Let’s Talk Money – The Series

lets talk moneyWhen I first began planning out this blog one of the things on my to-do-list was to run a weekly series titled Let's Talk Money. The series would include a number of questions about money and people's personal experiences with money. Basically it is a written interview with other personal finance bloggers.

This week's interview is with the author of the blog known as the Canadian Budget Binder. He lives in Ontario, Canada, which is where I am originally from.

We've been getting to know each other over the past 5 weeks through our blogs and on Twitter. I asked him to be the first PF blogger for this series and he happily accepted. He is famous for his Grocery Game Challenge.

Here is the first interview for Let's Talk Money.

Please provide a brief introduction about yourself and your personal finance blog including when you created your blog. If comfortable, please share if you are married and how many children you have.

We're your average married Canadian couple in our 30's who are budgeting to live a comfortable life. We got married 6 years ago and I am new to Canada from the UK so bear with me and my antics. I promise you a laugh here and there. We have no children yet but hope to soon one day! We live in Ontario Canada and I blog about our budget, net-worth, frugal tips, frugal recipes. You can also see our Monthly Budget and Net Worth Updates.

We don't aspire to be Multi – Millionaires, (but if it happens we won't complain) just to save and live a comfortable life, and this is why I started Canadian Budget Binder in January 2012. Our incomes are not what I would call executive, rather average, but the key for us is not how much we make it's how we spend it. I wanted to show others what we had learned and how we managed to stay out of consumer debt and live a comfortable life.

Join me weekly as I post our Grocery Budget and play The Grocery Game Challenge along with our fans to see if we can follow the budget we all set out.

You can find his blog at Canadian Budget Binder.

What is your view point regarding money? Money is meant to be saved? Money is meant to be spent?

Our viewpoint on money is one that is balanced. I will say that we are a bit obsessive when it comes to saving and our future but at the same time we set money aside for the present. I believe if someone becomes so engulfed in their finances they lose touch with the present and focus too much on the future.

I believe in paying yourself first and this is simply what we have done over the years.

Do you own or rent your current living accommodations? Why?

We purchased our first home 3 years ago for $265,000 even though the banks offered us over 500K for a mortgage. We simply didn't need that type of space nor did we want to live to pay it off. We are quite happy in our home and are currently doing some renovations to modernize the home. We did however in the past rent to save more money for a down payment while we were in school before we purchased the home.

If you had a friend or a co-worker that was in debt come to you for financial advice on how to get out of debt, what are the first 3 steps you would suggest for them to work on?

This has happened on more than one occasion and the advice I would give if it happened again is:

  • Get rid of your credit and debit cards and live on cash.
  • Organize all the bills they owe and what they pay for each month and when- I want to see how much they owe, to who and when.
  • Start using The Canadian Budget Binder Budget which is crucial for anyone not just people in debt.

If you suddenly won, inherited, or received $25,000 as a gift, what would you do with it?

We actually received a large amount of money last month that we loaned out to a family member a few years back. We now have to decide what to do with it. In the meantime it is in our savings account but likely we will use it to maximize on our TFSA for the past and current years as well as RRSP's. I would make sure the money is working for us, essentially.

What stresses you out when it comes to money?

What stresses me out is the fact that at any given moment it can all stop. Being prepared for loss of job, injury, or health problems is a stress and being optimistic won't pay the bills. Having a backup plan set in place (insurances) is crucial as well an Emergency Fund with at least a years worth of income to offset any potential problems.

I'd like to thank Mr. CBB for sharing his knowledge about money and finances through this interview. I really appreciate it. Make sure you check out his website and connect with him on Twitter.



    • Modest Money

      Modest Money 03/21/2012 12:45 a.m. #

      Great interview Sicorra. I had also considered eventually doing an interview series on my blog. I just didn't know what to ask people to keep it interesting and varied each month. You've done an awesome job though. It's always interesting to hear another person's personal perspective toward finances.

    • WorkSaveLive

      WorkSaveLive 03/21/2012 7:18 a.m. #

      This is a fun idea Sicorra! Thanks for the introduction. Nice to "meet" you CBB!

    • Michelle

      Michelle 03/21/2012 11:33 a.m. #

      Great idea, Sicorra! CBB, that's awesome that you would even consider lending a large sum of money to a family member. I don't know if I could ever feel comfortable with that. I don't like admitting that, but it's true. :/

    • Photon0312

      Photon0312 03/21/2012 12:03 p.m. #

      I like him! I totally identified with his housing search. Like him, we were approved for $400,000 (USD), even though we thought we could only afford a mortgage in line with a $150,000 home. Times have changed, that's for sure!

    • Emily @ evolvingPF

      Emily @ evolvingPF 03/21/2012 12:41 p.m. #

      Cool series idea! Thanks for introducing me to CBB. I like the advice and what-would-you-do questions.

    • CultOfMoney

      CultOfMoney 03/21/2012 2:40 p.m. #

      Great interview you have done. Always interesting the bit of backstory that comes out of these. I'm also surprised at the large family loan. If anything I would probably just gift something and not get paid back. At least I wouldn't expect to get paid back.

    • CanadianBudgetBinder

      CanadianBudgetBinder 03/21/2012 5 p.m. #

      Thank-you everyone you are all so welcoming to a newbie bloke like me to the blogsphere. Thank-You to Tackling our Debt for asking me to do this interview I was more than happy to chat about money and finances. It's been a long time coming wanting to write about our journey and it has now come to life.

      In terms of the family loan it was for a short period of time and it was agreed it would be paid back. I was not concerned at all. I do throw caution in the wind when it comes to family (anything) but in this case I knew it was a sound loan.

      Spending less than we make and using a budget has helped us get as far as we have in the money game of life. Although far from millionaires we are very happy and love waking up in the morning!

      Cheers to everyone!


    • kass

      kass 03/21/2012 5:44 p.m. #

      very interesting interview. great tips on when somebody comes to you in debt problems and what you suggest to do. Also the stressful part that can be a big issue and can be hard to save and very true that it can happen at anytime

    • Barbie

      Barbie 03/21/2012 6 p.m. #

      Great interview. I could never afford to loan that kind of money to a family member, but I'm not sure I would. I wouldn't expect to ever be repaid.

      Money stress is the worst stress in the world.

    • J Peacock

      J Peacock 03/21/2012 6:02 p.m. #

      It was nice to learn some more about Mr CBB! I look forward to the future series and hopefully more about how to get out of debt and live debt free!

    • Shelley Chenier

      Shelley Chenier 03/21/2012 6:21 p.m. #

      I've been following Mr.CBB for about a month now and love playing his Grocery Challenge (I won $50 in coupons)! His blog is so informative and chatting with him on Facebook is hilarious! He may be all about money, but he's a funny guy too!

    • Tania

      Tania 03/21/2012 6:24 p.m. #

      CBB has some great ideas on budgeting, saving money and sticking to a budget, thanks for all the tips!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 03/21/2012 7:13 p.m. #

      Thanks Mr CBB for sharing all your tips and money knowledge with us. You are a wealth of information and great recipes :-)

    • Chantal Beauseigle

      Chantal Beauseigle 03/21/2012 8:09 p.m. #

      thank you mr cbb for the tips, great ideas on budgeting money

    • lynda law

      lynda law 03/21/2012 8:11 p.m. #

      nice interview, glad my being cheap and frugal is now in....lol
      Most important thing is to have an emergency fund. I am in an unforeseen sickness at the moment and my fund has saved me. Live within your means....our kids NEED to see this to be able to learn this.

    • Jamie Morrison

      Jamie Morrison 03/21/2012 8:11 p.m. #

      Mr. CBB you never cease to amaze me... You make me stop and think... You have helped me so much in the last month or so... Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • Courtney Humes

      Courtney Humes 03/21/2012 8:15 p.m. #

      Thank you CBB for teaching me how to save money. I have always been a budgeter, since I got my first job at 15. I would cash my pay cheque and divide my money between envelopes titled "groceries, phone bill, gas $$, spending money" etc. that way, I would know exactly how much I had to spend on certain things. When I got married, I abandoned the envelope system but ffound I would actually spend outside of my budget and use the credit card way too often. Since reading many blogs, starting to coupon and really trying to save $$, I've actually started my envelopes again and it helps! Now, I just have to figure out how to start putting $$ into my GRRSPs again...

    • Wendy LeDrew

      Wendy LeDrew 03/21/2012 8:19 p.m. #

      CBB great interview! Would love to be able to budget & manage money like that. I was very impressed with what you were approved for a mortgage, and what you actually went with, says a lot. Why chew off more then we can afford or handle hey? Also like the idea of not using debit & credit cards so much & try to live & get by on cash! Great job:)

    • Charlene Vidal

      Charlene Vidal 03/21/2012 8:21 p.m. #

      Thank you very much for sharing your tips on money. Alot of us don't prepare for the unexpected things that may come up over time eg: Job Loss or Death. I have been trying to get out of debt and have made some success. But it is never to late to learn a tip or two more.

    • Suzanne

      Suzanne 03/21/2012 8:26 p.m. #

      No matter what age you are financial advice is very important at each stage of your life, college tuitions, the purchase of your first home, new baby, retirement savings, and windfalls. This article was very interesting and beneficial. Thank You for posting.

    • nancy cumming

      nancy cumming 03/21/2012 8:27 p.m. #

      Wow that was so great thank you!!!

    • Tasha Gray

      Tasha Gray 03/21/2012 8:27 p.m. #

      You have very interesting points. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 03/21/2012 8:35 p.m. #

      Thanks everyone for your feedback and comments on this new series. I really appreciate.

    • Hilda

      Hilda 03/21/2012 8:36 p.m. #

      Great interview. Great tips on how to get control of your debt. and having an Emergency fund with a years worth of income would make anyone have a sense of relief if something were to happen.

    • Kirsty

      Kirsty 03/21/2012 8:41 p.m. #

      Thanks for the great interview. I just started following Mr. CBB on his Facebook page at the beginning of the month and enjoy reading his great budgeting tips. It was nice to learn more about his situation and thoughts on money (and learn that he's from the UK, like me!) Thanks again for all the information, and I look forward to learning more tips!

    • Paula

      Paula 03/21/2012 8:42 p.m. #

      A great interview indeed! I follow CBB on facebook and get several money tips! I have a limited income and saving money when your need is higher that your wealth, is a welcome benefit! Thank you!

    • Sherry

      Sherry 03/21/2012 8:44 p.m. #

      I really enjoyed reading this article. CBB has some great tips on saving money and how to get out of financial trouble. It is nice hearing that from someone who is not out to get rich but just live a comfortable life. I think our society always thinks that a bigger house and a more expensive car are better, but this is so not true. We should all stop consuming so much.

    • melissa

      melissa 03/21/2012 8:45 p.m. #

      Like others have said Great interview! and Thanks Mr. CCB for sharing all about your journey and it has now come to life. Being a young couple and trying to be budget and money wise is hard when both of our families have never been that wise when it comes to saving and spending money so we are basically teaching ourselves and following your post has gained us more knowledge on the matter which can really help us in both the long and short run.

    • kim

      kim 03/21/2012 8:46 p.m. #

      Good advice to get rid of the credit cards and live on cash - looking forward to the rest of the series.

    • patsy

      patsy 03/21/2012 8:47 p.m. #

      thanks for the great tips :)

    • Candice

      Candice 03/21/2012 8:50 p.m. #

      I ♥ CBB's page and blog, it has helped us figure out new ways with our budget, and with coupons we are saving but being wise about it too! I look forward to the posts he has each day, as well as watching "til debt do us part" before Y&R :-D

    • Melissa

      Melissa 03/21/2012 9 p.m. #

      Great interview! We started a family about a year and a half ago and were finding it hard to make ends meet sometimes. Until recently I never realized how much advice could be found on the internet! Thanks for a little more incite!

    • Andrea

      Andrea 03/21/2012 9 p.m. #

      Its great to see that you are so open about your finances. It seems to be such a hush hush topic to many...

    • Kari @Small Budget Big Dreams

      Kari @Small Budget Big Dreams 03/22/2012 7:57 a.m. #

      Great post, I love hearing about other peoples' experiences with money and spending. I look forward to reading more in the series.

    • American Debt Project

      American Debt Project 03/22/2012 10:36 a.m. #

      Great interview. If you ever want to interview non-Canadians, I'm here :). I really think putting away the credit cards is a big change. I had mine back in my wallet for a while because I had a lot of work expenses that I had to float and didn't have the cash to cover them. But I've put them away again and it's really powerful to know: OK, you have $32 before you get paid. I think it's forced me to cut out all fast food, which is a great thing.

    • Shilpan

      Shilpan 03/22/2012 8:03 p.m. #

      Great interview Sicorra! And good to know CBB.Great tips for anyone who wants to have peace with his or her money matters.

    • Paul @ Make Money Make Cents

      Paul @ Make Money Make Cents 03/23/2012 2:27 p.m. #

      Great Idea Sicorra! Nice to find out a little more about you CBB. Good luck with "the list" from the wife!

    • Housewife Empire

      Housewife Empire 03/23/2012 8:58 p.m. #

      Great interview! I agree with the part about how "it can all stop" and insurance is so important. That is so true and I really need to build up my emergency fund more.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 03/24/2012 1:48 p.m. #

      Insurance coverage is something I am really big on as well. Health, dental, life, car, home, travel - we're covered cuz things in your life can change in an instant.

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