Monthly Archives: October 2015

Do You Want Outrageous Money Saving Halloween Treats?

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The countdown has begun and in just a little over a week little goblins, ghouls, fairies and the rest of the bunch will be knocking at your door, ecstatic for some trick or treats!  Are you ready for the big day and evening?  We can help you keep your Halloween spending under control with these outrageous money saving tips you just might not have thought of with all the pending excitement!

To make this the most gloriously ghoulish Halloween yet, don’t over think it and definitely sweep the excess spending out the door!  If you really want to treat yourself, why not treat your wallet to the sweetness of extra green lying within the folds?  Once you discover the tips and tricks of the shopping season, you’ll always go back to them–we guarantee it!

Frightening Ways Canadians Are Spending Money On Halloween

Let’s consider the treats!  So many Canadians across British Columbia splurge on shopping for candy for the little tykes, but you don’t always have to break the bank to get the best goodies for the little spooks this year!  You don’t have to have the brightest house on the block to lure in those little munchkins either (if Halloween is just your thing)!  Now, just because you might reside in Alberta or Ontario, this doesn’t mean you have to fall into the over indulgent category and spend outrageously.

Those Canadians within the 18 to 34 years of age category normally shell out $75 to $150 for decorations and candy every year! Within Quebec alone, the capital city for Halloween, Canadians spend more on costumes than anywhere in British Columbia–and they are apse to spend (on average) about $300 per family of 4 as well! This collects into a total tally of about $381 million across the region!  Can you believe this is the second largest holiday in regards to spending–next to Christmas?  So, get ready to take note of these pocket friendly tips this season and remember, you’ll never lose out on any fun either!

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Don’t Be A Tightwad But Don’t Over Spend For Halloween

Start shopping for Halloween before October 1st

This is the first trick!  Holiday ornaments and extras are being put out in retail stores earlier and earlier every year, allowing for discounted shopping to get rid of them!  Try getting started a little earlier and you might be very surprised on how much cheaper this is.

Swap out costumers with friends and even family members

Maybe little Joey fell in love with his best friends costume last year and you can swap costumes?  Even adults can try this to save a little dough here and there, and there’s nothing stingy about it at all.  The little ones won’t care, and adults are great negotiators!

Purchase Halloween candy at the last minute if you can

Candy is perishable, so when there is an abundance left over, retailers are marking down!  Everyone is catching on to this though so make sure you don’t wait until 5 pm on Halloween to get to your local retail outlet.  You can sometimes save 35% on the best candies out there!

Shop for new Halloween decorations after October 31st

That’s right, you can get 50% off items and more when it’s after Halloween–specifically for all those really cool and creative Halloween yard items and lights!  Start planning for this yearly to build up your decorations year after year!  It is worth it.

Buy in bulk at wholesale locations

Go to Costco, Sams Club or other bulk warehouses and save huge!  These places have Halloween items galore, much cheaper than normal retail stores.  The only difference is you don’t get bags at checkout and you check out yourself, but so what?  The savings is well worth the effort!

Let these tips be your guide to having a light hearted and festive Halloween this year! Saving doesn’t have to be boring at all–but it is more than satisfying.  

Have A Safe And Happy Halloween 2015!

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Should You Take Advantage Of The CPP Before Retirement?

It’s controversial and always has been for every Canadian across British Columbia, but it is a financial consideration that needs due attention as the rules appear to be shifting.  This is definitely a very personal choice–and when it comes to taking early CPP; circumstances are always different for individuals.  Now, with regard to your pension and those benefits–how and when you take them is entirely up to you, but know that there is no way to tell your life expectancy.  This alone has a tremendous role on when most Canadians do apply for the Canadian Pension Plan.

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The first question many younger Canadians might have is:  “What is the CPP?”  It’s all about when you hope to have access to those Canadian Pension Plan Benefits.  The worry is that some might be waiting too long and therefore aren’t benefiting anything at all.  Those with lower life expectancies (individuals with chronic conditions) might be expected to take their benefits early, while others who appear to have excellent health and long life expectancy should wait until at least 65 as they can gain a 30% increase in those pension benefits.  You simply have to decide if you want less early or more later?

What if you end up living past your life expectancy?  As we know, doctors don’t know everything and can’t predict death.  So, while applying early for benefits will decrease your pension, this might also be beneficial to those who are having a difficult financial time as well.  Just know that early pension benefits are liable to confront tax penalties whereas if you apply for these benefits after 65 you’ll sometimes get more than expected. Let’s not forget how important it is to plan and budget for retirement too!

Are You Planning A Proper Budget For Retirement?

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Budgeting for retirement is absolutely critical, and currently there are very few Canadians who are saving enough and whom will financially struggle–specifically if there is no increase in the current CPP.  This is seriously worthy of contemplating and preparing for as it impacts millions of Canadians. The following below information are points that all Canadians should consider before they make a decision regarding an early or later CPP.

  • If you plan on working past the age of 65 you might want to wait to collect on your CPP as it will earn you more and definitely benefit you in those retirement years.
  • If you have an elderly family member who needs 24 hour care and you know you’ll be retiring early and need your CPP, this changes things up quite a bit and it happens to some Canadians.  So, unforeseen circumstances or life changes might be important to contemplate.
  • Are you expecting expenses to be higher during early retirement?  If this is the case then early CPP could give that extra cushion some Canadians need to live comfortably.

Of course, you want to retire happy, everyone does!  If you’re going to break even whenever you take your CPP, well it doesn’t matter if you take it at 70 or 60, do you think?  Since the CPP went through changes in 2012 to make it easier to understand, and even easier to obtain–take your time and make the decision that is smart for you and your significant other!

 

The Top 5 Ways To Secure Financial Freedom

There are very few Canadians who can forget the recession of 2008 and it has left many, more than concerned about a solid and stable financial future.  If you want real financial freedom then you simply have to take a hard look at your finances and spending habits.  For the majority of Canadians, what they once considered to have significant value now holds very little.  Many have seen their pensions shrink and many more have been left without employment.  If you want financial security and a dependable retirement savings, it’s time to take some necessary steps.

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A little truth for all:  if Canadians could learn how to secure their own financial freedom as easily as they can learn to parasail there’d be nothing to really worry about, would there?  Well, just a minute–parasailing isn’t all that easy for everyone and neither is achieving improved money management, but this doesn’t mean either are impossible feats, right?  That’s absolutely correct, and in order to improve and grow you have to educate yourself, which is where it all really starts!

We want you to remember, financial security is about your choices, because these can lead you to a precarious financial circumstance, or they can lead you to real financial freedom and security later in life.  Let’s discover the tips that can really make a difference in your life now!

5 Real Steps To Financial Freedom

You should be earning more than you spend:  To achieve financial freedom you have to let go of indulgent spending and think more conservatively.  Real financial freedom will allow you to “roll with the punches”.  Stay on your toes and be prepared for the unexpected.

Start An Early Investment in Participating Life Insurance:  Participating life insurance offers you dividends you never have to pay back, unless you want to. You can use these to invest in more insurance, or get the ready cash. You can also leave them be to earn even more interest.  Some of these can also be sold back, it just depends on what kind of plan you invest in.

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You have to consider all future expenses:  You shouldn’t forget to plan for expenses later in life, those that are easily overlooked.  Medical and dental costs can add up quick when you don’t have that budget for them.  Also, taxes never stop, so make certain you plan accordingly for all of these areas.

Calculate your disposable income accurately and reassess where necessary:  Keep a running tally of all of your major monthly expenses, and don’t forget to add in those things like: groceries, property taxes and even changes to inflation that can limit your disposable income.

Shift to investments that are guaranteed to give you a financial return:  Investing in stocks is risky no matter how you look at it, but investing in guaranteed services and products known to bring high ROI’s is just smart.  Forget about the small low-risk investments and move to those that won’t put you at a high financial risk, but will be rewarding. 

 

Real financial freedom comes to those who plan for it and make financially smart decisions early in life. It’s never too late to achieve financial security at all, but it is best if you can get a handle on strong financial making decisions early in life, if you plan on properly preparing for the future!

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The Facts And Myths To Help You Manage Your Credit Card

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Are you aware of the facts and myths associated with settling your mounting credit card debt?  This does apply to those who struggle with climbing interest rates and late penalty payments on credit cards too. Year after year consumer debt has risen 4.9%, according to financial analysts and this gives pause for concern when it comes down to Canada’s financial stability.

One of the most prevailing factors we want to discuss here has to do with Canadians ballooning debt and unfortunately too many families living above their means.  This has led to the current mounting household debt crisis and the lack of ability to pay this down in a timely fashion.  Clearly, educating Canadians on how to manage their credit card might be seen as dire, as opposed to hitting a financial crisis.

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Believe it or not, cutting a credit card up or calling the company and having it closed are not wise choices. These acts can make financial matters worse, though very few Canadians are aware of this.  Did you know that if you have a credit card and you don’t use it enough you can also suffer from a dent to your credit report and receive a penalization from the credit issuer too? All of this just might have you pondering how Canadian families are supposed to curtail spending and how they can manage and balance their credit cards more efficiently? The following myth busters will help you learn how to properly manage credit card debt so you can finally see some hope from crushing household debt.

Demystifying Credit Card Debt

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Debt consolidation is not always the best way to move past credit card debt

This can be an expensive option and what many Canadians don’t realize is that it doesn’t just do away with the blemishes that are on a credit record.  You’ll still have a trail, even if it is shown you’re making consolidation payments.  Consider all your options before going with this.

A financial advisor can be extremely expensive and not always the answer

Many Canadian advisors are paid through commissions, which doesn’t place their interest directly with the consumer.  What does this mean?  It means they might advise you in the wrong direction and cost you more money in the long run.  Weigh your options here carefully!

Credit card debt is necessary for improving credit scores and paying bills on time

So many see credit cards as a way to immediately improve their credit scores, but the reality is that it takes a great deal of time for specific credit cards to do this.  One time of getting behind on a payment is all it takes to curb your credit score in the wrong direction.

Paying only the minimum credit payment will keep me in good standing

Paying only the minimum payment will sink you further and further into credit card debt.  Here is another fact:  credit card companies will reward you for making that minimum payment on time every month by offering more credit every 6 months.  You should avoid this type of pitfall.

Paying off old, adverse credit card accounts will improve your credit score

This is not so.  Little do many Canadians know that paying off adverse credit card accounts won’t make an immediate improvement in their financial portfolio.  This will show as paid off, but it will take up to 6 years for the score itself to improve and offer a positive influence.

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Credit counseling services are available for Canadians all across British Columbia who are struggling to keep up with debt and find viable ways to control and minimize it.  Don’t fall prey to the consolidation scams and other myths out there that can create more adversity financially.  There is certainly a solution, but it takes time.  Just remember, you didn’t create this debt overnight, so have patience and focus on positive reinforces that will guarantee you move past it.

 

 

 

 

The Best Halloween Party On A Budget

You want to shop within your means, but don’t think you can’t have a creepy great time for Halloween just because you have to budget!  There is no reason to go overboard or break the bank at all.  From pumpkin carving parties to costume themed get togethers and on to taking the kids trick or treating: a budget isn’t going to spoil the fun, but it will help you save money and feel great doing so.  So, pull out those pumpkins and get into the season; this is the time to start planning and you can never do so too early!

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Discover The Joy Of A Budget Friendly Halloween

Researched statistics show that across British Columbia, average families spend approximately $300 on this one day a year holiday–but this no way means you have to do the same thing, especially if your goal is to keep it on a budget. We want you to remember, the joy of the holiday isn’t in spending, but comes with creativity.  Let the day be about sharing laughter with one another, spinning spooky stories over a bonfire and hot cup of cider rather than focusing on how many decorations you can buy or the most expensive candy for trick or treaters.  Take advantage of what you already have and you’ll see everyone will still enjoy the holiday, while you manage to maintain a reasonable budget! The following tips will help you meet your budget goals without any stress.

Budget Friendly Tips To Ensure A Happy And Enjoyable Halloween For All

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Remember, whether you’re hosting this year’s Halloween party or you’re just decorating your home to match the seasonal atmosphere–these tips will guarantee you don’t blow your budget!

  • Purchase second hand costumes instead of paying full price brand new
  • Purchase your pumpkins for carving a few days early as you can catch them on sale
  • Host a potluck Halloween party and encourage your guests to be creative and bring Halloween themed dishes–this will cut down on food costs tremendously
  • Make our own Halloween decorations and visit the discount store as well–you can find just about everything you need at a far less price but still maintain value
  • Don’t use a credit card to pay for your Halloween party as it will only cost you more money through interest charges and potential other fees

So, don’t let your finances frighten you and don’t be afraid to sweep the cobwebs off of your budget. Follow these best tricks to have a frightfully fun Halloween with friends and family this year! When you know how to manage your money better you’ll find you’ll be able to have more time to enjoy the holiday and treat yourself as well!