I’m ashamed I owe money because I chose to conform

owe money

 LIVING IN A PLAY PRETEND COSTS $   No one likes to owe money and there are times that people push the thought of paying back debt to the side until it comes time that the bills are mounting up. I don’t think we purposely set out to create debt but I also think some of us have misconceptions about life and money and how it’s all going to roll out in our favour. Often that’s not the case and the motto “work for your money” or “spend less than you earn” is not as important as it is to be socially compatible with friends. A hefty price to pay for friendship although we fashion a lifestyle that we believe will get us ahead and for some it works but for many it does not. I’ve always been someone who didn’t try to fit in rather I made my fun. I figured that if I needed to make an effort to be someone I’m not I likely shouldn’t be hanging around certain people. Even though one might work hard to bring in an income every month it’s important to allocate that money towards the most important parts of of their […]

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

travel insurance

 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 […]

Why clearing debt is like dieting

donuts dieting debt

EATING AND SPENDING – TWO OF LIFE’S GREAT PLEASURES   Being overweight and having too much debt both occur through over-consumption. But what is more interesting than that simplistic labelling is the close parallels between the difficulty that many people have in dieting and the problems others face in trying to clear their debts. It’s often a lot easier to sort out other people’s problems, so if you are reading this because you have debts, think what you would say to a friend who was struggling with dieting… and then look at how that advice might translate into tactics for dealing with debt. If you are thinking this is all going to be rather depressing, it’s not all bad news. For a couple of these areas, people trying to lose debt have a much easier time than people trying to lose weight! So what might your friend with a weight problem be saying?   “I’m sticking to the diet but the scales aren’t moving”   This is a pretty easy problem to diagnose, unless you are the dieter of course. If your friend isn’t losing weight, then they are consuming too many calories. If they think they aren’t, that is […]

How I budgeted my travel expenses for work and play

Air Canada Express Airplane

YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE EMBRACE LIFE   Two words that comes to mind when I think back on the summer that has just passed is adventure and travel expenses. Not everyone has to worry about travel expenses when travelling for work but if you are on a budget this is critical to staying on top of your finances. Today I’m going to share with you my experiences from this past summer travelling for work and play with my family plus what lessons I’ve learned along the way.   Budgeting On The Road   Getting on and off 11 different airplanes in less than 2 months and several multiple hour road trips from one province to another certainly made for an adventure this past summer. When I was asked by my company to travel to various locations in Canada I was really excited, who wouldn’t be when offered the opportunity to travel when almost all travel expenses were covered? Though my company paid for all my flights, hotels and all but one of my rental cars upfront, I found that travelling for work wasn’t as easy as it sounded. If you are ever given the opportunity to travel through your employer […]

The Most Common Family Budgeting Mistakes to Avoid

Budgeting mistakes

A BUDGET PLAN IS PART OF THE SOLUTION   Trying to stretch your family’s income to cover the full month can be a tough task. However, you can give yourself the best possible chance of doing so by avoiding some of the most common budgeting mistakes. These mistakes can range from being too optimistic, to not being optimistic or ambitious enough. You could make your family budgeting schedule too rigid, but you could also make it too complicated. Simply put, if a budget is unrealistic then it simply won’t work. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the potential problems or mistakes mentioned above and see what we can do to avoid them.   Being Too Optimistic   It would be fantastic to be able to put a big lump sum into our saving accounts every month, wouldn’t it? This way we could very quickly build up a very nice sum of money in our accounts. Having said that, for most of us it simply isn’t possible to put away as much money as we would like to each month, so if you try and save more money than you can really afford then the risk is that […]

Why you should be your own expense manager : September 2014 Net Worth Update (+0.51%)

expense manager money out the window

SOMEONE HAS TO BE IN CHARGE   If you’ve ever heard the saying “pay yourself first” it’s likely because you should. You are your own expense manager when it comes to your budget and overall household finances. I never gave much thought to it until yesterday when I was running the numbers for our net worth update for September. If you read our September budget update you’ll know we blew a heavy amount of money on a new mattress and bed. Typically we don’t splurge on ourselves because all of our money is budgeted and if we do need something like a mattress we need to justify that expense before we commit to it. You don’t need to have management skills to run your own finances but what you do need is patience and determination to make it work.   An expense manager takes charge   What is an expense manager? I know it might sound like something you’ve never heard before but if you think about it the two words are self-explanatory. I actually made it up but it holds a great weight in our household. An expense manager to us simply means someone who is in charge of […]

Why I No Longer Hate Making a Budget

why i no longer hate making a budget

YOU EITHER LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM   Fifteen years ago you could not have twisted my arm enough to make a budget. It wasn’t going to happen. My wife had tried several times making a budget but I hadn’t given any input and I certainly didn’t think one was necessary. It’s safe to say I hated them. Budgets were for “those people” who were in massive debt or who wanted to control an overspending spouse. They weren’t for normal people like us who lived off our paycheck from week to week and could afford pretty much everything we needed. Some months we’d have some money left over at the end of the month to put into our savings account. Other months we wouldn’t. Things seemed fine to me so I didn’t see the big deal. Then came the first kid. Suddenly spending patterns changed. No longer was it just my wife and I. We had another person to account for, one who would have some very expensive habits. Can anyone say 10 diapers and 6 meals a day? So we set out again to tackle the monthly budget. We actually managed to make a budget that we thought would […]

Sometimes you just have to spend money : September 2014 Budget Update

bust-our-budget-budget-update

DIG INTO YOUR WALLETS   I’m probably the last person you thought who would tell you that sometimes you simply have to spend money. Spend money… that’s right. You can’t go to the grave with it so why not spend the money you worked hard to save? It’s true that it’s great to make money and watch your net worth grow but you can’t hang on to every penny without spending some of it.   Spend money using a plan   It’s fine and dandy saving money but there will come a time when you have expenses that you might not want to pay for but you’ll have to. There will also be times where you want to splurge on yourself because you’ve reached your financial milestones or any goals that you’ve set for yourself. The key to remember is that you shouldn’t spend money that you don’t have. What that means is if you haven’t saved the money yet you shouldn’t be rewarding yourself. This only contributes to debt and even though your intentions to pay back debt are important remember that anything could happen. As you will see below in the charts our budget for September was way […]