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How’s your piggy bank, aka your savings account, feeling these days – heavy and healthy, or skinny and empty? One way we mark change is by making resolutions. If you missed making savings goals part of your New Year’s resolutions on January 1st, or your best laid plans have already derailed, Lunar New Year is right around the corner and gives you another “official” chance to make positive financial resolutions for 2019.
Lunar New Year marks Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, and it’s all about celebrating fresh starts and new beginnings. To join in the spirit of Chinese New Year and celebrate the Year of the Pig, here are 4 ways and plenty of tips to make this the year you stop ignoring your piggy bank.
Credit cards, those shiny pieces of plastic almost feel magical. A tap, a swipe, or a few clicks is all that stands between us and whatever it is we are buying. But the magic of the moment comes crashing down fast when the bill arrives, until we realize that a minimum payment is all it takes to get back to our shopping.
What many people don’t realize is that if you only make minimum payments, credit card debt can and does last a lifetime. The numbers are staggering when we consider specific examples! A minimum payment will decrease by pennies each month, and that’s only if you don’t use the card until it’s paid off. If this feels like a never-never plan, it may as well be.
To learn what you can do instead of falling for the credit card payment pitfalls, it helps to understand how minimum payments work. Here's where to start...
Resolutions are one way me implement changes in our lives. Financial resolutions are always a good idea and there’s nothing like a fresh start at the beginning of the year. But it takes time to get ready to make budgeting, money management, debt repayment, and savings changes to our spending habits. It is better to be ready to turn over a new leaf successfully, than to force changes upon yourself because of a specific date or event.
There are four steps we need to go through in order to implement changes or resolutions and create new habits successfully. We are all creatures of habit. Some habits are good; others are worth changing. Many habits have simply become the way we do things – we hardly recognize them as habits, and this makes them even harder to change. The four steps are...
By now Christmas credit card bills have arrived, and the holiday debt hangover has sunken in – after the New Year, you may be looking at lengthy credit card statements and savings accounts that have taken a hit. So which bills should you pay first and how do you pay off debt after the holiday season?
Have you asked yourself these same questions? Don’t let the holiday debt hangover linger, or worse, stretch in this year's winter holiday season! Here’s how you can take control of your finances, wipe the Christmas debt clean, and forge ahead for a financially healthy year.
We all like our habits. In fact, people in general are known to be creatures of habit. You can likely list off a few of your own habits, good, and well, not so good. We all have them, and the difference between engaging in what might be deemed a bad habit occasionally, versus on an ongoing basis, that’s where the implications reveal themselves.
If you’ve ever tried to break a habit, as a New Year’s resolution or anytime throughout the year, you know how hard it can be. But taking it one step further, have you ever considered the long-term financial consequences to your spending habits, and that you could inadvertently be putting your dream home or another financial goal out of reach? See what you may be missing out on.
Does it seem like the Christmas and holiday shopping season started earlier this year than it normally does? I wonder if it’s because more Canadian retailers followed the Americans with their Black Friday deals and hype. Regardless of the reason, the stress can max out your credit cards fast. Take back control of your holiday season by slowing things down. Create a plan and don’t worry that Christmas is only a few weeks away. A short plan is better than no plan.
However, before you start planning, you need to figure out what to plan for. That is where many people run into problems - where do you start figuring out what you need to include in your plan? Find out more.
Although few people would likely compare personal finance to their favourite sport, the two things have one important commonality: you need to know the lingo to understand what’s going on. In fact, if you use a credit card it is your responsibility to understand not only the jargon, but the terms and conditions as well.
Think how confused you’d be at a hockey game if you think “cake” when you hear “icing.” Similarly, if you think “cookies” when you hear “chip,” you may have trouble at a credit card machine that uses EMV-chip security.
While not knowing the jargon at a sporting event will simply result in a long couple of hours, not knowing important financial terms may lead to unnecessary fees and missed opportunities. Learn more.
Parents face some tough choices and there is a lot to consider when you're trying to decide whether to save for your retirement or to set money aside for post-secondary education for your children. Thankfully, there are good options to help your kids pay for college, university, trades or technical school without jeopardizing your golden years. Money to pay for school isn't needed all at once right at the start, so with some careful planning and a broader perspective of how to fund their education, you don't need to gamble on short-changing your retirement savings.
Do you tune out when the news mentions interest rate increases or changes by the Bank of Canada? You’re not alone. Average Canadians find it hard to see why Bank of Canada interest rate announcements matter to them. This has a lot to do with the fact that most people have no idea what the Bank of Canada is, its role in the Canadian economy, and what the announcements mean. However, interest rate announcements affect each of us in many ways, so here is a simple explanation of what you need to know about the role of Bank of Canada, how they are different from your bank, why they monitor and/or change interest rates, and how all of this can make a big difference to you and the financial decisions you make. Learn more.
Tired of feeling priced out of the market? While the single, detached home may be all but a vision left over from your parents’ generation, if home ownership is your dream, exploring alternatives to fulfill your dream in financially savvy ways is vital.
Communities and life-styles are evolving to mesh dreams with reality because there are a number of alternative home ownership options to consider. However, being flexible with your vision is a must in these ever-changing times so that you’re not forced to ignore retirement and other important financial goals.