The Saturday weekend review #37: Stashing cash, is it worth it?

Only You Know What’s Best For Your Situation I think stashing cash is worth it but whether people have the cash to stash is another story. I don’t think it’s hard to believe that many people do have about $10,000 stashed away for a rainy day but on the other hand I can completely agree that many people don’t have the money to do that. Debt for Canadians is a big problem and in reading this article on Yahoo about a survey conducted by the Bank of Montreal it’s no surprise that the writer is saying that most people don’t have the means to sock away 3-6 months of income just in case an emergency would come up. You know last week we had an emergency where I managed to spill liquid on my computer. Since I blog full-time my computer is a huge necessity in our household and that to me was an emergency where I was thankful that we had money in the bank to cover. We didn’t just hide away the money overnight either and I don’t think any personal finance blogger I’ve come across who talks about emergency savings says it has to be done in […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The grocery game challenge Sept 2-8, 2013 #1- Back to school treats for kids

What’s In My Lunch Box? It was back to school today for many Canadian kids which meant the grocery stores were jam-packed and it was near impossible to get help if you needed it as there just wasn’t enough staff. The streets tend to get a bit crowded here when the students arrive for University and College but we have learned to have patience. Funny though while at Shoppers Drug Mart the University students were piling in and the sheer amount of snack items being purchased was outrageous. The counter was filled with Red Bull, Mentos, snack packs of crackers and cheese, chips and chocolate bars. In my head I was thinking how unhealthy all the food was and the cost to purchase the items. Back to school lunches While I was reading the grocery flyers for this week you couldn’t miss the “Back to School” sales in just about every flyer. Many of the sales that were advertised were for convenience foods such as juice boxes, chocolate, cookies, various types of bars and get this, Perrier water. I know, I was thinking the same thing, what kid brings Perrier water to school? I’m pretty sure that a sandwich is standard for […]

PF Weekly Grab a Brew 31: I don’t care about debt…push!

I’m sure you know someone who is deep in debt and shrugs it off like it’s no big deal saying they don’t care about debt. Sometimes I wonder how someone gets to that point but from another perspective I can understand how overwhelming debt can be for some people, myself included. Every one in a while we need motivation in our lives, and I’m here to share some of mine with you. Yes, when I bought my first condo that amount of debt and unexpected bills were piling up even though some people would say a mortgage is not a bad debt it loomed over my head. I’s not near as bad as having thousands in consumer debt that you just can’t pay off no matter how you accumulated it. Some people are comfortable paying the minimum payments until the bitter end no matter how much they pay in interest. It’s easier to close our eyes than to take the steps to iron out the wrinkles. 12 per cent of them — said they are comfortable carrying the debt and don’t intend to pay it off. The CIBC telephone poll that I read said “14% of Canadians won’t pay off […]

PF Weekly Reading List #16- I Give Up……………

What? I give up… it’s probably one of the hardest things I would have to decide to do or anyone for that matter. A part of us shatters when we are forced to make the decision to give something up in order to get out of a financial mess that we created or for reasons beyond our control. When times are tough and it’s hard to make ends meet or we simply are drowning in debt we have to give something up. Sure we may NOT have to give something up and could keep juggling money from credit card to credit card or consolidating debt in order to ease the pain but is that enough? If you answered “that’s all we have left to do” the you need to find a way because you can’t live your life like that. It won’t last forever, the walls will crumble down on you eventually. For some credit cards and consolidating debt over and over seems like the right thing to do but for others its way out in left field. For those that would do just about anything to get out of debt they would rather ‘give up’ something than to incur more debt […]

New Year’s Resolution:Canadian Debt and Tackling Personal Finances

This year’s New Year’s resolution: Tackle my personal finances in the face of Canadian debt. This should be what many Canadians are planning for 2013 but are they really? Just about everybody goes to the doctor or walk-in clinic if there’s something wrong with their health, and they take their car to the mechanic if it breaks down. If you ignored these problems your health would deteriorate and your vehicle wouldn’t run, so why would you ignore your personal finances? Statistics Paint  A Picture….. In a recent study initiated by Sun Life, 55% of  1,277 people surveyed ranging in age from 18-55+ stated they weren’t happy with their personal finances for the year 2012. Of those 1,277 people, only 30% wanted to do something about it- and yet 68% stay strangely optimistic. How can you be so optimistic for the forthcoming year and have financial woes at the same time without ignorance? Are people in denial over the amount of their debt or the fact they have debt altogether? Statistics from various sources including top Canadian banks suggest that the average household Canadian debt is somewhere in the region of $114,000, though most of that will be mortgage. I can’t see how the […]

Make The Most Out Of Black Friday Deals Without Crossing the Border

With at least 18% of Canadians expected to cross the border to enjoy deals on Black Friday in the U.S., some might be wondering if it’s even possible to save money from within Canada? I’ve been blogging about shopping deals and frugal living in Canada for a few years now, and I wanted to share some of my best tips to get the most out of your Black Friday shopping in Canada. That’s right, there are some great discounts to enjoy on our side of the border too! Black Friday Deals in Canada Since the Canadian dollar is now on par with the U.S., many Canadians have picked up the habit of crossing the border to shop the Black Friday sales. Now, Canadian stores aren’t blind, they have taken note, so that more and more Canadian retail stores are also offering comparable deals on Black Friday to keep paying customers on Canadian soil. Shopping the Black Friday deals in Canada avoids the long waiting lines at customs and the crazy hordes in shopping centres while saving money on gas too. Some offers might not be as good as what’s on offer in the U.S. (it’s getting closer though). But you also need to take into consideration […]

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 […]