of money ends up on home maintenance and renovations.

Again, if you are not saving monthly for projected expenses you may find you have to dip into your emergency savings or create debt if you haven’t saved the cash for the above.

How do you save money for renovations and maintenance to your home? (leave me a comment below)

Have a great month everyone. See you in June.


Budget percentages April 2019

Our savings of 52.75% includes investments as well as any savings for this month based on the income of $8609.89.

We put money away for the 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 the month of April.

Our monthly expenses

Below is a breakdown of our expenses which helps us to understand where all of our money goes.

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 own financial numbers as our situations are all unique.

Spending less than we earn and budgeting our money has been the easiest way for us to pay down debt and save money. It may be different for you.

  1. Chequing– This is the bank account where all of our debt gets paid from.
  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: $4904.02
  5. Monthly Net Income Total$8609.89
  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 = $324.98
  8. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out$5622.27
  9. Total Expenses Actually Paid Out: Calculated is $8609.89 (total net monthly income) – $324.98 (projected expenses) –$2662.64 (savings to emergency fund) = $8609.89
  10. Actual Cash Savings going into Emergency Savings: Calculated is $8609.89 (total monthly net income) – $5622.27 (actual expenses paid out for the month) – $324.98 (projected expenses) = $2662.64
Our budget results

Time for the juicy category numbers and to see how we made out with our monthly budget. Below you will see two tables, one is our monthly budget and the other is our actual budget for the month of March 2019.

This budget represents 2 adults and a toddler plus retirement investments.

Budget colour chart: If highlighted in blue that means it is a projected expenses      

Note: We’ve decided to keep our grocery budget at $410.

Budgeted Amounts

Actual Budget Amounts

Our FREE simple budgeting series

Do you want to learn to budget like we do?

Please take the time to read through our budgeting series plus read Budgeting in the New Year.

I hope the information will help stop you from making common budgeting mistakes.

Our Ultimate Budgeting Guide from A to Z has everything you need to know about budgeting in one blog post.

  1. How We Designed Our Budget Step 1 Gathering All the information
  2. How We Designed Our Budget Step 2Budget Categories
  3. How We Designed Our Budget Step 3– Tracking Receipts
  4. How We Designed Our Budget Step 4- Note-taking
  5. How We Designed Our Budget Step 5– 5S Organization
  6. How We Designed Our Budget Step 6– Who Does What and When?
  7. How We Designed Our Budget Step 7– Balancing Our Budget
  8. How We Designed Our Budget Step 8– Knowing our Coupon Savings
  9. How We Designed Our Budget Step 9– Reading Our Bills
  10. How We Designed Our Budget Step 10 Projected Expenses
Budget updates month by month

Just in case you missed our budget updates and want to do a quick search I’ve compiled them all on one handy page: monthly budgets.

2019 Budget Challenge- 7 Monthly Budget Reports

When I was looking for people to join the CBB 2019 Budget Challenge back in December I had over 20 people interested in joining.

It looks like we are missing two of the 7 budget update reviews so we are down two people for the year although I will give them until the end of today to submit.

As our budget challengers ventures along you may see their budget reports increase in data which I expect especially because it’s a learning experience for everyone. The more you do a task the better you get at it and the more you learn about what you are doing.

The budget reports below will remain anonymous unless the writer chooses to use their name and each one will be unique. They get to choose how they report their budget back to us.

Here we GO!!!

Budget Report..

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Last week we met up with our financial advisor to review our retirement plan and life insurance policies and got more than we bargained for.

It was there that we began talking about what documents we should keep in a fireproof safe at home.

Yes, another thing to consider as a renter, homeowner and even handy for students, but worth every dollar.

The conversation went from ensuring that our life insurance policies were stored safely in the event of a fire or loss that we ventured onto the topic of other items and valuables to stash away.

When my father-in-law passed away last year he had a fireproof safe in the home, however there was nothing in it and still in the original box.

I’m sure the idea was to store important valuables and documents inside but the task was pushed aside due to health reasons so it never was completed.

Literally the next day we had to hunt through garbage bags and drawers full of letters, documents and paperwork that my mother-in-law had stored away over the years.

Her organizational skills were horrible although at least she kept the stuff and didn’t throw it all out. My father-in-law was no better with piles of medical documents and other important information sitting in a box on the top of his dresser.

Finally, we found both their wills and the house and property information along with the ownership to their vehicle with banking information.

We honestly thought we were going to be in big trouble if we hadn’t found this information so we got lucky.

Since we ended up with all of the important documents and valuables from their home at our home we took the fireproof safe with us.

Inside of it you will find everything that is needed for my mother-in-law who is no longer able to take care of her finances in the event they are called on.

We also have both of their jewellery stored in the fireproof safe after locating it in his bedroom at the bottom of a garbage bag ready to be donated.

Unfortunately Mrs. CBB’s mother lost her wedding ring to a theft when she hosted a highschool party that got out of hand and the police had to get involved to close it down.

I’m not saying that your child will do the same but you never know who is going to come into your house or what WILL happen when you go away.

Even the best mannered children have gotten into some dangerous situations that their parents never dreamed their child would be a part of.

Choosing the right fireproof safe

The fireproof safe that we have is only small so it doesn’t hold any of our own important documents and valuables so we went shopping for one.

What we learned was that there are MANY types of fireproof and waterproof safes on the market and ideally you’d want one that has both fire and water protection.

You can buy something small or go big to store everything and anything from keepsakes to valuables to your most important documents.

We’d like to find something with the longest fire endurance time that is fireproof, waterproof and not too big.

Below are a few fireproof safe suggestions that I researched that you might be interested in.

The executive fire-safe seems to be big enough for us and certainly the price is worth it considering what we will be storing in it.

It really boils down to personal preference when buying a fireproof safe so write down what you want from your safe and consider what will be stored in it.

  1. Serene Life Fireproof, Waterproof Safe
  2. Sentry Fireproof Waterproof Chest
  3. Sentry Safe 1.23 cubic feet combination Fire-Safe Advance fire-protection- UL Classified for fire endurance ( 1 hour at 1700 f/927 C )
  4. Honeywell Moulded Fire-Safe Water Chest 30 minute fire protection for up to 1550F /843C
  5. Sentry Executive Fire Safe 4.7 cubic feet

Sentry Safe Executive Fire-Safe is the optimal security safe that also provides fire and water protection. Your records and valuables will be safeguarded and organized with the thicker door, 9 oversized locking bolts ( 30 mm) , multi-position shelves and carpeted interior.

This executive safe has a standard fire protection-ETL verified for fire endurance ( 30-minutes at 1400 F ) to protect documents, records and valuables stored inside from fire damage.

This unit is also ETL Verified water-resistant for 12-Inch of water for 72 hours.

We have yet to buy one however we are contemplating buying a large safe that we can store in the basement or cold room for our family.

Keep in mind that not all fireproof safes can withstand fire for too long which means you also risk losing the contents of what’s inside the safe.

Some homeowners go as far as to install a fireproof safe inside the wall to keep it off the ground and safe from would-be thieves.

That’s another thing to consider as well. If a thief were to break in even if they don’t have the key or security code for your safe if it is easy to carry they WILL walk out the door with it.

That was the explanation my brother-in-law gave me when I asked him about the fireproof safe he built into his house. It wasn’t big but it held his spare cash and anything that was valuable to him.

The wheels start turning when you are aware of things such as a fireproof safe that isn’t widely talked about. It’s sort of like starting a budget, preparing a will, life insurance, rental insurance or sorting your end of life arrangements.

No one really thinks about it unless it’s something that you have to deal with in the moment because something has happened.

We have to change this mindset in order to better prepare ourselves for the unknown.

We probably wouldn’t have considered a fireproof safe had my father-in-law passed away, my brother-in-law has one and our financial advisor suggested it.

Moving forward the plan is for Mrs. CBB and I to discuss the documents we put in our fireproof safe once we buy it and perhaps looking into a secondary place such as a bank.

What Should You Store In A Fireproof Safe?

You can keep whatever your heart desires in a fireproof safe but for the sake of importance I want to go over must-keep documents that you will want to consider.

Just remember what you store away has a higher probability of surviving a fire, theft, flood or other acts of nature if it is protected rather than sitting in a drawer or box.


Your passport is not only identification but your ticket in and out of the country so it’s a valuable you will want to lock up.

Permanent Resident Card

As a permanent resident card holder I don’t really need to carry it around with me and I most certainly don’t want to go through the process of getting a replacement card if I don’t have too.

Birth Certificate or other Certificates

We have a birth certificates and passports for the entire family which will go in a safe because keeping them in a drawer just isn’t cutting it.

My wife and son also have baptism certificates and long-form government documents for birth and baptism that will get stored.

Finally our marriage certificate will be part of this section.

Insurance and Investment Documents

As we discussed with our financial advisor it’s a smart idea to keep all insurance and investment documents locked up.

He also suggested that we let the person know named on our WILL that would take over our affairs in the event we both die at the same time.

House and Real Estate Documents

Some of the more common house and real estate documents you may want to put in your safe are:

  • Deed to your house and property survey
  • Business information and documentation
  • Mortgage documents
  • Vehicle ownership documents
  • Banking information to your savings and other bank accounts
  • Assets and Debts
  • Credit card information

The idea here is to keep information handy for someone having to take over your life if you were gone or unable to care for yourself.

Legal Wills

This is a BIG one because if your WILL gets lost then the process to get one from the courts may take some time.

It’s also advisable to make sure that your lawyer keeps a copy of your WILL in their fireproof safe and to let whoever needs to know where to find the WILL and Lawyer.

Spare Keys

You never know when you will need that spare set of keys to your house or vehicle so it’s a smart idea to store a set in your safe.

On the outside of our house we also have a Master Lock 5401D wall mounted lock box which has come in SO handy over the past 10 years and I highly recommend owning one.

We even gave our family one each for Christmas one year and they loved it. No more storing a spare key under the front door mat or flower pot.

Emergency Cash

I think just about everyone who considers owning a safe will put some form of spare cash in the event of an emergency.

House photos

This is a great idea especially if you need to prove to your insurance company that you had an item which has been stolen or lost in a fire, flood or other acts of nature.

I’d also suggest to keep any important receipts for big ticket or valuable items in your fireproof safe as well.

Family photos

You can never get family photos back unless you have the negatives or the USB or other digital storage it came on.

Do yourself a favour and back it all up and put away for safe keeping.

We have 2 small boxes of my wife’s family photos that we brought to our house. There are no negatives so if they burn or get stolen they are lost forever.

Memories are so important so protect them.

Jewellery and Valuables

If you don’t want to store your valuables in a bank vault you can keep them in your fireproof safe at home.

Anything from wedding rings to jewellery handed down through the generations.

Perhaps you have an item that is worth big bucks which is not jewellery but valuable, put it in your fireproof safe.

Password Managers and Personal Information

If you want to keep your passwords for just about everything online you can store it on a piece of paper or an a stick so you always have access to it.

Alternatively there are many Password Manager apps that allow you to store passwords and usernames although it’s important that the people who will look after your affairs when you are gone know how to find or get access to this information.

Some of the top password storage apps for 2019 are simple to use and affordable or free such as Dashlane, Sticky password, Robo Form, Keeper and Password Safe.

You may also want to consider keeping a copy of your social insurance number, health card and driver’s licence.

Renting a Safe Deposit Box in Canada

Finally, if you aren’t comfortable leaving any of the above in a home fireproof safe then consider keeping original copies in a bank safe deposit box and backup at home.

Over at Royal Bank for example they offer customers a safe deposit box for what I would consider a reasonable price.

Safe Deposit Box rentals range from $60 to $500 annually plus applicable taxes. However, depending on your banking account, this service may be available to you at no additional charge or at a discount.

If you’re looking for a way to protect your valuable documents and small items, consider keeping them in a safe deposit box that’s securely stored inside the vault at your local RBC Royal Bank® branch.

Safe Deposit Box rentals range from $60 to $500 annually plus applicable taxes. However, depending on your banking account, this service may be available to you at no additional charge or at a discount.

Table caption
Box Size Annual Fee as of June 1, 2018
Small $60
Medium $90
Medium/Large $200
Large $350
Extra Large $500

GST/QST/HST will be added to these prices.

A bank safe deposit box is worth the investment especially for important documents and valuables that are hard to replace or you need easy access too.

Whether you choose to own a fireproof safe, safe deposit box or nothing at all just consider what your life will be like it were gone.

Discussion: What do you keep in your home fireproof safe? Leave me a comment below as I enjoy reading your feedback and learning from my readers.

The post 15 Important Items Worth Storing In A Fireproof Safe appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

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