The Saturday Weekend Review #53: Do you know your household debt ratio?

WORKING YOUR WAY OUT OF HOUSEHOLD DEBT   Household debt which is an all-encompassing definition of not only personal debt but also mortgage loans has been the talk of the economy for quite a while. From a recently published CIBC Poll results, combined with the increased downloads of our personal Excel budget spreadsheet I started thinking about the facts and figures as I see them. The one particular figure that stood out was the 16% of Canadians that are prioritizing the paying down of their debt. Having topped the Poll last year with the same issue, it made me wonder if anybody got anywhere closer to paying their debt off or at the very least reducing it significantly. There was controversy last year when statistics were issued from various sources saying that for every dollar earned in Canada the average Canadian owed $1.64, then the way it was calculated by one bank suggested that the rate was actually lower. Either way, the debt ratio hasn’t really changed, although it has got slightly lower since the highs it obtained in 2012. I was curious to see what our household debt ratio was, so I got trawling the internet to find out how it’s calculated. There is […]

PF Weekly grab a brew #53: Free excel budget template takes off for 2014

BUDGET ON THE BRAIN?   Unlike New Years diet and exercise videos, budgeting your finances doesn’t have to be painful. Having only enjoyed two days of the New Year I have noticed a common influx from viewing site statistics. My Free Excel Budget Templates for creating your own budgets have been popular to say the least. There is no better time than right now to start your budget and for some eager viewers, they have wasted no time in showing that. The beginning of the year is the best time to start your new budget if you’re already familiar with them or to start your first budget from scratch.   A reason to budget   For some people January bills can be daunting especially after the holiday period. I’m sure there’s always some items you bought before Christmas in the grand hopes of using them and yet failed to utilise them. I’ve done it a few times, I just learned and moved on. That’s what budgeting is all about, learning where your money goes and then correcting the situation. Information is the best tool you have and only you have all the information to start your own budget spread sheet.   Being on a budget is good for […]

The Saturday Weekend Review #52: Should all computer pricing errors be honoured?

TO HONOUR A PRICE OR NOT   We’ve talked about pricing errors before here at Canadian Budget Binder which is essentially either a glitch in the system, human error or simply a price not being changed properly. Earlier in November I talked about an online glitch for Wal-Mart but they did give back to the customers in question with a $10 gift card. In Canada we call this the Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) which most stores follow such as Wal-Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart and No Frills just to name a few. The short story is if a price scans higher than the shelf price you get the price free up to $10 or a $10 deduction from the price if it is over $10 in cost to you, provided the store participates in the program. Sounds great, and it is as long as you are aware of SCOP which sadly, many people are not. I was reading a story on Yahoo this morning about a computer glitch for Delta Airlines apparently caused by a junior programmer. Prices for first class flights were being offered at prices that no one could refuse and they were being snatched up and fast. […]

PF Weekly Grab a Brew #52: Boxing Day madness wasn’t so mad

DEALS WORTH GETTING UP FOR   I don’t mind going shopping on Boxing Day as long as long as I don’t have an agenda. I find that every year we tend to head out to the stores with no goal in mind only to see what bargains are to be found. It’s more of a tradition each year now just to roam around and see what the stores are getting rid of at rock bottom prices. We set out early on Boxing Day bright and early at 5:30 with our first stop being Future Shop for 6am only to notice that the line-up wasn’t near as long as it was in 2012. What is going on? Are people not wanting to spend money on Boxing Day? Are the deals not worth getting up for? To be honest we didn’t even read the Boxing Day flyers as it’s been so busy. Is online-shopping taking front seat to getting up and venturing out into the cold waiting in line? Not everyone is comfortable shopping online yet but I’m betting over time we will see more people staying home unless the stores come up with better in-store deals. Future shop even went as […]

The Saturday Weekend Review #51: Extreme couponing 16 yr old and the holidays

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS   After Sunday I’m officially on holidays which means we’re going home to see our friends and family to celebrate Christmas and New Years for the next 2 weeks. Christmas is one of those times of years that our families can actually all get together in one room and celebrate with the drinks flowing and the chestnuts roasting in the fireplace. Yes, we love roasted chestnuts. In fact it’s hard to stop eating them once you start as long as you have a cold beer in your hand. What I love to hear about most of all is how giving people are over the holidays. I am a firm believer that we should all give to others in any way we can be it time or even donations like 16 Jordan from the UK. It’s not everyday we read about extreme couponing in the UK let alone it being a teenager. Heck, I’ve tried to get my sister on the coupon bandwagon with no success although she has always been surprised at how well we have done using coupons over the years in Canada. Jordan started clipping and saving coupons all year while helping […]

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