Does your neighbours home improvement really affect your property value? : The Saturday Weekend Review #101

BABYSITTING THE PROPERTY MARKET   Your property value is determined by many factors and whether your neighbour paints his garage door pink or purple that has nothing to do with how much your home is worth. Sometimes I can’t get over how some neighbours pick on each other for the silliest of things. Earlier this year we talked about one of our neighbours who hardly ever cuts the lawn. We got serious about overcoming laziness as a homeowner and joked about renting a goat. That was a legitimate complaint because there is a city by-law against leaving your lawn to grow to a certain height. Sure if the homeowner were to sell his house it may impact how much someone would be willing to pay him. The house might deter potential buyers of other homes that are well-kept but for the most part I don’t think it would bring down property value of all the homes. When a homeowner lets their home fall apart that’s when I’d start to worry but not if they are making improvements to the home and keeping the property looking good. It becomes a pain in the butt when the neighbourhood patrol group picks on […]

Postage stamps can hit the budget hard at Christmas: The Saturday Weekend Review #100

SENDING COSTS MORE THAN GIVING…   Postage stamps rise in price just as the gas prices do in Canada. The only difference is that gas actually goes down in price just like we’ve seen lately. You’ll never see that with postage stamps. You know it wouldn’t be so bad if we bought Hallmark greeting cards but when you shop for a greeting card at the dollar store and then stick on a stamp that’s worth almost the same it seems a bit much. Having friends all over the world seems that the cheapest route for us is using the internet to say, “Happy Birthday”, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year”, “Happy Easter”, “Congratulations on your Wedding, Baby, Pet” etc. well, you get the point. Mind you we haven’t stopped sending cards but we have noticed the difference postage makes to our budget. I don’t miss opening a greeting card that comes in the post which eventually ends up being tossed in the garbage. My wife and I are always asking each other “How much is the price of a stamp?” but mostly for my International stamps. The permanent “P” Canadian stamp that we can buy means that even if prices go […]

Rent-to-own can be an easy debt trap : The Saturday Weekend Review #99

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING INTO…   Rent-to-own is a popular way to get stuff for your home that you can’t afford to buy new or you lack the credit for a payment plan option. I was reading an online article yesterday about a couple Tom and Debbie McKercher in Manitoba who got in over their heads with the rent-to-own option available at their local Easy Home store. I guess people rent-to-own because they want or in some cases need “stuff” for one reason or another. Back in the day hand me downs or donations worked just as well, not to mention having to go with-out until it was affordable. There are plenty of options available including rent-to-own but it comes with a price tag that often motivates people because it is so small. Easy Home after all is a legitimate business and offers a service that may help people who seem to need it. Often people don’t have the money upfront to buy brand new furniture so they turn to these rent-to-own shops. One friend of ours didn’t like the size of the television in their family room so they opted for the rent-to-own option at Easy Home. It […]

Million Dollar Baby: Should travel insurance have protected them? : The Saturday Weekend Review #98

 A MEDICAL BILL SO BIG…   We believe travellers insurance protects us but this story should be an eye-opener for all travellers going to the USA and abroad from Canada. Baby Reece’s parents a couple from Saskatchewan found out the hard way just how easy it is to spend a million dollars after giving birth while away from Canadian soil. I have to talk about this story today because I know so many people who travel to the USA for one reason or another if even for a short trip to save money in their budget. With Black Friday upon us and the holiday season many Canadians cross the border to find deals but be careful when leaving Canada. How could the birth of a child cost almost one million dollars when one has travel insurance?   Travel Insurance Surprise   Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel from Saskatchewan was shocked to get an enormous medical bill after she went into labour prematurely October 2013 while travelling in Hawaii. Jennifer was 6 months pregnant when she gave birth which meant her baby was put in the NICU for 2 months. The bill for this stay was nearly one million dollars! I wasn’t shocked to […]

Are photos with Santa a budget expense worth paying for? : The Saturday Weekend Review #96

 TIS THE SEASON TO SPEND AND SAVE   Where is Santa right now? With only 40 days left until Christmas Santa is everywhere but in the North Pole right now.  If you are using the Norad Santa tracker you will know that Jolly Old Saint Nicholas is at a mall near you waiting for the kids to get Santa pictures taken. That’s right Santa is gearing up today in most malls across Canada to meet thousands of excited children with their Christmas list for Santa in hand. This is the time of year where our families come together to share memories, create memories, eat lots of food and open gifts! I’m the one who decorates the Christmas tree and the decorations and lights up outside of our house. My wife and I love driving around to see the other houses in our city all lit up. It’s just a great feeling that we now get to share with our son who was born in September of this year.   Holiday Photos   My wife and I decided to go to the mall last night to bring our son for a walk around to tire him out plus to find a […]

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