Should You Be Breaking Your Mortgage?

Are you thinking about breaking a mortgage early? Most people assume that when they sign up for a 5 year fixed rate that they have to stay in that mortgage for the next 5 years…that isn’t true in most cases.  While there are a few lenders out there who have “closed” mortgages that are not breakable without a bona fide sale of the property, the vast majority are breakable. So how does that work?  If you decided that the rate you were paying was too high or you wanted to add funds in a refinance or various other situations that made you want to break the mortgage you were in, how can it be done?  If your current mortgage rate is less than lender’s rate on the equivalent remaining term, you simply pay a 3 month interest penalty…for example: Current mortgage of $150,000 @ 3.25% with 3 years remaining Lender’s 3 year rate is currently 3.45% 3 Months interest = $1,219 approximately ($150,000 x 3.25% /12 x3) What if the opposite is true, the current rate you have on your mortgage is higher than the current available from the lender?  Now we enter the world of IRD, or Interest Rate […]

Track Your Overtime Hours Or Potentially Risk Losing Money!

Tracking your overtime hours is probably the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day at work but let me tell you it’s worth it. I’m one of those blokes who used to rely on the computer system to get it right, but not any more.  When you’ve worked countless hours dragging your butt out of work and right into the shower to relax is paramount to writing down your work hours. That’s what I used to do but not any more.  I try not to think of the amount of money I potentially lost simply but not checking my pay stubs against an overtime tracking system. Some people I know would track their work hours on a piece of paper and put it in their wallet. I though why are you even bothering to do that. They were the smart one’s not me.  Mrs. CBB started asking for my pay stubs each week as she typically would find them tossed in a drawer. (the man drawer… we all have them) You would think I’m well-organized and believe me I am, just not with pay stubs. *that’s changed*  I admit I was tired of listening […]

Going to Private School Affected My Financial Life

Private School, Yes I attended and it’s a different view from the inside. Money…..It was just something we never talked about. We never had to talk about it but it was everywhere. It was a presence when I went to public school filled with kids from the underprivileged mill community and it was an even bigger monster at the private school I attended later on. I’m not trying to paint with a broad brush and say that all private schools are like mine, but based on the popular novel “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfield and my experience I can tell you that a lot of the time was spent grouping kids into the “Haves” and the “Have- Nots”. My Dad was a successful optometrist and we always had plenty but not the kind of wealth the kids at my school had. I never had the name-brand clothes or the designer purses or the glitzy vacations to ski-resorts and yacht clubs.   I considered myself normal, lucky even to have basic needs met and then some-but at school guess which group I was in? It wasn’t as blatant as I’m making it out to be-but I believe a lot of my insecurity that manifested itself in college […]

Finances through the Sick Mind

  If there ever was a Western phenomena, eating disorders would top the list.  In what other culture would stick figures be celebrated as beautiful?  In what other culture would there be communities (never mind that they’re mostly online) of individuals encouraging each other in their pride of being Ana (anorexic) or Mia (bulimia)  Yet it’s a very real disease that plagues our society, claiming around 10-15% of Canadian women.  (And those are just the women, and only the ones who are diagnosed or openly sick.  We will use female terms throughout although this disease does also afflict men.) These eating disorders are most commonly routed in a lack of self-esteem.  Something is wrong with the way society perceives your body, so you change it in an unnatural way.  But you see results.  People start liking you.  They start giving  you compliments.  The numbers on the scale drop.  You gain a certain sense of pride in your self-discipline.  What you don’t recognize is that a mental illness is overtaking your body, and that no matter what the number on the scale, no matter how much the bones pop through your skin in the mirror, you will never achieve happiness. Your […]

Understanding Investment Diversification

Diversification….. No, Iʼm not talking about the time the TV show Friends added an African-American woman to their cast… Iʼm talking about diversification in your investment portfolio. What is diversification? I feel there is a lot of misunderstanding about what investment diversification is and how it can protect your money when it comes to investing. The concept goes that if you have your eggs in several different baskets, you arenʼt as exposed to losses that may occur in one business, or one sector of the economy. Letʼs look back at Nortel Networks as an example. This stock was all the rage back in the 90ʼs (just like Ross and Rachel) and people couldnʼt buy enough of it. At one point Nortel accounted for more than a third of the total valuation of all the companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. People started selling their other stocks and buying more Nortel shares. Even pension funds (which shouldnʼt be risking anyoneʼs retirement money) were heavily invested. To make matters worse, many people were buying the stock on margin, or using leverage to buy shares with borrowed money. When the dot-com bubble burst, Nortel Networks stock fell from $124 a share in the year 2000 to $0.47 a share by 2002. The company […]

12 Ways to Save Big Money on Car Insurance

GET THE BEST INSURANCE PREMIUM    Do you see a lot of car insurance ads on tv? Do you get confused wondering if you are getting the best rate for your vehicle?  My husband says there must be a lot of money in car insurance for the insurance companies to keep putting out so many ads. Car insurance is one expense that many people pay more for than they need to. What would it take for you to change your car insurance company? Would you make a change if you could save several hundred dollars a year?  It is definitely worth your time to look into car insurance companies to get different quotes.   Car Insurance Canada   Where should you start looking for a Car Insurance Company? You can get free insurance quotes for the price of a phone call or search on the internet. Start your list with a basic search for car insurance on Kanetix where you can compare insurance quotes. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they are happy with their car insurance company and agent. Local agents can be very helpful if you have to make a claim and certainly don’t mind referrals. I’d say to compare a minimum of 3 companies with your […]

Understanding Mortgage Insurances

There are a number of misconceptions in the world of mortgages when it comes to the word “insurance” let’s cover the various meanings off.  High Ratio Insurance: Also known as CMHC, mortgage default insurance, Portfolio Insurance In Canada, all Banks must have this insurance on any mortgage they lend on with less than 20% down payment.  It is a one-time premium paid by the borrower (normally included into the mortgage)to the insurance company that insures the lender if the borrower ever defaults on the mortgage, the lender gets all of their money back. Three companies in Canada offer this insurance, CMHC which is owned by the Government, as well as Genworth and Canada Guaranty.  CMHC insurance is backed 100% by the Canadian Government, the other two are 95% backed by the Government.  This has been a source of discussion recently as CMHC has neared it’s legal insurable portfolio limit of $600 billion in mortgages. If your mortgage is insured, what does that mean for you?  Very little unfortunately…the benefit is to the lender, though as long as you pay your mortgage, that insurance will never need to be used.  The one benefit to having a insured mortgage is that it […]

How To Deal With A Shopping Addiction?

Confessions Of A Shopaholic………………………….My name is Erika and this is my story. Maybe I Should Be Called a Shopaholic Online? You know, I’m not really sure when I came to terms with being a “shopaholic,” but after looking back at the last few years of my life, it’s easy to diagnose myself now that I have taken a step back and fully understand how the addiction was affecting me. I have to admit…I think the world of online shopping was a catalyst in sparking this addiction. For some reason, when I buy anything online, it doesn’t really feel like spending money. When I’m at the store, I can touch different fabrics and really feel the quality of what I am spending my money on. Since I can see and touch things physically, it makes me not want to spend my hard-earned money even more since I have to pass over my card or cash. The actual ACT of shopping is still not something I partake in as often as I shop online. Why is Online Shopping So Enticing? For one, everything online just looks so perfect. The lighting is just right, the item is shown in that perfect angle, and look…your […]

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