Is there such a thing as healthy debt? :PF Grab a Brew #79

grab-a-brew-online-review

WHAT DEBT MEAN TO YOU   When does owing money become healthy debt or unhealthy debt? When will you be debt free? Can you handle having debt? What does handling debt mean? These questions and many more can only be answered by… you! I was reading a recent article on Yahoo about how Canadians are potentially facing debt fatigue which keep people on the beaten debt path. It’s not surprising though with the amount of people who are swimming in debt with nowhere to go. What I found interesting was that maybe many Canadians find having debt less of an issue because interest rates are so low. Really? Is that how you feel? I would hope that we as Canadians take that as a warning as well as a blessing to make sure that we are money ready just in case some twist of financial fate comes our way. I’m a planner so when we started using our budget spreadsheet it was a relief knowing that we were spending less than we earned with some room for movement just in case.   When will you be debt free?   A recent poll by CIBC suggests that age 53 is when […]

Does Buying Secondhand Leave You Out of Touch with Real Prices?

second-hand, used, for sale, discount

PRICING MONSTER ON YOUR SHOULDER   Over the years as a couple, we have come up with ways to save money in our budget by buying things we need secondhand. More Canadians are finding bargains and are realizing that they too can save money without having to go broke. We buy clothing secondhand when we need to although we are picky with what we buy because not all secondhand prices are equal these days. Some thrift type stores are taking advantage of the secondhand pricing wars of used items and prices are becoming over the top. They see more people buying so they boost the prices to the point of craziness, considering they got it free. Pretty soon they may find some people will head back to buying new because it’s worth it if you know your prices. It’s always hit or miss but it’s not just clothes on our secondhand hit list. Clothing only scratches the secondhand surface as we tend to look for everything we need that is new to us or never been used. Why? It saves us money and it’s not just us, many people do it. You only have to look at the hordes of […]

Will signing a room rental agreement feel like moving home?

room rental bedroom

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 […]

Saying goodbye to the mortgage payment: April 2014 Net worth update (+0.31%)

Net worth for April 2014 payment plan

BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS   Yes, after much talk about us getting rid of our mortgage payment once and for all, the time has arrived. This month’s Net Worth update is a little special for us as it marks the final mortgage exit we’ve been waiting for. No, we didn’t have the winning lottery numbers but what we did have was a desire to become debt free before we were 40 years old and have finally achieved this goal. My blogger friend Laurie at The Frugal Farmer said something this morning about paying off debt and making it personal which reminded me why we chose the path we did to pay off our mortgage. It was our plan but a personal plan even though we did have opinions coming from every direction about what to do with our money. You don’t have to do exactly what we did but what you need to do is plan. We made our own plan but one that worked for us and all I can do is share our journey with all of you. Just because a plan works for somebody else doesn’t mean it will work for you, and I think this mindset is […]

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 […]

Is the big house the problem or the price? : PF Friday grab a brew #66

marshmallow and white chocolate brownies

GO BIG OR GO HOME   We all know someone who bought the big house and later found out it was too much to handle or too pricey for their budget. We may like to browse online at pictures of big houses for sale but for many it’s just a dream or a distant reality. We have been through some beautiful big houses when we have toured opened houses and although we are being nosey we love for that moment to feel what luxury is all about. I was having my morning brew while reading Yahoo news and again another Hollywood star is struggling to sell their big house or mansion as we would all call it. He has the big house that is absolutely stunning on the market for $15.5 million dollars BUT no one has purchased it and he has slowly reduced the price. This is the one and only Bruce Willis which we have learned to love over the years from watching various movies. The Idaho ranch is now listed at $8.8 million dollars nearly half off the original listing price. If I had $8.8 million dollars and depending on other factors such as location and what […]

Should you be decorating and renovating when you rent?

Decorating Paint roller and tray

WATCH WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES   Decorating a living space makes the space a more inviting place to enjoy for many people. They say the rich get richer and that may be true especially when we give money away when we simply don’t have to. We may not be literally handing over money at the time but the landlord where you rent will be all smiles when it’s not coming out of his pocket. Sure your landlord could potentially deduct renovations to the rental from his/her taxes but why bother if you’re paying for them out of your own pocket? We all decorate our houses from time to time when the need takes us or just a change of décor inspires us. Decorating and renovating doesn’t have to be expensive handmade screen printed wallpaper or exotic hardwood flooring. It can be as simple as painting and that is probably the best return on investment there is. Painting will brighten any room in the home instantly and give it that brand new feeling back. I’ve talked before about decorating your home and which renovations tend to be better than others along with which ones we’ve done to our abode. There is however […]

When the sole provider of the house loses their job

job loss unemployed

BE ONE STEP AHEAD OF THE GAME   When you are the sole provider of the house and you lose your job you’re now faced with a bigger reality that I hope you are prepared for. I enjoy getting emails from my fans and just this weekend I received one that really was unique and it’s a situation many people fear. I’ve talked about strategies to survive unemployment, job loss and disability when it comes to work and covered everything from emotional well-being, budgeting to emergency savings. A Canadian Budget Binder fan sent me an email the other day telling me her husband who is the sole provider for the family lost his job. She was thankful that she was ahead with the bills and had some savings to get them by but she was not sure where to turn next. They are not Canadians rather live in the USA and so they both took on the only jobs they could find which are commission based. The reality is that no matter where you live this could happen to you. This could happen to a single person, or a single parent with only one income.   Losing your job   […]