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 To Escape A Financial Mistake Without Selling Your Soul

Financial mistake bomb

 LIFE IS FULL OF FINANCIAL LESSONS   I’ve made a ton of financial mistakes over the years from buying a timeshare, to making bad investment choices, to refinancing to a bad mortgage. The reality is we all make bad choices with our finances at one point or another. My worst financial mistake came when I bought a $4500 timeshare on my honeymoon of all places because I thought it would be a great to force us to take a vacation every year. This lead into other financial issues when we decided we wanted to sell our timeshare and found out it’s next to impossible to sell them. We tried for over 2 years to sell our timeshare with literally no luck at all. Our lowest point came when we decide to sign up for a couple of timeshare resale companies and this only lead sticking $1100 into a losing battle. Finally, after 6 long years of owning this timeshare, paying maintenance fees, and losing our money to the timeshare resale companies, I was able to contact my resort and get a buyback option that allowed me to get out from under this black hole that had done nothing more than […]

Your Will And The Legal Ramifications Of Death

Will & Testament Photo

HOW DEATH WILL AFFECT YOU   When a loved one dies, the grief that follows is often overwhelming and difficult to bear. I know this feeling all too well as my stepfather passed away in 2013 after a COPD diagnosis and several recurrences of cancer. If you’re a surviving spouse or a very close relative, the responsibility may fall on you to oversee the funeral arrangements and burial or cremation rites. During this time of mourning, it isn’t likely to be a forethought whether or not the deceased had a will, significant assets or debts. Settling an estate cannot be delayed for long however. Regardless of whether the deceased lived alone or had a surviving spouse, someone will need to assume the great task of sorting through the person’s financial life and personal belongings. This is in order to meet the law’s requirements on the settling of an estate.   Last will and testament   Upon the death of the individual, one of the first questions that needs to be asked is if the deceased had a valid last will and testament. In Canada, there are commonly three types of wills used.   Formal Will:  this is a typed document […]

How sleep deprivation causes us to spend more money? : The Saturday Weekend Review #90

sleep deprivation summer flowers

TIME TO GET SOME ZZZ’S   There’s only so much coffee and tea that I can drink to keep me going before sleep deprivation takes over. Sleep deprivation effects can be serious whether you are behind the wheel of your vehicle, at work or doing something that could potentially cause an accident and injure yourself or someone else. There is also something else that lack of sleep may compromise and that’s your budget if you allow it to.   Sleep patterns   Not sleeping enough may cause you and I to spend more money because when you are tired you just want to go to bed and sleep which means saving money might not be at the top of the priority list. These days daytime sleepiness has found a place in my life even though previous to my new sleeping routine I was used to working long hours with odd sleeping patterns. Whether you have trouble sleeping at night due to insomnia, late-night work hours, illness or like us have a newborn in the house being tired can take its toll on your budget. Our sleep patterns are now in sync with our newborns sleep patterns which means we sleep […]

Do you pay debt back on time? : The Saturday Weekend Review #89

red roses pay back debt

 NEVER TOO LATE TO PAY DEBT   Sometimes people think that paying back debt that they owe will disappear if they just forget about it. I have helped friends and family pay debt in the past and it has taken months if not up to a year to recover the money owed to me. It’s likely a reason why I don’t offer money to help people out of debt often because waiting to get the money back is sometimes hit or miss.   Pay debt back   Just recently I received money back from a relative which was borrowed well over a year ago and although I didn’t say anything it puts you in an awkward situation when people think their debts will go away. She told us that she didn’t think we wanted the money back right away since we weren’t in any debt and we both made good money with our jobs. The way I look at it is if you can’t afford to pay your debt than borrowing money will either get you by until money comes your way or you will get further into debt just by paying off one debt yet owing another. Sometimes the […]

Is there truth to less stress with financial freedom?

financial freedom

FREEDOM IS DEFINED BY YOU   Financial freedom means lots of things to many people and although everyone has their thoughts on what life is like without any debt for some it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. What would it take in order for you to take your stress financially from one level to the next? Would you have to pay off your credit cards, all of your debt, your mortgage or simply just be able to live a comfortable life while paying off your debts? In a conversation with a colleague the other day he brought up a friend of his who just built a new house that he paid cash for, his wife doesn’t work and they have no debt. Top that off with a well-paying job so that must mean his life is all roses, right? Wrong. We don’t know that. He seemed jealous to be honest especially when he said “it must be nice to live a stress free life” which made me wonder why people think that debt=stress. I’ve had people we know think that I must make lots of money with the careers I hold but what they don’t know is […]

Parents tell son he will create credit card debt with rewards cards

credit card debt

CREDIT CARD BUDGET SAVINGS   I talk about credit card debt on CBB once in a while and I also talk about how credit cards can easily be your friend if you use them properly. Many people use credit cards today rather than carrying cash with them. It’s simple to tap, swipe or insert and enter a pin to pay for a purchase and in most cases it gets you through the checkout faster. We carry credit cards because of ease of use and of course there are perks to using Canadian Credit Cards if you use them wisely. Credit cards have helped many people get back on their feet because they knew money was on the way. One friend of ours was in between jobs and used the credit card to get grocery rewards which helped them to buy more groceries for the family every month. One of our current rewards cards the SDM Optimum has almost 500,000 rewards points which is equal to about $1000 worth of free product. We don’t own the Optimum credit card but if you did you could get even more Optimum points faster.   Credit card debt   How to pay off credit […]