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The Globe and Mail reports today increases in senior debt levels and that there is a 6.5% increase in average debt for consumers aged 65 and older, according to Equifax which is increasing their debt faster than any other age group in the past year. British Columbia has the highest level of consumer debt in the second quarter increasing to $36,150 per consumer. As a federally licensed Trustee in Bankruptcy and Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, in Victoria British Columbia, we are seeing the increase in seniors who are carrying record amounts of debts. As part of our...[more]
After suffering financial difficulties it is important to start rebuilding your credit. What is a credit score? Your credit score is what new lenders check before they approve a loan. It is provided by a credit reporting agency who collect information on your repayment history from your previous lenders. Good repayment histories lead to high scores and the ability to borrow more. Poor histories, including late payments, collections and consumer proposals lower your score and can result in a loan being refused. In Canada...[more]
There are plenty of online financial resources to help you keep track of your finances, create and stick to a budget, and keep track of where your money is going. Here are a few good ones that can really make a difference if you struggle to keep track of your money. Remember that the key to financial health is being aware and proactive.
This website has some of the best financial calculators available for free online. Online financial resources like this one help...[more]
One of the keys to maintaining good financial health is taking time to check in with yourself and your accounts. Finances that are ignored or neglected can easily get out of hand and your financial health can take a hit. If you...[more]
If you are struggling with debt, there are many different solutions you can look into. Sometimes the only answer left to you is bankruptcy, but often your debt isn’t as unmanageable as you fear. Before going through a formal solution which can put a black mark on your credit card, consider whether a simple budget could help you manage your debt and pay it off in a timely manner. We hear it time and again from financial experts, but starting a budget can be daunting and hard to stick to. Here are some tips to get you started on the path to a successful...[more]
Saving is important; all the financial experts tell us so. Generally though people are saving for more than one thing at a time, and sometimes you want to keep the money for your down payment separate from your rainy day fund, so what are...[more]
When something breaks from your favourite pair of boots to your microwave the question becomes should your repair it or replace it? This depends on many things including what it is that is in need of repair. Below are some things to take into consideration when making this decision.
Cost and the 50% RuleThere is a general financial rule of thumb when it comes to replacing stuff, known as the 50% replacement rule. If the repair will cost more than 50% of simply buying the item new, then invest in a new one. New wipers on a 4-year-old car are a good investment, a...[more]
Some of us really struggle to save. We have good intentions, but we fail to keep track of our money, or we make too many little “one latte won’t hurt” purchases that quickly add up. If you are always dipping into your funds because there was a deal on a sofa that was too good to pass up, and you really had been meaning to buy a new one for the last year anyway, then possibly you need some help keeping money from yourself. Here are some tips to keep your savings safe from your impulse purchasing. Tip # 1: Have your bank remove access to your savings account from...[more]
Emergencies happen, and more often than not they are costly. If you aren’t prepared for an emergency then the cost of it can put you in serious financial trouble. If you were keeping up with your debts before but suddenly you can’t work how are you going to pay them? If your boiler breaks down in the middle of winter can you fix it? Often people don’t prepare for emergencies, so when they happen people have to over extend themselves on credit. If knock on effects from dealing with an emergency were what started your financial troubles in the first place, post-bankruptcy you...[more]
The summer is a great time to save a little extra money because there are so many easy ways to cut costs. This post covers 5 easy ways to cut costs over the summer and do some summer savings
- Groceries – There is fresh local produce everywhere, and because it is in season it is cheaper than in the winter. Try to make a meal plan and stick to fresh local ingredients. You can also consider buying in bulk produce that you know is going to rocket in price during the winter months. Things like berries are easy to buy in bulk and freeze really...[more]
Saving money on Energy Everybody has to pay for power, and we tend to think of it as a fixed cost that we simply have to account for in our budget. While this is true there are ways to get the number down. BC Hydro has lots of resources on their website for ideas of how to be power smart. Here are some of the big ones Spare/old fridge – An inefficient fridge could be using up to $85 of energy a year. BC Hydro offers a fridge buyback scheme where they buy your old fridge...[more]
There are some really easy but often overlooked ways to save a little extra in the summer. Here are 5 places to cut costs and save a little extra
- Turn of the Air Conditioning – You don’t have to suffer through sweltering heat, but an AC unit can dramatically drive up your utilities bill. Only use it when necessary, turn it off when you leave the house, and try to plan ahead. If you know it is going to be a cool night, open some windows and turn it off before bed. Don’t forget to replace your filters, as this can really up the efficiency of your...[more]
We’ve all been told how important a budget is to achieving financial goals and not letting your finances get out of hand. However, a budget means nothing if you don’t stick to it and let it evelove when necessary. Tracking your spending is absolutely key to your budget functioning as it should. Once you start to pay attention to where your money goes it will be much easier to identify waste and fine tune your budget to get the most out of your finances. Tracking your spending can seem laborious, but once you get into the habit it becomes easy. If you like to stay low tech a simple...[more]
A good budget is a pillar of financial success, but starting out can be hard and many people struggle with their budget. Here are some common mistakes that stop you from fully realising your financial potential. You’re putting it off – Once you ahve decided you need to make a change, do it. Putting it off just means you’ll be in trouble for longer. Once you have a budget you are ready to work with set a date and start going. Remember it might take you a while to settle in and most new budgets need a little adjustment. Don’t give up after one...[more]
Is credit card debt weighing you down? Do you often file away or trash your credit card statement without paying off the balance? Do you wonder about the best ways to pay off your credit card debt? If so, you’re not alone. Nearly half of all Canadian credit card holders (46%) are carrying credit card debt, and one in three don’t pay off their credit card bill every month.Over half (52%) use their credit cards to make the majority of their purchases, and yet one third don’t actually keep track of their credit card charges until they receive their bill...[more]
Always ask what the true cost of borrowing is before taking on debt. When a client borrows money, he incurs both financial costs and transaction costs. Financial costs include: interest, loan or membership fees, and savings requirements. Transaction costs refer to either money paid out or opportunity costs to access the loan. Examples of transaction costs are transportation or child care costs while attending meetings. Other transaction costs are indirect costs imposed by lenders through their delivery systems, but which are not received by the lending organization in the form of...[more]