Finances

Best Credit Cards in Canada 2017

The best credit cards in Canada

Can there really be one single BEST credit card?

Most people would say "no".

I agree, there is no one size fits all ... but, there is a one size fits MOST.

I've been honing my credit card comparison system that tracks and ranks credit cards by 50+ features for nearly 7 years now. I'm not just comparing points or rewards either. I'm figuring out the true value of each different reward point or mile and combining that with all the other features, insurance, and perks that each card offers so cards can be compared apples to apples. The result is one simple score out of 5.

All the research has been done and all the numbers have been crunched and updated. Finally, there can be one true champion that is best for most Canadians in 2017.

Of course, the decision of whether the winner meets your needs is all yours ... but you won't find a better starting point than this. (Not sure what to pick? Take this short quiz and find out.) Keep reading » about Best Credit Cards in Canada 2017

7 Steps To Get Ahead With Your First Paycheque

Tips on managing your first paychequeYou did it!

You officially finished school and you landed your first job.

Along with that, the long–anticipated First Paycheque just hit your bank account.

Although this makes me sound like I’m 80 years old, I remember my first paycheque well…

I got paid monthly, so when it showed up in my account, I felt like a very, very rich lady.

Just kidding. I felt like a new grad on a budget, which was the appropriate reaction.

So yes, I was getting paid for my work, instead of getting graded on it. I now needed to make this very limited amount of money cover ALL of my monthly needs. (And stretch it to include a few wants.)

Luckily, I had read a personal finance book or two in my time (#nerdalert) so I wasn’t flying blind – and you don’t have to either.

Here are 7 steps you need to take to make the most of your first paycheque. And still have a little bit of fun along the way.

1. Figure Out How Much You Make After Taxes

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The War On Debt: Save, Pay Down Debt, Or Both?

The war on debt: save, pay down debt, or do both?I read a quote recently that was attributed to Warren Buffett, which went something like, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”

I suspect Warren wasn’t in debt when he said that.

The fact that we had no retirement fund was a niggling worry that we simply pushed away because other things were more immediate—until I watched my parents move into a special care home a year ago…

They had a decent pension. And a lump sum from the sale of their house. But without the provincial financial subsidy that helps pay for their 24-hour care, they would certainly outlive their money.

Since my husband and I have spent a good portion of our working lives as entrepreneurs, we have not paid into any pensions. Our house will be ours by the time we retire...

But if we don’t act now, it’s the only money we’ll have.

And given the uncertain condition of the provincial coffers, I am skeptical that any such government senior care subsidy will exist 30 years from now.

My Three Needs

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The War On Debt: Spending Blindly With Plastic

The war on debt: spending blindly with plasticWhen I was newly married in the nineties, we used a cash envelope system to control our weekly spending. We’d guess how much we needed for groceries, gas, entertainment, personal items, etc.

Each time we spent money, we replaced it with a receipt. And when the money was gone…

We had no more to spend until next pay.

Being a visual person, I liked this method. But as debit technology grew, my husband gravitated to it quickly. Because he thought cash was too easy to fritter away.

Little did we know how easy it is to fritter money away by debit, too.

Invisible Money

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Money-Saving Tips For Your Home Business

Money-saving tips for your home-business You might think that starting your own home-based business is a guaranteed money-maker…

After all, you’re keeping your costs low, you’re making smart decisions, and you’re disciplined about tracking your time.

But here’s the reality:

Income is often irregular which means cash-flow can be tight.

Sometimes we get too busy keeping the business afloat to realize we’re missing opportunities to correct the bottom line. So yes, small-business owners often struggle with their finances.

The good news?

We can do something about it.

Be it a full-time gig or a side hustle, here are a few tips to help cut business costs when working from home.

Save on software

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How to Budget for Wedding Season...If You’re NOT Getting Married

How to budget for wedding season - if you're not getting marriedThe snow has melted, the weather is getting warmer, and you know what that means.

Wedding season is coming.

You might have dodged the multiple-destination-weddings bullet this year, but even a few local weddings will represent a not-insignificant portion of your summer spending.

Luckily, if you’re in the thick of the attending-weddings season of your life, there are ways you can plan for wedding attendance to make sure it won’t ruin YOUR financial life.

Yup, I’m talking about building a wedding budget (which you probably thought you didn’t have to do until you were getting married yourself)...

Surprise!

How exactly are you going to handle those wedding-related expenses this year...and every year until your friends stop getting married all the time? Read on.

Plan Ahead

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How To Rebalance Your Investment Portfolio

How to rebalance your investment portfolioRegardless of past or future performance...

There will be times when you need to rebalance your portfolio.

That means, putting it back to the asset allocation you intended.

But, what is an asset allocation anyway?

In layman’s terms, this is your strategy for balancing investment risk with potential reward so it aligns with your long term investing goals. (Not to be confused with asset “location” – where you can hold your assets – usually for certain tax advantages.)

First, let’s define these terms briefly.

More on asset allocation

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Basic Tax-Saving Tips for Investors

Basic tax-saving tips for investorsI know there are civic minded citizens out there…

...who happily pay their taxes to pay for things like improved infrastructure, education and security.

But, what about the rest of us?

We grudgingly pay our taxes because we have to. BUT we’d rather keep our tax burden as low as possible. Fortunately, there are ways to do it.

Here are some basic investment vehicles that you can use to help save money on your taxes.

Non-Registered Savings Accounts

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The War On Debt: Reining In The Food Budget

The war on debt: reining in the food budgetI must admit, I don’t even look at sales flyers.

The blue plastic bag is tossed on our driveway Thursday night. On Friday morning, I drop the whole thing straight into the recycle bin.

After talking with Katie Peterson, a registered dietitian, mother of five and meal planning expert, it looks like this is one more thing I need to change.

Katie’s blog is filled with tips on organization and time-savers, particularly for busy, young mothers. She also teaches how to eat on a budget (she calls it “Frugalicious” meal planning) via home parties and Facebook.

After speaking with her, I felt better about our $800 grocery bill in January, since she told me she aims for $780 per month for her family of seven.

“You have five adults,” she says. “Eight hundred is not too bad. I tried to cut back to $600 in January and found it quite challenging. But our grocery bill includes eating out, toiletries, laundry soap, coffee—everything.”

Of course, I didn’t admit that $800 was likely a cheap month. Sometimes we’ve spent upwards of $900. What usually blows it wide open is the purchase of convenience meals on a weeknight when we don’t feel like cooking, or eating out too often for the same reason.

This, Katie tells me, is the problem in most kitchens.

“If you want to stick to a budget, you need a plan. I’ve been doing it for 11 years, so now it only takes me about 30 to 40 minutes for the whole month.”

Frugalicious Meal Planning

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