Money Masters: Canadian Budget Binder

Canadian Budget Binder, or Mr. & Mrs. CBB as they’re sometimes called, have been a great partners of ours. We’ve worked together on a couple of projects and are excited to spotlight them on our website. They have featured us on their site and we’re happy to reciprocate.

The CBB’s are mysterious because they don’t disclose their real names. The reason is that they’re very transparent about their personal finances, including disclosing their debt, net worth, mortgage amount, etc. We, the Debt Free Guys, have discussed disclosing this level of personal information, but John is hesitant. What The CBB’s have done, though, is provided real life numbers to which many people can relate. This makes their story compelling and inspiring to readers.

We particularly love their Grocery Game Challenge, which motivates their readers to save and save more in a category that can eat away at ones budget. No pun intended. Particularly with food inflation, this is a great way to keep your budget in check.

1. What’s your story?

I was born in the UK in the 1970’s and emigrated to Canada later in life, went to University but that has no bearing on what I do for a living here in Canada. My life has been anything but ordinary I suppose. I’ve traveled a lot and seen fantastic sights that some people can only see and imagine from pictures in books or on the internet.

I wouldn’t say I was an adventurous person as such, but I’ve managed to experience a multitude of things in life because I try and stay open-minded. I’ve always been sensible with my money, even from a young age. I’ve never been jealous of what other people have because most times material objects only make you happy for the first 5 minutes and then it becomes part of the furniture.

Music always sounds better when it’s on Vinyl and I like my music. I listen to a wide variety of artists most of which do not appear in the top 40.

I met and married my wife and went on to buy a modern medium-sized house and became mortgage free in 5 years. I drive a modest vehicle that’s more than 10 years old because impressing the neighbors with a new car every 3 years is just too expensive for my taste.

I bit the bullet and took myself back to school and now enjoy a well paid career that has led to me gaining a second job that hopefully turns out to be my dream job. I pay into the works pension because they match my contributions and that is “Free money” off the hop.

I enjoy gardening, cooking and doing projects in and around the house even if it takes a little pre-installation education. Learning new skills and constantly learning are what just two of the things that drive me.

A bit of hard work never harmed anyone – I’m a great believer in the “You get out what you put in” philosophy.

2. What’s your point of view, as a personal finance blogger?

My point of view is pointless unless people reading them change their habits on spending and saving. I can talk the hind legs off a donkey, but if no one is prepared to listen it will just fall on deaf ears.

Starting the blog Canadian Budget Binder was a way to document our financial journey and encourage any of our fans to join in the fun so they do the same. I don’t intend to preach a life of riches, but for many people any kind of improvement just won’t happen unless they are prepared to sacrifice some of their luxuries that somehow managed to become part of everyday life.

Expensive TV’s, brand new appliances, mobile phones that you only use for watching YouTube videos and then wonder why your usage is sky high and your bill for the month is a ridiculous amount. Things that people WANT rather than NEED. Everybody seems to want the latest and greatest of everything these days and it’s that insatiable appetite that’s killing their finances.

People ask me how come we can save “x” amount per month and it’s an easy answer, I don’t spend money on crap and we budget our money, simple as that. I don’t own a mobile phone, we have no computer game console, we don’t buy DVDs, no magazines, rarely buy take out coffee, don’t pay bank fees, don’t buy prepared meals, don’t eat in restaurants very often.

We channeled all pf our money into paying the mortgage off and funding our retirement and now we can say we’ve achieved something. Now we are focusing on our investments and living life even better than we did yesterday after all you only live once.

I want to enjoy the rest of our lives rather than worry about the amount of debt we racked up in the earlier years because we thought we’d impress everyone with what we could buy on credit.

3. In one sentence, what’s one piece of sage advice from your personal finance background that you’d like to share with our readers?

Living a life you can’t afford for a few years will take a lot longer to pay off, living within your means might sound dull but you will get further in life.

Check out www.CanadianBudgetBinder.com regularly and sign up for their RSS feed or email list. You and your finances will be better for it.

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still somewhere over the rainbow?

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