Why it’s So Easy to Spend in the Summer

Why it's So Easy to Spend in the SummerI’m always tempted to spend a little more money in the summer when I’m out and about with the family, particularly when it comes to eating out. When we’ve been out at the park or the playground, and the kids have been playing and working up an appetite it’s easy to just buy a little something to eat on the way home or at least grab a popsicle from the…

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Saving – 10 Things You Need To Know

Saving - 10 Things You Need To KnowThere’s a reason why the saying ‘a penny saved is a penny earned has been around a long time’ – it’s true. Saving money can feel like hard work. But there’s no mystery to it. From getting started with a budgeting to setting goals and paying yourself first, here’s what you need to know. 1. Create a budget Question number one is to get a handle on how much you’re…

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5 Childish Reasons For Not Saving

5 Childish Reasons For Not SavingThere are five major  reasons employees don’t save for retirement, according to a Buck Consultants brief released Thursday.  As cited by Pensions World in February of this year (see Pensions Provision: Why save for retirement) they are: 1.) A fatalistic belief in the possibility of dying tomorrow 2.) An assumption that they can work until they die 3.) Paternalistic faith that someone will look after them 4.) Unwillingness to delay…

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7 Ideas to Cut Cost this Summer

7 Ideas to Cut Cost this SummerAs summer approaches many of us wish we’d started saving a lot earlier for a summer holiday.  Even so this doesn’t mean you can’t get away. You might not get three weeks in the south of France, but with a little bit of planning and creativity, you can put together a memorable vacation on any budget. Keep it local There are probably plenty of destinations within a three to four…

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RESP Contribution Rules For 2011

RESP Contribution Rules For 2011One of the main benefits of RESP accounts is the federal Canadian Educational Savings Grant (CESG). This grant is 20% of any eligible contributions in an RESP account. How the RESP Grant System Works Let’s say you open an RESP account for your bouncing new baby and contribute $1,000 into the account. Your financial institution will send the account and contribution information to the Canadian government for grant approval. If…

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Spend Prepaid Visa Cards Quickly to Avoid Fees

Spend Prepaid Visa Cards Quickly to Avoid FeesSam Bornstein paid a penalty for his delay in using a Christmas gift he’d received in December 2009. His $50 prepaid MyTreat Visa card was refused as payment for a $48.08 purchase at a Boxing Day sale last weekend. What happened? The card’s $2 monthly maintenance fee, which kicked in after 12 months, reduced its value to $48. So he was short by 8 cents. “I was not advised of…

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Clutter And The Curse Of The Pack Rat

Clutter And The Curse Of The Pack RatSome time ago there were a string of posts on various blogs about clearing out “stuff” from your life. At around the same time, my favourite essayist Paul Graham posted an aptly titled essay “Stuff” on his site. Taken together, the general consensus seems to be that we are all struggling to deal with an abundance of material possessions, and the sad reality is that these possessions aren’t worth anywhere…

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Factors to Consider When Setting Up an Emergency Fund

Factors to Consider When Setting Up an Emergency FundYou know that an essential part of your financial health is having an emergency fund of some sort. Creating an emergency savings plan to help you through difficult times is important. Your emergency fund can help you make housing payments, buy food and pay for utilities. If you want true financial freedom, you have to have an emergency fund. Before you set up your emergency fund, though, consider the following:…

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Should I Start the Smith Manoeuvre?

Should I Start the Smith Manoeuvre?As this blog has quite a bit of content regarding the Smith Manoeuvre, I often get reader questions regarding how to start the Smith Manoeuvre, and when is a good time to start.  I have answered the “how” in the past, but what about the “when”? What is the Smith Manoeuvre Before we get started, lets take a couple steps back and explain what the Smith Manoeuvre is to newer…

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10 Ways To Reduce Your Water Bill

10 Ways To Reduce Your Water BillHaving already looked at how to reduce your heating and electricity bills, here are ten ways to reduce your water bill. Only wash full loads with your dishwasher and laundry washer. A partial load can use the same amount of water, but you will be washing more often. If replacing a dishwasher or washing machine, replace it with a high efficiency model. Use a low-flow shower head. This can easily…

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