Thursday, 18 February 2016

Quick & Painless Hair Tutorials

Doing my hair every morning is the bane of my existence (ok, maybe that's a little dramatic). Right now my hair is about collar bone length, a lob (hair people speak for a long bob), but up until December, it was a lot longer...I chopped off about 6 inches. It's much easier to deal with now that it's shorter and healthier, but I do miss being able to pile it up in a messy top knot. I also used to have blunt bangs so I do consider myself well versed in the torture that is growing out bangs. I really liked my bangs and have moments where I would love them back, but I've been able to talk myself out of it (so far!) because the growing out process really sucks. 

I like to go with some sort of style that keeps my hair out of my face, but I also need something that is acceptable for the workplace. This combined with my utter lack of hair styling skill means that I'm constantly on the lookout for easy tutorials...thanks Pinterest :) I've rounded up a few of my go to's, and trust me, if I can get them to work so can you (I only figured out how to french braid last year...serious novice). 

Super quick and easy and if you don't make it too messy it is office appropriate. I like to pull it off centre little for a side pony. 

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Casual Bun
Kate from 'The Small Things Blog' is an absolute master at hair tutorials and this one is a total winner. Easy to do and keeps your hair out of your face. 

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Low Chignon
Another great tutorial from Kate that looks pretty and polished and is perfect for dressier occasions. I love how her tutorials are always just the right amount of undone, I hate a stiff hairdo. 

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The Gibson Tuck
Emily from The Freckled Fox has the most amazing hair I've ever seen. Her tutorials are always gorgeous but I just don't have nearly enough hair to pull most of them off. This one though works for medium length hair, just with a little less oomph. 

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Braided Crown
Once I figured out the art of french braiding this became my go to style when I was growing out my bangs. Holds those pesky bangs in place and lasts the whole day. The post this is from has a bunch of great ideas, another favourite of mine is coming up next. 

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Simply Twisted 
A second winner from the same post that I used a ton in the bang growing out process and still use now to keep my hair back. It's a great way to wear your hair down but not have it drive you crazy. I find it holds better on second day hair, or use a little texturizer.

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If you guys have any other hair tutorials you think I'd like then please, please share them in the comments...I'm always on the hunt for something my limited skills can accomplish! 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

RRSP Loans

Do you need an RRSP loan?
February means RRSP season, and if you already have an RRSP somewhere it's very likely that you've been receiving some communication promoting RRSP loans and all the wonderful things they can do for you! Let's talk about this and figure out if taking out an RRSP loan is actually something that will be beneficial to you. 

First off, it's still a loan, and you're going to have to pay off the principal and interest. Sure, you'll get a beefed up amount on your tax return, but there's really only a few circumstances where it's actually worthwhile. 

As we've discussed before, RRSP's are the most beneficial when you make contributions in your highest possible tax bracket and then withdraw the funds in when you're in the lowest possible tax bracket. That means that if you're just starting out in your career and will potentially be earning way bigger bucks down the road, it makes sense to hold off on contributing to (TFSA's are great to use in the meantime). This is especially true if you are considering an RRSP loan. To make up for the interest you are going to have to pay, you want your refund to be as big as possible, and this means you want to be in a high tax bracket. I'd recommend skipping the RRSP loan unless you are in one of the highest tax brackets. If you want to play around with the numbers, a little CIBC has a nice (and simple) RRSP loan calculator

RRSP loans can also catch you in a bit of a loop where you need to keep getting a new one every year just to keep up with your contributions. If you're making payments on your loan of $250/month that's $250/month that you could instead be depositing directly into your RRSP and not playing catch-up all the time. Your goal with an RRSP loan is to be able to make your payments and also be able to contribute enough to avoid having to get a loan year after year. If you find yourself in your peak tax bracket and want to make up for missed years maybe, you can deposit two (or even three!) times as much. Tip: making monthly contributions help to break this up instead of having to come up with a lump sum when the RRSP deadline is looming.

Banks can also be a little tricky when pricing products like RRSP loans and they often have special interest rates that will only apply for the first year. Avoid this and keep your interest payments low by paying back your loan within one year instead of extending the term. If the payments are too high on the amount, you want it's a pretty good sign that you're biting off more than you can chew. 

Avoiding debt is always the best option, so unless you have a very good reason for taking out an RRSP loan and are sure you can pay it back within a year, then I would avoid it. 

Do you need an RRSP loan?