Finances

Group Registered Retirement Savings Plans: Your Pay Raise Just For Being You

Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan

I have received a lot of questions about these plans from family and friends…

Usually referred to as “that thingy that my employer has that I am supposed to contribute to for retirement. I think?

So, why not dive a bit into the nitty gritty.

Let’s talk about what they are...so you can take advantage of them.

What are they?

Keep reading » about Group Registered Retirement Savings Plans: Your Pay Raise Just For Being You

The War On Debt: Surviving as a Single-Income Family

The war on debt: surviving as a singe-income family

When my husband and I were first married, together we made just enough money to pay our rent and meet our obligations.

It was okay, because we had no debt.

And I looked forward to building my career in communications...

Then I found myself pregnant.

As new parents, we juggled odd working hours in our entry-level jobs.

I loved my job at a monthly business newspaper, but I felt like I was only working to pay the babysitter. We talked about me quitting a lot, but on paper it was a ridiculous idea.

The clincher came when my daughter turned one and she began calling my babysitter “Mommy.”

Related: Boost Your Salary In A Tough Economy

Enough was enough.

We agreed that I would freelance at home, providing the same sort of production services I performed at work, and for a while it was okay.

We made ends meet with my husband’s salary, combined with both of us getting gigs on the side.

When I embarked on my Stay at Home Adventure in 1996, I was already an anomaly. Statistics Canada reports that the number of two income families has nearly doubled in the last 40 years.

It’s not just because of feminism: higher mortgages, higher taxes, ever-climbing gas prices, the rising cost of food and transport, and basic services of all kinds are mucho expensive.

While I would never discourage anyone from staying home with their kids, I have a few words of advice.

Tips for the Stay at Home Parent

Keep reading » about The War On Debt: Surviving as a Single-Income Family

Reining In Your Holiday Spending – Without Being a Grinch

Reining in your holiday spending – without being a Grinch

It’s that time of year – the time when you look up and realize that despite your best intentions last January, you may not actually have started saving a set amount each month for the holidays this year…

...and whoops, the spendy season is almost here.

Don’t worry, this post is for Real Life.

So, that’ll be the ONLY mention of what to do in an ideal world (you know, the save-ahead-of-time-to-cover-your-holiday-spending spiel).

Because luckily, it’s entirely possible to rein in your spending but still have a wonderful holiday.

Here’s what you need to know about cutting your holiday spending...without being a total grinch about it.

Know your plans

Keep reading » about Reining In Your Holiday Spending – Without Being a Grinch

The War On Debt: How NOT to keep up with the Joneses

The war on debt: how not to keep up with the Joneses

Chances are, the Joneses are in debt, too.

They may be depending on a higher income to pay it all back, but it doesn't matter, because we’ll never know.

People don’t talk about what they make or what they owe.

But we do care about appearances—at least I do.

In self-employment, I want to give the appearance of busyness to engender confidence in potential clients and reap actual business. Success begets success.

The same thing applies to my personal life. I want to look successful in the eyes of my peers.

“By this time, and this age, this is where I should be, this is what I should have, and this is what I should be able to do.”

Unfortunately, life has not turned out as I expected. Not at all.

Do you need a paradigm shift?

Keep reading » about The War On Debt: How NOT to keep up with the Joneses

Index Mutual Funds: Broad Exposure At Low Cost

Index mutual funds

How is it the end of October already?

With Halloween and Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to get things moving with our investments!

Throughout our mutual fund series, which started with:

...I hope you picked up a thing or two about what mutual funds are and their advantages and disadvantages.

But what if I told you that there was a type of mutual fund that combined both the advantages and minimized the inherent disadvantages as well? Would you think I was pulling your leg?

Enter index mutual funds.

Save the best for the last, right?

Index mutual funds explained

Keep reading » about Index Mutual Funds: Broad Exposure At Low Cost

The Case For – Or Against – A Cashless Society

The case for (or against) a cashless society

What happens if the physical monetary unit goes away?

Does that mean we’re going down a bad rabbit trail to a place where society should not go?

Is a move toward digital currency like Bitcoin an inevitability?

We’ve got questions, but with no clear answer.

To start, how about we have to look at a couple of points:

  1. The unit of cash itself
  2. The payment process, security and anonymity

While this is entirely way too large to discuss all in one article, let’s start the conversation anyway.

Money, money, money…money!

Keep reading » about The Case For – Or Against – A Cashless Society

31 Money Apps, Products, and Tools You Should Be Using

31 money apps, products, and tools you should be using

There are so many tools, products, and apps out there that it’s hard to know which ones to use. There’s so much choice that it’s easy to pass by some great money saving apps and tools without a second look.

It’s even harder to find stuff that works well for Canadians – nearly everything is targeted at Americans because of their larger population.

Even though I’m a tech-savvy guy, I still don’t use as many money tools as I probably should to truly maximize my money.

Some of it is due to privacy concerns – I don’t want to link up directly to my bank, credit card, or investing accounts. But, most of it is that initial barrier to entry of learning something new when what I already do works well enough.

It really helps when someone vets and recommends useful tools first before giving them a try yourself, don’t you think?

So here is a collection of apps, financial tools, and products I either use myself or think are worth using based on the reviews and features they offer.

You can find even more money saving deals and tools that I use everyday on our deals and tools page.

Best Money Saving & Personal Finance Apps

Keep reading » about 31 Money Apps, Products, and Tools You Should Be Using

The War On Debt: A Vacation From Debt?

The war on debt: a vacation from debt

My husband and I never had a honeymoon, and it seemed to set a precedent over our marriage for the next quarter century.

Other than camping or visiting friends and relatives as far west as Ontario, travel was never high on our list of priorities—by necessity, not desire.

But in anticipation of better budgets and better times ahead, I consulted with Ellen Tucker, president of Freedom Tours and Travel in Saint John, New Brunswick, for some advice about the best value in vacations.

Is sand and surf the only option?

Keep reading » about The War On Debt: A Vacation From Debt?

PC Financial Virtual Banking Is No More – But There Are Alternatives

PC Financial is no more - but there are alternatives

I’ve been a PC Financial banking customer almost since they opened their doors nearly 20 years ago.

It’s been a great experience for me, and even though I’m using other virtual banks like Tangerine, they were always a reliable no fee go-to bank. All the important stuff was free, the interest rates were higher than the Big 5, and the online banking experience has always been top notch.

I’ll tell it to you straight – I’m pretty bummed that their virtual banking business is being completely taken over by CIBC and being rebranded as CIBC Simplii Financial on November 1st.

With 2 million customers hanging in the balance … I’m not the only one.

What does this mean for all PC Financial clients who can’t really imagine doing their daily banking anywhere else?

Banking As Usual In The Short Term

Keep reading » about PC Financial Virtual Banking Is No More – But There Are Alternatives

Never A Better Time To Open A Tangerine Bank Account

Never a better time to open a Tangerine bank account

As a PC Financial (soon to be Simplii Financial) customer for almost 17 years now, I've been taking advantage of no-fee virtual banking pretty much since it first became available in Canada.

It's been fantastic.

I've enjoyed no monthly account fees and unlimited free cheques for that entire time along with earning much higher interest rates on savings than what is offered by the big Canadian banks. No complaints here!

All the while there has been another no fee banking competitor out there: ING Direct.

I'd always known about them, but their value proposition was never great enough for me. However, they were acquired by Scotiabank in 2012, changed their name to Tangerine, and upped their value proposition just enough that I took the plunge and opened my first account in 2014.

Use this Orange Key: Tangerine150

Up To $150 In Bonuses + up to 2.4% Interest For Opening Free Accounts

Keep reading » about Never A Better Time To Open A Tangerine Bank Account

Pages