You Spring-Clean Your House Why Not Your Finances?

You Spring-Clean Your House Why Not Your Finances?Many Canadians engage in regular spring cleaning rituals like checking fire alarms, rotating mattresses and planting gardens. They’re tedious and time-consuming tasks, but they need to be tended to by responsible homeowners. Those responsibilities shouldn’t end at household chores. Spring is as good a time as any to dust off and polish up all things personal finance. You’re already sorting through slips and statements to file your taxes, so you…

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Top 10 Personal-Finance Myths

Top 10 Personal-Finance MythsCommon myths are everywhere: sharks don’t get cancer (not true); the Great Wall of China is visible from space (ditto). They exist in the world of personal finance, too. Myth: I don’t need to worry about our budget or finances because my partner manages the money. Fact: “Even if someone else is in the driver’s seat, you should be an active passenger; not asleep in the backseat,” says Linda MacKay,…

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5 Rewards of Living a Frugal Lifestyle

5 Rewards of Living a Frugal LifestyleYou might be a natural at making frugal choices when it comes to spending or perhaps you are slowly easing your way into the frugal lifestyle. Either way, know that your efforts result in additional benefits that go beyond the immediate impact of cash savings. You might not notice these nonmonetary rewards at first. That’s because in the beginning stages of adopting a frugal perspective, you’re usually focused on reaping…

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Canadian’s Financial Lives Increasingly Driven By Tech

Canadian's Financial Lives Increasingly Driven By TechA study released this week by Microsoft Advertising confirms what many have already suspected: Canadians see technology as something of a double-edged sword as they increasingly use online services and mobile devices to manage their finances. The technology company surveyed 2,000 people online, and the resulting study, dubbed The Financial Lives of Canadians, suggests consumers have passed a tipping point in terms of their routine use of online tools. Fully…

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Five Investment Themes for 2015 and Beyond

Five Investment Themes for 2015 and BeyondSince this is the season for prognostications, I thought I would make a few of my own as this is my last column for 2014. But rather than attempting to predict specific events or pick specific stocks that will be winners in 2015, here are five macro themes that you might want to watch carefully next year — and beyond. 1. Oil All Canadians are aware that oil prices have…

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Must-Make Year-End Tax Moves

Must-Make Year-End Tax MovesWe may be approaching the most wonderful time of the year, but December is also when to make moves that could save you money come tax time. “Most people think of tax time as April, but it’s really all year long,” says Caroline Battista, a senior tax analyst with H&R Block Canada. “You want to be keeping your receipts all year long, but there are few things you can do at…

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Cashless Buying Poses Financial Risk For Those Without Self-Control

Cashless Buying Poses Financial Risk For Those Without Self-ControlFinancial planner Victor Godinho said goodbye to his wallet four years ago and hasn’t looked back. The 23-year-old adviser at the VTAG Financial Group Inc. in Toronto was one of the early adopters of the “cashless” lifestyle, a move to ditch pocket change and bills in favour of plastic cards and mobile phone payments. “I simply decided that change and cash were too frustrating to deal with,” he said. New…

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The Perils of Being House Poor

The Perils of Being House PoorYounger homebuyers don’t want to max out on their mortgage payments, according to a recent TD survey. Could it be that Gen Xers have learned a few lessons from older home owners who qualify as house poor? The survey found that Gen X Canadians overwhelmingly consider themselves “house plus” buyers who want enough flexibility in the budget to afford things like travel after their monthly payments. Just 14 per cent…

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Know What Fees You’re Paying and How to Minimize Them

Know What Fees You're Paying and How to Minimize ThemFew things in life are free. Sure, there are free samples of protein bars at grocery stores and free hand-me-downs from grandma, but it costs you time to wait in line for the snack and effort to drop unwanted items off at donation centres. So it should come as no surprise that it costs you money to manage your money — whether it’s banking fees, ATM fees or mutual fund…

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5 Major Differences Between Cheap and Frugal

5 Major Differences Between Cheap and FrugalIn response to my recent post about splitting expenses with friends, one commenter wrote that there is a fine line between cheap and frugal. I happen to agree. For example, when dining in a group, I recommend that each individual calculate tax and tip based on what they ordered, but I would never dream of leaving less than a 18 percent tip on my tab, unless service was abysmal. I…

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