Category Archives: Your Financial Portfolio

Tips to Avoid My 5 Personal Money Mistakes

Depressed and stressed university student. CREDIT: Janine Wiedel/Getty Images

Finances can be confusing to many young Canadians across British Columbia–and stressful, I know this personally. It is never easy admitting mistakes we might have made in the past, especially when it comes to your money and spending–but it is the only way you can really transform for the better. Now, it is common to make money mistakes in your 20’s and 30’s, and even sometimes into your more mature years–definitely if it’s about investments gone awry. Hopefully our tips we share with you here will help you to avoid any and all types of financial blunders throughout every phase of life. It would be helpful, wouldn’t it?  Please read on for some of the most common, and easiest financial mistakes people make daily.

Financial Mistakes That Are Totally Avoidable

Remember, there are unique financial mistakes for different phases of life, some more critical than others even. For example, when you’re 18 you don’t think much about how you’re spending money, but it can have an impact. However this isn’t as detrimental as it would be when you’re at the age of saving for retirement. Something to think about, right–because really, you’re never too young to start saving. Let’s look a bit closer at what works and what doesn’t and how you can stay ahead of the financial game!

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Mistake #1 Why are you trying to keep up with all of your friends? You don’t need to splurge and spend money like a crazy person just to look cool, this isn’t high-school anymore! Looks can be extremely deceiving, so don’t fall into the trap you’re trying to avoid.

Mistake #2 Lose the reckless attitude about managing your money because you’re young. It’s all too common. You think that you don’t have to worry about managing and saving your money properly because you’re just a college student. Well, think again. Developing the right mindset about money when you’re young helps you better manage it when you REALLY need to!

Mistake #3 Don’t go into credit card debt! Too many college students go into debt to pay for college, or to get by while a student. Many creditors take advantage of young people during this time, so try your best to avoid credit cards and other high interest loans. These money mistakes can have long-term consequences.

Mistake #4 Don’t spend too much on a car! Going into large debt for a car can be a college students biggest mistake. If you can save the money for a good running vehicle, a few years older, it will be the best solution for you. This will help you avoid the stress of making a car payment month after month.

Mistake #5 An inability to start a budget can cause financial stress when you don’t need it. You’re never too young to begin keeping track of what you spend and where your money goes. You should plan and document all of your transactions, finding ways to mend holes and begin putting money aside for that possible rainy day.

Stanford University students listen while classmates make a presentation to a group of visiting venture capitalists during their Technology Entrepreneurship class in Stanford, California March 11, 2014. Stephen Lam/Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: EDUCATION) - RTR3QTMX

Saving Or Investing: What Is Right For Canadians?

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You have to weigh what is going to give you the best return for your financial future.  If you have a great job, good benefits, and an excess in funds, perhaps investing some of that excess is right for you.  However, if you work a traditional job and have very little left over after bills and other necessities–saving that extra might be the smarter choice.  60% of Canadians appear to be saving more for their retirement, in comparison to others who are choosing investing.  Remember though, some Canadians don’t have enough money left over to do much of anything with, but this can be changed too.

BlackRock, a well known global investor recently polled 2000 Canadians and 52% of those saving for retirement were between 25 to 34 years of age.  Older Canadians are saving for retirement as well, but out of these groups, none are really saving wisely, or seriously weighing in on investment plans.  When it comes to investing, it seems that a lack of investment knowledge is the problem.

Below, you’ll find various considerations to make when it comes down to choosing to save or invest.  It is important to point out that age is one of the primary reasons for so many Canadians not going the investment route.  It is seen as too risky.  However, if you invest in what you know, what you’ve researched, and what seems almost certain to give you a return–you’ll find this is the wise decision!  The below tips will possibly help you find some solid footing when you’re debating what is right for you.

Tips To Help Canadians Make The Right Financial Choice

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  1.  A middle-class Canadian couple should begin by crunching their numbers and determining what it is they are going to need to have a comfortable retirement.  If they are already in the income bracket of $42,000 to $72,000 should easily be able to invest and still have a nice nest egg for retirement at the same time.  So, again, beginning to analyze finances is the first tip that should dramatically make a difference.
  2. Weigh in on low interest rates and consider inflation!  These are critical key factors when you’re trying to choose between saving and investing.  What is going to give you the better return, and what is going to secure your retirement comfortably?
  3. You do need to consult with a financial adviser if you’re not meeting your target goals!  Too many think it would be a waste of time, but the fact is only 38% of Canadians utilize a financial adviser, which is a huge mistake.  This is especially true when looking at the economic disappointments so many feel burdened by.
  4. Pay attention to your personal economy!  This is often overlooked–more to the point, commonly overlooked. The economy can tell you a lot about what direction to go in financially.  So, think about your job, your earnings and where you want to be in 20 years!

7 Simple Steps To Achieve Financial Security Before 30

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Everyone desires to be financially secure, especially when planning for that retirement.  However, for young Canadians, this is often the last thing they are thinking about–at least before they turn 30! This mind-set really needs to change.  Every Canadian needs to work towards financial security for their future. This alone alleviates a great deal of the anxiety and stress that comes with being an adult.  It’s a fact that financial insecurity leads to a great deal of health problems for many, but if you manage your money wisely and plan, you’ll live happier and longer!

If you’re worried you’ll have to sacrifice your short-term goals to realize your long-term ones, you’re wrong. You don’t have to do so. The following tips and advice being shared with you now will guarantee you can achieve financial security without having to really deprive yourself of anything.  It’s all about financial budgeting and being accountable of your own spending habits.

The following 7 tips will point young Canadians in the right direction if their goal is to have sound, dependable financial security before the age of 30. Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice entertainment and other extracurricular activities if you budget right!

The Top 7 Tips To Reach Financial Security Before 30

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Tip 1:  Understand your most important asset

Your most important asset, when it comes down to finances and financial security is yourself!  Your career, your experiences, and any opportunities you’ve had, or will have play a role in establishing you as an adult and your financial future. It is your career and career opportunities which help to build your financial independence, so making the right choices is critical to the future.

Tip 2:  If you set short-term goals, the long-term will fall into place

It’s a fact! Planning too far into the future can leave you feeling defeated and let down, but planning short-term, realistic goals can get you on the right track and keep you there! Short-term goals should be kept realistic so they can be achievable.

Tip 3:  Develop an action plan and then worry about saving

Become a planner before you start trying to save and meet financial goals. If you plan right and stay goal oriented, you can meet the majority of financial goals you establish. For instance, setting a timetable to pay on specific bills like: credit card bills, school loans–and more, will help you prepare for a better road to financial independence.

Tip 4:  Stick to frugal spending habits

Teach yourself the value of money early, while in college even. If you can stick to those frugal habits you were forced to while in graduate school you’ll make better decisions for your financial future!

Tip 5:  Don’t live beyond your means

Don’t be like so many others and worry about making an impression in the crowd.  Living beyond your means open up the door to more debt, something you clearly want to avoid. When you do have excess funds, don’t fall into the trap of using this as an excuse to spend.  Saving your hard earned money is far more important than a new gadget!

Tip 6:  You have to become financially literate

This is a critical one!  Taking the time to research and educate yourself on saving and investing will ensure you stay on top of your financial future. Financial education will help you achieve all your financial endeavors and assist you in making the right investment decisions throughout your life.

Tip 7:  Always take advantage of the financial freebies!

You would be wrong to not take advantage of what is free!  From free seminars to free monthly savings accounts; freebies are meant to help you! Take advantage of the new Canadian tax laws and benefit funds without feeling embarrassed!  Many of these will allow you tax savings and help you get money back at the end of the year.

Savings for life

 

 


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.

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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!