Monthly Archives: January 2016

5 Smart Ways To Put Your Tax Refund To Good Use

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Every year, Canadians await that glorious tax refund, passionately planning ways to enjoy money they didn’t have before. But, what is the wisest way you can take advantage of your tax refund this year?  Don’t you think you’d be far better off putting your tax refund to work for you and possibly giving you long-term satisfaction, versus that instant gratification you crave? The wisest thing Canadians can do is take their own personal financial situation into account and plan accordingly. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to allow their refund to burn a hole in their pocket–it’s just not smart, and it keeps Canadians caught in a trap.

So, the goal is to treat the refund check the same way you would any other, normal paycheck. Designate a plan or make a purpose for the money. Some find investing their refund into a mutual fund or a money market account is more worthwhile than letting it sit in a checking account that is bearing no interest at all. In order to benefit for the long-term, you should put your tax refund into an interest bearing account you can’t access for a specific period of time without being faced with a fee. This will encourage savings versus overspending!

Let’s continue on and share some amazing ways you can stack and save that infamous tax refund you might not have been expecting!

The 5 Best Tips To Take Advantage Of A Tax Refund

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 Why Not Start Building A Larger Emergency Fund?

You can never have too large of a nest egg, or emergency fund–and the more you have the more peace of mind you’re going to have as well. Your goal should be to reach at least 8 months of emergency savings.  You never know what can happen in life and this will give you little extra cushion. If you don’t ever need it, then great, but that just means you can accrue more in the long-term!

Only Spend The Money On The Things That You Need, Not The Things You Want

If you invest in the things that you need you’ll save far more money in the long-term, and you’ll have more to play with when you want to relax and unwind! Remember, it’s all about thinking smart and spending smart!

 You Should Invest In A Tax Sheltered Account To Protect Your Money

If you put some of your tax refund into a tax sheltered account you can move ahead on items such as: IRA contributions or even college savings plans! This allows you to claim a tax deduction, ultimately giving you more money back in the long-term. Bear in mind, this type of investment is dependent on your income level, your age and your individual goals as well. This is definitely worth looking into.

Make Sure You Donate To A Charitable Cause

If you donate to a charitable cause not only will you feel fulfilled, you’ll also be able to claim that donation on the next years tax return; but this isn’t why you should do it either. While you donate to feel good, taking advantage of the many tax breaks for doing so really fulfills your bottom line financially!

Invest In Building Your Business Like You’ve Wanted

Why not turn a business idea into a life-time of income? Starting up your business venture is a wise move, and what better to use your tax refund on? The right business venture can bring you long-term income and can definitely help you learn how to start planning and preparing for your financial future far better.  Many new business entrepreneurs see this as their baby, and want to have it succeed.

Meeting of Entrepreneurs Brainstorming on a Napkin

4 Habits Of Millionaires Canadians Should Know

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Perhaps your daily habits are what are keeping you from reaching financial security and success?  Have you really thought about it?  We would like to share with you 4 habits that millionaires carry out on a consistent basis.  Some claim this is what keeps them financially sound and secure–but who knows?  What we can say is that if you adopt good, logical financial habits you might find you can become a millionaire yourself, and that would truly be a feat to share with Canadian friends and family, don’t you think?

Today, statistics are showing that 80% of millionaires are first generation millionaires, meaning they didn’t inherit a family fortune.  One basic step to surely reach this position is to make your savings a clear priority in your life.  Every time you get paid you should ensure you put 10% of this into savings.  If you can’t do that then do 5%–but you certainly need to start a savings plan.  This is a slow and steady process, and it isn’t going to happen in the blink of an eye.  Therefore, Canadians need to have patience with themselves.

Let’s take a look at 4 other positive ways you just might reach the status quo of Millionaire!

Self Made Millionaires Live An Intentionally Steady Lifestyle

Woman jumping on a jetty at Lake Ianthe, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand, Pacific

True, the path to prosperity can be paved with ruts, but you can preserver!  You have to set intentional goals and stick to them, consistently.  You’ve heard that before.  This takes a sincere dedication. Of course, you have to be in a career setting that is going to pay you a salary good enough to be able to save gradually too.  Not every Canadian can do this as systematically as the next can, all due to employment and pay issues.  However, self made millionaires normally save something every single day, whether that is a nickel or a dollar.  You’d be amazed at how fast it can add up–not to mention the financial security this kind of strategy can offer to you!

Let’s look at some real life habits now that make sense! 

  1. Self Made Millionaires Shop Online:  Yes, millionaires shop online.  The fact is, not everyone with money is as loose as the media likes to portray.  50% of those high-earners prefer to shop online in comparison to those who make far less. It’s odd, but these are the facts.  Not only is this smart, it is very easy to locate deals on high-end quality items as well. This allows for money to be saved for the long-term!
  2. Self Made Millionaires Discipline Themselves: No matter the sacrifice that must be made, these financially successful people know what they want and are willing to struggle in the short-term to achieve long-term success.  Not everyone can do this, and it isn’t easy.  However, most self made millionaires understand the rewards of sacrifice at an early age. If only more of us could do the same thing!
  3. Self Made Millionaires Still Live Below Their Means:  While a millionaire can enjoy the more prestigious life, those who have worked hard aren’t that willing to spend as much, so there are more who continuously live below their means to maintain their wealth.  This is one of the most effective ways to ensure you reach a millionaire status!
  4. Self Made Millionaires Use Their Money To Make More Money:  Investing your money into things that are going to give you a guaranteed ROI helps you build onto your wealth, and this is what smart millionaires do.

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Many self made millionaires also have an advisor who guides them and points out the safest ways to manage and grow their existing wealth.  It is hoped these insider tips will help Canadians make smarter decisions about their money and their future now!  Just remember, it is the mindset of the individual that determines how far one can really go, that is, with regard to achieving long-term financial goals!

4 Insurance Savings Tips For Your Teen Driver

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#CarInsurance in Canada is definitely pricey, no matter which way you look at it! When talking about car insurance in particular, teen drivers are often considered to be high-risk.  In fact, male drivers cost approximately 52% more than that of female drivers.  But why?  The vast majority believe that teenage boys are more likely to be involved in an accident versus teenage girls–though this might seem a bit gender biased.  It is understandable why adding a teen driver to an existing insurance policy is so unsettling for parents.  Just the mere thought of a teenager out on the roads makes some parents cringe.

Teenage Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident

The reason insurance companies are notorious for having those outrageous rates on #teendrivers, and the reason for them doing so is simply for protection.  Because these drivers are inexperienced, they are clearly more at risk on the roads, and definitely the highways.  The statistical evidence for an accident is stacked against this age group, even though many teen drivers won’t ever be involved in an accident.  Still, insurance companies believe the higher rates lower the potential claim risks and this isn’t about to change any time soon.  However, there is good news.

Parents can save some money on their insurance here and there, at least getting some much needed relief.  If you’re in Canada and interested in learning exactly how you can acquire a cheaper rate with your teen added as a driver, then continue reading.  Below you’ll find some tips and strategies on how you just might get a more affordable rate, which can save you more money over time–as long as your teen avoids traffic citations and altercations on the roadways.

Get The Top Insurance Savings Tips To Save Time And Money

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Remember, you can find ways to ease the costs of car insurance once your teen driver gets behind the wheel!  These following steps are going to give you the peace of mind you need!  You’ll find that some of these are far more innovative than others too.  It really is amazing how far technology has come, especially with regard to smart devices.  You’ll see what we mean in this very first tip!

Your Insurer Can Actually Track Your Teen’s Driving

While it might seem a little abrasive, it is a great way to prove to your insurer you have a dependable driver!  These “telematics”, as the industry describes them, can plug right into a cars steering column!  For example, Progressive offers technology that transmits driving data back to their database.  After about 6 months you could see a sizable reduction in your car insurance (if your teen is rated a safe driver).

Use Smart Devices That Can Stand Alone, Or Be Downloadable Apps

Technology like On-star can communicate driving data as well, and many big providers recommend these.  Undoubtedly, many of these smart devices have the capability of directly downloading data to the insurance providers database, as mentioned.  The drivers speed can be recorded, how often and how hard they break can be noted and even what times of the day the vehicle is driven can be documented.  If your provider discovers your driver is driving at the least busiest times of day, and drives carefully, you will receive a discount!

Don’t forget about the good student driver discount

You can definitely save quite a bit if your student has exceptional grades and high school attendance!  You see, positive behavior pays off!  If your young adult is enrolled in college full-time, you might receive additional discounts to save money.

Driving School Might Be A Good Way To Save

You can enroll your teen in driving school to help lower insurance costs as well.  Three visits to the school, during a 6 month period can provide huge savings for your insurance.  Remember, your teen has to steer clear of traffic violations and accidents for a full year to maintain the savings!

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5 Smart Ways To Shop And Still Save Big After The Holidays

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How can you cash in and really save big after the holidays?  While we are coming up on the end of the first week of January, there are still some great after Christmas Day sales to be found out here!  If you’re really looking to stick to an organized financial plan this year, and you want to start saving right away–it’s the perfect opportunity right now.  Retailers want to move that old winter merchandise, so many are cutting prices to 75% at this time of the year!

And yes, after Christmas Day sales are more popular than Black Friday.  This is exactly where frugality during the year pays off big time.  So, how should you plan and what should you consider purchasing to really save money?  Let’s look at the 5 smartest ways to take advantage of the savings.  But wait…not just for after Christmas, but following holidays all year long!

Take Advantage Of After The Holidays Sales In January And More!

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Just remember friends–there is a pattern, and always a perfect time to purchase anything and everything you need on the cheap!  You can have the most modern items far less than what others have paid.  For example, electronics are at huge discounts right now, so the old merchandise can move out and the new can move in!  January and February are the best times Canadians can get out there and get some really cool electronics cheap!

Pay attention to the time of the year, at any time you’re wanting to save–not just after Christmas.  Every holiday has a sale following it.  Just think of how much you could have saved for Valentines day if you would have gone to those sales last year! Of course, you don’t want to purchase candy to gift to someone a year later, but you can purchase other sweetheart items that maintain their value!  You just have to think outside of the box!

Follow these tips below when you’re dead set on maintaining a savings plan and being frugal!

The Best After Holiday Shopping Tips For All Year Long!

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  1. The absolute best time to buy electronics such as: laptops, tablets, desktops and phones is in February! Mark it on your calendar and make a list. If Tommy was too young for something so advanced this year, he just might be ready next year!
  2. You can certainly stock up on personalized bath items after Christmas and all through January. Now that retail stores like “Bath and Body Works” are all the craze, you can really rack up on some additional savings throughout the month on soaps, lotions, body butters, candles and more! It certainly is better to get those aromatherapy items now, because you can use these as gifts at the next major holiday, which is: Valentines Day! See how planning ahead pays off?
  3. Let’s not forget how badly you need storage items for those holiday decorations and more! Plastic storage containers and artificial Christmas tree coverings are cheapest right after the big day.  In fact, many retailers have these items out during the holiday season at their full prices. After, you can get these for 50% less than retail value! And just think, you need storage tubs for a variety of things!
  4. Don’t forget about Online retailers! You can save and never leave your home! From all kinds of non-perishable items that can be utilized all year long (like fancy dishware and glassware) to greenery and decorative home furnishings–your savings can come in at 25% upwards to 65% off for items like these online. Some Online retailers also allow for promotional codes that can save you even more!
  5. For those new car shoppers, the end of the year is the perfect time to shop for that shiny new toy!  While this is passed now, at least you’ll know from now on.  If you can have patience, you might find you even have more choices at the end of the year that meet your budget–versus cashing in during the middle part of the year!

These tips are practical and timeless–worthy to work for frugal shoppers all year long!  Since retailers seem to be having these earlier and earlier every year, just keep your eyes open so you don’t lose your chance for savings.  It’s time to give your wallet a rest and save when and where you can!

5 Proven Tips To Raise Your Credit Score In 2016

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That credit score is everything, isn’t it?  For so many Canadians, it is like a ball and chain, forever holding them back from lower interest rates and better financing opportunities in general.  Your credit score can keep you from landing a great job.  Now, while this doesn’t seem fair, it’s just how things work in some parts of the world.  Within Canada, and all across British Columbia–a poor credit score certainly spells disaster. While it isn’t easy to get that credit score raised, there are now new and guaranteed ways of doing so.  You can allow 2016 to be the year you’re willing to put forth that 150% effort.  Once you get your credit score healthy, you’ll be amazed at the rewards and benefits which come your way.

Those with the best credit scores are awarded low interest rates, exceptional mortgage loans, great car loans and so much more.  There are even more perks to discover when you get that score in check, but remember, it didn’t get poor overnight. This means: don’t think you’re going to see a transformation in 24 hours either.  However, if you follow these tips you’re going to make headway and reach your goal faster.  So, let’s get started!

Tips You Can Rely On To Raise Your FICO Score In 2016

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Now, if you’re looking for some immediate relief, there are three tips that are outside of those traditional moves that enhance and improve your FICO score overtime.  You might know about this and you might not, but we did think they were worth sharing. The first of these three is all about how you are using your credit.  You should never exceed more than 40% of your available credit limit, and if you do, you should at least pay half of the balance due at the end of every month.  Also, if you have other credit cards, this will open up more credit for you, and if they are used wisely you’ll build up a solid credit history. Just use them for what they are intended for–improving your FICO score!

Another quick fix is checking your report for errors.  Many Canadians have errors on their credit report, and many don’t even know about it.  This can happen from identity theft, to a charge-off, to a simple clerical error.  You can always dispute an item on your credit report and give your side of the story.  Further, if you see small items that need paid off–why not do it? There are so many walking around with items on their report that could easily be improved.  You have to put in the time and effort if you want to improve your FICO score quicker than normal!

5 More Common Tips Toward Raising Your Credit Score

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Remember, those tips mentioned above almost always raise your score 2 to 3 points, but the following strategies take a bit longer and a little more work.  Let’s get started:

Tip 1: Pay more than what you have to on any credit card or loan payment you might have

This illustrates a trustworthy consumer.  Professionals will view you as someone they can have faith in and who is more than honest.  You’re depicted as someone who takes their debt seriously.

Tip 2:  Pay off your card with the highest credit limit

If you’ve used more than 50% of the credit on a specific card, and it happens to be a high-end one, do your best to pay it off totally.  This kind of habit shows that you’re not living on credit, but only building up your credit.  In other words, lenders will see you have disposable income to pay your debt.

Tip 3:  Sign on as an authorized user for your dependents

If you have a teen who is attempting to build credit, signing with them can not only help them build credit, but it can help you repair your own minor mishaps.  As long as they are responsible, and pay their bills on time, this will bring some positive reinforcement for your own credit.

Tip 4:  Did you know you could make more than one monthly payment on your credit cards

Yes!  You can pay twice, or even three times a month if you want to.  The more you pay on these forms of debt, the better your credit report will look.  Don’t place yourself under financial duress to meet a goal like this, but if you can–definitely do so!

Tip 5:  Try to get rid of unpaid collection items

There are more Canadians who are facing FICO drops due to issues like these versus late payments and only paying minimum payments on debt.  If you can find a way to consolidate collection debt it might help you get rid of it sooner, thus improving your score.

If you follow even just a few of these tips you’ll see improvements in that FICO score sooner, rather than later!  Make 2016 the year you begin tackling debt and getting your finances on track.

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