Empowering the Independent Woman: Take Control of your Personal Finances

Gail Vaz- Oxlade has a message for women everywhere – be an “Island” before becoming a “Peninsula”. The tough-talking money expert and host of popular reality TV shows such as Til Debt Do Us Part and Princess maintains that all women should be financially independent , even in marriage rather than expecting a partner to become their financial safety net.

In her latest book, It’s Your Money: Becoming a Woman of Independent Means (HarperCollinsCanada, $21.99), Vaz-Oxlade argues that women have unique challenges when it comes to managing money such as motherhood, divorce, widowhood, disability and caring for the elderly. Instead of relying on others, whether it be a partner, parent or financial planner, women should take action to understand and plan around their unique needs.

The first step of taking control is keeping track of where money is spent. Vaz-Oxlade suggests keeping receipts and entering expenses into a journal or spreadsheet and to distinguish clearly between the wants and the needs. Read the full article from the Winnipeg Free Press on Gail’s financial tips for women here.

Credit Aid is a proud sponsor of “You and Your Money with Gail Vaz-Oxlade” taking place in Winnipeg on February 9th, 2012. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at www.youandyourdollar.com or by calling 254-2595.

Money-Smart Kids

Where are the Money-Smart Kids?

If basic, yet essential, information on budgeting, borrowing, saving and investing isn’t learned early in life, most young people will have a huge deficit in this very important life skill when they leave home to live on their own.

Kids need to know the meaning of credit and debt before they get out into the “real” world and begin signing contracts on cellphones and credit cards without knowing the trouble they could be getting into. Too often they find themselves with an overdue bill and no money to cover it.

Parents and schools need to band together to teach our young people the basics (at least) of money management. According to comedian James Cunningham, who has set up a national financial literacy program that is sponsored by the IEF and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization, young people need to know how to save, invest and spend their money.

Cunningham uses humor in his program “Funny Money” to give young people the following three tips regarding money management:

1) Know how much money you have and the sources of your income and write it down. Keeping track of your money allows you to see how much money you make, what you can afford and how long it will take you to pay back a loan based on this income.
2) Take control of your money; don’t let your money control you! This means that before you get a credit card and charge a bunch of purchases, make sure you have some income so you can pay that bill off in full every month.
3) Save some money with every paycheck. You will be surprised at how quickly your money grows and you will love the feeling of taking the money you have saved and buying something outright, rather than making payments on it for the next several months.

You and Your Money with Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Creditaid is pleased to announce that we are a proud sponsor of You and Your Money seminar series with Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Gail Vaz-Oxlade will be in Winnipeg, Thursday, February 9, 2012 at Canad Inns Polo Park.

Also, don’t miss this opportunity to hear some expert financial advice from a variety of seminars from 2 pm-5 pm. Creditaid will be holding seminars on budgeting at 2:00, 2:30, 4:00 and 4:30.

Tickets can be purchased at Sofias Boutique 836 St Mary’s Rd, Winnipeg, Phone Number: 254-2595.

Tips to Help Kids Understand Debt

In order for children to fully understand finances and how money “works,” they have to learn about debt. The age of your child will determine how you define debt so they can understand.

Make sure you use terms and examples that they are already familiar with.

You can begin with the concept of borrowing something such as a toy from a friend. Explain the need to return the toy to its owner. And if the toy can’t be returned in its original condition then it needs to be replaced by a similar item of equal value. Your child should be able to understand that until that item is replaced, paid for, he is in debt to the person who owned the item.

For the “tween” set you can use real money items and examples. Set up a scenario where your child wants something, a new bicycle, for instance. Write down and discuss the amount of money the bike costs, the amount of money your child has, the amount of money he earns through allowance, or anticipates receiving for a gift, etc.

Talk about whether or not he can “afford” the bike right now, and if he can pay it off within a reasonable amount of time. This discussion will include installment payments where instead of paying back the “loan” with all of their allowance each week, they pay smaller amounts so as to keep some money for their usual “living expenses.” It’s important to work financial terms into the conversation as soon as you child is able to understand them.

Then, actually carry out a transaction. Keep it written down; sign a contract, have them make payments and even set up an amortization schedule so they can see how interest works. Going through this process will give your child an excellent opportunity to learn about personal finances.