Category Archive for: ‘Budgeting’

How can Canadians Recover From Their Addiction to Debt?


Canadians today are some of the most indebted consumers in the world, loading up with more and more debt with the low interest rates we’ve had the last few years. With the current debt to income ratio now over 170%, it’s the highest of all the developed countries in the world! Some highlights from a recent survey about debt I …

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New Year Financial Resolutions

financial resolutions

At the start of each New Year, many Canadians ponder their goals. With the average Canadian’s debt to income ratio now over 170% it’s time to set some workable financial resolutions for your New Year. Set up a budget and stick to it: Less than 50% of Canadian households follow a budget. Budgets are easy to implement and the most …

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Don’t Get Locked Into Conventional Mortgages!

conventional mortgage

When making a deposit at my local bank I could not help but notice their latest offering on their bank machine screen; “Get pre-approved for a  mortgage online in five minutes”.  It’s not quite that simple though.  The questions only take five minutes to answer and then a mortgage specialist will follow up with you in 24 hours. So you’ve …

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Canada’s 2017 Budget Comments & Highlights

canada's 2017 budget

Canada’s 2017 budget is designed to cool some of the anxiety and anger that many ordinary Canadians have been expressing over carbon tax, the ballooning deficit and all the money being sent overseas that would be better spent here in Canada.  However, it does not offer much to Canadians at this time beyond an ever increasing budget deficit. There’s no …

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Protect Yourself from Scams, Hacks and Identity Fraud


A recent family holiday at Big White Ski Hill reminded me about the need to have a better handle on what’s in my wallet. I lost it on the ski hill and didn’t realize it until I stopped for a coffee in the afternoon. Needless to say, a feeling of panic stepped in! I retraced my steps to where we …

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Make 2017 the Year You Start Your Financial Fitness Program

financial fitness

As you start into this New Year thinking of the things that you might want to change to better your situation, why not develop a personalized financial fitness plan? In reviewing the Bank of Canada’s recent comments, the one big cloud on the horizon is the ever growing household debt held by Canadians. Many things we do in life come …

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Teaching Your Kids about Money


Almost on a weekly basis young couples stop by my office asking about life insurance or investing. When we get into the nitty-gritty of their finances it usually becomes apparent that they are living paycheque to paycheque. They are “renting” their lifestyle while drowning in debt, like a hamster in a wheel going round and round and getting nowhere. By …

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Important Budget Tips for Retirement


When developing a retirement budget, anticipating every expense one might face can be difficult, as it’s easy to underestimate how much will be needed to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. If unexpected expenses aren’t allowed for, one could end up short and wondering where all the money went. Below are some examples of these types of expenses. Health insurance and medical expenses: …

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Learn From the Habits of Wealthy People


It’s all too easy to get sucked into thinking that we can shortcut the road to wealth, by way of things such as winning the lottery, setting up the next dot-com company, or finding the next great investment. Considering that 80% of the wealth in Canada is in the hands of 20% of the people, what are those 20% doing …

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Would Increasing Interest Rates Leave You Struggling with Payments?

interest rates

A credit rating company recently reported that almost a million Canadians, including some who currently have excellent credit ratings, could have significant problems paying their monthly debts should interest rates rise by 1%. Credit scores measure past financials, not the impact of future stress caused by cutbacks or job losses, so even those who have excellent credit ratings could experience …

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Tough Lessons Families Are Learning During This Downturn

tough lessons

Life’s tough lessons: One of the tough parts of what I do is meeting with young families who have got themselves into a financial mess trying to live the “Canadian Dream”.  Unfortunately, our younger generations are not being taught finances in school or at home.  Every high school graduate should be schooled in basic finance and economics. When I ask …

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Divorce & Your Finances


There are some things to think about if contemplating getting a divorce, as the financial fallout of divorce extends far beyond legal costs, alimony and child care expenses. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers you separated when you live separate and apart from your spouse or common‑law partner for a period of 90 days or more due to a breakdown in …

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Financial Risk Management for Young Families

manage risk

  The average Canadian family is getting ever deeper in debt, so the need to manage the associated risk has never been greater. Adding to this is the low level of personal savings to cover unexpected events such as a major car repair, the dryer packing in, or any of the 101 other things that happen out of the blue. …

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Should You Stress Test Your Debt?

Break Out Of Debt

I just finished reading the latest report from Statistics Canada that Canadians are carrying more debt than ever, with the average household debt to income ratio surging past 164%. For people hoping that further interest rate drops by the Bank of Canada will enhance their buying power with lower lender rates, they are going to be disappointed. That’s because the …

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Taking Charge of Your Savings in Your 40s


Suddenly, you realize you’re in your 40s, and perhaps you don’t have the savings you’d like to have by this point in life. It’s time to take action, and there’s still time. The key is to focus your efforts in three key areas: build a plan, repay debt and maximize savings. By tackling these areas, you can start making steady …

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Guiding Adult Children to be Financially Successful

financial education

I think one of the most important goals that today’s parents should set for themselves is to raise their children to be financially savvy and independent. I get to deal with too many young couples who aren’t and are drowning in debt as a result. With most families when their children reach their mid to late 20’s, they are earning …

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Managing Long Term Debt

managing debt

The trend to longer repayment periods for consumer purchases concerns me. Historically low interest rates are encouraging people to take on more debt, so we end up in debt longer and paying significantly more interest in the process. Take vehicles for example. By the end of year three the average vehicle depreciates by almost 50%, which mean you could owe …

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Schools fail in basic financial education

schools fail

Schools fail in teaching students the basics in financing.  I see this when I meet with clients and learn how naïve many young individuals and couples are when discussing financial basics. It strikes me that in three generations we have gone from a society taught to save up for things we want to buy to one in which conspicuous consumption …

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Debunking Common Money Myths

money myths

Many common beliefs about money come from rules of thumb that have been passed down from previous generations. Some such as “pay yourself first” and “spend less than you earn”, have stood the test of time, while others don’t hold up as well today or were flat-out wrong to begin with.  Nothing but money myths.  Here’ a list: Income and …

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If Laid off Tomorrow, are you Prepared?

laid off

Many Canadians working in oil related industries toady are feeling the results of the down-turn and are facing the prospect of reduced work hours, cutbacks in benefits, or worse yet, being laid off. Older oil patch workers are getting the golden handshake, but left wondering if they will be able to find suitable alternative work in this drastic period of …

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