Category Archives: Managing Financial Stress

Where Should You Really Cut Back on Your Budget?

We post a lot of material about budgeting and more. There’s a lot out there. But, we think this post will really hit that sweet spot. This is literally going to explain what you have to do to feel comfortable and satisfied on a budget. You don’t have to cut out every single one of those things you like and then feel miserable. This is one of the reasons why so many budgets fail. Too much traditional savings advice focuses too strictly on removing all of the things an individual might love! Why not consider what motivates you as a way to cut your budget. Now, this works, and it has been proven. When you cut your budget to save for future things you have been long for, you have a reason for slashing your budget.

Just keep in mind that if you always feel deprived or dissatisfied due to your current budget model it isn’t going to last. There’s no way you can stick to something that makes you feel miserable all the time. However, if you look to the future and think of those things that really mean a lot to you, but which require cutting your budget you will do so. Let’s take this a bit further and dig in.

You Can Live Happy on a Budget

Budget wise

You can definitely live healthy and happy on a budget, there’s no reason why you can’t. You can still spend on things you enjoy too–there’s no reason to go without those, as long as you stick to a conservative budget. We all should do this and then there might be more personality when we venture out in public! You know what we mean. Those sour faces and poor personalities are often due to financial issues and budget concerns. The tips we are going to share with you now should change that.

What do you spend weekly on food? Consider a food budget!

12.5% of a budget often goes to food, but you can shave back here. Even if you choose to eat healthier, you can shop smarter. It’s important to establish a weekly spending amount on your consumables. Remember the rule: waste not want not–and this is more true than what you might think. There is too much wasteful spending at the grocery and specialty store.

Trim back on your energy costs and try to integrate green living habits!

Energy saving practices can ensure you and your family save a lot of money. Leaving lights on, not turning the faucet off properly, leaks in windows, long showers–all of these and more can impact your energy bill and cost quite a substantial amount annually. The Department of Energy states that simply unplugging devices that aren’t in constant use can potentially lower your energy costs by 10%. Getting into a habit of lowering your energy costs by being more responsible and carrying out home improvements can really add up in savings annually, versus losing money annually.

Cut back on luxury items you just never need or forget about

We’ve all done it, especially women…you’re out shopping and you see a new facial cleanser, or age complex lotion, or a perfume and immediately want it.  However, you end up not liking it and rarely using it. This is a waste. The best bet is to stick with those things you know you like, or at the very least, sample a product before buying it. If you can cut back in this category alone you can really save a lot of cash.

 Do your own housekeeping and weekly tasks on your own
Instead of going through the automated car wash that can cost upwards of $10 and more–wash your own car. You can put on the armor all yourself, though it might take more time, it gives you exercise too! We’ve become to dependent on convenience, and it costs us more than just unnecessary spending. Clean your own house, learn home improvement and more. You’ll be amazed at the extra funds you’ll have the end of the year!

Tips To Overcome Poor Credit

It would be amazing if we could pay for everything we want and need with cash, right? We could avoid credit disputes and poor decision making. Unfortunately, we can’t always pay with cash. But, when you have poor credit this makes things far worse. When you’re short on cash, and have poor credit you’re placed into a burdening financial dilemma, because you have nothing you can lean on when something unpredictable comes up. This is bad. However, you don’t need to let your poor credit control your life. You can overcome it and recover.

Mistakes are made by everyone–no one is perfect and very few have perfect credit. If you’re recovering from a credit catastrophe, wait for the dust to settle before you panic. And if you’re still dealing with outstanding delinquencies, set up a payment plan and stick to it. Consider ways you can begin growing your credit worthiness again once you begin credit recovery.

Overcoming a History of Poor Credit


Don’t let poor credit hold you back when there are ways to overcome it. Of course, it’s not the healthiest situation, but this can happen to anyone. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t feel like it is the end of the world. While it takes a great deal of time and determination to overcome a poor credit history–building a positive financial history can begin to help. There are a number of ways to push past these circumstances. If you have held a full-time job for a long while and have consistently paid utility bills on time–this looks good to creditors. Here we are going to give you some strategic advice and tips to put into play to get back on your feet again. Poor credit isn’t the end of the world, but if you keep making the same decisions that led you into it, you’ll never get out from under it.

Many Canadians with poor credit turn to a secured credit card as a means to begin turning things around, but it takes time. Just because it’s your own money your putting on the card and spending doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow traditional credit card requirements. For instance, you don’t want to spend more than 30% of your available balance and you do want to pay off the balance every month if possible. Over time this can begin to improve your credit and get you back on the right track. There are several other ways you can improve your credit profile!

Tips to Help You Recover from a Poor Credit History



Canadians are probably more than aware of the importance of credit counseling to raise their credit score. You have to be wary here though because there are always scam artists just waiting to take advantage of someone. But, many people with burdening debt try to clean this up on their own and make mistakes doing so. Only a credit counselor can tell you what to work on, what to wait on and what to ignore. Too many Canadians work hard to improve their credit. They shouldn’t have to worry about doing it the wrong way, and they definitely shouldn’t have to worry about scam artists either.

The best advice to be given here is to do the best you can. Show creditors you’re trying to get on top of your debts and you’re working as much as possible to pay off debt too! From this moment on, always:

  • set up a plan and stick to it
  • pay bills on time
  • don’t overwhelm yourself
  • don’t make arrangements you can’t stick to
  • keep working to improving your credit worthiness despite possible slip ups
  • don’t have a higher debt to income ratio


8 Expert Ways Canadians Can Stretch Their Money

How far can Canadians stretch their money today? Seriously–how far can that one paycheck take you? Unfortunately it isn’t very far for most Canadian families. Economics are definitely upside down across Canada and even more so within the US. The goal is discovering how you can stretch your money without feeling restricted doing so. It might sound difficult, but really–it’s not. You have to develop the right attitude and mindset regarding your money. We do understand if you’re already on a shoestring budget this can feel almost impossible. However, there is always a way for those who are intent on improving their financial lives!

We don’t recommend accepting payday loans, or taking out any kind of high interest loan to make ends meet either. You have to be smarter than this. If you’re in a situation where you know you can pay a payday loan back in full, that’s fine. But, don’t ever take one of these out and get trapped. Too many Canadian families do this and find themselves renewing it week after week–or pay period after pay period.

Expert Tips To Guarantee Canadians Stretch Their Money


Let’s get right to it and help families begin to feel more comfortable about their finances. Remember, it’s all about that mindset!

  • Make a rule to not spend a specific kind of currency! Whether this be $1 dollar bills or $5 dollar bills, start putting these aside each and every time you have them. You’ll feel satisfaction watching that nest egg grow
  • Have you ever considered making your very own cleaning supplies? We all know how expensive these have become through the years, right? Well, if you make your own–Canadians stretch their money in unbelievable ways like this!
  • Put your children on a budget, and don’t buy everything your children want either. This will teach them good money habits as they get older. If you do otherwise you’ll be sitting up your kids for ultimate failure.
  • Write absolutely everything you spend down, it absolutely helps you keep track of where your money goes. This kind of habit can also help you reign in unnecessary spending.
  • Stop eating out every week! Begin planning meals at home ahead of time, and do the prep at the beginning of the week so it keeps everything simple. This way you don’t have the excuse there is nothing for dinner!
  • Plan a weekly budget and stick to it. If you don’t allow for extra spending, then don’t spend. If you’re on a goal oriented plan, give yourself incentive to not be persuaded.

Senior Man Holding Canadian Paper Currency

Following these simple tips can help you learn how to stretch your Canadian dollars further and feel good doing so. As we’ve said before, it isn’t hard to save or put more of your money to good use when you have the right plan in place.

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 






Are You A Poor Money Manager?

We would all like to think we are good at managing money, but unfortunately–many of us are not! Good money management is a process, it’s not something you are just good at. Now, even if you want to become proactive and become a good money manager, you’re going to have to do more than just read a bunch of articles. You have to be willing to take accountability and take that responsibility.

You shouldn’t wait until your drowning in debt to begin to be a responsible money manager either. If you don’t begin to pay attention to your habits and especially, your spending habits–it’s easy to end up in a nightmare situation you can’t get out of fast enough! So, how do you know if you are a poor money manager? Well, there will certainly be signs.

Let’s examine some of the characteristics of a poor money manager right now and see if we can find solutions to correct these traits.

How You Can Avoid Becoming a Poor Money Manager


  1. Not keeping or maintaining a budget is a sure sign you’re a poor money manager and this will always set you up for failure. Setting a budget and managing it well is the only real way you can begin to take control of your financial life. Also, don’t think because you have few bills you have more reason to spend. The wise thing to do is save your money and plan for the future. Here is a fact–if you don’t know how much money you have how can you properly establish and set up a budget? You can’t! So, get smart and start making a plan for your money today.
  2. You don’t have to buy everything new, but there are so many Canadians who fall into this trap. You also don’t have to buy name brand either. If you visit a second hand shop, you’ll see the quality is still there. You don’t want to go broke trying to keep up with every new gadget or clothing fad that materializes. So, don’t! New items do cost more, and staying in this bad habit is just no good!
  3. Stop spending more than you make! Too many Canadians use credit for personal expenses and other unnecessary spending. You don’t need to try to pretend you’re something you’re not and then end up financially blind-sided down the road. Be happy with what you have and start enjoying life without endless shopping! You’ll be far happier and live with minimal stress too.
  4. Are you saving for emergencies? This is also an area that many people don’t pay enough attention to. Emergencies arise at one point or another in life–the question is “Are you ready?” Being financially prepared for the unexpected really demonstrates proper money management!

If you follow just one of these tips you can improve your financial situation and become a better money manager as well. Don’t follow the crowd and end up with the same problems. Be independent and be ready to make a difference in your financial life! As you grow older you’ll be glad for making those smart choices now!