Fixed Income Seniors Struggle To Learn How To Budget

DON’T LEAVE YOUR FINANCIAL DREAMS SCATTERED ON THE GROUND   Learning how to budget after never using one has caused two seniors we know anxiety over their financial future. If they could do it all over again they would change so much about the way they managed their money. They know they can’t turn back the clock and must face the reality of living on a fixed income with little to no retirement savings and lots of grandchildren. They are not alone as many Canadians on a fixed income struggle to make ends meet and must juggle their money to balance their budget, if they use one. Living on a fixed income is a big deal especially for seniors or individuals who rely on money from sources other than from an employer. Cost-of-living increases can cripple those who live on a fixed income especially if they have no other sources of extra money to take from. People are talking about finance and income so much these days particularly in Ontario because most people are struggling with soaring utility costs and high debt loads. Comparing a Hydro bill to a mortgage payment is not unusual for some homeowners these days. If […]

What pushes people over the edge financially?

FALLING ON HARD TIMES…   We all know someone who has struggled financially at some point in their lives and although it’s not easy to stay above the water how some people handle it is shocking. It seems like each time September rolls around the media is filled with articles about people who are getting into trouble with the law for reasons relating to money. Financially holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a tough time for people who struggle with their money. Many struggle in silence. It’s no wonder talking about personal finance is taboo especially if people are ashamed of their debt load. This time of year it seems as if we hear more about thefts, robberies, fraud and scams leading into the Christmas holiday. Just the other day on Facebook my wife read a message on a group board from a mom advising other moms to make sure they lock their doors and take their gifts inside as someone had broken into her car and she lost everything. It only took me a few minutes online this morning to read another article about a couple who faked a pregnancy so they could steal products from an […]

Will signing a room rental agreement feel like moving home?

BEFORE RENTING A ROOM……   Signing a room rental agreement could feel like you are moving in with your parents but it could be worse, you could be moving in with Sheldon Cooper. Although renting a room is a great way to save money in the budget it also comes with pros and cons but it’s best to do your homework first before signing on the dotted line. Not all families or couples are the same so like the homeowner who may interview you to see if you are the right fit to move in you want to do the same. If you are someone who likes to live in clean, quiet environment then search out rooms for rent that fit that description. If you don’t mind kids and pets you can easily find a room for rent because lots of families are looking to supplement their income if they have a spare room in the house. Kids are costly after all. Today I have a fan question that came in that I was easily able to answer since I’ve been in his shoes before. I’m happy when the fans do their homework because not only are they saving themselves […]

Why you need to review automated bill payments: Our family budget April 2014

DOUBLE CHECK ALL OF YOUR BILLS   No matter what payment methods you choose to pay your bills with especially if it’s an automated bill payment you must review them. If we didn’t do just that with we would have paid around $594.96 extra per year for our auto insurance. I can think of many other areas of our finances where that money could be used. Whether you use a budget or a bill payment spreadsheet if you’re not careful you may be paying more for that automated bill payment like we just did. If it wasn’t for our budget and reading all of our bills and receipts we may not have caught the error. I know people who have any bill they possibly can set up so the bill payment is an automated bill payment directed that way mainly due to convenience. What is an automated bill payment? Well, it’s simple. It’s where you don’t have to do any of the work because the company that is billing you for a service they provided will debit your bank account for the amount of the bill. It’s that easy all you need to do is authorize that bill payment and […]

Driving distractions and making your own rules of the road cost

NOT USING COMMON SENSE COSTS   Driving a vehicle takes skill and that’s why in Ontario a licence is not handed to you on a silver platter. If you factor in the cost of purchasing a car, obtaining auto insurance and licence plate stickers, just owning a vehicle can be expensive. Add in the cost of getting your driver’s licence, renewing it every five years, gas to be able to drive your vehicle as well repairs and regular maintenance and the cost of driving quickly goes up. So if owning and driving a car takes up a significant chunk of our budgets, why do some of us choose to make driving even more expensive than it already is? While these expensive choices eat away at our budgets they are often also unsafe.   Distracted driving   With the wide use of smart phones these days, distracted driving is most often referenced as ‘texting and driving’. Even though texting is what we most often hear about, it is not the only thing that classifies as distracted driving. Having two kids in the car can be a distraction I will admit, it’s hard to ignore. Sometimes they get upset because I can’t […]

Spending cuts and increases: Budget Update Jan 2014

COUNTING THE CHANGE   Staying on top of our end of 2013 budget spending cuts and increases are going to be critical for us in the 2014 year. If you missed our December 2013 budget update you can go back and read about where all of our money went and how our budget has changed for 2014. I’m pretty sure that 2014 will be full of surprises for us so we want to be prepared for the unexpected at least with money set aside for emergencies after the mortgage is paid. With our mortgage coming due in April to the exchange rate rising we hope that we are off to a bit of a kick-start. Hopefully in the next month or so we will meet with our financial advisor to go over our investments. We’d like to make some changes for the 2014 year and maybe even talk about if we can get a further discount for being 2 years smoke-free on our life insurance policies.   Spending cuts   Spending cuts came to us in the form of having to spend less in a particular budgeted category or having to move money in the budget to balance it out. […]

How to survive a winter storm with no power

MAKING IT THROUGH THE STORM   While the ice storm that we had this week in Ontario created quite a sight to see, sparkling trees covered in glistening ice and an ice covering over everything, this Winter Wonderland also came with a lot of destruction, inconveniences for many and sadly a couple of deaths. With hundreds of thousands of people losing their power there are still a number of people who are waiting for theirs to come back on, 48 hours or more after the storm while others enjoyed Christmas Day in the warmth of their homes. Being prepared for an extended power outage can make getting through those long, cold days less of a struggle. The recent cold snap hasn’t helped the situation.   Staying Warm   Having no power means no heat in your home. Staying warm will be a challenge if you are not prepared. We had a little notice that this storm was coming and I have to admit I was not as prepared as I could have been. Beyond having lots of blankets and warm sweaters to put on, seeking out warming stations that many cities provided would have been an option if our power […]

Strategies to Survive Unemployment, Job Loss,Injury and Disability At Work

When you get laid off, injured or become unemployed the money may stop coming in but the bills never stop. Are you prepared for this situation if it happens? Red Alert….panic sets in, frustration, stress, what will you do?  Collection agencies will come calling and doing everything in their power to get money from you if you don’t pay. They will even go as far as taking you to court if they believe you can pay and have exhausted all other avenues. Investing in yourself is, if not the most important tip you should take away from this post. You are your number one priority and you should take the time to know who you are and what you have to offer. That’s not all though, not everything you have to pay for comes in the form of a bill. You still need to pay for your food or whatever else you pay cash for throughout the month. Thank goodness for local food banks who try their hardest to keep the shelves full for local families in need and to those that donate. Please, I have to say, for goodness sakes stay away from those Payday Loan shops or you […]