The money-box inspired my passion for finance

The Money-Box

 SAVING MADE EASY    The money-box I had as a child is a memory that has inspired my love for finance which has continued to broaden as I get older. My post today is for financial literacy awareness hosted by The Heavy Purse blog. I’m participating with many other bloggers around the world sharing their Ah ha moment when it came to money at some point in their life. I was asked to remember my first Ah ha moment in my life when financial sense struck me. For me the money-box was key. Growing up in the UK for most of my life may differ from life in North America but saving money is universal. After looking back and remembering things from an early age, I can say without doubt that I’ve been careful with my money for a long time. The money-box  Even as a young child of roughly six, we got given pocket-money and mine went in the money-box I had. It was nothing special, just a standard looking cube with a coin slit in the top and a stopper in the bottom to get the money out. I was never happy spending it on things at the drop of a hat. […]

Our mortgage amortization schedule is going in the bin: March 2014 Net Worth Update (+0.75%)

amortization schedule dust pan

 NO SWIFFER NEEDED JUST A FIRE PIT   Yes, that’s right no more checking the amortization schedule on our mortgage to see how far we have come and costs involved with our mortgage. The time is very near where we start the fire and light up those mortgage papers to say good-bye and good riddance. Although the last few months of our budget have been filled with unexpected expenses we are still on target to say goodbye to our mortgage, for good. Next months Net Worth update should be titled, Mortgage free at last…. or something to that effect lol. It’s been a long 5 years in this house but it was worth the sacrifices of using the budget (which is free if you want to download it) to save the money for all the necessities we’ve needed so we can be mortgage free before 40 years of age. Although we’ve had the money for close to a year to pay the mortgage the exchange rate for the UK is at an all-time high since I moved to Canada back a few years ago now. I’m pulling the money I have over there while I can. The last thing I […]

What type of bank should you stash your cash in?

Bank Western Style

MAKE AN INFORMED BANKING DECISION   Deciding where to open a bank account, invest your money or apply for a mortgage can be an overwhelming process with more than the traditional banking options available. While the Big 5 banks in Canada are a common option for many, depending on your situation you may find that other financial institutions may be a better fit for your banking needs.   Assess your needs   What are you setting out to do? Are you a new business owner, looking to invest, applying for a mortgage, opening a savings account or are you just looking for day-to-day banking? Decide what banking options are most important to you. Before you start out on your search make notes as to what is most important to you when it comes to your banking needs. This will help to ensure that you will make the best decision that you will continue to be happy with. Some major factors to consider are the availability and quality of customer services, accessibility to your money, convenience and the fees associated with your banking.   Traditional banks   The Big 5 banks in Canada include Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion, Bank of […]

What to do in the winter that won’t break the bank: The Saturday Weekend Review #54

coupon deals canada

YOU EITHER LOVE IT OR YOU HATE IT…SNOW   It’s been no surprise with the cold snap we have had the past couple of weeks here in Canada that most of us want to just hibernate. I’ll be honest and say that when I first moved to Canada I enjoyed the luxury of having all the different seasons especially watching the snow fall in the winter. I was a lover of the winter white stuff, oh, for about 2 years until it just kept falling and falling and falling and getting colder and colder. I’m just about running out of places to shovel the snow. What is miraculous is that it’s been so cold that even photos of a frozen Niagara Falls keep surfacing on the internet and it truly is a beautiful sight. I’m used to it now and for that brief moment in time I am still very excited to see the first snow fall and the beauty it brings to our surroundings. My family back home in the UK even though they get some snow are always jealous about the amount of snow we have in Canada and the kids wish they could do what the kids […]

Bank Sales In Canada ….. Not The Same As Bank Foreclosures In The U.S.A

Since the economy took a turn for the worst, I have been inundated with requests for “bank sale” properties. A common misconception seems to exist where people assume that banks are basically giving away properties that are being foreclosed on, much like we see with the fire sale of properties in the U.S. So, what is a “Bank Sale”? Basically when someone cannot meet their obligation to the bank/lender, the institution that they have financed their home through will begin a process to take the home away from the owner. This can be a fairly lengthy process and in some cases will ultimately end up with the bank or lender selling the home to try and recoup their losses. While it is always possible to find a good deal in today’s housing market, it isn’t common for it to be a bank owned property. The rules and regulations that govern the Canadian banking system are far more stringent than the U.S equivalents (I use that term loosely, as they barely had any rules or regulations). Obviously if someone defaults on their home financing (mortgage, line of credit) the bank would like to get that bad debt off of their books. […]

Killing Your Mortgage In 3 Easy Steps

Killing your mortgage in 3 easy steps I was honoured when Mr. CBB invited me to share some mortgage tips on CBB.  It’s evident that he really values his readers so this is a real honour. I’m speaking from experience. Derek and I became mortgage free at 28 (we purchased our first home at 23, and built a new, bigger home when we were 25.)  These are the 3 most important actions we took in killing our mortgage early.  In the interest of full disclosure our current home is worth between $280,000 and $300,000.  It’s a lovely home, but the bank would prefer us in something bigger and more expensive. Pay your mortgage first and last. We’ve all heard the concept that you should pay yourself first. If you’ve been living under a rock, avoiding any personal financial advice, this means that you should set aside your savings as soon as you’re paid before you spend a dime.  The story goes that if you never have access to the savings you won’t miss it, and you’ll be forced to live within your means. This works unless you’re a credit addict, then cut up your cards and return to step one. Decide how much […]

The In’s and Out’s Of A Debt Reduction Plan!

Photo Credit According to Statistics Canada the ratio of household debt to personal disposable income in 2011 was 150% up from 66% in 1980. Did you know that in 2009 two-thirds of Canadian households had outstanding debt that averaged $114,400. Is a debt repayment plan right for you? Do you need to think about credit card debt consolidation? If you have debt, then the answer is YES to a debt repayment plan more importantly if you are struggling to pay back debt to potentially consolidate. If you are struggling it is very important to let the people you owe money to know that you are working on paying them back. Let them know you have  a plan of action. Creditors want to know they will get their money so communicate with them and tell them. If you don’t they may sell your debt to another company who may charge you a bigger interest rate. Some creditors would rather make something than nothing but the third-party will stop at nothing to get it out of you. It’s also a good time to mention that at least once a year you should order your free Canadian credit report so you have it in front of […]