Category Archives: Financial Planning

Canadian Spring Break Budgeting Tips

As spring break creeps closer and closer there are more Canadians planning on getting away from it all. It’s traditional for most, and this is the time numerous Canadian families plan their vacations. For college students, the break is an alleviation from the chaos of college classes and other stress. For adult Canadians, it is a must needed break from the day to day hum-drum of the 9 to 5, but there are always considerations to be made before a trip like this. If you don’t properly plan it can certainly take some of the fun away. For instance, you want to make certain you’ve been budgeting and planning for a spring break trip for a few months before venturing off away from home!

Don’t forget to plan a strategic budget, and stick to it. You shouldn’t have to worry about paying for vacation on the day of. Save money and prepare way ahead of time if you’re truly going to enjoy yourself. This goes for anyone at any age. If you have to worry about money on vacation it’s really going to take the fun out of it. The following tips we are going to share should ensure you stay on track and every detail goes smoothly. The most important areas that Canadians should focus on (anyone going on Spring vacation from anywhere, really) are:

  • transportation
  • dining arrangements (eating out or cooking in)
  • what attractions are on the itinerary
  • how much shopping
  • what forms of entertainment
  • what kind of accommodations

Don’t be one of those who is seen scrambling for cash at the end of your vacation–that is bad and defeats the whole purpose of the getaway. The best thing to do is to plan to have a minimum of 5% of your funds remaining at the end of your vacation. It will greatly ease stress and clearly keep you prepared. You never know what unexpected expenses might arise, so stay on your toes. Now, let’s begin examine how to prepare for all of these areas previously mentioned.

Budgeting Tips To Ensure a Great Spring Break

timthumb

Remember, to start, create and establish a budget. We said this in the beginning.  It’s a critical piece of the puzzle. Also, make sure that you include items such as: baggage charges, hotel taxes, taxis and more. Also, keep all of the following in mind:

  • You should always shop around and seek out the best deals and packages online. If you visit travel websites you might find discounts for car rentals and lodgings. Research is important so don’t just dive in. Review budget, price and plan around all of that.
  • Do a road trip for your spring vacation and save a ton of money. Some find this idea more fun and definitely more exciting. You’ll be able to visit more than one place and enjoy yourself far more. The goal is to not be limited by prices and more. You can have adventures you didn’t plan on and still save more money.
  • If you know exactly where you’re going and where you’re staying, call directly to try and get a reservation discount and other free services. Sometimes this pays off, rather than booking something online.

These tips ensure Canadian college students and families in general have a well mapped out spring vacation and are on top of all financial matters at the same time. Don’t go over-budget, and do get in some down time to regroup and enjoy your break away! Rest and relaxation is the most important part of a break. Sleep in. Walk leisurely, and just breathe!

 

Surviving Bankruptcy: Everything You Need to Know

Educate yourself and plan to avoid making the same mistakes again

 You might feel some relief once you file bankruptcy and your debts are consolidated into that one monthly payment, but do you realize how long this stays on your credit report? While the slate is clean, you still must deal with the crushing blow on your character. Not only can this impact your ability to buy what you want, it can hurt your chances of employment too. However, sometimes Chapter 7 is the only way Canadian families can get on their feet again. If you proceed wisely it can help you, but if not—this could be a big mistake. Let’s look at some steps that will ensure filing bankruptcy will get your debt to income ration in a balance. It’s important to understand what you can and cannot do when you take a step like this.

What You Can and Cannot Do When Filing Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy law

Understanding what debts bankruptcy will do away with and which will still be required for you to pay is extremely important. So, let’s be clear here. Not all debt is erased when you file bankruptcy.  Unfortunately, there are some creditors who can attempt to influence the court not to place a specific debt under bankruptcy protection. While it doesn’t seem fair, it happens more often than not. When you file for bankruptcy (whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) your debts are consolidated and separated into categories. Some debts will receive priority over others, and these happen to be the ones that can cause the most problems for those in debt. However, if you are hoping to get rid of medical debt and not be plagued by it—this is removed.

Medical bills are classified as unsecured debts, much like credit card debt. When you file bankruptcy they are gone forever and you can begin recovering from that overwhelming stress and anxiety you’ve been under. However, something such as an automobile loan is not as simple. This can still be repossessed if the loan company pursues it in court. Mortgages can be saved and no one can take your home when you file bankruptcy! Let’s learn how you can avoid ever filing bankruptcy again and getting your life stable and on track.

Don’t File Multiple Bankruptcies: Not Good for the Long-Term

bankruptcy-attorney-bakersfield-ca

You really don’t want to have to go back and ever file another bankruptcy again, not after the first one. So, it is critical to understand what you’re getting into and what is going to happen. Too many are in the dark concerning what Chapter 13 does and what it really covers. To make it easy, filing bankruptcy can be a powerful option used correctly. It can:

  • Removes credit card debt and other unsecured debt
  • Eliminates very specific lien agreements
  • Stops collection activity and prevents harassing phone calls

But Bankruptcy cannot:

  • Secured creditors can repossess property, even with a bankruptcy in place
  • Bankruptcy cannot remove child support payments or alimony
  • Can’t eliminate most tax debt, but some is possible
  • Traffic tickets and other fines cannot be eliminated

While bankruptcy can help with a great deal make sure you’re filing it for the right reasons.  More importantly, make certain the debt you have can be taken care of when you file bankruptcy.  Know what it can and can’t do!

 

 

Time to Start Planning Savings Resolutions in 2017

 

Planning savings resolutions might strike fear in some Canadian households, but it really can be easier than you think! If you’re really going to be successful this time around you have to look at how you’ve managed years in the past too! Find your mistakes and don’t make them again. Pinpoint your weaknesses and do everything you can to avoid them. For example, if you crave dinner out 1 time a week, start making plans to slash that to every other week. At least for awhile. Another thing that smart Canadians can do is connect with other Canadians who are financially conscious. Surrounding yourself with those people who have similar goals is just smart.

Furthermore, we want to stress how significant committing to a specific goal really is. For example, if you decide that there will be a no spending day then you have to stick to a resolution like that no matter how difficult it feels. You can still find a ton of entertainment that is free, and have just as much fun too! However, you don’t want to be so restrictive you feel suffocated. This is something that you’ll find mentioned in many financial blogs across the internet and it is very true.

 

kp251_employee-pension-plans_1200x600

Setting Goals and Sticking to Resolutions

When it comes to your financial goals the first thing you have to do (if we haven’t already mentioned) is to identify them. If you haven’t pinpointed these then it’s time to do so. Identifying a clear goal will motivate you to meet it. You also have to create a plan to resolve difficulties. If you’ve been struggling to meet the same goal every year–develop a new strategy. Sometimes consolidating debt might be an option that works best. Every situation is different, so just weigh the odds. But, don’t ever just give up and say: “next year we will do it.”

We aren’t going to give you the same things other websites do. Here, you’re going to find some unique ways you can start meeting your 2017 goals, so let’s get started. We feel certain you’re already well aware of the importance of staying on budget and cutting back, right?

Consider boosting your 401k retirement savings–Because it just makes sense, right? You better bet it does, and when it comes down to retiring you’ll have more than what most do, all due to smart thinking and pre-planning! The goal should be to contribute at least 3% but better at 6%.

Don’t join a gym, just use what’s available–When you think you need a gym, you’re just looking for excuses to not exercise. Use what is all around you to get that workout in and you’ll find it to be just as good, or even better.

Cut back on bad spending–Forget about McDonald’s and Starbucks, you don’t need it. Focus on trying to live healthier and you’ll save a lot more!

Remember, just small changes will help you get on track. Begin with a plan of action you can accept and will stick with and take it from there. It’s all about progressing to your final goal and achieving life satisfaction.

shutterstock_62795851

7 New Ways to Pay off Your Debt Faster

Yes, you can pay off your debt faster and smarter! It might feel stifling initially, but with patience and determination you can find a way to stay above water again. Now, the very first thing a smart financial advisor will tell you is you have to create a savvy budget, and you absolutely have to stick to it. If you can’t do that you’re not going to make any kind of decent progress. We know, for those individuals who have never managed a budget well, this can definitely be a challenge. However, there are many free financial planning services which can help. Let’s go ahead and look at some other interesting ways you can pay off your debt faster and start building a strong financial foundation for yourself.

Time to Pay off Debt and Move Forward With Life

Once you can remove substantial debt from your life you’ll remove that heavy weight on your shoulders. There is no better feeling than freeing up your money. If you follow the below tips and stay determined, you’ll shed financial debt faster than you could have thought possible. The goal is to not go in debt again!

payingoffdebtincanada

Tip 1: Stop your credit card spending NOW. It’s okay to use one credit card, but you have to be able to pay it off in full the end of every month in order for it to really be beneficial. Lowering your credit card debt makes a huge impact in your financial picture.

Tip 2: When you get those work bonuses apply them to your debt before you do anything else at all. This is the smart thing to do, even if it makes you cringe inside. Think of how beneficial it is going to be when you minimize all that heavy debt on your back!

Tip 3: Keep a running tally of your daily expenses. If you find you’re visiting Starbucks to often, well cut it out! Knowing where your money is going can help you see why it is taking you longer to reduce your debt burden.

Tip 4: Focus on paying off the most expensive debt first because these are the ones that dent your credit the most. Speak to a financial adviser to know what to pay and what not to pay. Sometimes, some debt is better left alone.

Tip 5: Always pay more than the minimum balance on your bills. When you only pay the minimum you cause more fees to rack up against you–leading to a longer time to pay off debt. Think smart and pay attention.

Tip 6: Have patience and stay focused. Keep on track, and stay organized. The more organization the more likely you’ll stay on the right path.

Tip 7: Don’t store payment information online. Don’t have credit card information at your favorite retail outlets as this makes it more likely you’ll spend unwisely. The more time you have to put into a purchase the less likely you are of going through with it.

Woman Cutting Her Credit Card

All of these tips are useful, but it takes you, the individual to really stay on track and knock debt out of the ball park! Don’t give up and imagine how much better your life will be after.

 

 

Programs to Tranform Housing Costs For Canadian Families Today

Canadians spend more than 40% of their monthly income on housing, which is extraordinary. However, this dilemma is occurring all across the United States as well. Because of the stagnation in wages, but the increases in housing and other living costs–Canadians are struggling to stay above water. Some Canadians can only dream of becoming a homeowner. Canadians who do manage to acquire a home struggle from month to month with bills and a mortgage–most just one paycheck away from homelessness. Today, there are many new programs cropping up that are meant to help middle class Canadians achieve their dream of home ownership in a very affordable manner, and that is what we are going to talk about here.

These programs ensure Canadians can own a decent home without being underwater and without going above their own income limits to do so as well. So, let’s take a look at how some of these programs work.

Bridge to Home Ownership for Canadians

What is great about some of these new programs emerging lies in how they stay honest with the consumer. These bridge to home ownership programs are about helping Canadians spend less on a home, but still have the same home quality. If credit is an issue, financial experts work with families to help them get to where they need to be. How does it all work really? Well, it is as simple as starting an application of interest! You can get a home and not feel like your drowning in debt doing so!

These programs, like “Sandstone Managements Program” help those Canadians find housing that fits their budget and family size. You can get into a home of your choosing while you work to repair your credit, and you aren’t going to be broke doing this either. Many Canadians are seeing this as a far better alternative than renting an apartment or home, yet never really getting anywhere. The bridge to home ownership programs allows Canadians to get into a home under a lease purchase agreement. Financial experts then work with them to help them get their credit where it needs to be within a year or two to finally get a traditional mortgage agreement.

Realtors' signs are hung outside a newly sold property in a Vancouver neighbourhood where houses regularly sell for C$3-C$4 million ($2.7-3.6 million) September 9, 2014. Chinese investors' global hunt for prime real estate is helping drive Vancouver home prices to record highs and the city, long among top destinations for wealthy mainland buyers, is feeling the bonanza's unwelcome side-effects. The latest wave of Chinese money is flowing into luxury hot spots. But it has also started driving up housing costs elsewhere in a city which already ranks as North America's least affordable urban market. Julie Gordon/Reuters

 

For the most part, the down payment for these programs is fairly reasonable, often at around 3.5%. So, if you’re looking at a $109,000 home, you’ll need at least $4000 upfront and then pay around $800 per month, with some of that going to your future mortgage. This strategy works far better for Canadian families than simply renting an apartment or condo! So, home ownership doesn’t have to be wearisome. There are clear pathways to this dream, and if you manage your credit well there is a way to gain a traditional mortgage at a low interest rate too!

It is wise to Google what programs are available where you might reside, and to check within our own district in particular. There are various programs that can really encourage Canadian families who want to own their own home. The following below checklist can help you get organized and gain easier approval for one of this bridge programs as well:

  • Make sure your income is 3 times the monthly mortgage costs of a home you want
  • Have a clean banking record for the past 3 months
  • Be prepared to have past rental references
  • Have personal references on hand
  • Have your past years taxes available
  • And have a budget in place