Some time ago Mr. Canadian Budget Binder invited me to do a guest post on his site about the envelope system. I had so much to learn about guest posting (and still do) but he was very patient with me, even when I made a few mistakes. He helped me understand how important it is to be very specific when you write about how to do something and I hope that I am a better guest poster and writer in general because of his help. Mr. CBB blogs anonymously so I don’t know his name or know what he looks like. He did tell me that he was born in the UK and has only lived in Canada for a few years. So. I have done a little digging and I think I have discovered his secret identity. He is living a life of ease in retirement – while he blogs about the newest recipes he makes for his wife and how he saves lots of money. It’s deep cover people, and everyone knows how much 007 loves to cook. Here he is:
Okay. I kid. I have no idea who he is in real life. I can say that I am thankful to have ‘met’ him because of this blog and grateful for his help to me. In the interview you will find out a little bit more about him, why he does what he does, along with some good financial advice for us as teens.
Me: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Mr. CBB: Well, I’m a Brit who moved to Canada after getting married to my Canadian wife. Back home I was passionate about traveling and have travelled all over the world. I love basketball, surfing, working out and rock climbing and in my spare time I love to cook.
Me: Did you grow up in Canada?
Mr. CBB: No I grew up in the UK and moved to Canada in 2007.
Me: When did you first become interested in blogging?
Mr. CBB: I became interested in blogging about 2 years ago after we decided we wanted to use a budget. We were couponing and saving money for our downpayment on our house so saving money was a big part of our life and still is today. I realized that if we can save this money using a budget anyone can as long as they have their own goals and can keep motivated.
Me: What led you to start your own website about personal finance?
Mr. CBB: It was our passion for the budget and becoming debt free. We didn’t want to worry about money, ever so we started saving aggressively so we could pay off our mortgage and stay debt free while building our retirement portfolio and enjoying life as a couple. To be honest I had no idea what a blog was and I had to go to the library to get Blogging for Dummies and that essentially is how it all began. Once I had the motivation from the book and I read over all the notes I made from reading the book I started to brainstorm and put it all on paper. The plan is what is key here and what I suggest to anyone who wants to start a blog especially if they plan to monetize it down the road.
Me: What do you focus on at The Canadian Budget Binder?
Mr. CBB: I focus on all aspects of life not only finances but anything that money will buy or influence in our lives. I call it the budget binder because every category in our lives has a place in this binder.
Me: Why have you chosen to blog anonymously?
Mr. CBB: I blog anonymously because I put all of our financial information on the internet and would prefer that people don’t know who I am but I’m open and honest.
Me: What have you learned from blogging and would you recommend that a teen start a blog? Why or why not?
Mr. CBB: What I learned about blogging is that you need to plan what your blog is going to be about, set goals and do your research. Like anything in life there are people that have lived through it and can offer tips and advice so make sure you network and don’t be shy to put yourself out there.
Me: What are your earliest memories and perceptions about money?
Mr. CBB: My parents taught me about money from a young age and that is why I started with my own paper route and that is where I learned about responsibility collecting money and paying my paper route bill and then getting paid. I then opened my own bank account and watched my hard-earned money grow.
Me: Did your parents teach you how to handle your money?
Mr. CBB: Yes they did. If I wanted anything I had to earn my own money or save it up with my paper route or doing chores. I didn’t ask my parents for much because that was the way it was back in my days. We just got what we got and that was the end of it.
Me: How did they do that with you?
Mr. CBB: It was more about education then anything because I saved my own money up but I never asked for anything because they told me that if I didn’t have my own money then I can’t buy it unless it was something that was needed. We were not spoiled by any stretch of the imagination.
Me: What is the biggest mistake that teens make with money in your opinion?
Mr. CBB: They don’t save they spend it for instant gratification and to keep up with their friends. It’s more about who has more or who has what and social groups and how teens will be perceived by their peers.
Me: Can you tell us about your biggest success and/or failure with money when you were a teen?
Mr. CBB: My biggest success as a teen was saving up to buy my first home at age 21. I knew that I wanted to own my own house because I didn’t want to have to rent like my siblings who still rent today. They will never own a home because they live pay to pay and that is a reality for many people in the UK and in Canada. I don’t know what triggered my passion for money but what I can remember was that I really enjoyed seeing my net worth grow and I didn’t want to spend it unless I needed to.
Me: What did you do to earn money as a teen?
Mr. CBB: When I was a teen I worked at my parents business quite a bit and they paid me once per month. I also worked in restaurants as a dishwasher boy and I delivered the papers. I did whatever I could to make money because I enjoyed the responsibility and the ability not to rely on anyone when I wanted something. I was in charge of my own finances and I loved it.
Me: What is the best piece of advice you have for teens today who want to be responsible with their money?
Mr. CBB: Work hard and save your money. If you want to spend then spend less than you earn and don’t give in to peer pressure. Focus on your short-term goals but also your long-term goals so you can look back and say “I’m so glad I did it when I was young”.
As he mentioned, Mr. CBB blogs about all sorts of things including sharing lots of recipes on his site. Mum’s British Lemon Fridge Cake is a recipe that he has shared on his site and comes directly from his Grandma. I think that we might give it a try! Let us know how it turns out if you make it.
Many thanks to Mr.
Bond CBB for allowing me to interview him and for sharing his insights into blogging and money management. I appreciate his advice to save now and not give in to peer pressure. It’s so hard but it is possible!