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Saving Money

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One of the most important things to understand about personal finance is the impact of interest rates. It plays a role in how quickly you can pay off debt but also on how fast your money will grow. If you’ve ever carried high-interest credit card debt, then you’ll know how punitive it is. And on the flip side, if you’ve ever left a sizable chunk of money in your chequing account, you’ll know that it will earn you pennies. Tracking and understanding the interest rates you are paying or earning can make a noticeable difference whether you are paying off debt or trying to grow your money. Interest Rates on Debt Unless you’ve received an interest-free loan from your very wonderful family, debt is not free. Sure you get access to money you might need, but it’s going to come at a cost. And depending on the type of debt…

If you are new to the personal finance universe, there are a few things you will learn. First, it’s basically the same as the Marvel Universe. There’s a lot of infighting and family drama, but at the end of the day, we all just want to save the world. Totally the same thing. The second thing as that we are mildly obsessed with phrases like net worth and cash flow. So what do those mean? Why are they important? And why are PF bloggers so hooked on tracking them? Net Worth vs Cash Flow: The Official Definitions To understand why they’re both important, you first need to understand what they are. Both are metrics for measuring your money, but they are for very different things. Net worth is the number you come up with when you add together all your assets and subtract all your liabilities. It gives you an…

I wouldn’t say I’m a professional road tripper, but after completing our third fairly extensive road trip in as many years, I’ve picked up some tips. Since we’re in peak holiday season, I wanted to share the best ways to save money on a road trip. Now, you all know that I’m not the most frugal person in the world. If I were, I would have embraced camping. The cheapest way to road trip will always be to pack a tent. Free or cheap accommodation and meals cooked over the fire will save money. Not my thing though. I’m not against a fire roasted hot dog, but I save up to vacation, and I want to do it my way. And that means sleeping in a room with a flushing toilet and checking out what the local food (and beer) scene has to offer. To make room for those expenses…

Remember back in the day when you had to go to a physical bank to take out money or pay a bill or open a new account? If you’re my Dad, that day is still today. But if you’re pretty much anyone else, then that’s likely a thing of the past. If you’re banking with one of the big banks, then you’ll still have access to brick and mortar locations, but I’m going to guess you do 99.9% of your banking online. The big questions though; are you paying for it? If the answer is yes, then I’d like to share with you the upside of no fee banking in Canada.  Seriously, bank fees are outdated. And not in the quirky vintage way. It used to be standard practice that you’d open a chequing and a savings account and pay a monthly fee for your bank to maintain the accounts.…

I have been an Optimum points earner since I signed up for my first Shoppers Optimum Card as make-up buying teenager. In that time I may have matured from buying Dr. Pepper flavoured Lip Smackers to bananas and ground beef, but I’m still an avid collector of points. The original Optimum program has shifted from being Shoppers only to the new PC Optimum program after Loblaws bought the brand in 2014. Since we moved into our first home, Superstore has been our grocery store of choice. And that means more opportunities for points. Earning PC Optimum Points The earning isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. It varies depending on where you shop. Shoppers Drug Mart When you make a purchase at Shoppers, you earn 15 points for every dollar spent. You’ll also receive Shoppers specific bonus offers that are tailored to your spending history. For example, right now…

Ok couples, real talk time. This one is for all of you in happy, nurturing, loving relationships who maybe aren’t as prepared as you should be. There’s no perfect couple (Instagram’s a damn liar!) but some couples are living the good life, and other’s who are struggling. If you’ve ever been in the second scenario, you’ll know how stressful it can be. And the role money can play in that situation. It is essential that you protect yourself from a failed relationship with access to cash. Your own money. In your own name. And not at all tied to your spouse! Thinking about the end of a relationship sucks. I get it. It’s like having the death talk with your parents. It’s important though. You need to prepare for the bad times during the good times. The Not So Pleasant Stats The divorce rate in Canada is 38%, and that…

Taxes, taxes, taxes. I may not be an accountant but tax season is still the busiest time at work. And I’m not done talking about it yet! I’ve already talked about the best way to file your taxes in Canada and now I want to talk about your tax refund. You know, the good part! If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you still have until April 30th to get it done. If you are on the ball and have already filed then your refund might be burning a hole in your pocket. Let’s talk about that, and figure out how to prioritize debt, saving or spending. Obviously not everyone gets a refund, but if you do, it can feel like a windfall. I know for myself, if I come into some money unexpectedly, it can be super tempting to spend it all. A new spring wardrobe or a weekend…

I have a thing for old houses. Neighbourhood streets lined with mature trees and an eclectic mix of architecture, colour, and details. That’s my jam. And it’s why our hopefully forever home is a one-hundred-year-old charmer. Living in an old home comes with its own set of challenges, and it’s not for everyone, but if you’re willing to take it on then, it can be a lot of fun. Since we moved in October, there have been never-ending weekend projects and a growing list of things we still want to do. That’s kind of the thing with home renovations. Once you get started, it’s tough to stop. This coming from the girl who’s gearing up to paint her bathroom for the second time because the colour isn’t quite right. Like the paint, we’ve made a few missteps along the way, but we’re learning lots about balancing our wants, our needs,…

Over the past few weeks you’ve likely been receiving all those annoying tax slips in your mailbox or inbox. If you’re like me, you’re probably still procrastinating over the whole actually doing your taxes part though. Luckily you’ve still got time. The deadline to have your taxes filed in Canada is April 30th, giving us a couple of extra weeks over our US counterparts. Filing my taxes is not my favourite thing in the world. Honestly, I’m not sure why. I always put it off and then when I do it I’m pleasantly surprised how little time it takes. My return is simple. I work one salaried job that gets me a T4 and then have RRSP contributions to factor in. All my investments are either in my RRSP or TFSA which means no slips for investment income. This year I’m planning to include my blog expenses. I’ve never done…

Confidence is a funny thing. When you have it, you feel like you can conquer anything, but when you don’t, you find yourself stuck in no man’s land. This happens with a lot of things. How many of you have ever not done something because you thought you’d be bad at it? My favourite (that I have used WAY too many times) is ‘I can’t go to ‘fill in the blank’ workout class. I need to get in better shape first!’ That’s my serious lack of confidence showing. Other examples might be ‘I can’t fix the leaky faucet, I’m not a plumber’ or ‘I think I’ll just stay home, I’m not going to know anyone.’ Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. And confidence can play a huge role in how you handle your money as well. Not only in how you spend but also how you save and how you…