Try a Fresh Budgeting Technique to Get Debt Under Control

Managing money isn’t easy at the best of times. When you’re deep in debt to credit card companies, utility providers, or the bank, you have even less room for emergency expenses and everyday costs, not to mention the fun stuff.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably tried budgeting before. Keeping track of everything you buy and struggling to keep your spending down is a challenge. It’s boring and you constantly feel like you’re depriving yourself of something. 

There might be a different way to think about and practice budgeting that doesn’t feel like such a challenge. It’s centered around the idea that once you know your fixed costs, you can create a simple spending budget and spend without worrying too much about it.

What If Budgeting Alone Isn’t Enough?

Before continuing, you should know that it’s not always possible to budget your way out of debt. Almost half of Canadians report being only $200 away from insolvency, meaning they can’t make all of their debt obligations and bills for the month. In British Columbia, 19% say they already don’t make enough to cover bills and debt payments. 

In circumstances like these, more extreme measures may be necessary to clear your debt. Bankruptcies and consumer proposals are handled by Licensed Insolvency Trustees in Canada. Find out more information on debt relief in Canada at Debt Help BC. They provide bankruptcy help and consumer proposals in Vancouver Island, and can assess your eligibility for debt relief. 

Step 1: Track Your Spend Automatically

You’re never going to stick to tracking your expenses manually. Even if you keep it up for weeks, eventually you’re going to let it slip. You’re busy and recording every little expense while you run errands isn’t a priority.

Instead, make it easy on yourself by using the single card method, where all your purchases go on one card. If you’re struggling with debt and maxed out credit cards, use your debit card. Otherwise, as long as you pay the full balance each month and you keep an eye on the balance, there’s nothing wrong with using credit.

Step 2: Create a Simple Spending Budget

How much you spend each month isn’t nearly as important as how much cash you actually have available. To figure that out, follow this formula:

After Tax Income – (Fixed Monthly Expenses + Debt Payments) = Spending Budget

Your fixed monthly expenses are everything you predictably pay each month: rent, mortgage, insurance, car payments, bills, etc. How big your debt payments are is partly up to you. When you make minimum payments, you can wind up repaying even relatively small balances for decades. The more you pay now, the less you pay in interest charges.

The rest is for everything else, from groceries to nights out to car repairs. Keeping an emergency fund or a bank account buffer for the irregular but necessary expenses can help out, and mean you don’t have to go hungry because you needed to pay for roof repairs.

Step 3: Automate Your Finances

Set automatic payments for bills, credit cards, tax payments, and savings contributions. That way, you don’t have to worry about late fees and penalties. Putting your money on automatic also gives you less room to make mistakes, such as spending money you were supposed to save or put toward a bill.

If you’re sick of tracking every single expense, try this new way of budgeting. Find an easy way to keep an eye on your spending, know how much cash you have, and automate the rest.

3 Things You Can’t Afford to Save Money On

When it comes to money, we all try to cut corners wherever we can. Money seems to always be in hot demand, with supply trailing behind at a permanent distance. Saving money where you can is a sound financial principle, but so is knowing where you can’t afford to save.

Certain things are far too important in life, and more importantly, with many things, you get what you pay for. Don’t be afraid to bust the piggy bank when it comes to these three things.

Insurance Plans

From car policies to homeowner plans, insurance is a cornerstone of a financially responsible, stable life. Picking the right insurance can be quite a headache, between co-pays, deductibles, and policy fine print. But insurance is definitely something you don’t want to try to skimp on.

Insurance is supposed to be there to limit your exposure to risk; to cover you on a rainy day. Few things are worse than paying every month for protection that won’t keep you dry when skies are cloudy. Not to mention, the stakes are inherently high—insurance is there to bail you out on the worst of times.

You want insurance that truly has your back when you’re up against the wall. When selecting policies, it’s crucial that you choose the very best you can afford. Don’t be wasteful in your coverage, but avoid skimping on the premium, because you’ll get precisely what you pay for.

Safety Gear

Whether you’re a regular Joe fixing up your house or a business owner thinking of city code, safety is essential. And investing in safety gear is one ítem you’ll never regret down the line. Good safety gear is incomparable to the cheaper options available that barely meet the minimum standards required by code.

Proper gear will protect you or your employees more effectively; it will be more durable and overall safer. Cheaper equipment may owe its lower price tag to shoddy materials or low-quality production standards. Suspiciously inexpensive safety gear and devices may be knockoffs, faulty lots, or worse.

Since safety gear and devices are the line between you and lethal danger, it’s best to keep that line solid. From smoke detectors to helmets and goggles, get the best gear you can afford and protect your most valuable assets. When things go wrong, good insurance will take care of material assets, but human life and health is invaluable.

Tax Lawyers

Another area where you can’t afford to save money on is taxes. This is true for regular salarymen, freelance workers, and business owners alike. Income taxes are no joke, and the larger your tax burden, the more important it is you shell out. A quality tax lawyer can save you many times their worth in deductions and smart fiscal strategies.

Moreover, a quality tax barrister is a vital part of any company that wants to keep the CRA at bay. A poor fiscal strategy, or one not deeply in sync with local and national legislation, can be a terrible mistake. For a small business owner, it can spell the end of their enterprise.

Even individual taxpayers need to be very careful when filing their taxes. But when you are a business owner, high-quality professional advice is something you can’t do without. Whether you’re preparing for tax season or a company worried about the bottom line, visit the website of professional tax lawyers. Top-notch advice can make all the difference.

Money Matters!

There are things in life that you shouldn’t splurge on, and there are others you’d be a fool not to. Insurance, safety gear, and tax lawyers are only three, but there are more. Some are universal, and some will be more personal. 

Ultimately, it comes down to the certainties in life, of which there are only a few. Death and taxes, says the popular adage. But when it comes to those precious few things, don’t be shy about spending money. You won’t regret it.

Don’t Spend a Fortune on Rent in Toronto

The city of Toronto is breathtakingly beautiful, unique and exciting. However, the city is also notoriously expensive to live in, especially if you’re a renter.

 

The city is becoming extremely populated, housing approximately 2.8 million people. On a similar note, the Greater Toronto Area houses an astonishing 5.9 million people.

 

Due to the quantity of residents, the prices of Toronto condo rentals and apartments are on the rise. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a millionaire if you want to live in the Queen City — by following the tips mentioned below, you can save a substantial amount of money on your monthly rental expenses.

 

1 – Find a Reliable Roommate

Many people know that having one or more roommates can make renting noticeably easier and more cost-effective. However, while looking for a roommate, you shouldn’t go with the first candidate that you find. At least not without assessing at their credentials beforehand.

 

You should always look for roommates that have a steady source of income and a proven track record. Additionally, it’s a good idea to ask your potential roommates about their living habits.

 

Be sure to ask questions like:

  • Are they messy or do they like a clean living space?
  • Are they a morning person or a night owl?
  • Is the person quiet or do they play loud music throughout the day?

 

2 – Use Technology to make Renting Easier and Faster

If you want to find the best selection of apartments and condos in the city, be matched with high quality property owners, and have the whole process done online, then you need to look for a word-class property management company.

 

These companies, often referred to as proptech in the industry, can help you find your dream living space with ease.

 

Once you’ve created your online renter profile, you’ll be able to apply to multiple listings in a matter of moments. These companies offer on-demand support and are happy to provide you with guidance throughout the application process.

 

Best of all, some of these companies offer their services at no cost to renters. This means that you’ll have more money to spend on your apartment or condo.

 

3 – Avoid Living Spaces Near Post-Secondary Schools

The city of Toronto is home to many colleges and universities. If you want to save money on your rental expenses, you should refrain from renting a living space that’s near one of these schools.

 

One of the main reasons why you should stay away from these spaces is that there is a large amount of competition. Eager students are constantly looking for living spaces that are closer to their campus. This means that if you don’t move quickly, you could potentially miss out on the property you’ve been eyeing.

 

Additionally, rental property owners that have properties near post-secondary schools know that they are sought after. This gives them the leverage to ask for a larger amount of monthly rent (in comparison to living spaces that are farther away from campus).

 

Anyone who’s lived in Toronto knows that it isn’t cheap. However, with the right mindset and little bit of research, you can save a hefty amount on your monthly rental expenses.

4 Ways to Afford Expensive Dental Work

In a nation that has focused a great deal of time and energy on finding affordable healthcare for all, oddly, there is quite a way to go before we can say that everyone has access to good dental care. In fact, a whopping 33.6% of Americans do not have any dental insurance at all. And given that dental procedures can be quite costly, this is leaving many people’s dental health totally in the dust. If you are looking for ways to afford costly dental procedures, the following is a list that should serve you well.

Dental Schools

One of the best ways to afford costly dental procedures is by visiting your local dental school. It is a little known fact, but dental schools often provide discounted or even free work to their patients. This is because dental schools are essentially using your mouth to train new dentists. However, do not be alarmed. All procedures are done under the supervision of a qualified dental professional. Therefore, you can get your work done and save a lot of money in the process.

Negotiation

While it may seem like their prices are set in stone, this is rarely the case. In fact, many dental practices will provide discounts to help their patients afford the dental care they need the most. If you need costly dental work and believe you will never be able to afford it, visit a local dental clinic in Guelph to see if they are willing to negotiate. On rare occasions, you may even find a practice willing to accept your payment on a sliding scale.

Financing

Another option is financing. Many dental practices work directly with financing companies to offer patients the chance to receive their much-needed dental care. Often times, these companies will provide you with financing with little to no interest for a specified period of time. This is a great option for those who have decent credit and need thousands of dollars of dental work completed.

Smile Makeover Contests

Lastly, you may have already heard of a smile makeover contest in your area. If not, these contests are often used as a way for dental practices to get publicity and give back to the community. In general, a participating practice will choose one recipient each year. The winner gets to receive all their much-needed dental care for free. All the winner typically has to do is enter the contest and agree to allow the practice to use their pictures for promotional purposes. This is a great way to get your dental work completed if you do not have many other options, or even if you do.

Dental work can be highly expensive. However, by trying to suggestions on this list, you are likely to find an affordable way to finally get your teeth fixed for good.

 

Day-to-Day Decisions That Will Make You Money

What do you do when you want to save more money? If you’re like most people, you hop on the Internet to get some ideas. It’s a great way to brainstorm, but there’s just one problem: these tips always involve cutting out your morning coffee to set aside extra cash.

While choosing to brew your own coffee could save you more than $1,000 a year, it isn’t the only way to adjust your budget. This is good news to any bean heads.

If coffee is one of the few pick-me-ups in your day, don’t skip it. Try these other tips to limit spending and boost saving.

Cut the Cord

Still watching shows the old-fashioned way? Cancel your TV package and you stand to save hundreds of dollars a month.

But don’t worry, you won’t have to give up on your favourite shows or movies. With subscriptions services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, you can catch up on Game of Thrones for a fraction of the cost of cable.

Switch up Your Commute

Do you start the average workday by jumping into your car and peeling out onto the roads, only to get stuck in traffic? Your long commute to and from work could be costing you.

If it’s possible, try walking or cycling to work. They’re free, and they’re a lot less stressful than driving through gridlock. If you live too far away to walk or bike, try carpooling with others. You’ll have a friend to talk to who splits the bill of parking and gas.

Stop Paying Banking Fees

How often do you get dinged for taking money out of the ATM? Or what about just keeping your money in a chequing account? The big banks have service fees and minimum monthly balances that eat into your bottom line.

Although bank fees may feel like an unavoidable charge, you can escape them by switching to a credit union. A credit union is a cooperative approach to banking that shares the profits with its customers. Rather than raising fees each year, a credit union maintains affordable daily banking services with higher interest rates on deposits.

To find out more about how a credit union can offer the same banking services at a lower fee, stop by a First Calgary Financial location to talk with a specialist.

Skip the Gym

Working on that beach bod? Your hopes and dreams for 6-pack abs could be draining your savings.

Although it may only cost you roughly $50 a month, this adds up to $600 a year. This is a lot of money considering most people with memberships don’t go to the gym at all.

By skipping the gym altogether, you stand to keep more money in your pocket — but without sacrificing your health. You can stay active without the gym. There are plenty of free apps and videos that walk you through cardio workouts, weight training tips, and specific exercises such as yoga and Pilates.

Find Savings Where it Makes Sense

If you enjoy your daily coffee too much to give it up, then don’t! Take a sip and savour that sweet, caffeinated beverage.

Saving is all about sacrificing some things to afford others. If you keep your daily coffee, find another daily expense you can easily live without. Start with cable, banking fees, or a gym membership, but don’t stop there. Look to your budget to find unique expenses you can cut out, so you can keep fun treats and save, too.

Leonard Daniel Wong

Leonard Wong Toronto – Raptors Throw Offers to Kawhi Leonard

Leonard – Wong – Toronto Raptors – Kawhi Offered Penthouse and Food for Life to Stay in Toronto

Leonard Daniel Wong

On May 29th Natalie Wong of Bloomberg reported that Leonard Kawhi of the Toronto Raptors was offered a penthouse condominium and food for life as an incentive to stay in Toronto.

Rumors of the super star basketball player are floating all around North America as the 2019 NBA finals come to an end. The quiet and humble basketball player has drawn comparisons to Michael Jordan and LeBron James as perhaps the best or one of the best basketball players in history.

It’s not over yet but with a leg up in the best of seven series with Toronto having home court advantage and already protecting game one for home court advantage means well; but it isn’t over till its over. To put down the Golden State Warriors 4 -time reigning championship team who have also been to the finals one other time in the last 6 years it will take a lot of hard work.

It is not just one single player that makes a champion but rather a team of well seasoned group members that will make a difference. Someone must step up and eventually dethrone a mainstay and consistent winner eventually. Americans, fans and pundits alike have mixed feelings. Does the U.S. support a perennial champion or do the go for the under dog? It seems like no one, but the Americans can be a dream team and win the NBA finals championship especially not an international team from foreign soil. After all its not a past time but a beloved game that was invented in the U.S. of A. They may or may not know it was created by Canadian James Naismith.

History repeats itself and times change. The Raptors are Canada’s team and not just that of Toronto. Everyone in Canada including the haters of the mega city are jumping on the band wagon by now and they will be endeared even more with one more win at home.  And finally, if Leonard and playmaker Kyle Lowry have their way, they will want to finish the job and cement their place in history as a team against all odds and a nation of new lovers and old-fashioned haters.

It’s the best of seven and as Canadian hockey fans know and understand this type of series. And will not make bold predictions for the outcome of its full and final finish they would love to see and be part of history in the making.

Canadians are quiet and humble just like Kawhi. But we carry a big stick made of Canadian hardwood lumber. And when its time to fight we will not shy away or back down from what is right. In game 2 and in the rest of the NBA Championship series at home or abroad the gloves are off, and we will dance with one that brought us. Even a near championship is an amazing feat of heroics most gamblers, bettors and basketball fans could not imagine. It’s a team game and we are thankful and grateful to see some of the best basketball played ever in the country. Mr. Naismith the father of the sport is on our side win or lose.

 

MONEY.CA

Toronto

416-360-0000

Save Money By Taking Care of Your Health Issues

There are a few different ways to think about saving money. Maybe you want to put more aside from your typical paycheck. Perhaps you want to cut back on the number of expensive groceries that your purchase. Maybe you’re thinking about getting rid of some of the luxuries that you spend money on that aren’t specifically necessary to living a satisfying existence. But beyond those typical perspectives, there is another way to think about saving money, and that is by taking care of your health issues as a type of preventative maintenance.

Think about all the ways that you can save money by paying attention to health issues and dealing with them before they get expensive. You can make sure that you sign up for the right health insurance to keep those costs down. You can invest money in your eyes – figuring out what surgeries you can get or paying attention to different eye health options can have a tremendous amount of cost savings over the years. And, you can have good nutrition and exercise habits, thereby preventing some of the expensive conditions that can happen later on in life from not taking care of yourself.

Signing Up for the Right Health Insurance

It can be difficult these days navigating the healthcare industry. But, if you want to keep costs somewhere manageable, it’s essential that you sign up for the best health insurance plan that suits your needs. You have to pay attention to things like premiums and deductibles, and then you can look into details like co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses, and other items like that. You want to find the right balance of paying for insurance so that costs further down the road don’t exceed what you’re capable of paying.

Investing In Your Eyes

How much money do you typically spend on your eye health? If you wear glasses or contact lenses, that number can seem like it gets excessively high. If you talk to an eye care specialist, you may find out that there are options for you to reduce some of these costs over time. There are different surgeries that doctors can perform on your eyes that can make it so that you don’t have all of the expenses associated with eyeglasses and contacts anymore. Talking to a specialist for a free consultation is a good step in the right direction. You can save thousands of dollars over the years by taking care of your eyes in this way.

Keeping Good Nutrition and Exercise Habits

Have you ever noticed that when people get older, their health appears to deteriorate? If you talk to them, they speak about how many bills they have to pay and how expensive it is to take care of the health conditions that they have. They say that hindsight is 20/20, but the fact is, you know that your health is going to get worse as you age. Because of this, if you want to reduce the expenses that are naturally going to occur, then you have to start paying attention to your nutrition and exercise habits now! No matter how old you are, if you have a goal of achieving healthy food and exercise habits, that will pay off as an incredible return on your investment later.

Is a Personal Loan Right for You

We all need a cash infusion from time to time, for our dreams or for unforeseen emergencies. Obtaining a cash loan can be done in several secure, safe, and sane ways. Often the easiest way is through friends and/or family. And, or course, most people have at least one credit card that they can use when there’s a need. But have you considered the advantages and the convenience of a personal loan? According to lending firm LoanStar, “In some quarters a personal loan is not considered conventional enough, but when done right is can be completely safe and uncomplicated.”

So just how exactly does a personal loan work? It’s not a credit card, which charges you variable interest and comes with a fluctuating payment schedule that can be very confusing and arbitrary. With a quick personal loan you can borrow a prearranged amount of cash with one fixed interest rate for the length of the loan, and your payment schedule is also predetermined. There’s no unpleasant surprises, like a ‘balloon’ payment at the end of the loan period. Monthly payments are agreed upon ahead of the actual loan, so you know exactly what you’re getting into and budget accordingly.

Another plus for personal loans is that they normally come with a much lower interest rate. It depends mainly on credit scores and credit worthiness. The normal APR on a retail credit card has zoomed to more than 17 percent; but for most personal loans the APR is still at about 4 percent — that is, if you’ve kept your credit rating good.

Please remember that when it comes to personal loans, there are only two types — unsecured and secured. Most personal loans are unsecured, which means you do not have to offer any collateral in order to secure the desired amount of capital. Naturally, this is the most popular type of personal loan — it requires less paperwork and less interference from outside agencies. A secured personal loan, on the other hand, requires some kind of collateral, like your car, in order to secure the loan amount. Most people find it distasteful to put up an asset, but it should be mentioned that a secured personal loan usually has a much lower interest rate than an unsecured personal loan. So keep that in mind when mulling over your options.

One of the most popular uses of unsecured personal loans is for debt consolidation. People who have become mired in a high interest rate credit card swamp of debt can find it nearly impossible to pay down the interest, let alone the debt itself, without some outside help. Exchanging a low interest personal loan debt for a vampire-like high interest credit card debt simply makes financial common sense. Once this is done it becomes possible to make a personal budget that is not subject to the whims and sudden changes of high interest credit card payment demands. It can really bring peace of mind.

If you decide that working with a personal loan company is right for you make sure you check their originations fees and any other service fees associated with your personal loan before signing on the dotted line. These fees are usually very modest, but it never hurts to have everything out in the open before committing yourself. It makes for a happier and more productive loan experience.

4 Programs That Help Seniors Afford Home Repairs

Many seniors in Canada struggle to afford home repairs and adaptations. Nearly 7% of the country’s 250,000 seniors are living in poverty and 19% are living just above the poverty line. Many service providers such as Affordable Air & Heat offer financing for repairs, but not all do. Even when financing is offered, many seniors still do not qualify.

Fortunately, there are several grants available that can help seniors pay for necessary home repairs and adaptations.

1. Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence

For home adaptations, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides grants to low-income seniors through its Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence program. These grants can be used for adaptations and minor repairs that will help seniors “perform daily activities in their home independently and safely.”

Seniors may qualify for grants up to $3,500.

Seniors must be considered low-income, aged 65 or older and have experienced an age-related loss of ability. All adaptations and repairs must be permanent, improve physical safety and improve access to the home’s facilities.

2. Senior Citizens Assistance Program

Seniors living in the province of Nova Scotia may qualify for the Senior Citizens Assistance Program, which offers grants up to $6,500.

The program helps seniors aged 65 or older make repairs that will allow them to stay in their homes. The funding covers repairs that are vital to health and safety, including: plumbing, roofing and heating. Cosmetic home repairs are not covered by the grant.

To be eligible, seniors must be aged 65 or older, have owned and lived in their homes for at least a year, and have a total household income that is below the established income limit. The income limit depends on the size of the household and where the senior lives.

3. Provincial Home Repair Program

The Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) offers the Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP) that helps low-income homeowners make repairs and bring their homes up to fire and life safety standards. Repairs can include plumbing, heating, electrical, foundations, doors, windows, siding and roofing.

This particular program does not cover accessibility changes, but the NLHC does help with this through their Home Modification Program (HMP).

To be eligible, homeowners must be considered low-income and have owned and lived in the home for at least five years.

The funding is available in the form of a forgivable and repayable loan. Forgivable loan funding limits are $5,000 and $6,500 in Labrador. Repairs exceeding this amount can be covered under a repayable loan up to $12,500 and $15,000 in Labrador.

4. Emergency Repair Program

The Emergency Repair Program (ERP) is available through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for low-income, on-reserve households to make emergency repairs.

To qualify, the homeowner must be a First Nation member living on-reserve and have a household income that is within or below the established range for household size and region.

The program covers a wide range of emergency repairs, which can include heating systems, foundations, exterior walls, roofing, flooring, electrical and wiring systems, and plumbing problems. Grants of up to $20,000 are available for repairs.

5 Car Problems You Should Never Fix Yourself

 

There is a plethora of information on the internet about how to fix problems with your car yourself, but it doesn’t mean you should DIY your auto repairs. You might think you have a rough idea of how to do the job, but it may end up costing you more in the long run to fix your mistakes. While things like changing a tire or your oil can be done yourself, these are five things you should always take to a professional.

 

  1. Shock Absorbers

Many automobile aficionados like to think they can fix the suspension on their vehicles and replace the shock absorbers on their own. Malfunctioning shock absorbers pose a serious safety hazard for your vehicle, and could make it unfit to drive. Climbing underneath your car to replace shock absorbers can be dangerous and many people have sustained injuries trying to remove old shock absorbers without the proper equipment. Furthermore, it can be difficult to tell a shock absorber from a strut.

 

  1. Windshield repairs

Ads for quick windshield fixes make repairs on this part of your vehicle look deceptively easy.

You just squirt a little epoxy or other gunk into a chip or crack in your car’s windshield and it magically looks brand new again right? Wrong. A cracked windshield is a serious safety hazard that needs to be taken to a professional and repaired immediately. Taking action quickly can save your windshield from having to be replaced entirely. Attempting to fix a chip yourself could make the crack larger and cost you more in the long run.

 

  1. Transmission

The transmission is one of the most complex parts of a car. It contains thousands of complex parts that play an important role in engaging the car to move forward or drive in reverse. Because of this, it should never be replaced by anyone but a professional mechanic. Choosing to repair your transmission yourself could have disastrous results. Unfortunately, transmission repairs and replacements are pretty pricey, but undertaking this complicated repair or replacement oneself will probably be unsuccessful.

 

  1. Brakes

The brakes are the most crucial safety feature of your vehicle. They aren’t that hard to replace, but the margin for error is still there, and getting this particular repair wrong can have disastrous results. Repairing the brakes involves calipers, rotors, wheel bearings and brake fluid. Get any one of these wrong and you could be putting yourself and the other occupants in your car in jeopardy. For peace of mind alone, it’s probably better to leave this job to a professional.

 

  1. Fuel pump

The fuel pump is a delicate and precise piece of equipment, and is very expensive to repair. It may be tempting to try to repair this yourself, but getting the repair wrong can lead to failures in your vehicle that may render it completely unusable. If you want to hold onto your car for a lot longer, it would be best to get a mechanic to do this repair or replacement.

 

When it comes to repairs on your vehicle, it’s really always best to have a professional look at any problems you may be experiencing. If you’re feeling stressed about repairs your vehicle needs, check your insurance policy. You may be surprised at what your policy offers. If your policy is lacking, compare it to other car insurance quotes to make sure you’re getting the best price possible.