Monthly Archives: November 2015

Time Savings Tips For Stress Free Holiday Get Togethers

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There’s no doubt about it; just a few practical time savings tips can make all the difference when it comes down to relaxing and having a great time with family and friends all throughout the holiday season!  Don’t be one of those running around like a doe caught in the headlights! A panicked lemming shows poor time management and planning abilities!  Now, if you’re one of many Canadians who feels like there is simply enough not time in the day for planning for anything–the holidays require balanced time management. Without some kind of strategy, this time of the year truly can be some of the most chaotic and stressful. However, don’t let this be YOU!  Time management strategies really can do away with seasonal anxiety, believe it or not!  While it is more difficult for those Canadian families who work long hours, it can all still be fit into a well balanced schedule and can be enjoyed graciously too!

Just remember, if you’re one of many who is feeling more frazzled and frayed, rather than joyous and thankful, the following time savings tips and time management strategies can definitely reduce your stress over-load and help you to feel you’re in control again! You might pleasantly find that some deep breathing exercises can help you move beyond the stress of the season.  However you approach the holidays, do so with a level of balanced time management–these tips are going to help you enjoy the holidays without unnecessary anxiety taking the anticipation and excitement away.  Let’s get started!

Time Savings Tips For The Holiday Season That Are Tried And True

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The first and most important thing to consider when the goal is to minimize adverse emotional states at the holidays is to ask yourself if your expectations are really meeting up with reality?  If you’re expecting too much from yourself then you’re only going to end up suffering and wringing your hands in despair!  Be fair with yourself and don’t push too hard–only you know what you can and can’t do!  Now, ask yourself: ‘Are you delegating responsibilities to help ease the preparations for the upcoming holidays’, because if you’re not you’re really doing yourself a grave disservice.

Be Reasonable With Yourself And Delegate Responsibilities To Minimize Worry And Confusion

As we mentioned above, no one can do everything, it just isn’t practical.  In order to really gain some true time savings and remove uncertainty, you have to start assigning tasks to others.  For example, if you’re going to be doing the majority of the menu planning and cooking/baking–have someone else go and pick up the groceries, but don’t you do it!  This will definitely remove some of that pent-up frustration!  You can look at decorating the same way; four hands are definitely better than two–and rather than rush through fun activities, you can slow down and truly savor the time!

Don’t Over Book Yourself For Festivities And Other Entertainment

If you really are looking to relax and enjoy the holidays you should avoid scheduling too much.  When you over extend yourself, festivities and get-togethers can begin to feel out of your control, depleting you of energy and leaving you compromised. The goal is to enjoy yourself and have fun, so don’t schedule so much you can’t unwind at all.  You should also ensure you schedule plans for time with your significant other as well. One on one time is critical, especially at this time of the year!

Keep A Schedule And Manage It Well

In order to keep up and keep track you should have a way of scheduling and managing your time appropriately. Whether this is for gift shopping, entertainment, or simply wrapping presents–following an itinerary can keep things simple and orderly. You’ll certainly be able to keep better track of what has been done and what there is yet to do!  This can be through a smart App or the traditional means (the old fashioned pen and book).  You’ll be amazed at how smoothly things can go when you stay on track and fully know what time you have available.

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Are You A First Time Homebuyer: 6 Smart Home Purchase Tips

Here is an interesting fact for you:  Research shows that 2 out of every three Canadians are homeowners–now that is amazing isn’t it?  How’d they do it and how’d Canada become the leader for having more families who are actual homeowners? Do Canadians have different priorities? Not really, they just invest in different ways!

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Making that amazing leap from a renter to a home buyer can be a wildly fantastic time for a Canadian family!  There are so many things that need to be carried out–the process can feel a bit overwhelming at times, but there is nothing like finally having the say so over how you decorate your home, what your backyard looks like, and how many pets you can have!  When you make a home purchase it is normally for a lifetime, so relying on some smart home purchase tips can improve upon a first time homebuyers outcome!

From getting to know the neighborhood to understanding and preparing for closing costs; there really are some heavy practical concerns first time homebuyers can sometimes feel like they’re drowning in. Shopping for your first home is an exciting experience–at least it should be; however, again, for many first time homebuyers across Canada  this can be extremely intimidating.  If you don’t know the facts concerning purchasing a home then you’ll most certainly be in the dark.  There are so many areas of research first time homebuyers need to look into; specifically before they dive headfirst into some murky mortgage agreement they might not fully understand.

There is such a thing as: First Time Homebuyer Shock–which happens when you’re hit with the unexpected.  A family should be ready to negotiate for what they want if their first time buying experience is going to meet expectations.  In fact, negotiating and collaborating are critical to ensuring a pleasurable home shopping and buying experience for Canadians all across the region! Let’s get started with the following smart purchase tips to ensure Canadian families start off aimed in the right direction for the best outcome possible.

The 7 Smartest Home Purchase Tips Every Canadian Should Know

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The first tip we want to share with Canadians across British Columbia concerning home buying is this: Pay off your debt first!  The fact is, you’re going to be in debt purchasing a home so you don’t want a large amount of bills eating away at your income at this time.  Paying the practical things off first means having more money available to focus where it counts the most.  You’ll definitely alleviate stress and anxiety, which always arises from crushing debt.

Tip 2:  Make certain you’re getting the proper property insurance

You want to be covered for everything from theft and property damage, to liability claims, and natural disasters like flooding, hail, fire and even high winds or tornados.  Also, make certain that the insurance you choose offers coverage for your personal belongings within your home as well.  Anything could happen!  From leaky pipes to a water heater going bad in the basement–the right coverage ensures you that you’re investment is in good hands and you won’t end up like a bad joke!  You might even want to consider an umbrella policy for added security and protection.

Tip 3:  Keep all of your receipts for home improvement costs to receive a reimbursement or other substantial savings

It’s important to store receipts for home improvement items.  The receipt will protect you in case a purchase turns out wrong, or is flawed in some way.  These receipts also increase the value of your home because they are your proof for your investments.  Say you have your roof rebuilt and then decide you’ll want to sell your home.  What was once a $250,000 home can turn into a $300,000 home.  This will dramatically increase your own ROI just by adding energy efficiency and curb appeal.

Tip 4:  Watch your spending on home improvements and interior decorating:  They can mount up to sizable debt fast

Costs can add up fast, there is no doubt about it.  Plan a budget for any home improvements and/or decorating and understand the difference between the two of these.  Installing a sidewalk is going to be a better initial investment than planting an Apple tree.  While both are great for value, you have to decide what is going to give you a better ROI initially, then go from there.

Tip 5:  Make certain you have a trustworthy inspector on your first time home before proceeding

Once it comes down to a home inspection and walkthrough, make certain you have a home inspector you feel comfortable with and who you have no doubt–is honest.  From ensuring there are no fire hazards in the home, to checking stability of the foundation of the dwelling; you need to be prepared for what might happen.  Most walkthroughs end on a positive note, but just understanding how it all works is important!  You don’t want to find out you’ve ended up with a bad investment when it’s too late!

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5 Holiday Planning Strategies To Minimize And Lower Debt

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Wouldn’t you agree there could be nothing worse than receiving your credit card bill in January only to discover you can’t possibly meet the minimum payment?  This happens to thousands of Canadians every holiday season, but this year you can make a difference.  You can learn how to manage your holiday budget and minimize the risks of incurring more credit card debt.  For many, indulging in spending has become a bad habit, but finance education can dramatically reduce these adverse living habits.  The holidays don’t need to be stressful at all, not if you plan early and stick to a financial strategy that works.

Now, according to researched statistics, each generation of Canadians have a distinct shopping style.  For instance, Gen Xers will be making more holiday purchases online than those within the Y Generation.  They appear to be wiser shoppers as well, using Apps to price compare and research products before making purchases.  However, while some shoppers appear to be more budget aware than others, the majority of Canadians end up with a Holiday Shopping Hangover due to flamboyant purchases and impulse shopping.  In fact, one in five Canadians throughout British Columbia believe themselves to be “binge shoppers” and impulsive.

The holidays are a time for merriment, but that can be hard to have when financial woes take hold. Because 59% of Canadians over spend at the holidays and end up with remorse and guilt, that holiday cheer can turn into holiday stress pretty quickly.  The following 5 tips we are going to share with you can help keep you accountable and on track with regard to your holiday shopping.  Smart planning and spending strategies will ensure you don’t max out your monthly budget and face anxiety and stress instead of holiday cheer this season.  Let’s take a look.

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The Top 5 Holiday Planning Strategies To Save You Money

One very critical point to make here, before we delve on in to the several other financial strategies for the holidays is this:  you need to itemize for every individual on your list.  This not only helps with keeping stress low, but it ensures you stay on budget and stick to your shopping strategy for savings.  If you list each person you have to buy for, and put a limit on the amount you’ll spend (and stick to it) you’ll remain on budget and won’t be broke come the end of December.

Strategy 2:  Utilize Your Smart Phone Apps

Your smart phone can be a great guide to savings.  From taking advantage of groupon to other excellent money savings apps–you can do price comparisons using tools like “red laser” “retail me not” and even more.  You can also take advantage of social media to find great deals. Yet, remember, a deal isn’t a deal if you go over your original budget, so keep that in mind.

Strategy 3:  Purchase Inexpensive Gifts First

Start shopping by purchasing the least expensive gifts first.  Research has shown that when a shopper sees small items add up quickly they are more likely to pull back on those purse strings.  You then go purchase the big items on your list.  This might help you save more money by not splurging on cheaper items and considering this to be okay.  Remember, even small items can add up into the hundreds when you over spend.

Strategy 4:  Shop During Off Season

You can purchase holiday merchandise during off season and get more than 50% off when you do so.  If you have a good idea of what your list of recipients like and want, this is a great ay of saving a ton of money.  And don’t forget, you can get many holiday decorations and necessities directly after Christmas at 75%!  Just imagine already having everything you need for the next holiday season!

Strategy 5:  Engage In Gift Exchanges

Engaging in gift exchanges can save you money and be sure, this is an excellent option for those who simply can’t afford to purchase the more expensive gifts.  A gift exchange can be a great deal of fun too, and making purchases for others with friends can actually be socially engaging!

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How Much Debt Is Simply Too Much?

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Are you simply drowning in #debt?  If it’s taking more than half of your income to manage your debt you might not be in control of your finances the way you really believe you are.  If Canadians are going to learn how to manage debt responsibly they have to educate themselves on how to build and manage a responsible budget. When you carry too much debt on your plate then you run the risk of being viewed poorly by major banks and other financial lenders–something that every Canadian should strive to avoid.

Too much debt impacts your ability to get many kinds of loans too, those like: car loans, financing for a home, line of credit, credit cards and so much more. Too much debt simply puts one’s life in a financial crisis.  Also, even Canadians with a large amount of assets can be carrying around too much debt, but here we are going to help Canadians learn how much debt is simply too much, while at the same time give some tips to help avoid incurring more.

Our main aim is to help retiring Canadians learn to swim before they drown in debt! , without seniors retiring in Canada with excessive debt on their shoulders. Currently, Canadians are retiring with approximately $13,800 in debt, while many have a savings that is simply not sustaining.  Reversing this issue and ensuring financial success is the ambition here.

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Reversing The Debt Of Canadian Seniors For Financial Success

With 1/3 of Canadians retiring with debt, managing and eliminating debt truly is necessary, and really ideal if reigned in before retirement.  Most retiree’s have to adapt to a set income when they retire and too much debt can become stifling. For many Canadians, paying debt during retirement comes from pensions and other savings, which can really aggravate other financial priorities.  However, with a great financial strategy in place, this all can be better controlled.  These below tips and techniques can help those Canadians minimize and even eliminate their debt so they can have a more practical and manageable cash flow.

  • It might be wise to have a financial advisor to help you get lower interest costs on existing debt. This will help you pay off the debt faster and gain a little more wiggle room financially.

 

  • Everyone should take advantage of free budgeting tools that show potential toward making financial management easier.  Many of these offer free spending alerts which can help you stay on your budget.

 

  • Consolidating debt might be wise for retirees, though not as ideal for those still in the workforce.  This can lower a monthly payment to help Canadians have more leniency with cash flow.

 

  • A reverse mortgage is another viable option for those who are in the “low income” bracket, but it is recommended that repayment is not deferred.  This can alleviate a great deal of stress for those on fixed income.

 

  • Everyone needs to have realistic long-term financial goals if they are going to live comfortably when they retire.  Having a budget planned out for 20 years can make more sense than waiting to do so afterwards. 

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How Can You Have A Financially Responsible Holiday Season?

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We understand that #financialplanning might not be the priority for many Canadians during the holiday season.  In fact, the majority of shoppers spend the highest amounts of money during this time of the year, often overlooking their budget and over spending well beyond their means.  This leads to horrible depression following the holiday, but it appears to continue to happen despite one’s best efforts.  It’s important to remember that Christmas cheer isn’t all about how much money you spend, or what big brother is getting this year either.

Sticking to a budget at the holidays can feel painful, but it can be kept painless–this is the true reality! Canadians have simply become accustomed to splurge spending and it is time to pull in those purse strings and get control of finances–that is if those residing across British Columbia want to live without incurring more debt.  Just remember, since the holiday season is one of the most common times to rack up debt, what better time to share how to have a financially responsible holiday season without feeling deprived? The good news is that many more Canadians are learning how important a budget is nowadays. Over 2/3 of Canadians are now prepared to manage a holiday budget so they can be financially responsible.

Now, are you ready to begin thinking outside of the box?  It’s time to start discovering how to become financially savvy and begin a plan for the upcoming year, versus spending a fortune at the holidays.  The following 5 tips can be lifesavers for those Canadians who have simply been spending way too much for too long.  Just keep in mind that it isn’t about how much you spend, it’s about sharing that time together as a family that matters the most!

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5 Tips To Help You Become Financially Responsible All Year Long

Your main goal this time of the year should be reeling in that spending and holding yourself accountable for unnecessary purchases.  Keeping track of where your money goes is the only way you can get a good grasp over your finances.  As always, planning and sticking to a budget is the very first strategy one should take to minimize money woes and control debt. The next one is learning how to be rational with credit card spending!

Control Your Credit Card Expenses And Manage Spending

That piece of plastic is mighty convenient when you’re out holiday shopping, but it isn’t as pleasant when the first of the year bills start rolling around, is it?  You need to train yourself to only charge what you know you’ll be able to pay for when that bill rolls around.  This will ensure you don’t incur more credit card debt and you keep your finances in tip top shape!

Search Online For Discounts And Printable Coupon Codes (good all year long)

It’s never too late to begin couponing! Not only can this save you money at the holidays, but it can guarantee you stay within your budget without any anxiety at all!  Retail-Me-Not is perfect for Canadians all across British Columbia who do a lot of shopping online, or who have loyalty to specific retailers! This is also an excellent way to save all year long–and definitely achieve a way of getting some funds in your savings account!

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Get Your Children And Young Adults ( to 29 years of age) Engaged In Financial Literacy Courses For Free

Not only can these finance courses help you learn how to manage and keep up with your finances at the holidays, but this can teach the younger Canadian generation how to better meet financial obligations and learn how to control spending before critical issues can begin impacting their credit score later in life! Financial literacy is growing in importance across Canada, as all Canadians can learn better money management skills–especially at one of the more expensive times of the year!  Youth who are wise to the importance of money, and understand how lavish spending can create stress and strife can actually help older Canadians make wiser spending decisions!

Think About The Future And Not Just Today–Selfish Desires Can Burn

You need to start planning for the future rather than living in the moment.  Again, while holiday time is exciting and money costs are unavoidable, not everything has to lead you astray from budgeting.  Begin to enjoy those things which are priceless (and free)!  Having priorities is important, no matter how much money you might have. You’ll discover, once you begin living on the correct financial path, you’ll be balanced, happier, and enjoy the holidays far more!  In fact, you’ll enjoy all year long, once you finally learn what being financially responsible is all about!